And that is all.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Floatin' Powa News Service: Meet Yez On The Corner of Bedlam and Squalor ~

An English abbreviation of BETHLEHEM ~ a London hospital originally intended for the poor suffering from any ailment and for such as might have no other lodging, hence its name, Bethlehem, in Hebrew, the "house of bread."

During the fourteenth century it began to be used partly as an asylum for the insane. There is a report of a Royal Commission, in 1405, as to the state of lunatics confined there. The word Bethlehem became shortened to Bedlam in popular speech, and the confinement of lunatics there gave rise to the use of this word to mean a house of confusion.

Bedlam was founded in 1247 as a priory in Bishopsgate Street, for the order of St. Mary of Bethlehem, by Simon Fitz Mary, an Alderman and Sheriff of London. This site is now occupied by the Liverpool Street railway station. In the next century it is mentioned as a hospital in a license granted (1330) to collect alms in England, Ireland, and Wales. In 1375 Bedlam became a royal hospital, taken by the crown on the pretext that it was an alien priory. It seems afterwards to have reverted to the city.

At the beginning of the sixteenth century the word Bedlam was used by Tyndale to mean a madman, so that it would seem as though the hospital were now used as a lunatic asylum exclusively. In January, 1547, King Henry VIII formally granted St. Bartholomew's hospital and Bedlam, or Bethlehem, to the city of London, on condition that the city spend a certain amount on new buildings in connection with St. Bartholomew's. In 1674, the old premises having become untenable, it was decided to build another hospital, and this was erected in what is now Finsbury Circus. This came to be known as old Bedlam, after the erection of a new building in St. George's Fields, which was opened August 1815, on the site of the notorious tavern called the Dog and the Duck.

The attitude of successive generations of Englishmen towards the insane can be traced interestingly at Bedlam. Originally, it was founded and kept by religious. Every effort seems to have been made to bring patients to such a state of mental health as would enable them to leave the asylum. An old English word, "a Bedlam" signifies one discharged and licensed to beg. Such persons wore a tin plate on their arm as a badge and were known as Bedlamers, Bedlamites, or Bedlam Beggars.

Whenever outside inspection was not regularly maintained, abuses into the management of Bedlam, and in every century there were several commissions of investigation. Evelyn in his Diary, 21 April 1656, notes that he saw several poor creatures in Bedlam in chains. In the next century it became the custom for the idle classes to visit Bedlam and observe the antics of the insane patients as a novel form of amusement. This was done even by the nobility and their friends. One penny was charged for admission into the hospital, and there is a tradition that an annual income of four hundred pounds was thus realized. This would mean that nearly 100,000 persons visited the hospital in the course of a year.
Britain backs Syria-EU pact despite concerns
Don't worry, since no one considers the Juden HUMAN they have no rights, nu? Human rights problem solved! Glow Ball Peace Through Dead Juden!
Britain supports signing an economic pact between Syria and the European Union despite its concerns about human rights violations by Damascus, a British official said on Tuesday. Ivan Lewis, a deputy British Foreign Office minister, called for a "new beginning" with Syria and said Damascus should be encouraged to change policies, despite its alliance with Iran and support for the Palestinian Hamas and Lebanese Hezbollah militant groups.

"(Britain) will try and play a positive role to help that happen, although some European countries still have concerns about elements of Syrian policy. We still hope we can overcome those concerns and that an agreement be signed," Lewis said after meeting Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem. "Britain has concerns (about human rights in Syria) and we have raised them with the Syrian government. We don't hide our concerns," Lewis told reporters.
UK Min Urges Syria To Help Promote Middle East Peace
U.K. Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis Tuesday urged Syria to help push deadlocked Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and also resume its own negotiations with the Jewish state. Lewis also told reporters Israel should return the strategic Golan Heights to Syria as part of a comprehensive peace between the two arch-foes, following talks with Foreign Minister Walid Moallem. "We want Syria to use its influence in terms of helping to create the conditions now for the two-state solution between the Israelis and the Palestinians so crucial to the stability of the region," Lewis said.

"We expressed the hope that as soon as it is possible the negotiations resume between Israel and Syria on the question of the Golan Heights and also the question of normalising relations between the two countries," he added. Lewis, who arrived Monday for talks with Syrian leaders, said a keynote speech in June by U.S. President Barack Obama in Egypt to engage the region had struck optimism for Middle East peace. "We think that there is now a very important opportunity that perhaps hasn't existed in the past for one of the world's great conflicts to begin to come to an end, the conflict of the Middle East," he said.
Reconnecting America and Syria
As always, it is all about the chaching

The business community is excited too. Syria's economy has been slowly opening up over the past decade. But there is virtually no e-commerce, and part of the reason is because the infrastructure that companies need is off-limits.

PayPal, Amazon and some web-hosting companies have been blocking all transactions from Syria. In some cases, even logging on to some websites from Syria can end up in your account being terminated.

The painless act of lifting the technology ban could improve America's image on the internet, and help Syrian businesses end the country's economic isolation. The US will benefit as its firms gain access to an untapped market.


Washington summons Israel envoy over East Jerusalem eviction
Mikael, how do I say FUCK YOU in Hebrew?

Fatah to keep 'armed struggle'
Yeah? OK then, me too.

Barak: PA will be examined after Fatah congress
For what? Festering sores? Fleas? We know WTF this is....C'MON!

Hamas imposes Islamic dress code for women civil servants
BTW besides all the implications it has for women, imposing the the veil is a form of cultural terrorism waged against the enemy. Hiding the face is quite intimidating, even if it is "only" the woman. Also it is a show of power - a form of dick wagging... LOOK WHAT WE DID TO THESE WOMEN. WE WILL DO WORSE TO YOU.
Palestinian sources said the Hamas regime has decided that women in civil service would require Islamic dress. The sources said the decision would include Islamic robes and veils for women attorneys in courts in the Gaza Strip.
Hamasshole dies in Jordan after being released from PA jail

Hamas doesn't deserve to be at the bargaining table

Eyad El-Sarraj's op-Ed, "Hamas must be brought to the table" (Aug. 3) unfortunately misses the mark in a number of areas. First, Hamas has not made any serious concessions as Mr. El-Sarraj asserts. It continues to refuse to recognize Israel's existence, has yet to renounce terrorism and continues to claim all of the old Palestine Mandate, which includes present day Israel.

Mr. El-Sarraj's assertion that Hamas has "agreed to accept the 1967 borders" is disingenuous because all Hamas currently offers is a brief cease-fire, not a long-lasting peace. Similarly, Mr. El-Sarraj complains about Israel's arrest of Hamas legislators. What he fails to note is that Israel took such action in response to the Hamas kidnapping of an Israeli soldier, who has been held captive for three years without any access to the Red Cross -- unlike the Hamas prisoners who have such access. Hamas should not be invited to the bargaining table until it makes a major change in its policies.

~ Robert O. Freedman, Baltimore
The writer is a professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University.
Hamas-funded film opens in Gaza
I think the original title was LET'S KILL THE JUDEN THEN RAPE AN UNCOVERED BITCH! but I could be wrong.
It tells the story of Hamas member Imad Aqel, who led many attacks on Israel before he was killed in 1993.
Imad Aqel:
Emad Aqel was born in the Gaza Strip on July 10, 1971. He completed his secondary school education in 1988. He applied for admission to Al Amal Institute in Gaza to study pharmacology, but was arrested by the Israeli authorities on September 23, 1988. He was tried on charges of affiliation with Hamas and participation in the intifada. He spent 18 months in jail and was released in March 1990. In the academic year 1991/1992, he was admitted in Hitteen College in Amman to study Islamic Sharia, but Israeli officials did not allow him to cross the bridge to Jordan.

In the beginning of 1991 he was nominated as a liaison officer between the "Martyrs group," the first militant group of Al Qassam Brigades, and the Brigades command. The Martyrs group basically specialized in killing Arabs who were deemed to be "collaborators." The group also collected their weapons which were used to attack Israeli civilians and soldiers.

On May 22, 1992, he moved to the West Bank and formed several terror cells there. On November 13, 1992, he returned to Gaza after establishing the military work in the West Bank and after scores of Al Qassam militants in the West Bank were arrested. He refused to leave the Gaza Strip in December 1992. On November 24, 1993, after two years of pursuit by Israel, the IDF surrounded Shaja'eya quarter in Gaza and Aqel exchanged fire with the soldiers. Several Israeli soldiers were killed in the gun battle as was Aqel.

Korean Police Storm Occupied Ssangyong Paint Shop
South Korean police commandos stormed a vehicle-paint shop by helicopter to end a two-month occupation by workers fired from bankrupt Ssangyong Motor Co.Three protesters have been taken to hospital after the operation, a Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency spokesman said by phone today. None are in a critical condition, he added. The spokesman declined to give his name, citing police policies.


Double standards in Pakistan's anti-terror campaign
Early this month, Pakistani prosecutors charged the head of a pro-Taliban group and seven of his associates with treason, incitement to rebellion, terrorism, waging war, and conspiracy against the country. The charges are reported to centre around a speech made by Maulana Mohammad, often called Maulana Radio, for his use of FM broadcasts to spread his message on April 19. Maulana Mohammad, the Pakistan government says, told followers in the town of Mingora that there “is no room for democracy in Islam.”

He demanded that the entire nation be placed under the Shariah law.


Is al-Qaeda working in Nigeria?

Mohammed Yusuf, leader of the Islamic sect whose members staged attacks across north Nigeria leaving 700 people dead last week, was facing charges that he had received money from an al-Qaeda linked organisation, defence analysts have revealed.
Nigerian Taliban: Between Oil and Caliphate

Nigeria, as a half-Muslim country, didn't escape the spread. Today, the population of the oil producing country is about 140 million, the single largest national population on the continent. The Hausa form the majority of the mostly Muslim north; the Yuroba are the largest to the southwest and the Christian Ibo are concentrated in the southeast province of Biafra.

In 1968, a genocidal civil war killed more than a million Ibo who were claiming self-determination, a la Kosovo, but without obtaining the same support from the international community. After years of military regime, civilian rule came back in 1998 but clashes between Christians and Muslims still left 9,000 casualties, including about 700 killed in the central part of the country last November.

However, the most recent incidents were initiated by Jihadi elements, as Christians and mainstream Muslims have been sharing power. In 2007 a Muslim president, Umar Mussa Yarado, succeeded a Christian predecessor, Olusegun Obasanjo.

In 2002, a Jihadi group emerged from the vast network of Wahhabi indoctrinated militants branding the name of Boku Haraam, which in local language means "Western education is forbidden." The rapidly rising militia promotes Wahhabi teachings and emulates the Taliban methods by waging terror in the northern provinces, 12 of which already apply some form of Shariah laws.

US: Ahmadinejad is elected leader

The US government has said it considers Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the elected president of Iran, following a disputed election after which thousands of Iranians took to the streets. Speaking on Tuesday, Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, did not say whether Washington regarded the June 12 vote as legitimate.

"This was a decision and a debate ongoing in Iran by Iranians, they were going to choose their leadership … [Ahmadinejad is] the elected leader," he said. The statement came just hours before Ahmadinejad was due to be sworn in by parliament, and nearly eight weeks after the election itself.

The day I heckled Ahmadinejad

When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made his first visit to the US as president of Iran, I attended a ceremony at the Manhattan Hilton where he was speaking. Having gone there out of sheer curiosity, I sat listening, with some 450 others. After reciting a few verses from the Qur'an, Ahmadinejad spoke of the greatness of the Iranian nation and its equally great achievements under the Islamic republic.

Then Ali Larijani, Iran's former head of the nuclear programme, stepped on the podium asking the "wonderful Iranians abroad" to support the nuclear energy programme just as they had supported Iran's struggle for oil nationalisation half a century ago.

At this point, I could no longer contain myself. My father was prime minister Mohammed Mosaddeq's personal attorney, and I got up and shouted: "But there is not a street or an alley in all of Iran in the name of the man who nationalised the oil. You are lying."

I ran towards the table where the president of Iran and his entourage were sitting. Again, without any prior plans, I cried out to him: "You have ruined my country."

He didn't bat an eye and calmly and cleverly answered: "Let's go back and build our country together." I had just enough composure to continue with a riposte: "Your regime jails whoever comes and tries to help their country."


Israeli official: Iran will have nuclear capacity by late '09
Brig. Gen. Yossi Baidatz, speaking Tuesday at the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said that by late 2009 the Islamic Republic will have reached the point where obtaining a nuclear weapon will hinge on the decision of its leadership, the Jerusalem Post reported, citing Israel Radio. Baidatz said he believed the international community has come to terms with a nuclear Iran.

Iranian TV: Detained Americans propaganda tool

Iran says it's questioning 3 Americans in border town
Shane Bauer, a freelancer working in Iraq for New America Media, is a careful planner, his editor says. Iranian officials consider Bauer and two friends with him to be U.S. spies.
Iran: Canadian-Iranian filmmaker, journalist among the 100 dissidents on trial
Journalist and filmmaker Maziar Bahari, who holds dual citizenship in Iran and Canada, was among more than 100 reporters, activists, and protesters who appeared in court this past Saturday, August 1, in Tehran, held on undefined crimes against the state. More in this NYT article.
The manager of Mousavi's Official website arrested
It is told that reason for his arrest is because of his involvement with this website. He was arrested in his office and his personal computer was also taken. He is the head of the advertising and Information committee of Mousavi.
Iran's opposition will keep up the protest
The Iranian people want a solution to the unrest and stability as soon as possible, he said, adding that both he and Mousavi are concerned about the killing of street protesters. Karoubi is in favour of negotiations with the United States and other Western governments to attempt to open up the channels of communication with Iran. “The most beneficial thing for the Iranians is negotiations. Nobody benefits from our ongoing problems with the United States,” he said.
CNPC CHINA Drilling its Way into Middle East Oil/Gas Fields

CNPC's GM to visit London
"The share-holding will not be finalized until the three parties sign a contract scheduled at the end of October, with CNPC likely to take a larger stake than BP," the manager added. Jiang's London visit will also cover a possible joint venture to build a refinery in China. An advocate of "going global", Jiang also plans to tour BP's oil production facility in Scotland during his visit.

China Sichuan earthquake activists to be tried
Two activists who offered assistance to survivors of the May 2008 earthquake in Sichuan province, China, will be tried this month. Their detention is part of the authorities' continuing effort to hamper peaceful and lawful human rights activities using China's criminal law.
India's Marxist leader dies
Subhas Chakraborty, a prominent leader of India’s Communist Party of India (Marxists), who had come out in strong support of the Burmese cause in the struggle against the military junta, died on Monday from cancer in West Bengal’s capital Kolkata.
'We always live in fear'
Almas Hameed grabbed his 7-year-old daughter and stumbled out of their smoke-filled home as she pleaded in vain to bring her pet parrots. His wife, father and two other children did not survive. Outside, hundreds of enraged Muslims called the victims “dogs” as they fired guns and burned house after house in the Christian neighborhood of this eastern Pakistani city. The weekend rampage left eight Christians dead. All but one were relatives of Hameed. “We always live in fear,” said Hameed, 50. “I wonder if I will see a time in this country when I can live like an equal citizen.”

Taqa buys N.Sea assets from group including Chevron
The Dutch arm of the Abu Dhabi National Energy Co has bought a 15 percent stake in Dutch North Sea assets from a group including U.S. major Chevron Corp, Taqa said in a statement on Tuesday. Taqa took control this week as operator of the North Sea Brent crude system, which has global significance as part of a pricing benchmark used to value millions of barrels per day of oil. The UAE company has amassed over $2 billion of North Sea assets in just a few years. The company is one of the investment vehicles Abu Dhabi uses to invest oil money, and is 75 percent owned by the emirate's government.
Argentina's Roch bids for Chevron oil fields

Russian Subs Patrolling Off East Coast of U.S.
According to Defense Department officials, one of the Russian submarines remained in international waters on Tuesday about 200 miles off the coast of the United States. The location of the second remained unclear. One senior official said the second submarine traveled south in recent days toward Cuba, while another senior official with access to reports on the surveillance mission said it had sailed away in a northerly direction.The Pentagon and intelligence officials spoke anonymously to describe the effort to track the Russian submarines, which has not been publicly announced.
Kremlin: Medvedev, Obama to boost nuclear control
The Kremlin says President Dmitry Medvedev has agreed with U.S. President Barack Obama on the need to intensify efforts to reach a new deal on nuclear arms control before year-end. The Kremlin says the two leaders shared a telephone conversation Tuesday at Moscow's initiative. They also discussed Georgia, the Middle East and Iran.

Russia: Obama, Medvedev discuss Georgia days before anniversary of war

Report on Russia-Georgia Conflict Delayed
Each Pushes Its Version of Last Year's War for International Report; Moscow Puts Troops on Alert in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Georgia urges US, EU to defuse Russia tensions
You'd better appeal to GOD my friends because it is obvious the Glow Ball is against you and the US & the EU intend to do zero for you.

FACTBOX: Georgia's rebel regions one year after war

Iberdrola (SPAIN) Mulls Role In Russian Nuclear Plant Construction
The possible project comes after Iberdrola signed a cooperation agreement in March with Russia's Inter Rao EES OAO. Inter RAO is the import-export arm of former monopoly Unified Energy System of Russia.
The Magical Paper Pipeline
Dude must read here...
The Nabucco gas pipeline project is often presented as a serious threat to Russian gas exports. The project is itself very destructive in character, but the problem is not so much that it could have a competitive advantage over Russian supplies as that it could easily destabilize both the gas markets and political situation in the Caspian Sea region.

Why is there so much noise over the Nabucco project, a pipeline that, if ever built, is supposed to have an annual capacity of only 10 billion to 20 billion cubic meters of gas? That is far too low a volume to upset the status quo, considering that Europe consumes upward of 500 billion cubic meters of gas every year and Russia is already exporting approximately 160 billion cubic meters annually.

The original intention behind Nabucco was to build a pipeline to deliver more of the enormous gas reserves in the Middle East to the European market. The European Union presents Nabucco almost exclusively in terms of improving energy security, given Russia’s supposed unreliability and its willingness to use energy supplies as a blackmail weapon. It is hard to find an article or op-ed about Nabucco without the key defining words: “the pipeline that will bypass Russia.”


FACTBOX-Major energy pipelines in central/south Europe

Russians sign accords in Nicaragua, Venezuela

Russia's Inter RAO, Gazprom to sign Turkey deals

'Turkey deal on Gazprom agenda'

Around 2000 out of total 12000 workers of oil company Naftna Industrija Srbije (NIS), now owned by Russian Gazprom, have agreed to leave NIS voluntarily

Tuva-Online: A world-famous throat singer sings for Vladimir Putin
Ah tovarich, it is good that you do this but WTF kind of Turkmen crap is that? Don't you know Smoke on the Water?
~ Vladimir "Deep Purple" Putin
Kaigal-ool Khovalyg, famous throughout the world for unique throat singing, introduced the entire beauty of Tuvan khoomei to Vladimir Putin. Khoomei sounded in a camp on the shores of Khemchik river, in the light of a camp fire. The legendary throat singer, on a par with Vladimir Vysotski in the world anthology of musical arts, was accompanied by two famous ensembles – “Huun-Huur-Tu” and “Chirgilchin”, whose international tour schedules are booked for years in advance. “The fact that Vladimir Putin spent his one-day vacation, a singe one in ten years, in Tuva, is of extreme value. It is an immense support to the republic. The recognition of her natural beauty, touristic potential, and positive energy”, - Premier Sholban Kara-ool informed the journalists at the Kyzyl airport, as he was accompanying the head of Russian government throughout Tuva.
Putin: Shirtless in Siberia
I'm too sexy for my shirt, comrades and you know it.

Putin's Popularity Not Oil Dependent
~ Popular Vlad of the Pipple

CIA's Illegal Operations in Central Asia Using Islam & Madrassas
Court Documents Shed Light on CIA Illegal Operations in Central Asia Using Islam & Madrassas

Sibel Deniz Edmonds is a former FBI translator who says she saw evidence of “criminal activities involving U.S. officials. She grew up in Iran and Turkey, later worked for the FBI, witnessing serious misconduct among her co-workers, and discovering that senior State Department and Pentagon officials were seemingly involved in corruption and Turkish elements of the nuclear black market.

Sibel is a former FBI linguist and the founder of the National Security Whistleblower Coalition. It’s a group made of former employees of law enforcement, intelligence agencies and the military. They push for reforms of whistleblower protections and increased accountability for government agencies.

Last year Sibel spoke with Worldview producer Jonah Meadows and explained what an FBI employee is supposed to do when she witnesses criminal activity on the job. Last year, during an immigration court case involving Turkish Islamic Leader, Fetullah Gulen, US prosecutors exposed an illegal, covert, CIA operation involving the intentional Islamization of Central Asia. This operation has been ongoing since the fall of the Soviet Union in an ongoing Cold War to control the vast energy resources of the region – Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan – estimated to be worth $3 trillion.

Moscow's Troubles in the Caucasus
The ongoing ethnic and political tensions between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea are becoming a threat to the leadership in Moscow. Although the Kremlin garnered respect as a result of its war with Georgia one year ago, the situation remains explosive in other parts of the Caucasus.
Central Asia's Northern Exposure

TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN — Russian agreement to allow U.S. military over-flight rights to ferry lethal goods to Afghanistan was one of the signal achievements of the recent meetings in Moscow between Presidents Barack Obama and Dimtri Medvedev.

Last month in Moscow, Russian officials told us that Afghanistan was the area where American and Russian interests are most closely aligned, and cooperation on stabilizing Afghanistan may be the most promising area to “reset” our bilateral relationship.

Less publicized has been Moscow’s agreement earlier this year to allow for overland transit of nonlethal goods through Russian territory and on to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan (with Kazakh and Uzbek agreement, of course) where they cross into northern Afghanistan at Heraton. These goods are shipped on trains that originate in the Latvian capital of Riga, and since the transit corridor was established, at least 20 rail convoys have made the trip. The supply trains have been given preferential right-of-way to speed the trip to about nine days.

Minister of construction materials industry of Turkmenistan reprimanded
Minister of construction materials industry of Turkmenistan Yazmyrat Hommadov was reprimanded for poor management of the subordinated institutions and enterprises and for easing control over work related to the further development of the industry. Vice-Premier Deryageldi Orazov was, in turn, instructed to keep the ministry's operations under strict supervision.
Russia Seeks to Boost Ties with Tajikistan

Tajikistan Reportedly Arrests Rebel Brothers, Other Insurgents
The Tajik Interior Ministry says several insurgents have been arrested in the eastern Tavil-Dara district in recent days, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports. Tajik government sources told RFE/RL on condition of anonymity that two brothers of slain insurgent leader Nemat Azizov -- Rahmiddin and Zaidullo Azizov -- agreed to surrender.

Nemat Azizov was suspected of leading attacks on government forces in eastern Tajikistan as a member of the banned Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Tajik forces said they killed Azizov on July 29. Meanwhile, police in the Khovaling district of Khatlon Province -- which borders Tavil-Dara -- told RFE/RL that four people were arrested by order of the local prosecutor.

Rustam Temurov, the Khovaling police chief, said the four are suspected of committing robberies in 1997-98 when some 100 horses and more than 4,000 sheep were stolen by armed groups.

New head of OSCE Office in Tajikistan appointed
OSCE activities in the country fall into one or more of the following areas: politico-military dimension of security; human dimension of security; and economic and environmental dimension of security.
Uzbekistan Protests New Russian Base
"the new base would destabilize the region and provoke extremists"
~ Vlad & Pals
Uzbekistan is stepping up its criticism of Russia’s plan to open a second military base in Kyrgyzstan, this one to be placed near Uzbekistan’s border in the Ferghana Valley. It has stepped up the rhetoric, claiming that the new base would destabilize the region and provoke extremists.
Uzbekistan Puts 11 On Trial Accused Of Militant Ties
A group of men suspected of belonging to militant Islamist groups with links to al-Qaeda have gone on trial in Uzbekistan, a leading Uzbek rights group said Tuesday. The 11 defendants are accused of belonging to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and Islamic Jihad Union, said Surat Ikramov, head of the Initiative Group of Independent Human Rights Defenders of Uzbekistan.

"They are formally charged with organizing and being members of banned religious extremist groups, infringement on the secular constitution, subversion and distributing leaflets that pose a threat to public order and state security, " Ikramov told AFP. Central Asia has seen a recent surge in suspected militant activities, which many experts say could be a result of hardened fighters fleeing the fierce fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan in search of greener pastures. The IMU - a militant group founded in 1998 to overthrow the government of Uzbekistan, and which later joined the Taliban - is considered a terrorist organisation by the U.S.

The Islamic Jihad Union is believed to be an off-shoot of the better-known IMU, although little evidence has been provided proving its existence.

Kyrgyzstan: Asylum Seekers Feared Returned to Abuse in Uzbekistan
Better Uzbekistan than the ditch, GOD forbid, they may be perished completely.
Two Uzbek asylum seekers have been missing since July 30, 2009, from the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, raising fears that they were forcibly returned to Uzbekistan, Human Rights Watch said today.
UZBEKISTAN: The Sokhnut Jewish agency has been blacklisted by the Uzbek authorities
The Sokhnut Jewish agency has been blacklisted by the Uzbek authorities: its activities have been criticised by the pro-government website, a well-known “killer” of independent organisations. On 28 July, published a critical article in which it accused the management of Sokhnut’s office in Uzbekistan of ignoring the health of Jewish children for whom it had organised holidays in the Chimgan mountains.

The website claimed that of out of 115 children sent to holiday in the mountains over 80 had been poisoned after eating food made of spoilt products. Accusing the head of Sokhnut (Sochnut) in Uzbekistan, Asher Oliamperl, of all sins, including cheating on her wife, the author of the report ended it with an anti-Semitic statement: “This is how we have got where we are not – when our own Jews are growing fat on us.”

Staff members of the Sokhnut office denied all the allegations describing them as groundless.
“About 15 children did have stomach ache, but the head of office also suffered from it. However, there was no case of food poisoning. We do not know where the journalist got this information because he had not contacted us or had not talked to anyone,” an administrator for Sokhnut in Uzbekistan, Timur Izayev, said.

Izayev said that he knew which member of Uzbekistan’s Jewish community could initiate this article. “We guess who could be a source of information but we do not want to name names,” he said. Izayev suggested that his organisation would demand publish a denial.

The administrator did not think that the article was a sign of the government’s unfriendly move, but he said that it was a result of internal disagreements within Sokhnut. “For the Justice Ministry we are a model organisation and we have been working in Uzbekistan for a long time and we have never received criticism from the ministry,” Izayev said.

It should be noted that in spring 2008 a similar situation developed around the office of the Chabad-Lubavitch Movement and its head Abe David Gurevich. After several critical articles on and other websites controlled by intelligence services, the Uzbek Justice Ministry found violations in its work and denied accreditation to the movement’s office, while Rabbi Abe David Gurevich and his wife Malka Gurevich could not extend their visas and had to leave the country.

A similar scenario was used to expel representative offices of dozens of international and foreign NGOs from Uzbekistan and gross violations were found in their work too.’s latest victim is Uzbekistan’s Baptist Union: the website criticised conditions in the Joy children’s summer camp in the mountains run by the union in Tashkent Region’s Bostanlyk District.

After its report, law-enforcement agencies raided the camp and launched a criminal case against the chairman of the union, Pavel Peychev, for illegally teaching religion to children and damaging their health. Despite all this, Sokhnut’s office in Uzbekistan is optimistic and is sure that their case would not go too far.
Kazakhstan launches construction of new railway link to China

NORAD and NORTHCOM Operations Plans Summary

Nuclear Weapon's Refurbishing Woes Draw Congressional Attention to FOGBANK
Concern over the U.S. strategic nuclear stockpile, illustrated by problems with a classified material called "Fogbank," has triggered quiet maneuverings on Capitol Hill related to negotiations to extend the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. That treaty expires at year's end.

2008: Arms Control Wonk: FOGBANK

Rob Edwards in New Scientist writes about a material called FOGBANK, which is used in US nuclear weapons such as the W76. (Ian Sample in the Guardian also picked it up.)

Edwards’s article contains some speculation on the use of FOGBANK, which is something I’ve been looking into since Frank Munger started asking uncomfortable questions about delays in the W-76 Life Extension Program in January (January 24, January 25, February 12, and March 6).

I believe that FOGBANK is an aerogel used as the interstage material — Howard Morland’s exploding styrofoam — in three thermonuclear designs: the W76, W78 and W80. I believe it is recycled, and will be produced, at the so-called Purification Facility at Y-12.

John Field thinks FOGBANK is an aerogel based on a hypothesis he has about how a thermonuclear secondary works. I suspect he is right for a more mundane reason. Aerogels (that’s one on the right, with a brick sitting on top of it) are extremely low-density materials that feel like polystyrene and look like smoke or fog. Indeed, the nicknames for aerogels include “frozen smoke” and “San Francisco fog.”

Witty bastards in our nation’s nuclear weapons complex, eh?

FOGBANK is a code name given to a material used in nuclear weapons such as the W76, W78 and W80.

FOGBANK's precise nature is classified; in the words of former Oak Ridge general manager Dennis Ruddy, "The material is classified. Its composition is classified. Its use in the weapon is classified, and the process itself is classified."

Department of Energy Nuclear Explosive Safety documents simply describe it as a material "used in nuclear weapons and nuclear explosives" along with Lithium hydride (LiH) and Lithium deuteride (LiD), Beryllium (Be), Uranium hydride (UH3), and Plutonium hydride. Many arms experts believe that FOGBANK is an aerogel material which acts as an interstage material in a nuclear warhead, i.e. a material designed to become a superheated plasma following the detonation of the weapon's fission stage, the plasma then triggering the fusion-stage detonation.
Obama to chair UN council meeting on nuclear arms
U.S. President Barack Obama will chair a special meeting of the U.N. Security Council next month on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said on Tuesday. The meeting will take place on September 24 during the annual summit of the U.N. General Assembly. The heads of state of the other 14 Security Council members will be invited to participate, Rice said in a statement. "The session will be focused on nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament broadly and not on any specific countries," she said.

"Over the next several weeks, we will work closely with members of the Security Council to prepare for this important meeting," Rice added. Obama has vowed to take new steps to reduce U.S. stockpiles of nuclear weapons. He and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed in Moscow in July to reduce their Cold War arsenals of deployed nuclear warheads by around a third from current levels to 1,500-1,675 each.

Obama is scheduled to address the 192-nation General Assembly on September 23 and possibly a climate change meeting a day earlier. Those appearances are expected to be his long-awaited debut at the United Nations. The Security Council has imposed sanctions on Iran and North Korea due to their respective nuclear programs. Pyongyang has conducted two nuclear tests. Tehran denies Western allegations it is developing atomic weapons but has rejected the council's demands that it freeze its nuclear enrichment program.
An Ominous Glimpse into the Future of Human Labor
Jacques Attali, French minister and technology consultant to former president Francois Mitterand, declared: “Machines are the new proletariat. The working class is being given its walking papers.”
Eric Holder, Rotten to the Core
**)&&!@&#^&@ that $%#&$&#ing Jennifer Rubin. Here I was, planning to do my column later this week on the incredible font of corrupt, race-baiting rottenness otherwise known as Attorney General Eric Holder, and Jennifer Rubin steals my thunder! Her article in the newest issue of The Weekly Standard lays out a sober, thoughtful, thorough case proving that Holder's Justice Department is becoming frigtheningly lawless (my words, not hers). Read it. And be very afraid.

It's not just the "nation of cowards" speech or other racial stunts, and not just the outrageous dismissal of the voter intimidation case against dangerous New Black Panthers. It's also the stonewalling of legitimate congressional inquiry, and it's also the open politicization of the staffing and the atmosphere at Justice. Rubin writes: Then there is Les Jin, who was chief of staff to the controversial former chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Mary Frances Berry, who engaged in such regular political stunts as attempting to prevent the seating of George W. Bush's lawful nominee to the commission. Jin is now in a senior counselor spot at Justice.

Another opening has been staffed by Julie Fernandes, an attorney who, prior to joining the department, worked for a left-wing civil rights organization and routinely weighed in on pending cases. Mark Kappelhoff who was chief of the criminal section of the civil rights division at Justice (and who took the position, while serving in the criminal section, that a campaign mailer reminding voters they must be citizens to cast a ballot was illegal "voter intimidation") maxed out as an Obama donor and has been boosted to principal deputy attorney general for civil rights.

While the Bush administration was investigated for seeking out conservative lawyers and staff, the Obama administration has been given a pass for going to the other extreme and stocking Justice with ultra-left leaning partisans. Overt signs of political activity and support now are on full display throughout the department. While it was unheard of to display campaign literature or paraphernalia during the Bush years, in the Holder Justice Department "Yes we did!" signs are fully evident, as are copies of reverential Obama campaign posters.

And it really does get worse. Again, read Jennifer's whole article. Eric Holder is subverting American justice. He is dangerous. He must be stopped.

Three republican senators hold healthcare reform in their hands
Michael Enzi of Wyoming, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Charles Grassley of Iowa are the three key Republicans in the Senate Finance group.
White House still seeking cybersecurity czar
Obama is still searching for the right person to lead the fight against an epidemic of cybercrime, the White House said on Tuesday as it came under fire following the resignation of a top cybersecurity adviser.

Melissa Hathaway, who led a 60-day White House review of cyber policies, resigned and said she had withdrawn her application for the position of cybersecurity coordinator out of frustration over the administration's delays in filling the post.

"I wasn't willing to continue to wait any longer because I'm not empowered right now to continue to drive the change," Hathaway, who also worked on cybersecurity issues for the Bush administration, told The Washington Post.

Obama promised in May that he would personally decide who would become cybersecurity coordinator to lead the fight against an epidemic of cybercrime, which threatens the computer networks that underpin the U.S. economy.


US Marines barred from social networking

The US marine corps have become the latest branch of the American military to ban the use of social networking sites, after officials expressed concern about potential security risks.

An order sent out to marines yesterday informed them that they could no longer use sites including Facebook, MySpace and Twitter in case enemy groups used the information they contained to their advantage.

"These internet sites in general are a proven haven for malicious actors and content, and are particularly high risk due to information exposure, user-generated content and targeting by adversaries," said the order. "The very nature of social networking sites creates a larger attack and exploitation window."

Coming just days after US deputy defence secretary William "RAYTHEON" Lynn ordered a review of the military's social networking policies, the move is being seen by some as a signal that the Pentagon could enact a blanket ban on social networks across the entire military system.

Goldman's new 'American Socialism Manifesto'
Warning: Behavioral economics means one thing to Wall Street and Washington and something quite different to Main Street. It depends on whether you're the nudger or nudgee, the manipulator or the manipulated, the guys making lots of money or the folks being scammed. Average folks erroneously believe behavioral economics helps them. But behavioral nudgers just want to help themselves.

Goldman Sachs Quarterly Earnings Rise 33%

Ex-Goldman Programmer in Plea Talks With Prosecutors
Sergey Aleynikov, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. computer programmer charged last month with stealing sophisticated trading software, is in talks with prosecutors to resolve the case, according to court papers. Prosecutors and Aleynikov, 39, have agreed to delay the deadline for filing an indictment against him, to allow plea negotiations to go forward, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Facciponti said in an affirmation filed with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan yesterday.

The government requested a 14-day extension “to determine whether a disposition is possible prior to indictment,” Facciponti said in the court filing. Aleynikov was arrested July 3 and charged the next day with theft of trade secrets and transportation of stolen property in foreign commerce. At Aleynikov’s July 4 arraignment, Facciponti said that the alleged theft is the “most substantial” that Goldman Sachs can recall. Aleynikov is free on $750,000 bond.

Goldman Sachs Sends Letter to Clients on High-Frequency Trading
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which earns more money trading equities than any other U.S. bank, sent a letter to clients explaining its high-frequency trading as regulators and politicians step up scrutiny of the practice.

Goldman Sachs doesn’t use so-called flash programs “in the execution of client agency orders” and its high-frequency trading systems don’t see client order flow, the New York-based bank said. Such trading accounted for less than 1 percent of total revenue and value-at-risk, a measure of risk-taking, in the first half of 2009, the bank said, noting that the “vast majority” of the business stems from its role as a supplemental liquidity provider on the New York Stock Exchange. “

Goldman Sachs has a long history of providing liquidity to the marketplace,” the letter said. “The most significant challenge ahead is for the regulatory framework to keep current with the rapid pace of innovation in the marketplace.”
Iceland court lifts gag order after public outrage
A court in Iceland lifted a gag order Tuesday that allowed Kaupthing Bank to prevent media coverage of a leaked file that discloses details of the bank's weak position shortly before it collapsed in October.

The Reykjavik district magistrate lifted the order only hours after Kaupthing itself yielded to public pressure to stop pushing for the ban. The injunction had forbidden further coverage of a risk analysis report that had been leaked via the WikiLeaks whistleblower Web site.National broadcaster RUV reported on the leaked document, prompting wider interest in the report.

The internal document compiled for the bank's loan committee showed that Kaupthing made multiple huge loans to a number of companies that left it dangerously exposed to their potential collapse. In addition, the most important borrowers were the bank's biggest shareholders.Other blog sites and Internet chat rooms were quick to pick up the report, which was dated Sept. 25, 2008 — just two weeks before the bank was taken over by the Icelandic state to save it from bankruptcy.

Disarray hobbles US financial regulation effort
Disarry you say? Welcome, Comrades! We are all Soviets now.

Big oil speculator defends practice in Washington

John Hyland's funds control billions of dollars that flow in and out of energy markets, making him one of the biggest oil speculators in the world and also one of the biggest potential targets for federal regulators.The 50-year-old Californian has been asked to appear before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Wednesday, where he will say that he isn't the boogie man everyone's looking for.

There is evidence that he may be right."Five years ago, they might have blamed the oil companies," Hyland said. "Now they're blaming us."For more than a year now, Hyland and other speculators have been in the cross hairs of Congress, regulators and even oil traders, who blame them for $4-a-gallon gas last year.Hyland's U.S. Oil Fund was founded in the spring of 2006 and it steadily acquired a growing number of oil contracts. Yet that changed when prices began a rapid climb in the summer of 2007, according to documents the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The fund started dumping shares fast, according to the SEC filings, selling when prices spiked. And when crude prices bottomed out in 2009, the fund snapped up thousands of contracts, eventually controlling about 20 percent of all oil being traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange.Rather than driving prices to extremes, Hyland said, the fund and its investors have helped tame them.

The Island of Lost News: Frank Lombard, Eno Commons, and Duke University
We are approaching a month since the latest news story or attempt to investigate the nexus between Frank Lombard, Eno Commons, and Duke University.

How is it that this alternative housing community can simply shut down to the press and get away with it? How can the Duke community slide by without open reflection on Lombard's impact on the policy studies he conducted? Something is being hidden, and the public needs to know what it is.
GARDASIL vaccine possibly linked to cutaneous PAN
A case study documenting the first instance of cutaneous polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) following Gardasil vaccination (human papillomavirus quadrivalent (types 6, 11, 16 and 18) vaccine, recombinant; Merck) suggests that this disease should perhaps be listed as a rare but serious complication of the vaccine, says a pathologist who worked on the case.

Cutaneous PAN

DHS - Readout of Today's H1N1 Summit Webcast

Homeland security chief: Flu will get jump on vaccine


Napolitano Predicts Severe Flu for Fall: Homeland Security News

~ Bruno Napalitano

Who's the Scariest Obama Pick of All?
Would that be Mary Robinson, who received a Presidential Medal of Freedom, or John Holdren, presidential science and technology advisor? On National Review's The Corner, my friend Tevi Troy ably dissects Mary Robinson -- "the Durban Queen, who was the driving force behind the infamous and anti-Semitic 2001 Durban Conference. At the Conference, which the U.S. properly boycotted, a supposed discussion of racism became a forum for all-out Israel bashing." Yes, that's pretty sinister. She's getting some well justified criticism from Jewish groups, such as the Anti-Defamation League.

But I'd say for the honor of being the most sinister person so far to win approval from Obama's vetting team, Robinson is beat out by Holdren, whom Michael Egnor writes about at Evolution News & Views. Robinson is no friend of Israel, but Holdren is on record as being sympathetic to the case for nothing less than "crimes against humanity," verging on "genocide," as Egnor rightly puts it. She's also not a practical advisor on policy, which Holdren is. Sympathy for Palestinian terrorists, while inexcusable, arises partly from a political context. Holdren's writings which seriously consider the case for forced abortions and mass sterilization? That's something else again, not just anti-Semitism but totalitarian anti-humanism.

Tell DHS What You Think About Homeland Security
What a clever way to compile a list, assholes!
Here’s your chance to tell the Department of Homeland Security what you think a sound immigration policy is, or whether you should be allowed to take your toothpaste on a plane or when to get rid of the weird color-coded terrorist threat advisory system. This morning, DHS launched a new Website, Homeland Security Dialogue, for the “stakeholder community” — that’s you, and your local cops and firefighters and so on — to tell the department what you’d like to see in the department’s upcoming Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, a document that will guide what the department focuses on and what it buys. In particular, David Heyman, the undersecretary of Homeland Security for policy, wants your comments.

Doctor with KC ties nominated to be Homeland Security's chief medical officer
Why does DHS need a fucking medical officer and WhoTF is this guy now?
The nation’s response to pandemic threat or biological or chemical attack could be up to a University of Missouri School of Medicine graduate who once worked for the Kansas City Health Department. Alexander Garza, a former emergency medical services director for the city, was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the chief medical officer for the Department of Homeland Security. Garza testified last week before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. A full Senate vote may come this week. “Dr. Garza brings many years of experience as both a leader in the public health field and a practicing emergency physician,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement Tuesday. Garza was not available for comment.

State Dept HIU Conference 14-15 Sept, Civil Military Fusion Center
This thing is scary fascinating.

Second, I am reaching out again regarding an experiment on civil-military relations and interaction, sponsored by NATO Allied Command Transformation Headquarters. This experiment is called the “Civil Military Fusion Centre” (CFC) based out of Norfolk, Virginia, and has been running since January 2008. It's a free resource to persons working on civil affairs / civil military relations. SEE BELOW FOR INFO ON GETTING AN ACCOUNT.

The CFC is an organization dedicated to enhancing information sharing between civil and military actors concerned with the same operational or engagement space. It works together with, and not in competition with, other information sharing tools that may be employed by NATO, the UN, EU, IOs, NGOs, government organizations, businesses and the academic community.

Developed as a prototype of a previous information-sharing initiative, the CFC is currently striving to improve is ability to facilitate information sharing between parties in the field, policy decision-makers, and representatives associated with the management of complex crises. At this time, we are focused on the events unfolding in North East Africa and Afghanistan, but are also interested in civil-military interaction issues at large.

As the Outreach Liaison, my role requires me to contact and work with a variety of civilian and military organizations to advance and enhance their interaction with one another, particularly as it relates to information sharing on crisis response operations.

Found in THE NATION: Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder
A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company's owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe," and that Prince's companies "encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life."

In their testimony, both men also allege that Blackwater was smuggling weapons into Iraq. One of the men alleges that Prince turned a profit by transporting "illegal" or "unlawful" weapons into the country on Prince's private planes. They also charge that Prince and other Blackwater executives destroyed incriminating videos, emails and other documents and have intentionally deceived the US State Department and other federal agencies. The identities of the two individuals were sealed out of concerns for their safety.

Port Authority Falling Behind on World Trade Center Projects
Redevelopment of the World Trade Center site, already years behind schedule, now may be an even more distant dream, a new report suggests. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the 16-acre site, has fallen more than four years behind building the 1,776-foot high 1 World Trade Center and PATH terminal, according to a preliminary and confidential report by the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center. The Authority’s other projects at the site, including the Memorial Plaza it promised to open on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, are also years behind schedule.
Saints 101: Who is St. John Vianney?
It was hard for him to study all of the ins and outs of our faith. He was no scholar. And he felt inadequate and unworthy to share his limited knowledge with others at times. He found it difficult to learn Latin. He knew his faith but he could not explain it in theological terminology. Like many of us, apologetics just wasn't his thing. Or so he thought.

As it turned out, he knew enough. He loved God. He loved others. He lived that every day, he didn't merely speak of it. And his example of living faith brought many people to repentance and reconciliation with God. All of us understand these basics of our faith. Love God. Love one another. Therefore, let us aspire to live this out in our homes with our families and in our communities with our neighbors.


Prince Charles to Visit Herr Popella

Britain's Prince Charles will not receive a memento from Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon when he meets Pope Benedict XVI next week. Chief Vatican spokesman Reverend Federico Lombardi has "unreservedly and unambiguously" denied reports the pope is planning to give the 60-year-old royal a copy of the famous king's 1530 appeal for the annulment of his marriage. Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, - who wed in a civil ceremony in 2005 - are due to meet the pope during a visit to Italy. It will be the first time the prince has visited the pope at the Vatican since he divorced his first wife, the late Princess Diana, in 1996. He previously met Pope John Paul II with Diana in 1985.

The Tu B'Av Extravaganza: Israel's Original Festival of Love
This week we observe the "minor" holiday of Tu B'Av (the fifteenth day of the month of Av), described by our sages as "The happiest day of the year." What is so special about this mysterious day, which was celebrated as a major holiday in the time of the Holy Temple? Our hosts explore the mystical and historical dimensions of Tu B'Av and discover the reason for it's great joy and expressions of love.
Strong 6.5 quake jolts southern Japan

4.7 Mb - BLACK SEA
StrulZ felt this one in Bucharest...

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