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Boomers kill 43 in Pakland on Sunday
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-Lurid Crime Tales-
Pakistani hacker sentenced in two cyberheists
[Pak Daily Times] A Pak man who participated in two multimillion-dollar ATM heists targeting debit card processors was sentenced in Brooklyn federal court on Friday to 18 months in prison.

Imran Elahi pleaded guilty last year to access device fraud and conspiracy, largely for his involvement in two precision strikes: a $9 million heist in 2008 involving RBS WorldPay and a $14 million hack in 2011 against Fidelity Information Services.

The cybercrimes were strikingly similar to the $45 million global ATM heist that Brooklyn federal prosecutors revealed last month, when US Attorney Loretta Lynch charged eight defendants with using stolen debit cards at thousands of automated teller machines worldwide over a period of hours in a coordinated attack.

That effort involved MasterCard Inc prepaid debit cards issued by Bank Muscat of Oman and National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah PSC, or Rakbank, of the United Arab Emirates.

In court on Friday, prosecutors praised Elahi for immediately waiving extradition upon his arrest in the Netherlands last May and agreeing to cooperate with the government.

Elahi's case was sealed until recently, and details of his cooperation remain under wraps.

Lynch's office has not indicated whether there is any connection between Elahi's assistance and the case in May. The ringleaders of the Middle East heist, and the country in which they are based, have not been charged or publicly identified by authorities.

Assistant US Attorney Cristina Posa said Elahi had provided "significant assistance" to Sherlocks. When asked by US District Judge John Gleeson what sentence seemed appropriate, she said, "If he was to go home to his family this weekend, I wouldn't be bothered by it."

In so-called "unlimited operation" heists, like those Elahi admitted to joining, hackers gain access to the computer systems of payment processors that handled prepaid debit cards for various financial institutions and dramatically increase the available balance and withdrawal limits on a handful of cards.

Co-conspirators in countries around the world then fan out to ATMs and take out money using the stolen debit card numbers in a coordinated global operation.

The operations can net cybercrime rings enormous sums of money in short amounts of time. In the case revealed in May, "casher crews" were able to withdraw $40 million in just over 10 hours.

Authorities said Elahi was responsible for disseminating the debit card numbers to casher crews in Mexico and elsewhere. Between 2005 and 2012, Elahi's activities earned him roughly $250,000 to $300,000.
Posted by: Fred || 06/30/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [296 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Wonder if under the plea He'll have to pay it back, (They have different rules than us.)
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 06/30/2013 9:16 Comments || Top||


-Short Attention Span Theater-
Soldier missing 43 years in Vietnam finally accounted for
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that a soldier, missing from the Vietnam War, has been accounted for and will be buried with full military honors along with two of his crew members.

Army Spc. 5 John L. Burgess, of Sutton Bay, Mich., was the crew chief of a UH-1H Iroquois helicopter that crashed in Binh Phuoc Province, South Vietnam. Also, killed in the crash were 1st Lt. Leslie F. Douglas Jr., of Verona, Miss.; lst Lt. Richard Dyer, of Central Falls, R.I.; and Sgt. 1st Class Juan Colon-Diaz, of Comerio, Puerto Rico. Another crew member, Pfc. John Goosman, survived the crash and was rescued. Remains representing Dyer, Colon-Diaz, and Burgess, will be buried as a group in a single casket, on July 2, at Arlington National Cemetery.
The crash site was very close to the Cambodian border and was off limits to investigators for decades. By the time they found remains, there wasn't enough left for DNA matching; but they did find remains. John L. Burgess was adopted. The DPMO & other federal agencies do genealogy research in cases like his, but somehow thoroughly missed the newspaper articles, personal tributes and genealogy-related facts scattered all over the internet, related to him, such as this one. The news media close to his home town were already aware of his natural family & were in fact knocking on their doors for interviews shortly after this press release. His natural siblings were completely taken by surprise. After a lot of phone calls, emails & Facebook posts, this was sorted out. Many of his closest relations will be at Arlington National Cemetery for the interment. I was very impressed by the dedication and sensitivity of those investigating John's case.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 06/30/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [342 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Everybody comes home. One way or another, everybody comes home.
Posted by: Richard Aubrey || 06/30/2013 17:26 Comments || Top||


Sri Lanka man dies of heart attack after shocking electric bill
[Pak Daily Times] A Sri Lankan man suffered a fatal heart attack after being presented with a shocking electricity bill, a media report said Saturday.

The 61-year-old victim had protested at the Ceylon Electricity Board in Colombo Friday that his bill had suddenly spiked, the Ceylon Today newspaper said.

It said the man was told that the bill was due to a hefty tariff increase from last month and suffered a heart attack on the news, collapsing at the electricity board headquarters.

The newspaper did not give the victim's bill amount, but said it was in line with the new 50 percent tariff increase. The man identified as S P Samaradasa collapsed on a chair, the newspaper said in a front-page report headlined: "Electricity tariff claims first victim."

"The cause of death was identified as a heart attack," the paper added. He was dead on arrival at hospital. Sri Lanka is one of the most expensive countries in Asia for electricity with a kilowatt- hour costing up to 47 rupees ($0.37).
Posted by: Fred || 06/30/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [302 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What no Defibrillator at the Ceylon Electricity Board ?

(defibrillator n. An electrical device used to counteract fibrillation of the heart muscle and restore normal heartbeat)

How ironic an electrical bill killed him at the electricity board and he could have been saved by another "jolt of electricity".

Hears to you S P Samaradasa `~~~~~~ Zap !
Posted by: Au Auric || 06/30/2013 0:18 Comments || Top||


Eager Beaver Blamed for U.S. State Internet Outage
[An Nahar] Officials have finally identified the culprit behind a 20-hour Internet and cellphone outage last week in northern New Mexico --an eager beaver.

CenturyLink front man David Gonzales told The News Agency that Dare Not be Named on Friday that a beaver chewed through the fiber line last week. He says the evidence was discovered by contractors who worked to repair the outage.

Officials say more than 1,800 Internet users were affected by the blackout. The number of cellphone users without service during that time is still unknown.
Posted by: Fred || 06/30/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [437 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This beaver --- has he an history of association with Tea Party types?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 06/30/2013 15:15 Comments || Top||

#2  Only critter doing anything at the State Dept.
Posted by: JohnQC || 06/30/2013 22:22 Comments || Top||


-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-
Earthquake hits Iranian province of East Azerbaijan
On Saturday, an earthquake measuring 4.1 points hit the city of Khoy in the Iranian province of East Azerbaijan, according to the official news website of the Iranian iribnews TV channel.

The tremors were recorded at 01:46 local time, the Seismological Center of the Institute of Geophysics of the University of Tabriz said.

The earthquake affected more than 50 houses in the villages of Khoy, resulting in cracks on the walls. Recall that another earthquake hit Khoy last week, affecting more than 70 homes.

No reports have been made on the earthquake victims.
Posted by: Steve White || 06/30/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [330 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Harassing fire.
Move along.
Posted by: Shipman || 06/30/2013 7:45 Comments || Top||

#2  A 4.1 cracked a wall? What was the wall made of?
Posted by: 3dc || 06/30/2013 11:53 Comments || Top||


Africa Subsaharan
Six killed in Central African clashes as anger mounts over abuses
[Pak Daily Times] Clashes between ex-rebels and armed civilians killed six people in Bangui as anger mounted over abuses by the Central African Republic's new rulers, police and medics said Saturday.

The violence broke out on Friday in a northern neighbourhood of the capital when a student believed to have been kidnapped by ex-rebels was found dead, a police official said on condition of anonymity.

"Protesters, most of them youths, set up barricades and started burning tyres on the street to voice their anger over the discovery of the body of a student... who was kidnapped in broad daylight by Seleka forces," he said, referring to the former rebel group now in power.

The police source said the ex-rebels then "opened fire on the protesters with live bullets, killing one person."

Shots were fired back at the Seleka men, killing two, the official said, adding that another three unidentified people were rubbed out in the ensuing confusion. Twenty five people were also maimed.

"This is a provisional toll that is likely to worsen because gunfire from heavier and automatic weapons was heard in the neighbourhood later on, soon spreading to much of the city," he said.

Seleka (which means "alliance" in the Sango language) forces ousted the impoverished country's leader Francois Bozize in March. One of its leaders, Michel Djotodia, has since been sworn in as interim president but smouldering violence has continued to plague the landlocked nation. "The maimed keep coming in. Most of them were hit by stray bullets in various Bangui districts," Romain Guitizia, the director of a Bangui hospital, told AFP.

"It's tense here, we're not sure what is going to happen," he said.

Witnesses said a Protestant youth centre and a bank were looted as chaos spread across the capital.

Residents have repeatedly taken the law into their own hands over what rights groups say are executions and pillaging by ex-rebels.

Relief agencies in the Central African Republic warned on Thursday that the troubled nation was facing a serious humanitarian crisis as a result of the coup and its aftermath.

Human Rights Watch
... dedicated to bitching about human rights violations around the world...
said Seleka had "targeted and killed at least 40 civilians, and intentionally destroyed 34 villages or towns since February."

Djotodia's administration denies any involvement in the violence but senior Seleka members, including one of the former rebellion's top generals, issued a statement demanding an internal dialogue to tackle ongoing insecurity and rights violations.

Bangui has asked the regional bloc CEMAC to boost its troop presence from 700 to 2,000 in a bid to stabilise the capital.
Posted by: Fred || 06/30/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [311 views] Top|| File under:


Obama calls for reforms in Zimbabwe
[Bangla Daily Star] US President Barack Obama
I am not a dictator!...
yesterday called for Zim-bob-we's government to stop harassing its citizens and to implement reforms ahead of landmark elections expected later this year.
Free square on the Bingo card...
"Harassment of citizens and groups needs to stop and reform needs to move forward so people can cast their votes in elections that are fair and free and credible," he said during a visit to neighbouring South Africa.

Veteran president Bob Muggsy Mugabe
Octogenarian President-for-Life of Zim-bob-we who turned the former Breadbasket of Africa into the African Basket Case...
has set elections for July 31, drawing fierce criticism from his political foes.

Critics accuse Mugabe of attempting to push through a vote before reforms that would clean up the electoral roll, free the media and limit the military's political role.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai -- who will face Mugabe in the polls -- has threatened to boycott any unilaterally declared election date.
Posted by: Fred || 06/30/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [328 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Er huh.....excuse me. Calling for "Zim reforms" from a country that opening supports the Mugabe regime with funding, food, and arms. Please read your morning intelligence briefings you lazy kaffir. You might bloody learn something about what is going on in the region.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/30/2013 0:40 Comments || Top||

#2  Like the pink salmon commenter sed, it's a 'free square'. Pablum for the rubes and Bob still gets a White House birthday card every year.
Posted by: Pappy || 06/30/2013 0:52 Comments || Top||

#3  With any luck, he'll stay there to lead them....
Posted by: Uncle Phester || 06/30/2013 11:44 Comments || Top||


Caribbean-Latin America
Brazilian leader's popularity plummets after protests
[Pak Daily Times] Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's approval rating has plunged by nearly 30 points since huge streets protests over shoddy public services and corruption rocked the country, according to a poll out Saturday.

It has gone from 57 percent down to 30 percent since June 6-7, said the Datafolha survey, which added that the percentage of people who think her government is doing a "bad or terrible" job has risen from nine to 25 percent since.

In March, Rousseff's popularity stood at 65 percent. In June, her approval rating dipped in all regions, according to the survey of 4,717 people conducted in 196 cities. The latest poll, which has a margin of error of two percent, comes as a wake-up call for Rousseff and her ruling leftist Workers Party ahead presidential polls scheduled for October 2014. The protests have been largely peaceful but have at times been marred by violent festivities with police and acts of vandalism.
Posted by: Fred || 06/30/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [311 views] Top|| File under:

#1  .. protests over shoddy public services and corruption

You can have inefficiency or corruption and generally muddle your way through. Pushing both at the same time usually cuts the life of a regime that is unwilling to brutally suppress the prols.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 06/30/2013 8:36 Comments || Top||

#2  getting ready for the World Cup. Should be a fun time for all
Posted by: Frank G || 06/30/2013 9:16 Comments || Top||

#3  I can't wait until the Olympics.
Posted by: Pappy || 06/30/2013 9:37 Comments || Top||

#4  Stay out of the Ghettos, Americanos are worth a lot of money to some of the AK47 toting gangs. The people in the Ghettos indeed are impoverished, buses are over crowded, with huge crowds waiting at the bus stops hoping to get on.

Bicycles and small motor bikes are the most common forms of travel for them, a small car with no A/C, manual transmission would take a life time for a family to pay for.

If a guy comes up and tries to steal from you, watch your back, his partner standing off to one side as a lookout will charge in and put a blade in your back if your resist.

The Federals don't put up with thier crap, the went in to the Ghettos near Rio and shot up a lot of gangs.

Been to Brazil to go to the Amazon, you will do fine if you follow the basics above.
Posted by: Hupuque Bucket2093 || 06/30/2013 10:47 Comments || Top||


Europe
EU demands explanation after reports of NSA spying
European officials reacted with fury Sunday after a report that the U.S. National Security Agency spied on EU offices. The European Union warned that if the report is accurate, it will have tremendous repercussions.

"I am deeply worried and shocked about the allegations," European Parliament President Martin Schulz said in a statement. "If the allegations prove to be true, it would be an extremely serious matter which will have a severe impact on EU-US relations. On behalf of the European Parliament, I demand full clarification and require further information speedily from the U.S. authorities with regard to these allegations."

German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger "said if the accusations were true it was reminiscent of the Cold War," ministry spokesman Anders Mertzlufft said, adding that the minister "has asked for an immediate explanation from the United States."

The German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that "the U.S. placed bugs in the EU representation in Washington and infiltrated its computer network. Cyberattacks were also perpetrated against Brussels in New York and Washington."

The information came from secret documents obtained by Edward Snowden, which the paper "has in part seen," according to the report. "A 'top secret' 2010 document describes how the secret service attacked the EU's diplomatic representation in Washington."
Of course we spy on others. So do the Europeans. Wanna bet the French have a similar system? Of course they do. Governments are charged with national security. Of course they'll spy on others to ensure their own safety. It's what they do.

The issue isn't whether the NSA spies on others. It's why the NSA spies on us.
Posted by: tipper || 06/30/2013 08:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [587 views] Top|| File under:

#1  EU demands explanation after reports of NSA spying

Get in line.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 06/30/2013 8:37 Comments || Top||

#2  I feel sorry for any NSA analyst required to read top secret internal EU communications. There are only so many possible variations of "What's for lunch?"

Snark of the day
Posted by: Matt || 06/30/2013 11:32 Comments || Top||

#3  "I am SHOCKED, SHOCKED to find that there is gambling spying going on here." :Louis Renault in 'Casablanca'. This is what these guys do. They're a lot like lawyers:They'll find work, even if they have to make it up.
The only issue here is that they got caught publicly. There's apt to be more repercusions on this than over the NSA metadata farm in Utah.
Posted by: ed in texas || 06/30/2013 13:35 Comments || Top||

#4  Sorry, but no, you don't spy on friends.
You don't bug the offices of friends.
You don't watch every communication between friends.

If you regard the EU and EU countries as "target", there will be a price to pay. The price of trust.

Don't tell me that this has anything to do with fighting terror.

Seriously I am not amused, and I really consider myself a true friend of the U.S.

But this is a bridge too far

Posted by: European Conservative || 06/30/2013 14:05 Comments || Top||

#5  But, but, but Wolfgang Schmidt must be green with envy. :-(
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/30/2013 14:17 Comments || Top||

#6  Remember, these were the guys who were for Obama.
Posted by: Ptah || 06/30/2013 14:31 Comments || Top||

#7  "It's for the children".
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 06/30/2013 15:13 Comments || Top||

#8  Maybe they're just trying to figure out where all those hundreds of thousands 'untraceable' small donations that came out of Europe for the 2008 Obama election came from. Got to send a 'thank you' note. That's the ticket.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 06/30/2013 15:30 Comments || Top||

#9  The bottom line is this: to the Intel types who do this, there are only two groups in the world: The people whom they cannot do this to, and everybody else. Group 1 is small and actually 'those who we don't DARE get caught by'. You'll note that the publis generis never enters this consideration. And not merely American; the Brits and French have been at this since before there was a US.
Swowden is, however looking more like a troll every day.
Euro Conserv: You're right. The problem is, these guys don't recognize the concept of 'friends'. Just people they can lean on. Remember the KGB's "if you're innocent you've got nothing to worry about"?
Posted by: ed in texas || 06/30/2013 15:58 Comments || Top||

#10  "These" people can't do such things without the approval of the President.

As a matter of fact, we all have things to hide. That's why we wear clothes and shut the door when using the wash room.

We are currently negotiating a free trade agreement with the U.S. Of course certain conditions have to be met, it's a give and take. Now we find out that the U.S. places bugs in places where it isn't supposed to (translation: flagrantly breaking the law). This seriously puts negotiations into jeopardy.

It's about trust and these revelations are very damaging.

The NSA has no business to find out where I'm going, whom I'm talking to, whom I'm trading with etc. Simply no business.

We are in a common fight against terror and of course we cooperate. Cooperation needs trust. If you consider us "targets", then it's time to reconsider our relations.

Seriously, this needs to STOP.
Posted by: European Conservative || 06/30/2013 16:12 Comments || Top||

#11  Le squirrel
Posted by: regular joe || 06/30/2013 17:53 Comments || Top||

#12  "Sorry, but no, you don't spy on friends."

Sure you do. What if you have learned of a spy cell in your country that is connected somehow to a friendly country and you have the means of collecting some further information in that friendly country on behalf of that friendly government?

What if you are able to learn that a company in a friendly company has been penetrated by a third country and is having their technology stolen?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/9803666/Middle-class-German-couple-spied-for-Russia-for-20-years.html

Wonder if we helped with that investigation in any way.
Posted by: crosspatch || 06/30/2013 18:59 Comments || Top||

#13  That's called cooperation between intelligence services, not spying.

We're not talking about keeping track of terrorist groups in Germany or other European countries, we're talking about blanket spying on all phone and internet activities of all citizens in my country.

This is unacceptable.

And bugging the offices of our highest political representatives is what in diplospeak is called an "unfriendly act"

I am in favor of a free trade agreement with the U.S., but I'd stop all talks until this is sorted out.

This means a full apology of the President and a binding confirmation that this won't happen again.

I would not have trade talk with a business partner who breaks into my computers.

I'm serious folks.
Posted by: European Conservative || 06/30/2013 19:28 Comments || Top||

#14  Don't hold your breath, EC. this Administration is great at apologizing to our enemies, but when it comes to our friends ... forget about it.
Posted by: Glenmore || 06/30/2013 20:02 Comments || Top||

#15  There is a reason why Obama had to buy invite his small crowd in Berlin this time.
Posted by: European Conservative || 06/30/2013 20:08 Comments || Top||

#16  I'm very sorry EC, but you must realize with Tyrant Obama in office, that isn't going to happen. He will stab anyone and everyone in the back to get what he wants or thinks he wants. He has no shame, no sense of honor or decency or any other quality that might come close to qualifying him as a human being. He shits on people and tells them to like it or he'll have our press call them racists and worse.
Posted by: Silentbrick - Schlumberger Squishy Mud Division || 06/30/2013 20:11 Comments || Top||

#17  When you have the conservative, US friendly German press up in arms that means something.

Oh well but Ms. Rice sees no problems. It's going to be a long three years
Posted by: European Conservative || 06/30/2013 20:19 Comments || Top||

#18  EC, the NSA is saying "but we prevented 50 terrorist attacks" and we are supposed to believe them? The government never lies ;-|

This is the problem with all this secrecy. With regular courts, the proceeding are open for all to see. We the people can judge the fairness for ourselves. With the Black Courts (e.g. FISA) there is no public oversight. When the NSA is accused of violating FISA, that is the last straw. If true, that is a violation of the US Constitution.

Of course FISA doesn't help you EC. I agree that friends should be treated as friends. That kind of intelligence gathering needs to be focused (coordinated and shared), not shotgunned for "Big data" analysis.
Posted by: Tarzan Bucket4506 || 06/30/2013 21:29 Comments || Top||

#19  I see lots of problems: if we're innocent and Snowden's been spewing a bunch of lies and half-truths, and the stuff he's releasing has been carefully massaged by foreign intelligence groups, well, we can't really _do_ anything about that without wrecking what real intelligence capabilities we have.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 06/30/2013 21:36 Comments || Top||

#20  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYq90TEdxIE

hear past the noise pop and you might hear the end of an American century
Posted by: Devilstoenail || 06/30/2013 21:47 Comments || Top||

#21  plus your also massively outnumbered and the technological advance the west has may suddenly turn. Not only that the EU advocated for a world currency (very similar to bitcoin) rather then the dollar. Now if world opinion turned so much against you (and were only past a decade in this century) then you would lose more tax revenue then you could dream of - and the US government would owe the world so quickly so big.

While the west is the west it's good, but we cannot turn on each other because as above financially that would be it. Militarily your strength would be nil and the US people would be on the bad end of the line.

On top of this how do you now think the UK people feel about Europe? They love the US and hate Europe, this is bad bad news. A year and a half before an election.

Bad
Posted by: Devilstoenail || 06/30/2013 21:54 Comments || Top||

#22  Thing From Snowy Mountain,
All the more reason for the Intelligence guys to keep that legal line bright and clear as opposed to depending on secrecy to keep transgressions hidden.

I have an operational definition of good and bad. Good is anything you do that benefits you. Bad is also anything you do that benefits you. Hey, are you trying to hurt yourself? Of course not.

The difference is that bad benefits you right now but leads to your long term determent. Good almost always hurts right now but leads to your long term betterment.

Look at the ten commandments and they fit this definition to a tee. If you look at the US Constitution, the same applies.

Short term expediency, in secret, leads to distrust by the American people. I call that a bad thing.

BTW, my rule of thumb is that if I think that I can survive a good decision, I will take it. The cost of a bad decision is that eventually, you have to make another decision. The fallacy is that, like the man jumping off the building, they always think that there will be that opportunity to make another bad decision.
Posted by: Tarzan Bucket4506 || 06/30/2013 21:54 Comments || Top||

#23  To Tarzan Bucket - yesterdays - or maybe the day before - China lowers interest rates, it will hurt short term but benefit long term.

Why are we still suffering, and maybe in ten years they won't

We all know the right choice, it's just making the right decision
Posted by: Devilstoenail || 06/30/2013 21:57 Comments || Top||

#24  I meant to add financial times in that -
Posted by: Devilstoenail || 06/30/2013 21:58 Comments || Top||

#25  Devilstoenail,
The US values its allies and shares a lot of its intelligence with them, and vice versa.
Posted by: Tarzan Bucket4506 || 06/30/2013 22:02 Comments || Top||

#26  Oversight is key in a free democratic state.

I always admired the US Constitution, because in this constitution it's not the government telling people what they can do but the people telling the government what it can do.

And what it friggin' cannot.

This kind of secrecy leads to abuse of power and tyranny.
Posted by: European Conservative || 06/30/2013 22:04 Comments || Top||

#27  Devilstoenail,
China, being a dictatorship, suffers from severe handicaps. In a war game, economic or shooting, I wouldn't want to trade places.

“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.” ~Winston Churchill.

We are still exhausting all the bad possibilities. :-(
Posted by: Tarzan Bucket4506 || 06/30/2013 22:07 Comments || Top||

#28  touche Tarzan,

but it's not up to me or the one liners that prove otherwise.

Those guys at the top will battle it out, and things like this will be turning points.

Posted by: Devilstoenail || 06/30/2013 22:15 Comments || Top||

#29  EC, I'm reading this and it sounds like you're saying "All the more reason for you to CONFESS!"
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 06/30/2013 22:16 Comments || Top||

#30  Sounds like more distrust Snowy Mountain?
Posted by: Devilstoenail || 06/30/2013 22:19 Comments || Top||

#31  Middlemen 'If I've learned one thing, it's that business is a lot like sex. Getting in is easy, pulling out is hard.

Posted by: Devilstoenail || 06/30/2013 22:21 Comments || Top||

#32  The question is very simple:

Does the people control its intelligence services or do the intelligence services control the people.

I come from a country that knows a lot about the second option. You don't want to try it out.
Posted by: European Conservative || 06/30/2013 22:28 Comments || Top||

#33  I can answer that one EC, but it's not the answer we wish it were.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/30/2013 22:38 Comments || Top||

#34  Sorry for breaking in.... I was just enjoying some Raul Malo and caught your post. Back to Malo now.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/30/2013 22:41 Comments || Top||

#35  Funny you should mention past abuses by Germany. It's one of the reasons I'm actually reluctant to engage in the sorts of public disclosures that would essentially amount to intelligence disarmament. We did that in the aftermath of WW1 and it didn't work out that well. I think the catchphrase used then was "Gentlemen do not read each others' mail."
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 06/30/2013 23:11 Comments || Top||

#36  We're on the horns of a dilemma, IMHO. I don't feel particularly trustful of the current administration. I also don't feel particularly trustful of people like your government who basically shut down _their_ energy infrastructure in favor of Gazprom. Finally, I think we have real problems with both foreign-government-sponsored-groups that not only support random violence in the form of terrorism, but are attempting nuclear proliferation.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 06/30/2013 23:16 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
Kerry, on Mideast tour, to confront doubts in Asia
We don't need Jahwn to 'confront' doubters. We need him to win them over. In other words, we're doomed...
Secretary of State John Kerry heads to talks in Asia trying to quash fears that the vaunted US refocus on the region is not serious as he puts a personal priority on peace in the Middle East. Kerry plans to attend Southeast Asian talks in Brunei from Monday, which has become his unofficial deadline to wrap up his latest Middle East trip in which he is shuttling between Israeli and Palestinian leaders to revive peace talks.

Even in Brunei, his focus will not be solely on Asia as he is expected to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on tensions over the Syria war and the mysterious presence in Moscow of US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.
What's "mysterious" about it?
Kerry has visited the Middle East five times in as many months. His second trip to Asia since taking office in February -- he earlier went to China, Japan and South Korea -- is again part of a larger tour.

Kerry dismissed suggestions he was uninterested in Asia, saying that he planned to travel "shortly" to Indonesia and Vietnam and believed in President Barack Obama's so-called "pivot" of putting more of a focus on Asia.
Is he traveling upriver to Cambodia?
Kerry said that the United States has always been capable of "dealing with more than one crisis in more than one part of the planet at the same time".

"People should not think that, because we are trying to bring peace to an area that has been struggling for 30 years now under the yoke of conflict and dissension, that that means we can't also pay attention to these other issues," Kerry told Voice of America during his latest trip.

Diplomats and some analysts have voiced concern that the United States is shifting back to older priorities after the departure of Kerry's predecessor Hillary Clinton, who prided herself on paying attention to Asia.
She prided herself on a whole lot, in fact, not that her performance matched...
Clinton sought to develop a broader relationship with a rising China and spearheaded US outreach to Myanmar, which has surprised even many critics by embracing democratic reforms in the past three years.

Clinton was the first secretary of state to visit all 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, with her aides arguing that the previous administration of George W. Bush neglected the economically dynamic and mostly US-friendly bloc due to preoccupation with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
If visiting is all it takes to accomplish something, send Jahwn on a tour of Mauritania...
A senior US official acknowledged that Asian nations voiced doubts about the Asia commitment as Clinton left. But he said that at a substantive rather than symbolic level, the United States is stepping up spending on its Asia projects at a time of belt-tightening.

The official noted that Obama has welcomed to Washington in recent months the leaders of Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Brunei and -- for the first time in half a century -- Myanmar. Asian nations that were concerned a few months ago were now asking "more of what we bring to the table than whether we are at the table," the official said on condition of anonymity.
Because he didn't want to be laughed at behind his back for making such a stupid statement on record...
Some observers said it was natural that a new secretary of state would try to be different. Kerry may face fewer risks in delving into the Middle East as, unlike fellow former presidential candidate Clinton, he is virtually certain not to entertain future political ambitions.
Oh really. Jahwn has no political ambitions? Hah. He might not but Teresa sure does, and we all know who wears the pants in that relationship...
Posted by: Steve White || 06/30/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [313 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Secretary of State John Kerry heads to talks in Asia trying to quash fears that the vaunted US refocus on the region is not serious as he puts a personal priority on peace in the Middle East.

If we were serious, we wouldn't send this fool. Or Biden
Posted by: Frank G || 06/30/2013 9:19 Comments || Top||

#2  FIRE HIM, (Best for ALL)
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 06/30/2013 9:29 Comments || Top||

#3  Simply another useful idiot and like rest, very wealthy. He's following instructions, ie, out of Champ's way.... burning blade time.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/30/2013 11:09 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Home department official suspended for issuing fake documents
[Pak Daily Times] KARACHI: An official of the provincial home department was reportedly suspended for making and issuing fake promotion documentation of a police officer, on Saturday. As per details, additional secretary for home Waseem Ahmed has reportedly suspended a section police officer at Sindh home department, namely Abdul Rasheed Jhokio. He was accused of helping Irshad Ali Raza Sehar by making fake appointment as DSP rank and issuance of fake promotion order of SP rank. Sehar is currently enjoying SP rank after getting promotions and serving as the personal staff officer (PSO) of Sindh Inspector General of Police Shahid Nadeem Baloch. Sehar when approached for comments declared it is fake news and a conspiracy against him. However,
you can observe a lot just by watching...
sources claim that an inquiry has also been conducted against Jhokio.
Posted by: Fred || 06/30/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [300 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan


Science & Technology
New French A400F Turboprop Military Cargo hauler
Looks like an Ilyushin...
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/30/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [333 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So it finally happened, after 50 + years, somebody copied the C-130 Hercules.
Prediction: Flurry of EU sales, giveaways (discounts) to South America, but after a relatively short operational life, will be quietly retired. And the C-130 (next) will keep on chugging.
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 06/30/2013 11:10 Comments || Top||

#2  It is an Ilyushin alright alright.

Down to the funny props and the thick fuselage.

Turkey?

A turkey will fly better than this thing.
Posted by: Bill Clinton || 06/30/2013 18:13 Comments || Top||

#3  Well, the specs indicate it has twice the payload of a 130-J, and the scimitar propellers are really REALLY "cool" (just remember to turn the prop heat OFF after clearing)....

My 1,000th comment....you are welcome.... ;->

Posted by: Uncle Phester || 06/30/2013 18:14 Comments || Top||


The Unreported Revolution In Air Combat
"One of the major, and little mentioned, revolutions in air combat is the availability of more powerful and reliable helmet mounted displays and sights. This enables a pilot to "look and shoot" as well as keep their heads up more of the time and more quickly make decisions in air-to-air combat."

"In the last three decades these helmets have come to handle more data and chores while also being easier to wear. But these helmets are still heavy. That's why the better balance of JHMCS II is important. Even so, six years ago the U.S. Air Force introduced a new neck muscle exercise machine in air force gyms frequented by fighter pilots. This was because the new helmets weighed 2 kg (4.3 pounds), which was about fifty percent more than a plain old helmet. That extra weight may not seem like much but when making a tight turn, the gravitational pull (or "Gs") makes the helmet feel like it weighs 17.3 kg (38 pounds). You need strong neck muscles to deal with that. For decades now fighter pilots have had to spend a lot of time building upper body strength in the gym, in order to be able to handle the G forces. Otherwise, pilots can get groggy or even pass out in flight, as well as land with strained muscles."

"In the air combat community the innovation is recognized as real and, for those not using it, a deadly disadvantage."
Good article. Well worth the read.
Posted by: Snakes Chomoger1 || 06/30/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [324 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Study the exercise regime of NASCAR and Formula Uno. It's all about the neck muscles, with the exception of Litter Dale, who head is made of muscle.
Posted by: Shipman || 06/30/2013 7:49 Comments || Top||

#2  hey now! I have him, Jimmie and Carl in the pool this week, and "litter dale" got the pole.
Posted by: Frank G || 06/30/2013 9:23 Comments || Top||

#3  Good for you Frank,, my pick this week is Mad Brad.
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 06/30/2013 11:11 Comments || Top||

#4  "Elite drivers will put up with 4 to 5 G's sustained in a corner for between five and 15 seconds, maybe even 20," says physicist Brian Beckman, a software architect with Microsoft in Redmond, Wash., and an amateur sports car racer. Since 1990 he has authored a series of articles on the physics of racing. "If you weigh 200 pounds, at 5 G's you're being pushed sideways at 1,000 pounds."

G-forces turn racing into weighty experience

So NASCAR is a perfect analogy.
Posted by: Punky Hupusomble8914 || 06/30/2013 11:28 Comments || Top||

#5  Although the concept is great for immediate requirements, the long-term pull (no pun intended, but accepted) is for remotely-piloted platforms w/computer assist. G-force limitations will increasingly apply more towards airframes + systems and less to pilots - working towards the 89-degree sustained hypersonic bank - (imho)....
Posted by: Uncle Phester || 06/30/2013 11:43 Comments || Top||

#6  Let's hope we can keep this technology out of Chinese hands for awhile...
Posted by: Chuck al ameriki || 06/30/2013 12:09 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Culture Wars
NY Times may take 90 percent haircut on sale of the Globe
TFA (as well as other news articles about the pending requests for bids) dances around the fact that the buyer will automatically lose the value of his/her bid because of its pension liabilities, if the $100 million figure is accurate. Helluva a way to run a newspaper, if you ask me.

It used to be shameful to ask buyers of an entity to take such a severe screwing in a proposed purchase. There used to be a concept in business in which even if you stand to lose money in a deal, the least you can do is to walk away with cash and the buyer with a sense he/she received something of value.

My brain used to be good at this, but I am having a hard time with what it is called.

Now I remember: profit.

Seems to me the NY Times would be better off just auctioning off what little value remains in the fixed assets and tell the union to find some other entity to wreck.

From TFA:

The New England Media Group, the division that manages the Globe, has about $110 million in pension liabilities, according to two of the people familiar with the matter. Times Co. would prefer cash to help offset the liabilities rather than bids that assume even part of them, one of the people said. Such bids would be less attractive because in the event a new owner of the Globe were to become insolvent, the Globe's pension liabilities would revert back to Times Co., the people said.
Pretty funny. If your business is worth 11 times less than what it was 20 years ago, you ARE insolvent!
Posted by: badanov || 06/30/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [324 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Seems to me they would be better of "donating" the Globe to the union and saying, "Here Comrades, You are now Liberated ! You now own the means of Production ! You are no longer Slaves to the evil Master... Capitalism ! We at the NYT Salute You and Set you Free to control your own Destiny!" (no need to thank us, it is the least we could do for you.)
Posted by: Au Auric || 06/30/2013 0:28 Comments || Top||

#2  ... a better question : WHY is your business worth 11 times less than what it was 20 years ago?
Could it have anything to do with ideology over profits?
Posted by: Mikey Hunt || 06/30/2013 1:55 Comments || Top||

#3  The NYTimes bought the Globe mostly by issuing new shares of its own stock. It used the modest cash flow from the Globe to diversity.
Posted by: lord garth || 06/30/2013 14:14 Comments || Top||

#4  wait til ObamaCare kicks in, comrades!
Posted by: Frank G || 06/30/2013 14:38 Comments || Top||

#5  I'm sure it's a small fraction compared to what Slim and those like him have managed to get from government recently.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 06/30/2013 15:37 Comments || Top||



Who's in the News
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A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

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Two weeks of WOT
Sun 2013-06-30
  Boomers kill 43 in Pakland on Sunday
Sat 2013-06-29
  Muslim Brotherhood, FJP offices attacked throughout Egypt
Fri 2013-06-28
  Dagestani lawmaker arrested for ties to Islamist insurgents
Thu 2013-06-27
  Top Somali militant leader flees former Shebab comrades
Wed 2013-06-26
  FBI pulls ‘Faces of Global Terrorism’ ads after Muslims get offended
Tue 2013-06-25
  Taliban attack Afghan presidential palace
Mon 2013-06-24
  Pak Talibs kill 10 foreign tourists in Diamer
Sun 2013-06-23
  Dutch Say Time of 'Ever Closer' Union in Europe is Over
Sat 2013-06-22
  Britain OKs Treaty Clearing Way to Deport Abu Qatada to Jordan
Fri 2013-06-21
  Today's Pakaboom: 15 Dead in Peshawar Mosquaboom
Thu 2013-06-20
  Hizbullah Leader's Brother Killed In Syria Clashes
Wed 2013-06-19
  20 killed after militants storm UN compound in Somalia
Tue 2013-06-18
  Today's Pakaboom: 18 dead at Mardan funeral
Mon 2013-06-17
  LeJ claims twin attacks
Sun 2013-06-16
  Double blasts kill 25 in Pakistan

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