20 Jan 2012

The Great Internet Wars Have Begun!

People everywhere are choosing sides. Will you fight for a free and open Internet or lay down in the dirt and let globalist mega corporations destroy the free web. In the special report Alex breaks down how SOPA is only one part of a larger attack on the web. The future our technological system is what is at stake not just the Internet. Source

IMF slashes global forecast on eurozone crisis, with drastic falls in Italy and Spain

The International Monetary Fund has slashed its global growth forecast for this year and exhorted the European Central Bank to boost liquidity to stave off a deeper eurozone crisis.

"The global recovery is threatened by the growing tensions in the euro area," the Fund said, according to a leaked draft of its World Economic Outlook which is due to be published next week.

Global GDP growth is to be cut from 4pc to 3.3pc, with drastic revisions for an arc of countries in Southern Europe.
Italy's economy will contract by 2.2pc and Spain's by 1.7pc as fiscal austerity measures bite harder and banks curtail lending, playing havoc with debt dynamics.
The eurozone as a whole will shrink by 0.5pc, down from growth of 1.1pc in the Fund's last forecast in September, an even grimmer outlook for the region than growth revisions released by the World Bank earlier this week.
The new figures are an admission that the IMF has been caught badly off guard by fast-moving events. It appears to misjudged the gravity of the crisis in Southern Europe. The new forecasts explain why the Fund is requesting a $600bn (£388bn) boost to its firepower.
Britain will muddle through with growth of 0.6pc, marginally below the 0.7pc forecast of the Office for Budget Responsibility. It will rebound to 2pc next year.
The US and China will remain the two main growth blocs in the world economy. The Fund predicts the US will grow at an unchanged rate of 1.8pc, and China will motor ahead at 8.2pc, down from 9pc.
"The most immediate political challenge is to re-establish confidence and put an end to the euro area crisis, supporting growth," said the draft, obtained by the Italian news agency ANSA. The text is subject to last-minute changes.
The IMF encouraged the ECB to continue moving to a "more accommodative monetary policy" to prevent a credit squeeze as European banks shrink their balance sheets to meet tougher capital ratios by June.
The ECB said its January Bulletin that loan growth had slowed but there is no sign yet of a "sizeable curtailment of credit".
In Brussels, an early draft of the EU's new treaty stipulates that no country will be able to tap the permanent bail-out fund or European Stability Mechanism unless they sign the pact committing them to near-balanced budgets, with little leeway for deficits even after an economic shock.
The text is aimed squarely at Ireland, which may have to hold a referendum on the new treaty. If the Irish vote 'No' – as thought likely in the current fractious mood – it would block aid disbursements under Ireland's EU-IMF loan package once the new bail-out fund is up and running.
Critics say the move is a pressure tactic to induce Dublin to pass the treaty through secondary legislation without a vote.
Elsewhere in Europe, there was little progress in the crucial talks between Greece and its private creditors over them taking voluntary losses on their holdings of the country's debt.
Horst Reichenbach, head of the European Commission's special task force to help rebuild the Greek economy, said the talks were "moving ahead slowly" but warned not to "expect any miracles." He told a German radio station: "We must be more generous as far as time-frames go when it comes to Greece's reforms."
Insiders said bondholders, represented by the Institute of International Finance (IIF), were offered 3.5pc coupon on new Greek debt but turned it down, arguing that it was too low given that Italian debt trades at over 6pc.
On Friday, finance minister Evangelos Venizelos is due to update officials from the troika – the IMF, ECB, and EU – on the country's finances as Greek tries to secure a €130bn bail-out.
The extent of financial chaos in Italy was again laid bare by a report that claimed the country missed out of €119bn of revenues in 2009 because of tax evasion.
The figure, which included income tax evasion and failed VAT collection and produced by newspaper La Repubblica, adds up to 28pc of Italy's total tax revenue and is nearly four times the value of Mr Monti's tough austerity package.
Ed Parker, a director of Fitch, added to Italy's woes by warning that the rating agency was likely to impose a one or two-notch downgrade on country alongside Spain, Ireland, Belgium, Cyprus and Slovenia.
As the countdown starts for the next European leaders' summit, Joerg Asmussen, board member of the ECB, warned that the central bank's bond-buying programme cannot be used to support sinner states indefinitely. "It is an important mandate but it is also a mandate with limits," he said. "And that's why that one should not overburden monetary policy."
Fresh data showed Italian banks had tapped the ECB for €50bn when the central bank opened its doors offering cheap three-year money in December, handing out a total of €489bn in loans.
However European stockmarkets rose as France and Spain conducted successful bond auctions. France raised €9.5bn of debt in its first big test since being stripped of its AAA rating by Standard & Poor's. Spain sold €6.6bn of 10-year bonds – far more than the €4.45bn target – on a yield of 5.403pc.
The CAC rose 2pc, Germany's Dax was up 1pc. In London the FTSE 100 rose 0.7pc.
Sentiment was also boosted by data that showed overnight deposits at the ECB fell to €395.3bn on Wednesday night, compared to the €528.2bn record the night before.
The figures signalled an easing of concern as banks are beginning to become more comfortable parking money with other lenders, instead of turning to the central bank for safety. Source

Return to The Gold Standard - Ted Anderosn

Aaron dykes host infowars and talks with guest Ted Anderosn, Owner of GCN and Midas Resources, A Gold and Silver Trading Company. Ted talks about a return to the gold standard and rise of Ron Paul in 2012. Source

Vaccine warfare! Texas carpet-bombs 7,000 square miles with air-dropped rabies vaccines

The weaponization of vaccines just took another leap forward in America with the recent air-dropping of rabies vaccines by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Using a battery of small planes based out of Del Rio, Texas recently dropped1.8 million edible vaccine packetsover 7,700 square miles of rural Texas.
The packets contain edible rabies vaccines dipped in fish oil and coated with fish meal to entice foxes and coyotes to eat them. Once consumed, the animal is "vaccinated" against rabies, researchers claim.
Of course, what these researchers don't yet understand in their scientific ignorance (and arrogance) is that they are also engaged in arabies DNA / RNA bombardmentof Texas. As even the Institute of Medicine has admitted, MMR vaccines for use in humans actuallycause measlesbecause many of the vaccines containlive viral strains. (http://www.naturalnews.com/033447_Institute_of_Medicine_vaccines.html)
Vaccine manufacturing is conducted under such poor quality control today thatvaccines are routinely shipped out the door containing viable viral strainsthat often infect and sometimes even kill human victims. For example, in 2009 Baxter Pharmaceuticals was caught red-handed shipping out live avian flu viruses to 18 countries (http://www.naturalnews.com/025760.html).
What Texas Dept. of State Health Services workers probably don't yet grasp is thatvaccine manufacturers routinely use vaccines to spread the very disease they claim to be preventing. By injecting live rabies strains into a small percentage of the vaccines dropped on Texas (say, one percent), they are effectively engaging in aDNA carpet-bombing runthat will absolutely guarantee rabies continues to remain endemic throughout feral animal populations in the state. This, of course, will result in yet more rabies vaccines being purchased to "combat the problem," thereby achieving the goal of the entire scam: To sell more vaccines to the government. 
Source/full story

Bill Killed: SOPA death celebrated as Congress recalls anti-piracy acts

The Fascist American anti-piracy act was recalled on Friday, which came as no small victory for hacktivists who launched history's largest attack on several websites – including that of FBI – in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act.
Those opposing the controversial law have grown jubilant, with many seeing Friday's news as real victory in a sort of war for online freedom. The vote on the anti-piracy legislation, which was due on January, 24, has been postponed. The words of House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith – who was the chief sponsor of SOPA – came as a bombshell: he stated that American legislators would delay action on similar proposals until the matter is more widely agreed upon.
“I have heard from the critics, and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy,” Smith said. “It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products.”
“The Committee will continue work with copyright owners, Internet companies, and financial institutions to develop proposals that combat online piracy and protect America’s intellectual property.” He said in a statement that the Judiciary Committee welcomes input “from all organizations and individuals who have an honest difference of opinion about how best to address this widespread problem.”
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that he decision was taken “in light of recent events.” “There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved,” Reid said Friday morning in a prepared statement. While he condemned illegal activity on the Web, Senator Reid added that lawmakers will “continue engaging with all stakeholders to forge a balance between protecting Americans’ intellectual property, and maintaining openness and innovation on the Internet.”
The bills – PIPA (PROTECT Internet Privacy Act) in the Senate and SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) – in the House, target access to overseas websites that provide pirated content and counterfeit products like movies and music.
Hacker group Anonymous and its supporters celebrated after the bill's postponement was announced, writing “This is victory!” in their Twitter account following the statement by Lamar Smith. However, they cannot but realize that the fight is far from over. “A small battle has been won with the death of SOPA, but the war has just begun. PIPA & ACTA are still alive,” they wrote in their feed, reminding followers of one more significant abbreviation, for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. In October 2007, the United States, the European Community, Switzerland and Japan simultaneously announced that they would negotiate a new intellectual property enforcement treaty – the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA. Source

Angelo: This whole case shows the importance of twisting the meaning of words to get your way. Just label the protection of monopoly as piracy and suddenly this blog is theft on the high seasIt's a stain with which our society is now virtually saturated baring the rare Ron Paul type. Another good one is regarding fathers rights. Innocence is irrelevant, just call rape. It's so easy, then nanny state will go into just in case mode and you win de facto. Justice and what might really be best for the children be damned, the example having been set from above as this style slight of hand has been used so many times before by our largely corporate bought governments for their wars of convenience.

Mecha-Keiser: Eat the Rich!

UK-Argentina conflict-News Analysis

Tensions between the UK and Argentina have escalated over the disputed Malvinas Islands also known as the Falklands. Argentine leaders have reacted with fury after UK Prime Minister David Cameron accused Argentina of "colonialism" for continuing to claim sovereignty over the Falkland Islands. Cameron says the UK will respond militarily if Argentina tries to reclaim the islands. The sharp exchange of words comes ahead of the 30th anniversary of the War between the two countries which killed 900 people including 255 British soldiers. In this edition of News Analysis, we will discuss this tension and where it may lead to. Source

Angelo: Join the line/club. Many would like to dispute the so called Akrotiri and Dhekelia British colonial army death camps also known as huge chunks of the little that is left of Cyprus for the Greek Cypriots. The British notoriously stripped the copper isle of its resources whilst doing their colonial thing back in the day and one suspects that in addition to the manipulative and war mongering purposes of maintaining overseas bases, the most productive gold/copper mineral mines are probably another reason for their choice to keep those particular swathes of our island. Whatever the reasons, here is their message in plain English "SOD OFF OUT OF CYPRUS BRITISH ARMY!" Cypriot hospitality should be reserved for guests not invaders or rapists. We know you love it so why not come back for a holiday and when packing remember, "leave the guns and WMD's, take the paklava!" Comprehend?

“Audit the FED,” Say All Texas Republican Candidates for the Senate

I have posted a video of something I thought I would never see (below): all five of the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate verbally demanding an audit of the Federal Reserve System.
Bernanke is facing what no Federal Reserve chairman has ever faced: public awareness of the Federal Reserve System. From late December 1913, when an almost deserted Senate voted for the Federal Reserve Act, until 2008, when the recession confirmed Ron Paul's warning in late 2007, there was almost no public awareness or even a vague understanding of the Federal Reserve System. The genie is now out of the bottle, where it had been corked since 1913. Ron Paul has uncorked it.

Paul's candidacy will continue for months. He will continue to hammer on this theme: the Federal Reserve is incompetent. This message will stick, whether or not he gets the nomination. His supporters are like Bruce Willis: die hards.
The Federal Reserve will never again be able to hide from the voters behind a curtain of secrecy. Bernanke is the Wizard of Oz, and Ron Paul is Toto. He has pulled back the curtain. From this time on, whenever you read a report on his testimony before Congress, think of this scene.
The main difference between this scene and a Bernanke speech is footnotes. Source 

Portugal to need "debt haircut" as economy tips into Grecian downward spiral

Portugal's borrowing costs have jumped to record highs and are tracking the moves seen in the culminating phase of Greece's debt crisis, dashing hopes that the country will be able to stave off contagion by embracing drastic austerity.

Yields on Portugal's 10-year bonds climbed to 14.39pc on Thursday. Credit default swaps measuring bond risk have reached 1270 points, pricing a two-thirds chance of default over the next five years. While some of the latest damage reflects forced selling of Portuguese debt after Standard & Poor's cut the country's credit rating to junk status last Friday, there are deeper worries that sharp fiscal cuts by the free-market government of Pedro Passos Coelho may prove self-defeating. Mr Passos Coelho has been praised by EU leaders and the International Monetary Fund for delivering on austerity, but the risk is that severe tightening - without offsetting monetary and exchange stimulus - will push Portugal into the same downward spiral that has already engulfed Greece. Jurgen Michels, Europe economist at Citigroup, said Portugal's economy will contract by a further 5.8pc this year and by 3.7pc in 2013, a far sharper decline than official forecasts. The peak-to-trough collapse would be 13pc, a full-fledged depression. "As this gets worse it is going to be extremely difficult to go ahead with more austerity measures: political contagion will start to come through," he said. Portugal has so far reacted calmly. It has avoided the sorts of riots seen in Greece, but patience is wearing thin. The CGTP labour federation held a protest march in Lisbon this week, vowing to resist "forced labour". A new study by the Barometer for Democracy shows that confidence in Portugal's democracy has fallen to the lowest since the end of the Salazar dictatorship. Barely more than half retain faith in the system and 15pc pine for "authoritarian" rule. While Portugal's public debt of 113pc of GDP is lower than Greece's, the private sector has much larger debts and the country's total debt-load is higher at 360pc of GDP - much of it external debt. "There is huge private sector deleveraging going on and the banking system has big problems. It is unclear how much of this private debt is going to end up on the state's door-step," said Mr Michels. "Without a sizeable haircut to its debt stock, Portugal will not be able to move into a viable fiscal path. We expect a haircut of 35pc at the end of 2012 or in 2013." Portugal's Treasury faces modest debt repayment of €17bn this year. There is no imminent crisis since Lisbon is already under an EU-ECB-IMF Troika regime as part of its €78bn rescue and does not need to access markets until 2013. The problem is the slow-burn threat of debt-deflation. Interest costs for Portuguese companies are painfully high - if they can roll over loans at all - and the debt burden is rising on a shrinking economic base. Real M1 money deposits contracted at an annual rate near 20pc in the second half of 2011. Since the country cannot devalue within EMU, it hopes to achieve an "internal devaluation" to restore 30pc in lost competitiveness against Germany. This is a gruelling process, entailing cuts that eat away at tax revenue.
Portugal is a troubling case for EU officials, who insist that Greece is a "one-off" case rather than the first of a string of countries trapped in a deeper North-South structural rift. The official line is that Portugal will pull through because it has grasped the nettle of retrenchment and reform. Europe's leaders have vowed that there will be no forced "haircuts" for holders of Portuguese bonds. If the country now spirals into a Grecian vortex as well they will have to repudiate that promise or accept that EU taxpayers will have to shoulder the burden of debt restructuring. While all eyes are on Greece, it is the slower drama in Portugal that will ultimately determine the fate of the eurozone. Source

"Don't Frack Me Up"

Tyler Durden's picture
Submitted by Marin Katusa of Casey Research
"Don't Frack Me Up"
To many walking the planet, fracking has a seriously bad reputation. Thanks to hyperbole and misinformation, fracking opponents have convinced a lot of people that the operators who drill and then hydraulically fracture underground rock layers thumb their noses at and even hate the environment.
Anti-fracking claims may be twists on reality – for example, that a legislative loophole makes fracking exempt from the America's Safe Drinking Water Act, when really this federal legislation never regulated fracking because it is a state concern. Then there's the completely absurd, such as the idea that frac operators are allowed to and regularly do inject frac fluids directly into underground water supplies.
We decided to set the record straight by using facts, not playing on emotion like many of the frac-tivists do. It's important because unconventional oil and gas constitute an increasingly pivotal part of the world's energy scene. In the United States, where shale gas abounds but imported energy rules the day, this is especially true.
America's shale deposits hold a heck of a lot of gas. According to the United States Geological Survey, the Marcellus Shale alone is home to 84 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of technically recoverable natural gas. Estimates of the amount of recoverable gas contained in all of America's shale basins range as high as 3,000 TCF.
To access this gas, fluids made of water, sand, and chemicals to increase lubrication, inhibit corrosion of equipment, and possessing other qualities are pumped into the shale formation. When the pressure from the fluids exceeds the strength of the rocks, the rock fractures, and in a demonstration of might by the mighty small, the granules of sand prop the fractures open. Once the fracturing is completed, the internal pressure from the formation pushes the injected fluids to the surface again.
Frac wells are only open to the surrounding rock at the depth of the target formation. Starting at 250 feet (76 meters) or thereabouts above the producing interval – it varies a bit from state to state – the production casing must be cemented. This graphic, borrowed from the Texas Oil and Gas Association, shows what the procedure entails. Source/full story

EUroZone: Hedge Funds to Sue Greece

The threat of a Greek default is still in the air as failed talks send signals that they might miss a 14.5 billion Euro bond payment on March 20th. In order for Greece to receive its latest bailout and cut its debt, bond restructuring is considered a key element. And Greece is considering passing legislation to force all private bondholders to take losses. So the hedge funds are fighting back and threatened to sue Greece in a human rights court arguing that Greece violated bondholder rights. Capital Account's Demetri Kofinas Source

Crowd Cheers Loudly As All Four GOP Candidates Say No To SOPA/PIPA

A transcript of what each candidate said: Source
Gingrich: "You are asking a conservative about the economic interests of Hollywood? I am weighing it and thinking fondly of the many left wing people that I am so eager to protect. On the other hand, you have so many people that are technologically advanced such as Google and You Tube and Facebook that say this is totally going to mess up the Internet. The bill in its current form is written really badly and leads to a range of censorship that is totally unacceptable. I believe in freedom and think that we have a patent office, copyright law and if a company believes it has generally been infringed upon it has the right to sue. But the idea that we have the government start preemptively start censoring the Internet and corporations' economic interest is exactly the wrong thing to do."

Romney: "The law as written is far too expansive, far too intrusive and far too threatening of freedom of speech and information carried across the Internet. It would have a depressing impact on one of the fastest growing industries in America. I care deeply about intellectual content going across the Internet and if we can find a way to very narrowly go after those people who are pirating especially those offshore. But a very broad law that gives the government the power to start saying who can pass what to whom, I say no and I am standing for freedom."

Paul: "I am one of the first Republicans to oppose this law and so glad that sentiment has mellowed up here as Republicans have been on the wrong side of this issue and this is a good example on why its good to have someone who can look at civil liberties ... freedom and the constitution bring people together."

Santorum: "I do not support this law and believe it goes too far. But I will not agree with everyone that there isn't something that should be done to protect the intellectual content of people. The internet is not a free zone where anyone can do anything they want to do and trample the rights of other people. Particularly when we are talking about entities off shore. The idea that the government has no role to protect the intellectual property of this company, that's not right. The idea that anything goes on the Internet? Who has that idea. Property rights should be respected."

The Pirate Bay Becomes Artist Promo Service

You read that right: notorious file sharing website The Pirate Bay has taken it upon itself to start supporting aspiring artists.
Plastering its homepage with a picture touting ‘The Promo Bay’, the site is offering bands (as well as movie producers, comedians and cartoonists) the chance to be promoted to its readership.
The pitch talks about compiling a pool of adverts and offers to feature them in a country of their owner's choice. “If we find your stuff mind blowing we might post it worldwide,” it says.
The Pirate Bay will link to artists’ websites via the ad but demands that they have “your songs or movie or whatever available for download, streaming or such.
“Please try to sell cd's, shirts or funny hats if you want to, but not only,” is the final caveat.
“This is not just about making you rich,” the site reminds us.
This is, of course, the same illegal file-sharing website that wasblacklisted by Google last year along with block requests sent by the BPI to a host of ISPs including O2, Orange, Sky, Talk Talk and Virgin Media. Source

Hong Kong and the Land Built on Opium

Hong Kong and the Sassoon Opium Wars

When the 99-year British lease on Hong Kong’s New Territories expired, the Crown of the City of London’s Colony was ceded to China. Of hundreds of newspaper stories and TV reports that covered this event, not one revealed how England first gained control of Hong Kong! The truth lies buried in the family line of David Sassoon, “The Rothschilds of The Far East,” and their monopoly over the opium trade. Britain won Hong Kong by launching the opium Wars to give the Sassoons exclusive rights to drug an entire nation!
David Sassoon was born in Baghdad, Ottoman Iraq in 1792, son of Saleh Sassoon, a wealthy banker and treasurer to Ahmet Pasha, governor of Baghdad (making him the “court Jew”—a highly influential position). When Ahmet was overthrown for corruption in 1829, the Sassoons fled to Bombay, India, the strategic trade route to India and gateway to the Far East. Soon the British government granted Sassoon “monopoly rights” to the manufacture of cotton goods, silk, and most importantly, Opium—at that time the most addictive drug in the world!
The Jewish Encyclopedia of 1905, states that Sassoon expanded his opium trade into China and Japan. He placed his eight sons in charge of the major opium exchanges in China. According to the 1944 Jewish Encyclopedia: “He employed only Jews in his business, and wherever he sent them he built synagogues and schools for them. He imported whole families of fellow Jews . . . and put them to work.” Full story/source ...The Sassoon opium trade brought death and destruction to millions and still plagues Asia to this day. Their company was totally operated by Jews ONLY! The corrupt Khazar British monarchy honored them and although history describes them as the “great developers” of India, the source of their vast wealth is never mentioned!

In Libya, a Fundamentalist War Against Moderate Islam Takes Shape

The Libyan revolution has not been kind to Mahmud al-Arabi. Last March, forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi ransacked his grocery store in Zuwara after he fled to Tunisia, stealing about $6,000 worth of supplies. When he returned in September, facing mounting debts, al-Arabi turned to selling beer and liquor — an illegal enterprise in a country where alcohol has been banned for four decades. His new business drew the attention of Islamist rebels who helped overthrow Gaddafi. After they threatened the store's landlord, they blew up al-Arabi's shop. Out of money and out of work, al-Arabi spends his days in his trailer home lamenting the turn his country has taken. Says he: "I got nothing but suffering from this revolution."
Throughout this country, Libyans are discovering that their hard fought battle to win freedom is at risk. Puritanical Muslims known as Salafis are applying a rigid form of Islam in more and more communities. They have clamped down on the sale of alcohol and demolished the tombs of saints where many local people worship. The small town of Zuwara near the Tunisian border, dominated by a heterodox Muslim sect despised by the Salafis, is quickly becoming the battlefield for competing visions of Libya's future.(See photos of Libyans celebrating their liberation.)
Al-Arabi's trailer sits on the outskirts of the town, surrounded by crushed Heineken beer cans. Inside, bowls strewn around the floor capture the raindrops that leak through the porous ceiling. "I prefer selling alcohol to begging," he says, explaining how he lost his entire savings during the revolution. After Gaddafi loyalists took the town, he was a wanted man for supporting the antiregime fighters and had to be smuggled to Tunisia at a cost of $2,800. "I lost everything in my store and had no money. So I decided to sell alcohol."
He shows off a room with 3,000 small cans of Heineken beer and a dozen liquor bottles. "Business was very good," he boasts. "I had more than a hundred customers a day who bought Absolut [Vodka], J&B and [Johnny Walker] Red Label." But when the Salafis came knocking, al-Arabi knew his days as an alcohol vendor were numbered. "They said this was a Muslim village where alcohol is forbidden," he relates. "I didn't want any trouble with them and agreed to stop selling alcohol at the store. But the Salafis weren't satisfied with that and destroyed it."(Watch "Libya to Citizens: Give Up Your Guns.")
It is not only al-Arabi who has faced the Salafis' wrath. The estimated 200 to 400 members of the local Salafi movement have demolished shrines belonging to adherents of the Ibadi sect, long considered heretics by orthodox Sunni Muslims. In the town's cemetery, large blocks of stone surround what was once a mausoleum. The large conical shaped structure that once adorned it now lies collapsed in the debris. Salafis are intolerant of other strands of Islam and have physically attacked Muslim minorities in other parts of the Arab world such as Iraq and Arab Saudi. Many Muslims frequent the shrines of saints, believing they have powers of intercession with the divine. Salafis, however, believe these are pagan rites that must be obliterated from Islam. "The situation has gotten much worse lately," says Ibadi sheik Walid Darder. "We may have not had political rights under Gaddafi, but we did not live in fear of going to the mosque."
Throughout Libya, Gaddafi's fall has emboldened Salafis, who were persecuted and imprisoned under the now deceased leader. They have increased their public presence, taken over mosques, and even hoisted the flag of al-Qaeda over the courthouse in Benghazi where the revolution began 11 months ago. In the capital, Tripoli, Salafis have destroyed more than six shrines. In one incident, dozens swarmed mausoleums belonging to two Muslim mystics and dug up their bodies so that worshippers could no longer visit their tombs. They also burned the relics around the shrines.
Al-Arabi however is not concerned with the destruction of obscure tombs he does not frequent. "I just want my life back," he pleads. "I fought in the mountains here against Gaddafi. My payback is blowing up my shop," he says, turning to dump a bowl full of rainwater on the soggy field outside his trailer. Source

Iran - Proven, UN Had Role in Nuclear Scientist Murder

UN agencies gave away information which aided the murder of Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan on January 11.
Iranian deputy UN ambassador Eshagh Al Habib told the UN Security Council on Thursday that there was high suspicion” that, in order to prepare the murder, terrorist circles used intelligence obtained from UN bodies. According to him, this included interviews with Iranian nuclear scientists carried out by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the sanction list of the Security Council, Reuters news agency reports. Officials observed that prior to the murder, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan had talked to IAEA inspectors, a fact which“indicates that these UN agencies may have played a role in leaking information on Iran's nuclear facilities and scientists." Although the UN Security Council’s list of sanctioned individuals does not include Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, it does bear the name of Fereidoun Abbasi-Davani, who was wounded in a Tehran car bomb attack in November, 2010. Eshagh Al Habib accused the United Nations of failing to guarantee the confidentiality of the information it obtains about the Iranian nuclear program and nuclear scientists. UN spokesman Martin Nesirky says he is currently investigating the claims. Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, 32, who was overseeing Iran’s uranium enrichment program, is one of five Iranian nuclear specialists killed in the last two years. He was murdered by one or more motorbike hit men who allegedly planted a magnetic bomb on his car or, alternatively, dropped a bomb inside the car during the morning rush hour.  Iran accused American and Israeli intelligence of carrying out the murder – a charge both countries deny. The Security Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear activities. Western countries believe Iran’s nuclear program has military dimensions.  However Tehran maintains it is peaceful, and the IAEA has failed to produce any evidence of concrete plans to develop a nuclear arsenal.

Iran should review relations with IAEA – MP: While Eshagh Al Habib was mild and focused in his evaluation of the UN’s possible role in the murder of the Iranian nuclear scientist, a senior member of Iran’s Majlis, Zohreh Elahian, was far more outspoken. The member of Iran’s Majlis Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy announced on Thursday that it had been proven that IAEA inspectors were transferring Irans sensitive data to the United States and Israel, Iran’s television network Press TV reports.  The legislator added that Iran should review the way it interacts with the agency and its inspectors as the current approach was unacceptable. Zohreh Elahian said that foreign intelligence agencies – America’s CIA, Israel’s Mossad and the British MI6 – were responsible for the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists and added that Iran would pursue such terror acts through legal and international bodies. Source

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom appears in court

Kim Dotcom (a.k.a. Kim Schmitz) appeared with Bram van der Kolk, Finn Batato and Mathias Ortman in North Shore District Court in relation to arrests made to Megaupload.com. They were arrested when 70 New Zealand police raided ten properties around Auckland. Source

Gerald Celente "Groped and Felt Up" - Coast to Coast

Rand Paul promises to filibuster ‘censor the Internet’ legislation

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul announced Wednesday that he would filibuster any attempt by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to bring the Protect IP Act (PIPA) to a vote.
PIPA, the Senate version of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), is being sponsored by Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy and pushed by Reid as a “job creator.”
The bills would ostensibly crack down on online copyright infringement, but critics contend that the legislation would also challenge free speech and the ability of large websites to function.
Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, the sponsor of SOPA, announced Tuesday that the bill would continue to undergo markup in the House Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, in February.
An unprecedented online protest by companies opposed to the bills occurred Wednesday. Online encyclopedia Wikipedia, social news website Reddit and the classifieds site Craigslist all blocked their U.S. versions in protest and directed visitors to contact their elected officials.
“Both PIPA and SOPA give the federal government unprecedented and unconstitutional power to censor the Internet,” Paul said in a statement. “These bills enable the government to shut down websites that it deems guilty of violating copyright laws.”
Paul continued: “While we support copyright protections, we are also concerned about websites being shut down without their day in court, and making innocent third parties bear the costs of solving someone else’s problems.
“I will not sit idly by while PIPA and SOPA eliminate the constitutionally protected rights to due process and free speech. For these reasons, I have pledged to oppose, filibuster and do everything in my power to stop government censorship of the Internet,” Paul said. Source

The Startling Science of a Starling Murmuration

Video of a massive starling flock turning and twisting over a river in Ireland has gone viral, and with good reason. Flocking starlings are one of nature’s most extraordinary sights: Just a few hundred birds moving as one is enough to convey a sense of suspended reality, and the flock filmed above the River Shannon contained thousands. What makes possible the uncanny coordination of these murmurations, as starling flocks are so beautifully known? Until recently, it was hard to say. Scientists had to wait for the tools of high-powered video analysis and computational modeling. And when these were finally applied to starlings, they revealed patterns known less from biology than cutting-edge physics. Starling flocks, it turns out, are best described with equations of “critical transitions” — systems that are poised to tip, to be almost instantly and completely transformed, like metals becoming magnetized or liquid turning to gas. Each starling in a flock is connected to every other. When a flock turns in unison, it’s a phase transitionAt the individual level, the rules guiding this are relatively simple. When a neighbor moves, so do you. Depending on the flock’s size and speed and its members’ flight physiologies, the large-scale pattern changes. What’s complicated, or at least unknown, is how criticality is created and maintained. It’s easy for a starling to turn when its neighbor turns — but what physiological mechanisms allow it to happen almost simultaneously in two birds separated by hundreds of feet and hundreds of other birds? That remains to be discovered, and the implications extend beyond birds. Starlings may simply be the most visible and beautiful example of a biological criticality that also seems to operate in proteins and neurons, hinting at universal principles yet to be understood. Source