Tuesday, March 27, 2012
US Hutaree militia members cleared of charges that accused them of plotting war against U.S. government.
US Hutaree militia members cleared of charges that accused them of plotting war against U.S. government.(Yahoo).DETROIT - A federal judge on Tuesday gutted the government's case against seven members of a U.S. militia, dismissing the most serious charges in an extraordinary defeat for federal authorities who insisted they had captured homegrown rural extremists poised for war.
Judge Victoria Roberts said the members' expressed hatred of law enforcement didn't amount to a conspiracy to rebel against the government. The FBI had secretly planted an informant and an FBI agent inside the Hutaree militia starting in 2008 to collect hours of anti-government audio and video that became the cornerstone of the case.
"The court is aware that protected speech and mere words can be sufficient to show a conspiracy. In this case, however, they do not rise to that level," the judge said on the second anniversary of raids and arrests that broke up the group.
Roberts granted requests for acquittal on the most serious charges: conspiring to commit sedition, or rebellion, against the U.S. and conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction. Other weapons crimes tied to the alleged conspiracies also were dismissed.
"The judge had a lot of guts," defence attorney William Swor said. "It would have been very easy to say, 'The heck with it,' and hand it off to the jury. But the fact is she looked at the evidence, and she looked at it very carefully."
Prosecutors said Hutaree members were anti-government rebels who combined training and strategy sessions to prepare for a violent strike against federal law enforcement, triggered first by the slaying of a police officer.
But there never was an attack. Defence lawyers said highly offensive remarks about police and the government were wrongly turned into a high-profile criminal case that drew public praise from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who in 2010 called Hutaree a "dangerous organization."
David Stone's "statements and exercises do not evince a concrete agreement to forcibly resist the authority of the United States government," Roberts said Tuesday. "His diatribes evince nothing more than his own hatred for — perhaps even desire to fight or kill — law enforcement; this is not the same as seditious conspiracy."
U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade declined to comment. Two years ago, when militia members were arrested, she said it was time to "take them down."
Stone was recorded saying he was willing to kill police and even their families. He considered them part of a "brotherhood" — a sinister global authority that included federal law enforcers and United Nations troops.
He had a speech prepared for a regional militia gathering in Kentucky in 2010, but bad weather forced him and others to return to Michigan. Instead, he read it in the van while a secret camera installed by the FBI captured the remarks."It is time to strike and take our nation back so that we may be free again from tyranny," Stone said. "Time is up, God bless all of you and welcome to the new revolution."
Swor said Stone is a Christian who was bracing for war against the Antichrist."This is not the United States government. This is Satan's army," Swor told the judge Monday, referring to the enemy.
Militia members cleared of all charges were Stone's wife, Tina Stone, and his son, David Stone Jr.; Thomas Piatek, Michael Meeks and Kris Sickles."It's hard to believe it's over," said Tina Stone, crying as she spoke by phone. "Thank God we live in a country where we do have freedom of speech."Read the full story here.
President Obama filling the Federal Reserve board with "Fat Cat Bankers"?(Cato).By Mark A. Calabria.
Tomorrow the Senate Banking Committee will likely hold a vote on President Obama’s recent nominations to the Federal Reserve Board, Harvard professor Jeremy Stein and former investment banker and Treasury official Jerome Powell. I’ve written elsewhere on how these two fail to meet the statutory requirements for board membership, as it relates to geography. But there is another issue that continues to bother me about these nominations. That is the unwritten assumption that Wall Street gets a seat on the Federal Reserve Board.
As Bloomberg reports Powell “would bring expertise on financial markets to the Fed’s board, filling a void left by Kevin Warsh, a former Morgan Stanley banker.” But this overlooks the fact that the New York Federal Reserve President, currently former Goldman Exec William Dudley, is a permanent member of the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). As an institutional matter, the Fed already has a line from Wall Street via the New York Fed, where’s the need for another?
The Federal Reserve Act requires the president, when making nominations to the Fed, to give “due regard to a fair representation of the financial, agricultural, industrial, and commercial interests.” As far as I can tell there is zero representation on the Board for “agricultural, industrial and commercial interests” and already one former banker (Duke) on the Board. How is that “fair?” While this “fairness” requirement is not as black and white as the geography issue, I do believe it is one fundamental to the functioning of the Fed. Is this a Fed that represents all sectors and interests in the economy, or is this a Fed that mainly represents Wall Street (and academia, which is never mentioned in the Federal Reserve Act)?
While I do not personally know Mr. Powell, and I have no reason to suspect he is anything other than an honorable and well-intended man, I think we all have reason to believe that the last thing the Fed needs is another New York investment banker.Read the full story here.
"The Only Proper Response".By Arlene Kushner.Here you will see Syria talking about blood on Israeli hands. Syria. Could it get more ludicrous than this? Then there is the representative of "Palestine" saying that Israel attacked Gaza "for no reason at all."
The Human Rights Council, which is composed of 47 members, including such stalwart defenders of human rights as Cuba, China and Saudi Arabia, is inherently corrupt and anti-Israel. As Prime Minister Netanyahu pointed out the other day, "the council has made 91 decisions, 39 of which dealt with Israel, three with Syria and one with Iran."
Human Rights Watch, located in Geneva, provides -- http://www.unwatch.org/site/c.bdKKISNqEmG/b.3820041/ -- an examination of the council's resolutions concerning Israel that speaks for itself. For example:
"Expressing grave concern at the continuing construction...by Israel of the wall inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem..." in March 2008, which made no mention of the Palestinian Arab terrorism that seriously violated the human rights of Israelis and necessitated the construction of the wall.
"Demands that the occupying Power, Israel, stop the targeting [in Gaza] of civilians and medical facilities and staff and the systematic destruction of the cultural heritage of the Palestinian people, in addition to the destruction of public and private properties..." in January 2009, which ignored the defensive action of Israel against Hamas rocket attacks, and falsely accused Israel of targeting civilians and medical facilities. And what "systematic destruction of the cultural heritage of the Palestinian people"?
“Condemns the… recent announcement that it would add al-Haram al Ibrahimi [Cave of the Patriarchs] in Hebron and Bilal Mosque ['Tomb of Rachel'] in Bethlehem and the walls of the old city of Jerusalem to its list of national heritage sites…”
“Demands that Israel , the occupying Power, immediately cease all diggings and excavation works beneath and around Al-Aqsa mosque"… in March 2010, which ignores the rights to the sites mentioned as inherently part of Jewish heritage and makes totally fallacious accusations about Israel digging under the Temple Mount.
It goes on, and on, and on...
What is more, points out UN Watch, "The Council’s fixation with Israel is not limited to resolutions. Israel is the only country listed on the Council’s permanent agenda. Moreover, Israel is the only country subjected to an investigatory mandate that examines the actions of only one side, presumes those actions to be violations, and which is not subject to regular review." (Emphasis added)
The vote on the resolution regarding a fact-finding mission on the settlements was 36 to 1, with 10 abstentions (including the EU countries of Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Romania, as well as Norway, Switzerland, Moldova and -- I have conflicting information -- either Cameroon or Guatemala). The US cast the single opposing vote.
When President Obama, who is an internationalist, decided to promote the US as a member of the UN Human Rights Council in 2009, his argument was that more could be achieved by working from inside the council, where the US would have influence.
One would be hard put to see evidence of that influence when the resolutions of the council are examined. Nonetheless, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland has just released a statement saying that the UNHRC has "helped spur action on a series of important human rights situations around the world, in part due to vigorous US engagement."
What Nuland ignores, of course, is the excessive focus on Israel within the council, which detracts from time and attention needed for the real human rights crises in the world. One resolution on Iran compared to 39 on Israel? Where was the vigorous US engagement?
Nuland does say that the US condemns the UNHRC's biased approach on Israel, which she said "continues to unnecessarily politicize the Council's human rights agenda." But obviously the US has insufficient leverage within the council to stop even as egregious a charge as that of Israel digging under the Temple Mount. (Or perhaps insufficient motivation to try.) And certainly hasn't been able to change Israel's status as the only country on the council's permanent agenda.
What is more, the US does not deem the UNHCR's biased approach on Israel to be sufficient cause for resigning from the council. Nuland's statement was obviously designed to counter any such suggestion.
The negative US vote on the mission to investigate settlements was purely perfunctory in any event. Nuland made it clear that the US is opposed to the settlements -- and, I would venture to say, spent no political capital campaigning again the resolution -- but thinks negotiations are more productive than unilateralism.
Yet this latest travesty of justice by the council -- a shameful act following the Goldstone Report, which Goldstone himself ultimately distanced himself from -- is in the nature of the proverbial straw:
It is time for the US to depart from the council. To remain there is to add legitimacy to shameful proceedings that cannot be considered even remotely fair. While bolstering the council, US membership demeans the US.
Thus do I now appeal to all US citizens who agree with me to campaign for the US to resign from that UN Human Rights Council. Such a resignation would make an important statement and enhance the credibility of the US. Read and see the full story here.
Obama 'staunchest ally of Israel' - No, Jerusalem Is Not Part Of Israel.(FB).An official State Department communication has labeled Jerusalem and Israel as separate entities.
In an official press release yesterday, the State Department announced that “Acting Under Secretary Kathleen Stephens Travels to Algeria, Qatar, Jordan, Jerusalem, and Israel.”
Keeping up with its longstanding policy, the State Department refuses to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s official capital — despite a U.S. law stating otherwise. Obama faced criticism on the issue last year, when it was revealed that the White House had scrubbed all references to Jerusalem being part of the Jewish state from a collection of photos on its website.
Obama has also been lambasted by pro-Israel leaders and some on Capitol Hill for capitulating to pressure from the State Department, which has long opposed U.S. law on the matter.
A senior GOP aide condemned the State Department’s recent press release as unsound foreign policy.
“Once again, President Obama’s administration reminds Jewish voters why he cannot be trusted when it comes to Israel’s security,” said the source. “He doesn’t think Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Is it its own sovereign nation?”Hmmmm............"Trust me said the Scorpion".Read the full story here.
Israel expected to be Russian President Putins second foreign destination after inaugurated.(Imra).Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin wants to visit Israel in June, and has expressed interest in unveiling a monument in Netanya honoring Jewish Red Army soldiers who fought in World War II, a senior Israeli official told Haaretz on Monday.
There have been no talks about specific arrangements because Putin has yet to be inaugurated, the source said. After he is sworn in on May 7, Israel is expected to begin preparing for his visit, the date of which will be formally announced, the official said.
Israel is expected to be Putin's second foreign destination after he is inaugurated on May 7. Putin is due to travel to the United States on May 20 to attend the G8 summit, where he is slated to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama.
Since Putin was elected president earlier this month, senior Russian officials have made several requests to the Foreign Ministry regarding Putin's interest in visiting Israel.
The Russian ambassador to Israel, Sergei Yakovlev, and Russia's deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, are among those who have made such requests. Other requests were brought directly to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Putin earlier this month to congratulate him on winning the presidential election. Netanayhu's aides issued a statement saying the two discussed the Middle East situation and the Iranian nuclear program.
Netanyahu invited Putin to visit Israel and received an invitation from him to visit Moscow.
Netanyahu met with Putin in Moscow in February 2010, and the two announced they would set up a monument in Netanya to commemorate Jewish soldiers who served in the Red Army during World War II. The monument, designed by three Russian artists in the shape of a labyrinth, is about to be completed and Putin would like to unveil it, the Israeli official said.
Putin last visited Israel in April 2005, when Ariel Sharon was prime minister. The highly irregular visit took place on Passover, with only three weeks' notice. Israel lobbied unsuccessfully to get the visit postponed. Read the full story here.
Potential Egypt Brotherhood presidency draws fear in Egypt.(BM).As Egypt’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood met on Tuesday to discuss potentially reneging on their promise not to field a candidate in the country’s upcoming presidential election, fears of a complete Islamic transformation in Egypt are beginning to take hold in the country.
In many ways, for the liberals and activists in the country, who had hoped that a moderate figure, such as former Brotherhood top official Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh would be able to bridge the growing divide between the Islamists and the liberals, an official MB candidate could go a long way to ending those hopes.
“I think where we are at is to simply worry about the future of Egypt and its democracy,” one liberal MP told Bikyamasr.com on condition of anonymity due to his role with the Constituent Assembly. He argued that if the Brotherhood does put forward a candidate, “it could spell the official end to the revolution and what we had fought for.”
Others tend to agree, with activists telling Bikyamasr.com that at the current moment, the democratic and civil future of Egypt could very well be determined by whether or not a Brotherhood candidate for president is launched.
But the Brotherhood believes it is in their right to put a candidate forward, especially since they dominated a parliamentary election troubled by recent violent clashes, which saw many liberals remain at home.The argument, the Brotherhood, and their Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), give is that they have a mandate to rule, giving them clear authority to nominate a candidate.
Still, observers say they might have been elected popularly, and have a right to be in power, a mandate they do not have.“If we look at the polls, and the individual centers don’t have clear statistics, only 51 percent of Egyptians voted in the election,” said political analyst Bassem Hamdy in Alexandria. He argued that “while this is definitely proof they won an election, that’s barely a mandate. They didn’t even win 50 percent of the seats overall. That is not the full population.”
And therein lies the struggle for the Brotherhood. They understand, say experts, that if they do not field a candidate, and the constitution gives solid power to the top job, their current hegemony over Parliament and politics in Egypt, could begin to unravel, especially if a candidate unfriendly, Aboul Fotouh, is victorious.
FJP leaders however have a different take on the current situation, arguing that since they announced last year that they would not run a candidate, the country, and its needs have changed.“We are still fighting for human rights, freedom and the revolution,” said Amr Derrag, the Giza chief for the FJP. “But when we said that before we didn’t think that our leadership would be required for the presidency, but with the military battling for power, we might need to enter the race.”
He argued that the military junta’s grip on power could result in an election that Egyptians don’t want, which has the Brotherhood leadership concerned over its future power and control over government.
For activists, who continue to demand an end to military trials, greater freedoms and a civil state, the potential candidacy of a Brotherhood member has stoked fears that Egypt is heading down a path toward conservatism never before seen in its modern history.
“This is really scary because when you have a bunch of Islamists pushing Islam, they forget that there are other people in the country who don’t want things this way, and arguing with them gets no where,” said Samiha, a young 20-year-old university student and ardent supporter of women’s rights and a civil state.“Without a civil state, there is little room for change because Islamic law is so strict,” she added.
Despite those fears, Derrag said that “all groups will be respected including women and Christians.”
For many Egyptians, the question is to what extent, and for how long?Hmmm.....Trust the Obama regime to ignore Congress and give $ 3 Billion to the Muslim Brotherhood.Read the full story here.
Are they 'related' ? Monsanto files patent for new 'invention': The Pig! Michigan government announces plan to destroy ranch livestock based on hair color.
Are they 'related' ? Monsanto files patent for new 'invention': The Pig! Michigan government announces plan to destroy ranch livestock based on hair color.(NaturalNews).The state of Michigan is only days away from engaging in what can only be called true "animal genocide" -- the mass murder of ranch animals based on the color of their hair. It's all part of a shocking new "Invasive Species Order" (ISO) put in place by Michigan's Department of Natural Resources (DNR). This Invasive Species Order suddenly and shockingly defines virtually all open-range pigs raised by small family farms to be illegal "invasive species," and possession of just one of these animals is now a felony crime in Michigan, punishable by up to four years in prison.
The state has said it will "destroy" these pigs beginning in April, potentially by raiding local farms with government-issued rifles, then shooting the pig herds while arresting the members of the family and charging them with the "crime" of raising pigs with the wrong hair color. This may truly be a state-sponsored serial animal killing spree.
Reality check: You may think this story is some kind of early April Fools prank, but it isn't. This is factually true and verifiable through the documents, videos and websites linked below. The state of Michigan seriously intends to unleash a mass murder spree of pigs of the wrong color beginning April 1.Yet these are the very pigs that farmers and ranchers in Michigan have been raising for decades. The state doesn't seem to care about this, and there are indications that this ISO may have been nudged into position by the conventional pork industry as a tactic to wipe out its competition of local, specialty ranching conducted by small families and dedicated farmers who don't work for the big pork corporations. (The Michigan Pork Grower's Association.)Read and see the full story here.
(MFS).Monsanto files patent for new 'invention': The Pig !(GreenPeace).It's official. Monsanto Corporation is out to own the world's food supply, the dangers of genetic engineering and reduced biodiversity notwithstanding, as they pig-headedly set about hog-tying farmers with their monopoly plans. We've discovered chilling new evidence of this in recent patents that seek to establish ownership rights over pigs and their offspring.
In the crop department, Monsanto is well on their way to dictating what consumers will eat, what farmers will grow, and how much Monsanto will get paid for seeds. In some cases those seeds are designed not to reproduce sowable offspring. In others, a flock of lawyers stand ready to swoop down on farmers who illegally, or even unknowingly, end up with Monsanto's private property growing in their fields.Oneway or another, Monsanto wants to make sure no food is grown that they don't own -- and the record shows they don't care if it's safe for the environment or not. Monsanto has aggressively set out to bulldoze environmental concerns about its genetically engineered (GE) seeds at every regulatory level.
So why stop in the field? Not content to own the pesticide and the herbicide and the crop, they've made a move on the barnyard by filing two patents which would make the corporate giant the sole owner of that famous Monsanto invention: the pig.
The Monsanto Pig (Patent pending)
The patent applications were published in February 2005 at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva. A Greenpeace researcher who monitors patent applications, Christoph Then, uncovered the fact that Monsanto is seeking patents not only on methods of breeding, but on actual breeding herds of pigs as well as the offspring that result.
"If these patents are granted, Monsanto can legally prevent breeders and farmers from breeding pigs whose characteristics are described in the patent claims, or force them to pay royalties," says Then. "It's a first step toward the same kind of corporate control of an animal line that Monsanto is aggressively pursuing with various grain and vegetable lines."
There are more than 160 countries and territories mentioned where the patent is sought including Europe, the Russian Federation, Asia (India, China, Philippines) America (USA, Brazil, Mexico), Australia and New Zealand. WIPO itself can only receive applications, not grant patents. The applications are forwarded to regional patent offices.
The patents are based on simple procedures, but are incredibly broad in their claims.
In one application (WO 2005/015989 to be precise) Monsanto is describing very general methods of crossbreeding and selection, using artificial insemination and other breeding methods which are already in use. The main "invention" is nothing more than a particular combination of these elements designed to speed up the breeding cycle for selected traits, in order to make the animals more commercially profitable. (Monsanto chirps gleefully about lower fat content and higher nutritional value. But we've looked and we couldn't find any "Philanthropic altruism" line item in their annual reports, despite the fact that it's an omnipresent factor in their advertising.)According to Then, "I couldn't believe this. I've been reviewing patents for 10 years and I had to read this three times. Monsanto isn't just seeking a patent for the method, they are seeking a patent on the actual pigs which are bred from this method. It's an astoundingly broad and dangerous claim."
By claiming global monopoly patent rights throughout the entire food chain, Monsanto seeks to make farmers and food producers, and ultimately consumers, entirely dependent and reliant on one single corporate entity for a basic human need. It's the same dependence that Russian peasants had on the Soviet Government following the Russian revolution. The same dependence that French peasants had on Feudal kings during the middle ages. But control of a significant proportion of the global food supply by a single corporation would be unprecedented in human history.Read the full story here.
"Olympic Cyanide Games"? Plot Instructions Posted for London Games.(SUN).Exactly four months before the summer Olympic Games begin in London, officials are enacting security measures and trying to identify potential terrorist threats.The latest, uncovered by The Sun newspaper, involves mixing cyanide into hand cream. A Sun investigator saw a discussion on the idea after using a fake identity to gain access to a website frequented by radical Islamists, including "known links to six al—Qaeda terrorists."
One participant, identified as Abu Hija Ansari, posted instructions on how to mix the poison, including a warning that gloves are worn to protect the terrorists: "Through skin: 1 — cyanide, 2 — skin cream. Mix the ingredients. The skin cream will open the pores in the skin and speed up the absorption and effectiveness of the poison."
It's not clear how the hand cream would be distributed to large numbers of people attending the games. But others on the website praised the idea, including one woman who posted a logo of the Olympiad and wrote "It's time to prepare for the event, as once again they are interfering with innocent Muslims."
British security officials have not commented on the report. There are strong concerns, however, that the games will be targeted by terrorists, including sleeper cells already entrenched in London.
"Those who believe there is no terrorist threat are living in cloud cuckoo land," Bernard Jenkin, a Tory MP and chairman of the all-party homeland security group, said in response to the Sun report.Read the full story here.
Founder of Egypt’s Christian Brotherhood denies sectarian agenda.(AlArabiya).By Walid Abdel Rahman.The founder of a new group called Christian Brotherhood denied allegations about the group’s exclusive focus on Christians and stressed its dedication to national issues and the principles of citizenship.
Prominent Egyptian political analyst and founder of the Christian Brotherhood Michel Fahmy said there is no direct relationship between the creation of the group and current events.“The idea of the group came to me a long time ago and it was not triggered by the death of Pope Shenouda or the formation of the Constituent Assembly in charge of drafting the constitution,” Fahmy told Al Arabiya’s Studio Cairo Sunday.
According to Fahmy, the Christian Brotherhood does not have any religious agenda and that is why it is different from the Muslim Brotherhood.“The Muslim Brotherhood is originally a preaching group, but we are not.”
The similarity between both groups, Fahmy explained, is basically the fact that the Christian Brotherhood wants to take part in the political scene like the Muslim Brotherhood does.“We can reap the fruits of our efforts decades later like what happened with the Muslim Brotherhood, but we are not after power.”
For the time being, Fahmy added, the Christian Brotherhood is mainly concerned with the issue of citizenship for all Egyptians, not only Christians.“The name of the group aims at highlighting its Christian character and the way it aims at introducing Christians to the Egyptian society as an effective group that can take part in the country’s development.”
Fahmy also denied that the group is affiliated to the church even though the idea originated in the Anglican Church.“Our only relationship with the church is prayer. People need to realize that Christians can play a role apart from the church and that the church is for preaching purposes and not politics.”
The group’s main priority, Fahmy noted, is to become part of civil society not through providing people with monetary funds, but rather through tackling the most critical issues Egypt is currently facing such as illiteracy, the marginalization of women, and challenges to tourism industry.
The slogan chosen for the group is similar with variation to the one the Muslim Brotherhood has been adopting since its inception: “Love of Egypt is the solution.”
For Fahmy, the Muslim Brotherhood’s slogan “Islam is the solution” alienates many Egyptians while the Christian Brotherhood’s slogan includes all and rejects all sorts of divisions.
Fahmy refuted allegations that the Christian Brotherhood was formed in order to become the Christian version of the Muslim Brotherhood.“We have studied the history of the Muslim Brotherhood and we made sure to avoid all the mistakes they had committed which made their failures more than their successes.”
In addition to deepening the rift between Christians and Muslims, Gobrail argued that the establishment of the Christian Brotherhood is likely to lead to the establishment of more Islamist groups.“Many extremist groups can be formed by Islamists in response to the Christian Brotherhood and this is not the right time to risk such a reaction that is bound to complicate things more,” he concluded.Read the full story here.
Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers snapped this photo of a lava crater in Mauritania from the International Space Station.CREDIT: ESA/NASA . View full size image.
Mauritania- Amazing and Mysterious Geologic Structure Seen from Space.(Yahoo).A huge, copper-toned formation in West Africa dominates a mesmerizing photo taken by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station.
Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers snapped this hypnotic image of the so-called Richat structure in Mauritania, as the space station flew over the Sahara Desert on the Atlantic Coast of West Africa. Erosion of the various rock layers created the ring-like features that make up the sprawling structure, but the origin of the Richat structure remains somewhat mysterious, geologists have said.
The photo shows Kuipers' unique vantage point from the orbiting complex, which flies approximately 240 miles (386 kilometers) above the surface of the Earth. The image was taken on March 7 using a Nikon D2Xs camera, officials at the European Space Agency said in a statement.
During their months-long stints aboard the International Space Station, astronauts often perform Earth observations for science and public outreach.Throughout their mission, many spaceflyers maintain active social media presences, such as on Twitter or Google+, to share stunning views from spacewith members of the public.
Space agencies also use photos taken by astronauts to engage students and space enthusiasts in geography, planetary science and human spaceflight.
Editor's Note: This story was updated to reflect that the Richat structure in Mauritania is not a lava crater.Read the full story here.
Al Jazeera not to air French Merah killings video.(AJ).Al Jazeera has said it will not air a video that it received in a mail, showing three shooting attacks in Toulouse and Montauban in southern France this month.
The network on Tuesday said the video did not add any information that was not already in public domain. It also did not meet the television station's code of ethics for broadcast.
The video did not show the face of the murderer, nor did it contain a statement from him. The attacker appeared to be acting alone.The video was entitled "Al Qaeda attaque la France".
The attacks killed seven people, including three children, three soldiers and a teacher.Read the full story here.
South Sudan said the Islamic North Sudan air force had bombed the main oil fields.(AlArabiya).South Sudan said the Sudanese air force had bombed the main oil fields in Unity state near the border with Sudan on Tuesday, as violence between the two escalated.
“This morning as you called I heard the Antonov hovering over Bentiu town because it has just dropped some bombs in the main Unity oil fields,” Unity state information minister Gideon Gatpan told Reuters.“It has now gone back, possibly for refueling, and may come back,” he said by phone.
Sudanese army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad could not be reached on his mobile phone but Asian oil group GNPOC -- the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company, a consortium led by China’s CNPC -- operating in Unity state confirmed the bombing.
“The war planes are hovering everywhere ... One bomb actually just missed Unity base camp but anywhere else so far there is no information,” said Vice President Chom Juaj.“They bombed the oil field but so far we are still waiting for the report from the field telling us if they are damaged or not,” he said.
The attack comes a day after a rare direct military confrontation in the poorly marked border region, prompting Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir to suspend a visit next week to South Sudan, according to Sudanese state media.
Earlier on Tuesday, Sudan accused South Sudan of hatred and deceit as U.N. chief Ban Ki-Moon appealed for calm.
Comments by the South’s leader, Salva Kiir, that his military forces had taken the northern oil center of Heglig “reflected extreme hatred to Sudan and its people and the armed forces,” the official SUNA news agency said, citing Information Minister Abdullah Ali Massar.
The South had engaged in “deceptive and misleading acts” when it signed accords with Khartoum at African Union-led talks in Ethiopia, and when it sent a delegation to Khartoum last week to invite Bashir to the summit, said Massar, according to AFP.Ban called on the two countries to end the clashes and respect the agreements on border security they had already reached, his spokesman Martin Nesirky said. Kiir warned of the threat of war after what he said had been Sudanese ground and air attacks on multiple positions in South Sudan’s oil-rich border regions. “This morning the (Sudanese) air force came and bombed... areas in Unity state.”Their troops had fought back and taken Heglig, he added.“After this intensive bombardment our forces.... were attacked by SAF (Sudan Armed Forces) and militia,” he added, speaking at the opening of a ruling party meeting in the southern capital Juba.
“It is a war that has been imposed on us again, but it is they (Khartoum) who are looking for it,” said Kiir, adding that he did not want the conflict to resume.
Sudanese army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad initially said “limited clashes” had occurred between his forces and those of South Sudan along the border.Hmmmm..........As i predicted that did not take long.Read the full story here.
Israelis prefer preemptive strike to nuclear Iran: poll.(AlArabiya).Nearly two-thirds of Israeli Jews believe that the consequences for the Jewish state of a nuclear-armed Iran would be worse than those of an Israeli attack on the Islamic Republic, a poll showed.
The poll, published in Haaretz newspaper on Monday, found that 65 percent of Jewish Israelis agreed with the statement that “the price Israel would have to pay for living with the threat of an Iranian bomb would be greater than the price it would pay for attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities.”
Commissioned by the right-leaning Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the survey found 26 percent disagreed with the statement, while nine percent said they were unsure.
It also found that six out of 10 respondents -- 60 percent -- agreed that only military action could halt Iran’s nuclear program, which Tehran claims is for peaceful civilian purposes but Israel and much of the international community believes masks a weapons drive.
But another 37 percent disagreed with the claim that only military action could halt Iran's nuclear program, which has prompted the international community to impose tough sanctions on Tehran’s exports and financial sector.
A majority of respondents, 64 percent, said they were confident that Israel’s military forces could “significantly” damage Iran’s nuclear program, compared to 29 percent who disagreed.
And 63 percent said they believed Israel would suffer the same consequences whether an attack against Iran was carried out by the Jewish state or the United States.The poll surveyed 505 Jewish Israelis, religious and secular, Haaretz said, without specifying a margin of error.
Israel has said frequently it is keeping all options open for responding to Iran’s nuclear program, which it says poses an existential threat to the Jewish state.But the United States and other countries have called for time to allow biting sanctions to take effect.Earlier this month, a poll published by Haaretz showed that 58 percent of Israelis opposed a strike on Iran without U.S. backing.
The same poll, conducted by among 497 Israelis, also found that over half of the respondents trusted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to deal with the Iran issue.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.
Made from Genetically Modified Bacteria Waste, Aspartame Risks Public Health.(NH).By Andre Evans.Aspartame is one of the most used artificial sweeteners in the food supply today. It also happens to be one of the most dangerous. Aspartame is used in thousands of products as a substitute to sugar, though consumers would actually be better off eating regular sugar. Specifically, the toxic substance is often found in diet soft drinks and various candies. You should also be aware that aspartame is even present in a number of lesser-known conventional products as well.
Millions either knowingly or unknowingly consume aspartame on a daily basis. However, if the public was aware of the various dangers aspartame poses to individual health, they would stop — or would they?Aspartame is an addictive substance. Most people who consume diet sodas regularly soon develop a craving for it. This is because of aspartame’s addictive quality. Soon after consuming the ingredient on a normal basis, many people find themselves unable to kick the habit.
This is concerning due to the fact that aspartame has been linked to a number of diseases, can impair the immune system, and is even known to cause cancer. Aspartame has even been found to create tumors in lab rats. One study showed that of 48 rats experimented on, up to 67 percent of all female rats developed tumors roughly the size of golf balls or larger. This is glaringly in contrast to the perceived nature of what a ‘sugar free alternative’ would entail, which is generally thought to be a ‘healthy’ substitute to sugar.
Aspartame works as an excitotoxin, stimulating a response in cells to simulate the effects of sweetness without actually being sweet. Over exertion of these cells leads to the various health conditions that currently wreak havoc on the public.Excitotoxins have been found to stimulate cancer growth and metastasis. Aspartame, essentially, feeds cancer cells. If this weren’t enough to convince you to drop the diet soda habit, the process by which aspartame is made involves a highly toxic and volatile and genetically engineered form of bacteria waste — hardly something that would be considered safe by a reasonable standard.
And yet, the ‘safe and reasonable’ FDA has approved aspartame for use. Knowing the gamut of health risks that aspartame is responsible for, and knowing the history of FDA approved products, your health becomes your own responsibility. Being aware of its presence in over 6,000 products and counting is essential.Read the full story here.