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0 How Wikileaks were "Allowed" to launch leaked documents

How the papers got the leaks

The back story on how The New York Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel got an advance look at the massive trove of secret Afghanistan war documents leaked by WikiLeaks.

It all comes down to the efforts of Nick Davies, a senior contributor to The Guardian, who knew WikiLeaks was planning another big Afghanistan dump from the coverage of the arrest of Pf. Bradley Manning, the army intelligence analyst charged with leaking documents to the organization.

Davies contacted people close to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and found out he was scheduled to speak before European parliament on June 21. Davies met with Assange and said he would offer a team of researchers to identify stories in the documents.
On June 22, during a six-hour coffee-soaked meeting in a Brussels café, Davies says Assange suggested another idea — that The Guardian and The New York Times be given an advance look at some information the site had on the Afghanistan war, with each paper publishing its own take on the documents. Within the next 24 rs, Davies says Assange told him Der Spiegel should be included as well.

Davies thought it unwise from a security standpoint to share Assange's offer via the phone. Early Wednesday morning, Davies says he trained back to England to notify Alan Rusbridger, The Guardian's editor in chief, who, in turn, called Bill Keller and, later, Mathias Müller Von Blumencron, top editors at The New York Times and Der Spiegel, respectivly.
The papers set up a bunker in The Guardian's offices in London. Assange came,too, and submitted to interviews for the stories. The three papers coordinated their research to maximize the few weeks they had to work on the stories.
"You get to the point where all three organizations have the same material under that heading, and each of us goes off separately to write our copy," says The Guardian's Davies. "I thought that collaboration was really rather heartwarming, and unusual."

I think it's really weird how somthing as stupid as a Photoshopped picture of Michelle Obama as a monkey, can be completely wiped from the net (see below) as if it never existed, but the US government could not capture or stop Assange/Wikileaks even though they knew were Assange's next public speaking engagement was.

Michelle Obama 'racist' picture that is topping Google Images removed 

 The image, which has been appearing at the top of search results when the words "Michelle Obama" are put into Google Images, was posted on a blog called Hot Girls, which is hosted by the Google-owned blog service, Blogger.                                                                            

Google handles nearly two thirds of all internet searches in the US and uses a complex algorithm to decide which web pages should come up first when a user makes a search. Before the Michelle Obama picture reappeared prominently, an internet search expert had suggested that Google had "tweaked" its algorithm after finding a bug in the system. 

Try and find it is still on the net has to be, but it's now blocked by Google's search algorithhm There is no way in hell you could give months of warning about a "leak" and it still be able to get online...
"genuine online leaks" can only effect change because they are sudden, unseen, and therefore unstoppable.

0 Secret Mini Space Shuttle Could Land on Friday(today)

The X-37B spaceplane sits on a runway at Vandenberg Air Force Base during prelaunch taxi tests. Credit: U.S. Air Force
The US Air Force announced that the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, a miniature, unmanned spaceEarth as soon as this Friday, December 3. It has been in Earth orbit for about nine months on a classified mission for the military. It will land at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Los Angeles sometime between Friday and Monday, Air Force officials said in a statement. The exact time of touchdown will depend on weather conditions and technical factors. shuttle could return to
Preparations for the landing began on Tuesday, the Air Force Space Command said. The backup landing site would be Edwards Air Force Base.
The X-37B launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on April 22. It was built by Boeing, and the vehicle looks like a space shuttle orbiter, but is much smaller: at 9 meters long and 4.5 meter wide (29 X 15 ft), with a payload bay that is 2.1 by 1.2 meters (7 by 4 feet) the X-37B is about 1/4th the size of a shuttle.

Launch of the X37-B. Credit: Alan Walters ( for Universe Today
The X-37B uses solar arrays and lithium ion batteries to generate power instead of fuel cells like the space shuttle, a major reason why it can stay on orbit for much longer.
Originally the vehicle was scheduled for launch in from the payload bay of the Space Shuttle, but that plan was axed following the Columbia accident.
The X-37B’s mission is to “demonstrate a reliable, reusable, unmanned space test platform for the United States Air Force,” according to a fact sheet put out by the military. “Objectives of the OTV program include space experimentation, risk reduction and concept of operations development for reusable space vehicle technologies.”
It will be interesting to see if the military will share any of the on-orbit activities of the space plane and what capabilities and uses this vehicle might have in the future.
See our previous article “What is the Air Force’s Secret X-37B Space Plane Doing in Orbit?” for more information.
Source: Air Force Space Command


0 Stripper in Wheelchair Wheels Through TSA Checkpoint......

           Something is very wrong with this picture......

               how did the puppy get though??

0 Why 10% of Your Friends on Facebook and Twitter Will Be Nonhuman in Five Years

Human or bot? That will be the question to ask about your friend lists online. By 2015, about 10 percent of these contacts will be nonhuman, predicts the Gartner Group.

Don’t misread “nonhuman” here. We’re talking about bots.  Right now companies employ humans to promote brands through profiles and pages. By mid decade, this will get fully automated.

By 2015, efforts to systematize and automate social engagement will result in the rise of social bots — automated software agents that can handle, to varying degrees, interaction with communities of users in a manner personalized to each individual.
This trend may seem harmless on its own, but not when security issues enter the discussion. If one in five users have encountered malware on Facebook already, in half a decade bot friends might unleash more widespread damage.
Today the average user has about 100 or so friends, and that’s supposed to reach 500 in the not-too-distant future. The typical Facebook account could have 50 bots mixed in with real human contacts. That could open a big can of whoop-ass if people don’t learn to screen friend requests.
Certainly, bots could hold great promise for viral marketers, especially with Facebook rejiggering word-of-mouth promotional features just when they’ve built up momentum. 
Companies that bot themselves might build more trustworthy brands by avoiding the use of malware and possibly disclosing that to the public. 
Bots as profiles might also become a frontier for privacy debate if the automation ever includes the ability to chat with other users as way of gathering demographic data.
Of course, this is all hypothetical because none of this technology has been invented far as we know.

0 British PM Cameron in hot water over dwarf joke

Speaker John Bercow
LONDON (AP) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron was under fire Thursday after repeating a joke likening the speaker of Parliament to one of Snow White's Seven Dwarfs.
Britain's Press Association news agency said Cameron told journalists at a press lunch about the time Health Minister Simon Burns backed into Speaker John Bercow's car. When Bercow said he was not happy, Cameron said Burns retorted: "So which one are you?"
Bercow stands about 5 foot 6 (1.68 meters).
Happy from Snow White
The Walking with Giants Foundation charity, which helps people with restricted growth, said Cameron's gibe was "downright appalling." Its co-founder, John Connerty, said it was "totally unacceptable" to have "the most influential person in the country making distasteful references about a person's lack of height."
Cameron's office said his "lighthearted comments" were not meant to offend.
The speaker's wife, Sally Bercow, hit back on Twitter, writing: "If Mr. B.'s a dwarf then I'm Snow White. And David Cameron is definitely Dopey."

0 WOW!....and people still go to see the northern lights?

These are  Actual Photo's...not Photoshop!

                             The Milky Way from Wangaratta, Australia
                 Click here for Hi Quality Extra Big Big Version!

0 No explosives found at Louisville airport after K-9 team detects something suspicious in cargo

Police say "it was an honest mistake"
No explosives were found at Louisville International Airport after bomb-sniffing dogs detected something suspicious on a cargo pallet Tuesday night, according to Louisville Metro Police.

The police department's bomb squad assisted the Transportation Security Administration by X-raying packages, said police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley. Because nothing suspicious was found, she said it cannot be determined what caused the dog to signal an alert.
The cargo facility where the pallet was located was evacuated, according to TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz.
The airport closed one runway as a precaution for about 15 minutes, but no flights were significantly delayed by the incident, said airport spokeswoman Trish Burke.

0 U.S. came close to al Qaeda's No2 .......dead leader.

These "news agencies" can't even remember who's  dead and who ain't anymore.....don't you wish they would get their stories straight?.....
CBS NEWS along with many others reported they had very good evidence, of his confirmed death in 2008 of massive blood loss from a missile strike...

0 Triclosan in most soaps could make you more prone to allergies

Similar products all contain Triclosan
A new study has indicated that young people may suffer more allergies if they become overexposed to anti­bacterial soaps containing triclosan.

Researchers from the University of Michigan School of Public Health also found that excess exposure to higher levels of Bisphenol A among adults might weaken their immune system. 
Triclosan is widely used in anti­bacterial soaps, toothpaste, pens, diaper bags and medical devices while Bisphenol A is found in many plastics, including the lining of food cans.

Both are endocrine-disrupting compounds (ECDs) believed to affect health by mimicking or acting on human hormones, said the researchers.

"The triclosan findings in the younger age groups may support the 'hygiene hypothesis', which maintains living in very clean and hygienic environments may impact our exposure to micro-organisms that are beneficial for development of the immune system," said Allison Aiello, associate professor and principal investigator on the study.

Using data from 2003- 006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the researchers compared urinary Bisphenol A and triclosan levels with diagnosis of allergies and with levels of anti­bodies to the pathogen cytomegalovirus - both considered signs of immune system changes - in a sample of U.S. adults and children over age 6.

Bisphenol A contained in plastic containers
"We found that people over age 18 with higher levels of BPA exposure had higher CMV antibody levels, which suggests their cell-mediated immune system may not be functioning properly," said Erin Rees Clayton, a member of the investigative team.

Researchers also found that people aged 18 and under with higher levels of triclosan were more likely to report diagnosis of allergies and hay fever.

There is growing concern among the scientific community and consumer groups that these EDCs are dangerous to humans at lower levels than previously thought.

As an antimicrobial agent found in many household products, triclosan may play a role in changing the micro-organisms to which we are exposed in such a way that our immune system development in childhood is affected, said Aiello.

One surprise finding is that with Bisphenol A exposure, age seems to mat­ter, said Rees Clayton. In peo­ple 18 or older, higher amounts of the compound were associated with higher cytomegalovirus levels, but in peo­ple young­er than 18 the re­verse was true.

"It is possible that a person can be too clean for his or her own good," he added.

He noted that previous animal studies indicated that BPA and triclosan may affect the immune system, but this is the first known study to look at exposure to BPA and triclosan as it relates to human immune function.

One surprise finding is that with BPA exposure, age seems to matter, said Clayton. In people 18 or older, higher amounts of BPA were associated with higher CMV levels, but in people younger than 18 the reverse was true.

0 The Start of Mass Commercialization of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines?

BioTime, Inc. today announced an agreement with the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to make five clinical-grade human embryonic stem (hES) cell lines available to California-based researchers. CIRM is the stem cell agency created when California voters supported a $3 billion funding measure for stem cell-related research and clinical translation. Under the agreement, BioTime will initially provide research grade cell lines, and within one year, BioTime will also make available GMP-grade cell lines along with certain documentation and complete DNA sequence information. The parties anticipate that the use of the GMP grade cell lines may streamline the translation of basic science to human therapies. Should the users of the cell lines and BioTime eventually sign definitive license agreements for commercial use of the cell lines, BioTime will receive a royalty on net sales.
Human embryonic stem cell lines are expandable populations of cells with the potential to generate all human cell types. However, there are many scientific and technological steps that are necessary in order to turn this potential into a reality. In recent years, research conducted around the world has shown promising results for hES cell-based therapies for a wide range of diseases. But in order to develop effective therapies for use in humans that will meet the regulatory standards of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulators, the cell lines that are used to develop those therapies must fully comply with the strict current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) quality standards that apply to all drugs and devices. The creation of such cell lines is a substantial undertaking.
 The GMP grade versions of these cell lines along with a letter of cross-reference to a biologics master file containing manufacturing and controls information and additional documentation needed to establish GMP compliance, and the complete genomic DNA sequence information on the cell lines, will be available to California-based researchers at a price approximating BioTime’s cost of materials by November 22, 2011. Although no royalties will be payable to BioTime by researchers who acquire the cell lines for research use, entities that desire to use the GMP-compliant cell lines for therapeutic or other commercial purposes, may do so only after signing commercialization agreements acceptable to BioTime and entitling BioTime to receive royalties on net sales not to exceed 2.0% of net sales, reducible to 1.5% if the researcher must pay any other royalties in connection with the resulting product commercialization.
The researchers will be responsible for obtaining any licenses that may be needed from third parties to use the GMP cell lines in their products. Lastly, the form of a material transfer agreement has been agreed to by CIRM and BioTime for research use. The pre-negotiation of terms will serve to help accelerate research by eliminating protracted negotiations.
“We believe this agreement is in the best interests of both the people of California and BioTime,” said Michael D. West, Ph.D., BioTime's President and CEO. “There are at least three potential benefits to the parties: First, access to cGMP-manufactured cell lines may help CIRM-funded researchers accelerate their work in a wide array of new cell-based therapies and drugs, and more quickly translate the research into improved medical outcomes for people with difficult to treat diseases. Second, the publication of the research results using these cell lines may benefit BioTime's own work to better understand the characteristics of the lines when used to manufacture human therapeutics. Lastly, BioTime may benefit from future commercial revenues from products developed as a result of this collaboration through a royalty-bearing license. The development of standards and open platforms often allows new fields of science and technology to move forward more quickly. We are grateful to the vision of CIRM in working with industry to advance this exciting science into the clinic.”
A sixth cell line designated ESI-049 is currently being evaluated by a large pharmaceutical company for exclusive use and was therefore not included in the collaborative agreement with CIRM. BioTime will retain the rights to manufacture its own research and therapeutic products from the cell lines. Additional information on the agreement is available on BioTime’s website at

After a little research I learned that are a part of  Hadassah International
which was founded by Bernice S. Tannenbaum 
who's bio tells that among other thing's she: served as National President of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America from 1976 to 1980. In the late 1990s she chaired the Strategic Planning Committee that proposed the creation of The Hadassah Foundation, and for the past decade she has been the Foundation’s Liaison to Hadassah’s National Board.

0 Global temp up 7.2F degrees by 2060s...says 'Worst case study'

$270 billion per year
CANCUN, Mexico (Reuters) – World temperatures could soar by 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by the 2060s in the worst case of global climate change and require an annual investment of $270 billion just to contain rising sea levels, studies suggested on Sunday.
Such a rapid rise, within the lifetimes of many young people today, is double the 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) ceiling set by 140 governments at a U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen last year and would disrupt food and water supplies in many parts of the globe.
Rising greenhouse gas emissions this decade meant the 2 degree goal was "extremely difficult, arguably impossible, raising the likelihood of global temperature rises of 3 or 4 degrees C within this century," an international team wrote.

Polar bears could forget how to swim
The studies, published to coincide with annual U.N. climate talks in Mexico starting on Monday, said few researchers had examined in detail the possible impact of a 4 degrees C rise above pre-industrial levels.
"Across many sectors -- coastal cities, farming, water stress, ecosystems or migration, the impacts will be greater," than at 2 degrees, wrote Mark New of Oxford University in England, who led the international team.
One study, published in the British journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, said temperatures could rise by 4 degrees C in the worst case by the early 2060s.
Other scenarios showed the threshold breached later in the century or not at all by 2100, raising risks of abrupt changes such as a loss of Arctic sea ice in summer, a thaw in permafrost or a drying out of the Amazon rainforest.
One of the papers gave what it called a "pragmatic estimate" that sea levels might rise by between 0.5 and 2 meters (1.64 to 6.56 feet) by 2100 if temperatures rose 4 degrees Celsius.
Containing a sea level rise of 2 meters, mostly building Dutch-style sea walls, would require annual investments of up to $270 billion a year by 2100.
That sum might limit migration to perhaps 305,000 people from the most vulnerable areas, wrote Robert Nicholls of the University of Southampton. Lack of protective measures could mean the forced resettlement of 187 million people.
People living on small islands, in Asia, Africa or river deltas were most at risk.
The studies concluded that governments should do more both to cut greenhouse gas emissions and research back-up methods such as "geo-engineering" programs that could dim sunlight or seek to suck greenhouse gases from the air.


TWO WORDS......"  LOOK"   & "  OUTSIDE""  

0 Pregnant?......theres an app for that.

If you are pregnant, there are iPhone applications that can help you get through the process. And while it's true that these applications don't make the pain ago away, they do let you keep track of things and become more knowledgeable.
Pregnancy-related phone applications are an extremely handy pregnancy resource that can be used just about anywhere, reports
With so many free and low cost apps available, they're fast becoming a convenient resource for mums and even dads to be.
Here are some of the most useful and popular pregnancy apps available for the iPhone.

Baby brain sufferers, look no further. This application shows how far along your pregnancy is and calculates Body Mass Index, tracks weight gain and records vital stats pertaining to mother and unborn baby, notes on medical visits, questions for the obstetrician, important pregnancy contact numbers, as well as all relevant medical appointments, with a reminders of scheduled appointment popping up each time the application is opened. It also features a 'Baby Names' list to add possible choices to.
The application provides quick tips and information divided into baby, mummy and daddy.

The intention of dad2be is to "provide general information with a fun edge that you might get from a friend" — and it does precisely that.
With simple subject titles such as Dos, Don'ts and Nevers such as "Never check the scores during labour", language and notes are short and direct- "Giving birth is usually very painful".

Pimp My Ultrasound
Clearly designed for entertainment purposes only — and probably by a dad trying to make head or tail of his own baby's ultrasound image — users upload an ultrasound image of their unborn child to the applications and 'pimp' it.
With a large variety of accessories and props on offer, including hats, mohawks, sunglasses, sporting goods, footwear, musical instruments and speech bubbles, it's definitely giggle worthy and will help create at least one ultrasound image those outside of the immediate family will genuinely enjoying looking at.

Foods to avoid when pregnant
During pregnancy hunger often strikes hard, fast and out of nowhere — and if food consumption isn't imminent, a spray of vomit often will be.
For those of us who have found themselves in a food court thinking fries from McDonalds is the only safe option available, this application takes the headache out of one of the most confusing aspects of pregnancy.

  Baby names wizard
You never know where you'll be when you discover a potential baby name, so an application devoted to this is an absolutely necessity.
While some name applications boast databases of 25,000 names ore more, the search functions can be confusing at times.
The Baby Names Wizard is very cute and very simple to navigate, allowing names to be searched by gender, meaning, origin, trends and popularity. You can also create a list of favourites, which can be easily emailed to family and friends.

Ps: this is just a tongue in cheek post.... ;o)

0 U.S. may approve genetically modified apple that won't go brown when sliced or bruised

A Canadian biotechnology company has asked the U.S. to approve a genetically modified apple that won't brown soon after its sliced, saying the improvement could boost sales of apples for snacks, salads and other uses.
U.S. apple growers say it's too soon to know whether they'd be interested in the apple: They need to resolve questions about the apple's quality, the cost of planting and, most importantly, whether people would buy it.
"Genetically modified _ that's a bad word in our industry," said Todd Fryhover, president of the apple commission in Washington state, which produces more than half the U.S. crop.
But Neal Carter, president of the company that developed the apples, said the technology would lower the cost of producing fresh slices, which have become a popular addition to children's lunch boxes, and make apples more popular in salads and other quick meals.
Carter's company, Okanagan Specialty Fruits of Summerland, British Columbia, licensed the non-browning technology from Australian researchers who pioneered it in potatoes. Essentially, the genes responsible for producing the enzyme that induces browning have been silenced in the apple variety being marketed as "Arctic."
"They look like apple trees and grow like apple trees and produce apples that look like all other apples and when you cut them, they don't turn brown," Carter said. "The benefit is something that can be identified just about by everybody."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has considered about 100 petitions for genetically engineered or modified crops. Those that have drawn the most attention have been engineered to withstand certain weed killers, but among those the agency has approved are tomatoes altered to ripen more slowly _ the first genetically modified crop approved in the U.S. in 1992 _ and plums that resist a specific virus. This is the first petition for apples.
The USDA's biotechnology regulations are designed to ensure that genetically modified crops are just as safe for agriculture and the environment as traditionally bred crop varieties, spokesman R. Andre Bell said in a statement. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service works with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration, depending on the product, to ensure safety.
The approval process can take years, and it's not clear the apples will be accepted even if they pass government inspection.
Fryhover raised concerns about cross-pollination of conventional trees with genetically modified ones if they were planted in close proximity. He also questioned whether Arctic apples would generate enough in sales to outweigh the $10,000 to $20,000 per acre cost of replanting.
Carter said growers replant orchards all the time and the company aims to have big growers plant the apples in large blocks so cross pollination is minimized. Carter said he's confident the fruit won't harm the environment and he's submitted paperwork to the USDA and FDA to prove his point.
"Some people won't like it just because of what it is," he said. "In the end, it's a great product, no question about it, and people will see the process used to get it had very sound science."
Companies have invested heavily in crops genetically modified to improve flavor, increase yields or nutrition and make them drought resistant, said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, a nonprofit public interest group based in Washington, D.C. Often, though, the genes that define those traits are one small part of a complex system, he said.
"Scientists have been saying they're only turning one thing off, but that switch is connected to another switch and another switch," Kimbrell said. "You can't just do one thing to nature. It's nice to think so, but it just doesn't work that way."
He also said the non-browning technology appears to benefit apple growers and shippers more than consumers by allowing companies to sell apples that are older than they look.
"A botox apple is not what people are looking for," Kimbrell said. "I'm predicting failure."
Crunch Pak, based in Cashmere, Wash., is No. 1 in the sliced apple market, with customers including Costco, Kroger Co., Publix and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The company, founded in 2000, has tripled in size in the past four years, with nearly 500 employees and a new processing plant in Pennsylvania.
Its apples are rinsed in a combination of calcium and ascorbic acid _ vitamin C _ to maintain freshness. Taste and quality are always important, but spokesman Tony Freytag said the biggest issue is food safety.
"Quite honestly, I would rather have an apple turn brown than think it's still OK because it's still white," he said. "I'm not discounting the anti-browning. It's just not the panacea."
Everyone agreed that consumers will make the final call. They have largely accepted other genetically modified crops, but whether they will do the same with apples remains to be seen.
"There's something about an apple. It's the symbol of health and nutrition, and then to turn around and say it's been genetically modified _ doesn't that go against what consumers say they're looking for?" Fryhover asked. "Right now, I wouldn't say the industry is poised to go either direction. We need to know more." 

0 Wikileaks documents contain "brutally candid views" of foreign leaders and terror threats

WASHINGTON — A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at backroom bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.    

Some of the cables, made available to The New York Times and several other news organizations, were written as recently as late February, revealing the Obama administration’s exchanges over crises and conflicts. The material was originally obtained by
WikiLeaks, an organization devoted to revealing secret documents. WikiLeaks intends to make the archive public on its Web site in batches, beginning Sunday.       

The anticipated disclosure of the cables  is already sending shudders through the diplomatic establishment, and could conceivably strain relations with some countries, influencing international affairs in ways that are impossible to predict.       

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and American ambassadors around the world have been contacting foreign officials in recent days to alert them to the expected disclosures. On Saturday, the State Department’s legal adviser, Harold Hongju Koh, wrote to a lawyer for WikiLeaks informing the organization that the distribution of the cables was illegal and could endanger lives, disrupt military and counterterrorism operations and undermine international cooperation against nuclear proliferation and other threats.       

The cables, a huge sampling of the daily traffic between the State Department and some 270 embassies and consulates, amount to a secret chronicle of the United States’ relations with the world in an age of war and terrorism. Among their revelations, to be detailed in The Times in coming days:       

A dangerous standoff with Pakistan over nuclear fuel: Since 2007, the United States has mounted a highly secret effort, so far unsuccessful, to remove from a Pakistani research reactor highly enriched uranium that American officials fear could be diverted for use in an illicit nuclear device. In May 2009, Ambassador Anne W. Patterson reported that Pakistan was refusing to schedule a visit by American technical experts because, as a Pakistani official said, “if the local media got word of the fuel removal, ‘they certainly would portray it as the United States taking Pakistan’s nuclear weapons,’ he argued.”       

Gaming out an eventual collapse of North Korea: American and South Korean officials have discussed the prospects for a unified Korea, should the North’s economic troubles and political transition lead the state to implode. The South Koreans even considered commercial inducements to China, according to the American ambassador to Seoul. She told Washington in February that South Korean officials believe that the right business deals would “help salve” China’s “concerns about living with a reunified Korea” that is in a “benign alliance” with the United States.       

Bargaining to empty the Guantánamo Bay prison: When American diplomats pressed other countries to resettle detainees, they became reluctant players in a State Department version of “Let’s Make a Deal.” Slovenia was told to take a prisoner  if it wanted to meet with President Obama, while the island nation of Kiribati was offered incentives worth millions of dollars to take in a group of detainees,  cables from diplomats recounted. The Americans, meanwhile, suggested that accepting  more prisoners would be “a low-cost way for Belgium to attain prominence in Europe.”       


Suspicions of corruption in the Afghan government: When Afghanistan’s vice president visited the United Arab Emirates last year, local authorities working with the
Drug Enforcement Administration
 discovered that he was carrying $52 million in cash. With wry understatement, a cable from the American Embassy in Kabul called the money “a significant amount” that the official, Ahmed Zia Massoud, “was ultimately allowed to keep without revealing the money’s origin or destination.” (Mr. Massoud denies taking any money out of Afghanistan.)       


A global computer hacking effort: China’s Politburo directed the intrusion into Google’s computer systems in that country, a Chinese contact told the American Embassy in Beijing in January, one cable reported. The Google hacking was part of a coordinated campaign of computer sabotage  carried out by government operatives, private security experts and Internet outlaws recruited by the Chinese government. They have broken into American government computers and those of Western allies,  the Dalai Lama and American businesses since 2002, cables said.       

Mixed records against terrorism: Saudi donors remain the chief financiers of Sunni militant groups like Al Qaeda, and the tiny Persian Gulf state of Qatar, a generous host to the American military for years, was the “worst in the region” in counterterrorism efforts, according to a State Department cable last December. Qatar’s security service was “hesitant to act against known terrorists out of concern for appearing to be aligned with the U.S. and provoking reprisals,” the cable said.       


An intriguing alliance: American diplomats in Rome reported in 2009 on what their Italian contacts described as an extraordinarily close relationship between
Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian prime minister, and Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister and business magnate, including “lavish gifts,” lucrative energy contracts and a “shadowy” Russian-speaking Italian go-between. They wrote that Mr. Berlusconi “appears increasingly to be the mouthpiece of Putin” in Europe. The diplomats also noted that while Mr. Putin enjoys supremacy over all other public figures in Russia, he is undermined by an unmanageable bureaucracy that often ignores his edicts.     

Full Story:  


0 Wikileaks' Newest Leak Leaked on Twitter

Twitter has out-leaked the leakers. About 12 hours before Wikileaks latest enormous leak was scheduled to be released, a Twitter user bought a copy of a German news magazine outlining the leak after it was placed on newstands too early.
According to tweets from German-speaking Twitter users who snagged an embargoed copy of this week's Der Spiegel (cover above), the cache of over 250,000 confidential diplomatic cables may be a bit of a let-down. At least from the German point of view there are no earth-shattering revelations, just a lot of candid talk about world leaders. Angela Merkel is praised as "teflon," though she "avoids risk and is rarely creative," and German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle is repeatedly bashed. There is talk of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's "wild parties," (duh) and Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is likened to Hitler. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is called an "emperor with no clothes." The cables also show Obama has "no emotional relationship with Europe," focusing instead on Asian countries, according to Der Spiegel.
The full tranche of cables is apparently scheduled to be released by Wikileaks this afternoon at around 4:30 pm EST in concert with The New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel. But this morning, a sharp-eyed Twitter user spotted a copy of Der Spiegel at a a rest area on the Germany-Switzerland border. "Der Spiegel too early in the Badische Bahnhof Basel!" wrote Freelancer_09. "We'll see what it says...... :)" He and another user, sa7yr, have been tweeting excerpts for a few hours now.
It's the biggest leak since Kanye West's new album! But Wikileaks has bigger problems: They just tweeted "We are currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack." The attack has apparently brought down.

0 Wikileaks currently under Mass Cyber attack

0 Full-Body Backscatter Technology rolling out on U.S. streets

Courthouses and airport security checkpoints aren’t the only places where backscatter x-ray vision is being deployed. The same technology, capable of seeing through clothes and walls, has also been rolling out on U.S. streets.
American Science & Engineering, a company based in Billerica, Massachusetts, has sold U.S. and foreign government agencies more than 500 backscatter x-ray scanners mounted in vans that can be driven past neighboring vehicles to see their contents, Joe Reiss, a vice president of marketing at the company told me in an interview. While the biggest buyer of AS&E’s machines over the last seven years has been the Department of Defense operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, Reiss says law enforcement agencies have also deployed the vans to search for vehicle-based bombs in the U.S.
“This product is now the largest selling cargo and vehicle inspection system ever,” says Reiss.

                                                   Here’s a video of the vans in action.
 The Z Backscatter Vans, or ZBVs, as the company calls them, bounce a narrow stream of x-rays off and through nearby objects, and read which ones come back. Absorbed rays indicate dense material such as steel. Scattered rays indicate less-dense objects that can include explosives, drugs, or human bodies. That capability makes them powerful tools for security, law enforcement, and border control.
It would also seem to make the vans mobile versions of the same scanning technique that’s riled privacy advocates as it’s been deployed in airports around the country. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is currently suing the DHS to stop airport deployments of the backscatter scanners, which can reveal detailed images of human bodies. (Just how much detail became clear last May, when TSA employee Rolando Negrin was charged with assaulting a coworker who made jokes about the size of Negrin’s genitalia after Negrin received a full-body scan.)
This is what Airport security Actually see
“It’s no surprise that governments and vendors are very enthusiastic about [the vans],” says Marc Rotenberg, executive director of EPIC. “But from a privacy perspective, it’s one of the most intrusive technologies conceivable.”
AS&E’s Reiss counters privacy critics by pointing out that the ZBV scans don’t capture nearly as much detail of human bodies as their airport counterparts. The company’s marketing materials say that its “primary purpose is to image vehicles and their contents,” and that “the system cannot be used to identify an individual, or the race, sex or age of the person.”
Though Reiss admits that the systems “to a large degree will penetrate clothing,” he points to the lack of features in images of humans like the one shown at right, far less detail than is obtained from the airport scans. “From a privacy standpoint, I’m hard-pressed to see what the concern or objection could be,” he says.
But EPIC’s Rotenberg says that the scans, like those in the airport, potentially violate the fourth amendment. “Without a warrant, the government doesn’t have a right to peer beneath your clothes without probable cause,” he says. Even airport scans are typically used only as a secondary security measure, he points out. “If the scans can only be used in exceptional cases in airports, the idea that they can be used routinely on city streets is a very hard argument to make.”
The TSA’s official policy dictates that full-body scans must be viewed in a separate room from any guards dealing directly with subjects of the scans, and that the scanners won’t save any images.
Just what sort of safeguards might be in place for AS&E’s scanning vans isn’t clear, given that the company won’t reveal just which law enforcement agencies, organizations within the DHS, or foreign governments have purchased the equipment. Reiss says AS&E has customers on “all continents except Antarctica.”
Reiss adds that the vans do have the capability of storing images. “Sometimes customers need to save images for evidentiary reasons,” he says. “We do what our customers need.”