Saturday, December 17, 2011
Type "Let it snow" and get it yourself: beautiful SNOW!
Google presents this year a really cool Easteregg. It freezes the whole Google Search Resultpage and lets you draw anyting.
You can search on Google.com, using the Keywords "Let it snow"
Automatically the Snowflakes and the Ice crystals appear
Hmmm.....And a Very Merry Christmas to All !
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation Chile 5.2 !More info here.
- Obama Administration gives up on detained American journalist Joseph Mayton in Egypt.(Bikyamasr).CAIRO: US Embassy officials refuse to assist detained American journalist, citing security and diplomatic concerns.The American Embassy in Cairo, in communication with detained American journalist and Bikya Masr Editor-in-Chief Joseph Mayton, reported that they cannot help in retrieving Mayton from Egyptian military detention, citing security and diplomatic concerns.“The military has spoke on two specific times to embassy officials, telling them that I can leave when the come and get me,” said Mayton, speaking to Bikyamasr.com staff on Saturday evening.“For two reasons they will not send someone to come get me. First, they say that there is a security situation in the area. Second, they told me that there is a tense diplomatic situation between the US government and the Egyptian security forces,” Mayton explained.“They said they will not send someone until a US security officer gives them the ok. They told me that they are looking at other solutions,” he continued.Meanwhile, the Hungarian embassy has sent a representative to retrieve Mark Fodor, a Hungarian citizen who was also detained today in the Cabinet building.Mayton, who was covering the ongoing violence in Cairo, was assaulted by the military police around 9:30 AM on Saturday morning after a group of citizens surrounded him, questioning why he was there.He was brought to the Cabinet building, where he has been detained for the past 11 hours.American embassy officials say that they will try to arrange for Mayton’s release on Sunday morning.Hmmm.......In Obama's world American citizens don't seem to count much?Read the full story here.
- Bail-out Bombshell: Fed "Emergency" Bank Rescue Totaled $29 Trillion Over Three Years.(BlacklistedNews).Source:Alternet.While the 99% suffered hardship, a new study shows that the Fed propped up buddies in the banking industry and a vast shadow banking system far beyond what anyone has guessed.Speculation about the the Fed’s actions during the financial crisis has made headlines on and off again over the last several years. The latest drama occurred on November 27 when Bloomberg published an article, “Secret Fed Loans Gave Banks $13 Billion Undisclosed to Congress," which gives an account of the news agency’s struggle to bring to light the details of the Fed’s emergency programs. Bloomberg throws out some very large numbers, revealing that as of March 2009, the Fed lent, spent, or committed $7.77 trillion worth of aid to the financial system and that banks used the low interest rates charged on these loans to make an estimated $13 billion in income. On December 6, the Fed struck back, issuing a four page unsigned memo intended to correct recent “egregious errors and mistakes” found in various reports of its emergency lending facilities. The Fed argues that the “total credit outstanding under liquidity programs was never more than about $1.5 trillion.” While Bloomberg wasn’t mentioned explicitly in the Fed memo, it was fairly clear to whom the response was directed. The following day Bloomberg defended its reporting, and the Wall Street Journal’s David Wessel came to the Fed’s defense, characterizing Bloomberg’s methodology as a “great story,” but ultimately not “true.” All this may sound like controversy, but it’s little more than a tempest in a teacup.Here’s the hurricane: In reality, no less than $29.616 trillion is the total emergency assistance provided by the Fed to foreign and domestic entities during the Global Financial Crisis. Let’s repeat that: $29 trillion. This astounding number is over twice U.S. gross domestic product, the nominal value of all goods and services produced for the year 2010. This is the total of the bailout as calculated by Nicola Matthews and myself as part of the Ford Foundation project, A Research And Policy Dialogue Project On Improving Governance Of The Government Safety Net In Financial Crisis. We will be presenting the results of our analysis in a series of papers published by the Levy Economics Institute, the first of which, “29,000,000,000,000: A Detailed Look at the Fed’s Bailout by Funding Facility and Recipient,” is already available here. The results we have calculated are presented below, and it is important to note that the totals are cumulative and in billions of U.S. dollars. (The numbers in parentheses indicate amounts still outstanding as of November 10, 2011).Read the full story here.
- The Gospel According To Wright.(AmericanSpectator).By Charles C. Johnson.In 2008 America elected a president whose pastor for 20 years preached anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, advocated bizarre pseudo-scientific racial ideas, opposed interracial marriage, praised communist dictatorships, denounced black "assimilation," and taught Afrocentric feel-good nonsense to schoolchildren. When Americans discovered the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's views during the 2008 campaign, they rightly wondered if Barack Obama, like his pastor, really believed that HIV/AIDS was created by the American government to kill black people. Even to this day, no one knows for sure whether Obama shares the views of Wright, whom the Chicago Sun-Times once described as Obama's "close confidant."Candidate Obama tried to dismiss his support for Wright, telling Charlie Gibson of ABC News, "It's as if we took the five dumbest things that I ever said or you ever said…in our lives and compressed them, and put them out there, you know, I think that people's reaction, would be understandably upset." And rightly so. In sermon after sermon, Wright's radical black nationalist ideas were clearly and emphatically stated. They were not an aberration, but the focal point of Pastor Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, where Obama was an active member for 20 years.Nor has Wright renounced any of his anti-Americanism. In a sermon last September 16 marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11 entitled, "The Day of Jerusalem's Fall," Wright seemed to celebrate white America's comeuppance. "We bombed Hiroshima. We bombed Nagasaki. And we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon--and we never batted an eye!" Wright preached. "We supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black south Africans and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back into our own front yards." He closed, invoking Malcolm X's statement about the assassination of J.F.K, "America's chickens! Coming home! To roost!" White America, he was saying, had gotten its just deserts.Candidate Obama tried to distance himself from Wright's more damning comments. But, crucially, he didn't disown the pastor himself. In fact, in his rise to political fame, he had made Wright's sermons his own, drawing on Wright's "Audacity to Hope" sermon and appropriating its theme for his political coming-out speech at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004. He even borrowed the sermon's title for his second autobiography, The Audacity of Hope, in a bid to get Wright and other black churches to support his candidacy.The question is why Barack Obama, raised without any faith at all, chose one of the most incendiary preachers in Black America to preach the word of God to him. Wright became, in Obama's words, "like family to me. [Wright] strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children." Obama told a group of ministers in June 2007 that Wright helped "introduce me to my Christian faith." But what, exactly, is Barack Obama's faith? Just as important, what is Jeremiah Wright's?Read the full story here.
- Outrage over West's Goebbels remark (Obama likening the U.S. to Nazi Germany on NPR remains in memory hole, however).(DougRoss).Please consider this report from The Hill: Dems call on Rep. West to apologize for Joseph Goebbels comparison. Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) landed in hot water on Friday for his remarks the previous day comparing the Democrats’ proficiency in getting out their message to the notorious head of the Nazi Party’s propaganda department under Hitler.“If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat Party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine,” West said Thursday... “Shame on him,” tweeted Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.). “Rep. West needs to apologize now for insulting the memories of the millions who lost their lives during the Holocaust.”Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) also called on West to apologize.Curiously, these Democrat hacks were utterly silent when then-candidate Barack Obama was revealed to have compared the United States to Nazi Germany during an NPR interview.None other than Charles (or the "Chuckster", as he prefers to be known) Johnson of LGF -- then in the patriotic phase of his career -- discovered Obama tarring America as a fascist regime.The audio recording of Barack Obama espousing his socialist philosophy of “redistribution of wealth” is all over the internet and Fox News today (although the other media outlets are ignoring it), but there’s another disturbing section on that tape that has so far escaped notice.The link to the audio is here: Chicago Public Radio - Audio Library: Odyssey.At about 15:30, Obama compares what was going on in the United States during the time of Brown vs. the Board of Education to ... Nazi Germany. Yes, really. Here’s the quote:“...just to take a, sort of a realist perspective...there’s a lot of change going on outside of the Court, um, that, that judges essentially have to take judicial notice of. I mean you’ve got World War II, you’ve got uh, uh, uh, the doctrines of Nazism, that, that we are fighting against, that start looking uncomfortably similar to what we have going on, back here at home.”There you have it. America is close to electing a President that compares his own country to Nazi Germany.Countdown to media analysis of Obama's egregious statements in: 3... 2... never.Read the full story here.
- Obama Administration, evidently to appease Muslims May Free Hezbollah Terrorist.(JW).A renowned Hezbollah terrorist in U.S. military custody for murdering five American soldiers in Iraq may soon be released by the Obama Administration, evidently to appease Muslims.The perplexing story was reported recently by a mainstream newspaper that portrays the case as a “dilemma” for the president as American troops prepare to exit Iraq. The Lebanese militant, Ali Mussa Daqduq, has been in U.S. military custody in Iraq since 2007 for his involvement in a carefully orchestrated plot that killed, kidnapped and tortured American military officers.The incident took place in a city called Karbala, south of Baghdad in early 2007. Around a dozen terrorists dressed in U.S. military uniforms opened fire on Americans after approaching a camp in five sports utility vehicles resembling U.S. transports. One U.S. soldier died at the scene and four others were kidnapped, tortured and executed. Daqduq, a Hezbollah commander, was the mastermind.But the Obama Administration can’t decide what to do with him. The president doesn’t want to violate Iraq’s sovereignty by removing Daqduq from the country when the U.S. withdraws at the end of the month. If Iraq is gracious enough to grant the U.S. permission to remove the terrorist so that he can be tried, this presents yet another huge dilemma for Obama.Taking Daqduq to the U.S. Naval base in Guantanamo Cuba, which houses other high-value terrorists, is out of the question because the facility is an anathema in the Middle East, according to the newspaper that broke the story. Furthermore, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki would not approve the “unacceptable” Guantanamo option.What to do with this Islamic terrorist who murdered members of our military? Incredibly, releasing him seems to be a very realistic option, according to various news reports. One mainstream outlet says that Daqduq may soon go free,without facing trial. This has outraged some members of Congress who offer the administration a reasonable solution.During a recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, one senator insisted Daqduq should go to Guantanamo to be tried before a military commission. Releasing him to the Iraqis would be like letting him go and trying him in a U.S. civilian court would be disastrous, the lawmaker pointed out. The administration already tested that brilliant idea when it proposed trying 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Manhattan.The Guantanamo option is clearly the most sensible. Last month Judicial Watch was approved by the Department of Defense (DOD) to observe the arraignment of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the al-Qaeda terrorist charged with orchestrating the 2000 attack on the Navy destroyer USS Cole. JW witnessed a deep commitment to justice by military lawyers as well as al-Nashiri’s topnotch capital defense attorney. Read JW’s Guantanamo coverage here.Hmmmm..........Read the full story here.
- US turns over Hezbollah prisoner to Iraqi government.(TheHill).The U.S. handed over a Hezbollah prisoner suspected of being involved in the deaths of five U.S. soldiers to the Iraqi government Friday, as U.S. troops prepare to leave the country, the White House said.The Obama administration had been pushing Iraq to allow the U.S. to keep Ali Musa Daqduq in U.S. custody, and President Obama discussed it with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki when he visited the White House Monday, National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said.But the Iraqi government wouldn’t agree to let the U.S. taking Daqduq out of Iraq, and the U.S. legally had to transfer him to Iraqi custody under the security agreement negotiated by the Bush administration in 2008, Vietor said.The decision to hand the last prisoner in U.S. custody over to the Iraqis was blasted by Republicans and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) Friday, who had wanted him transferred to Guantánamo Bay for a military tribunal.A statement from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Lieberman and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called the move “disgraceful.” “Coming on the heels of the Administration's failure to maintain a small American military presence in Iraq to support the fragile peace there, this failure to keep a committed murderer of Americans in U.S. custody sends exactly the wrong message to our allies and enemies in the region,” the statement said.Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said: “Given Iraq’s history of releasing detainees, I expect it is only a matter of time before this terrorist will be back on the battlefield.”Vietor said that the administration did not want to send any more detainees to Guantanamo, and the U.S. had discussed transferring him to a U.S. military commission.“The president has been clear that he believes it’s in our national security interest to close the detention facility of Guantanamo Bay, not add to the population,” Vietor said.Vietor said the Iraqis have given assurances to the administration that Daqduq will be tried for his crimes.Daqduq is accused of organizing a 2007 raid in Karbala, Iraq, where five U.S. soldiers were killed. Under the security agreement with Iraq, the U.S. must return all prisoners to Iraqi custody as it leaves the country. The U.S. marked the end of the Iraq war Thursday and is in the process of withdrawing the final troops from the country by the end of the month.Hmmmmm.....Anyone still doubting why an ex Iranian guard commander was at the WhiteHouse?Iran.....Hezbollah....Hellooooooo?Read the full story here.
- Canadian Imam Compares Canada to Nazi Germany.(Zaman).Calgary - A local Muslim leader who came under fire for comparing the situation Jews faced in Nazi Germany with that of Muslims in Canada today is hoping to meet the Calgary Jewish Community Council to clear the air.“I have asked for a meeting, and after the meeting, I’m going to comment,” said Imam Syed Soharwardy. “I just don’t want any misunderstanding that people are trying to create.”Imam Soharwardy, president of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, was sounding off on Ottawa’s new policy barring individuals from donning niqabs or face veils while taking their oath of citizenship.“Muslims are going through that situation right now where the Jews faced before the Holocaust,” hey told CTV earlier this week.Related - Niqab is not an issue.Barbara Kay: New niqab law puts Canadian values first.“Because intimidation of their faith, badmouthing about their faith, badmouthing about their book, badmouthing about their beliefs - that was going on in Germany before the Holocaust. The same thing is happening now about Muslims,” he said.Judy Shapiro, community relations director with the Calgary Jewish Community Council, said she understood that the Imam was disagreeing with federal government policy.“But there is no comparison between what Canadian Muslims are facing today and what the Jews faced in Germany before the Holocaust,” Ms. Shapiro said.“Not only is such a statement factually wrong, but it’s insensitive, at the very least, not only to the Jewish community, but to all Canadians. To equate Canadians to Nazis is totally unwarranted.”Ms. Shapiro said no meeting has been set up, but if it does happen, it will be private.Read the full story here.
- US Clears Iraqi Airspace For Israeli Strike On Iran.(Matzav).The U.S. military’s fast-approaching Dec. 31 exit from Iraq, which has no way to defend its airspace, puts Israel in a better place strategically to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.Iraq has yet to assemble a force of jet fighters, and since the shortest route for Israeli strike fighters to Iran is through Iraqi airspace, observers conclude that the U.S. exit makes the Jewish state’s mission planning a lot easier.Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, the top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, said the Iraqi military will maintain radars to monitor the country’s airspace, but it has not taken possession of American F-16s to guard that space.“The country has a capable and improving capability to see the airspace, a viable system to provide command and control, but no system to defeat incoming air threats until it gets either the F-16s or ground-based systems or, optimally, some of both,” Gen. Buchanan told The Washington Times.Iraq made the first payment in September for 18 F-16s that will not arrive until next fall at the earliest. This means Israel would have a theoretical window of about 12 months if it wants to fly over Iraq unimpeded by theIraqi air force.Retired Air ForceGen. Thomas McInerney, who advocates a U.S. strategic bombing raid to destroy Iran’s nuclear sites, agreed that Iraq’s open airspace would make it easier for an Israeli mission.“Yes, it will be,” he said. “However, it will be much easier for Iranian forces to get to Israel through Iraq via land and air.”Gen. McInerney said he thinks there is a good chance that Iran, stretched economically by Western sanctions and fearing threats from Israel, will launch a war against the Jewish state through Iraq.“Our departing Iraq will be a huge strategic mistake,” he said of the Dec. 31 deadline for all U.S. forces to leave.Iraq’s ruling Shiite majority has historic ties to Iran’s dominant Shiite society, but Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has warned Tehran against meddling in his country’s politics.Unknown is the role of U.S. jet fighters stationed outside Iraq but within striking distance from Navy carriers in the Persian Gulf, or possibly Kuwait.“I would hope we would jump to defend Iraqi airspace,” said James Carafano, a military analyst at the Heritage Foundation. “These are the kinds of contingency plans that ought to be put in place.”Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, like his predecessor, Robert M. Gates, has downplayed the impact that an airstrike might have on Iran’s quest for an atomic bomb. The Islamic republic has denied that it is trying to make a nuclear weapon.Read the full story here.
- Leftists Delay Justice, Cop-Killer Gets Death Reprieve.(JW).Pliant courts and a powerful leftist movement delayed justice long enough to get a convicted cop-murderer a death-penalty reprieve more than a decade after his lengthy appeals process had already been exhausted.The outrageous case involves a member of the radical Black Panthers, Mumia Abu-Jamal, who murdered a police officer (Daniel Faulkner) in Philadelphia three decades ago. Abu-Jamal, who claims to be the victim of a racist legal system, was sentenced to death by the jury that convicted him in 1982. After losing multiple appeals and being rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court twice, Abu-Jamal finally got his official reprieve this week.Prosecutors in Philadelphia officially abandoned their decades-long pursuit of execution for the cop-killer, leaving him to rot in jail for the rest of his life. In 2001, two years after Abu-Jamal had exhausted a lengthy appeals process, a Philadelphia federal judge (William Yohn) threw out the death sentence citing problems with the jury instructions and verdict form in the trial.Judge Yohn, appointed by the first President Bush in 1991, said jurors should have been able to consider mitigating circumstances during sentencing even if they did not unanimously agree that those circumstances even existed. Then he ordered prosecutors to, either conduct a new sentencing hearing, or instead sentence Abu-Jamal to life imprisonment since the conviction itself was never questioned.Decades have passed, many of the witnesses are either dead or unreachable so Philadelphia’s District Attorney decided not to proceed with a new sentencing hearing. “There has never been a doubt in my mind that Mumia Abu-Jamal shot and killed Officer Faulkner, and I believe the appropriate sentence was handed down in 1982,” said Philly D.A. Seth Williams, who happens to be black.He points out that every reviewing court has ruled that Abu-Jamal’s trial was fair and the verdict of guilt sound. The evidence was overwhelming and the mixed-race jury didn’t take long to reach a verdict for the 1981 murder. Three credible eyewitnesses testified that Abu Jamal was the killer. The bullet in the officer’s brain came from Abu Jamal’s gun, which had five empty cartridges when investigators found it. Court documents, testimony and other relevant facts about the case are available on a website created in the officer’s memory.From prison Abu-Jamal has been a hero to a powerful leftwing movement—including journalists— that has fought for his release. His backers include famous Hollywood celebrities and well-known activists and civil rights groups such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Amnesty International. President Obama’s ousted “Green Czar” (Van Jones) is also among the vocal Abu-Jamal supporters.Reacting to this week’s reprieve, a San Francisco-based group (appropriately called Prison Radio) that claims Abu-Jamal is a political prisoner insists he be freed, asserting that he’s innocent. To make its case the group includes a statement from the great South African activist (Desmond Tutu) who earned international accolades for opposing apartheid. Because life in prison is yet another form of death sentence, Tutu says, justice will not be served. “Based on even a minimal following of international human rights standards, Mumia must now be released,” Tutu said.Read the full story here.
- House Passes Spending Bill That Bans White House “Czars”.(DetNews).WASHINGTON — The U.S. House approved a $1 trillion spending bill on a 296-121 vote to fund the federal government’s operations through Sept. 30. As part of a compromise struck late Thursday, the funding bill specifically prohibits “czars” related to health care, climate change, the auto industry and urban affairs.The Senate is expected to pass the measure on Saturday.Michigan’s House delegation split 10-5 in favor of the resolution.Opposing the measure were Reps. Thad McCotter, R-Livonia; Justin Amash, R-Cascade Township; Hansen Clarke, D-Detroit; Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland; and Tim Walberg, R-Tipton.But Democrats and Republicans are still debating whether to extend a cut in payroll taxes set to expire Dec. 31, extend emergency unemployment insurance and increase Medicare reimbursement payments to doctors. Republicans are insisting on a provision aimed at speeding approval of a controversial energy pipeline from Canada.House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, praised the vote.“Recognizing the danger our spending-driven debt poses to long-term economic growth, this bill cuts discretionary spending for the second year in a row — a first in modern history — and eliminates several excessive government regulations that threaten job creators,” he said.Read the full story here.
- Unreal: Congressmen Told They Can’t Say “Merry Christmas” In Mail To Constituents.(Washington Examiner).Looks like the PC police have threatened members of the House of Representatives against wishing constituents a “Merry Christmas,” if they want to do so in a mailing paid for with tax dollars.Members who submit official mailings for review by the congressional franking commission that reviews all congressional mail to determine if it can be “franked,” or paid for with tax dollars, are being told that no holiday greetings, including “Merry Christmas,” can be sent in official mail.“I called the commission to ask for clarification and was told no ‘Merry Christmas.’ Also told cannot say ‘Happy New Year’ but can say ‘have a happy new year’ — referencing the time period of a new year, but not the holiday,” said a Hill staffer who requested anonymity.Another Hill staffer told The Washington Examiner that “we were given that advice after submitting” a draft mailing.Read the full story here.
- Why won't Obama say 'victory' to mark end of Iraq war?(WashingtonExaminer).President Obama delivered an important speech yesterday concerning the conclusion of the American war effort in Iraq. He spoke at Fort Bragg, N.C., before an assembly of America's finest military men and women, not a few of whom carried with them wounds suffered in the war. Every American should carefully read and study this Obama speech. Those who do will look in vain for the most important word that can be said about this or any other war.U.S. troops invaded Saddam Hussein's Iraq in 2003. By all accounts, the turning point in the war was the surge, the rapid increase in 2006 of American troop strength and the systematic application of their courage and firepower in an unprecedented strategy of localized engagement that began with the Anbar Awakening.Of the surge, Obama said this yesterday: "We remember the surge and we remember the Awakening -- when the abyss of chaos turned toward the promise of reconciliation. By battling and building block by block in Baghdad, by bringing tribes into the fold and partnering with the Iraqi army and police, you helped turn the tide toward peace."A little further on in his address, Obama observed: "It's harder to end a war than begin one. Indeed, everything that American troops have done in Iraq -- all the fighting and all the dying, the bleeding and the building, and the training and the partnering -- all of it has led to this moment of success. Now, Iraq is not a perfect place. It has many challenges ahead. But we're leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people. We're building a new partnership between our nations. And we are ending a war not with a final battle, but with a final march toward home."Those are fine and inspiring words to be sure. But what is more notable is the one word America's commander in chief could not bring himself to say to the assembled troops: Victory. He called the end of the American sacrifice in Iraq a "moment of success." And he called it an "extraordinary achievement." He even called it the fullest "expression of America's support for self-determination than our leaving Iraq to its people."But he didn't call it a victory, even though by his own description, Iraq was, before the arrival of American troops, a land of intense suffering under one of the most cruel and ruthless dictators in history. Today, the people of Iraq are no longer terrorized by their own government; they are instead its masters. If that result does not deserve to be called a victory for America, Obama owes an explanation to the families of the 4,500 Americans who gave their lives to bring it about.Read the full story here.
- Coming Soon: Retroactive Surveillance on Anyone.(NetworkWorld) .As the price of digital storage drops and the technology to tap electronic communication improves, authoritarian governments will soon be able to perform retroactive surveillance on anyone within their borders, according to a Brookings Institute report.These regimes will store every phone call, instant message, email, social media interaction, text message, movements of people and vehicles and public surveillance video and mine it at their leisure, according to “Recording Everything: Digital Storage as an Enabler of Authoritarian Government,” written by John Villaseno, a senior fellow at Brookings and a professor of electrical engineering at UCLA.That will enable shadowing people’s movements and communications that took place before the individuals became suspects, he says.“For example, if an anti-regime demonstrator previously unknown to security services is arrested, it will be possible to go back in time to scrutinize the demonstrator’s phone conversations, automobile travels, and the people he or she met in the months and even years leading up to the arrest,” the report says.“These enormous databases of captured information will create what amounts to a surveillance time machine. … This will fundamentally change the dynamics of dissent, insurgency and revolution,” the report says.Villaseno draws on knowledge gained from recent overthrows of such authoritarian regimes to support his argument that such a scenario is not just possible but likely. He notes that when the government of Libya fell, insurgents found equipment that had captured 30 million to 40 million minutes of phone conversations per month and enabled the government to read activist emails. There have been reports that the government of Syria wants to build communications intercepts as well, he says.In 2015 the cost of storing all the phone calls made in a year by an average person will be less than 2 cents, the report says. By 2020, the cost to store all the phone calls made by everyone over the age of 14 in Iran will be about $100,000, the report says.Hmmmm.....Welcome to the police state.Read the full story here.
- Britain should not be afraid of standing up for Christian values to counter ‘moral collapse’: Cameron.(Alarabiya).Britain is a Christian nation and should not be afraid of standing up for Christian values to help counter the country’s “moral collapse”, Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday.In a rare foray into religion by a British premier, Cameron said “live and let live” had too often become “do what you please” in Britain.The “passive tolerance” of immoral behavior had helped fuel the August riots, excess in the banking industry and home-grown Islamist terror, he said.“We are a Christian country. And we should not be afraid to say so,” Cameron said at an event in Oxford, southern England, to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.“The Bible has helped to give Britain a set of values and morals which make Britain what it is today. Values and morals we should actively stand up and defend.The alternative of moral neutrality should not be an option.”Cameron described himself as a committed but only “vaguely practicing” member of the Church of England, who was “full of doubts” about big theological issues.“We’ve got stand up for our values if we are to confront the slow-motion moral collapse that has taken place in parts of our country these past few generations,” he said.“Moral neutrality or passive tolerance just isn’t going to cut it anymore.“Shying away from speaking the truth about behavior, about morality has actually helped to cause some of the social problems.”Cameron said that along with the works of William Shakespeare, the King James Bible was a “high point of the English language”.“The Bible has helped to shape the values which define our country,” he said.“Responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion, humility, self-sacrifice, love, pride in working for the common good and honoring the social obligations we have to one another, to our families and our communities – these are the values we treasure.“Yes, they are Christian values. And we should not be afraid to acknowledge that.“But they are also values that speak to us all – to people of every faith and none. And I believe we should all stand up and defend them.”People who say that would be “doing down other faiths” were “profoundly wrong”.Hmmmm........Jesus said "...you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." ~ John 8:32 .Read the full story here.
- AP Poll: Majority of Americans Want Obama Voted Out of Office.(The Hill) — The majority of Americans believe that President Obama should not win reelection and his job approval stands at a new low, throwing into doubt his chances to earn reelection according to a new AP/GfK poll.More than half of Americans — 52 percent — said that President Obama should be voted out of office, a record high. Only 43 percent says he deserves a second term. Only 44 percent of voters approve of the job Obama has done as president, with 54 percent disapproving.Those numbers are a sharp decline from May, when 53 percent said Obama should be reelected. Only 38 percent of independents are approve of the job the president is doing, and only 39 percent of all voters approve of the job Obama is doing on the economy.Only 26 percent said the United States was headed in the right direction, and less than a third of respondents said they supported the president’s signature health care reform legislation.Read the full story here.
- Update: Nine dead in Cairo as clashes between army and protesters escalate.(BikyaMasr).CAIRO: Egyptian soldiers clashed with protesters for the second consecutive day in downtown Cairo, in an ongoing, violent crackdown on anti-government protests in the area.According estimates from the Egyptian Ministry of Health, at least nine protesters have been killed and 354 have been injured since the violence began in the early hours of Friday morning.Eyewitnesses reported that the army stormed flats surrounding the square where news stations had set up cameras. The army reportedly confiscated the video equipment, destroying it or throwing it down to the street below.In a press statement on Saturday afternoon, Egypt’s newly appointed Prime Minister, Kamal Ganzouri, said that the military did not initiate the attack and only worked to defend itself.He called his government “the revolution’s salvation government,” denying media reports that the army had used live ammunition on protesters.Hundreds of protesters have remained in the square on Saturday afternoon as the army’s violence intensifies.“We are waiting to see what happens next. When people wake up today, they will come and we will not stop this in the face of military,” Amr, a protester with rock in hand, told Bikyamasr.comThe violence began around two in the morning on Friday after an Ultra – a hardcore football fan – was allegedly abducted by security near the nearly three-week old sit-in in front of the Egyptian cabinet building.Rock throwing and clashes ensued and spread through the downtown Cairo area to Tahrir Square, Talaat Harb and Qasr el-Nil.Egypt’s army took power after popular uprisings ousted former President Hosni Mubarak in February.Since, they have become growingly unpopular, as protesters call upon them to immediately transfer power to a civilian-led government.Read the full story here.
- Related - BikyaMasr.com Editor-in-Chief Joseph Mayton detained by Egyptian military.(BikyaMasr).Breaking from Cairo: Bikyamasr.com’s Editor-in-Chief, Joseph Mayton, was detained this morning while covering the escalating clashes between protesters and military personnel outside of Egypt’s Cabinet building.As of the time of writing, Bikyamasr.com staff were in communication with US Embassy officials who are working to obtain Mayton’s immediate release.The clashes between demonstrators and military forces, which began in the early morning of Friday, December 17, have escalated rapidly in the past 12 hours. At least 8 have been confirmed dead, with reports of over 300 injured.Amongst the dead is cleric Emad Effat, a member of the Dar Al-Ifta religious authority. Al-Ahram reports that a funeral march for Effat has begun at Al-Azhar mosque, one the most important religious authorities in Sunni Islam.Egyptian State TV cut its live broadcast of the confrontation around noon on Saturday, as military forces escalated the situation, using lethal force and large numbers to repel protestors.BikyaMasr.com staff will continue to monitor this breaking story while working to assure the release of editor Joseph Mayton.Read the full story here.
- Arab League considers taking its Syria plan to the U.N. but rules out military action.(AlArabiya).An Arab ministerial committee ruled out taking military action against Syria but proposed on Saturday to take an Arab League plan to end the crisis in Syria to the U.N. Security Council, Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al-Thani said.The bloc’s foreign ministers will meet in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss the proposal, he said, a day after Russia proposed a surprise draft resolution to the council.“As Russia has gone to the Security Council, a proposal will be presented in the (Arab ministers’) meeting on December 21 that the Arab League goes to the (U.N.) Security Council to present the Arab initiative,” the Qatari premier said.In the same time Syria said that it will delay signing the agreement that will allow an Arab mission of military and civilian observers in the country as part of an Arab League proposal to end the bloodshed there. Meanwhile, an Iraqi team held “positive” talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday in a bid to end the deadlock over an Arab League plan to end nine months of bloodshed, its leader told AFP.“I am on my way to Cairo for a meeting with the Arab League after holding positive talks with President Assad,” National Security Adviser Falah al-Fayadh said.The Iraqi initiative is aimed at opening a dialogue between the opposition and the Syrian government to reach a result that satisfies both sides, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said in an interview with AFP on Thursday.“America and Europe are afraid of the phase after Bashar al-Assad. That is why they understand the initiative” from Iraq, Maliki said.The United Nations this week estimated that more than 5,000 people have been killed in the Syrian government’s crackdown on dissent, now in its 10th month.According to the Syrian Revolution Council, about 14 people were killed on Saturday across the country by the fire of the security forces. Shiite-led Iraq has so far shied away from punitive measures against Assad’s Alawite Shiite regime, abstaining from both a vote to suspend Syria from the Arab League, and another to impose sanctions on Damascus.There are fears among officials in Iraq, which has a substantial Sunni minority, that instability in neighboring Sunni-majority Syria could spill over the border.Read the full story here.
- Report: Iran 'blinded' CIA spy satellite.(Ynet).Is Iran in possession of satellite jamming technology? A European intelligence source claimed Iran stunned Western intelligence agencies when it managed to "blind a CIA spy satellite by aiming a laser burst quite accurately," in a never before reported incident.According to an article in The Christian Science Monitor, this unreported incident might suggest that the Iranians have successively gained access to jamming technology, allowing them to track unmanned aerial vehicle navigation capabilities.Former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton told Fox News on Sunday that such an option is possible."Some reports have said Russia sold (Iran) a very sophisticated jamming system a short time ago. Now, our military says that is not true, it came down because of a malfunction. I certainly hope that's right because if the Russians have provided Iran with sophisticated jamming equipment it means a lot else is at risk too," said Bolton. He added that Congress should be quite concerned if Iran is in possession of jamming technology that can bring down missiles, planes and communications and guidance systems "for a whole range of our weapon systems."An Iranian engineer, trying to decipher the secrets of the CIA drone that was flying over Iranian territory earlier this month, claimed Iranians managed to the craft's frequency, causing it to switch into autopilot mode and land on Iranian territory. The engineer maintained that the drone's Achilles' heel is its global positioning system (GPS). He explained that by jamming the communication the UAV is forced to switch to autopilot, causing it to lose control. According to the engineer, Iran was able to jam communication after accumulating data on other US drones which were shot down in Afganistan. Iranian experts were then able to reprogram the GPS data supposedly directing the US craft to land in Iran.Meanwhile, Iran's foreign minister said on Saturday that his country deliberately delayed its announcement of the capture of an American surveillance drone to test US reaction.Ali Akbar Salehi is quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying Saturday that Iran's armed forces intercepted and brought down the pilotless aircraft without any foreign assistance.On Friday US offcials said they believe the American stealth drone displayed in Iran had crashed and broke into pieces and was put back together by Iranians to make it seem it was not damaged by the crash, reported The Wall Street Journal.Iranian military officials were appeared surveying the unmanned aerial vehicle in video clips published last week, which Tehran claimed was shot down or remotely skyjacked before managing to land the drone intact. However US officials maintained the pilots of the UAV, which was developed by the Air Force but used by the Central Intelligence Agency at the time of the incident, lost control of the drone last week.The officials claimed the drone broke into three pieces, and added the UAV in question is one the most-sophisticated US spy planes available. Now the American intelligence officials are hard at work trying to asses how badly this incident hurt their capabilities in the region. American officials believe the Iranians have managed to reassemble the drone and display it, stirring up a heated discussion among Washington lawmakers who are outraged the sophisticated UAV cannot self destruct in the event that it falls into unwanted hands. Officials also maintained the drone was repainted by Iran in an attempt to hide the damage caused to the UAV. According to them, the actual color of the drone is charcoal-gray and not white, as it appears to be in the video. Tehran's claim that the pilot had lost control of the craft has raised suspicion among US officials. "They did not commandeer it and steer it to the ground," a Washington official stated. "It crashed, and they put it back together to make it look whole, like a puzzle being put back together."Meanwhile, Google CEO Eric Schmidt asserted that Iran has been developing cyber warfare which might endanger the US in the future. “The Iranians are unusually talented in cyber war for some reason we don't fully understand,” Schmidt said in an interview with CNN on Thursday. Read the full story here.
Obama's 'guest' Badr Corps commander Hadi al-Ameri visits Khamenei to kiss his hand.
Deeply concerned about regional developments, especially Qaddafi’s overthrow, the downfall of the Syrian dictatorship in the horizon, and the collapse of its regional front, Khamenei has for over a week now gathered his Iraqi agents in a show entitled the “World Assembly of Ahl al-Beit” in Mashhad on September 13th and the “Islamic Awakening Conference” in Tehran on September 16th and 17th. The velayat-e faqih’s objective in holding such shows is to prevent the collapse of his vulnerable front in Iraq and to strengthen his dominance over Iraq if regional revolts escalate.
The Iranian regime’s Iraqi elements taking part in these shows under the pretext of Islamic scholars included mullah Ammar Hakim, leader of the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council; Hadi Ameri, commander of Revolutionary Guards 9th Badr Corps and Maliki’s Minister of Transportation; Adel Abdul-Mahdi and Ibrahim Ja’fari, leaders of Iraq’s ruling coalition; and others from the Sadr and al-Dawa gangs.
The abhorring scene of Hadi Ameri kissing Khamenei’s hand – shown time and again by the mullahs’ state-run TV– clearly shows the nature of Maliki’s government and its role as the puppet of clerical dictatorship. The Iranian Resistance revealed in its statement ‘Camp Ashraf Occupation No. 46’ on April 12th, 2011: “The Iranian regime’s Qods Force, has mandated a number of the al-Maliki’s Ministers to defend the April 8th murderous attack on Ashraf in their April 12 cabinet meeting, demanding that more severe measures to be taken against the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)”. In that meeting, “Iraq’s Minister of Justice al-Shemri, from the al-Dawa party, along with the Minister of Road and Transportation, Hadi al-Ameri, defended the April 8th slaughter and called for killing of all Ashraf residents.
Mullah al-Hakim, hated even amongst Iranian regime’s affiliated groups in Iraq, said in his ridiculous remarks – dictated by the Qods Force - on September 17th during his meeting with mullahs within the ruling clique in Qom: “The terrorist Monafeqin (term used by the Iranian regime for the PMOI) group must immediately depart Iraqi soil… the members of this group can return to their country, and Iran has announced that around 100 members of this terrorist group have criminal records and must be prosecuted.Hmmmm......Did he come to thank Hussein for the drone?Read the full story here.
By Benjamin Weinthal .(Nationalreview).
Yesterday, the Emergency Committee for Israel — a group that has played a decisive role in the defeat of Democratic congressional candidates with checkered records of support for the Jewish state — called out President Obama for turning Israel into an international “punching bag.” The committee ran a hard-charging ad in five U.S. publications — the New York Times, the Miami Herald, the Palm Beach Post, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and Variety — calling on Obama “to stop blaming Israel first.” According to the ad’s bill of particulars, President Obama colluded with French president Sarkozy to denigrate Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu at a G-20 summit meeting. When Sarkozy was caught on a hot microphone calling Netanyahu a “liar,” Obama did not utter a word of protest. Instead, he fanned European hostility toward Israel’s government, saying, “You’re sick of him, but I have to deal with him every day.” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta shifted the onus of blame for the failed peace talks to Israel, instead of citing Palestinian rejectionism. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton equated Israel with the Islamic Republic of Iran. And U.S. ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman — an important Obama fundraiser — has blamed Israel for the outbreak of Muslim-animated anti-Semitism.
Yet Israel is the only rock-solid U.S. ally in the Middle East, and its most established democracy. At the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ annual Washington Forum last week, the organization’s chairman and former CIA director R. James Woolsey neatly captured the breakdown in U.S.-Israel relations: “From the start, the administration gave the impression it would be easy on enemies and tough on allies. All it needs to do now is pretend Assad and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are allies.”
All of this helps to explain why pro-Israel advocates are coming out swinging. William Kristol, a member of the Emergency Committee for Israel’s board, put it this way: “The pro-Israel wing of the pro-Israel community is punching back.”
The committee’s executive director, Noah Pollak, told the Israeli daily Haaretz: “In a month that has seen Islamists come to power in Egypt, rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza and Lebanon, progress on the Iranian nuclear program, and the continued slaughter of civilians in Syria, the Obama administration has chosen to repeatedly condemn the only liberal democracy in the region: Israel.”
Democrats are in a state of panic, and are working overtime to check Obama’s clumsy and misguided policies toward the Jewish state. But the Obama administration’s “Israel problem” will not vanish before the election.Read the full story here.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Army soldiers and civilians threw stones, glass plates and dishes
Above Parliament's building
Friday 16th December 2011 at 6:30 AM Cairo Time.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation Chile 5.2 !More info here.
- Krauthammer: Killing Osama bin Laden Is the Exception that Proves Obama’s Appeasement Rule.(BigPeace).Charles Krauthammer’s latest column in the Washington Post takes on President Barack Obama’s claim that he could not possibly be conducting a foreign policy of appeasement, given that his administration succeeded in killing Osama bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders.The charge of appeasement has become a potent theme of recent Republican presidential debates, infuriating the White House and its defenders in the media. Sen. Rick Santorum pointed out, in response to Obama’s bin Laden defense, that the administration was merely continuing the policies of George W. Bush.Krauthammer adds that Obama’s bin Laden defense is little more than question-begging. Killing bin Laden, Krauthammer reminds us, was not a policy question: Barack Obama didn’t appease Osama bin Laden. He killed him. And for ordering the raid and taking the risk, Obama deserves credit. Credit for decisiveness and political courage. However, the bin Laden case was no test of policy. No serious person of either party ever suggested negotiation or concession. Obama demonstrated decisiveness, but forgoing a non-option says nothing about the soundness of one’s foreign policy. That comes into play when there are choices to be made.Krauthammer highlights two of Obama’s worst–and most consequential policy choices: his decision to “reset” relations with Russia, selling out our European allies; and his decision to allow the 2009 protests against the Iranian regime to be crushed.These, Krauthammer suggests, fit the classic definition of “appeasement”–with the expected results.On Russia:
The Russians are back on the warpath about missile defense. They’re denouncing the watered-down Obama substitute. They threaten not only to target any Europe-based U.S. missile defenses but also to install offensive missiles in Kaliningrad. They threaten additionally to withdraw from START, which the administration had touted as a great foreign policy achievement…Finally, adding contempt to mere injury, Vladimir Putin responded to recent anti-government demonstrations by unleashing a crude Soviet-style attack on America as the secret power behind the protests. Putin personally accused Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of sending “a signal” that activated internal spies and other agents of imperial America.
For his exertions, Obama earned (a) continued lethal Iranian assistance to guerrillas killing Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, (b) a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador by blowing up a Washington restaurant, (c) the announcement just this week by a member of parliament of Iranian naval exercises to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, and (d) undoubted Chinese and Russian access to a captured U.S. drone for the copying and countering of its high-tech secrets.The killing of Osama bin Laden is not evidence of Obama’s leadership. It is exception that proves the appeasement rule.Read the full story here.
- Russia says it seized radioactive material en route to Iran.(Reuters).The Russian customs service said on Friday it had seized radioactive material found in the luggage of a passenger bound for Tehran at Moscow's Sheremetyevo international airport.The service said in a statement that tests showed the material was a radioactive isotope which could be obtained only "as a result of a nuclear reactor's operations."The statement said the material had triggered an alarm in the airport's radiation control system. The luggage search led to a discovery of 18 pieces of radioactive metal packed in individual steel casings.A Sheremetyevo airport customs spokeswoman said by telephone that the material had been identified as sodium-22 but gave no other details. Sodium-22 is a radioactive isotope of sodium that can be used in medical equipment.Read the full story here.
- At least 5 killed in Egypt cabinet violence, including 14-year-old.(BikyaMasr).CAIRO: At least five protesters have been killed on Friday by the military and security forces as clashes at the country’s Cabinet continue, medical sources said.Among the dead is a 14-year-old boy, activists said. Another four reportedly died en route to hospitals.The ministry of health reported early Friday evening that 99 people have been injured in the all-day violence that began in the early morning hours. They have not reported any deaths.Earlier in the day, protesters told Bikyamasr.com that at least three people were killed.“The first dead, the first dead,” said one protester as the young man was taken away, bloodied, into an ambulance.The violence began around two in the morning after an Ultra – a hardcore football fan – was allegedly abducted by security near the nearly three-week old sit-in in front of the Egyptian cabinet building.The man was reportedly beaten up and tortured by his captors.Protesters told Bikyamasr.com that a potential prisoner exchange was discussed, a defected soldier for the Ultra fan.Eventually, the Ultra fan was released, his face swollen twice the size after being punched repeatedly.Upon his release, fellow Ultras began chanting and then rock throwing ensued.“The military started throwing rocks first,” one protester told Bikyamasr.com.A number of tents were set ablaze inside the sit-in area. The military then opened water hoses directed toward the protesters, not the tents. At around 10 AM in the morning, smoke was still rising from the area, as broken rocks lined the ground around the area.Protesters, braving the barrage of rocks being thrown, had picked up plywood planks and were covering their heads from the rocks being thrown, in an attempt to get close enough to throw their own rocks back at the around 10 men high up on the building.At around 6 AM, security opened fire on the protesters. By then, the protesters had moved from the Magles el-Shaab to the main Qasr el-Aini street. It is unknown if the bullets used were live ammunition, but Bikyamasr.com did take an image of what appears to be a live round.Since then, it has turned into a stand-off between protesters and the plainclothes men above, with rock throwing persisting by the minute.The events of Friday morning follow last month’s violent clashes only a few streets away on Mohamed Mahmoud street, where protesters and security – police and military – fought brutal battles for 6 days.At least 70 people were killed in the street fighting, which galvanized hundreds of thousands of Egyptians to take to the iconic Tahrir Square nearby, medical sources told Bikyamasr.com.Now, Cairo is in the midst of a new round of clashes after the military invaded the peaceful sit-in and violently removed the protesters from the area. Streets are closed and shops remain unopened on Friday.“We are waiting to see what happens next. When people wake up today, they will come and we will not stop this in the face of military,” Amr, a protester with rock in hand, told Bikyamasr.com.Read the full story here.
- American Freedoms and Values stifled under current Obama Administration.(DocsTalk).Washington D.C. (December 15th, 2011) -- Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) president Andrea Lafferty was targeted and detained by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security personnel this Wednesday during the closing event capping the three day closed-door conference advancing the implementation of U.N. Resolution 16/18.“For weeks we have been asking whether the true aims of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and U.N. Resolution 16/18 would be used to apply “old fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming” to chill and coerce those critical of the Islamist agenda,” said Lafferty. “Hillary Clinton was as good as her word,” said Lafferty.Lafferty was circled by several members of Secretary Clinton’s staff before being approached by a member of the security detail, demanding Lafferty follow him. When asked why she was being removed from the reception hall, the security detail announced that a phone call had identified Lafferty as a “security threat” to Secretary Clinton. “I was shocked and angry at the pressure and shameful intimidation tactics our State Department put on, even to the point of identifying me as a threat to Hillary Clinton.”Secretary Clinton in a June 2011 conference in Istanbul, Turkey remarked how certain comments from those concerned about Islamic fanaticism have been deemed as “incendiary” and looked to sympathize with efforts that would criminalize certain speech that is “an incitement to imminent violence.”“This language -- “incitement to imminent violence” -- has been used time and time again to close events here in the United States concerning the impact of Islamic shariah law, detain law-abiding Christians elsewhere, and now even target and detain as security threats people from State Department events,” said Lafferty.“The very restriction on free speech the UN Resolution was pushing is exactly what they used against me,” said Lafferty.“I had warned previously how members of the U.S. State Department and Hillary Clinton have pointedly remarked that part of the implementation of U.N. Resolution 16/18 will be an effort to utilize “techniques of peer pressure and shaming” to silence critics of Islamic shariah,” said Lafferty. “Little did I realize how quickly Clinton and her Islamist friends were set to make examples out of law-abiding Americans.”Hmmm......I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes. ~ Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776.Read the full story here.
- Violence against female protesters in Egypt by military continues.(BikyaMasr).CAIRO: More female protesters are reporting being hit and abused by military police during the ongoing clashes on Qasr al-Aini street on Friday.Military police dispersed the sit-in outside the Egyptian cabinet by attacking protesters and burning their tents down. Scores have been reportedly injured as soldiers continue to throw rocks and other objects from the rooftop of the cabinet building.Several photographs emerging from the violence show women being beaten by the military police.One fully-covered woman, wearing the niqab, was cornered and hit by batons on her head by three soldiers.Activists reported that another niqab woman was detained and soldiers tore her clothes off while beating and insulting her.The military arrested dozens of women protesters, including Samira Ibrahim, the only girl to file a lawsuit against the military council for the virginity tests earlier this year.Other female activists reported widespread violence. Two protesters were dragged by their hair while being detained and several others were beaten badly by police.Ghada Kamal, a member of the April 6 Youth Movement was reportedly beaten on the head with sticks and taken to a local hospital for treatment.Police also arrested Sanaa and Mona Seif, activists part of the No Military Trials group and sisters of detained blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah.Read the full story here.
- Egypt health ministry says 36 injured, activists say many more, including possibly 2 dead.(BikyaMasr).CAIRO: Egypt’s Ministry of health said early Friday afternoon that 36 people from the Egyptian cabinet sit-in were injured in the clashes that broke out in the early hours of the day.Adel Adawei, deputy minister, said 10 of those injured were treated on site in ambulances and makeshift field hospitals, while 20 were taken to Qasr al-Aini hospital and two to Munira hospital.He said one protester was transferred to the Coptic hospital in the Ramsis neighborhood of Cairo. The deputy minister said that the majority of the injuries were a result of stone.Activists and protesters told Bikyamasr.com that the number of injured is “much higher,” and claimed that at least two people have been killed, one by a rock being thrown from a high building next to the cabinet, and another as a result of military police violence.Protesters said that the military police started attacking the sit-in around 2 AM.The military cleared the street in front of the cabinet building and torched their tents, forcing the protesters to flee.Police however, chased after the protesters, beating them severely, activists reported. A makeshift hospital was erected in a side street on the opposite side of the now gone tent city, and tens of protesters are being treated.Egyptian activists say the number of the injuries is far higher than the official numbers.They also accused the police of using live ammunition on them, as one of them was hit in the thigh with a bullet.Bikyamasr.com photographer on the scene in the early morning hours also took a picture of what appears to be a shell.Several leading activists have been detained, but shortly released. Activist Nour Ayman Nour reported that he was released, but after he and others received a beating at the hands of security forces.“Was beaten and detained but being released now with everyone with me,” wrote the activist on his personal Twitter account.Mona Seif and Sanaa Seif, jailed blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah’s sisters and activists in the “No Military Trials” organization, were also detained, but Mona was released soon after. The sister, Sanaa, reportedly suffered head wounds during her detainment, but has been released from custody.Many female activists reported that the police were violent with women, adding that an army policeman slapped an elderly woman in the street. Other women reported that they were hit in the head and on the back with wooden sticks.The sit-in began in opposition of the newly formed government, led by Kamal al-Ganzoury, a former prime minister from the ousted regime. They vowed to stay at the cabinet and prevent the new ministers from entering.The new minister of interior, Mohamed Ibrahim said the sit-in would not be dispersed using force, but the military police seems to disagree.Online video posted by activists soon after the violence erupted shows military soldiers throwing stones, pieces of glass and random objects from the roof of the cabinet building at the protesters below.Among the injuries, a young child had his lip cut open and had to have stitches in his forehead after being hit with a rock from above.Read the full story here.
- Turkish journalist jailed for publishing quotes regarding mass graves.(NewsAZ).Journalist Ilkem Ezgi Asham has been sentenced to a year in prison for publishing a four-sentence quote in daily BirGun.An Istanbul court passed down the verdict yesterday, punishing Asham for publishing a four-sentence quote regarding mass graves in the southeastern province of Bitlis.Conveying others’ opinions in news piece is a journalist’s most democratic right, Asham said in court. The court’s verdict first has to be ratified by the Supreme Court of Appeals, however. If convicted, Asham will become the 67th journalist behind bars in Turkey. The article entitled “Religious Community General in the Mutki excavations,” included a quotation from Hasan Ceylan, the Bitlis representative of the Human Rights Association (İHD), which drew a connection between Korkmaz Tagma, a senior army commander, and the killings in the southeastern region. Tagma later filed the suit that led to Asham’s one-year sentence. Meanwhile, Menderes Oner, the license holder of the Kurdish language daily Azadiya Welat, was taken into custody by law enforcement officials yesterday. Oner was detained while he was visiting an acquintance in prison and sent to court to testify, according to reports. Azadiya Welat has been under the government’s watch since it first began publishing in 2006. Forcibly shut down nine times, 13 of its journalists are currently behind bars, including four of its former chief editors.Read the full story here.
- Turkey to withdraw envoy if France passes genocide bill.(TodaysZaman).Turkey will withdraw its ambassador in Paris if French Parliament passes a bill that criminalizes denial of Armenian claims that their ancestors were subject to genocide in Anatolia in the First World War years.Turkish Ambassador Tahsin Burcuoğlu will be recalled to Ankara for consultations for an indefinite period of time, Engin Solakoğlu, undersecretary of the Turkish Embassy in Paris, told semi-official Anatolia news agency. “Passage of the measure will lead to irreparable damage in Turkish-French ties,” Solakoğlu also said.The French parliament readies to vote next week a legislation that could make denying the 1915 events that took place in Turkey as genocide punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros. The voting is not the first time France has mulled over criminalizing the denial of the events as genocide, as the French National Assembly adopted a bill in 2006, proposing that anyone who denied the “Armenian genocide,” would be punished, but the bill was dropped the same year before coming to the senate.Since France officially recognized the genocide in 2001, stirring up heated but short-lived tension between France and Turkey, French governments have attempted to introduce penalties for denying the alleged Armenian genocide several times, all of which were turned down before gaining full force.The debate was most recently revived in October, when French President Nicholas Sarkozy urged Turkey during a visit to Armenia to recognize the killing of Armenians at the onset of World War I as genocide and threatened to pass a legislation that would criminalize its denial if the country failed to do so. The president’s remarks, which drew instant and sharp criticism from top Turkish officials, were claimed to have been “misunderstood,” as his aide, Jean David Levitte, told the Turkish Embassy in Paris a few days after the incident.Hmmmm........Erdogan:Muslims don't commit genocide".Read the full story here.
- What’s Islam Got to Do with It?(NationalReview).By Clifford D. May.Is there anything Islamic about Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps? On what basis does Ayman al-Zawahiri, now al-Qaeda’s leader, formerly the head of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, claim to be a jihadi — an Islamic warrior? Do groups that justify terrorism on the basis of Islam have a doctrinal leg to stand on?Let’s not start by answering these questions. Let’s start by agreeing that such questions need to be asked — not suppressed. Yet right now suppression seems to be the goal of senior officials in the Obama administration. A report by the Westminster Institute’s Katharine C. Gorka notes: “Key national security documents have already excised all terminology that associates terrorism with Islam or Islamic concepts such as jihad.” She cites evidence that those who persist in using such terminology are being blacklisted — disqualified from working with federal agencies. Gorka asks: “If counter-terrorism professionals are not allowed to acknowledge that a person motivated by jihadist ideology, or by such Islamist ideologues as Sayyid Qutb or Abu’l-A’la Mawdudi, may be inclined towards acts of violence against Americans, how will they be able to identify and deter potential attackers?”Qutb, of course, was the “intellectual godfather” of modern Islamism. He proclaimed that “a Muslim has no nationality except his belief,” and that Islam is “not a ‘religion’ in the sense this term is commonly understood.” Instead, Islam is meant to encompass “all fields of living,” emphatically including politics and economics. He opposed democratic systems of governance because they replace God’s laws with man’s laws, thereby blasphemously diminishing the former and elevating the latter. A member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Qutb was executed in Egypt in 1966.Mawdudi was a Pakistani who argued that “the aim of Islam is to bring about a universal revolution.” He advocated that Muslims begin by transforming the states in which they live into “Islamic states.” Once those Islamic states have “power and resources,” their obligation is to “fight and destroy non-Islamic governments and establish Islamic states in their place. . . . Their ultimate objective is none other than world revolution.” It’s worth noting that while Mawdudi did not suffer most infidels gladly, he wrote admiringly of the “ingenious and mighty leadership of Hitler and his comrades.”I have encountered senior government officials who were unfamiliar with Qutb, Mawdudi, and other radical Muslim voices. That’s disturbing. But how much worse if it has now become the policy of the U.S. government to demand ignorance, to insist upon it as a matter of principle and strategy?During a hearing earlier this month, Rep. Dan Lungren (R., Calif.) repeatedly asked Assistant Defense Secretary for Homeland Defense Paul Stockton whether America is “at war with violent Islamist extremism.” Stockton repeatedly insisted that America is at war only with “al-Qaeda and its allies” and “violent extremism.” An exasperated Lungren stressed that he understood — that he was making a distinction between “violent Islamist extremism” and Islam. Stockton replied: “Sir, with great respect, I don’t believe it’s helpful to frame our adversary as Islamic with any set of qualifiers that we might add, because we are not at war with Islam.”Gorka comments: “The Obama administration is right to assert that America is not at war with Islam, but to deny that a violent strain of Islam is inspiring a wave of terrorist attacks against Americans and American targets is to invite disaster.”I’d add this: Those who tar all Muslims with a single brush make a serious mistake, unwittingly assisting not just bin Ladenists, but also Iran’s theocrats. Muslim liberals and reformers should be our allies in the war that must be waged against totalitarianism and supremacism in their contemporary manifestations.But combining sensitivity and intellectual honesty is not so difficult. To acknowledge that Nazism was a German ideology hardly makes one a Germanophobe. You can love Italy while recognizing that Fascism was deeply rooted in Italian soil. Russia gave the world Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky. It also gave us Leninism and Stalinism. And can you imagine the U.S. government banning any linkage of the Spanish Inquisition with the Vatican — lest it offend Roman Catholics?The radical ideologies that today most threaten America, Israel, and Europe arise from within the Muslim world and are justified by fundamentalist interpretations of Islamic scripture. Those who lead movements and regimes based on these ideologies have been inspired by the Islamic conquests of centuries past. They believe a second age of Islamic power and glory is achievable — if Muslims are willing to fight for it as did Mohammad, his companions, and the “Soldiers of Allah” (a phrase, you may recall, that the “violent extremist” Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan proudly printed on his calling cards).Muslim liberals and reformers do not deny this. Those who do deny it are not Muslim liberals or reformers — but they are exerting influence at the highest levels of the U.S. government.That can be explained in part by the fact that in the Middle East there is an enormous amount of money — nearly every penny of it derived from the sale of oil to the West — backing those who seek to revive Islamic imperialism and colonialism.To forbid American officials and those who work with them from even discussing such matters is either an attempt at appeasement that is sure to fail or a manifestation of madness that, if not checked, can only contribute to the West’s decline and, ultimately, submission.— Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.Read the full story here.
- Turkey made Israel 'kneel down', says foreign minister.(NewsAZ).Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said Turkey's recent polices in the Middle East "have made Israel kneel down" before Turkey.Speaking during budget talks in the Turkish parliament, Davutoglu responded to claims by the opposition that Turkey's foreign policy is dependent on Western countries and that there is a shift of axis in Turkey's foreign policy towards the East.Noting that Turkey has been acting independently with regard to recent uprisings against authoritarian regimes in Middle Eastern and North African countries, Davutoglu said Turkey had never remained silent in the face of “oppression”. “It is our policies which made Israel kneel down in the region before us. We have always sided with people who demand democracy, not with authoritarian and oppressive regimes,” he said.Relations between Turkey and Israel, two close US allies in the region, have soured since Israeli forces boarded the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara aid ship in May 2010. Ankara downgraded ties and vowed to boost naval patrols in the eastern Mediterranean in the escalating row. Turkey has demanded compensation and an apology from Israel regarding the deadly flotilla attack, but Israel refuses to comply.Stating that those who strongly criticized Turkey's “zero problems with neighbours” policy last year as being unrealistic now support this policy, Davutoglu said the government is determined to go ahead with the policy. “But we cannot remain silent if one of our neighbours oppresses its people,” he added in an apparent reference to Syria.Hmmmm......'Empty barrels make the most noise'?I'm sure Assad agrees on this .Read the full story here.
- Violation of Iran's airspace act of war - Iranian MP.(NewsAZ).A senior Iranian lawmaker says the recent violation of Iran's airspace by an American spy drone amounts to an “act of war,” a report says.On Thursday, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a member of the Majlis (parliament) Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy said that the issue of the US spy drone was in fact an act of aggression against Iran since, based on the UN Charter, the intrusion into another country's territory by a reconnaissance aircraft constitutes an act of war. Falahatpisheh added that the intrusion by the American spy craft provides the most significant evidence pointing to persisting US efforts to hatch plots against the Islamic Republic. He urged international organizations and bodies to accurately probe the incident and take measures to counter such aggressive US conduct. Falahatpisheh called on Iranian officials to collect legal proofs on the latest US violation and submit them to international authorities for appropriate measures against the anti-Iran plot. The lawmaker also pointed to the recent US demand for the return of the sophisticated spy drone and emphasized that the RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft is a “valuable war trophy” that Iran acquired in the process of its “Cold War” with the United States. This war trophy will serve as a deterrent leverage against the US, he pointed out. Falahatpisheh said the US and the West should be mindful that the outcome of taking military measures against the Islamic Republic would be far different than other countries due to Iran's growing power and advances in scientific and military fields.Read the full story here.
- France will pioneer return of Middle Ages mindset to Europe - Davutoglu.(NewsAZ).Turkey's Foreign Minister has blasted France for promulgating a "Middle Ages" mentality ahead of a French Parliament debate on a proposal to criminalize the denial of the "genocide" of Armenians, referring to events that took place in 1915."If this proposal is legislated, France will pioneer the return of a Middle Ages mindset to Europe," Ahmet Davutoglu told the Turkish parliament late Wednesday, Anatolia news agency reported.France's move would "create a new dogma about understanding history, to forbid alternative thoughts. This is the mentality of the Middle Ages. The adoption of this mindset in France is the greatest danger for Europe," Davutoğlu said.Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their people were killed during World War I by forces belonging to Turkey's erstwhile Ottoman Empire. Turkey refuses to call the 1915-16 killings a genocide and says 300,000 to 500,000 Armenians, and at least as many Turks, died when Armenians rose up and sided with invading Russian forces.The French National Assembly will on Thursday next week debate a proposed law that would punish the denial of "genocide" with penalties of a year in jail and a fine of 45,000 euros ($58,000).Ahead of the debate, Turkey's Parliament will send a delegation, led by its foreign affairs committee chief Volkan Bozkır, to Paris from Monday to Wednesday, to explain the damage the law would cause for bilateral ties, said a Turkish parliamentary source.Davutoglu told Turkish lawmakers it was "out of the question to leave unanswered an attempt by any country leader, government or parliament to dishonour our country and nation." French President Nicolas Sarkozy has called on Turkey to recognize the killings as 'genocide' and in the past promised his country's large Armenian community to support a law criminalizing the denial of a 'genocide'.Hmmmmm........I've got news 1915 was not Medieval times.Read the full story here.
- Muslim Man Cuts off Wife's Fingers to Keep Her from Pursuing an Education.(BBC).BANGLADESH--Human rights groups in Bangladesh have demanded a severe punishment for the husband of a young wife who allegedly cut off most of her right hand.Police say Rafiqul Islam, 30, attacked her because she pursued higher education without his permission.They say Mr Islam, a migrant worker, admitted to the crime shortly after returning home from the Gulf.However there has been no independent confirmation from the suspect that he carried out the attack.The incident is one of a number of acts of domestic violence targeting educated women in recent months.Police say that Mr Islam, who works in the United Arab Emirates, tied up his 21-year-old wife, Hawa Akther Jui, earlier this month. He then taped her mouth and cut off the five fingers.Doctors say the fingers cannot be re-attached and it appears that Ms Akther will have to live with permanent disfigurement."After he came back to Bangladesh, he wanted to have a discussion with me. Suddenly, he blindfolded me and tied my hand," Ms Akther told the BBC's Anbarasan Ethirajan from the town of Narsingdi."He also taped my mouth saying that he would give me some surprise gifts. But, instead he cut off my fingers."She said her husband, who is not well educated, did not approve of her enrolling in a college for higher studies.During their earlier telephone conversations, she said, he warned her of "severe consequences" if she went against his word."Doctors said my fingers could be re-attached within six hours but he refused to give them. After that time, another relative of my husband threw the fingers in a dustbin. "We finally recovered them but it was too late," said Ms Akther, who is still recovering at her parents' house.She said that she did not want to live with her husband - who is now in police custody - any more. Ms Akther - who is eager to continue her studies - said that she wanted her husband to be severely punished for the attack. "I have now started practising writing with my left hand. I want to see how far I can go. I never imagined that my fingers would be chopped off like this because of my studies."Read the full story here.
- Egyptian child maid gets US citizenship after years of abuse.(BikyaMasr).LOS ANGELES: A former child maid, brought to Southern California by a wealthy Egyptian family and spent years in captivity, forced to work inside their home, became an American citizen on Thursday.Shyima Hall, who hopes to one day become a police officer or immigration officer, was forced to sleep in the Egyptian couple’s garage at night and spend the day working as a house maid.For two years, the then 10-year-old Hall was the slave of the Egyptian couple, ironing clothes, washing dishes and doing the domestic chores.She was finally freed from the bondage after authorities discovered the situation.On Thursday, she met with officials again but this time she took the oath of allegiance to America as a new US citizen.She wants to help others who have been put in similar situations.“Now I can move on with my career and start my life the way I want it,” the 22-year-old said, her eyes sparkling after the ceremony on Thursday in Montebello. “It’s just something I’ve waited for for a long time.”Hall was sent to work for an Egyptian couple as a domestic servant in Cairo when she was 9. The following year, Abdel Nasser Youssef Ibrahim and his then-wife Amal Ahmed Ewis-abd El Motelib arranged for someone to apply for a tourist visa on her behalf and brought her to the US, court records show.In 2000, Hall set foot in California – but only inside the spacious home where Ibrahim and Motelib lived with their five children in Irvine. She was not allowed to play outside the house or with the other children, but rather slept in the garage without electricity and manually washed her clothes in a bucket, the documents show, the Sacramento Bee reported.She has since bounced around foster care, before being welcomed by a Beumont family and was able to receive her green card before now getting her citizenship.Read the full story here.
- Israel establishes new ‘depth’ command for long-range military operations.(haaretz).On December 15th Israel’s defense minister Ehud Barak approved the formation of a new operations force oriented to multidisciplinary missions far from Israel’s borders.The new authority will be commanded by a military officer at the rank of Major General, and will be headed by the former chief of the elite Sayeret Matkal special forces unit Shai Avital, who will return to military serivce to fill the position.Onoing concerns with Iran's contentious nuclear program serve as the backdrop for the IDF's annoucement, with both U.S. and Israeli officials noting that, while diplomatic efforts were the preferred tool with attempting to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions, no options were "off the table." On Wednesday, diplomatic sources said that Iran could soon launch sensitive atomic activities in an underground facility deep inside a mountain, a development likely to add to tension between Tehran and the West. Iranian experts have carried out the necessary preparations at Fordow near the holy city of Qom, paving the way for the Islamic state to begin higher-grade uranium enrichment at the site on a former military base.Hmmmm....."Pour les vaincre, messieurs, il nous faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, et toujours de l'audace et la Patrie sera sauvée!" ~ Danton. Read the full story here.
- Pakistani Muslims Mutilate Women, Trade Food for Sex.(AM).ISLAMABAD--Pakistani Taliban fighters cut the breasts of a woman who was breastfeeding her child and asked other women to eat the pieces, in a gory incident highlighted in a report on the abuse of women in the militancy-hit tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.The incident occurred when five militants walked into a house and saw the woman breastfeeding her child, The Express Tribune quoted the report titled ‘Impact of crisis on women and girls in FATA’ as saying.The report, released by the human rights organisation “Khwendo Kor” (Sisters’ Home in Pashto) with financial support from the UN, is based on case studies of women from the tribal belt living in camps set up in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa for people displaced by militancy.Women in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas are more susceptible to abuse in a post-conflict scenario, whether or not they are part of the conflict, the report says.Another revelation is that women in camps were forced to have sex in exchange for food and non-food items. Girls and widows were at greater risk of such abuse.“A security officer forced me to have sex in exchange for cooking oil and pulses when I was collecting food at the main entrance of the camp,” a 22-year-old woman in Jalozai camp is quoted as saying.The surveys conducted at relief camps at Nahqai and Jalozai showed that women were uncomfortable going to toilets because men constantly lurked around.The report said there was also an increase in “honour killings” in which women who were raped were murdered because rape was considered a disgrace to the family.Forced marriages, honour killings, exchange of women between tribes and marriages with first cousins resulting in disabilities among offspring have made women very dependent, the report said.Hmmmm.......Welcome to AD 620?Read the full story here.
- Belarusian Presidential Candidate's Lawyer Kept From Seeing Him.(Rferl).MINSK -- The lawyer of jailed former Belarusian presidential candidate Andrey Sannikau has again been blocked from seeing her client at a labor camp in the eastern city of Vitsebsk, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.Sannikau's wife, Iryna Khalip, told RFE/RL that Maryna Kavaleuskaya has been barred from seeing her client for more than one month after being refused access to him on December 15."The labor camp's warden, [Vital] Ahnistykau, has been kindly talking to the lawyer trying to persuade her that there is no need 'to waste time and come here,'" Khalip said.Ahnistykau also told the lawyer, Kavaleuskaya, that the labor camp's "censorship unit" does not allow Sannikau's letters to be sent out, Khalip said, adding that only one letter in which Sannikau wrote that he is doing well was allowed to be sent to his family.On December 14, human rights activist Paval Levinau told RFE/RL that when he visited the labor camp this week and asked Ahnistykau why Sannikau's lawyer is unable to see his client, Ahnistykau said Sannikau wrote a letter to the labor camp's administration when he arrived at the penitentiary stating that his life is under threat."Ahnistykau said that because of that letter, Sannikau has been fully isolated from any contact with other inmates and special inquiries have been sent to all the penitentiaries where [Sannikau] was imprisoned in the past, asking about any problems he faced," Levinau said. "The warden added that the check into Sannikau's security and safety could last at least six more months."When Levinau told the warden that barring Sannikau from meeting with his lawyer is a violation of article 62 of the constitution, which guarantees legal assistance to any Belarusian at any time, Ahnistykau refused to comment.Sannikau was jailed for five years in May for his part in a mass demonstration following a controversial presidential election in December 2010, which returned incumbent Alyaksandr Lukashenka to power.Hmmmm....Lukashenko the last Sovjet dictator,President for life...... friend of the late Gadaffi.Read the full story here.
- INDONESIA - Central Java: statue of the Virgin Mary decapitated.(AsiaNews).Semarang () – Last night, vandals decapitated the statue of the Virgin Mary in a small grotto in Sendag Prawito, Tawangmangu, Semarang Archdiocese (Central Java). A cross was stolen and the aspersorium was badly damaged.“This brutal action has strongly affected the Catholic community,” Mgr Johannes Pujasumarta, archbishop of Semarang, told AsiaNews. “Security Forces must do their duty without showing any preference for Muslims or Christians in a religiously pluralistic country based on the principles of Pancasila, which are still the foundations on which the nation is built,” the prelate said in an appeal to local authorities to provide Christians with security during the Christmas period.In recent years, Christmas has seen several attacks against Indonesia’s Christian communities. In 2000, a series of bombings killed 19 people during Christmas week. On 31 December 2005, seven people died in an attack against a market in a Christian section of Palu (Sulawesi). In both cases, Jemaah Islamyah, which is linked to al Qaeda, was blamed.Hmmmm......Obama:"Indonesia is an example of religious tolerance".Read the full story here.
- And now for something completely different ! Giant plumes of methane bubbling to surface of Arctic Ocean.(Yahoo).Russian scientists have discovered hundreds of plumes of methane gas, some 1,000 meters in diameter, bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean. Scientists are concerned that as the Arctic Shelf recedes, the unprecedented levels of gas released could greatly accelerate global climate change.Igor Semiletov of the Russian Academy of Sciences tells the UK's Independent that the plumes of methane, a gas 20 times as harmful as carbon dioxide, have shocked scientists who have been studying the region for decades. "Earlier we found torch-like structures like this but they were only tens of meters in diameter," he said. "This is the first time that we've found continuous, powerful and impressive seeping structures, more than 1,000 metres in diameter. It's amazing."Semiletov said that while his research team has discovered more than 100 plumes, they estimate there to be "thousands" over the wider area, extending from the Russian mainland to the East Siberian Arctic Shelf."In a very small area, less than 10,000 square miles, we have counted more than 100 fountains, or torch-like structures, bubbling through the water column and injected directly into the atmosphere from the seabed," Semiletov said. "We carried out checks at about 115 stationary points and discovered methane fields of a fantastic scale — I think on a scale not seen before. Some plumes were a kilometer or more wide and the emissions went directly into the atmosphere — the concentration was a hundred times higher than normal."Hmmm.....This is Real bad.Read the full story here.