And that is all.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Floatin' Powa News Service: Unusually Usual Tales

JOHN BOLTON: It's Crunch Time for Israel On Iran
Under the worst-case scenario, Iran will continue improving its nuclear facilities and Mr. Obama will become the first U.S. president to tie the issue of Israel’s nuclear capabilities into negotiations about Iran’s.
NYT HEADLINE: Telling Israel No: Obama's Bold Move
They love it.
The Israelis themselves have “not fully” lived up to that agreement, in the words of Elliot Abrams, a National Security Council adviser in the second Bush administration. One of the four brokered points called for a halt to government subsidies for settlers. Those have in fact continued.
France, Russia, EU taking Israel to task on building in east Jerusalem
They will not be happy till Jerusalem is Judenrein

Hamas Celebrates US Troop Withdrawal from Iraq
The NEFA Foundation has obtained and translated a statement from the Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades (the military wing of the Palestinian Hamas movement) regarding the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraqi cities. According to the communiqué, "it is because that they drowned in Iraq's mud"--and furthermore, "the victory of the Iraqi resistance is an episode in an integrative series; it is a service to the Islamic project that stands, in every area of Earth, in the face of the neo-imperialistic project(s) and the rogue Zionist-American plans.” The statement concludes by noting that " The American project in the region will fall resoundingly, and committing any new stupidity in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan or others will be a disaster for America and her armies, and all of their schemes will shatter atop the rock of the [Islamic] nation's awareness, Jihad and steadfastness.”

An English translation of the Hamas communique can be downloaded from the NEFA Foundation website.

Netanyahu says people of Gaza will overthrow Hamas
"By making the Palestinians of Gaza wear a veil, the Hamas regime is not doing much to make itself popular," Netanyahu said at the National Security Academy's graduation ceremony."If the Palestinians could, they would overthrow Hamas and believe me one day they will," Netanyahu was quoted by YNetnews website as saying.
Hamas dress code aims to make Gaza more Islamic

Syria: Obama lifting ban on aviation tech sales

Syria: No Exceptions for 'Honor Killings'

Extremists call for caliphate in London(istan)

Conference season starts a bit early for Islamists hoping to make Britain part of the Islamic caliphate (Khilafah), and Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain’s national Conference,The Struggle for ISLAM and the call for Khilafah” in London today will certainly be one of the less tedious get-togethers this year (although less chance of a boozy one-night-stand, admittedly).

You may have heard of the group. They were built up by sponging radical cleric Omar Bakri Muhammad, who once called the 9/11 hijackers “magnificent” and spouted the cause of jihad against the West while scrounging £250,000 off the British taxpayer. Hizb have come close to being banned for their support of Islamic extremism, but our weak, enfeebled government, desperate not to upset anyone, worried it might drive them underground. Well, they sound like they’re really inside the big tent right now
TURKEY: Close relation between Hizb ut-Tahrir, Ergenekon exposed
A recent investigation by the counterterrorism unit of the İstanbul Police Department has revealed that suspected members of an outlawed fundamentalist organization, Hizb ut-Tahrir (Party of Liberation), had close contacts with a number of individuals who are currently standing trial in a case against the Ergenekon terrorist organization, which is accused of planning a military coup against the government.
"In the Arab world, you must be annoying or a source of troubles to get care and attention"
But if you respected the rules, did not cause clamor, or caused deaths and explosions, then no one would care about you. Therefore it is not surprising when the Somalis seek to host Al-Qaeda organization and hijack ships in their search for attention and support.
Uneducating the Islamic World
The cumulative effects of this change have been profound. Today the Muslim world suffers from a crisis of education—one that has systematically stripped that part of the world of the ability to compete in the “geography of ideas.” Exactly how deep this deficit runs is painfully clear. In its 2008 report on educational reform in the Middle East and North Africa, the World Bank notes that the countries of the region as a whole score far below countries like Chile and Estonia in every area of “knowledge”— from the skills and education level of their populations to the presence of an infrastructure that reinforces and rewards learning. Adult illiteracy in Arab states, meanwhile, stands at some 50 percent, nearly double that of the rest of the Third World.
UN launches Web site to promote tolerance and religious education
Yes... so STFU, DHIMMIS and be Islamarxically Reeducated! You'll love it, it's a way of life!
The United Nations Alliance for Civilizations has launched an online network that provides users with educational materials and resources on tolerance and civic education.

The Web site, called the Clearinghouse on Education about Religions and Beliefs (ERB), features news, guidelines, learning and teaching materials, links to organizations, and lists of events relevant to learning about diverse religions and beliefs. It also includes an online forum which allows educators and policy-makers to exchange views and resources, learn from each others' work and advance ideas about successful programs that teach about religions and beliefs. According to Dr. Thomas Uthup, the Alliance's Research Manager, 12 universities from countries such as Russia, South Africa, Denmark, Japan, and India contribute to the Web site.
OIC Member States launch cultural exhibition in Jeddah
Here behold cultural exhibition of the glorious martyrs! Here behold cultural exhibition of pig dog headless infidel apes! Now tolerate us, or else.

Islamists on the Rampage in Nigeria

Islamist violence sparked in Nigeria
BTW Nigeris'a oil output is greater than Iraq's.
Islamic militants in Nigeria, calling themselves "the Taliban," have launched a series of attacks against security forces in recent days, raising the specter of a jihadist-inspired sectarian war in Africa's most populous country and leading oil producer.

More than 100 people have been killed in gun battles that erupted Sunday and Monday in the northern Nigerian cities of Potiskum, Maidguri, Wudil and Bauchi. The militants, apparently followers of a preacher who opposes Western-style education, went on a rampage during which they torched churches, schools, police and customs facilities and other government buildings in four states. The violence inflamed sectarian tensions between Muslims and Christians that have flared periodically for years and killed more than 10,000 people since 2000.
OIC Secretary General calls for calm in Nigeria

PAKISTAN: Threat to Nationalize Karachi Electric Co
Sound familiar?
Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf on Saturday said if Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) fails to improve the power situation, the government can take over the companys management.
Pakistan says India's nuclear sub threatens regional peace

Arab Human Captital Challenge!
Sounds ominous to me!
The report titled Arab Human Capital Challenge, which gives the opinions of CEOs in the Arab World, clearly demonstrates that without concrete changes today, future regional growth and development could be severely hindered.
Iranian hard-liners warn Ahmadinejad he could be deposed
The Islamic Society of Engineers, a political group close to parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani, warned in an open letter to Ahmadinejad that he could suffer the same fate as Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, who was deposed in 1953 in a CIA-backed coup with the acquiescence of the clergy.
Iran issues no permit for opposition to mourn dead protesters

Iranian Gulag Blues

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Some prisoners say they watched fellow detainees being beaten to death by guards in overcrowded, stinking holding pens. Others say they had their fingernails ripped off or were forced to lick filthy toilet bowls.

The accounts of prison abuse in Iran’s postelection crackdown — relayed by relatives and on opposition Web sites — have set off growing outrage among Iranians, including some prominent conservatives. More bruised corpses have been returned to families in recent days, and some hospital officials have told human rights workers that they have seen evidence that well over 100 protesters have died since the vote.

On Tuesday, the government released 140 prisoners in one of several conciliatory gestures aimed at deflecting further criticism. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issued a letter urging the head of the judiciary to show “Islamic mercy” to the detainees, and on Monday Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, personally intervened and closed an especially notorious detention center.

But there are signs that widespread public anger persists, and that it is not confined to those who took to the streets crying fraud after Mr. Ahmadinejad’s landslide victory last month. Several conservatives have said the abuse suggests a troubling lack of accountability, and they have hinted at a link with Mr. Ahmadinejad’s recent willingness to defy even the venerated Ayatollah Khamenei.

“Why did things have to go so far as to require the personal intervention of the supreme leader?” said Ali Mottahari, a conservative Parliament member. “If we are satisfied just to close one detention center, these people will continue to do what they have done elsewhere and nothing will change.”
140 prisoners from Iran election crackdown freed
A token of their extreme... they can now claim to be humanitarians.

US September "deadline" for Iran not coincidental
Gates made the comment after a meeting with his Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak on Monday. Analysts say the deadline will tie in with the opening of the UN General Assembly in September.

"I don't think the timing of these comments is coincidental," said Uzi Rubin, the former head of Israel's defensive Arrow anti-missile program. In his opinion, events in Tel Aviv dovetail with those in Moscow earlier this month, when Obama was hosted by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

There is an attempt by politicians in some regions, including the United States, to present the Iranian threat merely as regional-- something that will not affect Europe or the U.S., said Rubin.
CNPC CHINA completes $385 mln refinery in Algeria

China keen to fund Malaysia-Thai oil pipeline

China says it seizes metals bound for NKorea
Chinese customs authorities have seized a stash of vanadium, a strategic metal used to strengthen steel, hidden in fruit boxes on a truck bound for North Korea, an official said Tuesday.

Vanadium has defense and nuclear applications — alloys with vanadium are used in missile casings — but it was not clear what the stash would be used for.The seizure comes as the United States has been rallying international support for strict enforcement of a new U.N. resolution adopted to punish North Korea for its nuclear test on May 25.

The sanctions seek to deprive the North of financing and material for its weapons program, and allows inspections of suspect cargo in ports and on the high seas.The metal was found during a routine check of vehicles at the China-North Korea border on Monday, said a duty officer at the customs department of Dandong city in northeastern Liaoning province.

The officer, who would only give his surname, Chang, said the stash was worth about 200,000 yuan ($29,300). He refused to provide further details, but the Dandong News Web site posted a photograph of border agents inspecting the seizure, contained in 68 bottles in cardboard boxes. The stash weighed 154 pounds (70 kilograms). The metal appeared to be in granular form.
TTCM China Granted Right to Work Rare Vanadium Mine with Reserves Estimated at $14-Billion; First Year Operations Could Yield $7-Million, Including $5-Million in Profits!

Vanadium is mined mostly in South Africa, north-western China, and eastern Russia. In 2007 these three countries mined more than 95 % of the 58,600 tonnes of produced vanadium.

Vanadium - Statistics and Information

VANADIUM - Mineral Information Institute

Medvedev to visit Tajikistan on July 30-31
During a visit to Tajikistan Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will meet with Pakistani counterpart Asif Zardari and will participate in a quadripartite meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Asif Zardari and Emomali Rakhmon.
Taming Tajikistan's Eastern Valleys
Nearly two weeks after a former rebel commander was killed in a firefight, officials say stability is returning to the eastern valleys of Tajikistan and any remaining armed militants are being hunted down.
Tajikistan arrests militant amid disturbances

Turkmenistan Holds Elections For Local Councils
Turnout for the elections was reportedly low as residents told RFE/RL they did not have any information about the canditates and there was no campaigning for the council posts.
Oh those vexing Juden!

The man who would be Israel’s first permanent ambassador to Turkmenistan, Reuven Dinel, is generating suspicion in Moscow and Tehran. Dinel was expelled from Russia in 1996 for allegedly engaging in espionage.

Russia media outlets have reported that Dinel is the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s preferred choice as envoy to Turkmenistan. Dinel previously worked as a diplomat at the Israeli Embassy in Moscow, where he was "responsible for coordinating the work of Israeli intelligence agents with the secret services of Russia and the countries of the [Commonwealth of Independent States]," the Turkmen opposition news website Gundogar reported on July 27.

According to Russian media outlets, Dinel’s alleged activities on behalf of Mossad were uncovered when an alleged agent working for Israel, a former Russian officer, identified as Major Dudnik, who had access to space imagery of the Middle East, was arrested in a Moscow metro station in December 1996. Dinel was declared a persona non grata and expelled from Russia shortly after the arrest.

Turkmenistan agreed to host an Israeli embassy in May of this year. The embassy will be Israel’s closest diplomatic outpost to Iranian territory. Ashgabat is just 32 kilometers from the Iranian border.

Medical Tourists Head to Croatia, Armenia or Turkmenistan
Central and Eastern European countries are quickly developing their medical tourism. The countries offer cheaper yet quality health care and they are easily accessible from Western Europe. The biggest attraction for medical tourists is almost always the cheaper price. Sometimes the cost of a surgery in Eastern Europe may be even 70 per cent cheaper than in the US or in the UK.
UK ready to support large-scale projects in Turkmenistan
The United Kingdom stands ready to provide substantial support for the implementation of large-scale projects of Turkmenistan, said Prince Andrew, Duke of York, UK Special Representative on international trade and investment at the meeting with President Gurbangulu Berdymuhammedov.
Turkmenistan interested in selling gas to UK

Uzbekistan - On the Uzbek-Japanese Foreign Ministerial Consultations

IMF urges Kazakhstan to act quickly to fix banks

Notorious Dictator Congratulates Astana Cycling Team on Tour de France victory

"We all expected this victory and you did not disappoint us. Brilliant achievement in sports of Astana team became possible thanks to professional, accurate and harmonious work of all members of the team. Special words of gratitude go to sportsmen Alberto Contador, Lance Armstrong and others", the telephone message sent to the Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the French Republic, Nurlan Danenov, that will be delivered to the members of Astana team, states.
Found in the MORMON TIMES: Building bridges in Kazakhstan

US dollar exchange rate goes up at black market in Uzbekistan due to university entrance exams
The university entrance test will be held on August 1 in Uzbekistan. In connection with this, foreign currency was in a big demand at the black market during the last two weeks. These transactions resulted in rise of US dollar exchange rate. Three weeks ago US dollar was sold at 1,790 sums, but now it is sold at 2,000 sums, while the official exchange rate is 1,488 sums per a dollar. The black market dealers relate these transactions with bribes for university entrance exams. Last year, the bribe for successful admission into local universities varied from 1 to 10 thousand US dollars depending upon prestige of higher educational institution.
UZBEKISTAN: "Joy" children's holiday camp attacked
Uzbekistan's Baptist Union is facing criminal charges for allegedly unlawfully teaching children religion, and for supposedly misusing their property as a summer camp, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. As a result, Baptist Union Chair Pavel Peichev faces huge fines, the confiscation of the property, imprisonment, or some combination of these penalties. Baptists have vehemently denied the allegations. The authorities have also instituted checks on the tax and other obligatory payments by the Baptist Union. The first sign of trouble for the Baptists were two articles published by a government-sponsored news agency. Independent human rights defender sources think that the agency is sponsored by the NSS secret police, and that the author may be an NSS officer. The authorities have refused to discuss the details of the case, although the main prosecutor claimed to Forum 18 that "we have nothing against the [Baptist] denomination.". Repeated attempts to contact the author of the articles and the news agency have been unsuccessful.
Uzbekistan to issue biometric passports from January 2010
From January 2010 Uzbekistan will start issuing new biometric passports and there is the hope that the word “fukoro” for “citizen” will be replaced with another word because from Arabic it means “poor” or “beggar”. “A passport with biometric data will be issued to ensure security in international civil aviation,” a government resolution says.
Kyrgyzstan ranks among dangerous countries for media work
The list was prepared by the International Organization Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), which monitored observance of rights of mass media representatives. Along with Kyrgyzstan, the list includes the Gaza Strip, Honduras, Colombia, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Venezuela, India, Indonesia, Kenya and Madagascar. According to the PEC, at least 59 journalists have died in the world during the first six months of 2009.
Russia Promotes its "Sphere of Privileged Interests" in Kyrgyzstan
Speculation has recently mounted that Bishkek will agree to a request from Moscow to open a new Russian military base in southern Kyrgyzstan. On July 21 the Kyrgyz ambassador to Kazakhstan, Dzhanysh Rustenbekov, said the decision might be taken at the informal Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) summit in Issyk-Kul on July 31-August 1. Rustenbekov sought to downplay the issue, referring to Russia as the country's "key partner"

President of Kyrgyzstan to address nation today
Bakiev will reportedly dwell on tasks, related to fundamental reforming of authority and the state administration bodies.
BP Azerbaijan and Statoil accused of Caspian Sea pollution
“They are polluting the Caspian and because of them Azerbaijan invest so much finances in works on sea cleaning from pollution. As a result, the country is even forced to borrow from the World Bank for these ends,” he emphasized. The credit agreement with the Bank for cleaning from oil pollution has not been signed. “The rest countries located on the coastline of the Caspian should not “suffer” from pollution following oil exploration and development works in Azerbaijan and Russia,” Gulaliyev said.
Iran's Alborz to drill in Caspian Sea

Iranian Drones to Fly over Caspian Sea

Under the guise of rescuing people!
"The Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the frontrunners in grounds of search and rescue in the Caspian Sea," he said.
Russia and Iran join hands
The United States may think of Russia as a strategic partner when it comes to Iran. In reality, the geostrategic tensions between Washington and Moscow are still powerful enough to warrant a common approach by Russia and its eastern neighbor Iran with respect to a deterrent strategy towards the intrusive Western superpower.

This week, a small but significant clue is on full display with joint Russia-Iran military exercises in the Caspian Sea involving some 30 vessels. This is partially disguised by a benign environmental cause.

The maneuver, dubbed "Regional Collaboration for a Secure and Clean Caspian", combines security and maritime objectives in the Caspian Sea, the world's largest lake and also a main energy hub that is now the scene of competing alternatives for energy transfer. It signals a new trend in Iran-Russia military cooperation that will most likely increase in the near and intermediate future in light of Iran's observer status at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
Venezuela, Russia Sign Energy, Military Agreements
Venezuelan and Russian officials signed accords covering energy, military and agricultural cooperation in Caracas, the capital of the South American oil- exporting nation.

The governments late yesterday agreed to form a venture between PDVSA-Servicios, the state oil company’s oilfield services subsidiary, and OAO Gazprom’s Latin American division to operate drilling rigs and gas compression equipment, said Eulogio del Pino, vice president of exploration and production at PDVSA. He was speaking on state television.

Russia, China Clash Over Billions in 'Gray Trade'
The abrupt shutting of a giant wholesale market in Moscow dominated by Chinese merchants has stirred trade tensions between Moscow and Beijing. The market's closure has highlighted the multibillion-dollar trade in "gray imports" between Russia and China. The trade in these goods -- which cross the border thanks to payments to middlemen who in turn bribe Russian customs officials -- has flourished since the early 1990s when the market first opened. Moscow, keen to be seen to be clamping down on smuggling as part of its long-running campaign to join the World Trade Organization, says it wants to eradicate gray imports and that closing the market will help stamp out such schemes.
Obama administration says Russia could join NATO
Is nice, silly little Obamanable Bushman, but you must to understand... Vlad does not need to join anything. Vlad simply takes control of what he wishes to control and commences to rule. It is Vlad's divine right to do so. So, if I were you, I would be careful what I wish for. Silly American! You will see.
~ Your Comrade in Glorious Proletarian Revolution, Vlad

Russia Warns US Against Sending Monitors to Georgia

Do not make me warn you again.

Supercomputers – a new priority for Russia
Behold People's Glorious Revolution of Scientific Socialism!
Russia's government has pledged to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on building supercomputers in Russia in a bid to revolutionize science and technology in the country.
Observers from Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan expelled from Moldova

Putin meets with Natalya Solzhenitsyn
Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, Mrs Solzhenitsyn. In a few days' time, it will be one year since the death of Alexander Solzhenitsyn. On his approaching anniversary, I would like to return to something we discussed with Alexander Solzhenitsyn some time ago. I would like to talk about publicising and studying his literary legacy...

Natalya Solzhenitsyn: Studying sounds better.
A Decade With Putin
And why is Putin so popular? Thirty-five percent said it is because people believe Putin is capable of coping with the problems the country faces. However, 31 percent said Putin is supported because “people don’t see anyone else they can count on,” a reflection of the Kremlin’s iron-fisted control of the central media. Nonetheless, 63 percent of respondents said the fact that “practically all power in the country” is concentrated in Putin’s hands is “good for the country.” Just 16 percent disagreed with that view.
New York Fed Appoints a Director

“As head of the partnership, I work closely with corporate leaders and government officials,” Ms. Wylde said in a statement released by the partnership, a group of executives seeking to promote the city’s economic growth. “I look forward to applying the insight gained from those experiences to my role with the Fed, especially during a period when the role and responsibilities of financial regulators are evolving.”

A retired chairman of the Goldman Sachs Group, Mr. Friedman, 71, resigned in May after his purchase of stock in Goldman Sachs raised concerns about conflicts of interest. Fed rules bar bank executives or stockholders from serving as Class C directors.

The New York Fed is one of 12 regional Fed banks which, along with the board of governors, make up the Federal Reserve system.

The New York Fed board still has two Class B vacancies.
Should Fed chairmen go around kissing babies?
Why is the possibility of re-appointing the chairman of the Fed, and indeed the re-appointment of the governor of any central bank, a bad thing? Clearly, it undermines the appearance and possibly the substance of independence of the chairman. The incentive to suck up to/please the power(s) that can reappoint you may be difficult to resist. It is not necessarily the case that the actions and policies most likely to secure the re-appointment of the chairman are the actions and policies that are best from the perspective of the central bank’s mandate - price stability or macroeconomic stability, and financial stability.
10 Congressmen Send Letter to The Fed re: Goldman's Gambling with Bailout Money

Goldman Sachs: Bank of Israel will soon stop buying dollars
Good for Israel. Apparently they do not wish to be partially owned by China.
Goldman Sachs believes that the next major policy change by Bank of Israel will be to stop its dollar purchasing program, which it expects to happen within a few months. Yesterday, the Bank of Israel left the August interest rate unchanged at 0.5%, and announced that it will halt its program of buying government bonds next week. Goldman Sachs says that it was surprised by the Bank of Israel's actions. It had expected the Bank of Israel to stop its dollar purchasing program first, before stopping its purchases of government bonds.
Goldman Sachs: Buy US Steel
Michael, we're bigger than US Steel....
~ Hyman Roth

Obama's Moral Capitalism, Resuscitating the American Dream
Behold the Crusto, whoring for dollars! AHAHAHAHA! Crusto! I can not make this shit up.
Loyola law professor and former Gates classmate available to speak about racial profiling!

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law professor Mitchell Crusto, has recently proposed to the U.S. Congress the Anti-Racial Profiling Act of 2009, also referred to as the “Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. Act,” as a result of Gates’ recent arrest in Cambridge, Mass. Crusto, a former Yale University classmate of Gates, is also a published scholar on the legal history of race and the U.S. Constitution.

Earlier this month, Gates, a professor at Harvard University, was arrested at his home by a Cambridge police officer who was responding to a report of a possible break-in. Though charges were later dropped, the high-profile incident created a national firestorm of racial debate that even prompted President Barack Obama to become involved.

“While racial profiling is a continuing significant matter, the Gates arrest challenges the scope of privacy in one’s home,” Crusto said. “Racial sensitivities are an enduring, yet unfortunate legacy of American enslavement of blacks.”

In addition to the proposed act, Crusto is composing a law review article on the subject that analyzes the slavery roots of police intrusion into black homes.

Crusto recently completed two other articles. “Enslaved Constitution: Obstructing the Freedom to Travel,” on the right to intra-state travel, was published in the University of Pittsburgh Law Review. The article analyzes an incident after Hurricane Katrina, in which Gretna police officers barricaded the Crescent City Connection bridge to prevent people fleeing flooding in New Orleans from entering the suburban city.

The other article, “Obama’s Moral Capitalism, Resuscitating the American Dream,” proposes a constitutional right to the freedom from predation, including predatory lending, and is soon to be published in the University of Miami Law Review.

Transcript of the 911 call in the Gates case
There is ZERO racist intent in anything this caller speaks to the operator. ZERO.

Obama & Chavez are Both Nationalizing Private Companies

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is taking over private companies in order to deal with the economic crisis that has affected both his country and the United States, and the Obama administration is trying to do roughly the same thing, Venezuelan political analyst Dr. Luis Vicente León told Monday.

“I don’t like to make comparisons (between the U.S. and Venezuela) because you can only compare concepts,” León, a noted political analyst and pollster in Venezuela said in Spanish. “But conceptually, one can say that in order to solve the crisis, President Obama has had to overtake private companies.”

He added: “Chavez is using the thesis that he is going to solve the crisis (by taking over) private companies.” Although both countries utilize different rhetoric, ultimately the “concept” behind the state meddling with the private sector in order to deal with the economy is the same in both countries, according to León.
Gillibrand wins Senate hearing on military policy on gays
New York's Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Monday she had won the commitment of the Senate Armed Services Committee to hold its first hearing this fall on the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military.

The announcement is unusual because Gillibrand does not sit on the panel and did not push the issue in the last Congress, when she served on the House Armed Services Committee. But the agreement by Senate Armed Services chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) capped a campaign Gillibrand has been waging in the last few weeks to scrap or suspend the controversial policy that has led the Pentagon to discharge thousands of gays and lesbians since 1994.

She had proposed an amendment to the defense authorization bill for an 18-month moratorium on the policy, but dropped it last week after she failed to round up the 60 votes necessary to avoid a filibuster. "This policy is wrong for our national security and wrong for the moral foundation upon which our country was founded," she said. Gillibrand's newfound zeal for the issue appears to some analysts to be politically calculated to appeal to liberal New Yorkers in near year's election.
Amazon Faces a Fight Over Its E-Books
A growing number of civil libertarians and customer advocates wants Amazon to fundamentally alter its method for selling Kindle books, lest it be forced to one day change or recall books, perhaps by a judge ruling in a defamation case — or by a government deciding a particular work is politically damaging or embarrassing.
KWTF The Edge Video: Northcom 5th Army trucks in TX

Policing with Intelligence: Fusion Centers: Giving Cops TMI?
"The lack of proper legal limits on the new fusion centers not only threatens to undermine fundamental American values, but also threatens to turn them into wasteful and misdirected bureaucracies that, like our federal security agencies before 9/11, won't succeed in their ultimate mission of stopping terrorism and other crime," the national ACLU notes in its report on the centers.
Military Operative Spied on Anarchists & Antiwar Activists for Two Years
Newly declassified documents reveal that an active member of Students for a Democratic Society and Port Militarization Resistance in Washington state was actually an informant for the US military. The man everyone knew as “John Jacob” was in fact John Towery, a member of the Force Protection Service at Fort Lewis.

The military’s role in the spying raises questions about possibly illegal activity. The Posse Comitatus law bars the use of the armed forces for law enforcement inside the United States. The Fort Lewis military base denied our request for an interview. But in a statement to Democracy Now, the base’s Public Affairs office publicly acknowledged for the first time that Towery is a military operative. “This could be one of the key revelations of this era,” said Eileen Clancy, who has closely tracked government spying on activist organizations. [includes rush transcript]
Napolitano to Unveil New Antiterror Plans
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is expected to outline Wednesday the Obama administration's domestic approach to preventing terrorist attacks -- a strategy that will rely in large measure on refining and expanding initiatives launched under President George W. Bush.
Spires named Homeland Security CIO, faces 'huge challenges'

The Homeland Security Department announced on Tuesday that it has named federal information technology veteran Richard Spires, former chief information officer and later deputy commissioner for operational support at the Internal Revenue Service, as chief information officer.

Spires will take over for Margaret Graves, who has served as acting CIO since Richard Mangogna stepped down in March. Many current and former federal IT managers recommended Spires for the job, citing his past federal technology experience. "He's a great selection, and I'm thrilled to see him return to public service," said Alan Balutis, a former CIO at the Commerce Department during the Clinton administration and now director of the business solutions group at Cisco's global consulting arm. "His guidance of the IRS modernization program will be a great resource to Homeland Security."

Spires was widely credited with turning around the IRS' multibillion-dollar modernization effort, which prior to his arrival suffered from cost overruns and delays. He left the agency in July 2008 and worked as a consultant.

CDT Wants US Gov't to Detail Computer Monitoring Program

U.S. President Barack Obama's administration needs to answer several questions about the privacy implications of a new version of a computer intrusion detection system that can reportedly read e-mail, a privacy and civil rights advocacy group said.

The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), in a report released Tuesday, called on the Obama administration to release information about the legal authority for the so-called Einstein intrusion detection system, a version of which has been rolled out at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The CDT report also asks the Obama administration to release information about the role of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) in the development and operation of Einstein 3, a new version of the software reportedly being developed.

The second version of Einstein is deployed at the DHS and is being rolled out to other U.S. agencies. While Einstein 2 is able to detect malicious code during predefined code signatures, Einstein 3 will also be able to read e-mail and other Internet traffic, according to recent press reports.

In a Switch, New York Police to Get Stimulus Money

Just hours after New York City officials announced that they had been left out of one program to funnel federal money to police departments around the country, it was revealed that the city would receive even more money than they had already been counting on, from a different source.

On Wednesday, Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, is scheduled to announce that the city will receive about $35 million in federal stimulus money that it can use to hire police officers.

The money would come through the department’s transit security grant program, which is distributing about $150 million in stimulus funds.
US Dept of Defense - Officials Testify on Capabilities to Defend Against WMD's
The Defense Department boasts the world’s strongest ability to respond to chemical, biological and other weapons of mass destruction, a top Pentagon official said today. Speaking to the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on terrorism, unconventional threats and capabilities, Paul Stockton, assistant secretary of defense for homeland security, discussed the U.S. capabilities in responding to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosives, or CBRNE.

“[The Defense Department’s] CBRNE response capabilities are the best funded, best equipped, and best trained in the world,” Stockton said in prepared testimony submitted to Congress. “During the past eight years, [the department] has developed a wide range of CBRNE response capabilities and has trained to employ these capabilities rapidly in support to civil authorities to help save lives.”

Among National Guard units, the department has developed civil support teams in each state and territory that are prepared to respond in the instance of an attack by a weapon of mass destruction, Stockton said. The department also is establishing three federal response units designed to assist civil authorities in the aftermath of a mass attack. Additionally, other federal forces are at the defense secretary’s disposal -- special units such as Army technical escort battalions, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s consequence advisory teams that can provide unique technical support.
Military Chem-Bio Defense Is Uncoordinated with States
The Department of Defense (DoD) presently lacks the means to assess whether its plans to respond to domestic incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosives (CBRNE) bridge holes in other federal, state and local capabilities--or to integrate its plans with other agencies, congressional investigators testified Tuesday.
Pregnant Massachusetts Woman Killed, Fetus Taken

Trial set for anti-abortion activist in Kansas doctor's death
A noseful of Stan:
He said he had noticed the man "had a horrible smell about him. ... It wasn't just somebody at the gym smell. It was something more, an ammonia-type smell." He identified Roeder as the man he had seen.
New research backs abortion-breast cancer link

Health Policy Is Carved Out at Table for 6
The battle over health care is all but paralyzed as everyone awaits the outcome of their talks.
Polish-born Brooklyn sculptor Karol washes up on nearby beach

A Polish-born sculptor acclaimed for his statue of Pope John Paul II outside a Brooklyn church was found dead on Monday, his body washed up on a city beach, police said. Mieczyslaw Partyka Karol, whose bronze works are on display in galleries in Poland and New York, was found near the shore of Gateway National Recreation Area in Brooklyn.

An avid fisherman, the 51-year-old Karol kept a boat at the nearby Gateway Marina. His wife said she last heard from him as he was repairing his vessel during Sunday night's thunderstorm.

USEC Assails Obama After $2B Loan Request Is Rejected
Bethesda-based USEC on Tuesday accused President Obama of reneging on a campaign pledge after the Energy Department turned down the company's request for $2 billion in loan guarantees for a new uranium enrichment project in Piketon, Ohio.

USEC, which operates the nation's only uranium enrichment facility, said it would "demobilize" the new project, which it said could not obtain private financing without the federal loan guarantee. The company has already spent $1.5 billion on what it calls the American Centrifuge Plant, but USEC says the final price tag could reach $3.5 billion, 1 1/2 times as much as it estimated two years ago.
DOE denies loan guarantee for Ohio uranium plant

Uranium One raises production in Kazakhstan.

Judaism 101: What is Tisha B'Av?

Must we lose the two Temples again?
There is a persistent narrative by the Islamists to deny any past Jewish presence on what they call Haram al-Sharif. Like the cult centers of Mecca and Medina, they call it the Noble Sanctuary rather than the Temple Mount. The propaganda is spreading throughout the Arab world, and would deny any legitimacy to our claim to have experienced the destruction of two Temples on the site.
Pope condemns Bible 'vandalism' exhibition
The Pope has condemned as "disgusting" a Scottish art exhibition which invites visitors to deface a copy of the Bible. The exhibit, Untitled 2009, is part of the Made In God's Image exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow and was thought up by local artist Anthony Schrag. The intention was for gays and transsexuals who felt left out of religion to "write their way back in" to the holy book.

But visitors offered pens by gallery staff had other ideas, and have scrawled a series of puerile and obscene remarks. One person wrote: “This is all sexist pish, so disregard it all,” while another wrote: "Mick Jagger and David Bowie belong in here," and another described the book as "the biggest lie in human history".
It is disgusting. But does not Herr Pope vandalize the Bible himself when he keeps his mouth shut about GOD's Word for reasons of political expedience ?

Atheism 101: Building an atheist community
I've just returned from a meeting of the Ventura County atheists where we heard a talk by and had a discussion with Richard Haynes, who runs Atheist Nexus, the new (it just celebrated it's first birthday) social networking site exclusively for non-theists. Richard, who sometimes writes under the sobriquet, "Brother Richard," was formerly an associate minister at a 12,000 member evangelical mega-church in Georgia. In 1993, he experienced a crisis of conscience over some of it's practices and, with his young wife and baby daughter, left the church. After a lot of vicissitudes and soul-searching, both he and his wife concluded that they no longer believed in God. Some of the habits of his time as an evangelist have persisted though and now he has dedicated himself to encouraging other atheists to "come out of the closet" and form themselves into a self-sustaining community. That, in fact, was the subject of his talk.
UK: Scientists complain to Ed Balls over lack of evolution teaching
Ed Balls! ROTF! I hope he has some.
Professor Richard Dawkins and 25 other leading British scientists have written to Ed Balls, the schools secretary, to protest that evolution has been omitted from plans for a new primary school curriculum.

Catching a Giant Wave
Currently, scientists detect tsunamis with sensitive instruments aboard buoys and satellites that record subtle changes in sea-surface altimeter--or elevation. But coverage is sporadic. Satellites might not be stationed over the parts of the ocean where a tsunami has formed, and buoys aren't positioned in many areas where tsunamis have struck. That's what happened on 26 December 2004, when the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Sumatra, generating a tsunami that spread across the Indian Ocean Basin. Hundreds of thousands of people perished in the resulting coastal flooding, and most of them never received a warning about the impending disaster.

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