Big Mac & Cheese
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Big Mac & Cheese
Executive Producer: Sir Greg Filer
Executive Producer: Kirk Anne
Special 31313 Executive Producers: Dame Joni, Baron Pelsmaekers, Joseph Monti, Layla Hansel, Brandon Savoie, Sir Astrom
Associate Executive Producers: Sir GQ, Jezzajumped, Mark Stickney
Knighthoods: Sir Symmons Jr. Greg Filer
Art By: SuperLeone
ShowNotes Archive of links and Assets (clips etc) 495.nashownotes.com
New: Directory Archive of Shownotes (includes all audio and video assets used) nashownotes.com
RSS Podcast Feed
Get the No Agenda News App for your iPhone and iPad
Torrents of each episode via BitLove
Thu, 14 Mar 2013 07:44
14 March 2013Last updated at08:19 ETGoogle is to shut down its Reader service in July, as usage has declined.
A petition to save the service, which aggregates news content from web feeds, had 25,000 signatures in a few hours.
Experts say shutting Reader is part of Google's plan to migrate more people to its social media service, Google+.
Google said in its official blog: "There are two simple reasons for this - usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we are pouring all of our energy into fewer products."
It added users and developers who wanted to use alternatives could export their data, including their subscriptions over the next four months, using its Google Takeout service.
Google Reader launched in 2005, when Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds were a new way to keep tabs on favourite websites and blogs.
The news of its demise has led to a debate about the service on Twitter. Some said its launch had effectively destroyed other RSS competitors.
Security consultant @cortesi tweeted: "Google - a destroyer of ecosystems".
In his blog, he added:" "Google destroyed the RSS feed-reader ecosystem with a subsidised product, stifling its competitors and killing innovation.
"It then neglected Google Reader itself for years, after it had effectively become the only player."
Adam Leach, a principal analyst at research firm Ovum, said Google's business model was to offer free services in order to draw people into its other offerings.
Now, he said, Google wanted people to experience their favourite websites in a more social way and was seeking to migrate its aggregation platforms to its social media service.
"This has been on the cards for a while. It is part of Google's strategy to shift people to Google + and other social tools," he said.
Doomed to failHe added he would personally miss the service.
"I use Google Reader every day," he said.
"It is one of those tools that sits in the background and allows you to keep pace with what is going on."
But Chris Wetherell, one of Reader's chief engineers, told tech news site GigaOm it had been "doomed to fail from the very beginning because Google "never really believed in the project".
Mon, 11 Mar 2013 02:20
Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Luxembourg and President of the Euro Group, made a very strange statement. At a the New Year's reception in front of the Luxembourg press. He warned the eighty journalists with his speech, that they should take a good look at the year 1913, the last year of real peace before the end of the Cold War.
On the Luxembourg RTL radio you can read his testimony as follows: http://news.rtl.lu/news/national/374419.html
Luxembourgish:De Premier huet '' e bsse proph(C)itesch '' gewarnt, d'Joer 2013 k(C)int e Virkrisejoer ginn w(C)i d'Joer 1913, wou all Mnsch u Fridde gegleeft huet, ier de Krich koum.
Translation in English:The prime minister - a little bit prophetically- warns that the years 2013 could become the same year before the war, such as the year 1913, where all people believed in peace until the war started.
What does he mean with this warning? That in his opinion we are facing a world war in 2013 like in 1913?He is the senior leader of government in the European Union and the head of a committee which ensures the functioning of the European Economic and Monetary Union. Could it be that Juncker has insider knowledge about what is coming ahead?
Interestingly is, although this alarming statement went to the assembled press of his country, there was almost nothing published in the media and not one word about it outside of Luxembourg. Why?Juncker is not a nobody whose words have no values. He is otherwise always taken very seriously and cited when he says something about the euro crisis.
2013 could be the year before the war, he says. That would mean that in 2014 a war can start similar as in 1914 the First World War. I don't think that a person like him say something like this, just like that'...
Tue, 12 Mar 2013 08:42
Dutch investor PGGM NV said the country's pension funds, with more than $1 trillion in assets, could help ease a housing slump by shifting money to funding mortgages that are burdening banks' balance sheets.
The retirement funds, which have suffered as Europe's debt crisis and low interest rates hurt government bond yields and drove up liabilities, could benefit from increased margins on mortgages, said Eloy Lindeijer, head of investment management at Zeist, Netherlands-based PGGM. Investors could use Dutch residential mortgage-backed securities to hedge interest rate risks, he said.
''Before the 2008 crisis we exited the mortgage market as we considered margins on mortgages far too low to make them interesting,'' Lindeijer said in an interview. ''Now margins have risen, and the market could benefit if large Dutch investors become more active. It is high quality paper with a very low credit risk. And we understand it well as it is close to home.''
The Netherlands' mortgage debt is among the world's highest, amounting to 110 percent of gross domestic product, the Dutch central bank said in March. A 500 billion-euro ($625 billion) difference between outstanding loans and retail savings at banks makes lenders reliant on market funding, it said.
Dutch house prices have dropped more than 10 percent from a peak in 2008, according to data from the country's statistical agency. They will continue to drop into 2014 because of stricter mortgage lending rules and a reduction of the homeowner tax break that spurred the lending boom, the central bank forecasts.
Liquidity GapPension funds investing in Dutch mortgage securities ''wouldn't be the solution to the Dutch liquidity gap,'' said Lindeijer, 47. ''It might help boost residential mortgage-backed securities though if foreign investors see Dutch pension funds are investing.''
The 2008 financial crisis, making investors wary of securitized products, pushed up funding costs for banks. To compensate, banks have increased mortgage rates, driving interest rates on savings deposits and mortgages to the highest levels in Europe, the central bank said in a report last month.
Moody's ReviewMoody's Investors Service today placed on review for downgrade the ratings of eight notes in two residential mortgage-backed securities in the Netherlands. ''Today's rating action reflects the increased counterparty risk following the deterioration in credit quality of Dutch banks acting in various roles in the affected RMBS transactions,'' Moody's said in a statement.
The nation's pension funds held 0.5 percent of Dutch securitizations at the end of 2011, according to the country's central bank. PGGM manages about 125 billion euros for six pension funds. Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn, the Netherlands second-largest retirement plan, is its biggest client with 120 billion euros in assets at the end of May.
''We are relatively under-invested in Dutch mortgages,'' said Lindeijer, who became PGGM's chief of investment management in September after more than 20 years at the Dutch central bank. In his last job there, he was director of the bank's financial markets division.
The Netherlands has the euro currency union's biggest pension industry, with 913 billion euros in assets at the end of the first quarter, data from the Dutch central bank show. The assets are held in collective plans run by industry, company and occupational pension funds.
To contact the reporter on this story: Maud van Gaal in Amsterdam at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Love the show. When I heard you talk about BBH on Sundays show I just laughed. My wife worked for them for about 10 years. An Interesting experience especially after I started to tell her about the secret ways of BBH. As for the stock info, you have to have a minimum of 5 million to be a client.(They are raising the minimum again to 10 million this year) So to be a "real" client of BBH is not easy. We however buy there fund. I have sent you a link with the stock ticker info. You get the same return you would get it if you were a "real" client.
Stock Ticker - BBTEX
Thu, 14 Mar 2013 07:17
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, now called Pope Francis, has Italian origins.Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, now called Pope Francis, was reportedly involved in the 1976 kidnapping of two priests by fascist elements of the Argentinian Navy.This was during Argentina's Dirty War.
The priests, Orlando Yorio and Franz Jalics, were found drugged and semi-naked, five months after being kidnapped.Yorio accused Bergoglio (Pope Francis) of handing them over to the death squads. Reportedly, the Argentine Navy with the help of Cardinal Bergoglio housed political prisoners in Bergoglio's holiday home "Cardinal Primatesta met regularly with Videla and Papal nuncio Laghi played tennis with Masssera." en.mercopress.com"From 1973 to 1979, a period that overlapped with military dictatorship lasting from 1976 to 1983, Francis served as the top Argentine Jesuit official."During that time, the Catholic Church remained silent in the face of widespread human rights violations during the country's so-called "Dirty War," an effort by the military government to root out dissent by torture, murder, and disappearances.
"In several cases, Catholic priests collaborated with the government and were even in the room as prisoners were tortured.
"In February, an Argentine court ruled that the Catholic church hierarchy, of which Francis was arguably a member, had "closed its eyes" to the killing of progressive priests."
''Yesterday an accomplice of the Argentine military dictatorship '-- Today an accomplice of the coup-makers against the revolutionary process in Latin America. No pasaran!'' tumblr.com. He has openly attacked Argentina's president, Cristina Kirchner. dailymailBergoglio told his authorized biographer, Sergio Rubin, that after the priests' imprisonment, he worked behind the scenes for their release.
Admiral Emilio Massera was trained by the Pentagon, at the School of the Americas. Massera trafficked in babies and young children. (Admiral Emilio Massera.) He was involved with P2, the international masonic lodge which, as part of Operation Gladio, helped carry out terrorism in Italy. He set up a CIA-funded torture centre. (Cruyff - ZANI :: Articles) This was designed to kill an estimated 30,000 "enemies of the state". (Admiral Emilio Massera.)Pope Francis (Bergoglio) is the first Jesuit to be elected Pope.The parents of Pope Francis are Italians - Mario Jos(C) Bergoglio, a railway worker, and his wife Regina MarÐa SÐvori, a housewife.
In the 1960s, Pope Francis was a teacher of psychology.
He completed his doctoral dissertation in Germany.
Cardinal Bergoglio became known for 'doctrinal conservatism'.
He lived in an apartment, rather than in the bishop's residence.
Pope Francis I, right, was the archbishop of Buenos Aires when he met with Claudio Epelman, executive director of the Latin American Jewish Congress, in Buenos Aires in 2012. New pope, Jorge Mario Bergogli of Argentina, has Jewish connections... - JTAThe family of Pope Francis is originally from Portacomaro in the province of Asti in the North of Italy.Jewish landmarks in Asti have a history which goes back to the 14th century.
Asti Italy Jewish tours travel itineraries heritage - Key Jewish Tours ...
A Portacomaroun ancestor of the future pontiff purchased from a Jew in the first half of the nineteenth century, the only house which existed in this small village in the province of Asti.The great-grandfather came to Portacomaro from northern Asti, around Castelnuovo Don Bosco, probably Cortiglione of Robertsbridge, where even today there are many Bergoglio.
After arriving in Portacomaro, the Bergoglio also built the other houses, then inhabited by the descendants.
Papa Bergoglio ha radici piemontesi - Cronaca - Tgcom24
Ettore Ovazza (Turin, 21 March 1892 - Intra, 11 October 1943) was an Italian Jew who was a financial patron of Mussolini, and served as a minister for some years with the Economy Ministry in Benito Mussolini's government.He was born, one of three brothers, to the Ovazza family, a wealthy and influential Jewish banking family based in Turin. They were one of the leading banking families in Italy.
Ettore Ovazza was a committed Fascist from the start. He took part in the March on Rome in October 1922; in 1929 he was invited to meet Mussolini as a part of a delegation of Jewish war veterans.
He later described the encounter: "On hearing my affirmation of the unshakeable loyalty of Italian Jews to the Fatherland, His Excellency Mussolini looks me straight in the eye and says with a voice that penetrates straight to my heart: 'I have never doubted it'.
Ettore Ovazza - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"The mutilated body of Gonzalez, a homeless child who lived from selling religious cards and artifacts, was found October 2006 in Mercedes, a city of 50,000 some 700km north of Buenos Aires."The boy 'was raped, impaled, tortured with cigarette burns, decapitated while still alive and then all the blood was drained from his body. They removed all the skin from his body, as well as his tongue, throat and several vertebrae', Mr Schmitt said.
A R G E N T I N A - "Archbishop Edgardo Storni of Santa Fe resigned on Oct. 1, 2002, after a book accused him of abusing at least 47 young seminarians. The Vatican had investigated allegations against Storni in 1994, but found insufficient evidence to act. Storni said his resignation did not signify guilt." - Boston Globe / Spotlight / Abuse in the Catholic Church / Scandal ...
aangirfan: Argentinaaangirfan.blogspot.com/2008/03/argentina.htmlApr 2, 2008 '' Argentina is not all sweetness and light. 1. An article in The Guardian, 2 April 2008, - Architects of the new Argentina - tells us that 7 million ...aangirfan: GOVERNMENTS KIDNAP KIDS - ARGENTINAaangirfan.blogspot.com/.../governments-kidnap-kids-argentina.htmlJul 6, 2012 '' In Argentina, the "CIA funded Navy Mechanics School (ESMA) was where opponents (active or perceived) to the dictatorship were raped, ...aangirfan: HITLER IN ARGENTINAaangirfan.blogspot.com/2009/09/hitler-in-argentina.htmlSep 29, 2009 '' In Argentina, the "CIA funded Navy Mechanics School (ESMA) was where opponents (active or perceived) to the dictatorship were raped, ...aangirfan: Hitler and Argentinaaangirfan.blogspot.com/2007/01/hitler-and-argentina.htmlJan 3, 2007 '' Back in 1944, Hoover had been told by an informant that Hitler would receive refuge in Argentina. A memo stated that Argentine's leaders ...aangirfan: SEX IN ARGENTINA - JUST LIKE USA AND EUROPEaangirfan.blogspot.com/2012/.../sex-in-argentina-just-like-usa-and.ht...Dec 14, 2012 '' Argentina's Admiral Emilio Massero trafficked in children. He was involved with P2, the international masonic lodge which, as part of the CIA's ...aangirfan: HITLER ESCAPEDaangirfan.blogspot.com/2011/10/hitler-escaped.htmlOct 18, 2011 '' Author Abel Basti, in his 2003 book Hitler In Argentina, said Hitler and... The ranch belonged to Argentine businessman Jorge Antonio, friend ...
Wed, 13 Mar 2013 09:49
There is one version of the bill.
Shown Here:Introduced in House (02/14/2013)[Congressional Bills 113th Congress][From the U.S. Government Printing Office][H.R. 748 Introduced in House (IH)]113th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 748To require all persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and 25 to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or as civilian service in a Federal, State, or local government program or with a community-based agency or community-based entity, to authorize the induction of persons in the uniformed services during wartime to meet end-strength requirements of the uniformed services, to provide for the registration of women under the Military Selective Service Act, and for other purposes._______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES February 15, 2013 Mr. Rangel introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services_______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To require all persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and 25 to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or as civilian service in a Federal, State, or local government program or with a community-based agency or community-based entity, to authorize the induction of persons in the uniformed services during wartime to meet end-strength requirements of the uniformed services, to provide for the registration of women under the Military Selective Service Act, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS. (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Universal National Service Act''. (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as follows:Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents. TITLE I--NATIONAL SERVICESec. 101. Definitions.Sec. 102. National service obligation.Sec. 103. Induction to perform national service.Sec. 104. Two-year period of national service.Sec. 105. Implementation by the President.Sec. 106. Examination and classification of persons.Sec. 107. Deferments and postponements.Sec. 108. Induction exemptions.Sec. 109. Conscientious objection.Sec. 110. Discharge following national service. TITLE II--AMENDMENTS TO MILITARY SELECTIVE SERVICE ACTSec. 201. Registration of females.Sec. 202. Registration and induction authority. TITLE I--NATIONAL SERVICESEC. 101. DEFINITIONS. In this title: (1) The terms ``community-based agency'' and ``community- based entity'' have the meanings given those terms in section 101 of the National and Community Service Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12511). (2) The term ``contingency operation'' has the meaning given that term in section 101(a)(13) of title 10, United States Code. (3) The term ``military service'' means service performed as a member of an active or reserve component of the uniformed services. (4) The term ``national service'' means-- (A) military service; or (B) civilian service in a Federal, State, or local government program or with a community-based agency or community-based entity that, as determined by the President, is engaged in meeting human, educational, environmental, or public safety needs. (5) The term ``Secretary concerned'' means-- (A) the Secretary of Defense with respect to the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps; (B) the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard; (C) the Secretary of Commerce with respect to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and (D) the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to the Public Health Service. (6) The term ``United States'', when used in a geographical sense, means the several States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam. (7) The term ``uniformed services'' means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and commissioned corps of the Public Health Service.SEC. 102. NATIONAL SERVICE OBLIGATION. (a) Obligation for Service.--It is the obligation of every citizen of the United States, and every other person residing in the United States, who is between the ages of 18 and 25 to perform a period of national service as prescribed in this title unless exempted under the provisions of this title. (b) Forms of National Service.--The national service obligation under this title shall be performed either through-- (1) military service; or (2) civilian service in a Federal, State, or local government program or with a community-based agency or community-based entity that, as determined by the President, is engaged in meeting human, educational, environmental, or public safety needs. (c) Age Limits.--A person may be inducted under this title only if the person has attained the age of 18 and has not attained the age of 25.SEC. 103. INDUCTION TO PERFORM NATIONAL SERVICE. (a) Induction Requirements.--The President shall provide for the induction of persons described in section 102(a) to perform their national service obligation. (b) Limitation on Induction for Military Service.--Persons described in section 102(a) may be inducted to perform military service only if-- (1) a declaration of war is in effect; (2) the President declares a national emergency, which the President determines necessitates the induction of persons to perform military service, and immediately informs Congress of the reasons for the declaration and the need to induct persons for military service; or (3) members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps are engaged in a contingency operation pursuant to a congressional authorization for the use of military force. (c) Limitation on Number of Persons Inducted for Military Service.--When the induction of persons for military service is authorized by subsection (b), the President shall determine the number of persons described in section 102(a) whose national service obligation is to be satisfied through military service based on-- (1) the authorized end strengths of the uniformed services; and (2) the feasibility of the uniformed services to recruit sufficient volunteers to achieve such end-strength levels. (d) Selection for Induction.-- (1) Random selection for military service.--When the induction of persons for military service is authorized by subsection (b), the President shall utilize a mechanism for the random selection of persons to be inducted to perform military service. (2) Random selection for civilian service.--Persons described in section 102(a) who do not volunteer to perform military service or are not inducted for military service shall perform their national service obligation in a civilian capacity pursuant to section 102(b)(2). (e) Voluntary Service.--A person subject to induction under this title may-- (1) volunteer to perform national service in lieu of being inducted; or (2) request permission to be inducted at a time other than the time at which the person is otherwise called for induction.SEC. 104. TWO-YEAR PERIOD OF NATIONAL SERVICE. (a) General Rule.--Except as otherwise provided in this section, the period of national service performed by a person under this title shall be two years. (b) Grounds for Extension.--At the discretion of the President, the period of military service for a member of the uniformed services under this title may be extended-- (1) with the consent of the member, for the purpose of furnishing hospitalization, medical, or surgical care for injury or illness incurred in line of duty; or (2) for the purpose of requiring the member to compensate for any time lost to training for any cause. (c) Early Termination.--The period of national service for a person under this title shall be terminated before the end of such period under the following circumstances: (1) The voluntary enlistment and active service of the person in an active or reserve component of the uniformed services for a period of at least two years, in which case the period of basic military training and education actually served by the person shall be counted toward the term of enlistment. (2) The admission and service of the person as a cadet or midshipman at the United States Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, the United States Air Force Academy, the Coast Guard Academy, or the United States Merchant Marine Academy. (3) The enrollment and service of the person in an officer candidate program, if the person has signed an agreement to accept a Reserve commission in the appropriate service with an obligation to serve on active duty if such a commission is offered upon completion of the program. (4) Such other grounds as the President may establish.SEC. 105. IMPLEMENTATION BY THE PRESIDENT. (a) In General.--The President shall prescribe such regulations as are necessary to carry out this title. (b) Matter To Be Covered by Regulations.--Such regulations shall include specification of the following: (1) The types of civilian service that may be performed in order for a person to satisfy the person's national service obligation under this title. (2) The types of Federal, State, and local government programs and programs carried out by a community-based agency or community-based entity that may be used for the performance of national service. (3) Standards for satisfactory performance of civilian service and of penalties for failure to perform civilian service satisfactorily. (4) The manner in which persons shall be selected for induction under this title, including the manner in which those selected will be notified of such selection. (5) All other administrative matters in connection with the induction of persons under this title and the registration, examination, and classification of such persons. (6) A means to determine questions or claims with respect to inclusion for, or exemption or deferment from induction under this title, including questions of conscientious objection. (7) Standards for compensation and benefits for persons performing their national service obligation under this title through civilian service. (8) Such other matters as the President determines necessary to carry out this title. (c) Use of Prior Act.--To the extent determined appropriate by the President, the President may use for purposes of this title the procedures provided in the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 451 et seq.), including procedures for registration, selection, and induction.SEC. 106. EXAMINATION AND CLASSIFICATION OF PERSONS. (a) Examination.--Every person subject to induction under this title shall, before induction, be physically and mentally examined and shall be classified as to fitness to perform national service. (b) Different Classification Standards.--The President may apply different classification standards for fitness for military service and fitness for civilian service.SEC. 107. DEFERMENTS AND POSTPONEMENTS. (a) High School Students.--A person who is pursuing a standard course of study, on a full-time basis, in a secondary school or similar institution of learning shall be entitled to have induction under this title postponed until the person-- (1) obtains a high school diploma; (2) ceases to pursue satisfactorily such course of study; or (3) attains the age of 20. (b) Post Secondary Students.--A person who is pursuing a standard course of study, on a full-time basis, in a university, technical school or similar institution of learning shall be entitled to have induction under this title postponed until the person-- (1) obtains a certificate or diploma; (2) ceases to pursue satisfactorily such course of study; or (3) attains the age of 24. (c) Hardship and Disability.--Deferments from national service under this title may be made for-- (1) extreme hardship; or (2) physical or mental disability. (d) Training Capacity.--The President may postpone or suspend the induction of persons for military service under this title as necessary to limit the number of persons receiving basic military training and education to the maximum number that can be adequately trained. (e) Termination.--No deferment or postponement of induction under this title shall continue after the cause of such deferment or postponement ceases.SEC. 108. INDUCTION EXEMPTIONS. (a) Qualifications.--No person may be inducted for military service under this title unless the person is acceptable to the Secretary concerned for training and meets the same health and physical qualifications applicable under section 505 of title 10, United States Code, to persons seeking original enlistment in a regular component of the Armed Forces. (b) Other Military Service.--No person shall be liable for induction under this title who-- (1) is serving, or has served honorably for at least six months, in any component of the uniformed services on active duty; or (2) is or becomes a cadet or midshipman at the United States Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, the United States Air Force Academy, the Coast Guard Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, a midshipman of a Navy accredited State maritime academy, a member of the Senior Reserve Officers' Training Corps, or the naval aviation college program, so long as that person satisfactorily continues in and completes at least two years training therein.SEC. 109. CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION. (a) Claims as Conscientious Objector.--Nothing in this title shall be construed to require a person to be subject to combatant training and service in the uniformed services, if that person, by reason of sincerely held moral, ethical, or religious beliefs, is conscientiously opposed to participation in war in any form. (b) Alternative Noncombatant or Civilian Service.--A person who claims exemption from combatant training and service under subsection (a) and whose claim is sustained by the local board shall-- (1) be assigned to noncombatant service (as defined by the President), if the person is inducted into the uniformed services; or (2) be ordered by the local board, if found to be conscientiously opposed to participation in such noncombatant service, to perform civilian service for the period specified in section 104(a) and subject to such regulations as the President may prescribe.SEC. 110. DISCHARGE FOLLOWING NATIONAL SERVICE. (a) Discharge.--Upon completion or termination of the obligation to perform national service under this title, a person shall be discharged from the uniformed services or from civilian service, as the case may be, and shall not be subject to any further service under this title. (b) Coordination With Other Authorities.--Nothing in this section shall limit or prohibit the call to active service in the uniformed services of any person who is a member of a regular or reserve component of the uniformed services. TITLE II--AMENDMENTS TO MILITARY SELECTIVE SERVICE ACTSEC. 201. REGISTRATION OF FEMALES. (a) Registration Required.--Section 3(a) of the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. 453(a)) is amended-- (1) by striking ``male'' both places it appears; (2) by inserting ``or herself'' after ``himself''; and (3) by striking ``he'' and inserting ``the person''. (b) Conforming Amendment.--Section 16(a) of the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 466(a)) is amended by striking ``men'' and inserting ``persons''.SEC. 202. REGISTRATION AND INDUCTION AUTHORITY. (a) Registration.--Section 4 of the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 454) is amended by inserting after subsection (g) the following new subsection: ``(h) This section does not apply with respect to the induction of persons into the Armed Forces pursuant to the Universal National Service Act.''. (b) Induction.--Section 17(c) of the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 467(c)) is amended by striking ``now or hereafter'' and all that follows through the period at the end and inserting ``inducted pursuant to the Universal National Service Act.''.
Mon, 11 Mar 2013 01:52
Susanne PoselOccupy Corporatism
After the filibuster spectacle on Capitol Hill by Senator Rand Paul, Attorney General Eric Holder wrote another letter wherein he retracted his original statement concerning Obama's legality to use drones in targeted assassination of American citizens on US soil. Holder said: ''It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question, 'Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?' The answer to that question is no.''
Senator Rand Paul Second Letter by
After receiving this letter, Paul agreed to support Brennan's nomination for director of the CIA.
On a broadcast on FoxNews, Paul said that Holder explained that the President does not have the right to kill unarmed and non-combative Americans on American soil.
Paul claimed a victory with this ''answer''; however it is glossed over in the mainstream media that the response from Holder did not clarify who is a combatant.
Based on the National Defense Authorization Act, anyone can be suspected of being a combatant by having alleged ties to a terrorist group.
Just recently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) have said that constitutionalists and anti-government groups are extremists and liken to being terrorist organizations.
While both the mainstream and alternative media were focused on the dog-and-pony show conducted by Paul and Holder regarding drones, the House of Representatives approved a bill that would grant funding to the federal government through September of 2013 while a supposed major budget cut is running rampant, stifling the economic stance of the US government.
House Representative Harold Rogers, head of the Appropriations Committee introduced this resolution to the tune of $982 billion (just shy of 1 trillion dollars) to avoid a near complete governmental shutdown at the end of this month.The very same day of Paul's 13 hour filibuster, the House secured funding for the federal government at the expense of taxpayer and under cover of a 13 hour distraction.
While the rest of the country faces sequestering measures, the US Military Industrial Complex will be well funded to conduct their business.
The Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Planned Parenthood would continue to remain funded with that nearly $1 trillion appropriated by the House resolution.
Thu, 14 Mar 2013 07:13
GovTrack's Bill SummaryWe don't have a summary available yet.
Library of Congress SummaryThe summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
No summary available.
House Republican Conference SummaryThe summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.
No summary available.
House Democratic Caucus SummaryThe House Democratic Caucus does not provide summaries of bills.
So, yes, we display the House Republican Conference's summaries when available even if we do not have a Democratic summary available. That's because we feel it is better to give you as much information as possible, even if we cannot provide every viewpoint.
We'll be looking for a source of summaries from the other side in the meanwhile.
Tue, 12 Mar 2013 19:40
Remarks by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, At the Security Council stakeout
Susan E. RiceU.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations U.S. Mission to the United Nations
Ambassador Rice: Good morning, everyone, or is it afternoon already? It's just afternoon. We of course had a discussion today in the Council on Sudan and South Sudan. Members of the Council'--and the United States among them'--welcomed the recently signed agreements between South Sudan and Sudan in Addis Ababa, which we hope, if fully implemented, will begin the process long overdue of establishing a secure border demilitarized zone and a joint verification monitoring mechanism and get the other key elements of the September 27th agreements underway, including the resumption of the flow of oil, both of which are manifestly in the interests of each country. The United States' position, which we stressed and many other delegations did as well, is that there have been many agreements signed but too few actually implemented. And again the urgency and the necessity is that these agreements are not just signed and touted but in fact implemented in real terms promptly on the ground. These are joined with a concrete timetable that the parties have subscribed to, so it will be very clear to all in short order whether or not these agreements are in fact being implemented. And the Council, I hope, will continue to follow this closely and place a premium on monitoring effective implementation.
There are unfortunately, however, important aspects of the previously agreed arrangements between the two parties that remain unaddressed and still very much outstanding, most notably the dire situation in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile where, as Special Envoy Menkerios reported, the SPLM-North has been sitting, waiting for the talks that have been convened to occur. They are ready and willing to participate. Khartoum has twice refused to join those talks on a cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access, and Special Envoy Menkerios made plain that they are putting up new conditions, which are in direct contravention of the previous agreements. So it is clear that Khartoum must return to the table, sit down with the SPLM-North, negotiate the cessation of hostilities and the humanitarian access which is vital for the people of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, which they have refused to do to date.
At the same time, the situation in Abyei remains unaddressed and stalled, and that too is of grave concern to the United States and to members of the Security Council. There, also, the parties need to act'--and Khartoum in particular'--to implement what it is committed to, including the establishment of the administrative mechanisms, particularly the police and the withdrawal of their own oil police. So there are some important steps that we hope will signify progress on the ground, but as we learned before, that is by no means assured simply because the agreements are signed. We want to see the signed agreements implemented promptly, fully, and effectively, and the outstanding issues'--most importantly the dire situation in the Two Areas and the situation which is now languishing in Abyei'--to be addressed.
We had discussions in the Council about whether the Council would be in a position to speak on this issue finally. For months, the Council has not pronounced itself in a formal product on the issue of Sudan and South Sudan. Since our last meeting two weeks ago, we've been negotiating with the full Council and particular countries as well on a draft PRST. We were close to agreement on that, and we were very ready to update it to take account of recent events. Unfortunately, perhaps in the interests of derailing such a PRST, the Russian Federation, which does not typically utilize the pen on South Sudan or Sudan, tabled a draft press statement, which only discussed a very narrow aspect of the substance of the larger press statement and excluded language on the Two Areas, excluded mention of the cross border incidents, including the aerial bombardments, which were confirmed by Herve Ladsous yet again today and which did not mention the situation in Abyei. And they were unwilling to commit to a swift issuance of a PRST at the same time, and we therefore objected to the issuance of a press statement that was'--or even elements to the press'--that were divorced from the larger set of issues. So it is unfortunate that yet again this Council will not be speaking in a unified fashion in public on Sudan and South Sudan, but I think on the scope of the issues, there was broad agreement within the Council that these agreements have been signed, that that's a good thing, they must be implemented otherwise it is just another piece of paper, but that many, many members of the Council are gravely concerned about the Two Areas and the lack of seriousness thus far demonstrated by Khartoum.
Reporter: I was wondering if you could answer directly, the Ambassador of Sudan Daffa-Alla said that he thinks that the non-passage of the PRST in some way made his government more open to reaching the agreement with South Sudan. What do you think of that? And also on the Two Areas, is it the AU's fault as well? Is the AU mediation team pushing the dates back? Is it just a matter of Khartoum or does the U.S. feel the AU should set a date for the talks to begin and try to get that moving? I think there is some criticism of the AU by the SPLM-North.
Ambassador Rice: Well the AU has set a date twice'--the 5th, I believe, and the 10th'--and the SPLM-North was ready, its delegation waiting, as was reported to us by Haile Menkerios, to proceed to Addis for the talks, but Khartoum refused to show and in fact put additional conditions in place, as was reported to the Council, and thus the talks have not resumed. I will let the Sudanese Ambassador speak for the Government of Sudan.
Reporter: Ambassador, on a non-Sudan-related issue. Mary Robinson is the top candidate for the Great Lakes envoy position. Do you think that this is a good choice? Is this is the kind of person who can give weight to that? And then, second question, several Swiss companies have acknowledged to supplying Iran with aluminum oxide in barter agreements, and some people are saying that this could be in violation of either the spirit or the letter of 1929. What's your position?
Ambassador Rice: Lou, I'm unfamiliar with the materials you described that may have been supplied to Iran, so I can't comment with any certainty on either what it is or whether it's a violation. We are happy to take a look at that. With respect to the Secretary-General's choice for special envoy for the Great Lakes region, I'd prefer to wait until his decision is taken and agreed by the countries concerned and announced, and at that point, I'm happy to comment. But obviously we'--I and the United States has great respect for Mary Robinson.
Reporter: Not on Sudan, I'm sorry, but on Syria: the Grand Mufti of Syria, Hassoun, and also the Fatwa Council'--the High Fatwa Council in Syria has issued an edict yesterday, a fatwa that all Syrians and Arabs and Muslims must defend Syria and the regime. For a regime that pretends'--that claims that it is the most secular in the area, do you have any comment on such fatwa, why the Supreme Council in Syria'...?
Ambassador Rice: I am not in the habit of commenting on fatwas.
Reporter: Madame Ambassador, on Sudan and South Sudan, what's the United States doing or can they do anything to try and ensure'--help ensure that this time the agreement is actually going to be implemented and in this case that oil will actually start flowing? And on the other key issues'--Abyei and the Blue Nile and South Kordofan'--is the U.S. doing anything specific to try and get those issues moving?
Ambassador Rice: Well, the United States as you know has played a leading role both in supporting the implementation of these agreements but also supporting the negotiation of these agreements, and we remain active in support of Special Envoy Menkerios and Thabo Mbeki's efforts. Special Envoy Princeton Lyman has been very, very actively engaged for some years in this process, including these most recent efforts, so we will continue that. But the Security Council, Edie, has a role to play. We passed Resolution 2046 that made very clear that we would follow the implementation of our demands under Chapter VII very carefully, which is why we meet every two weeks on this issue. And we will continue to insist that the Council uphold its responsibility to implement 2046 and hold the parties to their obligations. Now, the aim of the Council in passing 2046 was not to punish the parties or to sanction the parties for the sake of sanctioning. It was, frankly, to spur the parties towards reaching the agreements that needed to be reached and implementing those agreements, and if indeed the Council's continued attention to this issue has had a salutary impact in some respects and will continue to do so, then our work has been beneficial. But I think it is unfortunate when we have the kinds of gambits that we witnessed today that the Council is not able to speak in a unified way, comprehensively about all elements of 2046 and to assess objectively the progress, welcoming it where it is deserved'--as I did earlier in my statement'--and noting where it is lacking.
Thank you very much.
Wed, 13 Mar 2013 03:42
posted at 6:31 pm on March 10, 2013 by Jazz Shaw
Speaking of battles that you thought were ancient history'... remember back when that woman '' what was her name again? '' was a sure fire lock to be the the next Secretary of State? And the Republicans were all up in arms about some television show she was on? And then she really didn't want to be Secretary of State anyway and John Kerry was Obama's first choice all along, so what was all the fighting about anyway? Ah'... good times, my friends. Good times.
Glad all that is behind us, eh?
Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who lost out in a bruising bid for the job of secretary of state, may have the last laugh.
Rice has emerged as far and away the front-runner to succeed Thomas E. Donilon as President Obama's national security adviser later this year, according to an administration official familiar with the president's thinking. The job would place her at the nexus of foreign-policy decision making and allow her to rival the influence of Secretary of State John F. Kerry in shaping the president's foreign policy.
The appointment would mark a dramatic twist of fortune for Rice, whose prospects to become the country's top diplomat fizzled last year after a round of television appearances in which she provided what turned out to be a flawed account of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
Doug Mataconis points out the one big difference between a potential National Security Adviser and the Secretary of State. (emphasis mine)
This isn't really much of a surprise. After Rice withdrew her name from contention for Secretary of State, there was much speculation that Obama would be likely to pick her as his National Security Adviser, a position that does not require Senate confirmation.
This would put Rice right back in the center of strategic planning on foreign affairs, indeed matching or possibly exceeding the influence of Kerry, since the NSA is the person with the President's ear on the inner circle. And the nature of the position means that President Obama can simply appoint her and be done with it. The GOP in the Senate will have nothing to say about it.
Of course, if Barack Obama actually is trying to mend fences '' or at least arrange dinners '' with the GOP leadership in the hopes of getting something done, this would be a fairly significant finger in the eye to Republicans. I've no doubt it will be viewed as such if it happens, and the President would simply be giving John Boehner and company cover to say that there was no thawing of relations across the aisle coming any time soon.
Wed, 13 Mar 2013 03:43
posted at 12:26 pm on March 11, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Two years ago today, an earthquake and tsunami wreaked havoc on Japan, killing almost 16,000 people with another 2600 still listed as missing. Estimates of the cost of the destruction go as high as $235 billion, making it the costliest natural disaster in history. One aspect of the disaster dominated the news for weeks afterward '-- the nuclear ''meltdown'' at Fukushima, which prompted Japan to take all of its reactors off line, and which stopped the nuclear-power movement in its tracks in the US. The exposure of radioactive materials was thought to be the worst consequence of the overall disaster.
Now, two years later, Japan has quietly resumed its use of nuclear power, and is even building a new facility:
At the remote northwestern tip of a snowy peninsula, beyond a small road of fishing shacks and empty one-story homes, 600 construction workers and engineers are building a brand-new nuclear plant for a country still recovering from the most severe atomic accident since Chernobyl.
The main reactor building is already at its full height, though draped in heavy fabric to protect it from the wind and freezing temperatures. A 500-foot crane swivels overhead. A completed power line stretches along a nearby ridge, where it might one day carry electricity down the peninsula and back toward the Japanese mainland '-- a place still fiercely divided over the long-term role of nuclear power.
In the aftermath of March 2011 meltdowns in Fukushima that contaminated 700 square miles with radiation and forced 150,000 to flee their homes, most never to return, Japan's utility companies paused nearly all nuclear-related projects. The accident sparked a global debate about nuclear power, but it was especially fierce in Japan, where all 50 operable reactors were taken offline and work was halted on three new plants where building had been underway.
But two of the existing reactors are back in action, and the resumption of construction at the Oma Nuclear Power Plant here '-- a project that broke ground in 2008 and was halted by the operator, J-Power, after the accident '-- marks the clearest sign yet that the stalemate is breaking.
What happened? The first election after the disaster produced an anti-nuclear hardline agenda. The next produced a moderately nuclear-skeptical government, and the most recent election produced what the Post calls as ''cautiously pro-nuclear'' government. Before the accident, Japan produced a third of its own electricity through nuclear plants, and the need for new resources may have some questioning whether Japan acted too hastily in abruptly stopping its nuclear-power production. Their normally large trade surpluses disappeared in the middle of last year, instead incurring a $78 billion trade deficit as Japan had to start importing large amounts of crude to make up for the demand.
Bloomberg's Robert Peter Gale and Eric Lax provide another explanation. It turns out that the worst-case scenarios simply never arose. While the contamination from the accident is real, the health catastrophe predicted happily didn't materialize:
Remarkably, outside the immediate area of Fukushima, this is hardly a problem at all. Although the crippled nuclear reactors themselves still pose a danger, no one, including personnel who worked in the buildings, died fromradiation exposure. Most experts agree that future health risks from the released radiation, notably radioactive iodine-131 and cesiums-134 and '' 137, are extremely small and likely to be undetectable.
Even considering the upper boundary of estimated effects, there is unlikely to be any detectable increase in cancers in Japan, Asia or the world except close to the facility, according to a World Health Organization report. There will almost certainly be no increase in birth defects or genetic abnormalities from radiation.
Even in the most contaminated areas, any increase in cancer risk will be small. For example, a male exposed at age 1 has his lifetime cancer risk increase from 43 percent to 44 percent. Those exposed at 10 or 20 face even smaller increases in risk '-- similar to what comes from having a whole-body computer tomography scan or living for 12 to 25 years in Denver amid background radiation in the Rocky Mountains. (There is no discernible difference in the cancer rates between people who live in Denver and those in Los Angeles or New York.)
Rather than stand as a warning of the radiation danger posed by nuclear power, in other words, Fukushima has become a reminder that uninformed fears aren't the same as actual risks.
Be sure to read the article to find out why this turned out to be the case, but to summarize, rapid evacuation and Fukushima's position near the ocean made most of the difference. Medical treatment was particularly effective. However, Fukushima wasn't the only disaster whose predicted long-term consequences turned out to be (again, happily) overblown; Chernobyl also hasn't produced nearly as many long-term illnesses, despite a much-worse response from authorities.
These new realities have Japan cautiously moving back to nuclear power, and should be a lesson to all of us. After all, no energy production is risk-free, and as the Bloomberg piece makes clear, nuclear power has a better track record than most.
Mon, 11 Mar 2013 08:30
Published time: March 11, 2013 11:40Edited time: March 11, 2013 12:27
Two years after the Fukushima disaster, much of the clean-up effort is still 'theoretical', survivors go to court for compensation and thousands march against nuclear power, while the government gives up on the phase-out promise.
Experts estimate closing the damaged Fukushima reactors down will cost around US$15 billion and will take about 30 to 40 years.
Two years ago the worst atomic disaster since Chernobyl in 1986 was provoked by an earthquake followed by a tsunami. The natural disaster knocked out cooling equipment at the Fukushima Daiichi plant north of Tokyo, leading to the meltdown of three reactor cores.
The catastrophe claimed 19,000 lives.
''There are still buildings on the plant at Fukushima Daiichi that human beings cannot enter. There's a lot of work that cannot be done yet, because the radiation levels are too high. So at this point what's being done is that the grounds are being prepared for the work to come, but a lot of this work is still theoretical: how to remove the fuel, how to lessen the radiation there on the site and how to decommission the plants,'' Robert Jacobs, associate professor at the Hiroshima Peace University, told RT.
What hampers the clean-up process even further is groundwater flooding, with hundreds of tonnes of water seeping daily into the damaged reactor buildings.
Japan seems to be willing to rely solely on its domestic heavyweights, such as nuclear reactor-makers Toshiba Corp and Hitachi Ltd, in the decommissioning process.
Companies from outside Japan have failed to win any of the 21 contracts awarded this year to develop clean-up technology, Reuters reports. And that despite companies with expertise in similar projects having taken part in the tender process. Companies like Louisiana-based Shaw Group, which carried out the clean-up effort after the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents, and also participated in decommissioning eight US commercial reactors.
Foreign bidders say this tactic of leaving firms with prior experience out will only make recovery process longer, while the Japanese argue it will be easier to contact domestic companies in case of problems.
Survivors demand compensationEight hundred Japanese are 'commemorating' the Fukushima anniversary by launching a legal case against the government and the plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO).
One hundred and sixty thousand survivors of the disaster were officially displaced from the area around the nuclear plant designated by the government. Thousands more just outside the official contaminated zone made their own decision to flee their homes or, having nowhere else to go, stayed in places where the radiation level is still very high.
Only those who were forced to evacuate by officials are being provided with monthly compensation. Others have to get by on their own. Not a single person has yet received compensation for loss of property, according to a February Greenpeace report, which also explains why.
''TEPCO's compensation procedures are complicated and restrictive, initially requiring applicants to fill in a form of more than 60 pages, accompanied by a 156-page manual,'' Greenpeace says.
People will try to get some help from the government and from TEPCO through a legal battle. However proving one's point will not be that easy.
''In Fukushima Prefecture data about some of the dose levels in areas where people were exposed was erased from a computer data base. So this makes it impossible to ascertain what kinds of exposures people had. This degrades their ability to understand what to expect in the future health-wise and also for them to be able to press any kind of legal case,'' Jacobs says in his RT interview.
The plaintiffs are seeking some US$535 each in compensation for every month they have been displaced as a result of the accident. Litigation might take years.
Global nuclear debateThe second anniversary of the Fukushima tragedy has once again brought the issue of nuclear power to spotlight.
Anti-nuclear feeling is still strong in Japan, with thousands rallying on the streets of Tokyo for a total ban on the use of nuclear energy.
Immediately after the disaster, Japan's government promised to altogether abandon atomic energy by the 2030s. However, Tokyo quickly realized that the archipelago nation had no other means to ensure sufficient electric energy supply but to return to nuclear power generation.
The new government of Shinzo Abe has taken on a more pragmatic, rather than emotional approach. Japan's prime minister has already announced six reactors will be re-launched this year.
This rehabilitation of nuclear energy is something considered wise by Matthew Machowski, a nuclear security expert, interviewed by RT. He believes ''green energy at this time is not viable.''
He also argues countries like Germany, Italy and Switzerland, who announced giving up on nuclear energy, are a minority, unable to influence the unfading interest in this type of energy.
''Just last year in March 2012 the US has commissioned a new reactor, just last month United Arab Emirates in the midst of energy's richest part of the world has produced plans for extra two nuclear reactors on top of the two that they already have. And at this moment we have about 67 new nuclear reactors under construction,'' Machowski added.
Robert Jacobs believes the opposite.
''The nuclear industry has essentially slowed down in the developed world because it is not cost-efficient, so that's not really a viable way forward, especially when you consider that the waste needs to be contained for hundreds of thousands of years,'' says Jacobs.
He believes the nuclear power is only low in cost ''if nothing goes wrong. But as we can see things go wrong. And if you are factoring the costs of these disasters it's far from an affordable form of energy.''
Tue, 12 Mar 2013 09:13
By Hayley Peterson
PUBLISHED: 15:36 EST, 11 March 2013 | UPDATED: 07:30 EST, 12 March 2013
A U.S. Army veteran says he has joined an offshoot of al Qaeda after spending several months fighting alongside Syrian rebel forces.
Eric Harroun, 30, of Phoenix, has joined al Qaeda-linked group Jabhat al-Nusra in part because of his fascination with the conflict in the Middle East.
His story will undoubtedly infuriate the hundreds of thousands of service men and women who have risked their lives on the battlefields fighting al Qaeda, only to learn that he never actually served overseas for the United States, and has picked up disability pay for years before going over to fight for the terrorist-backed organization.
'Getting into al-Nusra is not rocket science,' he said. 'It just takes balls and brains.'
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Eric Harroun (right), a 30-year-old U.S. Army veteran from Phoenix, has joined al Qaeda alias Jabhat al-Nusra after months of fighting with Syrian rebels
Harroun, who is known among Syrian rebels and loyalists as 'The American,' joined the U.S. Army in 2000 and he was dishcharged with full disability pay for an injury in 2003 without ever having seen battle
Harroun, who is known among Syrian rebels and loyalists as 'The American,' joined the U.S. Army in 2000 and he was discharged with full disability pay for an injury in 2003 without ever having seen battle, according to his father.
He was injured while riding in a pickup truck that hit a tree and he now has a steel plate in his head, his father Darryl Harroun told Fox.
'Now he has mood swings and what-not,' he said. 'He was already suffering from depression before that, and the accident just kind of multiplied it,' the elder Mr Harroun said he frequently talks to his son by phone.
He said he doesn't agree with what Eric is doing but can't get him to stop.
Rebel fighting: In his time working for the U.S. army, Harroun never actually served in battle but earned his disability check because he was hit in a car crash on a base
Harroun revels in his 'hero' status and brags on Facebook and in YouTube vidoes of his bloody exploits in the Middle East
Harroun right) describes himself as a Sunni Muslim on Facebook and writes about his hatred of Israel and Zionists
'He just loves that part of the world,' his father said. 'We scratch our heads and wonder what the hell he's doing.
'I told him, "You're never going to change those people's minds over there." But he says they treat him like a hero.'
Eric's life has changed dramatically from the days when he worked at Artisan Mortgage company in Phoenix, Arizona from 2006 to 2008 where he described his job as finalizing 'applications for home loans or second mortgages,and a lot of other boring paperwork.'
Domestic life: Before going overseas, Harroun lived in this Phoenix, Arizona apartment building
Previous life: He worked at Artisan Mortgage Company from 2006 to 2008 finalizing second mortgages 'and alot of other boring paperwork'
Proud: Now he posts pictures as he holds machine guns and dressed in army fatigues while in Syria
Eric Harroun revels in his 'hero' status and brags on Facebook and in YouTube videos of his bloody exploits in the Middle East.
His Facebook page is littered with photos of himself brandishing handguns, rifles, mortars and other weaponry.
'He says they treat him like a hero.'-Eric's father Darryl Harroun says
In a photo of himself holding a mortar in one hand and a rifle in the other that he posted on Facebook, he writes, 'Lol Army of Darkness, This is my BOOM STICK. Lol.'
A lit cigarette hangs out of his mouth in the image and in a similar photo featuring a sniper rifle, where he writes, 'Ready to tear Bashar Al-Assads [sic] Army and the Shabehah apart!!'
He describes himself as a Sunni Muslim on Facebook and writes about his hatred of Israel and Zionists. Under his 'Favorite Quotations' section of his profile he writes, 'The only good Zionist is a dead Zionist.'
The Syrian rebel group Amr ibn al-'Aas Brigade told Fox that 'The American' was working with them until last month - about the time he reportedly joined Al-Nusra
Harroun's father said he fears for his son's safety and has little doubt that he will lose him battles abroad
Early on: Harroun appears to have been in Cairo's Tehir Square at the time of the Arab Spring in 2011
In a YouTube video uploaded in mid-January, Harroun warns Assad that his days are 'numbered.'
'Bashar Assad, your days are numbered,' he says in the video, where he is surrounded by several rebel fighters.
'You are going down in flames. You should just quit now, while you can, and leave. You are going to die, no matter what. Where you go we will find you and kill you. Do you understand?'
At another point, he changed his Facebook status to read that he was 'LMAO at Bashar Al-Assads Speech today!!!!!'
The Syrian rebel group Amr ibn al-'Aas Brigade told Fox that 'The American' was working with them until last month - about the time he reportedly joined al-Nusra.
Harroun's father said he fears for his son's safety and has little doubt that he will lose him battles abroad.
'I know one day I'm going to get a message from over there, telling me my son is dead,' he said.
US Army veteran Eric Harroun joins al Qaeda-linked group after...
Wed, 13 Mar 2013 03:34
PETIONVILLE -- The long-awaited soiree in the middle of the week attracted an invitation-only crowd of 800, including foreign diplomats, local celebrities and Haiti's well-heeled and politically connected '-- all of whom had been waiting years for the final reveal.
As they munched on passed hors d'oeuvres and sipped on free-flowing wine, they couldn't help but notice the bamboo, locally-grown orchids and sexy white furniture that lined the expansive courtyard. Oversized drum pendants hung from the building's ceiling.
''It's like being in New York City,'' said Dr. Ranley Desir, a Miami cardiologist who flew in with wife Karine.
Nearly three years after it was hammered by disaster, Haiti's Royal Oasis hotel finally opened its glass doors this week. With high-end shops and 128 rooms managed by the Spanish hotel franchise Occidental Hotels & Resorts, the luxury boutique hotel is the country's first internationally branded hotel in more than a decade and the first multi-million dollar, high profile, locally built and financed project since the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake.
''Royal Oasis is a beacon of modernity that we are all proud of,'' said Jerry Tardieu, the 45-year-old Haitian entrepreneur who envisioned the project and brought 200 mostly Haitian shareholders together to make it a reality. ''But mostly, it is a symbol of what we Haitians can do when we dare to dream big.''
That dream features a 10-level, earthquake-resistant South Beach-inspired building with a $1,300-a-night presidential suite, a yet-to-be-completed rooftop infinity pool and gray and off-white hues. They serve as a backdrop for the tributes to Haiti's vibrant culture '-- ironworks, colorful beaded vases and photographs of Haiti's untapped tourism potential '-- lining the otherwise neutral-colored walls.
The Wednesday night opening drew not only the country's president and prime minister, but managers at competing hotels, who toured the $200 and up rooms, and those who regretted passing on the investment.
''I remember seeing the investor's packet in 2007 and thinking, 'This guy is crazy. No way is this going to work,''' said Andy Rene, the new head of Haiti's Investment Facilitation Center (CFI), a one-stop investment center. ''I didn't believe and so I missed the boat.''
Ventura Serra, senior vice president of operations for Occidental, said the project will have an impact in Haiti.
''It's the new light in Port-au-Prince that is going to show everybody the new Haiti,'' said Serra, who now adds Haiti to his portfolio, which includes properties in the neighboring Dominican Republic and Cuba. ''It's a very beautiful hotel and very good location, and it's built with all of the highest standards of construction.''
Those standards did not come easily or inexpensively. The devastating 2010 earthquake came just weeks after the opening of the restaurant in a similarly star-studded soiree inside its historic restaurant. The quake killed more than half of its investors and created a $6.5 million deficit that halted the project for eight months as Tardieu searched for additional financing.
He found it in local Haitians, who range from struggling school teachers to wealthy bankers, and in the International Finance Corporation and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. The latter made a $2 million equity investment that officials said Wednesday aided in the creation of 400 construction jobs on site and the hiring of the hotel's 350 staffers.
Wed, 13 Mar 2013 03:32
Photo: The Canadian Press.
FILE - U.S. actor Sean Penn. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
An aid group run by Hollywood actor Sean Penn announced Tuesday it is receiving $8.75 million from the World Bank to help move Haitians off of a golf course where many have been living since the January 2010 earthquake.
A statement from a public relations firm for Penn said that the money will go for rent subsidies or for new housing units.
Some 14,000 people still live at the Petionville Club in plywood shacks still living in the camp. Sixty thousand lived there at one point.
The people are to be moved out by early 2014.
Penn is an ambassador-at-large for Haiti. He uses the post to raise awareness about the nation still struggling to recover from the disaster.
Penn's J/P Haitian Relief Organization took responsibility for the impromptu settlement a couple of months after the quake, which destroyed thousands of buildings.
The number of people displaced by the quake has dropped from a high of 1.5 million people to 347,000, according to the International Organization for Migration, an aid group that seeks to help people displaced by disaster and conflict.
Wed, 13 Mar 2013 03:28
Many parts of Europe are struggling to return to normal after a freak snowstorm caused travel chaos.
On Tuesday the Eurostar trains had to be suspended as severe weather in Northern France and Belgium forced operators to close sections of the railway.
Other high speed train services were also halted.
Even Jersey, normally one of the warmest parts of the British Isles, was not spared from the severe conditions.
Residents had to cope with 100 kph winds as snow covered the island.
Meanwhile more snow fell on central Germany.
North of Frankfurt the Autobahn had to be closed after a 100-car pile up injured dozens of people.
Nearby, Europe's third largest airport also had to close. Forcing more than 355 flights to be canceled.
More about:Europe, Snow storm, Snowfall, WeatherCopyright (C) 2013 euronews
Mon, 11 Mar 2013 08:54
The Associated Press '' 14 hrs.
A Danish television channel has admitted it mistakenly used an image from a computer game to illustrate a news report about Syria.
TV2 Head of News Jacob Nybroe said Sunday the picture that was used as a backdrop behind news anchor Cecilie Beck on Feb. 26 came from Ubisoft's adventure game "Assassin's Creed."
He says he learned about the mistake this week, following speculation about the origin of the image on social media sites.
One of the TV channel's employees had found the image online and thought it was a photo of Damascus' skyline. (You can see the original, with a Ubisoft copyright notice, here, as ITV points out.)
Nybroe says it was a terrible mistake and a "reminder to us all of the importance of verifying the sources of pictures."
(C) 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Wed, 13 Mar 2013 16:34
We've written several times about the controversial decentralised digital currency known as Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is an algorithmic currency, backed not by printed banknotes or government assurances, but by a database of cryptographic proofs-of-work.
That's fancy talk for: find a block of data that produces a cryptographic hash with a specific bit pattern (this gets harder and harder as you lock more bits into the pattern); convince a majority of other participants you've come up wth a solution; and add the new proof-of-work into a blockchain.
The blockchain forms a cryptographic record of bitcoin creation and use.
Because each component in the blockchain depends on the hash of the previous one, you can't go back and revise the bitcoin history:
We implement the proof-of-work by incrementing a nonce in the block until a value is found that gives the block's hash the required zero bits. Once the CPU effort has been expended to make it satisfy the proof-of-work, the block cannot be changed without redoing the work. As later blocks are chained after it, the work to change the block would include redoing all the blocks after it.
A blockchain forms a sort of transaction log, and acts as a starting point for the next round of bitcoin mining.
The transaction log allows other players in the Bitcoin contest to verify your solution to the cryptographic puzzle (finding data that produces a hash with a specific number of leading zeros); once a majority of nodes in the Bitcoin scene accept that your solution came first, you've "mined" that coin, and it belongs to you.
Your new block is folded into the blockchain and everyone sets to work trying to solve the next cryptographic link in the chain, as depicted above.
"Winning" the next bitcoin in a chain means happening upon a bitstring, or nonce, that when combined with the data in the chain so far, produces a SHA-256 hash with a certain number of leading zeros. The probability of finding such a pattern by chance - and there is no better way known - is 1/2z, where z is the number of needed zero bits.
The Bitcoin protocol estimates the amount of CPU power currently in the Bitcoin mining network, and continually adjusts z so that, on average, one successful solution turns up every ten minutes. Each successful solution is currently worth 25 bitcoins; this halves every four years so as to limit the total number of bitcoins in circulation.
By 2140, each successful solution will be worth just 0.00000001 bitcoins; when this reward gets halved, it will effectively round down to zero, because bitcoins are denominated to eight decimal places, and no more bitcoins will be possible.
Ecosystem problemsOur previous articles describing problems with the Bitcoin ecosystem have all related to the services, known as exchanges, which trade real money into, and out of, bitcoins.
The biggest Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, suffered a temporary meltdown in 2011 which saw the price of bitcoins plunge in minutes from $17 to about one cent.
The exchange operators decided to recover by pretending that the meltdown never happened, reversing the apparently-bogus trades and allowing the value of the "currency" to restore itself.
And in 2012, Bitcoin exchange Bitcoinica suffered not one but two digital breakins, leading to bitcoins (which are effectively just strings of data bytes) worth more than $300,000 being stolen.
Bitcoinica was then sued for nearly half-a-million dollars by disgruntled customers.
In 2012, Roman Shtylman, the operator of the Bitfloor exchange, ended up $250,000 out of pocket when he suffered a double-dose of bad luck.
Whils upgrading his servers, he decided to take the risk of making a temporary, unencrypted backup, which he kept online, just in case.
I'm sure you can guess what happened next.
'º' Many of us will have committed this sort of security sin at some time, a problem for which there are three simple words: "Don't do that." Anything worth encrypting is worth encrypting always.
That's just the moment that hackers - who probably didn't believe their luck at first - got into his network, making off with a cool quarter-million's worth of bitcoins he had in his possession.
Implementation problemsYesterday, Bitcoin suffered another small setback, but of a different sort.
The side-effect was to force a brief but sudden devaluation of approximately 25% in the value of bitcoins, at least on the Mt. Gox exchange:
This reminds us that even algorithmic currencies backed by cryptography rather than fiat can suffer wild fluctuations in value.
This time, it wasn't the surrounding ecosystem that turned out to have feet of clay, but the software behind Bitcoin itself.
It seems that version 0.7 of the Bitcoin mining software - the program that does the cryptographic guessing, and exchanges blockchains over its peer-to-peer network - had a fatal but unknown flaw.
This flaw was inherited from a database library module known as Oracle Berkeley DB that was used by Bitcoin coders until version 0.7; in version 0.8, they switched to a different database library, created by Google, known as LevelDB.
It turns out that a bug in Berkeley DB made it choke on blockchains bigger than a certain size; LevelDB, however, handled them just fine.
So a good, old-fashioned backwards incompatibility, albeit one that was caused by a flaw and thus terribly hard to predict, caught Bitcoiners on the hop.
Some of the ecosystem was willing to accept recently-minted bitcoins; some of it was not.
The stopgap solution, it seems, has been to persuade the community to commit to a temporary regression, and to:
' Run 0.8 software with artificial limits on the size of the blockchains it will tolerate, so it doesn't make different decisions to the 0.7 version, or
' Downgrade to version 0.7 software.
ConclusionsThis episode is an excellent reminder of one of computer science's great ironies, namely that fixing bugs isn't always the positive step you might hope.
In this case, switching to a more reliable database library made the 0.8 implementation more correct, yet annoyingly more fragile, simply because it wasn't backwardly compatible with the 0.7 code.
It also reminds us how difficult it is to carry out a comprehensive code review on software that relies on third-party libraries, even if they are open source.
The moral of the story is: test, test and test again.
Tue, 12 Mar 2013 09:17
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) '-- People from Los Angeles to Tokyo have been gathering to honor the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan two years ago.
KNX 1070'Ós Claudia Peschiutta reports a memorial service held on Sunday near Little Tokyo included a panel discussion on how residents in the Southland can prepare for the next major quake.
SoCal Marks 2nd Anniversary Of Tokyo QuakeClaudia PeschiuttaDisplays outside LAPD headquarters recalled the 2011 quake that left 18,000 dead and destroyed 300,000 homes, including a plaque underscoring the ongoing recovery for residents in the Tohoku region of Japan.
Fire officials were on hand to remind the public of what a similar quake could mean for Southern California.
''A lot of people don't realize that we are earthquake prone in California, but we also could get a tsunami,'' Los Angeles County Fire Asst. Chief David Stone said. ''We just haven't had one in a long time.''
Residents were urged to prepare for a number of disaster scenarios, including how to cope for being at least ''two weeks on your own''.
''The message for a lot of us needs to be, 'Be ready for anything','' said Battalion Chief Larry Collins. ''The message used to be 72 hours, but we've seen in disasters like [Hurricane] Katrina, even [Hurricane] Sandy recently, that, really, if it's wiped out your infrastructure, and your electricity grid and your communications, it will be very likely be more than three days before you start getting food, water and other supplies coming in from outside.''
The event also featured an interfaith service including Buddhist monks, a Jewish cantor and Christian representatives.
Residents in Tokyo on Monday, meanwhile, stood in silence at 2:46 p.m., the very moment the magnitude-9.0 quake struck on March 11, 2011, and wiped out entire coastal communities along with triggering a tsunami that caused three reactors to meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Tue, 12 Mar 2013 09:01
Mon, 11 Mar 2013 13:00
The Senate passed H.R. 598, to amend Title 38, to improve the capability of the Department of Veterans Affairs to recruit and retain physicians and dentists through increases in special pay authorities, and to authorize .. Read MoreThe Senate passed H.R. 598, to amend Title 38, to improve the capability of the Department of Veterans Affairs to recruit and retain physicians and dentists through increases in special pay authorities, and to authorize collective bargaining over conditions of employment for health-care employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs.'The Senate passed H.J. Res.'222, to provide for a settlement of the railroad labor-management disputes between certain railroad workers and their employers.'The Senate continued consideration of S.207, to amend the Commodity Exchange Act to authorize appropriations for and enhance the effectiveness of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.'The Senate indefinitely postponed S. 647, to require the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to submit to Congress reports on the costs incurred by the United States in connection with the Persian Gulf conflict and the foreign contributions made to offset such costs, and to require the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury to submit to Congress reports on the contributions of foreign countries in response to the Persian Gulf crisis.
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Tue, 12 Mar 2013 09:55
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Tue, 12 Mar 2013 09:50
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On Morning Joe, 'Fortune' editor Leigh Gallagher, expressing support for NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's ban on big soft drinks, says "sometimes you have to do not what people want you to do. You have to take people by the hand and lead them."
Mon, 11 Mar 2013 01:43
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Thu, 14 Mar 2013 07:52
Nicholas BallasyThe Daily CallerMarch 14, 2013
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, the wealthiest American, said on ''some days'' he wishes the U.S. political system were like England's, so that President Barack Obama could have ''slightly more power.''
Gates was asked for his assessment of President Obama's job performance during an interview at Politico's ''Playbook Cocktails'' event.
''Some days I wish we had a system like the U.K. where, you know, the party in power could do a lot and you know, you'd see how it went and then fine you could un-elect them,'' said Gates on Wednesday.
''Now, over time, our system has worked slightly better than theirs, theirs has worked okay but so it's ironic that right now it feels like I wish there was slightly more power in the presidency to avoid some of these deadlocks. So I think what he [Obama] wants to do and what he's actually able to do, the gap is so big there that it's hard to know in some ways.''
Full story here.
This article was posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 6:37 am
Tags: constitution, government corruption, mainstream media, police state