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No Agenda Episode 448

By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 12:12 PM.

Lucy the Luddite

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By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 12:12 PM.

NA-448-Art-BIG

Art By: Sir Nussbaum

See ALL the artwork at the generator

Credits

By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 12:12 PM.

Lucy the Luddite

Executive Producers: Sir Eponymous

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Ara Derderian

Become a member of the 449 Club, support the show here

Knighthoods: Kevin in San Diego

Art By: Sir Nussbaum

ShowNotes Archive of links and Assets (clips etc) 448.nashownotes.com

Fanscribed Transcription: 448.readnoagenda.com (Pitch in!)

New: Directory Archive of Shownotes (includes all audio and video assets used) nashownotes.com

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National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Link to Article

Sun, 30 Sep 2012 06:07

Each and every one of us needs to do our part to make sure that our online lives are kept safe and secure. That's what National Cyber Security Awareness Month'--observed in October 2012'--is all about!Our free buttons, posters, social media icons, templates and web banners can help you develop your education and awareness campaign.Our Get Involved sheets provide suggestions on how you can participate and make an impact during National Cyber Security Awareness Month.Being a champion is a way for you to officially show your support for National Cyber Security Awareness Month and your commitment to cybersecurity. Being a champion is easy and does not require any financial support.Advertise your event or see what National Cyber Security Awareness Month activities are taking place in your area.No individual, business, or government entity is solely responsible for securing the Internet. Everyone has a role in securing their part of cyberspace, including the devices and networks they use.

Cyber War$

Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Sat, 29 Sep 2012 20:12

In United States security and intelligence parlance, a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF; pronounced "skiff") is an enclosed area within a building that is used to process Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) level classified information. SCI is classified information concerning or derived from intelligence sources, methods, or analytical processes, which is required to be handled within formal access control systems established by the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI). Some entire buildings are SCIFs where all but the front foyer is secure. Access to SCIFs is limited, and all of the activity and conversation inside is presumed restricted from public disclosure. A SCIF can also be located in a mobile configuration and can be deployed using air, ground or maritime resources.

The physical construction, access control, and alarming of the facility is defined under Director of Central Intelligence Directive (DCID) 6/9, and was previously specified through DCID 1/21. On October 31, 2011, the Director of National Intelligence signed Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 705, which fully rescinds both DCID 6/9 and DCID 1/21. ICD 705 is a three page capstone document that implements Intelligence Community Standard (ICS) 705.1, which has 90 days to become effective as the primary guidance on SCIF construction. The computers running within this facility must operate under rules set forth in ICD 503, which effectively replaced DCID 6/3 even though DCID 6/3 implementation is still in effect. Computers and telecommunication equipment within must fall within the TEMPEST emanations specification as directed by a Certified TEMPEST Technical Authority (CTTA).

SCI is usually only briefed, discussed, and stored in an accredited SCIF. Moreover, programs handled under the SCI paradigm are normally not publicly acknowledged by the U.S. government.

There are SCIFs in the United States Capitol in which members of Congress are routinely briefed on intelligence, counterintelligence and military operations. In U.S. nuclear labs, computers that store weapons data are housed inside SCIFs. Components of the United States Department of Homeland Security, such as the Science & Technology Directorate's new National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) at Fort Detrick, Maryland, and the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis have SCIFs. Many U.S. military installations in the United States and around the world are equipped with SCIFs.

[edit]References"A sensitive compartmented information facility meets official government requirements for a secure area where classified information is handled. A SCIF can be a room, a building or even a trailer enclosed in special panels to prevent information from leaking and where jamming is used to prevent surveillance. Access is controlled." Trish Choate (January 15, 2009). "Air Force planning to train hundreds yearly in cyber warfare skills"."SCIF outlines stringent physical security requirements, such as the thickness of doors, the strength of concrete and the use of alarms and acoustical controls to prevent any eavesdropping within facilities, including by electronic means." Patrick Thibodeau (February 12, 2008). "Outsourcing helps spur data center land rush outside D.C."[edit]External links

Most Extensive Cyber Attack On American Banks Ever! Launched From The Middle East & Happening Now!

US banks hit by more than a week of cyberattacks - Yahoo! News

National power-grid tech blueprints 'stolen by Chinese hackers'

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 30 Sep 2012 00:32

An espionage attack on Telvent - the maker of power-grid control systems and smart meters - has been linked to a prolific Chinese hacking crew.

Telvent, a division of Schneider Electric, has admitted hackers breached its corporate network, implanted malicious software and lifted sensitive project files. The raid spanned Telvent systems in the US, Canada and Spain, according to a letter sent to the company's customers this month.

Criminals can now study the documents for vulnerabilities in the systems, and potentially devise attacks to sabotage nations' electricity distribution networks.

Telvent boasts that it has "built a customer base second to none in the energy industry", adding: "Our systems now manage over 60 percent of the total hydrocarbon movements in North and Latin America and control transmission and distribution of over 140,000 GWh through worldwide electrical grids."

Investigative reporter Brian Krebs, who first revealed the breach, said the blueprints described Telvent's OASyS SCADA [supervisory control and data acquisition] product, a technology that offers power companies a means to bridge legacy systems to next-generation "smart grids".

Clues such as references to particular domain names and malware left behind by the spies match the digital fingerprints of a Chinese hacking crew called the Comment Group, which is linked to previous cyber-espionage campaigns, according to researchers at Dell SecureWorks.

Telvent has cut data links between at-risk portions of its internal network and clients' systems as a precaution while it probes the breach. Police have been called in to investigate the attack, according to this statement supplied to Sophos:

Telvent is aware of a security breach of its corporate network that has affected some customer files. Customers have been informed and are taking recommended actions, with the support of Telvent teams. Telvent is actively working with law enforcement, security specialists and its affected customers to ensure the breach has been contained.

Dale Peterson, founder and chief of industrial control security specialist Digital Bond, spelled out the kinds of information present in the lifted documents.

"Some project files contain the 'recipe' for the operations of a customer, describing calculations and frequencies at which systems run or when they should be turned on or off," he told WiReD.

"If you're going to do a sophisticated attack, you get the project file and study it and decide how you want to modify the pieces of the operation. Then you modify the project file and load it [onto a company's control system], and they're not running what they think they're running." ®

The US Gov Comes Full Circle on Cybersecurity-Lieberman

Link to Article

Sat, 29 Sep 2012 19:09

Words cannot contain my mirth. Today in a letter, Senator Lieberman called on the President to include mandatory cybersecurity standards in his potential executive order on the issue.

Before we dig too far into exactly what this means, why it is funny, and how in fact we have come full circle on this issue, allow me to quote the honorable Senator. From his letter [Bold: TNW]:

Even though [the failed Cybersecurity act proposed in the Senate], in the interest of finding compromise, did not contain new authority for existing regulators to require the implementation of cybersecurity standards, I have long believed that such requirements are reasonable and warranted in light of the urgent and grave nature of the threat. I urge you to explore any means at your disposal that would encourage regulators to make mandatory the standards developed by the Department of Homeland Security pursuant to your Executive Order so we can guarantee that our most critical infrastructure will be defended against attacks from our adversaries.

A short coda of context: the paragraph references the Department of Homeland Security, an important point, as that is where the President's draft executive order shuttles much of the authority to that agency.

Also, the mandate of the department is used as, in my estimation, an important tool for helping the order itself stand up to legal challenge. That's a bit of a longer argument, and an old one, so we'll leave it for now.

HistoryWhy is today's news, while completely serious, funny? Let's go in order, if we may:

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) passed the House, but did not contain mandatory standards for critical infrastructure. This despite noise that such standards should be present. The House majority dismissed the idea as too regulatory.Following the leading Senate bill on cybersecurity, the so-called Lieberman-Collins bill, did contain such standards, rendering any pressure to emulate it essentially moot.This led to gridlock in the Senate, which was itself humorous as CISPA had a promised veto attached to it, courtesy of the President.Thus the Senate argued over whether its bill would contain mandatory standards, which would be impossible to reconcile with the House, and would not please the President.Predictably, the Senate failed to pass anything, even after watering down its bill away from mandatory standards to simple enticements for critical infrastructure to meet agreed upon standards.With the failure of the Senate, cybersecurity failed in Congress until 2013. Ironically, even if the Senate had managed to pass something, that it could have cleared the House is far from clear.Following all that, the President's Press Secretary noted that the President wasn't taking options off the table, in regards to the issue. This led to speculation that he may issue an executive order.Calls ensued for him to do so.A draft of the proposed cybersecurity executive order was distributed for comment in certain agencies, and subsequently leaked to the general media.During the brouhaha, several members of the Senate majority penned an op-ed, dinging the President for perhaps issuing the order and calling for a similarly bipartisan effort in the Senate as had occurred in the House. Naturally, that wasn't a true statement, as the final House vote was along party lines, and several Democratic co-sponsors dropped their endorsement as the bill was rammed through their chamber.The President's draft was quite vague, and did not appear to contain mandatory standards, instead calling for collaboration between the public and private sphere on things such as information sharing.And today, Lieberman, spearpoint of the Senate bill that had included mandatory standards but gave them up in hopes of passing, is now calling on the President to include them in his executive order.Stop! You want to get off? No such luck.

If the President will heed the retiring Senator or not, the proposed executive order will spark a brawl over the issue. Things will become even more interesting once the elections are over and the next Congress is sworn in. For now, however, muddle is the rule of the day.

For a full scroll on cybersecurity, hit this link. It will take you through all of TNW's coverage in reverse chronological order. Enjoy!

Top Image Credit: hobvias sudoneighm

Secretary Napolitano on Cybersecurity Threats - C-SPAN Video Library

Link to Article

Fri, 28 Sep 2012 19:54

National Journal

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano talked about U.S. cybersecurity threats. In her remarks she said that cyber attacks had increased during the preceding decade, and even during her tenure as secretary, and stressed .. Read MoreHomeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano talked about U.S. cybersecurity threats. In her remarks she said that cyber attacks had increased during the preceding decade, and even during her tenure as secretary, and stressed that Congress should act soon to address cyber threats. She discussed President Obama's executive order that was being drafted to address cybersecurity but added that comprehensive legislation would still be needed. When about her own cybersecurity practices, she said that she did not use email.

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NA 1st Class and Valet Service

YellowJacket

In the morning John & Adam.

I was checking in at my local airport and simultaniously happened to be listening to the latest episode of No Agenda.

The topic of discussion? Premium lines at the airport.

Is that Fate or what?

So I decided to try Adam's trick out while listening. And what do you know? It worked!

No hassles with security or boarding. Got my seat and bag ahead of the stragglers behind me.

Also I laughed out loud on the plane at JCD going helium after Adams serious discussion. My seatmatee musta thought I was loopy. No Agenda really is the greatest podcast in the universe!

Anyways, I am in Toronto all week covering IT conferences.

Shout out to SecTor Security, Ontario Augmented Reality Network and WestJet for their awesome flight service.

I'll be wearing the infamous No Agenda lanyard provided by Aric the shill at NA Nation.

And be sure to follow me @yellowjkt for live tweets :)

ITM,

- Yellow

EARon

Bibi Draws a Bomb

NYT and Professor Netanyahu

Link to Article

Source: NYTimes eXaminer

Sat, 29 Sep 2012 05:55

September 29, 2012 · 0 Comments

Source: FAIR

By Peter Hart:

At his United Nations address yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held up a cartoonish drawing of a bomb, an odd way to illustrate the supposed existential threat posed by Iran's nuclear program.

People quickly posted parody versions of the bomb. But not everyone joined in the fun. Take a look at the New York Times(9/28/12), where Rick Gladstone and David Sanger wrote this:

With an almost professorial air, Mr. Netanyahu held up a diagram of a bomb with a fuse to show the Israeli view of Iran's progress in achieving the ability to make a nuclear weapon. He drew a red line through the point at which Iran would have amassed enough medium-enriched uranium to make a bomb''which he said would be in the spring or summer of 2013.

Umm, what kind of professor would do that?

Even stranger is the Times going on to point out that, according to the latest International Atomic Energy Agency reporting, Iran's uranium stockpile that could even be used for a weapon is getting smaller:

His calculus turned on a stockpile of medium-enriched uranium ''uranium enriched to the level of 20 percent''that Iran has produced, ostensibly to fuel a research reactor, provided to the country by the United States in the days of the shah. Right now, Iran does not possess enough of that fuel to make a single weapon. In fact, its stockpile of it has declined in recent months, as it has converted some for the research reactor.

Has the meaning of ''professorial'' changed?

By admin

Israeli Lobbyist - "We Need a False Flag Attack to Start WAR with Iran" !! ALERT !!

Link to Article

Sat, 29 Sep 2012 16:06

Mission & History - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

OUR MISSION

Originally, the organization's research agenda focused on Arab-Israeli relations, political and security issues, and overall U.S. Middle East policy. In the 1990s, prompted by the fall of the Soviet Union, the first Gulf War, and changes within the regional strategic make-up, the Institute's research breadth grew, this time to include a special focus on Turkey and the rise of Islamic politics as the dominant leitmotif for understanding political trends across the "expanded" post-Soviet Middle East.

The mission of The Washington Institute is to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them.

The Washington Institute is a 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax deductible.

HISTORY

In 1985, a small group of visionary Americans committed to advancing U.S. interests in the Middle East founded The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Bengahzi Bad Actors

Congressman Peter King Calls For the Resignation Of US Ambassador To The United Nations

FBI Request For Military Protection To Go Into Benghazi To Investigate Crime Scene NOT Granted

Libyans give up guns and explosives in state collection drives. (Euronews video)

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 30 Sep 2012 13:01

Hundreds turned out in Tripoli and Benghazi to hand in weapons left over from last year's war.With the government struggling to impose authority, it has launched the initiative in an attempt to make the country safer and crack down on armed militants.

One participant said, ''As part of the initiative I have handed over my weapon. We want our country to be safe and secure. We don't want weapons anymore. It's over, the time of war is over. We got rid of the tyrant. Thank God.''

Muanmar Gaddafi is gone, but militant groups still patrol the streets. The government is attempting to disband the rogue militias, while offering backing to some of the most powerful legitimate groups in order to strengthen the state security forces.

More about:Libya, Security, WeaponsCopyright (C) 2012 euronews

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Carney maintains Libya attack was not preplanned - YouTube

Link to Article

Fri, 28 Sep 2012 19:09

Green on Blue Insider Attacks

Afghan 'insider attack' kills two

Link to Article

Source: BBC News - Home

Sun, 30 Sep 2012 06:41

30 September 2012Last updated at02:34 ETA US official has confirmed that 2,000 American soldiers have now been killed in the Afghan conflict, after a new suspected "insider" attack.

A US soldier and a foreign contractor were killed in eastern Afghanistan, apparently by a rogue member of the Afghan security forces.

"Insider" attacks sharply increased this year, prompting the coalition to suspend joint operations this month.

However, such operations resumed in recent days, the Pentagon said.

The nationality of the contractor was not given immediately.

CheckpointThe two new deaths occurred on Saturday in Wardak province, a spokesman for the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force said.

Afghan officials say the incident took place at a checkpoint near an Afghan National Army base in the district of Sayedabad.

Continue reading the main story2007 - 2 attacks, 2 Isaf soldiers dead2008 - 2 attacks, 2 dead2009 - 6 attacks, 10 dead2010 - 6 attacks, 20 dead2011 - 21 attacks, 35 dead2012 (so far) - 36 attacks, 52 deadSource: International Security Assistance Force (Isaf)

The police chief of Wardak province told the BBC that a number of Afghan soldiers had also been killed but this has not been independently confirmed.

It is not immediately clear what prompted the incident. Military officials from both sides have launched a joint investigation.

At least 52 foreign soldiers - about half of them Americans - have been killed in so-called "green on blue" attacks this year, compared to 35 for the whole of last year.

"I'm mad as hell about them, to be honest with you," Gen John Allen, the top commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, told CBS's 60 Minutes show, in an interview scheduled to be broadcast on Sunday.

"It reverberates everywhere across the United States. You know, we're willing to sacrifice a lot for this campaign, but we're not willing to be murdered for it."

It was announced this month that hundreds of soldiers in Afghanistan had been dismissed or detained after an inquiry into the surge of insider attacks.

Nato combat troops are set to withdraw by the end of 2014, but a central plank of the strategy is that foreign soldiers will serve alongside and train Afghans for many years to come.

Correspondents say that may not be realistic given the ever increasing number of Afghans who turn their weapons on their foreign allies.

Green-On-Blue Attacks In Afghanistan Can Have An Effect On When Troops Come Home

The Chiners and Jappers

The Flowers of War

Link to Article

Fri, 28 Sep 2012 05:20

From internationally celebrated director Zhang Yimou (Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern, Hero, House Of Flying Daggers) comes a story of love and war - and a band of outcasts who emerge as unlikely heroes from the shadows of a city's occupation. At once lyrical and visceral, the film enters the apocalyptic world of Nanjing in 1937 only to find a vibrant human story about the invisible people of the city and a series of unexpected relationships that lead to a resonant act of sacrifice.

Tokyo Mayor aHole re-election

Elite$

EUROLand

Protesters & Police Continue To Clash In Madrid

VIDEO: Spain counts cost of deadly floods

Link to Article

Source: BBC News - Europe

Sun, 30 Sep 2012 13:02

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Greece: TAIPED's first privatization deal is sealed

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 30 Sep 2012 00:32

By Vangelis Mandravelis

The first privatization project for 2012 was completed on Friday, as the International Broadcasting Center (IBC) of the 2004 Olympic Games was leased to Lamda Domi, a subsidiary of the Lamda Development construction group, for the next 90 years. The concession agreement will involve an advance payment of 81 million euros, with an additional 32.4 million euros maximum to come in the future.

Lamda was always the favorite to land the contract due to the fact that it is the developer behind the Golden Hall shopping mall which currently occupies the IBC premises in Maroussi, northern Athens. Lamda had signed a contract in 2007 with the Greek state for an annual lease rate of 7.25 million euros, which would be adjusted according to inflation. The lease rate climbed to 8 million euros last year. That contract was for 40 years, with an extension option for another six.

The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) accepted its consultants'proposal for the IBC building yesterday, thereby securing its first revenues from a state asset. The lease rate will be adjusted upward each time the country's credit rating is upgraded, according to sources.

''The full utilization of the IBC will not only upgrade the specific area commercially but will also rekindle investment interest in the country's real estate market,'' commented Yiannis Emiris, TAIPED's chief executive officer.

The deal has brought a degree of relief for the fund, even though it had been clear that the Latsis Group which owns Lamda would be the winning bidder. The amount paid in advance illustrates the Latsis Group's commitment to the investment, and also signifies a vote of confidence in the Greek economy while improving the mood in the market in general.

Bad Loans in Greece Hit $73.2 Billion.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 30 Sep 2012 00:19

Many customers of Greek banks have been unable to repay loans because of pay cuts and tax hikes. (Reuters)

Buried under big pay cuts, tax hikes, and slashed pensions but pressed by banks to cover mortgages, loans and credit cards in full, 25 percent of Greeks have given up and stopped paying, driving the total of Non-Performing Loans (NPL's) to 57 billion euros ($73.2 billion,) nearly one-fourth of the country's 232.32 billion euros ($298.73 billion) Gross Domestic Product, or GDP.

The startling figure puts additional pressure on Greece's reeling banks which are expecting a second re-capitalization, this one for about $64.29 billion and with two state banks already being pushed into private hands because of near-insolvency.

With Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' uneasy coalition government ready to impose another $14.6 billion in austerity measures, the numbers of Greeks who can't pay loans and likely to default outright is expected to rise sharply.

Most of the bad loans come from the business community, which is 33 billion euros ($42.43 billion) behind, followed closely by mortgages at 15 billion euros ($19.28 billion) while consumer loans and credit card bills more than three months behind account for some 30 percent of the NPL's, despite pressure being applied on customers by banks and collection agencies.

A worrying factor is that Greeks have been unable to pay even though banks have arranged more favorable terms for some 665,000 loans in the batch, which total 20 billion euros ($25.71 billion.) The major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party has been pressing the government to mandate better terms for overwhelmed consumers and the Development Ministry is reportedly working on regulations to help over-indebted households.

Another change planned is for the extension of the repayment period of housing loans concerning main residences, which currently stands at 20 years. This could be stretched to up to 40 years, based also on the age of the borrower.

The Development Ministry is also promoting a regulation for a 30 percent reduction in the monthly installment borrowers have to pay to coincide with the average rate of pay cuts and to force banks to remove the names of debtors from lists showing them as deadbeats to create an amnesty if the customers can repay a part of their loans.

France Unveils Temporary 75 Percent Super-Rich Tax Rate

Link to Article

Fri, 28 Sep 2012 16:09

* Budget aims to slash deficit to 3.0 pct/GDP in 2013

* Bulk of savings comes from tax on rich, business

* Economists say budget based on optimistic growth forecast

By Daniel Flynn and Leigh Thomas

PARIS, Sept 28 (Reuters) - President Francois Hollande's Socialist government unveiled sharp tax hikes on business and the rich on Friday in a 2013 budget aimed at showing France has the fiscal rigour to remain at the core of the euro zone.

The package will recoup 30 billion euros ($39 billion) for the public purse with a goal of narrowing the deficit to 3.0 percent of national output next year from 4.5 percent this year - France's toughest single belt-tightening in 30 years.

But with record unemployment and a barrage of data pointing to economic stagnation, there are fears the deficit target will slip as France falls short of the modest 0.8 percent economic growth rate on which it is banking for next year.

The budget disappointed pro-reform lobbyists by merely freezing France's high public spending rather than daring to attack ministerial budgets as Spain did this week as it battles to avoid the conditions of an international bailout.

"This is a fighting budget to get the country back on the rails," Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said, adding that the 0.8 percent growth target was "realistic and ambitious".

"It is a budget which aims to bring back confidence and to break this spiral of debt that gets bigger and bigger."

With public debt at a post-war record of 91 percent of the economy, the budget is vital to France's credibility not only among euro zone partners but also in markets which for now are allowing it to borrow at record-low yields around two percent.

France's benchmark 3.0 percent 10-year bond was steady, yielding 2.18 percent after the announcement.

The government said the budget was the first in a series of steps to bring its deficit down to 0.3 percent of GDP by 2017 - slightly missing an earlier target of a zero deficit by then.

But early reactions were sceptical.

"The ambitions that were flagged are very audacious," said Philippe Waechter at Natixis Asset Management. "I struggle to see how we'll find the growth needed in 2013 and afterwards."

Of the total 30 billion euros of savings, around 20 billion will come from tax increases on households and companies, with tax rises already approved this year to contribute some 4 billion euros to revenues in 2013. The freeze on spending will contribute around 10 billion euros.

"SICK" MODEL?

To the dismay of business leaders who fear an exodus of top talent, the government confirmed a temporary 75 percent super-tax rate for earnings over one million euros and a new 45 percent band for revenues over 150,000 euros.

Together, those two measures are predicted to bring in around half a billion euros. Higher tax rates on dividends and other investments, plus cuts to existing tax breaks are seen bringing in several billion more.

Business will be hit with measures including a cut in the amount of loan interest which is tax-deductible and the cutting of an existing tax break on capital gains from certain share sales - moves worth around four billion and two billion euros each.

"The government is impeding investment and so will block innovation," Entrepreneurs Club head Guillaume Cairou said of the preference for raising taxes rather than cutting spending.

"France is sick because of the model it has ... but is choosing to preserve it."

Four months after he defeated Nicolas Sarkozy, Hollande's approval ratings are in free-fall as many French feel he has been slow to get to grips with the economic slow-down and unemployment at a 10-year high and rising.

Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici defended next year's growth target on French radio. But, highlighting the bet on growth underpinning the entire budget, he added that it was achievable "if Europe steadies".

Data on Friday confirmed France posted zero growth in the second quarter, marking nine months of stagnation, as a pickup in business investment and government spending was offset by a worsening trade balance and sluggish consumer expenditure.

Despite a rise in wages, consumers - traditionally the motor of France's growth - increased their savings to 16.4 percent of income from 16.0 percent a year earlier. In another setback, other data showed consumer spending dropped 0.8 percent in August.

Also on HuffPost:

Squirrel!

TSA/DHS

Lybia

Libyans give up guns and explosives in state collection drives. (Euronews video)

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 30 Sep 2012 13:01

Hundreds turned out in Tripoli and Benghazi to hand in weapons left over from last year's war.With the government struggling to impose authority, it has launched the initiative in an attempt to make the country safer and crack down on armed militants.

One participant said, ''As part of the initiative I have handed over my weapon. We want our country to be safe and secure. We don't want weapons anymore. It's over, the time of war is over. We got rid of the tyrant. Thank God.''

Muanmar Gaddafi is gone, but militant groups still patrol the streets. The government is attempting to disband the rogue militias, while offering backing to some of the most powerful legitimate groups in order to strengthen the state security forces.

More about:Libya, Security, WeaponsCopyright (C) 2012 euronews

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Follow the Pipes

Saakashvili rival says Georgia government's days numbered. (Euronews video)

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 30 Sep 2012 13:00

Tens of thousands of supporters of Georgia's opposition coalition have rallied ahead of Monday's parliamentary election.

Tension has been rising after days of demonstrations over a prison brutality scandal that has come to dominate the campaign.

The leader of the six-party Georgian Dream told the crowd in Tbilisi the days of the current government under President Saakashvili were numbered.

Bidzina Ivanishvili used his final appeal to voters to challenge the government's record.

''All people are standing by us: ethnic minorities '' Azerbaijanis, Armenians, Jews. This is a great example to show the whole world that our nation deserves real democracy and real success,'' he said.

The billionaire has come under scrutiny over his Russian fortune '' believed to be worth almost half of Georgia's economic output '' and alleged links to the Kremlin.

The prisons scandal has diverted attention from him, but it has also increased tensions.

TV reports exposed prison guards abusing inmates, prompting nationwide protests. The government told euronews it recognised there was a problem.

''Torture was systemic in Georgian police and it's not like that any longer. But prison system was somehow neglected. It was considered that prisons are calm'... So it was considered that, ok, there might be some problems but not so serious,'' said Prisons Minister Giorgi Tughushi.

The Georgian interior ministry has rejected accusations from civic rights organisations that the authorities had illegally detained more than 20 activists, saying those being held had harassed police officers.

Western organisations have called for restraint amid fears of election violence.

The vote will be followed by a presidential election next year, after which power is due to be largely devolved to the prime minister.

More about:Georgia, Georgia politics, Parliamentary electionsCopyright (C) 2012 euronews

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Syria

US Says Syria Is Moving It's Chemical Weapons DUN! DUN! DUN!

Turkish pilots killed by Assad, not crash: leaked documents. (video)

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 30 Sep 2012 00:38

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ordered the killing of two Turkish air force pilots who were captured after their fighter jet was shot down on June 22, 2012, files obtained by Al Arabiya show. (Al Arabiya)

As political tensions mount between neighboring Syria and Turkey, newly-leaked Syrian intelligence documents obtained by Al Arabiya disclose shocking claims shedding light on the dreadful fate of two Turkish Air Force pilots.

Contrary to what was publically claimed, the documents reveal that the pilots survived the crash, but were later executed by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad!

This disclosure is the first in a series of revelations based on a number of newly-leaked and highly classified Syrian security documents which will be aired in a special program produced by Al Arabiya over the next two weeks; the channel's English portal '' http://english.alarabiya.net '' will be carrying a subtitled version of the program on daily basis as well as publishing downloadable copies of the leaked documents.

The documents were obtained with the assistance of members of the Syrian opposition who refused to elaborate on how they laid hand on the documents.

Al Arabiya said that it has verified and authenticated hundreds of these documents and that it is has decided to disclose the ones with substantial news value and political relevance.

The downed jet

On June 22, a Turkish military jet was shot down by a Syrian missile in international airspace, Ankara's official report said; a claim Damascus has refuted.

Assad's regime said the country's defense forces shot down the two-seater F-4 Phantom as it was in the Syrian airspace.

In an interview with Turkish paper Cumhuriyet published in July, Assad said he wished his forces did not shoot down the jet, claiming that Damascus did not know the identity of the plane at the time.

The incident set off tensions between the former allies, but Ankara, which had vowed a harsh response to any border violations by Syria, limited its reaction to sending military reinforcements to the common frontiers.

The two pilots on board of the jet were killed.

But both official reports by Syria and Turkey have restrained their explanation on the causes of the deaths of Air Force Captain Gokhan Ertan and Air Force Lieutenant Hasan Huseyin Aksoy.

Turkey's armed forces said it had found the bodies of both pilots on the Mediterranean seabed.

''The bodies (of the two pilots) have been recovered [from] the seabed and work is underway to bring them to the surface,'' the army command said in a statement released early in July.

The military did not specify where the bodies were found, but there has been no report that the pilots ejected from the plane.

However, after investigating the leaked documents it obtained, Al Arabiya can now reveal for the first time an alternative narrative of what might have happened to the two Turkish pilots.

One highly confidential document was sent directly from the presidential office of President Assad to brigadier Hassan Abdel Rahman (who Al Arabiya's sources identify as the chief of the Syrian Special Operations Unit) states the following:

''Two Turkish pilots were captured by the Syrian Air Force Intelligence after their jet was shot down in coordination with the Russian naval base in (the Syrian city of) Tartus.''

Picture of the highly confidential document sent from the office of the Syrian president confirming the capture of the two Turkish pilots (Al Arabiya)

The file therefore reveals two critical reports. First, the pilots were still alive after the plane had crashed. And second, that Russia held its share of involvement in this secretive mission.

The same document orders the concerned parties to treat both Turkish pilots according to the protocol of war prisoners, as instructed by the president.

It also requests that both men be investigated about Turkey's role in supporting the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the country's main armed opposition group.

The report also suggests the possibility of transferring the pilots into the neighboring Lebanese territory, leaving them in the custody of Assad's ally, Hezbollah.

However, if the Turkish air commanders were not killed upon the crash of their F-4 Phantom, further leaked documents confirm that their death was inevitable.

Russian ''Guidance''

A subsequently leaked file, also sent from the presidential palace and addressed to all heads of units of the Syrian foreign intelligence, reads: ''Based on information and guidance from the Russian leadership comes a need to eliminate the two Turkish pilots detained by the Special Operations Unit in a natural way and their bodies need to be returned to the crash site in international waters.''

The document also suggests the Syrian government sends a ''menacing'' message to the Turkish government, insinuating Syria's capability of mobilizing Kurdistan's Workers Party (PKK) on the Turkish borders, notifying Ankara from the danger it might face in case of any hostile move.

A copy of the presidential order for the killing in a ''natural way'' of two Turkish pilots. (Al Arabiya)

The report insists that the Syrian leadership should hasten and make a formal apology to the Turkish government for bringing down the plane, which would embarrass the Turks and win the support of international public opinion. As such, the Syrian Regime did apologize.

Al Arabiya's exclusive series on the newly-leaked Syrian security documents continues tomorrow.

Scampaign

Obama Phone

Link to Article

Sat, 29 Sep 2012 19:29

The State and Federal government has a program that provides free cellphones and free talk time to people with low income as well as senior citizens. This subsidized program is called Lifeline phones assistance program. But Obama hasn't initiated it; it started few decades back and got its current format after going through several changes within this time. Safelink Wireless, the largest cellphone provider of the Lifeline program and a subsidiary of Tracfone, was created under the administration of George William Bush which received grants from a company that was launched during the Bill Clinton's time and it was done because of an act passed by President Franklin Roosevelt which in turn was influenced because of an agreement between President Woodrow Wilson's administration and some telecom service providers. So you can realize that this free cellphone service has a pretty long history and the claim about the Obama phone is nothing but a false rumor.

At present, free cellphone with 250 free minutes is provided to financially disabled people. It has been included during Bush's administration. Several telecom companies have been approved to provide cellphones to the qualified people living in the United States and within US territory. This service is not for everyone. You need to fulfill certain requirements to avail this facility provided by the government. These requirements are almost same in all the states as it has been set by the government.

Currently, the government is thinking of providing free wireless internet service to the people under this program instead of old-fashioned land phones. It'll be a great effort if government includes this service in Lifeline program.

Click here to find out how to qualify for a free cell phone.

Posted inObama Phone Questions|The term ''the Obama Phone'' has been all around since the day Barack Obama became the president of the United States of America. Many people think that Obama is giving free cellphones to the poor in order to redistribute the wealth of rich people. Since then two groups are mudslinging at each other.

It's true that government provides free cellphones to the poor and disabled people. But the Obama part is not true as Obama didn't initiate this program. It's on the run since the administration of Reagan. This program has two parts: one is called the 'Link-Up' which provided free landline connection to the poor and the other is called the 'Lifeline' which provides waiver on telephone bills. These two programs are simply called 'Lifeline' when lumped together.

This service is provided by government approved companies. The three major companies are Safelink Wireless, Assurance Wireless and ReachOut Wireless.

Today government provides waivers on landline phone bills for people with low income living inside US territory. This program began during Clinton's administration and still continuing under Obamas' administration.

With the increasing use of mobile technologies cost came down. To low income individuals and senior citizens, cellphones were included under Lifeline. At present, government gives free cellphone with 250 minutes of free talk time to those people who are eligible and have signed up for this program. It started back in 2008 when Trafcone started their service under this program at Tennessee. At the same year Obama was elected President but Trafcone began their Safelink service three months before which means the program was discussed and approved by Obama's predecessor Bush. So now you know that there is nothing called ''the Obama Phone''.

Over 8 million people have already signed up for the Lifeline program and up to 35% of Americans are qualified. Click here to see if you are qualified or click here to find out how to get a free cell phone.

Posted inObama Phone Questions|If you are one of those people who have lost their jobs due to recession, then probably you're having hard time with your daily expenses. On top of that, paying telephone bills will add extra pressure on you. However, you can get rid of this extra burden if you apply for the Lifeline Assistance Program run by government. With the turmoil in the economy, more and more people are being eligible for this program and around eight million people have already signed up with this program up to now.

In order to avail this facility you need to contact with the provider of this service. Government has approved many companies at national and regional level to provide this service to the eligible people. The leading providers of the Lifeline Assistance Program are: Qlink Wireless, Assurance Wireless, ReachOut Wireless, and Safelink Wireless. You can easily find a franchise of any of these companies in your locality. Besides, some smaller companies also provide this service to the financially disadvantaged people.

The first step is to find out the company that provides this service in your area. With the help of internet you can easily accomplish this job. Learn about their eligibility criteria and determine whether or not you're eligible for this program.

After determining your eligibility, visit the company's website to get detail of their offer. Most of the companies offer almost same features, but some smaller dealers sometimes don't provide 250 minutes of free talk time with the cellphone. So, you need to be careful about that. Besides, facilities offered by different providers may vary a bit which is why you should consider all these facts before selecting a particular company.

Once you've found your best deal after detailed homework, fill-up the form provided by that company and you'll receive your cellphone with free talk time.

Click here for more information on qualifying for a free cell phone. You can also start applying for a free cell phone directly. Click here to apply for a free cell phone.

Posted inObama Phone Questions|Lifeline is a government sponsored program, but who is paying for it. Some people claim that the government is using taxpayer's money to run this program, however, the claim is false. Universal Service Fund (USF) which is administers by Federal Communication Commission along the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC), pays for the Lifeline phone assistance program.

The Universal Service Fund (USF) was created back in 1997 by Federal Communication Commission in order to achieve the goals set by the Congress under the Telecommunication Act of 1996. According to the Act, telecommunication service providers are obliged to contribute a portion of their interstate and international telecommunications revenues. These companies include paging service providers, wireless telephone companies, wire-line telephone companies, and Voice over Internet Protocol service providers. Some of the paying customers might find a line item named 'Universal Service' on their telephone bills. This is because some telecom companies choose to collect the amount they need to contribute to Universal Service Fund, from their subscribers. Federal Communication Commissions doesn't require this charge to be passed to the customers. The telecom company decides how they will manage their USF contribution costs. But they can't charge an amount that is more than they need to contribute to the USF. These charges appear as a percentage of the original phone bill. They also can't collect any charges from the Lifeline customers. The percentage of contribution of the telecom companies is renewed every quarter depending on the demand of the Universal Service Fund.

The word 'universal' means that telecom service providers should offer uninterrupted telecommunication service to all those people who can't afford it. It also includes libraries, schools, healthcare providers, and classrooms.

The Universal Service Fund (USF) is the source of money on which the Lifeline phone assistance program runs. Click here to learn what is the ''Obama Phone''. You can also see if you are qualified to receive a free government cell phone. Click here to see if you qualify.

Posted inObama Phone Questions|If you, or members in your household are, receiving the following benefits you automatically qualify for the Lifeline program. Those interested in the program must have an income of less than 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. (For example in the 48 Contiguous States and D.C the income level is $22,350 per year for a family of four.)

Food Stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)MedicaidSupplemental Security Income '' commonly known as SSIHealth Benefit Coverage under Child Health Insurance Plan (CHIP)The National School Lunch Program's Free Lunch Program.Low-Income Energy Assistance Program '' LIHEAPFederal Public Housing Assistance ( Section 8 )If you are a low-income Eligible Resident of Tribal LandsTemporary Assistance to Needy Families '' TANFQualifications can vary by state. The best way to know if you qualify is by filling out an application for a Lifeline provider in your state. Click here to get a free cell phone.Posted inObama Phone Questions|The ''Obama Phone'' program was actually instituted by congress during the Telecommunications Act of 1996 as a way to provide low income families with free phone service. The real name of the program is Lifeline. The name ''Obama Phone'' was a nickname that caught on because of its increased popularity over the last few years.

The president actually has no real impact on the program so it shouldn't be called ''Obama Phones''. The Lifeline program for cell phones was actually started under President George Bush with grants from an independent company crated under presidentClinton.

There are 3 plans available on the Lifeline program, each one offers different services. One plan offers more minutes with rollover, but limited texting. Another plan offers cheap texting with fewer minutes. The last option is a mix between the two. It is important to choose the plan that will work best for you. Many people rely on texting to communicate. If you are a heavy texter than be sure to choose a plan with lots of texting. If you use your phone mostly for calling, then the plan with more minutes and rollover may be right for you.

It's easy to see if your qualified for the Obama Phone Program. If you recieve any government assistance like welfare or medicaid, then you will qualify. Currently there are millions of American that will qualify and don't even know it!

Posted inObama Phone|

Original Obamaphone Lady: Obama Voter Says Vote for Obama because he gives a free Phone - [VIDEO]

Monsantooo

Federal Register | Sulfoxaflor; Pesticide Tolerances for Emergency Exemptions

Link to Article

Sat, 29 Sep 2012 18:56

This regulation is effective September 28, 2012. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before November 27, 2012, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0493, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the OPP Docket in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), located in EPA West, Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

Libby Pemberton, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: 703-308-9364; email address: pemberton.libby@epa.gov.

A. Does this action apply to me?You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. Potentially affected entities may include, but are not limited to:

Crop production (NAICS code 111).Animal production (NAICS code 112).Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).B. How can I get electronic access to other related information?You may access a frequently updated electronic version of 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl.

C. How can I file an objection or hearing request?Under section 408(g) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0493 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before November 27, 2012. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing that does not contain any CBI for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit a copy of your non-CBI objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0493, by one of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statue.Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), Mail Code: 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.htm.EPA, on its own initiative, in accordance with FFDCA sections 408(e) and 408(l ) (6) of, 21 U.S.C. 346a(e) and 346a(1)(6), is establishing time-limited tolerances for combined residues of sulfoxaflor, N-methyloxido [1-[6-(trifluoromethyl)-3-pyridinyl]ethyl] Î>> [4] -sulfanylidene] cyanamide, including its metabolites and degradates in or on cotton, undelinted seed at 0.2 parts per million (ppm); cotton, gin byproducts at 6.0 ppm; and cotton, hulls at 0.35 ppm. These time-limited tolerances expire on December 31, 2015.

Section 408(l)(6) of FFDCA requires EPA to establish a time-limited tolerance or exemption from the requirement for a tolerance for pesticide chemical residues in food that will result from the use of a pesticide under an emergency exemption granted by EPA under section 18 of FIFRA. Such tolerances can be established without providing notice or period for public comment. EPA does not intend for its actions on FIFRA section 18 related time-limited tolerances to set binding precedents for the application of FFDCA section 408 and the safety standard to other tolerances and exemptions. Section 408(e) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance or an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance on its own initiative, i.e., without having received any petition from an outside party.

Section 408(b)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the tolerance is ''safe.'' Section 408(b)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines ''safe'' to mean that ''there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.'' This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings, but does not include occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance and to ''ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue * * *.''

Section 18 of FIFRA authorizes EPA to exempt any Federal or State agency from any provision of FIFRA, if EPA determines that ''emergency conditions exist which require such exemption.'' EPA has established regulations governing such emergency exemptions in 40 CFR part 166.

III. Emergency Exemption for Sulfoxaflor for Various Commodities and FFDCA Tolerances Back to TopThe states of Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Louisiana submitted emergency use requests for the use of the unregistered active ingredient, sulfoxaflor, on cotton to control the tarnished plant bug. The requests are a result of the resurgence of tarnished plant bug as a primary pest of cotton. The states assert growers are facing a longer control season for tarnished plant bug. In addition, tarnished plant bug has developed resistance to registered alternatives. After having reviewed the submissions, EPA determined that emergency conditions exist for these States, and that the criteria for emergency exemptions are met. EPA has authorized specific exemptions under FIFRA section 18 for the use of sulfoxaflor on cotton for control of tarnished plant bug in Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Louisiana.

As part of its evaluation of the emergency exemption application, EPA assessed the potential risks presented by residues of sulfoxaflor in or on cotton. In doing so, EPA considered the safety standard in FFDCA section 408(b)(2), and EPA decided that the necessary tolerance under FFDCA section 408(l)(6) would be consistent with the safety standard and with FIFRA section 18. Consistent with the need to move quickly on the emergency exemption in order to address an urgent non-routine situation and to ensure that the resulting food is safe and lawful, EPA is issuing this tolerance without notice and opportunity for public comment as provided in FFDCA section 408(l)(6). Although these time-limited tolerances expire on December 31, 2015, under FFDCA section 408(l)(5), residues of the pesticide not in excess of the amounts specified in the tolerance remaining in or on cotton, undelinted seed; cotton, ginbyproducts; and cotton, hulls after that date will not be unlawful, provided the pesticide was applied in a manner that was lawful under FIFRA, and the residues do not exceed a level that was authorized by these time-limited tolerances at the time of that application. EPA will take action to revoke these time-limited tolerances earlier if any experience with, scientific data on, or other relevant information on this pesticide indicate that the residues are not safe.

Because these time-limited tolerances are being approved under emergency conditions, EPA has not made any decisions about whether sulfoxaflor meets FIFRA's registration requirements for use on cotton or whether permanent tolerances for this use would be appropriate. Under these circumstances, EPA does not believe that these time-limited tolerances decision serves as a basis for registration of sulfoxaflor by a State for special local needs under FIFRA section 24(c). Nor does this tolerance by itself serve as the authority for persons in any State other than Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Louisiana to use this pesticide on the applicable crops under FIFRA section 18 absent the issuance of an emergency exemption applicable within that State. For additional information regarding the emergency exemption for sulfoxaflor, contact the Agency's Registration Division at the address provided under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

IV. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety Back to TopSection 408(b)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the tolerance is ''safe.'' Section 408(b)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines ''safe'' to mean that ''there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.'' This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings, but does not include occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance and to ''ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue. * * *''

Consistent with the factors specified in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action. EPA has sufficient data to assess the hazards of and to make a determination on aggregate exposure expected as a result of these emergency exemption requests and the time-limited tolerances for combined residues of sulfoxaflor in or on cotton, undelinted seed at 0.2 parts per million (ppm); cotton, gin byproducts at 6.0 ppm; and cotton, hulls at 0.35 ppm. Use of cotton commodities conforming to these temporary tolerances as animal feed is not expected to produce sulfoxaflor residues in livestock commodities. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with establishing these time-limited tolerances follows.

A. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of ConcernOnce a pesticide's toxicological profile is determined, EPA identifies toxicological points of departure (POD) and levels of concern to use in evaluating the risk posed by human exposure to the pesticide. For hazards that have a threshold below which there is no appreciable risk, the toxicological POD is used as the basis for derivation of reference values for risk assessment. PODs are developed based on a careful analysis of the doses in each toxicological study to determine the dose at which no adverse effects are observed (the NOAEL) and the lowest dose at which adverse effects of concern are identified (the LOAEL). Uncertainty/safety factors are used in conjunction with the POD to calculate a safe exposure level'--generally referred to as a population-adjusted dose (PAD) or a reference dose (RfD)'--and a safe margin of exposure (MOE). For non-threshold risks, the Agency assumes that any amount of exposure will lead to some degree of risk. Thus, the Agency estimates risk in terms of the probability of an occurrence of the adverse effect during a lifetime. For more information on the general principles EPA uses in risk characterization and a complete description of the risk assessment process, see http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/riskassess.htm.

A summary of the toxicological endpoints for sulfoxaflor used for human risk assessment is shown in the Table of this unit.

Table'--Summary of Toxicological Doses and Endpoints for Sulfoxaflor for Use in Human Health Risk Assessment Back to TopExposure/scenarioPoint of departure and uncertainty/ safety factorsRfD, PAD, LOC for risk assessmentStudy and toxicological effectsUF A= extrapolation from animal to human (interspecies). UF H= potential variation in sensitivity among members of the human population (intraspecies). FQPA SF = Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor. PAD = population adjusted dose (a = acute, c = chronic). RfD = reference dose. LOAEL = lowest observed adverse effect level. NOAEL = no observed adverse effect level.Acute dietary (Females 13-50 years of age)NOAEL = 1.8 mg/kg/day UF A= 3x >UF H= 10x >FQPA SF = 1xAcute RfD = 0.06 g/kg/day aPAD = 0.06 mg/kg/dayDevelopmental Neurotoxicity Study. LOAEL = 7.1 mg/kg/day based on decreased neonatal survival on postnatal day 0 through 4.Acute dietary (General population including infants and children)NOAEL = 25 mg/kg/day UF A= 10x UF H= 10x FQPA SF = 1xAcute RfD = 0.25 mg/kg/day aPAD = 0.25 mg/kg/dayAcute Neurotoxicity Study. LOAEL = 75 mg/kg/day based on decreased motor activity.Chronic dietary (All populations)NOAEL = 5.13 mg/kg/day UF A= 10x UF H= 10x FQPA SF = 1xChronic RfD = 0.05 mg/kg/day cPAD = 0.05 mg/kg/dayChronic/Carcinogenicity Study in the Rat. LOAEL = 21.3 mg/kg/day based on liver effects including increased blood cholesterol, liver weight, hypertrophy, fatty change, single cell necrosis and macrophages observed in the males and females.Cancer (Oral, dermal, inhalation)Sulfoxaflor is classified as ''Suggestive Evidence of Carcinogenic Potential.'' Quantification of risk using a non-linear approach (i.e., RfD) will adequately account for all chronic toxicity, including carcinogenicity.B. Exposure Assessment1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to sulfoxaflor, EPA considered exposure under the time-limited tolerances established by this action. EPA assessed dietary exposures from sulfoxaflor in food as follows:

i. Acute and Chronic exposure. Acute and chronic effects were identified for sulfoxaflor. In estimating acute and chronic dietary exposure, EPA used food consumption information from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 1994-1996 and 1998 Nationwide Continuing Surveys of Food Intake by Individuals (CSFII). EPA's dietary exposure assessment assumed that all cotton in the U.S. is treated with sulfoxaflor (i.e., 100% crop treated); an empirical factor of 0.1X to account for the reduction in sulfoxaflor residues during the processing of cottonseed into oil (which is the only human food associated with cotton); and used health-protective models to estimate residues in drinking water.

ii. Cancer. EPA determines whether quantitative cancer exposure and risk assessments are appropriate for a food-use pesticide based on the weight of the evidence from cancer studies and other relevant data. Cancer risk may be quantified using a linear or nonlinear approach. If sufficient information is available to determine the carcinogenic mode of action, and that mode of action has a threshold, then EPA will use a threshold or nonlinear approach and calculate a cancer RfD based on an earlier noncancer key event. If the mode of carcinogenic action is unknown, or if the mode of action appears to be mutagenic, a default linear cancer slope factor approach is utilized. Based on studies demonstrating key events of a hypothesized mode of action leading to the observed tumors and no mutagenicity concerns, EPA has concluded that a nonlinear RfD approach is appropriate for assessing cancer risk to sulfoxaflor. Cancer risk was assessed using the same exposure estimates as discussed in Unit IV.B.1.i., acute and chronic exposure.

iii. Anticipated residue and percent crop treated (PCT) information. EPA did not use anticipated residue and/or PCT information in the dietary assessment for sulfoxaflor. For this risk assessment, EPA assumed that all cottonseed oil contains tolerance level residues (modified by an empirical processing factor) and that 100% of cotton is treated with sulfoxaflor.

2. Dietary exposure from drinking water. The Agency used screening level water exposure models in the dietary exposure analysis and risk assessment for sulfoxaflor in drinking water. These simulation models take into account data on the physical, chemical, and fate/transport characteristics of sulfoxaflor. Further information regarding EPA drinking water models used in pesticide exposure assessment can be found at http://www.epa.gov/oppefed1/models/water/index.htm.

Based on the Pesticide Root Zone Model/Exposure Analysis Modeling System (PRZM/EXAMS) and Screening Concentration in Ground Water (SCI-GROW) models, the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) of sulfoxaflor for acute exposures are estimated to be 2.76 parts per billion (ppb) for surface water and 45.1 ppb for ground water; for chronic exposures for non-cancer assessments are estimated to be 0.865 ppb for surface water and 45.1 ppb for ground water. Environmental fate data indicate that the predominant residue in surface water will be the parent compound and the predominant residue in groundwater will be the X11719474 metabolite (88% of the total residue) and X11519450 (12% of the total residue). For convenience, EPA's exposure assessment multiplies the relative toxicity of each metabolite by its proportion to express the residue concentration in terms of parent sulfoxaflor-equivalents.

Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model. For acute dietary risk assessment, the water concentration value of 0.045 ppm (0.0397 ppm X11719474 + 0.0054 ppm X11519450) was used to assess the contribution of drinking water to dietary exposure for the general population, except women of child-bearing age (13-49 years). For females 13-49 years old, the acute surface water EDWC (0.0028 ppm) was used to assess the contribution of drinking water. For chronic dietary risk assessment for the general population, including females 13-49 years old, the ground water concentration of value 0.066 ppm was used to assess the contribution of drinking water. The groundwater value of 0.066 ppm reflects individual concentrations of X11719474 and X11519540, adjusted for their relative potencies of 0.3X and 10X, respectively.

3. From non-dietary exposure. The term ''residential exposure'' is used in this document to refer to non-occupational, non-dietary exposure (e.g., for lawn and garden pest control, indoor pest control, termiticides, and flea and tick control on pets). Sulfoxaflor is currently not registered for any use that will result in residential exposure. Further information regarding EPA standard assumptions and generic inputs for residential exposures may be found at: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/trac/science/trac6a05.pdf.

4. Cumulative effects from substances with a common mechanism of toxicity. Section 408(b)(2)(D)(v) of FFDCA requires that, when considering whether to establish, modify, or revoke a tolerance, the Agency consider ''available information'' concerning the cumulative effects of a particular pesticide's residues and'' other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity.''

EPA has not found sulfoxaflor to share a common mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and sulfoxaflor does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, therefore, EPA has assumed that sulfoxaflor does not have a common mechanism of toxicity with other substances. For information regarding EPA's efforts to determine which chemicals have a common mechanism of toxicity and to evaluate the cumulative effects of such chemicals, see EPA's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/cumulative.

C. Safety Factor for Infants and Children1. In general. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA provides that EPA shall apply an additional tenfold (10X) margin of safety for infants and children in the case of threshold effects to account for prenatal and postnatal toxicity and the completeness of the database on toxicity and exposure unless EPA determines based on reliable data that a different margin of safety will be safe for infants and children. This additional margin of safety is commonly referred to as the FQPA Safety Factor (SF). In applying this provision, EPA either retains the default value of 10X, or uses a different additional SF when reliable data available to EPA support the choice of a different factor.

2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. The prenatal and postnatal toxicity databases for sulfoxaflor are complete. Although adverse developmental effects were observed in rats, the mode of action is understood and does not appear relevant to humans. Data indicate that juvenile rats are uniquely sensitive to perturbation of the muscular nicotinic receptor by sulfoxaflor, leading to sustained muscle contraction and increased neonatal deaths. Supporting studies indicate that sulfoxaflor does not interact with nicotinic receptors in the adult rat, fetal human, or adult human. Furthermore, the observation that no neonatal deaths or neuromuscular/skeletal effects were noted in the rabbit developmental toxicity study supports the conclusion that rats are uniquely sensitive to developmental toxicity due to sulfoxaflor exposure. These differences suggest that to the extent that neonatal death in rats occurs as a result of sulfoxaflor binding to the fetal receptor, these effects would not be observed in humans.

3. Conclusion. EPA has determined that reliable data show that the safety of infants and children would be adequately protected if the FQPA SF were reduced to 1X. That decision is based on the following findings: the level of concern for neurotoxicity is low because the effects are well characterized and clear NOAELs are established. Similarly, although there is increased quantitative susceptibility in the developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) study, the level of concern for the increased susceptibility is low because the effects are well characterized and the endpoints chosen for risk assessment are protective of potential in utero developmental effects. In addition, the exposure assessments are highly conservative and unlikely to underestimate exposure/risk.

D. Aggregate Risks and Determination of SafetyEPA determines whether acute and chronic dietary pesticide exposures are safe by comparing aggregate exposure estimates to the acute PAD (aPAD) and chronic PAD (cPAD). Short-, intermediate-, and chronic-term risks are evaluated by comparing the estimated aggregate food, water, and residential exposure to the appropriate PODs to ensure that an adequate MOE exists.

1 . Acute risk. Using the exposure assumptions discussed in this unit for acute exposure, the acute dietary exposure from food and water to sulfoxaflor will occupy 4% of the aPAD for infants (<1 year), the population group receiving the greatest exposure.

2. Chronic risk. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for chronic exposure, EPA has concluded that chronic exposure to sulfoxaflor from food and water will utilize 9% of the cPAD for infants (<1 year)the population group receiving the greatest exposure. There are no residential uses for sulfoxaflor.

3. Short-term risk. Short-term aggregate exposure takes into account short-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level). A short-term adverse effect was identified; however, sulfoxaflor is not registered for any use patterns that would result in short-term residential exposure. Because there is no short-term residential exposure, sulfoxaflor poses no short-term risk.

4. Intermediate-term risk. Intermediate-term aggregate exposure takes into account intermediate-term non-dietary, non-occupational exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level).

An intermediate-term adverse effect was identified; however, sulfoxaflor is not registered for any use patterns that would result in intermediate-term residential exposure. Intermediate-term risk is assessed based on intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic dietary exposure. Because there is no intermediate-term residential exposure, sulfoxaflor poses no intermediate-term risk.

5. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. EPA determined that there is a ''Suggestive Evidence of Carcinogenic Potential'' for sulfoxaflor based on the preputial gland tumor response seen in rats. When there is suggestive evidence, the Agency does not attempt a dose-response assessment as the nature of the data generally would not support one. Rather, the Agency has determined that quantification of risk using a non-linear approach (i.e., reference dose (RfD) will adequately account for all chronic toxicity, including carcinogenicity, that could result from exposure to sulfoxaflor.

6. Determination of safety. Based on these risk assessments, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, or to infants and children, from aggregate exposure to sulfoxaflor residues.

A. Analytical Enforcement MethodologyAdequate analytical methods have been submitted for both data collection and for enforcement purposes. In the submitted field trial and processing studies, residues of sulfoxaflor and its metabolites in crops were determined using 2 different Dow analytical methods (designated as 091031 or 091116). The proposed method for tolerance enforcement in plant commodities is method 091116: Enforcement Method for the Determination of Sulfoxaflor (XDE-208) and its Main Metabolites in Agricultural Commodities using Offline Solid-Phase Extraction and Liquid Chromatography with Tandem Mass Spectrometry Detection. Method 091116 extracts residues with acetonitrile/water and includes use of a deuterated internal standard, hydrolysis with NaOH to release base-labile conjugates, and clean up via solid-phase extraction. This method is applicable for the quantitative determination of residues of sulfoxaflor and its metabolites in agricultural commodities and processed products. The method was adequately validated, with a limit of quantitation (LOQ) of 0.010 mg/kg for all matrices. The method may be requested from: Chief, Analytical Chemistry Branch, Environmental Science Center, 701 Mapes Rd., Ft. Meade, MD 20755-5350; telephone number: (410) 305-2905; email address: residuemethods@epa.gov.

B. International Residue LimitsIn making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level.

The Codex has not established a MRL for sulfoxaflor.

Therefore, time-limited tolerances are established for residues of, sulfoxaflor, N-methyloxido [1-[6-(trifluoromethyl)-3-pyridinyl]ethyl] Î>> [4] -sulfanylidene] cyanamide including its metabolites and degradates, in or on cotton, undelinted seed at 0.2 parts per million (ppm); cotton, ginbyproducts at 6.0 ppm; and cotton, hulls at 0.35 ppm. These tolerances expire on December 31, 2015.

This final rule establishes tolerances under FFDCA sections 408(e) and 408(l)(6). The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled ''Regulatory Planning and Review'' (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this final rule has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this final rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled ''Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use'' (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled ''Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks'' (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This final rule does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501et seq., nor does it require any special considerations under Executive Order 12898, entitled ''Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations'' (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

Since tolerances and exemptions that are established in accordance with FFDCA sections 408(e) and 408(l)(6), such as the tolerances in this final rule, do not require the issuance of a proposed rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601et seq.) do not apply.

This final rule directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes, nor does this action alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, the Agency has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled ''Federalism'' (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled ''Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments'' (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) do not apply to this final rule. In addition, this final rule does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (Pub. L. 104-4).

This action does not involve any technical standards that would require Agency consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104-113, section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272 note).

The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801et seq., generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of this final rule in the Federal Register. This final rule is not a ''major rule'' as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

Dated: September 20, 2012.

Steven Bradbury,

Director, Office of Pesticide Programs.

begin regulatory text

Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

1.The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows:

Authority:21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371.

2.Section 180.668 is added to subpart C to read as follows:

§ 180.668 Sulfoxaflor; tolerances for residues.(a) General.[Reserved]

(b) Section 18 emergency exemptions. Time-limited tolerances specified in the following table are established for residues of the insecticide, sulfoxaflor, N-methyloxido [1-[6-(trifluoromethyl)-3-pyridinyl]ethyl] Î>> [4] -sulfanylidene] cyanamide, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the commodities in the following table resulting from use of the pesticide pursuant to FIFRA section 18 emergency exemptions. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified in the following table is to be determined by measuring only sulfoxaflor in or on the commodity. The tolerances expire on the date specified in the table.

CommodityParts per millionExpiration dateCotton, undelinted seed0.212/31/15Cotton, gin byproducts6.012/31/15Cotton, hulls0.3512/31/15(c) Tolerances with regional registrations.[Reserved]

(d) Indirect or inadvertent residues.[Reserved]

end regulatory text

[FR Doc. 2012-23818 Filed 9-27-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

Shut Up Slave!

Federal Register | NIJ Evaluation of Through-Wall Sensor Devices

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Sat, 29 Sep 2012 18:47

Notice Of Nij Evaluation Of Through Wall Sensor Devices.

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is soliciting interest in supplying through-wall sensor devices for participation in an evaluation by the NIJ Sensor, Surveillance, and Biometric Technologies Center of Excellence (SSBT CoE). The evaluation is focused on field operation in civilian law enforcement scenarios. Supplied through-wall sensor devices must be fully certified by the Federal Communications Commission for domestic civilian law enforcement operation. Manufacturers interested in participating in this evaluation will be asked to execute a Letter of Understanding. Participating manufacturers will receive a copy of the SSBT CoE Through-Wall Sensor Test & Evaluation Plan. Interested parties are invited to contact NIJ for information regarding participation, Letters of Understanding, and shipping. Letters of Understanding may be obtained from and should be submitted to Mark Greene, National Institute of Justice, Office of Science and Technology, 810 7th Street NW., Washington, DC 20531, emailed to mark.greene2@usdoj.gov, or faxed to (202) 307-9907.

Manufacturers who wish to participate in the program must submit a request and an executed Letter of Understanding by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on October 29, 2012. Supplied devices are to be loaned to the SSBT CoE for a period of time no less than 60 days and must be received by the SSBT CoE by November 13, 2012.

Mark Greene, by telephone at (202) 307-3384 [Note: this is not a toll-free telephone number], or by email at mark.greene2@usdoj.gov.

John H. Laub,

Director, National Institute of Justice.

[FR Doc. 2012-23873 Filed 9-27-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4410-18-P

Minister wil taser voor alle agenten | nu.nl/algemeen | Het laatste nieuws het eerst op nu.nl

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Sat, 29 Sep 2012 18:46

DEN HAAG - Alle politieagenten zouden uitgerust moeten worden met een stroomstootwapen. Volgens minister Ivo Opstelten (Veiligheid) hebben leden van speciale arrestatieteams positieve ervaringen met de zogenoemde taser opgedaan.Binnenkort start een proef om te bezien of het stroomstootwapen voor alle agenten bruikbaar is. Uit onderzoek van het ministerie blijkt dat veel agenten graag met de taser op pad willen.

Door een stroomschok van een taser is een agressieve persoon in een keer uit te schakelen.

Onomstreden is het wapen niet. De Nederlandse Politiebond heeft eerder twijfels geuit over het nut en het veilig gebruik van de taser.

In het buitenland, met name de Verenigde Staten, zijn er volgens critici doden gevallen. Amnesty International heeft ook gewaarschuwd voor de risico's van het wapen en pleitte eerder voor meer onderzoek.

ACPVoorzitter Gerrit van de Kamp van politiebond ACP zegt de taser als middel ''prima'' te vinden. Volgens hem moet er, als deze wordt toegevoegd aan de middelen die agenten bij zich dragen, dan wel worden gekeken naar het totale aantal.

''Het minst effectieve middel zou dan moeten verdwijnen'', aldus Van de Kamp. ''Anders wordt het wel heel erg veel, wat ze bij zich hebben. Ze dragen nu al dingen als een pistool, een lamp, mobilofoons, pistoolhouders, pepperspray en meer bij zich.''

PeppersprayEen agent heeft nu een wapenstok en pepperspray in zijn standaarduitrusting. Onlangs is er wel gexperimenteerd met een langere wapenstok.

De PVV pleitte eerder voor een taser in de vaste uitrusting omdat volgens de partij een agent nu te weinig middelen heeft en pepperspray vaak niet werkt.

Door: ANP

Zombies!

2ci Or SMILES

U.S. Forcibly Drugged All Guantanamo Prisoners With Scopolamine - Documents

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 30 Sep 2012 12:56

Drugged '... Hicks. Photo: Jacky Ghossein

New evidence has emerged that all Guantanamo Bay detainees, including David Hicks, were drugged involuntarily with a substance that has a long history as a truth serum.

Recently declassified US documents revealing medical procedures have shown that scopolamine was administered to all detainees taken to the Cuban detention centre.

The documents, which were standard operating procedures for nursing staff, were obtained by the independent US news outlet Truthout, and reveal that the rationale for the drug's use on all detainees was to prevent motion sickness.

However, US military experts have said that scopolamine is not recommended for motion sickness because of its severe side effects.

The US government has not responded to questions by The Sun-Herald about drugs given involuntarily to detainees.

The Sun-Herald revealed this month that Mr Hicks and other detainees were drugged against their will with unknown substances and that detainees' medical records were incomplete, with the names and dosages of drugs removed.

Details of the mistreatment of Mr Hicks were about to emerge publicly for the first time in legal action, by the federal government, to stop him receiving revenue from his book Guantanamo: My Journey, until the government abandoned the case.

Witnesses and previously secret documents were to have backed up Mr Hicks's long-held claims of abuse. Commonwealth prosecutors decided that the proceeds of crime case would not stand up in court and dropped the action.

Details about the use of scopolamine emerged last week.

Mr Hicks has told The Sun-Herald he was given a drug during his journey to Guantanamo Bay that left him drowsy and disoriented.

He said it was administered by injection, not a patch behind his ear as is described in the standard operating procedures.

Information released by the US spy agency, the CIA, has revealed that because of its many undesirable side effects, scopolamine had been disqualified as a truth drug.

It listed its most disabling side effects as hallucinations, disturbed perception, headaches, rapid heartbeat, and blurred vision.

Scopolamine: Powerful drug growing in the forests of Colombia that ELIMINATES free will.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 30 Sep 2012 12:53

Scopolamine often blown into faces of victims or added to drinksWithin minutes, victims are like 'zombies' - coherent, but with no free willSome victims report emptying bank accounts to robbers or helping them pillage own houseDrug is made from borrachero tree, which is common in ColombiaBy Beth Stebner

PUBLISHED: 17:44 EST, 12 May 2012 | UPDATED: 08:43 EST, 13 May 2012

A hazardous drug that eliminates free will and can wipe the memory of its victims is currently being dealt on the streets of Colombia.

The drug is called scopolamine, but is colloquially known as 'The Devil's Breath,' and is derived from a particular type of tree common to South America.

Stories surrounding the drug are the stuff of urban legends, with some telling horror stories of how people were raped, forced to empty their bank accounts, and even coerced into giving up an organ.

Scroll down for video

Danger: 'The Devil's Breath' is such a powerful drug that it can remove the capacity for free will

Deadly drug: Scopolamine is made from the Borrachero tree, which blooms with deceptively beautiful white and yellow flowers

VICE's Ryan Duffy travelled to the country to find out more about the powerful drug. In two segments, he revealed the shocking culture of another Colombian drug world, interviewing those who deal the drug and those who have fallen victim to it.

Demencia Black, a drug dealer in the capital of Bogota, said the drug is frightening for the simplicity in which it can be administered.

He told Vice that Scopolamine can be blown in the face of a passer-by on the street, and within minutes, that person is under the drug's effect - scopolamine is odourless and tasteless.

'You can guide them wherever you want,' he explained. 'It's like they're a child.'

Black said that one gram of Scopolamine is similar to a gram of cocaine, but later called it 'worse than anthrax.'

In high doses, it is lethal.

It only takes a moment: One drug dealer in Bogota explained how victims are drugged within minutes of exposure

Victims: One Colombian woman said that under the influence of scopolamine, she led a man to her house and helped him ransack it

The drug, he said, turns people into complete zombies and blocks memories from forming. So even after the drug wears off, victims have no recollection as to what happened.

One victim told Vice that a man approached her on the street asking her for directions. Since it was close by, she helped take the man to his destination, and they drank juice together.

'You can guide them wherever you want. It's like they're a child.'

She took the man to her house and helped him gather all of her belongings, including her boyfriend's cameras and savings.

'It is painful to have lost money,' the woman said,' but I was actually quite lucky.'

According to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, the drug - also known as hyoscine - causes the same level of memory loss as diazepam.

In ancient times, the drug was given to the mistresses of dead Colombian leaders '' they were told to enter their master's grave, where they were buried alive.

Devil's Breath: The drug is odourless and tasteless and can simply be blown in the face of someone on the street; their free will vanishes after being exposed to it

Dangerous: Vice's Ryan Duffy traveled to the capital of Bogota to find out more about the drug

In modern times, the CIA used the drug as part of Cold War interrogations, with the hope of using it like a truth serum.

However, because of the drug's chemical makeup, it also induces powerful hallucinations.

The tree common around Colombia, and is called the 'borrachero' tree '' loosely translated as the 'get-you-drunk' tree.

It is said that Colombian mothers warn their children not to fall asleep under the tree, though the leafy green canopies and large yellow and white flowers seem appealing.

Experts are baffled as to why Colombia is riddled with scopolamine-related crimes, but wager much of it has to do with the country's torn drug-culture past, and on-going civil war.

Watch video here: WARNING: CONTENT MAY BE UNSUITABLE FOR SOME READERS

Agenda 21

Now climate experts warn that every house in the UK is at risk of flooding

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Source: bertb news feed

Sat, 29 Sep 2012 18:12

The flood waters may finally be receding across parts of Britain lashed this week by the worst autumn storm in 30 years.But as home and business owners begin the long, demoralising task of clearing up the filth left in their wake, it has emerged that increasing numbers of flood victims are completely unaware that they were ever at risk from rising water levels.

Click here to view our graphic of the Summer 2012 rainfall.

Of the 5,000 properties damaged in the extreme weather events of this summer and autumn, more than half were hit not by overflowing rivers but by surface water.

The sheer volume of rain '' sometimes up to 20mm in a single hour '' has overwhelmed ageing sewage and drainage systems resulting in unprecedented levels of flooding in communities previously considered immune. With the number of properties at risk of flooding expected to quadruple in the next 20 years, according to the Committee on Climate Change, experts warned this week that no home is now without risk.

Charles Tucker, chairman of the National Flood Forum which represents 150 community flood action groups, said intensive rain storm events '' of which there have been seven since the beginning of June '' can strike at any time. "Anyone can be hit. That is a message that has to be got across to people without scaring the living daylights out of them," he said.

The potential impact was disastrously demonstrated in 2007 in Hull which was hit by devastating flooding caused when road gullies, sewers and drainage ditches were overwhelmed by torrential rain. One person died and 10,000 homes and businesses were deluged. The disaster cost the city £20m and people were still living in emergency accommodation more than a year later

Yet Hull is not alone. This year hundreds of homes were flooded from Bognor Regis to Newcastle upon Tyne in weather scenarios previously thought likely to occur only once every 30, 50 or even 100 years.

Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire flooded first when the river Calder burst its banks in June and then equally disastrously three weeks later when surface water overwhelmed the drainage system.

The Forum believes that educating people of the threat to their homes has become a priority, while new developments must include the capacity to cope with torrential rain storm events. "All the statutory agencies have to see flooding as one of the major critical challenges which can affect any community in any part of the country and to be prepared for that," said Mr Tucker.

Malcolm Tarling of the Association of British Insurers said this summer had cost £400m and that compensation for surface water damage had become a major issue.

"It means that in theory your property is vulnerable to flooding wherever you live," he said. "If you live near a river you know the state of the defences and what the risk is. But we are seeing an increase in the frequency of these large scale events. Some people are always going to get flooded and insurers expect that. But getting a month's worth of rain in 24 hours is becoming the norm."

The Environment Agency has been tasked with overseeing local authorities' response to the growing threat of surface water. It has started mapping areas at risk and sharing the information nationally. But the agency is already facing cuts to the amount it can spend building traditional river defences.

Government spending on flood prevention fell victim to the Coalition austerity budget. Spending on defences had soared by a third in the wake of the devastating effects of the 2007 summer floods which left homeowners with a £3bn clear-up bill but has subsequently plunged 27 per cent.

It has been estimated the 294 local schemes submitted to the Environment Agency for consideration in 2010 are yet to be given the go-ahead.

Defra insists the total reduction over the four -year period is only six per cent and that it is committed to spending £2.17bn up until 2015 to protect businesses.

It has also sought to kick start new flood schemes by inviting partnerships with local developers or councils, although critics argue that with little money to spare there are few willing takers.

A Defra spokeswoman said: "The new approach is expected to allow up to a third more schemes to go ahead and enable us to exceed our goal to better protect 145,000 homes by 2015."

Yet one of the Government's "success stories" resulting from this partnership approach is Morpeth '' where 60 properties were inundated this week.

Alan Bell, chairman of the Morpeth Flood Action Group, said the change of government had delayed a protection scheme designed to safeguard 1,000 homes in the historic market town by up to a year.

VIDEO

Andy Greenberg Remarks on Cybersecurity - C-SPAN Video Library

2ci Or SMILES

US Says Syria Is Moving It's Chemical Weapons DUN! DUN! DUN!

Firefighter Carries Loaded Gun In Her Purse Through TSA Checkpoint And Onto Plane

Bibi Draws a Bomb

FBI Request For Military Protection To Go Into Benghazi To Investigate Crime Scene NOT Granted

Green-On-Blue Attacks In Afghanistan Can Have An Effect On When Troops Come Home

Suspicious Package With "Anti American Writing Near By" Shuts Down Popular Seattle Park

Israeli Lobbyist - "We Need a False Flag Attack to Start WAR with Iran" !! ALERT !!

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Sat, 29 Sep 2012 16:06

Most Extensive Cyber Attack On American Banks Ever! Launched From The Middle East & Happening Now!

VIDEO: Spain counts cost of deadly floods

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Source: BBC News - Europe

Sun, 30 Sep 2012 13:02

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Libyans give up guns and explosives in state collection drives. (Euronews video)

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Source: WT news feed

Sun, 30 Sep 2012 13:01

Hundreds turned out in Tripoli and Benghazi to hand in weapons left over from last year's war.With the government struggling to impose authority, it has launched the initiative in an attempt to make the country safer and crack down on armed militants.

One participant said, ''As part of the initiative I have handed over my weapon. We want our country to be safe and secure. We don't want weapons anymore. It's over, the time of war is over. We got rid of the tyrant. Thank God.''

Muanmar Gaddafi is gone, but militant groups still patrol the streets. The government is attempting to disband the rogue militias, while offering backing to some of the most powerful legitimate groups in order to strengthen the state security forces.

More about:Libya, Security, WeaponsCopyright (C) 2012 euronews

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Saakashvili rival says Georgia government's days numbered. (Euronews video)

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Source: WT news feed

Sun, 30 Sep 2012 13:00

Tens of thousands of supporters of Georgia's opposition coalition have rallied ahead of Monday's parliamentary election.

Tension has been rising after days of demonstrations over a prison brutality scandal that has come to dominate the campaign.

The leader of the six-party Georgian Dream told the crowd in Tbilisi the days of the current government under President Saakashvili were numbered.

Bidzina Ivanishvili used his final appeal to voters to challenge the government's record.

''All people are standing by us: ethnic minorities '' Azerbaijanis, Armenians, Jews. This is a great example to show the whole world that our nation deserves real democracy and real success,'' he said.

The billionaire has come under scrutiny over his Russian fortune '' believed to be worth almost half of Georgia's economic output '' and alleged links to the Kremlin.

The prisons scandal has diverted attention from him, but it has also increased tensions.

TV reports exposed prison guards abusing inmates, prompting nationwide protests. The government told euronews it recognised there was a problem.

''Torture was systemic in Georgian police and it's not like that any longer. But prison system was somehow neglected. It was considered that prisons are calm'... So it was considered that, ok, there might be some problems but not so serious,'' said Prisons Minister Giorgi Tughushi.

The Georgian interior ministry has rejected accusations from civic rights organisations that the authorities had illegally detained more than 20 activists, saying those being held had harassed police officers.

Western organisations have called for restraint amid fears of election violence.

The vote will be followed by a presidential election next year, after which power is due to be largely devolved to the prime minister.

More about:Georgia, Georgia politics, Parliamentary electionsCopyright (C) 2012 euronews

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Original Obamaphone Lady: Obama Voter Says Vote for Obama because he gives a free Phone - [VIDEO]

Secretary Napolitano on Cybersecurity Threats - C-SPAN Video Library

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Fri, 28 Sep 2012 19:54

National Journal

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano talked about U.S. cybersecurity threats. In her remarks she said that cyber attacks had increased during the preceding decade, and even during her tenure as secretary, and stressed .. Read MoreHomeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano talked about U.S. cybersecurity threats. In her remarks she said that cyber attacks had increased during the preceding decade, and even during her tenure as secretary, and stressed that Congress should act soon to address cyber threats. She discussed President Obama's executive order that was being drafted to address cybersecurity but added that comprehensive legislation would still be needed. When about her own cybersecurity practices, she said that she did not use email.

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Carney maintains Libya attack was not preplanned - YouTube

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Fri, 28 Sep 2012 19:09

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