And that is all.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Floatin' Powa News Service: Masterminding Unrest Since 2000 BC!

"The reports are incorrect and it's possible they are even causing damage," Barak told reporters.
Hamas: Israel behind Shalit rumors
Osama Mazini, who is in charge of the "Schalit portfolio" on behalf of Hamas, said the negotiations on a prisoner exchange were stopped during the administration of former prime minister Ehud Olmert. All what's being published in the media these days about an imminent prisoner exchange is nothing but "test balloons," Mazini said.
Tony "Hamas" Blair Spaketh Thusly:
"There is a virtual consensus across the international community not just as to what needs to happen, but how...which was not the case a couple of years ago," Blair told Reuters. "If Israel were to join that, we could get an agreement and an agreement in my view that protects completely the state of Israel."

US-trained Palestinian force is keen for action
Finaly the MSM notices this...
That's their headline, not mine.....
Hamas' dislike of the new force was evident in a statement from Khaled Mashaal, its exiled leader, appealing to Obama to remove Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, the U.S. security coordinator in the region, under whose auspices the force is being trained. Mashaal claimed Dayton was "building an oppressive authority over the heads of our people."

The new forces are being trained in neighboring Jordan. Since 2008, four battalions totaling 2,100 men have deployed in the West Bank, the most recent this month, and another three battalions are to be added, bringing the total to around 3,600.

They have had their first real test in recent weeks, twice clashing with Hamas gunmen in the town of Qalqiliya. Five Hamas fighters and four members of the security forces were killed.

The West Bank's various security forces already number some 24,000 Palestinians including police. These forces were troubled in the past by corruption, overlapping mandates, poor training and damaging Israeli raids, and in recent years there have been repeated attempts to reform them.

The new force is different, says Dayton.

"What we have created are new men," he told a Washington think tank last month. "For the first time, I think it's fair to say that the Palestinian security forces feel they are on a winning team."

Outgoing NATO chief hopes for 2-states
Outgoing NATO secretary-general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told The Jerusalem Post over the weekend of his hope to see a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "based on the two-state principle sooner rather than later."

At the same time, Scheffer stressed that NATO "will not involve itself as an alliance in the Middle East."
Hamas leader has good words for Obama
A dialogue without conditions used to be known as SURRENDER.
"It's the first step in the right direction toward a dialogue without conditions, and we welcome this," said exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in a televised speech Thursday in Damascus, according to news reports. Meshaal was referring to Obama's Cairo speech earlier in the month in which he stated that Hamas "does have support among some Palestinians, but they also have to recognize they have responsibilities."
Hamas and Fatah delegations arrive in Cairo

US, EU court Hamas in bid for truce with Israel
The American government and the European Union are making efforts to include Hamas in a broader diplomatic effort that would include a long-term cease-fire with Israel, reconciliation among Palestinian factions and support for renewed negotiations with Israel on the basis of the Arab peace initiative.
Ayalon: Palestinian unity government mustn't turn Fatah into Hamas
Listen we are the ones who turned Arafat's PLO into acceptable partner for peace "Fatah".
So WTF exactly do you THINK is going to happen here?

Fatah boasts about lynch murder of two Israeli soldiers in 2000
Legitimate Fatah, our "partner for peace!"

Fatah's Al-Ahmad: Mash'al and Hamas not ready to sign a deal

Gaza 'war crimes' hearing under way

Riots resume in Jerusalem; haredim torch dumpsters
Obviously they have been living near the Koranimals far too long...
Hundreds of protestors gathered in the neighborhood, hurling rocks, cans, bottles and fruit at police forces, before setting dumpsters a blaze. Also Saturday, about 1,000 people gathered at Jerusalem's Safra Square in order to express their support for the decision to open the parking lot on Shabbat.
Death threats sent to Jerusalem mayor following parking lot riots

40 arrests in Jerusalem Sabbath protests

Israel 'fed up' with US settlement demands
About time.

Israel to build its own navy ships
Also about time.
Israel should internalize all it's defense because absolutely no one is on her side.

Lebanese army issues warning after Beirut clash
The Lebanese army said on Sunday it would open fire on any armed person appearing on the streets, after a brief clash between supporters of rival political factions in western Beirut killed one person.

Gunfire erupted in the Aicha Bakkar area when Sunni Muslim followers of anti-Syrian Saad al-Hariri's Future movement clashed with supporters of the pro-Syrian Amal Movement, which is led by Shi'ite parliament speaker Nabih Berri.

Security sources said one woman was killed, and two people were wounded.
George Jonas: Hillary Clinton rewrites the Middle East's past
President Obama’s Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, stated that there were no agreements between the U.S. and Israel concerning Israeli settlements in the disputed territories.

“[I]n looking at the history of the Bush administration, there were no informal or oral enforceable agreements,” Mrs. Clinton remarked. “That has been verified by the official record of the administration and by the personnel in the positions of responsibility.”

No so, writes Mr. Abrams, a Middle East specialist, who was one of the American negotiators in 2003. “Not only were there agreements, but the Prime Minister of Israel relied on them in undertaking a wrenching political reorientation — the dissolution of his government, the removal of every single Israeli citizen, settlement and military position in Gaza, and the removal of four small settlements in the West Bank.”

In his WSJ piece, Abrams sets out the premise of President George W. Bush’s 2003 “Roadmap for Peace” between Israel and the Palestinians. Critics may have considered the Road Map unrealistic at the time — I certainly did — but it was clear enough. The U.S. endorsed Palestinian statehood, provided the Palestinians eliminated terror. In essence, this was it.

The settlements were to be frozen. This didn’t mean settlers couldn’t build new houses or apartments as their population grew; it meant settlements couldn’t expand externally.

Negotiating these principles during the spring of 2003 with the U.S., Abrams writes, was what enabled Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon to stand beside President Bush, King Abdullah II, and Palestinian prime minister Mahmoud Abbas at Aquaba, Jordan, in June, 2003, and say: “It is in Israel’s interest not to govern the Palestinians but for the Palestinians to govern themselves in their own state.”

During subsequent negotiations, the U.S. would drop all rhetoric about settlements beyond the 1967 “border” being illegal and come to regard the “Green Line” as exactly what it was: an armistice line where Arab and Israeli forces happened to stop fighting in 1949 at the end of the War of Independence (or the “Catastrophe” as the Arab side called it).

Abrams cites president Bush’s words in 2004: “In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.”
Syria threatens 'practical steps' to retake Golan
Emboldened no doubt by US support.

Whether socialism: Syria Baath Party debates renewal

Syria's ruling Baath party is considering a renewal process to meet a growing gap between the socialist nature of the regime and the market-oriented reality on the ground, observers say.
SEE ALSO: Singing in the Baath Tub

Italy expels Palestinian hijacker to Syria
A lawyer says Italian authorities are set to expel to Syria one of the Palestinians who hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship and killed an American passenger in 1985. Attorney Gianfranco Pagano said Youssef Magied al-Molqui was about to be flown from Palermo, Sicily, to Rome and then on to Damascus on Saturday. In April, Al-Molqui was transferred to a holding center for immigrants in Sicily after spending 23 years in prison.
Iran 'has arrested 2000' in violent crackdown on dissent

More than 2,000 Iranians have been arrested and hundreds more have disappeared since the regime decided to crush dissent after the disputed presidential election, a leading human rights organisation said yesterday.

“A climate of terror and of fear reigns in Iran today,” the International Federation for Human Rights , an umbrella body for 155 human rights organisations, said as it released the startling figures.

Last night 3,000 protesters tried to gather outside a mosque in Tehran where they believed that Mir Hossein Mousavi, the defeated presidential candidate, was going to speak. The police rapidly dispersed them and Mr Mousavi never appeared.

Leading demonstrators must be executed, Ayatollah Khatami demands
In a clear warning to all other dissenters, he declared: “Anybody who fights against the Islamic system or the leader of Islamic society, fight him until complete destruction.”
Obama officials say talks with Iran still possible
So you know who's side we are all on....
The Obama administration is open to discussions with Iran over its nuclear ambitions despite protests questioning the legitimacy of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election, U.S. officials said Sunday.
It also looks like my people are going to be betrayed once again by a badly misguided American president. Jimmy Carter helped give birth to the virulent Shiite Islamism by forbidding the Shah of Iran to crush the bloodthirsty Ayatollah Khomeini and his band of rabid Islamists. Now, President Obama intends to confer legitimacy on the illegitimate child, the Islamic Republic of Iran.
EU keen to restart nuclear talks with Iran
Why not? Everyone else is.

Thousands of Iranians ignore leaders' threats, march in unauthorized rally
Thousands of Iranians disputing the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad marched at an unauthorized rally Sunday, defying truncheon-wielding security forces and dire threats by Iranian leaders.

Meanwhile, European leaders' hackles were raised by the arrest a day earlier of eight British Embassy staffers in Tehran, a move that has sharpened Iran's confrontation with the West over the disputed election and its violent aftermath. Several of the staffers, all Iranian nationals, were quickly released.
Riot police use tear gas to halt protest in Iran

Iranian police beat protesters

IRAN: militia launch night raids to terrify protesters

Iran: Militia raids target homes
Human Rights Watch has accused Iran's volunteer Basij militia of carrying out night-time raids, destroying property in private homes and beating civilians.The New York-based group says the raids are an attempt to stop the nightly rooftop chants against the government. It also says satellite dishes are being confiscated to stop people from watching foreign news.

Swedish broadcaster SVT says Iranian Embassy attacked
Swedish broadcaster SVT says the Iranian Embassy outside Stockholm is being attacked by demonstrators.The report says about 150 people are trying to storm the embassy building. It was not immediately clear if anyone was hurt.

Iran: Now the world's leader in jailing journalists
In just the last 13 days since the disputed June 12 election, Iran has become the world's leading jailer of journalists.

A report released Tuesday by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran listed the names of 23 Iranian journalists who have been arrested and detained by the government. Additionally, more than 100 political personalities and members of the reformers' presidential campaigns have also been arrested. The group confirmed 31 dead (though only four named), many of whom were students like Neda Aghasoltan, now the face of the opposition movement.

The report also revealed that many of those arrested were detained in their own homes by plain-clothed police officers -- and many were not participating in protests when arrested.

Secret camera leads to arrest of 9 in British embassy in Iran
The government of Iran arrested 9 members of the British Embassy accusing them of taking part in anti-goverment demonstrations after they were filmed by a secret camera that had been placed, unbeknownst to embassy members, inside the British embassy
Mousavi backer blames him for Iranian deaths
The editor of a campaign newspaper for Mir Hossein Mousavi on Saturday accused the defeated presidential candidate of "causing" the death of Iranians in protests after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election, local media reported.

Amir Hossein Mahdavi, 27, told reporters gathered at the news agency he was also a member of the Islamic Revolution Mojahedeen Organization -- one of the key reformist groups backing Mousavi for the June 12 poll.

Several of its leaders as well as prominent reformists and journalists were jailed shortly after the election, which Mousavi has dismissed as a "shameful fraud."
Reporting on terrorists can be deadly
So it was especially interesting that, at the annual meeting of the International Press Institute here in Helsinki, a major session was held on “Talking to Terrorists.” Do we? Should we? Is it really worth the danger to tell the American people — and others — about these strange new guerrilla/militant/radical terrorist groups that torment the “civilized” world?

First, meet Hamid Mir. Big, husky and dark-haired, the respected Pakistani TV reporter is the only journalist in the world to have interviewed Osama bin Laden three times. Importantly, his reports proved that the al-Qaida leader was, indeed, the mind and means behind 9/11.

“I asked Osama whether he had done 9/11,” Hamid told me, “and he told me to turn off my recording machine. Then he said, ‘Yes.’ But when I turned on my machine again, he said, ‘No.’ I reported the ‘Yes.’

“Then I told him that he was a bad Muslim, and that he would go to hell — like me! He asked me why and I said, ‘Because you kill so many Muslims.’ Meanwhile, his Egyptian aide, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was sitting there laughing.”

Then Hamid laughed, before he added with a grin: “Me? I just wanted to leave. I kept saying, ‘Can I leave? Can I leave?’”

Would he go back and find Osama again? He looked at me as if I were certifiably mad. Then he mentioned that, in Pakistan alone in 2008, there were 18 journalists killed and 30 kidnapped. “Now,” he added, “they’re even announcing the names of certain journalists they will kill.”

Talibanization: It's all about Gwadar Port & Transit Trade Route

Perhaps, the unrest could have been restricted to Balochistan only, but KKH-II project ignited the whole frontier province as well. Here, the insurgency started by razing girls’ schools in the name of enforcement of Shariah in Bajaur, Malakand, Swat and adjoining tribal areas, when China signed MoU in 2004 for further expansion and upgrading of the existing Karakoram highway that links Gilgit to Kohat via Chitral, Dir, Swat connecting Gwadar to Western China. The KKH trade route agreement alarmed many countries.

US viewed the Highway project as alarming for its endeavours in exploiting the riches of CARs. India considered it as a dangerous development for its security. The Kashgar-Gwadar trade route affected the trade and economic interest of neighboring states of the region. Side by side, China started laying rail-link from Shanghai to Kashgar. In order to deny Chinese access to Gwadar and to stop Pakistan from exploiting economic benefit, the theme of provincial rights and backwardness proved quite successful.

However, the same strategy could hold the grounds in the tribal areas and NWFP. Therefore, keeping in view the environment of the area and emotional attachment of the people with the Islam, the propaganda theme regarding the presence of Osama bin Laden & al Qaeda leadership was blown out of proportion.

The western media was already showing concern regarding militants’ infiltration to orchestrate and launch cross-border attacks from their sanctuaries on Pakistani soil. Similarly, Afghan President Hamid Karzai accused Pakistan of alleged relationship between ISI agency and the militants. Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at Pentagon, US Gen. David Petraeus, commander Central Command, US think tanks and media cartels, questioned the alleged relationship between ISI and the militant Talibans.

US-built bridge is windfall for Afghan drug trade
Please keep this in mind US reverses Afghan drug policy, eyes August vote when reading this story:
In August 2007, the presidents of Afghanistan and Tajikistan walked side by side with the U.S. commerce secretary across a new $37 million concrete bridge that the Army Corps of Engineers designed to link two of Central Asia's poorest countries.

Dressed in a gray suit with an American flag pin in his lapel, then-Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said the modest two-lane span that U.S. taxpayers paid for would be "a critical transit route for trade and commerce" between Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

Today, the bridge across the muddy waters of the Panj River is carrying much more than vegetables and timber: It's paved the way for drug traffickers to transport larger loads of Afghan heroin and opium to Central Asia and beyond to Russia and Western Europe.

Turkey Restates Determination to Join the European Union

Dust storm hits Iraq oil sale
A dust storm closed Baghdad airport and postponed until at least tomorrow the opening of bids - scheduled for today - from oil companies hoping to develop Iraq's vast reserves.The bidding marks the first time since the nationalisation of Iraq's oil industry that foreign oil companies are being allowed back to fields that contain the world's third largest reserves.
Niger President Tandja Invokes Emergency Powers to Extend Rule

Tandja, 71, said in a televised speech on Tele Sahel yesterday that he would invoke Article 58 of the Constitution that gives him exceptional powers.

The president dissolved parliament on May 26 for a referendum on changes to the constitution that would enable him to run for a third five-year term. On June 12, Niger’s Constitutional Court granted an order requested by the Front for the Defense of Democracy, a coalition of political parties and labor unions, to annul Tandja’s decree ordering the referendum.

Niger, which borders Mali, Algeria, Nigeria and Chad, is the world’s sixth-biggest producer of uranium.

China 'deeply committed' to North Korea sanctions
Charlie.... please. Even McLame thinks you are "unhelpful"
Tell it to someone who can't see your hand up Lil' Kim's ass.
"They are certainly saying quite strenuously that they are deeply committed to full implementation of the provisions that are in the resolution," the senior administration official said, referring to China."The real test now will be in implementation," the official said."We are going to obviously take their word seriously, but we'll see in the end what they are prepared to do."Beijing is often criticized in the United States for its willingness to join, or carry out tough sanctions regimes against North Korea, particularly in congressional circles.On Thursday, Republican Senator John McCain said that China had been "unhelpful, especially on the issue of North Korea."
Chinese vice premier calls for closer economic ties with Uzbekistan

Angola-Russia cooperation reaches a new high historical level
After meeting with his Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev on Friday, Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos described the Russian president's visit as "positive" and "very profitable" to both sides.
Medvedev's Dream of Africa

NATO and Russia resume security ties despite Georgia row
NATO and Russia on Saturday resumed formal cooperation on broad security threats but failed to bridge major differences over Georgia in their first high-level talks since the war in the Caucasus region.

The deal emerged after NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said the two sides recognized it was time to crank up joint efforts against Afghan insurgents and drug trafficking, Somali piracy, terrorism and nuclear proliferation. The Russia-NATO thaw emerged a week before a summit between President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow, and a summit of G8 powers in Italy.

"We have restarted our relations at a political level, we also agreed to restart the military to military contacts which had been frozen since last August," de Hoop Scheffer told a news conference, referring to the Russia-Georgia conflict. "The NATO-Russia Council is now back in gear. We agreed not to let disagreements bring the whole train to a halt. On Georgia, there are still fundamental differences ... (But) Russia needs NATO and NATO needs Russia," he said.
Admiral Mullen Calls for New US-Russian Military Relationship
"Instead of merely settling for a relationship defined by differences, we have the opportunity to forge one based on mutual respect and the realization that our joint leadership must continue to be a cornerstone of security and stability for the world," he said. "It encourages me to know that my counterpart, General of the Army [Nikolai] Makorov, shares my belief in the power of our present opportunity."
US And Russia Differ on Treaty for Cyberspace
Russia favors an international treaty along the lines of those negotiated for chemical weapons and has pushed for that approach at a series of meetings this year and in public statements by a high-ranking official.

The United States argues that a treaty is unnecessary. It instead advocates improved cooperation among international law enforcement groups. If these groups cooperate to make cyberspace more secure against criminal intrusions, their work will also make cyberspace more secure against military campaigns, American officials say.
Russia urges 'coordination' with OPEC
"I will put it very simply. The oil market should not depend on the state of affairs in one economy," said Medvedev, whose country does not belong to OPEC, at a joint press conference with Dos Santos on his last stop in a four-day visit to Africa. Medvedev did not elaborate but the comments appeared to be targeted at the United States, where an economic recession has played a major role in oil prices plummeting.

Putin invites Shell to participate in natural gas projects

Shell accepts Putin's invite to work on Sakhalin 3 and 4

GAZPROM: Total, Shell shortlisted for Yamal LNG project

Shell Faces Even More Revamping

Israel pressing Russia to cancel arms deal with Iran
Medvedev told Lieberman that Russia has a signed contract with Iran and some payments had already been made.
Putin's Crackdown on Casinos Is Putting Russians Out of Jobs

Vladimir Putin 'furious' over flaunting oligarch Telman Ismailov
To launch his new hotel, Telman Ismailov hired a private jet to fly in 242lb of Beluga caviar and paid Paris Hilton, Sharon Stone and Richard Gere to attend the party.

The sprawling Mardan Palace on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, which boasts 560 rooms and a five-acre pool, cost £1 billion to build. Defying the world financial crisis, Ismailov indulged his taste for gaudy opulence in his celebrations. At one point the Azeri-born mogul danced with guests as they were sprayed with $100 bills, at a reported cost of $61m (£37m).

Less than a month later Ismailov, 52, may have come to regret such ostentation as he faces the apparent wrath of Vladimir Putin. Russia’s prime minister is said to be furious that Ismailov has invested so much abroad and flaunted his riches when Russia has been hard hit by the credit crunch.
More clashes in Russia's North Caucasus kill 5

Kyrgyzstan kills suspected Islamist militants

Kyrgyzstan to open first national oil company

The Door to Hell - Burning Gas Crater in Darvaza, Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan is very rich in natural resources. Currently a sovereign country, Turkmenistan was part of the Soviet Union until 1991. It was during rule of Soviet Russia, back in 1971 when geologists were conducting gas drilling in Kara-Kum desert and discovered an underground chamber close to the village of Darvaza (known in Turkmen as Derweze, but sometimes also referred to as Darvaz). The discovery of the chamber was accidental and resulted in drilling rig collapsing, leaving giant gas crater filled with poisonous gases exposed to the world outside. The concentration of gases within the crater was high so nobody dared to go down there. It was then when someone came with an idea to light the gas in the crater on fire so as to burn it before the poisonous fumes engulf the nearby town of Darvaza.

The geologists thought the idea of burning the gas was smart and went ahead with lighting the crater on fire. As it turns out, the supply of quality natural gas below the crater is near infinite as the crater’s been burning since. At the time of this post, on June of 2009 the gas crater in Darvaza is still burning and has been since 1971 without interruption. No one can even imagine how much quality natural gas was burnt throughout the 38 years of the crater being on fire. No one can estimate how much more gas there still is. When they first lit the gas crater on fire, they thought the fire would go out after a few days. It’s been more than a few day, it’s been more than a few weeks or months. It’s been decades and the gas crater is burning just as it did the day it was first lit. Putting all economical loses from wasted natural gas aside, imagine the ecological impact this burning gas has cause during decades of non stop burning!

Historic Visit: Peres, Ministers to Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan
President Shimon Peres, heading a delegation of three Cabinet ministers and some 60 leading Israeli businesspeople, is on his way to the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan for a first-ever visit of such senior Israeli officials.The President’s Office reported that the visit is designed to “strengthen and broaden the strategic, diplomatic and economic ties” with the two Moslem countries. Azerbaijan lies north of Iran, and Kazakhstan is further to the northeast, bordering on China.


Peres will also deliver a major speech at an interfaith conference in Kazakhstan, in front of hundreds of Moslem leaders from the Middle East and around the world, the Chief Rabbis of Israel, and the leader of Qatar. The event is under the auspices of the government of Kazakhstan and the Euro-Asiatic Jewish Congress.

Peres will also address hundreds of Muslim students at the University of Azerbaijan for Languages, and will answer their questions.


The Supreme Council of the Islamic Party demands the cancellation of the visit by the “leader of the criminal Zionist regime,” which “will damage Azerbaijan's international image as a Muslim state and will be an insult to the Islamic world.”
Siemensistan, Turkmenistan: The beginning of a beautiful friendship
Siemens AG has found new opportunities to expand in Turkmenistan, given that the country’s officials seem to “more than welcome” the industrial conglomerate’s expansion in the reclusive former Soviet republic, a businessman with close ties to Ashgabat told New Europe on June 26 talking on customary condition of anonymity.
Siemens AG is Europe's largest engineering conglomerate.Siemens' international headquarters are located in Berlin and Munich, Germany. The company is a conglomerate of three main business sectors: Industry, Energy and Healthcare with a total of 15 Divisions.

JPost: Peres to visit to Muslim states Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan

Chabad house in Kazakhstan 'navigating a spiritual desert'
Many Jews who have been disconnected from their identity experience a reawakening when they enter the synagogue, Kubalkin says, like the elderly Polish Holocaust survivor who fled to Kazakhstan and assumed a non-Jewish identity for decades.

"Suddenly, he came to the synagogue and began to pray," Kubalkin recounts.

Chinese vice premier arrives in Uzbekistan for official visit

China Makes Dramatic Entry into Nigerian Oil Sector
Sinopec, an acronym for China National Petroleum Corporation is said to have paid $7.24 billion (N1.06 trillion) for Addax Petroleum after the Canadian-based outfit gave the nod to the Chinese giant's $46 a share takeover offer.
Chinese Gold Moves Set Stage for Price Spike

White House denies indefinite detention order
The article links it to Guantanamo. I link it to everything else....
Define terrorist Mr. Obama.....
The official was reacting to a report by The Washington Post that said the Obama administration "has drafted an executive order that would reassert presidential authority to incarcerate terrorism suspects indefinitely."
America's Fortress: Cheyenne Mountain, NORAD live on
If there are two things that drive the folks at the world-famous Cheyenne Mountain complex crazy, it's the widely held public perceptions that, for one, the complex has shut down altogether, and that it is synonymous with NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command. After visiting as part of my Road Trip 2009 project Friday, I'm here to report that both perceptions are quite incorrect.

Agencies Clash on Military's Border Role
A proposal to send National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to counter drug trafficking has triggered a bureaucratic standoff between the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security over the military's role in domestic affairs, according to officials in both departments.
Obama and Cyber Defense

"Only the Raytheon consortium has chosen to continue negotiations with the government"
They are competing with a consortium consisting of Raytheon and Samsung Techwin that is offering the AS-9 gun.
Samsung Techwin is a South Korean company that makes precision optics/ spy /infotech / communications & surveillance shit. the article says there is A CONSORTIUM CONSISTING OF Raytheon and Samsung Techwin. I find that interesting.

Raytheon Partners with Narus to Protect Government Organizations

Raytheon Partners with University of Texas to Develop Cybersecurity Solutions

UK: Narus to Present Session on Protecting National Infrastructure at GovNet Homeland Security Conference
Narus, Inc., the leader in real-time traffic intelligence for the protection and management of large IP networks, announced today that it is a sponsor of the GovNet Homeland & Border Security Conference 2009, and will present a seminar titled, "Meeting the Changing Dynamics, Challenges and Threats in the CyberWorld."
UK GovNet Homeland & Border Security Conference 2009:
This year will also mark the move toward the use of more advanced biometric technology. From 2009 onwards, all UK passports issued will include biometric data.
UK: Countdown to World War III
Fragments of the so-called War Book have appeared before. But the declassification of the whole 1970 edition, three large files of secret documents, allows us to see how the whole interlocking plan would have been implemented for the very first time. If nuclear war became inevitable, the PM, Foreign Secretary, a small group of ministers and other vital personnel would be evacuated to a central bunker deep beneath the Cotswolds near Corsham, Wiltshire.
OSCE powers agree to European security debate
World powers in the the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe agreed Sunday to launch a comprehensive debate to revamp European security in the face of new challenges.
Word of the Week: "Material Adverse Change"

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke came under fire this week for allegedly forcing Bank of America's acquisition of Merrill Lynch. Bank of America (BAC) had attempted to wrestle out of the deal, reportedly citing something called a material adverse change clause in the acquisition. House Republicans claim that Bernanke had threatened to replace Bank of America management, if they invoked the MAC clause. So, what is a material adverse change?

Material adverse change refers to a type of clause in a merger or acquisition that prescribes a list of negative possible outcomes. These "MAC clauses" help reduce the level of risk for a buyer (in an acquisition) or both parties (in a merger) by spelling out the negative events that could occur between the time a deal is signed and closed. MAC clauses serve as a jumping-off point for renegotiation should an unfortunate turn of events happen to an interested party before the deal is done.

Debate over Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis and his MAC move arose earlier this month. But while Merrill Lynch may have lost billions of dollars as this deal was ironed out, some experts remain dubious that Lewis could make a valid MAC claim.

Fed Documents Fuel Concerns About Expanding Central Bank's Role
Documents unearthed by congressional investigators reveal disagreements among senior Federal Reserve officials about how to handle Bank of America Corp.'s acquisition of Merrill Lynch, fueling concern on Capitol Hill over giving the central bank even more power to regulate the financial system.

The glimpse inside the regulatory machinery provided by emails, memorandums and handwritten notes show a Fed that wrestled with how tough it should be on Bank of America, one of the biggest U.S. banks. It also shows Fed officials questioning more broadly their response to the financial crisis months earlier. In December, Bank of America approached top U.S. officials about abandoning a deal, forged in the heat of the crisis, to buy investment bank Merrill Lynch.

In the end, the government arranged a $20 billion rescue package for the bank to cover growing losses at Merrill. In between, the documents show areas of disagreement within some of the Fed's 12 regional reserve banks. The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, where supervision of Bank of America's parent company is based, pushed for a tougher approach than other regulators, emails suggest. Bank of America officials appealed more than once to the Fed's Washington headquarters to intervene.

Regulators Close Five More Banks


Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke was grilled in Congress today about his involvement in Bank of America’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch during stormy economic times last year. The Federal Open Market Committee yesterday voted to keep monetary policy unchanged and announced it will permit one of its emergency programs to expire – the first step to unwinding its massive provision of liquidity to shore up the economy and financial system.

One emergency program is expiring and two others are being reduced in magnitude in which cash or Treasuries are provided to financial institutions and money market funds under “unusual and exigent circumstances.”
Treasury Outlines TARP Repurchase Plan
The warrants have an unspecified value...

The procedures mean the 10 large banks that have been cleared to repay Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds would need to submit "a determination of fair market value" to Treasury by the end of next week if they wish to repurchase the warrants.

Under a key TARP program, the government injected capital into hundreds of banks around the country in exchange for warrants to purchase common shares.

When a publicly-traded bank repays the government, the bank can repurchase the warrants. But that process is expected to be complicated given that the warrants have an unspecified value.

US to 'Quickly' Sell Warrants When Banks Repay TARP
Banks will have 15 days after retiring government stakes to propose a “fair market value” for the securities, the Treasury said in a statement today in Washington. Should officials object to the estimate, up to three “independent appraisers” will help set a price. For lenders that don’t want to make an offer on the warrants, the Treasury will sell them at auctions.
Goldman seen ahead of Morgan Stanley in recovery

Corrupt Conservatives:
The Double Minded Man. Unstable in All His Ways.
Republicans - in theory, anyway - are supposed to be the party of Middle America. Their ideological mission is to advance not only free-market capitalism, but also the traditional family and Christian values. The modern Republican Party was formed in opposition to the 1960s counterculture. Yet the counterculture has become the dominant culture; traditional America is a dwindling rump. The times have changed. And slowly, but surely, our sex-obsessed culture is swallowing Republicans.
Reunion of Chicago cops who worked 1968 Democratic Convention
From the former cops came recollections, one after another, about what the cameras didn't capture, what the world didn't see on television along with the images of police wading into crowds of protesters, knocking them down and bloodying them with flailing billy clubs.

They told of bags of urine and feces, and bricks that were thrown at them, the heavy glass ashtrays dropped on them from hotel windows high above, the nail-spiked rubber balls left behind their car tires and sometimes thrown at them.

And they dismissed any talk of a "police riot," as a commission famously called the scene, speaking with pride about how they conducted themselves.

"We were doing what we were supposed to do," said John Murray, a 62-year-old retired detective. "No regrets."

It was absolute chaos, they said, but they did not lose control even when faced with situations they never thought they'd ever see.

Like the woman disguised as a nun who punched Joe Mescall when the young patrolman wouldn't let her into the Conrad Hilton Hotel where he was stationed.
Cops arrest two teens on lower East Side for Anti-Semitic spree
No doubt their names are Mustapha and Achmed but we will never know...
Note the use of "ASIAN" which was strictly a European way to refer to Muslims in the past ~
The kids - a 15-year-old Asian male and a 16-year-old black male - were charged with aggravated harassment, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment, all as hate crimes.
Dawkins sets up kids’ camp to groom atheists

Brainwashing kids the Richard Dawkins way
Why don't we just call it "Social Engineering Camp" instead.

New atheist summer camp launched

An atheist summer camp for children set up in Somerset is to offer a "godless alternative" to religious camps.The 24 places on Camp Quest UK, which will be held next month near Bath, have already been booked up.
RELATED, from this April post:
UK: Group targets school kids in atheism drive

An atheist group is planning to recruit school kids to teach them how to damage religious activity in schools. Children will be encouraged to undermine the role of Christian assemblies and the way RE is taught. They will also be trained to lobby local authorities about these issues. The National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (AHS) will launch the recruitment drive in the summer. It will coincide with an atheist summer camp for kids. The move has the backing of prominent atheists, Richard Dawkins and AC Grayling. News of the atheist recruitment drive was broken by The Sunday Telegraph’s religion correspondent, Jonathan Wynne-Jones.

VIDEO: Dick "What's to Prevent Us From Saying Hitler Wasn't Right" Dawkins 2009 Address to American Atheists
Nanotechnology: Revolution and pollution
In an October 2007 talk given at the Museum of Science in Boston, PEN Director David Rejeski said global research and development investments in nanotech totaled $12.6 billion the year before.
UK: Girls as young as 12 regularly having abortions
The figures will fuel fears that abortion is being used for lifestyle reasons by a generation that feels it has the right to have babies to order.
Federal Appeals Court Upholds VA's Ban On Partial-Birth Abortion
Appeals Court Judge Paul Niemeyer said in the majority opinion, "While the Virginia Act has a broader scope than the Federal Act, the Virginia Act is nonetheless constitutional. The Act clearly delineates the rare circumstances in which a doctor will incur liability, thus enabling a doctor to perform a standard D&E without fear that accidental emergence of the fetus to an anatomical landmark will present a Morton's fork, where the doctor must choose between criminal liability or care that the doctor believes is not in the best interest of the patient.

"A concurring opinion from Judge Harvie Wilkinson said, "The majority and dissenting opinions in this case agree that the state may proscribe an intact D&E... They disagree, however, as to whether the state may also proscribe deliberately killing a fetus if a standard D&E... accidentally becomes an intact D&E. To invalidate Virginia's statute on its face solely because it applies in this highly unusual circumstance is to say that courts have the ability not merely to create non-textual rights but to oversee their infinite permutations.

"How a society treats its most vulnerable members may do more than grandiosity to shape its lasting worth. A partially born child is among the weakest, most helpless beings in our midst and on that account exerts a special claim on our protection... The fact is that we-civilized people-are retreating to the haven of our Constitution to justify dismembering a partly born child and crushing its skull. Surely centuries hence, people will look back on this gruesome practice done in the name of fundamental law by a society of high achievement. And they will shudder."
Did toxic chemical in Iraq cause GIs' illnesses?
What these three men — one sick, one dying, one dead — had in common is they were National Guard soldiers on the same stretch of wind-swept desert in Iraq during the early months of the war in 2003.

These soldiers and hundreds of other Guard members from Indiana, Oregon and West Virginia were protecting workers hired by a subsidiary of the giant contractor, KBR Inc., to rebuild an Iraqi water treatment plant. The area, as it turned out, was contaminated with hexavalent chromium, a potent, sometimes deadly chemical linked to cancer and other devastating diseases.

No one disputes that. But that's where agreement ends.

Obama Urges Senators to Back Cap and Trade Bill
He just may bust a cap in your ass, you don't back him.

Philips interactive film, Obama campaign take top ad prizes

Ottoman Whispers in a Secret Corner of Greece
And the author is lovin' it.

I had been in Xanthi, the centerpiece city in the northeastern Greek region of Thrace, for only a few hours, admiring the neo-Classical-style buildings and restored tobacco warehouses of the old town. I spotted the minaret shortly after I heard a muezzin’s cry separating from the church bells and the cafes blasting Rihanna. I’d never seen a mosque open for prayer in Greece.

Almost all Greeks are Orthodox Christians, many of them fiercely attached to their cultural identity, and the church is as powerful as any political party. In Athens, where I had lived for four years, many Muslims are relative newcomers who must worship in rented basements until a mosque — approved by the Greek Parliament in 2006 — is built. In Thrace, Islam has long been part of the landscape.

But the area was not a familiar landscape to travelers until very recently. Just a couple of decades ago, Thrace was known mainly as an outpost for soldiers guarding Greece from a hostile Turkey and Communist Bulgaria. Today, thanks to much improved relations with both countries (especially Turkey), a spotlight is finally shining on northeastern Greece.
5.1 Magnitude earthquake Hits Santorini

Multiple earthquakes strike Hualien

Indian scientists hope to make it rain

The Ark is not going to be revealed, says Gebremedhin
“No, the ark is not going to be revealed. Nobody could touch it. If you do so, God will smite you.” Aba Gebremedhin said. Paulos puts the blame on the Adnkronos journal, which originally posted the news, and rectification later on. "…I am here to say what I saw, what I know and I can testify. I did not say that the Ark will be shown to the world.” Paulos is quoted to say on Adnkronos web site site.

Seekers of Ark Left in the Dark
The leader of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church failed on Friday to make good on a promise of an announcement regarding the Ark of the Covenant.

The Italian news agency Adnkronos had reported that Patriarch Abuna Pauolos, who was in Rome this week to meet with Pope Benedict XVI, said that "Soon the world will be able to admire the Ark of the Covenant described in the Bible as the container of the tablets of the law that G-d delivered to Moses, and the center of searches and studies for centuries."

"The Ark of the Covenant has been in Ethiopia for many centuries,” he reportedly said. “As Patriarch, I have seen it with my own eyes, and only a few, highly-qualified persons could do the same -- until now."

The news agency said an announcement would be made at the Hotel Aldrovandi in Rome, where Pauolos was staying. However, a hotel spokeswoman told WorldNetDaily that although Pauolos had indeed been in residence there, no news conference or event was scheduled.

The original report quoted the patriarch as saying that the Ark of the Covenant "is in Ethiopia and nobody … knows for how much time. Only G-d knows. " He also said that the Ark "is described perfectly in the Bible" and added that "The state of conservation is good because it is not made from man's hand, but is something that G-d has made."

Ethiopia: Paulos cops out on revealing the Ark of the Covenant
“I repeat (the Ark of the Covenant) is in Ethiopia and nobody … knows for how much time. Only God knows,” he said in the Adnkronos report available online.

The report said Pauolos reported the artifact “is described perfectly in the Bible” and is in good condition. “The state of conservation is good because it is not made from man’s hand, but is something that God has made,” Pauolos said, according to the report. The agency had reported an announcement would be made at the Hotel Aldrovandi in Rome, and a hotel spokeswoman told WND Pauolos had been in residence there, but no news conference or event was scheduled.

“The Ark of the Covenant is in Ethiopia for many centuries,” said Pauolos in the report. “As a patriarch I have seen it with my own eyes and only few highly qualified persons could do the same, until now.”
Cleburne Hit With Sixth Earthquake This Month

City Hall move would cost total of $12 million, Nagin's office says

Responding to demands from New Orleans City Council members for more information about the full cost of Mayor Ray Nagin's plan to move City Hall into Chevron Corp.'s former local headquarters, Nagin's office has put the project's total cost at $11.9 million, or nearly 50 percent more than the $8 million purchase price for the Chevron buildings.

Most of the extra costs, $3 million, are for renovations, including the sizable cost of creating a City Council chamber. Also budgeted are $450,000 in moving costs and $486,000 for "expenses associated with the purchase."

The bulk of the extra spending hinges on Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursements to the city for Hurricane Katrina damage to City Hall, including some that require special authorization not yet sought by city officials.

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