And that is all.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Floatin' Powa News Service: The Crew Shucks Clams

State Department considers Jerusalem outside Israel
How many years ago did I tell you this?

US "security team" visits Syria
A U.S. security delegation will visit Syria on Wednesday in a sign of growing cooperation between the two countries since U.S. President Barack Obama started talking with the Damascus government, diplomats said. The delegation will mainly discuss Syrian moves to curb infiltration into neighboring Iraq and insurgent networks Washington says are operating from Syria, the diplomats in the Syrian capital said. Security cooperation on Iraq has been a main goal of the U.S. rapprochement with Syria, which has led to U.S. support for resuming peace talks between Syria and Israel and an announcement that Washington would send back an ambassador to Damascus after a four-year break. "The Americans have presented the Syrians with names of main facilitators of insurgents they want captured," one of the diplomats told Reuters. A U.S. State Department official confirmed the visit, the second since June, and said the delegation would be headed by a general from the U.S. Central Command.
Top Egyptian officials to visit Syria

NYT perfumes Fatah's belligerent political convention
However, the stink remains.

Rival Palestinian security forces get into shootout over parking space

Livni: Israel should not release Barghouti
I should say not! But they will.

US, Europe Have Changed Stance On Negotiations With Hamas

INDIA: The Division of Jerusalem has to be Faced Now
President Bill Clinton was profoundly wrong after the Camp David meeting broke up towards the end of his term in office to lead the US side in berating Arafat publicly for not compromising on Jerusalem. He seemed not to understand Yasser Arafat’s observation: “The Arab leader has not been born who will give up Jerusalem”.
Hezbollah suspected of setting up camp in Venezuela

Chavez urges military to be prepared for conflict
CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez told his military on Sunday to be prepared for a possible confrontation with Colombia, warning that Bogota's plans to increase the U.S. military presence at its bases poses a threat to Venezuela.

Chavez has issued near daily warnings that Washington could use bases in Colombia to destabilize the region since learning of negotiations to lease seven Colombian military bases to the United States."The threat against us is growing," Chavez said. "I call on the people and the armed forces, let's go, ready for combat!"

The socialist leader warned Colombia that "Venezuela's military will respond if there's an attack against Venezuela."Chavez said he would attend this week's summit of the Union of South American Nations in Quito, Ecuador, to urge his Latin American allies to pressure Colombian President Alvaro Uribe to reconsider a pending agreement to lease military bases to U.S. forces."We cannot ignore this threat," Chavez said during his weekly radio and television program, "Hello President."

Putin pledges modern oil technology for Venezuela

South America split over U.S. bases plan in Colombia
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his allies sought to censure Colombia on Monday over a plan to host U.S. troops that has stoked diplomatic tensions but divided leaders at a regional summit. Washington wants to relocate its hub for anti-narcotics operations in Latin America to Colombia after the president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, refused to extend the U.S. mission in his country.

Correa took office on Monday for a new term. The U.S. plan to use seven Colombian military bases has fueled tension between Colombia and Andean neighbors Venezuela and Ecuador and stirred concern from Chile and regional heavyweight Brazil. Chavez, a fierce critic of Washington, has portrayed the plan as a provocative aggression that could spark war in South America.

The socialist leader has called on governments to sanction Colombia. "Colombia ... wants to sink seven daggers into the heart of South America," Chavez said as he arrived in Quito for the regional summit, employing imagery used last week by his ally, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who criticized the U.S. bases plan. Chavez accused Colombia on Sunday of sending an army patrol over their Orinoco River border and ending a gasoline subsidy. Bogota denied the incident happened.
Israel struggles with African refugee dilemma
JERUSALEM — Five years after a mounted militia stormed his village, torching houses and killing his relatives, Ibrahim Saad el-Din, a refugee from Sudan's Darfur region, gazed at remnants of another slaughter: hundreds of shoes worn by Jews killed in Poland's Majdanek death camp during the Holocaust.Saad el-Din was among a dozen African refugees brought by an Israeli advocacy group to Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial last week, hoping to spur public sympathy for their plight by invoking the Jewish people's own history fleeing death and persecution.Over 16,000 asylum seekers have poured into Israel in recent years, most from Africa, posing a unique dilemma for the Jewish state.
The Jihad wants Pakistan's Nukes? Impossible! Religion of Peace!
According to Gregory, Pakistani civilian nuclear weapons sites --those sites where Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are manufactured, assembled or taken for refurbishment --are typically less protected than military sites where nuclear weapons are stored, deployed and operated, a problem the Pakistan Army has now moved to address. The attacks at the Wah cantonment, he says, highlight the vulnerability of nuclear weapons infrastructure sites to at least three forms of terrorist assault: a) an attack to cause a fire at a nuclear weapons facility, which would create a radiological hazard; b) an attack to cause an explosion at a nuclear weapons facility involving a nuclear weapon or components, which would create a radiological hazard; or c) an attack with the objective of seizing control of nuclear weapons components or possibly a nuclear weapon.
Have Pakistani Nuclear Facilities Already Been Attacked?
In a little-noticed article published last month in a West Point counterterrorism journal, a British academic pointed out that while the world waits for the kind of global public announcement of doomsday that would come from a Bond villain, Islamist militants in Pakistan have quietly launched at least three attacks in the past two years on military bases that may contain nuclear weapons.
Thais reject US request to extradite arms dealer
A Thai court on Tuesday rejected a U.S. request to extradite a Russian arms dealer who allegedly sold weapons to dictators and warlords around the world, raising the prospect that a man dubbed the "Merchant of Death" could be freed by the weekend.

The unexpected ruling in favor of Viktor Bout was welcomed by Russia. The United States, which had mounted the sting operation that led to Bout's arrest at an upscale Bangkok hotel last year, said it was "mystified" at the court's decision.

Bangkok Criminal Court Judge Chittakorn Pattanasiri said Thai prosecutors have 72 hours to indicate whether they will appeal the ruling, and, if not, Bout will be set free. If an appeal is filed, Bout will be held pending further proceedings.Bout's extradition hearing was marred by allegations from both the Americans and Russians, some in public, mostly in private, accusing each other political interference and of bribing Thai officials — a common practice in a country where the judiciary is notoriously corrupt.

Increased irrigation is rapidly depleting India’s groundwater

Turkey offers water for Iraqi crackdown on Kurdish rebels

Iraq blasts Turkey for holding back on water

Iraq-bound seized N Korean ship taken to Andhra Pradesh

OIC Chief Urges Youths To Uphold Global Peace And Stability

Remember...Glow Ball Peace through Dead Jews, Children!

Taliban kill Afghan district police chief

UAE Nuclear Regulator Awaits Final Law To Trigger $41B Project

Big Potential for Sharia Banking
Jakarta: Indonesia's Islamic market is set to overtake Malaysia's thanks to the growth in Sharia-compliant lending, one of Indonesia's top Muslim clerics said last week. Indonesia currently lags neighbouring Malaysia in terms of the market for Sharia-compliant financial products in the region, but that should change given stronger government support and demand in the domestic market, he said. Ma'ruf Ameen, head of the Indonesian Ulema Council's (MUI) commission in charge of issuing edicts, including on Islamic markets, also said he expected more conventional banks to be turned into Islamic lenders in the near term.
Critical Global Islamic Banking Event to be Hosted in Dubai This October
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, August 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Under the Endorsement of Dubai Chamber, the World Islamic Retail Banking Conference will be held in Dubai and comes at a time when the world economy is perceived to be gradually exiting the financial crisis. There is also a marked shift occurring on the global business landscape, with Shariah compliant banking services increasingly becoming part of the banking mainstream. Most of the region's banking CEOs are headlining the Conference, while others are joining their international counterparts as attendees, which is scheduled for October 12-14, where they will discuss the opportunities for global expansion available to Islamic banks, particularly in the retail banking sector.

"Islamic Banking is currently growing rapidly; however to make this growth sustainable and to take Islamic Banking to the next level all the stakeholders must put their intellect together and collectively strive to achieve the next level in Islamic Banking. (This) is an excellent platform for (the) coming together of the Islamic banking intellectuals and other stakeholders for supporting our common interest and cause," says Pervez Said, State Bank of Pakistan, Director Islamic Banking. "Islamic finance is an industry that HSBC has identified as a core area for growth and focus, and as the world's pre-eminent international Islamic bank, HSBC Amanah is pleased to be participating in this global Islamic banking forum," mentions David Dew, HSBC Amanah Deputy CEO. Omar Shaikh, Islamic Finance Council UK Executive Board Member, says, "(I) welcome this conference and it is encouraging to see a conference focused on retail issues, an important and fundamental building block for the future of Islamic Finance." Apart from the core issues being discussed, which include global trends in Islamic banking, capitalizing on opportunities due to the meltdown, Islamic mortgages and retail asset management, the most talked about session of the event along with the Panel will be the 'International Open Fatwa Session in Islamic Retail Banking' which will feature the leading Shariah Scholars from around the world on one stage debating on interpretations for major products.
In Nigeria, Sharia Fails to Deliver Vows of Accountability, Equity Under "Moderate Islamic Law"
Look how desperate this craven MFer is to defend it....
The draconian amputation sentences warned of by human rights activists and the religious oppression feared by Christians have mostly not come to pass.
....have MOSTLY not come to pass? WTF planet is this guy living on?

Search: Nigeria Sharia Amputations

Search: Nigeria Christian Persecution

Search: Nigeria Christian Beheaded
But mostly, it has not come to pass, you see.

Muslim comic book heroes get together with Obama
Excuse please, English not first language:
The heroes of the comics named “The 99” created to serve the correction ‘Muslim’ image after 9/11 will embark on adventures together with American superheroes and watching Obama’s speech together they will give “alliance of civilizations” message.

France says embassy employee freed by Iranians

4 top intelligence officials ousted in Iran; rifts deepen

Iran admits 4000 June detentions

Mousavi Ally Says 69 Died In Iran Vote Unrest

Iran calls for ban on striking nuke facilities
VIENNA, Austria — Iran, whose nuclear facilities are under threat of possible Israeli military strikes, proposed Wednesday that a 150-nation conference convening in the fall ban such attacks.Iran says the proposal, revealed to The Associated Press by diplomats and confirmed by a senior Iranian envoy, is not linked to veiled threats by Israel of an attack as a last resort if the international community fails to persuade Tehran to freeze its nuclear activities.

Instead, all of the diplomats said the Iranian initiative seeks support for a generally worded document prohibiting all armed attacks against nuclear installations anywhere, when 150 nations convene for the September general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency."We are not worried about Israel," said Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's chief envoy to the IAEA. "Nobody dares to do anything against Iran."He said an Iranian resolution will seek a worldwide ban on such attacks as "a matter of principle.""I think this is an urgent concern for all of the international community," he said. "All member states will support the idea."He said his country submitted a proposal that a resolution specifying such a ban be put forward for a vote at the meeting, which begins Sept. 14.


CHINA: People's Army not standing still
Today's People's Liberation Army (PLA) is an institution of great consequence to the United States and our allies. As China emerges as a regional and global power, the PLA will be an important force that shapes events in virtually any imaginable future -- but of particular concern should be the role the PLA would play if the United States faces a China that continues trending hostile to our global interests.

China has already reached a position of influence in our world that demands a more sophisticated understanding of both the challenges and opportunities being presented by an evolving defense institution. Unfortunately, current discussions of China's military development often miss the mark. The PLA today is not "10 feet tall," but nor is it the gang that can't shoot straight. It is a military with niche areas of excellence (e.g., ballistic and cruise missiles), as well as glaring Achilles heels (continuing difficulties with modern command, control and communications). But most notable about today's PLA is the aggressive pursuit of modernization. The modernization efforts are paying off and offer us observable trend lines that are worth our time and attention to better understand.

China's Yukos

China opens trial of earthquake critic
BEIJING — The subversion trial of a Chinese activist who had investigated the deaths of thousands of schoolchildren in a massive earthquake opened in southwestern China, as police detained and threatened the man's supporters.

The start of Tan Zuoren's trial Wednesday came amid growing reports of detentions and trials of dissidents and activist lawyers in an apparent crackdown to stifle dissent ahead of the sensitive 60th anniversary of the Communist state's founding on Oct. 1.Tan's trial comes one week after hearings opened in the trial of Huang Qi, a prominent dissident who had criticized the government's response to last year's earthquake in Sichuan province and is accused of revealing state secrets. Separately, Xu Zhiyong, a legal activist who has tackled some of China's most politically sensitive cases, was detained last week.

Tan's subversion charges are believed linked to his quake investigation as well as essays he wrote about the 1989 student-led demonstrations in Tiananmen Square that ended in a deadly military crackdown.Beijing routinely uses such broad and vaguely defined accusations to imprison dissidents, sometimes for years.

Chinese police detain supporters of quake critic

Disputed chemical plant moved to island
A controversial chemical plant to be built by a joint venture between Kuwait Petrolium and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) will be located on Donghai Island, in the suburbs of Zhanjiang city in Guangdong province, the Beijing Times reported Tuesday. The plant was originally going to be built in Nansha, near Guangzhou, but construction never began because of intense local opposition and environmental concerns. It was not clear whether any of the environmental issues that originally delayed construction have since been addressed.
Russia Is Breaking Cease-Fire Accord, Georgia Says
According to Vlad is the only accord Russia needs, tovarich Georgia.

Putin to Visit Abkhazia

Vladimir Putin promises to make breakaway Abkhazia ‘a fortress’
Say. My. Name.

Russian oil trade king buys more gas assets
Last year, the mysterious tycoon wrote an open letter headlined 'Gunvor, Putin and me', saying media speculation about his close ties with the former Russian president and current prime minister, Vladimir Putin, were 'overblown'.
Russian republic's minister shot to death
I told you to say it.
The construction minister in Russia's violence-plagued Ingushetia was shot to death in his office Wednesday, the latest in a series of high-profile attacks on top officials in the restive republic. Ruslan Amerkhanov was shot by two men who entered his office in the republic's capital Magas, one armed with an assault rifle and the other with a pistol, said Ingush Interior Ministry spokeswoman Madina Khadziyeva. The minister's assistant was wounded in the shooting, she said.The assailants fled in a waiting car.
Medvedev Assails Ukraine Leader, Withholds Ambassador
Winter comes again and sooner than you think, tovarich.

Russia Is Still Getting Away With Murder

NATO, Russia To Intensify Military Cooperation In Afghanistan

Patriotic Hackers
While Russian State Security Authorities May Not Be Directly Involved in Staging Cyber Attacks Against the Country's Adversaries, the Offenders Have Their Tacit Consent:

There may have been no re-run of the shooting during this week’s anniversary of the Russian-Georgian war, but there was a small repetition of the online struggle. Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, apparently aimed at silencing a single Georgian blogger, briefly crippled Facebook, Twitter and LiveJournal. But while it is next to impossible to know who was behind the attack, it fits into a familiar pattern. “Patriotic hackers” have been targeting Russia’s enemies online for several years.
OPEC Raises Forecast on Russia Growth


Uzbekistan bans unlicensed religious activity
Do you have a license for that monkey god?
One of the most widespread human rights violations committed by Uzbekistan - highlighted by the recent UN Universal Periodic Review - is its ban on and punishments for religious activity without state permission. Forum 18 News Service has found that this is a serious problem for Muslims, Protestant and Catholic Christians, Jehovah's Witnesses and people of other faiths, and that even those who want state registration face systematic obstruction.
Uzbekistan: Tajik journalist Shukhrat Shodiev is arrested

Prison Visits Restricted In Tajikistan

Perm soldiers file complains on blackmailing in Tajikistan
Prikamya Council of parents of military officers arrives to Dushanbe next week in connection with numerous complaints of Perm soldiers on non-manual relations. 5 complaints on the facts of beating, money and personal things blackmailing regarding Perm soldiers were received in first half of 2009 from military units in Kulyab, Kurgan-Tyube, and Dushanbe (201 base).
The president of Tajikistan is preparing the successor

Members of Jamaat Tablig movement convicted in Tajikistan
"The convicts are activists of the organization Jamaat Tablig. They received training in religious centers and schools in Indonesia, Pakistan, and the UAE," the court reported. Tajik citizens Khidoyatullo Alimov, Zielukhak Khakdodov and Saidakram Khakdodov have been sentenced to three years in a penal colony. Russian citizens Nasriddin Murodov and Mahmud Makhmadzhodzhayev have been sentenced to six years in a penal colony.
UN: Tajikistan needs $8 million to recover from floods and mudflows

The Case of Ramazan Yesergepov, Kazakhstan's Media and the OSCE
“I am monitoring the case of Ramazan Yesergepov, the editor of the weekly Alma-Ata Info, who was detained on 6 January for disclosing internal documents of Kazakhstan's National Security Committee in articles critical of this agency. Unfortunately, Yesergepov is still under arrest, and all proceedings so far have been closed to the public," Miklos Haraszti, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media, claimed in his July 2nd, 2009 “Regular Report to the Permanent Council.”
Imprisonment of journalist violates Kazakhstan's commitments
"Criminalizing civilians or journalists for breach of secrecy deprives the public of important information and leaves investigative journalism without one of its most important tools; the liberty to go beyond official stonewalling. Revealing possible wrongdoings of the authorities is the main duty of the journalists acting in the public interest," said Haraszti in a letter to Kazakh Foreign Minister Marat Tazhin.
Kazakhstan is gearing up to host military exercises for the Collective Security Treaty Organization’s rapid response force in the fall.Dubbed "Interaction 2009," Kazakhstan’s Defense Minister, Adilbek Dzhaksybekov, said the war games will be a showcase event. "It’s planned that the heads of the states from CSTO member states will observe [them]," Kazakhstan Today quoted Dzhaksybekov as saying on August 11.

Astana to host Kazakhstan Energy Week

Japan, Kazakhstan share fate as nuclear victims

A three-part exhibit titled "Against Nuclear Arms" opened Monday at the United Nations as testament to the victims of the atomic bombings in Japan and 40 years of nuclear tests carried out in Kazakhstan. The exhibit is being presented by the Japan and Kazakhstan missions as part of ongoing efforts for nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. It will be on display until Sept. 30.
Kyrgyzstan arrests Uighur leaders following protest

Goldman Sachs Loses Bid to Quash Subpoena
On Monday the Litigation Daily dropped in on the press room at the Manhattan federal district courthouse en route to Judge Jed Rackoff's takedown of Bank of America and the Securities and Exchange Commission. As we met up with our always-obliging New York Law Journal colleague Mark Hamblett, we overheard a group of reporters buzzing about the latest development in the criminal case against Sergey Aleynikov, the former Goldman Sachs computer programmer accused of stealing the bank's automated trading technology.

Turns out that Aleynikov's lawyer, Sabrina Shroff, had persuaded Manhattan federal district court judge Paul Crotty to deny Goldman's motion to quash her subpoena seeking access to Aleynikov's personnel file. Crotty ruled in open court that Goldman must hand over the records to Shroff, despite arguments by Goldman's lawyers from Boies, Schiller & Flexner that some of the file contains proprietary information, such as peer reviews of Aleynikov. Here's Dealbook's story about the ruling, and here's The Wall Street Journal's.

Aleynikov has been charged in a criminal complaint with downloading Goldman code for high-volume trading programs onto his home computer. He worked for Goldman until June, when he moved to Chicago's Teza Technologies, a firm whose legal woes the Litigation Daily chronicled back in July. Dealbook and the Journal report that documents show Aleynikov's lawyer and prosecutors are working on a possible deal with prosecutors.
Goldman must yield info in trade secret case

Seattle Genetics offering $118.2 million in stock
JP Morgan Securities Inc. and Goldman, Sachs & Co. are acting as joint book-running managers of the offering.

Pelosi, Frank urge for control of CEO pay at TARP banks

The Rocky History Of Fed Independence

In The Fed We Trust

Manipulate Natural Gas Futures? Unheard of! Absurd!
Amaranth Advisors, a hedge fund that collapsed in 2006, agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle accusations from regulators that it tried to manipulate natural gas futures.

The Final Days of Merrill Lynch

This headline cracked me up:
U.S. Economy: Sales Unexpectedly Fall on Job Losses
Unexpectedly! Who writes this shit?

One FDA Director Resigns, Another Reportedly Under Investigation
Big changes this week over at the Food and Drug Administration, where one high-ranking official has resigned amid concerns about approvals he authorized for questionable medical devices while another top official reportedly is under investigation for possible conflicts of interest. All the internal turmoil may make for interesting water-cooler gossip around the hallways at FDA headquarters, but it’s clearly not news good for an agency that has been blasted with criticism in recent years for bumbling product recalls and new-drug approvals blamed for causing thousands of consumer deaths, illnesses, and injuries.
Rahm Emanuel's Brother New Focus in Health Debate
"The White House forcefully defends Dr. Emanuel, saying he is an academic who explores tough questions surrounding life and death."
WTF is that supposed to mean? IT'S OK, Martha! HE'S AN ACADEMIC!
Critics of Obama's health-care push are focusing on Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. WSJ's Naftali Bendavid explains why the longtime scholar of medical ethics and health reform is drawing criticism over who should receive care.Dr. Emanuel, a prominent oncologist and medical ethicist who has taught at Harvard Medical School and served at the National Institutes of Health, has written dozens of scholarly articles over the years. Critics are using his writings to suggest Dr. Emanuel favors withholding care from the elderly and disabled. One of their most-cited examples is a 1996 article Dr. Emanuel wrote in the bioethics journal Hastings Center Report. Exploring which medical services should be guaranteed to all Americans, Dr. Emanuel cited an approach that would favor active people, adding, "An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia."

In a radio interview last month, Betsy McCaughey, a scholar at the conservative Hudson Institute, cited the article in asserting that Dr. Emanuel believes patients with incurable diseases shouldn't be guaranteed health care. She and other critics have suggested a tie between Dr. Emanuel's views and a provision in a House health bill that would pay doctors to counsel Medicare patients on end-of-life issues such as living wills. Ms. McCaughey said the bill provided "counseling on how to cut your life short." View Full Image Associated Press Ezekiel Emanuel, shown speaking to the AMA in Washington in March, is an oncologist and medical ethicist advising the White House. The White House forcefully defends Dr. Emanuel, saying he is an academic who explores tough questions surrounding life and death.

Caution: Obama’s weird scientists at work
By Michelle Malkin
Nature reports that all the president’s science experts met last week “mull priorities.” Heading the meeting? Eugenics-embracer and science czar John Holdren.

Pentagon Eyes New Rapid Homeland Defense Response Units

Pentagon officials have established a new rapid-response joint task force and plan to create two more in coming years to bolster assistance to civil authorities following potential chemical, biological or nuclear attacks or natural disasters, a senior U.S. official said here yesterday. The new units will team with other federal agencies in support of local responders following chemical, biological or nuclear terror attacks on the homeland or during natural disasters, Paul McHale, assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and Americas' security affairs, told American Forces Press Service and Pentagon Channel reporters.

The establishment of the new units "builds upon a decade of improving [Defense Department] capabilities to deal with a domestic terrorist attack involving a weapon of mass destruction," McHale said. The first new 4,700-member task force was assigned to a component of U.S. Northern Command on Oct. 1, McHale said. The new unit, he said, is built around a core of active-duty soldiers from the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team based at Fort Stewart, Ga. This task force, he said, falls under the control of Northcom's Joint Force Land Component Command, U.S. Army North, in San Antonio.

Report: Torture Program Architects Made Millions
Two military retirees and psychologists with "no relevant scholarship" made millions of dollars as the driving force behind the CIA's controversial interrogation program ultimately terminated under the Obama administration, according to a New York Times report Wednesday.
Your Palm Pre May be Spying on You
I didn't even know what a "palm pre" was, so at least it ain't spying on my archaic ass!
Please note, as I have shown you with ATT and other companies, PALM can and will issue the "unusual and exigent circumstances" warrant as well. How this is legal I have no idea. However this one seems to go beyond just issuing warrants that should come from a judge into some kind of data mining operation.
Is your Palm Pre spying on you and sending your GPS coordinates and more back to the Palm mothership on a daily basis? According to mobile application developer Joey Hess, that's exactly what is happening. He asserts on his personal blog that data on the location and app used on the Palm's Pre smartphone is being sent to Palm.

The report of Palm snooping on its customers is growing in volume within the blogosphere with many taking the allegations seriously. To be clear the allegation can not be confirmed.

Palm responded to our request for comment with this statement:

"Palm takes privacy very seriously, and offers users ways to turn data collecting services on and off. Our privacy policy is like many policies in the industry and includes very detailed language about potential scenarios in which we might use a customer's information, all toward a goal of offering a great user experience. For instance, when location based services are used, we collect their information to give them relevant local results in Google Maps. We appreciate the trust that users give us with their information, and have no intention to violate that trust."

Hess says he took a close look at the code in his Pre's WebOS and found that the phone was periodically sending information to Palm. Some of this data is fairly benign, such as information on WebOS crashes. Things get a little freakier, however, if you believe Hess when he asserts Palm is gathering users' GPS information, along with data on every app used, and for how long you used it. This information gets uploaded to Palm on a daily basis, Hess claims.

Without the capability to hack into WebOS, there doesn't seem to be a way to disable this alleged communication, Hess says. According to Palm's terms and conditions for the WebOS there is nothing that mentions this exact type of data collection and reporting. However, a section of Palm's terms does say it has the right to "collect, store, access, disclose, transmit, process, and otherwise use your Registration Data, account or Device information," and may also do the same with your location data to provide location services.

The terms also note that Palm can disclose "any information" to law enforcement authorities, so keep that in mind if you're on the run from the law. Compared to the iPhone, which allows users to block location tracking by switching off the phone's "Location Services," Palm seems to be prying from the moment you turn on the phone's map service.


The Palm Pre is made by PALM USA who appear to be one world glow ballists deluxe:
Our mission is simple: "The Palm Foundation reflects the commitment of Palm, Inc. to be an exemplary corporate citizen of the global community and to serve as a catalyst for change through charitable contributions and employee volunteerism in the areas that reflect the values of our employees and the culture of our company."
Exemplary corporate citizen of the global community!

CACI Wins $450 Million National Guard Contract
ACI International Inc (NYSE: CACI) said it has been awarded a prime, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity task order contract with a ceiling value of $450 million to provide recruiting and retention services for the National Guard.

The CACI team’s work for the contract will include a range of recruiting and retention services, development of training modules and support materials, research and analysis, specialized recruiting to meet specific requirements, end-item development and management and the design and management of web portals and databases.

CACI is one of three companies awarded the five-year contract by the National Guard Bureau to support a range of programs to help ensure the National Guard’s ability to maintain its end strength. The National Guard is a joint reserve component of the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force.

National Guard units can be mobilized for active duty, during times of war or of national emergency. Nearly 30 percent of total U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan consist of mobilized personnel of the National Guard and other Reserve components. The Guard is administered by the National Guard Bureau, which is a joint activity under the Department of Defense. Arlington, Virginia-based CACI International provides professional services and IT solutions in the defense, intelligence, homeland security, and federal civilian government arenas.
Joint Multinational Readiness Center Transformation
a PDF from the Army

LVCVA oks $480,285 for Metro intelligence analyst
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will pay for a tourism intelligence analyst for Metro police within the Southern Nevada Counterterrorism Fusion Center. The board today voted to spend up to $480,285 in a three-year commitment for the position, which would be overseen by Metro.

Raytheon announces world's largest infrared detector

Suspicious powder sickens three at Raytheon
PORTSMOUTH — Exposure to a suspicious chemical sent three Raytheon workers to the hospital on Monday night. A firefighter suffering from a medical condition was also taken to the hospital.The fire department was called to Raytheon on West Main Road at 7:45 p.m. for a suspicious powdery substance found in several spots in a foyer attached to a Raytheon building.Eight people had been potentially exposed to the substance, Portsmouth Fire Chief Jeffrey Lynch said on Tuesday. Those included five Raytheon employees, one Portsmouth firefighter and two Portsmouth officers.

Raytheon cleared for work after substance ID'd
Why do I not believe her? This is the third such incident at a Raytheon facility this month.
PORTSMOUTH, R.I. -- It's business as usual Tuesday morning at the Raytheon facility here after crews responded Monday night to the report of an apparent hazardous material spill. Turns out, the material was just a cleaning substance that was not hazardous, Raytheon communications manager Carolyn Beaudry said Tuesday morning.
9 exposed in RI hazmat incident

Napolitano said US, Mexico see border violence as shared problem

"Expel 'God' from Churches" Author Tells Church Leaders
Attention Atheists: You want churches? Build your own fucking churches - why must you CONVERT everyone? And you people think the Evangelicals are rabid? Besides, if you knew your ass from your elbow you would know most churches have already expelled GOD anyway. You can always go to Tiller's Church. Or Frank Lombard's church. Or GWB's church.
Geoffrey Berg, the originator of some new logical disproofs of the existence of God urges church leaders to expel the concept of God from their churches so as to modernise themselves and their priesthood to adapt to a world where the concept of God is no longer logically sustainable nor relevant to most people.
And the priests would then be the priests of WHO, Berg? You? SCIENCE? What?


Hey Berg... here's a perfect church for you
Churches for Middle East Peace express 'grave concern' over Jews breathing in East Jerusalem ... Apparently they do not care if GOD curses them. Either that or THEY DO NOT BELIEVE THE BIBLE in which case Mr. Berg has his wish, doesn't he....
Episcopal News Service: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) sent a letter August 7 to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that expressed concern over the Israeli government's eviction of Palestinians from East Jerusalem and called for the their immediate return. "This population substitution is clearly designed to continue efforts to expand Israeli presence and control over Palestinian areas of East Jerusalem. This action took place in the sensitive Sheikh Jarrah section of East Jerusalem close to the 1949 Armistice Line or Green Line. A home eviction order at this time and in this place is not a mere matter of local law enforcement, but raises significant international political issues," the coalition wrote. "It contradicts terms of the Road Map brokered by the United States and agreed to by both Israeli and Palestinian representatives to refrain from activities that could undermine progress towards a peace agreement. It also undercuts U.S. efforts to create an environment for starting talks for a comprehensive peace agreement and is therefore harmful to both the Palestinians and Israelis hopes for peace."

Must science declare a holy war on religion?
Apparently they seem to think so. TOLERANT! LIBERAL! RATIONAL! Not really, obviously. Anyway, you people go ahead and do WTF you will, GOD still IS, and always will be, and no one will ever take His word out of my mouth.
Dawkins will, however, be championed by many scientists, especially the most secular -- those who were galvanized by "The God Delusion" and inspired by it to take a newly confrontational approach toward America's religious majority. They will help ensure Dawkins another literary success. It's certainly valuable to have the case for evolution articulated prominently and often, but what this unending polarization around evolution and religion does for the standing of science in the U.S. is a very different matter.

It often appears as though Dawkins and his followers -- often dubbed the New Atheists, though some object to the term -- want to change the country's science community in a lasting way. They'd have scientists and defenders of reason be far more confrontational and blunt: No more coddling the faithful, no tolerating nonscientific beliefs. Scientific institutions, in their view, ought to stop putting out politic PR about science and religion being compatible.
Obama silent about provisions for abortion...

Faith Groups to Help Obama on Health Care
Having let his push for comprehensive health care refom become bogged down by confusion over the details of his plan, President Obama this month is turning to the religious community to rally support for the fundamental idea of expanding health care accessibility.

As part of a major new initiative from the faith community, Mr. Obama on Aug. 19 will participate in a call-in and audio Webcast with at least 25 faith leaders -- from evangelical Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other religious traditions -- to aggressively encourage their congregations to support health care reform.

"Every so often there is an issue that is so clear and compelling, or so alarming and disconcerting, that it really does galvanize the faith community," said Reverend Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, one of the groups sponsoring the new initiative. "Inclusive, accessible, affordable health care for all of God's children is for us a moral issue."
Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp. Reports Operating Results (10-Q)
On March 17, 2009, the Department of Defense (“DoD”) issued a Final Rule (the “Rule”) implementing Section 703 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008. The Rule establishes a program under which DoD seeks Federal Ceiling Price-based refunds, or rebates, from drug manufacturers on TRICARE retail pharmacy utilization. Under the Rule, effective May 26, 2009, DoD is seeking rebates on TRICARE Retail Pharmacy Program prescriptions filled from January 28, 2008, forward.

The Rule sets forth a program in which DoD asks manufacturers to enter into agreements with the agency under which the manufacturers commit to pay such rebates; products that are not listed on such an agreement will not be able to be included on the DoD Uniform Formulary. Additionally, products not listed on TRICARE retail agreements will not be available through TRICARE retail network pharmacies without prior authorization. Among other things, the Rule further provides that manufacturers may apply for compromise or waivers of amounts due.

As a result of the Final Rule, our rebate liability as of March 31, 2009, for 2008 utilization is approximately $1.6 million, and the estimated rebate liability for the first quarter of 2009 is approximately $0.8 million. It is possible that, pursuant to the compromise or waiver process set forth in the Rule, DoD will agree to accept a lesser sum for the 2008 and first quarter of 2009 periods. We applied timely for a waiver of liability from January 28, 2008 through the date of our TRICARE rebate agreement, which was executed on June 29, 2009. As of March 31, 2009, we accrued $2.4 million for the 2008 and first quarter of 2009 liability, which was recognized as a reduction of net revenues during the three months ended March 31, 2009.

Internal Memo Confirms Big Giveaways In White House Deal With Big Pharma

A memo obtained by the Huffington Post confirms that the White House and the pharmaceutical lobby secretly agreed to precisely the sort of wide-ranging deal that both parties have been denying over the past week.

The memo, which according to a knowledgeable health care lobbyist was prepared by a person directly involved in the negotiations, lists exactly what the White House gave up, and what it got in return.

It says the White House agreed to oppose any congressional efforts to use the government's leverage to bargain for lower drug prices or import drugs from Canada -- and also agreed not to pursue Medicare rebates or shift some drugs from Medicare Part B to Medicare Part D, which would cost Big Pharma billions in reduced reimbursements.

In exchange, the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA) agreed to cut $80 billion in projected costs to taxpayers and senior citizens over ten years. Or, as the memo says: "Commitment of up to $80 billion, but not more than $80 billion."

Representatives from both the White House and PhRMA, shown the outline, adamantly denied that it reflected reality. PhRMA senior vice president Ken Johnson said that the outline "is simply not accurate." "This memo isn't accurate and does not reflect the agreement with the drug companies," said White House spokesman Reid Cherlin.

Stories in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times last week indicated that the administration was confirming that such a deal had been made.

Impact Of Current Global Conditions On Pharma/Biotech
The 'pharmerging markets' -- Brazil, Russia, India, China, Turkey -- are currently transforming as biotech hubs because of high private and public funding

Doctor is Prime Suspect in Bombing
Little Rock - A federal agent says a Pope County doctor facing weapons charges is the prime suspect in a car bombing that injured the head of the state Medical Board.
Wife of Accused Doctor Faces Hearing

Adoptive Dads Sought on S & M Webpage
SF City-Funded Adoption Agency Advertises with “Mister Marcus”, a joint project of the City of San Francisco’s Human Services Agency and Family Builders by Adoption is advertising for adoptive parents on the “Mister Marcus” page of San Francisco’s Bay Area Reporter website. The Reporter’s front page motto is “Serving the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community since 1971.”

“Mister Marcus” publishes a weekly column in the Reporter which covers and publicizes upcoming “leather” events. Examples include: “A weekend of bdsm activity and featuring NW Master and slave contest on Sat. night” (July 2, 2009) and “Hell Hole Fisting Party tonight upstairs at Mister S playroom from 2000 to 0200 next morning” (April 16, 2009),

The rotating ad, which features two men and a little boy, includes the text “We never knew how PROUD we could be until we adopted Ben.” As the ads rotate, the AdoptionSF ad is juxtaposed with ads for the “Healthy Penis Campaign,” also a city of San Francisco-funded effort, which is captioned “I get checked for syphilis every 3-6 months”; an ad for, “San Francisco‘s acclaimed 18+ sex club for gay and bisexual men“, captioned “Bedroom Eyes” and which features a graphic of two men in towels embracing; an ad for the Reporter’s online classifieds page (on which the Adoption.sf ad also appears), which features a photo of a nearly naked man, and is captioned “Check out models and escorts in our new and improved classifieds! More photos and videos! Click here.”

A publicly-funded online ad campaign for adoptive parents targeted at men who frequent s/m events seems irresponsible. Recent news suggests rather more care should be taken when seeking adoptive “fathers.” On June 29, WRAL TV of Raleigh-Durham, NC, reported on the case of Frank Lombard. Lombard, the associate director of the Center for Health Policy at Duke University, is an openly homosexual “partnered” man, who had adopted two African-American children. He was arrested on June 24 for sexually abusing one of the adopted children, a five-year-old boy, and for offering the child online to be abused by other men. WRAL published part of the transcript of the online chat sting operation that netted Lombard: ”In the chat transcript ‘F.L.’ is asked how he got access to a child so young. ‘Adopted,’ he replied, and said that the process was ‘not so hard ... esp (sic) for a black boy.’”

Politics: Big Dicks Weilding Sticks Style
Coming soon to a town near you... Are you a mod or a rocker? Myself, I'm a mocker.
Groups that say they are opposed to Islamist extremism are plotting fresh clashes with anti-fascist organisations this summer after violent battles between the two sides in Birmingham city centre led to 35 arrests over the weekend.

The English Defence League and Casuals United, two linked groups, are planning protests against what they see as militant Islam in Manchester, Luton, Harrow and other as yet secret locations, according to a website. The move comes after their supporters fought battles with Asian men backed by Unite Against Fascism activists in front of shocked shoppers at the Bull Ring shopping centre.

In ugly scenes that began after the groups assembled at about 5pm on Saturday, wooden planks, bottles and placards were thrown, and groups kicked and stamped on victims on the ground while men engaged in fights.


The conflicts began after backers of the English Defence League, which describes itself as "a mixed race group of English people, from businessmen and women, to football hooligans", gathered outside Waterstone's bookshop in a planned demonstration against militant Islam.

Unite Against Fascism mounted a counter demonstration, telling its supporters that "everyone in the area should come along and show these thugs that their brand of vicious racism is not wanted in Birmingham or the West Midlands". Scores of police officers hemmed in the chanting protest group, which denies it is racist. There were violent skirmishes around the fringes of the demonstration.

The website of Casuals United yesterday used photographs of a man being kicked and stamped on the ground by Asian men as a recruiting aid for fresh protests. "Next time will be bigger now, thanks to the photos of the disgusting attacks on British people trying to speak up against extremists and their supporters," it warned. "We will arrive unannounced and neither the police or the scum will know any details."

Hungary PM urges police to halt neo-Nazi march in Budapest
BUDAPEST (AFP)---Hungary's Prime Minister called on police Monday to block a march reportedly planned by neo-Nazi groups this weekend in Budapest to commemorate the death of Adolf Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess.

"Budapest and Hungary cannot be the paradise of neo-Nazis and their demonstration has to be prohibited," Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai told the Hungarian news agency MTI. He urged police "to use all legal means possible to prohibit" the event. The Nepszabadsag newspaper on Monday reported that a local neo-Nazi group, the Hungarian National Socialist Front, was organising a march and several concerts on Saturday to commemorate Hess's death. Advertisements about the event have appeared on the Internet in English and German to attract fascist groups from abroad, it said.

One notice found online said the march would take place Saturday, but added that the location would only be made public on Thursday. Hungarian police have declined to comment, but it has promised to release information on Wednesday, when the deadline to announce a demonstration for Saturday expires.

Meanwhile, some 50 civic organisations have announced a counter-demonstration on Saturday in downtown Budapest. Hess was Hitler's deputy in the German Nazi Party from the mid-1930s. He was sentenced at the Nuremberg war crimes trials in 1946 to life imprisonment at Spandau prison in Berlin where he died in 1987, its lone inmate.
Fascism 101
Nazis despised both Communism and capitalism, seeing themselves as a third way. The same is true of Islamists. Iran’s rulers promise that just as we now have a world without the Soviet Union, “a world without America is achievable.”

German Nazis practiced genocide. Jews and other “inferior” groups were exterminated by the millions. Islamists vow to wipe Israel off the map. Fascism, Ledeen has noted, tends to become “a form of civic religion.” Similarly, some scholars refer to the doctrines of Khomeini and Osama bin Laden as “political Islam.”
Santorum crawls out from under the Republican Party Bus, adjusts eyes to light
Add former Sen. Rick Santorum to the list of potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates. POLITICO has learned Santorum will visit first-in-the-nation Iowa this fall for a series of appearances before the sort of conservative activists who dominate the state GOP’s key presidential caucuses.

The Pennsylvanian, who lost his 2006 re-election bid, will visit Iowa on October 1, appearing on a Des Moines radio talk show and speaking to a luncheon and workshop of Iowa’s Right to Life group before heading east to Dubuque, where he’ll headline a fundraiser for the conservative America’s Future Fund PAC and then speak about the future of the GOP to a public audience in the Mississippi River city.

“Your voice becomes more amplified when you go to a place like Iowa or New Hampshire,” Santorum explained in an interview Tuesday about the visit. Like other potential White House aspirants, he insisted it was too early to consider a presidential run. But he acknowledged that he was interested in taking a higher profile in the party.
Better he should denounce his party and start a new one. I would if I were him.

NY Times Reporter Ben Stein: I Was Fired For Criticizing Obama, Goldman Sachs

Some of America's biggest food companies say the U.S. could "virtually run out of sugar" if the Obama administration doesn't ease import restrictions amid soaring prices for the key commodity

UN warns of massive food shortage in south Sudan
KHARTOUM — South Sudan, a vast under-developed region in the grip of renewed tribal violence, is facing a massive food shortage, a UN official said on Wednesday, appealing for donor countries to boost aid."The southern Sudan is faced with a massive food deficit caused by a combination of late rains, high levels of insecurity and displacement, disruptions of trade and high food prices," said Lise Grande, who coordinates UN humanitarian efforts in the region.

"The rains necessary for the first harvest have failed -- which will extend the hunger gap from June all the way through October, when it normally ends in August," she added.A spike in tribal conflict has killed about 2,000 people this year, the United Nations says, and has also displaced thousands. Grande said that neither the autonomous regional government of south Sudan, which faces a budget shortfall, nor the UN could provide the needed relief, especially to remote areas."In terms of capacity, the point is that there isn't enough," she said.

Quakes and Typhoons: What's Up with Mother Nature?
Ask FATHER GOD. He owns her.

Earthquakes in Eastern Japan and East of the Andaman Islands

VIDEO: New vent opens on Kilauea volcano

Discover the extreme sport of volcano boarding in Nicaragua
Idiots. I'm rooting for the lava.

Andriake in Lycia: Ancient Jewish Temple Found
We covered a Today’s Zaman report on the discovery of a tablet revealing complaints about high taxes during the excavation of the ancient city of Rhodiapolis here yesterday. Today they have a report on a centuries-old Jewish temple that has been uncovered during the excavation of an ancient port city: Ongoing excavations at the ancient port city of Andriake in Lycia – located in Antalya’s Demre district – have uncovered a centuries-old Jewish temple.

Assyrian Cuneiform Tablets Uncovered at Tell Tayinat
Science Daily reports that excavations at Tell Tayinat in southeastern Turkey, by archaeologists from the University of Toronto, have uncovered a cache of Assyrian cuneiform tablets... Excavations led by a University of Toronto archaeologist at the site of a recently discovered temple in southeastern Turkey have uncovered a cache of cuneiform tablets dating back to the Iron Age period between 1200 and 600 BCE. Found in the temple’s cella, or ‘holy of holies’, the tablets are part of a possible archive. The cella also contained gold, bronze and iron implements, libation vessels and ornately decorated ritual objects.

“The assemblage appears to represent a Neo-Assyrian renovation of an older Neo-Hittite temple complex, providing a rare glimpse into the religious dimension of Assyrian imperial ideology,” said Timothy Harrison, professor of near eastern archeology in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations and director of U of T’s Tayinat Archaeological Project (TAP). “The tablets, and the information they contain, may possibly highlight the imperial ambitions of one of the great powers of the ancient world, and its lasting influence on the political culture of the Middle East.”

No visitors allowed at Saudi's other religious sites
Ancient history pre-dates Islamic history, and anything that pre-dates Islam is – well – it doesn’t exist here in Saudi Arabia.
Radioactive rays photographed from Nagasaki nuclear 'death ash'

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