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No Agenda Episode 458

By Adam Curry. Posted Monday, November 05, 2012 at 2:50 PM.

Punch a Puppy!

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Cover Art

By Adam Curry. Posted Monday, November 05, 2012 at 2:50 PM.

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Art By: Daniel MacDonald

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Credits

By Adam Curry. Posted Monday, November 05, 2012 at 2:50 PM.

Punch a Puppy!

Executive Producers: Dame Viki Poole, Ronald Dreslinski Jr, Daniel Mack

458 Club Member: Daniel Mack

Become a member of the 459 Club, support the show here

Knighthoods: Kevin Coakley, Viki Poole

Art By: Daniel McDonald

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Sandy

New Jersey Allows Voters To FAX Or Email Election Ballots For The First Time

Staten Island Borough President Blasts Red Cross

Link to Article

Thu, 01 Nov 2012 21:34

Staten Island borough president James Molinaro is absolutely livid about the lack of aid that his borough has received.He spoke at a press conference this morning with senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Molinari called out the American Red Cross, calling it an "absolute disgrace" and urging people to stop donating to the nonprofit.

"My advice to the people of Staten Island is do not donate to the American Red Cross," said Molinaro. "Let them get their money elsewhere."

Here's what he had to say to NBC after the presser, from BuzzFeed:

''You know, I went to a shelter Monday night after the storm. People were coming in with no socks, with no shoes. They were in desperate need. Their housing was destroyed. They were crying.

Where was the Red Cross? Isn't that their function? They collect millions of dollars. Whenever there's a drive in Staten Island, we give openly and honestly. Where are they? Where are they?

I was at the South Shore yesterday, people were buried in their homes. There the dogs are trying to find bodies. The people there, the neighbors who had no electricity, were making soup. Making soup. It's very emotional because the lack of a response. The lack of a response. They're supposed to be here'....They should be on the front lines fighting, and helping the people.''

And watch the full video of Molinaro at the press conference below, from NBC 4:

"We're Americans! When Times Are Tough We're Tougher!" President Obama Weekly Address

VIDEO: Sandy-Starved New Yorkers Dumpster Dive

Link to Article

Source: BlackListedNews.com

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 11:41

Source: NBC New York

View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com.

Will the establishment media still characterize people who buy storable food as paranoid and crazy after seeing this?

Homes and businesses in the Lower East Side and East Village are still without power and under water. Residents began dumpster diving outside a Key Food supermarket Thursday, looking for whatever food they can take. Jonathan Vigliotti reports.

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Meet The Climate Change Denier Who Became The Voice Of Hurricane Sandy On Wikipedia

Link to Article

Source: Dave Winer's linkblog feed

Sun, 04 Nov 2012 06:19

Ken Mampel, an unemployed, 56-year-old Floridian, is in large part the creator of the massive Hurricane Sandy Wikipedia page. He's also the reason that, for nearly a week, the page had no mention of climate change.

Ken MampelCourtesy Ken Mampel

"All I am is a contributor. I have no title, I'm just a Joe Blow," says Ken Mampel, a currently unemployed 56-year-old living in Ormond Beach, Florida. He's also largely responsible for the Wikipedia article about Hurricane Sandy. If it isn't already, that article will eventually become the single most-viewed document about the hurricane. On the entire internet.

In an unpaid but frenzied fit of news consumption, editing, correction, aggregation, and citation, Mampel has established himself as by far the most active contributor to the Wikipedia page on Hurricane Sandy, with more than twice the number of edits as the next-most-active contributor at the time this article was written.

And Mampel made sure that the Hurricane Sandy article, for four days after the hurricane made landfall in New Jersey, had no mention of "global warming" or "climate change" whatsoever.

* * *

Late in the evening of November 1st, a new section appeared at the bottom of the Wikipedia page, titled "Connection to global warming." It was the first mention of climate change the article had had, and laid out the response from climate scientists, mostly stating that climate scientists don't really know if the hurricane was caused in part or whole by climate change. I emailed Ken, who goes by the name Kennvido on Wikipedia, to get a response, and he wrote back: "thanks deleted again and told them to go discuss Sandy on the global warming page." I reloaded the page and confirmed: Ken had eliminated any discussion of climate change. A few minutes later, I reloaded and the section was back, only with a big block warning, telling me that "The neutrality of this article is disputed." By 10:23, that warning read: "An editor has expressed a concern that this Section lends undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, controversies or matters relative to the article subject as a whole. Please help to create a more balanced presentation."

By the morning of November 2nd, the section was gone again. The revision history shows an argument: "the existence of other views is solved by referencing them in RS, not deleting views one disagrees with," says one contributor. Mampel continues to fight, and he's not the only one: another user chimed in that the Hurricane Sandy page is "Not the place to push global warming when no evidence exists that this was a cause." But by early afternoon, the article had a small paragraph in the "Meteorological history" section linking to a few articles that suggest a connection to global warming. Ken had been overruled.

"I question Kennvido's own political motives in forcing this discussion out of the article," said one contributor on the article's "Talk" page, the (publicly viewable) page where contributors discuss the article's content. Another said "There is still no mention whatsoever of climate change in this article, even though there is no doubt that it's a systemic cause of hurricane Sandy. It's hard to take [Wikipedia] seriously sometimes." But mostly the argument is about "weight," one of Wikipedia's key guidelines. Here's what Wikipedia says: "Giving due weight and avoiding giving undue weight means that articles should not give minority views as much of, or as detailed, a description as more widely held views." But how do you judge what's a minority view?

* * *

Ken Mampel does not believe in climate change. (He referred to himself as a libertarian, by my count, six separate times during one phone call. I never asked about his political leanings.) Without my prompting, Ken mentioned that New York City's Mayor Mike Bloomberg had endorsed Obama for president based on his handling of the hurricane. This is true, and Mampel planned to add this to the Wikipedia entry. "But I don't believe that climate change bullcrap," he said. Bloomberg had specifically mentioned climate change in his endorsement speech, but Mampel wouldn't add that to the Wikipedia entry. That's despite dozens of articles pointing out the connection--not a causation, necessarily, but certainly a connection worth exploring. I myself spoke to a hurricane expert about three hours before I spoke to Mampel who told me that the roughly two-degree increase in the water temperature in the Atlantic could have had a major effect on Hurricane Sandy's strength in the northeast. Mampel doesn't care. He wasn't going to mention climate change.

Wikipedia: Hurricane Sandy's Climate Section:Screenshot taken at 9:56 p.m., November 1st, 2012. Wikipedia

"Someone did put it in," he told me via email on the night of November 1st. "I took it out stating not proven. They put it in again. This time someone else took it out before I even saw it...warned the person...and it never was put in again." When I mentioned that many reputable scientists and publications have pointed out the connection, he said, "It's still in debate in the world community Dan... even if EnviroGore thinks there is no need for debate."

* * *

The Wikipedia entry for Sandy was created by the user Anonymouse321 late on October 23rd. At that time, Sandy was a tropical storm over the Caribbean; NASA's Terra satellite had captured it, and the government of Jamaica had issued a hurricane warning, but nobody was really paying attention. The page was originally called "Tropical Storm Sandy." By October 25th, the storm was gaining speed and looking more dangerous, and Ken had taken notice. Ken lives on the central Florida coast, on the Atlantic side north of Daytona Beach, but he's originally from Hempstead, a town on Long Island just a bit east of Queens. The storm looked as if it would move through the Caribbean and up the east coast--past where Ken lives now, and up to his hometown. Ken took an interest.

When I talked to him, I believe he had slept for maybe 15 hours in the past five days. He spoke quickly and passionately but without any focus whatsoever, and even the simplest question could lead into a tangent from which I had significant trouble pulling him away. "Did you create the Wikipedia article originally?" I'd ask. Two sentences later, he was telling me about his son, who is about my age, who does something at George Washington University and is a veteran and received some impressive military medal and did I know that global warming is definitely not man-made?

At one point I told him I lived in Brooklyn. He paused, and then yelled "JOEY BAG-A-DONUTS!" at me in some kind of 1970s Brooklyn accent. I didn't bother mentioning that my part of Brooklyn was mostly concerned with being able to get fresh-pressed kale juice the morning after the hurricane. (We could, too.) He kept confusing Popular Science with Popular Mechanics, which, to be fair, also happens to people who haven't been sleeplessly editing Wikipedia articles. "I stayed up for 24 hours at one point, I don't remember when," he told me, "and then slept for five hours and then got up and got right back to it. I'm very much into this."

Wikipedia: Hurricane Sandy:Screenshot taken at 9:45 p.m., November 1st, 2012. Wikipedia

Ken is, he says, between jobs, "because of this lousy economy and I hope we get a new president." But Ken has actually worked in news- and media-related jobs for most of his career. He says he started writing radio copy when he was 13 years old, which would seem to violate some sort of labor law, but that's what he says. He stayed in radio, writing copy for advertisements and doing some production work, until around 1985. Then for the next 17 years or so, he worked as a stringer for TV news stations from Jacksonville to Orlando. A stringer is a freelancer, usually for photography and video coverage, with a loose relationship to a local news station. You get paid per item, not per hour, and you have no institutional benefits. It's a tough job. Ken took the night shift, sitting in his car in a rough part of central Florida with three police scanners on the seat next to him. Whenever something would happen--natural disasters like hurricanes or tornadoes, or just general crime, he'd rush off and document it, and TV news would pay him for each find.

That's just about exactly what he did when he began editing Sandy's Wikipedia page on the afternoon of October 25th, except without the pay, and without the original reporting. Ken now follows, he says, 66 different news organizations on Twitter, and spent that day constantly adding and narrowing until he had just the balance he wanted. That included both national and local news sources, both old-school and new--the New York Times, a local New Jersey station called NJ1, the Daily Beast. He took news from all kinds of sources, and plopped them into the Wikipedia page, in proper Wikipedia style. He edited the writing of other contributors. He created new categories and new pages--the storm's effect on Vermont, for example (pretty much none).

One of the key differences between the Wikipedia page and any other news source is that Ken, and indeed all Wikipedia contributors, are specifically forbidden from doing any of their own reporting. "Wikipedia articles must not contain original research," says Wikipedia, firmly. "'No original research' (NOR) is one of three core content policies that, along with Neutral point of view and Verifiability, determines the type and quality of material acceptable in articles." Mampel knows people in the New York area, but unless those people are reporters who have published their own accounts, he's forbidden from making any reference to what he's learned from them. Wikipedia is aggressively second-hand. The other key difference is that Wikipedia has, by design, a peculiar and de-centralized editorial structure. Wikipedia pages are constructed piecemeal, by lots of contributors who theoretically have equal footing. "Wikipedia is a meritocracy," says Jay Walsh, head of communications for the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia, among other wiki-properties. "What's beautiful is that it's a broad, instant collaboration."

* * *

But that's not how news is typically recorded and released. "You can't look at a breaking news story in the way you look at, say, a bio of a living person," says Walsh. That rule about no original reporting? That can be bent in the interest of having a complete and up-to-date view of a news story when verification is hard to come by. "There's an understanding that in breaking news stories, information may be rough or raw," says Walsh. Instead of just deleting an un-cited fact, editors may attempt to verify it, or just leave it where it is for the time being.

Any contributor can remove, add, or change elements of the article based on any of Wikipedia's many rules, or just because they want to, like Ken and the climate-change stuff. There's healthy back-and-forth amongst the contributors in the "Talk" pages, documented on the "revision history" page. Each Wikipedia article has both: a "Talk" page is where contributors discuss what should and should not be in the article, and "revision history" gives a timeline of edits to the page. Ken may have made the most edits to the Hurricane Sandy page, but he's not a "lead editor" in the sense that he's the point person for the article, able to decide single-handedly what goes into the piece. There's nobody, really, who does that, though there are a staff of just under 1,500 "administrators" on Wikipedia--also unpaid volunteers, selected by, essentially, a survey of other Wikipedia volunteers--who have a bit more power. One of those admins put the Hurricane Sandy page under, says Jay, a semi-lock: only registered Wikipedia editors who have participated in the community before, not anonymous new folks, can edit it now. But Ken did contribute much more than any other editor--he was the most active editor, though that didn't give him any added authority. It also doesn't necessarily mean he wrote most of the article, though he certainly wrote much of it. An edit is an edit, whether it's removing a comma splice or writing 2,000 words.

Ongoing news stories on Wikipedia are created in the same way as any other page there, but with a slightly different approach. On a less-breaking page--I used the page for "cornbread" as an example--the only impulse is to create the best encyclopedia-style reference page. There are arguments, of course, over the preference of yellow cornmeal verses white, or whether hushpuppies (which are fried) belong in an article about cornbread (which is baked), but the idea is to get all of the appropriate information into the article. Not so much with Hurricane Sandy, which the contributors know will evolve over time and take on a different shape in a week than it has now. Regarding the global warming issue, one contributor wrote: "With the article being edited heavily with updates at the moment, many of whom are in the storm, my view is that it can wait for a day or two." Another said, "it sounds more like, 'We'll keep all mention of global warming out of the discussion until after nobody's interested in this storm any more.'"

This isn't so much "waiting for new information to come in." This is "waiting for majority rule to overcome the will of the few." The few are what kept global warming off that page for so long.

When I told Jay Walsh about the back-and-forth regarding climate change, he said, "It doesn't surprise me to hear that. Climate change is a bastard--it's one of those really complicated topics within Wikipedia, because the [editors] are so science-focused." But he wasn't upset that one point of view had been steamrollered on a Wikipedia page that received more than half a million hits in three days--he was intrigued about how the process went, and about how it was eventually ironed out, in a way. "The article doesn't not do its work because of that," he said. Walsh talked about a "good faith" versus "bad faith" edit: Ken Mampel really thinks he is improving that page by eliminating an unclear passage about climate change, so that's a "good faith" edit. Which, for Wikipedians, means the system is working. But what about for those 500,000 readers who didn't get the full story?

* * *

Ken, not surprisingly, has gotten into scraps with some other editors. Despite the communal ethos, there is a distinct pecking order among Wikipedia editors, based sometimes on seniority and sometimes on sheer dickishness. Ken was chided for using "Monday" and "Tuesday" rather than "October 29th" and "October 30th." A user going by the name United States Man threatened to block him for "changing formats, changing info, and putting stuff in the wrong place." In an email to me, Ken called United States Man "one of those ahole members" and says this is "water off his back," but he apologized effusively to U.S.M. in public.

United States Man is one of several hurricane-fanatic Wikipedia contributors who contributed to the Hurricane Sandy page. Another is Cyclonebiskit, who has contributed to just about every inclement-weather-related page on Wikipedia. These guys are advanced hobbyists; they are certainly knowledgeable, if not professionally trained. Ken is neither. He was just captivated by the news story, like the rest of us, spouting off about storm surges and baroclinic pressure like we had any idea what those terms meant two weeks before. And Ken was the one taking the lead on the Wikipedia page. Not because he demanded it, but just because he wanted to do it. He was obsessed. "People just have their...interests," he said.

Hurricane Sandy: NOAA

"Interests" are what made Ken spend five sleepless days racing to aggregate hurricane news, despite having no unusual amount of knowledge on the subject. They're what made him race against mainstream sports sites to post the results of each inning of the ALCS games on Wikipedia first. Ken has a lot of time on his hands, and a drive to join or beat the press at their own game. "I'm in between jobs, it's a lousy economy," he says. "How do you think I can be on here as much as I am?" But when I asked how he thought his speed and work compared to the professionals who were doing essentially the same thing, he glowed. "That's exactly it!" he said. "Bam! Bam! Bam! That's what I strive for, to be as fast as major media. I wanted to be there, and I wanted to be accurate." And Ken talks a lot about accuracy, about crafting a page that reflects the facts. But accuracy only goes so far on Wikipedia.

* * *

If one of the weaknesses of Wikipedia is that anyone can edit it, the solution to that problem is that, well, anyone can edit it. Mampel can't be vigilant against climate change's mention in the Hurricane Sandy article forever. In fact, he couldn't keep climate change off the page for an entire week--somebody else will keep adding that section until Mampel gives up. Mampel doesn't want to risk being banned; he's very concerned about being a good guy in the contributor community. Whenever anyone commented with any issue about his work, he immediately apologized and offered to fix it. "If you're nice, you'll get nice back," he said about the community. He wants to edit in "good faith." For posterity, this particular problem will be ironed out. But for days, the internet's most authoritative article on a major tropical storm system in 2012 was written by a man with no meteorological training who thinks climate change is unproven and fought to remove any mention of it.

Haiti, struck by megastorm Sandy, asks for aid.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 04 Nov 2012 14:33

As much of the world focuses on the storm-devastated northeastern United States, tiny impoverished Haiti, also dealt a powerful blow by Hurricane Sandy, is appealing for international aid.

The storm, a powerful category two hurricane when it tore through Haiti last Thursday, killed more than 50 people there. It destroyed crops and homes and crippled transportation in the nation, the poorest in the Americas.

"I am launching an appeal to international solidarity to come help the population, to help support the completion of our efforts towards saving lives and property," Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe said Wednesday evening during a cabinet meeting rebroadcast on local media.

According to statistics presented during the meeting, the agricultural sector registered a loss of more than $104 million.

"Several thousand kilometers of agricultural roads were destroyed and thousands of heads of cattle were swept away by the flood waters, which also destroyed thousands of hectares of plantations," Agriculture Minister Jacques Thomas said.

Health Minister Florence Guillaume said "numerous cases" of cholera have also been reported in the wake of the storm.

"What we've just heard is frightening. We should act quickly for the people and put ourselves to work to improve the situation," Lamothe said.

"Without a doubt we don't have enough means, but we must show we have the will," he added, reiterating his call for international support.

On Thursday, the government communication bureau indicated that Venezuela has proposed building 5,000 homes and had already sent three planes and a boat loaded with 240 tonnes of food.

France has promised to rebuild seven destroyed bridges and Mexico has offered food.

Haiti is still rebuilding after the massive 2010 earthquake that leveled much of the capital, left hundreds of thousands homeless and killed more than 200,000 people.

Haiti appeals for international aid for Sandy victims

Link to Article

Source: euronews

Sat, 03 Nov 2012 10:08

New York has cancelled its annual marathon after an initial decision to let Sunday's race go ahead caused an outcry among locals. Although the city's mayor Michael Bloomberg had thought the event would lift New Yorkers' spirits in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, his office'...

Bill and Hillary Clinton in Haiti leading Toward Economic Prosperity Global News

Link to Article

Sat, 03 Nov 2012 10:12

Bill and Hillary Clinton open Haitian industrial park | Video

Link to Article

Sat, 03 Nov 2012 10:12

About Reuters TVHard-edged reporting, insight and analysis, Reuters TV breaks ground creating informative news and financial videos. Showcasing Reuters' 3000 award-winning journalists, Reuters TV delivers high-energy investigative journalism with concise explanations. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Scampaign

'Twitter bombs' may deliver late election surprise

Link to Article

Source: Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories

Sun, 04 Nov 2012 14:38

As US election day approaches, "Twitter bombs" are expected to fly as part of efforts to swing votes in a close race.

As US election day approaches, "Twitter bombs" are expected to fly as part of efforts to swing votes in a close race.

The "bombs," a form of spam, are unsolicited Twitter responses which are retweeted with the help of automated computer programs, or "bots", to get maximum distribution.

These are examples of cyber tricks which could surface in the final days of the US election campaign from candidates or, more likely, outside groups supporting a candidate or cause.

The "bomb" technique is as old as Twitter, and is similar to e-mail spam. Both can be used for commercial or political causes.

Experts say it leads those receiving the messages to believe there is a groundswell, when in fact, the trend is being manipulated by those generating the message.

"This is a new way of propagating information or misinformation," said Panagiotis Metaxas, a Wellesley College computer scientist who studies social media.

"I suspect this will happen close to the final days of the election. With social media you can propagate information or misinformation fast."

'-- Bomb campaigns as late game-changers '--

Metaxas, who co-authored a report on the subject in Science Magazine, said that even though falsehoods can be debunked, "if you launch it close enough to the election you can keep enough confusion to last a couple of days."

Mexatas studied a case in the 2010 race for US Senate in Massachusetts, in which a "tweet factory" created in the final days of the campaign produced 1,000 tweets, which ended up being retweeted 60,000 times.

The campaign came from a conservative group in Iowa, in support of Republican Scott Brown, who eventually won the race.

"I cannot tell if it made a measurable difference in the election," Metaxas said. "But in a close race decided by a few hundred or a few thousand votes, this could be a factor."

"In times of political elections, the stakes are high, and advocates may try to support their cause by active manipulation of social media," Metaxas added.

In politics, Twitter manipulation can multiply messages from one person or group, making it appear to be a grassroots movements, a phenomenon known as "astroturfing."

"These are nefarious tactics," said Jeanette Castillo, a professor of communication at Florida State University who follows new media.

But Castillo said that over the long run, these efforts may be misguided, because it can hurt a candidate's "social media capital."

"These kind of tactics may be able to influence trends on Twitter, but I think they represent a basic miscalculation," she said. "Bots can't vote... or volunteer, or talk to their co-workers, family and friends."

Filippo Menczer, head of Indiana University's Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research, has set up a research project called "Truthy" in an effort to separate real groundswells from fake ones.

"We try to find out how it is that some information goes viral and some does not," he said.

"Fake accounts can give the impression of a grassroots movement when in fact it is just the coordinated effort of one person or one group."

Menczer's team uncovered a case in 2010 in which 20,000 tweets originated from two Twitter accounts in an effort to drum up support for Republican congressional candidates, and frequently mentioned House GOP leader John Boehner.

This effort likely used "bots" to get the messages out to a wider audience, he noted.

These efforts violate Twitter's terms of service, but spammers often disguise their messages by tweaking hashtags or other parts of the messages.

Twitter did not respond to an AFP query. But Menczer said Twitter would maintain a confidential algorithm in order to block efforts like "bombs" and "astroturfing."

Twitter bombs are not the only dirty tricks one can expect in cyberspace.

Another is the "Google bomb" or "search engine bomb" which can manipulate search results. Earlier this year, people searching Google for "completely wrong" got pictures of Mitt Romney.

Another showed pictures of former president George W. Bush in a search for "miserable failure" in 2003, until Google modified its algorithms.

A barrage of text messages in the past few days with anti-gay and false claims about Obama also came to light, drawing complaint from some groups.

These tactics are likely to grow as candidates and their supporters try desperation moves.

"It is an arms race," said Menczer.

"There are political or commercial reasons people have an incentive to build better systems (to get a message out) and Twitter has an incentive to build better countermeasures."

Menczer said the same techniques could be used to support, or thwart, political movements such as the Arab Spring uprisings.

"We have seen in Russia an attempt by a protest movement to use social media thwarted by junk" which drowned out the message, he said.

"I think it's something to worry about."

(c) 2012 AFP

Bill Maher Warns Romney Supporters: 'Black People Know Who You Are and They Will Come After You'

Link to Article

Sat, 03 Nov 2012 19:10

Bill Maher on HBO's Real Time Friday might have said one of the most disgraceful things uttered during the 2012 campaign season.

"If you're thinking about voting for Mitt Romney, I would like to make this one plea: black people know who you are and they will come after you" (video follows with commentary):

Imagine for a moment the outrage if a conservative commentator said even jokingly to Obama supporters, "White people know who you are and they will come after you."

That would be the end of that person's career. Period. No questions asked. Done!

But Maher who's adored by the Obama-loving media can say this with total impunity.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: HBO should be ashamed to have this disgusting man as one of its on air personalities. Period. End of story.

Please also seeMaher: 'Who Cares What Somebody In Obama Administration Wrote Down and Predicted?'and Paul Begala: 'California, Illinois and New Jersey - Places Where They'd Hunt Romney Down With Dogs'.

And don't miss Maher's other recent absurdities:

'We Spend 42% of Our Total Budget on Defense'

Bill Maher Staffer: Reporters Recommending Liberal Ideas Are Like Dentists Endorsing a Toothbrush

'John Sununu Is a Racist Fat F--k'

Bill Maher Attacks Pollster Scott Rasmussen For 'Taking a Side' with the 'Rush-Fox-Drudge' Reality Deniers

Romney's a 'Dork in Mom Jeans Who's Afraid of Black People'

VIDEO: Heated Romney Interview on Mormonism Resurfaces, Drawing Attention

Link to Article

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 09:35

A heated discussion on religion between Mitt Romney and an Iowa radio host from 2007 has resurfaced online and is gathering steam on social media.

Taped during Romney's first presidential run on Aug. 4, 2007, the five-minute video features Romney defending his views to conservative radio host Jan Mickelson, who had challenged the candidate on air regarding his stance on abortion. Thus begins a tense conversation about Romney's faith that continues after the show concludes its national broadcast.

"Throughout the Bible, Christ appears in Jerusalem, splits the Mount of Olives to stop the war that's coming in to kill all the Jews. Our Church believes that," Romney presses, then explains how he reconciles his personal beliefs with his politics.

"I'm not running to talk about Mormonism," the agitated candidate later says before getting up from his chair and heading toward the exit.

The video has been a hot topic on Twitter since being uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday. Alyssa Milano has tweeted it to her 2.2 million followers, and film critic Roger Ebert and Graham Linehan, the Irish TV writer behind hit U.K. comedy The IT Crowd, have posted it, as well. Linehan then went on a lengthy tear, satirizing Romney's beliefs.

O'Reilly: Obama Doesn't Like Americans Because Blacks Have 'Grievance Against Whites'

Link to Article

Source: Crooks and Liars

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 19:37

With less than a week to go before election day, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly is suggesting that the president of the United States doesn't like half of the country because African Americans have a "grievance against whites."

Conservative radio host Dennis Miller explained to O'Reilly on Thursday that President Barack Obama had "squandered" the public's affection for him after the last election.

Miller opined that Obama and President Richard Nixon were the only two presidents in his lifetime "who seemed to actively dislike half the population of the country."

"I look at Barack Obama and think, you know, I don't sense he likes half this country," Miller said. "And I think that's coming back to bite him in the tuchus."

"Do you think it has anything to do with grievance?" O'Reilly wondered. "Because in some African-American communities there is a grievance against whites who aren't sympathetic to their cause. And that may be driving a little bit of it. So there are some African Americans who believe the reason that they're not prospering as a community, alright, is because society hasn't done enough, and the reason society hasn't done enough is because of rich white guys."

"No, I don't think of it like that with Obama," Miller shrugged. "I think of him as one of those intelligentsia swells who looks down on people who he thinks aren't up to speed intellectually with him. So, I don't get a color thing off him."

(h/t: Media Matters)

Shut Up Slave!

EO-Fascist

Federal Register | Establishing the White House Homeland Security Partnership Council

Link to Article

Sat, 03 Nov 2012 08:49

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to advance the Federal Government's use of local partnerships to address homeland security challenges, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. The purpose of this order is to maximize the Federal Government's ability to develop local partnerships in the United States to support homeland security priorities. Partnerships are collaborative working relationships in which the goals, structure, and roles and responsibilities of the relationships are mutually determined. Collaboration enables the Federal Government and its partners to use resources more efficiently, build on one another's expertise, drive innovation, engage in collective action, broaden investments to achieve shared goals, and improve performance. Partnerships enhance our ability to address homeland security priorities, from responding to natural disasters to preventing terrorism, by utilizing diverse perspectives, skills, tools, and resources.

The National Security Strategy emphasizes the importance of partnerships, underscoring that to keep our Nation safe ''we must tap the ingenuity outside government through strategic partnerships with the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, and community-based organizations. Such partnerships are critical to U.S. success at home and abroad, and we will support them through enhanced opportunities for engagement, coordination, transparency, and information sharing.'' This approach recognizes that, given the complexities and range of challenges, we must institutionalize an all-of-Nation effort to address the evolving threats to the United States.

Sec. 2. White House Homeland Security Partnership Council and Steering Committee.

(a) White House Homeland Security Partnership Council. There is established a White House Homeland Security Partnership Council (Council) to foster local partnerships'--between the Federal Government and the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, community-based organizations, and State, local, tribal, and territorial government and law enforcement'--to address homeland security challenges. The Council shall be chaired by the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (Chair), or a designee from the National Security Staff.

(b) Council Membership.

(i) Pursuant to the nomination process established in subsection (b)(ii) of this section, the Council shall be composed of Federal officials who are from field offices of the executive departments, agencies, and bureaus (agencies) that are members of the Steering Committee established in subsection (c) of this section, and who have demonstrated an ability to develop, sustain, and institutionalize local partnerships to address policy priorities.

(ii) The nomination process and selection criteria for members of the Council shall be established by the Steering Committee. Based on those criteria, agency heads may select and present to the Steering Committee their nominee or nominees to represent them on the Council. The Steering Committee shall consider all of the nominees and decide by consensus which of the nominees shall participate on the Council. Each member agency on the Steering Committee, with the exception of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, may have at least one representative on the Council.

(c) Steering Committee. There is also established a Steering Committee, chaired by the Chair of the Council, to provide guidance to the Council and perform other functions as set forth in this order. The Steering Committee shall include a representative at the Deputy agency head level, or that representative's designee, from the following agencies:

(i) Department of State;

(ii) Department of the Treasury;

(iii) Department of Defense;

(iv) Department of Justice;

(v) Department of the Interior;

(vi) Department of Agriculture;

(vii) Department of Commerce;

(viii) Department of Labor;

(ix) Department of Health and Human Services;

(x) Department of Housing and Urban Development;

(xi) Department of Transportation;

(xii) Department of Energy;

(xiii) Department of Education;

(xiv) Department of Veterans Affairs;

(xv) Department of Homeland Security;

(xvi) Office of the Director of National Intelligence;

(xvii) Environmental Protection Agency;

(xviii) Small Business Administration; and

(xix) Federal Bureau of Investigation.

At the invitation of the Chair, representatives of agencies not listed in subsection (c) of this section or other executive branch entities may attend and participate in Steering Committee meetings as appropriate.

(d) Administration. The Chair or a designee shall convene meetings of the Council and Steering Committee, determine their agendas, and coordinate their work. The Council may establish subgroups consisting exclusively of Council members or their designees, as appropriate.

Sec. 3. Mission and Function of the Council and Steering Committee. (a) The Council shall, consistent with guidance from the Steering Committee:

(i) advise the Chair and Steering Committee members on priorities, challenges, and opportunities for local partnerships to support homeland security priorities, as well as regularly report to the Steering Committee on the Council's efforts;

(ii) promote homeland security priorities and opportunities for collaboration between Federal Government field offices and State, local, tribal, and territorial stakeholders;

(iii) advise and confer with State, local, tribal, and territorial stakeholders and agencies interested in expanding or building local homeland security partnerships;

(iv) raise awareness of local partnership best practices that can support homeland security priorities;

(v) as appropriate, conduct outreach to representatives of the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, community-based organizations, and State, local, tribal, and territorial government and law enforcement entities with relevant expertise for local homeland security partnerships, and collaborate with other Federal Government bodies; and

(vi) convene an annual meeting to exchange key findings, progress, and best practices.

(b) The Steering Committee shall:

(i) determine the scope of issue areas the Council will address and its operating protocols, in consultation with the Office of Management and Budget;

(ii) establish the nomination process and selection criteria for members of the Council as set forth in section 2(b)(ii) of this order;

(iii) provide guidance to the Council on the activities set forth in subsection (a) of this section; and

(iv) within 1 year of the selection of the Council members, and annually thereafter, provide a report on the work of the Council to the President through the Chair.

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) The heads of agencies participating in the Steering Committee shall assist and provide information to the Council, consistent with applicable law, as may be necessary to implement this order. Each agency shall bear its own expense for participating in the Council.

(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof;

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals; or

(iii) the functions of the Overseas Security Advisory Council.

(c) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and appropriate protections for privacy and civil liberties, and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

THE WHITE HOUSE,Washington, October 26, 2012.

[FR Doc. 2012-27002Filed 11-1-12; 11:15 am]

Billing code 3295-F3

From Chad

This is spooky. They're gonna privatize homeland security. We are soooo doomed.

I'm gonna buy a chunk of land someplace in SW CO. Maybe build a cabin. Maybe a yurt. Go off the grid. Solar. Thorium. Something with lots of canned goods and giant caliber projectiles. You and Micky should come. I'll build you a HAM antenna on a mountain top and me a still down in the valley. You can do the show from there and I'll listen and cook booze. We'll trade the booze for pemmican and trinkets. There's a lot of picturesque things for Micky to photograph and in the least she could be the Eye of the Apocalypse. Someday the Mothership is gonna show up and those motherfuckers are gonna want to know what the hell happened. There will be no one left to tell the tale but photos will be understood.

I'd invite John but he'd never make it there in his battery car.

Federal Register | Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Weapons of Mass Destruction

Link to Article

Sun, 04 Nov 2012 14:18

Notice of November 1, 2012

On November 14, 1994, by Executive Order 12938, the President declared a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States posed by the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons (weapons of mass destruction) and the means of delivering such weapons. On July 28, 1998, the President issued Executive Order 13094 amending Executive Order 12938 to respond more effectively to the worldwide threat of weapons of mass destruction proliferation activities. On June 28, 2005, the President issued Executive Order 13382 which, inter alia, further amended Executive Order 12938 to improve our ability to combat proliferation. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States; therefore, the national emergency first declared on November 14, 1994, and extended in each subsequent year, must continue. In accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12938, as amended.

This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.

THE WHITE HOUSE,Washington, November 1, 2012.

[FR Doc. 2012-27145Filed 11-2-12; 11:15 am]

Billing code 3295-F3

Are US journalists FBI informers?

Link to Article

Source: bertb news feed

Sat, 03 Nov 2012 10:29

If Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue is right, there are journalists around the country who also happen to be informants for the FBI.

The battered and bruised body of Kenneth Trentadue raised the suspicions of his family.

And the journalists might not be alone. FBI informants might also be found on the White House staff, in the offices of U.S. congressmen, in the courts and among the clergy.

The allegations stem from Trentadue's ongoing legal battle with the FBI and the Department of Justice over the August 1995 death of his brother Kenneth Trentadue, who died under mysterious circumstances in Oklahoma City's transfer center for federal inmates.

Jesse Trentadue has long scoffed at federal authorities' explanation that his younger brother killed himself. According to Jesse Trentaude, Kenneth died as the result of an interrogation prompted by his resemblance to an early suspect in the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Then-Chief Medical Examiner Fred Jordan, following a contentious investigation, determined the death a suicide but later claimed he had been pressured by the FBI and state prosecutors to make that ruling.

In Trentadue's latest attempt to gather information on the bombing and its possible connection to his brother's death, he filed a federal lawsuit Oct. 18 demanding the DOJ and the FBI surrender unredacted manuals that reveal the existence of a government program for recruiting and training informants.

Trentadue said he has proof that the manuals exist as well as government documentation on an ABC News executive identified by an FBI informant number. His lawsuit states: ''FBI defendants' disturbing practice of using private citizens as spies in the media, on defense teams, in religious organizations as well as state and federal government is designed to and does result in the circumvention of the protections guaranteed to American citizens by the Bill of Rights and the Separation of Powers Doctrine.''

Trentadue said he does not want the names of the informants.

''I know I'll never get that,'' he said. ''But we're entitled to know who they're targeting to become informants.''

An informant at ABC?Trentadue said he first became aware that some journalists were working for the FBI when he filed a Freedom of Information Act request for surveillance videotapes of the Murrah bombing. During his exchange with the bureau, the government released some documents referring to a tip from an informant identified as NY 29000- SI-DT. The informant had contacted Supervisory Special Agent Thomas E. Nicoletti the evening of April 19, 1995, with information about who might have carried out the attack.

Jesse Trentadue

''Late morning, on April 20, NY 29000-SI-DT met with ASAC (Assistant Special Agent in Charge) Andrew, SSA Thomas Lang, and SSA Nicoletti,'' read the document, which was stamped ''secret.'' It went on to state the informant ''is a senior official employed by ABC News for over 15 years.

When questioned on April 20, 1995, NY 29000-SI-DT would not reveal the identity of his source; but advised that this information was also being provided to FBI HQ or WMFO (Washington Metropolitan Field Office) by someone connected to ABC News.''

Responding to Trentadue's FOIA request filed this past March, the FBI provided documents indicating that the SI on the informant's identity number stood for ''Sensitive Informant'' and DT for ''Domestic Terrorism.''

In April, the bureau acknowledged receipt of Trentadue's request for records related to ''FBI Recruitment/ Management of Confidential Sources Within the Media.''

Trentadue made separate requests for records pertaining to the bureau's recruitment of confidential sources on the staff of U.S. senators and representatives, the clergy, staffers for state and federal judges, and those on criminal prosecution defense teams.

In April, the FBI and DOJ denied Trentadue's request for records related to the informant, saying it could neither confirm nor deny the existence of such records.

However, the FBI did release 205 pages of a ''Corporate Policy Directive,'' the ''Confidential Human Source Validation Standards Manual.'' Most of the manual was redacted; the FBI cited an exemption under FOIA pertaining to ''documents classified as involving national security.''

''It's unconstitutional as hell,'' Trentadue said. ''But I couldn't believe they admitted it. Maybe they're just that arrogant.''

An FBI spokesman declined comment on the latest lawsuit in light of the bureau's policy not to remark on pending litigation.

Follow the Pipes

Nabuuco vs South Stream

From Ivan

Hillary visited Croatia on Nov 2nd. In Nov3 TV news (can't remember which station), it was announced that Russians are signing up with Hungary instead of Croatia for the South Stream project. It turns out that the cost is greater with Hungarians, but that Russians couldn't withstand Croatian stalling anymore!

Large disappointment and looking for scapegoat resulted. Current president Josipovi and former president Mesi both voiced dislike, especially Mesi, who held to various friendships with "Non-aligned Third Block" (states that did not consider themselves as West nor East; states such as India, Yugoslavia, Egypt; friendships with folks like Gadaffi) as well as some sympathies with Russia.

Croatia regrets loss of South Stream pipeline route

Link to Article

Sun, 04 Nov 2012 14:01

Croatia regrets loss of South Stream pipeline route03 November 2012 | 18:39 | FOCUS News Agency

Home / Southeast Europe and Balkans

Zagreb. Croatian President Ivo Josipovic on Saturday voiced regret that Gazprom's South Stream pipeline, an investment worth several hundred million euros, would not pass through his country but Hungary instead, AFP reported."It is bad news," Josipovic told HRT national television.He blamed Croatia's lack of "energy policy" and failure to "plan for the future" on energy issues."I hope that it will push us to start thinking strategically," Josipovic added.Josipovic also said that the decision not to include Croatia in the South Stream pipeline could possibly be traced back to Zagreb's mistrust of Russian investors in the past."The truth is that we have had an incorrect attitude towards certain Russian investors, which remains to this day," Josipovic said.Gazprom and Hungarian electricity company MVM on Wednesday reached a deal to build Hungary's section of the South Stream natural gas pipeline.According to the deal, South Stream Hungary is to build the 229-kilometre (142-mile) section between Hercegszanto and Tornyiszentmiklos.The pipeline will have an annual capacity of 30 billion cubic metres and is scheduled to begin operations in January 2016.The 3,600-kilometre (2,237-mile) long South Stream pipeline is a strategic project for Gazprom, which will allow it to pump gas to the European Union via the Black Sea and the Balkans without using Ukraine's gas transit network.In 2011, Russia was the seventh largest foreign investor into Croatia with 24.8 million euros of investments. The Netherlands came first with 277 million euros, according to the National bank figures.

(C) 2012 All rights reserved. Reproducing this website's contents requires obligatory reference to FOCUS Information Agency!

southstream.curry.com

Nabucco pipeline - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Link to Article

Sun, 04 Nov 2012 14:03

Nabucco pipelineLocation of Nabucco pipelineLocationCountryTurkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, AustriaGeneral directioneast''westFromAhiboz, TurkeyPasses throughÄ°neg¶l, Yuluce, Kırklareli, Kofcas, Lozenets, Oryahovo, Port of Bechet, Nădlac, Dolj, Mehedinti, Caras-Severin, TimiÅŸ, and AradToBaumgarten an der March, AustriaGeneral informationTypeNatural gasPartnersOMVMOLTransgazBulgargazBOTAÅžRWEOperatorNabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbHExpected2017Technical informationLength3,893 km (2,419 mi)Maximum discharge31 billion cubic metres (1.1—10^12 cu ft) per yearDiameter56 in (1,422 mm)Nabucco-WestLocationCountryBulgaria, Romania, Hungary, AustriaGeneral directioneast''westFromStrandja, BulgariaPasses throughLozenets, Oryahovo, Port of Bechet, Nădlac, Dolj, Mehedinti, Caras-Severin, TimiÅŸ, and AradToBaumgarten an der March, AustriaGeneral informationTypeNatural gasPartnersOMVMOLTransgazBulgargazBOTAÅžRWEOperatorNabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbHExpected2017Technical informationLength1,312 km (815 mi)Maximum discharge10 billion cubic metres (0.35—10^12 cu ft) per yearDiameter56 in (1,422 mm)The Nabucco pipeline (also referred as Turkey''Austria gas pipeline) is a proposed natural gaspipeline from Erzurum in Turkey to Baumgarten an der March in Austria diversifying natural gas suppliers and delivery routes for Europe. The pipeline attempts to lessen European dependence on Russian energy. The project is backed by several European Union states and the United States and is seen as rival to the Gazprom-EniSouth Stream pipeline project. At the same time, there are some doubts concerning viability of supplies. The main supplier is expected to be Iraq with potential supplies from Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Egypt.[1]

Preparations for the Nabucco project started in 2002 and the intergovernmental agreement between Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Austria was signed on 13 July 2009. The project is being developed by a consortium of six companies. If built, the pipeline is expected to be operational by 2017. The consortium has submitted also a modified project called Nabucco-West, which does not include the Turkish section of the pipeline.[2][3]

As of 2012, some analysts declare Nabucco is unlikely to be built due to changed political situation and competing projects.[4][5] The final investment decision by the Nabucco consortium is expected in 2012.

[edit]MotivationThe Nabucco project is backed by the European Union and the United States[6][7][8][9] In the Trans-European Networks - Energy (TEN - E) programme, the Nabucco pipeline is designated as of strategic importance.[10][11][12] An objective of the project is to connect the European Union better to the natural gas sources in the Caspian Sea and the Middle East regions.[13][14][15] The project has been driven by the intention to diversify its current energy supplies, and to lessen European dependence on Russian energy'--the biggest supplier of gas to Europe.[16][17] The Russia''Ukraine gas disputes have been one of the factors driving the search for alternative suppliers, sources, and routes.[17][18] Moreover, as per European Commission, Europe's gas consumption is expected to increase from 502 billion cubic metres, in 2005, to 815 billion cubic metres in 2030 which would mean Russia alone would not be able to meet the demand.[19]

According to Nobuo Tanaka, former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, the Nabucco pipeline would be more effective in increasing Europe's energy security than the South Stream project as it increases the number of gas suppliers.[20]

[edit]HistoryPreparations for the Nabucco project started in February 2002 when first talks took place between Austrian OMV and Turkish BOTAÅž. In June 2002, five companies (OMV of Austria, MOL Group of Hungary, Bulgargaz of Bulgaria, Transgaz of Romania and BOTAÅž of Turkey) signed a protocol of intention to construct the Nabucco pipeline. The protocol followed by the cooperation agreement in October 2002. The name Nabucco comes from the same famous opera of Giuseppe Verdi, that the five partners had listened to at the Vienna State Opera after this meeting.[21] In December 2003, the European Commission awarded a grant in the amount of 50% of the estimated total eligible cost of the feasibility study including market analysis, and technical, economic and financial studies. On 28 June 2005, the joint venture agreement was signed by five Nabucco partners. The ministerial statement on the Nabucco pipeline was signed on 26 June 2006 in Vienna.[22] On 12 September 2007, Jozias van Aartsen was nominated by the European Commission as the Nabucco project coordinator.[23] In February 2008, German RWE became a shareholder of the consortium.[24]

On 11 June 2008, the first contract to supply gas from Azerbaijan through the Nabucco pipeline to Bulgaria was signed.[25] The President of AzerbaijanIlham Aliyev confirmed on 29 January 2009, that Azerbaijan was planning to at least double its gas production in the coming five years to supply the pipeline.[26] On 12 April 2009, the Minister of Energy of Turkey Hilmi G¼ler confirmed that Turkey is ready to sign a deal, provided that Turkey gets 15% of the natural gas to be carried through the Nabucco pipeline.[27]

On 27 January 2009, the Nabucco Summit held in Budapest.[28] On 24''25 April 2009, the Nabucco pipeline was discussed, among other energy issues, at the high-level energy summit in Sofia,[29] and on 8 May 2009, at the Southern Corridor Summit in Prague.[30]

The intergovernmental agreement between Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Austria was signed by five prime ministers on 13 July 2009 in Ankara.[31] The European Union was represented at the ceremony by the President Jose Manuel Barroso and the Commissioner for EnergyAndris Piebalgs, and the United States was represented by Special Envoy for Eurasian EnergyRichard Morningstar and Ranking Member of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Senator Richard Lugar.[32][33] Hungary ratified the agreement on 20 October 2009.[34] Bulgaria ratified the agreement on 3 February 2010.[12][35] Romania ratified the agreement on 16 February 2010.[36] Turkey became the final country ratifying the agreement on 4 March 2010.[37][38]

In May 2012, the consortium submitted a Nabucco-West proposal to the Shah Deniz consortium.[2]

The 3,893 kilometres (2,419 mi) long pipeline will run from Ahiboz in Turkey via Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary to Baumgarten an der March, a major natural gas hub in Austria.[39] In Ahiboz, it will be joined with two feeder lines, one connecting to Georgia in the north (South Caucasus Pipeline), and the other connecting to Iraq (pipeline to be built) in the southeast.[40] It could be fed also from the Tabriz''Ankara pipeline. 2,730 kilometres (1,700 mi) of the pipeline will be laid in Turkey, 412 kilometres (256 mi) in Bulgaria, 469 kilometres (291 mi) in Romania, 384 kilometres (239 mi) in Hungary, and 47 kilometres (29 mi) in Austria.[39]

From Turkey the Nabucco pipeline will enter Bulgaria and after running 76 kilometres (47 mi) in parallel to the existing gas system will connect to the Bulgarian national gas network at the compressor station of village Lozenets in Yambol Province.[41] After crossing the Balkan Range the pipeline will head 116.3 kilometres (72.3 mi) in a northwesterly direction. After reaching the national northern half-ring it will run 133 kilometres (83 mi) in parallel to the existing East-West gas line and continue 86.5 kilometres (53.7 mi) to northwest before reaching the Danube at Oryahovo. In Bulgaria, Nabucco will have interconnections with the national gas network and will have two off-take systems, compressor stations and pig stations.[42]

In Romania, the pipeline will be crossing into the country under the Danube. The route on the Romanian territory will go from south-west to north-west, its south-western starting point being located at the Danube-crossing point upstream the Port of Bechet, and the north-western end point being located north of Nădlac. The pipe will follow the south western border of Romania and will travel through the counties of Dolj, Mehedinti, Caras-Severin, Timiş, and Arad. The pipeline will cross 11 protected sites, two national parks, three natural reserves, and 57 watercourses, namely major rivers such as: Jiu, Coşuştea, Cerna, Bela Reca, Timiş, Bega, and Mureş, as well as their tributaries. The terrain is rockier in Romania and mainly constituted of limestone. This section is 469 kilometres (291 mi) long.[39][43]

Polish gas company PGNiG is studying the possibility of building a link from the Nabucco gas pipeline to Poland.[44]

[edit]Technical featuresIn early years after completion the deliveries are expected to be between 4.5 and 13 billion cubic metres (160—10^9 and 460—10^9 cu ft) per year. Around 2020, the supply volume is expected to reach 31 billion cubic metres (1.1 trillion cubic feet) per year, of which up to 16 billion cubic metres (570 billion cubic feet) will go to Baumgarten. The diameter of the pipeline would be 56 inches (1,400 mm).[45]

The Nabucco-West proposal foresees a capacity of 10 billion cubic metres (350 billion cubic feet).[2]

[2]

In the EU territory, the pipeline is to be exempt from regulated third party access, including tariff regulation, for 25 years.[13][14][15]

[edit]ConstructionThe Nabucco project is included in the EU Trans-European Energy Network programme and a feasibility study for the Nabucco pipeline has been performed under an EU project grant. The front end engineering and design (FEED) services of the pipeline, including the overall management of the local FEED contractors, the review of the technical feasibility study, route confirmation, preparation of the design basis, hydraulic studies, overall SCADA and telecommunications, GIS and preparation of tender packages for the next phase, was managed by UK-based consultancy Penspen.[46] Starting from 14 December 2011, WorleyParsons was appointed as on owner's engineer.[47]

According to Reinhard Mitschek, managing director of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH, construction of the pipeline is scheduled begin in 2013 and it would be operational by 2017.[48][49]

[edit]FinancingThe pipeline, initially estimated at '‚¬7 billion, is in 2011 estimated to cost '‚¬12''15 billion. The final investment decision is expected in 2012.[50] The sources of financing of the Nabucco project are not decided yet. As a commercial project, it will be financed 30% by the project's partners and the rest by commercial financial instruments. The European Commission has awarded an EU project grant in the amount of 50% of the estimated total eligible cost of the feasibility study[13][14][15] and has also decided to allocate '‚¬200 million from the European Economic Recovery Plan.[51] To receive this financing, this grant should be committed by the end 2010.[51]

At the Nabucco Summit held in Budapest on 27 January 2009, the heads of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) confirmed, that they are prepared to provide financial backing for the project.[28] On 5 February 2010, the EIB vice-president Mathias Kollatz-Ahnensaid that Nabucco consortium is seeking up to '‚¬2 billion (20''25% of costs) financing from the bank. The EIB is ready to participate in the financing of this project; however, the precondition is that the partner countries should legally approve the pipeline's transit in their countries.[52]

In September 2010, the consortium signed an agreement with EIB, EBRD, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), according to which the banks will conduct due diligence for a financing package of '‚¬4 billion. Up to '‚¬2 billion will be signed by the EIB, up to '‚¬1.2 billion by the EBRD, and up to '‚¬800 million by the IFC.[53]

[edit]Supply sourcesThe potential suppliers for Nabucco are considered to be Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Egypt.[40] At the first stage, 10 billion cubic metres (350 billion cubic feet) of natural gas per year is expected from Iraq.[54] Iraqi gas would be imported via the Arab Gas Pipeline (extension to be built) from the Ekas field.[55] MOL has acquired 10% stake in Pearl Petroleum Company Limited, which holds legal rights in Khor Mor and Chamchamal gas-condensate fields in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.[56] According to Iraqi deputy oil minister Ahmed al-Shamma, Iraq gas will not be necessarily delivered via Nabucco pipeline, as after arriving to Turkey it may feed also alternative projects which have available transport capacities. Export to Europe would start only if new gasfields are found, as associated gas is not enough to ensure stable gas supplies.[57]

In Azerbaijan, the second stage of the Shah Deniz gas field comes on-stream in 2016. There was an agreement for 8 billion cubic metres (280 billion cubic feet) of natural gas per year with further expansion.[25][26][58] However, on 27 December 2011 Azerbaijan signed an agreement to provide 16 billion cubic metres (570 billion cubic feet) to Turkey through the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline. According to Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız Trans-Anatolian pipeline does not exclude Nabucco, but means that "Azeri gas will be connected to Nabucco not from Georgian but from Bulgarian border".[3][59]

Turkmenistan would provide for Nabucco 10 billion cubic metres (350 billion cubic feet) of gas per year.[37][60][61][62] The natural gas could be transported through Iran or across the Caspian Sea via the planned Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline. OMV and RWE have set up a joint venture, named the Caspian Energy Company, to carry out research for a gas pipeline across the Caspian Sea.[63] In the long term, Kazakhstan may become a supplier providing natural gas from the Northern Caspian reserves through the planned Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline.[64]

Egypt could provide 3''5 billion cubic metres (110—10^9''180—10^9 cu ft) of natural gas through the Arab Gas Pipeline.[58] Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan has urged Egypt to export natural gas to Europe via the Nabucco pipeline.[65] Iran has also proposed to supply gas to Nabucco pipeline and this was backed by Turkey; however, due the political conditions this is rejected by the EU and the United States.[7][8][66][67][68] There is also an option, that Nabucco could be fed with Russian natural gas through the Blue Stream pipeline.[58][68]

[edit]Project companyThe project is developed by the Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH. The managing director of the company is Reinhardt Mitschek.[58] The shareholders of the company are:

OMV (Austria)MOL (Hungary)Transgaz (Romania)Bulgargaz (Bulgaria)BOTAÅž (Turkey)RWE (Germany)[13][14][15]Each of the shareholders holds 16.67% of the shares.[69]

Nabucco International is the owner of the five national Nabucco companies responsible for the operation and maintenance of the pipeline in their respective countries.[13][14][15]

RWE and MOL have indicated that they may leave the project.[2]

[edit]Alternative projectsIn 2006, Gazprom proposed an alternative project, in competition with the Nabucco pipeline, that would involve constructing a second section of the Blue Stream pipeline beneath the Black Sea to Turkey, and extending this up through Bulgaria and Serbia to western Hungary.[70] In 2007, the South Stream project through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia to Austria and Italy was proposed. It is seen as a rival to the Nabucco pipeline.[12][71][72][73] On 10 March 2010, CEO of Eni, a partner in South Stream, Paolo Scaroni proposed to merge Nabucco and South Stream projects to "reduce investments, operational costs and increase overall returns".[74][75] This proposal was rejected by energy minister of Russia Sergei Shmatko saying that "South Stream is more competitive than Nabucco" and that "Nabucco and South Stream are far from being competitors".[76] Also OMV has said that there are no ongoing discussions about merging the projects.[77]

Ukraine has proposed the White Stream pipeline, connecting Georgia to the Ukrainian gas transport network.[78] Also the Trans Adriatic Pipeline and the Interconnector Turkey''Greece''Italy projects are seen as competing projects.[79] According to the project's European Coordinator Jozias van Aartsen all five projects are competing with each other for the access to Azerbaijani Shah Deniz gas supplies.[10] According to Turkish energy minister Taner Yıldız Turkey supports combining Nabucco and Interconnector Turkey''Greece''Italy projects.[80]

Several experts believe that Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline may cause cancellation of the Nabucco project.[59] According to RWE, the Trans-Anatolia gas pipeline would shorten Nabucco and lower its investment costs, but at the same time it may require additional guarantees for Nabucco as it raises questions about access and financing.[81] The Nabucco consortium sees the modified Nabucco-West as a prolongation of the Trans-Anatolian project into Central Europe.[2][3]

Competitor to Nabucco, and to pipelines generally, is liquefied natural gas. Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania nad Hungary are developing Azerbaijan''Georgia''Romania Interconnector project, which is proposed to transport Azerbaijani gas to Europe in form of LNG.[82] Increasing availability of LNG from large gas-producing countries in the Middle-East and Africa stresses the economic viability of pipelines.[83]

[edit]Controversial aspects[edit]Economic and political aspectsThe Nabucco pipeline will supply only a limited number of countries in South-East and Central Europe.[19] The project has been criticized as uneconomic because there is no guarantee that there will be sufficient gas supplies to make it profitable.[17] Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has stated "speaking about the Nabucco pipeline without Iran's participation would amount to nothing but a pipeline void of gas". Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has made similar remarks.[84] The deputy chairman of the Russia's State Duma Energy Committee Ivan Grachev has questioned the viability of the Nabucco project and sees it as an attempt to put pressure on Russia.[85] This is supported by Russia's gas deals with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, which by some observers has been seen as attempt to reserve potential Nabucco supplies.[86][87] Azerbaijan has stated that the gas will be transported only through those routes, which would be commercially most attractive.[79] Also the opening of the Central Asia '' China gas pipeline and the agreements to build the South Stream pipeline has been seen as the end of Nabucco project.[88]

However, before the raise of project's costs and the proposal of modified project, RWE had claimed that the transportation of natural gas through the Nabucco pipeline would be cheaper than through South Stream or other alternative pipelines. According to RWE, the transportation of thousand cubic meters of gas from Shah Deniz field to Europe will cost through the Nabucco pipeline '‚¬77 versus '‚¬106 through the South Stream pipeline.[79]

[edit]Fossil fuelsSome NGOs criticize the EIB and EBRD for their willingness to finance a fossil fuel project, claiming that it goes against the November 2007 resolution on trade and climate change passed in the European Union Parliament.[89] The resolution calls for "the discontinuation of public support via export credit agencies and public investment banks, for fossil fuel projects."[90] Non-governmental organizations also show disapproval, due to the public banks decision to be lenient to Turkmenistan Human and civil rights conditions.[91]

[edit]Security aspectsConcerns have been raised about the safety of the project. The pipeline will cross through unstable area of Turkey's South East region. In recent years Kurdistan Workers' Party claimed responsibility for blowing up the Baku''Tbilisi''Ceyhan pipeline and the Tabriz''Ankara pipeline in Turkey.[92][93] Gas for the Nabucco pipeline coming from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan will have to pass near areas of instability in the South Caucasus.[94]

[edit]See also[edit]Further reading[edit]References^"Nabucco venture sees Iraq as top supplier". H¼rriyet Daily News and Economic Review. 30 September 2010. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=nabucco-venture-sees-iraq-as-top-supplier-2010-09-30. Retrieved 11 October 2010. ^ abcdefSocor, Vladimir (23 May 2012). ""Nabucco-West": Abridged Pipeline Project Officially Submitted to Shah Deniz Consortium". Eurasia Daily Monitor (Heritage Foundation) 9 (98). http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Bswords%5D=8fd5893941d69d0be3f378576261ae3e&tx_ttnews%5Bany_of_the_words%5D=Nabucco&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=39403&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=7&cHash=14f7efa1e66ef7e25b71f9df7b13dfff. Retrieved 24 May 2012. ^ abcSocor, Vladimir (11 May 2012). "Nabucco-West in Synergy with Trans-Anatolia Project". Eurasia Daily Monitor (Heritage Foundation) 9 (90). http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Bswords%5D=8fd5893941d69d0be3f378576261ae3e&tx_ttnews%5Bany_of_the_words%5D=Nabucco&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=39364&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=7&cHash=54104e1706f041d35d5f514a5888c099. Retrieved 24 May 2012. ^Socor, Vladimir (3 February 2012). "Post-Nabucco Era in Caspian Pipeline Business and Politics". Eurasia Daily Monitor (Heritage Foundation) 9 (24). http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Bswords%5D=8fd5893941d69d0be3f378576261ae3e&tx_ttnews%5Bany_of_the_words%5D=Nabucco&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=38972&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=7&cHash=547526ef45b86dc5a540bd13006a99fe. Retrieved 14 February 2012. ^"Nabucco is over, analyst says". UPI. http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2012/02/13/Nabucco-is-over-analyst-says/UPI-85071329140348/. Retrieved 14 February 2012. ^Taylor, Paul (22 February 2008). "U.S. throws weight behind EU's Nabucco pipeline". Reuters. http://uk.reuters.com/article/UK_SMALLCAPSRPT/idUKL2212241120080222. Retrieved 23 February 2008. ^ abNicola, Stefan (5 February 2008). "Analysis: Europe's pipeline war". United Press International. http://www.upi.com/International_Security/Energy/Analysis/2008/02/05/analysis_europes_pipeline_war/2456/. Retrieved 24 February 2008. ^ abGrove, Thomas; Coskun, Orhan (13 July 2009). "Turkish PM says wants Nabucco to transport Iran gas". Reuters. http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKLD60806920090713?sp=true. Retrieved 13 July 2009. ^Cendrowicz, Leo (13 July 2009). "Europe Tries to Break Its Russian Gas Habit". Time. http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1910123,00.html. Retrieved 13 July 2009. ^ abvan Aartsen, Jozias (4 February 2009) (PDF). Project of European Interest '– NG3. Activity Report September 2007 - February 2009. European Commission. http://ec.europa.eu/energy/infrastructure/tent_e/doc/axis/2009_axis_linking_activity_report_2007_2009.pdf. Retrieved 25 January 2010. ^(PDF) Decision No 1364/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 September 2006 laying down guidelines for trans-European energy networks (TEN-E). European Commission. 22 September 2006. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2006:262:0001:0023:EN:PDF. Retrieved 25 January 2010. ^ abc"Bulgarian Parliament Ratifies Nabucco Gas Pipeline Project". RTTNews. 3 February 2010. http://www.rttnews.com/ArticleView.aspx?Id=1199646&SMap=1. Retrieved 8 January 2010. ^ abcde(PDF) Exemption decision on the Romanian section of the Nabucco pipeline. European Commission. http://ec.europa.eu/energy/infrastructure/infrastructure/gas/doc/2009_exempt_nabucco_romania_en.pdf. Retrieved 25 January 2010. ^ abcde(PDF) Exemption decision on the Hungarian section of the Nabucco pipeline. European Commission. http://ec.europa.eu/energy/infrastructure/infrastructure/gas/doc/2009_exempt_nabucco_hungary_en.pdf. Retrieved 25 January 2010. ^ abcde(PDF) Exemption decision on the Bulgarian section of the Nabucco pipeline. European Commission. http://ec.europa.eu/energy/infrastructure/infrastructure/gas/doc/2009_exempt_nabucco_bulgaria_en.pdf. Retrieved 25 January 2010. ^"Independence Day For European Gas". Spiegel Online International. 13 July 2009. http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,635921,00.html. Retrieved 17 January 2010. ^ abc"EU backs Nabucco pipeline to get off Russian gas". AFP (France 24). 27 January 2009. http://www.france24.com/en/20090127-eu-backs-nabucco-pipeline-get-off-russian-gas-energy. Retrieved 17 January 2010. ^Lobjakas, Ahto (13 July 2009). "'Strategic' Nabucco Deal Inked To Help Curb Dependence On Russian Gas". RFE/RL. http://www.rferl.org/content/Strategic_Nabucco_Deal_To_Reduce_Dependence_On_Russian_Gas/1775655.html. Retrieved 17 January 2010. ^ abDempsey, Judy (22 December 2009). "Hoping for More Than Just Energy From a Pipeline". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/23/business/global/23fischer.html. Retrieved 23 December 2009. ^"Energy Supremo: Nabucco Pipeline Is Best European Solution". Novinit. 24 February 2010. http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=113554. Retrieved 5 March 2010. ^"Frequently asked questions: Nabucco Gas Pipeline Project". Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH. http://www.nabucco-pipeline.com/press-public-news/q-a/q-a.html. Retrieved 8 May 2009. [dead link]^"Declaration of the Budapest Nabucco Summit". Budapest Nabucco Summit. 27 January 2009. http://www.kormanyszovivo.hu/media/retreive_file/14828?lang=hu. Retrieved 31 January 2009. ^"Hopes revived for stalled Nabucco pipeline". EurActiv. 18 September 2007. http://www.euractiv.com/en/energy/hopes-revived-stalled-nabucco-pipeline/article-166800. Retrieved 5 July 2009. ^"RWE keen on Nabucco supplies". Upstream Online (NHST Media Group). 19 October 2007. http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/article142723.ece. Retrieved 10 November 2007. ^ abDempsey, Judy (11 June 2008). "EU natural gas pipeline project gets first order". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/11/business/worldbusiness/11iht-pipe.4.13640390.html?_r=1. Retrieved 15 July 2010. ^ ab"DAVOS-Azeri chief urges political, financial will for Nabucco". Reuters. 29 January 2009. http://uk.reuters.com/article/oilRpt/idUKWLA618820090129. Retrieved 31 January 2009. ^"Turkey Hopes to Sign Nabucco Deal by June". Journal of Turkish Weekly. 16 April 2009. http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/71937/turkey-hopes-to-sign-nabucco-deal-by-june.html. Retrieved 16 April 2009. ^ ab"Proposed Nabucco Gas Pipeline Gets European Bank Backing". Deutsche Welle. 27 January 2009. http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,3980038,00.html. Retrieved 31 January 2008. ^Kurt, S¼leyman (23 April 2009). "President G¼l invited to Nabucco summit with EU leaders". Today's Zaman: p. 4. http://www.hri.org/news/cyprus/tcpr/2009/09-04-23.tcpr.html#08. Retrieved 28 April 2009. ^8--2009-21533/ "The Declaration - Prague Summit, Southern Corridor" (Press release). Government of the Czech Republic. 9 May 2009. http://www.eu2009.cz/en/news-and-documents/press-releases/declaration---prague-summit--southern-corridor--may 8--2009-21533/. Retrieved 5 July 2009. ^"Europe gas pipeline deal agreed". BBC News. 13 July 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8147053.stm. Retrieved 13 July 2009. ^"Nabucco Summits Begins". Turkish Press. 13 July 2009. http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=346171. Retrieved 13 July 2009. ^Kelly, Ian (13 July 2009). "Signing Ceremony for the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Nabucco Pipeline" (Press release). United States Department of State. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2009/july/125968.htm. Retrieved 13 July 2009. ^Koranyi, Balazs (20 October 2009). "Hungary Parliament ratifies Nabucco pipeline deal". Reuters. http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKLK850120091020. Retrieved 8 January 2010. ^Tsolova, Tsvetelia (3 February 2010). "Bulgaria parliament ratifies Nabucco gas project". Reuters. http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKLDE6120J220100203. Retrieved 15 July 2010. ^"Romania Ratifies Nabucco Gas Pipeline Agreement". SeeNews. 16 February 2010. http://www.seenews.com/news/latestnews/romaniaratifiesnabuccogaspipelineagreement-132628/. Retrieved 15 July 2010. ^ abSenerdem, Melis (5 March 2010). "Turkmen gas deal for Nabucco seen in months-RWE exec". Reuters. http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKLDE6241WB20100305?sp=true. Retrieved 5 March 2010. ^Badalova, A. (5 March 2010). "RWE: Ratifying Nabucco agreement by Turkey gives Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan basis for conclusion of gas contracts". Trend News Agency. http://en.trend.az/capital/pengineering/1649703.html. Retrieved 5 March 2010. ^ abc"Route". Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH. http://www.nabucco-pipeline.com/portal/page/portal/en/pipeline/route. Retrieved 28 October 2010. ^ ab"Nabucco: Modification of feeder line concept" (Press release). Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH. 23 August 2010. http://www.nabucco-pipeline.com/portal/page/portal/en/press/NewsText?p_item_id=8E79E5BF557DCC2DE040A8C0010178CA. Retrieved 28 October 2010. ^Ðтайкова, Росица (2010). "Ð'азоÐÑовод "Ð'абуко" ÐоÐ>>учи обществената ÐодкÑеÐа на Ð'ÑŠÑбица" (in Bulgarian). Шуменска заÑя. http://grada.bg/37364/%D0%B3%D0%B0%D0%B7%D0%BE%D0%BF%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%BE%D0%B4-%D0%BD%D0%B0%D0%B1%D1%83%D0%BA%D0%BE-%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%BB%D1%83%D1%87%D0%B8-%D0%BE%D0%B1%D1%89%D0%B5%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B2%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%B0/. Retrieved 18 January 2011. ^"Design of Bulgarian Section of Nabucco Pipeline to Be Ready in Late 2011". Bulgarian News Agency (Ukrinform). 19 March 2010. http://bsanna-news.ukrinform.ua/newsitem.php?id=12642&lang=en. Retrieved 20 March 2010. ^"Environmental and Social Impact Assessment in Romania". Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH. http://www.nabucco-pipeline.com/portal/page/portal/en/safety/countrie_activities/Environmental%20%20Social%20Impact%20Assessment%20in%20Romania. Retrieved 15 July 2010. ^"PGNiG Eyes Link To Nabucco". AFX News Limited. Downstream Today. 14 April 2008. http://www.downstreamtoday.com/news/article.aspx?a_id=10087. Retrieved 19 April 2008. ^"Nabucco gas pipeline project. Presentation" (PDF). Nabucco gas pipeline project company. February 2007. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070928163900/http://www.nabucco-pipeline.com/cms/upload/Partner_Logos/Nabucco_presentation_web_Feb_2007.pdf. Retrieved 10 November 2007. ^"Penspen takes on Nabucco role". Upstream Online (NHST Media Group). 7 January 2008. http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/article146737.ece. Retrieved 20 April 2008. ^"Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH appointed New Owner's Engineer". News.az. 21 December 2011. http://www.news.az/articles/economy/51414. Retrieved 26 December 2011. ^Harrison, Peter (6 May 2011). "Nabucco sees commercial gas transport start in 2017". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/06/nabucco-gas-idUSLDE7450JI20110506. Retrieved 6 May 2011. ^"Nabucco Construction Start Delayed To 2013". Mediafax. 6 May 2011. http://www.mediafax.ro/english/nabucco-construction-start-delayed-to-2013-8238514. Retrieved 6 May 2011. ^Coskun, Orhan (6 May 2011). "Nabucco investment seen at 12-15 bln euros-sources". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/05/nabucco-turkey-idUSIST00770920110505. Retrieved 6 May 2011. ^ ab"EU throws '‚¬2.3bn at gas, power connections". EurActiv. 4 March 2010. http://www.euractiv.com/en/energy/eu-divvies-23bn-electricity-and-gas-infrastructure-news-305783. Retrieved 5 March 2010. ^Senerdem, Melis; Grove, Thomas (5 February 2010). "Nabucco seen asking EIB for up to 2 bln euro''EIB". Reuters. http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKLDE61321B20100205?sp=true. Retrieved 8 February 2010. ^"Finance giants run rule over Nabucco". Upstream Online (NHST Media Group). 6 September 2010. http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/article228613.ece. Retrieved 10 October 2010. ^"Nabucco sets sights on Iraq". Upstream Online (NHST Media Group). 30 September 2010. http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/article230940.ece. Retrieved 10 October 2010. ^"EU, Iraq Seek To Seal Nabucco Deal Within Weeks - Barroso". Deutsche Presse-Agentur. Downstream Today. 16 April 2008. http://www.downstreamtoday.com/news/article.aspx?a_id=10137. Retrieved 19 April 2008. ^"MOL expands its E&P portfolio by investment in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq" (Press release). MOL. 17 May 2009. http://www.mol.hu/en/about_mol/news_media_centre/news_releases/expands_its_e_p_portfolio_by_investment_in_the_kurdistan_region_of_iraq/. Retrieved 17 May 2009. ^"Iraq eyes EU gas exports through Turkey". Petroleum Economist. 8 September 2011. (subscription required). http://www.petroleum-economist.com/Article/2896968/News-and-Analysis-Archive/Iraq-eyes-EU-gas-exports-through-Turkey.html. Retrieved 15 September 2011. ^ abcdBarnett, Neil (14 March 2008). "Interview with Nabucco Managing Director Reinhardt Mitschek". Centre for European Policy Analysis. http://www.cepa.org/ced/view.aspx?record_id=48. Retrieved 20 April 2008. ^ abYeÅŸiyurt, Servet; Hayatsever, H¼seyin (27 December 2011). "Turkey, Azerbaijan Deal to Transfer Gas to Europe". The Turkish Weekly. http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/128806/turkey-azerbaijan-deal-to-transfer-gas-to-europe.html. Retrieved 29 December 2011. ^"EU secures Turkmenistan gas deal". BBC News. 14 April 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7347051.stm. Retrieved 19 April 2008. ^"Ashgabat offers gas for Nabucco". Upstream Online (NHST Media Group). 10 July 2009. http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/article183268.ece. 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"Europe Needs to Push Gas Infrastructure Spending, Scaroni Says". Bloomberg. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=avHMERVnSuec. Retrieved 20 March 2010. ^Shiryaevskaya, Anna (15 March 2010). "Russia Rejects Eni Call to Merge Europe Gas Pipelines". Bloomberg. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=ae4.eb4lPqjk. Retrieved 20 March 2010. ^Grove, Thomas (18 March 2010). "OMV says no ongoing talks to merge rival pipelines". Reuters. http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKLDE62H16Z20100318?sp=true. Retrieved 20 March 2010. ^Geropoulos, Kostis (5 February 2008). "Tymoshenko puts new White Stream pipeline on EU table". New Europe. http://www.neurope.eu/articles/82525.php. Retrieved 1 June 2008. ^ abcAliyev, Seymur (15 January 2010). "Gas exporters wait for efficient commercial offers: Trend Capital commentator". Trend News Agency. http://en.trend.az/capital/pengineering/1619492.html. Retrieved 16 January 2010. ^"Turkey backs pipeline merger". 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Meet-And-Greets At U.S. Embassies Zagreb, Tirana, Pristina, and Belgrade Still4Hill

Link to Article

Sun, 04 Nov 2012 14:00

AMBASSADOR MERTEN: Good morning, everybody. I have the great pleasure to introduce someone who needs no introduction, as you all know.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. (Laughter.)

AMBASSADOR MERTEN: We are, Madam, Secretary, on behalf of my colleagues here at the Embassy and also for our operation host, we're delighted to welcome you to Zagreb. We and the Embassy team had a great time preparing for your visit, and I think '' I know our Croatian hosts were very delighted to welcome you here. It means a lot to all of us.

Without any further ado, our Secretary of State, Ms. Hillary Clinton.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Ken. (Applause.) Well, it is wonderful to be here in Zagreb and to have a chance to visit with all of you. It's something I've been looking forward to for actually four years, so I'm glad I'm finally here. And it's also a great pleasure to be here with Ambassador Merten. Before joining you in Croatia, Ken was our Ambassador in Haiti. Before that, he helped fly me around the world by providing all kinds of logistical and other support. He has been a great leader because he was our Ambassador during the earthquake in Haiti and all of the work we did afterwards to try to rebuild Haiti. And I also know he's had a smooth transition thanks to Hoyt Yee. Is Hoyt here? Hoyt, thank you. Thank you for your leadership as charg(C). We really appreciated it.

Yesterday when I met with the President and the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, we spoke about how much progress Croatia has made on the path to European integration. We look forward to final EU membership next year. And we are delighted at our relationship, which has never been closer. You're doing so much to promote educational opportunities for bright young Croatians to study overseas. You're working with Croatian leaders to help strengthen rule of law to fight corruption. You're working with Croatia on behalf of change in the rest of the region so that other nations can follow the Croatian model.

I also very much appreciate the annual Ron Brown Forum that the Embassy hosts. Ron was a dear friend of my husband's and mine, and as you know, he was on a mission to bring economic empowerment and opportunity to the Balkans, and he died along with 34 others, Americans and Croatians, in that 1996 plane crash. But his memory and legacy live on with the forum and we greatly appreciate the work that you are doing.

I also brought with me wandering around back there the highest-ranking Croatian American in the Obama Administration, Ambassador Croatia Marshall '' I feel that's her name '' (laughter) '' Ambassador Capricia Penavic Marshall, right there in the blue, who has been a great friend and associate. But I'd like all the Croatian staff to raise their hand now. Will everyone, all of our Croatian staff '' well, no, no, Capricia, you're actually '' (applause) '' you're on the American staff side. But let's give a big round of applause to our Croatian staff. (Applause.) We've had strong relations for 20 years. Have any of you been with us for 20 years? Any of our Croatian team been with '' ah, these two young women who '' I think we started them and there's another one; we started when you were 10. (Laughter.)

But I have to say, as you have learned, ambassadors come and go, certainly secretaries come and go, but what remains are our locally employed staff who truly are the brain trust, the memory bank, of every single post. So this is a full team effort. I want to thank all of our American team, civilian and military, Foreign Service and Civil, State and USAID and every other agency. I also want to thank the families. I know that these young people are getting a little anxious to get a picture and I'm going to hurry up because I want to do that for them. But then I want to shake as many hands as possible in order to express personally my gratitude to you. We're very, very grateful. We see this as a consequential, important relationship going forward. And we want to see Croatia really anchor further progress in the region.

Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

Thank you. Thank you very, very much. It is absolutely wonderful to be here and have a chance to see each and every one of you in person to thank you for everything you are doing on behalf of this incredibly important and valuable relationship between the United States and Albania. And thank you, Ambassador, for your leadership here in Tirana and thanks also to your wife and your daughter, and let me also express appreciation to DCM Henry Jardine.

Thank you all for the work you put into my visit here, because I've been wanting to come '' I told the President and the Prime Minister that I usually go to places we have some kind of problem with. We don't have any problems with Albania, and so I '' (applause) '' really had to advocate hard and say, ''We must go to Albania.'' And the Ambassador is right '' it's a very busy and active time back home in the United States, but I am thrilled to have this chance to be here. It's much too short a visit. It's kind of like the appetizer, so I have to come back for the full banquet sometime in the future.

But I think you know how much the United States values our partnership and our friendship, not only with the Government of Albania but with the people of Albania, and it is something that I hold particularly dear. We share important military ties, we strongly supported Albania's membership in NATO, we are now strongly supporting Albania's membership in the European Union. What you're doing, every one of you, is to help us deepen and broaden that, to strengthen democracy, to promote and protect human rights, and to create more economic opportunity.

As I just said in the parliament, the elections next year will be very important for the advancement of democracy in Albania. And I know that elections have posed some challenges in the past, but the role that this Embassy and each of you, American and Albanian alike, can play in monitoring polling places, helping to tally votes, making it clear to our friends here that having a good, free, fair, credible election that meets international standards will skyrocket Albania forward on the path to EU accession.

And just as important as the friendship and partnership we have is what you're doing to promote social issues and civic engagement. I love the program called Albanians Coming Together Now, because this is a program the Embassy launched to bring together business, civil society, and concerned citizens to help strengthen the ties between the people and their government. And I also want to thank those of you who helped to make Tirana's recent LGBT conference such a success. We stand for human rights. We stand for relationships between people. And we believe that that serves as the core and foundation of a strong, lasting relationship.

I'm also pleased to be here on the first day of the month that marks the centennial of Albania's independence. I hear you are preparing a special surprise for the gala concert. I wish I could be here to see what it is, but Ambassador, let me know as soon as you can. And I also want to thank especially our Albanian colleagues. Will all of our Albanian colleagues who work here at the Embassy raise your hand, please, so we can give you a round of applause? (Applause.) I am so grateful to you. Many of you have been with us for years, decades, and as I say everywhere around the world, ambassadors come and go and secretaries come and go, but our locally employed staff provide the continuity, the memory bank, for every single post. And that's especially true here.

Will those of you have been with the Embassy since we opened our doors in 1991, will you raise your hands? Who's been here since 1991? We hired you right out of grade school. You have a '' (laughter) '' so 1991. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

I know that we have our State Department and USAID and our military and civilian agencies represented here. We also have some Peace Corps volunteers, I'm told. Do we have some Peace Corps volunteers here today? Thank you back there. Thank you for what you're doing. (Applause.)

And I was delighted to walk into a group of beautiful children who are part of our Foreign Service families and our Embassy family here. I bet a few of them might have gone trick or treating on the ridge last night and are probably still suffering from sugar overload. (Laughter.) But when I see that, when I walk into a room like this, it reminds me of why we do the work we do. And that was really my message in the parliament. We all have in a democracy an obligation to try to leave the country that we serve better off for the next generation. And really looking at the faces of those children reminded me of why I do the work I do, and why all of you do what you do, and make such a contribution to a better future for Albania, a better future for our relationship.

I know that my coming, even for a short visit, adds a lot of work to what you do every single day, and I understand the Marine Corps Ball is tomorrow, so I hope you get to relax a little bit. But I want you to know that even though we are far away, we follow closely what you're doing at this post. We care deeply about this relationship. We want to see Albania become a model not just for the region, but the world. We think it can. We think that the role that Albania can play, is playing, can really shape the history of Europe. The religious tolerance, the role women are playing, the vibrant democracy and economic activity since your freedom from Soviet oppression '' all of that is such a strong foundation to build on.

But now the next steps have to be taken, starting with good elections that reflect the will of the people. But then that's not enough. Whoever gets elected '' and we don't take sides in anybody's election '' we are just on the side of free and fair elections that reflect the will of the people '' and once people are elected, holding them to a high standard to produce results for the Albanian people, that's especially important for young people.

Young people the world over are wondering what kind of future they're going to have. There is no reason , after everything Albania has gone through '' with your independence a hundred years ago, all of the challenges and suffering the parents, grandparents, great grandparents, endured '' there is no reason that the future for young people in Albania should not be as bright as it could be anywhere in the world.

And so I am here to express full confidence and optimism in what is possible and to pledge that the United States, through a very active Embassy, will continue to provide support as you grow your democracy and make a real difference first for you, and now next for the rest of the world. Thank you all. (Applause.)

Meeting with Embassy Pristina Staff and their FamiliesRemarks

Hillary Rodham ClintonSecretary of State

Swiss Diamond Hotel

Pristina, Kosovo

October 31, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Ambassador. Thank you all so much. Well, I have to say it is wonderful being back here in Pristina and having a chance to see all of you and thank each and every one of you for the work that you are doing. I was here in 2010, and I already have had good reports from the Ambassador about all of the progress that we're seeing here and that we're helping to facilitate.

I want to thank you, Ambassador, for your leadership. This is the third time Ambassasdor Jacobson has been an ambassador, and your ears should have been burning in the car ride from the airport as she spoke glowingly about the team here and the work you're doing, and how significant it is. So her introduction just now was by no means only for public consumption. She is extremely proud, and we are proud of her. And we're delighted to have her husband David, a British diplomat, lending a hand in this very exciting post.

I also want to thank DCM. Kelly, where '' there you are Kelly. Thank you for your hard work. And I think that the exciting aspect of being here at this time is because we can see the progress that is taking place, and we can also work to facilitate the dialogue taking place between Kosovo and Serbia. I will be speaking about that with the leaders that I will be seeing later today.

I also want to recognize someone else. And that is Tristan DeWitt. Where's Tristan? There you are, Tristan. Tristan and I both have the same birthday. (Laughter.) And Tristan was the first young person to arrive at post since Embassy Pristina opened to family members, so he represents all of the children and the family members who are here now as part of this important community.

I want to also recognize how significant the economic growth has been, and I know that you're working to promote that, just like you are working to help empower women to be part of the economic and political future of this very young country. I know that many of you had the opportunity to work with Ambassador Larry Rossin, who was our first representative in Kosovo, and he will be certainly missed.

Now today is Halloween, I'm told, so I don't know what it is planned, but I hope that all of the children here have a happy Halloween. And I especially want to thank our locally employed staff. Will all of our locally employed staff raise your hands, all of our Kosovo colleagues? Thank you so very much. (Applause.) Ambassadors come and go, as do Secretaries, but locally employed staff are the nerve center and the memory bank for every mission, and that's especially true here as well.

Now as we move forward, I want to emphasize how important it is to have the interagency, whole of government approach, because that's what we're standing for in the State Department, that is, as the Ambassador said, the QDDR's call that diplomacy development work together, our colleagues, military and civilian alike, are part of this great effort to help support this new young country, and to a better future. I'm very proud of what you're doing. I know the significance of it. And I thank each and every one of you for your contributions.

Now I want to shake some hands and thank you personally. And I'll start down there and have a chance to do that, but Ambassador, again thank you for your kind words, and thank you for your leadership. (Applause.)

Meeting With Staff and Families of Embassy BelgradeRemarks

Hillary Rodham ClintonSecretary of State

Hyatt Regency Hotel

Belgrade, Serbia

October 30, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: It's a great pleasure to be back here in Belgrade. Some of you I know were here when I was able to visit two years ago for a longer visit, but I'm delighted that I was able to come this time to thank each and every one of you for the work that you are doing on behalf of this vital relationship.

And this was a special unified visit, because Cathy Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union, and I started in Bosnia-Herzegovina, came here, will end the night in Pristina, where we'll meet tomorrow with the leadership of Kosovo to emphasize a single message '' that the future of these three countries is in Europe and in the Euro-Atlantic alliance, and that the United States strongly supports their aspirations.

I want to thank Ambassador Kirby and his wife Sara; I want to thank DCM Lee Litzenberger, and the entire Belgrade team for everything you did to prepare for this short visit, but I know that the work goes on day in and day out on so many fronts.

We've been clear that before setting a date for accession talks with the EU, Serbia does need to make progress on normalizing its relations with Kosovo. We recognize that Serbia cannot and will not formally recognize Kosovo, but there are lots of steps that the two countries must take together. And I thank you for sending that message on a regular basis.

We've also seen the bilateral relationship deepen and broaden. For example, two years ago when I was here, I committed to encouraging American businesses to invest in Serbia, and many of you in this room are making that happen. In fact, we have an economic team winner here today. American auto parts suppliers are key partners in the Fiat factory. Two American companies have opened call centers in Serbia, creating more than 400 jobs. There are a lot of win-win investments.

And I want especially to congratulate the chief of your economic section, Doug Apostol. When I was here two years ago and I spoke with the Prime Minister about a disagreement over risk insurance that was holding up a multimillion-dollar hotel project, Doug and his team got to work, and he was instrumental in helping to get that dispute resolved. That project is now going forward, bringing a number of new good jobs to Serbia. So for these and other efforts, later this year, Doug will receive the Department's highest award for international economic work. It's a rare honor and richly deserved. Congratulations, Doug. (Applause.)

Let me also commend each of you who worked so hard in the passage of Serbia's new property restitution law, making sure it would cover victims of the Holocaust, many of whom are now American citizens. I thank all of you who stood up for the rights of Serbian Americans and helped the government bring this difficult issue to a successful conclusion.

In fact, I cannot imagine that we could be making the progress we are without our dedicated local staff. And I would like all of our Serbian staff members to please raise your hands so that we can recognize and thank each and every one of you. (Applause.) Because one thing I know for sure is that ambassadors, DCMs, secretaries come and go, but our local staff remain. You serve as our institutional memory bank, and we know how important you are.

I also want to thank all the family members who are here. I had a great opportunity to take a picture with some of the children, and they really did show great patience, because our meeting and press conference went a little long, but I was so happy to see them and have a chance to thank them and all of you who support those who serve.

I understand our local staff and FSOs have put together a basketball team, and soon you're headed to Sarajevo for a tournament with other posts from around the Balkans. Now as Secretary, obviously I can't take sides in such a competition '' (laughter) '' but I do want to just note that this is a great way of creating more public diplomacy and outreach as well as some healthy competition.

Now I know that there have been some difficult and risky moments in your service here in Serbia. We saw this when the Embassy was attacked four years ago. But this mission never skipped a beat. You kept doing what needed to be done. And I am very committed to your safety, and when you finally move in to your new Embassy compound, I'm confident it will give you a very safe place to work, as well as a more comfortable one. You will actually even, many of you, have offices with real windows once again. (Laughter.)

I want to thank all of you who serve the United States here in Serbia '' civilian and military, U.S. Government across the board, every department and agency, in particular the State Department and USAID. And I'm very grateful to you, because I think this is a consequential relationship. We want to see the people of Serbia have an opportunity to participate fully in Europe and eventually in the Euro-Atlantic alliance. We want to see the people, particularly the young people of Serbia, have a chance to fulfill their own potential and aspirations. And the United States is very firm in our support of that kind of future for Serbia. We can't do it from Washington; it has to be, done day in and day out, right here in Belgrade and across the country. And in order to do that, we look to each and every one of you.

So thank you for your service. I'll start down there and shake a few hands and have a chance to thank you personally. Thank you all. (Applause.)

Madeleine Albright in Prague

Link to Article

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 10:02

Albright raps 'disgusting Serbs' in Prague book signing | WashingtonExaminer.com

Clinton-era Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, confronted by pro-Serbian protesters who called her a war criminal during a recent book signing in her native Prague, pushed them aside as "disgusting Serbs" in a confrontation going viral on the internet.

Displaying her trademark feistiness, Albright is seen in the video as sternly shouting "get out, get out," to the protesters who arrived with a film crew. As they closed in on her, she stood up and said, "That's it! Get out," and soon walked away with an aide after saying, "they are disgusting Serbs."

Albright, on a book tour to tout her new and well-received memoir, "Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948," was in her birthplace for the book signing on October 23.

According to the [VIDEO] account, activists with "Friends of Serbs in Kosovo" led by film director Vaclav Dvorak, presented her with Dvorak's documentary "Stolen Kosovo" and posters suggesting that Albright's push for bombings of Serbs in Kosovo was inhumane.

"This is your work as well, madam" they charged, asking her to sign their posters, which she brushed away.

As Clinton's top diplomat, Albright headed the U.S. participation in the Yugoslav wars in Bosnia and Kosovo and is credited for pushing NATO into the humanitarian crisis. Time Magazine called it "Madeleine's War."

Gazprom to Launch Two Satellites by Yearend.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 04 Nov 2012 14:35

Gazprom Space Systems (GSS), a telecommunications arm of Russia's energy giant Gazprom, is planning to launch two Yamal class satellites by the end of 2012, the company's general designer Nikolai Sevastyanov said on Thursday.

GSS, formerly known as Gazcom, already operates a cluster of three Yamal telecoms satellites in orbit.

The Yamal-300K satellite, built by Russia's Reshetnev space company, will be launched by Proton-M carrier rocket together with the Luch 5B satellite of another operator from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan on November 3.

The satellite is fitted with a combined payload including eight active 72 MHz transponders in C-band and eighteen active 72 MHz transponders in Ku-band.

Yamal-300K service zone covers 95% of the Russian territory.

"The next launch is scheduled for December 8," Sevastyanov said on the sidelines of the Open Innovations forum in Moscow. "It will be the Yamal-402 satellite."

A Yamal-402 satellite, built by Thales Alenia Space, will also be launched by Proton-M from Baikonur.

The satellite is equipped with 46 Ku-band transponders providing for the coverage zone over the most part of the territory of Russia, CIS, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

GSS is planning to have fully-fledged Yamal satellite network in orbit by 2020.

Source: RIA Novosti

TAPI

Bangladesh keen to join four-nation gas pipeline

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 04 Nov 2012 14:39

As four nations to the TAPI gas pipeline look to sew a consortium that will build the line, Bangladesh has evinced interest in joining the multi-billion dollar project.''There was a request from Bangladesh to join the project. We require official note for this which will be considered by all the four governments of TAPI project,'' Turkmenistan's acting Minister of Oil and Gas Industry and Mineral Resources Kakageldy Abdullaev said at Petrotech 2012 Conference in New Delhi recently.The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) project countries have invited firms which can become consortium leaders for executing the 1,680km cross-country project. The pipeline length would be increased if the project is extended toBangladesh.Abdullaev said roadshows to attract firms that would build the project were recently held in New York, London and Singapore and there was ''substantial interest'' from institutional investors.The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is the lead partner for the project and is helping the four nations put a credible consortium that would build and operate the line passing through volatile Afghanistan and Pakistan territories.The TAPI pipeline would originate from Turkmenistan and pass through Afghanistan and Pakistan before entering India. It will have a capacity to carry 90mn standard cubic metres a day (mmscmd) gas for a 30-year period and will be operational in 2018. India and Pakistan would get 38 mmscmd each, while the remaining 14 mmscmd will be supplied to Afghanistan.The minister said gas sale and purchase agreements (GSPA) have already been signed with Pakistan and India and the entire process of selection of the consortium leader and finding the investors is expected to take one year. The construction of the pipeline is expected to start in 2015.Bids will now be invited to select the consortium leader who will be responsible for the design, funding, building, control and subsequent operations of the pipeline.The US is backing the TAPI pipeline as an alternative to the Iran-Pakistan-India line in its efforts to choke Tehran financially over its suspected nuclear weapon programme.While New Delhi had reached agreements on price and transit clauses for the IPI pipeline, TAPI is the first transnational line for which it has signed a GSPA in May this year. Agencies

EUROLand

2poundcoin.curry.com

Greek parliament passes privatization bill in crunch vote for gov't - Xinhua

Link to Article

Sat, 03 Nov 2012 09:17

ATHENS, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- Greek parliament passed on Wednesday a privatization bill which is part of an austerity and reform drive aiming to lift Greece out of an acute debt crisis, in a first crunch vote for the government coalition.

A total of 148 lawmakers voted in favor of the most contentious article two of the draft bill, 139 against and six abstained during the roll call vote with 293 MPs present in the 300-member strong body, the parliament's Deputy Speaker Yannis Tragakis announced.

The result was broadcast live on the assembly's television channel "Vouli TV" amid a news blackout, as Greek journalists nationwide started 24-hour rolling anti-austerity strikes.

The new law facilitates the privatization of public utilities to raise revenues and boost growth to tackle the crisis, but several MPs insisted that all privatizations should be subject to approval by the assembly and not only the cabinet.

Amid this climate, the country's privatization agency lowered the revenue target for privatizations to 11 billion euros (14 billion U.S. dollars) by 2017, down from 19 billion euros by 2016, as initially planned.

Political analysts in Athens consider Wednesday's outcome as a strong indication of deputies' stance in the upcoming more crucial votes on the 2013 budget and a fresh austerity package for 2013-2014 scheduled for next week.

Their approval is regarded as "prior action" for International Monetary Fund and European Union lenders before the disbursement of new loans to avoid a chaotic Greek default within the eurozone in November.

However, several lawmakers of the two centre-left parties participating in the four-month coalition led by conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras voted down the privatization bill, raising objections to certain articles, and threatened to do so in the next votes as well.

One of the seven articles of the bill which introduced the merging of the journalists' pension and health funds to the National Organization for Healthcare Provision was rejected by the parliament.

The coalition holds a 176-seat majority in the House, with 127 seats for Samaras' New Democracy party, 33 for socialist PASOK and 16 for Democratic Left.

Greek media commentators note that a severe blow to the coalition's cohesion could throw Greece off course, if the painful new cuts on salaries, tax hikes and structural reforms will not be sealed.

The country has until Nov. 12 to pass the measures, when a Eurogroup meeting is scheduled to decide on whether Athens has met pledges in order to receive the next 31.5-billion-euro bailout loan from lenders who have been supporting Greece since May 2010.

Without it, the country faces a disorderly bankruptcy and potential exit from the eurozone within weeks. (1 euro= 1.30 U.S. dollars)

Zombie PR

The HALO Corporation

Zombies Battle Navy SEALs for Afghan Village (video)

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 04 Nov 2012 14:36

The Taliban IED exploding in the faces of the U.S. soldiers wasn't the surprise. It was the zombie assault that came afterwards.

The War on Terror and the Zombie War on Humanity met Halloween night as an American patrol confronted IEDs, wounded civilians and waves of zombies. The setting was the parking lot of the HALO Corporation's counter-terrorism conference in San Diego, and the soldiers and zombies came from Strategic Operations, a private company that uses Hollywood special effects and actors to train U.S. soldiers.

But as you can see from the video, this wasn't training Marines how to make friends with Afghan villagers. The scenario starts with an American VIP '' the dude in the black shirt and sunglasses '' visiting a village (Strategic Operations describes it as a Third World village, but the keffiyeh/shemagh scarf worn by the village elder suggests Iraq or Afghanistan). He is escorted by a Personal Security Detail of American soldiers. As the team prepares to leave the village, they are attacked by insurgents driving a truck carrying an IED. The soldiers destroy the vehicle and detonate the IED.

That's when the zombies strike. The soldiers pick off the undead while an armored vehicle arrives to extract the team. Then a Quick Reaction Force of soldiers deploys to rescue the villagers and put everyone through a decontamination station. There were some 60 roleplayers, plus assorted special effects crews, staging the event. The soldiers actually consisted of former U.S. military personnel '' including ex-SEALs '' as well as police officers.

Of course, this battle raises many troubling questions. Was the zombie assault deliberately timed to coincide with the Taliban attack? Is there an alliance between Al Qaeda and the zombies, and will this lead to drone strikes against zombie targets? Has the War on Terror morphed into the War on Zombiedom?

For more updates, join me on Twitter or Facebook

Pedo Bear

Former Penn State President Charged In Connection With Sandusky Child Sex Abuse Cover Up

Jimmy Savile case may lead to inquiry against seven forces | Media | The Observer

Link to Article

Sat, 03 Nov 2012 23:36

Former DJ and TV star Jimmy Savile: 'a risk-taker' who surrounded himself with dubious characters. Photograph: Murdo Macleod

Several police forces could be investigated over their handling of sexual abuse allegations against Jimmy Savile after the police watchdog confirmed that an inquiry was a possibility and a lawyer representing alleged victims said there were urgent questions to be answered.

Alan Collins, a solicitor at the law firm Pannone, who is representing five of Savile's alleged victims and has been approached by at least 20 others, said the case for the police to be investigated had become paramount. Collins said it should be the job of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), the independent body set up to assess police forces, to investigate how and when officers had investigated Savile.

"There should be an independent investigation into the decisions that were made," Collins said. "There are key questions about what happened to several claims made against Savile and who decided how they should be followed up. There are police forces who had complaints on their books and chose not, for whatever reason, to pursue matters. That is a serious concern."

At least three forces '' Surrey, Sussex and Jersey '' are known to have been aware of allegations against Savile, but the true number is believed to be as high as seven. "We need to know: did they look at their databases? Did they talk to each other?" Collins asked. HMIC confirmed that an inquiry could be launched. "Although we are not currently inspecting the issues around this case, we are monitoring the developments," an HMIC spokesman said. "HMIC have a programme of inspection work around child protection which is under way."

Another option would be for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which examines how complaints against the police have been handled, to launch an inquiry. But this would only go ahead if a complaint had been made directly to the IPCC or there had been a referral from a force. The IPCC said neither had happened.

A focus on the police would take some of the pressure off the BBC, which has been the victim of a "witch-hunt", according to veteran presenter Jonathan Dimbleby, who has attacked the "disturbing relish" with which critics have laid into the corporation.

"Paedophilia is a huge national problem that no one thought about 50 years ago and is now something that concerns everyone, but this has become a witchhunt against the BBC," Dimbleby told a national newspaper.

He added: "Organisations that have come under flak recently, such as newspapers and MPs, want to get their revenge. They think the BBC is too smug and holier than thou."

Collins said a picture was emerging of Savile as a risk-taker and an opportunist who surrounded himself with dubious characters. One line of inquiry is following Savile's links to the criminal underworld in Manchester, including the notorious Quality Street gang, who supposedly dominated the city in the 1960s.

Collins said it was conceivable that lawyers acting for alleged victims would take legal action to compel police forces to hand over their files on Savile. He said such action would be taken if organisations like the BBC or the Savile estate denied liability, prompting lawyers to seek disclosure from the police.

Last week Savile's estate, which is reportedly worth £4.3m, was frozen in response to the mounting allegations. NatWest Bank, which is acting as the Jim'll Fix It presenter's executor and trustee, said the distribution of his assets had been put on hold in anticipation of legal action from his alleged victims.

Savile, who died last year at the age of 84, is believed to have been one of the UK's most prolific sex offenders, with about 300 possible victims.

The Metropolitan police force has signalled that it is prepared to send officers abroad if necessary to investigate the abuse allegations. Victims of alleged attacks relating to the Savile inquiry have so far come forward from France, Austria, Switzerland, South Africa and Australia.

The alleged victims are understood to be Britons who subsequently moved abroad after being abused in Britain, as opposed to foreign nationals who were attacked during trips to the UK.

Detectives are presently following 400 lines of inquiry, while the BBC has launched an inquiry into the culture and practices at the corporation in the era of Savile's alleged sexual abuse. It has also set up an investigation of the handling of a Newsnight report about Savile, which is being led by the former head of Sky News, Nick Pollard.

Freddie Starr arrested by police investigating Jimmy Savile scandal | UK news | guardian.co.uk

Link to Article

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 00:30

Arrested '... the comedian Freddie Starr.

Comedian Freddie Starr has been arrested by Scotland Yard officers working on Operation Yewtree.

The 69-year-old was detained at his home in Warwickshire yesterday afternoon on suspicion of sexual offences. He was questioned at a local police station by officers working on Operation Yewtree, the Metropolitan police investigation arising out of allegations made against Jimmy Savile.

"The individual falls under the strand of the investigation we have termed 'Savile and others'," the Met said in a statement.

Starr is the second person to be arrested by police in relation to their sex abuse inquiry. Gary Glitter was arrested at his home early on Sunday and released on police bail until mid-December after almost 10 hours in custody.

Scotland Yard detectives working on Operation Yewtree have received information from more than 300 alleged victims and further arrests are expected.

' To contact the MediaGuardian news desk email editor@mediaguardian.co.uk or phone 020 3353 3857. For all other inquiries please call the main Guardian switchboard on 020 3353 2000. If you are writing a comment for publication, please mark clearly "for publication".

' To get the latest media news to your desktop or mobile, follow MediaGuardian on Twitter and Facebook

10 days that shook my world | Tom Watson MP

Link to Article

Sat, 03 Nov 2012 22:48

It's ten days since I raised a question about intelligence suggesting a paedophile ring that touched the very heart of a previous government. I'd done so because a very credible retired child protection professional had lived with a gnawing suspicion of a cover up for many years.

These people are the rarest of human beings. They're the people who labour in anonymity, day in day out, trying to make the world a better place. They have always been the foundations of our public services. Yet this retired public servant had, through a quirk of fate, stumbled on something that appeared so huge, that almost everyone he'd ever raised his concerns with had baulked at the challenge.

Since then though, many more ordinary people have contacted me about suspicions they have had of a wider wrongdoing '' in some cases so heinous it made me cry.

They have talked of psychopaths marking children with Stanley knifes to show ''ownership''. They tell of parties where children were ''passed around'' the men. They speak of golf course car parks being the scenes for child abuse after an 18 hole round.

And they have named powerful people '' some of them household names '' who abused children with impunity.

Two former police officers have raised their concerns of cover-ups. Child protection specialists have raised their fears that the network of convicted paedophile Peter Righton, the nexus of the group, was wider than at first thought. Others have identified a former cabinet minister who regularly abused young boys.

Some have raised mysterious early deaths, disappeared children, suspicious fires, intimidation and threats.

It's bewildering.

These allegations go way beyond the claims made on BBC Newsnight yesterday. Newsnight failed to name the paedophile mentioned by a North Wales survivor. I can understand why. A career can be destroyed by an allegation of such magnitude. There needs to be a high bar of proof.

Yet the thing I learnt most from the hacking scandal, and for that matter, the Savile case, is that the intelligence was staring the police in the face. These people were hiding in daylight. So powerful, so brazen in their actions, those who had an inkling of what was happening turned a blind eye.

Or maybe none of this happened. Maybe the 50 plus emails and numerous phone calls and letters I have received were all from fantasists. Maybe the allegations of the victims '' made for many years, consistently to anyone that would listen, maybe they're bogus.

One thing is for certain: someone has to join the dots. And that should be the police. There are a few hardy child protection specialists who for many years, have been burrowing away, trying to uncover the truth. Their work and insight should be taken more seriously. The police should work with them.

The hacking scandal was about the police failing to follow clear leads of wrongdoing by powerful people. They could do this because politicians turned a blind eye.

This is potentially worse. Some of those powerful people involved in a cover up may well have been '' and could still be '' powerful politicians.

I'm not going to let this drop despite warnings from people who should know that my personal safety is imperilled if I dig any deeper. It's spooked me so much that I've kept a detailed log of all the allegations should anything happen.

As I type this blog post, I'm half-smiling about how insane all this appears. It sounds like I've taken leave of my senses '' just like they said I had during the early days of the hacking scandal. Maybe I have. Yet with a properly resourced investigation, with the voice of victims being heard in public and with the political will we can get to the facts.

I wish I could fight the case of everybody who has been abused by a paedophile who has so far got away with it, but I can't. That is a job for the police. Up and down the country private grief is being stirred by these stories. I cannot help in each individual case, but the police and support services can, must and will. If you were abused a long time ago and want justice now, go to the police. It is not too late.

What I am going to do personally is to speak out on this extreme case of organised abuse in the highest places. At the core of all child abuse is the abuse of power. The fundamental power of the adult over the child. Wherever this occurs it is an abomination. But these extreme cases are abuse of power by some of the most powerful people. Abuse of trust by some of the most trusted. It is a sickening story, but one which '' like the truth about Jimmy Savile '' is now going to be told.

Savile: BBC 'witch-hunt' attacked

Link to Article

Source: BBC News - Home

Sat, 03 Nov 2012 10:23

3 November 2012Last updated at04:43 ETThere has been a "disturbing relish" in the way critics have laid into the BBC over the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal, Jonathan Dimbleby has said.

The broadcaster told the Times newspaper there has been a "witch-hunt" against the corporation, which had become "horribly out of proportion".

"The real focus should be on what Savile did wrong," Mr Dimbleby said.

It was "very distressing" that people were being "hounded" in a way that was "unwarranted" at the BBC, he added.

Presenter Mr Dimbleby, who first worked at the BBC in the late 1960s said: "Paedophilia is a huge national problem that no one thought about 50 years ago and is now something that concerns everyone, but this has become a witch-hunt against the BBC.

"Organisations that have come under flack recently such as newspapers and MPs want to get their revenge. They think the BBC is too smug and holier-than-thou.

"But there is a disturbing relish in the way the critics have laid into the BBC, holding today's office-holders to account for what happened 30 years ago," he told the paper.

In other developments, a victim of child sex abuse in north Wales has told BBC Newsnight that his abusers included a leading Thatcher-era Conservative politician, and called for a new investigation.

On Saturday, the Sun newspaper claimed that actor Leonard Rossiter, who died in 1984, watched an 18-year-old extra in a BBC play being sexually assaulted in a rehearsal room.

The BBC has promised to help the police in any investigation.

Meanwhile, Savile's estate, the BBC and three other organisations are facing the prospect of legal action.

Independent reviewContinue reading the main storyOperation Yewtree: Scotland Yard criminal investigation into sexual abuse claimsBBC investigation into management failures over the dropping of Savile Newsnight reportBBC investigation into culture and practices during Savile's career and current policiesBBC investigation into handling of past sexual harassment claimsDepartment of Healthinvestigation into Savile's appointment to Broadmoor "taskforce" and his activities at Broadmoor, Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Leeds General InfirmaryDirector of Public Prosecutions review into decisions not to prosecute Savile in 2009Police believe former BBC presenter and DJ Savile, who died last year aged 84, could have abused as many as 300 people over a 40-year period.

They have described him as a "predatory sex offender" and are following 400 lines of inquiry.

Meanwhile, comedian Freddie Starr has been released on bail for a second time after being questioning by police on Friday.

Mr Starr, of Warwickshire, 69, was arrested under Operation Yewtree on Thursday on suspicion of sexual offences and has been bailed until December. He denies claims he groped a girl of 14 while in a BBC dressing room with Savile.

Police say Mr Starr's arrest falls under the strand of the investigation classed as "Savile and others".

On Sunday, ex-pop star Gary Glitter was arrested and bailed after being questioned as part of the inquiry.

Glitter, 68, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was arrested at home and questioned at a London police station before being released on bail until mid-December.

Liz Dux, from law firm Russell, Jones and Walker, said letters had been sent to the Savile estate, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Broadmoor, Leeds General Infirmary and the BBC saying 20 clients who claim they were abused by the late presenter are considering legal action.

Meanwhile, an independent review into BBC Newsnight's dropping of a programme about the allegations against Savile will report later this month.

Led by ex-Sky News boss Nick Pollard, it will seek to establish whether there were any "failings" in the decision to drop the Newsnight investigation.

EUROPEAN RADIO STATION FINED FOR REVEALING PEDOFILE RING

Link to Article

Sat, 03 Nov 2012 00:19

Acoording to Dr. Waterman from Waterman Files:

Several months ago Argusoog was fined. Argusoog.org is a radio, and news outlet in the Netherlands/Holland, The Waterman Files is in its fourth year there. We have an international audience, and much of the news and radio broadcasts are in English for international listeners. Argusoog.org was fined for publishing and broadcasting investigative findings on international pedophile rings headquartered in the Netherlands. Not only was the internet news site and radio station fined, and threatened to be taken off the internet by the Dutch authorities but the journalists involved were fined. Last month a US Congressional public hearing was held about the activity, and there were in attendance attorneys, investigators, and victims from the Netherlands there to testify about Dutch Justice Ministry Secretary-General Joris Demmink. This would be the same as the United States Attorney General, being involved in the pedophile ring.

Yesterday Joris Demmink retired and today Argusoog Radio is doing a six hour broadcast titled, "Satanic Ritualistic Child Abuse." The first two hours of the broadcast are in Dutch but the last four hours are in English and I'm inviting you to join us live. I will be hosting the last 2 hours and will have 2 guests you will want to hear. November 2, 2pm eastern Argusoog Radio

For links go to http://thewatermanfiles.com

Syria

Turkey to request Patriot deployment from NATO

Link to Article

Source: StratRisks

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 00:29

A nkara plans to request NATO deploy a Patriot missile defense system in its territories in case of escalation of the scale of attacks against Turkey by the al-Assad regime. A senior Turkish diplomat says Turkey and NATO have been working on contingency plans

Patriot missiles were deployed twice in the past in Turkey, both in the context of the Iraqi war in the early 1990s and 2000s. Turkey plans to officially request NATO deploy a Patriot missile defense system in its territories as a security precaution against a potential large-scale military offensive from Syria as Syrian shelling on the border raises tensions.

''We have been closely working with NATO on contingency plans regarding the developments in Syria and these plans also include the deployment of missile defense systems in Turkey,'' a senior Turkish diplomatic source said Oct. 30. ''We are planning to make this request in the case of escalation of the scale of attacks against us.''

Turkey has invoked Article 4 of the NATO treaty twice, which provides for consultations, after the downing of its jet and the killing of five Turkish citizens in a Syrian shelling, but took no action in pursuing Article 5, which considers an attack against one member an attack against all. ''We have received sufficient support from NATO so far. The last statement NATO issued after the Ak§akale incident was very powerful. We continue to be in close dialogue with the alliance,'' the source said.

Turkey has requested the deployment of Patriot missile defense systems twice in the past, both in the context of the Iraqi war in the early 1990s and 2000s. In both cases they were deployed by the Netherlands, as only a few countries have such missile systems. ''I would not be surprised if Turkey would soon make such a request,'' a diplomat from a NATO country said. ''The situation is getting worse in Syria, and it's the right of Turkey to take necessary security measures.''

The Turkish diplomatic source dismissed claims that Turkey would ask to use NATO's early warning radar system located in the K¼recik province of Malatya in Eastern Anatolia, because Turkey's national radar system was capable of tracing Syrian missiles.

Turkish diplomatic sources have also fiercely reacted against U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling's comments last week that it is not clear who is shooting shells from Syria into Turkey. ''We are not sure if these shells are from the Syrian army, from rebels who want to get Turkey involved in the issue or from the outlawed PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party),'' he said.

The source said, ''The bombs that landed in Turkey show they are Russian-made Douchka bombs. What he said is really ridiculous.''

HD/HDN

Tags: Army Europe, Assad, attack, border, defense, diplomat, diplomatic, Mark Hertling, military, NATO, Netherlands, province, radar, security, Syria, Turkey, us

Bad Actors

Petraeus's Lower Profile at C.I.A. Leaves Void in Benghazi Furor

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Source: NYT > Home Page

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 23:59

WASHINGTON '-- In 14 months as C.I.A. director, David H. Petraeus has shunned the spotlight he once courted as America's most famous general. His low-profile style has won the loyalty of the White House, easing old tensions with President Obama, and he has overcome some of the skepticism he faced from the agency's work force, which is always wary of the military brass.

Brendan Smialowski/Getty ImagesThe low-profile style of David H. Petraeus, right, has won the loyalty of the White House, easing old tensions with President Obama.

Win Mcnamee/Getty ImagesC.I.A. director, David H. Petraeus, right, appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in Washington in January.

But since a terrorist attack killed four Americans seven weeks ago in Benghazi, Libya, his deliberately low profile, and the C.I.A.'s penchant for secrecy, have left a void that has been filled by a news media and Congressional furor over whether the tragedy could have been prevented. Rather than acknowledge the C.I.A.'s presence in Benghazi, Mr. Petraeus and other agency officials fought a losing battle to keep it secret, even as the events there became a flash point in the presidential campaign.

Finally, on Thursday, with Mr. Petraeus away on a visit to the Middle East, pressure from critics prompted intelligence officials to give their own account of the chaotic night when two security officers died along with the American ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens, and another diplomat. The officials acknowledged for the first time that the security officers, both former members of the Navy SEALs, worked on contract for the C.I.A., which occupied one of the buildings that were attacked.

The Benghazi crisis is the biggest challenge so far in the first civilian job held by Mr. Petraeus, who retired from the Army and dropped the ''General'' when he went to the C.I.A. He gets mostly high marks from government colleagues and outside experts for his overall performance. But the transition has meant learning a markedly different culture, at an agency famously resistant to outsiders.

''I think he's a brilliant man, but he's also a four-star general,'' said Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. ''Four-stars are saluted, not questioned. He's now running an agency where everything is questioned, whether you're a four-star or a senator. It's a culture change.''

Mr. Petraeus, who turns 60 next week, has had to learn that C.I.A. officers will not automatically defer to his judgments, as military subordinates often did. ''The attitude at the agency is, 'You may be the director, but I'm the Thailand analyst,' '' said one C.I.A. veteran.

Long a media star as the most prominent military leader of his generation, Mr. Petraeus abruptly abandoned that style at the C.I.A. Operating amid widespread complaints about leaks of classified information, he has stopped giving interviews, speaks to Congress in closed sessions and travels the globe to consult with foreign spy services with little news media notice.

''He thinks he has to be very discreet and let others in the government do the talking,'' said Michael E. O'Hanlon, a Brookings Institution scholar who is a friend of Mr. Petraeus's and a member of the C.I.A.'s advisory board.

Mr. Petraeus's no-news, no-nonsense style stands out especially starkly against that of his effusive predecessor, Leon E. Panetta, who is now the defense secretary. Amy Zegart, a Stanford professor who has studied how often C.I.A. directors have appeared in the news since 1980, ranks Mr. Panetta first in public profile and Mr. Petraeus, ascetic and now tight-lipped in public, near the bottom.

Mr. Panetta, a gregarious politician by profession, was unusually open with Congress and sometimes with the public '-- to a fault, some might say, when he spoke candidly after leaving the C.I.A. about a Pakistani doctor's role in helping hunt for Osama bin Laden, or about the agency's drone operations.

Mr. Petraeus's discretion and relentless work ethic have had a positive side for him: old tensions with Mr. Obama, which grew out of differing views on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, appear to be gone. Mr. Petraeus is at the White House several times a week, attending National Security Council sessions and meeting weekly with James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, and Thomas E. Donilon, Mr. Obama's national security adviser. Mr. Donilon said recently that the C.I.A. director ''has done an exceptional job,'' bringing ''deep experience, intellectual rigor and enthusiasm'' to his work.

Andrea Peyser: Debra Messing dresses as Marie Antoinette for Bette Midler's Halloween bash at Waldorf while many New Yorkers without power in aftermath of Hurricane Sandy - NYPOST.com

Link to Article

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 23:33

Andrea Peyser

Let them eat moldy pastry!

Celebrity twit Debra Messing and various heartless other stars proved beyond doubt that some fabulous New Yorkers don't have hearts beating in their cold, dead chests.

Fires were barely snuffed out in Breezy Point. The dead were still being counted from here to Jersey. And the bodies of two tiny Staten Island brothers, 2, and 4, who were ripped by Hurricane Sandy from the arms of their frantic mother on Monday, were finally found yesterday, 20 yards from each other. They were gone.

But the rich, the famous and narcissistic weren't about to let a little weather event ruin their party.

Splash News

Debra Messing

Messing, 44, of TV's ''Smash'' and ''Will and Grace'' fame, proved on Halloween night that if you have enough money and face recognition, humility and breeding are useless distractions.

The same night, bodies were being pulled from the murky waters around New York City. Folks mourned family and friends killed by falling trees.

And Wednesday, a night of sadness and rebuilding, is when Messing chose to don the costume of Marie Antoinette, whose utterance ''let them eat cake'' when there was no bread reputedly sparked the French Revolution. She attended an event so hideous, it should have been banned and the revelers buggy-whipped.

It was Bette Midler's 2012 New York Restoration Project Hulaween Benefit Gala '-- dubbed, ironically, ''A Season in Hell'' '-- at the posh Waldorf.

There, Messing posed with horror celeb Dita Von Teese, clad in top hat and tails, who bills herself as a ''burlesque and fetish star.''

Midler was dressed as the ghost of Coco Chanel, entertaining designer Michael Kors and his husband, Lance LePere

The food was maintained by working refrigerators that could have been put to better use feeding people who aren't bulimic.

The shindig, with tables going from $10,000 to $65,000, and co-chaired by Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, was barely 10 blocks from 40th Street. Below that line, thousands of New Yorkers lived without electricity, running water or hope, food spoiling in idle ice boxes.

It was some 26 blocks from the spot on East 24th Street where elderly and disabled Didi D'Errico, 65, a retired actress, lives as a Prisoner of Second Avenue '-- unable to navigate the pitch-black staircases seven floors above darkened and deserted streets.

Until I brought a turkey-and-swiss sandwich to her songwriter husband, Carl, 70, they hadn't eaten a meal, save for rotting bananas, in days.

The masquerade ball, according to the NYRP's Web site '-- ''with a Hawaiian twist in honor of Bette's home state'' '-- was to be attended by a ''star-studded crowd of nearly 1,000 costumed guests,'' a performance by Blondie, and a dinner by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. ''A French menu, can-can dancers, and French-themed decor and costumes,'' pre-party literature promised.

One would think that, if Messing insisted on attending the ridiculous event while New York suffered so dearly, she might have worn a less toxic costume.

But some celebs just can't resist sticking it to the have-nots. Let them eat cake, indeed.

Chris Christie intervenes in private insurance contracts, asserts Hurricane Sandy was not a hurricane

Link to Article

Source: Twitchy » US Politics

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 23:43

Today New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed an Executive Order prohibiting insurance companies from imposing hurricane deductibles on victims of Hurricane Sandy. In the course of doing so, he explains that Hurricane Sandy ''did not meet the regulatory threshold to trigger the application of hurricane deductibles by insurance companies in New Jersey.'' In other words, Hurricane Sandy wasn't really a hurricane.

From the Office of the Governor:

Trenton, NJ - Taking action to save homeowners money following Hurricane Sandy, Governor Chris Christie signed Executive Order 107, prohibiting insurance companies from imposing costly hurricane deductibles on New Jersey homeowners. An important part of the recovery of New Jersey will be the influx of funds that occurs when insurers settle claims by New Jersey homeowners. This action will increase the total size of the payments made by the insurance industry, helping residents rebuild their homes and speed New Jersey's path to recovery.

''We need to ensure that homeowners are not forced to pay higher out of pocket costs than required as they begin the rebuilding and repair process,'' said Governor Christie. ''While Hurricane Sandy was a devastating storm, it did not meet the regulatory threshold to trigger the application of hurricane deductibles by insurance companies in New Jersey. This executive order makes it clear that consumers do not have to pay these unusually large and often unexpected amounts.''

A hurricane deductible typically can be in the amount of two to five percent of a property's insured value. Thus a $500,000 house with a four percent hurricane deductible would result in a homeowner being responsible for a $20,000 deductible, rather than a more standard deductible in the $500-2,000 range. The deductible is the amount the policyholder must pay before the insurer would start covering the loss. Insurers are permitted to charge hurricane deductibles in certain circumstances. However, as the National Weather Service classified Hurricane Sandy as a post-tropical storm prior to landfall in New Jersey, the storm did not meet the first regulatory threshold required to apply a hurricane deductible.

[Emphasis added.]

So if a homeowner's insurance policy requires a hurricane deductible of, say, $20,000, the insurer will be allowed to impose a deductible of no more than $500 '' $2,000. Because '-- hint, hint, nudge, nudge '-- Hurricane Sandy was a storm, not a hurricane.

In essence, Gov. Christie is doing exactly what this Twitter user urged him to do several days ago:

This may be good politics, but as a matter of public policy it's highly questionable.

If Hurricane Sandy doesn't ''meet the regulatory threshold to trigger the application of hurricane deductibles,'' as Christie asserts, then why is this Executive Order needed? No insurance company in its right mind would attempt to charge policyholders hurricane deductibles if doing so would violate New Jersey law.

This looks to us like a clear-cut effort to redistribute wealth ex post facto from insurers to policyholders. Twitter user @RayZorback correctly points out the likely adverse effects on the market for hurricane insurance:

Higher premiums. Fewer insurance companies offering coverage for hurricanes and other catastrophic natural disasters. These are some of the effects that New Jersey homeowners can expect to see as a result of Gov. Christie's ill-considered Executive Order.

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2TTH

Secret Service Agent's Apparent Suicide Under Investigation '' ABC News

Link to Article

Source: Grand Chessboard Blog (All Content © )

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 11:38

Washington, D.C., police are investigating the apparent suicide of a U.S. Secret Service supervisory agent assigned to President Obama's security detail.

''Rafael Prieto had a distinguished 20-year career with the Secret Service that was marked by accomplishment, dedication, and friendships,'' Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said in a prepared statement. ''The Secret Service is mourning the loss of a valued colleague.''

Prieto was in the midst of an administrative process related to his relationship with a foreign national, officials said.

Sources said there was no criminal investigation into Prieto and stressed that he was not connected in any way to the investigation of misconduct by Secret Service personnel in Cartagena, Columbia.

via Secret Service Agent's Apparent Suicide Under Investigation '' ABC News.

US Secret Service Agent Suicided To Protect Obama Election

Link to Article

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 12:19

World's Largest English Language News Service with Over 500 Articles Updated Daily

"The News You Need Today'...For The World You'll Live In Tomorrow."

What You Aren't Being Told About The World You Live In

War Of The Sacred Code: The True Secret Of 2012

A ''must have'' book for those seeking to understand the truth behind this most prophesied about year in human history. (Continued)

''Dirty, Filthy, Christians'':Treatise On The Most Dangerous Death Cult In Human History

An unprecedented work detailing the agenda behind the greatest deception ever foisted upon humanity.(Continued)

BattleBegins For Throne of This World: The Return of the Einherjar Warriors

By: Sorcha Faal ''The truest accounting of our World's present state of Global Chaos, the 'whys' and 'how's' are presented in this epic history of what has been kept hidden from humanity. (Continued)

Picking up the Pieces: Practical Guide for Surviving Economic Crashes, Internal Unrest and Military SuppressionBy: Sorcha Faal ''In the span of less than 3 months gasoline prices will rise 500%. The prices of both food and shelter rise over 300%. (Continued)

Partisans Handbook:By: Sorcha Faal ''Essential Survival Guide For Resisting Foreign Military Occupation, Escape And Evasion Techniques, Surviving Interrogation, Facing Execution, Wilderness Survival (Continued)

Code Red: The Coming Destruction Of The United StatesLimited release of the perhaps one of the most prophetic books of our time relating to the underlying causes, and history, of the downfall of America (Continued)

November 2, 2012

US Secret Service Agent Suicided To Protect Obama Election

By:Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers

A highly disturbing Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) report circulating in the Kremlin today claims that a top US Secret Service Agent (USSS) assigned to President Obama's protective detail was ''suicided'' over fears he was about to release highly damaging information regarding the White Houses' release of classified information to Hollywood producers, whose movie about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden is intended to boost the American Presidents reelection chances and airs two days before the 6 November election.

According to this report, US Secret Service Agent Rafael Prieto, 47, was declared dead this past week of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning after he was found in his car with the engine running in his suburban Washington D.C. home.

According to anonymous sources speaking to the Associated Press News Service, Prieto was serving on the protective detail for Obama, though he was not on duty at the time of his death. As recently as 2009, he was identified as the resident agent in charge at the US Secret Service's office in White Plains, New York. He had worked for the Secret Service for 22 years.

These anonymous sources, quoted widely in the US ''mainstream'' propaganda media, further state that Prieto's apparent suicide was linked to an investigation regarding an alleged affair he was having with an unknown Mexican women, though other reports confirm he and his wife were separated at the time of his death.

In a statement regarding Prieto's death US Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan stated, ''Rafael Prieto had a distinguished 20-year career with the Secret Service that was marked by accomplishment, dedication and friendships. The Secret Service is mourning the loss of a valued colleague.''

In disputing the ''anonymous tales'' being put out by the US media relating to Prieto's death, however, GRU analysts in this report state the ''most likely'' cause of his having to be eliminated was a recent subpoena this highly ranked Secret Service agent received from US attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald Machen who is currently investigating leaks of national security information that critics have accused the White House of orchestrating to improve President Obama's re-election chances.

Prieto's link to this investigation, this report continues, is though his wife, Ruth Pomerance[photo 3rd left], whom he married in 1993 and who is a highly placed Hollywood movie consultant and producer and whom White House logs show visited top Obama officials in the West Wing on 1 October 2011.

Pomerance's reason for visiting top Obama officials in the White House, GRU analysts say in this report, was for her to act as a conduit for secret information being relayed to the Hollywood producers of the movie ''SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden'' set to air on the National Geographic Channel on Sunday night, two days before what many are stating will be the closest election in American history due to take place on 6 November.

The reason for the White House using Pomerance, this report says, was due to their already being under investigation for releasing US national security secrets to these Hollywood producers making this moving after it was disclosed to the American public by a group of former Special Forces soldiers and CIA officers who posted a video on YouTube [see videoHERE] of these treasonous actions on 15 August, and her being able to ''bypass'' media scrutiny due to her being married to an Obama bodyguard.

Shameful to note is the US media reaction to the White House giving national security secrets to Hollywood producers, and as we can read, in part, as reported by the News Busters Organization in their report titled ''ABC, NBC Punt on Alleged Obama Administration Leak of Classified Information to Hollywood'' and which says:

''CBS This Morning stood out as the only Big Three network morning show on Thursday to cover a conservative group's allegation that the Obama administration gave a movie director and writer "special access to government officials involved in the commando operation that killed Osama bin Laden," as reported by Reuters on Wednesday. ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today ignored the story.

Correspondent Chip Reid outlined that "the documents...obtained by Judicial Watch, a conservative government watchdog group...reveal that director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal...met with top national security officials; gained access to Seal Team 6; and visited the CIA."

Anchor Charlie Rose pointed out in his introduction to Reid's report that there was "new information this morning on an alleged security leak by the Obama administration. Officials are accused of telling Hollywood filmmakers too much about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden." The CBS journalist continued that "it's no surprise that the Obama administration would enthusiastically welcome a movie about the killing of bin Laden. But some critics say what is surprising is how far the White House was willing to go to get that movie made."

Reid provided some corroboration to the Judicial Watch allegation during his report: "Sources tell CBS News the White House put the movie on the fast track, aggressively looking for ways to help." He also played a soundbite from Republican Congressman Peter King, who criticized the administration's catering of Hollywood: "I believe they could have compromised secrets. They could have put people's lives at risk.''

Agreeing with US Congressman King was retired US Navy Seal Team 6 member Mark Owen, who in his book on the bin Laden raid (which he participated in) not only slammed the Obama regime for releasing national security secrets to these Hollywood producers, but, also, stated that what they were telling about this attack was false.

To justice being done for Rafael Prieto it doesn't appear likely as the American propaganda media organs have already begun flooding the blogsphere and airwaves with their pre-packaged lies against this US Secret Service hero, and as they have done too many times to count against any who opposes their protection of Obama.

And for the American people to believe the lies that a man who had risen to the top ranks of his profession, who held the highest security clearances in the United States, and who was fully prepared to lay down his life to protect a US President, to believe such a person would commit suicide under any circumstances (especially one such as having an affair while separated from his wife, which even if true, he could have just simply retired and taken a job in the private sector at quadruple the pay) shows how far these people have descended into outright deception and lunacy.

November 2, 2012 (C) EU and US all rights reserved. Permission to use this report in its entirety is granted under the condition it is linked back to its original source at WhatDoesItMean.Com. Freebase content licensed under CC-BY and GFDL.

[Ed. Note: Western governments and their intelligence services actively campaign against the information found in these reports so as not to alarm their citizens about the many catastrophic Earth changes and events to come, a stance that the Sisters of Sorcha Faal strongly disagrees with in believing that it is every human beings right to know the truth. Due to our missions conflicts with that of those governments, the responses of their 'agents' against us has been a longstanding misinformation/misdirection campaign designed to discredit and which is addressed in the report ''Who Is Sorcha Faal?''.]

You May Already Be To Late'...But It Has Begun!

They Are Going To Come For You'...Why Are You Helping Them?

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PHOTO: Ruth Pomerance- US Secret Sevice agent Rafael Prieto's Wife | SHOWBIZDAILY

Pussy PR

Pussy Riot; Russian Band in Trademark Dispute

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Source: bertb news feed

Sat, 03 Nov 2012 10:07

A member of the band Pussy Riot said Friday that the band's name should not be used for commercial gain after it was revealed that the wife of the band's lawyer had applied for a patent to register the name as a trademark. ''This simply shocks me; I am completely surprised,'' the band member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, who was released from prison last month on bail, told the radio station Kommersant FM. She said she and her two band mates, who remain in prison, had agreed that they should protect their intellectual property rights, but opposed commercial use of their name. The lawyer, Mark Feygin, denied that he or his wife, who owns a film production company, were trying to profit from the band, and he said they filed the application in April at the request of the three band members ''to prevent someone from producing condoms and pornography films'' featuring the band's name. But Russia's patent office rejected the trademark application. Also on Friday, Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev said again that he thought the jailed band members should be released, The Associated Press reported.

Cyber War$

Department of Homeland Security Wants Geeks for a New 'Cyber Reserve' | Motherboard

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Fri, 02 Nov 2012 01:58

Just three weeks after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told an audience at the Sea, Air and Space Museum that the U.S. is on the brink of a ''cyber Pearl Harbor,'' the government has decided it needs to beef up the ranks of its digital defenses. It's assembling a league of extraordinary computer geeks for what will be known as the ''Cyber Reserve.''

What drove Panetta to summon one of the most notorious acts of war on American soil is the persistence of Iranian hackers, who have waged repeated cyber attacks on American financial institutions and who recently dropped a nasty virus on Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil producer. Computer savvy terrorists could burrow their way into systems that control vital U.S. infrastructure and do something crazy like derail a passenger trail or shut down a power plant. ''These attacks mark a significant escalation of the cyber threat,'' Panetta said.

And so, 10 years after its inception, the Department of Homeland Security has decided that it needs to find a better way to stay on top of national security than farming out computer work to contractors.

The Cyber Reserve would function like a National Guard for computer-related emergencies '-- a collection of digerati scattered across the country but ready to respond when duty calls. This isn't exactly a new idea. The same law Congress passed in 2002 that established the Department of Homeland Security grants the department permission to build a ''National Emergency Technology (NET) Guard'' of on-call volunteer specialists to assist in cyber crises.

It's better late than never, but it is late: Even Estonia has already started building its own volunteer cyber corps. ''Since we live in this modern era, it's not only riding around in the woods with guns,'' Estonian President Toomas Ilves told Nextgov in 2011.

The U.S. department's immediate goal is to bring in some former government computer experts to fortify the weak spots in its security, then the plan is to scout fresh blood at community colleges. The Homeland Security task force that pushed the need for the Cyber Reserve also recommended that the department incorporate two-year training programs into higher education at certain schools. The programs could start as soon as next school year.

The department has had a tough time drawing talented key strokers to its ranks. I mean, if you were a hot shot programmer, would you want to settle for a government salary when you could earn mad money in the private sector? DHS won't be able to pay Google money, so the department's new marketing-recruiting pitch is: ''Excitement!'' says Alan Paller, co-chair of the department task force.

To cultivate the image of ''exciting'' work, the department is following the example set by the NSA, which has no problem attracting and retaining savvy computer specialists to work on highly-sensitive tasks and help protect the country. It will also look to the FBI's InfraGard program, an intelligence network that connects industry experts, federal officials and local police.

Image via the Navy

Hams 'r' Us!

Mexican Cartels Enslave Engineers to Build Radio Network | Danger Room

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Sat, 03 Nov 2012 09:23

The Mexican military is trying to dismantle an extensive network of radio antennas built and operated by the notorious Zeta drug cartel. But the authorities haven't had much luck shutting Radio Zeta down. Not only is much of the equipment super-easy to replace. But the cartel has also apparently found some unwilling '-- and alarming '-- assistance by kidnapping and enslaving technicians to help build it.

At least 36 engineers and technicians have been kidnapped in the past four years, according to a report from Mexican news site Animal Politico, with an English translation published by organized-crime monitoring group InSight. Worse, none of the engineers have been held for ransom '-- they've just disappeared. Among them include at least one IBM employee and several communications technicians from a firm owned by Mexico's largest construction company. ''The fact that skilled workers have been disappearing in these areas is no accident,'' Felipe Gonzalez, head of Mexico's Senate Security Committee, told the website.

''None of the systems engineers who disappeared have been found,'' Gonzalez said. Unlike Colombia, where drug traffickers control large amounts of territory and can keep hostages for many years, Mexico's drug territory is more in flux. ''When they need specialists they catch them, use them, and discard them,'' said the father of one kidnapped engineer.

For at least six years, Mexico's cartels have relied in part on a sophisticated radio network to handle their communications. The Zetas hide radio antennas and signal relay stations deep inside remote and hard-to-reach terrain, connect them to solar panels, and then link the facilities to radio-receiving cellphones and Nextel devices. While the kingpins stay off the network '-- they use the internet to send messages '-- the radio network acts as a shadow communication system for the cartels' lower-level players and lookouts, and a tool to hijack military radios.

One network spread across northeastern Mexico and dismantled last year included 167 radio antennas alone. As recently as September, Mexican marines found a 295-foot-high transmission tower in Veracruz state. And while the founding leadership of the Zetas originated in the Mexican special forces '-- and who might have had the know-how to set up a radio system '-- relatively few of the ex-commando types are still active today.

One engineer, named Jose Antonio, was kidnapped in January 2009 while talking on the phone with his girlfriend outside a mechanics shop. He worked for ICA Fluor Daniel, a construction company jointly owned by U.S.-based Fluor Corporation and ICA, Mexico's largest construction firm. Antonio's family contacted the authorities, but were instead visited by a man claiming to be an ICA employee along with two Zetas. ''They said they were going to help us, and that our contact would be ICA's security chief,'' said the kidnapped engineer's mother. But the group's message was implicit: Don't pursue this, or else. The cartel members were later arrested, but Antonio never returned.

Alejandro Moreno, an IBM engineer kidnapped in January 2011 while traveling from Monterrey to the Texas border city of Laredo, hasn't been heard from since. In 2009, nine contractors hired to build radio antennas in the border city of Nuevo Laredo '-- a Zetas stronghold '-- were kidnapped from a rented apartment by masked gunmen. They were taken with their vehicles and equipment.

Aside from the radios, the cartel's extensive weaponry alone caused GlobalPost's Ioan Grillo to note ''whether [the Zetas] should continue to be labeled as drug traffickers '-- or need a more martial description.'' Now add a military-grade communication system built with slave labor.

It'd also be one thing if jamming the radio network or tracking down and dismantling the equipment were enough to stop it. But that might not be enough.

Cultural Marxism

Apple paid only 2% tax outside US

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Source: BBC News - Home

Sun, 04 Nov 2012 14:34

4 November 2012Last updated at09:08 ETApple paid less that 2% corporation tax on its profits outside the US, its filing with US regulators has shown.

Apple paid $713m (£445m) in the year to 29 September on foreign pre-tax profits of $36.8bn (£23.0bn), a rate of 1.9%.

It is the latest company to be identified as paying low rates of overseas tax, following Starbucks, Facebook and Google in recent weeks.

It has not been suggested that any of their tax avoidance schemes are illegal.

All of the companies do pay considerable amounts of other taxes in the UK such as VAT and National Insurance.

Apple's figures for foreign tax appear on page 61 of its form 10k filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

It had paid a rate of 2.5% the previous year.

Apple channels much of its business in Europe through a subsidiary in the Republic of Ireland, which has lower corporation tax than Britain.

But even Ireland charges 12.5%, compared with Britain's 24%.

Many multinational companies manage to pay substantially below the official corporation tax rates by using tax havens such as Caribbean islands.

Demon Drink

FICA Scores

i work for the federal Govt,

i think i mentioned that before

(think)

but. ..... every 10 years we have to

go thought credit check and back

ground check and if you credit is

screwed up you will be fired.

We actually lost 2 people due to this

and it looks like we might loose some

one more before the end of the year.

I THINK THIS IS SICK. !

thanks always

your loyal producer

GERRY BYFIELD

Vaccine$

New treatment for crystal meth addicts: vaccine that blocks the drug's effect on the brain.

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Source: WT news feed

Sun, 04 Nov 2012 14:39

Tests on rats have shown the vaccine stops them being affected by the drug, taken by 25 million globallyVaccine thought to stop drug molecules getting into brain, so user doesn't get the effect of the drugsBy Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 13:05 EST, 2 November 2012 | UPDATED: 13:05 EST, 2 November 2012

A vaccine to treat crystal meth addicts is a step closer to fruition after scientists discovered how to block the drug's effect on the brain.

Tests on rats have shown the vaccine stops them being affected by the drug, which is taken by 25 million people worldwide.

If it works on humans it would be the first specific vaccine for methamphetamine addition, reports the journal Biological Psychiatry.

The popularity of crystal meth has soared in the last 20 years and the drug is particularly addictive

Professor Michael Taffe, from the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) where the research was carried out, said: 'This is an early-stage study, but its results are comparable to those for other drug vaccines that have then gone to clinical trials.'

The popularity of crystal meth has soared in the last 20 years and the drug is particularly addictive. Indeed, methamphetamine has become one of the most common drugs of abuse around the world.

But developing effective vaccines has proved problematic until now.

Just as traditional vaccines evoke antibody responses against viruses or bacteria, anti-drug antibodies are meant to grab hold of drug molecules and keep them from getting into the brain -- preventing the drug from giving the user a high and removing the incentive for taking the drug.

The vaccine is thought to work by stopping drug molecules from getting into brain, so users can't feel their effects

Two years ago researcher Kim Jands and his colleagues developed six possible meth vaccines including one, MH6, that blocked the effects of the drug.

For the new study they looked at MH6 in greater detail, and found it prevented a rise in body temperature and burst of hyperactivity that occur after meth exposure.

Underlying these promising effects on behavioural measures was a robust antibody response, which in vaccinated rats kept more of the drug in the bloodstream and out of the nervous system, compared to control rats.

'These are encouraging results that we'd like to follow up with further animal tests, and, we hope, with clinical tests in humans some day,' said co-researcher Michelle Miller.

Dr Janda said: 'I think this vaccine has all the right features to allow it to move forward in development.

'It certainly works better than the other active vaccines for meth that have been reported so far.'

Vaccines against nicotine and cocaine are already in clinical trials.

'Side Effects' Trailer: Steven Soderbergh's Last Pre-Retirement Theatrical Film Features an Overmedicated Rooney Mara

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Sun, 04 Nov 2012 14:23

Posted on Friday, November 2nd, 2012 by Angie Han

Steven Soderbergh's retirement may be imminent, but over the past couple of years he's been busy as ever. Where most directors might've opened one film between 2011 and 2012, he's released three: Contagion, Haywire, and Magic Mike. Now, for his final (at least for now) act, he has the thriller Side Effects due out early next year, followed by his final effort, Behind the Candelabra.

Rooney Mara, in her first post-Dragon Tattoo role, stars as a woman struggling with anxiety over her husband's (Channing Tatum) recent release from prison. She turns to a new brand of anti-depressant, prescribed by a doctor (Jude Law) who apparently harbors a not entirely professional interest in her. Before long, everything is spiraling badly out of control. Watch the trailer after the jump.

Yahoo! Movies has the trailer.

It's kind of difficult to tell what's going on in this trailer, but that's a refreshing change of pace after so many promos that give away everything up to and including the ending. It's clear that this is an intense dramatic thriller about the pharmaceutical industry involving some unseemly connections between the four leads (Tatum, Mara, Law, and Catherine Zeta-Jones), and for now that's enough.

If what we've heard about Soderbergh's plans are true, Side Effects will be his last theatrical release. (The Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, is a TV movie, coming up on HBO.) On the one hand, it's heartening to see that he's going out with a bang. On the other, Side Effects looks like an all-too-effective reminder of why we'll miss him. Side Effects seems to have a premise that could feel rote in the wrong hands, but Soderbergh can be relied on to give it a fresh perspective.

Side Effects will come to theaters February 8, 2013, where it should make for some nice counter-programming against the latest Nicholas Sparks weepie.

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

VIDEO

Bill and Hillary Clinton open Haitian industrial park | Video

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Sat, 03 Nov 2012 10:12

About Reuters TVHard-edged reporting, insight and analysis, Reuters TV breaks ground creating informative news and financial videos. Showcasing Reuters' 3000 award-winning journalists, Reuters TV delivers high-energy investigative journalism with concise explanations. Check it out and let us know what you think.

VIDEO: Heated Romney Interview on Mormonism Resurfaces, Drawing Attention

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Fri, 02 Nov 2012 09:35

A heated discussion on religion between Mitt Romney and an Iowa radio host from 2007 has resurfaced online and is gathering steam on social media.

Taped during Romney's first presidential run on Aug. 4, 2007, the five-minute video features Romney defending his views to conservative radio host Jan Mickelson, who had challenged the candidate on air regarding his stance on abortion. Thus begins a tense conversation about Romney's faith that continues after the show concludes its national broadcast.

"Throughout the Bible, Christ appears in Jerusalem, splits the Mount of Olives to stop the war that's coming in to kill all the Jews. Our Church believes that," Romney presses, then explains how he reconciles his personal beliefs with his politics.

"I'm not running to talk about Mormonism," the agitated candidate later says before getting up from his chair and heading toward the exit.

The video has been a hot topic on Twitter since being uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday. Alyssa Milano has tweeted it to her 2.2 million followers, and film critic Roger Ebert and Graham Linehan, the Irish TV writer behind hit U.K. comedy The IT Crowd, have posted it, as well. Linehan then went on a lengthy tear, satirizing Romney's beliefs.

VIDEO: Sandy-Starved New Yorkers Dumpster Dive

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Source: BlackListedNews.com

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 11:41

Source: NBC New York

View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com.

Will the establishment media still characterize people who buy storable food as paranoid and crazy after seeing this?

Homes and businesses in the Lower East Side and East Village are still without power and under water. Residents began dumpster diving outside a Key Food supermarket Thursday, looking for whatever food they can take. Jonathan Vigliotti reports.

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Haiti appeals for international aid for Sandy victims

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Source: euronews

Sat, 03 Nov 2012 10:08

New York has cancelled its annual marathon after an initial decision to let Sunday's race go ahead caused an outcry among locals. Although the city's mayor Michael Bloomberg had thought the event would lift New Yorkers' spirits in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, his office'...

Bill and Hillary Clinton in Haiti leading Toward Economic Prosperity Global News

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Sat, 03 Nov 2012 10:12

New Jersey Allows Voters To FAX Or Email Election Ballots For The First Time

Staten Island Borough President Blasts Red Cross

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Thu, 01 Nov 2012 21:34

Staten Island borough president James Molinaro is absolutely livid about the lack of aid that his borough has received.He spoke at a press conference this morning with senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Molinari called out the American Red Cross, calling it an "absolute disgrace" and urging people to stop donating to the nonprofit.

"My advice to the people of Staten Island is do not donate to the American Red Cross," said Molinaro. "Let them get their money elsewhere."

Here's what he had to say to NBC after the presser, from BuzzFeed:

''You know, I went to a shelter Monday night after the storm. People were coming in with no socks, with no shoes. They were in desperate need. Their housing was destroyed. They were crying.

Where was the Red Cross? Isn't that their function? They collect millions of dollars. Whenever there's a drive in Staten Island, we give openly and honestly. Where are they? Where are they?

I was at the South Shore yesterday, people were buried in their homes. There the dogs are trying to find bodies. The people there, the neighbors who had no electricity, were making soup. Making soup. It's very emotional because the lack of a response. The lack of a response. They're supposed to be here'....They should be on the front lines fighting, and helping the people.''

And watch the full video of Molinaro at the press conference below, from NBC 4:

Bill Maher Warns Romney Supporters: 'Black People Know Who You Are and They Will Come After You'

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Sat, 03 Nov 2012 19:10

Bill Maher on HBO's Real Time Friday might have said one of the most disgraceful things uttered during the 2012 campaign season.

"If you're thinking about voting for Mitt Romney, I would like to make this one plea: black people know who you are and they will come after you" (video follows with commentary):

Imagine for a moment the outrage if a conservative commentator said even jokingly to Obama supporters, "White people know who you are and they will come after you."

That would be the end of that person's career. Period. No questions asked. Done!

But Maher who's adored by the Obama-loving media can say this with total impunity.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: HBO should be ashamed to have this disgusting man as one of its on air personalities. Period. End of story.

Please also seeMaher: 'Who Cares What Somebody In Obama Administration Wrote Down and Predicted?'and Paul Begala: 'California, Illinois and New Jersey - Places Where They'd Hunt Romney Down With Dogs'.

And don't miss Maher's other recent absurdities:

'We Spend 42% of Our Total Budget on Defense'

Bill Maher Staffer: Reporters Recommending Liberal Ideas Are Like Dentists Endorsing a Toothbrush

'John Sununu Is a Racist Fat F--k'

Bill Maher Attacks Pollster Scott Rasmussen For 'Taking a Side' with the 'Rush-Fox-Drudge' Reality Deniers

Romney's a 'Dork in Mom Jeans Who's Afraid of Black People'

"We're Americans! When Times Are Tough We're Tougher!" President Obama Weekly Address

NO ONE ON WEED WOULD EVER DO THIS!

Albright raps 'disgusting Serbs' in Prague book signing | WashingtonExaminer.com

Clinton-era Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, confronted by pro-Serbian protesters who called her a war criminal during a recent book signing in her native Prague, pushed them aside as "disgusting Serbs" in a confrontation going viral on the internet.

Displaying her trademark feistiness, Albright is seen in the video as sternly shouting "get out, get out," to the protesters who arrived with a film crew. As they closed in on her, she stood up and said, "That's it! Get out," and soon walked away with an aide after saying, "they are disgusting Serbs."

Albright, on a book tour to tout her new and well-received memoir, "Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948," was in her birthplace for the book signing on October 23.

According to the [VIDEO] account, activists with "Friends of Serbs in Kosovo" led by film director Vaclav Dvorak, presented her with Dvorak's documentary "Stolen Kosovo" and posters suggesting that Albright's push for bombings of Serbs in Kosovo was inhumane.

"This is your work as well, madam" they charged, asking her to sign their posters, which she brushed away.

As Clinton's top diplomat, Albright headed the U.S. participation in the Yugoslav wars in Bosnia and Kosovo and is credited for pushing NATO into the humanitarian crisis. Time Magazine called it "Madeleine's War."

Former Penn State President Charged In Connection With Sandusky Child Sex Abuse Cover Up

O'Reilly: Obama Doesn't Like Americans Because Blacks Have 'Grievance Against Whites'

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Source: Crooks and Liars

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 19:37

With less than a week to go before election day, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly is suggesting that the president of the United States doesn't like half of the country because African Americans have a "grievance against whites."

Conservative radio host Dennis Miller explained to O'Reilly on Thursday that President Barack Obama had "squandered" the public's affection for him after the last election.

Miller opined that Obama and President Richard Nixon were the only two presidents in his lifetime "who seemed to actively dislike half the population of the country."

"I look at Barack Obama and think, you know, I don't sense he likes half this country," Miller said. "And I think that's coming back to bite him in the tuchus."

"Do you think it has anything to do with grievance?" O'Reilly wondered. "Because in some African-American communities there is a grievance against whites who aren't sympathetic to their cause. And that may be driving a little bit of it. So there are some African Americans who believe the reason that they're not prospering as a community, alright, is because society hasn't done enough, and the reason society hasn't done enough is because of rich white guys."

"No, I don't think of it like that with Obama," Miller shrugged. "I think of him as one of those intelligentsia swells who looks down on people who he thinks aren't up to speed intellectually with him. So, I don't get a color thing off him."

(h/t: Media Matters)

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