Outline created by Adam Curry on Sunday, December 30, 2012.



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Dr. Peter has it for us, including photo

War on Ca$h

Shift responsibility to merchant and consumer

Bengahzi Bad Actors

Ben Affleck: Huma Abedin a 'close friend' who was 'instrumental' in making of 'Argo' | Walid Shoebat

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Fri, 28 Dec 2012 23:48

Be sure to read our report on the Obamas' Wahhabist Fundraising Empire.CLICK HERE.'--'--'--'--'--

Hollywood actor / director Ben Affleck premiered his new film '' 'Argo' '' in Washington, D.C. and in attendance was none other than Hillary Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff, Huma Abedin. Affleck revealed that the controversial figure had a hand in making the film.


Former Rep. Anthony Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, made an appearance at the D.C. premiere of ''Argo'' on Wednesday. The couple stopped by the screening after a reception for the film, which chronicles the Iran hostage crisis, at the Canadian Embassy.

A few years ago, Weiner advised Ben Affleck '-- the director and star of ''Argo'' '' on his political role in ''State of Play.'' But it was actually Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who helped Affleck with this movie, the actor said.

''Huma is a really close friend of mine,'' Affleck explained on the red carpet. ''In fact, Huma '-- the reason why she's here '-- is she was instrumental in helping us shoot the State Department. As you know, we shot at the real State Department. We never would have had any of that stuff in our research [otherwise]. '...Huma was enormously helpful, and obviously we invited her and she brought her husband. I look forward to seeing him.''

The Daily Mail referred to Abedin's influence on the film as one that involved giving Affleck 'guidance on State Department protocol'.

Some might remember that a few months ago, the Washington Post's Dana Milbank likened Abedin to a gopher for Hillary who picks out 'handbags'.

MacLeans' Savage Washington reported on a couple of other interesting figures who were in attendance:

CIA director David Petraeus was there, as well as Sen. Chris Dodd, Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner, to name a few. Also in attendance were the usual assortment of former ambassadors and other Friends of Canada.

Earlier this year, we reported on Huma Abedin's sister (Heba Abedin) contributing $2300 to the Chris Dodd Presidential campaign in 2007.

Heba and Huma served together for years on the Editorial Board of the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA), which has significant connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.

General Petraeus and Affleck appear to have developed a bit of a relationship during the making of the film.

About Shoebat FoundationBorn in Bethlehem of Judea, Walid's grandfather was the Muslim Mukhtar (chieftain) of Beit Sahour-Bethlehem (The Shepherd's Fields) and a friend of Haj-Ameen Al-Husseni, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and notorious friend of Adolf Hitler. Walid's great grandfather, Abdullah Ali Awad-Allah, was also a fighter and close associate of both Abdul Qader and Haj Amin Al-Husseini, who led the Palestinians against Israel. Walid lived through and witnessed Israel's Six Day War while living in Jericho. As a young man, he became a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and participated in acts of terror and violence against Israel, and was later imprisoned in the Russian Compound, Jerusalem's central prison for incitement and violence against Israel. After his release, he continued his life of violence and rioting in Bethlehem and the Temple Mount. After entering the U.S, he worked as a counselor for the Arab Student Organization at Loop College in Chicago and continued his anti-Israel activities. In 1993, Walid studied the Tanach (Jewish Bible) in a challenge to convert his wife to Islam. Six months later, after intense study, Walid realized that everything he had been taught about Jews was a lie. Convinced he was on the side of evil, he became an advocate for his former enemy. Driven by a deep passion to heal his own soul, and to bring the truth about the Jews and Israel to the world, Walid shed his former life and his work as a software engineer and set out to tirelessly bring the cause of Israel to tens of thousands of people throughout the world: churches and synagogues, civic groups, government leaders and media.

Clinton Injured, US Navy Seal Killed In Secret US Mission To Iran

War on Mental

Lanza DNA Study: Geneticists to Analyze Adam Lanza's DNA to Find Answers (Photos)

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Sat, 29 Dec 2012 16:25

December 27, 2012|7:04 pm

Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old who shot 28 people, himself included, on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, Conn. Of the victims, 20 were children between the ages of 6 and 7 years old. Lanza is seen in this undated photo.

The controversial study will look to genetically profile Lanza, who just weeks ago shot dead 20 first grade children as well as six adults working at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and his own mother, in Newtown, Connecticut.

The study, which is believed to be the first of its kind, is expected to delve into Lanza's DNA in the hope of finding any kind of genetic abnormalities or mutations in his DNA.

The study has been commissioned by Connecticut Medical Examiner, H. Wayne Carver, who has reached out to geneticists at the University of Connecticut to carry out the study.

A University of Connecticut spokesperson, Tom Green, has told the media that Carver "has asked for help from our department of genetics" and they are "willing to give any assistance they can."

Although the geneticists involved in the study have refused to offer any specific details into what they plan to do, other geneticists not directly involved have suggested that the scientists will be looking at Lanza's DNA to detect any kind of mutation or abnormality that could possibly increase the risk of aggressive or violent behavior, such as that displayed by Lanza in the recent tragedy.

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It is expected that the geneticists will analyze his entire genome in huge detail to try and find any mutations.

The study, though, has sparked controversy, with others suggesting that if a specific DNA abnormality is identified it could stigmatize thousands of other perfectly normal people who carry the same or similar signs.

However, Arthur Beaudet, a professor at Baylor College of Medicine, is one of the scientists backing the research and what potentially could be found by the DNA study. He has said to ABC News: "I don't think any one of these mutations would explain all of (the mass shooters), but some of them would have mutations that might be causing both schizophrenia and related schizophrenia violent behavior. I think we could learn more about it and we should learn more about it."

Oppositely Dr. Harold Bursztajn, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has questioned what the researchers could "even be looking for at this point."

He added, "Given how wide the net would have to be cast and given the problem of false positives in testing it is much more likely we would go ahead and find some misleading genetic markers, which would later be proven false while unnecessarily stigmatizing a very large group of people."

(Photo: Reuters/Handout)

A combination of 12 handout pictures shows 12 of 20 young schoolchildren killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.

War on Ammo

White House Rewards David Gregory For Attacking NRA With Exclusive Interview With Obama'...

Link to Article

Source: Weasel Zippers

Sat, 29 Dec 2012 23:56

Via Politico:

NBC's David Gregory will interview President Obama on this Sunday's Meet The Press, reversing earlier news that the host would be on vacation.

Gregory's exclusive interview with Obama comes in the final hours before the deadline for the looming fiscal cliff and is the President's first since September 20, 2009, during the health care reform fight.

Earlier this week, NBC News spokesperson Erika Masonhall told POLITICO that Gregory was on vacation and would not be hosting this week's show.

Gregory has been the subject of a police investigation after he showed an empty gun magazine clip on air while interviewing the president of the National Rifle Association last Sunday. Officials at the Washington Metropolitan Police Department have called the action illegal. NBC News has not commented on the investigation.

Drone surveillance of schools? [credit to cheap indian bastard]

Woman Helped Firefighters' Killer Get Ambush Gun, Police Say

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Source: NYT > Home Page

Sat, 29 Dec 2012 01:46

The police arrested a woman in western New York on Friday who they said helped a man acquire the weapon he is believed to have used to kill two firefighters in an ambush that left two others injured.

According to the police, the woman, Dawn Nguyen, 24, bought a Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle and a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun from a gun shop more than two years ago on behalf of William Spengler Jr., who as a felon was not permitted to buy or own a gun.

Mr. Spengler apparently used the rifle on Monday to kill the firefighters, whom he lured to his home in Webster, N.Y., near Lake Ontario, by starting a fire, the authorities said. After shooting at other emergency responders, Mr. Spengler shot himself in the head with another weapon, a handgun, an autopsy revealed. The fire destroyed seven homes.

Ms. Nguyen went with Mr. Spengler to buy the weapons at a shop in June 2010, according to a criminal complaint filed by the United States attorney in the Western District of New York.

When the police asked her about the purchase after the shooting, she claimed the guns were for her own protection. She also said they had been stolen from her car, although the police said no report had been filed to support that claim.

The complaint said Ms. Nguyen had told a friend that she bought the weapons for Mr. Spengler. The police said that assertion was corroborated by what Mr. Spengler wrote in a suicide note, in which he said a neighbor's daughter helped him acquire the guns.

Since the guns were not intended for her, the complaint said, she made a false statement when she bought them, a felony that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Ms. Nguyen is ''the person who purchased that rifle and that shotgun found next to William Spengler,'' William J. Hochul Jr., the United States attorney for the Western District of New York, said at a news conference in Rochester on Friday.

Ms. Nguyen's lawyer could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Webster police chief, Gerald L. Pickering, said that based on the distance between Mr. Spengler's hiding place and where his victims were found, he most likely used the Bushmaster.

A similar gun was used in the Newtown, Conn., school shootings, which prompted a renewed debate about the nation's gun laws. Much of the discussion has been focused on whether military-style assault weapons like the Bushmaster should be banned.

On Thursday, the State Police released the autopsy results of the two firefighters who were killed and their attacker.

Michael Chiapperini, 43, died as a result of a gunshot wound and Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, died as a result of two gunshot wounds, the police said. Mr. Spengler, 62, was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot to his head.

Funeral and memorial services are planned for Mr. Chiapperini and Mr. Kaczowka during the weekend. Hundreds of firefighters and police officers from around the region were pouring into Webster on Friday.

The police have also recovered human remains in Mr. Spengler's home, which was among the buildings that burned, but the remains have yet to be positively identified. Earlier this week, Chief Pickering said the police believed that the remains belong to Cheryl Spengler, 67, Mr. Spengler's sister.

The two had fought bitterly in the past, friends and neighbors said, and they may have been involved in a dispute over who would take ownership of the family home following the death of their mother, Arline, in October. Mr. Spengler served 17 years in prison for the 1980 murder of his grandmother, whom he killed with a hammer.

It remained unclear what motivated him to target emergency responders, but he made his intentions clear in the note he left behind: he wanted to kill as many people as he could.

When the police arrived at the scene of the fire just before dawn on Monday, they were met by a fusillade of bullets. A SWAT team was called in to help thwart the gunman. As the gun battle raged, the fire spread.

The autopsy report showed that Mr. Spengler was not struck by any bullets fired by law enforcement officers.

Michael D. Regan contributed reporting.

Angry Blogger Publishes Journalists' Addresses

Link to Article

Source: Crooks and Liars

Sat, 29 Dec 2012 01:32

After a New York newspaper, the Journal News, published an interactive database of all the gun-permit holders in the region, an angered blogger retaliated by posting the names and addresses of almost every employee of the publication. Christopher Fountain said he was offended by the paper's ''conflating legal gun owners with some crazed tormented devil up in Newtown,'' and ''wondered how they would like it if their addresses were published.'' The spark that lit the powder keg: emails he said he received from ''abused women who were under protective order and in hiding'' who said they feared for their safety after their information was posted on the Journal News database.


Christopher Fountain has spent the last three days posting the names and addresses of nearly every Journal News employee from Publisher on down.

In fact, as Talk of the Sound's Robert Cox noted after plugging the staffers' contact info into an interactive map of his own that some of the people listed by Fountain may no longer be at the paper due to several years of downsizing.

Asked today on CNN to justify his retribution, Fountain said he was offended by the paper's "conflating legal gun owners with some crazed tormented devil up in Newtown," and "wondered how they would like it if their addresses were published."

My grandmother always told me that "Two wrongs never make a right," and that's all I can think of to add to this debacle.

Shut Up Slave!

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Warrantless wiretaps? Congress votes yes

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Fri, 28 Dec 2012 20:39

US Senators from both parties overwhelmingly approved a bill this morning that will authorize warrantless wiretaps, throughout 2013 and for four years beyond that.

Supporters of the bill, including Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA), insisted it should be passed without amendment, in order to avoid having it sent back to the House of Representatives for approval. The current authorization for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) courts would have expired on Jan. 1.

But FISA was re-authorized this morning, by a vote of 73-23, after an amendment from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) was shot down. Of the 23 opponents, 20 were Democrats and 3 were Republicans.

Wyden's amendment would have applied a bare modicum of transparency to the FISA Amendments Act, which allows the government to intercept international communications of Americans without a warrant. The defeated amendment would have required reports to Congress about whether any wholly domestic communications were picked up by NSA wiretapping.

It follows the consideration of three sensible amendments yesterday which also would have limited the impact of the bill. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) offered an amendment that would have required warrants for tapping into e-mail; Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) wanted Americans to at least be able to read the opinions of the FISA court, which are currently secret; and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) wanted the FISA courts to be approved for just three years, rather than five. All of those amendments were defeated, as well.

"I know where this goes," Feinstein said yesterday, describing the Wyden amendment. "Where it goes is to destroy the program." She also raised the spectre of more terrorist attacks in justifying the program. "There is a view of some that this country no longer needs to fear attacks," Feinstein said. "I don't share that view."

Joe Mullin / Joe Mullin has covered the intersection of law and technology '-- including the world's biggest copyright and patent battles '-- for a number of years, mostly at The American Lawyer.

Passed House-H.R. 5949: FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012 (On Passage of the Bill) -- GovTrack.us

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Fri, 28 Dec 2012 14:57

Totals Republican Democrat Yea301


22774 Nay118


7111Not Voting10


55Required:Simple MajorityVote DetailsVotePartyRepresentativeDistrictScoreYea D Baca, JoeCA 43rd0.319087794918Yea D Berkley, ShelleyNV 1st0.306088418899Yea D Berman, HowardCA 28th0.217551828411Yea D Bishop, SanfordGA 2nd0.364853038842Yea D Bishop, TimothyNY 1st0.269583420896Yea D Boswell, LeonardIA 3rd0.42513468994Yea D Clyburn, JimSC 6th0.320968526774Yea D Cooper, JimTN 5th0.429799797935Yea D Dicks, NormWA 6th0.362359332871Yea D Fattah, ChakaPA 2nd0.174399650688Yea D Gonzalez, CharlesTX 20th0.324490830861Yea D Green, GeneTX 29th0.369801088603Yea D Guti(C)rrez, LuisIL 4th0.188492359602Yea D Hinojosa, Rub(C)nTX 15th0.310285795024Yea D Holden, TimPA 17th0.497357119091Yea D Hoyer, StenyMD 5th0.384970508124Yea D Kaptur, MarcyOH 9th0.292331159991Yea D Langevin, JimRI 2nd0.30801723133Yea D Levin, SanderMI 12th0.292202372646Yea D Lowey, NitaNY 18th0.23923528377Yea D Lynch, StephenMA 9th0.280064202026Yea D Matheson, JimUT 2nd0.511850153712Yea D McCarthy, CarolynNY 4th0.278104053015Yea D McIntyre, MikeNC 7th0.554777203235Yea D Miller, BradNC 13th0.33002809222Yea D Pelosi, NancyCA 8th0.420637773035Yea D Peterson, CollinMN 7th0.505676140493Yea D Rahall, NickWV 3rd0.41661578365Yea D Reyes, SilvestreTX 16th0.335014867606Yea D Ross, MikeAR 4th0.52349441523Yea D Rothman, StevenNJ 9th0.243301924309Yea D Ruppersberger, DutchMD 2nd0.394262825884Yea D Ryan, TimothyOH 17th0.339841108677Yea D Schiff, AdamCA 29th0.298458435991Yea D Scott, DavidGA 13th0.372694613855Yea D Sherman, BradCA 27th0.318554228392Yea D Smith, AdamWA 9th0.34345803439Yea D Thompson, MikeCA 1st0.361647765586Yea D Chandler, BenKY 6th0.415807419865Yea D Costa, JimCA 20th0.437331081289Yea D Barrow, JohnGA 12th0.489043609488Yea D Lipinski, DanielIL 3rd0.415692255072Yea D Carnahan, RussMO 3rd0.332427554042Yea D Higgins, BrianNY 27th0.287693466284Yea D Boren, DanOK 2nd0.626887653311Yea D Schwartz, AllysonPA 13th0.311795460458Yea D Green, AlTX 9th0.214484579619Yea D Cuellar, HenryTX 28th0.484049150955Yea D Sires, AlbioNJ 13th0.227236705895Yea D McNerney, JerryCA 11th0.290353482807Yea D Perlmutter, EdCO 7th0.384358565368Yea D Castor, KathyFL 11th0.311492275985Yea D Donnelly, JoeIN 2nd0.489833558838Yea D Loebsack, DavidIA 2nd0.348494291131Yea D Yarmuth, JohnKY 3rd0.303224176717Yea D Shuler, HeathNC 11th0.536890821733Yea D Altmire, JasonPA 4th0.47742914905Yea D Connolly, GeraldVA 11th0.369635209129Yea D Heinrich, MartinNM 1st0.431447342506Yea D Himes, JamesCT 4th0.389300885571Yea D Kissell, LarryNC 8th0.560927411704Yea D Lujn, BenNM 3rd0.38494681301Yea D Peters, GaryMI 9th0.40966823131Yea D Quigley, MikeIL 5th0.379164290856Yea D Garamendi, JohnCA 10th0.32001557731Yea D Deutch, TedFL 19th0.406788502544Yea D Critz, MarkPA 12th0.506209574007Yea D Sewell, TerriAL 7th0.441094094946Yea D Hanabusa, ColleenHI 1st0.427604022114Yea D Richmond, CedricLA 2nd0.431295022608Yea D Cicilline, DavidRI 1st0.358132338798Yea D Hochul, KathleenNY 26th0.458085668278Yea D Barber, RonAZ 8th0.451031508538Yea D Ackerman, 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8th0.624954667359Yea R Flake, JeffAZ 6th0.731860445851Yea R Forbes, RandyVA 4th0.850915646977Yea R Franks, TrentAZ 2nd0.972724954332Yea R Frelinghuysen, RodneyNJ 11th0.573240452382Yea R Gallegly, EltonCA 24th0.739950585185Yea R Garrett, ScottNJ 5th0.832132495617Yea R Gerlach, JimPA 6th0.64829734728Yea R Gingrey, JohnGA 11th0.934674411428Yea R Goodlatte, BobVA 6th0.798084066764Yea R Granger, KayTX 12th0.734588499968Yea R Graves, SamMO 6th0.747005325585Yea R Hall, RalphTX 4th0.779285332839Yea R Hastings, DocWA 4th0.654384863499Yea R Hensarling, JebTX 5th0.872010529285Yea R Issa, DarrellCA 49th0.736825274276Yea R Johnson, SamTX 3rd0.863302934508Yea R King, PeteNY 3rd0.584961546298Yea R King, SteveIA 5th0.882587416797Yea R Kingston, JackGA 1st0.848980520566Yea R Kline, JohnMN 2nd0.951412694563Yea R Latham, TomIA 4th0.676167463359Yea R LaTourette, StevenOH 14th0.595735608832Yea R Lewis, JerryCA 41st0.615439399102Yea R LoBiondo, FrankNJ 2nd0.584128466264Yea R Lucas, FrankOK 3rd0.722161504425Yea R Manzullo, DonaldIL 16th0.846725256446Yea R McKeon, BuckCA 25th0.745096977785Yea R Mica, JohnFL 7th0.668259753258Yea R Miller, CandiceMI 10th0.734709430715Yea R Miller, GaryCA 42nd0.782100360826Yea R Miller, JeffFL 1st0.920160327663Yea R Murphy, TimPA 18th0.658474124065Yea R Myrick, SueNC 9th0.895530767421Yea R Nunes, DevinCA 21st0.66282453217Yea R Pearce, SteveNM 2nd0.752845272277Yea R Pence, MikeIN 6th0.885122494392Yea R Petri, TomWI 6th0.612940248525Yea R Pitts, JosephPA 16th0.896153848999Yea R Platts, ToddPA 19th0.642748288321Yea R Rehberg, DennyMT0.758759911694Yea R Rogers, HalKY 5th0.725981587573Yea R Rogers, MikeAL 3rd0.742799339464Yea R Rogers, MikeMI 8th0.702863011377Yea R Rohrabacher, DanaCA 46th0.693118106595Yea R Ros-Lehtinen, IleanaFL 18th0.563755071057Yea R Royce, EdCA 40th0.698146722421Yea R Sensenbrenner, JamesWI 5th0.729853347603Yea R Sessions, PeteTX 32nd0.84371674803Yea R Shimkus, JohnIL 19th0.745236768589Yea R Simpson, MikeID 2nd0.727064734653Yea R Smith, ChrisNJ 4th0.609650207806Yea R Smith, LamarTX 21st0.769105763894Yea R Stearns, CliffFL 6th0.75879031394Yea R Sullivan, JohnOK 1st0.756924057427Yea R Terry, LeeNE 2nd0.764506257818Yea R Thornberry, MacTX 13th0.743937545317Yea R Tiberi, PatOH 12th0.697221472562Yea R Turner, MichaelOH 3rd0.719128034821Yea R Upton, FredMI 6th0.634542188054Yea R Walden, GregOR 2nd0.677315589753Yea R Whitfield, EdKY 1st0.655019106761Yea R Wilson, JoeSC 2nd0.924204266958Yea R Wolf, FrankVA 10th0.677375456003Yea R Young, BillFL 10th0.67963417516Yea R Neugebauer, RandyTX 19th0.895707705086Yea R Bilbray, BrianCA 50th0.754528979117Yea R Lungren, DanielCA 3rd0.730042565297Yea R Mack, ConnieFL 14th0.745628224488Yea R Price, TomGA 6th0.835526640299Yea R Westmoreland, LynnGA 3rd0.955213740222Yea R Boustany, CharlesLA 7th0.756172749117Yea R Fortenberry, JeffreyNE 1st0.708936876128Yea R Foxx, VirginiaNC 5th0.856380255458Yea R McHenry, PatrickNC 10th0.820298585764Yea R Fitzpatrick, 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Waters, MaxineCA 35th0.218460044932Nay D Watt, MelNC 12th0.255861971243Nay D Waxman, HenryCA 30th0.188379145851Nay D Woolsey, LynnCA 6th0.0902975189907Nay D Wasserman Schultz, DebbieFL 20th0.290533021938Nay D Cleaver, EmanuelMO 5th0.24292753304Nay D Moore, GwenWI 4th0.166719509039Nay D Matsui, DorisCA 5th0.20272809833Nay D Courtney, JoeCT 2nd0.317759744658Nay D Murphy, ChristopherCT 5th0.299996043502Nay D Johnson, HankGA 4th0.225710592253Nay D Braley, BruceIA 1st0.315949717694Nay D Sarbanes, JohnMD 3rd0.292533954979Nay D Walz, TimothyMN 1st0.395563736433Nay D Ellison, KeithMN 5th0.112683821225Nay D Clarke, YvetteNY 11th0.143516510296Nay D Sutton, BettyOH 13th0.205606870263Nay D Cohen, SteveTN 9th0.184241939079Nay D Welch, PeterVT0.3067172933Nay D Richardson, LauraCA 37th0.228596209026Nay D Tsongas, NikiMA 5th0.345690756975Nay D Carson, Andr(C)IN 7th0.229985140426Nay D Speier, JackieCA 12th0.309973284862Nay D Edwards, DonnaMD 4th0.238008729735Nay D Pingree, ChellieME 1st0.30236344998Nay D Polis, JaredCO 2nd0.300875675579Nay D Schrader, KurtOR 5th0.484925757332Nay D Tonko, PaulNY 21st0.310052353216Nay D Fudge, MarciaOH 11th0.274996673979Nay D Chu, JudyCA 32nd0.289985856027Nay D Owens, WilliamNY 23rd0.520970166792Nay D Bass, KarenCA 33rd0.348490825106Nay D Carney, JohnDE0.469334081743Nay D Wilson, FredericaFL 17th0.381815796989Nay D Keating, WilliamMA 10th0.423438115379Nay D Clarke, HansenMI 13th0.38177741763Nay D Hahn, JaniceCA 36th0.366036517304Nay D Bonamici, SuzanneOR 1st0.412442770816Nay R Duncan, JohnTN 2nd0.80051752402Nay R Johnson, TimothyIL 15th0.615296982174Nay R Jones, WalterNC 3rd0.82191157095Nay R Paul, RonTX 14th0.778900789633Nay R McClintock, TomCA 4th0.811012825898Nay R Amash, JustinMI 3rd0.53278109609Nay R Gibson, ChrisNY 20th0.566782353047No Vote D Brown, CorrineFL 3rd0.236917390964No Vote D Jackson, JesseIL 2nd0.171677124977No Vote D Towns, EdNY 10th0.227838716147No Vote D Butterfield, G.K.NC 1st0.299176994641No Vote D Hirono, MazieHI 2nd0.173609641451No Vote R Herger, WallyCA 2nd0.806921585054No Vote R Ryan, PaulWI 1st0.684528527726No Vote R Young, DonAK0.697327028199No Vote R Broun, PaulGA 10th0.953309201157No Vote R Akin, ToddMO 2nd0.902757400788NotesWhere is the Speaker's vote?According to current House rules, the Speaker of the House is not required to vote in ''ordinary legislative proceedings, except when such vote would be decisive.'' In practice, this means the Speaker of the House rarely votes and only does so when it is politically useful. When the Speaker declines to vote, he or she is simply omitted from the roll call by the House Clerk.

What's the difference between aye and yea?There is no meaningful difference between aye and yea (and nay and no), but the terms are used in different sorts of votes based on Congress's long tradition of parliamentary procedure. The House and Senate follow the U.S. Constitution strictly when it says that bills should be decided on by the ''yeas and nays'' (Article I, Section 7). The House sometimes operates under a special set of rules called the ''Committee of the Whole on the State of the Union'' (or ''Committee of the Whole'' for short), which is a sort of pseudo-committee that is made up of every congressman. During this mode of operation, the House uses the terms ''aye'' and ''no'' instead. (See the Rules of the House, Rule XX, and House Practice in the section Voting.)

GOP and Feinstein join to fulfill Obama's demand for renewed warrantless eavesdropping | Glenn Greenwald

Link to Article

Fri, 28 Dec 2012 14:52

The California Democrat's disgusting rhetoric recalls the worst of Dick Cheney while advancing Obama's agenda

Democratic Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein joined with GOP Senator Saxby Chambliss (right) to extend Obama's warrantless eavesdropping powers. Photograph: J Scott Applewhite/AP

To this day, many people identify mid-2008 as the time they realized what type of politician Barack Obama actually is. Six months before, when seeking the Democratic nomination, then-Sen. Obama unambiguously vowed that he would filibuster "any bill" that retroactively immunized the telecom industry for having participated in the illegal Bush NSA warrantless eavesdropping program.

But in July 2008, once he had secured the nomination, a bill came before the Senate that did exactly that - the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 - and Obama not only failed to filibuster as promised, but far worse, he voted against the filibuster brought by other Senators, and then voted in favor of enacting the bill itself. That blatant, unblinking violation of his own clear promise - actively supporting a bill he had sworn months earlier he would block from a vote - caused a serious rift even in the middle of an election year between Obama and his own supporters.

Critically, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 did much more than shield lawbreaking telecoms from all forms of legal accountability. Jointly written by Dick Cheney and then-Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Jay Rockefeller, it also legalized vast new, sweeping and almost certainly unconstitutional forms of warrantless government eavesdropping.

In doing so, the new 2008 law gutted the 30-year-old FISA statute that had been enacted to prevent the decades of severe spying abuses discovered by the mid-1970s Church Committee: by simply barring the government from eavesdropping on the communications of Americans without first obtaining a warrant from a court. Worst of all, the 2008 law legalized most of what Democrats had spent years pretending was such a scandal: the NSA warrantless eavesdropping program secretly implemented by George Bush after the 9/11 attack. In other words, the warrantless eavesdropping "scandal" that led to a Pulitzer Prize for the New York Times reporters who revealed it ended not with investigations or prosecutions for those who illegally spied on Americans, but with the Congressional GOP joining with key Democrats (including Obama) to legalize most of what Bush and Cheney had done. Ever since, the Obama DOJ has invoked secrecy and standing doctrines to prevent any courts from ruling on whether the warrantless eavesdropping powers granted by the 2008 law violate the Constitution.

The 2008 FISA law provided that it would expire in four years unless renewed. Yesterday, the Senate debated its renewal. Several Senators - Democrats Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden of Oregon along with Kentucky GOP Senator Rand Paul - each attempted to attach amendments to the law simply to provide some modest amounts of transparency and oversight to ensure that the government's warrantless eavesdropping powers were constrained and checked from abuse.

Just consider how modest these amendments were. Along with Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, Sen. Wyden has spent two years warning Americans that the government's eavesdropping powers are being interpreted (by secret court decisions and the Executive Branch) far more broadly than they would ever suspect, and that, as a result, these eavesdropping powers are being applied far more invasively and extensively than is commonly understood.

As a result, Wyden yesterday had two amendments: one that would simply require the NSA to give a general estimate of how many Americans are having their communications intercepted under this law (information the NSA has steadfastly refused to provide), and another which would state that the NSA is barred from eavesdropping on Americans on US soil without a warrant. Merkley's amendment would compel the public release of secret judicial rulings from the FISA court which purport to interpret the scope of the eavesdropping law on the ground that "secret law is inconsistent with democratic governance"; the Obama administration has refused to release a single such opinion even though the court, "on at least one occasion", found that the government was violating the Fourth Amendment in how it was using the law to eavesdrop on Americans.

But the Obama White House opposed all amendments, demanding a "clean" renewal of the law without any oversight or transparency reforms. Earlier this month, the GOP-led House complied by passing a reform-free version of the law's renewal, and sent the bill Obama wanted to the Senate, where it was debated yesterday afternoon.

The Democratic Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, took the lead in attacking Wyden, Merkley, Udall and Paul with the most foul Cheneyite accusations, and demanded renewal of the FISA law without any reforms. And then predictably, in virtually identical 37-54 votes, Feinstein and her conservative-Democratic comrades joined with virtually the entire GOP caucus (except for three Senators: Paul, Mike Lee and Dean Heller) to reject each one of the proposed amendments and thus give Obama exactly what he demanded: reform-free renewal of the law (while a few Democratic Senators have displayed genuine, sustained commitment to these issues, most Democrats who voted against FISA renewal yesterday did so symbolically and half-heartedly, knowing and not caring that they would lose as evidenced by the lack of an attempted filibuster).

In other words, Obama successfully relied on Senate Republicans (the ones his supporters depict as the Root of All Evil) along with a dozen of the most militaristic Democrats to ensure that he can continue to eavesdrop on Americans without any warrants, transparency or real oversight. That's the standard coalition that has spent the last four years extending Bush/Cheney theories, eroding core liberties and entrenching endless militarism: Obama + the GOP caucus + Feinstein-type Democrats. As Michelle Richardson, the ACLU's legislative counsel, put it to the Huffington Post: "I bet [Bush] is laughing his ass off."

But what's most remarkable here is not so much what happened but how it happened. When Obama voted in 2008 to massively increase the government's warrantless eavesdropping powers, I so vividly recall his supporters insisting that he was only doing this because he wanted to win the election, and then would get into power and fix these abuses by reversing them. Yes, there were actually large numbers of people who believed this. And they were encouraged to believe this by Obama himself, who, in explaining his 2008 vote, said things like this:

"I know that the FISA bill that passed the House is far from perfect. I wouldn't have drafted the legislation like this, and it does not resolve all of the concerns that we have about President Bush's abuse of executive power. . . .

I do so [vote for the FISA bill] with the firm intention - once I'm sworn in as president - to have my Attorney General conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future."

Needless to say, none of that ever happened. Now, the warrantless eavesdropping bill that Obama insisted was plagued by numerous imperfections is one that he is demanding be renewed without a single change. Last week, Marcy Wheeler documented the huge gap between (a) what Obama vowed he would do when he voted for this law in 2008 versus (b) what he has actually done in power (they're opposites).

Indeed, when it came time last year to vote on renewal of the Patriot Act - remember how Democrats used to pretend during the Bush years to find the Patriot Act so alarming? - the Obama administration also demanded its renewal without a single reform. When a handful of Senators led by Rand Paul nonetheless proposed modest amendments to eliminate some of the documented abuses of the Patriot Act, Democratic majority leader Harry Reid did his best Dick Cheney impression by accusing these disobedient lawmakers of risking a Terrorist attack by delaying renewal:

"When the clock strikes midnight tomorrow, we will be giving terrorists the opportunity to plot against our country undetected. The senator from Kentucky is threatening to take away the best tools we have for stopping them.

"We all remember the tragic Fort Hood shootings less than two years ago. Radicalized American terrorists bought guns and used them to kill 13 civilians [by "civilians", Reid means: members of the US military]. It is hard to imagine why the senator would want to hold up the Patriot Act for a misguided amendment that would make American less safe."

In other words: if you even try to debate the Patriot Act or add any amendments to it, then you are helping the Terrorists: classic Dick Cheney. (Democratic Sen. Udall defended Paul from Reid's disgusting attack: "This is not a Patriot Act. Patriots stand up for the Constitution. Patriots stand up for freedom and liberty that's embodied in the Constitution. And I think true patriots, when they're public servants, public servants stand up and do what's right, even if it's unpopular").

Yesterday, I watched as Dianne Feinstein went well beyond Harry Reid's disgusting Cheneyite display. Feinstein is one of the Senate's richest plutocrats, whose husband, Richard Blum, has coincidentally been quite enriched by military and other government contracts during her Senate career. During this time, Feinstein has acted as the most faithful servant in the Senate of the National Security State's unchecked, authoritarian power.

Yesterday, Feinstein stood up on the Senate floor and began by heaping praise on her GOP comrade, Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, for leading his caucus to join her in renewing the FISA act without any reforms. She then unleashed a vile attack on her Democratic colleagues - Wyden, Merkley, and Udall, along with Paul - in which she repeatedly accused them of trying to make the nation vulnerable to a Terrorist attack.

Feinstein insisted that one could support their amendments only if "you believe that no one is going to attack us". She warned that their amendments would cause "another 9/11". She rambled about Najibullah Zazi and his attempt to detonate a bomb on the New York City subway: as though a warrant requirement, let alone disclosure requirements for the eavesdropping program, would have prevented his detection. Having learned so well from Rudy Giuliani (and Harry Reid), she basically just screamed "Terrorist!" and "9/11" over and over until her time ran out, and then proudly sat down as though she had mounted rational arguments against the transparency and oversight amendments advocated by Wyden, Merkley, Udall and Paul.

Even more notably, Feinstein repeatedly argued that requiring even basic disclosure about the eavesdropping program - such as telling Americans how many of them are targeted by it - would, as she put it, "destroy the program". But if "the program" is being conducted properly and lawfully, why would that kind of transparency kill the program? As the ACLU's Richardson noted: "That Sen. Feinstein says public oversight will lead to the end of the program says a lot about the info that's being hidden." In response to her warnings that basic oversight and transparency would destroy the program, Mother Jones' Adam Serwer similarly asked: "Why, if it's all on the up and up?"

All of this was accomplished with the core Bush/Cheney tactic used over and over: they purposely waited until days before the law is set to expire to vote on its renewal, then told anyone who wants reforms that there is no time to consider them, and that anyone who attempted debate would cause the law to expire and risk a Terrorist attack. Over and over yesterday, Feinstein stressed that only "four days remained" before the law expires and that any attempts even to debate the law, let alone amend it, would leave the nation vulnerable.

It's hard to put into words just how extreme was Feinstein's day-long fear-mongering tirade. "I've never seen a Congressional member argue so strongly against Executive Branch oversight as Sen. Feinstein did today re the FISA law," said Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations. Referring to Feinstein's alternating denials and justifications for warrantless eavesdropping on Americans, the ACLU's Jameel Jaffer observed: "This FISA debate reminds of the torture debate circa 2004: We don't torture! And anyway, we have to torture, we don't have any choice."

Jaffer added that Feinstein's strident denials that secret warrantless eavesdropping poses any dangers "almost makes you nostalgic for Ashcroft's 'phantoms of lost liberty' speech" - referring to the infamous 2001 decree from Bush's Attorney General:

"To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists for they erode our unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America's enemies and pause to America's friends."

That is exactly the foul message which Dianne Feinstein, doing the bidding of the Obama White House, spewed at her liberal Senate colleagues (and a tiny handful of Republicans) for the crime of wanting to bring some marginal transparency and oversight to the warrantless eavesdropping powers with which Obama vested himself when voting in 2008 for that FISA law. As it turns out, Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin had it exactly right in mid-2008 when explaining - in the face of lots of progressive confusion and even anger - why Obama decided to support a FISA bill that vested the executive with massive unchecked eavesdroppoing power: namely, Obama "plans to be the executive", so "from Obama's perspective, what's not to like?"

Just four or five years ago, objections to warrantless eavesdropping were a prime grievance of Democrats against Bush. The controversies that arose from it were protracted, intense, and often ugly. Progressives loved to depict themselves as stalwartly opposing right-wing radicalism in defense of Our Values and the Constitution.

Fast forward to 2012 and all of that, literally, has changed. Now it's a Democratic President demanding reform-free renewal of his warrantless eavesdropping powers. He joins with the Republican Party to codify them. A beloved Democratic Senator from a solidly blue state leads the fear-mongering campaign and Terrorist-enabling slurs against anyone who opposes it. And it now all happens with virtually no media attention or controversy because the two parties collaborate so harmoniously to make it happen. And thus does a core guarantee of the founding - the search warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment - blissfully disappear into nothingness.

Here we find yet again a defining attribute of the Obama legacy: the transformation of what was until recently a symbol of right-wing radicalism - warrantless eavesdropping - into meekly accepted bipartisan consensus. But it's not just the policies that are so transformed but the mentality and rhetoric that accompanies them: anyone who stands in the way of the US Government's demands for unaccountable, secret power is helping the Terrorists. "The administration has decided the program should be classified", decreed Feinstein, and that is that.

In 2005, the Bush White House invoked the "very bad guy" defense to assure us that we need not worry about the administration's secret warrantless eavesdropping program; as a Bush White House spokesman put it:

"This is a limited program. This is not about monitoring phone calls designed to arrange Little League practice or what to bring to a potluck dinner. These are designed to monitor calls from very bad people to very bad people who have a history of blowing up commuter trains, weddings and churches."

In 1968, Nixon Attorney General John Mitchell similarly told the public in the face of rising concerns over government eavesdropping powers that "any citizen of this United States who is not involved in some illegal activity has nothing to fear whatsoever." That is the noble tradition which the Obama White House, Dianne Feinstein and their GOP partners are continuing now.

(C) Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.


Federal Register | United States v. Apple, Inc., Hachette Book Group, Inc., HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C., Verlagsgruppe Georg Von Holtzbrinck Gmbh, Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC D/B/A Macmillan, The Penguin Group, A Division of Pearson PLC, Penguin Group (USA), Inc., and Simon & Schuster, Inc.; Proposed Final Judgment and Competitive Impact Statement

6. Apple facilitated the Publisher Defendants' collective effort to end retail price competition by coordinating their transition to an agency model across all retailers. Apple clearly understood that its participation in this scheme would result in higher prices to consumers. As Apple CEO Steve Jobs described his company's strategy for negotiating with the Publisher Defendants, "We'll go to [an] agency model, where you set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that's what you want anyway." Apple was perfectly willing to help the Publisher Defendants obtain their objective of higher prices for consumers by ending Amazon's "$9.99" price program as long as Apple was guaranteed its 30 percent margin and could avoid retail price competition from Amazon.

7. The plan--what Apple proudly described as an "aikido move"--worked. Over three days in January 2010, each Publisher Defendant entered into a functionally identical agency contract with Apple that would go into effect simultaneously in April 2010 and "chang[e] the industry permanently." These "Apple Agency Agreements" conferred on the Publisher Defendants the power to set Apple's retail prices for e-books, while granting Apple the assurance that the Publisher Defendants would raise retail e-book prices at all other e-book outlets, too. Instead of $9.99, electronic versions of bestsellers and newly released titles would be priced according to a set of price tiers contained in each of the Apple Agency Agreements that determined de facto retail e-book prices as a function of the title's hardcover list price. All bestselling and newly released titles bearing a hardcover list price between $25.01 and $35.00, for example, would be priced at $12.99, $14.99, or $16.99, with the retail e-book price increasing in relation to the hardcover list price.

New Legislation

To establish a grant program for automated external defibrillators in schools. (H.R. 6714)

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Fri, 28 Dec 2012 14:00

This page can be cited in one of these formats (click for details): APA, MLA, Wikipedia Template.

H.R. 6714--112th Congress: To establish a grant program for automated external defibrillators in schools.. (2012). In GovTrack.us (database of federal legislation). Retrieved December 28, 2012, from http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6714?utm_campaign=govtrack_feed&utm_source=govtrack/feed&utm_medium=rss

''H.R. 6714--112th Congress: To establish a grant program for automated external defibrillators in schools..'' GovTrack.us (database of federal legislation). 2012. December 28, 2012 <http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6714?utm_campaign=govtrack_feed&utm_source=govtrack/feed&utm_medium=rss>

{{cite web|url=http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6714?utm_campaign=govtrack_feed&utm_source=govtrack/feed&utm_medium=rss|title=H.R. 6714 (112th)|accessdate=December 28, 2012|author=112th Congress (2012)|date=December 27, 2012|work=Legislation|publisher=GovTrack.us|quote=To establish a grant program for automated external defibrillators in schools.}}

To authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting through the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to make grants to State and local governments to assist in preparing for and responding to mass casualty incidents, and for other

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Fri, 28 Dec 2012 13:58

This page can be cited in one of these formats (click for details): APA, MLA, Wikipedia Template.

H.R. 6715--112th Congress: To authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting through the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to make grants to State and local governments to assist in preparing for and responding to mass casualty incidents, and for other purposes.. (2012). In GovTrack.us (database of federal legislation). Retrieved December 28, 2012, from http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6715?utm_campaign=govtrack_feed&utm_source=govtrack/feed&utm_medium=rss

''H.R. 6715--112th Congress: To authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting through the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to make grants to State and local governments to assist in preparing for and responding to mass casualty incidents, and for other purposes..'' GovTrack.us (database of federal legislation). 2012. December 28, 2012 <http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6715?utm_campaign=govtrack_feed&utm_source=govtrack/feed&utm_medium=rss>

{{cite web|url=http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6715?utm_campaign=govtrack_feed&utm_source=govtrack/feed&utm_medium=rss|title=H.R. 6715 (112th)|accessdate=December 28, 2012|author=112th Congress (2012)|date=December 27, 2012|work=Legislation|publisher=GovTrack.us|quote=To authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting through the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to make grants to State and local governments to assist in preparing for and responding to mass casualty incidents, and for other purposes.}}

To require the disclosure to parents of information regarding mental illness treatment for their children under the age of 26. (H.R. 6712)

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Fri, 28 Dec 2012 13:56

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H.R. 6712--112th Congress: To require the disclosure to parents of information regarding mental illness treatment for their children under the age of 26.. (2012). In GovTrack.us (database of federal legislation). Retrieved December 28, 2012, from http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6712?utm_campaign=govtrack_feed&utm_source=govtrack/feed&utm_medium=rss

''H.R. 6712--112th Congress: To require the disclosure to parents of information regarding mental illness treatment for their children under the age of 26..'' GovTrack.us (database of federal legislation). 2012. December 28, 2012 <http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6712?utm_campaign=govtrack_feed&utm_source=govtrack/feed&utm_medium=rss>

{{cite web|url=http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6712?utm_campaign=govtrack_feed&utm_source=govtrack/feed&utm_medium=rss|title=H.R. 6712 (112th)|accessdate=December 28, 2012|author=112th Congress (2012)|date=December 27, 2012|work=Legislation|publisher=GovTrack.us|quote=To require the disclosure to parents of information regarding mental illness treatment for their children under the age of 26.}}

Federal Register | To Extend Nondiscriminatory Treatment (Normal Trade Relations Treatment) to the Products of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Moldova

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Fri, 28 Dec 2012 13:50

A Proclamation1. The Russian Federation has been found to be in full compliance with the freedom of emigration requirements under title IV of the Trade Act of 1974 (the ''1974 Act'') (19 U.S.C. 2431et seq.) since 1994. The Russian Federation acceded to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on August 22, 2012. The extension of permanent normal trade relations treatment to the products of the Russian Federation will permit the United States to avail itself of all rights under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (the ''WTO Agreement'') with respect to the Russian Federation.

2. Pursuant to section 102(a) of Public Law 112-208, I hereby determine that chapter 1 of title IV of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2431-2439) should no longer apply to the Russian Federation.

3. The Republic of Moldova has been found in full compliance with the freedom of emigration requirements under title IV of the 1974 Act since 1997. The Republic of Moldova acceded to the WTO on July 26, 2001. The extension of permanent normal trade relations treatment to the products of the Republic of Moldova will permit the United States to avail itself of all rights under the WTO Agreement with respect to the Republic of Moldova.

4. Pursuant to section 302(a) of Public Law 112-208, I hereby determine that chapter 1 of title IV of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2431-2439) should no longer apply to the Republic of Moldova.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including but not limited to sections 102(a) and 302(a) of Public Law 112-208, do proclaim that:

(1) Nondiscriminatory treatment (normal trade relations treatment) shall be extended to the products of the Russian Federation, which shall no longer be subject to chapter 1 of title IV of the 1974 Act.

(2) Nondiscriminatory treatment (normal trade relations treatment) shall be extended to the products of the Republic of Moldova, which shall no longer be subject to chapter 1 of title IV of the 1974 Act.

(3) The extension of nondiscriminatory treatment to the products of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Moldova shall be effective as of the date of this proclamation.

(4) All provisions of previous proclamations and Executive Orders that are inconsistent with the actions taken in this proclamation are superseded to the extent of such inconsistency.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

[FR Doc. 2012-31350Filed 12-26-12; 11:15 am]

Billing code 3295-F3

To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to make certain considerations when assigning chemical facilities to risk-based tiers pursuant to the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards. (H.R. 6711)

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Fri, 28 Dec 2012 13:59

This page can be cited in one of these formats (click for details): APA, MLA, Wikipedia Template.

H.R. 6711--112th Congress: To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to make certain considerations when assigning chemical facilities to risk-based tiers pursuant to the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards.. (2012). In GovTrack.us (database of federal legislation). Retrieved December 28, 2012, from http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6711?utm_campaign=govtrack_feed&utm_source=govtrack/feed&utm_medium=rss

''H.R. 6711--112th Congress: To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to make certain considerations when assigning chemical facilities to risk-based tiers pursuant to the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards..'' GovTrack.us (database of federal legislation). 2012. December 28, 2012 <http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6711?utm_campaign=govtrack_feed&utm_source=govtrack/feed&utm_medium=rss>

{{cite web|url=http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6711?utm_campaign=govtrack_feed&utm_source=govtrack/feed&utm_medium=rss|title=H.R. 6711 (112th)|accessdate=December 28, 2012|author=112th Congress (2012)|date=December 27, 2012|work=Legislation|publisher=GovTrack.us|quote=To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to make certain considerations when assigning chemical facilities to risk-based tiers pursuant to the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards.}}

Fiscal Cliff

Gillard does same

The Word Obama Needs To STOP Using So Much

President Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and so was I. My stepmom and her whole family are from there. I've always thought of the people in Hawaii as being extremely friendly. Everyone says "Aloha." Everyone lets you in when you're trying to change lanes. Everyone "Shakkas" one another.

Many people who live there also use the word "folks" instead of "people." Instead of "you guys" or "you all" (I'll get to "y'all" in a later post), they use "you folks."

This might explain why President Obama seems particularly partial to the word "folks."

"Folks" is one of the friendliest way you can say "people." But perhaps because it's so darn friendly, it also sounds flippant when discussing something as serious as gun violence.

Wes Herche | LinkedIn

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Sat, 29 Dec 2012 13:25

Lead Geospatial Intelligence OfficerNGAGovernment Agency; 10,001+ employees; Defense & Space industry

January 2008 '' Present(5 years)

I am coFounder of the DoD/IC's "Google Earth Working Group", and otherwise ruthlessly striving to keep geo innovative, useful, relevant, and fun.

Senior Geospatial AnalystBAE SystemsPublic Company; 10,001+ employees; BA.L; Defense & Space industry

September 2007 '' February 2008(6 months)

(contract position)

Geospatial Analyst/InstructorSpatial Technologies, LLC

February 2007 '' August 2007(7 months)

(contract position)

Integral in all aspects of delivering Enterprise geospatial solutions: business development, needs assessment, initiated and closed sales, designed and implemented customized business and process models, authored and conducted training, developed and captured metrics, and developed QC/QA processes.

Created and directed the Wellness Health and Fitness Program for all employees.

Public Company; 10,001+ employees; SAI; Information Technology and Services industry

September 2005 '' January 2007(1 year 5 months)

Used expertise with Photoshop and GIS software to save the company thousands of man-hours by optimizing the ''re-grid'' process and teaching co-workers.

TeacherNova Group of Japan

September 2004 '' May 2005(9 months)

(contract position)Taught written and oral English one-to-one and in small groups as part of a team teaching environment in a professional business setting.

Owner and CEOBipolar Music

May 1995 '' April 2005(10 years)

Handled worldwide sales and distribution in 23 countries, marketing, graphic design, promotion, artist management, and performance tours for the independent record labels Bipolar Records, Polarized Records, and Nowhere Music.

You people: Ordinary folks give president a primer on things ordinary folks do

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Source: Twitchy åÈ US Politics

Sat, 29 Dec 2012 01:55

A visibly frustrated President Obama addressed the press briefly tonight after meeting with the leaders of the House and Senate in fiscal cliff talks. Obama called it ''mind boggling'' that legislators hadn't been able to conclude a deal to avert the fiscal cliff, noting that ''ordinary folks, they do their job. They meet deadlines.''

Plenty of ordinary folks were watching and decided to take advantage of the spotlight the president cast on them to share some other things ordinary folks do and don't do.

You people!

Like this:Be the first to like this.

Yogi Berra - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Why are middle-class folks being hit with the AMT?-Alternative Minimum Tax: Common Questions - TurboTax¨ Tax Tips & Videos

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Sat, 29 Dec 2012 23:33

The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) was designed to keep wealthy taxpayers from using loopholes to avoid paying taxes. But because it's not automatically updated for inflation, more middle-class taxpayers are getting hit with the AMT. Congress recently enacted ?patches? that will help many middle-class taxpayers avoid the tax in 2010 and 2011... These FAQs can help you decide if you are still at risk of falling under the AMT.

AMT Concerns GrowingEach year, more and more taxpayers discover, to their dismay, that they are subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), which knocks out a lot of exemptions, deductions and credits they may have benefited from when doing their regular income taxes. Here are the answers to some common questions about the dreaded AMT, starting with information about a recent change that protects an estimated 21 million taxpayers from falling victim to the AMT when they file their 2011 returns.

How did Congress change the AMT for 2010 and 2011?As part of the 2010 Tax Relief Act, Congress revised the exemption amounts used in making AMT computations for 2010 and 2011. The AMT exemption is basically a standard deduction for taxpayers hit by the alternative minimum tax.

Without the revised exemptions, an estimated 21 million taxpayers would have fallen into the grasp of the AMT'--boosting their tax bills by an average of more than $6,000 each. As a group, the taxpayers would have paid an extra $136 billion in taxes.

The patch that was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Obama, prevents that from happening.

Under the new law, the 2010 exemption amounts are:

Single taxpayers:$47,450Married taxpayers filing jointly:$72,450Married filing separately:$36,225Head of Household:$47,450For 2011, the exemption amounts are:

Single taxpayers:$48,450Married taxpayers filing jointly:$74,450Married filing separately:$37,225Head of Household:$48,450Why does the AMT exist?In 1969, Congress noticed that 155 people with high incomes were legally using so many deductions and other tax breaks that they were paying absolutely nothing in federal income taxes. Their nonexistent tax bills were an embarrassment.

So Congress instituted the AMT with the aim of making the tax system fairer. But because the AMT was never indexed to inflation'--as the regular income tax is'--each year, more and more middle-income taxpayers are snared by a tax originally targeted at the rich.

The annual "patch" is Congress's attempt to slow down the expansion of the AMT to taxpayers to whom it was never intended to apply.

What is the Alternative Minimum Tax?The AMT is a parallel tax system that operates in the shadow of the regular tax, expanding the amount of income that is taxed by adding items that are tax-free under the regular tax system and disallowing many deductions.

To figure out whether you owe any additional tax under the Alternative Minimum Tax system, you need to fill out Form 6251.If the tax calculated on Form 6251 is higher than that calculated on your regular tax return, you have to pay the difference as AMT. It can result in you paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars in additional taxes.Why are middle-class folks being hit with the AMT?In 1987, one year after the last major overhaul of the Alternative Minimum Tax system, only one tenth of one percent of all returns had to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax.

Today, the Alternative Minimum Tax is no longer just for high-income individuals. Now, many middle-income Americans are paying the Alternative Minimum Tax or having their tax credits limited by its hidden effects.

The Treasury Department expects that more and more people will be paying the AMT over the next few years.



















In fact, in 2010, the percentage of married couples with children paying AMT was projected to be 39 percent without the recent patch.

More people will be subject to the AMT in the future largely because the AMT exemption amounts have not been indexed for inflation. Regular tax brackets and regular tax personal exemptions are indexed for inflation each year to prevent bracket creep, an automatic upward shift in the marginal income tax bracket through inflation.

More and more people will be subject to the AMT, not because they are making more money in real dollars, but just through the effects of cost-of-living adjustments in their wage income.

For each of the last few years, Congress has approved temporary patches to increase the amount of income exempt from the AMT. But these short-term solutions generally protect new taxpayers from being hit by the AMT.

The patch described above will protect as many as 21 million new taxpayers from being affected by the AMT on their 2011 returns.

Without the patch, the government estimates that as many as 80% of taxpayers with incomes between $100,000 and $200,000 would have owed the AMT on their 20010 returns.

Why would I have to pay the AMT?The simplest way to see why you are paying the AMT, or how close you came to paying it, is to look at your Form 6251 from last year.

Compare the Tentative Minimum Tax to your regular tax (Tentative Minimum Tax should be the line above your regular tax) to see how close you were to paying the AMT.Look for positive entries on lines 1-27, which indicate increases to your taxable income for AMT purposes. For instance, you have to put various items back into your income, adding such items as your standard deduction, personal exemptions, home equity mortgage interest, miscellaneous deductions such as employee business expenses, and the bargain element of any incentive stock options you exercised.

How can I escape the AMT?One of the best things that can be said about the AMT is that Congress was successful in making it difficult to get around this tax. To avoid the AMT, you need to understand how the AMT differs from the regular tax system.

We'll walk through Form 6251, line by line, looking at how the AMT handles different deductions and expenses. Wherever we see a tax-planning opportunity, we will suggest how to lessen the impact of the AMT.

Line 1: Adjusted Gross Income: If you itemize, this line is the amount shown on line 41 of your 1040, which is your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) minus your itemized deductions (some of which are added back in on the following lines). If you take the standard deduction instead, this line is solely your AGI from line 38 of your 1040, because you can't take any part of the standard deduction when calculating the AMT. So if you took the standard deduction on your regular return, it is effectively added back into your income here.

In calculating the AMT you cannot take the deductions for personal exemptions. Because the amount on line 38 or 41 of the 1040 is used as the starting point for computing the AMT, the personal exemptions (which are claimed on line 42 of the 1040) are effectively added back into your income for AMT purposes. This is one of the reasons why married couples with children are strongly affected by the AMT. If you are a married couple with three children, you lose $18,250 ($3,650 x 5) in personal exemptions under the alternative minimum tax in 2010.

Line 2: Medical Expenses: If you itemize deductions, medical deductions are only allowed to the extent that they exceed 10 percent of adjusted gross income, rather than 7.5 percent under the regular tax system.

Suggestion: If your employer has a pre-tax medical deduction plan, sign up for it. You can reduce your salary to pay your medical expenses on a pre-tax basis, which will help you reduce both the AMT and your regular tax.

Line 3: Taxes: In calculating the AMT, you cannot take itemized deductions for state and local income tax, real estate taxes and personal property taxes, even though these are deductible on your regular return.

Suggestion 1: In a year that you have to pay the AMT, don't bother prepaying real estate or fourth-quarter state estimated tax payments in December. You get no benefit from paying these taxes in a year that you are subject to the AMT.

Suggestion 2: Real estate and personal property taxes are not deductible for AMT if they are part of itemized deductions. Taxes deductible on a business schedule (Schedule C), rental schedule (Schedule E), or farm schedule (Schedule F or Form 4835) are allowed for the AMT.

Perhaps you can qualify for a home office, which would allow you to deduct part of your home real estate tax on Schedule C.If you have a farm operation and use your car in your work, you could deduct the personal property tax on the car on Schedule F.If you have vacant arable land on which you are paying real estate taxes, you could turn it into a farm rental and deduct the taxes on Form 4835.Line 4: Home Equity Interest: Home mortgage interest claimed as an itemized deduction is only deductible for the AMT if the loan was used to buy, build or improve your home. For regular tax purposes, interest on home equity mortgages up to $100,000 is deductible, even if you used the proceeds for personal purposes, such as buying a car or paying off credit card debt. So unless the home equity loan proceeds were used to improve your home, the interest is added back for AMT purposes.

Suggestion: If you are subject to the AMT, there is no advantage to using your home equity line of credit to buy a car, because the interest will not be deductible. You may be able to get a lower interest rate from a regular car loan. If the car is used in your business, you may be able to write off some of your auto loan interest as a business expense on Schedule C.

Line 5: Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions: Miscellaneous itemized deductions are not deductible for AMT purposes. Often generated by employee business expenses, these itemized deductions can save you a lot of money on your regular return. If so, when the AMT puts them back into your taxable income, you could face a big problem.

Suggestion 1: Employee business expenses (Form 2106) are incurred by employees, not self-employed individuals. These are work-related expenses not reimbursed in full by your employer. They become miscellaneous deductions on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, and can only be deducted to the extent that all miscellaneous deductions exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income. Only the excess amount can be deducted. If you are in this situation, ask your employer to start reimbursing you for your business expenses.

If your employer has a non-accountable business expense plan (explained below), encourage him or her to adopt an accountable plan.

In a non-accountable plan, your employer gives you an expense advance check and you are not required to keep records of your purchases.The advance is included in your income, and you take your expenses as miscellaneous itemized deductions.In the AMT system, you are taxed on the expense advance, but can't take a deduction for the expenses.To avoid this situation, encourage your employer to change to an accountable plan. With this plan, you turn in your receipts to your employer and you must refund any expense advance not used. Because you are not taxed on the advance and you do not take a deduction for the expenses, you avoid being hit by AMT rules.

Suggestion 2: If you have employee business expenses that your employer refuses to reimburse, and you know that these expenses are causing you to pay the AMT, consider negotiating with your employer. You may be better off by having the employer pay some of these expenses in exchange for a lower salary. Your employer will save on payroll taxes, workers' compensation insurance, and in some cases liability insurance premiums, and you will reduce your taxable income and possibly avoid the AMT altogether.

Line 6: Phaseout of Itemized Deductions: The good news is that the phase-out rules for 2011 are gone. In addition, the 2010 Tax Relief Act passed in late December extends the repeal of the phaseout rules through the end of 2012.

Line 7: State Tax Refund: If you have a taxable state tax refund on your regular tax return, it does not count as taxable income for AMT purposes because you do not receive a corresponding deduction for state taxes.

Line 8: Investment Interest: The investment interest deduction may be different for AMT purposes because it depends on whether you have taxable private activity bond interest (see line 12). If you do, you may have an additional deduction for investment interest.

Line 9: Depletion: You can calculate depletion from mining, oil, gas, timber or other similar activities for regular tax purposes using either the cost or percentage depletion method. For AMT, only the cost method is allowed.

Suggestion: If this line is generating AMT on your tax return, consider electing the cost method of depletion.

Line 10: Net Operating Loss: If you claimed a net loss operating deduction on Form 1040, enter it here as a positive number.

Line 11: Alternative Tax Net Operating Loss Deduction: This is the sum of the alternative tax net operating loss (ATNOL) carryovers and carrybacks to the tax year.

Line 12: Private Activity and Tax-Exempt Bond Interest: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act, passed in 2009, repealed the individual and corporate AMT for all tax-exempt bonds issued in 2009 and 2010. Refunding bonds which refund obligations issued after December 31, 2003 are also excluded from the AMT.

Normally, tax-exempt interest from private activity bonds is not tax-exempt for AMT purposes. A private activity bond is a state or local bond issued to provide funds for private, nongovernmental activities such as building a sports stadium, industrial development, student loan financing, or low-income housing. These bonds are often issued by states, counties or cities and are tax-exempt for regular federal tax, but not for the AMT. If you invest in mutual funds, the 1099 you get will list how much interest you received from private activity bonds. This amount is entered on Line 12 to show the income as taxable for AMT purposes.

Suggestion: If you are subject to the AMT, invest in tax-exempt bonds issued before 2009 that are not private activity bonds. Many mutual fund companies have two listings of state bond funds, one that contains private activity bonds, and one that doesn't. Read the literature carefully.

Line 13: Section 1202 Exclusion: You can exclude from your income some portion of the gain on the sale of qualified small business stock held more than five years. The gain on the sale of this stock is 50 percent excludable for regular tax purposes, but 7 percent of the excluded gain is added back for AMT purposes.

Suggestion: In the year that you sell qualified small business stock, try to eliminate or reduce as many other AMT adjustments as possible to get the maximum gain exclusion on the sale of the stock.

Line 14: Incentive Stock Options: This line is another common problem for people affected by the AMT. If you exercise an Incentive Stock Option (ISO) but do not sell the stock in the year of exercise, the transaction is not taxable that year for regular tax purposes.

However, the difference between the exercise price and the fair market value of the stock on the day of the exercise is an adjustment for AMT purposes and appears on Line 15. For many people, this adjustment can be a very large number. Essentially, you are going to be taxed on a hypothetical profit (what you might have made if you sold the stock on the day you bought it.)


You exercise Incentive Stock Options (ISOs) to purchase 100 shares of stock at $3 per share and you decide to hold the stock as a long-term investment. The stock is trading at $33 per share on the day of the exercise. Line 15 on your Form 6251 is $3000 (100 shares x ($33-$3 per share).

Your basis in this stock is now $300 ($3 x 100) for regular tax purposes, but $3300 ($33 x 100) for AMT purposes. When you later sell the stock, you will have an entry on Line 18, Disposition of Property Difference, to account for the difference in your tax basis for regular and AMT purposes.

Suggestion 1: If you exercise ISOs as in the previous example at $33 and the stock falls before the end of the current year, you can sell the stock and avoid the AMT. If the stock fell to $25 during the year of the exercise, you would be subject to regular tax on only $22 per share ($25-$3) and not be subject to the AMT adjustment at all.

Suggestion 2: When you exercise ISOs, always use tax planning software to forecast the tax consequences. You may need to sell some of the stock in the year of the exercise to pay the tax due.

Line 15: Estates or Trusts: This line contains differences between AMT and regular tax deductions from estates or trusts. Unfortunately, decisions by the administrators of the estate or trust may be beyond your control.

Line 16: Electing Large Partnerships: An entry on this line comes from a partnership in which you are a partner. Other than disposing of the investment, which would have other tax ramifications, there is probably nothing you can do about an entry on this line.

Line 17: Disposition of Property Difference: The tax basis in assets that you sold may be different for regular and AMT purposes depending on the depreciation method you chose (see Line 19), or on your incentive stock options (see Line 15).

Line 18: Post-1986 Depreciation: On this line, you enter the depreciation difference for regular and AMT purposes. For AMT purposes, you generally must depreciate (deduct) business assets over a longer period of time than you can for regular tax purposes. This creates a difference between regular tax depreciation and AMT depreciation. This is an entry that does self-correct. By the time the asset is completely written off, you have received the same deduction for both regular and AMT purposes.

Suggestion: If you have an entry on this line, consider electing a slower depreciation method for your business assets, which could eliminate the AMT adjustment.

Line 19: Passive Activities: This line contains the differences between AMT and regular tax deductions for passive activities. This line usually relates to a difference in depreciation methods for rentals, partnerships or S Corporations.

Suggestion: If the adjustment is from a rental property, consider using slower depreciation methods for regular tax purposes to eliminate an entry on this line. If the adjustment is from a partnership or S Corporation, the depreciation methods are selected at the entity level and there is probably nothing you can do.

Line 20: Loss Limitations: You may have AMT or regular tax differences due to passive investments in partnerships or S Corporations. Depending on your percentage of ownership, you may discuss with the management of these investments any items that are generating AMT on your tax return to see if the AMT impact can be lessened in future years.

Line 21: Circulation Expenditures: This line relates to the difference between how newspaper or magazine circulation expenditures are deducted under both tax systems.

Suggestion: If you have an entry on this line, consider making an election under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 59(e) to amortize these expenses over three years for regular tax purposes. This will eliminate the entry on this line for AMT purposes.

Line 22: Long-Term Contracts: Long-term construction contractors are generally required to use the percentage of completion method of accounting for long-term contract revenue, rather than the completed-contract method. This is a timing difference that will reverse in later years.

Line 23: Mining Costs: Mining exploration and development costs may also generate an AMT adjustment unless you make an IRC section 59(e) election to write-off the costs over 10 years. Making the election eliminates an entry on this line.

Line 24: Research and Experimental Expenditures: This adjustment is related to a timing difference between deducting Research and Experimental Expenditures for regular and AMT purposes. You can eliminate this line entry if you make the IRC section 59(e) election to deduct the costs over 10 years.

Line 25: Installment Sales: Installment sales of inventory items are not allowed for AMT purposes for sales entered into between August 16, 1986 and January 1, 1987. (Almost no one uses this line).

Line 26: Intangible Drilling Costs: This line relates to the difference in timing of the deductions for intangible drilling costs. You can make an election under IRC section 59(e) to write off intangible drilling costs over 60 months for regular tax purposes, and eliminate an entry on this line.

Line 27: Other Adjustments: This line relates to any other income or deduction items that are affected by AMT differences, such as taxable IRA distributions, self-employed health insurance, IRA deductions and other income-based calculations.

Having thrown so many items back into your income, you now get a small break. Your taxable income for AMT purposes is reduced by an exemption amount, which depends on your income and filing status. For 2011, the exemption amount for married couples filing jointly is $74,450 and $48,450 for individuals and heads of household. This exemption amount phases out as income increases.

Now you calculate the Tentative Minimum Tax (Line 34). You compare this figure to the tax you calculated under the regular tax system on Form 1040.

The difference is the Alternative Minimum Tax.

You pay the Tentative Minimum Tax or the regular tax, whichever is higher.

What happens to my tax credits?If the calculation on Form 6251: Alternative Minimum Tax shows that your Tentative Minimum Tax is less than your regular tax, you don't owe any AMT, but you may still be affected by the AMT in other ways.

Business creditsBecause of the AMT, you may not be receiving all of your tax credits such as the Low-Income Housing or Work Opportunity Credits.

Your Tentative Minimum Tax limits these credits and most other general business credits other than the energy credit, because these credits cannot reduce the tax you pay below the Tentative Minimum Tax.

If you have any of these credits, usually from a business entity or an investment, you should analyze Lines 2-28 of Form 6251 to see what you can do to reduce your Tentative Minimum Tax and allow more credits.Any general business credit not allowed may be carried back 2 years and carried forward 20 years.Credit for paying the AMTYou get a tax credit for Alternative Minimum Tax paid in a prior year.

This credit, calculated on Form 8801: Credit for Prior Year Minimum Tax calculates how much of the AMT was related to deferral items, which generate credit for future years, as opposed to exclusion items which are not deductible for AMT, and consequently are lost.

Certain items in Lines 2-28 of the Form 6251 are simply not deductible for AMT purposes, such as taxes, home equity mortgage interest and miscellaneous deductions. Lines 2-5, 8-10, 13 and 14 are exclusion items. If you paid AMT based on entries on these lines, you will not receive a tax credit for AMT.

Other items create timing differences, such as depreciation differences between the two tax systems, and the phantom income from exercising incentive stock options. These items will generate a credit on Form 8801 and reduce your taxes in future years.

Lines 15-28 are deferral items. An AMT credit may be generated based on the reversal of the timing difference of these items. For example, AMT depreciation methods may be slower than those for the regular tax, but you will eventually receive the same deduction. To calculate and report your AMT credit you need to fill out Form 8801: Credit for Prior Year Minimum Tax.

How can I plan ahead for the AMT?There are some things you can do to plan ahead for the Alternative Minimum Tax:

Use tax-planning software such as TurboTax during the year to minimize your overall tax liability.Study Form 6251 each time you prepare your tax return to see how close you are to paying the AMT. Evaluate how close your Tentative Minimum Tax (line 34) was to your regular tax (line 35). For information on Form 6251, see the Instructions.Check last year's return for any general business credits that are being carried forward. If there are some, they may be due to the Tentative Minimum Tax limit.If you exercise stock options during the year, see Incentive Stock Options for guidance on how the timing of the subsequent sale of stock can affect your AMT liability.

Big H

I think "Big H" is a reference to the holographic Arnold Rimmer from "Red Dwarf". If true, they are calling Harry an arshole.

Military Industrial Complex

$10B Down the Tubes: Israel's 'Iron Dome' a Fraud | American Free Press

POLAND-NEW CUSTOMER-Federal Register | Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: New Qualifying Country-Poland (DFARS Case 2012-D049)

Link to Article

Sun, 30 Dec 2012 12:12

DoD is issuing a final rule amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to add Poland as a qualifying country.

Effective Date: December 31, 2012.

Ms. Amy G. Williams, telephone 571-372-6106.

DoD is amending the DFARS to add the Republic of Poland as a qualifying country. On August 27, 2011, the U.S. Secretary of Defense signed a new reciprocal defense procurement agreement with the Polish Minister of National Defense. This agreement was placed into force on July 19, 2012. The agreement removes discriminatory barriers to procurements of supplies and services produced by industrial enterprises of the other country to the extent mutually beneficial and consistent with national laws, regulations, policies, and international obligations. The agreement does not cover construction or construction material. Poland is already a designated country under the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement.

II. Publication of This Final Rule for Public Comment Is Not Required by Statute Back to Top''Publication of proposed regulations'', 41 U.S.C. 1707, is the statute which applies to the publication of the Federal Acquisition Regulation. Paragraph (a)(1) of the statute requires that a procurement policy, regulation, procedure or form (including an amendment or modification thereof) must be published for public comment if it relates to the expenditure of appropriated funds, and has either a significant effect beyond the internal operating procedures of the agency issuing the policy, regulation, procedure or form, or has a significant cost or administrative impact on contractors or offerors. This final rule is not required to be published for public comment, because it does not constitute a significant DFARS revision within the meaning of FAR 1.501-1, does not have a significant effect beyond the internal operating procedures of DoD, and will not have a significant cost or administrative impact on contractors or offerors. Poland is added to the list of 22 other countries that have similar reciprocal defense procurement agreements with DoD.

Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not subject to review under section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

The Regulatory Flexibility Act does not apply to this rule because this final rule does not constitute a significant DFARS revision within the meaning of FAR 1.501-1 and 41 U.S.C. 1707 does not require publication for public comment.

This rule affects the certification and information collection requirements in the provisions at DFARS 252.225-7000 and 252.225-7035, currently approved under OMB Control Number 0704-0229, titled DFARS Part 225, Foreign Acquisition, and Associated Clauses, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35). The impact, however, is negligible, because it merely shifts the category under which items from Poland must be listed.

Manuel Quinones,

Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.

Therefore, 48 CFR parts 225 and 252 are amended as follows:

begin regulatory text

1.The authority citation for 48 CFR parts 225 and 252 continue to read as follows:

Authority:41 U.S.C. 1303 and 48 CFR chapter 1.

225.003 [Amended]2.Section 225.003 is amended in paragraph (10), the definition of ''qualifying country'' by adding in alphabetical order the country ''Poland''.

225.872-1 [Amended]3.Section 225.872-1 paragraph (a) is amended by adding, in alphabetical order, the country of ''Poland'' to the list of qualifying countries.

252.212-7001 [Amended]4.Section 252.212-7001 is amended as follows:

a. In the clause heading, by removing the clause date ''(NOV 2012)'' and adding ''(DEC 2012)'' in its place;

b. In paragraph (b)(6)(i), by removing the clause date ''(JUN 2012)'' and adding ''(DEC 2012)'' in its place;

c. In paragraph (b)(9) by revising the clause date to read ''(DEC 2012);

d. In paragraph (b)(12), by removing the clause date ''(NOV 2012)'' and adding ''(DEC 2012)'' in its place;

e. In paragraph (b)(13)(i), by removing the clause date ''(NOV 2012)'' and adding ''(DEC 2012)'' in its place;

f. In paragraph (b)(16)(i), by removing the clause date ''(NOV 2012)'' and adding ''(DEC 2012)'' in its place;

252.225-7001 [Amended]5.Section 252.225-7001 is amended as follows:

a. In the clause heading, by removing the clause date ''(JUN 2012)'' and adding ''(DEC 2012)'' in its place;

b. In paragraph (a), the definition of ''qualifying country'', by adding, in alphabetical order, the country of ''Poland'' to the list of qualifying countries.

252.225-7002 [Amended]6.Section 252.225-7002 is amended as follows:

a. In the clause heading, by removing the clause date ''(JUN 2012)'' and adding ''(DEC 2012)'' in its place;

b. In paragraph (a), the definition of ''qualifying country'', by adding in alphabetical order the country of ''Poland'' to the list of qualifying countries.

252.225-7012 [Amended]7.Section 252.225-7012 is amended as follows:

a. In the clause heading, by removing the clause date ''(JUN 2012)'' and adding ''(DEC 2012)'' in its place;

b. In paragraph (a), the definition of ''qualifying country'', by adding in alphabetical order the country of ''Poland'' to the list of qualifying countries.

252.225-7017 [Amended]8.Section 252.225-7017 is amended as follows:

a. In the clause heading, by removing the clause date ''(NOV 2012)'' and adding ''(DEC 2012)'' in its place;

b. In paragraph (a), the definition of ''qualifying country'', by adding in alphabetical order the country of ''Poland'' to the list of qualifying countries.

252.225-7021 [Amended]9.Section 252.225-7021 is amended as follows:

a. In the clause heading, by removing the clause date ''(NOV 2012)'' and adding ''(DEC 2012)'' in its place;

b. In paragraph (a), the definition of ''qualifying country'', by adding in alphabetical order the country of ''Poland'' to the list of qualifying countries.

252.225-7036 [Amended]10.Section 252.225-7036 is amended as follows:

a. In the clause heading, by removing the clause date ''(NOV 2012)'' and adding ''(DEC 2012)'' in its place;

b. In paragraph (a), the definition of ''qualifying country'', by adding in alphabetical order the country of ''Poland'' to the list of qualifying countries.

end regulatory text

[FR Doc. 2012-31083 Filed 12-28-12; 8:45 am]


Federal Register | 36(b)(1) Arms Sales Notification-ISRAEL_JDAMS

Link to Article

Sun, 30 Dec 2012 10:38

Ms. B. English, DSCA/DBO/CFM, (703) 601-3740.

The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittals 12-69 with attached transmittal, policy justification, and Sensitivity of Technology.

Dated: December 26, 2012.

Aaron Siegel,

Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.



Transmittal No. 12-69Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended(i) Prospective Purchaser: Israel

(ii) Total Estimated Value:

* as defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.Major Defense Equipment*$466 millionOther$181 millionTotal$647 million(iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase: 6,900 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) tail kits (which include 3,450 JDAM Anti-Jam KMU-556 (GBU-31) for MK-84 warheads; 1,725 KMU-557 (GBU-31) for BLU-109 warheads and 1,725 KMU-572 (GBU-38) for MK-82 warheads); 3,450 MK-84 2000 lb General Purpose Bombs; 1,725 MK-82 500 lb General Purpose Bombs; 1,725 BLU-109 Bombs; 3,450 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs; 11,500 FMU-139 Fuses; 11,500 FMU-143 Fuses; and 11,500 FMU-152 Fuses. Also included are spare and repair parts, support equipment, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and technical support, and other related elements of program support.

(iv) Military Department: Air Force (YAP)

(v) Prior Related Cases, if any:

FMS case YEQ-$34 million-9Feb00

FMS case YET-$22 million-9Sep02

FMS case YEV-$18.5 million-16Jul04

FMS case YEX-$18.5 million-14Jul04

FMS case AMD-$3.1 million-6Jul06

FMS case AMF-$4.4 million-18Jul06

FMS case AMG-$44.4 million-18Jul06

FMS case AMH-$3 million-25Jul06

FMS case AMI-$12 million-23Jul06

FMS case AMJ-$17.8 million-25Jul06

FMS case AMK-$5.5 million-25Jul06

FMS case AML-$4.6 million-5Oct06

FMS case AMM-$6 million-8Jul06

FMS case AMN-$59.6 million-5Oct06

FMS case AMP-$10.3 million-31Aug06

FMS case AMQ-$26.2 million-5Oct06

FMS case AMR-$0.5 million-15Sep06

FMS case AMS-$13.7 million-5Mar07

FMS case AMV-$25.4 million-20Jun07

FMS case QDQ-$0.8 million-21Jul06

(vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: None

(vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense Services Proposed to be Sold: See Attached Annex.

(viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: 14 Dec 2012

POLICY JUSTIFICATIONIsrael'--MunitionsThe Government of Israel has requested a possible sale of 6,900 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) tail kits (which include 3,450 JDAM Anti-Jam KMU-556 (GBU-31) for MK-84 warheads; 1,725 KMU-557 (GBU-31) for BLU-109 warheads and 1,725 KMU-572 (GBU-38) for MK-82 warheads); 3,450 MK-84 2000 lb General Purpose Bombs; 1,725 MK-82 500 lb General Purpose Bombs; 1,725 BLU-109 Bombs; 3,450 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs; 11,500 FMU-139 Fuses; 11,500 FMU-143 Fuses; and 11,500 FMU-152 Fuses. Also included are spare and repair parts, support equipment, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and technical support, and other related elements of program support.

The estimated cost is $647 million.

The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability. This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives.

The proposed sale of munitions will enable Israel to maintain operational capability of its existing systems. Israel, which already has these munitions in its inventory, will have no difficulty absorbing these additional munitions into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of munitions will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractors will be The Boeing Company in St. Charles, Missouri; KDI Precision Products in Cincinnati, Ohio; ATK (Alliant Tech Systems, Inc.) in Edina, Minnesota; Kaman Dayron in Orlando, Florida; General Dynamics in Garland, Texas; and Elwood National Forge Co. in Irvine, Pennsylvania. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Israel.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

Transmittal No. 12-69Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amendedAnnexItem No. vii(vii) Sensitivity of Technology1. The Joint Direct Attack Munition is a weapon guidance kit that converts existing unguided free-fall bombs into precision-guided ''smart'' munitions. By adding a new tail section containing Inertial Navigation System (INS) guidance/Global Positioning System (GPS) guidance to unguided bombs, the cost effective JDAM provides precise weapon delivery in any weather, given an accurate set of coordinates The INS, using updates from the GPS, helps guide the bomb to the target via the use of movable tail fins. Weapon accuracy is dependent on the quality of target coordinates and present position as entered into the guidance control unit. After weapon release, movable tail fins guide the weapon to the target coordinates. In addition to the tail kit, other elements in the overall system that are essential for successful employment include:

Access to accurate target coordinates

INS/GPS capability

Operational Test and Evaluation Plan

2. The Guided Bomb Unit-39 (GBU-39) Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) is a 250-lb precision guided munition that is intended to provide aircraft with the potential to simultaneously strike an increased number of targets per sortie. Aircraft are able to carry four SDBs in place of one 2,000-lb bomb. The GBU-39 is a conventional munition that is currently integrated in the F-15 air-to-ground platform. The SDB is equipped with a GPS-aided inertial navigation system to attack fixed/stationary targets such as fuel depots and bunkers.

3. If a technologically advanced adversary were to obtain knowledge of specific hardware, the information could be used to develop countermeasures which might reduce weapons system effectiveness or be used in the development of a system with similar or advanced capabilities.

[FR Doc. 2012-31429 Filed 12-28-12; 8:45 am]


Federal Register | 36(b)(1) Arms Sales Notification OMAN

Link to Article

Sun, 30 Dec 2012 10:37

Ms. B. English, DSCA/DBO/CFM, (703) 601-3740. The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 12-66 with attached transmittal, policy justification, and Sensitivity of Technology.

Dated: December 26, 2012.

Aaron Siegel,

Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.

Transmittal No. 12-66Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1)of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended(i) Prospective Purchaser: The Sultanate of Oman

(ii) Total Estimated Value:

Major Defense Equipment*$82 millionOther$35 millionTOTAL$117 million(iii) Descriptionand Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase: 27 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), 162 GBU-12 PAVEWAY II 500-lb Laser Guided Bombs, 162 FMU-152 bomb fuzes, 150 BLU-111B/B 500-lb Conical Fin General Purpose Bombs (Freefall Tail), 60 BLU-111B/B 500-lb Retarded Fin General Purpose Bombs (Ballute Tail), and 32 CBU-105 Wind Corrected Munitions Dispensers (WCMD). Also included are 20mm projectiles, Aerial Gunnery Target System (AGTS-36), training munitions, flares, chaff, containers, impulse cartridges, weapon support equipment and components, repair and return, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor representative logistics and technical support services, site survey, and other related elements of logistics support.

(iv) Military Department: Air Force (YAK)

(v) Prior Related Cases, if any:

FMS case SAB-$1,418.9M-2Dec11

FMS case SDC-$693.2M-5Jun02

FMS case YEI-$50.6M-5Jun02

FMS case QAI-$16.4M-27Feb09

FMS case YEK-$377.9M-Awaiting Acceptance

(vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: None.

(vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense Services Proposed to be Sold: See Attached Annex.

(viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: 10 December 2012.

Policy JustificationOman'--F-16 A/C Weapon SystemsThe Sultanate of Oman has requested a possible sale of 27 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), 162 GBU-12 PAVEWAY II 500-lb Laser Guided Bombs, 162 FMU-152 bomb fuzes, 150 BLU-111B/B 500-lb Conical Fin General Purpose Bombs (Freefall Tail), 60 BLU-111B/B 500-lb Retarded Fin General Purpose Bombs (Ballute Tail), and 32 CBU-105 Wind Corrected Munitions Dispensers (WCMD). Also included are 20mm projectiles, Aerial Gunnery Target System (AGTS-36), training munitions, flares, chaff, containers, impulse cartridges, weapon support equipment and components, repair and return, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor representative logistics and technical support services, site survey, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $117 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

The proposed purchase of munitions will improve Oman's capability to meet current and future regional threats and will provide a significant increase in the Royal Air Force of Oman's (RAFO) capability to support both its own air defense needs as well as those of coalition operations. This potential sale is in support of RAFO's current twelve F-16s as well as its ongoing acquisition of twelve additional F-16s. Oman should have no difficulty absorbing this additional capability into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractors will be Raytheon Company in Waltham, Massachusetts; Textron Defense Systems in Wilmington, Massachusetts; General Dynamics in Falls Church, Virginia; and McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in McAlester, Oklahoma. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require multiple trips to Oman involving many U.S. Government or contractor representatives over a period of up to or over 15 years for program and technical support and training.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

Transmittal No. 12-66Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1)of the Arms Export Control ActAnnexItem No. vii(vii) Sensitivity of Technology:

1. The AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) is a supersonic, air launched, aerial intercept, guided missile featuring digital technology and micro-miniature solid-state electronics. The missile employs active radar target tracking, proportional navigation guidance, and active Radio Frequency target detection. It can be launched day or night, in any weather and increases pilot survivability by allowing the pilot to disengage after missile launch and to engage other targets. AMRAAM capabilities include lookdown/shootdown, multiple launches against multiple targets, resistance to electronic countermeasures, and interception of high- and low-flying and maneuvering targets. AMRAAM All-Up-Round (AUR) is classified Confidential; major components and subsystems range from Unclassified to Confidential; and technical data and other documentation are classified up to Secret.

2. The GBU-12 (Paveway II) is a 500-lb laser guided bomb. It consists of a MAU-169L/B Computer Control Group and MXU-650C/B Airfoil Group that converts an existing unguided BLU-111B/B free-fall bomb into precision-guided ''smart'' bomb. The control and airfoil groups enable the dumb bomb to acquire and guide to a point designated by an on or off board laser. Precision-guided munitions offer improved accuracy over free-fall bombs, thus providing the potential for reduced collateral damage. Information revealing target designation tactics and associated aircraft maneuvers, the probability of destroying specific/peculiar targets, vulnerabilities regarding countermeasures and the electromagnetic environment is classified Secret.

3. The FMU-152 is an electrical fuze used with a variety of precision guided weapons. It enables the bombs with which it is paired to function with a number of cockpit-selectable parameters. Hardware and technical data is Unclassified.

4. The BLU-111B/B is a 500-pound, unguided, general purpose bomb that can be fitted with an array of fuzes (proximity, mechanical, electrical) and nose/tail kits (conical, retarded, and precision guided). Hardware, technical data, and other documentation may range from Unclassified to Secret depending upon the configuration of the bomb (as unguided or precision guided).

5. The CBU-105D/B Sensor Fused Weapon (SFW) is an advanced, 1,000-pound cluster bomb munition containing sensor fused sub-munitions that are designed to attack and defeat a wide range of moving or stationary land and maritime threats with minimal collateral damage. The SFW is the currently the only combat-proven, weapon that meets U.S. legal and policy requirements for cluster munition safety standards. Major components include the SUU-66 Tactical Munitions Dispenser (TMD), ten (10) BLU-108 sub-munitions, each with four (4) ''hockey puck'' shaped skeet infrared sensing projectiles for a total of forty (40) warheads. The munition, in its All-Up-Round (AUR) configuration, is Unclassified, while submunitions and technical data are classified up to Secret. Anti-tamper security measures are incorporated into the munition to prevent exploitation.

6. Common Munitions Bit/Reprogramming Equipment (CMBRE)'--CMBRE is a piece of support equipment used to interface with weapon systems to initiate Built-in-Test (BIT), report BIT results, and upload/download flight software. CMBRE supports multiple munitions platforms with a range of applications that perform preflight checks, periodic maintenance checks, loading of Operational Flight Program (OFP) data, loading of munitions mission planning data, loading of Global Positioning System (GPS) cryptographic keys, and declassification of munitions memory. CMBRE is a system that manages data and information classified up to Secret.

7. Software, hardware, and other data/information, which is classified or sensitive, is reviewed prior to release to protect system vulnerabilities, design data, and performance parameters. Some end-item hardware, software, and other data identified above are classified at the Confidential and Secret level. Potential compromise of these systems is controlled through management of the hardware and software weapon systems on a case-by-case basis.

8. If a technologically advanced adversary were to obtain knowledge of the specific hardware or software source code in this proposed sale, the information could be used to develop countermeasures which might reduce weapon system effectiveness or be used in the development of systems with similar or advance capabilities.

[FR Doc. 2012-31420 Filed 12-28-12; 8:45 am]


Follow the Pipes!

South Stream Spite: Russia's gas grip worries US senator

Link to Article

Sun, 30 Dec 2012 05:01

Source: AT

United States Senator Richard Lugar has urged the Obama administration to break Russia's energy monopoly in Europe and called on congress to lift limitations on deliveries of liquefied natural gas (LNG) deliveries to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies in Europe.

His critical report, ''Energy and Security from the Caspian to Europe'', and the proposed LNG for NATO Act came days after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the construction of the South Stream natural gas pipeline in the Russian Black Sea town of Anapa.

Senator Lugar urged the US administration to do more for European energy security by supporting the Southern Corridor from Central Asia and the Caucasus to Europe. He advised the State Department to restore the high-level position of US Envoy for Eurasian Energy Security and asked congress to place NATO allies on an equal footing with free-trade partners under US law when providing for automatic licenses for US LNG exports.

Most Central and Eastern European countries are currently dependent on Russian gas supplies from 60% to100% of their needs. The report sends a strong message to US officials regarding South Stream that energy security in Europe is vital for America's national security interests.

The South Stream launching ceremony in Anapa, attended by Putin, marked the end of the negotiations and the beginning of actual construction work. There is no doubt now that Putin's political project will be built, but serious questions remain regarding the quantities of Russian gas that would be available for transfer to Europe, Gazprom's natural gas pricing policies, and South Stream's impact on EU energy regulations.

A day before the ceremony in Anapa, Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency, also raised questions about the cost-effectiveness of the project. She told reporters that making a multi-billion dollar investment into the pipeline ''could be seen as a brave choice'', given Europe's sliding gas consumption. European gas demand has declined by 11% in 2011 and is expected to decrease further this year.

In the fall of 2012, Gazprom engaged in intensive rounds of negotiations in Southeastern Europe to put in place the pipeline agreements with all participating states. Gazprom hurried to pre-empt possible investment decisions on the Nabucco gas pipeline that would have made South Stream's future uncertain.

The EU- and US-backed Nabucco pipeline would pump gas from Central Asia and the Caucasus to Europe via Turkey and southern Europe, reducing Europe's reliance on Russian gas. The original idea has undergone modifications since Azerbaijan and Turkey agreed on June 2012 to build the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) from the Caucasus through Turkey to the Greek border.

The pipeline will then connect with Nabucco-West (a shorter version of the original project) through Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary to Austria. Senator Lugar's report is focused on this version of Nabucco, which would effectively diversify gas sources in Europe. The South Stream project does not diversify sources '' they remain entirely Russian '' it only changes routes by bypassing Ukraine and as a result enables the Kremlin to place greater political pressure on Kiev.

The South Stream pipeline was marketed in Eastern Europe as a profitable venture because the expected transfer fees for the planned 63 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year will be significant. However, Gazprom may not have such quantities of gas available since Russia's Eastern Siberia fields are not yet developed and the Western Siberian ones are becoming depleted.

Gazprom currently delivers 55 bcm of gas per year to Germany and Finland via the Nord Stream pipeline under the Baltic Sea. The South Stream pipeline may end up with much smaller quantities of gas, given that Southeastern Europe has much smaller demand. If the pipeline carries only 15 bcm of gas per year, probably diverted from Ukraine's transit network, the countries participating in the project will find it difficult to pay the loans they plan to obtain for the construction of the pipeline.

Gazprom has no new contracts for South Stream, and only Serbia has expressed desire to increase supplies to 5 bcm per year from the current 1.39 bcm.

However, Gazprom's biggest problem will be complying with EU energy regulations. One of them requires South Stream to provide full access to third-party gas in all distribution and transmission infrastructure in a competitive manner. Another, even more problematic regulation that will affect South Stream is the EU requirement for separation between transmission and production activities, or the ''unbundling'' of supply and trade. Based on this regulation, in 2011, the EU overturned Gazprom's acquisition of a 50% stake in the Central European Gas Hub in Baumgarten, Austria.

Russia wants to create a precedent with South Stream that will be used for its Nord Stream pipeline as well. Gazprom will try to avoid implementing the Third Energy Package by bending the regulations or interpreting them in a flexible manner.

In December 2011, Russia's Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov told reporters: ''South Stream does not fall under the Third Energy Package because its owner will not be Gazprom but an international consortium. That is, it will be under an independent operator. The same applies to Nord Stream, because its operator '' Nord Stream AG '' is a consortium registered in the Canton of Zug in Switzerland.'' South Stream's core shareholders include Gazprom with 50%, Italy's Eni with 20%, and Germany's Wintershall Holding and France's EDF with 15% each.

In September 2012, the Russian press reported that Gazprom would reform its European assets to meet EU requirements and avoid anti-trust claims by the European Commission. The planned change implies the creation of two subsidiaries of Gazprom to sell gas to European customers instead of the existing single entity '' Gazprom Storages & Transport and Trading GMT Holding.

The first of the holdings will reportedly embrace Gazprom Germania, gas storage and transport networks, and the second will sell gas. The plan will probably not work, because Gazprom will remain the owner of all assets and this will not satisfy the requirements of the EU's third energy package.

The risks and uncertainties of South Stream are much higher than the benefits, but the Eastern European countries seem to be determined to invest in the project nonetheless. This will leave them without funds for Nabucco. The EU, however, still has a chance to press its energy and environmental regulations and give a boost to Nabucco. US leadership in this task is critical, which makes the initiative of Senator Lugar even more important.

Margarita Assenova is a professional journalist and political analyst with over 25 years of experience in print and broadcast media, including Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty. In 1997 she was awarded the John Knight Professional Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University for her reporting on nationalism in the Balkans. She currently serves as the Course Chair (Contractor) for Southeast Central Europe Advanced Area Studies at the Foreign Service Institute of the US Department of State.

(This article first appeared in The Jamestown Foundation. Used with permission.)

Tags: 2011, Austria, Caucasus, Central Asia, EU, Europe, LNG, Nabucco, Nord Stream, report, russia, Russian Black Sea, Russian President Vladimir Putin, security, Senator Lugar, South Stream, Southern Corridor, Turkey, United States Senator Richard Lugar, us

South Stream gas pipeline

Link to Article

Source: RIA Novosti

Fri, 28 Dec 2012 15:10

A technical and economic assessment of the South Stream gas project will be ready in February 2011 and the pipeline will go into operation at the end of 2015. Russia has already signed intergovernmental agreements with Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia to implement the onshore part of the project.

Gazprom Starts Construction of Southern Corridor Section

Link to Article

Source: RIA Novosti

Fri, 28 Dec 2012 15:10

MOSCOW, December 28 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom has started construction and assembly work on the western section of the Southern Corridor gas pipeline in Russia, that will feed into the South Stream gas export pipeline, Russia's natural gas monopoly said on Friday.

The Southern Corridor system will also provide additional gas supplies to Russia's central and southern regions and help develop industries and utilities.

The system's total length will be 2,506 kilometers with annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters. The project is due to be completed in 2017.

The system encompasses eight regions of Russia: Nizhny Novgorod, Penza, Saratov, Volgograd, Voronezh and Rostov Regions; the Republic of Mordovia; and Krasnodar Territory.

The western section runs from the Pisarevka compressor station in the Voronezh Region to the Russkaya station in Krasnodar Territory, totaling 880.6 kilometers.

Russkaya will be the Southern Corridor's end point and South Stream's point of entry.

Stage 2 of the project - the Eastern Section - which also terminates at Russkaya, will run 1,625 kilometers from Pochinki (Nizhny Novgorod Region).


Haiti travel warning issued by U.S., Canadians cautioned - World

Link to Article

Sun, 30 Dec 2012 00:31

The U.S. State Department is warning against travel to Haiti because of recent reports of killings, robbery and infectious disease, and Ottawa is also urging Canadians to "exercise a high degree of caution" because of high crime rates in various parts of Haiti.

The U.S. travel advisory issued Friday says any visitors to Haiti could be at risk of being kidnapped.

The department says people arriving in Port-au-Prince from the U.S. have been attacked and robbed after leaving the airport, with at least two Americans shot and killed in 2012.

"Thousands of U.S. citizens safely visit Haiti each year, but the poor state of Haiti's emergency response network should be carefully considered when planning travel," the advisory says. "Travellers to Haiti are encouraged to use organizations that have solid infrastructure, evacuation and medical support options in place."

The department says Haitian authorities have limited capacity to deter or investigate violent acts or prosecute criminals.

"The ability of local authorities to respond to emergencies is limited and in some areas non-existent," it says.

The State Department also notes that cholera persists in many areas of Haiti and medical facilities are particularly weak.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada said in an advisory updated Dec. 21 and validated Saturday that Canadians "should exercise a high degree of caution due to high crime rates in various parts of the country and ongoing political tensions."

The department is advising against non-essential travel to the neighbourhoods of Martissant, Carrefour, Bel Air and Cit(C) Soleil in the Port-au-Prince area "as the security situation is particularly unstable and dangerous."

Sandy Hook

Drone surveillance of schools? [credit to cheap indian bastard]

Lame Cherry: Sandy Hook Shootout

Link to Article

Sun, 30 Dec 2012 13:35

I do not have interest in Sandy Hook but I do have an interest in patterns. The gunning of Gabby Giffords, the Wisconsin Sikh shooting, the Colorado Joker and Sandy Hook all form patterns. Multiple shooters, multiple victims, insane white males, and a process of interdiction from outside forces which points to historic elements of the Charles Manson familyin association with the mind control Process Church of satan for helter skelter for political ends.Bill Ayers is of these protocols using blacks to rape Jewish girls, drug initiation and sodomy. This all entails back to a pattern in the Obama regime of utilizing the MKUltra fringe in a quasi manner of the way his brain was reprogrammed over the years to keep his eyes from rolling back in his head when his brain capacity had reached maximum input.

In forensic science little of Sandy Hook matches the political propaganda. The example of the teacher who has been heralded as a "heroine" is case point. We have been informed by Connecticut authorities that a long gun was the principal weapon fired in the school. The problem is the green car of the teacher which exhibits both an exit hole and an entrance hole.The exit hole is in the area between the winshield and the passenger side door at an angle of a rifle which would be extremely hard to shoot. Preliminary examination states this is the .223 caliber. The entrance hole points to a .30 caliber larger fired at an angle . An exchange of gunfire occurred in that car. This points to a relationship between the two shooters in something beyond a mother-son feud transferred to Sandy Hook. Two shooters were noted like in all the other arenas. In this arena the designated shooter would return to grounds he was familiar with to hunt. What it appears is school had started, the teacher knew the shooter, and contact had been made via cell phone. A meeting was arranged during an emotional exchange that the teacher necessitated a meeting. For some reason there was apparently a preliminary shootout. We do not know if it was drug related but criminal elements seem to indicate something was taking place like in the Manson and la Bianca hits of helter skelter in child porn and bad drug deals.In this process programming seemed to have taken place so that once the initial triggering was enacted the ushered in results for the propaganda ensued. Reasonably in the time constraints in the timeline, the shooter could not have dispatched that many victims with multiple shots without there being two shooters. The on the record evidence of the green car teacher speaking with the shooter trims the timeline down even further. Therefore this points to a second bullet sprayer as was noted who then after completing their part capped the shooter and left the building and drove away.

The patterns indicate a process of mind generated responses for specific scenarios. There are psychiatric drugs involved, secondary controls involved, and in half the cases the original shooters being blamed are dead with the other half drugged insane or incapacitated mentally to remember what they did. In the Bill Ayers era Charlie Manson to Jesse Jackson were designated to control events to keep them from going revolution or to spark them for political maneuverings. These are engineered events and coming from a central plan. Patterns mean things and when patterns reproduce it means the same select group is implementing a protocol of the same mind paradigm. These are well staged events. There is coordination. They are moving in and moving out without leaving traces and leaving behind the evidence to point the direction that they will it to lead. The Sandy Hook long rifle for example is a .223 military caliber. The 5.56mm ingests large volumes of full metal jacket bullets from federal contractors with perhaps a lake city stamp. The pathologist in Connecticut stated in obscure terms these were hollow point fragmentary rounds to do tissue damage which are not normally used in this type of firearm but with two shooters the fragmented bullets could appear in a coverup of not close inspection to appear to be from one shooter. Firing pins and extractors can be duplicated without close examination in a microscopic level to appear from the same weapon. The pathology of this was sloppy, the forensics was sloppy, the entire process was one of lack of an examination of the evidence or bullet trajectory. That green car is a smoking gun and yet no one has examined how a shooter got into the car of a teacher which means access and how the events there led back into the school for this mass execution which Mr Obama and the liberal elite have now transformed into an exact event which was predicted in an American gunrunner. This fast and furious event at Sandy Hook repeats a pattern that Mr Obama has noted so he is well aware of the paradigm. There is more that went on at Sandy Hook than the pathology of a deranged son eliminating his mother's facial signature. We will never know no more than Bill Ayers, no more than the secrets of Charlie Manson, exactly what took place in the reasoning which triggered these people but when resurrected patterns appear from the 1960s the same group which created the protocols are back and have initiated these responses as certainly as Bill Clinton, Janet Reno, Eric Holder, the BATF, burned down Waco, blew up OKC, and shot up Ruby Ridge for political expediency.

I'm not a journalist who cares about any of this nor am I a reporter gossip. I know what I see and it's there. And while others are muddling through details thinking of things, this is pulling the skeletons out of the closet. This is Tavistock and Stanford. This is the Ultra group and their grandchildren who have found new toys to experiment with in triggering for Mr Obama his exact policy which was predicted for this push.

You have also forgotten my children about the stolen election. This was all factored in when this was initiated months ago. Yes. This was planned months ago with full knowledge.

Another Lame Cherry matter anti matter exclusive.

agtG 511


Link to Article

Sat, 29 Dec 2012 09:37

More Sandy Hook Puzzle Pieces? '' Secrets of the FedLauren Rousseau was reportedly killed in the Sandy hook shootings.

According to Lauren's mother, Lauren's 2004 Honda Civic - parked outside the school - was riddled with bullets when the authorities removed the vehicle.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/survive-war-dies-teaching-article-1.1223210#ixzz2GQJSQmoE

Lauren's car.The official story is that Lauren's car was hit by bullets shot from inside the school.

There was no record of any bullet holes in the windows of the school.Lauren Rousseau's Car Riddled With Bullet Holes In Sandy Hook ...

Was Lauren killed before she reached the school?Did she fire a bullet from inside her car?More Sandy Hook Puzzle Pieces? '' Secrets of the FedGeorge Hochsprung, the husband of Sandy Hook principal Dawn, taught Lauren Rousseau

George Hochsprung taught Lauren Rousseau when she was in fourth grade and considered her a 'family friend', relatives have revealed.

Lauren's stepfather Bill Leukhardt has a picture of Lauren taken in 1992 when she was in Mr Hochsprung's Grade Four class at Roberts Avenue Elementary School, which has since been demolished.He said: 'She was taught by George Hochsprung and they stayed close'.

George and Dawn.Edith Maxwell, as Tace Baker, has written a mystery about Quaker Linguistics professor Lauren Rousseau entitled Speaking of Murder.

Mystery in Maine | Maine Crime Writers

Lauren Rousseau decides to have sex with her best-looking student Jamal Carter.

Shortly afterward, she finds Jamal's dead body on campus. Hochsprung: when did she have time to call the local newspaper?Was Dawn Hochsprung killed before she had time to reach Sandy Hook school?Principal Dawn Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Sherlach "were killed execution-style."Astonishing-story

Sandy Hook School Principal Dawn Hochsprung told The Bee, that a masked man entered the school with a rifle and started shooting...

Shooting Reported Sandy Hook Elementary School | The Newtown

"This doesn't sound like a person who threw herself in the path of the gunman to stop him. The story as we have been hearing it is the shooter went in to the office, the principal turned on the PA system so everyone could hear what was coming down... and then she tried to stop him.

"When did she have the time to call the newspaper?

"Did she do this before the shooter came in to her office? If she did, shouldn't she have turned on the PA before making that phone call and told the teachers to lock their rooms because a shooter was on scene."

The Newtown Bee has issued a retraction of their 12/14 story quoting Sandy Hook School Principal Dawn Hochsprung.So, who was the impostor?

Dawn met George Hochsprung at Rogers Park Middle School in Danbury, Connecticut.

"It's the same school where he was working Friday."He was a good deal older when they met, but she was his superior in the school hierarchy: She was an assistant principal, and he was a seventh-grade math teacher. 'I just fell in love with her,' he said. But it took a little while for him to persuade her to marry him: 'She turned me down five times.'"Once he won her over, their wedding was influenced by their mutual love of sailing, taking place on a boat at sea near the Connecticut port of Mystic a decade ago.

"They had both been married previously, and their union brought together three daughters on his side and two on hers...

"Her decision to step out into danger when the shooting began has left her husband with some difficult emotions. 'Dawn put herself in jeopardy, and I have been angry about that,' he said.

"But that changed Sunday, he said, when he met two teachers who told him that his wife had instructed them to take shelter while she confronted Lanza."

Slain Connecticut principal's husband left with future

Allegedly, the masked shooter, unseen by anyone in the car park, walked up to the front entrance and fired at least a half dozen rounds into the glass doors. "The thunderous sound" alerted Principal Dawn Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Scherlach.The two of them mysteriously ran towards the gunman, and were killed. Sounds like nonsense.


Link to Article

Sat, 29 Dec 2012 23:54

"By grim coincidence, even as the terrible events were unfolding in Newtown on Friday morning, the Putnam County Emergency Response Team (''ERT'') happened to be assembled for regular training in Carmel, and team members were at that very moment engaged in a mock scenario of an active-shooter in a school."southeast.patch.com/articles/afternoon / The Information Underground "The ERT is comprised of specially trained and heavily armed officers from the Sheriff's Office and the Carmel and Kent Police Departments. When news broke of the Newtown shooting, the Putnam County ERT commander called Newtown Police and offered to have the ERT respond to the Sandy Hook school, but that response was not needed because Connecticut police had already secured the scene..."

Sandy Hook school custodian Kevin Anzellotti"What drew Ms Anzellotti into the behind the scenes work was her husband's part in the Wizard of Oz production last year, when he played the Wizard's head."Beastly Task Is A Thing Of Beauty For Volunteer | The Newtown Bee

The Wizard of Oz is well known for its connection to the CIA's MK ULTRA brainwashing programme.' It was reported that school custodianKevin J. Anzellottiran through the school halls warning school staff and students, and checking that all the doors were locked from the inside.School staffer Shari Thornburg said that Anzelotti was also heard yelling at a gunman inside the school to "Put the gun down! Put the gun down".

What this tells us is that Kevin Anzelotti actually saw one of the shooters and no one is interviewing him at all about what he witnessed.' It was reported that school custodian Kevin J. Anzellotti ran through the school halls warning school staff and students, and checking that all the doors were locked from the inside.

School staffer Shari Thornburg said that Anzelotti was also heard yelling at a gunman inside the school to "Put the gun down! Put the gun down".

What this tells us is that Kevin Anzelotti actually saw one of the shooters and no one is interviewing him at all about what he witnessed.Posted here: https://www.facebook.com/kevin.anzellotti

December 15 at 5:15am á Like á 2Pat Andersen Eric told me that you were on vacation thank god .....Likes - Kevin J Anzellotti | Facebook

When I'm good. I'm good, when I'm evil. I'm better

The most embarrassing pics

Crazy Drunk Moments

Shit Happens When You Are Naked

Embarrasing nightclub photos

The Social Deviants

Norwich University Corps of Cadets

The Dirty Dirty

More Research Into The Sandy Hook Victims or Actors"Did some searching on the CT Dept. of Education website, That information is below but found some interesting things on the Sandy Hook School Website: Sherlach and Soto's personal websites don't even load.

"Davino, Murphy, and Rousseau are missing from the staff list and the principal is clearly listed with no website.

(Staff at Sandy Hook School Link)

Here is there employment info from the CT State Site:



"Rachel Davino '' No Records Found

"Victoria Soto '' No Records Found

More Research Into The Sandy Hook Victims or Actors

Lauren Rousseau's Canadian-born father, Gilles Rousseau, told Radio-Canada that he wanted to see his daughter's body but was informed by authorities that it would not be possible.

Source CA Huffington-Post

Proof Sandy Hook Victims Photos Are Fake (Instagram Link)?


Dearest family and friends: Saturday afternoon I was made aware that a photo I took on August 14, 2009, of Lily on her first day of kindergarten, was found on multiple Facebook pages (8 that I know of at this time'...3:30 a.m.) devoted to the horrific events in Connecticut. Written below the photo was, ''R.I.P. to this little 6 year old angel who got killed in this horrible tragedy'' and similar captions. This photo, MY PHOTO, of MY CHILD (this sweet, beautiful, alive and well child!), was taken from my Flickr page without my knowledge or consent...- Cathy Gaubert

* Now if you go to daily mail's article here, you will that photo above of that girl Lily for a girl named Allison Wyatt'... So is it a conspiracy or just bad reporting?

Allison Wyatt - alleged victim at Sandy Hook.

Adam Lanza's Car Is Registered To Christopher Rodia: The Conspiracy Begins

A Picture With The Dead Emilie Parker? Fake Conn. Victims?

The Sandy Hook Actors

The Sandy Hook Actors Part 2

Adam Lanza left no online footprint'...

Strange Illuminati Photos of Sandy Hook Victims

Sandy Hook Mass Media Psyop: Outtakes and Bloopers

Gene Rosen's script is filled with inconsistencies

Sandy hook staff as listed on the school site, along with the appropriate credentialing date.Notice the vast majority are credentialed as of 2009 or later:

[All the credentials for therapists at Sandy Hook have the same ending date?]

http://newtown.sandyhook.schooldesk.net ... fault.aspx

The Information Underground

Office Staff Dawn Hochsprung Principal Credential: valid from 6/30/2012 to 6/29/2017 Natalie Hammond Lead Teacher 11/14/2011 to 11/13/2016 Joanne Didonato Secretary n/a Barbara Halstead Clerk n/a Julie Obre Typist n/a Sally Cox Nurse n/a Kevin Anzellotti Head Custodian n/a

Kindergarten TeachersJanet Vollmer 7/3/2009 to 7/2/2014Sue Perry 11/28/2011 to 11/27/2016

First Grade TeachersAmanda D'Amato[Cannot find Amanda...There is an Angela and an Archangela. Archangela's record is restricted]Vicky Kazlauskas 7/1/2007 to 6/30/2015Lynn Monahan 7/9/2009to 7/8/2014 Kaitlin Roig 10/12/2009 to 10/11/2017Vicki Soto 2/21/2011 to 8/31/2013

Second Grade TeachersAbbey Clements 8/19/2012to 8/18/2017Dawn Ford 7/1/2006 to 6/30/2014Beth Taverna [Can't find anything under Elizabeth or Beth, E or B; Only Anthony or Doris, both expired] Amy Taylor 3/25/2012 to 3/24/2017Carol Wexler 11/16/2005 to 11/15/2013

Third Grade TeachersTeri Alves 4/16/2007 to 4/15/2015Alison Amanzio 7/1/2007 to 6/30/2015Sally Mackenzie 5/6/2011 to 5/5/2016Courtney Martin 6/16/2012to 6/15/2017Connie Sullivan 12/28/2010 to 12/27/2015Robin Walker 2/23/2010to 2/22/2015

Fourth Grade TeachersKate Anderheggen 12/20/201112/19/2019Liesl Fressola 6/1/20115/31/2019Kathy Gramolini 3/2/20113/1/2016Carrie Usher 6/30/20116/29/2016Theodore Varga 7/15/20107/14/2013

Special Area TeachersLeslie Gunn Art 7/1/20096/30/2014Jaclyn Lloyd Gym 3/4/20113/3/2019Rosanne O'Neill Gym [Earlier Expired 8/1/1999 7/31/2004] current 4/2/2010 4/1/2015Yvonne Cech Library 4/7/20124/6/2020Nancy Duffy Library [Cannot locate; One Nancy Duffy is in the Shelton District; the other is expired.]Maryrose Kristopik Music 6/25/20126/24/2017

Specialty & Support StaffMeg Horn Reading Teacher 3/18/2008 3/17/2016Laura Feinstein Reading Teacher 8/8/2006 to 8/7/2014 Sandy Zuccarello Reading Teacher 7/6/20117/5/2016Nancy Duffy Reading Teacher [Cannot locate; One is in the Shelton District; the other is expired.] Becky Virgalla Reading Consultant has two: 7/1/2009 to 6/30/2014; 1/21/2012 to 1/20/2020Kelly MacLaren Special Education 7/1/2008 6/30/2013Laura Swanson Special Education 1/11/2010 to 1/10/2018Kerri Sommer Special Education 7/1/20106/30/2015Lola Aldrich Special Education [Listed as "Carola"] 1/19/2012 1/18/2015Connie Malgrande Speech Pathologist 10/3/2009to 10/2/2014Whitney Dunbar Speech Pathologist EXPIRED 9/29/2009to 9/28/2012Mary Sherlach School Psychologist 1/12/2013 to 1/11/2018 Kris Feda Math/Science Specialist 10/10/2011 to 10/9/2016Anne Murray Occupational Therapist 9/18/2001 to 7/31/2013 [Perhaps legislative change?]Diane Day Occupational Therapist 7/21/2003 to 7/31/2013 Gina Bradbury Physical Therapist 7/24/1998 to 7/31/2013 [All the credentials for therapists at Sandy Hook have the same ending date?]

"This is the familiar 'Joker' mode of secret societies, in which little foreshadowing clues are placed in significant places. "Michael Hoffman, author of Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare, comments on 'The Method': 'a clown-like, grinning mockery of the victim[s] as a show of power and macabre arrogance... performed in a veiled manner accompanied by certain occult signs and symbolic words..."'They brag to us about what they've gotten away with...'"

Connecticut Shooting | Applying the Trivium: Grammer, Logic, Rhetoric

Bogative PR

Skinny Jeans Cause Sexual Problems - Men's Fitness

If you prefer the Russell Brand tight jeans look, you might be putting yourself at risk of painful testicle and bladder problems, say medical experts. The fashionable denim may look good, but it can cause urinary tract infections, bladder weakness and twisted testicles. Ouch.

In a survey of 2,000 British men, conducted for the company TENA, one in 10 said they had experienced unpleasant side effects from wearing tight jeans. The company is hoping to highlight the dangers of squeezing yourself into skinny jeans.

skinny jeans dangerous - Google Search

Distration of the Season

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013) - IMDb

German magazine mistakenly publishes Bush obituary

Link to Article

Source: The Daily Star >> Live News

Sun, 30 Dec 2012 13:50

BERLIN: Germany's respected news weekly Der Spiegel has mistakenly published an obituary for former U.S. President George H.W. Bush.

The unfinished obituary appeared on Der Spiegel's website for only a few minutes Sunday before it was spotted by Internet users and removed.

In it, the magazine's New York correspondent Marc Pitzke describes Bush as "a colorless politician" whose image only improved when it was compared to the later presidency of his son, George W. Bush.

Bush was hospitalized in Houston Nov. 23 for treatment of a bronchitis-related cough. He was moved to intensive care on Dec. 23 after he developed a fever.

A family spokesman says the 88-year-old former president was moved out of intensive care into a regular hospital room again Saturday after his condition improved.

Estate taxes go up to 55% with $1mm exemption in 2013


Economy of the Central African Republic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pipelines from Sudan to the west coast?

Cameroon next?


Man gedood bij schietpartijen in Amsterdam

Link to Article

Source: VK: Home

Sun, 30 Dec 2012 00:27

Bewerkt door: redactie '' 30/12/12, 00:40 '' bron: ANP, NOS

(C) Google Streetview. Een deel van de Van Bossestraat in Amsterdam.

UPDATEIn de Staatsliedenbuurt in Amsterdam is zaterdagavond op meerdere plaatsen geschoten. Een man is gedood, een ander is zwaargewond gevonden in de Van Bossestraat. Ook twee motoragenten zijn beschoten. Dat maakte de politie bekend.

De agenten zijn beschoten op de Haarlemmerweg door de verdachten die op de vlucht waren na de schietpartijen in de stad. De verdachten zijn in westelijke richting gevlucht, de politie is naar hen op zoek.

VloeistofWaar het lijk van de doodgeschoten man is gevonden, wil de woordvoerder van de politie niet zeggen. De gewonde man is vanuit de Van Bossestraat naar het ziekenhuis gebracht. Volgens agente Andrea Prins lekken verschillende voertuigen vloeistof als gevolg van de beschietingen en liggen er op verschillende plekken hulzen. Er is geschoten met automatische wapens, meldde zij via Twitter.

Range RoverIn de buurt is een zwarte Range Rover aangetroffen met een buitenlands kenteken. De voorruit is doorzeefd met kogels.

Tegenover de NOS zegt een getuige dat een terreinwagen werd achtervolgd door een andere auto, die vervolgens tegen zijn voorligger aangereden zou zijn. De passagiers van de terreinwagen stapten uit, waarna zeker (C)(C)n van hen zou zijn neergeschoten door de achtervolgers.

Over de identiteit van de verdachten en de slachtoffers doet de politie voorlopig geen mededelingen.

Schietpartijen in AmsterdamVorige week raakten twee mannen zwaargewond door een schietpartij in Amsterdam-Osdorp. De afgelopen maanden kwamen verschillende mensen om bij schietpartijen in de hoofdstad.

Belgium Says 'No' To Scientology, Country To Prosecute Church As 'Criminal Organization'

Link to Article

Source: Radar Online

Sun, 30 Dec 2012 00:10

By Radar Staff

2012 has been a very bad year for Scientology with the latest blow being a decision by officials in Belgium to prosecute it as a "criminal organization."

After years of investigation by authorities, federal prosecutors will start legal proceedings against Scientology, which isn't recognized as a religion in Belgium.

Scientology and several of its members face charges of extortion, fraud, illegal practice of medicine, and violations of privacy legislation in the European country.

EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: Tom Cruise's Tricked Out SUV Made By Scientology Church Members

According to De Standaard, raids on Scientology offices in Belgium allegedly revealed evidence that the group had spied on and extorted money from converts. And an Associated Press report said that investigators have spent more than a decade trying to determine how far Scientology went in recruiting members after many complaints were filed with police by former Scientologists claiming they'd been the victims of intimidation and extortion.

Only about 500 people belong to Scientology in Belgium.

PHOTOS: Tom Cruise's Daddy's Day Out

Other European countries haven't been any more welcoming to the controversial church. Germany refuses to recognize Scientology as a faith, and in 2009, a French court convicted the church and six of its members of organized fraud.

The situation in Belgium follows hot on the heels of other Scientology low points in 2012.

PHOTOS: Tom Cruise & Suri Enjoy The Day At Disney

As RadarOnline.com has previously reported, an investigation ensued after three young patients died in Oklahoma at a Narconon rehab center, which uses controversial Scientology methods to get people clean and sober.

And the church's best known celebrity member, Tom Cruise was dumped by his wife Katie Holmes, who blindsided him with a divorce filing in June.


Blockbuster Scientology Lawsuit: Investigators Claim They Were Paid Millions To Spy On David Miscavige Rival

PHOTOS: Scientology Celebrity Centre Celebrates Anniversary With Famous Members

Holmes & Cruise Divorce: Katie Dumped Tom, Wanted To Step Out of His Shadow

Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes Divorce: She Will Have Primary Custody Of Suri

French Court Rejects Socialist President's 75% Tax On Millionaires'...

Link to Article

Sun, 30 Dec 2012 05:29

Barack Obama hardest hit.

(Reuters) '' France's Constitutional Council on Saturday rejected a 75 percent upper income tax rate to be introduced in 2013 in a setback to Socialist President Francois Hollande's push to make the rich contribute more to cutting the public deficit.

The Council ruled that the planned 75 percent tax on annual income above 1 million euros ($1.32 million) '' a flagship measure of Hollande's election campaign '' was unfair in the way it would be applied to different households.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the government would redraft the upper tax rate proposal to answer the Council's concerns and resubmit it in a new budget law, meaning Saturday's decision could only amount to a temporary political blow.


Portugal says to sell airport group ANA to Vinci of France

Link to Article

Source: bertb news feed

Fri, 28 Dec 2012 09:35

Passengers arrive at Lisbon's Portela airport on December 27, 2012. French civil engineering group Vinci has been selected to buy the Portuguese airport operator ANA, government spokesman Luis Marques Guedes said on Thursday, in a deal that helps meet the terms of a 2011 international financial bailout for Portugal.

AFP - French civil engineering group Vinci has been selected to buy the Portuguese airport operator ANA, government spokesman Luis Marques Guedes said on Thursday, in a deal that helps meet the terms of a 2011 international financial bailout for Portugal.

The government's decision was unveiled following a cabinet meeting, and was widely expected since Vinci had submitted the highest offer, which according to Dow Jones Newswires was 3.8 billion euros ($5.0 billion).

Three other bids had been submitted for ANA, notably one by the German group Fraport, which manages the third biggest European hub in Frankfurt.

Corporacion America, an Argentinian group, and Zurich airport manager Flughaven Zuerich, which had teamed up with the investment fund GIP and a Canadian pension fund, were the other bidders.

ANA manages 10 Portuguese airports that handled 286,000 flights and served 29.57 million passengers in 2011.

In May 2011, Portugal obtained a financial aid package worth 78 billion euros from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, in exchange for which Lisbon committed to a three-year austerity plan and reform programme that included the sale of public assets worth 5.5 billion euros.

Sales of stakes in the Portuguese electricity companies EDP and REN to investors from China and Oman have already earned 3.3 billion euros for the Portuguese government.


Whitney Houston was killed by drug dealers, investigator claims '-- RT

Link to Article

Thu, 27 Dec 2012 20:34

Whitney Houston bows after performing "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" at the 2009 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California.(Reuters / Mario Anzuoni)

A private investigator hired by a client who did not believe the official report into Whitney Houston's death claims a drug overdose wasn't the cause of the superstar's death. According to Paul Huebl, drug dealers killed the Grammy-winning singer.

Ð''I have evidence that points to Whitney being a victim of high powered drug dealers who sent thugs to collect a huge debt she owed for drugs,'' Paul Huebl told the National Enquirer.

Huebl was quoted as saying that Houston's killers have been allegedly caught on tape, referring to a pair of unknown men who showed up a number of times at the Beverly Hilton where Houston was staying.

According to media reports, the singer owed up to 1.5 million dollars to drug dealers who allegedly sent enforcers to collect the debt.

The day before her death the 48-year-old star reportedly received a cocaine delivery.

On the day she died, on the eve of the Grammy Awards, Houston was left alone in her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for only 45 minutes.

According to Huebl, that's when the killers were caught on surveillance video sneaking into her room.

The investigator also disagreed with the results of the coroner's report that stated that Houston's death was accidental.

''Whitney's body shows classic defense wounds that would have occurred while she was battling for her life,'' Huebl told the Enquirer.

The report confirmed that the singer had cocaine in her system when she drowned in her hotel room. Toxicology results also revealed that one of the world's best-selling artists had used marijuana. The autopsy findings confirmed that heart disease contributed to her death on February 11.

Although several bottles of prescription medications were found in Houston's hotel room, coroner's officials stated earlier this year that they were "not considered to be related to the actual cause of death."


Obama Issues Executive Order Granting Pay Raises to Congress, the Vice President, Judges; Any Raise is Too Much; Congress Approval Rating is 18%

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Source: Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

Sun, 30 Dec 2012 00:09

Congress has done such a beautiful job handling the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling that president Obama felt it mandatory to issue an Executive Order Giving Biden, Congress Pay Raises

President Barack Obama issued an executive order to end the pay freeze on federal employees, in effect giving some federal workers a raise. One federal worker now to receive a pay increase is Vice President Joe Biden.

According to disclosure forms, Biden made a cool $225,521 last year. After the pay increase, he'll now make $231,900 per year.

Members of Congress, from the House and Senate, also will receive a little bump, as their annual salary will go from $174,000 to 174,900. Leadership in Congress, including the speaker of the House, will likewise get an increase.

Here's the list of new wages, as attached to President Obama's executive order

"A new executive order has been issued providing for a new pay schedule beginning 'on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning after March 27, 2013,'" reports FedSmith.com. "The pay raise will generally be about 1/2 of 1%."

Congress Approval Rating is 18%The latest Gallup poll taken December 19, 2012, shows Congress Approval Remains at 18% During Fiscal Cliff Debate

Eighteen percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, as leaders continue to work toward a solution to the looming fiscal cliff. That approval rating is unchanged from last month, but remains low from a historical perspective.

Republicans' approval of Congress fell slightly to 14% from 16% in November, while Democrats' approval increased slightly to 21% from 19%. The resulting seven-point partisan gap in approval of Congress is the largest measured since June 2011, with the exception of the 16-point gap prior to the election in October of this year.

Any Raise is Too MuchI happen to think any raise is too much.

Perhaps Obama thinks 18% approval is a stunningly good achievement following the brilliant Congressional handling of fiscal cliff issues, the smooth handling of healthcare, and the always steady handing of the budget deficit and debt ceiling.

Mike "Mish" Shedlockhttp://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com

Obama Issues Executive Order Giving Pay Raise To Biden, Members Of Congress'...

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Source: Weasel Zippers

Fri, 28 Dec 2012 20:31

Must be nice.

Via Weekly Standard:

President Barack Obama issued an executive order to end the pay freeze on federal employees, in effect giving some federal workers a raise. One federal worker now to receive a pay increase is Vice President Joe Biden.

According to disclosure forms, Biden made a cool $225,521 last year. After the pay increase, he'll now make $231,900 per year.

Members of Congress, from the House and Senate, also will receive a little bump, as their annual salary will go from $174,000 to 174,900. Leadership in Congress, including the speaker of the House, will likewise get an increase.

Keep reading'...

Deport me? If America won't change its crazy gun laws... I may deport myself says Piers Morgan

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Sun, 30 Dec 2012 05:21

By Piers Morgan

PUBLISHED: 19:26 EST, 29 December 2012 | UPDATED: 19:27 EST, 29 December 2012

I have fired guns only once in my life, on a stag party to the Czech capital Prague a few years ago when part of the itinerary included a trip to an indoor shooting range. For three hours, our group were let loose on everything from Magnum 45 handguns and Glock pistols, to high-powered 'sniper' rifles and pump-action shotguns.

It was controlled, legal, safe and undeniably exciting. But it also showed me, quite demonstrably, that guns are killing machines.

Rarely has the hideous effect of a gun been more acutely laid bare than at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, two weeks ago '' when a deranged young man called Adam Lanza murdered 20 schoolchildren aged six and seven, as well as six adults, in a sickening rampage.

Speaking out: Piers Morgan angered 90,000 gun-lovers in the US when he spoke out about gun control

The Sandy Hook massacre brought back such horribly vivid memories for me of Dunblane, the worst mass shooting in Britain in my lifetime.

I was editor of the Daily Mirror on that day back in 1996 and will never forget the appalling TV footage of those poor Scottish mothers sprinting to the small primary school, many already howling with anguish at the thought of what might have happened to their five-year-old children.

It was a slaughter so senseless, so unspeakable, that it reduced even hard-bitten news reporters, including me, to tears.

And as I watched the parents at Sandy Hook racing to try to find their children, I saw the same images, the same terror, that engulfed Dunblane. And I felt the same tears welling up.

Then, 16 five-year-old children were slain in their classroom. Now, 20 six- and seven-year-olds. Beautiful young lives snuffed out before they had a chance to fulfil any of their potential. It made me so gut-wrenchingly angry.

I have four children. And I still remember the blind terror I felt when I lost my son Stanley, then aged two, for half an hour at a cricket match on a field surrounded by a small running creek. I was sure he'd drowned. But I was lucky: he finally emerged from where he'd been hiding '' big, cheeky grin intact.

Every parent has a similar story. To even try to conceive of how you would feel if your child was shot multiple times in the head by a Rambo madman at school is just impossible. I honestly don't know how you would ever carry on with life.

But my anger turned to blind rage when I saw the reaction to this hideous massacre in America.

Eager to buy: After the Sandy Hook massacre, sales of the specific weapon used, an AR-15 assault rifle (pictured) rocketed

Gun frenzy: People crowd the RK Gun Show in the Smokies in Knoxville, Tennessee on Friday, December 28, 2012. Sales of high-capacity bullet magazines have also risen

Sales of the specific weapon used, an AR-15 military-style assault rifle, rocketed at gun stores all over America in the days following the Sandy Hook shooting.

And the country's biggest gun supplier, Brownells, said it sold more high-capacity bullet magazines in three days than it normally did in three-and-a-half years.

What is behind this apparently insane behaviour? The answer is, mainly, fear.

The well-organised, richly funded, vociferous pro-gun lobby were straight out, on my CNN show and many other media outlets, declaring that the only way those schoolchildren would have survived is if their teachers had been armed. It's been their answer to every mass shooting.

After the shootings at a cinema in Aurora, Colorado, in July '' where 70 people were hit, the worst victim-count in such an incident in US history, and 12 people died '' sales of guns in the state rose by a staggering 41 per cent in the following month as people bought into the theory that if everyone in the theatre had been armed too, they'd have stopped the shooter. Can you imagine the scene as 200 people pulled out guns and started blazing away in a dark theatre?

The gun-lobby logic dictates that the only way to defend against gun criminals is for everyone else to have a gun, too. Teachers, nurses, clergymen, shop assistants, cinema usherettes '' everyone must be armed.

To me, this is a warped, twisted logic that bears no statistical analysis and makes no sense. Do you fight drug addiction with more cocaine? Alcoholism with more Jack Daniel's? Of course not.

But woe betide anyone who dares suggest this. In the days following Sandy Hook, I interviewed a number of gun-rights representatives and grew increasingly furious as they trotted out these hackneyed old disingenuous lines.

Outspoken: Morgan called gun advocate Larry Pratt 'an unbelievably stupid man' on his show last week

Finally, I erupted at one of them, a man with the unfortunate name of Larry Pratt, who runs the Gun Owners of America lobbying group.

'You,' I eventually declared, 'are an unbelievably stupid man.'

And that was the catalyst for the full wrath of the gun lobby to crash down on my British head.

A petition was created on an official White House website demanding my deportation for 'attacking the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution'. This, of course, is the one that alludes to an American's 'right to bear arms'.

The concerted effort to get me thrown out of the country '' which has so far gathered more than 90,000 signatures '' struck me as rather ironic, given that by expressing my opinion I was merely exercising my rights, as a legal US resident, under the 1st Amendment, which protects free speech.

But no matter.

This gun debate is an ongoing war of verbal attrition in America '' and I'm just the latest target, the advantage to the gun lobbyists being that I'm British, a breed of human being who burned down the White House in 1814 and had to be forcefully deported en masse, as no American will ever be allowed to forget '' Special Relationship notwithstanding.

It's no exaggeration to say that America's unique fondness for guns pretty much got cemented by hatred of us Brits and the War of Independence. But the main reason the more fervent gun-rights activists give is a fear of their own US federal government using its army to impinge on their freedom. The problem is that America's historical love of guns means the country is now awash with them '' and with gun death.

Outrage: A petition on an official White House website demanding Piers Morgan's deportation had garnered more than 40,000 signatures by Monday afternoon

The bare statistics say it all. There are 311'Åmillion people in the United States and an estimated 300'Åmillion guns in circulation. (Between four million and seven million new firearms are manufactured in the US every year.)

Take out children from the population figure, and that's comfortably more than one gun per person.

Each year, on average, 100,000 Americans are shot with a gun. Of these, over 31,000 are fatalities, 11,000 of them murders and 18,000 suicides. More than a million people have been killed with guns in America since 1968 when Dr Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated.

The US firearm murder rate is 19.5 times higher than the 22 next most populous, high-income countries in the world. And a staggering 80 per cent of firearm deaths in the combined 23 countries occur in America.

My campaign against America's gun laws didn't begin two weeks ago when Adam Lanza committed his carnage. It began a week before I went on air for CNN, in January 2011. A US Congresswoman called Gabby Giffords was shot in the head by another deranged young man at an outdoor event in Tucson, Arizona, and miraculously survived. Six others, including a nine-year-old girl, were murdered.

Hitting back: Morgan has responded to the growing petition with a series of tweets

It was a horrifying incident but, to my astonishment, nothing happened as a result. A week or so of debate and furrowed brows, and everyone went on with life.

Since then, I've watched in despair as the volume of gun-related massacres has escalated. (Six of America's 12 worst-ever mass shootings have occurred since 2007, when I first came to America to work as a judge on America's Got Talent.) And I've been shocked at how America's politicians have been cowed into a woeful, shameful virtual silence by the gun lobbyists and the all-powerful National Rifle Association in particular.

The NRA targets pro-gun-control politicians on every rung of the political system and spends a fortune ensuring they either don't get elected or get unelected. It's been a concerted, ruthless and highly successful campaign. And to those, like me, who stand up to them, they sneer: 'You don't know anything about guns. Keep quiet.'

Well, I do know a bit about guns, actually. My brother's a lieutenant colonel in the British Army and has served tours of duty in Northern Ireland, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. My sister married a colonel who trained Princes William and Harry at Sandhurst. My uncle was a major in the Green Howards.

Killer: Adam Lanza opened fire at Sandy Hook elementary school and killed 20 schoolchildren and six adults

My argument with guns is not based on some universal, pathological hatred of them. I'm not a pacifist. Guns win necessary wars and defeat tyrannical regimes like the Nazis.

Nor do I have a problem with those who use guns for hunting or for sport. I also understand, and respect, how there is an inherent national belief in America, based on their understanding of the 2nd Amendment, that everyone should be allowed to have a gun at home for the purposes of self-defence.

But where I have a big problem is when the unfortunately ambiguous wording of the 2nd Amendment is twisted to mean that anyone in America can have any firearm they want, however powerful, and in whatever quantity they want.

This has led to the absurd scenario where I can't legally buy six packets of Sudafed in an American supermarket, or a chocolate Kinder egg, or various French cheeses, because they are all deemed a health risk.

Yet I can saunter into Walmart '' America's version of Tesco '' and help myself to an armful of AR-15 assault rifles and magazines that can carry up to 100 bullets at a time.

Tragic: Traumatized students were seen being led out of the school crying and holding hands after the massacre

The families of victims grieve near Sandy Hook Elementary School. Piers Morgan felt deeply affected by the tragedy

That weapon has now been used in the last four mass shootings in America '' at the Aurora cinema, a shopping mall in Oregon, Sandy Hook school, and the most recent, a dreadful attack on firemen in New York.

The AR-15 looks and behaves like a military weapon and should be confined to the military and police force. No member of the public has any need for a death machine that can fire up to six rounds a second when modified and can clear a 100-bullet magazine (as used in Aurora) within a minute.

The only apparent reason anyone seems to offer up is that using such weapons is 'fun'. One gun-rights guy I interviewed last week even said admiringly that the AR-15 was 'the Ferrari of guns'.

Well, I'm sorry, but 'fun' is just not a good enough excuse any more. Not when children are being killed by gunfire all over America.

President Obama seems to agree it's time for action. After four years of doing precisely nothing about gun control in America, he finally snapped after Sandy Hook and said he's keen to pursue a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. And he wants a closure of the absurd loopholes that mean 40 per cent of all gun sales in America currently have no background checks whatsoever '' meaning any crackpot or criminal can get their hands on whatever they want.

These measures, which will be resisted every step of the way, won't stop all gun crime. Nor all mass shootings. There are too many guns out there, and too many criminals and mentally deranged people keen to use them. But the measures will at least make a start. And they will signal an intent to tackle this deadly scourge on American life.

After the shootings at a cinema in Aurora (pictured) , sales of guns rose by 41 per cent

Obama should follow up by launching a Government buy-back for all existing assault weapons in circulation (as worked successfully in Los Angeles last week). I would go further, confiscating the rest and enforcing tough prison sentences on those who still insist on keeping one.

Either you ban these assault weapons completely, and really mean it, or you don't.

He should also significantly increase federal funding for mental health treatment for all Americans who need it. It's the lethal cocktail of mental instability and ready gun availability that is the key component in almost every American mass shooting.

Nor do I think Hollywood or makers of violent video games should avoid any responsibility '' their graphic images can surely only twist an already twisted mind.

I will not stop in my own efforts to keep the gun-control debate firmly in people's minds, however much abuse I'm subjected to.

And let me say that for every American who has attacked me on Twitter, Facebook or Fox News this past week, I've had many more thank me and encourage me to continue speaking out '' including one lady who came up to me in Manhattan just before Christmas, grabbed my arm, and said firmly: 'I'm with you. A lot of us are with you.'

I genuinely think Sandy Hook will act as a tipping point. A Gallup poll released on Thursday showed that 58 per cent of Americans now support new gun-control laws, up from 43 per cent in 2011. That's a big jump.

President Obama wept as he spoke of the mindless shooting. He seems to agree it's time for action over gun control

The 'more guns, less crime' argument is utter nonsense. Britain, after Dunblane, introduced some of the toughest gun laws in Europe, and we average just 35 gun murders a year.

Japan, which has the toughest gun control in the world, had just TWO in 2006 and averages fewer than 20 a year. In Australia, they've not had a mass shooting since stringent new laws were brought in after 35 people were murdered in the country's worst-ever mass shooting in Tasmania in 1996. Fewer guns equals less gun murder. This is not a 'pinko liberal' hypothesis. It's a simple fact.

In conclusion, I can spare those Americans who want me deported a lot of effort by saying this: If you don't change your gun laws to at least try to stop this relentless tidal wave of murderous carnage, then you don't have to worry about deporting me.

Although I love the country as a second home and one that has treated me incredibly well, I would, as a concerned parent first '' and latterly, of a one-year-old daughter who may attend an American elementary school like Sandy Hook in three years' time '' seriously consider deporting myself.

Drone Nation

Suspected US Drone Kills 3 Al-Qaida Men in Yemen

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Source: Stuff Ain't Right åÈ Uncategorized

Sun, 30 Dec 2012 00:05

~~And we KNOW they were terrorists cuz they were'...uh'...well'....um'...They just were!! OK?!!~~

Three al-Qaida militants were killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike in southern Yemen, Yemeni security officials said, the fourth such attack this week and a sign attacks from unmanned aircraft are on the upswing in the country.

The officials said the three men were hit as they were riding in a Land Cruiser in el-Manaseh village on the outskirts of Radda in Bayda province. Dozens of local al-Qaida-linked fighters protested the drone strikes after traditional Islamic Friday prayers.

Earlier this week another suspected U.S. drone strike killed two militants in Radda itself, Yemeni security officials say, and seven were killed in two other strikes in the southeastern province of Hadramawt. Four suspected drone strikes a week is uncommon in Yemen.

According to statistics gathered by the Long War Journal before Saturday's attacks, the United States ''is known to have carried out 41 airstrikes'' this year against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), as the group's branch in Yemen is known. That makes for an average of around three to four strikes per month.

The Journal, a product of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies that was founded by former U.S. officials, says that since December 2009, the CIA and the US military's Joint Special Operations Command are known to have conducted at least 54 air and missile strikes inside Yemen, excluding Saturday's suspected attack.

AQAP overran entire towns and villages '-- including Radda '-- last year by taking advantage of a security lapse during nationwide protests that eventually ousted the country's longtime ruler. Backed by the U.S. military, Yemen's army was able to regain control of the southern region but al-Qaida militants continue to launch deadly attacks on security forces that have killed hundreds.

Also on Saturday, two gunmen on a motorbike shot and killed an intelligence officer in the southeast, security officials said. They said that the officer, Mutea Baqutian, was on his way to work in Mukalla, capital of Hadramawt province, when the men stopped his car, gunned him down, and fled.

The government has blamed al-Qaida militants for similar assassinations of several senior military and intelligence officials this year. The bullet-riddled body of Major al-Numeiry Abdo al-Oudi, deputy director of the security department of al-Qitten in Hadramawt, was found in the town's suburbs last week. He had been kidnapped earlier in the month.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity according to regulations.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Ahmed Seif, who is commander of Yemen's central military region, said the Defense Ministry has deployed an infantry brigade in the northeastern province of Marib to stop armed tribesmen who maintain cordial ties with al-Qaida from attacking oil pipelines and power generating stations, as well as to counter al-Qaida militants.

State TV meanwhile aired a meeting between President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and eight Yemeni sailors who were rescued last week by forces of Somalia's semiautonomous Puntland region after being held for nearly three years by Somali pirates.

The Puntland government says that its forces captured the hijacked Panama-flagged MV Iceberg 1 on Sunday after a siege that lasted two weeks. They freed the eight Yemeni sailors together with five Indians, two Pakistanis, four Ghanaians, two Sudanese and a Filipino. The ship was hijacked March 29, 2010.

Hadi congratulated the eight sailors for their safety and ordered the government to compensate them for their suffering.

Eqbal Yassin, a relative of one of the freed sailors, told The Associated Press that the hijackers had allowed some sailors to phone their relatives and convey the pirates' demand for $5 million ransom. He said he was told by his relative that the hijackers killed a Yemeni sailor who tried to escape. He gave no further details.

via Suspected US Drone Kills 3 Al-Qaida Men in Yemen '' ABC News.

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CIA Drone Airstrike Kills Five Jihadis In Pakistan'...

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Source: Weasel Zippers

Fri, 28 Dec 2012 20:35


Via LWJ:

The US launched another drone strike in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan today. Five ''militants'' are said to have been killed in the latest strike in an area known to serve as a launchpad to conduct attacks against US forces in Afghanistan.

The remotely piloted Predators or the more advanced Reapers fired two missiles at a compound in the village of Gurbaz in the Shawal Valley in North Waziristan, according to Dawn. Pakistani officials said that 5 ''militants'' were killed after the missiles slammed into the compound. No civilians are reported to have been killed.

The exact target of the strike has not been disclosed. No senior al Qaeda or allied jihadist commanders from foreign terrorist groups are reported to have been killed in the strike.

Today's strike is the first by the US in Pakistan in seven days. The last such attack took place on Dec. 21 in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan. Several ''foreigners'' were reported to have been killed however their identities have not been disclosed.

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Ministry of Truth

YouTube wipes billions of video views after finding they had been 'faked by the music industry' KONY2012???

Cape Cod Paper Apologizes for Reporter's Misdeeds

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Source: NYT > Home Page

Sat, 29 Dec 2012 01:48

HYANNIS, Mass. '-- When an editor at The Cape Cod Times was reading the newspaper last month, she thought an article about the Veterans Day parade from the day before seemed slightly off.

The article, written by Karen Jeffrey, a longtime reporter, told of a Ronald Chipman, 46, and his family from Boston. The Chipmans apparently were oblivious to Veterans Day until they saw the parade. Ms. Jeffrey described the family in detail, including a scene in which the parents used their smartphones to find information about the holiday, creating a ''teachable moment'' for themselves and their children.

Maybe it was the tidiness of the tale. Or the notion that adults were unfamiliar with Veterans Day. But the article did not ring true to the editor and she set out to find the Chipmans. She searched several databases but turned up nothing. She reported her finding to the editor in chief, Paul Pronovost.

Mr. Pronovost asked the editor '-- whom he would not name to protect her privacy '-- to check other recent articles by Ms. Jeffrey. After more people in the articles could not be found, he then asked Ms. Jeffrey for help in locating the Chipmans. Ms. Jeffrey said she had thrown out her notes.

''That's when the alarm bells went off,'' Mr. Pronovost said. He ordered a full review of her work. For three days, three editors pored over a public-records database called Accurint. They examined voter rolls and town assessor records. They checked Facebook profiles and made phone calls. And they concluded that, over the years, Ms. Jeffrey had written dozens of articles that included people who did not exist.

The next day, Dec. 5, Mr. Pronovost and the publisher, Peter Meyer, wrote a front-page apology to their readers.

''In an audit of her work, Times editors have been unable to find 69 people in 34 stories since 1998, when we began archiving stories electronically,'' they wrote.

''Jeffrey admitted to fabricating people in some of these articles and giving some others false names,'' they added. ''She no longer works at the paper.''

The episode shocked those at The Cape Cod Times, which has a daily circulation of 36,000 and Sunday circulation of almost 40,000.

Before the apology appeared, Mr. Pronovost told newsroom staff members what had happened. ''Some people had no idea at all, and some probably were shocked by the scope of what we were talking about,'' he said in a recent interview in his office here. And some ''just simply couldn't believe'' that Ms. Jeffrey would do such a thing.

Ms. Jeffrey, 59, who had been at the paper since 1981, was perceived as reliable. She had covered the police and courts for many years, and there were no questions raised about the people in those stories. It was only her features '-- about parades, a Red Sox home opener, a road race '-- that contained fabrications.

Ms. Jeffrey has not made any public statements and did not respond to several requests for comment. Mr. Pronovost said, ''I did ask 'why' but she didn't have an answer.''

Her falsifications puzzled some precisely because they involved the easy articles.

''You go to the parade, you get a quote, you put it in the story,'' said Matt Pitta, the news director at Qantum Communications, which owns four radio stations in Hyannis and competes with The Cape Cod Times, which is owned by News Corporation. ''It's not like trying to get a quote from an indicted politician who won't speak to you.''

Many people also wondered how her fabrications could have gone on for 14 years without being discovered. Of course, nonexistent people do not call up to complain. But Mr. Pronovost said that her editors saw no red flags.

Among those most surprised were the law enforcement officers who worked with Ms. Jeffrey.

''She was always fair and accurate,'' said Sheriff James M. Cummings of Barnstable County, which includes Cape Cod. Learning that she had fabricated stories, he said, was ''like a punch in the gut.''

Detective Lt. Bob Melia of the Massachusetts State Police said that Ms. Jeffrey was a good reporter. ''She reported it like it is,'' he said. ''If we asked her, 'Can you keep that information out?' she would say, 'No, I can't, it has to be part of the story.' We respected her.''

In 2002, CBO predicted 2012 US debt would be 7.4% of GDP. In reality, it was almost 74% of GDP | AEIdeas

Link to Article

Sat, 29 Dec 2012 23:59

Making economic and budget predictions is hard, especially when wars, recessions, and financial crises pop up unexpectedly. Here's the Congressional Budget Office's ten-year budget forecast from 2002 (note that this was after the Bush tax cuts were passed):

And here's what actually happened:

Instead of publicly-held debt as a share of GDP being a microscopic 7.4% this year, it was closer to 74% '' or 72.8% to be specific (as of the August update from the CBO.)

In 2007 '-- the Great Recession is officially dated as starting in December of that year '-- the debt-GDP ratio was 37%. So a doubling of debt due to the Great Slump '-- the recession and its slow-growth aftermath.


Dutch Blog Suggests Link Between Joris Demmink And Marc Dutroux Has Recently Been Arrested In UK: Warwick Spinks

Link to Article

Sat, 29 Dec 2012 19:30

Within their own jurisdictions, there are now specialist paedophilia detectives '' for example, in both London and Amsterdam '' who will work relentlessly to lock up predatory child abusers. But when they try to move abroad, this potentially powerful machine starts to misfire.

Dutch blog Klokkenluideronline.net suggests that Warwick Spincks would be the connection between alleged pedophile Joris Demmink and known pedophile Marc Dutroux. Warwick Spinks was arrested in the United Kingdom last month.

What are the ties between him and other (alleged) pedophiles? What do we know about Warwick Spinks?

1. Comment on 27th November 2011: In July 1998, Marcel Vervloesem and his Morkhoven Workgroup (Werkgroep Morkhoven), a private anti-child pornography group, made international headlines after having obtained thousands of pictures from an internet-based, sadistic, child pornography network, ran from an apartment in Zandvoort (a town near Amsterdam). They also acquired a list of clients and associates of this network, which turned out to include the earlier-mentioned Warwick Spinks. Because the children who appeared in these pictures came from all over the world, international police agencies were very interested and managed to identify several dozen victims. It was mainly the Dutch and Belgian authorities who failed to do their job, and when one reads that there are links to the British- Amsterdam paedophile ring, a person who probably procured children for high level officials, an anonymous ''contact'' of the Dutch royal family, and one of the girls named by X1, things suddenly begin to make sense again.

2. Report on 16th November 2012: Warwick Spinks was arrested at Heathrow Airport on Thursday after he was tracked down by officers from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop). The 48-year-old was convicted in 1995 of a series of sexual offences against boys, including serious sexual assault at knifepoint, taking a child without lawful authority and taking indecent images of children. He was jailed for seven years but this was reduced to a five-year term on appeal. Spinks went missing in 1997 while released on licence and fled the UK. He used various aliases while on the run, including Willem Van Wijk and William Spinks.

3. Comments on 17th October 2009: ''Warwick Spinks broke his parole agreement by fleeing the UK, and this is why he is wanted by the authorities there. There is no international warrant for his arrest concerning the kidnapping of a child. Yes, he is very talented at languages (he speaks 5 fluently) and he does tend to change appearance, going through cycles of putting on and losing weight. Marcel Vervloesem himself told me that Spinks was working at the Pinnochio Bar in Prague (a bar allegedly frequented by Joris Demmink), but that was 5 years ago. Since then he seems to have disappeared from the radar.''

4. 10th September 2012: Panorama journalist Fred de Brouwer and Gay Krant editor Henk Krol claims to have collected dozens of statements that Joris Demmink also frequented the Anne Frank parking facilities for sex. They also found witnesses who claim that Demmink was a 'good client' of a boy's brothel in the Czech capital Prague. ('...) Panorama journalist Fred de Brouwer can still get worked up about this turn: ,,I knew nothing about this. We were in Prague ourselves, where the fixed driver and the owner of boy's brothel Pinocchio recognised Demmink from a photo. 'That is a very good customer of Pinocchio,' they informed us. I will still risk it all for these sources. My chief editor informed me that he was pressured immensely to withdraw this story.''

4. 16th February 2010: Dutch blog Klokkenluideronline.net alleges that Joris Demmink's lawyer Harro Knijff (law firm De Brauw, Blackstone, Westbroek) had his firm create a legal entity '' a private limited liability company' called 'Pinokkio'.

5. Comments on 16th October 2009: ''According to the droitfondamental link Warwick Spinks fled out of England during parole and has now multinational child trade companies and lives undercover in the Czech republic: Warwick Spinks left Holland for England and lived in Hastings, when he was finally charged for abducting and raping two street boys from London and selling one of them to a Dutch brothel. He was jailed for five years and as freed on parole, he flew away, presumably helped by the Dutch mafia, which still won't refuse him anything. In 2004, Warwick Spinks is an extremely rich man. He had build ''businesses'' and bought properties in South Africa, Namibia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland, France and England. An international warrant for his arrest was set in the framework of the kidnapping of a 4 years old child. He lives in Czech Republic, in one of his numerous properties, earned with child trafficking. He changes appearances, sometimes skinny, sometimes fat, and thanks to his language facilities, melts in the picture.''

6. Comments on 13th October 2009: He (Spinks) was 25 when he earned enough money to buy the Gay Palace of Amsterdam. As from 1990, he was selling videos, presumably snuff movies, as they would cost 6,000 euros each. His friends Norbert De Rijck and De Souza were running the Temse network (Belgium-Holland-Portugal), with organized holidays including filmed child abuse in Madeira. Warwick was then paying trips to Robert Van Der Naeten, who would smuggle children from Madeira to the Dutch brothels, but he was not sentenced, oppositely as the three others. As Marcel Vervloesem brought the Zandvoort (case) to the Belgian, French and Dutch justices, Warwick and his friend Edward were arrested in Hoofddorp, in the framework on an inquiry concerning filmed rapes, tortures and murders of at least 5 children. He was then suspected to have a part in the Manuel Schadwald case, because he was of the band he had contact with the Stasi, employer of the missing child's father step: Wolf who himself now owes a sadomasochist club in Berlin. He also was close to Lothar Glandorf, another of those high rank criminals and in whose brothel Manuel was seen. Furthermore, Spinks will talk of a boy murdered in a Dutch snuff movie who, according to his friend Franck, was nicked named ''Manny'' and fitted the description of Manuel.

7. Comments on 15th October 2009: '' What is interesting is that the letter, addressed to Interpol, not only discusses the CD, but also correspondence that allegedly took place between Osterwalder and Spinks. These allegations, made by Bernard concerning Osterwald and Spinks, are little known, which is why I draw attention to them here. Returning to a possible Demmink/Dutroux connection, it is certainly correct that no serious efforts were made to find out what Dutroux got up to, during his regular visits to The Netherlands. As far as I am aware, three witnesses link Dutroux directly to the red-light district in Amsterdam.''

8. The Guardian, October 2000: Across the road at number 44, another British paedophile, a chubby Londoner named Warwick Spinks, then aged 25, was running a similar club called the Gay Palace. Both clubs had a perfectly legal business, running a bar and offering the services of adult male prostitutes who could take customers upstairs to bedrooms. But Williams and Spinks had much wider and crueller interests. ('...) Spinks, who has described himself as ''an international slut'', had been running a mail-order pornography business from Brighton, East Sussex, before he moved to Amsterdam, where he pioneered the trafficking of boys as young as ten years old into the city's sex industry. He brought homeless boys from the streets of London and, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, fanned out across Europe importing vulnerable 'chicken', as he liked to call them, from the poverty of East Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Having got them to Amsterdam, he used them himself, sold them into the brothels or through escort agencies and put them in front of the camera. Some resisted, some ran away '' most were made to comply with the removal of their passports and regular doses of drugs and violence. ('...) One man, who was close to Alan Williams, said he had seen Warwick Spinks selling a special video for £4,000. It showed a boy whom he thought was only eight or nine years old being sexually abused and tortured by two men. ('...) Frank told police of Warwick Spinks' monthly trips to Berlin, often accompanied by compliant boys from Amsterdam who would persuade reluctant recruits that the clubs in Spuistraat would give them a good life with all the cash and drugs they could use. Spinks told Frank that if he saw a boy who was really cute, he would simply snatch him: ''Spinks liked to pay them in drugs, coke and E and speed or even smack. He said it would help him if they got hooked.'' ('...) Spinks invited him to come on a trip to the Canaries, delivering three kilos of grass to an old English gangster who had retired there. Frank went and that evening, in the gangster's bar, Spinks had suggested he should help him sell videos and offered to show him a sample. Frank said he watched in growing horror as the video played out a murder '' a boy who seemed to be no older than twelve years old was being beaten and attacked with needles, before being castrated and cut open with a knife. The video seemed to have been shot in a barn in what looked like Dutch countryside, and detectives later learned that Williams and his friends had been talking about making a video in a barn that belonged to a German from one of the Spuistraat clubs. ('...) After long negotiations within Scotland Yard and with their counterparts in Holland, the detectives set up Operation Framework and, as the Guardian reported in 1997, they recruited a specialist undercover officer to pose as a child abuser and to befriend Warwick Spinks in England. Over a series of meetings, Spinks took the bate and started to boast about his activities: ''I am good at picking up stray chickens'... I have been all over the world, I'm an international slut.'' He described how he picked up boys in Dresden, in Bratislava in the Czech Republic, and in Poland where, he claimed, they cost only ten pence. ''All those chickens with no money, '' he chuckled. In London, he said he was particularly keen on the hamburger bars around Picadilly Circus. And he was full of excitement about Hastings. ''The chickens down the coast are very bored, they have got no money, they are not streetwise like Londoners and they spend all of their time in arcades'... '' The undercover officer asked Spinks if he could get him a sado-masochistic video featuring boys as young as ten, and Spinks replied that he knew people in Amsterdam who could. The officer went on to claim that some friends of his had been offered a snuff movie, in which someone was tortured to death, for £6,000. Spinks spoke with the voice of an expert. ''They're not six grand,'' he said. ''I know, well I knew some people who were involved in making snuff movies and how they did it was, they only sold them in limited editions, made ten copies or something, ten very rich customers in America, who paid $5,000 each or something like that '' which is a lot of money to watch some kids being snuffed. I mean, I steer a wide berth from those people. I know somebody who was in a snuff movie and somebody got snuffed in front of him and he never knew it was a snuff movie. They had tied him up and done terrible things to him and killed him.'' ('...) But the allegation of murder would not go away. As The Guardian reported in 1997, another gay man, Edward, a friend of Frank's, spoke of his experience of the British paedophiles in Amsterdam. He, too, had mixed with Spinks and Williams and their friends and he claimed to have seen five videos, each featuring the sexual torture and death of a boy. He said their bodies had been dumped in a lake. The Dutch police investigated and said they could no find no evidence to support the claims. Now, the Bristol detectives have come up with their own informant who has offered yet more evidence. He, too, described the same cauldron of commercialised child abuse, bubbling around Spuistraat. He explained how John Gay and Lee Tucker set themselves up as video pornographers, first taking a group of boys by minivan to an isolated farmhouse in France, and then making visits to Amsterdam to film with the boys there. And he told how, in 1989, he had been alone in a flat which belonged to one of the key figures in the Amsterdam paedophile scene, whom he named; he had found a video and played it and watched in horror as it played out a murder '' a boy who was being buggered and beaten before being castrated and cut open with a knife. ('...) Frank and the Bristol informant were certainly involved with the paedophile colony in Amsterdam. So, too, were Spinks and Edward. All four of them were there in 1989/90 and all four separately claim that at least one boy was killed on video. Spinks told the undercover officer that a German boy was killed; Frank says that two Germans disappeared as well as an American; Franks says that Spinks once hinted to him that a German boy named Manny had been murdered; one of the English boys told Operation Framework that a German boy named Manny had gone missing; we have confirmed from talking to boys who worked in Spuistraat at that time that a boy of that name and nationality, then aged 14, disappeared after being caught breaking into a gaming machine at one of the clubs. ('...) As Spinks told the undercover officer: ''I know I'm a fat old queen, but I get away with it. I get away with murder.'' ('...) Warwick Spinks absconded from a London probation hostel before the end of his five-year sentence, ripped off several credit card companies on a spending spree in the boy bars in Fuggerstrasse in Berlin before settling in Prague. Some of the other key figures from Holland have joined him there, apparently drawn to the easy supply of vulnerable boys and the lack of police activity. Much more: http://www.nickdavies.net/2000/10/01/paedophilia-is-easy-2-how-a-paedophile-murder-inquiry-fell-apart/

9. 13th October 2009. Multipleblogposts on Klokkenluideronline.net suggests that Joris Demmink would have been in direct contact with a person called Lothar Glandorf, a pedophile mentioned in the same article by The Guardianwhich also mentions Warwick Spinks as 'partner in crime' of the same group of notorious pedophiles working from The Netherlands: ''The brothel was one of several in the city which were being run by a German named Lothar Glandorf, now aged 36. After ignoring complaints for 18 months, Rotterdam police finally targetted him and found he had been selling hundreds of boys. Of those they could trace, nearly half were under 16, some by many years. One of them was only nine. Tapping Glandorf's phones, they heard one customer say ''I'm looking for a young boy, a very young boy, a nice little blonde one, who can stay the night''; and another who specified a pre-pubescent boy, ''You know, no hair.'' This was a kind of slavery. They heard Glandorf tell one boy that if he tried to run away, he would send his family pornographic pictures of him; another was told simply he would be shot in the head. The Rotterdam police reported: ''Even if Glandorf knew the perversions of a customer, he would still send a young boy to a customer who had a sexual preference for sado-masochism. Glandorf had one customer who specialised in deflowering young boys.'' In one of Glandorf's houses, they found an unmailed letter from a Turkish boy called Attila, written to a young girl named Aysum. ''Don't feel sad about me,'' he wrote. ''Things are the way they are and there is nothing to be done about it. You can do what you want. Don't be sad.'' They found the same boy in a video, with his testicles wired to a whining electrical generator while a Belgian customer abused him. In the midst of all this, the Rotterdam police were looking for Manuel Schadwald. Three different boys had run away from Glandorf's world and reported sighting the missing Berlin boy. Police logs which were leaked to the Dutch TV programme Network, reveal that three Rotterdam surveillance officers saw Glandorf with a boy whom all three of them believed to be Manuel Schadwald but they failed to rescue him: the leaked logs suggest that they were reluctant to break cover for fear of jeopardising their operation, asked for urgent advice from senior officers, received none and watched passively as Glandorf drove the boy away in his car. With the Dutch and German press baying for action, police in the two countries finally set about trying to find him '' some four years after his disappearance. They failed. Manuel Schadwald has never been found. The last sightings suggested he was working in the dark bars on Paardenstraat in Amsterdam. The same cross-border weakness persists. Investigating Glandorf, the Rotterdam police found that British paedophiles were routinely using his brothels. They found their names and details in Glandorf's paperwork: one was crossing the North Sea on a weekly basis. The Rotterdam detectives produced a detailed report, De Handel In Kinderen '' The Trade In Children '' which the Guardian has obtained. It presents a detailed picture of the trade and of some of its British links, and yet they never even sent a copy to Scotland Yard. Glandorf, himself, had little fear of international policing. When a senior Dutch civil servant phoned him from Poland to say he was bringing back a boy for him, the police phone taps recorded Glandorf saying: ''Be careful. When you get to the bridge at the border, let him out so he can go on foot so they can't catch you.'' That was all it took. More: http://www.nickdavies.net/2000/10/01/paedophilia-is-easy-2-how-a-paedophile-murder-inquiry-fell-apart/

Much more:http://www.google.nl/search?q=warwick+spinks+demmink&hl=nl



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Former president George H W Bush's health improves | euronews, world news

Geert Wilders interview segment Dec 27 2012

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VIDEO-Greece: ex-finance minister in the firing line over 'Lagarde List' | euronews, world news

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Politicians from a number of parties are calling for the law that protects ministers in Greece from prosecution not to apply to former finance minister George Papaconstantinou.

Papaconstantinou, 51, who negotiated the country's bailout in 2010, is accused of removing the names of three of his relatives from the so-called 'Lagarde List' '' a compilation of hundreds of Greeks suspected of tax evasion.

All three parties in the coalition want an investigation into whether the former finance minister played any part in removing the names.

Papaconstantinou strongly denies tampering with the list, but some people are sceptical, such as Athens resident Michalis Louloudakis who said:''Of course no guilty person will admit his crime until he is found out. What he's (Papaconstantinou) saying is a joke.

''For me, a modest person looking at this from the outside, I think that wherever there's smoke, there is fire. Light must be shed and the scandals must be uncovered,'' he added.

Greek authorities have been criticised for failing to act on the list '' originally passed on from France in 2010 by IMF head Christine Lagarde, who was French finance minister at the time.

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VIDEO-Smog hits Athens as cash-strapped residents choose fire over fuel | euronews, world news

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Bad news for austerity-stricken Greeks is also proving to be bad news for the environment '' specifically the air quality in Athens.

Wood has soared in popularity, with many of the city's residents using it to heat their houses, after an increase in duty has seen the price of heating oil double in two years.

The government says the price hike is to stop motorists putting it in their car, instead of more expensive diesel.

Now business is booming at the lumber yards, but that does not mean extortionate prices according to George Mihas who owns one in the north of Athens.

''In my neighbourhood, we were three or four shops. Now we've become twenty. Our customers have spread out to all the shops. You try to sell as cheaply as you can to your customers so you don't lose them,'' he said.

More wood being burnt and geographical position of Athens '' a basin surrounded by four large mountains '' is causing more smog and more potentially harmful particles in the air.

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VIDEO-The Secret Drone War [Panorama Dec 10, 2012] (S60E47).mp4 - YouTube

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VIDEO-Anne Get Your Gun - 4. Doin' What Comes Naturally - YouTube

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The Senate convened and began consideration of H.R. 5949, the FISA bill.'­Brian Schatz (D-HI) was sworn in as the replacement for Senator Daniel Inouye, who died on December 17, 2012.

The Senate convened and began consideration of H.R. 5949, the FISA bill.'­Brian Schatz (D-HI) was sworn in as the replacement for Senator Daniel Inouye, who died on December 17, 2012.

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Doctors Warn! "Skinny Jeans" Can Be Dangerous!!!

Woman Arrested For Subway Murder Confessed It Was Revenge Against Muslims

Record Gun Sales Across The US

US Troops Deployed To Chad Africa To Evacuate US Citizens

They're like a bunch of drug addicts looking for another fix

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This Ron Paul interview is worth sharing far and wide. Kudos to CNBC for at least talking to a realist on this issue.

Ron Paul on the Fiscal Cliff

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Just think about it'... What if you were trapped under something heavy and the mouse was out of your reach? Scary, right? That's exactly why we have these keyboard shortcuts so you can still use Vimeo until the help arrives.

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