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No Agenda Episode 453

By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 12:47 PM.

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Drop, Cover and Hold on! -- Millions to take part in largest ever-earthquake drill [The Great SouthEast ShakeOut]

Link to Article

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 01:39

Major earthquakes are expected to strike the same area every 150 years but it has been nearly 300 years since southern California has been hit, prompting fears of a long-overdue quake.

Lance Webster, one of the drill organisers, told the Daily Telegraph: "The natural tendency of people who live in risk areas is to downplay the danger or ignore it. The goal of this is not to frighten people but to give them positive things they can do to prepare and survive."

As well as practicing what to do during the initial tremors, Mr Webster said people should prepare emergency supplies of water in anticipation that a major earthquake would disrupt water pipes and road links.

More than half of the 9 million Californians due to take part are students, as schools and universities along the West Coast practice their safety procedures. Major corporations like Walmart, Target and Bank of America have also ordered their staff to take participate in the drill.

Around 300,000 people outside the United States have signed up, mainly in earthquake risk zones like southern Italy and Japan.

New Zealand organised a similar drill in September involving around 1.3 million people - a quarter of the country's population.

Shut Up Slave!

Another Obama Executive Order Allows Seizure of Americans' Bank Accounts

The latest executive order (EO) emanating from the White House October 9 now claims the power to freeze all bank accounts and stop any related financial transactions that a "sanctioned person" may own or try to perform -- all in the name of "Iran Sanctions." Titled an "Executive Order from the President regarding Authorizing the Implementation of Certain Sanctions..." the order says that if an individual is declared by the president, the secretary of state, or the secretary of the treasury to be a "sanctioned person," he (or she) will be unable to obtain access to his accounts, will be unable to process any loans (or make them), or move them to any other financial institution inside or outside the United States. In other words, his financial resources will have successfully been completely frozen. The EO expands its authority by making him unable to use any third party such as "a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, subgroup or other organization" that might wish to help him or allow him to obtain access to his funds. And if the individual so "sanctioned" decides that the ruling is unfair, he-isn't-allowed to sue. In two words, the individual has successfully been robbed blind. But it's all very legal. The EO says the president has his "vested authority" to issue it, and then references endless previous EOs, including one dating back to 1995 which declared a "state of emergency" (which hasn't been lifted): Executive Order 12957. EO 12957 was issued by President Bill Clinton on March 15, 1995, which was also obliquely related to the Iran "problem": I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, find that the actions and policies of the Government of Iran to constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat. Clinton's EO further delegated such powers as were necessary to enforce the EO to the secretaries of the treasury and state "to employ all powers ... as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government." Such EOs are the perfect embodiment of what the Founders feared the most: the combining of the legislative, executive, and judicial functions into one body. Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution says: "All legislative powers herein shall be vested in a Congress of the United States." As Thomas Eddlem, writing for The New American,-expressed it, "then it stands to reason [that] none is left for the president." But Joe Wolverton, also in The New American,-pointed out the particular piece of language the Founders used to limit the powers of the president which totalitarians have twisted to allow such powers to expand: the "take care" clause, to wit: Article II, Section 3: he [the president] shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed... With every EO, the president avoids the cumbersome constitutional safeguards spelled out by the Constitution, and uses them to implement policies he "knows" are right. Says Wolverton: "With every one of these ... executive orders, then, the president elevates his mind and will above that of the people, Congress and the courts." The current administration has had a lot of help in justifying and codifying the legitimacy of executive orders, going all the way back to President George Washington-who in 1793 issued his "Neutrality Proclamation,"-which declared that the United States would remain neutral in the current conflict between France and Great Britain, and would bring sanctions against any American citizen who attempted to provide assistance to either party. The language of Washington is eerily similar to that used by President Obama in the present case: I have therefore thought fit by these presents to declare the disposition of the United States to observe the conduct aforesaid toward those powers respectively, and to exhort and warn the citizens of the United States carefully to avoid all acts and proceedings whatsoever which may in any manner tend to contravene such disposition... I have given instructions to those officers to whom it belongs to cause prosecutions to be instituted against all persons who shall, within the cognizance of the courts of the United States, violate the law of nations with respect to the powers at war, or any of them. When James Madison protested Washington's usurpation of powers not intended for the president, Congress acquiesced and passed, retroactively, the Neutrality Act of 1794, validating Washington's usurpation. President Lincoln engaged in similar usurpations, using presidential "directives" to run the early months of the Civil War, presenting Congress with, as Todd Gaziano put it, the decision either to adopt his [directives] as legislation or to cut off support for the Union army. Within his first two months in office, on April 15, 1861, Lincoln issued a proclamation activating troops to defeat the Southern rebellion and for Congress to convene on July 4. He also issued proclamations to procure warships and to expand the size of the military; in both cases, the proclamations provided for payment to be advanced from the Treasury without congressional approval. These latter actions were probably unconstitutional, but Congress acquiesced in the face of wartime contingencies, and the matters were never challenged in court. President Franklin Roosevelt often overlooked the niceties of constitutional restraints as well. As Gaziano expressed it, "FDR also showed a tendency to abuse his executive order authority and [to] claim powers that were not conferred on him in the Constitution or by statute." As far as numbers of executive orders issued, Obama is a piker. At the moment, although the list is growing, his administration has issued 138 executive orders. President Theodore Roosevelt issued 1,006 while President Woodrow Wilson issued 1,791. Even President Calvin Coolidge used the EO "privilege" 1,253 times. The granddaddy of them all, FDR, issued an astounding 3,728 executive orders, but of course he was in office longer than Obama. President Bill Clinton issued only 364 executive orders, but he made the most of them, using this extra-legal power to, among other things, wage war in Yugoslavia-without congressional approval. Cliff Kincaid collated the numerous EOs issued by Clinton in 1998 and 1999, and concluded: Clinton waged his war on Yugoslavia through executive order and presidential directive. Clinton used executive orders to designate a "war zone," call up troops, proclaim a "national emergency" with respect to Yugoslavia, and impose economic sanctions on the Belgrade government. Clinton claimed war-making presidential authority through his "constitutional authority" to conduct "foreign relations," as "Commander in Chief" and as "Chief Executive." Under this self-designated authority, Clinton delegated command-and-control of U.S. forces to NATO and its Secretary-General Javier Solana, who decided when the air war would be discontinued... The most outrageous executive order of all time was that issued by President Roosevelt that allowed the enforced internment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans: 9066. Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) called EOs patently unconstitutional. When asked about them by Fox News' Megan Kelly,-Paul responded: The Constitution says that only Congress passes laws. The executive branch is not allowed to pass laws, nor should the judicial system pass laws. So it is clearly unconstitutional to issue these executive orders. They've been done for a long time, both parties have done it, but the Congress is careless. They allow and encourage and do these deals ... to get the president to circumvent the Congress. If something's unpopular and he can't get it passed, well, let's just sign an executive order. So I think that is blatantly wrong. I think this defies everything the founders intended. I think it's a shame that Congress does it, and I think it's a shame that the American people put up with it.

Executive Order from the President regarding Authorizing the Implementation of Certain Sanctions Set Forth in the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 and Additional Sanctions with respect to Iran | The White House

BREAKING! British Govt Blocks Extradition Of Man Accused Of Hacking The Pentagon

Colin Farmer, Blind Man, Tasered By Cops Who Mistook White Cane For Samurai Sword

Link to Article

Wed, 17 Oct 2012 17:35

A blind man from Lancashire, England, was Tasered by police last Friday after law enforcement officers mistook his white cane for a samurai sword, reports say.

According to Sky News, stroke victim Colin Farmer was hit in the back with a 50,000 volt Taser gun after police had received reports that a man was spotted walking through the town brandishing a samurai sword.

Farmer reportedly cried out "I'm blind! I'm blind!" while collapsing, but was still handcuffed by one of the officers, Sky News adds.

"The whole thing was like being trapped in a nightmare," the man told the Chorley Guardian, adding that he had initially thought that he was being "attacked by some hooligans."

Farmer was taken to the hospital for treatment and was later released.

''I was absolutely terrified. I thought any second I'm going to have another stroke and this one will kill me,'' he said.

According to the Associated Press, Lancashire police have expressed "deep regrets" over the horrible mishap.

"We have clearly put this man through a traumatic experience and we are extremely sorry for that," Chief Superintendent Stuart Williams told the BBC. "We have launched an urgent investigation to understand what lessons can be learned."

The AP writes that a different man carrying a samurai sword was later arrested.

Farmer, who says the experience left his "shaking like a leaf and scared to go outside," is reportedly considering taking legal action against the police force, Sky News adds.

Also on HuffPost:

Why You Need a Passport Now!

Link to Article

Source: EconomicPolicyJournal.com

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 12:08

At a future point, it may be impossible to get one.PapersPlease.org reports on what the State Department is planning for future passport applicants:

The new U.S. passport application forms are back, worse than ever.

Ignoring massive public opposition, and despite having recently admitted that it is already using the ''proposed'' forms illegally without approval, the State Department is trying again to get approval for a pair of impossible-to-complete new passport application forms that would, in effect, allow the State Department to deny you a passport simply by choosing to send you either or both of the new ''long forms''.

Early last year, the State Department proposed a new ''Biographical Questionnaire'' for passport applicants, which would have required anyone selected to receive the new long-form DS-5513 to answer bizarre and intrusive personal trivia questions about everything from whether you were circumcised (and if so, with what accompanying religious rituals) to the dates of all of your mother's pre- and post-natal medical appointments, your parents' addresses one year before you were born, every address at which you have ever resided, and your lifetime employment history including the names and phone numbers of each of your supervisors at every job you have ever held.Most people would be unable to complete the proposed new form no matter how much time and money they invested in research. Requiring someone to complete Form DS-5513 would amount to de facto denial of their application for a passport '-- which, as we told the State Department, appeared to be the point of the form.The State Department's notice of the proposal in the Federal Register didn't include the form itself. After we published the proposed Form DS-5513, the story went viral and more than 3,000 public comments objecting to the proposal were filed with the State Department in the final 24 hours of the comment period.After that fiasco, the State Department went dark for several months, and claimed that they would ''revise'' the form. But they didn't give up, and apparently they didn't listen to (or didn't care) what they had been told by members of the public in our comments.The State Department is now seeking approval for a (slightly)revised Form DS-5513 as well as a new Form DS-5520, also for passport applicants, containing many of the same questions.The State Department no longer wants you to tell the passport examiner about the circumstances of your circumcision, but does still want to know the dates and locations of all of your mother's pre- and post-natal medical appointments, how long she was hospitalized for your birth, and a complete list of everyone who was in the room when you were born. The revised forms no longer ask for all the addresses at which you have lived, but only for those addresses you are least likely to know: all the places you lived from birth until age 18.Read more here.

Millions to take part in largest ever-earthquake drill - Telegraph

Link to Article

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 01:39

Major earthquakes are expected to strike the same area every 150 years but it has been nearly 300 years since southern California has been hit, prompting fears of a long-overdue quake.

Lance Webster, one of the drill organisers, told the Daily Telegraph: "The natural tendency of people who live in risk areas is to downplay the danger or ignore it. The goal of this is not to frighten people but to give them positive things they can do to prepare and survive."

As well as practicing what to do during the initial tremors, Mr Webster said people should prepare emergency supplies of water in anticipation that a major earthquake would disrupt water pipes and road links.

More than half of the 9 million Californians due to take part are students, as schools and universities along the West Coast practice their safety procedures. Major corporations like Walmart, Target and Bank of America have also ordered their staff to take participate in the drill.

Around 300,000 people outside the United States have signed up, mainly in earthquake risk zones like southern Italy and Japan.

New Zealand organised a similar drill in September involving around 1.3 million people - a quarter of the country's population.

EUROLand

VIDEO: EU summit to focus on euro crisis

Link to Article

Source: BBC News - Europe

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 10:23

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Greeks say no to EU austerity with general strike

Link to Article

Source: euronews

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 12:34

European leaders come together today in what is being billed as a summit to strengthen economic and monetary union. But at this, the fourth meeting this year, the debt crisis is as usual set to colour discussions as the 27 EU leaders look for a way to restore confidence in'...

VIDEO: Greek protesters throw firebombs

Link to Article

Source: BBC News - Europe

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 12:51

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Portugal finance minister unveils "enormous" tax hikes in 2013 budget

Link to Article

Source: euronews

Tue, 16 Oct 2012 05:56

Portugal is facing ''enormous'' tax increases next year, according to Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar as he unveiled the harshest austerity budget seen by the country in living memory.

The average levy on wages would rise from 9.8 percent to 13.2 percent. A greater amount of people could end up paying more, with the number of tax categories reduced from eight to five.

Hikes in income and corporate taxes will make up almost three quarters of government revenue in 2013 as the Lisbon tries to adhere to the 78 billion euro bailout programme.

Growth is expected to contract by three percent this year and one percent in 2013.

The new budget sees 1,350 euros cut from public salaries and pensions, and unemployment and healthcare benefits will also be slashed.

On Saturday, thousands of actors, singers and dancers were on the streets of the capital for a day of cultural protests against the austerity measures.

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Drone Nation

Pedo Bear

Squirrel!

Man That Plotted To Bomb The Federal Reserve Here On Student Visa Majoring In Cyber Security

Man Arrested Plotting To Blow Up Federal Reserve In New York

"New York City Is Still A Terrorist Target!" (Cui Bono?) NYC Police Commissioner Press Conf

Terror Suspect Plotting To Blow Up Federal Reserve Arrested In NYC, Wanted To 'Run The Whole World'

Link to Article

Source: Radar Online

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 02:09

By Debbie Emery - Radar Reporter

A 21-year-old Bangladeshi man has been arrested in a suspected terror plot to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank Of New York with a massive 10,000 pound bomb, federal officials have confirmed.

Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, of Queens, New York, has been named as the potential terrorist after his plan was foiled by an undercover FBI agent who ensured that the explosives he parked in a van outside of the Liberty Street building were fake, reported the New York Post.

PHOTOS: Celebs Involved In Murder

When he met the agent in Central Park, the deranged young man revealed the depth of his distorted ambition. ''I don't want something that's like small. I just want something big,'' Nafis said in a secretly recorded threat.

''Something very big. Very very very very big, that will shake the whole country, that will make America, not one step ahead, change of policy, and make one step ahead, for the Muslims ... that will make us one step closer to run the whole world.''

PHOTOS: Celebs Who Have Done Jail Time

Nafis landed on U.S. soil through a student visa with the intention of carrying out the deadly attack, and claimed to have the backing of al-Qaeda overseas. When the amateur terrorist tried to recruit comrades to help, he unwittingly enlisted the help of the undercover FBI agent in July, according to documents.

At first he aspired to bomb the New York Stock Exchange or a Baltimore military base, before deciding on the Federal Reserve, because he wanted to ''destroy America'' by targeting its economy.

PHOTOS: Most Notorious American Murder Trials

''... All I had in mind are how to destroy America ... I came up to this conclusion that targeting America's economy is most efficient way to draw the path of obliteration of America,'' and justified the deaths of innocent women and children as necessary because of his dedication to ''our beloved Sheikh Osama bin Laden.''

After the agent accomplice and the wannabe terrorist parked the van, they went to the Millennium Hilton hotel near the World Trade Center where Nafis recorded a video statement to go along with the attack. "We will not stop until we attain victory or martyrdom," he told the camera.

PHOTOS: Sexy Stars Who Have Been Arrested

He then tried, several times unsuccessfully, to detonate the device packed with inert explosives, and was quickly arrested.

Nafis now faces charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaeda at his arraignment Wednesday afternoon in Brooklyn Federal court.

PHOTOS: Celebrity Mugshots

Paul J. Browne, deputy commissioner of the New York City Police Department, released a statement following the attempted attack, where he credited the diligence of law enforcement.

"After 11 years without a successful attack, it's understanding if the public becomes complacent. But that's a luxury law enforcement can't afford," he said in a statement.

PHOTOS: America's Unknown Psycho Serial Killers

"Vigilance is our watchword now and into the foreseeable future. That's why we have over 1,000 police officers assigned to counter-terrorism duties every day, and why we built the Domain Awareness System. I want to commend the NYPD detectives and FBI agents of the Joint Terrorist Task Force for the work they did in the case and in other ways every day to help New York City safe from terrorists."

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Navy Seal Denies He Broke Laws By Writing Book About Osama Bin Laden's KillingBin Laden Was Unarmed And Already Dying When Navy SEALS Got To Him, Claims New BookFormer President Bill Clinton Misses Driving, Didn't Learn Of Osama Capture Through Hillary

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Seattle Cop Caught Purposely Destroying Evidence In Terror Plot Case

"9/11 Mastermind" KSM Accuses US Of Justifying Murder & Torture In The Name Of Security

WTF?! US Appeals Ct Reverses Conviction of Bin Laden Driver; Says Terrorism Wasn't War Crime

Link to Article

Source: Debbie Schlussel

Tue, 16 Oct 2012 22:56

By Debbie Schlussel

What the bleep is wrong with this country? Why do we have such morons on the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia? It's like they were Casey Anthony jurors. Today, they overturned the conviction of Islamic terrorist Salim Hamdan, Osama Bin Laden's driver, ruling that terrorism ''didn't constitute a war crime'' at the time that Hamdan provided material support for terrorism to Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. Huh? How was that not a war crime . . . ever? It's like saying the OctoMom doesn't have a lot of kids. Or that Joe Biden's plugs aren't hair implants. Under our absurd Bush-Obama ''Gitmo terrorist catch and release'' program, Hamdan was long ago sent to Yemen, where he is probably planning his next attack (or planning it from elsewhere, as we now have no idea where he is). But the decision is important for the precedent it sets. And it's ridiculous. Read the court's decision.

Having the Last Laugh

The three judges who decided this case and concurred in the decision included Reagan appointees Douglas Ginsburg (yup, the guy who withdrew from Supreme Court consideration after his pot-smoking days as a Harvard prof came to light''perhaps marijuana had even longer lasting effects than we knew) and David Sentelle and George W. Bush appointee Brett Kavanaugh. I read the decision and it rests on the assertion that ''providing material support for terrorism'' was not a specified ''war crime'' and, therefore, illegal, until AFTER Hamdan committed it. Huh? How on earth would that not constitute a war crime? Who didn't specifically include it in the delineated ''war crimes''? It doesn't make sense. I'm against ex post facto laws that charge someone for past behavior that wasn't illegal at the time it was committed. But this is ludicrous and absurd.

What people don't get''nor did these judges''is that the whole reason that the ACLU and other terrorist special interest groups filed this case was to prevent non-U.S. citizen terrorists, such as Hamdan and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, from being tried in military tribunals. They want them tried in circus trials in federal court. (Under federal law, providing material support for terrorism has been a felony crime for many years, so this would not have been an issue there.) And, today, they got a major victory in that direction.

More:

A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday overturned the conviction of Osama bin Laden's former driver and bodyguard, Salim Hamdan, on charges of supporting terrorism, in a long-running case emerging from the American military trials at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit concluded that providing support for terrorism was not a war crime at the time of Hamdan's alleged conduct from 1996 to 2001 and therefore could not support a conviction.

Human rights activists hailed the ruling as a blow to the legitimacy of the military commission system.

Hamdan was captured at a roadblock in Afghanistan in November 2001, not long after the U.S. invasion of that country following the September 11 attacks on the United States.

In the first U.S. war crimes trial since World War Two, Hamdan was convicted in August 2008 of providing personal services in support of terrorism by driving and guarding bin Laden, the al Qaeda leader who was killed in a U.S. raid in Pakistan last year.

Hamdan was sentenced to 66 months in prison but given credit for time served at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. He was returned to Yemen in November 2008 and set free in January 2009 to live with his family in Sanaa. . . .

At the trial, prosecutors said Hamdan was close to al Qaeda's inner circle while his lawyers asserted that Hamdan was simply a driver and mechanic in the motor pool who needed the $200 monthly salary.

Hamdan won a prior victory in 2006 when the U.S. Supreme Court scrapped the first version of the Guantanamo court system.

After that Supreme Court decision, Congress passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which listed a number of specific new war crimes that could be prosecuted by a military commission, including providing support for terrorism. The government refiled charges against Hamdan under that new law.

He was eventually convicted on five counts of providing material support for terrorism. . . . The appeals court . . . concluded that the military commissions act did not authorize prosecutions for conduct that occurred before the law was passed and that was not prohibited at the time it occurred. . . .

The decision strikes a blow to the legitimacy of the military commission system and calls into question prosecutions of offenses that are not internationally recognized war crimes, said Raha Wala, a lawyer with Human Rights First. To date, most of the military commission cases have been based on charges of material support or conspiracy that were added by the 2006 statute, he said.

''All of these prosecutions are now in jeopardy,'' Wala said, including the ongoing prosecution of Saudi prisoner Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri set to resume at Guantanamo next week.

Sadly, based on my reading of the decision this Muslim lawyer for Islamic terrorists is right. We have bozos for judges. Men (and women) who do not care as much about the safety of Americans as they do about the supremacy of their court system (the federal one) over military tribunals over which they should have no power or say-so.

More big-time terrorists will go free over this. And more Americans will die. Thanks, men in black robes. Thanks a lot.

Da Bruddahood

Turkish pianist on trial for insulting Islam

Link to Article

Source: ynet - News

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 10:33

A top Turkish pianist and composer is going on trial in Istanbul on charges of offending Muslims and insulting Islam in comments he made on Twitter. Associated Press

The trial starts Thursday for Fazil Say, who has played with the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Symphony Orchestra and others. His tweets included one that joked about a call to prayer that lasted only 22 seconds.

Related stories:

Say tweeted: `Why such haste? Have you got a mistress waiting or a raki (alcoholic drink) on the table?'

Islam forbids alcohol and many Islamist consider the remarks unacceptable.

Agenda 21

E Coli Outbreak Linked To North Carolina Fair Petting Zoo

episode 433-H3N2: The New Swine Flu

In addition, the virus appears to have become more active recently, the CDC said. 'The virus was first detected in humans in July 2011, and since then there have been 29 total cases of H3N2 variant virus detected, including the 16 cases occurring in the last three weeks,' Bresee said.

...Each of the recent 16 cases were among people who had direct contact with pigs. In 15 cases, contact happened at a county fair... Fortunately, sustained person-to-person transmission of the virus hasn't happened yet, he added." [Emphasis mine]

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Re-insurer: Climate change played a role in natural disaster spike.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 10:39

By Agence France-PresseWednesday, October 17, 2012 15:19 EDT

Climate change played a role in a nearly five-fold jump in weather-related natural disasters in North America over the last 30 years, Munich Re, the world's largest reinsurer, said on Wednesday.

North America saw the world's biggest increase in natural catastrophes between 1980 and 2011, ahead of Asia which had a four-fold rise and ahead of Africa, where such disasters grew 2.5 times, the company said in a study.

''Anthropogenic climate change is believed to contribute to this trend, though it influences various perils in different ways,'' Munich Re said in a written statement.

''Climate change particularly affects formation of heatwaves, droughts, intense precipitation events, and in the long run most probably also tropical cyclone intensity,'' it said.

And it said the view that weather extremes were becoming more frequent and intense in various regions due to global warming was in keeping with current scientific findings.

The North American continent is exposed to tropical cyclones, thunderstorms, winter storms, tornadoes, wildfires, drought and flood, it said.

One reason is the lack of an east-west mountain range to separate hot from cold air, it added.

Insured losses from weather catastrophes in North America for the three decades until 2011 came to $510 billion, of which $62.2 billion resulted from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the costliest US catastrophe ever.

Peter Roeder, Munich Re board member responsible for the US market, said climate change-related increases in hazards were not automatically reflected in premiums and that risk managers should adapt.

''In order to realise a sustainable model of insurance, it is crucially important for us as risk managers to learn about this risk of change and find improved solutions for adaptation but also mitigation,'' he said in the statement.

Elite$

Australian Prime Minister Trips And Falls Near Gandhi Memorial In India

Newsweek to axe print edition | Media

Link to Article

Source: Dave Winer's linkblog feed

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 12:43

Newsweek: will go digital-only from the new year

Newsweek is to axe its print edition after 80 years and move to digital-only from the new year.

Tina Brown, the editor-in-chief of Newsweek and sister digital news site the Daily Beast, told staff in an email that the last print edition will appear on 31 December.

The new digital-only publication, which will be called Newsweek Global, will be a "single worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context".

Newsweek Global will be supported by paid subscriptions, with content available for e-readers, tablets and the web, with some content also available on the Daily Beast.

Brown, a former editor of the New Yorker and Vanity Fair, said that the shift to digital will lead to staff cuts and a downsizing of the business internationally.

"The inexorable move to an all-digital Newsweek comes with an unfortunate reality," she said in an email to staff on Thursday. "Regrettably we anticipate staff reductions and the streamling of our editorial and business operations both here in the US and internationally."

Brown was quick to point out that the cuts and move to digital was not about saying "goodbye" to Newsweek, but responding to the reality of the costs of maintaining a print publication.

"We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it," she said. "We remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it represents. This decision is not about the quality of the brand or the journalism, that is as powerful as ever. It is about the challenging economics of print publishing and distribution."

Newsweek, which was saved for closure by the late Sidney Harman when he bought it for $1 from the Washington Post in August 2010, was swiftly merged with Brown's Daily Beast in a 50/50 joint venture later that same year.

Brown launched the Daily Beast '' which is named from her favourite novel, Evelyn Waugh's Scoop '' in 2008 with the backing of Barry Diller's InterActiveCorp.

"Newsweek is produced by a gifted and tireless team of professionals who have been offering brilliant work consistently throughout a tough period of ownership transition and media disruption," she said.

The news comes a week after Variety, the 107-year-old US entertainment industry bible, was sold to the parent company of Nikki Finke's digital news site Deadline.com for $25m.

Observers believe that Variety's new owner, Penske Media Corporation, will look to cut back on the magazine's weekday or weekly print edition.

' 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".

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Bullying

The rise of passive-aggressive wi-fi names

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Source: BBC News - Home

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 10:30

18 October 2012Last updated at05:41 ETBy Tom HeydenBBC News MagazineSome wireless internet users have been setting their network names to send snide messages to their neighbours. Why?

Predominantly, it's about noise. And sex. Well, noisy sex. That, and "stealing" broadband.

Wireless internet users are typically asked to assign names to their networks when installing new routers. These names can be seen by anybody within range who searches for networks.

Many stick to mundane options like "Home" or "Wireless01". The more adventurous may even use their surname or address.

But this is an era of bite-sized self-expression. It's possible to see names like "Drop it like it's hotspot", "Terror network", and "Virus Detected Shutting Down". Or witticisms like "Pretty fly for a Wi-Fi" and "Wi Believe I Can Fi".

Users of social network Reddit have gathered together examples that are less about the humour and more about sending a message to a neighbour.

Anybody who has house- or flat-shared has dealt with Post-it notes left on fridges. "Please throw away the box after eating my food" or "The dishwasher is the white thing with buttons" are typical.

People are apparently doing the same with network names.

"Stop Stealing My Paper!" begins one exchange, to which the reply taunts: "FYI, I Don't Read It I Just Throw It Away!"

"You're music is annoying!" is followed by "Your grammar is more annoying!"

"Meat is Murder" alongside "Meat is delicious!!!" is another antagonistic exchange uploaded to image-hosting site Flickr.

Continue reading the main storySend us your screen grabsDo you have any passive aggressive network names in your area?

Send your pictures to the.magazine@bbc.co.uk with the subject line: "Wi-fi"

Pet misbehaviour is addressed, with examples like "Shut The Barking Dog Up No 7". Another expletive-laden name demands neighbours stop letting the cat use their lawn as a toilet.

Noisy neighbours seem to be the principal source of complaint. Examples provided by OpenSignalMaps, a company maintaining a wide database of wi-fi network names, include:

"Stop slamming the door!!!""Stop wearing heels!""Shut up""Stop running"and "Stop shouting!""Shut it Shoreditch" complains one about the area of east London. "Stop using taps" is harder to interpret. Actual water taps, or tap-dancing shoes?

Particular types of noise complaints dominate. Chief among these is sex.

"We can hear you having sex" apparently appears with a degree of regularity across Britain and Ireland, according to OpenSignalMaps.

Some add a courtesy "btw" (by the way), as if mindful of not intruding, while others forego the implicit complaint and plaintively request "please stop".

Continue reading the main storyThe story behind the wi-fi name"I used to have GetYourOwnInternet. That way if someone was snooping around for some wi-fi to borrow, they would have to look elsewhere. I changed to EatTheChildrenFirst when I moved into a neighbourhood with a lot of kids - I thought it would be a cheeky name."

- Reddit contributor

"My favourite a few years ago was 'StopHavingSoMuchSex'", notes K_Alva on Reddit of one network. "Ironically, it was unprotected."

Unprotected wireless networks themselves, or the "theft" of them, spark numerous network name complaints.

Most wireless networks now come with secure settings as default. But "Go Away Don't Steal My Broadband" and "Stop Mooching Our Internet" suggest that "stealing" of unsecured broadband still irritates some users.

One invokes a kind of technological 11th commandment: "Covet not thy neighbour's wi-fi". Another merely opts for: "Thou shalt not steal!"

Network name complaints are the "digital equivalent" of the classic fridge note, says technology expert Tom Chatfield.

But what purpose do they serve?

"My neighbours would have to do something really bad to go over and knock on their door," says James Robinson of OpenSignalMaps.

Instead of awkward face-to-face confrontations, the network name jokers can anonymously send a message, and can target unknown "perpetrators".

"One of my neighbours has 'I can hear you having sex'. I don't know if they're addressing me, but they do have the strongest signal in my apartment besides my own," writes one Reddit user.

Chatfield is unconvinced that network name notes have much effect.

"It's targeted at the person to prick their conscience," he suggests, but often it is a "cathartic exercise" for the user's own satisfaction.

"I keep renaming my neighbour's linksys router to 'Shut Up Your Damn Dog'," writes eris_amazing on Reddit. "The war has been waged for months now, and at one point they changed the name to 'Plz stop'. I'm petty, and persistent, but their dog never shuts up."

New Jersey police did in fact investigate complaints about a racist wi-fi name in January.

But not all interactions are combative.

One generously offers "Free Wifi For Neighbours".

"Hola Neighbourinos" and "I like my neighbours" further show that networks names need not be a form of conflict.

Earlier this year, OpenSignalMaps ran a global search of network names indicating either support or opposition to Obama in this year's US presidential race, showing even politics is not outside the reach of network names.

Many now have mobile phones where they can do the same sort of thing with their Bluetooth names. It's even more suited to hostile messages.

The "Go Away" I recently encountered seems to confirm this.

Do you have any passive aggressive network names in your area? Send your pictures to us atthe.magazine@bbc.co.ukwith the subject line: "Wi-fi"

RadarOnline - News - Bullied Wisconsin News Anchor Does Promo With Ellen DeGeneres

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Thu, 18 Oct 2012 12:30

Bullied Wisconsin News Anchor Does Promo With Ellen DeGeneres

October 9, 2012 | 12:15pm EDT

Play Video (Video will start after a brief ad)Length: 2:18

By Amber Goodhand - Radar News Editor

One week after Wisconsin news anchor Jennifer Livingston** addressed a viewer on the air who sent her an email calling her "obese," she appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and RadarOnline.com has the hilarious clip.

Jennifer, 37, teamed up with Ellen DeGeneres to shoot a promo that will air before her daily morning show and she's shocked with two surprises a celebrity cameo and a gift from the talk show host!

"Hi, I'm Ellen DeGeneres and when I visit La Crosse, Wisconsin I wake up with Jen and Bill on News 8 This Morning and then I go back to bed because a Cover Girl needs her beauty sleep," Ellen jokes.

Rebel Wilson's Hilarious Rendition Of Lady Gaga's Edge Of Glory

And when Jen "throws it over to Randy with sports," the audience is surprised to see it's actor Matthew Perry filling in for Randy.

"Hello there, stepping in for Randy I'm Matthew Perry. I don't want to talk about sports, I want to talk about Jen and Bill. You should watch them every weekday morning from 5 to 7 on News 8," Matthew says, and takes the opportunity to plug his new show, Go On.

Ellen then has Jennifer read the teleprompter which reveals a surprise trip for the mother of three.

PHOTOS: Demi Lovato Shows Off Curves **

"This is very exciting because the winters in Wisconsin can be so cold and Ellen thinks I deserve a little break," Jennifer reads in shock.

"And you are sending me to the Caribbean for a five-night trip?"

As RadarOnline.com previously reported, personal injury lawyer Kenneth Krause** wrote a bullying email to Jennifer in which he said she was obese and wasn't "a suitable example for this community's young people, girls in particular."

PHOTOS: Celebrity Death Threats**

Jennifer immediately shot back at the viewer's letter with a 4-minute segment on her show saying, "The truth is, I am overweight. You can call me fat -- and yes, even obese on a doctor's chart.

"But to the person who wrote me that letter, do you think I don't know that? That your cruel words are pointing out something that I don't see? You don't know me. You are not a friend of mine. You are not a part of my family...you know nothing about me but what you see on the outside, and I am much more than a number on a scale."

Despite public outrage, Kenneth refused to apologize and instead offered Jennifer help to get her healthy!

Man Who Called Female News Anchor 'Fat' Is Unapologetic: 'I'll Help Her Lose Weight'

Finally by last Friday, Kenneth issued a (sort of) apology when he told ABC News, "If she is offended, I truly apologize to Jennifer. That's the last thing I ever wanted to do."

Check out Jennifer's full appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show when it airs Tuesday.

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Real News

Emmanuelle actress Kristel dies

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Source: BBC News - Europe

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 10:25

18 October 2012Last updated at05:59 ETDutch actress Sylvia Kristel, who starred in the 1974 erotic French film Emmanuelle, has died aged 60.

"She died during the night during her sleep," her agent Marieke Verharen told the AFP news agency.

The actress, who had cancer, was admitted to hospital in July after suffering a stroke.

Emmanuelle, which told the story of a sexually promiscuous housewife, spawned numerous sequels and played in a cinema on the Champs-Elysees for 11 years.

Released in 1974, the soft-focus French film was one of the first erotic movies to be shown in mainstream cinemas.

Kristel herself attributed its success to the changing censorship laws of the era.

"In a lot of countries the light went on, and that contributed very much to the success," she said.

In the UK, however, the film was given the restricted X-rating, and suffered heavy cuts.

Kristel went on to star in several Emmanuelle sequels, as well as more mainstream films - many of which, like Lady Chatterly's Lover and Mata Hari, played on her reputation as an erotic film star.

PR @ Work

Picasso among stolen museum art

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Source: BBC News - Europe

Tue, 16 Oct 2012 12:53

16 October 2012Last updated at08:03 ETPaintings by artists including Picasso, Matisse, Monet, Gauguin and Freud have been stolen from a museum in Rotterdam.

Police said the works were taken from the Kunsthal Museum on Monday or early on Tuesday morning.

The museum is showing works from the Triton Foundation as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations.

"There was a break-in during the night and a few paintings were taken that represent a considerable sum," said spokeswoman, Patricia Wessels.

"We're investigating how they got access, what time it happened and who did it."

Dutch police are reviewing videotape footage and calling on any witnesses to come forward.

They said one painting by Picasso, one by Matisse and two by Monet were taken.

The Triton Foundation is a collection of avant-garde art and the Kunsthal exhibition was showing its works by more than 150 famed artists, including Paul Cezanne, Salvador Dali, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol.

Although some of the foundation's works have been on public display in the past, the current exhibition at the Kunsthal was the first time the entire collection had been shown together.

State news agency, NOS said a Matisse painting called The Reading Girl was among the items taken.

The Kunsthal museum, which means "art gallery" in Dutch, is a display space that has no permanent collection of its own.

In a statement, the museum's chairman Willem van Hassel said the museum would be closed on Tuesday.

Was The Dutch Art Theft More 'Ocean's Eleven,' 'Home Alone,' Or 'Thomas Crown Affair'? (PHOTOS)

Tech News

Ios6 causing excessive data usage?: Apple Support Communities

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Thu, 18 Oct 2012 09:42

I have the same problem as you all. I just got my bill for september and I have an extra charge of 390£ compared to my monthly 35£.

I have called Orange UK twice already but they were not aware of any problem so they said it is my fault, I should have checked my usage. Unbelievable.

I am not ready to pay that much. I have disabled all application that can downlaod stuff and I disable 3G anytime I am on Wifi.

Do you think Apple will reimburse us for that? I have been using Iphone since the first one and this is the first time it happens to me so I am very mad at them.

Scampaign

Police arrest US presidential candidate Jill Stein at debate site '-- RT

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Tue, 16 Oct 2012 22:49

Screenshot from YouTube user LongIslandReport

Police arrested Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running mate, Cheri Honkala, after they tried to enter the site of tonight's presidential debate at the Hofstra University.

''Jill Stein, Cheri Honkala arrested, call tonight's #debate a "mockumentary",'' said a tweet posted on her account.

The presidential candidate and her vice-presidential nominee were arrested by local police when they tried to enter the grounds of Hofstra University, in Hempstead, New York, Stein's campaign website says. The women are currently still in police custody.

DETAILS TO FOLLOW

Full Transcript of Obama's Rose Garden Speech After Sept. 11 Benghazi Attack - October 16 12 10:31 EDT - ForexTV.com

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Wed, 17 Oct 2012 04:11

ForexTV | October 16 2012 10:31 EDT

ForexTV.com (New York) by Timothy Kelly (revision: adds extented text transcripts [not included in White House transcript accompanying video http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2012/09/12/president-obama-speaks-attack-benghazi#transcript] and adds 2nd paragraph)

In tonight's presidential debate President Obama maintains that he called the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi a "terrorist act." The full transcript below disputes that notion, which the supposedly "neutral" moderator, Candy Crowley vehemently confirmed the President did do. The President clearly implies the attack was a result of the reaction to an anti-Muslim film released on YouTube in the transcript the Whitehouse released with the video below.

Under the video is a press release later distributed by the Whitehouse that includes the word "terror" used in the generic sense, not referring to "terrorism" or "terrorist act". The choice of words is not a trivial matter in White House parlance, and the word "terrorist act" has an historic and specific meaning. Nor did any of the official Whitehouse statements in the following two weeks refer to "terrorist act." Nor did President Obama tonight refer to the attack as a "terrorist act." We maintain that there was a meaningful distinction in the use of the word that could have easily been dispelled and/or clarified tonight...it was not.

I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.

I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.

On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya's transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.

The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward.

Full press release transcript:

Rose Garden

10:43 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Every day, all across the world, American diplomats and civilians work tirelessly to advance the interests and values of our nation. Often, they are away from their families. Sometimes, they brave great danger.

Yesterday, four of these extraordinary Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi. Among those killed was our Ambassador, Chris Stevens, as well as Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith. We are still notifying the families of the others who were killed. And today, the American people stand united in holding the families of the four Americans in our thoughts and in our prayers.

The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. We're working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats. I've also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world. And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.

Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.

Already, many Libyans have joined us in doing so, and this attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya. Libyan security personnel fought back against the attackers alongside Americans. Libyans helped some of our diplomats find safety, and they carried Ambassador Stevens's body to the hospital, where we tragically learned that he had died.

It's especially tragic that Chris Stevens died in Benghazi because it is a city that he helped to save. At the height of the Libyan revolution, Chris led our diplomatic post in Benghazi. With characteristic skill, courage, and resolve, he built partnerships with Libyan revolutionaries, and helped them as they planned to build a new Libya. When the Qaddafi regime came to an end, Chris was there to serve as our ambassador to the new Libya, and he worked tirelessly to support this young democracy, and I think both Secretary Clinton and I relied deeply on his knowledge of the situation on the ground there. He was a role model to all who worked with him and to the young diplomats who aspire to walk in his footsteps.

Along with his colleagues, Chris died in a country that is still striving to emerge from the recent experience of war. Today, the loss of these four Americans is fresh, but our memories of them linger on. I have no doubt that their legacy will live on through the work that they did far from our shores and in the hearts of those who love them back home.

Of course, yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks. We mourned with the families who were lost on that day. I visited the graves of troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hallowed grounds of Arlington Cemetery, and had the opportunity to say thank you and visit some of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed. And then last night, we learned the news of this attack in Benghazi.

As Americans, let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases, lay down their lives for it. Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe.

No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.

But we also know that the lives these Americans led stand in stark contrast to those of their attackers. These four Americans stood up for freedom and human dignity. They should give every American great pride in the country that they served, and the hope that our flag represents to people around the globe who also yearn to live in freedom and with dignity.

We grieve with their families, but let us carry on their memory, and let us continue their work of seeking a stronger America and a better world for all of our children.

Thank you. May God bless the memory of those we lost and may God bless the United States of America.

END10:48 A.M. EDT

Forex research by ForexTV.com

Post-presidential debate, Obama supporters renew vows to murder Mitt Romney | Twitchy

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Thu, 18 Oct 2012 01:52

If Romney win this election, he might as well wear a shirt that says "Assassinate Me Bitch"

'--Shardaii (@Gotta__Lov3it) October 17, 2012Yall ready to assasinate romney ?'--Paper Habits '' (@LoudJet_Life) October 17, 2012

As soon as tonight's presidential debate was underway, unhinged Obama supporters took to Twitter to make threats on Mitt Romney's life:

Romney make me wanna hop through the tv & just assasinate his ass .'--Alyece Johnson (@alyy_joee) October 17, 2012

I'm gonna murder Romney right now'--Weston Sebree (@WestonSebree) October 17, 2012

Somebody needs to asassinate This mofo Romney'--Brendell (@iBeBlowinUrMind) October 17, 2012

goodnight yall .. cause im getting ready to murder romney !'--intangiblebeauty (@AllHaleDeja_) October 17, 2012

I aint gone lie'... Food stamps the shit! I mite assasinate romney my damn self if he get elected ! I fuxx wit free 99 on the eats'--#reamteam4sho' (@4shogbmg) October 17, 2012

IF ROMNEY GETS ELECTED AND TAKES AWAY MY FOOD STAMPS IMA SEND SOMEONE TO MURDER HIS ASS -.-'--IG: judith_bossinx3 (@judithBossinx3) October 17, 2012

If Romney is elected, I'm going to assassinate him #sniperstyle'--Erin (@erinheaven) October 17, 2012

If Romney win , a nigga gone murder ass .. smh'--Blake Griffin Yo Hoe (@DamnGurlYuNasty) October 17, 2012

Fck Romney.!.. soon as he break out the whips and chains'...the mf murder rate goin up'...caus ill b damned the bitch have me on my knees'--$Bl@kDyn@m!t3$ (@WishaNiggaW00dz) October 17, 2012

if romney's elected as president, I will personally assassinate him.'--Rihanna Taught Me (@breeziedeeznuts) October 17, 2012

If Mitt Romney wins, which I doubt, someone should assassinate him before he ruins the lives of our generation & our children.'--The Black Goddess (@RitzyWavyTee) October 17, 2012

Someone assassinate Romney. Just murk the fuck out of him'--Homocidal Thoughts (@LosHomocidio) October 17, 2012

Romney ole dumbasz! If he become president sumbody shud assasinate his ass soon as they say he won lol rs'--Chanel (@Im_So_Sinqleee) October 17, 2012

''@kyraaa_simonee: @BriLynSakk i will end the world before i let that man become president'' I will end his life before I let him be president'--Æ®'...'‰ $'ÆÆ'‰$Æ®'Ɖ 'š' (@BriLynSakk) October 17, 2012

I'm gona murder romney'--Cynthia (@KushInvader) October 17, 2012

If Romney win, IM GOING TO JAIL FOR MURDER cuz imma whack his bitch ass ASAP'--Birthday Oct 20th (@AKOOjunky) October 17, 2012

Somebody gotta assassinate romney ass so he dnt try again after obama 2nd term or we doomed'--CEDDYB (@ItsCeddyB) October 17, 2012

Somebody should assassinate Romney'...'--GoToSLEEPHoe (@GoToSLEEP_Hoe) October 17, 2012

I'm down RT @JasminBadd: I hate Romney's voice ., somebody assassinate him now pls'--''¤ (@_KingKiera) October 17, 2012

I would bail anyone out if they was just to murder romney right now .'--`Bri Mack '¥ îî† (@_OVO_Libra) October 17, 2012

I think if Mitt Romney wins, Obama gon go undercover and get boosie freed then put a murder shot out on Romney.'--P.O.; Dre_FuccEmUp (@Shakira_Jewel) October 17, 2012

At this point in time I am completely prepared to MURDER ROMNEY MYSELF!'--Jasmine:^} (@Jasmineuribe) October 17, 2012

No birth control???? Lol rlly Romney the american population is going to overflow and then we'll have to resort to murder and you'll be #1'--Emma Rizzuto ' (@emma_rizzuto) October 17, 2012

Ill assasinate Romney for a sticker. One with a thumbs up.'--Fogul \m/ ® (@AyeYoZeus) October 17, 2012

Mitt Romney , gone make me assasinate his real uglass . he done pissed me all the way OFF !!'--______ is MY NAME ? (@Xx_TrueBeauty) October 17, 2012

"@MYgorgeousBANDS: if romney gett elected somebody gone assassinate his ass'...'...'...'...'...'...'..." Only if we lucky'--Papa Bear (@ThtBrownNigga) October 17, 2012

Lmfao ''@JetHeadxCeeJay: If romney get elected i hope a nigga assasinate his bitchass'''--'''' Kεv '''' (@BigAssNig) October 17, 2012

Twitchy will continue to chronicle these vicious, violent assassination threats. In the meantime, we sincerely hope that the Secret Service will take swift action.

***

Previously:

Twitter user threatens to assassinate Mitt Romney

Conservatives chronicle Romney death threats, face false reports

Death threats against Mitt Romney proliferate

Follow @twitchyteam

US Mulls Extending Troops' Presence in Afghanistan after 2014

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Source: RIA Novosti

Wed, 17 Oct 2012 04:21

The United States plans in the near future to begin talks on the extension of its military contingent's presence after 2014, US State Department's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman said.

NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) plans to hand over responsibility for security in Afghanistan to the Afghan leadership by the end of 2014, as decided at the 2010 NATO summit in Lisbon.

Grossman said that several meetings on ''how we will manage our forces going forward in Afghanistan,'' were already held at an informal level, but no official talks on the issue of extending the mission took place.

He dismissed ''as speculative'' earlier statements of some US military officials that some 25,000 American troops would remain in Afghanistan after 2014 saying there was no exact number as of yet.

Grossman also said that the aim US troops' presence in Afghanistan after 2014 would be training and advising of Afghan military personnel.

Over 50 foreign soldiers and officers have been killed by Afghan police officers and servicemen in so-called green-on-blue attacks since the start of the year and the international coalition in Afghanistan has lost more than 330 troops killed so far in 2012, according to ISAF information.

Aching sides! Michelle Obama pulls a Cutter; says Obama never points fingers, blames anyone else

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Source: Twitchy » US Politics

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 12:55

Stop it, Mrs. Obama! We can't even catch our breaths! The giggles, they burn! Michelle Obama totally pulled a lying liar Stephanie Cutter today. She followed her lead and, in a gut-busting move, claimed that President Obama has never pointed fingers nor placed blame during his first term. No, seriously. She said that.

More from The Hill:

First lady Michelle Obama said Wednesday that President Obama did not look to blame others for the challenges he faced as president, an apparent rebuke to Republican accusations that the White House continues to point the finger at President George W. Bush for the lagging economy.

''See, but your president, he didn't point fingers,'' Mrs. Obama said, at a campaign fundraiser in New York. ''He didn't place blame. Instead, he got to work, because he was thinking about folks like my dad and like his grandmother. See, and that's why he cut taxes for small businesses and for working families because he believes that in America, teachers and firefighters should not pay higher tax rates than millionaires and billionaires.''

Delusional, much? President Pass the Buck has done nothing but point fingers and place blame! Also, ''work'' doesn't mean what she thinks it means, evidently. Good grief, people even know to drink every time President Obama blames Bush!

More Twitter users can't believe her audacity. Is she that delusional? Or is Stephanie ''Stephanocchio'' Cutter rubbing off on them all?

President Obama's fingers do nothing but point. Well, unless they are curled around a golf club, of course.

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WHITE HOUSE INSIDER: Obama's Benghazi Lie '' Valerie Jarrett's West Wing Meltdown - The Ulsterman Report

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Mon, 15 Oct 2012 19:36

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Cyber War$

Canada digs into taxpayers' pockets to invest in cyber security Set You Free News

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Thu, 18 Oct 2012 02:23

RT

Canada's Public Safety Minister Vic Toews speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Canada is shelling out an additional $158 million to improve cyber security as the government says online attacks are threatening the country.

The move comes after Leon Panetta drew a scary picture of a potential US 'Cyber Pearl Harbor.'

The spending, which will be spread out over five years, is in addition to Canada's current cyber security spending plan.

The existing plan includes $90 million to be spread out over five years and $18 million ongoing.

The money will support the Cyber Incident Response Centre '' a federal agency that monitors cyber threats.

Ottawa says the goal is to ensure that Canadians and Canadian businesses are confident that the information they share with the government will stay private.

''Our government is continuously working to enhance cyber security in Canada by identifying cyber threats and vulnerabilities and by preparing for and responding to all kinds of cyber incidents to better protect Canada and Canadians,'' Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said in a statement.

Toews also said that some countries are more of a threat to Canada than others. He stressed they were aware of the greatest threats to national security, but refused to give details.

''I don't think that's going to serve any particular purpose calling out any particular country at this time'...I'm certainly aware of where threats come from and we are constantly being briefed by our allies on developments in that respect,'' he said.

It comes in the wake of a US report released last week, warning against doing business with Chinese telecom giant Huawei, because of possible Chinese cyber espionage. The company is already operating in Canada.

American Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also touched on the subject last week, warning of a potential ''Cyber Pearl Harbor,'' in which cyber attacks would be launched on critical or military infrastructure '' possibly in combination with a physical attack.

Ottawa refused to state whether or not its decision was influenced by Washington.

''The Americans make their own decisions, we make our decisions,'' Toews said. ''We certainly look at what the Americans are doing and consider that but we will make decisions in the best interests of Canada,'' he continued.

The announcement comes just one week before the country's auditor general is set to release his fall report, which will include a chapter evaluating how well the government's current plan works to protect against cyber attacks.

Canada's current cyber security fell under criticism after hackers launched an attack on the federal government in 2011, stealing classified information.

Theft of fingerprints easier than cutting off a finger, security experts warn | Information, Gadgets, Mobile Phones News & Reviews | Herald Sun

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Wed, 17 Oct 2012 04:25

Security experts warn companies cannot safely store bio data like fingerprints and retina scans.Source: Supplied

Companies can't be trusted with your biological dataANZ considering replacing pins with biosecurityIncludes things like retina scanning and fingerprinting"We can't trust them to even secure our passwords properly" COMPANIES that are replacing passwords with biometric security can't be trusted to safely store your personal data like fingerprints and retina scans, experts say.

Recent security breaches have demonstrated that major companies have been unable to properly secure password protected data, they claim, so why should web users trust them with their bio data?

The concerns followed the news that ANZ was considering replacing the traditional ATM pins with bio scanners to prevent credit card skimming.

Paul Ducklin, head of technology, Asia Pacific at security company Sophos, told News Ltd that in order for it to work organisations are required to store your DNA, retina, shoe or hand size on a server somewhere in order to match it up against the data you present whenever you try to login to your account.

''The amount of organisations that are storing people's passwords in raw text and having them stolen is astonishing,'' Mr Ducklin said.

''It beggars belief.''

There have been some alarming security breaches this year.

In June, LinkedIn announced that 6.4 million passwords were leaked after an alleged hack on its system.

In May, almost 59,000 Twitter username and passwords were posted online by a hacker.

Twitter claimed a majority of the accounts were spam or duplicates but to date the May attack is the largest security breach of its system.

Last month the usernames and passwords of members of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) were made available on its server for at least a month.

''Here's a body that represents electronic engineers that made a mistake,'' Mr Ducklin said.

''Part of the counter-argument to biometrics is if I can't trust someone to treat the text of password securely, why would I trust them with anything more significant in my life?''

''A password I can change in five minutes, but if there is a breach and someone does steal my biometric data, how do you get a new retina?''

The security expert said that it was essential to get the fundamentals of online security right before moving into more advanced forms of biosecurity.

Another problem biosecurity presents is once criminals begin masquerading as you, using your biological data, it becomes harder for authorities to distinguish between the real you, and the criminal who is using your DNA to their advantage.

Cyber criminals have already been able to use people's identities to take over their online accounts.

Associate Professor of math and geospatial sciences at RMIT University, Dr Asha Rao told News Ltd that a cyber criminal wouldn't need your finger or retina in order to steal the stored data.

''When you watch political or forensic dramas, they show you the fingerprint but that's not really what is stored as it would take too much time to cross reference,'' Dr Rao said.

''To complete the biometric scans you don't need my finger, you need the hash of the biodata.''

A hash is like an algorithm or template that can be used to decode your data.

''If you steal the template, then you've basically lost your fingerprint,'' she said.

''It's actually easier to break than cutting off people's fingers.''

A spokesperson for security company, Trend Micro, told News Ltd that biometric security was already being used to some success by companies such as Android and Microsoft.

''Android users have had facial recognition as part of its operating system for some time,'' the spokesperson said.

Some Microsoft computers use fingerprinting technology as a login.

While Trend Micro said that biometrics would be a welcome addition to existing security measures, it said that it should not replace other methods.

However, all three experts said that multi-factor authentication was an preferable alternative to biometric security.

Multi-factor authentication requires users to provide more than one form of verification in order to prove your identity.

For example, Google's two-factor authentication requires you to enter a password, as well as a randomly generated code which is provided via smartphone app, which changes every few seconds.

Having what is ultimately a second password that changes every few seconds makes it harder for cyber criminals to gather enough of your information to access your account.

Most banks have the option of two factor authentication for online banking.

An ANZ spokesperson told News Ltd that as part of a $1.5 billion dollar investment in new technologies, it surveyed 1200 Australians to find out whether biometric identification would be something they were interested in.

''We assumed it was something Aussies wouldn't be up for but surprisingly 79 per cent said they would be interested in some form of biometric identification if it increased the security of their bank accounts," the spokesperson said.

ANZ said it would commence "looking into" biometric security but couldn't say what form it would take or what time frame it would be delivered in.

"The work that will happen now will be taking that research to the next step," the spokesperson said.

2TTH

Top Corsican lawyer shot dead

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Source: BBC News - Home

Tue, 16 Oct 2012 18:04

16 October 2012Last updated at12:29 ETOne of the most prominent lawyers on the French island of Corsica has been shot dead on his way to work.

Antoine Sollacaro defended a number of leading nationalists, including Yvan Colonna who was convicted of murder.

The 63-year-old lawyer was attacked by two men on a motorcycle when he stopped his car at a petrol station in Ajaccio on the west coast of the island.

He is the 15th victim this year of what officials believe is a war between criminal gangs.

The body of Jean-Dominique Allegrini-Simonetti, a former nationalist militant, was discovered in a mountainous region of Corsica an hour earlier.

Mr Sollacaro was a high profile figure in the Corsican separatist movement, the FNLC, but had split with the nationalist leadership in recent years.

He defended Yvan Colonna who is serving a life sentence for the 1998 murder of Claude Erignac, the island's prefect and most senior political figure.

During one of Colonna's three trials in France, Mr Sollacaro compared the court in Paris to a "Burmese junta".

France's Interior Minister Manuel Valls condemned both of Tuesday's killings and promised Corsicans that "the fight for the security is carried out with the greatest resolve".

Police have so far not identified any clear motive for either murder but BBC Paris correspondent Christian Fraser says violence in Corsica is as much linked to gangland control of the black market as it is to the ongoing battle for independence.

Why did banker with perfect life take a fatal leap? Fourth tragedy at the same City restaurant.

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Source: WT news feed

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 10:34

Nico Lambrechts posted this tropical holiday photo online three weeks agoBut 46-year-old investment analyst fell 80ft to his death from Coq d'ArgentTheInvestec Asset Managementworker landed next to diners in London who were enjoying lunch at cafes and barsHis wife Adele is too distressed to talk but neighbours said they were baffledBy Arthur Martin and Lucy Osborne

PUBLISHED: 18:13 EST, 17 October 2012 | UPDATED: 02:38 EST, 18 October 2012

Tragic: Less than three weeks after this photo of Nico Lambrechts and his wife Adele was posted online, the investment analyst fell 80ft to his death

He appeared to have the perfect life. Pictured on a recent tropical holiday, Nico Lambrechts looked a relaxed and contented family man as he posed with his wife.

But less than three weeks after he posted this photograph on the internet, the investment analyst fell 80ft to his death from an exclusive open-air restaurant in London.

The successful 46-year-old took a lift to Sir Terence Conran's Coq d'Argent at lunchtime and then fell through the atrium within the building.

He landed next to diners who were enjoying lunch at cafes and bars in a shopping complex at the bottom of the building in the City.

Medics reached him within minutes but were unable to save him. He was pronounced dead by a doctor at the scene minutes later.

Mr Lambrechts is thought to have made the short walk to the restaurant from his office at Investec Asset Management in the Square Mile.

Last night neighbours said they were baffled as to why a devoted family man would want to potentially commit suicide.

His wife Adele was too distressed to talk about her loss.

But a neighbour said: 'He was a really great guy.'

When asked about the reason behind the possible suicide, he said: 'You never know. He was a random man, unpredictable '' you know.'

Mr Lambrechts lived with his wife and three children in a £2million six-bedroom gated home in the upmarket town of Cobham, Surrey.

He took his family on luxury holidays to destinations such as Venice.

The banker's death last week is the fourth to have occurred at the restaurant and the second in as many months.

In May 2007, City employee Richard Ford, 33, died after he plunged from the terrace onto a bus.

In July 2009 stockbroker Anjool Malde, 24, leapt to his death from the venue holding a glass of champagne after being suspended from his job at Deutsche Bank.

And last month diners watched in horror as businesswoman Rema Begum, 29, took a sip of wine from her glass on the outdoor terrace, before putting her handbag on the floor and then toppling over the edge.

Another tragedy: In May 2007, City employee Richard Ford (right), 33, died after he plunged from the terrace of Sir Terence Conran's Coq d'Argent (left) onto a bus

A woman who works in a shop nearby said the restaurant is 'cursed' because of the rising number of deaths. 'It's become a trademark place to come and commit suicide,' she said. 'It's very sad.'

Coq d'Argent is built on the site of an ancient burial ground where for centuries hundreds of corpses of affluent Londoners were buried in shallow graves.

The restaurant appeared in the James Bond-themed film sequence for the Olympics opening ceremony that featured the Queen. In the film, diners at Coq d'Argent can be seen waving to a helicopter which supposedly contains Her Majesty and James Bond actor Daniel Craig, who 'fly' over the restaurant on their way to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford where the Queen 'parachutes' in.

Yesterday an inquest into Mr Lambrechts's death was opened and then adjourned at the City of London Coroner's Court.

Witnesses have told how they heard a 'loud bang' and a 'cracking like a whip' as he hit the ground near Bank Tube station.

Also dead: In July 2009 stockbroker Anjool Malde (pictured with singer Geri Halliwell), 24, leapt to his death from the venue holding a glass of champagne after being suspended from his job at Deutsche Bank

Rita Olsen, a Danish tourist, said she thought there had been a car crash. 'I was texting my friend to arrange meeting her because I was running late and suddenly heard a loud bang and a cracking sound, like a whip,' she said.

'He was a really great guy. He was a random man, unpredictable - you know'

Nico Lambrechts's neighbour in Cobham

'Someone screamed and I couldn't see what was happening, but thought maybe there had been a car crash but when the police showed up I realised someone had died.

'It is really sad and I'm still in shock. I was horrified when I found out what had happened. I feel sorry for whoever he has left behind.'

Some workers blamed the stress of the City for the spate of deaths.

One said: 'The last girl only jumped not too long ago and someone else died a while back when they jumped and landed on a bus.

'It's terrible that someone can be in such a bad place that they would do that. Maybe the pressure of working in the City got to him.'

For confidential support on suicide matters call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90, visit a local Samaritans branch or see www.samaritans.org for details

Bad Actors

For Benghazi diplomatic security, U.S. relied on small British firm

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Source: Reuters: World News

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 02:31

The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group said to have been protesting a film being produced in the United States September 11, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori

Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:09pm EDT

WASHINGTON/BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - The State Department's decision to hire Blue Mountain Group to guard the ill-fated U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, entrusted security tasks to a little-known British company instead of the large firms it usually uses in overseas danger zones.

The contract was largely based on expediency, U.S. officials have said, since no one knew how long the temporary mission would remain in the Libyan city. The cradle of last year's uprising that ended Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule, Benghazi has been plagued by rising violence in recent months.

Security practices at the diplomatic compound, where Blue Mountain guards patrolled with flashlights and batons instead of guns, have come under U.S. government scrutiny in the wake of the September 11 attack in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Federal contract data shows that the Benghazi security contract, worth up to $783,284, was listed as a "miscellaneous" award, not as part of the large master State Department contract that covers protection for overseas embassies.

"Blue Mountain was virtually unknown to the circles that studied private security contractors working for the United States, before the events in Benghazi," said Charles Tiefer, a commissioner at the Commission on Wartime Contracting, which studied U.S. contracting in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Several British government sources said that they were unfamiliar with Blue Mountain, which is based in Wales. They said British authorities used a different contractor for security protection in Libya.

Fred Burton, vice president of intelligence at the Stratfor consulting firm and a former U.S. diplomatic security agent, said he did not know Blue Mountain, but it likely got State Department work because it was already working in Libya.

"They may have been the path of least resistance," he said.

Blue Mountain was able to work in Libya because it forged a business alliance with a local security firm, as required by Libyan regulations.

Eric Nordstrom, former regional security officer for the U.S. Embassy in Libya, testified at a congressional hearing last week that contracting out for security in the eastern Libyan city "was largely based on our concern of how long we would be in Benghazi. We were concerned that if we retained or brought on board full-time employees we would have to then find a position for them if that post ever went away."

In describing the challenges of hiring private security at Benghazi, he added: "It's my understanding that there was a very high turnover with those people."

GUARDS OF BENGHAZI

Blue Mountain hired about 20 Libyan men - including some who say they had minimal training - to screen visitors and help patrol the mission at Benghazi, according to Reuters interviews.

Some of the guards sustained injuries and said they were ill-prepared to protect themselves or others when heavily armed militants last month stormed the rented villa that was serving as the mission.

They also described being hired by Blue Mountain after a casual recruiting and screening process.

State Department security officials had their own concerns about some of the guards at the mission months before the recent attack, according to emails obtained by Reuters this week. One guard who had been recently fired and another on the company's payroll were suspected of throwing a homemade bomb into the U.S. compound in April. They were questioned but not charged.

The State Department has declined to comment on the company other than confirming it was the contractor in Benghazi. Blue Mountain did not respond to numerous emails and phone calls, and a person answering the phone at its office in Carmarthen, Wales, said the company would not discuss the issue.

Previously known as Pilgrim Elite, Blue Mountain says on its website that it offers security services and professional training and has operated in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan.

The website once listed General Motors as a client, and a GM spokeswoman in Detroit told Reuters that Blue Mountain's work for the company was "on a very limited basis and mostly in the UK."

A Blue Mountain recruiter posted a notice on a security website in 2011 seeking employees with visas to work in Libya.

The State Department contract for "local guard" services in Benghazi took effect in March 2012. Several of Blue Mountain's Libyan employees told Reuters that they had no prior security training or experience.

"I was never a revolutionary or a fighter, I have never picked up a weapon during the war or after it," said Abdelaziz al-Majbiri, 28, who was shot in the legs during the September 11 assault.

The Libyan commander in charge of the local guards at the mission was a former English teacher who said he heard about Blue Mountain from a neighbor. "I don't have a background in security, I've never held a gun in my life," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity out of fear for his safety.

When hired, the commander said he was told "you have great English and get along with everyone and are punctual; we want you to be a guard commander."

The unarmed guards were told to sound the alarm over the radio and then run for cover if there was an attack, a Libyan who acted as a supervisor for the Blue Mountain local guard team at the mission said during an interview with Reuters.

He also displayed a medal embossed with "Department of State" and a horseman carrying Libyan and U.S. flags. "They thanked us for our help and also gave us this medal as an appreciation," he said.

Despite their inexperience, the Blue Mountain guards said they feared the Americans were not concerned enough about security.

"We used to tell the Americans who spoke to us on many occasions that we needed more support in security, because it felt thin on the ground. But they didn't seem to be so worried, and (were) confident that no one will dare to come close to the consulate," one guard said.

'DOWN IN THE WEEDS'

Tiefer, who is also a government contracting law professor at the University of Baltimore, said the Benghazi contract paled in comparison to other State Department security awards.

"This is down in the weeds," he said in a telephone interview.

Most State Department work goes to eight large private security firms with vast experience.

In the late summer of 2011, after Libyan rebels took control of Tripoli, Blue Mountain guards were seen working security at the Corinthia Hotel and its sister Palm City residential compound in the Libyan capital.

A United Press International report indicated that Blue Mountain and its local partner, Eclipse, also were competing for contracts guarding oil fields.

Blue Mountain and Eclipse parted ways in the spring over problems with Tripoli contracts, several sources familiar with the matter said.

The severed relationship may have prevented Blue Mountain from getting additional work in Libya, which required the local affiliation.

On a social network website earlier this year, a Blue Mountain official described the firm as "one of the few companies certified and legally allowed to work in Libya."

Blue Mountain Chief Executive Officer Nigel Thomas, a former British special forces member, did not respond to emails or phone calls.

NO EASY TASK

Setting up security in Libya after the anti-Gaddafi revolution was not easy, documents show.

In a July 9 memo approved by the late ambassador Stevens, regional security officer Nordstrom said his office hoped to shore up defenses at U.S. compounds in Libya and would consider partial arming of some local guard supervisors, without being more specific.

But Nordstrom described difficulties getting local gun permits, noting it could take up to 60 days for "selection, training, equipping, policy approvals and deployment" of armed guards.

(Hadeel Al Shalchi reported from Benghazi; Additional reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian in Tripoli, Mark Hosenball and Lucy Shackelford; Editing by Marilyn W. Thompson and Paul Simao)

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POLITICAL TOMB: Run, Khattalah, Run!

Vaccine$

HPV vaccine won't make girls promiscuous, study finds - CBS News

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Thu, 18 Oct 2012 04:04

CHICAGO Shots that protect against cervical cancer do not make girls promiscuous, according to the first study to compare medical records for vaccinated and unvaccinated girls.

The researchers didn't ask girls about having sex, but instead looked at "markers" of sexual activity after vaccination against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, or HPV. Specifically, they examined up to three years of records on whether girls had sought birth control advice; tests for sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy; or had become pregnant.

Very few of the girls who got the shots at age 11 or 12 had done any of those over the next three years, or by the time they were 14 or 15. Moreover, the study found no difference in rates of those markers compared with unvaccinated girls.

Play Video

HPV vaccine found to be safe in new studyThe study involved nearly 1,400 girls enrolled in a Kaiser Permanente health plan in Atlanta. Results were published online Monday in Pediatrics.

Whether vaccination has any influence on similar markers of sexual activity in older teens wasn't examined in this study, but other research has suggested it doesn't.

The study is the first to use medical outcomes data to examine consequences of HPV vaccination and the results are "comforting and reassuring," said lead author Robert Bednarczyk, a researcher at Kaiser and Emory University. Both institutions paid for the study.

HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer and also has been linked with anal and oral cancers in women and men.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend HPV shots for girls and boys at age 11 or 12, before they have ever had sex. Three doses are generally recommended over six months.

Some parents have raised concerns that the shots "are a license to have sex," but the study bolsters evidence against that concern, said Dr. Elizabeth Alderman, an adolescent medicine specialist at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New York City. She was not involved in the study.

A CDC study published in January suggested that the shots don't promote sexual activity among older girls, but it relied on self-reporting, at ages 15 to 24. That's a less reliable method than the new study, Alderman said. She has been a paid speaker for Merck & Co., which makes one of the two HPV vaccines sold in the United States, but said she has no current financial ties to the company.

In the new study, at least 90 percent of vaccinated and unvaccinated girls did not seek pregnancy tests, chlamydia tests or birth control counseling, markers that were considered surrogates for sexual activity during up to three years of follow-up. Two in each group became pregnant. Chlamydia, a common sexually transmitted disease, was diagnosed in one vaccinated girl and three unvaccinated girls.

Three of the study's four co-authors reported having done previous research funded by Merck.

Autism Linked to High-Fructose Corn Syrup

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Source: WT news feed

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 10:37

Anna Hunt, Contributing WriterWaking Times

A recent study published in the journal Clinical Epigenetics reveals that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is a highly-processed chemical sweetener used in many processed foods and beverages, has been identified as a major factor in the rise of autism in the United States.

The rise of autism spectrum disorders in the United States has been staggering.

''The number of children ages 6 to 21 in the United States receiving special education services under the autism disability category increased 91% between 2005 to 2010 while the number of children receiving special education services overall declined by 5%.'' '' Dufault et al. Clinical Epigenetics, 2012

The ingestion of heavy metals, such as mercury (Hg), into the body is having a profound effect on the neurodevelopment of children. HFCS is not only exposing children's bodies to mercury, but it is also responsible for inhibiting the elimination of toxins and heavy metals due to how it depletes the body of the natural mineral zinc.

'''...the HFCS characteristics most likely contributing to autism include the zinc depleting effect that comes from consuming HFCS and certain food colors found in processed foods, and the additional Hg exposure that may occur from the low Hg concentrations sometimes found in HFCS as a result of the manufacturing process [4,17].'' '' Dufault et al. Clinical Epigenetics, 2012

FIGURE 1. The consumption of HFCS has increased substantially in the US over the 1980's and 90's.(Source: http://www.clinicalepigeneticsjournal.com/content/4/1/6/figure/F3)

The study concludes:

''Consumption of HFCS may lead to mineral imbalances, including Zn [Zinc], Ca [Calcium] and P [Phosphorus] loss and Cu [Copper] gain and is a potential source of inorganic mercury exposure. These mineral imbalances create multiple pathways for oxidative stress in the brain from exposure to OP [organophosphate] pesticides and heavy metals, such as Pb [Lead] or Hg [Mercury].'' - Dufault et al. Clinical Epigenetics, 2012

As health authorities and the FDA continue to pay little attention to ingredients such as HFCS, it is up to us to educate ourselves, other parents and our children. The importance of eating organic, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables, as well as whole foods rich in vitamins, minerals and nutrients such as Omega-3 Fatty acids, while eliminating processed foods from our diets, has never been more clear as public health epidemics skyrocket.

The study also identified the presence of mercury in vaccines and the overuse of agricultural pesticides, as potential causal factors for the increase in the rise of Autism in the United States.

Sources:

http://www.clinicalepigeneticsjournal.com/content/pdf/1868-7083-4-6.pdf

About the AuthorAnna Hunt is a writer, entrepreneur and yoga instructor. She enjoys raising her children and being a voice for optimal human health and wellness. Read more of her excellent articles here, and visit her website PuraVidaYogaVacations.com.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It's okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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Tags: autism, featured, full-image, HFCS, high fructose corn syrup, pesticides, zinc deficiency

Category: All Original Articles, Anna Hunt, Body, Earth, Food, Natural Health, Self, Uncategorized

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Ritalin 'Doesn't Turn ADHD Children Into Robots'

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Thu, 18 Oct 2012 10:17

A new report on ADHD has emerged, but instead of being a dry statistical evaluation of some clinical endpoint, it's a lively representation of what children with ADHD themselves have to say about their condition. As the Telegraph reports:

Many are concerned that Ritalin and similar drugs, which aid concentration in those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, are chemical straightjackets that prevent children from taking full responsibility for themselves.

But Dr Ilina Singh of King's College London said she and colleagues found no evidence this was the case, after interviewing scores of children on the drug.

Instead she found children commonly thought it benefited them, by helping clear their heads to make the right decision. It did not ''make the decision for them'', she insisted.

via Ritalin 'doesn't turn ADHD children into robots' '' Telegraph.

One perspective that is often AWOL from stories about neurobiological conditions is the view from those who have the condition. I've called before for including autistic voices in articles about autism, and that applies for ADHD, as well. That's why I was glad to see this report from Ilina Singh, a bioethicist at King's College London, and colleagues relaying what children with ADHD have to say about it and about the medications they take for it. The report [very large PDF], which has what I can only describe as a festive format, is not peer reviewed but does detail the inner lives of 151 UK and US children with ADHD.

I learned about the ADHD Voices project when I contacted Singh about a New York Times article describing a doctor who doesn't think ADHD exists but who prescribes ADHD medications on the grounds of leveling the academic playing field for low-income children. In her response, Singh alerted me to the upcoming report, funded in part by the Wellcome Trust. She also had this to say about using ADHD medications in children without the condition with the goal of boosting academic performance, a comment that the report echoes:

It's a bad idea to use stimulants as a quick-fix educational solution anywhere, but especially in under-resourced settings. Evidence suggests (MTA Study) that stimulants don't work to improve academic performance and they stop working over time. So pragmatically this is a bad strategy. It also leaves the social problems untouched '' and I don't accept the idea that we should give up trying to tackle those problems '' especially because the environment is an integral component of a child's behavioral and emotional health.

According to the ADHD Voices report, children with ADHD have three main concerns about their ADHD:

They want to be able to think before they act.They want someone they can talk to about ADHD.They wonder if they will be able to stop take ADHD medications some day.These children often found themselves with no one to talk to about their ADHD and felt lost among educators and parents whose tactics in addressing ADHD behaviors were, let's say, less than ideal. Even the physicians prescribing their medications spent little time discussing with them the hows and whys of the condition or the treatment. As the Telegraph article notes, doctor face-time was instead devoted to side effect checks and weigh-ins. One child, when asked what ADHD stands for, said that ''ADHD is kind of like a cancer disease, but you're not going to die from it.''

Finally, the Telegraph quotes Singh as saying,

Children value the medication because it puts them in a place where they can make good moral decisions, which is exactly what the ethicists are worried about.

This is the take-home message of the report: Children with ADHD viewed their medications as useful tools to help them with their behaviors, not as controlling drugs that hijacked their minds.

ADHD Voices - About Voices

Wellcome Trust - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Norton Healthcare mandates flu vaccinations for workers | Modern Healthcare

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Mon, 15 Oct 2012 16:05

Norton Healthcare, Louisville, Ky., has become the latest system to require its employees to get flu vaccines.The five-hospital system said in a news release (PDF) that more than 12,000 employees who work in its clinical facilities, including independent physicians, would be to receive an influenza vaccination by Dec. 10 unless they have a medical condition that prohibits it.

The Kentucky system becomes one of a small but growing number of healthcare organizations to take the step. Last month Phoenix-based Banner Health said it would do so for its 36,000 employees.

Norton's announcement comes a week after the state of Rhode Island began requiring flu vaccines for healthcare workers. The CDC reported recently that about two-thirds of healthcare workers received a flu vaccination in the 2011-2012 season, an increase of 3.4 percentage points over the previous season.''It is important that our employees know the impact they have on patient care and community health,'' Norton's Dr. Paul Schultz, medical director, infection control and employee health, said in the release. ''Early adoption of this policy proves our leadership in the healthcare community.''

VIDEO

HPV vaccine won't make girls promiscuous, study finds - CBS News

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Thu, 18 Oct 2012 04:04

CHICAGO Shots that protect against cervical cancer do not make girls promiscuous, according to the first study to compare medical records for vaccinated and unvaccinated girls.

The researchers didn't ask girls about having sex, but instead looked at "markers" of sexual activity after vaccination against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, or HPV. Specifically, they examined up to three years of records on whether girls had sought birth control advice; tests for sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy; or had become pregnant.

Very few of the girls who got the shots at age 11 or 12 had done any of those over the next three years, or by the time they were 14 or 15. Moreover, the study found no difference in rates of those markers compared with unvaccinated girls.

Play Video

HPV vaccine found to be safe in new studyThe study involved nearly 1,400 girls enrolled in a Kaiser Permanente health plan in Atlanta. Results were published online Monday in Pediatrics.

Whether vaccination has any influence on similar markers of sexual activity in older teens wasn't examined in this study, but other research has suggested it doesn't.

The study is the first to use medical outcomes data to examine consequences of HPV vaccination and the results are "comforting and reassuring," said lead author Robert Bednarczyk, a researcher at Kaiser and Emory University. Both institutions paid for the study.

HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer and also has been linked with anal and oral cancers in women and men.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend HPV shots for girls and boys at age 11 or 12, before they have ever had sex. Three doses are generally recommended over six months.

Some parents have raised concerns that the shots "are a license to have sex," but the study bolsters evidence against that concern, said Dr. Elizabeth Alderman, an adolescent medicine specialist at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New York City. She was not involved in the study.

A CDC study published in January suggested that the shots don't promote sexual activity among older girls, but it relied on self-reporting, at ages 15 to 24. That's a less reliable method than the new study, Alderman said. She has been a paid speaker for Merck & Co., which makes one of the two HPV vaccines sold in the United States, but said she has no current financial ties to the company.

In the new study, at least 90 percent of vaccinated and unvaccinated girls did not seek pregnancy tests, chlamydia tests or birth control counseling, markers that were considered surrogates for sexual activity during up to three years of follow-up. Two in each group became pregnant. Chlamydia, a common sexually transmitted disease, was diagnosed in one vaccinated girl and three unvaccinated girls.

Three of the study's four co-authors reported having done previous research funded by Merck.

VIDEO: EU summit to focus on euro crisis

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Source: BBC News - Europe

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 10:23

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RadarOnline - News - Bullied Wisconsin News Anchor Does Promo With Ellen DeGeneres

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Thu, 18 Oct 2012 12:30

Bullied Wisconsin News Anchor Does Promo With Ellen DeGeneres

October 9, 2012 | 12:15pm EDT

Play Video (Video will start after a brief ad)Length: 2:18

By Amber Goodhand - Radar News Editor

One week after Wisconsin news anchor Jennifer Livingston** addressed a viewer on the air who sent her an email calling her "obese," she appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and RadarOnline.com has the hilarious clip.

Jennifer, 37, teamed up with Ellen DeGeneres to shoot a promo that will air before her daily morning show and she's shocked with two surprises a celebrity cameo and a gift from the talk show host!

"Hi, I'm Ellen DeGeneres and when I visit La Crosse, Wisconsin I wake up with Jen and Bill on News 8 This Morning and then I go back to bed because a Cover Girl needs her beauty sleep," Ellen jokes.

Rebel Wilson's Hilarious Rendition Of Lady Gaga's Edge Of Glory

And when Jen "throws it over to Randy with sports," the audience is surprised to see it's actor Matthew Perry filling in for Randy.

"Hello there, stepping in for Randy I'm Matthew Perry. I don't want to talk about sports, I want to talk about Jen and Bill. You should watch them every weekday morning from 5 to 7 on News 8," Matthew says, and takes the opportunity to plug his new show, Go On.

Ellen then has Jennifer read the teleprompter which reveals a surprise trip for the mother of three.

PHOTOS: Demi Lovato Shows Off Curves **

"This is very exciting because the winters in Wisconsin can be so cold and Ellen thinks I deserve a little break," Jennifer reads in shock.

"And you are sending me to the Caribbean for a five-night trip?"

As RadarOnline.com previously reported, personal injury lawyer Kenneth Krause** wrote a bullying email to Jennifer in which he said she was obese and wasn't "a suitable example for this community's young people, girls in particular."

PHOTOS: Celebrity Death Threats**

Jennifer immediately shot back at the viewer's letter with a 4-minute segment on her show saying, "The truth is, I am overweight. You can call me fat -- and yes, even obese on a doctor's chart.

"But to the person who wrote me that letter, do you think I don't know that? That your cruel words are pointing out something that I don't see? You don't know me. You are not a friend of mine. You are not a part of my family...you know nothing about me but what you see on the outside, and I am much more than a number on a scale."

Despite public outrage, Kenneth refused to apologize and instead offered Jennifer help to get her healthy!

Man Who Called Female News Anchor 'Fat' Is Unapologetic: 'I'll Help Her Lose Weight'

Finally by last Friday, Kenneth issued a (sort of) apology when he told ABC News, "If she is offended, I truly apologize to Jennifer. That's the last thing I ever wanted to do."

Check out Jennifer's full appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show when it airs Tuesday.

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Greeks say no to EU austerity with general strike

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Source: euronews

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 12:34

European leaders come together today in what is being billed as a summit to strengthen economic and monetary union. But at this, the fourth meeting this year, the debt crisis is as usual set to colour discussions as the 27 EU leaders look for a way to restore confidence in'...

VIDEO: Greek protesters throw firebombs

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Source: BBC News - Europe

Thu, 18 Oct 2012 12:51

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Boy Scouts Set To Release Massive Amount Sex Abuse Files Hidden From Public For Decades

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Drone Strike In Yemen Kills 8 Al Qaeda Fighters AT LEAST EIGHT!

"9/11 Mastermind" KSM Accuses US Of Justifying Murder & Torture In The Name Of Security

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Portugal finance minister unveils "enormous" tax hikes in 2013 budget

Link to Article

Source: euronews

Tue, 16 Oct 2012 05:56

Portugal is facing ''enormous'' tax increases next year, according to Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar as he unveiled the harshest austerity budget seen by the country in living memory.

The average levy on wages would rise from 9.8 percent to 13.2 percent. A greater amount of people could end up paying more, with the number of tax categories reduced from eight to five.

Hikes in income and corporate taxes will make up almost three quarters of government revenue in 2013 as the Lisbon tries to adhere to the 78 billion euro bailout programme.

Growth is expected to contract by three percent this year and one percent in 2013.

The new budget sees 1,350 euros cut from public salaries and pensions, and unemployment and healthcare benefits will also be slashed.

On Saturday, thousands of actors, singers and dancers were on the streets of the capital for a day of cultural protests against the austerity measures.

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"New York City Is Still A Terrorist Target!" (Cui Bono?) NYC Police Commissioner Press Conf

BREAKING! British Govt Blocks Extradition Of Man Accused Of Hacking The Pentagon

Full Transcript of Obama's Rose Garden Speech After Sept. 11 Benghazi Attack - October 16 12 10:31 EDT - ForexTV.com

Link to Article

Wed, 17 Oct 2012 04:11

ForexTV | October 16 2012 10:31 EDT

ForexTV.com (New York) by Timothy Kelly (revision: adds extented text transcripts [not included in White House transcript accompanying video http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2012/09/12/president-obama-speaks-attack-benghazi#transcript] and adds 2nd paragraph)

In tonight's presidential debate President Obama maintains that he called the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi a "terrorist act." The full transcript below disputes that notion, which the supposedly "neutral" moderator, Candy Crowley vehemently confirmed the President did do. The President clearly implies the attack was a result of the reaction to an anti-Muslim film released on YouTube in the transcript the Whitehouse released with the video below.

Under the video is a press release later distributed by the Whitehouse that includes the word "terror" used in the generic sense, not referring to "terrorism" or "terrorist act". The choice of words is not a trivial matter in White House parlance, and the word "terrorist act" has an historic and specific meaning. Nor did any of the official Whitehouse statements in the following two weeks refer to "terrorist act." Nor did President Obama tonight refer to the attack as a "terrorist act." We maintain that there was a meaningful distinction in the use of the word that could have easily been dispelled and/or clarified tonight...it was not.

I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.

I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.

On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya's transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.

The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward.

Full press release transcript:

Rose Garden

10:43 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Every day, all across the world, American diplomats and civilians work tirelessly to advance the interests and values of our nation. Often, they are away from their families. Sometimes, they brave great danger.

Yesterday, four of these extraordinary Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi. Among those killed was our Ambassador, Chris Stevens, as well as Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith. We are still notifying the families of the others who were killed. And today, the American people stand united in holding the families of the four Americans in our thoughts and in our prayers.

The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. We're working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats. I've also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world. And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.

Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.

Already, many Libyans have joined us in doing so, and this attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya. Libyan security personnel fought back against the attackers alongside Americans. Libyans helped some of our diplomats find safety, and they carried Ambassador Stevens's body to the hospital, where we tragically learned that he had died.

It's especially tragic that Chris Stevens died in Benghazi because it is a city that he helped to save. At the height of the Libyan revolution, Chris led our diplomatic post in Benghazi. With characteristic skill, courage, and resolve, he built partnerships with Libyan revolutionaries, and helped them as they planned to build a new Libya. When the Qaddafi regime came to an end, Chris was there to serve as our ambassador to the new Libya, and he worked tirelessly to support this young democracy, and I think both Secretary Clinton and I relied deeply on his knowledge of the situation on the ground there. He was a role model to all who worked with him and to the young diplomats who aspire to walk in his footsteps.

Along with his colleagues, Chris died in a country that is still striving to emerge from the recent experience of war. Today, the loss of these four Americans is fresh, but our memories of them linger on. I have no doubt that their legacy will live on through the work that they did far from our shores and in the hearts of those who love them back home.

Of course, yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks. We mourned with the families who were lost on that day. I visited the graves of troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hallowed grounds of Arlington Cemetery, and had the opportunity to say thank you and visit some of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed. And then last night, we learned the news of this attack in Benghazi.

As Americans, let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases, lay down their lives for it. Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe.

No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.

But we also know that the lives these Americans led stand in stark contrast to those of their attackers. These four Americans stood up for freedom and human dignity. They should give every American great pride in the country that they served, and the hope that our flag represents to people around the globe who also yearn to live in freedom and with dignity.

We grieve with their families, but let us carry on their memory, and let us continue their work of seeking a stronger America and a better world for all of our children.

Thank you. May God bless the memory of those we lost and may God bless the United States of America.

END10:48 A.M. EDT

Forex research by ForexTV.com

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