Breaking news -

0 UPDATE: "The FBI bomb Plotters" criminal complaint (pdf)

0 Oregon FBI supply "Weapon of mass destruction" to 19 year old in botched false flag

The FBI thwarted an attempted terrorist bombing in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square before the city's annual tree-lighting Friday night, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Oregon.

A Corvallis man, thinking he was going to ignite a bomb, drove a van to the corner of the square at Southwest Yamhill Street and Sixth Avenue and attempted to detonate it.

However, the supposed explosive was a dummy that FBI operatives supplied to him, according to an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint signed Friday night by U.S. Magistrate Judge John V. Acosta.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, a Somali-born U.S. citizen, was arrested at 5:42 p.m., 18 minutes before the tree lighting was to occur, on an accusation of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. The felony charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The arrest was the culmination of a long-term undercover operation, during which Mohamud had been monitored for months as his alleged bomb plot developed.

"The device was in fact inert, and the public was never in danger," according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The investigation involved the FBI, Oregon State Police, Portland Police Bureau, Corvallis Police Department and Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.

Full story:

1 Obama looking old and frail in just 1 year.

       Have you ever seen a healthy person's features
                 change as much over just 1 year?

0 MI6 brought in the fake Taliban commander Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour


MI6 'blamed for Taliban impostor'

MI6 brought in the fake Taliban commander touted as key to resolving the conflict in Afghanistan, it has been claimed.

Mi6 Building London
The British intelligence service is said to have spent a year nurturing and paying a man claiming to be Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, one of the most senior commanders of the Taliban.
They are said to have paid him at least $100,000 (£63,500) and flew him to meetings with Afghan officials in an attempt to broker a deal between the government and the insurgents.
Eventually an Afghan who knew the real Mansour revealed their mistake but the man was allowed to return to Pakistan, according to reports.
 MI6 is thought to have made contact with "Mansour" in Quetta, the Pakistani city where the leadership of the Taliban is based.
Senior British and American officials had acknowledged that they were providing transport for Taliban officials but insisted the negotiations were up to the Afghans.
It is unclear who was responsible for trying to verify "Mansour's" identity, but sources say the British cannot be held entirely responsible.
"It's not him," a Western diplomat in Kabul told the New York Times earlier this week. "And we gave him a lot of money."
Taliban Nato and Afghan officials told the newspaper that they held three meetings with the man and he even met with President Hamid Karzai.
He apparently seemed willing to negotiate and did not insist on the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, one of the Taliban's key demands.
American officials have claimed they were "sceptical from the start" about the identity of the man who was supposed to be the second in command of the Taliban behind Mullah Omar.
Some officials say the man may simply have been a fraudster while others have claimed he was a Taliban agent and Afghans say he is nothing more than a shopkeeper.
The Taliban leadership has always maintained that there are no talks.

0 Austrailian Government on full alert over WikiLeaks spill

November 26, 2010 12:00AM
  • AUSTRALIAN officials are bracing for a massive leak of classified US State Department cables.

These cables could include embarrassing disclosures about Canberra's secret diplomacy on controversial issues, such as the war in Iraq.
The Gillard government was one of several foreign governments put on notice about the leaks, expected to be released within days by whistleblower group WikiLeaks.
So seriously is the issue being taken that several sources told The Australian it was raised during a phone call yesterday morning between Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss the crisis on the Korean peninsula.
It is understood the Department of Foreign Affairs and other agencies in Canberra, including the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, met to discuss the leaks, which a senior Australian government official said had prompted a "strong measure of concern".
"The whole thing is pretty big," the official said.
The latest tranche of classified documents could comprise more than two million diplomatic cables sent between the State Department and its posts around the world.
Australian government agencies are bracing for the worst, "in part because we simply don't know just how bad it might be", the Australian official said.
The disclosure would be the third major leak by WikiLeaks.
The organisation released 77,000 documents on Afghanistan in July, followed by a second leak of 400,000 files on the Iraq war.
WikiLeaks has said the pending disclosure will be seven times the size of the Iraq leak, about 2.8 million documents.
A second source told The Australian senior officials inside the Defence Department were concerned some cables could refer to the Howard government's support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The Australian has been told the leaked cables include material sent up until February this year and predate the Iraq war.
This raises the possibility the Rudd government could also be exposed.
The Howard government did not commit Australia to war until March 2003, following a request from then US president George W. Bush.
But speculation has long been swirling that the Howard government had privately signed on to the controversial war well in advance of the formal request - a charge flatly denied by former foreign minister Alexander Downer. He condemned WikiLeaks yesterday for leaking the documents, while at the same time playing down their significance: "Do I think these particular documents would be incriminating or damning? I think the answer to that is no."
The Howard government predeployed forces to the Middle East in advance of committing to the war, but said that was just sensible contingency planning should diplomatic efforts to ease the impasse with Saddam Hussein fail.
Australian officials are also said to be on the lookout for documents discussing Canberra's handling of the David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib cases, both of whom claimed they were mistreated while in US custody in Guantanamo Bay.

0 Darth Vader-like creature being pushed to suface due to Gulf Oil Spill.

It would be nice to believe the hundreds of thousands of tons of Oil that leaked into the Gulf vanished overnight, but it didn't the "Corexit" chemical they used only weighted it down....besides contaminating all fish and crab catch, it's now forcing all sorts creatures that belong in the deep to the surface.

Giant isopod specimen showing body undersideLooking like it just crawled out of a bad science fiction movie, the giant isopod is without a doubt one of the strangest creatures found in the deep sea. Known scientifically as Bathynomus giganteus, it is one of about nine members of the genus Bathynomus. It is also the largest known members of the isopod family, a group of crustaceans closely related to shrimps and crabs. The giant isopod is also related to the small pillbugs that you can find in the garden. In fact, this insect-like creature is sometimes referred to as the giant pillbug. Giant isopods are not usually fished commercially, although some can be found in the occasional oceanside restaurant in northern Taiwan, where they are boiled and served with rice.

Giant isopod specimen underside
(NOAA Explorer Image)
The enormous size of the giant isopod is a result of a phenomenon known as deep sea gigantism. This is the tendency of deep sea crustaceans and other animals to grow to a much larger size than similar species in shallower waters. Other examples of this would be the giant squid and the giant tube worm. The giant squid grows to a length of up to 60 feet in the deep sea. In comparison, its shallow water cousins only grow to about two feet in length. The reason for these size differences remains a mystery, although some researchers believe it may be an adaptation to help the animal deal with the enormous pressures.
The giant isopod can grow to a length of over 16 inches, which makes it one of the largest members of the crustacean family. Like its terrestrial cousin, the pillbug, the giant isopod's body is protected by a hard shell that is divided into segments. This allows it to be strong and flexible at the same time. When threatened, this animal can roll itself into a ball to protect its vulnerable underside. And just like its land-based counterpart, the isopod has compound eyes, with over 4,000 individual facets. This gives the animal a large field of view, and makes it extremely sensitive to fast movements. Because light is extremely faint in the deep sea, the giant isopod has developed large antennae to help it feel its way around as it crawls along the ocean floor.
Giant isopod specimen showing front features
Giant isopod specimen - front view
(Wikipedia Commons, GNU license)
The giant isopod is a carnivorous crustacean that spends its time scavenging the deep sea floor. Food is extremely scarce at these great depths, so the isopod has adapted to eat what ever happens to fall from above. This includes the bodies of dead whales, fish, and squid. It is believed that the isopod will also feed on some slow-moving animals such as sea cucumbers and sponges. The giant isopod has a complex mouth that with many components that work together to pierce, shred, and disembowel their prey. The isopod can go for long periods of time without eating and has been known to survive over eight weeks without food in when kept in captivity.
Giant isopods reproduce by laying eggs. These eggs are thought to be the largest of all the marine invertebrates. The females develop a pouch known as a marsupium, where the eggs are stored until the young are ready to emerge. When this happens, the young isopods escape from the marsupium as fully formed miniatures of the adults. At this stage, they are known as manca and are nearly fully developed. Bypassing the larval stage greatly enhances the young isopod's chances of survival.
Giant isopods are found in most oceans of the world. Their habitat ranges in depth from the dimly lit sublittoral zone at 550 ft (170 m) to the pitch darkness of the bathypelagic zone at 7,020 ft (2,140 m). They prefer mud or clay ocean bottom areas where they prefer to live solitary lives.

1 Aerial Drone to Hunt Life on Mars

The Wright Brothers flew their first successful powered flight from Kitty Hawk, N.C., over 100 years ago. Ever since that first lift off, aviation has provided explorers with a new tool for discovery and a better way to see the land below.
Now, one scientist hopes to bring flight to Mars and explore what rovers and orbiters have left behind.
                                     THE GIST
  • If selected by NASA, the Aerial Regional-Scale Environment Surveyor (ARES) could soar high above the Martian landscape.
  • The robotic airplane would see things inaccessible to wheeled rovers and Mars orbiters.
  • Its main function would be to measure atmospheric gases potentially generated by Martian microbes. 

Atmospheric scientist Joel Levine believes bringing an unmanned aircraft to Mars would tap into an unknown area where orbiters would be too far to reach and rovers too short to detect.
The airplane, known as the Aerial Regional-Scale Environment Surveyor (ARES) will enable scientists to remotely sample a wide range of chemicals for multiple studies. Levine says the opportunities to explore more of what Mars has to offer will be accomplished through flight.
"There are a whole class of measurements that haven't been obtained yet, that can only be obtained by flying about a mile above the surface and making measurements continually as you fly," Levine told Discovery News.
According to Levine, the unmanned airplane will be able to detect chemical compositions and chemical reactions in the Mars atmosphere. What they are searching for are gases produced by biological activity: gases like methane, ammonia and nitrous oxide.
Because these compounds are short-lived, Levine says these chemicals need to be discovered more effectively before they are destroyed by the Martian environment.
"They don't build up enough in the atmosphere to be seen from orbit. So you actually have to fly through them. You can't make those measurements from 200 miles above Mars," he said.

Mars Methane Mystery: What's Making the Gas?
The idea of an airplane scanning the Mars landscape has another advantage -- it can dodge rough terrain.
There are large mountains, volcanoes like Olympus Mons, deep valleys and canyons like Valles Marineris. One particular region in the southern hemisphere of Mars is saturated with impact craters, prohibiting rovers from traveling great distances. With an airplane, scientists can fly right over.
"What the airplane gives is mobility, because we can travel 500 miles an hour anywhere," he said.
The ARES plane continues to be modified at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. Here, the plane is tested in wind tunnels to withstand winds of up to 100 mph. Scientists have also taken into consideration the common dust storms on Mars.
"I am not worried about winds because we have simulated strong winds in our wind tunnel experiments. I am worried about dust storms because of the impact it may have on the visibility of the photographs we take," he said.
The idea of sending a robotic airplane to Mars was first conceived about ten years ago. Levine contacted several aeroengineers and wondered if an airplane could fly through the atmosphere of Mars.

Forget Water, Follow the Methane.
At the time, his peers thought he was joking. Now, he has a team who are developing and improving an airplane that could one day scan the Martian landscape.
Delta IV Rocket
If the airplane is approved, it will be launched on a Delta IV rocket and arrive at the Red Planet nine months later.
12 hours before the spacecraft arrives in Mars orbit, the aeroshell that contains the ARES plane will be released and guided toward the planet. The aeroshell has the same thermal heating tiles as the space shuttle and will allow for frictional heating once the capsule enters the Mars atmosphere at 18,000 mph.

Once the parachute is deployed, the aeroshell breaks away exposing ARES to the Martian atmosphere for the first time. At about 20 miles above the surface, a spring ejects the airplane from its shell causing the wings to open and the rocket engine to automatically ignite. (Visit the ARES project site to view artist impressions of aircraft deployment.)
ARES will begin its flight through the Mars atmosphere about a mile above the surface.
The aircraft will be powered by rocket propellant, which is stored during flight in special tanks. Levine says once the fuel is used up the airplane cannot sustain flight. ARES will be pre-programmed to land on Mars. Once ARES has landed, it will act as a stationary laboratory collecting data and other valuable information.
The airplane will transmit data to the spacecraft orbiting above. The spacecraft has a powerful antenna acting as a relay between Mars and Earth. In the event that there's a communication problem, the airplane could utilize other satellites orbiting the planet.
ARES could be the next step in sending humans to Mars but the key goal for the airplane is to find gas produced by living microorganisms. Levine says it's what's in these gases that could hint at extraterrestrial life.
"We are interested in looking for the fingerprint of life by looking for gases that are only produced by living systems," he said.
The time frame to send ARES to Mars depends on when NASA approves the project. Levine thinks it will take between four to five years once authorization is approved for the airplane to explore the skies of Mars.

0 Facebook to patent the word 'face'?

London: It may sound ridiculous at first, but Facebook is planning to trademark the word ‘face’ because it wants to stop other companies using the term in a way which damages its own brand.

The first stage of the bid has been approved and, provided they complete all the paperwork, the full trademark will be rubber stamped by the U.S. Patent Office in six months time.

Over the next six months Facebook will have to demonstrate it is using the trademark and file a Statement of Use, the next phase, ahead of final approval.

However, the general public will still be able to use ‘face’ without fear of breaking the law, reports the Daily Mail.

In Facebook’s case, it only applies to, “Telecommunication services, namely, providing online chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among computer users in the field of general interest and concerning social and entertainment subject matter.”

So long as Facebook pays the necessary fees, the application is likely to go through without objection, officials said. The U.S. Patent And Trademark Office has already allowed a period for objections and none were raised. 


Sky also took "Skype" to court recently because it's name featured the word "Sky" all we need is the church to patent  the word "jesus"....and millions of mexicans would have to be re-named.

0 Did some unknown people map the world over 5 thousand years ago?

Over half a dozen maps found in the last few hundred years, validate that our history is very different than we are now taught.
Here's one of them ;o)

The Piri Reis Map. 1513
The Piri Re’is map was found in 1929 in the Imperial Palace in Constantinople. It is painted on parchment and dated 919 A.H. (in the Islamic calendar), which corresponds to 1513 AD. It is signed by an admiral of the Turkish Navy named Piri Ibn Haji Memmed, also known as Piri Re’is. According to Piri Re’is, the map had been assembled from a set of 20 maps drawn in the time of Alexander the Great around 340B.C.
It shows Antarctica before its discovery in 1818, it also shows coastlines of South America and Africa long before they were discovered.
Shown also is an ice-free coast of Antarctica and Queen Maud Land, our modern knowledge of the coastline under the ice in these areas was obtained using seismic sounding data from Antarctic expeditions in the 1940s and 50s. Sonar is one way to map the coast under the Antarctic glaciers. The other way would be to have surveyed them when they were ice-free. The last time the particular area shown in the Piri Re’is map was free of ice was more than 6000 years ago. More recent studies show that this may be off by a couple of orders of magnitude. In any case, this geography should have been unknown to the ancients. If this is correct, there are some big mysteries to explain.

Later it shows the Marajo Island in extreme detail.
The map was from much older maps which may have come from the library at Alexandra, it's a Mercator projection showing knowledge of spherical trigonometry....the earth being a sphere, with projection point at Cairo Egypt!!
 Maybe we really are much older than we now think....
     A Couple of Other MAPS WORTH A GOOGLE:
                                  Oronteus Finaeus Map. 1529
                                          Buache Map 1737

                                      The Zeno Map of 1380

0 Porton Down carried out germ warfare tests on an unknowing brittish public, over a 39 year period.

FLASHBACK: The Ministry of Defence turned large parts of the country into a giant laboratory to conduct a series of secret germ warfare tests on the public.
A government report released provides for the first time a comprehensive official history of Britain's biological weapons trials between 1940 and 1979.
Many of these tests involved releasing potentially dangerous chemicals and micro-organisms over vast swaths of the population without the public being told.
While details of some secret trials have emerged in recent years, the 60-page report reveals new information about more than 100 covert experiments.
The report reveals that military personnel were briefed to tell any 'inquisitive inquirer' the trials were part of research projects into weather and air pollution.
Porton Down Salisbury  Wiltshire
The tests, carried out by government scientists at Porton Down, were designed to help the MoD assess Britain's vulnerability if the Russians were to have released clouds of deadly germs over the country.
In most cases, the trials did not use biological weapons but alternatives which scientists believed would mimic germ warfare and which the MoD claimed were harmless. But families in certain areas of the country who have children with birth defects are demanding a public inquiry.

One chapter of the report, 'The Fluorescent Particle Trials', reveals how between 1955 and 1963 planes flew from north-east England to the tip of Cornwall along the south and west coasts, dropping huge amounts of zinc cadmium sulphide on the population. The chemical drifted miles inland, its fluorescence allowing the spread to be monitored. In another trial using zinc cadmium sulphide, a generator was towed along a road near Frome in Somerset where it spewed the chemical for an hour.
While the Government has insisted the chemical is safe, cadmium is recognised as a cause of lung cancer and during the Second World War was considered by the Allies as a chemical weapon.
In another chapter, 'Large Area Coverage Trials', the MoD describes how between 1961 and 1968 more than a million people along the south coast of England, from Torquay to the New Forest, were exposed to bacteria including e.coli and bacillus globigii , which mimics anthrax. These releases came from a military ship, the Icewhale, anchored off the Dorset coast, which sprayed the micro-organisms in a five to 10-mile radius.
The report also reveals details of the DICE trials in south Dorset between 1971 and 1975. These involved US and UK military scientists spraying into the air massive quantities of serratia marcescens bacteria, with an anthrax simulant and phenol.
 Similar bacteria were released in 'The Sabotage Trials' between 1952 and 1964. These were tests to determine the vulnerability of large government buildings and public transport to attack.
In 1956 bacteria were released on the London Underground at lunchtime along the Northern Line between Colliers Wood and Tooting Broadway. The results show that the organism dispersed about 10 miles. Similar tests were conducted in tunnels running under government buildings in Whitehall.
Experiments conducted between 1964 and 1973 involved attaching germs to the threads of spiders' webs in boxes to test how the germs would survive in different environments. These tests were carried out in a dozen locations across the country, including London's West End, Southampton and Swindon. The report also gives details of more than a dozen smaller field trials between 1968 and 1977.
In recent years, the MoD has commissioned two scientists to review the safety of these tests. Both reported that there was no risk to public health, although one suggested the elderly or people suffering from breathing illnesses may have been seriously harmed if they inhaled sufficient quantities of micro-organisms.
However, some families in areas which bore the brunt of the secret tests are convinced the experiments have led to their children suffering birth defects, physical handicaps and learning difficulties.
David Orman, an army officer from Bournemouth, is demanding a public inquiry. His wife, Janette, was born in East Lulworth in Dorset, close to where many of the trials took place. She had a miscarriage, then gave birth to a son with cerebral palsy. Janette's three sisters, also born in the village while the tests were being carried out, have also given birth to children with unexplained problems, as have a number of their neighbours.
The local health authority has denied there is a cluster, but Orman believes otherwise. He said: 'I am convinced something terrible has happened. The village was a close-knit community and to have so many birth defects over such a short space of time has to be more than coincidence.'
Successive governments have tried to keep details of the germ warfare tests secret. While reports of a number of the trials have emerged over the years through the Public Records Office, this latest MoD document - which was released to Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker - gives the fullest official version of the biological warfare trials yet.
Baker said: 'I welcome the fact that the Government has finally released this information, but question why it has taken so long. It is unacceptable that the public were treated as guinea pigs without their knowledge, and I want to be sure that the Ministry of Defence's claims that these chemicals and bacteria used were safe is true.'
The MoD report traces the history of the UK's research into germ warfare since the Second World War when Porton Down produced five million cattle cakes filled with deadly anthrax spores which would have been dropped in Germany to kill their livestock.
It also gives details of the infamous anthrax experiments on Gruinard on the Scottish coast which left the island so contaminated it could not be inhabited until the late 1980s.
The report also confirms the use of anthrax and other deadly germs on tests aboard ships in the Caribbean and off the Scottish coast during the 1950s. The document states: 'Tacit approval for simulant trials where the public might be exposed was strongly influenced by defence security considerations aimed obviously at restricting public knowledge. An important corollary to this was the need to avoid public alarm and disquiet about the vulnerability of the civil population to BW [biological warfare] attack.'
Sue Ellison, spokeswoman for Porton Down, said: 'Independent reports by eminent scientists have shown there was no danger to public health from these releases which were carried out to protect the public.
'The results from these trials_ will save lives, should the country or our forces face an attack by chemical and biological weapons.'
Asked whether such tests are still being carried out, she said: 'It is not our policy to discuss ongoing research.'

0 Iranian CIA Backed Assembly Pushes to Oust President

Iran's parliament revealed it planned to impeach President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but refrained under orders from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, exposing a deepening division within the regime. Lawmakers also launched a new petition to bring a debate on the president's impeachment, conservative newspapers reported Monday.
The reports of challenges to Mr. Ahmadinejad were intended as retorts to a powerful body of clerics that urged Mr. Khamenei to curb the parliament's authority and give greater clout to the president.
In a report released Sunday and discussed in parliament Monday, four prominent lawmakers laid out the most extensive public criticism of Mr. Ahmadinejad to date.
 Full Story:

It's interesting to look into the background and little known past actions of the person behind the "apparent ousting" ...

If the Ayatollah Khomeini was an enemy of the United States ruling elite, why did he adopt the CIA's security service?

In June of 1980, the New York Times reported that the new leader of Iran, the Ayatollah Khomeini, was complaining loudly that many people who had served under the Shah had not been purged from the government bureaucracies. “He singled out the Foreign Ministry for criticism, saying that in this department and in other ministries there were ‘the same emblems and the same corruption’ as before.”[0] It is curious that he should not have singled out SAVAK -- especially SAVAK.
SAVAK had been the Iranian Shah (King) Mohammed Reza Pahlavi's feared security service, which routinely tortured and assassinated dissidents, and spied on everybody. It had been created by the CIA after the CIA installed the shah in power in a 1953 coup d'├ętat.[1]  As a dissident leader prior to the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had been denouncing SAVAK. So why so much noise now about other ministries being full of Shah agents and nothing in particular about SAVAK?
Full story:

0 What’s Going On with the earthquake swarm in The Gulf of Aden?

USGS is reporting a very unusual swarm of significant earthquakes starting early this morning in the sea between Africa and the Arabian peninusla, right off the coast of Yemen, and in one of the world’s most important and busiest shipping lanes.

But, earthquake swarms happen, even in places that are not normally known for seismic activity...
so what’s unusual about this particular group of earthquakes?
In this case, it seems that the vast majority of the quakes are happening at
almost exactly a depth of 10 kilometers; over 20 earthquakes have occurred at that depth since the swarm began. I’m no statistician, but that seems like a pretty exceptionally unlikely scenario, especially when the region was entirely quiet in terms of seismic activity as of yesterday. It would definitely be interesting to see what real geologists make of it.
Below is a screenshot from the USGS earthquake tracking site, taken early afternoon today, and covering today and yesterday’s major seismic activity worldwide; We’ll update with more information if anything newsworthy develops.

 It just so happens that the below was taking place at the same time....

Yemen: US steps up covert war

Sunday, November 14, 2010
The US has stepped up flights by pilotless drones and increased the deployment of special forces and CIA operatives in the Middle Eastern nation of Yemen. The US military and CIA have been covertly operating in Yemen since at least 2002.
Predator with mounted Hellfire Missile
The November 7 Washington Post quoted unnamed US officials as saying that drones operating over Yemen now included Hellfire missile-equipped Predators. The article said that “up to 100” extra US “Special Operations force trainers” and an unspecified number of “additional CIA teams” were being deployed.
The pretext for this rise in aggression was two parcel bombs mailed from Yemen to Jewish organisations in Chicago that were discovered on cargo planes in Dubai and Britain on October 29, after tip-offs from Saudi intelligence.
The bombs were mailed with a sender’s address: that of medical student Hanan al-Samawi, who was detained with her mother until Yemeni police concluded she was the victim of identity theft.
The US has accused 28-year-old Yemen-based Saudi exile Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri of being the “master bomb maker” responsible for the parcel bombs and other recent attacks.

0 Taliban Leader in UN Secret Peace Talks for months,.. Was a Fake.

Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, one of the most senior commanders in the Taliban movement....was never there.
KABUL, Afghanistan — For months, the secret talks unfolding between Taliban and Afghan leaders to end the war appeared to be showing promise, if only because of the appearance of a certain insurgent leader at one end of the table: Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, one of the most senior commanders in the Taliban movement.
But now, it turns out, Mr. Mansour was apparently not Mr. Mansour at all. In an episode that could have been lifted from a spy novel, United States and Afghan officials now say the Afghan man was an impostor, and high-level discussions conducted with the assistance of NATO appear to have achieved little.
“It’s not him,” said a Western diplomat in Kabul intimately involved in the discussions. “And we gave him a lot of money.”
American officials confirmed Monday that they had given up hope that the Afghan was Mr. Mansour, or even a member of the Taliban leadership.
NATO and Afghan officials said they held three meetings with the man, who traveled from in Pakistan, where Taliban leaders have taken refuge.
The fake Taliban leader even met with President Hamid Karzai, having been flown to Kabul on a NATO aircraft and ushered into the presidential palace, officials said.
The episode underscores the uncertain and even bizarre nature of the atmosphere in which Afghan and American leaders search for ways to bring the nine-year-old American-led war to an end. The leaders of the Taliban are believed to be hiding in Pakistan, possibly with the assistance of the Pakistani government, which receives billions of dollars in American aid.
Many in the Taliban leadership, which is largely made up of barely literate clerics from the countryside, had not been seen in person by American, NATO or Afghan officials.
American officials say they were skeptical from the start about the identity of the man who claimed to be Mullah Mansour — who by some accounts is the second-ranking official in the Taliban, behind only the founder, Mullah Mohammed Omar. Serious doubts arose after the third meeting with Afghan officials, held in the southern city of Kandahar. A man who had known Mr. Mansour years ago told Afghan officials that the man at the table did not resemble him. “He said he didn’t recognize him,” said an Afghan leader, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The Western diplomat said the Afghan man was initially given a sizable sum of money to take part in the talks — and to help persuade him to return.
While the Afghan official said he still harbored hopes that the man would return for another round of talks, American and other Western officials said they had concluded that the man in question was not Mr. Mansour. Just how the Americans reached such a definitive conclusion — whether, for instance, they were able to positively establish his identity through fingerprints or some other means — is unknown.
As recently as last month, American and Afghan officials held high hopes for the talks. Senior American officials, including Gen. David H. Petraeus, said the talks indicated that Taliban leaders, whose rank-and-file fighters are under extraordinary pressure from the American-led offensive, were at least willing to discuss an end to the war.
The American officials said they and officials of other NATO governments were helping to facilitate the discussions, by providing air transport and securing roadways for Taliban leaders coming from Pakistan.
Last month, White House officials asked The New York Times to withhold Mr. Mansour’s name from an article about the peace talks, expressing concern that the talks would be jeopardized — and Mr. Mansour’s life put at risk — if his involvement were publicized. The Times agreed to withhold Mr. Mansour’s name, along with the names of two other Taliban leaders said to be involved in the discussions. The status of the other two Taliban leaders said to be involved is not clear.
Since the last round of discussions, which took place within the past few weeks, Afghan and American officials have been puzzling over who the man was. Some officials say the man may simply have been a freelance fraud, posing as a Taliban leader in order to enrich himself.
Others say the man may have been a Taliban agent. “The Taliban are cleverer than the Americans and our own intelligence service,” said a senior Afghan official who is familiar with the case. “They are playing games.”
Others suspect that the fake Taliban leader, whose identity is not known, may have been dispatched by the Pakistani intelligence service, known by its initials, the ISI. Elements within the ISI have long played a “double-game” in Afghanistan, reassuring United States officials that they are pursuing the Taliban while at the same time providing support for the insurgents.
Publicly, the Taliban leadership is sticking to the line that there are no talks at all. In a recent message to his followers, Mullah Omar denied that there were any talks unfolding at any level. 

0 Report: Nuclear weapon drivers regularly get drunk

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government agents hired to drive nuclear weapons and components in trucks sometimes got drunk on the job, including an incident last year when two agents were detained by police at a local bar during a convoy mission, according to a report Monday by the U.S. Energy Department's watchdog.
The department's assistant inspector general, Sandra D. Bruce, said her office reviewed 16 alcohol-related incidents involving agents, candidate-agents and others from the government's Office of Secure Transportation between 2007 through 2009. There are nearly 600 federal agents who ship nuclear weapons, weapon components and special nuclear material across the U.S.
The report said that two incidents in particular raised red flags because they happened during "secure transportation missions" while agents checked into local hotels during extended missions, and the vehicles were placed in "safe harbor."
One of those occurred in 2007, when an agent was arrested for public intoxication; the other happened last year, when police handcuffed and temporarily detained two agents after an incident at a local bar.
"Alcohol incidents such as these, as infrequent as they may be, indicate a potential vulnerability in OST's critical national security mission," the report warns.
The report recommends that officials consider actions such as a "zero tolerance" policy for alcohol incidents.
Current guidelines call for alcohol testing at least once a year and when reasonable suspicion of alcohol exists; a ban on consuming alcohol within 10 hours before scheduled work; and sending home agents who have an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or more.
The Energy Department referred questions to its National Nuclear Security Administration, which had no immediate comment.


                      An interesting look at the "Bystander Effect"

0 Skull & Bones Decide To Give Back.....Skulls & Bones.

Yale Agrees To Return Machu Picchu Artifacts

Posted on: Sunday, 21 November 2010, 07:15 CST
The president of Peru said Friday that Yale University has agreed to return thousands of artifacts that had been taken away from the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu almost a hundred years ago.
Just hours after Peru’s announcement, the university issued a statement expressing agreement with the results of its talks with Peru. The artifacts have been at the center of a long dispute for years, with Peru filing a lawsuit against the university in a US court.
Peruvian president Alan Garcia said a deal was reached with Yale that would see the return of more than 4,000 artifacts, including pottery, textiles and bones, early in 2011 after an inventory of the objects can be completed.
The agreement was reached after Yale’s representative, former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, visited Peru to discuss finding a way to end the dispute.
“We are very pleased that Yale University has responded so positively,” Garcia said at the Government Palace.
According to Garcia, Zedillo said Yale decided to return all artifacts that were taken from Machu Picchu by scholar Hiram Bingham III from 1911 to 1915.
The university, in a statement, said it “is very pleased with the positive developments in the discussions” with Peru.
“It has always been Yale's desire to reach an agreement that honors Peru's rich history and cultural heritage and recognizes the world's interest in ongoing public and scholarly access to that heritage,” the statement said.
Garcia and the Peruvian government had launched an aggressive international media campaign in recent weeks to pressure Yale into doing what’s right with the artifacts. Garcia even sent US President Barack Obama a letter asking for his help in the matter.

Peru has been trying to get the artifacts back for years. The suit to get the objects back was filed against Yale in 2008 arguing that the university violated Peruvian law by exporting items without getting permission from the government and by refusing to return them.
Yale said that it had returned dozens of crates with artifacts in 1921 and that Peru knew the university would retain other pieces.
In 2007, the two sides agreed to give Peru legal title to the artifacts. The pieces were to travel in a joint exhibit and then be sent to a museum and research center in Peru’s ancient Incan capital of Cuzco. Yale was to pay for the traveling exhibit and partially funded the museum.
But Peru backed out of the deal because of a dispute over how many of the artifacts were to be returned.
Garcia said he would ask San Antonio Abad University in Cuzco to take temporary custody of the objects when they are brought back. He will ask Peru's Congress to establish a special budget to create a museum and research center in Cuzco as a permanent home for the collection.

0 German Parliment close Reichtstag due to terrorist threat.

Germany Races to Track Two Pairs of Bombers:

BERLIN—Germany is bracing for possible terrorist attacks amid growing signs that Islamic extremists are preparing at least one assault somewhere in the country in the coming weeks, possibly in the capital, Berlin.

Authorities in Berlin are racing to track two suspected suicide bombers believed to be planning to strike a prominent location, according to a person familiar with the investigation. Police are combing through travel and visa records and scrutinizing arrivals from the Mideast and South Asia as they hunt the pair, this person said.

Meanwhile, a second group of terrorists, is reported to be planning to travel to Germany in the coming weeks to launch a small-arms attack on one or more urban centers in the next three months, according to an official familiar with the matter.

The threats have unnerved many Germans after government officials played down similar warnings from U.S. intelligence in recent months. Concerns of an imminent attack prompted a rare public warning Wednesday by Germany's interior ministry that terrorists plan to strike one or more crowded public locations in major German cities by the end of this month.
The warnings have put a damper on planned holiday festivities. Cities across Germany have begun opening their traditional Christmas markets, but many citizens are wo
Chancellor Angela Merkel urged her countrymen to remain calm in the face of the threats. Speaking to media during a summit of North Atlantic Treaty Organization leaders in Lisbon over the weekend, she said German security officials are "doing everything" possible to protect people in Germany.
Authorities believe the two prospective suicide bombers they are searching for in Berlin arrived in the German capital about six weeks ago from the Waziristan region of Pakistan, according to a person familiar with the investigation. The suspects are trying to avoid detection by wearing Western clothes, avoiding mosques and changing their hideouts regularly, according the people. Authorities believe the two men are waiting for a shipment of bomb detonators that may be transported from Turkey to Berlin by unwitting friends or relatives.

Full story here:

0 Lab tests detect cadmium and lead exceed federal limits by 1000x in Warner Bros drinking glasses

This Sept. 21, 2010 photo shows a drinking glass decorated with
“The Wizard of Oz" character Dorothy at ToyTestingLab, in Warwick, R.I. Purchased from a Warner Bros. Studios store in Burbank, Calif.,  in September, lead in the enamel on this glass was 770 times higher than the federal limit for children's products, according to testing commissioned by The Associated Press. It also contained relatively high levels of the even-more-dangerous cadmium, though there are no federal limits for that toxic metal in design surfaces.

Drinking glasses depicting comic book and movie characters such as Superman, Wonder Woman and the Tin Man from "The Wizard of Oz" exceed federal limits for lead in children's products by up to 1,000 times, according to laboratory testing commissioned by The Associated Press.

The decorative enamel on the superhero and Oz sets — made in
China and purchased at a Warner Brothers Studios store in
Burbank — contained between 16 percent and 30.2 percent lead. The federal limit on children's products is 0.03 percent.
The same glasses also contained relatively high levels of the even-more-dangerous cadmium, though there are no federal limits on that toxic metal in design surfaces. In separate testing to recreate regular handling, other glasses shed small but notable amounts of lead or cadmium from their decorations. Federal regulators have worried that toxic metals rubbing onto children's hands can get into their mouths. Among the brands on those glasses: Coca-Cola, Walt Disney, Burger King and McDonald's.

This Sept. 21, 2010 photo shows a drinking glass decorated with a Coca-Cola logo purchased from the online Coca-Cola store in September at ToyTestingLab, in Warwick, R.I. Wipe testing commissioned by The Associated Press showed this glass shed three times more cadmium from its red exterior than the amount of cadmium from any design in sets of Shrek glasses that McDonald's recalled in June.
The Coca-Cola Co., which had been given AP's test results last week, announced Sunday evening that after retesting it was voluntarily recalling 88,000 glasses over concerns regarding the mainly red glass in a four-glass set.
The AP testing was part of the news organization's ongoing investigation into dangerous metals in children's products and was conducted in response to a recall by McDonald's of 12 million glasses this summer because cadmium escaped from designs depicting four characters in the latest "Shrek" movie.

Full Story here:

0 Young Boy strip searched by TSA

Lets get the facts straight first. Before the video started the boy went through a metal detector and didn't set it off but was selected for a pat down. The boy was shy so the TSA couldn't complete the full pat on the young boy. The father tried several times to just hold the boys arms out for the TSA agent but i guess it didn't end up being enough for the guy. I was about 30 ft away so i couldn't hear their conversation if there was any. The enraged father pulled his son shirt off and gave it to the TSA agent to search, thats when this video begins.

0 Obama takes time out from Nato summit to promote electric car, while his gas-guzzling armoured Beast waits outside

President Barack Obama took a break from NATO meetings in Portugal today and spent time on what is fast becoming one of his favorite activities - promoting electric cars.
After attending a meeting on Afghanistan, Mr Obama checked out an Opel Ampera on display at the summit site.
The electric vehicle is made by General Motors in Detroit, and will be available for sale in Europe next year.

  Mr Obama did everything but kick the tyres during his inspection of the vehicle, and even slid into the driver's seat and turned on the car.
He noted how quiet it was and told reporters that the electric car 'is the future.'
Mr Obama has made growth of a U.S.-based electric car battery industry a centerpiece of his economic and clean energy agenda.
He has pledged to bring one million plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to U.S. roads by 2015.
The quiet, zero-emission compact vehicle is a far cry away from the bullet-proof behemoth the president is being driven around in during his stay in Lisbon.
Safety and high-tech features include 8in thick armor-plated doors (each weighing the same as a cabin door on a Boeing 757), an independent oxygen supply and advanced fire-fighting system located in the boot, pump-action shotguns, night-vision cameras and tear-gas cannons, Obama’s own personal storage of blood, Kevlar-reinforced tires that are puncture and shred-resistant, and special steel wheels that can drive without the tire attached.

All of this comes at a heavy weight penalty, with top speed rated at 60mph (96km/h) and fuel-economy around 8 miles per gallon