Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Video - Mike Jones to President Obama, “don’t touch my girlfriend.”



Video - Mike Jones to President Obama, “don’t touch my girlfriend.” (CNN).

The woman who voted next to President Barack Obama on Monday says she was "embarrassed and just shocked," after her fiancé jokingly told him "Mr. President, don't touch my girlfriend."

Casting his ballot in Chicago on Monday, Obama stood at a voting booth next to Aia Cooper, whose fiancé, Mike Jones, decided to crack wise with the president, which prompted Obama to reply with "I really wasn't planning on it," before adding that Jones was "an example of a brother just embarrassing you for no reason."

In an interview with CNN's Brooke Baldwin Tuesday afternoon, Cooper said she was "embarrassed and just shocked" after hearing her fiancé comments. "I was just shaking," she said.

Obama got back at Jones after voting, with a hug and a kiss for his fiancée.

"On the cheek, just the cheek -- please, Michelle, don't come after me -- just the cheek!" Cooper told CNN affiliate WLS-TV after voting.

"Now, he's really jealous," Obama told Cooper.

Read the full story here.

Cyprus Threatens to Block 'Bully' Turkey’s EU Entry Bid over Gas Row

SOURCE

Cyprus Threatens to Block 'Bully' Turkey’s EU Entry Bid over Gas Row. (Fars).

TEHRAN (FNA)- Cyprus said it will block any progress in Turkey’s ongoing talks to join the EU.
Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides also said President Nicos Anastasiades will also lodge a formal complaint over a Turkish gas search in waters where the EU member has already licensed companies to drill, AP reported.

Anastasiades suspended reunification talks earlier this month after Ankara announced its gas search plans.

Turkey doesn’t recognize Cyprus as a state and opposes its offshore energy search.

The Lancet: Assessment of the potential for international dissemination of Ebola virus via commercial air travel.


The Lancet: Assessment of the potential for international dissemination of Ebola virus via commercial air travel during the 2014 west African outbreak. HT: Crof.

Thanks to Greg Folkers for sending the link to this report in The LancetAssessment of the potential for international dissemination of Ebola virus via commercial air travel during the 2014 west African outbreak. The summary:
Background 
The WHO declared the 2014 west African Ebola epidemic a public health emergency of international concern in view of its potential for further international spread. Decision makers worldwide are in need of empirical data to inform and implement emergency response measures. Our aim was to assess the potential for Ebola virus to spread across international borders via commercial air travel and assess the relative efficiency of exit versus entry screening of travellers at commercial airports. 
Methods 
We analysed International Air Transport Association data for worldwide flight schedules between Sept 1, 2014, and Dec 31, 2014, and historic traveller flight itinerary data from 2013 to describe expected global population movements via commercial air travel out of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. 
Coupled with Ebola virus surveillance data, we modelled the expected number of internationally exported Ebola virus infections, the potential effect of air travel restrictions, and the efficiency of airport-based traveller screening at international ports of entry and exit. 
We deemed individuals initiating travel from any domestic or international airport within these three countries to have possible exposure to Ebola virus. We deemed all other travellers to have no significant risk of exposure to Ebola virus. 
Findings 
Based on epidemic conditions and international flight restrictions to and from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone as of Sept 1, 2014 (reductions in passenger seats by 51% for Liberia, 66% for Guinea, and 85% for Sierra Leone), our model projects 2·8 travellers infected with Ebola virus departing the above three countries via commercial flights, on average, every month. 91 547 (64%) of all air travellers departing Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone had expected destinations in low-income and lower-middle-income countries. Screening international travellers departing three airports would enable health assessments of all travellers at highest risk of exposure to Ebola virus infection. 
Interpretation 
Decision makers must carefully balance the potential harms from travel restrictions imposed on countries that have Ebola virus activity against any potential reductions in risk from Ebola virus importations
Exit screening of travellers at airports in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone would be the most efficient frontier at which to assess the health status of travellers at risk of Ebola virus exposure, however, this intervention might require international support to implement effectively.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Video - Racial Profiling or Good police work?



Video - Racial Profiling or Good police work? (RT).

Two YouTube pranksters have staged a small experiment- in one case they wore western clothes and argued in front of policeman who said nothing. In the other, they did the same but in Muslim clothes and were stopped and frisked by the same officer.

The authors of the video, YouTube stars Adam Saleh and Sheiikh Akbar, who are known for making fun prank videos, shot their latest footage in New York. It is called Racial Profiling Experiment and consists of two clips which according to them were shot with an+ interval of about 20 minutes.

On one video Saleh and Akbar, dressed in western clothes and speaking with American accent, pass by a police officer, arguing. They started pushing each other directly in front of the officer. He saw them but said nothing, pretending not to see them.

Saleh and Akbar repeated the same argument 20 minutes later. The only difference was that they wore what might be described as “cultural clothes” and spoke with a foreign accent.

But the officer’s reaction was quite different. He instantly stopped them as soon as Saleh, wearing a headdress, poked Akbar in the chest.

“What is the argument about? Why are you dressed like this?” asked the policeman, pointing at their traditional Muslim robes.

When the pair said “Nothing serious” and tried to move on, he said: “Don’t walk from me! I’m an officer! Why are you walking away when I am talking to you?”

Then the officer shoved them both against the wall, kicking one of them in process, ordering them to put their hands up. He started searching them asking “What’s in your pocket? Is this a gun? A knife?”

It turned out to be just a mobile phone. Hmmmm.....with the current 'events' in the ME i think it's only 'normal' the police will 'question' Middle Eastern dressed 'unruly' people.Read the full story here.

'Winter Plan' for Ukrainian Gas Could be Signed October 29, if Financial Issue Solved: Gazprom


'Winter Plan' for Gas Could be Signed October 29, if Financial Issue Solved: Gazprom. (RN).

The temporary 'winter plan' for gas deliveries to Ukraine from Russia can be signed next week, if the payment issue is resolved, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller stated Wednesday.

"Without doubt, if the response is received on the source of financing for Ukraine for the period ahead, the next week you can expect the signing of the winter plan," Miller said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel.

Gazprom head also added that Russia is not considering the option of appearance of a European intermediary company that would buy gas at the border of Russia and Ukraine. "The issue of whether the gas would be purchased for Ukraine by some European company on the border between Russia and Ukraine was not under consideration."

He concluded by saying that options of making advance payments for Russia's gas transit to Europe via Ukraine are not considered as "it is actually... about crediting of Naftogaz of Ukraine by Gazprom."

Earlier on Tuesday, EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said that two temporary gas agreements were expected to be signed during the next round of trilateral gas talks between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union on October 29.

Russia-Ukraine-EU talks on Ukraine’s gas crisis were held on October 21 in Brussels. Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan, his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak and the EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger participated in the talks.

The talks mainly included the issues of temporary gas deliveries to Ukraine from Russia and the repayment of the Ukrainian gas debt.

Gazprom CEO also has mentioned that Gazprom is not going to make advance payments for its gas transit through Ukraine as this would again be crediting of Kiev.

"No, such options [making advance payments for gas transit] are not considered... it is actually... about crediting of Naftogaz of Ukraine by Gazprom," Miller said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel. Hmmm.....'if Financial Issue Solved' or crows wear stiletto heels whichever comes first.

Iranian Minister: Several spies arrested in Bushehr.


Iranian Minister: Several spies arrested in Bushehr. (Taz).

Iranian security forces have arrested several spies in the Southern province of Bushehr, Intelligence Minister Seyyed Mahmoud Alawi announced on Tuesday, IRNA reported.
Alawi Who was addressing a number of local officials in Bushehr City said that thanks to the vigilance of the Intelligence Ministry officers who monitor the moves of the foreign intelligence services, some agents who were gathering intelligence data for the foreigners in Bushehr province were identified, arrested and sent to concerned judiciary offices.

The minister further reminded the decisive role of the Bushehr province for the country, and stressed, 'This province as the economic, industrial, military, trade and nuclear hub of the country has a special position at the national level.'

In August, Head of the AEOI Ali Akbar Salehi said not only the western, but also some developing states have been trying to sabotage Iran's nuclear installations through selling malfunctioning parts to the country.

'Unfortunately, different European and western countries and famous world industries with special positions (in this industry) have collaborated with the Zionist regime and the US efforts to sabotage Iran's nuclear industry, and if one day we reveal the names of these industries and companies to the world, all people will understand the importance of this issue,' Salehi told reporters at the time.

MSM ignores ISIS threat to occupy Xinjiang, harm China’s energy interests.


MSM ignores ISIS threat to occupy Xinjiang, harm China’s energy interests. (TOI).

On 4 July 2014, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadid effectively declared war on China by publishing a map of its aspirant caliphate that threatened to occupy China’s Xinjiang, and named China first in a list of 20 countries that had “seized Muslim rights.” In the video, Al-Baghdadi asked Chinese Muslims to plead allegiance to him and referenced Xinjiang numerous times

With Xinjiang comprising the furthest eastern flank of the planned caliphate, Chinese strategists will now have to worry about how ISIS’s pivot east will impact China’s energy security and its own march west across the new silk roads to the Greater Middle East.

Thus, China is currently debating sending troops to Iraq to fight ISIS and protect its interests.

Given China’s global stature and oil interests in Syria and Iraq, military analyst Zhao Chu argued in his blog that joining the coalition could not only give China valuable combat experience, but allow it look after its own interests as well as enhance its prestige by showing concern for international justice.

Likewise, Wang Chong, a researcher at Charhar Institute in Beijing, wrote on Weibo that if there was a need, ‘China could also send troops to help and provide training.”

Dingding Chen from Macau University also argued that China should send troops to fight ISIS. Observing bitter lessons learned from its $20 billion Libyan investment losses and evacuation of 36,000 Chinese nationals, Chen argued how a military presence in Iraq would provide solid security for Chinese investments, especially since Chinese stakes in Iraq are much bigger than in Libya.

In China’s state-owned mouthpiece China Daily, Jin Baisong from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s research institute also argued that the ISIS threat demands China to engage in Iraq.

However, rather than being seen as following a U.S.-led coalition, he suggested using an alternative banner such as the G20 framework and “take part in joint strikes against the IS if the consensus within G20 is to do so.”

He added China “could even consider sending troops to Iraq to prevent the Islamic militants from sabotaging Iraq’s normal economic order and to protect global economic interest.

While CIA estimates ISIS has 31,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria, China has 2.3 million active duty soldiers, with approximately 1 million reservists and some 15 million militia. With 1.3 billion people, China also has a potential manpower base of another 200 million males fit for military service available at any time.

Should ISIS continue to taunt the Chinese regarding territorial integrity in Xinjiang and threaten Chinese oil interests in Iraq, which is a core interest and red line for Xi Jinping, this King from the East has more than sufficient capabilities that could be brought to bear in a battle against ISIS. Hmmm.........talk about having a 'death wish'.Read the full story here.

 HT:

High-stakes Russia-Ukraine-EU gas talks begin in Brussels.....EU needs to foot the BILL.


High-stakes Russia-Ukraine-EU gas talks begin in Brussels.....EU needs to foot the BILL. (HD).

Russia, Ukraine and the EU began crunch gas talks on Oct. 21 to resolve a bitter price dispute and end fears that Moscow could halt crucial energy supplies to Europe this winter.
      
The high-stakes meeting between Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, his Ukrainian counterpart Yuri Prodan and European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger began as planned, a commission spokeswoman said.
      
"We had bilaterals with both sides and a trilateral meeting will start very soon," spokeswoman Marlene Holzner said.
      
"It's not possible to say when the talks will end," she added.

      
That supply cut heightened concerns that Europe, which gets about a third of its gas from Russia of which about a half transits via Ukraine, could be badly affected by the dispute this winter.
      
In the draft accord, cash-strapped Kiev would pay $3.1 billion (2.4 billion euros) in unpaid bills to Moscow by end-October, with a new contract to cover subsequent deliveries.
      
In Milan, Putin implied a deal was close but urged EU governments to help finalise the complex funding package required for Ukraine to afford the deal.
      
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking in Bratislava on Monday also said EU members states should do their part.
      
"Everyone must contribute, including Slovakia," Merkel told reporters in the Slovak capital.
      
"We're looking for a solution now, we don't have one yet and winter's already coming," she said.

Hmmmm....... Why does 'Married to the Mob come to my mind? 


Related: Putin: Russia will reduce Europe's gas supplies if Ukraine takes gas