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No Agenda Episode 447

By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 12:33 PM.

Drone Double Tap

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By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 10:35 AM.

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Credits

By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 10:35 AM.

Drone Double Tap

Executive Producers: Thor Hanks

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Joshua Poulson, Tyler Fox, Toby Knotts, Sir Dean Bertram, Ed LeBouthillier

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TSA Crap

Loews Hotels & Resorts Announces Coordinated Effort With U.S. Department Of Homeland Security |Loews

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Tue, 25 Sep 2012 19:04

LOEWS HOTELS & RESORTS ANNOUNCESCOORDINATED EFFORT WITH U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

First hospitality brand to offer complimentary enrollment to Global Entry and TSA Pre''''

NEW YORK, NY (September 24, 2012) '' Loews Hotels & Resorts Chairman Jonathan Tisch and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced a joint effort today to promote the Trusted Traveler Network which incorporates the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Global Entry and the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Pre''''programs. Loews Hotels is the first hotel and resort company to work in conjunction with the two offices within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to offer these programs to guests to enhance the travel experience.

Loews Hotels is offering YouFirst Platinum loyalty rewards members complimentary enrollment in the Global Entry program via an online process by incurring the cost of the $100 application fee for its most loyal guests. With a Global Entry membership, U.S. citizens are automatically qualified to participate in expedited screening with TSA Pre''''.

''Partnerships are integral to the way we do business as a brand,'' said Jonathan Tisch. ''Our collaboration highlights the importance of the public and private sectors working together to improve hospitality for all our guests, whether that be at our hotels or traveling through an airport.''

''At DHS, we take seriously our commitment to ensuring the safety and security of passengers coming to and traveling throughout the U.S., while at the same time, helping facilitate lawful travel, trade and tourism,'' said Secretary Napolitano. ''Collaboration with our private sector partners is integral to our mission and I'm pleased to announce our newest collaboration, which brings together a hospitality leader with two DHS programs that provide the traveling public more efficient, expedited travel opportunities '' CBP's Global Entry and TSA Pre''''.''

Global Entry is a CBP program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk international travelers upon arrival in the United States. Using an automated kiosk, travelers scan their passports and fingerprints, answer the customs declaration questions using the kiosk's touch screen and proceed with a receipt to the exit with the whole process taking approximately a minute to complete.

TSA Pre'''' is an expedited domestic screening initiative that is expanding to airports across the country. Implementing a key component of the agency's intelligence-driven, risk-based approach to security, TSA Pre'''' enhances aviation security by placing more focus on pre-screening individuals who volunteer to participate to expedite the travel experience.

''As the Loews Hotels portfolio continues to expand, we are dedicated to improving our guests' complete travel experience from airport security checkpoints to hotel check-ins,'' said Paul Whetsell, CEO & President of Loews Hotels & Resorts. ''To be the first hotel brand to offer this service demonstrates that we understand the needs of travelers, especially those who travel frequently for business.''

Current Platinum YouFirst members will receive an e-mail today with this exclusive one-time offer which will expire in 60 days.

About Loews Hotels & ResortsHeadquartered in New York City, Loews Hotels & Resorts owns and/or operates 18 hotels and resorts in the U.S. and Canada including the Loews Hollywood Hotel located adjacent to the Hollywood & Highland Center. The hotel features 632 guestrooms, including 32 suites and over 48,000-square-feet of meeting space. Located in major city centers and resort destinations in North America from coast to coast, the Loews portfolio features one-of-a-kind properties that go beyond Four Diamond standards to delight guests with a supremely comfortable, uniquely local and vibrant travel experience. For reservations or more information about Loews Hotels & Resorts, call 1-800-23-LOEWS or visit: www.loewshotels.com.

Like Loews Hotels & Resorts on Facebook: www.facebook.com/LoewsHotelsFollow Loews Hotels & Resorts on Twitter: www.twitter.com/loews_hotelsWatch Loews Hotels & Resorts on YouTube: www.youtube.com/LoewsHotels

About YouFirst RewardsYouFirst is our way of thanking our best guests and building loyalty with new Loews' Hotels customers. One of the most inclusive hotel reward programs in the industry, YouFirst Rewards allows guests to begin receiving rewards after just one stay, such as free internet, late checkout, guaranteed rooms and upgrades for guests after only 2 annual stays. Our hotel rewards program is simple, rewarding guests based on the number of stays. It also offers amenities that are most meaningful to our customers. For more information visit: https://www.loewshotels.com/en/youfirst.

About Global Entry

At airports, program participants proceed to Global Entry kiosks, present their machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place their fingertips on the scanner for fingerprint verification, and make a customs declaration. The kiosk issues the traveler a transaction receipt and directs the traveler to baggage claim and the exit. Travelers must be pre-approved for the Global Entry program. All applicants undergo a rigorous background check and interview before enrollment. While Global Entry's goal is to speed travelers through the process, members may be selected for further examination when entering the United States.

About TSA Pre''''TSA Pre'''' is an expedited screening initiative that is expanding to airports across the country. Implementing a key component of the agency's intelligence-driven, risk-based approach to security, TSA Pre'''' enhances aviation security by placing more focus on pre-screening individuals who volunteer to participate to expedite the travel experience. TSA is partnering with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as well as U.S. air carriers as part of this initiative. Certain frequent travelers from Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, US Airways and certain members of CBP's Trusted Traveler programs, including Global Entry, SENTRI, and NEXUS who are U.S. citizens are eligible to participate. TSA Pre'''' is currently available for eligible passengers flying on participating airlines.

Click here to view PDF of Loews Hotels & Resorts Announces Coordinated Effort With U.S. Department Of Homeland Security

Contact:Lark-Marie Ant"n / Sarah MurovLoews Hotels & Resorts(212) 521-2779 / (212) 521-2495lanton@loewshotels.com / smurov@loewshotels.com

Carla TracyLaura Davidson Public Relations(212) 696-0660carla@ldpr.com

Nicole StickelU.S. Department of Homeland Security(202) 282-8010mediainquiry@dhs.gov

TSA Pre'''' Begins at Washington Dulles International Airport + More News!

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Source: The TSA Blog

Tue, 25 Sep 2012 21:56

Good news for select frequent travelers of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, US Airways and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler members. '' TSA Pre'''' is now available at IAD.You can find the TSA Pre'''' checkpoint in the center of the departures level of the main terminal at IAD. This checkpoint is currently the only airport in the country that has a checkpoint dedicated to TSA Pre'''' passengers.In case you're unfamiliar with TSA Pre'''', you can read more about it by clickinghere. The shorter version is that it's an initiative that allows certain passengers to keep their shoes and belts on, and keep their laptops in their bags. Also, it is free to many members who have been opted in by participating airlines. To see if you qualify for TSA Pre'''' benefits, please click here.If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

Project X

Job Cohen leidt onderzoek naar rellen Haren

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Source: VK: Home

Mon, 24 Sep 2012 20:07

24/09/12, 18:34 '' bron: ANP

(C) ANP. Job Cohen.

Voormalig PvdA-leider en oud-burgemeester van Amsterdam Job Cohen gaat de commissie leiden die onderzoek doet naar de rellen in de nacht van vrijdag op zaterdag in Haren en wat de rol van de Groningse gemeente is geweest. Dat meldde de gemeente maandag.

Burgemeester Rob Bats van Haren, politie en justitie hopen met 'een grondige evaluatie' herhaling 'van een nieuw fenomeen' te voorkomen. De rellen ontstonden nadat duizenden jongeren zich in het dorp hadden verzameld om de verjaardag te 'vieren' van een 16-jarig meisje. Haar uitnodiging ging per ongeluk naar tienduizenden gebruikers van Facebook.

Volgens de burgemeester, politie en justitie is er 'behoefte aan een grondige, deskundige en onafhankelijke evaluatie'. Dat geldt niet alleen vanwege wat er in Haren is gebeurd, maar ook omdat andere gemeenten in de nabije toekomst met een Project X-evenement te maken kunnen krijgen.

In de commissie zitten verder onder andere Gabril van den Brink (hoogleraar bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit van Tilburg), Otto Adang (lector openbare orde en gevaarbeheersing aan de Politieacademie) en Jan van Dijk (hoogleraar communicatiewetenschappen en nieuwe media aan de Universiteit Twente).

'Leger had rellen Haren kunnen voorkomen' | nu.nl/binnenland | Het laatste nieuws het eerst op nu.nl

PROJECT X - Movie Trailer, Photos, Synopsis PROJECT X - Movie Trailer, Photos, Synopsis

Elite$

Arnie's back with new book and think tank. (Euronews video)

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Source: WT news feed

Wed, 26 Sep 2012 15:24

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is attempting to reboot his image by launching a new think tank and autobiography.

The 65-year-old has faced criticism after the state of California's public debt tripled during his seven years in office.

Schwarzenegger was also lambasted in the media following revelations that he had secretly fathered a child with his maid, while still married to Maria Shriver.

More than 18 months after leaving office, the actor and former bodybuilder has opened the Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy.

In front of an audience of 700 invited guests at the University of Southern California, the Republican said that both major American political parties needed to collaborate to solve the country's problems.

''I never looked at the Democrats as villains. Remember I was married to a Democrat for 25 years. I mean, that wouldn't work,'' Schwarzenegger said, in a reference to his previous marriage to journalist Maria Shriver.

In the new book, Schwarzenegger tells his side of a scandal that rocked the couple's marriage. His fling with a family housekeeper happened in 1996 when he was working on the film 'Batman and Robin'. Shriver filed for divorce last summer.

As well as the think-tank, Schwarzenegger is said to have several new films in the pipeline.

More about:Arnold Schwarzenegger, Literature, Politics, USACopyright (C) 2012 euronews

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VIDEO: David Cameron ''quizzed'' on chat show

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Source: BBC News - Home

Thu, 27 Sep 2012 06:11

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Magna Carta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Thu, 27 Sep 2012 06:12

Magna Carta, also called Magna Carta Libertatum or The Great Charter of the Liberties of England, is an Angevincharter, originally issued in Latin in the year 1215, translated into vernacular-French as early as 1219,[1] and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions. The later versions excluded the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority that had been present in the 1215 charter. The charter first passed into law in 1225; the 1297 version, with the long title (originally in Latin) "The Great Charter of the Liberties of England, and of the Liberties of the Forest," still remains on the statute books of England and Wales.

The 1215 charter required King John of England to proclaim certain liberties and accept that his will was not arbitrary, for example by explicitly accepting that no "freeman" (in the sense of non-serf) could be punished except through the law of the land, a right which is still in existence today.

Magna Carta was the first document forced onto a King of England by a group of his subjects, the feudal barons, in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their privileges. It was preceded and directly influenced by the Charter of Liberties in 1100, in which King Henry I had specified particular areas wherein his powers would be limited.

Despite its recognised importance, by the second half of the 19th century nearly all of its clauses had been repealed in their original form. Three clauses currently remain part of the law of England and Wales, however, and it is generally considered part of the uncodified constitution. Lord Denning described it as "the greatest constitutional document of all times '' the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot".[2] In a 2005 speech, Lord Woolf described it as "first of a series of instruments that now are recognised as having a special constitutional status",[3] the others being the Habeas Corpus Act (1679), the Petition of Right (1628), the Bill of Rights (1689), and the Act of Settlement (1701).

The charter was an important part of the extensive historical process that led to the rule of constitutional law in the English speaking world. Magna Carta was important in the colonization of American colonies as England's legal system was used as a model for many of the colonies as they were developing their own legal systems.

It was Magna Carta, over other early concessions by the monarch, which survived to become a "sacred text".[4] In practice, Magna Carta in the medieval period did not generally limit the power of kings, but by the time of the English Civil War it had become an important symbol for those who wished to show that the King was bound by the law. It influenced the early settlers in New England[5] and inspired later constitutional documents, including the United States Constitution.[6]

The Great Charter of 1215Rebellion and creation of the documentSome barons began to conspire against King John in 1209 and 1212; promises made to the northern barons and John's submission to universal rule of the papacy in 1213 delayed a French invasion.[7] Over the course of his reign a combination of higher taxes, unsuccessful wars that resulted in the loss of English barons' titled possessions in Normandy following the Battle of Bouvines (1214), and an ongoing conflict with the Pope Innocent III had made King John unpopular with many of his barons.

In 1215 some of the most important barons engaged in open rebellion against their King. Such rebellions were not particularly unusual in this period. Every king since William the Conqueror had faced rebellions. However, in every previous case there had been an obvious alternative monarch around whom the rebellion could rally. In 1215, however, John had no obvious replacement. Arthur of Brittany would have been a possibility, if he had not disappeared (widely believed to have been murdered on the orders of John). The next closest possible alternative was Prince Louis of France, but as the husband of Henry II's granddaughter, his claim was tenuous, and the English had been at war with the French for thirty years. Instead of a claimant to the throne, the barons decided to base their rebellion around John's oppressive government. In January 1215, the barons made an oath that they would "stand fast for the liberty of the church and the realm", and they demanded that King John confirm the Charter of Liberties, from what they viewed as a golden age.[8]

John played for time. During negotiations between January and June 1215, a document was produced, which historians have termed 'The Unknown Charter of Liberties',[9] seven of the articles of which would later appear in the 'Articles of the Barons' and the Runnymede Charter.[10] In May, King John offered to submit issues to a committee of arbitration with Pope Innocent III as the supreme arbiter,[11] but the barons continued in their defiance. With the support of Prince Louis the French Heir and of King Alexander II of the Scots, they entered London in force on 10 June 1215,[12] with the city showing its sympathy with their cause by opening its gates to them. They, and many of the moderates not in overt rebellion, forced King John to agree to a document later known as the 'Articles of the Barons', to which his Great Seal was attached in the meadow at Runnymede on 15 June 1215. In return, the barons renewed their oaths of fealty to King John on 19 June 1215, which is when the document Magna Carta was created.

In return for King John's submission to his papal and universal authority, Innocent III declared the Magna Carta annulled, though many English Barons did not accept this action.

The contemporary, but unreliable[13]chronicler, Roger of Wendover, recorded the events in his Flores Historiarum.[14] A formal document to record the agreement was created by the royal chancery on 15 July: this was the original Magna Carta, though it was not known by that name at the time. An unknown number of copies of it were sent out to officials, such as royal sheriffs and bishops.

Clause 61The 1215 document contained a large section that is now called clause 61 (the original document was not actually divided into clauses). This section established a committee of 25 barons who could at any time meet and overrule the will of the King if he defied the provisions of the Charter, seizing his castles and possessions if it was considered necessary.[15] This was based on a medieval legal practice known as distraint, but it was the first time it had been applied to a monarch.

Distrust between the two sides was overwhelming. What the barons really sought was the overthrow of the King; the demand for a charter was a "mere subterfuge".[16] Clause 61 was a serious challenge to John's authority as a ruling monarch. He renounced it as soon as the barons left London; Pope Innocent III also annulled the "shameful and demeaning agreement, forced upon the King by violence and fear." He rejected any call for restraints on the King, saying it impaired John's dignity. He saw it as an affront to the Church's authority over the King and the 'papal territories' of England and Ireland, and he released John from his oath to obey it. The rebels knew that King John could never be restrained by Magna Carta and so they sought a new King.[17]

England was plunged into a civil war, known as the First Barons' War. With the failure of Magna Carta to achieve peace or restrain John, the barons reverted to the more traditional type of rebellion by trying to replace the monarch they disliked with an alternative. In a measure of some desperation, despite the tenuousness of his claim and despite the fact that he was French, they offered the crown of England to Prince Louis of France.[18]

As a means of preventing war, Magna Carta was a failure, rejected by most of the barons,[19] and was legally valid for no more than three months.[20] It was the death of King John in 1216 which secured the future of Magna Carta.[21]

Participant listBarons, Bishops and Abbots who were party to Magna Carta.[22]

Barons '' surety for the enforcement of Magna CartaBishops '' witnessessAbbots '' witnessess1William d'Aubigny, Lord of Belvoir CastleStephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Churchthe Abbot of St Edmunds2Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk and SuffolkHenry de Loundres, Archbishop of Dublinthe Abbot of St Albans3Hugh Bigod, Heir to the Earldoms of Norfolk and SuffolkWilliam of Sainte-M¨re-‰glise, Bishop of Londonthe Abbot of Bello4Henry de Bohun, Earl of HerefordJocelin of Wells, Bishop of Bath and Wellsthe Abbot of St Augustine's in Canterbury5Richard de Clare, Earl of HertfordPeter des Roches, Bishop of Winchesterthe Abbot of Evesham6Gilbert de Clare, heir to the earldom of HertfordHugh de Wells, Bishop of Lincolnthe Abbot of Westminster7John FitzRobert Clavering, Lord of Warkworth CastleHerbert Poore (aka "Robert"), Bishop of Salisburythe Abbot of Peterborough8Robert Fitzwalter, Lord of Dunmow CastleBenedict of Sausetun, Bishop of Rochesterthe Abbot of Reading9William de Fortibus, Earl of AlbemarleWalter de Gray, Bishop of Worcesterthe Abbot of Abingdon10William Hardel, **Mayor of the City of LondonGeoffrey de Burgo, Bishop of Elythe Abbot of Malmesbury Abbey11William de Huntingfield, Sheriff of Norfolk and SuffolkHugh de Mapenor, Bishop of Herefordthe Abbot of Winchcomb12John de Lacy, Lord of Pontefract CastleRichard Poore, Bishop of Chichester (brother of Herbert/Robert above)the Abbot of Hyde13William de Lanvallei, Lord of Standway Castlethe Abbot of Chertsey14William Malet, Sheriff of Somerset and Dorsetthe Abbot of Sherborne15Geoffrey de Mandeville, Earl of Essex and Gloucesterthe Abbot of Cerne16William Marshall Jr, heir to the earldom of Pembrokethe Abbot of Abbotebir17Roger de Montbegon, Lord of Hornby Castle, Lancashirethe Abbot of Middleton18Richard de Montfichet, Baronthe Abbot of Selby19William de Mowbray, Lord of Axholme Castlethe Abbot of Cirencester20Richard de Percy, Baronthe Abbot of Hartstary21Saire/Saher de Quincy, Earl of Winchester22Robert de Roos, Lord of Hamlake Castle23Geoffrey de Saye, Baron24Robert de Vere, heir to the earldom of Oxford25Eustace de Vesci, Lord of Alnwick CastleOthers

Magna Carta of ChesterThe Runnymede Charter of Liberties did not apply to Chester, which at the time was a separate feudal domain. Earl Ranulf granted his own Magna Carta.[23] Some of its articles were similar to the Runnymede Charter.[24]

The Great Charter 1216''1369The Charter 1216King John's nine-year-old son Henry was crowned King of England in Gloucester Abbey, though much of England lay under the usurper Prince Louis. The papal legateGuala Bicchieri declared the struggle against Louis and the Barons a holy war,[25] and the loyalists led by William Marshal rallied around the new King. Earl Ranulf of Chester left the Regency to Marshall. Marshall and Guala issued a Charter of Liberties, based on the Runnymede Charter, in the King's name on 12 November 1216 as a Royal concession, in an attempt to undermine the rebels.[26]

The Charter differed from that of 1215 in only having 42 as compared to 61 clauses; most notably the infamous article 61 of the Runnymede Charter was removed. The Charter was also issued separately for Ireland.

The Charters 1217: the origins of the name Magna CartaFollowing the end of the First Barons War and the Treaty of Lambeth, the Charter of Liberties (carta libertatum) was issued again in the manner of 1216, again amended and issued separately for Ireland. The 42 clauses of the 1216 issue were expanded to 47.

Significantly, a fragment of the original charter would be expanded with new material to form a complementary charter, the Charter of the Forest; the two Charters would thereafter be linked. Magna carta libertatum was then used by scribes to differentiate the larger and more important charter of common liberties from the Forest Charter.[27] The term was used retrospectively to describe the previous Charters, with what had previously been described as carta libertatum becoming known simply as Magna Carta.

The Great Charter 1225Having reached the age of majority, King Henry III was called upon to confirm the Charters. Henry reissued Magna Carta in a shorter version with only 37 articles, as a concession of liberties in return for a fifteenth part of moveable goods.[5] This was the first version of the Charter to enter English law.[28] The Charter of Liberties included a new statement that the Charter had been issued spontaneously and of the King's own free will. In 1227, Henry III declared all future charters had to be issued under his own seal and state under what warrant they were claimed; this proclamation questioned the validity of all previous acts done in his name or his predecessors.[29] It was not until 1237, and the carta parva, that both of the 1225 Charters were confirmed and granted in perpetuity.[30]

The Great Charter 1297: StatuteEdward I of England reissued the Charters of 1225 in 1297 in return for a new tax.[31] "Constitutionally, the Magna Carta of Edward I is the most important".[32] This version remains in Statute today (albeit with most articles now repealed'--see below).[33][34]

Confirmatio Cartarum and Articuli super CartasThe Confirmatio Cartarum (Confirmation of Charters) was issued by Edward I in 1297, and was similar to the parva carta issued by Henry III in 1237. In the Confirmation, Edward reaffirmed Magna Carta and the Forest Charter[35] as a concession for tax money. As part of the Remonstrances the nobles sought to add another document the De Tallagio to the Charters but without success.[36] The principle of taxation by consent was reinforced, however the precise manner of that consent was not laid down.[37]

Pope Clement V annulled the Confirmatio Cartarum in 1305.[38]

As part of the reconfirmation of the Charters in 1300 an additional document was granted, the Articuli super Cartas (The Articles upon the Charters). It was composed of 20 articles and sought in part to deal with the problem of enforcing the Charters.[39] In 1305 Edward I took Clement V's Papal bull annulling the Confirmatio Cartarum to effectively apply to the Articuli super Cartas though it was not specifically mentioned.[40]

The Six StatutesDuring the reign of Edward III six measures were passed between 1331 and 1369 which were later known as the 'Six Statutes'. They sought to clarify certain parts of the Charters. In particular, the third statute, of 1354, redefined clause 29, with 'free man' becoming "no man, of whatever estate or condition he may be", and introduced the phrase "due process of law" for 'lawful judgement of his peers or the law of the land'.[41]

Later history of the CharterReconfirmations of the CharterThe impermanence of the Charter required successive generations to petition the King to reconfirm his Charter, and hopefully abide by it. Between the 13th and 15th centuries Magna Carta would have a history of being reconfirmed, 32 times according to Sir Edward Coke, but possibly as many as 45 times.[42] The Charter was last confirmed in 1423 by Henry VI.

Repeal of articles of the CharterThe repeal of clause 26 in 1829, by the Offences against the Person Act 1828 (9 Geo. 4 c. 31 s. 1),[43] was the first time a clause of Magna Carta was repealed. With the document's perceived inviolability broken,[citation needed] in the next 140 years nearly the whole charter was repealed, leaving just Clauses 1, 9, and 29 still in force after 1969. Most of it was repealed in England and Wales by the Statute Law Revision Act 1863, and in Ireland by the Statute Law (Ireland) Revision Act 1872.[43]

Content of the ChartersMagna Carta was originally written in Latin. A large part of the Charter at Runnymede was copied, nearly word for word, from the Charter of Liberties of Henry I, issued when Henry became king in 1100, in which he said he would respect certain rights of the Church and the barons, for example not forcing heirs to purchase their inheritances.

As the Charter went through various issues many of the clauses included in the Runnymede charter were removed. Some clauses would form a supplementary Charter in 1217, the Charter of the Forest.

It is worth emphasising that the 1215 charter was not numbered and was not divided into paragraphs or separate clauses. The numbering system used today was created by Sir William Blackstone in 1759,[44] and therefore should not be used to draw any conclusions regarding the intentions of the original creators of the charter.

Clauses still in force todayThe clauses of the 1297 Magna Carta which are still on statute are

Clause 1, the freedom of the English Church.Clause 9 (clause 13 in the 1215 charter), the "ancient liberties" of the City of London.Clause 29 (clause 39 in the 1215 charter), a right to due process.1. FIRST, We have granted to God, and by this our present Charter have confirmed, for Us and our Heirs for ever, that the Church of England shall be free, and shall have all her whole Rights and Liberties inviolable. We have granted also, and given to all the Freemen of our Realm, for Us and our Heirs for ever, these Liberties under-written, to have and to hold to them and their Heirs, of Us and our Heirs for ever.9. THE City of London shall have all the old Liberties and Customs which it hath been used to have. Moreover We will and grant, that all other Cities, Boroughs, Towns, and the Barons of the Five Ports, as with all other Ports, shall have all their Liberties and free Customs.29. NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right.[43]Clauses in Runnymede Charter but not in later ChartersClauses 10 and 11 related to money lending and Jews in England. Jews were particularly involved in money lending because Christian teachings on usury did not apply to them. Clause 10 said that children would not pay interest on a debt they had inherited while they were under age. Clause 11 said that the widow and children should be provided for before paying an inherited debt. The charter concludes this section with the words "Debts owing to other than Jews shall be dealt with likewise", so it is debatable to what extent the Jews were being singled out by these clauses.Clauses 12 and 14 state that taxes (in the language of the time, "scutage or aid") can only be levied and assessed by the common counsel of the realm. See Challenges to the King's power for more detail.Clause 15 stated that the King would not grant anyone the right to take an aid (i.e. money) from his free menClauses 25 and 26 dealt with debt and taxesClause 27 with intestacy.Clause 42 stated that it was lawful for subjects to leave the kingdom without prejudicing their allegiance (except for outlaws and during war)Clause 45 said that the King should only appoint as "justices, constables, sheriffs, or bailiffs" those who knew the law and would keep it well. In the United States, the Supreme Court of California interpreted clause 45 in 1974 as establishing a requirement at common law that a defendant faced with the potential of incarceration is entitled to a trial overseen by a legally trained judge.[45]Clause 48 stated that all evil customs connected with forests were to be abolishedClause 49 provided for the return of hostages held by the King. (John held hostages from the families of important nobles he wished to ensure remained loyal, as other English monarchs had before him.)Clause 50 stated that no member of the d'Ath(C)e family could be a royal officer.Clause 51 called for all foreign knights and mercenaries to leave the realm.Clause 52 dealt with restoration of those "disseised" (i.e. those dispossessed of property. See (for example) Assize of novel disseisin )Clause 53 was similar to 52 but relating to forestsClause 55 regarded remittance of unjust finesClauses 57 concerned restoration of disseised WelshmenClauses 58 and 59 provided for the return of Welsh and Scottish hostagesClauses 61 provided for the application and observation of the Charter by twenty-five of the rebellious barons. See Challenges to the King's power for more on clause 61.Clause 62 pardoned those who had rebelled against the kingClause 63 said that the charter was binding on King John and his heirs. However this version of the charter was renounced by John, with the support of the Pope. The smaller 1225/1297 charters (which actually became law) contain similar text, stating that the monarch and their heirs would not seek to infringe or damage the liberties in the charter, and that the charter is to be observed "in perpetuity".Challenges to the King's powerClauses 12 and 14 of the 1215 charter state that the king will accept the "common counsel of our realm" when levying and assessing an aid or a scutage. Clause 14 goes into detail about how exactly the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls and greater barons should be consulted. These clauses effectively meant that the monarch had to ask before raising new taxes. The later charters merely said that "Scutage furthermore is to be taken as it used to be", although in practice the convention arose after Magna Carta that Parliament would be consulted by the monarch before raising new taxes.

Clause 61 of the 1215 charter states: "The barons shall choose any twenty-five barons of the realm they wish, who with all their might are to observe, maintain and cause to be observed the peace and liberties which we have granted and confirmed to them by this our present charter". The clause goes on to say that if the king does not keep to the charter, the twenty five barons shall seize "castles, lands and possessions... until, in their judgement, amends have been made". "Anyone in the land" would be permitted by the king to swear an oath to the twenty five to obey them in these matters, and the king was in fact supposed to order people to do so even if they didn't want to swear an oath to the twenty five barons.

The barons were trying to stop John going back on his word after agreeing to the charter, but if those who rebelled against him were able to choose a group who would have the power to seize his castles if they thought it necessary, "then the king had in effect been dethroned". No king would have agreed to this except as a manoeuvre to gain time, and the inclusion of this clause destroyed any chance of the original Magna Carta keeping the peace in the long term.[46]

Clause 61 was removed from all later versions of the charter. Forty years later, after another confrontation between king and barons, the Provisions of Oxford forced on the king a council of twenty four members, 12 selected by the crown, 12 by the barons, which would then elect a king's council of fifteen members; this however was also annulled when Henry III finally won that power struggle.

Clauses in Runnymede Charter and in 1216/1217 Charter but not in 1225/1297 CharterClauses 2 to 3 refer to feudal relief, specifically the regulation of the charging of excessive relief, in effect a form of "succession duty" or "death duty" payable by an heir.Clauses 4 to 5 refer to the duties of wardship, specifically forbidding the practice of the over-exploitation of a ward's property by his warder (or guardian).Clause 6 refers to a warder's power over the marriage of his ward. He was forbidden from forcing a marriage to a partner of lower social standing (possibly therefore to one such who may have been willing to pay a higher price for it).Clause 7 refers to the rights of a widow to receive promptly her dowry and inheritance.Clause 8 stated that a widow could not be compelled to marry.Clause 9 stated that a debtor should not have his lands seized as long as he had other means to pay the debt.Clause 16 was regarding a knight's fee.Clauses 17 to 19 allowed for a fixed law court, which became the chancellery, and defined the scope and frequency of county assizes.Clause 44 (1216 only) relating to forest lawClause 56 (1216 only) relating to disseised WelshmenClauses in Runnymede Charter and 1225/1297 Charter but since repealedAll of the remaining parts of the 1215 charter appear substantially unchanged in the 1225/1297 charter which became law and is still on the statute book. All except the three clauses which are still in force today were eventually repealed however, most in the 19th century. Many provisions have no bearing in the world today, since they deal with feudal liberties. Some clauses remained relevant but were replaced by later legislation which gave similar rights. Using the 1215 clause numbers:

Clause 20 stated that fines ("amercements", in the language of the day), should be proportionate to the offence, but even for a serious offence the fine should not be so heavy as to deprive a man of his livelihood. No fines should be imposed except by the oath of honest local men.Clause 21 stated that earls and barons should only be fined by their peers, i.e. other earls and barons. Until 1948 this meant that members of the House of Lords had the right to a criminal trial in the House of Lords at first instance.Clause 22 stated that fines should not be influenced by ecclesiastical property in clergy trials.Clause 23 provided that no town or person should be forced to build a bridge across a river.Clause 24 stated that crown officials (such as sheriffs) must not try a crime in place of a judge.Clauses 28 to 32 stated that no royal officer might take any commodity such as grain, wood or transport without payment or consent or force a knight to pay for something the knight could do himself, and that the king must return any lands confiscated from a felon within a year and a day to the felon's feudal lord ("the lords of the fees concerned").Clause 33 required the removal of all fish weirs.Clause 34 forbade repossession without a "writ precipe".Clause 35 set out a list of standard measuresClause 36 stated that writs for loss of life or limb were to be freeClause 37 concerns inheritance when a "fee-farm" (fee as in knight's fee) was involved.Clause 38 stated that no-one could be put on trial based solely on the unsupported word of an official.Clause 40 disallowed the selling of justice, or its denial or delay.Clauses 41 and 42 guaranteed the safety and right of entry and exit of foreign merchants.Clause 43 gave special provision for tax on reverted estatesClause 46 provided for the guardianship of monasteries.Clauses 47 and 48 abolished most of Forest Law (these clauses were split out of the main charter and formed part of a separate charter, the Charter of the Forest).[47]Clause 54 said that no man may be imprisoned on the testimony of a woman except on the death of her husband.Clauses in the 1225/1297 Charter but not in the Runnymede CharterThere are a few clauses which are in the 1225/1297 charter but not in the 1215 charter. These have also since been repealed. Using the 1297 clause numbers:

Clause 13 concerned the Assize of darrein presentment.Clause 32 said that a free man should not give away or sell so much of his land that he would not be able to meet his feudal obligations to his lord.Clause 35 concerned the county court, the frankpledge and tithes.Clause 36 said that it was not permitted to give land to a religious house and then receive it back; in such a case the land would revert to the feudal lord.Medieval and Tudor periodThe judgement of 1387 confirmed the supremacy of the Royal Prerogative within the constitution.[48] By the mid 15th century Magna Carta ceased to occupy a central role in English political life.[41] In part this was also due to the rise of an early version of Parliament and to further statutes, some which were based on the principle of Magna Carta. The Charter, however remained a text for scholars of law. The Charter in the statute books was correctly thought to have arisen from the reign of Henry III and was seen as no more special than any other statute and could be amended and removed. It was not seen (as it was later) as an entrenched set of liberties guaranteed for the people against the Government. Rather, it was an ordinary statute, which gave a certain level of liberties, most of which could not be relied on, least of all against the king. Therefore the Charter had little effect on the governance of the early Tudor period.

The Tudor period would see a growing interest in history. Tudor historians would rediscover the Barnwell chronicler who was more favourable to King John than other contemporary texts. John Bale and Shakespeare would both write plays on King John. Tudor historians were not inclined to regard rebellion as anything but a crime. Those who supported Henry VIII's break with Rome ''viewed King John in a positive light as a hero struggling against the papacy, they showed little sympathy for the Great Charter or the rebel barons''.[49]

The first printed edition of Magna Carta was probably the Magna Carta cum aliis Antiquis Statutis of 1508 by Richard Pynson.[50]George Ferrers would publish the first unabridged English language edition of Magna Carta in 1534, and effectively established the numbering of the Charter into 37 chapters; an abridged English language edition had previously been published by John Rastell in 1527.[51] By the end of the 16th century editions of the 1215 Charter would also be printed.

The Charter had no real effect until the Elizabethan era (1558''1603). Magna Carta again began to occupy legal minds, and it again began to shape how that government was run, but in a manner entirely different to that of earlier ages. William Lambarde published ''what he thought were law codes of the Anglo-Saxon kings and William the conqueror''.[52] Lambarde would begin the process of misinterpreting English history, soon taken up by others, incorrectly dating documents and giving parliament a false antiquity. Francis Bacon would claim that Clause 39 of the 1215 Charter was the basis of the jury system and due process in a trial. Robert Beale, James Morice, Richard Cosin and the Puritans[53] began to misperceive Magna Carta as a 'statement of liberty', a 'fundamental law' above all law and government. In 1581 Arthur Hall, MP would be one of the first to suffer under this emerging new ideology, when he correctly questioned the antiquity of the House of Commons[54][55] and was without precedent expelled from Parliament.

Edward Coke's opinionsAmong the first of respected jurists to seriously write about the great charter was Edward Coke, who influenced how Magna Carta was perceived throughout the Tudor and Stuart periods, though his views were challenged during his lifetime by Lord Ellesmere, and later in the same century by Robert Brady. Coke used the 1225 issue of the Charter.

Coke "reinterpreted or misinterpreted" Magna Carta "misconstruing its clauses anachronistically and uncritically".[56] He would interpret liberties to be much the same as individual liberty.[57] The historian J.C. Holt excused Coke on the grounds that the Charter and its history had itself become 'distorted'.[58]

Coke was instrumental in framing the Petition of Right, which became a substantial supplement to Magna Carta's liberties. During the debates on the matter, Coke famously sought to deny the King's sovereign rights with the claim that "Magna Carta is such a fellow, that he will have no 'sovereign'"; he believed the statutes (not the King) were absolute.[59]

17th and 18th centuriesWhilst Sir Edward Coke would take the lead in reinterpreting Magna Carta he would soon be joined by others with a similar ideological stance, resulting in the concept of an 'ancient constitution' which entailed belief in fundamental laws supposedly existing since time immemorial and a belief in the antiquity of Parliament.[60] These beliefs would be used to challenge the constitution as it existed under the Stuart Kings.

John Selden would link habeas corpus to Magna Carta[61] during Darnell's Case. Sir Henry Spelman, who can be largely credited with first formulating a concept of feudalism (which would ironically be later used to attack the idea of an ancient constitution, notably by Robert Brady), sought to place the origins of Common Law in Anglo-Saxon laws.[62]Antiquarians would seek out documents to support the views of their compatriots, such as Sir Robert Cotton, whose collection of manuscripts would later form the basis for the British Library, and who discovered two original copies of King John's Charter.

The Petition of Right of 1628 sought to add to Magna Carta in the manner of the Articuli super Cartas or the Six Statutes. Charles I however, did not grant it as law and he was under no legal restriction.[63] The problem as before in history was that the King was not bound by the law as adherents of Magna Carta believed. As before in history armed force would be used, first in 1642''49 and again in 1689.

With the advent of the republic it was questionable whether Magna Carta still applied. John Milton called for ''great actions, above the form of law and custom''. Whilst Oliver Cromwell had much disdain for Magna Carta, at one point describing it as "Magna Farta" to a defendant who sought to rely on it[64] he agreed to rule with the advice and consent of his council.[65]

Different radical groups held differing opinions of Magna Carta. The Levellers rejected history and law as presented by their contemporaries, holding instead to an 'anti-Normanism' viewpoint.[66]John Lilburne regarded Magna Carta as being less than the freedoms which supposedly existed under the Anglo-Saxons before being crushed by the Norman yoke. Richard Overton would describe Magna Carta as a ''a beggarly thing containing many marks of intolerable bondage''.[67] Both however saw Magna Carta as a valuable declaration of liberties which could be used against governments they disagreed with. Lilburne said "the ground of my freedom, I build upon the Grand Charter of England", while Overton said that when arrested, he hung on to his copy of Coke on Magna Carta, shouting "murder, murder, murder" as they wrested "the Great Charter of England's Liberties and Freedoms from me".[68]Gerrard Winstanley leader of the more extreme Diggers stated ''The best lawes that England hath, [viz., the Magna Carta] were got by our Forefathers importunate petitioning unto the kings that still were their Task-masters; and yet these best laws are yoaks and manicles, tying one sort of people to be slaves to another; Clergy and Gentry have got their freedom, but the common people still are, and have been left servants to work for them.''

The first attempt at a proper Historiography was undertaken by Robert Brady[69] who refuted the supposed antiquity of parliament and the belief in the immutable continuity of the law, and realised the liberties of the Charter were limited and were effective only because it was the grant of the King; by putting Magna Carta in historical context he questioned its contemporary political relevance.[70] However, Brady's history would not survive the Glorious Revolution which ''marked a setback for the course of English historiography''.[71]

The Glorious Revolution reinforced the century's ideological interpretations of history, which would later become known as the Whig interpretation of history. Reinforced with Lockean concepts the Whigs believed England's constitution to be a Social contract, based on documents such as Magna Carta, the Petition of Right and The Bill of Rights.[72] Ideas about the nature of law in general were beginning to change. In 1716 the Septennial Act was passed, which had a number of consequences. Firstly, it showed that Parliament no longer considered its previous statutes unassailable, as this act provided that the parliamentary term was to be seven years, whereas fewer than twenty-five years had passed since the Triennial Act (1694), which provided that a parliamentary term was to be three years. It also greatly extended the powers of Parliament. Under this new constitution Monarchal absolutism was replaced by Parliamentary supremacy. It was quickly realised that Magna Carta stood in the same relation to the King-in-Parliament as it had to the King without Parliament. This supremacy would be challenged by the likes of Granville Sharp. Sharp regarded Magna Carta to be a fundamental part of the constitution, and that it would be treason to repeal any part of it. Sharp also held that the Charter prohibited slavery.[73]

Sir William Blackstone published a critical edition of the 1215 Charter in 1759, and gave it the numbering system still used today.[44]

In 1763 an MP, John Wilkes was arrested for writing an inflammatory pamphlet, No. 45, 23 April 1763; he cited Magna Carta incessantly. Lord Camden denounced the treatment of Wilkes as a contravention of Magna Carta.

Prophet of a new revolutionary age, Thomas Paine in his Rights of Man would disregard Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights on the grounds they were not a written constitution devised by elected representatives.

The United States of AmericaWhen Englishmen left their homeland for the new world, they brought with them charters establishing the colonies. The Massachusetts Bay Company charter for example stated the colonists would "have and enjoy all liberties and immunities of free and natural subjects." The Virginia Charter of 1606 (which was largely drafted by Sir Edward Coke) stated the colonists would have all "liberties, franchises and immunities" as if they had been born in England. The Massachusetts Body of Liberties contained similarities to clause 29 of Magna Carta, and the Massachusetts General Court in drawing it up viewed Magna Carta as the chief embodiment of English common law.[74] The other colonies would follow their example. In 1638 Maryland sought to recognise Magna Carta as part of the law of the province but it was not granted by the King.[75]

In 1687 William Penn published The Excellent Privilege of Liberty and Property: being the birth-right of the Free-Born Subjects of England which contained the first copy of Magna Carta printed on American soil. Penn's comments reflected Coke's, indicating a belief that Magna Carta was a fundamental law.[76] The colonists drew on English lawbooks leading them to an anachronistic interpretation of Magna Carta, believing it guaranteed trial by jury and habeas corpus.[77]

The development of Parliamentary sovereignty in the British Isles did not constitutionally affect the Thirteen Colonies, which retained an adherence to English common law, but it would come to directly affect the relationship between Britain and the colonies.[78] When American colonists raised arms against Britain, they were fighting not so much for new freedom, but to preserve liberties and rights, as believed to be enshrined in Magna Carta and as later included in the Bill of Rights. American Revolutionaries would supplement this with ideas of natural right.

In 1787 when the revolutionaries gathered to draft a constitution they built upon the legal system they knew and admired, English common law, and on Lockean philosophy.

The American Constitution is the "supreme law of the land", recalling the manner in which Magna Carta had come to be regarded as fundamental law. This heritage is quite apparent. In comparing Magna Carta with the Bill of Rights: the Fifth Amendment guarantees: "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law." In addition, the United States Constitution included a similar writ in the Suspension Clause, article 1, section 9: "The privilege of the writ habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it." Each of these proclaim no man may be imprisoned or detained without proof that they did wrong. The Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that, "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." The framers of the United States Constitution wished to ensure that rights they already held, such as those provided by Magna Carta, were not lost unless explicitly curtailed in the new United States Constitution.[79][80]

The United States Supreme Court has explicitly referenced Lord Coke's analysis of Magna Carta as an antecedent of the Sixth Amendment's right to a speedy trial.[81]

Nineteenth century and beyondWhilst radicals such as Sir Francis Burdett believed that Magna Carta could not be repealed, the 19th century would see the beginning of the repeal of many of the clauses of Magna Carta. The clauses were either obsolete and/or had been replaced by later legislation.

William Stubbs's Constitutional History of England would be the high-water mark of the Whig interpretation of history. Stubbs believed that Magna Carta had been a major step in the shaping of the English people and he believed that the Barons at Runnymede were not just the Barons but the people.[82]

This view of history however, was passing. At the popular level William Howitt in Cassell's Illustrated history of England would note that it was fiction that King John's Charter was the same Magna Carta as was on the statute books and stated that ''The Barons, in fact, were amongst the greatest traitors that England ever produced''.[83] A more academic history was provided by Frederic William Maitland in History of English Law before the Time of Edward I which began to move Magna Carta away from the myth that had grown up around it and return it to its historical roots. In many literary representations of the medieval past, however, Magna Carta remained the foundation for many diverse constructions of English national identity. Some authors instrumentalized the medieval roots of the document to preserve the social status quo while others utilized the precious national inheritance to change perceived economic injustice.[84]

In 1904 Edward Jenks published in the Independent Review an article entitled ''The Myth of Magna Carta'' which undermined the traditionally accepted view of Magna Carta.[85] Historians like A. F. Pollard would agree with Jenks in considering Coke to have 'invented' Magna Carta, noting that the Charter at Runnymede had not meant popular liberty at all.[86]

Sellar and Yeatman in their parody 1066 and All That would play on the supposed importance of Magna Carta and its supposed universal liberty: ''Magna Charter was therefore the chief cause of Democracy in England, and thus a Good Thing for everyone (except the Common People)''.

Influences on later constitutionsMany attempts to draft constitutional forms of government, including the United States Constitution, trace their lineage back to Magna Carta.

The British dominions, Australia and New Zealand,[87] Canada[88] (except Quebec), and formerly Union of South Africa and Southern Rhodesia, reflected influence of Magna Carta in their law, and the Charter impacted generally on the states that evolved from the British Empire.[89]

ExemplificationsNumerous copies, known as "exemplifications", were made each time it was issued, so all of the participants would each have one '' in the case of the 1215 copy, one for the royal archives, one for the Barons of the Cinque Ports, and one for each of the 40 counties of the time. If there ever was one single 'master copy' of Magna Carta sealed by King John in 1215, it has not survived. Four exemplifications of the original 1215 text remain, all of which are located in England, some on permanent display:

The 'burnt copy', was found in the archives of Dover Castle in 1630 by Sir Edward Dering and sent to the antiquarian Sir Robert Cotton and is assumed to be the copy sent to the Cinque Ports on or after 24 June 1215. It was subsequently damaged in a fire at Ashburnham House where the Cotton Library was housed, and is now virtually illegible. It is the only one of the four to have its seal surviving, which remains however as a lump of shapeless wax. It is currently held by the British Library (Cotton Charter XIII.31a).[90]Another 1215 exemplification is held by the British Library (Cotton MS. Augustus II.106).One owned by Lincoln Cathedral, normally on display at Lincoln Castle. It has an unbroken attested history at Lincoln since 1216. We hear of it in 1800 when the Chapter Clerk of the Cathedral reported that he held it in the Common Chamber, and then nothing until 1846 when the Chapter Clerk of that time moved it from within the Cathedral to a property just outside. In 1848, Magna Carta was shown to a visiting group who reported it as "hanging on the wall in an oak frame in beautiful preservation". It went to the New York World Fair in 1939. In 1941, after war broke out with Japan, Magna Carta was sent to Fort Knox, along with the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, until 1944, when it was deemed safe to return them.[91] Having returned to Lincoln, it has been back to the United States on various occasions since then.[92] It was taken out of display for a time to undergo conservation in preparation for its visit to the United States, where it was exhibited at the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia from 30 March to 18 June 2007 in recognition of the Jamestown quadricentennial.[93][94] From 4 to 25 July 2007, the document was displayed at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia,[95] returning to Lincoln Castle afterwards. The document returned to New York to be displayed at the Fraunces Tavern Museum from 15 September to 15 December 2009 and has since returned to Lincoln.[96][97]One owned by and displayed at Salisbury Cathedral. It is the best preserved of the four.[98]Other early versions of Magna Carta survive. Durham Cathedral possesses 1216, 1217, and 1225 copies.[99]

A near-perfect 1217 copy is held by Hereford Cathedral and is occasionally displayed alongside the Mappa Mundi in the cathedral's chained library. Remarkably, the Hereford Magna Carta is the only one known to survive along with an early version of a Magna Carta 'users manual', a small document that was sent along with Magna Carta telling the Sheriff of the county to observe the conditions outlined in the document.[100]

Four copies are held by the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Three of these are 1217 issues and one a 1225 issue. On 10 December 2007, these were put on public display for the first time.[101] One of the Bodleian exemplifications from 1217 (once possibly held by Gloucester Cathedral) was displayed at San Francisco's California Palace of the Legion of Honor 7 May '' 6 June 2011.

In 1952 the Australian Government purchased a 1297 copy of Magna Carta for £12,500 from King's School, Bruton, England.[102] This copy is now on display in the Members' Hall of Parliament House, Canberra. In January 2006, it was announced by the Department of Parliamentary Services that the document had been revalued down from A$40m to A$15m.

Only one copy (a 1297 copy in cursiva anglicana handwriting with the royal seal of Edward I) is in private hands; it was held by the Brudenell family, earls of Cardigan, who had owned it for five centuries, before being sold to the Perot Foundation in 1984. This copy, having been on long-term loan to the US National Archives, was auctioned at Sotheby's New York on 18 December 2007; The Perot Foundation sold it in order to "have funds available for medical research, for improving public education and for assisting wounded soldiers and their families."[103] It fetched US$21.3 million,[104] It was bought by David Rubenstein of The Carlyle Group,[105] who after the auction said, "I thought it was very important that the Magna Carta stay in the United States and I was concerned that the only copy in the United States might escape as a result of this auction." Rubenstein's copy is on permanent loan to the National Archives in Washington, D.C.[106]

The Rubenstein Magna Carta was removed from display 2 March 2011 for conservation treatment and reencasement in an anoxic environment provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) the government agency responsible for the 1950s encasement of the Charters of Freedom. After treatment and encasement by National Archives conservators, Magna Carta was put back on display for the public on 17 February 2012.[107]

Usage of the definite article, spelling "Magna Carta"Since there is no direct, consistent correlate of the English definite article in Latin, the usual academic convention is to refer to the document in English without the article as "Magna Carta" rather than "the Magna Carta". According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first written appearance of the term was in 1218: "Concesserimus libertates quasdam scriptas in magna carta nostra de libertatibus" (Latin: "We concede the certain liberties here written in our great charter concerning liberties"). However, "the Magna Carta" is frequently used in both academic and non-academic speech.

Especially in the past, the document has also been referred to as "Magna Charta", but the pronunciation was the same. "Magna Charta" is still an acceptable variant spelling recorded in many dictionaries due to continued use in some reputable sources. From the 13th to the 17th centuries, only the spelling "Magna Carta" was used. The spelling "Magna Charta" began to be used in the 18th century but never became more common despite also being used by some reputable writers.[108][109]

Popular perceptionsSymbol and practiceMagna Carta is often a symbol for the first time the citizens of England were granted rights against an absolute king. However, in practice the Commons could not enforce Magna Carta in the few situations where it applied to them, so its reach was limited. Also, a large part of Magna Carta was copied, nearly word for word, from the Charter of Liberties of Henry I, issued when Henry I rose to the throne in 1100, which bound the king to laws which effectively granted certain civil liberties to the church and the English nobility.

Many documents form Magna CartaAlthough Magna Carta is popularly thought of as the document which was forced upon King John in 1215, this version of the charter was almost immediately annulled. Later monarchs reissued the document, but without the most direct challenges to their power, and without the provisions which were intended to right immediate wrongs rather than make long-term constitutional changes. The version which forms part of English law is actually that of 1297. Magna Carta can therefore be used to refer to any one of several related (but not identical) 13th century documents, or indeed to the various charters as a whole.

The document was unsignedPopular perception is that King John and the barons signed Magna Carta. There were no signatures on the original document, however, only a single seal placed by the king. The words of the charter '' Data per manum nostram '' signify that the document was personally given by the king's hand. By placing his seal on the document, the King and the barons followed common law that a seal was sufficient to authenticate a deed, though it had to be done in front of witnesses. John's seal was the only one, and he did not sign it. The barons neither signed nor attached their seals to it.[110]

Perception in AmericaThe document is also honoured in America, where it is an antecedent of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights. In 1957, the American Bar Association erected the Runnymede Memorial.[111] In 1976, the UK lent one of four surviving originals of the 1215 Magna Carta to the U.S. for its bicentennial celebrations, and also donated an ornate case to display it. The original was returned after one year, but a replica and its case are still on display in the U.S. Capitol Crypt in Washington, D.C.[112] One of four surviving originals of the 1297 Magna Carta is also on display in the U.S. National Archives.

21st-century BritainIn 2006, BBC History held a poll to recommend a date for a proposed "Britain Day". 15 June, which was the date of the original 1215 Magna Carta, received most votes, above other suggestions such as D-Day, VE Day, and Remembrance Day. The outcome was not binding, although the then ChancellorGordon Brown had previously given his support to the idea of a new national day to celebrate British identity.[113] It was used as the name for an anti-surveillance movement in the 2008 BBC series The Last Enemy. According to a poll carried out by YouGov in 2008, 45% of the British public do not know what Magna Carta is.[114] However, its perceived guarantee of trial by jury and other civil liberties led to Tony Benn referring to the debate over whether to increase the maximum time terrorist suspects could be held without charge from 28 to 42 days as "the day Magna Carta was repealed".[115]

See alsoReferences^"Magna Carta 1215, French translation (MC 1215 Fr)". Holt, J.C.'š 'A Verncaular-French Text of Magna Carta 1215', English Historical Review, 89 (1974), 346''64. http://www.earlyenglishlaws.ac.uk/laws/texts/mc-1215-fr/#manuscripts. ^Danny Danziger & John Gillingham, "1215: The Year of Magna Carta"(2004 paperback edition) p278^"Magna Carta: a precedent for recent constitutional change". Judiciary of England and Wales Speeches. 15 June 2005. http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/media/speeches/2005/magna-carta-precedent-recent-constitutional-change. Retrieved 7 September 2010. ^Holt, J.C. Magna Carta (1965) p.21^ abClanchy, M.T. Early Medieval England Folio Society (1997) p.139^"United States Constitution Q + A". The Charters of Freedom. http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_q_and_a.html. Retrieved 16 February 2009. ^Thomas, Ralph V. Magna Carta Pearson 2003 pp39-40 & pp53-54^Danziger & Gillingham (2006) pp.256''258^Poole, A.L. From Domesday Book to Magna Carta, 1087''1216 Oxford University Press 2nd edition (1963) p471-472^Holt, J.C. The Northerners: A Study in the Reign of King John Oxford University Press New edition (1992) p115^Holt, J.C. The Northerners: A Study in the Reign of King John Oxford University Press New edition (1992) p112^Within this article dates before 14 September 1752 are in the Julian calendar, later dates are in the Gregorian calendar.^Holt, J.C. The Northerners: A Study in the Reign of King John Oxford University Press New edition (1992) p107^"Roger of Wendover". Britannia.com. http://www.britannia.com/history/docs/runnymede.html. Retrieved 30 August 2010. ^Leeming, John Robert (1915). Stephen Langton : hero of Magna charta (1215 A.D.), septingentenary (700th anniversary), 1915 A.D.. London: Skeffington & Son. http://www.archive.org/details/stephenlangtonhe00leemuoft. Retrieved 1 November 2009. ^Poole, A.L. From Domesday Book to Magna Carta, 1087''1216 Oxford University Press 2nd edition (1963) p479^Carpenter, David A. The Minority of Henry III University of California Press (1992) p12^Danziger & Gillingham (2004) p. 264^Crouch, David William Marshal Longman (1996) p114^Holt, J.C. Magna Carta Cambridge University Press 2nd Edition (1992) p1^Clanchy, M.T. A History Of England: Early Medieval England Folio Edition (1997) p141^Magna Charta translation, Barons at Runnymede, Magna Charta Period Feudal Estates, h2g2, King John and the Magna Carta^Hewitt, H.J. Mediaeval Cheshire Manchester University Press (1929) p.9^Holt, J.C. Magna Carta Cambridge University Press 2nd Edition (1992) pp.379-380^Clanchy, M.T. A History Of England: Early Medieval England Folio Edition (1997) p145^Powicke, Sir Maurice The Thirteenth Century 1216''1307 Oxford University Press 2nd edition (1962) p5^White, A.B. The Name Magna Carta in The English Historical Review (1915) pp472-475 and Note on the Name Magna Carta in The English Historical Review (1917) pp554-555^Clanchy, M.T. A History Of England: Early Medieval England Folio Edition (1997) pp141-142^Clanchy, M.T. A History Of England: Early Medieval England Folio Edition (1997) p147^Holt, J.C. Magna Carta Cambridge University Press 2nd Edition (1992) p394^Prestwich, Michael Edward I Yale (1997) p427^Halsbury Statutes Volume 10 4th edition (2007) p6^"Magna Carta (1297)". The National Archive. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aep/Edw1cc1929/25/9/contents. Retrieved 29 July 2010. ^"UK Statute Law". Statutelaw.gov.uk. http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.aspx?activeTextDocId=1517519. Retrieved 30 August 2010. ^"Confirmatio Cartarum". http://www.britannia.com/history/docs/cartarum.html. Retrieved 30 November 2007. ^Prestwich, MichaelEdward I Yale (1997) p427^Prestwich, MichaelEdward I Yale (1997) p434^Menache, Sophia Clement V Cambridge University Press (2002)p253^Robison, William B. and Fritze, Ronald H. (eds) Historical dictionary of late medieval England, 1272''1485 Greenwood Press (2002) entry on Articuli super Cartas pp34-35^Prestwich, MichaelEdward I University of California Press (1988) pp547-548^ abTurner, Ralph V. Magna Carta Pearson (2003) p123^Thompson, Faith Magna Carta '' Its Role in the Making of the English Constitution 1300''1629(1948)pp9-10^ abc"(Magna Carta) (1297) (c. 9)". UK Statute Law Database. http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.aspx?activeTextDocId=1517519. Retrieved 2 September2007. ^ abTurner, Ralph V. Magna Carta Pearson (2003) pp67-68^Gordon v. Justice Court, 12 Cal. 3d 323 (1974).^Danziger, Gillingham 2004 p.262^ "Magna Carta". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. ^Turner, Ralph V. Magna Carta Pearson (2003) p127^Turner, Ralph V. Magna Carta Pearson (2003) p138^Thompson, Faith Magna Carta '' Its Role in the Making of the English Constitution 1300''1629 University of Minnesota Press (1948) p.146^Thompson, Faith Magna Carta '' Its Role in the Making of the English Constitution 1300''1629 University of Minnesota Press (1948) pp.147-149^Turner, Ralph V. Magna Carta Pearson (2003) p.140^Thompson, Faith Magna Carta '' Its Role in the Making of the English Constitution 1300''1629 University of Minnesota Press (1948) pp.216-230^Pocock, J.G.A. The Ancient Constitution and the Feudal Law Cambridge University Press reisssue (1987) p.154^Wright, Herbert G. The Life and Works of Arthur Hall of Grantham, Member of Parliament, Courtier and First Translator of Homer Into English (1919) p.72^Turner, Ralph V. Magna Carta Longman (2003) 148^Holt, J.C. Magna Carta Cambridge University Press 2nd edition (1992) p12^Holt, J.C. Magna Carta Cambridge University Press 2nd edition (1992) pp20-21^Turner, Ralph V. Magna Carta Longman (2003) 157^Pocock, J.G.A. The Ancient Constitution and the Feudal Law Cambridge University Press (1987)^Turner, Ralph V. Magna Carta Pearson (2003) p156^Greenberg, Janelle The Radical Face of the Ancient Constitution: St Edward's 'Laws' in Early Modern Political Thought Cambridge University Press (2001) p148^Russell, Conrad Unrevolutionary England, 1603''1642 Hambledon Press (1990) p41^Magna Carta: a Precedent For Recent Constitutional Change, a speech by Harry Woolf, Baron Woolf, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, given on 15 June 2005 at Royal Holloway, University of London^Woolrych, Austyn in David L. Smith (Editor) Cromwell and the Interregnum: The Essential Readings Wiley-Blackwell (2003) p66^Pocock, J.G.A. The Ancient Constitution and the Feudal Law Cambridge University Press (1987) p127^Kewes, Paulina The uses of history in early modern England University of California Press (2006) 226^Danziger & Gillingham (2004) pp.281''282^Pocock, J.G.A. The Ancient Constitution and the Feudal Law Cambridge University Press (1987) "The Brady Controversy" chapter pp182-228^Turner, Ralph V. Magna Carta Pearson (2003) p165^Pocock, J.G.A. The Ancient Constitution and the Feudal Law Cambridge University Press (1987) p228^Turner, Ralph V. Magna Carta Pearson (2003) p170^Linebaugh, Peter The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All University of California Press (2008) p113-114 and p96^Hazeltine, H.D. The influence of Magna Carta on American Constitutional Development in Malden, Henry Elliot (editor) Magna Carta commemoration essays (1917) p 194^Hazeltine, H.D. The influence of Magna Carta on American Constitutional Development in Malden, Henry Elliot (editor) Magna Carta commemoration essays (1917) p 195^Turner, Ralph V. Magna Carta Pearson (2003) p210^Turner, Ralph V. Magna Carta Pearson (2003) p 211^Hazeltine, H.D. The influence of Magna Carta on American Constitutional Development in Malden, Henry Elliot (editor) Magna Carta commemoration essays (1917) pp 183''184^Frederic Jesup Stimson, The Law of the Federal and State Constitutions of the United States; Book One, Origin and Growth of the American Constitutions, 2004, Introductory, Lawbook Exchange Ltd, ISBN 1-58477-369-3^Charles Lund Black, A New Birth of Freedom, 1999, p. 10, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-07734-3^"',Klopfer v. North Carolina',, 386 U.S. 213 (1967)". Caselaw.lp.findlaw.com. http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=386&invol=213. Retrieved 2 May 2010. ^Turner, Ralph V. Magna Carta Pearson (2003) pp1990-200^Volume 6 1862 pV^Clare A. Simmons, "Absent Presence: The Romantic-Era Magna Charta and the English Constitution," in Medievalism in the Modern World. Essays in Honour of Leslie J. Workman, ed. Richard Utz and Tom Shippey (Turnhout: Brepols, 1998), pp. 69''83.^Galef, David Second thoughts: a focus on rereading Wayne State University Press (1998) p78-79^Pollard, Albert F. The History of England; a study in political evolution (1912)pp31-32^Clark, David The Icon of Liberty: The Status and Role of Magna Carta in Australian and New Zealand LawMelbourne University Law Review 34 (2000)^Kennedy, William Paul Mcclure The Constitution of Canada; An Introduction to Its Development and Law (1922) p228^Drew, Katherine Fischer Magna Carta Greenwood (2004) pxvi & pxxiii^Davis, G.R.C., Magna Carta, published by the British Library Board, 1977, p.36^Fort Knox Bullion Depository, GlobalSecurity.org^Knight, Alec (17 April 2004). "Magna Charta: Our Heritage and Yours". National Society Magna Charta Dames and Barons. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070928064443/http://www.magnacharta.org/DeanofLincolnsRemarks2004.htm. Retrieved 2 September 2007. ^"Magna Carta & Four Foundations of Freedom". Contemporary Art Center of Virginia. 2007. http://www.cacv.org/exhibitions/MagnaCarta.asp. Retrieved 2 September 2007. ^"By Our Heirs Forever". Contemporary Art Center of Virginia. 2007. http://www.cacv.org/MagnaCarta.asp. Retrieved 2 September 2007. ^"Magna Carta on Display Beginning 4 July " (Press release). National Constitution Center. 30 May 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070927032707/http://www.constitutioncenter.org/PressRoom/PressReleases/2007_05_30_17687.shtml. Retrieved 2 September 2007. ^Copy of Magna Carta Travels to New York in Style, The New York Times, 13 September 2009^Magna Carta and the Foundations of Freedom, Fraunces Tavern Museum^Award for cathedral Magna Carta, BBC News Online, 4 August 2009^"Magna Carta: Where can I see a copy?". Icons: A Portrait of England. Culture Online. http://www.icons.org.uk/theicons/collection/magna-carta/features/where-can-i-see-a-copy. Retrieved 2 September 2007. ^"Magna Carta at Hereford Cathedral". http://www.bbc.co.uk/herefordandworcester/content/articles/2009/06/15/magna_carta_3108_event_feature.shtml. ^"Magna Carta on display at the Bodleian". 10 December 2007. http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2007/071210a.html. Retrieved 12 December 2007. ^Harry Evans, Bad King John and the Australian Constitution^Barron, James (25 September 2007). "Magna Carta is going on the auction block". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/25/nyregion/25magna.html. Retrieved 19 December 2007. ^"Magna Carta copy fetches $24m". The Sydney Morning Herald. 19 December 2007. http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/magna-carta-copy-fetches-24m/2007/12/19/1197740327098.html. Retrieved 19 December 2007. ^"Magna Carta Sells for $21.3m in New York" ('' Scholar search). The Washington Post. 19 December 2007. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/19/AR2007121900459.html. Retrieved 19 December 2007 [dead link]^A.E. Dick Howard "Magna Carta Comes to America", American Heritage, Spring/Summer 2008.^National Archives and Records Administration (12 February 2012). "New National Archives Video Short Documents 1297 Magna Carta Encasement Project: Magna Carta to Return to Public Display on February 17" (Press release). Archives.gov. http://www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2012/nr12-63.html. ^Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage, Bryan A. Garner^Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage^Browning, Charles Henry (1898). "The Magna Charta Described". The Magna Charta Barons and Their American Descendants .... Philadelphia. p. 50. OCLC 9378577. http://books.google.com/books?vid=0XPZLx6VcMoY1KO0KO&id=hTUfAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA501. ^"National Archives Featured Documents: Magna Carta". Archives.gov. http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/. Retrieved 30 August 2010. ^[1], Architect of the Capitol Retrieved 22 July 2012^"Magna Carta tops British day poll". BBC News. 30 May 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/5028496.stm. Retrieved 2 September 2007. ^"Magna Carta what? English charter 'a mystery to 45% of population'". The Daily Telegraph (UK). 13 March 2008. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/03/13/ncarta113.xml. Retrieved 13 March 2008. ^"So will the revolution start in Haltemprice and Howden?". The Independent (UK). 14 June 2008. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/so-will-the-revolution-start-in-haltemprice-and-howden-846938.html. Retrieved 16 June 2008. External links

Twitter looks to media moguls to fill board seats

Link to Article

Source: CNET News

Tue, 25 Sep 2012 15:39

The company is reportedly eyeing, among others, Hollywood executive Peter Chernin for a seat on its board.

Twitter is looking to bring in some entertainment industry folks to sit on its board, a new report claims.

The company is interviewing several media company executives or industry bigshots to sit on its board, All Things Digital is reporting, citing sources. Chief among the candidates is former News Corp. executive and Hollywood bigwig Peter Chernin, All Things Digital's sources say.

Chernin is no stranger to the online world. He already sits on Pandora's board of directors, and according to All Things Digital, has made some investments in Asia that relate to digital media. After leaving News Corp., Chernin produced a host of films and television shows, including "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."

It's not immediately clear why Twitter is trying to woo a media mogul to its board. However, the social network has started to spread its wings lately, partnering with media companies for major events. Over the summer, in fact, Twitter partnered with NBC on its Olympics coverage. Perhaps bringing someone like Chernin to its board could help Twitter expand its relationships with media companies.

Whatever the reason, Twitter needs to fill a seat vacated earlier this year by Flipboard founder Mike McCue. It's believed that McCue left the board after realizing that Twitter and Flipboard, which is described as a "social magazine" for mobile devices, might soon become direct competitors.

CNET has contacted Twitter for comment on the All Things Digital report. We will update this story when we have more information.

Ministry of Truth

DutchNews.nl - Fake ID wins reporter admittance everywhere.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Mon, 24 Sep 2012 18:44

Fake ID wins reporter admittance everywhereMonday 24 September 2012

A reporter for news website nu.nl was able to use fake German ID to access a wide range of Dutch government institutions, including parliament and the offices of the AIVD security service.

Brenno de Winter spent nine months using the fake card and was even able to enter the royal palace on the Dam in Amsterdam during a banquet, the website said.

He was also able to use the card as ID to vote in the general election earlier this month and visit the European parliament and a number of regional police stations. The card was not refused anywhere, nu.nl said.

MPs have asked justice and security minister Ivo Opstelten to make a statement about the lax security.

Is your ID scrutinised? Have your say using the comment box below.

(C) DutchNews.nl

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MSNBC Cuts Off Ahmadinejad "The Nations That Accept Nazi Germany Arrogance & Expansionist Powers"

CNN Cuts Off Ahmadinejad As He Talks About Countries & Religions Having NO PROBLEM With Each Other

Media's Use of "The Prophet" Before Muhammad Trending Up > New English Review

Link to Article

Wed, 26 Sep 2012 14:31

This is from a website called Sand in the Gears (hat tip: The Corner):

The thing is, I didn't know we'd all gotten together and decided to officially call this guy ''the Prophet Muhammad.'' I know that's what he is to 2 billion or so Muslims, but that leaves around 5 billion of us who are undecided on the matter.

It seems to be the case, however, that major news outlets have begun using the honorific title far more frequently. I don't think that's very good journalistic practice. I mean, to 2.2 billion Christians, Jesus Christ is ''Lord Jesus Christ'''--but we don't expect The Washington Post to call him that.

I decided to do a news search, a very basic one, using Google and some simple filters. Basically, I wanted to see whether mentions of Muhammad have changed in six major news organs: CBS, NBC, ABC, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. I began my search in 1998, in order to include a period when Muslim terrorists had begun more noticeably killing people worldwide, but before 9/11 and the beheading of journalist Daniel Pearl.

The challenge is that there seems to be a rule that if you are Muslim, you need to name at least one of your sons Muhammad. So a news search for articles that refer to a Muhammad, but don't call him ''Prophet Muhammad,'' will turn up Muhammad Jones, who robbed a liquor store in Detroit, or the handful of Muhammads who have played for sports teams, the many Muhammads who run Middle Eastern countries, and all manner of Muhammads who have beheaded Jews or blown up school buses or sniped motorists in the name of Allah.

So I added some terms to screen out the lesser Muhammads, essentially by identifying only articles that mention Muhammad as well as Islam and religion, in order to do a better job of isolating the articles that are most likely talking about the main guy.

Not a perfect screen, but it rules out a lot of chaff, and allows us to examine changes in the variable we care about, provided major news mentions of Muhammad the religious founder didn't become significantly more likely to talk about him without mentioning the words ''religion'' and ''Islam,'' which is a scenario that seems unlikely.

I also used two major spellings, ''Muhammad'' and ''Mohammed,'' which tend to be the ones used by news outlets.

And as you can see, between 1998 and 2011, major news outlets tended to give Muhammad the honorific ''Prophet'' title less than 10 percent of the time. So far this year, however, around 67 percent of the time they call him ''the Prophet.''...

Giuliani on pollsters

President Ahmadinejad 'On September 11th Attacks' Interview With Piers Morgan pt.2

Drone Nation

California governor to approve driverless cars

Link to Article

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

Tue, 25 Sep 2012 15:26

California's governor plans to sign legislation that will open the way for driverless cars in the state.

Representatives say Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign the legislation Tuesday at the headquarters of Google, which has been developing autonomous car technology and lobbying for the legislation.

Google's fleet of driverless cars has logged more than 300,000 miles (482,780 kilometers) of self-driving on California roads..

Autonomous cars use computers, sensors and GPS technology to operate independently. Supporters say they have the potential to make roads safer, pointing out that nearly all car accidents are a result of human error.

The bill would establish safety and performance regulations for autonomous vehicles.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

US Report Says Drone Strikes Are Terrorizing Civilians 24 Hours A Day & Killing Rescue Workers

National Security Experts Go Rogue For 'Drone Smackdown' : All Tech Considered : NPR

Link to Article

Wed, 26 Sep 2012 14:24

EnlargeJohn ProcterAlice Beauheim, her father and Bill Love fly their homemade machines at the Drone Smackdown in Manassas, Va., on Sunday. Objections by the Federal Aviation Administration forced organizers to hold the tongue-in-cheek contest outside of Washington, D.C.

John ProcterAlice Beauheim, her father and Bill Love fly their homemade machines at the Drone Smackdown in Manassas, Va., on Sunday. Objections by the Federal Aviation Administration forced organizers to hold the tongue-in-cheek contest outside of Washington, D.C.

It started as trash talk between two contributors to a national security blog. They decided to host a drone smackdown to see if one guy's machine could take down another.

Unarmed drones, of course. The kind you can put together with a toy-store model and $200 in modifications. But the game turned out to have some serious undertones.

First, a word about the location. For a moment last week, the whole drone smackdown was up in the air.

A park in Washington had been ruled out after the Federal Aviation Administration warned that machines not much bigger than your kid's toy helicopter didn't belong in D.C.'s restricted airspace.

"Rather to my surprise, I got a phone call from the FAA informing me that they considered it improper and illegal to run drones in Washington," says Ben Wittes, an architect of the drone competition. That includes even little rinky-dink, unarmed drones like these Parrot AR models.

So the race was on to find a new location, only days before the event. They settled on a grassy area in Manassas, Va., bordered by a pond, leafy trees and a patch of poison ivy.

Five contestants '-- aviation buffs and national security experts '-- arrived Sunday afternoon and began to unwrap their machines.

Shane Harris, a national security writer at Washingtonian magazine and the judge of this contest, reminded the players about the rules of engagement. "Air attacks on ground targets, including your pilots and your judge, are prohibited," Harris said.

After a few minutes of fumbling, Round 1 began. "All right, let the battle begin," Harris declared.

The first contestant was a drone with interlocking black loops to protect the rotors, shaped like the burners on your stove top. The machine, nicknamed Stux2bu, belonged to Wittes, co-founder of Lawfare, the blog that sponsored the contest.

The loops on the opposing drone were draped with blue and white yarn resembling the tentacles of a jellyfish. But it couldn't get any lift, to the chagrin of Homeland Security consultant Paul Rosenzweig. Rosenzweig tried to rally his team, including his grandson Ryan.

"Ryan, lower it," Rosenzweig said.

"I'm trying," Ryan replied. "It's disconnected, and it's not letting me do anything."

"You disconnected it?" the grandfather asked.

Ryan said, "It disconnected."

Realization began to dawn. "Ah," Rosenzweig said. "So Ben is messing with it."

Messing with it all right, by jamming the wireless signal, so Rosenzweig couldn't direct his drone.

His machine dropped into the grass. And it didn't get up. Not much of a dogfight when one of the drones can't get off the ground. The remainder of the contest proved no contest at all because of the paralyzing cyberattack by Wittes' so-called accomplices, aged 11 and 14.

They pointed out the name of their drone derived from the word Stuxnet, the infamous real-world computer virus discovered in June 2010 that targeted Iran's nuclear enrichment efforts.

Cyberattacks are claiming increasing attention on the world stage. Just last week, the State Department's top lawyer declared they could be considered acts of war.

But on the field near Manassas, as the judge announced a victor, Wittes told a gently protesting Rosenzweig that he had played by the rules, as written.

"All right, as the judge I officially declare that Ben Wittes is the champion," Harris said to applause.

"A little bit of a cheater but ..." Rosenzweig interjected.

"Hey man, in any negotiation over the laws of war, it pays to be the draftsman," Wittes replied.

To a lot of people, drones are no laughing matter. U.S. machines equipped with deadly missiles have killed al-Qaida leaders in Pakistan and Yemen. They've also killed some innocent civilians.

Founders of the smackdown say they respect those arguments. But Wittes says he thought it was important for the event "just to highlight the degree to which very powerful, very inexpensive robotic technologies are becoming available to anybody who wants them."

And to highlight the importance of cybersecurity in an increasingly networked world.

Iran's Homemade War Drone Is in the Air

Link to Article

Wed, 26 Sep 2012 14:29

As the UN convenes to talk peace and love, Iran's Revolutionary Guard just launched a brand new unmanned drone'--the Shahed-129, allegedly capable of spying on a giant chunk of the middle east. And firing missiles, of course.

The Shahed'--or "Witness"'--"is capable of hitting targets at a distance of 1,700-2,000 kilometers... [and] can be equipped with electronic and communication systems including cameras which can capture and send live images," according to a statement from Iranian state press. It's unclear whether the drone incorporates any technology from the American Sentinel drone we lost back in December, but it sure does look a little flimsy'--look at those gears! The Aviationist's David Cenciotti tells me the drone has far more in common with Israel's Hermes 450, which Iran has also captured and likely studied.

But even without a combat demo, the drone is a clear powerplay. This is the era of unmanned aerial warfare, and an Iranian UAV that could glide over, say, Israel, in retaliation for a preemptive strike against nuclear facilities, is a chip on the table. [The Guardian]

Agenda 21

For Rent: Your Very Own Agenda 21 ''Shoebox'' Apartment

Link to Article

Source: News 1 Stop

Tue, 25 Sep 2012 15:27

Cities across the U.S. are marketing ''micro''-apartments scarcely bigger than jail cells. Any takers? (It's for the Earth.)

Melissa MeltonInfowars.comSeptember 25, 2012

While some people are still debating whether or not the United Nations' Agenda 21 plan is real, major cities all over the country are about to offer more proof of its implementation in the form of tiny, ''shoebox-style'' housing units barely big enough for one person to live in.

New York and Boston are already beta testing itty bitty apartments, and yesterday the LA Times reported that San Francisco's Board of Supervisors is considering official revisions to the city's building code to allow for even less living space.

If approved, the new quarters '-- branded as ''affordable by design'' '-- would drop minimum housing code requirements to a mere 220 square feet from 290, only 150 of which could be considered actual living space (unless sleeping in a closet counts). To give some perspective on just how small 220 square feet of space really is, the inside of an average school bus is approximately 250 square feet. A person's entire apartment would be small enough to fit inside the bus '-- bathroom, kitchen, and closet included. This vision of an austere lifestyle could hardly accommodate one person, let alone someone with a spouse, children, or pets.

While such housing is designed to dissuade people from owning a car in favor of bicycles and mass transit use, opponents are right to note that such a move could spike population density and strain both community spaces and public transportation systems.

The question remains, will anyone actually go along with this scheme? In a recent man-on-the-street report for Infowars Nightly News, I asked people if they would live in these prison-like units if it would benefit the Earth. As you can see below, many said they would:

A d v e r t i s e m e n tAlthough such ridiculously small spaces are being publicized as cheaper, more plentiful housing that will help protect the environment, the intent behind such moves is clear. Using adjectives like ''micro'' to sell tiny living spaces as cute and trendy does not change the fact that concentrating growth and density in urban areas is one of the main tenets of Agenda 21'²s control grid takeover.

Many have pointed out the fact that these initial developments are no big deal because people residing in large metro areas like New York City and San Francisco already live in smaller places on average. However, the truth is that the practice of building jail cell-sized accommodations under Agenda 21 was never intended to stop at just big cities '-- this is only the beginning.

The ultimate plan is a trickle down takeover where ''smart growth'' is concentrated in every city in the country. As extensively reported on by Infowars.com, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in league with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are gracing towns all across the U.S. with grants to promote sustainable development. People are told it is in their community's best interest to focus a town's resources on eco-friendly ''concentrated and balanced growth.'' This is despite the fact that some of these towns, such as Elgin, Texas, have less than 9,000 people residing in them.

The ultimate goal of Agenda 21 is to end national sovereignty and private property rights, restructure the family unit, and increase limitations on individual movement and opportunity. The plan works at the local level and uses Delphi technique manipulation and ''green guilt'' '-- the idea that humans are overpopulating the Earth, causing global warming, and straining resources regardless of a lack of valid proof to substantiate such a claim '-- to repeatedly force feed people the idea that living in a hole in the wall is the best thing they can do for the environment. One brazen planner at a recent Hutto, Texas sustainable development meeting told the townspeople, ''This is your vision for your community,'' even though the plans had been put in motion by unelected local boards years before they were even made public.

As with the new rules imposed by Mayor Bloomberg in New York City which would cut salt in restaurant food and ban the purchase of sugary drinks over 16 ounces, all of these new policies and regulations are about one thing: control. Herding people into smaller and smaller housing in tighter and tighter areas allows them to be more easily controlled while the system ratchets up its plan for domination.

So, is you and your family and neighbors living in a 220-square-foot space in a densely populated urban area with limited freedom under the tight grip of government control ''your vision for your community''?

Tags: big brother, economics, environment, police state

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Deniers!

Bad Actors

Libya Threatens Clinton's Legacy '-- And State Does Damage Control

Link to Article

Mon, 24 Sep 2012 17:34

Posted Sep 23, 2012 4:34pm EDT

On Saturday night, State Department spokesperson Philippe Reines slammed CNN for its ''disgusting'' handling of Ambassador Christopher Stevens' diary. The diary helped confirm, as the network reported, that Stevens had been worried about the threat of an Al Qaeda attack, and even feared his own name was included on a hit list.

The blockbuster news contradicted the line the State Department and the administration had been pushing since the horrible tragedy took place almost two weeks ago: that there was no intelligence of a coming attack. In fact, the Ambassador himself was aware of a persistent high level threat against him.

''Perhaps the real question here,'' CNN responded to the State Department criticism, ''Is why is the State Department now attacking the messenger.''

That is the real question, and State Department's bizarre criticism of CNN gives clues to the answer. Foggy Bottom is now in full-on damage control mode, with the primary goal of keeping Hillary Clinton's legacy in Libya '-- and in Washington '-- intact.

The election-year focus on President Barack Obama meant that the White House had at first been catching most of the heat for the tragedy in Benghazi. It's certainly true the explanations from White House spokesman Jay Carney and UN Ambassador Susan Rice have strained common sense '-- mainly, the idea that the attack could be blamed solely on an anti-Islamic video, and that there was a protest outside the consulate at 10 p.m. (there reportedly wasn't,) among other misleading details. That initial story has crumbled, and it took Robert Gibbs to get the Obama administration back on message on the Sunday shows today.

But in reality, the fiasco appears to be largely '-- if not entirely '-- a State Department botch. It was the State Department that failed to provide its ambassador adequate security; it was the State Department that fled Benghazi in the aftermath of the attack, apparently failing to clear or secure the scene, leaving Stevens' diary behind; and it was State that had taken the lead on the ground after the Libya intervention.

''When it comes to specific critiques about the attack, if either [the White House or State] should be getting blamed, it seems to me the primary one to be getting blamed should be State itself more than the [White House],'' says one former State Department official with extensive experience in the region. ''I mean if you take away the 'buck stops here' parsing of this stuff, if Stevens was issuing warning or expressing concerns he was doing so primarily through his own chain of command. The security on the ground belongs to State.''

And though the Department of State savaged CNN for reporting on the diary, BuzzFeed has learned that the department wasn't even aware that Stevens' personal diary existed before the cable channel told them about it.

''I can't speak to the question of whether Amb[assador] Stevens had ever told family, friends or close colleagues he was keeping a journal, I just don't know,'' State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland emailed BuzzFeed. ''But were we aware as a State team that a journal existed that had not been return/recovered with the body? The answer is 'no.'"

The State Department also denies that any classified information was compromised at the site. But considering the department's claim that it wasn't even aware of the possibility of an attack and other critical information concerning the assault, it's an assertion that should be greeted with skepticism.

That spokesperson Philippe Reines now jumped into the fray in such a public way shows just how much pressure Clinton is feeling. Reines, a longtime and aggressive Clinton loyalist, has served for nearly four years in Foggy Bottom exclusively to protect and promote Clinton's image. All press requests that have anything '--anything at all '-- to do with Clinton must go through him, according to State Department officials who work with him, a break in precedent from previous secretaries of state.

''He's always positioning Hillary for next big thing,'' as one official told me last year.

Reines' personal involvement in responding to CNN this weekend '-- deflecting the blame of the department's failure to secure the personal effects of a fallen ambassador to a cable network '-- can be read as more or less an expression of Hillary Clinton's id.

There is a tragic human cost to what happened: the unbearable pain and grief the family and friends of the four Americans, compounded by intense media scrutiny and competing cover-your-ass agendas within the U.S. government. To publish material against a grieving family's wishes is a tough call. But in this case, CNN behaved responsibly, and was clearly within any reasonable journalistic standards. Some of the best reporting out of Libya so far has been from CNN's Arwa Damon '--the network's veteran no-bullshit war correspondent, fluent in Arabic, who is one the best in the business.

Behind the trauma of what happened, however, there are huge questions of politics, policy, and legacy at stake.

On politics, the crass question has been whether what happened in Libya will hurt Obama's re-election chances. And despite administration officials' delivering inaccurate information, it's unlikely to have much of an impact. Obama's polling on national security issues has been solid, and unless the situation continues to unravel in headline grabbing ways, or Mitt Romney manages to make it a centerpiece of a debate, it may well be swept away with the rest of foreign news before November.

But on policy, what happened in Benghazi raises serious concerns about the actual success of the Libya intervention. It's not a slam dunk, as previously advertised by Clinton. (''We came, we saw, he died,'' she said upon hearing news of Qaddaffi's death.)

As one senior U.S. government official who'd visited Libya told me earlier this summer: ''It's not Iraq, but it's not good, either.''

The question of legacy '-- who gets the credit for Libya, who gets the blame '-- has been a contested space between the White House and the State Department from the beginning. It was in Ryan Lizza's story in the New Yorker '-- a story that captured a distinctly State Department perspective '-- where the infamous anti-Obama ''leading from behind'' quote originated. The piece also laid the groundwork for the narrative of Clinton's rock star-like revival, though it was at the expense of the president. The New Yorker story was published months before Qaddaffi had fallen, and in glow of the conflict's aftermath and perceived success among the foreign policy community, State Department officials tried to paint Libya as a Clintonian initiative. (Exhibit A: posing for a Time cover.) The White House, meanwhile, tried to make it clear that President Obama was the true driving force behind the intervention.

Now Clinton's tenure at Secretary of State is winding down while Obama's re-election campaign intensifies. With the stunning revelations in the Ambassador's personal diary, the continued failure to get the Libya story straight, and Team Clinton's over-the-top response to any questioning of the official narrative, Clinton's State Department legacy is at risk of being permanently tarnished.

Hillary Clinton Aide Tells Reporter To ''Fuck Off'' And ''Have A Good Life''

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Mon, 24 Sep 2012 17:32

Posted Sep 24, 2012 1:11pm EDT

On Sunday morning, BuzzFeed correspondent Michael Hastings emailed Philippe Reines, Hillary Clinton's longtime aide and personal spokesman at the State Department, asking a series of pointed questions about State's handling of the Benghazi fiasco, and Reines' over-the-top attack on CNN. The emails quickly got personal, with Reines calling Hastings an "unmitigated asshole" before an exchange of harsh words on both sides.

The email chain concluded with Reines writing that Hastings should "Fuck Off" and "Have a nice life."

The full exchange (with one typo fixed) is below.

From: Michael Hastings '¨Sent: Sunday, September 23, 2012 10:32 AM'¨To: Reines, Philippe I '¨Subject: Request for comment

'¨'¨Hey Philippe:

A few quick questions for you. Why didn't the State Department search the consulate and find AMB Steven's diary first? What other potential valuable intelligence was left behind that could have been picked up by apparently anyone searching the grounds? Was any classified or top secret material also left? Do you still feel that there was adequate security at the compound, considering it was not only overrun but sensitive personal effects and possibly other intelligence remained out for anyone passing through to pick up? Your statement on CNN sounded pretty defensive--do you think it's the media's responsibility to help secure State Department assets overseas after they've been attacked?

Let me know if you have a second.Michael

______________________________________On Sun, Sep 23, 2012 at 11:28 AM, Reines, Philippe I wrote:'¨

Good morning Michael

I'm adding my colleague Toria Nuland who I believe you know. She has addressed much of your questions below during her daily press briefings, so I'll let her weigh in to remind you of what's already been thoroughly answered. As far as the tone of my email, I think you're misreading mine as much as I'm misreading yours as being needlessly antagonistic.

But on your questions pertaining to CNN's handling of the diary:

' You know that all USG personnel were evacuated from Benghazi after the attack. So I'm not sure why you're asking why State didn't find the diary first.

' On material, I'll let Toria reiterate, but the answer is no. Though you might want to ask CNN if they took anything else from the crime scene that they haven't yet told anyone about.

' In terms of the media's responsibility, I'll start with the outlandish statement that I believe the media does have responsibilities. Your question seems to imply they have none and any expectation of responsible behavior is too much to ask. To be specific:I believe CNN had the responsibility to act as human beings and be sensitive to their loss when they first approached the family.

I believe CNN had a responsibility to not make promises to the family it would not keep.

If that's too much to ask, I believe CNN had at the very least a responsibility to make their intentions on the use of Chris's diary clear to the family from the outset.

I believe CNN had a responsibility to not deceive its own viewers for more than 48 hours on the source of their reporting, using convoluted attribution they themselves had to clarify, before admitting it was the diary they were relying on.

I believe that when they finally did admit to using Chris's diary, they had a responsibility to their viewers and to the family to explain why they broke their pledge.

I believe that many within CNN agree with everything I'm saying.

More than anything else, I believe that CNN - since they had already read every word of the diary before calling the family on Friday the 14th, the day Chris's remains were returned home - had all the information they needed at that point to make an editorial decision on whether the contents of the diary compelled them to report on it. I believe the time to invoke their standards to justify using the diary came six days late. I believe that CNN, if they felt strongly that they had an obligation to use the diary should never have presented the family with a choice in the first place that they'd later disregard.

I don't believe that CNN should get credit for issuing a flimsy confession only when caught with their hands in the cookie jar. I believe the statement CNN issued late last night, 24 hours after Anderson Cooper's ill-conceived statement on air, basically says they agreed not to use it until they didn't feel like it anymore, and only admitted to it when they were about to be caught. I don't believe that's much of a profile in courage.

Lastly, I believe that you of all people, after famously being accused of violating agreed upon ground rules and questionable sourcing, would agree that it's important for a news organization to maintain its own integrity if it is to be trusted. That begins with keeping its word. If you can't manage that, then don't give it.

'¨I realize that the way this works is that you only you get to ask me questions, but I have one for you: if you were in Benghazi, went to the scene of the attack, found the ambassador's diary, read every word of it, would you have called them and asked their permission to use it, then when you weren't granted that permission agree that you wouldn't use it in any way, and then a few days later just change your mind?

If the answer is yes, then you obviously agree that CNN handled this perfectly fine.

If the answer is no, if you would have decided its contents demanded reporting immediately, how would you have handled this differently then CNN?

And you should feel free to use every word above, in its entirety. Though I suspect you won't.

Philippe

______________________________________From: Michael Hastings '¨Sent: Sunday, September 23, 2012 12:04 PM'¨To: Reines, Philippe I '¨Cc: Nuland, Victoria J '¨Subject: Re: Request for comment

Philippe:

Thanks for getting back to me. No, you read my email correctly--I found your statement to CNN offensive.

From my perspective, the scandal here is that the State Department had such inadequate security procedures in place that four Americans were killed. And then the Ambassador's diary--and who knows what else--was left behind for anyone to pick up. Thankfully, it was CNN--and not Al Qaeda or some other militia--that found it and was able to return it to the family. That CNN used portions of the material in the diary they found at the scene--material that appears to contradict the official version of events that State/WH has been putting out--is completely in line with practices of good journalism.

I don't know how involved Arwa Damon has been in this. But for what it's worth, Arwa is one of the best war correspondents working today. She's consistently risked her life to get these stories, and to find out what actually happens in these conflict zones.I do agree that the media has lots of responsibilities, and CNN fulfilled its responsibility by returning the diary while still managing to inform the American public of newsworthy information. So it's unfortunate that you are trying to make a scapegoat out of CNN. That State was forced to flee Benghazi--again, because of such inadequate security, leaving behind all sorts of sensitive information--tells us more about DoS than CNN.

The misinformation here seems largely to be coming from State and the administration. The defense that the administration has offered that there was no intelligence warning of an attack is weak. If there was no intel, then clearly the CIA and other intel agents stationed in Benghazi weren't doing their jobs well. If there was intel, then we have some kind of cover-up--whether out of incompetence or ass covering before the election or just the trauma of losing four good men, it's hard for me to say at this point.'¨

All the best,

'¨Michael

______________________________________On Sun, Sep 23, 2012 at 12:45 PM, Reines, Philippe I wrote:

'¨Why do you bother to ask questions you've already decided you know the answers to?

______________________________________From: Michael HastingsSent: Sunday, September 23, 2012 12:50 PM'¨To: Reines, Philippe I '¨Cc: Nuland, Victoria J '¨Subject: Re: Request for comment '¨'¨

Why don't you give answers that aren't bullshit for a change?

______________________________________On Sun, Sep 23, 2012 at 1:38 PM, Reines, Philippe I wrote:'¨I now understand why the official investigation by the Department of the Defense as reported by The Army Times The Washington Post concluded beyond a doubt that you're an unmitigated asshole.

How's that for a non-bullshit response?

Now that we've gotten that out of our systems, have a good day.

And by good day, I mean Fuck Off

______________________________________From: Michael HastingsSent: Sunday, September 23, 2012 01:40 PM'¨To: Reines, Philippe I '¨Cc: Nuland, Victoria J '¨Subject: Re: Request for comment

Hah--I now understand what women say about you, too!Any new complaints against you lately?

______________________________________On Sun, Sep 23, 2012 at 1:48 PM, Reines, Philippe I wrote:

'¨Talk about bullshit - answer me this: Do you only traffic in lies, or are you on the ground floor of creating them?

And since Fuck Off wasn't clear enough, I'm done with you. Inside of 5 minutes when I can log into my desktop, you'll be designated as Junk Mail.

Have a good life Michael.

______________________________________From: Michael Hastings '¨Date: Sun, Sep 23, 2012 at 1:50 PM'¨Subject: Re: Request for comment'¨To: "Reines, Philippe I" '¨Cc: "Nuland, Victoria J"'¨

I'll take that as a non-denial denial.

All the best,

Michael

CNN finds, returns journal belonging to late U.S. ambassador - CNN.com

(CNN) -- Three days after he was killed, CNN found a journal belonging to late U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. The journal was found on the floor of the largely unsecured consulate compound where he was fatally wounded. CNN notified Stevens' family about the journal within hours after it was discovered and at the family's request provided it to them via a third party. The journal consists of just seven pages of handwriting in a hard-bound book. CORRECTION An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated when CNN found the journal belonging to late Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. The journal was found three days after the fatal attack on the Benghazi consulate. For CNN, the ambassador's writings served as tips about the situation in Libya, and in Benghazi in particular. CNN took the newsworthy tips and corroborated them with other sources. A source familiar with Stevens' thinking told CNN earlier this week that, in the months leading up to his death, the late ambassador worried about what he called the security threats in Benghazi and a rise in Islamic extremism. Stevens died on September 11, along with three other Americans, when the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi came under attack amid a large protest about a U.S.-made film that mocked the Muslim Prophet Mohammed. The California-born Stevens joined the Peace Corps and attended law school before joining the Foreign Service, the career diplomatic corps, in 1991, according to his State Department biography. He spent most of his career in the Middle East and North Africa, including postings to Israel, Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia, in addition to serving as the deputy chief of the U.S. mission to Libya from 2007 to 2009, during the rule of Moammar Gadhafi, according to the State Department. In May, one year after arriving aboard a cargo ship to work with those involved in the upstart rebellion, Stevens was appointed U.S. ambassador to Libya.

Ottoman Empire

GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert Says Obama Has 'Helped Jump Start a New Ottoman Empire' | Video

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Mon, 24 Sep 2012 12:04

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Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) on Friday accused President Barack Obama of ushering in a second Ottoman Empire in the Middle East through his foreign policy.

Speaking on the House floor, Gohmert accused the Obama administration of allowing Iran to influence Iraq by pulling U.S. troops out, and suggested the attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions in the Middle East and North Africa are the result of waning American influence from that decision, The Hill reported.

''Thank you President Barack Hussein Obama. This will be quite a legacy for you,'' Gohmert said. ''I'm not one of those who says he's not a Christian. All I know is that's between him and God. But what I do know is he has helped jump start a new Ottoman Empire and left our friend and ally Israel so vulnerable in this sea of radicalism that he has helped bring to the surface.''

Gohmert said a recent report showed that approval for the U.S. among those in Muslim countries had slipped from 33 percent under President George W. Bush in 2008 to now just 15 percent under Obama, according to The Hill. A Pew Research Center survey released in June noted that the median approval in Muslim nations for Obama's policies has declined over the last three years from 34 percent to 15 percent.

''This president is trying to buy affection from people who are bullies, who are radical Islamists, who want to destroy us. You're not going to get love and affection, you get contempt,'' Gohmert said.

Gohmert made a similar reference to a ''new Ottoman Empire'' in another floor speech earlier this month.

Demon Drink

Shut Up Slave!

Should Male Teachers Be Allowed To Spank Female Students?

Executive Order - Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking In Persons In Federal Contracts | The White House

Link to Article

Tue, 25 Sep 2012 16:47

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

September 25, 2012

EXECUTIVE ORDER

- - - - - - -

STRENGTHENING PROTECTIONS AGAINST TRAFFICKINGIN PERSONS IN FEDERAL CONTRACTS

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act (40 U.S.C. 101 et seq.) and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, as amended (TVPA) (Public Law 106-386, Division A), and in order to strengthen protections against trafficking in persons in Federal contracting, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section1. Policy. More than 20 million men, women, and children throughout the world are victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons ("trafficking" or "trafficking in persons") -- defined in section 103 of the TVPA, 22 U.S.C. 7102(8), to include sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age, or the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

The United States has long had a zero-tolerance policy regarding Government employees and contractor personnel engaging in any form of this criminal behavior. As the largest single purchaser of goods and services in the world, the United States Government bears a responsibility to ensure that taxpayer dollars do not contribute to trafficking in persons. By providing our Government workforce with additional tools and training to apply and enforce existing policy, and by providing additional clarity to Government contractors and subcontractors on the steps necessary to fully comply with that policy, this order will help to protect vulnerable individuals as contractors and subcontractors perform vital services and manufacture the goods procured by the United States.

In addition, the improved safeguards provided by this order to strengthen compliance with anti-trafficking laws will promote economy and efficiency in Government procurement. These safeguards, which have been largely modeled on successful practices in the private sector, will increase stability, productivity, and certainty in Federal contracting by avoiding the disruption and disarray caused by the use of trafficked labor and resulting investigative and enforcement actions.

Sec. 2. Anti-Trafficking Provisions. (a) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Administrator for the United States Agency for International Development, and the heads of such other executive departments and agencies (agencies) as the FAR Council determines to be appropriate, shall take steps necessary to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to:

(1) strengthen the efficacy of the Government's zero-tolerance policy on trafficking in persons by Federal contractors and subcontractors in solicitations, contracts, and subcontracts for supplies or services (including construction and commercial items), by:

(A) expressly prohibiting Federal contractors, contractor employees, subcontractors, and subcontractor employees from engaging in any of the following types of trafficking-related activities:

(i) using misleading or fraudulent recruitment practices during the recruitment of employees, such as failing to disclose basic information or making material misrepresentations regarding the key terms and conditions of employment, including wages and fringe benefits, the location of work, living conditions and housing (if employer provided or arranged), any significant costs to be charged to the employee, and, if applicable, the hazardous nature of the work;

(ii) charging employees recruitment fees;

(iii) destroying, concealing, confiscating, or otherwise denying access by an employee to the employee's identity documents, such as passports or drivers' licenses; and

(iv) for portions of contracts and subcontracts:

(I) performed outside the United States, failing to pay return transportation costs upon the end of employment, for an employee who is not a national of the country in which the work is taking place and who was brought into that country for the purpose of working on a U.S. Government contract or subcontract;

(II) not covered by subsection (a)(1)(A)(iv)(I) of this section, failing to pay return transportation costs upon the end of employment, for an employee who is not a national of the country in which the work is taking place and who was brought into that country for the purpose of working on a U.S. Government contract or subcontract, if the payment of such costs is required under existing temporary worker programs or pursuant to a written agreement with the employee; provided, however

(III) that the requirements of subsections (a)(1)(A)(iv)(I) and (II) shall not apply to:

(aa) an employee who is legally permitted to remain in the country of employment and who chooses to do so; or(bb) an employee who is a victim of trafficking and is seeking victim services or legal redress in the country of employment, or an employee who is a witness in a trafficking-related enforcement action;

(v) other specific activities that the FAR Council identifies as directly supporting or promoting trafficking in persons, the procurement of commercial sex acts, or the use of forced labor in the performance of the contract or subcontract;

(B) requiring contractors and their subcontractors, by contract clause, to agree to cooperate fully in providing reasonable access to allow contracting agencies and other responsible enforcement agencies to conduct audits, investigations, or other actions to ascertain compliance with the TVPA, this order, or any other applicable law or regulation establishing restrictions on trafficking in persons, the procurement of commercial sex acts, or the use of forced labor; and

(C) requiring contracting officers to notify, in accordance with agency procedures, the agency's Inspector General, the agency official responsible for initiating suspension or debarment actions, and law enforcement, if appropriate, if they become aware of any activities that would justify termination under section 106(g) of the TVPA, 22 U.S.C. 7104(g), or are inconsistent with the requirements of this order or any other applicable law or regulation establishing restrictions on trafficking in persons, the procurement of commercial sex acts, or the use of forced labor, and further requiring that the agency official responsible for initiating suspension and debarment actions consider whether suspension or debarment is necessary in order to protect the Government's interest;

(2) except as provided in subsection (a)(3) of this section, ensure that provisions in solicitations and clauses in contracts and subcontracts, where the estimated value of the supplies acquired or services required to be performed outside the United States exceeds $500,000, include the following requirements pertaining to the portion of the contract or subcontract performed outside the United States:

(A) that each such contractor and subcontractor maintain a compliance plan during the performance of the contract or subcontract that is appropriate for the size and complexity of the contract or subcontract and the nature and scope of the activities performed, including the risk that the contract or subcontract will involve services or supplies susceptible to trafficking. The compliance plan shall be provided to the contracting officer upon request, and relevant contents of the plan shall be posted no later than the initiation of contract performance at the workplace and on the contractor or subcontractor's website (if one is maintained), and shall, at a minimum, include:

(i) an awareness program to inform employees about:

(I) the policy of ensuring that employees do not engage in trafficking in persons or related activities, including those specified in subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section, the procurement of commercial sex acts, or the use of forced labor; and

(II) the actions that will be taken against employees for violation of such policy;

(ii) a process for employees to report, without fear of retaliation, any activity that would justify termination under section 106(g) of the TVPA, or is inconsistent with the requirements of this order, or any other applicable law or regulation establishing restrictions on trafficking in persons, the procurement of commercial sex acts, or the use of forced labor;

(iii) a recruitment and wage plan that only permits the use of recruitment companies with trained employees, prohibits charging recruitment fees to the employee, and ensures that wages meet applicable host country legal requirements or explains any variance;

(iv) a housing plan, if the contractor or subcontractor intends to provide or arrange housing, that ensures that the housing meets host country housing and safety standards or explains any variance; and

(v) procedures to prevent subcontractors at any tier from engaging in trafficking in persons, including those trafficking-related activities described in subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section, and to monitor, detect, and terminate any subcontractors or subcontractor employees that have engaged in such activities; and

(B) that each such contractor and subcontractor shall certify, prior to receiving an award and annually thereafter during the term of the contract or subcontract, that:

(i) it has the compliance plan referred to in subsection (a)(2)(A) of this section in place to prevent trafficking-related activities described in section 106(g) of the TVPA and this order; and

(ii) either, to the best of its knowledge and belief, neither it nor any of its subcontractors has engaged in any such activities; or, if abuses have been found, the contractor or subcontractor has taken the appropriate remedial and referral actions;

(3) specify that the requirements in subsections (a)(2)(A) and (B) of this section shall not apply with respect to contracts or subcontracts for commercially available off-the-shelf items.

(b) Not later than 1 year after the date of this order, the member agencies of the President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF), established pursuant to section 105 of the TVPA, 22 U.S.C. 7103, shall jointly establish a process for evaluating and identifying, for Federal contracts and subcontracts performed substantially within the United States, whether there are industries or sectors with a history (or where there is current evidence) of trafficking-related or forced labor activities described in section 106(g) of the TVPA, in subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section, or any other applicable law or regulation establishing restrictions on trafficking in persons, the procurement of commercial sex acts, or the use of forced labor. Where the PITF has identified such industries or sectors, it shall notify agencies of these designations, and individual agencies shall, in consultation with the Office of Federal Procurement Policy of the Office of Management and Budget, adopt and publish appropriate safeguards, guidance, and compliance assistance to prevent trafficking and forced labor in Federal contracting in these identified areas.

Sec. 3. Guidance and Training. (a) The Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy shall:

(1) in consultation with appropriate management councils, such as the Chief Acquisition Officers Council, provide guidance to agencies on developing appropriate internal procedures and controls for awarding and administering Federal contracts to improve monitoring of and compliance with actions to prevent trafficking in persons, consistent with section 106 of the TVPA, including the development of methods to track the number of trafficking violations reported and remedies applied; and

(2) in consultation with the Federal Acquisition Institute and appropriate management councils, such as the Chief Acquisition Officers Council:

(A) develop methods to track the number of Federal employees trained; and

(B) implement training requirements to ensure that the Federal acquisition workforce is trained on the policies and responsibilities for combating trafficking, including on:

(i) applicable laws, regulations, and policies; and

(ii) internal controls and oversight procedures implemented by the agency, including enforcement procedures available to the agency to investigate, manage, and mitigate contractor and subcontractor trafficking violations.

(b) The member agencies of PITF shall jointly facilitate the sharing of information that may be used by acquisition, program, and other offices within agencies to evaluate where the risk of trafficking in persons may be heightened based on the nature of the work to be performed, the place of performance, and any other relevant considerations.

Sec. 4. Effective Date. This order shall become effective immediately and shall apply to solicitations issued on or after the effective date for the action taken by the FAR Council under subsection 2(a) of this order.

Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

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

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

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

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

BARACK OBAMA

New study indicates male genitalia is shrinking

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Source: charlesa's linkblog feed

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 12:27

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) '' In news that could affect every man's pride, a new Italian study shows male genitalia is shrinking.

The leaders of the study say they have genuine research that indicates the average penis size is about 10 percent smaller than it was a half-century ago.

While the study does not say how the research was conducted or give numbers, it provides several reasons for the decrease in size.

Those reasons include stress, smoking, weight gain and alcohol.

Researchers also claim air pollution has been shown to lead to the shrinkage.

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'Leger had rellen Haren kunnen voorkomen' - Binnenland

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Thu, 27 Sep 2012 12:48

27/09/12, 10:59 '' bron: ANP

(C) ANP. Een Leopard tank maakt een ceremoniele rit op het Lange Voorhout bij het afscheid van de cavalerieregimenten Huzaren van Sytzama en Huzaren Prins van Oranje. De regimenten worden ontbonden en dit betekent het afscheid van de tank als wapen van de Nederlandse krijgsmacht.

UPDATEDe rellen in de Groningse plaats Haren hadden voorkomen kunnen worden als het leger was ingezet. Dat zeggen de verenigingen van Defensie-personeel GOV/MHB in een brief aan de informateurs Wouter Bos en Henk Kamp.

'5000 militairen staan op afroep van de civiele autoriteiten gereed. In onze beleving had 'Haren' dan ook niet mogen gebeuren', aldus de Gezamenlijke Officieren Verenigingen en Middelbaar en Hoger Burgerpersoneel.

GOV/MHB waarschuwt beide informateurs donderdag dat verdere bezuinigingen op de Nederlandse krijgsmacht volkomen onverantwoord zijn. 'Defensie is na 22 jaar van bezuinigingen tot op het bot toe uitgekleed.'

'Veiligheid in Nederland staat hoog op de politieke agenda. De krijgsmacht heeft middelen en mensen om hieraan mede inhoud te geven', aldus GOV/MHB.

Burgemeester Rob Bats van Haren liet donderdag in een interview met het Dagblad van het Noorden weten dat er 'zelfs bedacht is het leger in te zetten.' Volgens een woordvoerder van de gemeente behoorde de inzet van het leger vrijdagavond tot de mogelijkheden, 'maar is het op geen enkel moment een serieuze overweging geweest.' Het is volgens Bats aan de commissie onder leiding van Job Cohen om te onderzoeken waarom dat uiteindelijk niet gebeurd is.

Judge Orders The Arrest Of Head Of Google Brazil For Refusing To Remove A Video

Drug Lab Purposely Produced False Positives On Drug Samples Potentially From Over 31000 Cases

Syria

Demand To Begin Investigation Of Allegations Of Torture Of Children In Syria

Save The Children Report Says Syrian Children Being Tortured

BBC News - David Cameron urges UN to step up Syria efforts

Link to Article

Thu, 27 Sep 2012 00:30

26 September 2012Last updated at15:10 ETPlease turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.

David Cameron: "The blood of these young children is a terrible stain on this United Nations"

Prime Minister David Cameron has urged world leaders to do more to stop the "atrocities" of president Bashar Assad's government in Syria.

In the keynote speech to the United Nations General Assembly, he cited a recent report documenting torture and murder of children by regime forces.

It was a "stain on those who have failed to stand up" to Syria, he said.

Mr Cameron also urged leaders to back the emerging democracies of the Arab Spring.

Addressing Syria, Mr Cameron said: "If anyone was in any doubt about the horrors that Assad has inflicted on his people, just look at the evidence published by Save the Children...

"The blood of these young children is a terrible stain on the reputation of this United Nations.

"And in particular, a stain on those who have failed to stand up to these atrocities and in some cases aided and abetted Assad's reign of terror.

"If the United Nations Charter is to have any value in the 21st century, we must now join together to support a rapid political transition."

'Bang the drum'Continue reading the main storyTough words. But, and here is the crucial point, Mr Cameron offered no new solution to break the impasse''

End QuoteHe also pledged a further £7.4m ($12m) in UK humanitarian aid for civilians caught up in the civil war in Syria.

Russia and China have vetoed UN Security Council resolutions which could have led to sanctions on Syria but Mr Cameron did not refer to the countries by name in his speech.

Turning to the Arab Spring, Mr Cameron said it "represents a precious opportunity for people to realise their aspirations for a job, a voice and a stake in their own future".

He added: "We in the United Nations must step up our efforts to support the people of these countries as they build their own democratic future."

Before his address to the General Assembly, Mr Cameron held talks with Libyan President Mohamed Yousef el-Magariaf.

He also met Egypt's first democratically-elected leader, President Mohamed Mursi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, at New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel.

He was expected to offer Britain's advice on how to manage the area of the Sinai, which has seen recent clashes between security forces and militants.

Chief of the Defence Staff Sir David Richards is due to take part in discussions about security in the Sinai when he visits Cairo later in the year.

The UK prime minister also promised to help repatriate about £100m of Egypt's assets - stolen by ousted president Mubarak and frozen in the UK during last year's upheavals - with a new task force supporting Arab Spring countries.

Under EU sanctions still in place, Britain cannot inform Cairo about exactly what assets are being held.

Mr Cameron also took part in talks with Afghan president Hamid Karzai and Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari.

The two leaders agreed to work together on a framework for co-operation following the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan in 2014.

Later, Mr Cameron is due to appear on one of American's best-known television talk shows, the Late Show with David Letterman.

He is expected to use his appearance to "bang the drum" for investment and tourism in Britain.

He will be the first serving British prime minister to be interviewed on the late night talk show - a fixture on US screens for 30 years which attracts a daily audience of about three million.

Save the Children Calls for More Protection for Syrian Children

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Tue, 25 Sep 2012 12:37

Media ContactsWendy Christian 203.465.8010Tanya Weinberg 202.640.6647

Save the Children is on the ground on Syria's borders, providing emotional support to thousands of children who have fled to neighbouring countries. Photo credit: Jonathan Hymes

NEW YORK, NY (September 25, 2012) '-- Syrian children need special care after witnessing killings, torture and other atrocities in the country's conflict, Save the Children warned today.

Shocking testimony collected from refugees in Save the Children projects has revealed that children have been the targets of brutal attacks, seen the deaths of parents, siblings and other children, and have witnessed and experienced torture.

''Horrific acts of violence are being committed against children in Syria,'' said Carolyn Miles, Save the Children President and CEO, who is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly week. ''These children need specialist care now to help them recover from their shocking experiences. Their testimonies should also be documented so that these violent acts against children are not committed with impunity.''

Save the Children is on the ground on Syria's borders, providing emotional support to thousands of children who have fled to neighbouring countries, helping them recover from their experiences and rebuild their lives. The agency has launched an appeal to help fund its work in the region.

The aid agency is also calling for the UN to step up its documentation of all violations of children's rights in Syria and that it should have more resources to do this, so that crimes against children are not committed with impunity.

Interviews are available with Kathryn Bolles, Director of Save the Children's Emergency Health Unit, who returned last week from the refugee camp in Jordan.

How You Can Help Children in SyriaDonate to the Syria Children in Crisis Fund at www.savethechildren.org/syria

Sign the Petition to the United Nations Calling for More Protection for Syrian Children

About Save the ChildrenSave the Childrenis the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. Follow us onTwitterandFacebook.

EUROLand

One Third Of Athens Businesses Shuttered

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Source:

Tue, 25 Sep 2012 12:43

Two weeks ago we showed the human aspect of the absolute economic collapse in Greece (because depression is too light a word to describe what is happening in this globalist vassal collony) when charting Greek unemployment surging by 1% in one month to 24.4%, and which as of September is likely nearly 30%. What this means in practical tax revenue terms (if the tax collectors were actually doing their job collecting taxes, instead of striking) is that there is nobody generating any economic products and services, and thus no state revenues. Today, Kathimerini confirms this, in a report that almost a third of all business in Athens have now shuttered: "The number of shuttered shops on the capital's busiest commercial streets, Panepistimiou and Stadiou, also hit a record high in August, reaching 34.7 percent on Panepistimiou and 42 percent on Akadimias, up 14 percent in the last six months." And so the close loop continues as fewer businesses are around to hire less people, generating less state revenue, encouraging less businesses to open and so on, until the entire country collapses in a heap of worthless debt.

More:

Greece's deep recession has forced almost a third of businesses in the capital's commercial district to close down as shrinking incomes and frequent strikes drive Athenians away.

Tens of thousands of small businesses, which make up a big chunk of the struggling economy, have shut since Greece secured a 110-billion-euro bailout package in 2010 in exchange for promises of painful austerity measures.

On the capital's cobbled pedestrian shopping streets, long lines of shops are boarded shut while others have Everything must go>> signs plastered across their windows. Some arcades, once bustling with activity, are empty and enclosed by derelict buildings.

In the city's commercial triangle>>, where generations of merchants had run successful businesses a stone's throw from the central Syntagma Square, an August census by retail lobby group ESEE found 31 percent of shops had closed.

That was up 13 percent from August 2010, just months after the government secured the first of two multi-billion euro international rescue packages.

"There are no signs that this percentage will fall and this is very worrying,>> said ESEE head Vassilis Korkidis, estimating that about 63,000 Greek businesses were at risk of closing down within the next year.

The good news: it is still warm and the millions of hopeless Greeks dont have to worry about heating themselves for at least a few more months. This will change soon.

"It will be a very difficult winter - perhaps the toughest in the last three years,>> Korkidis told Reuters. Many businesses will not make it."

One social class is still doing ok: the wealthy.

While business has slowed across the city, it is less evident in the wealthier suburbs where two of the capital's biggest malls, home to many foreign designer brands, still attract shoppers.

Finally for those who think a comparable confluence of circumstances has never transpired in the past, may we suggest reading up on the last days of the French monarchy, and why holders of guillotine stocks as the anti-rich revulsion finally swept through France first and the entire world next, were the New (pardon the pun) Killing It.

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European Leaders Plan to Leverage ESM Bailout Fund

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Source: WT news feed

Mon, 24 Sep 2012 18:46

DPA

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Sch¤uble is in favor of leveraging the ESM. Here, during his 70th birthday celebrations last week.

Officially, the ESM permanent euro-zone bailout fund is worth 500 billion euros. That, though, might not be enough, which is why euro-zone governments are now planning to introduce levers that could mobilize up to 2trillion euros, SPIEGEL has learned. Finland, though, is skeptical of the idea.

With the launch of the permanent common-currency bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), just around the corner, euro-zone member states are looking into ways to leverage the '‚¬500 billion ($647 billion) available to the fund, SPIEGEL has learned. But with Finland still concerned about the leveraging plans, it is unlikely that they will be initially included when the ESM is launched on Oct. 8.

The plan envisions the continuation of leverage instruments currently in use in the temporary euro bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). Should they be applied to the ESM, the permanent fund could be able to mobilize up to '‚¬2 trillion instead of the '‚¬500 billion lending capacity it currently has -- a size that would make it easier to provide emergency aid to countries as large as Spain and Italy, for example.

The leveraging proposal was a focus of last Friday's meeting of euro-zone finance ministers in Cyprus. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Sch¤uble is in favor of the plan, sources told SPIEGEL. But Finnish Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen is worried that such a change is dramatic enough that it would require the ESM to be resubmitted to Finnish parliament for approval.

Plans for leveraging the ESM envision creating a vehicle to attract private investors as was created for the '‚¬440 billion EFSF last year. For the temporary fund, the plan called for protecting investors against the first third of losses they might sustain on purchases of EFSF bonds. In addition, to attract additional private funding, potential investors were promised that the euro zone would cover the riskiest portion of, for example, purchases of Spanish government bonds. Private investment would cover the rest of such purchases.

Finland, however, is worried that adopting such a plan for the ESM would conflict with the ESM's preferred creditor status, which stipulates that the fund be paid back prior to other creditors.

Bank Oversight Delayed

The plan has also been met with skepticism by opposition parties in Germany. Members of the center-left Social Democratic Party and of the environmentally minded Greens demanded that any concept for leveraging the ESM be discussed in German parliament. The far-left Left Party criticized the plan because it would mean "much more risk for taxpayers," as deputy party head Sahra Wagenknecht told the daily Passauer Neue Presse.

Finance Ministry State Secretary Steffen Kampeter, of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, said on Monday that German parliament would of course be consulted. "One doesn't have to request that the government adhere to the law," he said on Monday.

The ESM lever isn't the only crisis-related tool that is likely to come later than originally planned. According to European Parliament President Martin Schulz, the European Commission's plan for introducing joint oversight of banks in the euro zone by the end of the year is looking increasingly unrealistic.

His comments came on the heels of a meeting between Merkel and French President Fran§ois Hollande on Saturday in Ludwigsburg to commemorate Charles de Gaulle's watershed 1962 speech on Franco-German postwar reconciliation. During the meeting, Hollande pushed for an introduction of bank oversight as quickly as possible while Merkel was more cautious in her comments. Paris would like to make the European Central Bank responsible for overseeing all 6,000 banks in the euro zone whereas Berlin only wants the ECB to watch the zone's biggest banks. She also seems to be in less of a hurry to introduce the oversight system.

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(C) SPIEGEL ONLINE 2012All Rights ReservedReproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH

Massive Austerity Protest Brings Greece To A Standstill

Massive Austerity Protest In Madrid Spain

Rubber Bullets Fired At Protesters Attempting To Surround Parliament In Madrid Spain

Dit is de reden dat Frankrijk en Duitsland de Grieken meer tijd willen gunnen

Link to Article

Tue, 25 Sep 2012 15:16

Aan dit staatje is alles af te lezen over het gedrag van de eurolanden: de meeste landen hebben hun uitstaande leningen aan de Grieken al vereffend. Alleen Franse en Duitse banken hebben nog aanzienlijke vorderingen. Dus hebben Frankrijk en Duitsland het meest geduld. Lees: het meest te verliezen.

Cyber War$

White House said to plan executive order on cybersecurity

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Source: Reuters: Technology News

Tue, 25 Sep 2012 03:55

A journalist checks the U.S. Senate's website in Washington, D.C. June 13, 2011, after it was hacked over the weekend.

Credit: Reuters/Stelios Varias

By Joseph Menn

SAN FRANCISCO | Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:16pm EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The White House is preparing to direct federal agencies to develop voluntary cybersecurity guidelines for owners of power, water and other critical infrastructure facilities, according to people who said they had seen recent drafts of an executive order.

The prospective order would give the agencies 90 days to propose new regulations and create a new cybersecurity council at the Department of Homeland Security with representatives from the Defense Department, Justice Department, Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Commerce, a former government cyber-security official told Reuters.

"It tells those who have the ability to regulate to go forth and do so," said the person, who is currently outside the government and spoke on condition of anonymity in order to preserve access to government officials.

The draft executive order includes elements of what had been the leading cybersecurity overhaul bill in the Senate, which was defeated this summer amid opposition from industries opposed to increased regulation.

Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, an independent and one of the principal authors of that bill, on Monday urged the White House to issue such an order.

"The Department of Homeland Security has clear authority, if directed by you, to conduct risk assessments of critical infrastructure, identify those systems or assets that are most vulnerable to cyber attack and issue voluntary standards for those critical systems or assets to maintain adequate cybersecurity," Lieberman wrote to President Barack Obama.

The document has been circulating among the agencies and might go to top officials for their comments as soon as this week, another person involved in the process said.

A spokeswoman for the administration's National Security Council, Caitlin Hayden, confirmed that an order was being considered but would not provide details. "We're not commenting on the elements," Hayden said.

PUBLIC-PRIVATE COOPERATION

Former White House cybersecurity policy coordinator Howard Schmidt said the proposed order would also ask DHS to confer with independent agencies, such as electric regulators and others that don't answer to the president, to see who would take responsibility on cybersecurity.

The hope, said Schmidt, who has seen a recent draft, is that if those agencies won't let DHS act they would do it themselves, as the Securities and Exchange Commission did in October when it issued guidance on when companies should disclose cyber attacks.

The Commerce Department and the Pentagon declined to comment. Spokespeople for Lieberman and for Senator John Rockefeller, another Democratic leader on the issue who has asked for an executive order, said their offices had not been given copies of the draft.

Cybersecurity has become a major issue in Congress and for the White House, with intelligence officials warning of constant exploration of protected computer systems by hackers and both past incursions and the likelihood of more damaging future attacks on electric plants, banks and stock exchanges.

As of two weeks ago, the planned order did not include any penalties for companies that fail to adhere to the standards. or rewards for those who do. "There are no carrots or sticks," one person with a recent copy said.

If the order emerges before the election in November, it could become an issue in the campaign. Leading Republicans faulted the Lieberman bill as too onerous. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which also criticized that bill, declined to comment on Monday on the merits of a prospective order.

But Lieberman said his bill had been watered down in pursuit of a compromise and asked in his letter Monday that Obama explore means for making the standards mandatory.

Both Lieberman and administration officials have said they will still seek legislation, which could go further in many ways. It might, for example, provide liability protection for companies that share information with government officials or that meet the standards but still get hacked.

(Reporting by Joseph Menn in San Francisco; editing by Todd Eastham)

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The Clean IT project

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Tue, 25 Sep 2012 13:35

Latest version (august 2012) Clean IT draft document: CLEAN-IT-DRAFT-DOCUMENT-066Pub.It is open for comments: editorialboard@cleanITproject.euThe Internet plays a central role and is of great strategic importance for terrorists and extremist networks. These networks know that propaganda is a critical tool for generating funding, recruits and support for their cause within these communities. Historically they have used a variety of media channels, such as television, radio and publishing, in order to communicate their views. During the past decade of huge global growth of the Internet, Al Qaida influenced extremists for example, have made increasing use of this medium. The Internet and its fast and anonymous means can contribute to individual radicalization processes. There are concerns about the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes and the misuse of legal / neutral websites. The question is if we can reduce the impact of the use of Internet for terrorist purposes, without affecting our online freedom. Therefore this project is based on a public-private dialogue.

The Clean IT project is carried out with the financial support from the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Union, European Commission '' Directorate-General Justice, Freedom and Security.

The project team is hosted at the Ministry of Security and Justice, National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism and Security, in the Netherlands.

Haiti

News from The Associated Press

Link to Article

Thu, 27 Sep 2012 01:05

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Haiti's government hopes to introduce a new mining law within six months that could set royalty rates of between 9 and 12 percent in an effort to ensure that the impoverished country benefits from its mineral wealth, potentially worth $20 billion, the prime minister said Wednesday.Haiti is seeking to update nearly 40-year-old mining laws in an effort to reap benefits from the little known-industry. The Associated Press reported in May that two mining companies have begun drilling for gold, copper and silver in Haiti's northeastern mountains. They say testing indicates the metals could be worth $20 billion, potentially an enormous boon for a country whose annual budget is $1 billion and where most people live on less than $2 a day. Actual mining is years away."The stakes are high," Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe said in a brief interview with the AP on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York. "Haiti needs its own resources."Lamothe said Haiti is seeking advice from several countries with important mining industries, including South Africa, Chile and Peru, on policies that would both encourage foreign investment and secure fair profits for Haitians.He said the government hopes to introduce a draft law to parliament within six months and said the government is contemplating setting royalty rates of between 9 and 12 percent. He called the current rate of about 2 percent per ounce way too low.Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, is trying to strike a delicate balance. Royalty rates that are too high could send badly needed foreign investment elsewhere. One of the world's largest gold mining operations is opening in neighboring Dominican Republican. The company will pay 3.2 percent per ounce royalty on net sales, along with other taxes.Although Haiti's mining potential has been known for decades, foreigners were unwilling to risk exploring in a country plagued with corruption and chronic instability. Dan Hachey, the president of a Canadian exploration firm now investing in Haiti, Majescor Resources, told the AP earlier this year that he hopes the billions of dollars in foreign assistance promised for recovery from a 2010 earthquake will make the country more accountable.Lamothe expressed optimism that the new mining law, once introduced, will find support in a parliament that has not always been friendly to President Michel Martelly since he took office in 2011.The Haitian government is now focused on trying to hold long overdue local and legislative elections. Ten seats in the 30-member Senate are empty because their terms expired in May after elections weren't held in time.Lamothe had said in July that elections would be held before in the end of the year but in the interview Wednesday, he acknowledged that might not happen because of difficulties in creating a permanent nine-member election panel to oversee the vote. He said the executive and judicial branches have nominated six members to the panel but parliament still needs to nominate the remaining three."Right now, it is out of our hands," said Lamothe, who took over as Haiti's No. 2 in April after the previous prime minister resigned only months into the job.U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon discussed the need to hold the overdue local and parliamentary election during a meeting with Martelly on Wednesday, the U.N. said in a press statement.Lamothe said holding the election is "our main objective.""We hope it brings stability," he said. "The people expect it and the country needs it."

More than half of Haitian quake aid released

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Source: WT news feed

Thu, 27 Sep 2012 01:04

The United Nations Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti said Tuesday that more than half of the $5.33 billion pledged by donors to help the Caribbean nation rebuild after the 2010 earthquake has been released.

An analysis of pledges made at a donors' conference shortly after Haiti's 2010 earthquake revealed that $2.79 billion, or 52.3 per cent of the approximate $5.33 billion pledged by 55 donors for recovery activities between 2010 and 2012, has been disbursed.

The bulk of that money, or almost three quarters, were grants awarded to the Haitian government, non-governmental groups and private contractors.

Another 10 per cent went toward grants that supported the UN, Inter-American Development Bank and World Bank. The rest went toward loans and budget support to the Haitian government.

The UN Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti is run by former U.S. president Bill Clinton. The bureau has been tracking the pledges made at an international donors' conference in New York that came two months after Haiti's massive earthquake in January 2010.

The disaster displaced more than a million people, toppled thousands of buildings in the capital and other southern cities, and killed an estimated 314,000 people.

Oil Cabal

Monsantooo

Russia suspends import and use of American GM corn after study revealed cancer risk | Mail Online

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Wed, 26 Sep 2012 14:22

The European Food Safety Authority orders review in to the research, conducted at a French universityRussia's decision could be followed by other nationsExperts at the University of Caen conducted an experiment running for the full lives of rats - two yearsThe findings found raised levels of breast cancer, liver and kidney damageThe same trials also found minuscule amounts of a commonly used weedkiller, RoundupBoth the GM corn and Roundup are the creation of US biotech company MonsantoBy Sean Poulter

PUBLISHED: 11:15 EST, 25 September 2012 | UPDATED: 01:57 EST, 26 September 2012

Russia has suspended the import and use of an American GM corn following a study suggesting a link to breast cancer and organ damage.

Separately, the European Food Safety Authority(EFSA), has ordered its own review in to the research, which was conducted at a French university.

The decision by Russia could be followed by other nations in what would be a severe blow to the take-up of the controversial technology.

Cancer risk? A farmer shows two corncobs of genetically engineered corn by U.S. company Monsanto, right, and two normal corncobs from Germany, left

Historically, biotech companies have proved the safety of GM crops based on trials involving feeding rats for a period of 90 days.

However, experts at the University of Caen conducted an experiment running for the full lives of rats - two years.

The findings, which were peer reviewed by independent experts before being published in a respected scientific journal, found raised levels of breast cancer, liver and kidney damage.

The same trials also found evidence that consumption of minuscule amounts of a commonly used weedkiller, Roundup, was associated with a raised risk of cancer.

Both the GM corn, which carries the name NK603, and Roundup are the creation of US biotech company Monsanto.

The decision by the Russians to suspend authorisation for the American GM corn threatens to trigger a transatlantic commercial and diplomatic row.

Contentious: A combine harvests corn in a field near Coy, Arkansas. The decision by the Russians to suspend authorisation for the American GM corn threatens to trigger a transatlantic commercial and diplomatic row

Russia's consumer rights watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, said today that it has suspended the import and use of the Monsanto GM corn.

Rospotrebnadzor said the country's Institute of Nutrition has been asked to assess the validity of the study.

It has also contacted the European Commission's Directorate General for Health & Consumers to ask for the EU's position on the corn's safety.

Consumer scepticism in the UK and Europe means GM corn is not on supermarket shelves here, however it is fed to farm animals, including hens, pigs and dairy cows.

Important: In the USA, and much of Europe, corn is used to make an array of food products including cornflakes (picture posed by model)

Last week Monsanto said it did not think the French study would affect its license to export the NK603 to Europe but would wait to hear from EFSA.

The company said: 'Based on our initial review, we do not believe the study presents information that would justify any change in EFSA's views on the safety of genetically modified corn products or alter their approval status for genetically modified imports.'

The biotech industry and university researchers involved in GM research have mounted a major PR campaign over the last year to win over sceptical consumers.

In the past week, pro-GM scientists have been lining up to undermine the French experiments and criticise the way they were conducted.

However, a number of independent academics have praised the French team's work, describing it as the most thorough and extensive feeding trials involving GM to date.

Mustafa Djamgoz, the Professor of Cancer Biology, at Imperial College, London, said the findings relating to eating GM corn were a 'surprise'.

Prof Djamgoz, who describes himself as a neutral on GM, said: 'The results are significant. The experiments are, more or less, the best of their kind to date.'

However, he said that it is now important to ensure they are repeated with more animals by independent laboratories to confirm the outcome.

'We are not scaremongering here. More research, including a repetition of this particular study are warranted,' he said.

The professor said it will take two to three years to get a definitive answer.

MONSANTO NK603: Doubts cast with claim that French study 'only used ten rats',

Link to Article

Source: A diary of deception and distortion

Wed, 26 Sep 2012 12:53

French researcher refuses to release findings for EU verification, but the Russians are worried enough to put brakes on Monsanto's GM crop NK603

Russia yesterday suspended the import and sale of Monsanto's genetically modified NK603 corn while it reviews the latest research information on the product's safety. Scientists at Russia's Institute of Nutrition have been asked to review in particular a recent French study which raised questions about the long-term effect of NK 603 corn on rats.

A week ago, the French study showed that rats fed on the corn strain suffered mammary tumors, and severe liver and kidney damage at double the rate of rats in a matched sample fed natural corn '' 50% of males and 70% of females died prematurely, compared to 30% and 20% in the control group. Although the study is tainted by the person in charge '' Gilles-Eric Seralini '' being violently anti-Monsanto, the data would seem at first sight to be compelling: either Gilles-Eric has engaged in wholesale fiddling of the results, or there is a serious potential problem with NK603.

However, one East European and one French source suggested to me last night that there were only ten rats in the control group. If true, then that's a near homoaeopathic sample size. But we must wait to see the raw data in full: it wouldn't be the first time that Monsanto had planted black disinformation such as this into the blogosphere.

The Russians aren't renowned for being good on the detail of safety. Chernobyl stands as a memorial to that obvious fact, and the cavalier attitude of its culture remains intact to this day. The extremely dodgy and fractious joint venture between ExxonMobil and Rosneft to exploit oil reserves under the Arctic sea was given a gung-ho-go-ahead earlier this week to crack on with the project, deftly sidestepping environmental groups who had called for a clean-up prior to exploration of the area. The site '' in the Kara Sea off Russia's northern coast '' was for many years the dustbin of choice for a USSR using its navy to dump ageing, leaky nuclear reactors, and a staggering 17,000 drums of radioactive waste.

But now, this huge country '' dependent on grain for survival and exports '' has abruptly pulled the plug on the use of a biochemical GM product that could solve many of its problems. My commonsense reaction is, therefore, that they too think there might be a whopping NK603 problem too.

They're not alone. Although the Canadian government airily gave the strain a clean bill of health eleven years ago, Europeans are not so sure: last Thursday, Austrian agriculture minister Niki Berlakovich called on the European Commission to review its approval process for GM food.

However, as ever when there are potential consequences to be assessed, the motherlovers on Wall Street are keen as mustard to dismiss any and all tentative frontal-lobe thinking '' in favour of Goforit: Goldman Sachs' response to the evidence of rat-organ damage was to upgrade Monsanto shares, a move that saw the company's stock price power ahead by 2.8% on the day (September 19th). ''Monsanto's doing a lot of things right,'' OptionMonster's Jon Najarian told CNBC the same afternoon. Perhaps not if you're a rat, Jonny baby.

What's the real issue here?

GM crops represent a subject not unlike the case for and against 'man-made' global warming. On one side sits an axis of the usual fluffy suspects '' from Prince Charles to organically unmodified vegans '' suggesting that the development of genetically mutated grains is dangerous and reckless for any number of ecological and health reasons; on the other stands a Top Ten Forbes company weilding enormous power, and attracting the best political support that money can buy. In the middle are the remaining 94% called The Rest of Us '' who are anything from sceptical to bored.

Monsanto wasn't the first to genetically modify a plant cell, but it was the first outfit to bring into agriculture the now standard biotechnology industry business model. Under this, Big M has forced through long-term patents, and dismissed the customary practices of farmers to save, reuse, share and develop plant varieties as backstops against catastrophic strain death, unprecedented bug attacks and so forth. Monsanto's unremittingly aggressive approach to litigation, its seed commercialisation practices, and its history as a chemical company, have made it widely hated. This isn't entirely Greenpeace nuttery: lest we forget, these are the beautiful people who gave us DDT, Agent Orange, and of course Roundup.

So I became concerned when I noted at the weekend that the collateral marketing materials from Monsanto were branding NK603 as 'Roundup Ready': that's to say, mutated to ensure complete resistance to the weedkiller. You can kind of discern a double sales-bonus for Monsanto in all this; you can also be assured that NK603 (already casting doubts throughout the international farming community) will itself be pounded with Roundup throughout its growing season. Let's hope those washing products employed by cereal manufacturers are effective. (For all I know, they're made by Monsanto too).

I can't tell you much about Roundup beyond the fact that if you have pets, it would be sound policy to keep them indoors while applying the product to those pesky weeds. Even agro-retailers look frightened when you suggest indiscriminate use of Roundup with little terriers running free and sampling everything in the garden.

In short, the summation here is that ensuring continuity of reasonable grains for the human race, and health concerns in relation to chemical fertilisers being sprayed with abandon onto a potentially carcinogenic GM mutation, are at least worth a temporary production halt while further investigations can get under way.

What's the broader issue?

Not being scientific myself (beyond a keen layman interest in physics and neuroscience), the only two parts of the GM debate that cause me occasional anxiety are first, the statistics on whether we actually need to use GM in the first place; and second, the track record of the Men from Monsanto. Neither inspire me to believe that the risk here is worth taking until we have seen some considerably more categorical evidence.

I'd like in the near future to return to those subjects in more detail. For today, I merely register, as an objective observer, is that this whole episode has an air of ''never mind those big doubts, feel that bottom line'' about it.

Earlier at The Slog: The mind-boggling hypocrisy of Shell

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Android PR

Foxconn worker riot closes factory

Link to Article

Source: usfollowme

Tue, 25 Sep 2012 03:53

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/09/foxconn-worker-riot-closes-factory/

War on Water

Roundtable on Water Security

Link to Article

Wed, 26 Sep 2012 08:55

Thank you very, very much, Maria, and I am delighted to be able to join you for this meeting. Sometimes when you look at the busy schedule of the UN General Assembly, you see only the headlines, the problems, the hotspots, the conflicts, the challenges, and all of those are certainly important. But you also have to look at the trend lines, and you're here because you know that water is an issue that cuts across borders and affects every human being.

You know better than any that water management and resource issues are both a moral imperative and a strategic investment, and I want to thank everyone who has participated in this, because whether you're talking about economic development or improving global health, whether you focus on promoting food security or building peace or coping with climate change or providing sustainable energy, access to clean water is critical. And the problems that are already coming to the forefront around the world will only intensify as populations grow and demands increase.

Now, this year alone in the United States, we've experienced extreme drought conditions in some parts of our country and devastating floods in others. We are well aware that Europe, Asia, and Africa have all experienced similar challenges. Now, you've already heard about our Intelligence Community Assessment on Global Water Security, and I hope that you will have if you didn't today have a chance to really study it, because water scarcity could have profound implications for security. The report found that dwindling supplies and poor management of water resources will certainly affect millions of people as food and crops grow scarcer and access to water more difficult to obtain. In fact, in some places, the water tables are already more depleted than we thought and wells are drying up.

In other parts of the world, water resources could become a real source of manipulation and increasing instability. And we want to get ahead of what those potential problems might be. We can't wait until we already have a crisis. So I think water should be a priority in every nation's foreign policy and domestic agenda, and we need to work together to advance cooperation on shared waters. Here at the UN, we have to work in our continuing efforts to ensure no child dies of a water-related disease and certainly no war is ever fought over water.

Now, to give just one example of what we need to be doing, the United States is working with the UN Development Program and other partners from not only governments but the business world, civil society, philanthropy, and academia on the shared waters partnership to help build really robust institutions. And also, as part of that, we will be looking for ways to establish online platforms to facilitate cooperation and to facilitate regional dialogues. All of us are here today because we understand the urgency. It is for me a critical issue that we have to start asking ourselves what are we going to do today and tomorrow to address.

Many of you are already working on developing practical solutions. How can we better connect and share what you've already learned? How can we build more effective institutions for managing shared water resources? And how do we bring safe drinking water and sanitation to all the world's people? I'm sure it's been said many times already today, but there are countries where there are more cell phones than toilets. How do we look for every possible creative, innovative approach to safe drinking water and sanitation? I'm excited, because I think this is now getting the attention that it so richly deserves. I thank Under Secretary Otero for leading our efforts inside the United States Government, and I look forward to hearing the results of your deliberations and working with you to try to implement your very practical solutions. Thank you all. (Applause.)

Scampaign

Nukes

Smoking gun: LNG ship builders and their financial backers stoke nuclear fears

Link to Article

Source: Atomic Insights

Wed, 26 Sep 2012 12:53

It's been a while since my last 'smoking gun' report so it might be worth a brief reminder of what that categorization means. For Atomic Insights, the tag 'smoking gun' means a story that includes evidence of fossil fuel related interests working to oppose nuclear energy development, usually at a specific project. Some of the stories require reading between the lines written in order to see the evidence, others are easier to recognize.

Yesterday, a friend posted a link to a Bloomberg story with a headline that made the link between nuclear opposition and fossil fuel profits pretty clear '' Japan's Nuclear Exit Extending Record Profit for Golar: Freight. The story includes several juicy quotes indicating just how important it is for the LNG shipbuilding industry and the bankers/investors who back it to do everything they can think of to encourage more people to turn away from beneficial use of nuclear energy.

Just two of Japan's 50 nuclear plants restarted since the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, eliminating almost 30 percent of the country's power supply. While global LNG output has never been higher, the tanker fleet has failed to keep pace, driving shipping rates to a record. With Japan now planning to phase out its reactors entirely, analysts anticipate rising profit for Golar, Monte Carlo-based GasLog Ltd. and Hoegh LNG Holdings Ltd. through at least 2015.

''This finalizes a long-term catalyst that we've already seen, but there was a question whether it would maintain itself,'' said Michael Webber, an analyst at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in New York whose recommendations on the shares of shipping companies returned 18 percent in the past year. ''A full-on shutdown makes it official that this is going to be additive to shipping demand.''

I took several courses in creative writing from one of my favorite professors at the US Naval Academy. He was an interesting character with a passion for good writing. I even did an independent study under his tutelage. One of things I remember most about Al Lefcowitz's teaching, however, was his insistence that I work hard to avoid the passive voice. He explained that stories and novels where things ''just happen'' are not only boring, but they do not reflect real life. People take action and make decisions. He told me that people who believed things ''just happen'' had already taken a major step toward adopting the thinking pattern of a lazy bureaucrat seeking to avoid responsibility.

That training helps me to key into phrases like ''a question whether it would sustain itself'' when referring to actions governments decided to take in response to the natural disaster at Fukushima. Just in case there are any readers who have been sleeping for the past 18 months, 'Fukushima' is shorthand for an event where a powerful tsunami that killed 20,000 people and destroyed thousands of components of a settled infrastructure along more than 100 miles of coastal Japan also caused a loss of electrical power that resulted in melting the cores of three nuclear reactors.

The irrational response of Japan shutting down 50 undamaged reactors and Germany quickly announcing its plans to shut down its 17 large, safe, reliable, emission-free nuclear plants shows how a sustained campaign to market nuclear fear can cause people to either overlook or forget the fact that Fukushima did not cause a single radiation related injury more serious than a minor sunburn.

Here are a couple of other passages from the article that require just a small amount of filtering to arrange them in a way that more clearly supports my contention that fossil fuel promoters not only recognize the competitive threat that nuclear poses to their profits, but are also calling for others to take action to stoke the fires of excessive nuclear fear.

Global LNG production capacity will expand 2.8 percent to 255 million tons this year and another 4.7 percent in 2013, Morgan Stanley estimates. Output may reach 398 million tons in 2020, according to Fotis Giannakoulis, an analyst at the bank in New York. Japan will consume as much as 105 million tons in 2020, from 86 million tons now, Arctic Securities says. That's as much as 15 million tons more than projected before the decision to phase out all nuclear power.'...''The signal to the market is clear: 'Prepare for Japan shifting to more fossil fuel in the near-term,''' said Erik Nikolai Stavseth, an analyst at Arctic Securities in Oslo whose recommendations on shipping stocks returned 25 percent in the past year. ''The increased volumes are clearly positive for LNG shipping and will require a significant amount of LNG vessels.''

War on Ammo

"When Assault Weapons Ban Expired In US Was The Exact Moment Violence In Mexico Started To Grow"

Flight Attendant Tries to Bring Loaded Gun Through Airport Security - ABC News

Link to Article

Tue, 25 Sep 2012 14:34

Sep 23, 2012 3:27pm

A Republic Airlines flight attendant was detained and then charged with disorderly conduct after she attempted to pass through security at the Philadelphia International Airport with a loaded .38 revolver in her purse, triggering an incident in which police accidentally discharged the weapon while securing it, authorities said.

According to officials, at 6:33 a.m. today, the flight attendant entered a Terminal C security checkpoint lane with a loaded .38 caliber Smith and Wesson Airweight revolver in her purse.

A Transportation Security Administration employee discovered the gun on the x-ray machine and notified police.

The flight attendant was taken to secondary screening room, where an airport police officer attempted to unload the gun, and it discharged into a wall.

There were no injuries to passengers, employees or police, officials said.

The flight attendant, identified by ABC station WPVI-TV in Philadelphia as Jaclyn Luby, of West Chester, Pa., had a valid Chester County permit to carry a concealed weapon, police said.

The permit was confiscated and forwarded to the Chester County Sheriff, and the weapon '-- an Airweight revolver '-- was confiscated by the crime scene unit and transported to for testing.

She was charged with disorderly conduct, as per Airport Unit policy.

The officer who accidentally discharged the flight attendant's gun is on desk duty pending completion of an internal investigation, police said

The Airweight is a small frame, aluminum alloy, short barrel personal defense revolver and is among the most popular of these.

SHOWS: World News

Vaccine$

ADHD drugs suspected of hurting Canadian kids - thestar.com

Link to Article

Wed, 26 Sep 2012 14:17

Adverse Reaction Report No. 324764

Submitted by: Health Professional

Date: 2009

Location: Canada

Patient: Male

Age: 15 years old

Suspect Drug: Strattera

Side Effect: Completed Suicide

This is just one of nearly 600 cases of Canadian kids suffering serious, sometimes fatal side effects suspected to have been caused by ADHD medications in the past 10 years.

A Toronto Star investigation has found a growing number of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and parents are reporting that they believe attention deficit drugs are causing major health problems in patients, many as young as 6 and 7 years old.

The federal government is not listening.

Health Canada, which collects these adverse reaction reports, does not alert the public to the magnitude of these side effects. This is because the regulator has not analyzed the data it collects. It has allowed the industry to largely police itself.

''It is primarily the (drug company's) responsibility to monitor the safe use of their products,'' Health Canada told the Star.

The regulator says the benefits of the drugs, when properly prescribed and used, outweigh the risks. Health Canada and the drug companies also say the side-effect reports show only a suspected connection between the drug and side effect but no medical proof that one caused the other.

Though ADHD doctors and experts worry the Star's investigation will scare parents from medicating kids in need, they say Health Canada should consider the reports a ''red flag'' and move quickly to find out if doctors and patients know enough about the drugs' risks.

All parties involved agree that because doctors and nurses are not required by law to report adverse effects the regulator only learns of a minority of cases.

''It boils down to a simple thing: we need good safety monitoring for medication,'' said Dr. Kenny Handelman, an ADHD specialist in Oakville. ''That will help us be safer in prescribing medicines to people.''

The Star's data analysis revealed 7-year-olds were most likely to suffer a serious side effect.

Ten per cent, or nearly 60 cases, of the nearly 600 reviewed involved boys and girls 7 years old.

A nurse said a boy suffered amnesia, mania and psychotic disorder while on Concerta. A 7-year-old girl on the same drug developed Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a potentially life-threatening skin disorder, as well as 13 other side effects, a doctor reported. A boy the same age and on Strattera thought about killing himself.

Twenty-two youths aged 8 to 18 tried to kill themselves and two demonstrated suicidal behaviour. Seven completed the attempt. All boys. An 11-year-old, one 14-year-old, two 13-year-olds and three 15-year-olds. One of the 15-year-olds who ended his life was on an antipsychotic that the reporting nurse believed was partly to blame.

The reports of the 11- and 14-year-old Canadian boys were found in the U.S. government side-effect database. Tuesday, Health Canada contested the accuracy of those reports and was continuing to look into the issue.

The Star also found four deaths that were not suicides, including an 18-year-old girl who died after a cerebral hemorrhage in 2011.

''This is ugly. This is really ugly,'' said a concerned Conservative MP Terence Young, when presented with the Star's findings. Young has been pushing for stricter regulation of the drug industry since his 15-year-old daughter Vanessa died while taking Prepulsid, a digestion aid, in 2000. Health Canada pulled the drug from shelves a few months after her death.

''Every parent who makes a decision about one of these ADHD drugs for their child should be given this information that the Star found on the adverse drug reactions that other children have suffered,'' Young said.

Each of the nearly 600 adverse reaction reports reviewed by the Star is the opinion of the doctor, pharmacist or parent that a particular drug has caused a side effect. Anyone can make a report but most of the time it is doctors who do so. Patients' names are taken out of the reports to protect their privacy.

The drugs in the Star study are commonly prescribed to help manage attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a term used to describe people with poor focus, impulsivity and hyperactivity.

Though the number of Canadian kids with the disorder is unclear '-- one estimate puts it at one in 20 children '-- parents are increasingly turning to these drugs to deal with the diagnosis.

In the 10 years reviewed by the Star, 76 kids on ADHD medications thought about killing themselves. One-third of these were children younger than 10, some as young as 6.

When presented with this number, Dr. Sohail Khattak, a behavioural pediatrician and ADHD expert in Whitby, shook his head and said: ''This is an important number. I think (this) information should be available to everyone. If I am going to be on the front line of prescribing the medication, I need to know.''

In 52 of these suicidal ideation reports, the attention deficit drug Strattera is listed as the suspected cause of the side effect. In 12 of the reports, Concerta is listed as the suspected cause. It is also listed as the suspected cause of one completed suicide.

Canadian doctors also prescribe Adderall XR (an extended-release formula), Ritalin, Vyvanse, Biphentin and generic versions to treat ADHD. Unlike other ADHD medications, Strattera is not a stimulant.

''Additional scientific investigations are needed to establish a cause and effect relationship between a medication and an adverse reaction,'' said a spokesperson for Eli Lilly Canada, maker of Strattera.

The reports are supposed to play a crucial role in regulating the drug companies.

After a controlled-setting clinical trial involving thousands of participants, if a drug is approved for sale, the reports are often the only way a government can monitor how a drug performs in the much-larger general population. (A clinical trial may not reveal serious drug reactions that occur infrequently or take a long time to materialize.)

The Star found the reports are piling up in Ottawa at an increasing clip: more than one-third of the 600 serious ADHD medication side-effect reports were filed in the past two years alone.

While the reports accumulate, the Canadian regulator says on its website it does not have the expertise to analyze the information for trends and is relying on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for help. When asked about this in late August, the regulator told the Star that the plan to partner with the FDA had been dropped and another strategy would be launched this month.

In the meantime, the drug companies note that they are required by law to forward adverse reaction reports they receive to Health Canada, and say they closely monitor these reports and consider patient safety a priority.

Janssen Inc., the maker of the drug Concerta, said, ''We take adverse reaction reports seriously.'' The company has a process of ''collecting, analyzing and evaluating adverse reaction reports from Canada and across the world'' and ''proactively communicating findings'' to regulators.

Toronto psychiatrist Dr. William Wehrspann, who treats kids and adults, says this regulatory system is like ''the police investigating themselves.''

''What bothers me is that it's left to the pharmaceutical companies to evaluate the effects of the drugs. That's a conflict of interest,'' he said. ''It's unfair.''

Dr. Derryck Smith, an ADHD specialist in B.C., says monitoring side effects is the government's job. ''That's why we have Health Canada,'' he said. ''There's no point in making the reports if (the regulator is) not going to be monitoring.''

Though Health Canada told the Star it does not have the technical expertise to analyze the adverse reaction reports, the regulator said it does monitor drug safety by reading the reports and scientific literature and gathering updates from other regulatory agencies.

The regulator '-- which a 2011 federal audit found ''does not take timely action'' and is ''slow to assess potential safety issues'' '-- told the Star it has not investigated whether ADHD drugs are leading to a disproportionately high number of suicide-related side effects.

''I'm almost certain no one actually evaluates these reports. Health Canada doesn't have the resources,'' said Dr. Jack Uetrecht, a professor of pharmacy and medicine at the University of Toronto who holds a Canada Research Chair in adverse drug reactions.

The Star conducted data analysis and made an unexpected discovery: ADHD medications Strattera and Concerta were the second- and third-highest suspected causes of reported serious side effects suffered by Canadian kids taking any drug in the past 10 years.

More than any cancer drug.

More than any powerful antipsychotic for kids with serious mental illness.

More than nearly 1,800 other drugs reported to have been the suspected cause of a serious side effect in a Canadian youth since 2001.

In more than 40 per cent of all cases where a youth thought about suicide, an ADHD drug is listed as the suspected cause.

The Star found side effects on most parts of the body '-- the brain, respiratory system, several major organs, blood, skin, eyes, ears, and hair, including:

20 kids had psychotic disorders

More than 40 kids suffered depression. A doctor reported a 15-year-old felt ''worthless.'' This teen, made aggressive and depressed by two different, concurrent doses of Adderall XR, hurt himself and thought about killing himself.

24 convulsions, including a 7-year-old on Adderall XR in 2010.

48 hallucinations, including 11 cases of kids hearing voices. In the antiseptic language of adverse-reaction reporting, this side effect is labelled ''auditory hallucination.''

20 overdoses, eight of those intentional, including a 10-year-old boy on Ritalin.

3 strokes: an 11-year-old boy; a 16-year-old boy; and an 18-year-old girl also on birth control

28 cases of heart problems, including irregular heartbeats, blood pressure spikes, chest pain and one ventricular fibrillation (severely abnormal heart rhythm). An 8-year-old girl suffered a heart attack.

23 cases involving side effects on the liver, including a 6-year-old boy on two ADHD drugs with abnormal liver function, and a 12-year-old who died in 2007 after developing a liver tumour.

Other side effects experienced by 7-year-olds include sleep terror, emotional disorder, moaning, convulsion, weight loss, chest pain, muscle twitching, intentional self-injury, depression, staring and fecal incontinence.

A long list of very rare but disturbing side effects, including increased intracranial pressure; muscle coordination problems that made it difficult for kids to walk or speak; involuntary and repetitive body movements; incoherent talkativeness; eyes rolling into the head; blindness in a 14-year-old girl on two ADHD drugs; rectal hemorrhage; angina; blisters covering the body; twisted neck; deafness; face swelling; a tumour in an 8-year-old girl and growth retardation.

In each of the 600 reports, the youth either went to hospital, suffered a disability or life-threatening condition, or died.

The number of serious side-effect reports is far smaller than the number of kids who take the drugs without incident. The drug companies refused, however, to say how many Canadian kids are on their medications.

Once completed, the reports are sent to Health Canada, where officials take out much of the information, leaving only the barest of details, before dumping the reports in a massive public database so difficult to search that doctors and parents have little hope of extracting meaningful information.

The name of the doctor who treated the affected child? Hidden from public view.

Information about whether side effects went away after the child stopped taking the ADHD drug? Though doctors are asked to include this detail, none of the vetted reports in the database included this information.

The city, or even the province, where the child suffered the side effect? Health Canada doesn't want you to know.

The regulator says it is one of the few in the world to provide adverse-reaction data and that the database increases transparency of drug safety. ''Health Canada's priority remains the health and safety of Canadians.''

The drug companies say they face appropriate scrutiny and oversight by Health Canada once their products hit the market. They point out that important cardiac and psychiatric risk information is contained in their product information document, called a monograph. (Strattera's monograph carries warnings of increased risk of suicidal thoughts or actions in some kids taking the drug.)

The monographs '-- lengthy documents, filled with medical jargon '-- also stress the importance of swift reporting of side effects by doctors and patients. Yet none of the ADHD drugmakers' monographs mention specifics or numbers of suspected serious side effects, especially psychiatric and heart-related ones, occurring in Canadian kids and reported to Health Canada.

And when presented with the Star's database analysis, showing their drugs are among the leading causes of side effects in Canadian kids, several companies questioned the value of the reports.

Eli Lilly, maker of Strattera, and Purdue Pharma, maker of Biphentin, and other drug companies, suggested the reports have so many information gaps as to be unusable in terms of drawing any statistical or medical conclusions.

In a letter to the Star, Eli Lilly said the side-effect reports: may show side effects that occurred ''spontaneously'' and not as a result of the drug; must not be used to compare ADHD drugs based on the number of side effects reported in the database; and contain a ''bias'' because they do not say whether a patient has other diseases that could have contributed to the adverse reaction.

Strattera is listed as a ''suspect'' drug in the highest number of reports of serious side effects in children and teens, with 174. Yet it is among the least prescribed, say several ADHD doctors in the Greater Toronto Area.

''Lilly takes patient safety very seriously. We work to ensure that health-care professionals and the public have the most up-to-date information on our products,'' the company said the letter.

None of the drug companies responded to Star requests to meet with company officials in person.

The total number of reports the Star found, 575, represents only a fraction of side effects actually occurring in the youth population.

Health Canada acknowledges that side effects are under-reported.

This is in part the result of a flawed federal drug safety law that does not require doctors to report serious side effects. Reporting '-- for doctors, nurses and pharmacists '-- is voluntary. Several ADHD doctors told the Star the federal government should change the law.

''The more you report, the more red flags you can see,'' said Khattak. ''Severe adverse event (reporting) should be made mandatory. This type of information is very crucial.''

Thumbing through a stack of side-effect reports, Khattak was troubled by how many Canadian kids were on multiple ADHD medications. The Star found 61 kids were on more than one ADHD drug, some of them on three, when they experienced side effects. A 16-year-old boy on two ADHD drugs suffered delusion, morbid thoughts and heard voices.

''I really, personally, pharmacologically, don't understand the reason behind that,'' Khattak said. ''If you find that the one medication is not adequate, then stop using it and move to something else.''

Khattak worries that the cases involving multiple ADHD drugs are the result of doctors rushing into writing a prescription without first looking for other pre-existing problems like anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder or depression. Such conditions could explain why the drugs do not work the way they should, he said.

In less than 10 per cent of the cases, an ADHD medication and at least one other drug taken for a separate condition were suspected to have jointly caused the side effect.

Dr. Lily Hechtman, an ADHD expert in Montreal, said the reports in the database are missing crucial information, such as the rate at which suicidal behaviour regularly occurs in the general youth population. Without such information, she said, ''these reports have no credit.''

With a voluntary reporting system, the Star found it impossible to compare the rate of suicidal behaviour on ADHD medication with the youth population as only a minority of adverse effects are reported.

Hechtman, who has been treating and researching ADHD since 1975, added that the reports do not reflect another important detail: ''The way in which medication is given is really lousy . . . An average dose, for some children, is way too much. You're supposed to start very low and go up very slowly. To cut corners, to respond to very huge demands of patient loads, sometimes physicians start with an average dose.''

The younger a child, the more difficult it is to definitively diagnose ADHD, said Khattak, who wonders if 6- and 7-year-olds suffering side effects were misdiagnosed and incorrectly medicated. ''That is probably where the problem is coming in. I think it's a diagnostic (issue).''

The drug companies say their medications should not be used in children younger than 6.

The Star found 19 cases of side effects in kids aged 4 and 5. Ten of those reports were serious, including a 5-year-old boy hallucinating and crying and a 5-year-old girl suffering amnesia, anxiety and a speech disorder.

If you know of any serious side effects suffered by children on ADHD medications, the Star would like to hear your story. Please contact David Bruser at dbruser@thestar.ca or at 416-869-4282.

Suicides Replace Auto Crashes as Top Cause of Injury Death - ABC News

Link to Article

Thu, 27 Sep 2012 00:51

Suicide has overtaken traffic accidents as the leading cause of injury deaths in the U.S., a national study found.

The suicide rate rose 15 percent over the past decade, while unintentional motor vehicle crashes fell 25 percent, Dr. Ian R.H. Rockett of the West Virginia University School of Public Health in Morgantown and colleagues found.

Deaths from poisoning and falls also rose substantially from 2000 through 2009, the group reported online in the American Journal of Public Health.

"Comprehensive and sustained traffic safety measures have apparently substantially diminished the motor vehicle traffic mortality rate, and similar attention and resources are needed to reduce the burden of other injury," they wrote.

Read the full story on www.medpagetoday.com.

Eliminating fatal injuries might raise the national life expectancy by 1 to 2 years, "but it would extend the mean length of life of those whose deaths were averted by a projected 3 decades," they added.

The researchers analyzed data on cause of death from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics for patterns and trends in fatal injury from 2000 through 2009.

Overall, combined unintentional and intentional injury mortality rose 10 percent over this period from 53 to 56 per 100,000 population after adjustment for trends in age.

Suicide Survivors: Stories of Hope and Recovery Watch VideoSuicide and Heart Attacks After Cancer Diagnosis Watch VideoThe adjusted total injury death rate fell 78 percent in the youngest age group -- those 14 and under, while the 75 and older group had a 2.8-fold increase. Total injury death rates rose more among females and whites than among other groups.

The five leading causes of injury deaths accounted for an increasing proportion, up from 77 percent to 82 percent over the study period.

Shifts occurred within the list as well.

Suicide took over from motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of injury death in 2009, with an age-adjusted rate of 12 per 100,000 population in that year.

Motor vehicle crashes remained in second place with an age-adjusted rate of 11 per 100,000.

"Our finding that suicide now accounts for more deaths than do traffic crashes echoes similar findings for the European Union, Canada, and China," Rockett's group noted.

Poisoning rose the most among the injury-related causes of death. The 128 percent increase from 2000 to 2009 bumped homicide out of third place in 2003.

These deaths were largely accounted for by overdoses of prescription drugs, particularly opioid analgesics.

Tackling fatal overdoses may take a multi-pronged approach, the investigators noted.

"Several promising prevention and control strategies have recently been implemented, including Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, the Food and Drug Administration's Opioid Drugs and Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies, provider prescribing guidelines, and single provider-single pharmacist 'lock-in' programs," they wrote.

Falls also surpassed homicide in 2004 to become the fourth most common cause of injury deaths at a rate of 7 per 100,000 in 2009, which reflected a 54 percent increase since 2000.

The increase in fall-related deaths was greater with older age and disproportionately affected men and whites.

Homicide ended up as the fifth leading cause of injury deaths, with an 8 percent decline to an age-adjusted rate of 5 per 100,000 in 2009.

Limitations of the study were largely due to the quality of the information recorded on the death certificate, which could have been influenced by differential reporting stemming from "variable training, resources, philosophies, procedures, and practices of medical examiners and coroners," Rockett's group cautioned.

Distinguishing intentional from unintentional injury is also a challenge, they noted.

Health Officials Warn Of New "SARS-Like" Virus

WHO | Novel coronavirus infection in the United Kingdom

23 SEPTEMBER 2012 - On 22 September 2012, the United Kingdom (UK) informed WHO of a case of acute respiratory syndrome with renal failure with travel history to Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The case is a previously healthy, 49 year-old male Qatari national that presented with symptoms on 3 September 2012 with travel history to Saudi Arabia prior to onset of illness. On 7 September he was admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) in Doha, Qatar. On 11 September, he was transferred to the UK by air ambulance from Qatar. The Health Protection Agency of the UK (HPA) conducted laboratory testing and has confirmed the presence of a novel coronavirus . The HPA compared information from the clinical sample collected from the 49 year-old Qatari national with that of a virus sequenced previously by the Erasmus University Medical Centre, Netherlands. This latter isolate was obtained from lung tissue of a fatal case earlier this year in a 60 year-old Saudi national. This comparison indicated 99.5% identity, with one nucleotide mismatch over the regions compared.* Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which includes viruses that cause the common cold and SARS. Given that this is a novel coronavirus, WHO is currently in the process of obtaining further information to determine the public health implications of these two confirmed cases. With respect to these findings, WHO does not recommend any travel restrictions.

* Please note the change as an earlier version stated that sequencing of the virus isolate from the 49 year old had been compared by HPA.

Words Matter

The Britishisation of American English

Link to Article

Source: BBC News - Home

Thu, 27 Sep 2012 06:08

26 September 2012Last updated at19:50 ETBy Cordelia HebblethwaiteBBC News, Washington DCThere is little that irks British defenders of the English language more than Americanisms, which they see creeping insidiously into newspaper columns and everyday conversation. But bit by bit British English is invading America too.

"Spot on - it's just ludicrous!" snaps Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguist at the University of California at Berkeley.

"You are just impersonating an Englishman when you say spot on."

"Will do - I hear that from Americans. That should be put into quarantine," he adds.

And don't get him started on the chattering classes - its overtones of a distinctly British class system make him quiver.

But not everyone shares his revulsion at the drip, drip, drip of Britishisms - to use an American term - crossing the Atlantic.

"I enjoy seeing them," says Ben Yagoda, professor of English at the University of Delaware, and author of the forthcoming book, How to Not Write Bad.

"It's like a birdwatcher. If I find an American saying one, it makes my day!"

Last year Yagoda set up a blog dedicated to spotting the use of British terms in American English.

So far he has found more than 150 - from cheeky to chat-up via sell-by date, and the long game - an expression which appears to date back to 1856, and comes not from golf or chess, but the card game whist. President Barack Obama has used it in at least one speech.

Yagoda notices changes in pronunciation too - for example his students sometimes use "that sort of London glottal stop", dropping the T in words like "important" or "Manhattan".

Continue reading the main storyThe Britishisms are comingGinger (red hair)The use of ginger in the US to describe red hair took off with publication of the first Harry Potter book in 1998, says Kory Stamper of Merriam-Webster. Unlike in the UK, there is no anti-ginger prejudice in the US, she says - Americans think of warm, comforting things like gingerbread.

See the full Google ngram graph

Sell-by date (expiration)Americans use "expiration date" for the British sell-by date - the date by which supermarket food must be sold. But sell-by date is increasingly used in the US in a figurative sense. Eg "That idea is well past its sell-by date."

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Go missing (disappear)This came to the fore in the US when intern Chandra Levy "disappeared", says Ben Yagoda. Go missing was widely used, he says, because it felt more nuanced. In his view, British terms can "really serve a purpose" when there is no exact equivalent in American English.

See the full graph

Chat up (hit on)The use of chat up to refer to flirtatious conversation really began to take off in the 1990s, says Kory Stamper. Often you can't pinpoint why a word or phrase gets picked up, she says. Chat up is a good example of a Britishism that has "snuck in on cat's feet".

See the full graph

Continue reading the main storyKory Stamper, Associate Editor for Merriam-Webster, whose dictionaries are used by many American publishers and news organisations, agrees that more and more British words are entering the American vocabulary.

Continue reading the main storyAlso overheard in the US...Do the washing up - British for "wash the dishes"Keen on/ keen to - a British way of saying "to like" or "be eager to"Barman - bartenderBit - as in "the best bit" of a film... Americans would usually say "part"To book (eg a hotel) - Americans would say "reserve"CalledJoe - Americans say "named" JoeTo move house - a British way of saying "to move"Stamper is one of the powerful few who get to choose which words are included in the dictionary, as well as writing their definitions.

One new entrant into the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2012 was gastropub (a gentrified pub serving good food), which was first used, according to Kory Stamper, in London's Evening Standard newspaper in 1996, and was first registered on American shores in 2000.

"The British pub is a very different critter from an American bar," she says, but bars with good beer and food are springing up in many cities in the US, and the British term is sometimes used to describe them.

Twee (excessively dainty or cute) is another "word of the moment", says Stamper, as is metrosexual (a well-groomed and fashion-conscious heterosexual man) which "took off like wildfire", after it was used in the American TV series Queer Eye. There was even a backlash against it - a sure sign, she says, that the word had "absolutely made its way into the American vernacular".

Continue reading the main storyWhat about Canadian English?Canadians spell many words the British way - like "colour", "neighbour" and "centre"British English was "enormously influential" from 1850-1950, largely due to a wave of immigration from Britain - an accent known as "Canadian dainty" came into being as upper middle class Canadians tried to sound BritishCanadians have tended to pronounce works like "tomato" and "leisure" the British, rather than American, way - as well as using words like "tap", when an American would say "faucet" - but this is changing"When people put on a British accent [now], we consider it affected and funny - but it doesn't happen very frequently"There has also been "a huge up-tick", says Stamper, in the use of ginger as a way of describing someone with red hair.

She sees this as clearly tied to the publication in the US of the first Harry Potter book. Dozens of words and phrases were changed for the American market, but ginger slipped through, as did snog (meaning "to kiss amorously") - though that has not proved so popular.

We are not seeing a radical change to the American language, says Jesse Sheidlower, American editor at large of the Oxford English Dictionary - rather a "very small, but noticeable" trend.

Bill Kretzschmar, professor of English at the University of Georgia, makes a similar point - that while the spike in use of some British terms may look dramatic, it is often because they are rising from a very low base. Most are used "very infrequently", he says.

And it is not so much the masses who use these terms, says Geoffrey Nunberg, as the educated elite. Journalists and other media types, like advertising agencies, are the worst offenders, in his view.

"The words trickle down rather than trickle up," he says.

"It sounds trendy - another borrowing we could use without - to use a British term. It just sounds kind of Transatlantic."

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Obama was "chuffed to bits" to "natter" with David Cameron in March

But the line between trendy and plain pretentious is a fine one, says Sheidlower.

Anyone who says bespoke - as Americans sometimes do when referring to a custom-made suit or a bicycle - is just "showing off".

Continue reading the main storyDefining termsBriticism - Word or phrase characteristic of the English or Great Britain - first used in US in 1868Britishism - First used in US in 1853, for something "characteristic of British people" - only later applied to wordsBriticization or Britishisation - First reference is 1953 in BritainBritspeak - No specific entry in the dictionary at the moment, but "worth considering" says the OED's Jesse SheidlowerSource: Oxford English Dictionary

But some British terms can be useful, says Sheidlower, and fill in a gap where there is no direct equivalent in American English - he cites one-off (something which is done, or made, or which happens only once) as an example.

To go missing is another useful term, says Ben Yagoda, as it is more nuanced, conveying a greater sense of uncertainty than the standard "to disappear". Its use climbed significantly in 2001, with the high-profile case of the missing intern Chandra Levy.

British TV shows like Top Gear, Dr Who, and Downton Abbey may be another reason more British words are slipping in, says Yagoda, as well as the popularity (and easy access via the internet) of British news sources, such as The Guardian, The Economist, The Daily Mail - and the BBC.

Yagoda also points to a number of British journalists who have risen to influential positions in the US, including Tina Brown - who has worked as editor of Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The Daily Beast, and Newsweek - and Anna Wintour, editor in chief of American Vogue.

"English for everybody is becoming more international, every day that passes," says Bill Kretzschmar who is also editor in chief of the Linguistics Atlas Project, which tracks spoken English.

Continue reading the main storyA self-confessed AnglophileLanguage is part of our self-identity. It evokes strong emotions in the same way that other elements of self-identity do - such as politics or religion.

In my work Americanising British terms for young-adult literature, I tended to leave in any Britishism that I could get away with. If the context allowed the reader to understand, and if the word was in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, I generally left it in. I generally had no problem leaving in a word like peckish because we have no commonly used term that means exactly the same thing.

I love Britishisms, and I liked the idea of expanding young readers' vocabulary. But I would change a word like "chips" and "crisps" because Americans do use a different, specific word for these things.

The use of university, rather than college or school, for example, may well be used by Americans to make sure they are understood outside the country.

The same thing might be influencing a trend that Yagoda has spotted for Americans to use the day, month, year format for dates - 26/9/12 rather than 9/26/12.

There is not so much an "on and off switch" between versions of English, says Kretzschmar, but more of a continuum - with the same words in existence in different places, but just used at different frequencies.

Some words, often the more formal ones, were once common on both sides of the Atlantic, but dropped out of American English usage while remaining popular in Britain, says Yagoda - amongst (instead of among), trousers (instead of pants), and fortnight (two weeks) are examples.

And some words which Brits regard as typically American - including "candy", "the fall", and "diaper" - were originally British, but dropped out of usage in Britain between about 1850 and the early 1900s, says Kory Stamper.

"America has always welcomed words from all over," she says.

"If it doesn't look conspicuously foreign, I don't think anyone questions - it's just English at that point."

The word gormless (the best American equivalent is probably "clueless") is on the rise in the US, for example, says Stamper, but no-one thinks of it as a British word. For some reason it sounds Southern to many American ears.

Continue reading the main storyThe American 'tung'Lexicographer, author and editor Noah Webster was born in Connecticut in 1758Believed spellings were needlessly complicated, and tried to simplify themMany changes were adopted into American English - "traveled", "defense" and "color", for exampleHe also wanted to change "women" to "wimmen" and "tongue" to "tung", but neither was adoptedLearned 26 languages in order to write An American Dictionary of the English language - published in 1828 (22 years after his first dictionary) it had 70,000 entriesMany Americans learned how to read using his famous Blue Backed SpellerThere would have been no difference between British and American English when the founding fathers first crossed the Atlantic. It took time for the two to go their separate ways - a process given a jolt by Noah Webster, who published the first dictionary of American English in 1806, 30 years after the Declaration of Independence.

Webster introduced the distinctive American spellings of words like "honour" (honor), "colour" (color), "defence" (defense), and "centre" (center), as well as including specifically American words like "skunk" and "chowder".

"He wanted very much for this budding new nation to have its own language," says Kory Stamper, whose Merriam-Webster dictionary is the modern-day version of Webster's work.

"If [we were] not British, but American, we needed to have an American language as well."

These days, the "balance of payments" language-wise is very much skewed the other way - with Americanisms used far more in Britain than the other way round, says Nunberg.

And though a few people do take umbrage to the use of British words in American English, they are in the minority, says Sheidlower.

"In the UK, the use of Americanisms is seen as a sign that culture is going to hell."

"But Americans think all British people are posh, so - aside from things that are fairly pretentious - no-one would mind."

VIDEO

Roundtable on Water Security

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Wed, 26 Sep 2012 08:55

Thank you very, very much, Maria, and I am delighted to be able to join you for this meeting. Sometimes when you look at the busy schedule of the UN General Assembly, you see only the headlines, the problems, the hotspots, the conflicts, the challenges, and all of those are certainly important. But you also have to look at the trend lines, and you're here because you know that water is an issue that cuts across borders and affects every human being.

You know better than any that water management and resource issues are both a moral imperative and a strategic investment, and I want to thank everyone who has participated in this, because whether you're talking about economic development or improving global health, whether you focus on promoting food security or building peace or coping with climate change or providing sustainable energy, access to clean water is critical. And the problems that are already coming to the forefront around the world will only intensify as populations grow and demands increase.

Now, this year alone in the United States, we've experienced extreme drought conditions in some parts of our country and devastating floods in others. We are well aware that Europe, Asia, and Africa have all experienced similar challenges. Now, you've already heard about our Intelligence Community Assessment on Global Water Security, and I hope that you will have if you didn't today have a chance to really study it, because water scarcity could have profound implications for security. The report found that dwindling supplies and poor management of water resources will certainly affect millions of people as food and crops grow scarcer and access to water more difficult to obtain. In fact, in some places, the water tables are already more depleted than we thought and wells are drying up.

In other parts of the world, water resources could become a real source of manipulation and increasing instability. And we want to get ahead of what those potential problems might be. We can't wait until we already have a crisis. So I think water should be a priority in every nation's foreign policy and domestic agenda, and we need to work together to advance cooperation on shared waters. Here at the UN, we have to work in our continuing efforts to ensure no child dies of a water-related disease and certainly no war is ever fought over water.

Now, to give just one example of what we need to be doing, the United States is working with the UN Development Program and other partners from not only governments but the business world, civil society, philanthropy, and academia on the shared waters partnership to help build really robust institutions. And also, as part of that, we will be looking for ways to establish online platforms to facilitate cooperation and to facilitate regional dialogues. All of us are here today because we understand the urgency. It is for me a critical issue that we have to start asking ourselves what are we going to do today and tomorrow to address.

Many of you are already working on developing practical solutions. How can we better connect and share what you've already learned? How can we build more effective institutions for managing shared water resources? And how do we bring safe drinking water and sanitation to all the world's people? I'm sure it's been said many times already today, but there are countries where there are more cell phones than toilets. How do we look for every possible creative, innovative approach to safe drinking water and sanitation? I'm excited, because I think this is now getting the attention that it so richly deserves. I thank Under Secretary Otero for leading our efforts inside the United States Government, and I look forward to hearing the results of your deliberations and working with you to try to implement your very practical solutions. Thank you all. (Applause.)

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GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert Says Obama Has 'Helped Jump Start a New Ottoman Empire' | Video

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Mon, 24 Sep 2012 12:04

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Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) on Friday accused President Barack Obama of ushering in a second Ottoman Empire in the Middle East through his foreign policy.

Speaking on the House floor, Gohmert accused the Obama administration of allowing Iran to influence Iraq by pulling U.S. troops out, and suggested the attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions in the Middle East and North Africa are the result of waning American influence from that decision, The Hill reported.

''Thank you President Barack Hussein Obama. This will be quite a legacy for you,'' Gohmert said. ''I'm not one of those who says he's not a Christian. All I know is that's between him and God. But what I do know is he has helped jump start a new Ottoman Empire and left our friend and ally Israel so vulnerable in this sea of radicalism that he has helped bring to the surface.''

Gohmert said a recent report showed that approval for the U.S. among those in Muslim countries had slipped from 33 percent under President George W. Bush in 2008 to now just 15 percent under Obama, according to The Hill. A Pew Research Center survey released in June noted that the median approval in Muslim nations for Obama's policies has declined over the last three years from 34 percent to 15 percent.

''This president is trying to buy affection from people who are bullies, who are radical Islamists, who want to destroy us. You're not going to get love and affection, you get contempt,'' Gohmert said.

Gohmert made a similar reference to a ''new Ottoman Empire'' in another floor speech earlier this month.

Arnie's back with new book and think tank. (Euronews video)

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Source: WT news feed

Wed, 26 Sep 2012 15:24

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is attempting to reboot his image by launching a new think tank and autobiography.

The 65-year-old has faced criticism after the state of California's public debt tripled during his seven years in office.

Schwarzenegger was also lambasted in the media following revelations that he had secretly fathered a child with his maid, while still married to Maria Shriver.

More than 18 months after leaving office, the actor and former bodybuilder has opened the Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy.

In front of an audience of 700 invited guests at the University of Southern California, the Republican said that both major American political parties needed to collaborate to solve the country's problems.

''I never looked at the Democrats as villains. Remember I was married to a Democrat for 25 years. I mean, that wouldn't work,'' Schwarzenegger said, in a reference to his previous marriage to journalist Maria Shriver.

In the new book, Schwarzenegger tells his side of a scandal that rocked the couple's marriage. His fling with a family housekeeper happened in 1996 when he was working on the film 'Batman and Robin'. Shriver filed for divorce last summer.

As well as the think-tank, Schwarzenegger is said to have several new films in the pipeline.

More about:Arnold Schwarzenegger, Literature, Politics, USACopyright (C) 2012 euronews

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Releases Trailer for New Memoir (Video) - The Hollywood Reporter

Should Male Teachers Be Allowed To Spank Female Students?

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@adamcurry They do think we're stupid. Check out dude firing AK one-handed - http://t.co/e4DMnRqE

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Source: @adamcurry - Twitter Search

Tue, 25 Sep 2012 03:40

Published on Sep 24, 2012 by DeviantTech

Check out dude on the far right firing the AK one-handed. They must think we're stupid.

Category: Entertainment

License:Standard YouTube License

Flight Attendant Tries to Bring Loaded Gun Through Airport Security - ABC News

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Tue, 25 Sep 2012 14:34

Sep 23, 2012 3:27pm

A Republic Airlines flight attendant was detained and then charged with disorderly conduct after she attempted to pass through security at the Philadelphia International Airport with a loaded .38 revolver in her purse, triggering an incident in which police accidentally discharged the weapon while securing it, authorities said.

According to officials, at 6:33 a.m. today, the flight attendant entered a Terminal C security checkpoint lane with a loaded .38 caliber Smith and Wesson Airweight revolver in her purse.

A Transportation Security Administration employee discovered the gun on the x-ray machine and notified police.

The flight attendant was taken to secondary screening room, where an airport police officer attempted to unload the gun, and it discharged into a wall.

There were no injuries to passengers, employees or police, officials said.

The flight attendant, identified by ABC station WPVI-TV in Philadelphia as Jaclyn Luby, of West Chester, Pa., had a valid Chester County permit to carry a concealed weapon, police said.

The permit was confiscated and forwarded to the Chester County Sheriff, and the weapon '-- an Airweight revolver '-- was confiscated by the crime scene unit and transported to for testing.

She was charged with disorderly conduct, as per Airport Unit policy.

The officer who accidentally discharged the flight attendant's gun is on desk duty pending completion of an internal investigation, police said

The Airweight is a small frame, aluminum alloy, short barrel personal defense revolver and is among the most popular of these.

SHOWS: World News

Madonna thinks Obama is a Muslim

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Source: Neal

Wed, 26 Sep 2012 13:05

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