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Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

Motorway built around home in China

Published on Nov 23, 2012 by itnnews : A couple from China are refusing to leave their half-demolished house, which has since had a motorway built around it.

Friday, November 9, 2012

DynCorp Gets $72.8 Million Contract Despite Negative Reviews and History of Child Trafficking.

By JG Vibes & Alex Thomas
theintelhub.com | November 8, 2012
DynCorp is one of the most lucrative and infamous military contractors in the world, perhaps only surpassed by Halliburton. They both have a documented history of gunrunning, drug dealing, and human trafficking.
In addition, the actual work that they do on the record is sub par and their rebuilding efforts have gotten terrible reviews, especially DynCorp.
Despite this history of nefarious behavior and poor work, Dyncorp was just awarded a brand new $72.8 million dollar contract by the US government. Not only that, but they have also been given an advance exoneration from any liability.
That’s right, our wonderful government has just given DynCorp almost $73 million to continue what many believe will be shabby work that may only be used as a front for more sinister operations.
“DynCorp of West Virginia, one of the largest military contractors in Afghanistan, was awarded a $72.8 million contract to train pilots for the Air Force about one week after the special inspector general for reconstruction called the company’s earlier work at the Kunduz army base “unsatisfactory.”
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) wrote a scathing report in 2010 and a followup this year which found “serious soil stability issues . . . structural failures, improper grading, and new sink holes” that threatened the well-being of troops stationed there.
One sink hole was found near an electrical power transformer, whose failure “would result in a loss of electrical power over a large portion of Camp Pamir, causing significant financial loss and increasing the risk of injury through fire and electrical shock,” the report said.”
more here from original >> 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

One Billion Vehicles Worldwide by the end of 2012

Published on Oct 25, 2012 by VOAvideo ; The production of passenger vehicles around the world reached an all-time high this year: 80 million new cars and light trucks, according to a study by the Worldwatch Institute in Washington. The new production record is heightening concerns among environmentalists, since petroleum-fueled automobiles are a major source of air pollution and climate-changing carbon emissions.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

'Nobel Committee making another mistake'

Tariq Ali on Democracy Now

Published on Oct 13, 2012 by PressTVGlobalNews : Although European nations support Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians, the Nobel committee has awarded its Peace Prize to the European Union, an analyst tells Press TV.

The EU has won the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize at a time that social unrest and financial problems are shaking the very pillars of the 27-nation bloc.

Announcing the award on Friday, the Nobel Committee President Thorbjoern Jagland acknowledged the EU's current financial woes and social unrest as many analysts also questioned the timing of the event coinciding with a wave of unrest in the bloc.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Seven Deadly American Sins

The list doesn't include our most grievous offenses, those of military and economic warfare against the rest of the world. Sinful enough is our behavior at home.

1. Sin against children

Perhaps "sanctity of life" ends at birth. According to Census Bureaufigures, one out of every five American children lives in poverty. For blacks and Hispanics, it's one out of every three.

2. Sin against the poor

The U.S. poverty rate grew from 11.3% to 15.0%, a 33% jump, in just 11 years. The impact was felt primarily by minorities and women. The median wealth for single black and Hispanic women is shockingly low, at just over $100 (compared to $41,500 for single white women).

3. Sin against students

Students at all levels have been losing their nation's support. States reduced their education budgets by $12.7 billion in 2012, and in 2013 the majority of states will be spending even less.

4. Sin against the middle class

The middle class is shrinking. In 2011, according to a Pew Research analysis, 51% of the nation's households earned from two-thirds to double the national median income. In the 1970s it was 61%.

5. Sin against the common good
A recent Tax Justice Network report placed total hidden offshore assets at somewhere between $21 trillion and $32 trillion. With about 40% of the world's Ultra High Net Worth Individuals in the U.S., up to $12.8 trillion of untaxed revenue sits overseas. Based on a historical 6% rate of return, this is a tax loss of up to $300 billion per year, money that should be paying for the public needs of education and infrastructure.

6. Sin against nature
A number of studies show that investment in renewable energy will create many more jobs than the fossil fuel industry. And the investment will likely pay off. A National Renewable Energy Laboratory analysis determined that "renewable electricity generation from technologies that are commercially available today...is more than adequate to supply 80% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2050."

7. Sin against common sense
The deception began, at least in the modern age, with Milton Friedman, who said "The free market system distributes the fruits of economic progress among all people...He moves fastest who moves alone."

Sunday, September 30, 2012

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Ahmad Faraz - convicted in Britain for publishing Muslim Brotherhood writings

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi during his address to the United Nations
As the Muslim Brotherhood's first ever President addresses (picture) the UN about Islamophobia CagePrisoners explores the parameters of freedom of expression in a case that saw the first books banned in the UK since Lady Chatterley, in this exclusive interview

In December 2011 bookseller and publisher Ahmad Faraz was found guilty for possessing and distributing books that purpotedly promoted terrorism and was sentenced to three years in prison. 

The books in question included works by Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, written at a time when Britain was openly supporting Afghan and foreign mujahideen against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, as well as the famous 1950s work of Syed Qutb, Milestones. This particular edition of Milestones was deemed to 'support terrorism' because it included appendices of thirteenth century exhortations to jihad which themselves were taken from the pre-Qutb syllabus of the Muslim Brotherhood.

At the time of Faraz's trial the Arab world had just been rocked by a series of revolutions that ousted western-backed dictators and brought supporters of the same Muslim Brotherhood into influence and power from Tunisia to Egypt, whose publictions had also once been regarded as 'terrorist' by their rulers.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

“On Psywar against the Innocent”

When freedom of expression is used to incite the public to hatred of a national, religious, racial or ethnic group it becomes a crime. According to Article 20 of the U.N.’s “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” :
1. Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.
2. Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.
                This doesn’t contradict rights of freedom of expression. It attempts to constrain agendas of hatred. It is possible that any program of military propaganda or psywar against groups or nations is fundamentally illegal. Attempts to defend extreme hate crimes as within our rights of free speech encourages censorship, which encourages repression.
A video of U.S. origin, “Innocence of Muslims,” the trailer to a film defaming and sexually deriding the Prohet Mohammed, has of course resulted in protest by Muslims worldwide. Why isn’t everyone protesting ? The trailer is intensively offensive to human values, lacks redeeming artistic merit, and is recognizably propaganda. In California a judge refused to ban “Innocence of Muslims” from youtube, on the grounds that suppression would violate U.S. guarantees of free speech.
In France Charlie Hebdo has published on its cover a cartoon caricature depicting Islam’s Prophet naked in a distorted sexual posture. The effect is despicable and intended. The original issue sold out and despite the anxiety of the country’s 4 million Muslims, Charlie Hebdo ran the cartoon again. While France is sensitive to religious laws (abortions don’t appear in French literature), it hasn’t charged the editors of Charlie Hebdo with a hate crime, and instead closed French embassies and schools in twenty countries. Domestically any protests against the Charlie Hebdo cartoon, or against the American video/film, are banned.  In Germany there are debates about whether the film should be allowed at cinemas or not.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The WINNER of the US President Election.

Political Ad Spending Doubled in 2012

Published on Sep 24, 2012 by PBSNewsHour : Political ad spending has doubled overall, but in critical battleground states the numbers are more drastic. In 2008, 519 presidential campaign ads aired in Colorado Springs, Colo. Four years later, the number has jumped to 1,445. Gwen Ifill talks to NPR's Ari Shapiro about the blitz of campaign ads in a Republican leaning city.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Private Prisons Spend $45 Million On Lobbying, Rake In $5.1 Billion For Immigrant Detention Alone

Nearly half of all immigrants detained by federal officials are held in facilities run by private prison companies, at an average cost for each detained immigrant is $166 a night. That’s added up to massive profits for Corrections Corporation of America, The GEO Group and other private prison companies:
A decade ago, more than 3,300 criminal immigrants were sent to private prisons under two 10-year contracts the Federal Bureau of Prisons signed with CCA worth $760 million. Now, the agency is paying the private companies $5.1 billion to hold more than 23,000 criminal immigrants through 13 contracts of varying lengths.
CCA was on the verge of bankruptcy in 2000 due to lawsuits, management problems and dwindling contracts. Last year, the company reaped $162 million in net income. Federal contracts made up 43 percent of its total revenues, in part thanks to rising immigrant detention. GEO, which cites the immigration agency as its largest client, saw its net income jump from $16.9 million to $78.6 million since 2000.
As the AP explains, these remarkable profits come in the wake of an equally remarkable lobbying campaign. In the past decade, three major private prison companies spent $45 million on campaign donations and lobbyists to push legislation at the state and federal level. At times, this money has gone to truly nefarious legislation. A 2011 report found that the private prison industry spent millions seeking to increase sentences and incarcerate more people in order to increase the industry’s profits. 30 of the 36 legislators who co-sponsored Arizona’s now mostly invalidated immigration law — which would have landed many more people in detention — received campaign contributions from private prison lobbyists or companies, including CCA and GEO. According to a report released last year, CCA spent over $900,000 on federal lobbying and GEO spent between $120,000 to $199,992 in Florida alone during a short three-month span in 2011. $450,000 went to the Republican national and congressional committees, while Democrats received less than half that number. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) were also among the private prison lobby’s top benefactors.
Private prisons have also been found guilty of abuses ranging from understaffing facilities tobribing judges to sentencing juveniles with minor offenses to disproportionately long terms in privately-owned correctional facilities. A recent report found a Georgia prison run by CCA charges detainees $5 a minute for phone calls while paying them just a dollar a day for menial labor that keeps the facility running; immigrants in civil detention centers have been exploited by the same program.
view from source  |   By Aviva Shen on Aug 3, 2012

Intoxication Nation: Blackout Parties and Beyond

Published on Sep 21, 2012 by ABCNews : Part 1: "Blacking out" after drinking alcohol is a goal for some young people.

Part 2: After too much imbibing, even a simple walk can turn embarrassing or dangerous.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mapping Drone Proliferation: UAVs in 76 Countries

The main international agreement that controls the transfer of drones is the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)

A new US Congress report on the proliferation of drones has confirmed a huge rise in the number of countries that now have military unmanned aerial systems.  The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has published an unclassified version of its February 2012 report on the proliferation of UAVs.  The report examines both the proliferation of UAVs, commonly known as drones, and examines US and multilateral controls on the export of drone technology.  
The report states that between 2005  and December 2011, the number of countries that posses drones rose from 41 to 76 (see here for full list).
(Countries that have drones according to GAO report)
According to the report:
“The majority of foreign UAVs that countries have acquired fall within the tactical category. Tactical UAVs primarily conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions and typically have a limited operational range of at most 300 kilometres. However, some more advanced varieties are capable of performing intelligence collection, targeting, or attack missions. Mini UAVs were also frequently acquired across the globe during this period.”
It should be noted that currently only the US, UK and Israel are known to have used armed UAVs.
The report goes on: “Currently, there are over 50 countries developing more than 900 different UAV systems. This growth is attributed to countries seeing the success of the United States with UAVs in Iraq and Afghanistan and deciding to invest resources into UAV development to compete economically and militarily in this emerging area.”
While the report fails to highlight the danger of growing drone proliferation to global peace and security it does emphasize the danger of drone proliferation to “US interests”.  The report states that “the use of UAVs by foreign parties to gather information on U.S. military activities has already taken place” and “the significant growth in the number of countries that have acquired UAVs, including key countries of concern, has increased the threat to the United States.”
Despite this, the report states “the U.S. government has determined that selected transfers of UAV technology support its national security interests”, thus highlighting the contradiction at the heart of current arms control measures.  ‘Private sector representatives’  told the reports authors that “UAVs are one of the most important growth sectors in the defense industry and provide significant opportunities for economic benefits if U.S. companies can remain competitive in the global UAV market.”
Table 1: US drone sales Fiscal Year 2005-2010
source here | Sept 18,2012  >>>

Make sure your party do not end up like this?

Facebook party sparks riots in Holland

Published on Sep 22, 2012 by itnnews : A Facebook party turns into a riot as over 3,000 people descend on Haren, northern Holland, after a girl accidentally set her invitation to public.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Breast Implant Nightmares gone wrong

Uploaded by TheRantChannel33 on Oct 31, 2011 ;

The RM20m country, what a laugh!

September 21, 2012 | ― Jaleel Hameed
SEPT 21 ― How cheap is Malaysia? Power is cheap, labour is cheap, the KR1M shops make sure household goods are cheap. And today, we hear it only takes RM20 million to destabilise the government of the day.
Is this a joke, newspaper and television editors? Is this a cheap joke, even?
That’s all for a government that has been in power since Merdeka? A measly RM20 million in a country of billion-ringgit projects and IPOs?
Cheap isn’t even the word to use if this report is to be believed. That foreign agencies ― and Germany’s RM21,400 ― is all that it takes to make the Najib administration wobbly enough to be taken down.
This, a government that is bullish enough to say it can win all states and its two-thirds majority in the next election that seems further away every day.
How do we believe a report using figures plucked out of thin air and without attribution? How do we believe that there are cheap people out there willing to pay such low rates to people willing to bring down a government for next to peanuts? How, sir?
How is it these mainstream newspapers and television stations even report this without checking their facts, sir? That a government that dispensed RM2 billion in direct cash aid called BR1M can be toppled with just RM20 million?
That SUARAM, Malaysiakini, Seacem, LoyarBurok and Centre for Independent Journalism have such great powers against the might of a civil service and media friendly, if not beholden, to Barisan Nasional?
You know what it is, sir? It’s a cheap shot before the general elections, sir.
It shows Barisan Nasional has run out of bogeymen, and it’s easy to tag these groups as agents of foreign groups either jealous of our success or wanting to put in a liberal, Western-friendly government.
And it shows desperation in getting a coherent storyline to tell to Malaysians to be beware of such groups and their message.
But this is what you get on the cheap, sir. A cheap storyline with a lousy plot worse than a B-grade movie.
And a government cheap enough to resort to such base tactics to remain in power, sir.
Sir, thank you for the cheap laugh today. Tell your journalists to come up with more jokes like this to keep us happy in these gloomy hazy times.
RM20 million to destabilise a government..... What a laugh, sir!
* Jaleel Hameed reads The Malaysian Insider.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

US accused of creating three more computer super-viruses.

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images / AFP
Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images / AFP
Two independent teams of researchers studying the Flame computer virus believe that the maker of the malware — all but certain to be the United States — has architected three additional programs to conduct clandestine cyberwar or espionage.

Both Symantec Corp of the United States and Kaspersky Lab of Russia acknowledged on Monday that their research of Flame has led them to believe that whoever had a role in creating that virus has also put their efforts behind three other similar programs.
A team of engineers at Kaspersky released new information on Monday collected during forensic analysis of Flame command-and-Control servers that were examined with the assistance of Symantec, ITU-IMPACT and CERT-Bund/BSI. Researchers had first disclosed in May that Flame, a sophisticated espionage virus, targeted computer systems in Iran and was likely the product of a nation-state, specifically the US. With this week’s update, however, it appears as if the United States’ endeavors in cyberwar may have stretched past even what researchers had imagined.
“Based on the code from the servers, it can be said that they were working with at least three other programs similar to Flame. The code names of those programs are IP, SP and SPE,” Kaspersky Lab chief security expert Aleks Gostev told RT. 
Although the United States government has not gone on the record to take credit for either Flame or Stuxnet, a similar computer worm that targeted Iranian nuclear facilities first discovered in 2010, experts have long maintained that the US is involved in both viruses, perhaps even enlisting Israeli scientists for assistance.
Speaking at a TED Talk in 2011, researcher Ralph Langner said, "My opinion is that the Mossad is involved but that the leading force is not Israel. The leading force behind Stuxnet is the cyber superpower – there is only one; and that's the United States."
In January of this year, Mike McConnell, the former director of national intelligence at the National Security Agency under George W Bush, told Reuters that the US had indeed attacked foreign computer systems at one time or another, and confirmed that America has “the ability to attack, degrade or destroy” the e-grids of adversaries. When the New York Times followed up with a report of their own only five months later, members of US President Barack Obama’s national security team admitted on condition of anonymity that the White House continued cyber-assaults on Iran’s nuclear program through Stuxnet, which Mr. Obama himself endorsed.
Once compared with coding from Flame, security experts saw an immediate correlation.
“Stuxnet of 2009 had a large piece of code similar to that of Flame, so apparently creators of Stuxnet and Flame were working in close collaboration,” Gostev from Kaspersky Lab said. 
With America all but confirmed as the culprit behind both viruses, this week it’s revealed that the United States may have crafted another three coded programs to target Iran and its allies. Speaking to Reuters, researchers involved in the latest analysis say they are still trying to figure out the basic facts about the three new viruses, but believe that the same entity responsible for Stuxnet and Flame are at it again.
"We know that it is definitely out there. We just can't figure out a way to actually get our hands on it. We are trying,"Symantec researcher Vikram Thakur tells Reuters.
Also in their report, Kaspersy say that the heavy encryption and nature of the newest programs “fits the profile of military and/or intelligence operations."