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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Syria Moving Scuds to Israel, Turkey Borders – Report.

Syria Moving Scuds to Israel, Turkey Borders – Report.(INN).Jordanian news site Ahbar Baladna reports that western spy satellites have recently spotted movements of Syrian heavy missile launchers northward and southward, toward Syria's borders with Turkey and Israel. The site says hundreds of high-caliber launchers are being moved, and that these could only be long range Scud missile launchers. Syria has threatened in the past that in the event of foreign military intervention on its soil, it will not hesitate to fire missiles at Israel and Turkey in order to ignite a large scale regional war. Turkish and French officials said ten days ago they were mulling a potential military intervention in Syria, where civil war has been raging for 14 months. “In the face of developments in Syria, we are taking into consideration any kind of possibility in line with our national security and interests,” Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu told parliament during a briefing to lawmakers.Hmmmmm......False flag or not?Read the full story here.

Overnight Music Video - Toto - Africa

Video - Top General: Obama Knew About OBL’s Hideout in Abbottabad Since Summer of 2010 – Refused to Act Until May.

Top General: Obama Knew About OBL’s Hideout in Abbottabad Since Summer of 2010 – Refused to Act Until May. ( HT: GWP).By Jim Hoft.General Jack Keane (Retired), the former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, told Mike Huckabee tonight that Barack Obama knew about Osama Bin Laden’s hideout since the summer of 2010. But Barack Obama refused to act for several months. He wanted absolute proof first that Osama was living there. It wasn’t until May of 2011 that he agreed to attack Bin Laden’s compound, almost a year later.

Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood rise from the ashes as dominant force in the opposition.

Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood rise from the ashes as dominant force in the opposition.(VOC).By Khaled Yacoub Oweis.At a meeting of Syria’s opposition, Muslim Brotherhood officials gather round Marxists colleagues, nudging them to produce policy statements for the Syrian National Council, the main political group challenging President Bashar al-Assad. With many living in the West, and some ditching their trademark beards, it is hard to differentiate Brotherhood from leftists. But there is little dispute about who calls the shots. From annihilation at home 30 years ago when they challenged the iron-fisted rule of Hafez al-Assad, the Brotherhood has recovered to become the dominant force of the exile opposition in the 14-month-old revolt against his son Bashar.
Careful not to undermine the council’s disparate supporters, the Brotherhood has played down its growing influence within the Syrian National Council (SNC), whose public face is the secular Paris-based professor Bourhan Ghalioun. “We chose this face, accepted by the West and by the inside. We don’t want the regime to take advantage if an Islamist becomes the Syrian National Council’s head,” former Brotherhood leader Ali Sadreddine al-Bayanouni told supporters in a video. The footage is now being circulated by Brotherhood opponents, seeking to highlight its undeclared power. “We nominated Ghalioun as a front for national action. We are not moving now as Muslim Brotherhood but as part of a front that includes all currents,” said Bayanouni. The Syrian Brotherhood is a branch of the Sunni Muslim movement founded in Egypt in the 1920s. It was a minor political player before a 1963 Baath Party coup but its support grew under the authoritarian 30-year rule of Hafez al-Assad, as his minority Alawite community dominated the majority Sunni country.
Mindful of international fears of Islamists taking power, and of the worries of Syria’s ethnic and religious minorities, the Syrian Brotherhood portrays itself as espousing a moderate, Turkish-style Islamist agenda. It unveiled a manifesto last month that did not mention the word Islam and contained pledges to respect individual rights. With backing from Ankara, and following the political ascendancy of the Brotherhood in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya since Arab Spring revolts broke out two years ago, the group is poised to be at the top of any new governing system in Syria. Extending the loose Brotherhood umbrella to Syria will raise pressure on the U.S.-backed Hashemite monarchy in Jordan, where the local Brotherhood has been sidelined by laws that favor tribal politicians allied with the security apparatus. Iraq’s Shi’ite rulers could also find they have a hardline Sunni government as their neighbor, and Lebanon’s Shi’ite guerrilla group Hezbollah would lose its main Arab backer. Working quietly, the Brotherhood has been financing Free Syrian Army defectors based in Turkey and channeling money and supplies to Syria, reviving their base among small Sunni farmers and middle class Syrians, opposition sources say. “We bicker while the Brotherhood works,” said Fawaz al-Tello, a veteran opposition figure who is a pious Muslim while being on the liberal end of the Syrian political spectrum. “They have gained control of the SNC’s aid division and the military bureau, its only important components,” said Tello, a former political prisoner who fled Syria four months ago. “But they still have to work more do to get support on the inside. Lots of clerics, activists and rebels do not want to be linked to them.” Tello, however, acknowledged that the Brotherhood has clawed back influence inside Syria, especially in the cities of Homs and Hama and the rural province of Idlib on the border with Turkey, hotbeds of the revolt against Assad. This is no small feat after three decades in the political wilderness. Unlike Arab rulers who tried to co-opt the movement by granting it limited operation, the Assads excluded it and all other opposition from the political system. Bashar’s father Hafez al-Assad’s forces killed, tortured and imprisoned tens of thousands of people after leftists and Islamists began challenging his rule in the 1970s. The Brotherhood took the brunt of the repression, and a 1980 decree singled out membership as punishable by death. Mulhem Droubi, educated in Canada and one of a younger generation of Brotherhood leaders, said the group is not primarily concerned with political prominence. “We are a party that presents moderate solutions. We are not extremists, neither to the left nor to the right and our program is the most accepted by the Syrian street,” he said. “We are working for the downfall of Bashar al-Assad and not to find a popular base. We leave competition for the future in a free Syria,” the softly spoken Droubi told Reuters. Droubi, however, acknowledged that the road to democracy will be even more bloody, adding that the Brotherhood began supporting armed resistance in earnest a month ago. The issue sharply divided the group in the 1980s, when it took up arms against the president. Assad’s forces killed nearly 20,000 people when they overran the city of Hama in 1982, where the Brotherhood’s armed division made it last stand. Droubi said there is no dispute now about the need for armed resistance, alongside street protests against Assad. “Too many of our people have been killed. Too many have been raped,” Droubi said, adding that Brotherhood was committed to a setting up a multi-party democracy if Assad is toppled. 
Droubi pointed to a political program unveiled by the Brotherhood last month in Istanbul, which committed to multi-party democracy in a future Syria. It said a new constitution would be reached through consensus and guarantee fair representation for diverse ethnicities and religious groups. “Our proposals are more advanced than the Brotherhood in other countries,” he said.
Bassam Ishaq, a Christian opposition figure who has worked with the Brotherhood within the SNC, said the manifesto bore the marks of the Brotherhood’s pragmatism. “If they get a chance to seize power by themselves they will do it, but they realize that it will be difficult in country where 30 percent of the population are ethnic or religious minorities,” said Ishaq. “The street has lost faith in leftist politicians. After the repression in the 1980s, the leftists dispersed. The Brotherhood kept together and rebuilt while in exile, aided by donations from wealthy Syrians in and support in the Gulf,” he added. In a demonstration of their financial muscle, Brotherhood operatives were dispatched last month with suitcases of cash to a dusty camp for Free Syrian Army defectors in a Turkish region bordering Syria near Antakya. Sources in the camp said the Brotherhood was supporting Colonel Riad al-Asaad, one of the first prominent defectors last year, now at odds with more senior officers who deserted later. Colonel Asaad now sports a Brotherhood-style beard. Street activists who have had little to do with the Brotherhood are also being lured by promises of instant support for the revolt. “I approached them and they instantly gave me 2,000 euros when I asked for help…and I am not even Ikhwan (Brotherhood),” said veteran activist Othman al-Bidewi, who regularly travels between Syria and the border region in Turkey to drum up support for street demonstrations against Assad in Idlib province. “The Brotherhood wants to restore its political base. It is their right,” he added.Hmmmm........."Obama: "All the Choices We've Made Have Been the Right Ones"........for the Muslim Brotherhood?Read the full story here.

Video - Moscow Holds Final Victory Day Parade Rehearsal.

Domestic violence in Turkey on the rise, over 80,000 reported cases in 2011, representing a 70 % increase.

Domestic violence in Turkey on the rise, over 80,000 reported cases in 2011, representing a 70 % increase.(HD).Incidents of domestic violence in Turkey increased from approximately 48,000 cases in 2008 to over 80,000 in 2011, representing an increase of nearly 70 percent, according to information gathered from the nation’s law enforcement agencies. The northwestern province of Bilecik reported the most incidents of domestic violence with 3.3 percent of reported cases, while the central-western province of Isparta trailed a close second with 2.8 percent. The provinces of Karaman, Kayseri, Denizli and Bartın shared third place with 2 percent each. Governor’s offices across Turkey sent Parliament’s Human Rights Commission data collected from police and gendarmerie station commands pertaining to domestic violence cases during the period between 2008 and 2011. Istanbul, Turkey’s most crowded province with a recorded population of over 13 million people, ranked 65th in the list in terms of the absolute numbers of cases referred to law enforcement agencies, with over 10,000 reported incidents.Turkey’s second biggest city Ankara came in 46th place with nearly 5,000 reported incidents, while the Aegean province of Izmir, the country’s third biggest city, came in 17th place with around 5,900 reported cases. The southeastern province of Batman ranked at the bottom of the list with 1 percent, closely followed by the southeastern provinces of Hakkari, Şırnak, Van, Bitlis, Bingöl, Mardin and the Black Sea province of Trabzon in reported cases of domestic violence in 2011.Read the full story here.

Video - Encircling Iran: US Claims Would Win in Three Weeks.

Fighting Anti-Semitism on the Internet.

Fighting Anti-Semitism on the Internet.(INN).By Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld.“The International Network against Cyber Hate (INACH) fights discrimination and other forms of cyber hate on an international level by educating, acting for the removal of discriminatory postings, as well as initiating legal action. The network has twenty member organizations from nineteen countries. The Simon Wiesenthal Center is also a member. “There are major problems with Facebook concerning hate-postings. The main problems involve postings about Holocaust denial. In a difficult conversation we had with the European Director of Facebook he said, ‘We remove most of the postings on Holocaust denial.’ We said, ‘You should remove all of them.’ He replied, ‘There is also Holocaust denial which is not considered hatred.’ We laughed in his face and said, ‘The essence of Holocaust denial is anti-Semitism.’ Finally he said, ‘I’m sorry, but these are my American boss Mr. Zuckerberg’s views.’” Ronald Eissens is General Director and Co-Founder of the Dutch NGO Magenta Foundation, which focuses on international human rights and anti-racism. Along with Suzette Bronkhurst, he founded in the Netherlands the world’s first complaint bureau for combating hatred on the internet. He is also a Co-Founder of INACH. Eissens remarks, “On YouTube and Twitter, discriminatory remarks are also being posted. YouTube is unwilling to remove videos with discriminatory remarks, or does so only after much pressure and complaints. YouTube is now part of Google and INACH is at present in discussions with the legal counsel of Google Europe, who has promised that our requests will be handled faster and better. “The relationship with Twitter will hopefully also improve, as they will be opening regional offices in the near future. Until now, Twitter refused to remove discriminatory remarks because they are based in the U.S. and thus only have to comply with the lenient American legislation. The number of anti-Semitic postings and those about Holocaust denial on Twitter are fairly high. Read the full story here.

Mark Glenn, from The Crescent and Cross Solidarity movement:‘Israel threatened to take down world in nuclear Armageddon’.

Mark Glenn, from The Crescent and Cross Solidarity movement:‘Israel threatened to take down world in nuclear Armageddon’.(PTV).In a Friday interview, Mark Glenn, from The Crescent and Cross Solidarity movement, lashed out at Israel for its nuclear stockpile, sayingTel Aviv is the only regime that “has threatened to take the entire world down in a nuclear Armageddon in the instance that her precious experiments in Jewish self-rule in the Middle East ceases to materialize.” “There is no other country in existence today that has basically told the entire world that if we are going to go down we are going to take the rest of the world down with us,” he added. Even Israel’s most prominent military professor, Martin Van Creveld, has once alluded to such nuclear ambitions by Israel and confirmed that Tel Aviv has several hundred atomic warheads and rockets targeted at all directions -- mostly at European capitals -- and that Tel Aviv is ready to take the entire world down before the regime itself ceases to exist, Glenn pointed out. The analyst expressed regret that the nuclear threat from Israel looms over the world, while Tel Aviv continues to use its mainstream media outlets to level allegations against other countries, accusing them of possessing non-civilian nuclear programs. Israel is widely believed to be the sole possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Tel Aviv began building its first plutonium and uranium processing facility, Dimona, in the Negev desert in 1958. Former US President Jimmy Carter has stated that Israel has a nuclear arsenal that includes between 200 and 300 warheads. Decades of recurrent reporting and aerial footage have also established the possession of atomic arms by Israel. Under its official policy of nuclear ambiguity, Tel Aviv neither confirms nor denies the possession of nukes and refuses to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or allow inspections of its nuclear facilities.Read the full story here.

Hillary Clinton ‘hurt’ by charges that U.S. is biased against Muslims.

Hillary Clinton ‘hurt’ by charges that U.S. is biased against Muslims.(AA).Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday she was deeply hurt by charges that the United States was biased against Muslims, staunchly defending her country’s record in protecting minorities. Clinton, visiting the world’s third largest Muslim-majority country Bangladesh, was asked by a student at a public forum about perceptions that the United States was against Islam. “That hurts me so much,” Clinton said. “It’s a painful perception to hear about and I deeply regret that anyone believes that or propagates it.” Clinton said that the decade of U.S.-led war was “self-defense” after the September 11, 2001 attacks by al-Qaeda and said extremists “perverted” the teachings of Islam.Clinton said that while individual prejudice exists in all societies, it isn’t an institutional policy of the U.S. On the contrary, she said, the U.S. has gone further than anywhere else in the world in trying to guarantee legal protections for minorities. “Is there discrimination or prejudice in the United States like in every society and country in the world? Unfortunately yes. Human nature has not changed dramatically,” she said. “There is discrimination against people of different religions, of different races, of different ethnic groups all over the world... but I don’t think that it is at all fair to hold up the United States” over discrimination, she said. “I believe that the United States through our laws and through our constant political dialogue has gone probably farther than anywhere else in the world in trying to guarantee legal protections for people. I would like to see more countries do more to protect the rights of minorities,” she said. The United States has long had a cooperative relationship with Bangladesh, which is known for its moderate brand of Islam and has a significant population of religious minorities. But Clinton is the first U.S. secretary of state to visit Bangladesh since 2003 amid concern over political infighting that has long polarized the country.Read the full story here.

U.S. seeks Indian assurance on Iran as Clinton visits.

U.S. seeks Indian assurance on Iran as Clinton visits.(AA).By Andrew Quinn.The United States will seek assurances that India will reduce its purchases of oil from sanctions-hit Iran during a visit by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the South Asian giant this week, a senior U.S. official said on Sunday. Clinton started a three-day trip to India on Sunday that will coincide with a visit by a large Iranian trade delegation, as India walks a tightrope of strengthening ties with ally the United States and sating its fast-growing energy needs. During her visit, Clinton will also make the case for the country to open its supermarket sector to foreign chains such as U.S. giant Wal-Mart Stores - a major economic reform that has stalled under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government. India has publicly rejected Western sanctions but has pushed refiners to cut imports of oil from Iran by 15-20 percent - enough, it hopes, to win a waiver from Washington. The United States in March granted exemptions to Japan and 10 European Union nations from its sanctions, which are aimed at pressuring Iran to end its nuclear program. India and China, Iran’s biggest buyers of crude, remain on a list at risk if they do not cut oil imports “substantially”. “Our assessment is India is making good progress but we really need to receive assurances that they are going to continue to make good progress,” a senior U.S. official, travelling with Clinton, told reporters. The 56-member trade delegation, led by the president of Iran’s chamber of commerce, will also arrive on Sunday for another round of talks on how the two can trade via a rupee mechanism set up to skirt sanctions. A previous trade mission of Indian businesses to Iran in March had proved unproductive. “These are not going to be strategic trades of any kind,” the U.S. official said. “So I don’t think that we are too concerned about this, but we’ll obviously want to hear from the government what they see as the focus of this trade delegation.”Hmmmm......"Sanctions that bite".Read the full story here.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Overnight Music Video - France Gall - Ella Elle L'a

Energy and Sports Drinks are ‘Bathing’ Teeth with Acid, leads to enamel damage say Scientists.

Energy and Sports Drinks are ‘Bathing’ Teeth with Acid, leads to enamel damage say Scientists.(AP).By Anthony Gucciardi.Consuming sports and energy drinks is comparable to ‘bathing your teeth with acid’ according to scientists who have unleashed their findings on how these beverages may be destroying the health of your teeth.
In their research, the study team members revealed that serious damage occurs to tooth enamel when exposed to sports and energy drinks, which is especially concerning when examining the high rate of consumption across the country — particularly in teenagers.
Published in the May/June edition of the journal General Dentistry, researchers observed the acidity levels present in 13 sports drinks and 9 energy drinks.
Looking to examine how the sugar-laden beverages would affect tooth enamel, scientists placed samples of tooth enamel into each drink brand for a total of 15 minutes. In order to note the differences, they also placed tooth enamel samples in artificial saliva for 2 hours for 4 times per day over a period of 5 days.
What they found was that not only did many brands and flavors vary in acid levels, but as little as 5 days after limited exposure to both sports and energy drinks, the team reported enamel damage. What’s more, energy drinks actually lead to twice as much damage as sports drinks.
About 30 to 50 percent of teenagers have stated that they consume energy drinks, and a shocking 62% of teens say that they consume at least one sports drink per day. This means that these damaging liquids are being chugged down on a daily basis, and in many cases it is a just matter of how many.
Thankfully, there are natural alternatives that actually improve your health. Coconut water is one of the most popular and beneficial options, as one 2007 study found sodium-enriched coconut water to be as effective as commercial sports drinks in overall hydration with far less stomach pains. And of course it does not contain high levels of acid and sugar, but instead can help to naturally lower your blood pressure.Read the full story here.

Former AG Michael Mukasey: Obama Officials Drafted Memo to Blame Military If OBL Mission Failed .

Former AG Michael Mukasey: Obama Officials Drafted Memo to Blame Military If OBL Mission Failed.(GP).Leadership: Obama Administration Drafted Memo to Blame Military if OBL Mission Failed Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey told Sean Hannity tonight that the Obama Administration drafted a memo to protect the president from blame if the mission to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden would have failed. That way Obama could blame the general instead of taking the blame himself. Mukasey wrote about it this week in The Wall Street Journal.
That was a highly lawyered memo (designed to protect the president politically)… I think there’s going to be more that’s going to be tumbling out about that escapade but so far that memo is enough.“
 And, of course, this surprises no one who is familiar with Obama’s leadership style. Mukasey also contrasted Obama’s leadership style tonight to Lincoln and Eisenhower as he did in his WSJ Opinion piece earlier in the week.
 Lincoln took responsibility in August 1862 for failures that had been attributed to General George McClellan—eventually sacked for incompetence—and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Lincoln told a crowd that McClellan was not at fault for seeking more than Stanton could give, and “I stand here, as justice requires me to do, to take upon myself what has been charged upon the Secretary of War.” 
Dwight Eisenhower is famous for having penned a statement to be issued in anticipation of the failure of the Normandy invasion that reads in relevant part: “My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.” 
A week later, when the success of the invasion was apparent, Eisenhower saluted the Allied Expeditionary Forces: “One week ago this morning there was established through your coordinated efforts our first foothold in northwestern Europe. High as was my preinvasion confidence in your courage, skill and effectiveness . . . your accomplishments . . . have exceeded my brightest hopes
Eisenhower did mention himself at the end: “I truly congratulate you upon a brilliantly successful beginning. . . . Liberty loving people everywhere would today like to join me in saying to you, ‘I am proud of you.’”Read and see (Video) the full story here.

Iran readies secret Dasht e-Kavir (Great Salt Desert) bunkers for clandestine nuclear facilities

Iran readies secret Dasht e-Kavir (Great Salt Desert) bunkers for clandestine nuclear facilities.(Debka).When International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director Yukiya Amano declared Friday, May 4, that “Parchin (the suspected site of nuclear-related explosion tests) is the priority and we start with that,” he may have missed the boat. As he spoke, Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak said it was possible that Iran was already putting in place the infrastructure for building a nuclear bomb in 60 days. In this regard, debkafile’s military sources disclose that Iran had by the end of 2009 early 2012 completed the construction of a new chain of underground facilities deep inside the Dasht e-Kavir (Great Salt Desert) - all linked together by huge tunnels. debkafile’s Iranian sources report that American negotiators in their private exchanges have thrown out hints about limiting IAEA inspections. But Tehran is holding out for a more solid commitment from the US and Europe to halt all demands for IAEA visits and for the Six Powers to veto inspections at any new nuclear locations Israel may expose. To arrest the perilous slide toward letting Iran off the hook, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sent his National Security Advisers Yaacov Amidror to the capitals of four of the six powers, Moscow, Berlin, London and Paris last week. His mission was to persuade their governments not to allow international inspections to stop at Parchin but to keep Iran’s nuclear activities under tight supervision. This week, the House Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces passed a resolution requiring the Pentagon Missile Defense Agency to have an operational plan ready by 2015 for posting a missile shield on America’s east coast to protect New York, Washington and Boston against Iranian missile attack. $100 million was earmarked for this purpose. Our Washington sources note that this step opened the way for a drive by the Obama administration to have any deal the Six Powers may reach with Iran cover Iran’s clandestine underground Salt Desert nuclear locations.
One of the biggest, our sources disclose, is managed by the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, manufacturers of the ballistic missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads. US intelligence discovered in November 2010 that North Korea had transferred to Iran 19 nuclear-capable BM-25 ballistic missiles with a range of 2,500 kilometers. On April 13, a dozen Shahid Hemmat missile experts attended the test fire of the North Korean long-range, three-stage Unha-2 missile. That test failed but the North Koreans and Iranians are pressing on together with work to extend the range of those missiles to America. However, like the Netanyahu government, Washington is under constant assault by vocal lobbies opposed to a preemptive attack on Iran. They open fire on any suggestion that such an attack is on the cards, and pounced on the congressional resolution as a scheme for torpedoing US-Iranian diplomacy. 
Tehran is cannily exploiting the diplomatic track to get rid of international inspections after Parchin and so gain the freedom to proceed with building a nuclear arsenal in the Salt Desert far from the world’s sight. The Israeli ex-security chiefs and former politicians are focusing on preventing an Israeli attack to pre-empt a nuclear Iran. They know exactly what is at stake but are so eager to topple Netanyahu and Barak that they are more than ready to pay the price of letting Iran get away with acquiring a nuclear bomb. 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.

FBI: We need wiretap-ready Web sites - now

FBI: We need wiretap-ready Web sites - now.(CNet).The FBI is asking Internet companies not to oppose a controversial proposal that would require firms, including Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and Google, to build in backdoors for government surveillance.
In meetings with industry representatives, the White House, and U.S. senators, senior FBI officials argue the dramatic shift in communication from the telephone system to the Internet has made it far more difficult for agents to wiretap Americans suspected of illegal activities, CNET has learned.
The FBI general counsel’s office has drafted a proposed law that the bureau claims is the best solution: requiring that social-networking Web sites and providers of VoIP, instant messaging, and Web e-mail alter their code to ensure their products are wiretap-friendly.
“If you create a service, product, or app that allows a user to communicate, you get the privilege of adding that extra coding,” an industry representative who has reviewed the FBI’s draft legislation told CNET. The requirements apply only if a threshold of a certain number of users is exceeded, according to a second industry representative briefed on it.
The FBI’s proposal would amend a 1994 law, called the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, that currently applies only to telecommunications providers, not Web companies. The Federal Communications Commission extended CALEA in 2004 to apply to broadband networks.Read the full story here.

Egypt - 220 detained in Abbassiya, including 14 female protesters, 18 journalists assaulted, injured or arrested in Cairo, including one female Belgian photojournalist.

                   Abbassiya demonstration, May 4, 2012 – photo Amanda Mustard for Bikya Masr

Egypt - 220 detained in Abbassiya, including 14 female protesters, 18 journalists assaulted, injured or arrested in Cairo, including one female Belgian photojournalist.(BM).The Egyptian military arrested around 220 people, including journalists and media persons, following the forced evacuation of the Abbassiya sit-in on Friday. Among the detained are 14 women and 8 journalists, reported the Legal Front to Defend Egypt’s protesters. The non-profit legal front reported that the military prosecutor investigating the detainees harassed lawyers and refused to let them enter the prosecutor’s office initially. They asked for “special permission” to give legal assistance to the arrested protesters. One woman lawyer said she was told, “women are not allowed in the prosecutor office after 5 pm.” 14 out of the 15 women arrested were handed 15 days in prison pending investigation. The women were taken to the Qantarah female detention on Saturday. At least 18 journalists have been assaulted, injured, or arrested in the past three days while covering clashes between protesters and thugs and uniformed military personnel in front of the defense ministry in the neighborhood of Abbassiya in Cairo. The report comes from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). “Authorities cannot stand by while journalists are being beaten–at times so viciously that their lives are put at risk,” said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “We call on the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to identify the attackers and bring them to justice immediately, as well as to release journalists in custody. Journalists must be allowed to carry out their work without threat of physical assault or arrest.” Intense clashes in front of the defense ministry between protesters on the one hand and armed thugs and uniformed military personnel on the other began on Wednesday with at least 11 people killed and hundreds injured, according to news reports. The demonstrations began as a sit-in protesting the exclusion of presidential candidate, Abu Ismail, a hard-line Salafist. Other groups soon joined. The protests were largely in response to the deaths in Wednesday’s clashes, news reports said. The military stepped in today to clear protesters out of Abbassiya Square; the demonstrators were met not only by uniformed personnel but also unidentified thugs with guns and batons, firing birdshot, live ammunition and assaulting hundreds of people. Mohamed Raafat was the most badly injured.
A reporter for the news website Masrawy, he was beaten and pelted with birdshot by three unidentified armed men who noticed him filming them as they were assaulting protesters on Wednesday in Abbassiya, his employer reported. The three men confiscated his camera and continued to beat the journalist for one hour, Raafat said in a phone interview from his hospital bed on privately owned satellite broadcaster ONTV. Rafaat was severely beaten, as shown in several graphic photographs of him published on Masrawy’s website after his assault. Raafat sustained multiple injuries to his head, back, face, and the rest of his body, he said. The journalist was taken to the hospital and received 25 stitches in his head, he saidin the interview.
Today, Abd al-Rahman Yousef, a photographer for the independent news site Hoqook, was taking pictures of the clashes when an unidentified man approached him with a knife and cut part of his ear off, his employer reported. Yousef has been unable to reach a hospital due to the military surrounding the square and preventing anyone from getting out, the report said. Ahmed Ramadan and Islam Abu al-Ezz, both working for the independent daily Al-Badil, were arrested today while covering the clashes in Abbassiya, according to the newspaper. The two journalists were assaulted and captured by unidentified thugs and handed over to the military, the report said. The two journalists were taken in a military vehicle to the military prosecutor’s office, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Khaled el-Balshy, posted on his Twitter account. A crew of seven cameramen and correspondents from the satellite broadcaster Misr25 — Ahmed Lotfy, Hassan Khodry, Ahmed Fadl, Musaab Hamid, Ahmed Abd al-Alim, Mohamed Rabie, and Mohamed Amin — was arrested today while covering the clashes, the broadcaster reported on the air. Abd al-Alim told Misr25 that he and about 70 other people who were being transported in a vehicle by security forces were being viciously beaten, the broadcaster said.
Virgine Nyugen, a Belgian photojournalist for the English-language daily Egypt Independent, was injured in the face while covering clashes in Abbassiya today and taken to Ein Shams hospital for treatment, according to news reports. Military forces entered the hospital and arrested her and took her to a state security office, multiple local journalists reported from their Twitter accounts. She was questioned briefly and released three hours later, according to the same sources. Mohamed al-Shami, a journalist from the Arabic-language sister publication Al-Masry Al-Youm, was also arrested, Abeer Saadi, an Egyptian Journalists Syndicate board member, told Al-Badil. Abd al-Rahman Musharaf, a reporter for Egypt’s newest daily, Al-Watan, was arrested and beaten today by military police while covering the clashes in Abbassiya and remains in custody, his employer reported. Three other Al-Watan journalists covering the clashes — Mohamed Kamel, Ahmed Abdu, and Ahmed Bahnasi — were rushed to the hospital suffering the effects of tear gas, the newspaper reported.Read the full story here and here.

We Are Preparing For Massive Civil War, Says DHS Informant.

We Are Preparing For Massive Civil War, Says DHS Informant.(BIIN).In a riveting interview on TruNews Radio, Wednesday, private investigator Doug Hagmann said high-level, reliable sources told him the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is preparing for “massive civil war” in America. “We have problems . . . The federal government is preparing for civil uprising,” he added, “so every time you hear about troop movements, every time you hear about movements of military equipment, the militarization of the police, the buying of the ammunition, all of this is . . . they (DHS) are preparing for a massive uprising.” Hagmann goes on to say that his sources tell him the concerns of the DHS stem from a collapse of the U.S. dollar and the hyperinflation a collapse in the value of the world’s primary reserve currency implies to a nation of 311 million Americans, who, for the significant portion of the population, is armed. Uprisings in Greece is, indeed, a problem, but an uprising of armed Americans becomes a matter of serious national security, a point addressed in a recent report by the Pentagon and highlighted as a vulnerability and threat to the U.S. during war-game exercises at the Department of Defense last year, according to one of the DoD’s war-game participants, Jim Rickards, author of Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis. Through his sources, Hagmann confirmed Rickards’ ongoing thesis of a fear of a U.S. dollar collapse at the hands of the Chinese (U.S. treasury bond holders of approximately $1 trillion) and, possibly, the Russians (threatening to launch a gold-backed ruble as an attractive alternative to the U.S. dollar) in retaliation for aggressive U.S. foreign policy initiatives against China’s and Russia’s strategic allies Iran and Syria. “The one source that we have I’ve known since 1979,” Hagmann continued. “He started out as a patrol officer and currently he is now working for a federal agency under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security; he’s in a position to know what policies are being initiated, what policies are being planned at this point, and he’s telling us right now—look, what you’re seeing is just the tip of the iceberg. We are preparing, we, meaning the government, we are preparing for a massive civil war in this country.” 
“There’s no hyperbole here,” he added, echoing Trends Research Institute’s Founder Gerald Celente’s forecast of last year. Celente expects a collapse of the U.S. dollar and riots in America some time this year. Since Celente’s ‘Civil War’ prediction of last year, executive orders NDAA and National Defense Resources Preparedness were signed into law by President Obama, which are both politically damaging actions taken by a sitting president. And most recently, requests made by the DHS for the procurement of 450 million rounds of hollow-point ammunition only fuels speculation of an upcoming tragic event expected on American soil. These major events, as shocking to the American people as they are, have taken place during an election year. Escalating preparatory activities by the executive branch and DHS throughout the last decade—from the Patriot Act, to countless executive orders drafted to suspend (or strip) American civil liberties “are just the beginning” of the nightmare to come, Hagmann said. He added, “It’s going to get so much worse toward the election, and I’m not even sure we’re going to have an election in this country. It’s going to be that bad, and this, as well, is coming from my sources. But one source in particular said, ‘look, you don’t understand how bad it is.’ This stuff is real; these people, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), they are ready to fight the American people.” TruNews‘ Wiles asked Hagmann: who does the DHS expect to fight, in particular? Another North versus South, the Yankees against the Confederates? Hagmann stated the situation is far worse than a struggle between any two factions within the U.S.; it’s an anticipated nationwide emergency event centered on the nation’s currency. “What they [DHS] are expecting, and again, this is according to my sources, what they’re expecting is the un-sustainability of the American dollar,” Hagmann said. “And we know for a fact that we can no longer service our debt. There’s going to be a period of hyperinflation . . . the dollar will be worthless . . . The economic collapse will be so severe, people won’t be ready for this.”Read the full story here.

Iran-5+1 talks may lead to breakthrough in Baghdad: US senator Dianne Feinstein.

Iran-5+1 talks may lead to breakthrough in Baghdad: US senator Dianne
Feinstein.(Huffingtonpost).Senator Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA) has come out in strong support of a political solution to the Iran crisis. She is cautiously optimistic that the next round of talks in Baghdad on May 23, "may lead to a breakthrough on Iran's nuclear program," she wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle April 30. As a leader in the Democratic party and in the Senate on national security issues, Feinstein joins other senior Senators like John Kerry in the public support of a political solution to Iran's nuclear program. These statements signify a shift away from the bellicose rhetoric that has characterized the debate on Iran and give critical political support to the negotiations process. Senator Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, says: Significant challenges remain to bridge differences and overcome decades of suspicion and mistrust, but these talks deserve our full support. A few months ago, talks seemed dead and chatter about Tehran's nuclear program centered on when, not if, Israel would attack Iran. What has changed? First, economic sanctions against Iran are affecting the country's economy. Iran's ability to import and export goods has been curtailed, its financial sector is under pressure, and its currency is significantly devalued. The full weight of sanctions, including a European Union oil embargo, will be felt this summer. Second, Iran is more isolated than ever before. Syria is in no position to help it, and Iran's traditional U.N. Security Council defenders - Russia and China - are curbing ties.Feinstein also credits the prospect of an Israeli military strike with increasing the pressure on Iran, but warns, "such a strike could lead to a broader regional war." This, she argues, is why all efforts must be expended to avert another war in the Middle East. But this is not a plea for a deal at any cost. Feinstein, who know more about the Iranian program than most observers, is very clear on what Iran needs to do: The world community must see real progress and tangible results. Iran must demonstrate it is moving away from becoming a nuclear armed state. The outlines of an agreement are clear: Iran would halt enrichment of uranium to 20 percent, close its Fordow uranium enrichment plant and move its stockpile of enriched uranium out of the country. It would cap future enrichment at 5 percent and all nuclear activities, facilities and stored material would be accessible to the International Atomic Energy Agency. In return, the P5+1 and the international community would gradually lift sanctions and possibly provide Iran with equipment and material for a civilian nuclear power program and medical purposes. The United States could affirm that it does not seek regime change. As Iran fulfills its obligations and takes verifiable actions to answer questions about its nuclear program, we could respond in kind. Hmmm.......Last year Sen Feinstein was already saying "do we want to go to war with Iran at this time? My judgment is no." That was before the 'Change'.Read the full story here.

Report: Muslim Brotherhood group ISNA actively working to re-elect Barack Obama

Via the United West.

Report: Muslim Brotherhood group ISNA actively working to re-elect Barack Obama.(Shoebat).By Ben Barrack.Consider this one of the unintended consequences of not identifying the real enemy of the United States after 9/11. Instead of declaring war on a tactic (terror) – while identifying al-Qaeda as the target – we allowed other groups under the Muslim Brotherhood umbrella to set down stronger roots and accumulate power. Now, one of the groups that shares al-Qaeda’s goals, if not its means, is the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). One of the short term goals of the Muslim Brotherhood group apparently includes the reelection of Barack Obama and ISNA will be actively working for that reality in Tampa, FL.Ben Barrack is a talk show host and author of the upcoming book, Unsung Davids.

U.S. Population - less than 50% of the total population works.

U.S. Population - less than 50% of the total population works.(TECB).The unemployment crisis in America is much worse than you are being told. Did you know that there are 100 million working age Americans that do not get up in the morning and go to work? No wonder why it seems like there are so many people that do not have jobs!
According to the federal government, there are 12.6 million working age Americans that are considered to be "officially" unemployed, but there are another 87.8 million working age Americans that are not working either. The federal government considers those Americans to be "not in the labor force" so they are not included in the unemployment rate. In fact, this is one of the key ways that the government manipulates the unemployment numbers. The Obama administration would have us believe that the unemployment rate is going down and that that since the start of the last recession about as many Americans have left the labor force as we saw during the entire decades of the 1980s and 1990s combined. Of course that is a bunch of nonsense, but that is what the Obama administration would have us believe. The truth is that the percentage of working age Americans that are employed is just about the same right now as it was two years ago. It was incredibly difficult to get a job back then and it is incredibly difficult to get a job right now. 
So don't believe the hype that things are getting much better. If you still do have a good job, you might want to hold on to it tightly, because there is not much hope that things are going to improve significantly any time soon. The first chart that I have posted below shows the total number of "officially" unemployed workers in America. According to the Federal Reserve, that number is currently 12,673,000. This chart makes it look like the employment picture in America is getting significantly better.... But if you dig deeper into the numbers you quickly see that this is not true. A lot of those workers that were formerly classified as "unemployed" have now been moved into the "not in labor force" category. Since the start of the last recession, the number of Americans not in the labor force has risen by more than 8 million according to the Obama administration. The total number of working age Americans not in the labor force now stands at 87,897,000.... So when you add 12,673,000 and 87,897,000, you get a total of 100,570,000 working age Americans that do not have jobs.
When Barack Obama tells you that "America is going back to work" he is lying to you.
The cold, hard reality of the matter is that there are millions of hard working Americans that have been sitting at home for years hoping that a new job will come along.
Back in 2007, approximately 10 percent of all unemployed Americans had been out of work for one year or longer.
Today, that figure is above 30 percent.
The average duration of unemployment in the United States today is about three times as long as it was back in the year 2000.
And according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the number of announced job cuts is actually rising again....
Anyway all these numbers made my head spin and i was wondering what's the actual population of America?

May 4, 2012 U.S. Population: 313,478,000.

The Census marks the under-18 population at 73.9 million on July 1, 2011.

73, 9 under working age + 100,570,000 million working age unemployed Americans = 174,470,00 Million that don't work.

313,478,000 U.S. population - 174,470,000 not working  = 139,008,000 working people, this means that only 44 % of the population works.Read the full story here.

Friday, May 4, 2012

23 dead in day of horror for Mexico border city, nine hanging from a bridge

23 dead in day of horror for Mexico border city, nine hanging from a bridge.(Yahoo).The northeast Mexico border city of Nuevo Laredo saw a brutal day of gang violence, with 14 headless bodies found stuffed in a vehicle and nine others hanging from a bridge. Fourteen heads believed to correspond to the decapitated bodies were also found in ice boxes outside the city hall on Friday, according to local security forces in the city of almost 400,000 inhabitants across the border from Laredo, Texas. Horrified motorists earlier encountered the blood-stained bodies of four women and five men hanging off a bridge, alongside an apparent message from a drug gang. The grim spectacles were extreme even for Nuevo Laredo and the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, which have seen some of the most gruesome episodes in Mexico's brutal five-and-a-half year drug war so far. State security forces and soldiers cordoned off the areas where the bodies were found and gave no immediate comment. Nuevo Laredo, the main road trade crossing from Mexico into the United States, is regularly the scene of vicious disputes between the Zetas drug gang -- set up by ex-elite soldiers-turned-hitmen in the 1990s -- and their former employers the Gulf cartel, now believed to be allied to the Sinaloa cartel of billionaire fugitive Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. Last month the dismembered remains of 14 men were found inside a van left near Nuevo Laredo city hall. Days afterwards a car exploded outside police headquarters. In neighboring Veracruz state, further south on the Gulf of Mexico, security forces Thursday found the dismembered bodies of two missing news photographers and two others, just days after a magazine reporter was killed in the same state. The two photographers, Gabriel Huge and his nephew Guillermo Luna, were buried in Veracruz city on Friday. As in Tamaulipas, many crime reporters have fled Veracruz in recent months amid threats and drug gang turf battles. Mexico has seen a rise in gangland-style violence blamed for more than 50,000 deaths since the start of a nationwide military crackdown on organized crime in December 2006.Hmmmmm.......I'm sure they can't wait either for the 'Dream Act'?Read the full story here.Pictures here.Warning contains graphic images!

Overnight Music Video - The Jock Jams - ESPN

Obama 'creating' more jobs abroad, US, Turkey to build 600 Blackhawks.

Obama 'creating' more jobs abroad, US, Turkey to build 600 Blackhawks.(HD).Turkey and the U.S. are seeking to sell some 500 “made in Turkey” Blackhawk helicopters to third countries, according to Francis J. Ricciardone, the U.S. ambassador to Ankara. “We will see over 600 Blackhawk helicopters, very high technology helicopters, produced here in Turkey. The great majority of these helicopters will go to third markets, third countries,” said Ricciardone during a Turkish-American business council lunch in Istanbul on May 4. Around one hundred of these helicopters will be used by the Turkish Armed Forces, the ambassador confirmed. U.S. firm Sikorsky Aircraft won a $3.5 billion competition in April 2011 to lead the production of more than 100 large utility helicopters for Turkey over Italy’s AgustaWestland. The defense firm is mainly set to cooperate with local Alp Aviation in production. Along with Alp, Ricciardone said some other important firms would also contribute to the making of the utility helicopters. Sikorsky also became the first major international company to formally announce it would also seek to win the light utility helicopter contest in May last year. However, no exact date had been decided for the production of Blackhawks, said an Alp Aviation spokesperson. Riccardione also said that the U.S. supported Turkey’s ambitious 2023 target to become one of the world’s largest 10 economies. “Yesterday I met with the representatives of Turkey’s Economy Ministry and we had talks with more than 70 firms,” he said during his speech. “The ministry found a chance to show them all the opportunities in Turkey,” he said. The envoy also said that Turkey and the U.S. should cooperate more in the fields of defense, technology, information and aerospace.Hmmm.......Erdogan - Obama a real 'love story'.Read the full story here.

Iranian Cleric Urges Strong Int'l Reaction to Quran Burning by US Pastor, because Muslims have never desecrated values of Judaism, Christianity or other divine religions.

Iranian Cleric Urges Strong Int'l Reaction to Quran Burning by US Pastor, because Muslims have never desecrated values of Judaism, Christianity or other divine religions.(Fars).Tehran's provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami lashed out at the US and Europe for their silence on desecration of the Muslims' Holy Book by a US pastor, and urged strong reaction to the provocative move. Addressing a large congregation of worshippers on Tehran University Campus on Friday, Ayatollah Khatami criticized the US administration for its silence on the insulting move, and noted that the US pastor, Terry Jones, would have avoided repeating Quran burning if a proper reaction had been shown to him when he burnt copies of the Holy Quran for the first time. He stressed that the West is testing Muslims' sensitivity, and called on the Muslims to stand against such criminal acts, warning that "otherwise such crimes will increase". On Sunday, Iran condemned the Quran burning by the US pastor as an "insulting and provocative" act, and urged the United States to apologize to the Muslim World. The Pentagon had asked Jones to refrain from burning the Qurans out of concern for the safety of NATO forces in Afghanistan. Quran burning and sacrilege of Islamic values has become a commonplace move by Americans in recent years, while the opposite has never happened and Muslims have never desecrated values of Judaism, Christianity or other divine religions.Hmmmm............Millions of Christians, Jews and Hindus might disagree on the latter.Read the full story here.

Egypt imposes curfew in Abbassiya after clashes; 2 killed, 296 injured, 170 arrested

Egypt imposes curfew in Abbassiya after clashes; 2 killed, 296 injured, 170 arrested.(AA).Egypt’s military council on Friday imposed curfew in the central Cairo neighborhood of Abbassiya from 11:00 pm on Friday until 7:00 am on Saturday (Cairo Local Time), after fierce clashes between troops and anti-military protesters there. At least two people were killed in fierce clashes between anti-military protesters and soldiers in Cairo, officials at a hospital that received the dead and medics said.
The officials at the al-Zahra University hospital said they received two people who died in the skirmishes outside the defense ministry. A frontline medic group said the two died of gunshot wounds, according to AFP. An Egyptian soldier, described as “conscript,” was shot dead during the clashes, the Health Ministry said in a statement published by the official MENA news agency. “A curfew has been imposed in the Abbassiya square, around the defense ministry and the surrounding streets,” said General Mukhtar al-Mulla, a member of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, in a television address. At least 296 people were also hurt in the clashes, the health ministry said in a statement, including 131 treated in hospital. The military arrested 170 people who have been involved in the clashes, the military prosecution said.
A ruling military council said in the TV statement that “all legal measures will be taken against those involved in the Abbassiya events, or those inciting them.” Earlier, heavy gunfire could be heard as clashes between troops and anti-military protesters spread around the defense ministry in Cairo on Friday and street battles raged in side roads, an AFP reporter said. Military police used tear gas and water cannon, under a volley of rocks hurled from both sides.Hundreds of troops guarding the ministry surged forward when protesters began cutting through barbed wire used to seal off the ministry building in Abbasiya neighborhood in central Cairo.
The protesters responded by throwing rocks towards the soldiers, who responded with water cannon, according to Reuters. Bleeding protesters were ferried away by motorbike by fellow demonstrators and ambulances rushed to the scene of the anti-military rally. Reuters witnesses counted at least eight people hurt in the clashes which flared as thousands demonstrated in Cairo to denounce violence against protesters and the exclusion of candidates from a presidential election. Military police holding their shields in one hand, picked up the rocks from the ground and threw them back at the protesters, in the first violence of the day after peaceful rallies throughout the morning. Soldiers charged forward and retreated several times from the barbed wire separating them from the protesters. Thousands of anti-military protesters took to the streets Friday in Cairo and Alexandria, days after deadly clashes near the defense ministry raised tensions ahead of landmark presidential elections, AFP correspondents reported. In the capital, several thousand gathered in Tahrir Square and hundreds were in the Abassiya neighbourhood near the defence ministry, despite stern warnings from the army.Friday’s protests come just three weeks before the country’s first post-revolt presidential election, after which the ruling military is to hand power to civilian rule. But protesters say they fear the elections will be rigged in favour of a pro-military candidate. Others say they do not trust the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to fully hand power to civilian rule. Friday’s protests also followed the killing of at least 11 people in clashes that broke out Wednesday when apparent supporters of the military rulers attacked a mostly Islamist crowd staging a sit-in outside the Ministry of Defense in Cairo to call for an end to the generals’ rule. Army troops were accused of standing idly by near the clashes and not intervening until after the deaths. Some suspect the military wants to create turmoil so it can justify holding onto power by claiming it is needed to maintain law and order. While some liberal and religious groups called for Friday’s protests to be staged in Cairo’s Abbassiya neighborhood, near the defense ministry, others, especially the Muslim Brotherhood group, called for the protest to be held in the Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the Jan.12, 2011 revolution. Maj. Gen. Mullah sternly had warned protesters that if they try to approach the Defense Ministry. “Self-defense is applicable against anyone who approaches a military facility. Whoever does that must endure the consequences,” Mullah told a news conference. “The Defense Ministry, all military units and facilities are symbols of military honor and the dignity of the state, those who approach them will have themselves to blame.” Read and see (Video) the full story here.

UK - Muslim woman beat girl, 10, with steel ladle for not reading enough of Koran.

UK - Muslim woman beat girl, 10, with steel ladle for not reading enough of Koran.(DM).A Muslim woman who repeatedly beat a 10-year-old girl with a steel ladle for not reading enough verses of the Koran is facing jail today. Asia Parveen, 31 brandished a knife at the child after accusing her of lying about her prayers. Parveen, who was five months pregnant at the time, also forced the girl to stand with her arms outstretched for four hours, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
The girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, escaped from the house in Stoke Newington, north London, and police found her alone at a bus stop in Waltham Forest, east London, almost four hours later in the early hours of the morning. Doctors identified 56 injuries when she was examined at hospital, Parveen, who is a mother-of-three, accepted causing some of the injuries with the ten inch cooking spoon but said others must have been caused when the girl 'fell over.' 
Prosecutor Tom Nicholson told the court an argument started between Parveen and the girl on August 15 last year during Ramadan. 'The girl was praying from the Koran and Ms Parveen accused her of lying about how many of the verses she had read,' he said. 'She was 10 at the time. Ms Parveen took a metal spoon about 10 inches in size and the Crown's case is that she hit the child with it repeatedly over a half an hour period, causing extensive bruising over both arms, her legs and head. 'The Crown's case is that Ms Parveen said she was going to kill the girl and ran to get a knife from the kitchen. 'The girl had no alternative but to leave at around 10pm. 'She got a bus and a train and it was about 1.50am when the police found her at a bus stop in Broadway Parade, Waltham Forest. 'She was on her own and extremely cold. She was taken to hospital and an examination found she had suffered 56 injuries.' Parveen admitted a single count of child cruelty but insisted that she only used the spoon once or twice on the girl's arms and bottom. She claimed the other injuries had been the result of the girl falling over. Parveen also denied threatening to kill the 10-year-old or picking up a knife. Judge Martyn Zeidman accepted Parveen's basis of plea, saying it would not be in the public interest for the child to give evidence. 'The defendant has accepted she behaved in the wrong way towards the girl and there is absolutely no doubt that she behaved disgracefully,' the judge said. 'Before the violence, she says had been asked to stretch her arms up in the air for a period of four hours. 'She says she was hit all over with a spoon on her arms, legs, head and back about 20 times. 'The basis of plea is that the defendant only admits causing injuries to the girl's arms and bottom. 'On the face of it, the defence assertion is incredible. But I don't regard it in the public interest to make the child give evidence. 'In any view, the defendant has behaved in an absolutely disgraceful way, and what an irony that the child was encouraged to behave in a godly fashion when this was far from godly. 'But I undertake to sentence the defendant on her version of events and avoid further distress to the child.' Adjourning the case until June 15 for reports, Judge Zeidman told Parveen: 'I'm releasing you on bail but that gives no indication on what will be the eventual sentence. 'All options are open so you must not assume that because you got bail you will necessarily avoid an immediate prison sentence.' Parveen, of Hackney, north London, will be sentenced on June 15.Read the full story here.

Secret Service Escort Says US Agents 'Showed No Respect'

Secret Service Escort Says US Agents 'Showed No Respect'.(ABC).One of the Colombian escorts at the center of the Secret Service scandal emerged from hiding today, recounting in detail her night in Cartagena with a member of President Obama's protective detail and saying she fears for her safety. Dania Suarez, a 24-year old dark-haired beauty, appeared on a call-in show carried by Colombia's W Radio and Carocol Television Friday morning, telling callers the agent was "heavily intoxicated" and everything in his luggage and his papers was left open in his room and could have been easily stolen. Asked if she had been a spy could she have removed the papers, Suarez said, "Absolutely, absolutely." "Clearly, in those moments, if I had wanted to, obviously, I could have done so," she said. Suarez says she met the agent at a disco where they danced and she began to rub her hands over his body. "He had a weird way of dancing in the disco," she said of the agent, identified in published accounts elsewhere as Arthur Huntington, who has left the Secret Service under circumstances that are unclear. She said that Huntington did not appear to be searching for a prostitute but that "I found him on my own." Suarez said Huntington fell asleep when they returned to his room and refused to answer the question of whether they actually had sex. "If I answer this you will know what happened," she said. Suarez said the agent "did not feel he got what he was being asked to pay for" and that this led to dispute over how much he owed her at the end of the evening. She said she does not consider herself a prostitute, but an escort because prostitutes "are lower class and live in brothels." She also said that she was with a friend when she first met Huntington in the disco, and that another agent who was with Huntington "fell in love" with her friend, though they did not have sex. "Their love story ended in the bar," she said. According to Suarez, her friend would like to get back in touch with the other agent. "My friend would say to me, 'I love that guy, how do I get in contact with him?'"Read the full story here, more here.

UN nuke chief: Iran appears to be stonewalling Access to army site 'priority' in talks.

UN nuke chief: Iran appears to be stonewalling access to army site 'priority' in talks.(JPost).ST GALLEN, Switzerland - Gaining access to a key Iranian military facility will be the priority for the UN nuclear watchdog when it resumes talks with the Islamic state in mid-May, agency head Yukiya Amano said on Friday. Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said the Vienna-based UN body did not yet have a "positive response" from Iran regarding the request for nuclear inspectors to be allowed to visit the Parchin site. But he told journalists on the sidelines of a conference in the Swiss town of St Gallen, "we would like to pursue this" issue of Parchin, where the IAEA believes nuclear-related military research may have taken place. Iran denies this. "We need to look at all the outstanding issues, but Parchin is the priority and we should start with that," Amano said.
Western diplomats say Iran appears to be stonewalling the IAEA's request to go to Parchin and they suspect it may be "sanitizing" the site southeast of Tehran of any incriminating evidence before any visit, a suspicion Tehran dismisses. Amano has said the agency has noticed some "activities" at Parchin - a choice of words that Western diplomats interpret as suggesting the IAEA also harbors suspicions of possible clean-up work, on the basis of satellite images at its disposal. Asked what he meant by "activities", Amano said on Friday: "We do not have people there so we cannot tell what these activities are." Iran and the IAEA will meet for two days of talks in Vienna on May 14-15, just over a week before the Islamic Republic and world powers are to hold a second round of broader political negotiations in Baghdad on May 23. "In my reading the desire to resolve this Iranian issue through dialogue is stronger now than before," Amano told the conference, referring to the resumption of diplomacy between Iran and the powers in Istanbul last month after a gap of more than a year of escalating tension. "Recently we have witnessed a positive atmosphere but we need to have concrete results," he later told reporters
Meanwhile Iran dismisses West demand to close Fordow underground nuke bunker.Iran said on Friday it will never suspend its uranium enrichment programme and sees no reason to close the Fordow underground site, making clear Tehran's red lines in nuclear talks with world powers later this month.
Last month a senior US official said the United States and its allies would demand that Iran halt higher-grade enrichment and immediately close the Fordow facility at talks over Tehran's nuclear standoff with the West.Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told Reuters he saw "no justification" for closing Fordow, which he said was under IAEA surveillance. "When you have a safe place, secure place under IAEA control, then why do you tell me that I should close it?" he said, making clear Iran built the site to better protect its nuclear program against any Israeli or US attacks. "Fordow is a safe place. We have spent a lot of money and time to have a safe place," Soltanieh added."One thing is clear: the enrichment in Iran will never be suspended," Soltanieh said. He declined to comment however on Western demands that Iran halt the higher-grade enrichment, to a fissile concentration of 20 percent, it started in 2010 and has since sharply increased, shortening the time needed for any nuclear weapons breakout.Read the full story here and here.

Chicago Summit Could Mean Airport-Style Security On Metra Electric, South Shore Trains, are we talking TSA 'VIPR' teams?

Chicago Summit Could Mean Airport-Style Security On Metra Electric, South Shore Trains, are we talking TSA 'VIPR' teams?(CBS).Some stations on the Metra Electric Line and South Shore Line could be shut down during the upcoming NATO summit, and passengers at other stations could face airport-style security screenings, due to the Secret Service security plan that could be released as soon as Friday afternoon.The commuter rail agencies are still in talks with the Secret Service over major security measures for passengers, including airport-style screening of all riders during the summit. That would mean commuters on those lines would face patdowns, X-ray screenings, and long security lines at their stations before boarding trains. 
The Secret Service initially wanted all trains to stop short of McCormick Place, with shuttle buses taking passengers around the summit site. Then they talked about canine units conducting searches on trains, which would be halted before reaching McCormick Place. Now, the Secret Service is planning for airport-style security screening at a limited number of stations on those two train lines. Many other stations on the Electric and South Shore lines – serving the South Side, southern suburbs and northwest Indiana – would be shut down during the summit. Neither Metra nor the Secret Service will talk about the security measures yet. But sources said, with just over two weeks until the summit, nothing has been decided.
TSA officials like to point out that the acronym stands for Transportation Security Administration, not the Airport Security Administration. And that's where VIPR comes in. Born after 2004's Madrid railway bombings, VIPR suffered some embarrassing coordination struggles, transit officials say. The program has 15 teams and is expanding to get access to 12 new teams to spot-check thousands of transportation depots across the nation. VIPR teams conducted 3,895 operations in "surface modes" nationwide in 2010, according to the Department of Homeland Security (PDF). The expansion comes after intelligence from Osama bin Laden's Pakistan compound revealed al Qaeda plans to target U.S. rail systems on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. At a time when TSA airport searches are unpopular among many air travelers, civil liberties groups say VIPR's joint participation with local police in "warrantless" searches have been "flying under the radar" in violation of constitutional protections. Transit police say it helps them better guard against attacks like those that have hit Madrid, London and Moscow since 2004.Read the full story here, more here.
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