You are being attacked Citizens, by your politicians, spokesholes and news organizations
It is a violation of your human rights
It is making you ill!
Wicked-JCD as the Wizard
TSA bag check microphone
Trusted Traveller Scam email
If you think the trusted traveler is a scam for you, listen to my story. I applied for the program, and filled out all the paper work and then paid my fee. Waited for my interview, but instead got a notice that I was disqualified from the trusted traveler program because I had indicated that I had been convicted of a crime. So if a crime automatically disqualifies you, why did they not say that up front so I didn't lose my money. So I'm not a trusted traveler; but because I travel so much, United pays for my TSA pre-check; and I am approved for that no problem. So in their wisdom, I'm not a trusted traveler but I am TSA pre-checked!
Review and upvote Uncle Don's book
Stec Book idea for Don
Ask all of the listeners to request it from their local library.
A lot of libraries will buy it if they get more than one request for an inter library loan.
Publish ISBN number next show
May be in show notes already but get the library word out
Well, as predicted the Americans are using the Kurds as a cover story for their bombing of our Holy Warriors in Mosul. The Americans, are pro-apartheid, racist and simply can not stand to see ISIS hold this Mosul Dam over their heads. The Americans are using their air force to make targeted strikes and trying to reclaim the dam from our grips, in order to deliver this dam to either their Zionist Pig Friends in Israel or to the dirty Shia Iran.
We have two military tactics that can work in this situation. The first, we can blow the dam and this will ensure a maximum loss of life, at least 500,000 peopledead in Iraq, or we can attack their intelligence Zionist-Shia-Iranian Hubs in Baghdad, which is lower Iraq.
The Americans, with their 6 inch, no life having cocks, will no doubt be monitoring all of our communications. So, when we communicate, we must have five different conversations of war plans, back to back. For instance, 1) lets go kill some Kurds and kidnap 13 year old girls for our Islamic State. 2) lets blow up BP Oil in lower Iraq. 3) Lets blow up the dam. 4) Lets push east in Syria 5) lets blow up BP Oil in lower Iraq.
Now, ahead of time each ISIS Commander will tell his unit the correct number and only ISIS will know which combat statement is correct and which one is meant to throw off their (America & UK) complex NSA data snooping programs. This is exactly how we get around America's Military Intelligence and NSA.
Now, lets say we do get the British joining in, with the 6 inch cock Americans, and the Pentagon, I know that the Brits like to use these attack helicopters. Of course being that Prince William flies British Attack Helicopters and me being his long term friend, I also know how to fly these attack helicopters.
Lets say that the Americans or British decide to come in with, I don't know, an AH-64 Apache Longbow, for an example. Now I have been in these attack helicopters and observed Prince William.
He thinks that it takes years of study and discipline because according to Prince William there are so many factors that can change at a moments notice, but if this was true, then Kate Middleton would have not been able to go down on him while he was flying one these attack air vehicles'.....in front of me, I might add.
The Real Kate Middleton (Good Girl, Gone Bad!) http://gawker.com/german-tabloid-risks-ww3-by-publishing-kate-middleton-b-1581998786
See I know that these attack helicopters have artificial intelligence. You simply start it, lift up and there is a computer system that takes over.
All Prince William would do is hide behind a ridge, raise up and the computer would sight the targets, which the computer thinks is high value and then prioritize it for a direct hit at center mass. This means, that ISIS Holy War Fighters can use human shields. If you must move out in the open, use 10 kurds or Shia, to walk in front of you (the missiles aim center mass) and when you hear a high high pitched sound, you retreat, allowing the missile to take out the Kurds and Shia. This is how we can get high death counts, send bad international PR to the Americans and British and survive the attack.
I am the chosen one, that is blessed by Allah. Victory is Ours!
Kurds Seize Contested Mosul Dam Once Again, Ousting ISIS
Backing by escalating US airstrikes, the Kurdish Peshmerga once again attack the Mosul Dam, Iraq's largest hydroelectric dam, and has reportedly regained primary control over the heavily contested site.
Kurdish media reported that the Peshmerga has control of ''most of the dam,'' with some officials putting the figure at 80%, with the offensive continuing. It is likely that the dam will continue to be fought over, as a hugely valuable asset for any side to control.
The Peshmerga offensive began yesterday with a push against villages in the immediate vicinity, and with US airstrikes hitting ISIS targets in the area, they finally got ahold of the dam once more.
Though Kurdish officials are touting the takeover as a major accomplishment, they had only lost the dam a little over a week ago to begin with, and it remains to be seen if they will actually be able to hold it when ISIS inevitably launches they own counter-counter-offensive.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
Letter from the President -- War Powers Resolution Regarding Iraq | The White House
TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENTTO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVESAND THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE
August 17, 2014
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
On August 14, 2014, I authorized the U.S. Armed Forces to conduct targeted air strikes to support operations by Iraqi forces to recapture the Mosul Dam. These military operations will be limited in their scope and duration as necessary to support the Iraqi forces in their efforts to retake and establish control of this critical infrastructure site, as part of their ongoing campaign against the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The failure of the Mosul Dam could threaten the lives of large numbers of civilians, endanger U.S. personnel and facilities, including the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and prevent the Iraqi government from providing critical services to the Iraqi populace. Pursuant to this authorization, on the evening of August 15, 2014, U.S. military forces commenced targeted airstrike operations in Iraq.
I have directed these actions, which are in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive. These actions are being undertaken in coordination with the Iraqi government.
I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of the Congress in this action.
Iraq crisis: US confirms air strikes on Isis near key Mosul dam | World news | theguardian.com
The US confirmed on Saturday evening that its planes and drones had carried out air strikes against Islamic State (Isis) fighters in the area around Iraq's crucial Mosul dam.
A statement from US Central Command said: ''US military forces continued to attack [Isis] terrorists in Iraq Saturday, with a mix of fighter and remotely piloted aircraft successfully conducting airstrikes near Irbil and the Mosul dam.
''US Central Command conducted these strikes under authority to support humanitarian efforts in Iraq, as well as to protect US personnel and facilities.
''The nine airstrikes conducted thus far destroyed or damaged four armoured personnel carriers, seven armed vehicles, two Humvees and an armored vehicle. All aircraft exited the strike areas safely.''
Earlier, residents living near the Mosul dam told the Associated Press the area was being targeted by air strikes. Isis seized the dam on the Tigris river on 7 August, leading to fears they could engineer a huge and catastrophic flood. Residents, speaking on condition of anonymity to protect their safety, said the air strikes killed militants, but that could not immediately be confirmed.
Officials and eyewitnesses also said on Saturday that extremists had killed 80 Yazidi men and abducted their wives and children. The news came on the same day the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Isis fighters had executed 700 members of a tribe it has been battling in eastern Syria.
The US began launching airstrikes against Isis fighters a week ago, in part to prevent the massacre of tens of thousands of Yazidis, members of a religious minority, who were stranded on Mount Sinjar. After most were able to escape, with the help of Kurdish fighters, President Barack Obama on Thursday took credit for alleviating the threat of genocide.
But on Friday afternoon Isis fighters who had surrounded the nearby village of Kocho 12 days ago, demanding its Yazidi residents convert or die, moved in. The militants took the men away in groups of a few dozen and shot them dead with assault rifles on the edge of the village, according to a wounded man who escaped by feigning death.
The fighters then walked among the bodies, finishing off any who appeared to still be alive with their pistols, the 42-year-old man told the Associated Press by phone from an area where he was hiding. He spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for his safety.
''They thought we were dead, and when they went away, we ran away. We hid in a valley until sundown, and then we fled to the mountains,'' he said.
A Yazidi lawmaker, a Kurdish security official and an Iraqi official from the nearby city of Sinjar gave similar accounts, saying Isis fighters had massacred scores of Yazidi men on Friday afternoon after seizing Kocho. All said they based their information on the accounts of survivors and warned that the minority group remained in danger despite the US intervention. Their accounts matched those of two other Yazidi men, Qassim Hussein and Nayef Jassem, who said they spoke to other survivors.
Yazidi lawmaker Mahma Khalil said the Yazidis in Kocho were given the choice to convert or die. ''When the residents refused to do this, the massacre took place,'' he said.
Halgurd Hekmat, a spokesman for Kurdish security forces, said the militants took the women and children of Kocho to the nearby city of Tal Afar, which is controlled by the Isis group.
Tens of thousands of Yazidis fled when Isis fighters earlier this month captured the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, near the Syrian border. The plight of the Yazidis prompted US, Iraqi and international forces to launch aid drops. It also contributed to the US decision to launch air strikes against the militants, who were advancing on the Kurdish regional capital, Irbil.
Most of those Yazidis were eventually able to escape to Iraq's largely autonomous Kurdish region with the help of Kurdish fighters, and on Thursday Obama said Americans should be proud of the US efforts to save them.
''We broke the [Isis] siege of Mount Sinjar, we helped vulnerable people reach safety and we helped save many innocent lives.'' Obama said, speaking from his vacation spot in Edgartown, Massachusetts.
The decision to launch air strikes marked the first direct US military intervention in Iraq since the last troops withdrew in 2011, and reflected growing international concern about the extremist group. On Saturday, Britain's Ministry of Defence said it deployed a US-made spy plane over northern Iraq to monitor the humanitarian crisis and movements of militants. It said the converted Boeing KC-135 tanker, called a Rivet Joint, would monitor mobile phone calls and other communications.
Germany's foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, was in Baghdad on Saturday, where he announced his government would provide more than $32.2m in humanitarian aid to Iraq.
''The first German air force planes are flying to Irbil at this moment to deliver humanitarian aid,'' Steinmeier said in a joint press conference with Iraq's acting foreign minister, Hussein Shahristani. ''In the current situation where minorities, especially in northern Iraq, are expelled and murdered, where children are orphaned and women are enslaved, humanitarian aid is extremely important.''
Two British planes also landed on Saturday in the Kurdish regional capital Irbil carrying humanitarian supplies.
But Khalil, the Yazidi lawmaker, said the US must do more to protect those fleeing the Isis fighters.
''We have been calling on the US administration and Iraqi government to intervene and help the innocent people, but it seems that nobody is listening,'' Khalil said.
German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen (L) and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier give a press conference on August 20, 2014 in Berlin. AFP Photo
Germany is ready to send weapons to support Iraqi Kurds in their battle against the "barbaric" jihadist militants of the Islamic State, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Wednesday. After other European countries said they would send weapons to help the embattled Kurdish forces in northern Iraq, "we are ready to do the same," Steinmeier said at a joint press conference with Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen. He called the onslaught of the IS "barbaric", the suffering of refugees "unimaginable", and warned that the sweeping advance of the radicals spells an "existential threat" to Iraq and threatens a regional "conflagration". The ministers said Germany would first send more humanitarian aid and non-lethal equipment such as helmets, night-vision goggles and explosives detectors while it checked what weapons shipments would make sense, in coordination with EU partners. Von der Leyen said "the breathtaking speed and incredible brutality" of the militant group had "triggered a humanitarian catastrophe" and, using its former name, said that "ISIS must be stopped". Sending military hardware is unusual for Germany which, burdened by its past aggression in two world wars, shies from foreign military engagements and as a rule does not export weapons into live conflict zones. Critics oppose the idea of sending weapons to a war zone where fighters and arms can quickly change sides. Alarming images of Iraqi minorities, including Christians and Yazidis, under siege by jihadists have struck a chord in European capitals, and the radicals' apparent beheading of a USjournalist has further stoked outrage. Last Friday EU ministers agreed at an emergency meeting to back the arming of overwhelmed Iraqi Kurdish fighters. France has already begun to provide weapons, and Britain said it was ready to do so. Chancellor Angela Merkel last week signalled she may shift her stance from a flat refusal when she told a local newspaper that the crimes of IS militants were "appalling" and the task of halting their advance was up to "the entire international community". The change of position is politically difficult in Germany, where recent polls have shown more than 70 percent of respondents reject the idea of German arms shipments to Iraq.August/20/2014
The Fix is In
Brazil Bogus Player email
Brazil's best player by far, named Neymar, got injured at the end of the game before Brazil played Germany. He broke a vertebra and missed the Germany game.
It has been a little over a month since the World Cup ended. Today, Neymar played for his club team, Barcelona, and scored two goals. He didn't need surgery, but it seems fishy to me that anyone breaking a bone in their back would be up and running at full-speed in such a short period of time.
Brazil got annihilated in that game by Germany and Neymar's presence may not have mattered one bit. However, it gave them the convenient excuse that they didn't have their best player available, thus lessening the pain of the eventual loss, I'm guessing.
I'd bet you are aware of the definition of the word 'decimated' - you used it in show 643 to describe what looters did to a Target store in Ferguson. Admitidly it is a rarely used word but it is one of my pet peeve words along with 'irregardless' and 'ect cetra' among others.
Decimate - to eliminate every tenth thing.
The most popular definition comes from Roman times where if a soldier deserted in battle then his legion would face decimation, the killing of every tenth soldier as they stood in formation. Ironically the offender stood a 90% chance of surviving if caught and returned to the legion.
Did the looters take every tenth item from the store?
I dont mean to knit pick but I appreciate learning from the show regarding weak word usage and thanks to the show I'm on the road to recovery for many words myself.
What the mainstream media is not reporting is beginning to leak out from local citizens in St. Louis and from an informant from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) who are all telling a different story than the one you are seeing on Fox, CNN and CBS. First, the locals are reporting that the rioting has spread far beyond the Ferguson city limits. Rioting is taking place as away as St. Charles which is located approximately 20 miles away from Ferguson. Second, more people are becoming aware that the police chief of Ferguson, Thomas Jackson, is not in control of his own police force as he has relinquished control to DHS.
DHS Is Fanning the Flames of ViolenceIn the past five days I have been contacted, via one of my most trusted sources, a member of DHS who is opposed to the events and DHS involvement in Ferguson, Missouri. This source stated that DHS is running the Ferguson Police Department and their actions are designed to antagonize and to provoke the locals to violence. He further stated that he believed that the ultimate goal is to inflame the local citizens to such a point martial law will be declared.
In even a more shocking revelation, this DHS source stated that the rioting and looting which followed the shooting death of 18 year old, Michael Brown, was encouraged and exacerbated by undercover DHS agents posing as members of the Black Panthers.
Lending support to this latest accusation of DHS complicity in the rioting was the behavior of the Ferguson Police Department during the looting. During the civil unrest, the behavior of the Ferguson Police was to simply create a perimeter around the looting and allow it to continue. This violates every tenet of law enforcement. It more resembles quarantine procedures practiced by DHS, Northcom and the National Guard. The police should have moved to intervene to stop the looting and prevent the spread of violence. If the situation was beyond the control of the police, then the National Guard should have been brought in. Given the revelation of the DHS source, it seems plausible that his story of wanting the violence to escalate appears to be the case.
The Ferguson Police Deliberately Antagonizes the Media for Doing Their JobBoth Ryan Reilly, of the Huffington Post, and Washington Post reporter, Wesley Lowery, were working in a McDonald's in Ferguson, Missouri, when a SWAT team suddenly descended upon the restaurant. After being told to stop recording the proceedings, and refusing, both men were then violently arrested in yet another case of Ferguson police brutality. Please note that recording police officers is a legal act. Lowery was shoved into a soda machine. One of Ferguson's finest slammed Ryan Reilly's head against glass. Lowery told the police that this would be on the front page of the Washington Post tomorrow and the officer responded, ''Yeah, well you will be in my jail cell tonight''.
''Hey Chief, who's in charge''?
Thomas Jackson is supposed to be Chief of Police in Ferguson, Missouri. Thomas Jackson has largely been reduced to a figure head and is not in command of his own paramilitary police force that has been outfitted and equipped by DHS. Jackson has so completely lost control of his own force, he expressed extreme surprise when he was told by reporter Matt Pearce that reporters Reilley and Lowery were being arrested (see tweet below). Does the Chief know that other members of the media are being threatened for merely covering the events as reporters are mandated and permitted to do? If this ''Chief'' had control of his police force, he would have strict rules for dealing with the media and these rules would not consist of promoting the police brutality described below. The last thing a police chief should want is to alienate the media in hostile and controversial situation. This Chief should be arresting any provocateurs who have infiltrated his department and are giving orders. Instead, he is laying down in the face of illegitimate DHS authority which is operating in violation of the 10th Amendment. Thomas Jackson needs to immediately resign.
I just called Ferguson police chief to ask about @WesleyLowery and @ryanjreilly, told him what I knew. His response: "Oh, God."
'-- Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce) August 14, 2014
Lowery and Reilly are not the only reporters are not the only media being harassed by the out of control paramilitary force from Ferguson. Al-Jazeera reporters were hit with tear gas canisters. Other reporters tell stories of having Ferguson Swat Teams points guns at them and threatening them.
In the following tweet, Lowery describes the police brutality of his arrest.
Officers slammed me into a fountain soda machine because I was confused about which door they were asking me to walk out of
'-- Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) August 14, 2014
Where's Obama?When Treyvon Martin was shot and killed, Obama said that he could identify with Martin. He took Martin's side. Why isn't Obama expressing the same outrage with regard to the murder of unarmed Michael Brown?
Where's Obama's outrage for Michael Brown?
Instead, Obama issues the weakest statement that I have ever witnessed in the face of such horrific violence and goes back to playing golf? Is this his way of the letting the events unfold in the face of DHS provocation? Meanwhile, this President is now doing what he does best.
Maybe he can call a ''Mulligan'' on his presidency.
The Ferguson Event Was Rehearsed Two Years EarlierPeople from St. Louis have brought to my attention that these events were ''rehearsed'' two years ago. Here is a local news report which ran about this martial law training in just another of life's little coincidences.
AnalysisOne of my readers sent me Michael Snyder's account of DOJ involvement in the activities on the ground in Ferguson. Snyder reported that ''DOJ agents will be ''conducting training'' for Ferguson protesters that will focus on ''best practices for participating in protests''. I have no doubt that the Snyder account is accurate and that the provocations are designed to promote antagonism is a multi-agency endeavor. This also serves to explain Obama's incredibly weak response to this crisis.
There are many who believe that the desire of the DHS and the globalists is to get the civil unrest to spread like wildfire across the country which would result in the implementation of martial law. I have no doubt that martial law is the goal of this administration for a variety reasons that I have previously covered (e.g. prelude and acceptance of American involvement in World War III, etc.). However, I do not think that the DOJ and DHS has the manpower to pull this off all over the country. Yes, I do expect to see more ''Ferguson type of events'', but not widespread enough to lead to nationwide martial law.
These events in Ferguson are a stepping stone towards ramping up the anti-government rhetoric. Watch the national programming, the commentaries offered by the hosts consist of this persistent phrase ''I cannot believe that this happening in America''. I even heard this phrase on Entertainment Tonight. The national media is fanning the flames. So, you ask, if this is only a stepping stone, where is this leading?
An aroused America will not accept mandatory vaccines. You may have noticed that the national media has pulled back from covering Ebola in favor of the events in Ferguson. If I were to make an educated guess, I would say that after the civil unrest begins to dissipate, we will see some kind of outbreak of Ebola. Vaccinations will become mandatory and your will have 10,000 Ferguson, Missouri's and that's is when we will see the implementation of nationwide martial law. After all, do you really think the money being put forth to fund an Ebola vaccine, which is being spent by Monsanto (Tekmira) and GSK, are really going to go to waste? Remember America, sunlight is the best disinfectant.
Dave Hodges is the Editor and Host of The Common Sense Show.
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Asymmetric Solutions is a Division of Applied Defense Technologies. The St. Louis-based company is staffed by combat experienced SpecOps vets, including: Army Green Berets, Army Delta, Navy SEALs, SEAL 6, and Agency SOF. The company offers a real-world training environment with exceptional instructors on self defense from criminal violence.
On Tuesday Assymetric Solutionstweeted out that they were being deployed to Ferguson, Missouri.
This comes after several dozen North County businesses were looted and destroyed by violent protesters this week in Ferguson.
1776 Channel reported:
Missouri-based private security contractor Asymmetric Solutions, which employs elite former U.S. military special operators, tweeted Tuesday afternoon that the company is deploying a ''high threat team in our own city''.
When responding via Twitter to a request for information, a spokesperson said ''we cannot professionally hand out that information, regardless of client or location. We put a security team of former SOF personnel into the STL area at the request of a client.''
Hat Tip Andrea Shea King
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LONDON - British counterterrorism police warned on Wednesday it may be an offense under the country's terror laws to watch a video purportedly showing American journalist James Foley being beheaded by an Islamist fighter. London's Metropolitan Police, which handles terror offenses in the U.K., said it was investigating the footage appearing to show Foley's killing at the hands of a militant from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). The voice narrating the video speaks fluent English and the U.K.'s foreign secretary suggested he might be British.
In a statement, the police force said it was "investigating the contents of the video that was posted online in relation to the alleged murder of James Foley." It added: "We would like to remind the public that viewing, downloading or disseminating extremist material within the U.K. may constitute an offence under terrorism legislation."
- Alexander SmithFirst published August 20 2014, 7:52 AM
Aug 19, 2014 1:21pm PDT by librarisingnsfPlease log in or sign up to continue.It seems that some citizens of Ferguson want to increase the extremely low voter participation rate in Ferguson, and the Missouri GOP (or, at least the leadership) is not happy about that effort at all.From The New Civil Rights Movement:
In an interview with Breitbart News, Missouri RNC executive director Matt Wills expressed outrage about the reports of voter registration booths popping up in Ferguson, Breitbart reports.
''If that's not fanning the political flames, I don't know what is,'' Wills said, ''I think it's not only disgusting but completely inappropriate.''
Wills explained that the shooting death of Michael Brown was a tragedy for everyone.
''This is not just a tragedy for the African American community this is a tragedy for the Missouri community as well as the community of what we call America,'' he said. ''Injecting race into this conversation and into this tragedy, not only is not helpful, but it doesn't help a continued conversation of justice and peace.''
While the event(s) in Ferguson was very tragic, I'm glad that it has at least awakened the community of the importance of the political process and elections.The (far) right wing site, "Daily Caller," is also doing a bit of fear-mongering of its own. From the same article:
Liberal activists '-- including from the George Soros-funded Center for Constitutional Rights '-- have promoted voter registration booths at multiple locations in Ferguson, including at the roadside memorial marking the spot where Brown was shot.
African-Americans are extremely under-represented in the racial makeup of elected officials and policemen in Ferguson. Salon gives us some of those statistics:Ferguson is majority black, but the mayor is white, and five of the six city council members are white. For members of the community who feel their interests aren't being represented, the first step towards changing that is registering to vote. Also, reportedly, only three of the 53 Ferguson police officers are Black.
Editorial board member, The Wall Street Journal.Jason Riley is a member of The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board. He joined the paper in 1994 as a copyreader on the national news desk in New York. He moved to the editorial page in 1995 as copyreader and later became a copy editor. In April 1996, he was named to the newly created position of editorial interactive editor and maintained the editorial and Leisure & Arts section of WSJ.com. He was named a senior editorial page writer in March 2000, and member of the Editorial Board in 2005.
Born in Buffalo, N.Y., Mr. Riley earned a bachelor's degree in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has also worked for USA Today and the Buffalo News.
Christopher Charles "Chris" Cuomo (born August 9, 1970) is a television journalist, currently at CNN. He previously was the ABC News chief law and justice correspondent, and co-anchor for ABC's 20/20. He is the son of former New York GovernorMario Cuomo and the brother of current New York GovernorAndrew Cuomo.
Early life and educationCuomo was born in the New York City borough of Queens. He attended The Albany Academy, received his undergraduate degree from Yale University, and his Juris Doctor from Fordham University and is a licensed attorney.
CNBC, MSNBC, and CNNCuomo's early career in journalism included appearances related to social and political issues on CNBC, MSNBC and CNN.
FoxCuomo was a correspondent for the Fox News Channel and Fox Broadcast Network's Fox Files, where he covered a wide range of stories focusing on controversial social issues. He also served as a political policy analyst for Fox News Channel.
ABC20/20As co-anchor of 20/20, Cuomo's most recent long-form coverage includes a groundbreaking look at heroin addiction. His year-long coverage revealed the unprecedented problem of heroin addiction attacking suburban families. Other recent work has tackled major the Haiti earthquake, child custody, bullying, and homeless teens. Policy change has come after Cuomo's undercover look at for-profit school recruiters, leading to an industry clean-up; and Cuomo's tip from a BMW owner led to a recall of over 150,000 affected models.
Good Morning AmericaFrom September 2006 to December 2009, Cuomo was the news anchor for Good Morning America. Cuomo was the primary reporter on breaking news stories, both at home and around the world, including dozens of assignments in some 10 countries. He covered the war on terrorism, embedded on multiple occasions in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq (where his convoy was hit by an IED). At home, he covered shootings such as Virginia Tech, Ft. Hood, and the Pennsylvania Amish school shootings; hurricanes Katrina and Rita; as well as the Sago Mine collapse, and the Minneapolis bridge collapse in August 2007. Often Cuomo would anchor morning and evening coverage.
Cuomo on the Case websiteCuomo maintains a website, Cuomo on the Case, where he takes questions, and which acts as a platform for his reporting and discussion on a number of issues.
The Real Deal and Focus on FaithCuomo had two weekly digital programs on ABC News, The Real Deal and Focus on Faith, which discussed matters of spirituality. He also appeared with Father Edward Beck on ABC News Now, the network's 24-hour digital outlet.
CNNPiers Morgan TonightIn February 2013, Cuomo moved to CNN to co-host its morning show. He made his debut on CNN as field anchor on the February 8, 2013, episode of Piers Morgan Tonight, covering the February 2013 nor'easter.
New DayCuomo is the co-host of CNN's morning show New Day with Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira, and continues to report on major events and breaking news across the network.
Cuomo has received multiple Emmy Award nominations. Notably, Cuomo's Good Morning America profile of the 12-year-old poet, Mattie Stepanek, was recognized with a News Emmy, making Cuomo one of the youngest correspondents to receive a News Emmy in network news history.
Cuomo has been awarded Polk and Peabody Awards for team coverage. His work has been singled out in the areas of breaking news, business news, and legal news, with the Edward R. Murrow Award for breaking news coverage, a Loeb Award for business reporting, and the American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award for investigating juvenile justice.
Personal lifeIn 2001, Cuomo married Gotham magazine editor Cristina Greeven in a Roman Catholic ceremony in Southampton, New York.
Cuomo resides in Manhattan with his wife and their three children, a son, Mario, and daughters, Bella and Carolina Regina Cuomo.
Cuomo is an admirer of famed journalist Dan Rather and publicly defended him after CBS fired him in wake of the Killian documents controversy of 2004. Of Rather, Cuomo cajoled on Twitter, June 12, 2014, "There are those who create the standard and others who follow it. Dan Rather is the former; I am the latter!"
References^ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuAnchors & reporters: Chris Cuomo, CNN, Atlanta, GA: Cable News Network/Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., 2013, Retrieved 1 February 2014.^ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxChristopher Cuomo: Biography, Speakers Access, 2013, Retrieved 31 January 2014.^ abcd"Chris Cuomo: I'm moving to CNN!". TMZ: EHM Productions, Inc. January 29, 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2014. ^ abTuma, Debbie; Becker, Maki (November 25, 2001). Mario's youngest son weds. New York Daily News. New York, NY: New York Daily News.^ abJudge: ABC's '20/20,' Chris Cuomo likely to lose libel lawsuit (exclusive), The Hollywood Reporter, 7 March 2013, Gardner, E., Retrieved 1 February 2014.^ abcdefghijklmnopqrstChris Cuomo's biography, ABC News, 2014, Retrieved 1 February 2014.^ abcShea, Danny (April 5, 2010). "Chris Cuomo, Cristina Greeven Cuomo Welcome Baby Girl Carolina". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 4, 2011. ^Chris Cuomo debuts on CNN, field anchors amidst blizzard: "It's truly an honor to join the CNN team", CNN, Atlanta, GA: Cable News Network/Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., 8 February 2013, Retrieved 1 February 2014.Political activities1984 Democratic National ConventionAbraham Lincoln Bicentennial CommissionBill Clinton Supreme Court candidates, Ruth Bader Ginsburg nominationDemocratic Party presidential primaries, 1988Democratic Party presidential primaries, 1992Government Law CenterNational Democratic Institute for International AffairsNew York City mayoral election, 1977New York gubernatorial election, 1982New York gubernatorial election, 1986New York gubernatorial election, 1990New York gubernatorial election, 1994New York gubernatorial electionsNew York state election, 1974United States gubernatorial elections, 1990United States Senate special election in New York, 2010BooksWhy Lincoln Matters: Today More than EverThe Blue SpruceReason to Believe: A Keen Assessment of who we are and an Inspiring Vision of what we could beMore than words: The Speeches of Mario CuomoDiaries of M. Cuomo: The Campaign for GovernorFamilyPersondataNameCuomo, ChristopherAlternative namesCuomo, Christopher CharlesShort descriptionAmerican journalistDate of birthAugust 9, 1970Place of birthQueens, New YorkDate of deathPlace of death
The Ice Bucket Challenge, sometimes called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, is an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on one's head or donating to the ALS Association in the United States. It went viral throughout social media during the Northern Hemisphere summer of 2014.
The challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads. A common stipulation is that nominated people have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation.
OriginThe origins of the idea of dumping cold water on one's head to raise money for charity are unclear and have been attributed to multiple sources. During the Northern-Hemisphere winter of 2013''14, a challenge of unknown origin often called the "Cold Water Challenge" became popular on social media in areas of the Northern United States. The task usually involved the option of either donating money to cancer research or having to jump into cold water.
One version of the challenge started in New Zealand on July 4, 2014, with a fundraising page on behalf of the Cancer Society to help support patients and their families through the trauma of a cancer diagnosis. As with similar challenges, it was usually filmed so footage can be shared online.
The challenge was popularized in the United States on June 30, 2014, when the Golf Channel Morning Show televised the social media phenomenon and performed a live on-air ice bucket challenge. Soon after, on July 15, 2014, golfer Chris Kennedy did the ice-bucket challenge and challenged his cousin Jeanette Senerchia of Pelham, NY, whose husband, Anthony, has had ALS for 11 years. A day later she did the challenge while her 6-year-old daughter filmed her in front of their house. Senerchia's network on Facebook connected with Pat Quinn, a 31-year-old in Yonkers, NY, who was diagnosed with ALS in March 2013. Quinn called upon his friends and family. Soon, his whole network was posting challenges, including family in Florida, friends in Ireland and Greece, and a bar full of locals, which was broadcast on local television.
Quinn's Facebook network overlapped with Massachusetts resident and former Boston Collegebaseball player Pete Frates, who has ALS and began posting about the challenge on Twitter.
The ice bucket challenge has also become popular in the United Kingdom through social media, with participants doing it for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Macmillan Cancer Support.
The President of the United States, Barack Obama, was challenged by Ethel Kennedy but declined, opting to contribute to the campaign with a donation of $100.Justin Bieber,LeBron James, and "Weird" Al Yankovic also challenged President Obama after completing the Ice Bucket Challenge.
RulesWithin 24 hours of being challenged, participants are to video record themselves in continuous footage. First, they are to announce their acceptance of the challenge followed by pouring ice into a bucket of water. The bucket is then to be lifted overhead and poured over the participant's head. Then the participant can call out a challenge to other people.
In one version of the challenge, the participant is expected to donate $10 if they have poured the ice water over their head and donate $100 if they have not. In another version, dumping the ice water over the participant's head is done in lieu of any donation, which has led to some criticisms of the challenge being a form of slacktivism.
LegacyIn the Northern-Hemisphere summer of 2014, the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on social media and became a pop culture phenomenon, particularly in the United States, with numerous celebrities, politicians, athletes, and everyday Americans posting videos of themselves online and on TV participating in the event.
Before the popularity of the Ice Bucket Challenge, levels of awareness, fundraising, research dollars, and overall public support for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) were extremely low. After the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on social media, public awareness and charitable donations for ALS soared to unprecedented levels. On August 18, 2014, the ALS Association announced that it had received $15.6 million in donations compared to $1.8 million during the same time period (July 29 to August 18) in the prior year. These donations came from both existing donors and 307,598 new donors to the Association.
Steve-O questioned the campaign, suggesting that celebrities' videos generally forgot to share donation information for ALS charities, and that the $15 million dollars in funds is insignificant, given the star power of the celebrities participating. He noted that, of the videos he viewed, only Charlie Sheen and Bill Gates noted that point is to donate money.
United KingdomIn the United Kingdom, people have also been doing the challenge for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. The Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association is the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning. MND Scotland provides care and support to everyone affected by Motor Neurone Disease in Scotland.
This challenge has inspired other charities in the UK to get involved, including Macmillan Cancer Support, who are calling it the Macmillan Ice Bucket Challenge.
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August 19, 2014.
BEIRUT: Despite the ongoing water crisis in Lebanon, the growing phenomenon that is the ice bucket challenge has been readily adopted, with many dousing themselves in buckets of ice water while seemingly missing the philanthropic point.
''I thank those who nominated me for the ALS ice bucket challenge, and I would like to nominate Ragheb, Melissa and Ahlam,'' Lebanese pop diva Najwa Karam said, before screeching while being drenched in ice cold water.
The ALS ice bucket challenge is the latest social media frenzy in the name of charity that gives those nominated 24 hours to respond - either by filming themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads and passing on their nomination or instead donating to the ALS Association in the United States.
The challenge began as a viral fundraising campaign by the ALS Association, with those refusing the challenge being told to donate to the charity instead. However, it has since evolved to most nominees donating to the charity regardless of whether they participate in the challenge.
According to the ALS Association, "amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often referred to as 'Lou Gehrig's Disease,' is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord."
With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
So far, the campaign seems to be successful in raising funds with the ALS Association saying that as of Wednesday they had received $31.5 million in donations compared to $1.9 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to Aug. 20).
In Lebanon, the trend is taking off, with the country's basketball players ditching the ball for ice cubes and challenging their teammates to follow suit.
Basketball players Ali Mahmoud, Omar El Turk and Joey Accaoui all have participated so far.
''UF Chou Laziz,'' a local YouTube comedy channel, featured two of its hosts dousing themselves in buckets of ice water before nominating Gino Raidy from Gino's blog and Najib Mitri from Blog Baladi.
Zaven Kouyoumdjian, a prominent Lebanese talk show host, also joined ranks and poured an ice bucket over his head.
It is not clear whether participants will donate to the charity in the United States or contribute to an organization that is closer to home.
With an increasing refugee problem in the country, an ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza and civil wars in Iraq and Syria, some Lebanese may choose to redirect their philanthropy toward one of those causes.
Just a quick note from Iceland. Selfoss is about 100mi from Bardabunga.
The quakes and magma have all been 5-10km deep and are not moving closer to the surface so there is nothing happening right a way if at all. This is just Icelandic journalists that like to get their news in the world press.
To see the seismic activity check here: http://en.vedur.is/earthquakes-and-volcanism/earthquakes
Webcam available here: http://www.livefromiceland.is/webcams/bardarbunga/
Kristinn in Selfoss, Iceland
Pipeline over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge eyed for Marin water supply - Marin Independent Journal
Aug 16:Marin Voice: North Marin water users need to continue conservation effortsAug 7:Marin water officials unfazed by downgraded El Ni±o predictionsAug 3:Marin water-wasters will soon get a nudge from WaterSmartJul 25:Q&A: WaterSmart CEO Peter Yolles, on tracking your water conservationWater restrictions backed by 75 percent of Californians, poll says; Marin residents agreeJul 18:George Russell: New scrutiny for Jack, Jill and that pail of waterJul 15:State water board approves proposal to slap hefty fines on water wastersJul 13:Marin water officials contemplate state proposal to slap fines on water wastersJun 22:Marin water managers: Residents saving more than what state saysJun 9:Drought limits summer water releases from Mt. Tam reservoirJun 6:El Ni±o coming, but drought impact might be minimalMay 21:Marin Municipal Water District holds off on easing conservation percentageMay 2:Panel explores drought's impacts on small businessApr 28:Forum to air impact of drought on Marin's small businessesApr 27:Some Marin residents answer to the drought: drill, baby, drillApr 24:Study links California drought to global warmingApr 20:Editorial: Saving water is a goal we must all shareApr 10:Marin water crunch was eased by late winter, spring rainsApr 1:Voluntary 20 percent cutback adopted for Novato North Marin Water District customersMar 3:A month of wet weather buoys Marin's reservoirs as new storm approachesFeb 28:Heavy rain arrives in Marin and Bay Area, easing drought fearsFeb 24:Rain this week, possible El Ni±o next winterFeb 23:Rain coming, drought stayingFeb 18:Marin homeowners compelled to combine water conservation with renovationFeb 15:California drought: Why is there no mandatory water rationing?Feb 10:Rains buoy Marin reservoirs, help cohoMt. Tam gets 21 inches of rain as three Marin reservoirs spillFeb 9:'Pineapple Express' soaks, floods, delights MarinFeb 8:Marin soaks up much-needed rainfall as a 'river' of a storm soaks the countyMarin Voice: 'Carbon farming' and Marin's droughtFeb 6:Novato to store water for the rest of Marin to maximize supplies in dry yearMarin forecast: Wet, wild 'Pineapple Express' weekendFeb 5:Rain headed to Marin; weekend storm brewingFeb 4:Novato residents asked to cut water use by 20 percentNational Weather Service: More rain likely on the way to MarinFeb 3:Marin vineyard owners concerned about drought, preparing for fewer wine grapesMore rain coming to Marin this weekFeb 2:Marin homeowners slash water usage through creative conservationMarin's Sunday rainstorm not expected to lastJan 31:Drought shakes off winter for early perilous spring; Marin records record low rainfall for JanuaryEditorial: Make it easy to track our water conservationJan 30:Weak storm system provides Marin with a drop in the bucketJan 29:Drizzle brings hope to thirsty California but does nothing to deter droughtJan 28:California drought: 17 communities could run out of water within 60 to 120 days, state saysMandatory water rationing in Marin likely April 1, water officials sayJan 26:Lib at Large: Drought scares West Marin's 'Cheese Sisters'Jan 25:California drought: Past dry periods have lasted more than 200 years, scientists sayMarin County plans drought summitMarin looks north for needed water supplies as drought continuesJan 21:Marin Municipal Water District asks public for a larger cut in water useCalifornia drought: Tips for conserving waterJan 20:MMWD to call for voluntary 20 percent water reductionJan 14:Dry days drag on: The science behind the droughtJan 11:Marin Voice: Marin can't afford to waste waterJan 6:Warm, dry weather good for Marin golf courses, but drought concerns lingerJan 4:George Russell: Will turn of calendar bring change in weather?Dec 31:Marin records driest year ever in 2013The Marin Municipal Water District is looking at the idea of putting a $45 million pipeline on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to keep Marin wet in dry years.
If that sounds familiar, the water district did just that in the 1970s.
A temporary, 6-mile pipeline was placed on the upper deck of the bridge along the shoulder during the drought of 1976-77, and water was pumped from the East Bay to save the county from going dry. The pipeline was removed in May 1982 after the threat of drought passed.
Now, as Marin looks for new sources of water to guard against another drought or catastrophic event, the idea of putting a permanent pipeline on the span to tap into East Bay Municipal Utility District supplies is being discussed.
It was MMWD's Drought Resiliency Task Force Committee that identified the pipeline as an option in April. When the water board met last week it was poised to approve a $256,000 feasibility study, but took it off the agenda for future consideration.
But in addition to conservation, expanding its recycled water program and desalination, the district appears ready to look closely at the bridge pipeline.
"Staff believes water supply diversification and regional interconnectivity will be essential to improve our district's ability to respond to droughts, climate change impact and catastrophic events," Jon LaHaye, the water district's principal engineer, told the board. "The more options you have for water supply the better."
The project would see about 7 miles of pipe on the bridge as well as both sides of the span and provide 5 million gallons of water a day.
Under emergency conditions the pipeline could deliver up to 460-acre feet of water per month. One acre-foot is 325,851 gallons.
The 24-inch steel pipe would be put on a yet undetermined locale on the span, although on either of the roadways is unlikely. A pump station in Richmond would have to be built on the east side of the span, while the pipeline would connect to the water district's San Quentin pump station on the west, although it may need upgrades to get water into the system. The project could be done by 2018.
On paper, the pipeline would be cheaper than desalination. That option '-- to de-salt water from San Rafael Bay for home use'-- was estimated to cost $115 million to produce roughly the same amount of water.
Board member Cynthia Koehler said she had "concerns" about the pipeline plan, but said there are reasons to study it as long as conservation is top of mind.
"It's important that we talk about this in the context of the broader conversation of a more aggressive approach to water-use efficiency," she said.
This is not the first time the pipeline has been revisited. In 2007, Caltrans and the water district met to discuss a pipeline across the span, but nothing came of the talks.
When the drought hit Marin in 1976-77, the county was within 120 days of going dry. The county averages about 52 inches of rainfall a year, measured from July through June. In 1975-76, the county received 22 inches of rain, and in 1976-77, some 25 inches fell, leaving reservoirs close to empty. The pipeline saved the day.
Dietrich Stroeh, the water district's general manager at that time, came up with the idea. He backs a new pipeline.
"Any opportunity to get any type of water, even for emergencies or for surplus, is good," he said. "And this makes more sense than desalination."
Contact Mark Prado via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Breaking: Nuclear Sabotage in Europe? | Power Line
Here's a curious story out of Belgium that is receiving no media attention (outside a few mentions in the specialized press) in the US:
Belgian Doel-4 Nuclear Reactor Closed Till Year-End
PARIS, Aug 14 (Reuters) '' Belgian energy company Electrabel said its Doel 4 nuclear reactor would stay offline at least until the end of this year after major damage to its turbine, with the cause confirmed as sabotage. . .
The shutdown of Doel 4'²s nearly 1 gigawatt (GW) of electricity generating capacity as well as closures of two other reactors (Doel 3 and Tihange 2) for months because of cracks in steel reactor casings adds up to just over 3 GW of Belgian nuclear capacity that is offline, more than half of the total. . .
Energy experts have raised the spectre of possible blackouts this winter and say Belgium will have to boost interconnection capacity with neighbouring countries to prevent power shortages.
A GDF Suez spokesman confirmed Belgian press reports about suspicion of sabotage.
''There was an intentional manipulation,'' he said, adding that somebody had tampered with the system used for emptying oil from the Alstom-made turbine.
He said no outsiders had penetrated into the plant but declined to say whether an employee could have purposely caused the leak, as has been reported in some Belgian media.
He said Electrabel had filed a complaint and that the Belgian police had started an investigation.
According to a separate report in the Belgian press, Belgian anti-terrorism investigators are working on the case.
Meanwhile, a 1-gigawatt power plant is significant for a country of Belgium's size, and it will be worth seeing whether this leads to increased electricity output from conventional sources in Germany and elsewhere to make up the slack (with the consequent increases in greenhouse gas emissions). The fact that blackouts are possible as a result of this shows the narrow capacity margins Europe operates under right now. Coming soon to a state near you?
War on Crazy
CT News Junkie | Sandy Hook Report Unlikely To Include Analysis of Gunman
by Hugh McQuaid | Aug 15, 2014 1:46pm Google(7) Comments | Log in to Post a Comment
Hugh McQuaid Photo
Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson
When the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission releases its final report in about six weeks, it's unlikely to include an analysis of Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old man who murdered 20 first-graders and six educators in Newtown.
''Our report is not going to be a deconstruction of Adam Lanza,'' Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson, the panel's chairman, said Friday.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy created the advisory panel soon after the 2012 shooting and charged the group with thoroughly reviewing the incident and making recommendations. The commission '-- made up of experts in education, mental health, law enforcement, and emergency response '-- issued an interim report before the legislature passed a bill including stricter gun laws last year. But the panel has taken its time in drafting final recommendations.
Jackson and other members have sought access to more information on Lanza before issuing a report. The group had sought the cooperation of the deceased gunman's father, Peter Lanza, in an effort to obtain Adam Lanza's mental health records. And in June, Jackson said his panel was waiting on a report from the Office of the Child Advocate, which he hoped provide the group with an accurate picture of the shooter.
On Friday, Jackson said the panel never received the information it was seeking regarding Lanza and would release its final report without that information. Instead, the report will focus on recommendations to make schools and communities safer places, he said.
''Given the adaptability of people intent on doing bad actions, you don't want to fight yesterday's war,'' he said. ''We have to set in place processes and procedure that allow for the development of safer schools and infrastructure.''
During a Friday meeting of the group in Hartford, some members said they would prefer not to finalize the report until more details about the shooter were released in the Child Advocate's report.
Dr. Harold Schwartz, head psychiatrist at Hartford Hospital's Institute of Living, told the panel he would like the group to stick with its earlier goal of including more information about Lanza and the shooting. He said the Child Advocate's office has met with the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit and has had access to information that belongs in the group's report.
''That would require, perhaps, a delay of another additional couple of months or a few months. I'm as eager as anyone else to get a report out, I understand the impetus to do so. At this stage of the game, I don't know that a delay of this kind of additional time would have a significant impact on the public's safety. I doubt it would,'' he said during the meeting.
Jackson said he and Schwartz had a ''difference of opinion'' on the issue. But he said the panel could try to get a timeline from the Child Advocate's office and he was open to revising the commission's report to include new information when it is released.
Jackson told reporters it was time to start setting expectations for the report. He said the document would ''not be an intellectual exercise.''
''We have a tragic circumstance that galvanized us for one of those brief moments in history, where class didn't matter and race didn't matter and which side of an invisible line you lived on didn't matter. We were all hurting. We all had a moral response to that tragedy. Some reports can tend toward the intellectual, whereas I think we need to stake the moral ground on this,'' he said. ''We are recommending these things because they are right.''
Jackson said the report is likely to include recommendations on gun control policy. It's an issue the panel addressed in its interim report before the state legislature passed its own firearm regulations. The bill expanded the number of firearms prohibited in Connecticut to include weapons similar to the gun used in the shooting and banned the sale of ammunition magazines that carry more than 10 rounds.
''There will certainly be a validation or a verification or a change to [the gun control recommendations] we issued in our interim report,'' Jackson said.
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20 August 2014Last updated at 09:19 ET Sales at the Danish brewer Carlsberg have been hit by falling consumption in Russia and Ukraine.
Russia beer volumes declined by between 6% and 7% in the second quarter due to the "uncertain macroenvironment" and "weak economic development", Carlsberg said.
Ukrainian beer consumption dropped 10% amid the crisis in Eastern Europe.
Carlsberg warned that its yearly profits would be likely to decline as a result.
"In Eastern Europe, our teams are doing an excellent job mitigating the impact of the current market challenges," said Carlsberg chief executive Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen.
"Unfortunately, we believe the Eastern European beer markets will be impacted further as consumers are facing increased challenges and this will impact the group's profits negatively this year," he added.
Carlsberg's Baltika beer brand has the largest chunk of the Russian beer market. However, its market share declined by 1.2% in the quarter to 37.4%, after the brewer introduced smaller pack sizes.
World Cup benefitsIn Ukraine, sales were affected by a beer tax increase of 43%, Carlsberg added.
Morten Imsgard, an analyst from Sydbank said: "The overall performance in the second quarter looks fine, but they [Carlsberg] are downgrading their guidance due to the macroeconomic uncertainty in the Eastern European region. So it is a mixed bag."
Russia and the West have implemented sanctions against each other over the Ukraine crisis. The West has accused Russia of supporting pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.
Despite the tensions, Carlsberg's rival Heineken reported "strong brand growth" in Russia in the first half of the year.
Its premium Heineken brand grew by more than 5% in central and eastern Europe in the period.
Nevertheless, the Russian beer market remained "quite challenging" due to yearly tax increases, a Heineken spokesperson said. Heineken has a 12% share of the Russian beer market.
In Russia, Heineken's group beer sales fell by 4.2% in the half-year.
"Beer market conditions in Russia remain challenging reflecting the impact of weaker economic growth, lower consumer confidence and adverse legislation," Heineken said.
Overall, Heineken said its sales volumes had benefitted from the effect of the World Cup.
However, Heineken's net profit dropped 1.3% to 631m euros (£504m) in the first half.
Profits were affected by the cost of business reorganisation in Western Europe, changes to Nigerian brewing operations, and an erosion in the value of acquisition-related assets.
PsBattle: Obama eating a snow cone : photoshopbattles
Big news from Texas: Adam Carolla has settled with the podcasting patent troll Personal Audio. Although the settlement is confidential, we can guess the terms. This is because Personal Audio sent out a press release last month saying it was willing to walk away from its suit with Carolla. So we can assume that Carolla did not pay Personal Audio a penny. We can also assume that, in exchange, Carolla has given up the opportunity to challenge the patent and the chance to get his attorney's fees.
EFF's own challenge to Personal Audio's patent is on a separate track and will continue. Our case is before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board at the Patent Office. We are on schedule for a hearing in December with a ruling likely by April 2015. Carolla's settlement does not impact our case.
Carolla and Personal Audio have agreed to a ''quiet period'' where they won't make any public statements about the settlement before September 30, 2014. Not coincidentally, Personal Audio is still scheduled to go to trial against a number of television companies (NBC, CBS, and Fox) in September. Since Carolla is muzzled, we'll do our best to explain the significance of the settlement. In short, it's a mixed result.
Carolla, his team, and everyone who donated in support deserves massive credit for putting up such a strong fight. The podcasting community showed that it would not be shaken down. Patent litigation is very expensive and most troll targets settle early just to avoid the cost of defense. By fighting back, Carolla forced Personal Audio to actually mount a case and establish that it deserved money. That turned out to be too hard for the troll.
As you probably know, podcasting is not an especially lucrative business. Personal Audio, however, appears to have been unaware of this. In its July press release, the company wrote:
When Personal Audio first began its litigation, it was under the impression that Carolla, the self-proclaimed largest podcaster in the world, as well as certain other podcasters, were making significant money from infringing Personal Audio's patents. After the parties completed discovery, however, it became clear this was not the case. As a result, Personal Audio began to offer dismissals from the case to the podcasting companies involved, rather than to litigate over the smaller amounts of money at issue.
By forcing Personal Audio to prove that it suffered damages, Carolla made it confront the fact that podcasting generates little revenue (for people that claim to have 'invented' podcasting, Personal Audio appears not to have understood the industry at all). Carolla is the one of the most successful podcasters in the business. If suing him makes no economic sense, then it makes no sense to sue any podcaster.
We hope that Personal Audio's public statements on this issue mean that it has truly abandoned threatening and suing podcasters. Though a press release might not be legally binding, the company will have a hard time justifying any further litigation (or threats of litigation) against podcasters. Any future targets can point to this statement. Carolla deserves recognition for getting this result.
By settling now, Carolla gives up the chance to make Personal Audio pay his fees. If a defendant wins on the merits it can get fees in extraordinary cases. Winning fees would be a huge deterrent to future litigation from Personal Audio. Although the Supreme Court recently made it somewhat easier for victorious defendants to get fees, it is still a challenge. Moreover, the judge has a lot of discretion and this case was in the Eastern District of Texas, a forum generally considered quite friendly to trolls. Carolla's team likely made the calculation that fees would be a long shot.
Even more important, Carolla also loses the opportunity to invalidate the patent. If the case had gone to trial, he would have argued that the patent was invalid because the so-called invention was described or made obvious by other people's work before Personal Audio filed its patent. Carolla would have been able to use more prior art at trial than EFF (challenges at the Patent Office are limited to printed publications). As Charles Duan at Public Knowledge recently explained, if Carolla had won on the invalidity issue, he would have defeated Personal Audio for all podcasters. A troll can't sue with patent claims that have been invalidated by a court.
For now, the television companies are still in the case and are headed to trial in September. If they don't settle, and they win on invalidity, then they would also defeat Personal Audio for the entire public. And EFF's challenge at the Patent Office will continue. So Personal Audio's claim to own podcasting is not necessarily saved by this settlement.
The most disappointing aspect of today's settlement is how unsurprising it is. Almost every defendant, no matter how strong their case, ends up settling with the patent troll. Litigating patent cases is extraordinarily expensive. Carolla raised almost half a million dollars and that still would not have been enough to fund a defense through trial.
Trolls know this and use the cost of defense to extort settlements. In the rare case where someone shows a willingness to fight to the end, the troll will often save its patent at the last moment with a walk-away deal. This is likely what happened in Carolla's case. It is also what happened when infamous patent troll Lodsys settled for nothing with Kaspersky Lab to avoid trial.
Overall, while some aspects of the settlement are disappointing, we think Carolla did a service to the podcasting community by fighting back. We hope that his example will protect smaller podcasters from further attacks from this troll.
Adam Carolla settles with podcasting patent troll, agrees to 'quiet period' | Ars Technica
After more than a year of litigation, podcaster and comedian Adam Carolla has reached a cease-fire with the well-known "patent troll" claiming to hold a patent that covers podcasting.
Carolla was sued for patent infringement in January 2013. He responded by fighting back, raising almost $500,000 in a crowd-funded campaign. The parties had a trial set for next month in East Texas.
Personal Audio LLC, the patent company, also sued TV networks CBS, NBC, and Fox over some of their Internet video-on-demand offerings, since it believes its patent covers some types of Internet "episodic content." The TV companies are continuing to litigate.
Carolla and Personal Audio filed joint motion to dismiss (PDF) on Friday, and it was approved by the judge today. The settlement terms aren't being revealed'--yet. Both sides have agreed to a "quiet period" that will last through September 30.
However, in this case, it's possible to make educated guesses about some aspects of the settlement. First of all, Carolla likely paid Personal Audio nothing. The patent holding company already made clear last month that it was willing to walk away from this lawsuit without getting paid. But it may have sought other conditions that were still in dispute. Whatever those disagreements were, they have apparently now been resolved.
Carolla's lawyers actually asked for Personal Audio to be sanctioned for its July press release, saying it had violated the terms of mediation. The motion they filed is under seal, but it was discussed at an August 12 hearing.
Both the lawsuit and Carolla's counterclaims have been dropped "without prejudice," meaning they could be re-filed.
In a post analyzing the "good, bad, and ugly" of this patent settlement, EFF attorney Daniel Nazer points out that in the course of litigation, Personal Audio figured out that Carolla actually didn't make that much money off his podcasting. Personal Audio said it was backing away because it didn't want "to litigate over the smaller amounts of money at issue."
"If suing him makes no economic sense, then it makes no sense to sue any podcaster," notes Nazer. "We hope that Personal Audio's public statements on this issue mean that it has truly abandoned threatening and suing podcasters."
Of course, that's assuming that Personal Audio continues to make economically rational decisions and ignore the "little guys." But in the past, it has sent demand letters to small podcasters'--that's part of the reason it got EFF's attention in the first place. Based on what's public today, podcasters have no guarantee they won't be threatened or sued over Personal Audio patents in the future.
Don't feel inspired by the result that podcasters are just too poor to bother suing? Hold tight, because that was the good news. After causing Carolla massive legal fees, Personal Audio is going to walk away with no penalty. It won't have to pay any of those expenses, and it can re-focus on targets it believes will be lucrative. Its patents are intact, and they are dangerous. Personal Audio is one of the few patent trolls that has shown it can push through to a trial and succeed in that environment'--it even beat Apple in a dispute related to a different patent said to cover playlists.
The "ugly," of course, is that even with Carolla's stature and ability to build a $500,000 war chest, it wasn't enough. According to his CFO Mike August, who spoke to Ars before the settlement deal was reached, Carolla still had paid substantial out-of-pocket legal expenses related to the case. The trial itself would have been another several hundred thousand.
It isn't that unusual for a patent holding company to drop its case right before trial. As Nazer notes in his post, another infamous troll (Lodsys) pulled that trick to avoid a trial against Kaspersky Lab. Another company determined to fight trolls, Newegg, has made a point of always insisting on getting costs and fees from patent trolls. But it's still hard to get fees in patent cases, and the fee fight itself can be bruising. "Carolla's team likely made the calculation that fees would be a long shot," writes Nazer.
As for the unusual stipulation that there be a "quiet period," it seems designed to stop the parties from bashing each other in public, while still letting lawyers and possibly witnesses for Carolla's side help out with the TV networks' case. It reads:
With the exception of the press release announcing the settlement that has been approved by the Court, Personal Audio, Lotzi and the Partnership shall not make any public statements, issue any press releases or otherwise issue public comments (e.g., by providing an interview to a reporter) concerning this litigation from August 15, 2014 up to and including September 30, 2014 (''Quiet Period''). In response to any media inquiries received during the Quiet Period, it shall be permissible for the parties to either: (1) refer parties to this motion and/or any order granting this motion; or (2) say ''no comment.''
Further, nothing in this motion shall be construed to prevent either any party or witness from testifying in a deposition, trial or other judicial proceeding or any attorney associated with a party from referring to the litigation in any deposition, trial or other judicial proceeding (e.g., in an opening statement, or other argument).
EFF is also challenging the Personal Audio patent in an "inter partes review" being conducted at the US Patent Office. The case against the television broadcasters is likely to go to trial before that review is completed, however.
Adam Carolla Faces September Trial Over Podcast Business - The Hollywood Reporter
Anyone who have read news that Adam Carolla recently settled a lawsuit over his podcasting enterprise might think the headline above is inaccurate. It's not.
Yes, it's true that after raising almost $500,000 from listeners to battle Personal Audio LLC's claims over a podcasting patent, Carolla last week settled the lawsuit, agreeing among other things, to stay quiet through September 30 about what happened. The reaction by many has been to view this development through the prism of what it means for Personal Audio, a so-called "podcasting troll" scheduled to go to trial against media giants like NBC, CBS, and Fox in separate lawsuits.
But with Carolla's own court docket loaded, maybe there's another way to read what's happening.
On September 2, Carolla is scheduled to go to trial against his long-time friend and former producer, Donny Misraje, who claims to have convinced Carolla to try podcasting in 2009 after his syndicated radio talk show for CBS was canceled. Over the last few months, the case has been heating up. First, a judge rejected Carolla's motion for summary judgment. And now, on the verge of trial, Carolla has replaced his former lawyer with the famed Mark Geragos, who is taking the reigns of a case that could be primed for some courtroom mud-slinging.
Misrajeclaims that after leaving a lucrative job in the entertainment industry and investing "sweat equity" to make The Adam Carolla Show become the "most downloaded podcast" in the world, Carolla became "increasingly dictatorial and threatening," and after disputes over authority erupted, that he was ousted. The plaintiff is looking to hold Carolla to an alleged partnership agreement that entitled him to 30 percent of profits.
Those who have paid attention to Personal Audio's lawsuit against Carolla might wonder about the profits. One of the popular memes that has arisen from news of the patent litigation is that Carolla didn't actually make much money from podcasting. Perhaps. But it could depend on some perspective. According to Misraje's lawsuit, the "Partnership netted significant profits and by 2011 increased its profit margin by approximately 75 percent." On top of that, the plaintiff claims that the podcasting became a marketing platform for other Carolla products including best-selling books and alcoholic beverages.
The trial figures to explore the issue in more detail.
Despite Carolla's argument in a summary judgment motion that his relationship with Misraje is best understood as employer-employee, L.A. Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson ruled that it was a triable issue whether the relationship was really a partnership. In making the ruling, the judge nodded toevidence that Carolla once referred to Misraje as his partner.
The litigation is hardly one-sided, though.
Carolla has brought his own counterclaims against Misraje as well as another former colleague, Sandy Ganz, claiming they were "extremely disruptive forces" who "became increasingly insular" as time went on. The television and radio personality says he began performing live shows to create more revenue and draw more fans to the podcast, but that the live shows were conducted as part of a separate and distinct business. Carolla alleges that he encouraged Misraje to participate in the live performances, but that Misraje's "unsatisfactory performance" became a "hindrance." Eventually, he decided to fire his long-time friend.
But not before Misraje and Ganz allegedly hired another company to supply merchandise using the podcast logos and his image and began "improperly divert[ing] funds." Misraje is also accused of self-dealing by attempting to register trademarks without Carolla's consent.
Now, as the dispute gets closer to trial, the parties have begun to fight over what kinds of testimony and evidence a jury will hear. Gregory Doll, Misraje's attorney, has brought motions to exclude references to the allegedly diverted merchandise profits as well as whether drug and alcohol use impacted his client's work. The judge has yet to rule on this.
A final status conference is scheduled for August 25. It's likely a judge will either give the green light for the trial to commence the following week or push the calendar back slightly to deal with the evidence issues. At the moment, though, September is shaping up to be a quite noisy one on the Carolla legal front. Quiet period, notwithstanding.
Many Twitter users have noticed that Twitter is now inserting tweets into their timelines that seemingly don't belong. This is not an accident. Twitter has updated its help document, ''What's a Twitter timeline?''
In addition to the basic, essential definition of a Twitter timeline'--''all Tweets from those you have chosen to follow on Twitter'''--plus retweets and ads, there's a new section:
Additionally, when we identify a Tweet, an account to follow, or other content that's popular or relevant, we may add it to your timeline. This means you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you don't follow. We select each Tweet using a variety of signals, including how popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with it. Our goal is to make your home timeline even more relevant and interesting.
In most cases, these seem to be tweets favorited, but not retweeted, by people you follow. That change has concerned some users: Will everything they favorite'--even semi-private tweets'--be shown to their followers? It seems the answer is no; Twitter is only looking to highlight popular or relevant content.
Facebook's newsfeed only shows you a fraction of posts from your friends and reorders the posts based on how relevant they are to you. Twitter has traditionally shown you all tweets from people you follow in strict reverse chronological order. The new text makes clear that while that dynamic isn't changing now, Twitter will also be adding tweets you might like.
Still, it's a fundamental change in how Twitter works. And it's probably a sign of things to come: Twitter must tweak things to drive growth, it has a new product lead running the show, and has promised many new ''experiments'' to follow.
Read this next: This is how Twitter is starting to fundamentally redefine itself
Google plans to offer accounts to children under 13 years old for the first time, a move that will take the world's largest Internet search provider into a controversial and operationally complex new market.
Accounts on Google services such as Gmail and YouTube are not officially offered to children, though there is little to stop them from logging on anonymously or posing as adults to sign up for accounts.
Now Google is trying to establish a new system that lets parents set up accounts for their kids, control how they use Google services and what information is collected about their offspring, according to a person familiar with the effort.
Earlier this year, Google was developing a child version of its online video site YouTube suited to tablet computers that would let parents control content, another person familiar with the company's plans said.
Google and most other Internet companies tread carefully because of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA. The law imposes strict limits on how information about children under 13 is collected; it requires parents' consent and tightly controls how that data can be used for advertising. (Companies are not liable if customers lie to them about user ages).
The company's new effort is partly driven by the fact that some parents are already trying to sign their kids up to the company's services. Google wants to make the process easier and compliant with the rules, the person said.
Technology news website The Information reported the company's plans earlier on Monday.
News of Google's changes in this area has already caused concern among privacy advocates.
''Unless Google does this right it will threaten the privacy of millions of children and deny parents the ability to make meaningful decisions about who can collect information on their kids,'' said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, an online privacy group.
Chester said The Center for Digital Democracy shared its concerns on Monday about Google's new effort with the Federal Trade Commission, which writes COPPA rules and enforces them with state regulators.
The privacy group is also huddling with its legal team on Wednesday to create an action plan to monitor how Google rolls out its services for children and to make sure the system provides parents enough control over the privacy of their kids' information, Mr. Chester added.
FTC spokesman Jay Mayfield declined to comment, saying the agency does not comment on specific companies' plans.
Gordon Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters and a former US senator from Oregon.
On Monday the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) filed a petition asking a federal court to object to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) rules for an upcoming auction of TV airwaves to cellular providers. Although lawsuits challenging FCC actions are relatively common, if the court sides with the NAB, the 2015 spectrum auction could be delayed, and promises of improvements to cellular networks could prove illusory.
Further ReadingThe auction, which was mandated by Congress two years ago, is the first of its kind, and it has TV broadcasters bristling. The FCC has been asking TV stations to give up their airwaves in exchange for a cut of the auction proceeds, at which point participating stations can either go out of business or ''channel share,'' an arrangement where two stations occupy the same airwaves. Still, vigorous lobbying on behalf of the broadcast industry ensured that all participation in the auction would be voluntary.In the NAB's lawsuit today, the industry group said that it was unhappy with the protections the FCC had put in place for those TV stations that chose not to participate in the auction. In 2012, Congress ordered that after participating TV stations had relinquished their rights to their airwaves, the commission would reorder the spectrum, being careful to preserve the remaining broadcasters' coverage areas as much as possible. At the time of the congressional order, the FCC had relied on a specific methodology to determine a broadcaster's coverage area, but in June of this year, the FCC switched to another methodology, which the NAB says is unacceptable.
''Under this new methodology, many broadcast television licensees, including NAB's members, will lose coverage area and population served during the auction's repacking and reassignment process, or be forced to participate in the auction (and relinquish broadcast spectrum rights),'' the NAB's complaint reads. According to The Wall Street Journal, the broadcasters group is worried that some stations could have to pay as much as $500 million to cover their expenses during the FCC's efforts to ''repack'' the airwaves.
Still, the NAB seems amenable to negotiation. A broadcast industry source speaking to the WSJ said that ''the FCC could potentially convince the NAB to drop its lawsuit by increasing the $1.75 billion set aside to compensate broadcasters for repacking, and making more of an effort to ensure that stations won't see their coverage areas significantly reduced.''
In April, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler attended the NAB's annual conference in Las Vegas, where he told struggling TV stations that the auction would be a quick and easy way for them to get capital for more future-oriented projects, like building apps or serving content online. But he faced a tough and skeptical crowd. ''There is no conspiracy,'' Wheeler said in April of the spectrum auction. ''Those who want to participate, can. Those who don't want to participate, that's fine. We're developing an outreach plan that will provide you with detailed information to help you make the right decision.''
NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith also addressed the conference attendees about the upcoming spectrum auction in April, saying, ''NAB has worked tirelessly for the past year-and-a-half to help the FCC deliver on Congress' direction to hold a voluntary broadcast spectrum incentive auction'... Let's face it, the incentive auction will affect the TV broadcast industry far more than any other industry. Ours is the only industry the auction can actually harm.''
A Turkish soldier stands by a tank as he patrols the border with Syria / AP
BY:Adam KredoAugust 18, 2014 5:20 pm
The State Department defended missile sales to Turkey just hours after news emerged that Ankara is hosting and abetting a senior Hamas operative who planned to violently overthrow the Palestinian government in the West Bank and wage war on Israel.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf defended the transfer of Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) to Turkey just days after she was forced to explain why the White House had stepped in to block similar weapons shipments to Israel.
Reporters at Harf's daily briefing expressed confusion as to why arms shipments would be stopped to Israel yet permitted to Turkey, despite the latter nation's increasing anti-Semitism and efforts to bolster Hamas terrorists.
Israeli security officials revealed early Monday that it had disrupted a plot to infiltrate the West Bank and overthrow the moderate government. It is believed that the plot was orchestrated by a Hamas leader in Turkey who also helped plan the kidnappings and murders of three Israeli teens earlier this year.
Harf was asked Monday afternoon to explain why President Barack Obama is giving Turkey high-tech arms while holding up shipments to Israel, a move that has drawn outrage in the pro-Israel community.
Harf defended the ''extra care'' the Obama administration is exerting over Israeli shipments and said that it is ''important'' to give Turkey arms right now.
''Turkey is also a NATO ally,'' she said. ''So for all of us who are'--talk a lot about the importance of the NATO alliance, particularly when it comes to Russia and Ukraine and what's happening there, we think it's important to provide our NATO allies with resources. We think that's an important use of our resources. The two [cases] aren't comparable, but those are the facts behind them, I would say.''
Harf said that she could not explain the precise process taking place behind the scenes regarding the hold up in Israeli arms shipments.
''I don't know how the process specifically works in that granularity,'' she said, when asked to explain who holds veto power over the arms shipments.
When asked later in the briefing to comment on reports about the Turkey-backed Hamas coup, Harf could not provide much information.
''I don't have anything to confirm those [reports],'' she said. ''I hadn't heard about that otherwise. I can check,'' she told reporters.
Harf did not respond to further Washington Free Beacon requests for comment on whether the Obama administration has expressed its concerns with Turkey over the recently discovered terror plot.
A senior official at the Turkish Embassy also did not respond to requests for comment on whether the Obama administration had raised concerns with it about the coup plot.
Jonathan Schanzer, a former terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Treasury Department, said there is no evidence that the Obama administration and its partners are expressing dismay with Turkey and attempting to address its support for Hamas.
''I am deeply concerned that NATO and the State Department have yet to raise this issue with Turkey,'' Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), told the Free Beacon.
''The fact remains that Turkey's Hamas policy is a deeply troubling one,'' he said. ''It is not appropriate for a U.S. ally or a NATO ally to be providing Hamas operatives with safe haven.''
Schanzer further suggested that there may be more than one Hamas operative currently residing in Turkey at this time.
The Hamas operative at the center of the current plot to foster unrest in the West Bank, Saleh Al-Arouri, has long been on the U.S. government's radar. Al-Arouri was singled out earlier this year for playing a chief role in orchestrating the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers.
''This is a guy that is not an unknown to the U.S. government,'' Schanzer said. ''His name came up as a person of interest after the kidnapping, was widely acknowledged to be the head of the Qassam Brigades in the West Bank, and has been identified as being part of several high level Hamas delegations and been in meetings with world leaders, including the Emir of Kuwait'' as well as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
''It's obviously raising some very troubling questions about his activities in Turkey,'' Schanzer said. ''It appears he's been running [Hamas'] West Bank operation out of Turkey for the past two years.''
North Korea Andrew Loyd Webber email
John played a clip of my friend Joe being interviewed on Finnish radio on the last show. This was the guy I was talking about in this email thread, back in April. It's a pretty funny interview, actually.
Joe is going to try and take me over to N. Korea as part of a cultural exchange program. I'd be a vocal coach for their girl band. It would probably go through the Brits. Joe is thinking that this N. Korean girl band would be great in Eurovision. It might even be possible to make it happen. Baron Andrew Lloyd Webber is doing the music for a movie about Dennis Rodman's trip to N. Korea, and Joe is a consultant on the movie. A.L.W. loves the idea of the girls in Eurovision, so it could actually happen.
'A wolf with a hideous lantern jaw': North Korea launches personal attack on John Kerry | South China Morning Post
An unidentified policy department spokesman at the North Korean defence commission, led by leader Kim Jong-un, described Kerry as a ''wolf donning the mask of sheep.'' Photo: AP
In its latest personal attack on a prominent official from a rival country, North Korea on Wednesday called US Secretary of State John Kerry a wolf with a ''hideous lantern jaw.''
North Korea has unleashed a slew of crude insults against leaders in Washington and Seoul this year, calling President Barack Obama a monkey and South Korean President Park Geun-hye a prostitute.
Wednesday's slur against Kerry appeared only in a Korean-language dispatch, suggesting it was meant to rally anti-US sentiment and burnish the leadership's image domestically at a time when Washington and Seoul are conducting annual military drills that Pyongyang calls an invasion rehearsal.
An unidentified policy department spokesman at the North Korean defence commission, led by leader Kim Jong-un, described Kerry as a ''wolf donning the mask of sheep.''
The spokesman criticised Kerry for recently saying Washington wants to see peace on the Korean Peninsula although the United States and South Korea then went ahead with their summertime drills that North Korea has demanded be scrapped. The US and South Korea say the drills are defensive in nature.
The North Korean spokesman also criticised Kerry's comments on North Korea's human rights record and weapons programmes.
''His behaviour fully revealed once again the US inveterate nature as a hypocrite who has deceived and mocked mankind with all sorts of gimmicks,'' the spokesman said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.
A KCNA editorial released on May 2, written in English, described South Korean President Park as ''no more than a mentally deranged [sic] who does not have normal thinking faculty and insight, and a confrontation maniac just like a rabid dog always keen on biting others.''
It described Park as ''no more than an old prostitute coquetting with outside forces'', in reference to South Korea's ties with the US.
''What she has done, kowtowing to outside forces since she took office as 'president', clearly proves that she is no more than a dirty political harlot and old prostitute without an equal as she is steeped in sycophancy and treachery,'' the editorial said.
An editorial released by KCNA on the same day, written in Korean, used racist language to refer to Obama, describing the US president as ''a wicked black monkey'' and a ''crossbreed with unclear blood.''
The article said Obama ''should live as a monkey in an African natural zoo licking the breadcrumbs thrown by spectators.''
South Korean and US officials often criticise the North's invectives but stop short of similar rhetoric against North Korean leaders. But conservative activists in South Korea frequently use images depicting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as a pig in anti-Pyongyang rallies.
Tension on the Korean Peninsula remains high as North Korea has conducted an unusually large number of missile and artillery test firings this year.
Paul Theodore Hellyer, PC (born 6 August 1923) is a Canadian engineer, politician, writer and commentator who has had a long and varied career. He is the longest serving current member of the Privy Council, just ahead of Prince Philip.
Early lifeHellyer was born and raised on a farm near Waterford, Ontario. Upon completion of high school he studied aeronautical engineering at the Curtiss-Wright Technical Institute of Aeronautics in Glendale, California, graduating in 1941. While studying he also obtained a private pilot's licence.
After graduation, Hellyer was employed at Fleet Aircraft in Fort Erie, Ontario, which was then making training craft for the Royal Canadian Air Force as part of Canada's war effort in World War II. He attempted to become an RCAF pilot himself, but was told no more pilots were necessary, after which he joined the Royal Canadian Artillery as a private for the duration of the war.
Hellyer earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto in 1949.
Early political careerFirst elected as a Liberal in 1949 federal election in the riding of Davenport, he was the youngest person ever elected to that point in the Canadian House of Commons. He served a brief stint as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence, and made a good impression. He was then named Associate Minister of National Defence in the cabinet of Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent. This post was short-lived, though, as Hellyer lost his seat when the St. Laurent government lost the 1957 election two months later.
Hellyer returned to parliament in a 1958 by-election in the neighbouring riding of Trinity, and became an effective opposition critic of John Diefenbaker'sProgressive Conservative government.
Cabinet minister and Liberal leadership candidateWhen the Liberals returned to power in the 1963 election, Hellyer became Minister of National Defence in the cabinet of Lester B. Pearson. This was the most notable period in Hellyer's political career. As Minister of Defence, he oversaw the drastic and controversial integration and unification of the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force into a single organization, the Canadian Forces.
Hellyer contested the 1968 Liberal leadership election, placing second on the first ballot, but slipped to third on the second and third ballots, and withdrew to support Robert Winters on the fourth ballot, in which Pierre Trudeau won the leadership. He served as Trudeau's Transport Minister, and was Senior Minister in the Cabinet, a position similar to the current position of Deputy Prime Minister.
A political nomad, 1969''1988In 1969, Hellyer issued a major report on housing and urban renewal in which he advocated incremental reforms rather than new government programs. He called for greater flexibility in Canada's mortgage loan system, and encouraged corporate pension funds to invest more money in housing programs. His approach did not meet with universal acceptance. Some provincial and municipal governments were openly skeptical, and Heward Grafftey, a left-leaning Progressive Conservative with an interest in housing, called for a more radical approach.
Hellyer's report also called for the suspension of the "wholesale destruction of older housing" and for "greater sensitivity... in the demolition of existing housing" (Milner, 1969). Grand urban renewal projects would come to an end as a result of his Task Force. Hellyer resigned from cabinet and the Liberal caucus in 1969 over a dispute with Trudeau over the implementation of the housing program.
Hellyer sat in Parliament as an independent for several years. After his 1971 attempt to form a new political party, Action Canada, failed, Progressive Conservative leader Robert Stanfield invited him to join the PC caucus. He returned to prominence as an opposition critic and was re-elected in the 1972 election as a Progressive Conservative. He lost his seat, however, in the 1974 election.
Despite this loss, Hellyer contested the PC leadership election of 1976. His views were too right wing for most delegates, and alienated many Tories with a speech attacking Red Tories as not being "true conservatives". He finished a distant sixth of eight contestants on the second ballot; Joe Clark won the leadership.
Hellyer rejoined the Liberal Party in 1982, but remained mostly silent in politics. In 1988, he contested the Liberal nomination in the Toronto riding of St. Paul's, losing to Aideen Nicholson, who had defeated Hellyer 14 years previously when he was a Tory MP in the adjacent riding of Trinity.
Canadian Action PartyIn 1997, Hellyer formed the Canadian Action Party (CAP) to provide voters with an economic nationalist option following the collapse of the National Party of Canada. Hellyer believed that both the Progressive Conservative and Liberal parties were embracing globalization, and that the New Democratic Party was no longer able to provide a credible alternative. CAP also embraced Hellyer's proposals for monetary reform: that the government should become more involved in the direction of the economy by gradually reducing the creation of private money and increasing the creation of public money from the current ratio of 5% public / 95% private back to 50% public and 50% private.
His party remained a little-noticed minor party, and Hellyer lost bids for a seat in the Canadian House of Commons in the 1997 and 2000 elections.
Following the 2000 election, and a resurgence for the New Democratic Party, Hellyer approached NDP leadership to discuss the possibility of merging the two parties into 'One Big Party'. This process was furthered by the passage of a unanimous motion at the CAP's convention in 2003.
In early 2004, after several extensions of the merger deadline, the NDP rejected Hellyer's merger proposal which would have required the NDP to change its name. Hellyer resigned as CAP leader, but remains a member of the party. Rumours that he might run for the NDP in the 2004 election proved to be unfounded.
On 3 June 1967, Hellyer flew in by helicopter to officially inaugurate an unidentified flying object landing pad in St. Paul, Alberta. The town had built it as its Canadian Centennial celebration project, and as a symbol of keeping space free from human warfare. The sign beside the pad reads:
"The area under the World's First UFO Landing Pad was designated international by the Town of St. Paul as a symbol of our faith that mankind will maintain the outer universe free from national wars and strife. That future travel in space will be safe for all intergalactic beings, all visitors from earth or otherwise are welcome to this territory and to the Town of St. Paul.
Throughout his life, Hellyer has been opposed to the weaponization of space. He supports the Space Preservation Treaty to ban space weapons.
In early September 2005, Hellyer made headlines by publicly announcing that he believed in the existence of UFOs. On 25 September 2005, he was an invited speaker at an exopolitics conference in Toronto, where he told the audience that he had seen a UFO one night with his late wife and some friends. He said that, although he had discounted the experience at the time, he had kept an open mind to it. He said that he started taking the issue much more seriously after watching ABC's Peter Jennings' UFO special in February 2005.
Watching Jennings' UFO special prompted Hellyer to read U.S. Army Colonel Philip J. Corso's book The Day After Roswell, about the Roswell UFO Incident, which had been sitting on his shelf for some time. Hellyer told the Toronto audience that he later spoke to a retired U.S. Air Force general, who confirmed the accuracy of the information in the book. In November 2005, he accused U.S. President George W. Bush of plotting an "Intergalactic War". The former defence minister told an audience at the University of Toronto:
"The United States military are preparing weapons which could be used against the aliens, and they could get us into an intergalactic war without us ever having any warning...The Bush Administration has finally agreed to let the military build a forward base on the moon, which will put them in a better position to keep track of the goings and comings of the visitors from space, and to shoot at them, if they so decide."
Hellyer told the audience that in December 2004, he had enjoyed reading and had endorsed a book by Alfred Webre entitled Politics, Government and Law in the Universe. He ended his 30-minute talk by stating:
"To turn us in the direction of re-unification with the rest of creation the author is proposing a ''Decade of Contact'' '' an ''era of openness, public hearings, publicly funded research, and education about extraterrestrial reality''."
In 2007, the Ottawa Citizen reported that Hellyer is demanding that world governments disclose alien technology that could be used to solve the problem of climate change:
"I would like to see what (alien) technology there might be that could eliminate the burning of fossil fuels within a generation...that could be a way to save our planet...We need to persuade governments to come clean on what they know. Some of us suspect they know quite a lot, and it might be enough to save our planet if applied quickly enough."
In 2010, Hellyer accused Stephen Hawking of spreading misinformation about threats from aliens. According to Hawking, if human beings tried to contact aliens, they could invade us and take away our most important resources. Hawking had also said that though most extraterrestrial life could be only in the form of small animals, there could also be "nomads, looking to conquer and colonize" other planets. Hellyer told the Canadian Press that
"the reality is that they (aliens) have been visiting earth for decades and probably millennia and have contributed considerably to our knowledge."
Blaming Hawking for scaring mankind about aliens, he said, "He (Hawking) is indulging in some pretty scary talk there that I would have hoped would not come from someone with such an established stature."
Paul Hellyer spoke at the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure (the non-governmental hearings chaired by six former U.S. congressmen and aimed at, according to the event's website, doing "what the U.S. Congress had failed to do for forty-five years"), which was held on 29 April '' 3 May 2013 in Washington, DC, and testified that "aliens are living among us and that it is likely at least two of them are working with the U.S. government". He asserted a number of things, such as:
that "at least four species" of alien have been visiting Earth for "thousands of years";that these species "may have different agendas";that "there are live ETs on Earth at this present time, and at least two of them are working with the United States government".Writings, and personal lifeHellyer has written several books on Canada and globalization, including One Big Party: To Keep Canada Independent, in which he promoted the merger of the CAP, NDP and various left-wing activists to save Canada from the effects of globalization, and possible annexation by the United States.
He was an early investor in the Toronto Sun, and for a time a columnist for the newspaper.
Paul Hellyer currently resides in Toronto. He has three children and five grandchildren.
BooksAgenda, a Plan for Action (1971)Exit Inflation (1981)Jobs for All: Capitalism on Trial (1984)Damn the Torpedoes (1990)Funny Money: A common sense alternative to mainline economics (1994)Surviving the Global Financial Crisis: The Economics of Hope for Generation X (1996)Evil Empire : Globalization's Darker Side (1997)Stop: Think (1999)Goodbye Canada (2001)One Big Party: To Keep Canada Independent (2003)A Miracle in Waiting (2010), update of Surviving the Global Financial CrisisLight at the End of the Tunnel: A Survival Plan for the Human Species (2010)See alsoReferences^"Current Chronological List of Members of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada". Privy Council Office. Retrieved 17 June 2013. ^ abcHellyer, Paul (20 February 1958). Inflation vs. Unemployment (Speech). The Empire Club of Canada. ^ abWinnipeg Free Press, 25 January 1969, p. 11.^Winnipeg Free Press, 30 January 1969, p. 6. It was noted that Toronto councillor David Rotenberg was a supporter of Hellyer's proposals.^Canadian Action Party: Our History at the Wayback Machine (archived October 9, 2006)^Canadian Action Party:Policies (2006) at the Wayback Machine (archived October 9, 2006)^Canadian Action Party:Policies (2005) at the Wayback Machine (archived December 1, 2005)^http://www.abheritage.ca/stvincent-stpaul/st_paul/community_UFO_en.html^"Former Canadian Minister of Defence Asks Canadian Parliament Asked To Hold Hearings on Relations With Alien "Et" Civilizations". UFO Digest. 24 November 2005. Retrieved 2007-04-13. ^Exopolitics '' Politics, Government and Law in the Universe^Ottawa Citizen (28 February 2007). Alien technology the best hope to 'save our planet': ex-defence boss. Ottawa Citizen, 28 February 2007. Retrieved on 2008-04-30 from http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=3e57926c-bfeb-4ff3-acf6-50c575ee996c.^Mick, Jason (2010-04-26). "Stephen Hawking Says Aliens Probably Out There, Will Want to Conquer Us". DailyTech. Retrieved 2014-01-01. ^Citizen Hearing On Disclosure^Paul Hellyer, Ex-Defence Minister, Believes In Aliens (VIDEO)^Ex Canadian Defence Minister Paul Hellyer has testified in Washington about his belief in aliens^Paul Hellyer at the Citizen Hearing On DisclosureExternal linksBloc Qu(C)b(C)cois (Gilles Duceppe)Canadian Action (Paul Hellyer, candidates)Canadian Alliance (Stockwell Day, candidates)Christian Heritage (de-registered, candidates)Communist (Miguel Figueroa, candidates)Green (Joan Russow, candidates)Liberal (Jean Chr(C)tien, candidates)Marijuana (Marc-Boris St-Maurice, candidates)Marxist''Leninist (Sandra L. Smith, candidates)Natural Law (Neil Paterson, candidates)New Democrats (Alexa McDonough, candidates)Progressive Conservative (Joe Clark, candidates)Bold indicates parties with members elected to the House of Commons.
Bloc Qu(C)b(C)cois (Gilles Duceppe)Canadian Action (Paul Hellyer, candidates)Christian Heritage (Ron Gray, candidates)Green (Joan Russow, candidates)Independent candidatesLiberal (Jean Chr(C)tien, candidates)Marxist''Leninist (Hardial Bains, candidates)Natural Law (Neil Paterson, candidates)New Democrats (Alexa McDonough, candidates)Progressive Conservative (Jean Charest, candidates)Reform (Preston Manning, candidates)Rhinoceros (de-registered, candidates)Bold indicates parties with members elected to the House of Commons.
PersondataNameHellyer, PaulAlternative namesShort descriptionEngineer, politician, writerDate of birth6 August 1923Place of birthWaterford, OntarioDate of deathPlace of death
Ohio morgue attendant admits to having sex with corpses - The Week
A federal appeals court ruled Friday that the Ohio county home to a scandal-ridden morgue can be sued.
Kenneth Douglas, 60, worked at the Hamilton County morgue from 1976 until 1992. During a deposition, Douglas admitted that he had sex with as many as 100 corpses. He added that sometimes, he was either drunk or on drugs while violating the corpses. "I would just get on top of them and pull my pants down," Douglas said.
Three of the victims' families brought a lawsuit against Hamilton County in 2012, and Douglas was convicted of "gross abuse of a corpse" in three cases. In 2008, Douglas' DNA was found on the body of Karen Range, a woman who died at 19 with whom Douglas reportedly had sex.
The county, for its part, argues that it isn't responsible for the actions of its employees. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, however, ruled Friday that a jury could find the county guilty of negligence. The prosecutor's office is now reviewing the court's ruling.
"If I hadn't had anything to drink when I went to work, it wouldn't happen," Douglas said during a 2012 trial. "I would do crack and go in and drink and go in."
- - Meghan DeMaria
VIDEO-Rogers Sees Terror Danger Greater Now Than Before 9/11 | MRCTV
patrick.goodenoughPatrick covered government and politics in South Africa and the Middle East before joining CNSNews.com in 1999. Since then he has launched foreign bureaus for CNSNews.com in Jerusalem, London and the Pacific Rim. From October 2006 to July 2007, Patrick served as Managing Editor at the organization's world headquarters in Alexandria, Va. Now back in the Pacific Rim, as International Editor he reports on politics, international relations, security, terrorism, ethics and religion, and oversees reporting by CNSNews.com's roster of international stringers.
VIDEO-MSNBC Contributor Michelle Bernard Sees 'War on Black Boys' in America, Fears 'Genocide' | MRCTV
Move over, War on Women, there's a new war in town. On the August 18 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, contributor Michelle Bernard warned there is a "war on black men" in the United States, as evidence both by the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and persistent criticism of President Barack Obama from Republicans.
What's more, Bernard insisted, there would be a "genocide" of young black men unless the problem were seriously addressed to her satisfaction. Suffice it to say, Hardball host Chris Matthews at no point called out Ms. Bernard for her heated rhetoric.
Read more at NewsBusters.org.
VIDEO-US, Assad Are Both Bombing ISIS, But State Dep't Disputes That 'We Are on the Same Page' | MRCTV
patrick.goodenoughPatrick covered government and politics in South Africa and the Middle East before joining CNSNews.com in 1999. Since then he has launched foreign bureaus for CNSNews.com in Jerusalem, London and the Pacific Rim. From October 2006 to July 2007, Patrick served as Managing Editor at the organization's world headquarters in Alexandria, Va. Now back in the Pacific Rim, as International Editor he reports on politics, international relations, security, terrorism, ethics and religion, and oversees reporting by CNSNews.com's roster of international stringers.
VIDEO- Fmr Minister Of Defense For Canada Says Extraterrestrials Are Working With U.S. Military - YouTube
The Liberian government has recovered 17 patients suspected of having Ebola who escaped a treatment centre in the capital, Monrovia.
Soldiers and police had scoured the city and its surroundings after the government went back on its earlier statement denying they were missing. It claimed the group had been moved to another centre.
The 17 went missing after the treatment facility was attacked and looted by a gang, who themselves may be at risk from some of the items they stole.
While on the Ebola frontline the news is grim in the USA where doctors are working flat out on trying to find a treatment there is encouraging news. The three patients treated with the experimental ZMapp drug are showing signs of improvement.
''The ZMapp drug is really fairly simple. It is three antibodies, produced in a tobacco plant, and then we grind up the tobacco plants and purify the antibodies so that they essentially look like antibodies that would come from human serum,'' says Arizona State University's Professor Charles Arntzen.
The problem is the Californian drugs company has used every drop of its revolutionary treatment, and making more without regulatory approval is a risk, despite the WHO pleading for any treatment, as soon as possible.
Everything you need to know about the Ebola virus
VIDEO-Vin Diesel Just Challenged a Major World Leader to the 'Ice Bucket Challenge' '-- and It's Not Obama | Video | TheBlaze.com
Palmer's China rant raises eyebrowsClive Palmer deflects questions on ABC's Q&A, over claims he siphoned cash to fund his election, by launching into a tirade against his former Chinese business partners.
PT1M4Shttp://www.smh.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3dx2p620349August 19, 2014Clive Palmer has delivered an extraordinary tirade against Australia's biggest trading partner, describing the Chinese government as "mongrels" who shoot their own people.
In a broad spray on national television, the maverick MP accused the "communist Chinese government" of trying to take over Australia's ports to steal the nation's natural resources.
"I don't mind standing up against the Chinese bastards and stopping them from doing it," he told ABC's Q&A program on Monday.
Outspoken: Clive Palmer. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
The Palmer United Party leader is embroiled in a legal battle with Chinese state-owned company CITIC Pacific, which has accused the mining magnate of siphoning off $12 million in funds.
Mr Palmer has strenuously denied accusations his company Mineralogy misused CITIC Pacific's cash to finance PUP's federal election campaign.
He said the matter was before the Supreme Court this week and he'd keep up the fight against the "Chinese mongrels".
"I'm saying that because they're communist, because they shoot their own people, they haven't got a justice system and they want to take over this country," he said.
"We're not going to let them do it."
A number of Mr Palmer's political opponents have in the past accused the outspoken Queensland MP of jeopardising Australia's relations with China.
China is Australia's largest trading partner, with two-way trade hitting nearly $151 billion in 2013.
VIDEO-Mike Brown Autopsy ''Expert'' Is NOT A DOCTOR '' Has Degree in NON-EXISTENT MEDICAL FIELD (Video) | The Gateway Pundit
Oh, good grief!The self-proclaimed expert who held a national press conference on the Mike Brown shooting is NOT A DOCTOR.
He holds a degree in a NON-EXISTENT MEDICAL FIELD.Shawn Parcells, a forensic pathologist who assisted in the autopsy of Michael Brown points at an autopsy diagram showing where the gun shots hit Michael Brown as he speaks about the findings during a press conference at the Greater St. Marks Family Church on August 18, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. (Zimbio)
Dr. Parcells introduced the ''magic bullet'' theory at the press conference this week.
Now we know Shawn Parcells is NOT A DOCTOR and has a degree in a NON-EXISTENT MEDICAL FIELD.
FOX 4 DC reported:
A Kansas City man is now front and center in the controversial shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Shawn Parcells owns a company that provides autopsy services, and some in the forensic community are taking issue with his involvement in this or any other case.
Parcells owns National Forensic Autopsy and Recovery Services. He says lawyers for the family of Michael Brown contacted him because of his expertise in gunshot wounds.
''I am a forensic pathologist assistant and medical investigator,'' Parcells told FOX 4's Shannon O'Brien.
However, that's something of a dubious title according to forensic pathologist Dr. Erik Mitchell.
''That is a degree that does not exist in my knowledge, except in the mind of Shawn Parcells,'' Dr. Mitchell said.
Dr. Mitchell takes issue with Parcells' title.
''You cannot claim the title, because it is a formal, licensable position. You can assist somebody; in this way I can say, for instance, I have paid my taxes, so I am an assistant President of the United States,'' Dr. Mitchell said.
Wow!Dr. Shawn Parcells explains bullet trajectories to the press.
What a circus!
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VIDEO-GOP Rep: ISIS, Mexican Drug Cartels Are 'Talking to Each Other'
The member of the House Judiciary Committee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security said, "In my opinion, yes there seems to be a talking to each other"
He added, "The drug cartels use the same operational plan as terrorist groups do ... They kill their opponents, they behead their opponents, they brag about it and they have operational control of many portions of the southern border of the United States. They're vicious as some of these other terrorist organizations."
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN
VIDEO-Is Michael Brown A National Hero? | Real Jew News
Is Michael Brown A National Hero?August 19, 2014(C)
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VIDEO-See Who's Been Spotted in Ferguson Trying to 'Incite' Riots and Mingling Among Group Armed With Molotov Cocktails | Video | TheBlaze.com
As the outraged community in Ferguson, Missouri, continues to protest the officer-involved shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, radical communist revolutionaries from places like Chicago and New York City are seemingly infiltrating the local demonstrations and allegedly attempting to ''incite'' riots.
A video uploaded on YouTube Tuesday shows Gregory Lee Johnson, a veteran member of the Revolutionary Community Party, riling up a crowd and seemingly discouraging them from listening to police's advice to calm things down. Watch that video here (Strong language warning):
St. Louis Alderman Antonio French also took notice of Johnson's presence at demonstrations in Ferguson on Tuesday. He included a photo of Johnson among a group of men apparently trying to light Molotov cocktails:
Also spotted in Ferguson was Revolutionary Community Party operative Travis Morales.
French recently uploaded a video on Vine reportedly showing Morales arguing with a black community leader.
''You're not gonna hurt our kids,'' says a man, identified by the Missouri Torch as Brother Anthony Shahid.
Morales was later reportedly among four men from Brooklyn to be arrested in Ferguson:
Obviously, it is highly unlikely that Johnson and Morales traveled to Ferguson alone '-- though it's unclear how many of their colleagues are currently in the area.
The presence of communist revolutionaries at the demonstrations is not unusual, however. Revolutionaries like Johnson and Morales seek to use chaos and unrest to further their radical agenda to transform America away from its capitalist system.
It was reported that 25 percent of protesters arrested on Monday night were not from Ferguson. These are some the people people CNN has described as ''agitators.''
NEW: CPJ estimates 20 journalists are missing in SyriaThe video also appears to show missing journalist Steven SotloffJames Foley was last seen in Syria on November 22, 2012ISIS is demanding the United States end its operations in Iraq(CNN) -- A video released by ISIS shows the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley and threatens the life of another American if President Barack Obama doesn't end military operations in Iraq.
In the video posted Tuesday on YouTube, Foley is seen kneeling next to a man dressed in black. Foley reads a message, presumably scripted by his captors, that his "real killer'' is America.
"I wish I had more time. I wish I could have the hope for freedom to see my family once again," he can be heard saying in the video.
He is then shown being beheaded.
"We have seen a video that purports to be the murder of U.S. citizen James Foley by (ISIS)," NSC spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said. "The intelligence community is working as quickly as possible to determine its authenticity. If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends. We will provide more information when it is available."
CNN is not airing the video.
ISIS has carried out executions, including beheadings, as part of its effort to establish an Islamic caliphate that stretches from Syria into Iraq. In many cases, ISIS -- which refers to itself as the Islamic State -- has videotaped the executions and posted them online.
What to know about ISIS
Foley disappeared on November 22, 2012, in northwest Syria, near the border with Turkey. He was reportedly forced into a vehicle by gunmen; he was not heard from again. At the time of his disappearance, he was working for the U.S.-based online news outlet GlobalPost.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Facebook group set up to support Foley and his family, "Free James Foley," wrote, "We know that many of you are looking for confirmation or answers. Please be patient until we all have more information, and keep the Foleys in your thoughts and prayers."
The video also shows another American journalist. His life is said by the militant in the video, who speaks English in what sounds to be a British accent, to hang in the balance, depending on what Obama does next.
U.S. Official: ISIS 'credible alternative to al Qaeda'
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The journalist is believed to be Steven Sotloff, who was kidnapped at the Syria-Turkey border in 2013. Sotloff is a contributor to Time and Foreign Policy magazines.
The Committee to Protect Journalists estimates there are about 20 journalists missing in Syria, many of them held by ISIS.
Among them is American Austin Tice, a freelance journalist who was contributing articles to The Washington Post. Tice disappeared in Syria in August 2012. There has been no word of from him since his abduction.
As a freelancer, Foley picked up work for a number of major media outlets, including Agence France-Presse and GlobalPost.
"On behalf of John and Diane Foley, and also GlobalPost, we deeply appreciate all of the messages of sympathy and support that have poured in since the news of Jim's possible execution first broke," Philip Balboni, GlobalPost CEO and co-founder, said in a published statement, referring to James Foley's parents.
"We have been informed that the FBI is in the process of evaluating the video posted by the Islamic State to determine if it is authentic. Until we have that determination, we will not be in a position to make any further statement. We ask for your prayers for Jim and his family."
Foley had previously been taken captive in Libya. He was detained there in April 2011 along with three other reporters and released six weeks later.
Who is the ISIS?
Afterward, he said that what saddened him most was knowing that he was causing his family to worry.
Foley grew up in New Hampshire and graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in 2008. Like other young journalists who came of age after the September 11 terror attacks and American wars overseas, Foley was drawn to Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas of conflict.
Friends described Foley as fair, curious and impressively even-tempered.
"Everybody, everywhere, takes a liking to Jim as soon as they meet him," journalist Clare Morgana Gillis wrote in a blog post about him in May 2013, six months after he disappeared in Syria.
"Men like him for his good humor and tendency to address everyone as 'bro' or 'homie' or 'dude' after the first handshake. Women like him for his broad smile, broad shoulders, and because, well, women just like him."
Will anyone stop ISIS?
The video of Foley was released as ISIS is being targeted by American airstrikes ordered by Obama.
"I think they may have been surprised and are doing the best they can to retaliate," former CIA director R. James Woolsey, Jr. told CNN.
Foley's killing recalled the murder of Daniel Pearl, The Wall Street Journal correspondent who was kidnapped while reporting in Pakistan in January 2002. His murder was captured on video and posted on line by al Qaeda.
It also harkened to the videotaped beheadings of Americans Nicholas Berg, Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley carried out by al Qaeda during the height of the Iraq War.
CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq and Mayra Cuevas, Brian Stelter and Elise Labott contributed to this report.
23 hours agoDr. Eric Fombonne BIG PHARMA ! ... In the destruction of children in Quebec in the grip of childcare DPJ, big players, some psychiatrists by allegiance, or partisan considerations to maintain artificial standards for publication and obtaining research funding will not hesitate to issue "disease map, on behalf of the DPJ," you never know it could still serve science ...: "that's how the way it works at the HQ of Dr. Eric Fombonne MCH ": the parent escorted by a worker from the DPJ goes into an abandoned building, rue Ste Catherine gives cold back. At the entrance to the building is a janitor at a table in the dark, the parent is asked to provide identification and fill out a ballot as in Soviet regimes, after approval of a supervisory body contacted by telephone the parent always escorted by the intervener DPJ rises to the upper floor, in this gloomy building, not a soul outside Fombonne, ready to sacrifice children to express mandate of the DPJ, the speaker of DPJ is heard first without the presence of the protective parent, during the clinical examination any information provided by the parent, (I said guard) is taken into account, the final diagnosis falls in the first meeting, the parent is asked to sign a paper with a grant of $ 160 / month to label the child to the Pension Board, references to future budgets that will never see the day are given to the parent, the job is complete, a letter is sent by Fombonne the target parent, inviting her to go to the doctor now treating the child who happens to be "a doctor of social pediatrics," the day of the hearing in the Youth Division, Fombonne expert witness DPJ who has never seen the child will testify in place of the speaker of the DPJ to remove the protective custody loving parent and therefore even the DPJ who has the burden of proof will escape the witness and voila, the DPJ will try to sign an agreement to target parent "to recognize the diagnosis issued by Fombonne, of s''engager to make no further evaluation to confirm the diagnosis of Dr. Fombonne and consent to custody set by the DPJ "the child hostage, then begins the descent into hell of loving parent, guardian, the child meanwhile will sink into the maze DPJ forced medication with powerful psychotropic 'Risperdal 'separation from the attachment figure, the child will wither son at the time, Fombonne about him disappear into the wild, the child will join the ranks of the Duplessis orphans ..ageofautism.com/2010/03/fombonne-lord-leventhal-vs-children-with-autism.html
VIDEO-Rosemary Church: Why Don't Ferguson Cops Use Water Cannons? | Mediaite
''Talk to us about what police are saying to you. Why they are using this strategy? Why the use of tear gas, stun grenades? Why not perhaps use water cannons?''
That's Rosemary Church suggesting the use of water cannons on African American protestors. If you're wondering why cohost Errol Barnett gives her an ''are you sure you want to do that'' look, it's probably because of this.
Watch the clip below, via CNN:
[Image via screengrab]
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VIDEO_I'm a cop. If you don't want to get hurt, don't challenge me. - The Washington Post
By Sunil DuttaAugust 19 at 6:00 AMSunil Dutta, a professor of homeland security at Colorado Tech University, has been an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department for 17 years. The views presented here are his own and do not represent the LAPD.
A teenager is fatally shot by a police officer; the police are accused of being bloodthirsty, trigger-happy murderers; riots erupt. This, we are led to believe, is the way of things in America.
It is also a terrible calumny; cops are not murderers. No officer goes out in the field wishing to shoot anyone, armed or unarmed. And while they're unlikely to defend it quite as loudly during a time of national angst like this one, people who work in law enforcement know they are legally vested with the authority to detain suspects '-- an authority that must sometimes be enforced. Regardless of what happened with Mike Brown, in the overwhelming majority of cases it is not the cops, but the people they stop, who can prevent detentions from turning into tragedies.
Working the street, I can't even count how many times I withstood curses, screaming tantrums, aggressive and menacing encroachments on my safety zone, and outright challenges to my authority. In the vast majority of such encounters, I was able to peacefully resolve the situation without using force. Cops deploy their training and their intuition creatively, and I wielded every trick in my arsenal, including verbal judo, humor, warnings and ostentatious displays of the lethal (and nonlethal) hardware resting in my duty belt. One time, for instance, my partner and I faced a belligerent man who had doused his car with gallons of gas and was about to create a firebomb at a busy mall filled with holiday shoppers. The potential for serious harm to the bystanders would have justified deadly force. Instead, I distracted him with a hook about his family and loved ones, and he disengaged without hurting anyone. Every day cops show similar restraint and resolve incidents that could easily end up in serious injuries or worse.
Sometimes, though, no amount of persuasion or warnings work on a belligerent person; that's when cops have to use force, and the results can be tragic. We are still learning what transpired between Officer Darren Wilson and Brown, but in most cases it's less ambiguous '-- and officers are rarely at fault. When they use force, they are defending their, or the public's, safety.
Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don't want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don't argue with me, don't call me names, don't tell me that I can't stop you, don't say I'm a racist pig, don't threaten that you'll sue me and take away my badge. Don't scream at me that you pay my salary, and don't even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?
Don't argue with me, don't call me names, don't tell me that I can't stop you, don't say I'm a racist pig, don't threaten that you'll sue me and take away my badge. Don't scream at me that you pay my salary, and don't even think of aggressively walking towards me.
I know it is scary for people to be stopped by cops. I also understand the anger and frustration if people believe they have been stopped unjustly or without a reason. I am aware that corrupt and bully cops exist. When it comes to police misconduct, I side with the ACLU: Having worked as an internal affairs investigator, I know that some officers engage in unprofessional and arrogant behavior; sometimes they behave like criminals themselves. I also believe every cop should use a body camera to record interactions with the community at all times. Every police car should have a video recorder. (This will prevent a situation like Mike Brown's shooting, about which conflicting and self-serving statements allow people to believe what they want.) And you don't have to submit to an illegal stop or search. You can refuse consent to search your car or home if there's no warrant (though a pat-down is still allowed if there is cause for suspicion). Always ask the officer whether you are under detention or are free to leave. Unless the officer has a legal basis to stop and search you, he or she must let you go. Finally, cops are legally prohibited from using excessive force: The moment a suspect submits and stops resisting, the officers must cease use of force.
But if you believe (or know) that the cop stopping you is violating your rights or is acting like a bully, I guarantee that the situation will not become easier if you show your anger and resentment. Worse, initiating a physical confrontation is a sure recipe for getting hurt. Police are legally permitted to use deadly force when they assess a serious threat to their or someone else's life. Save your anger for later, and channel it appropriately. Do what the officer tells you to and it will end safely for both of you. We have a justice system in which you are presumed innocent; if a cop can do his or her job unmolested, that system can run its course. Later, you can ask for a supervisor, lodge a complaint or contact civil rights organizations if you believe your rights were violated. Feel free to sue the police! Just don't challenge a cop during a stop.
An average person cannot comprehend the risks and has no true understanding of a cop's job. Hollywood and television stereotypes of the police are cartoons in which fearless super cops singlehandedly defeat dozens of thugs, shooting guns out of their hands. Real life is different. An average cop is always concerned with his or her safety and tries to control every encounter. That is how we are trained. While most citizens are courteous and law abiding, the subset of people we generally interact with everyday are not the genteel types. You don't know what is in my mind when I stop you. Did I just get a radio call of a shooting moments ago? Am I looking for a murderer or an armed fugitive? For you, this might be a ''simple'' traffic stop, for me each traffic stop is a potentially dangerous encounter. Show some empathy for an officer's safety concerns. Don't make our job more difficult than it already is.
Community members deserve courtesy, respect and professionalism from their officers. Every person stopped by a cop should feel safe instead of feeling that their wellbeing is in jeopardy. Shouldn't the community members extend the same courtesy to their officers and project that the officer's safety is not threatened by their actions?
More from PostEverything:
(1) What caused the Ferguson riot exists in so many other cities, too.
(2) Michael Brown: Yet another reminder that police see even unarmed black people as thugs.
(3) Stop blaming black parents for underachieving kids.
(4) My son has been suspended five times. He's 3.
(5) Ferguson police broke the law when they stopped civilians from videotaping them.
(6) We keep pledging to study the cause of riots like Ferguson's. And we keep ignoring the lessons.
''Here you have the mostly white police force in a mostly black community. But I'm perplexed about why most of the elected officials are white as well. Is there something about the way elections are done in Missouri or in the county? That's troublesome,'' Washington, D.C.'s non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives, told host Jose Diaz Balart.
''Usually when you get a minority community or a community that becomes mostly minority, you get some diversity of representation,'' Holmes Norton So you may have an elected leadership, as well as a police force, that does not feel that they are truly representative of the community and that's poison,'' she added.
According to Holmes Norton, the black community needs to get involved and make sure they elect people who represent them.
''Hey, black community! You see what happens when you don't have your own elected officials out there, people who have had experiences similar to your own. I don't understand that. Again, there may be something about the way the elections are conducted in that county. But if I were in that community, the first thing I would be doing is organize voters to go to the polls in November.''
Follow Caroline May on Twitter @c_maydc
VIDEO-Jesse Jackson talks voter registration at Ferguson McDonald's : News
FERGUSON ' During a stop for lunch Monday at the Ferguson McDonald's where a window was smashed last night, Jesse Jackson Sr. said he's working with local clergy to start a door-to-door voter registration drive.
Jackson stopped by the McDonald's on West Florissant Avenue around 1 p.m. Boards still covered a large window at the restaurant that was shattered Sunday night.
Despite the damage, the McDonald's was packed with customers, and few seats were unoccupied at midday. Many customers stopped to snap photos of Jackson with their cellphones while he ate at a seat in the middle of the restaurant.
Jackson said he was meeting with clergy in St. Louis Monday to start a voter registration drive.
"It has to change," Jackson said about the lack of minorities on Ferguson's police department and local governance.
"Five thousand new voters will transform the city from top to bottom," he said.
Jackson said he's encouraged by the meetings he's had with some clergy and elected officials about peace retuning to Ferguson.
"Blacks and whites must co-exist," he said. "There are some good coalition partners here, black and white," he said. "The groundwork is here for a solution to exist."
Special report: Why did the Michael Brown shooting happen here?
Ferguson in pictures: The most gripping images from the story
Editorial: A 'generational event' demands change
Another Michael Brown and other recent police shootings
Live coverage: Instant updates from Post-Dispatch reporters on the scene
Download the Post-Dispatch news app
VIDEO-Liberals Shoot Guns For The 1st Time - YouTube
In discussing seemingly less-violent options for crowd control, Rosemary Church wonders why the largely white authorities in Ferguson haven't considered using water cannons on the the largely black crowds. Once her co-anchor Errol Barnett processed what she just said, he looks at her like she's gone insane.
VIDEO-BBC News - Ebola crisis: Confusion as patients vanish in Liberia
17 August 2014Last updated at 17:30 ET There are conflicting reports over the fate of 17 Ebola patients who vanished after a quarantine centre in the Liberian capital Monrovia was looted.
An angry mob attacked the centre in the city's densely populated West Point township on Saturday evening.
A senior health official said all of the patients were being moved to another medical facility.
But a reporter told the BBC that 17 had escaped while 10 others were taken away by their families.
More than 400 people are known to have died from the virus in Liberia, out of a total of 1,145 deaths recorded by the World Health Organization.
Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said protesters had been unhappy that patients were being brought in from other parts of the capital.
Other reports suggested the protesters had believed Ebola was a hoax and wanted to force the quarantine centre to close.
The attack at the Monrovia centre is seen as a major setback in the struggle to halt the outbreak, says the BBC's Will Ross, reporting from Lagos.
Health experts say that the key to ending the Ebola outbreak is to stop it spreading in Liberia, where ignorance about the virus is high and many people are reluctant to cooperate with medical staff.
'All gone'Mr Nyenswah said after the attack that 29 patients at the centre were being relocated and readmitted to an Ebola treatment centre located in the facility of the country's John F Kennedy Memorial Medical Center.
However, Jina Moore, a journalist for Buzzfeed who is in Monrovia, told the BBC that 10 people had been freed by their relatives on Friday night and 17 had escaped during the looting the next day.
Rebecca Wesseh, who witnessed the attack, told the AFP news agency: "They broke down the door and looted the place. The patients have all gone."
The attackers, mostly young men armed with clubs, shouted insults about President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and yelled "there's no Ebola", she said, adding that nurses had also fled the centre.
The head of the Health Workers Association of Liberia, George Williams, said the unit had housed 29 patients who "had all tested positive for Ebola" and were receiving preliminary treatment.
Confirming that 17 had escaped, he said that only three had been taken by their relatives, the other nine having died four days earlier.
Fallah Boima's son was admitted to the ward four days ago, and seemed to be doing well, but when the distraught father arrived for his daily visit on Sunday his son was nowhere to be seen, AFP adds.
"I don't know where he is and I am very confused," he said. "He has not called me since he left the camp. Now that the nurses have all left, how will I know where my son is?"
'Stupidest thing'Ebola is spread by contact with an infected person's bodily fluids, such as sweat and blood, and no cure or vaccine is currently available.
Blood-stained mattresses, bedding and medical equipment were taken from the centre, a senior police officer told BBC News, on condition of anonymity
The current outbreak is the deadliest since Ebola was discovered in 1976
"This is one of the stupidest things I have ever seen in my life," he said. "All between the houses you could see people fleeing with items looted from the patients."
The looting spree, he added, could threaten to spread the virus to the whole of the West Point area.
Described as a slum, there are an estimated 50,000 people in the West Point neighbourhood.
The Ebola epidemic began in Guinea in February and has since spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
On Friday, the death toll rose to 1,145 after the WHO said 76 new deaths had been reported in the two days to 13 August. There have been 2,127 cases reported in total.
Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage Fatality rate can reach 90% - but the current outbreak is about 55% Incubation period is two to 21 days There is no vaccine or cure Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery Fruit bats are considered to be virus' natural host
VIDEO-Bill Gates wins ALS ice bucket challenge by designing his own structure | Mail Online
Billionaire philanthropist ill Gates is among the latest in a wave of celebrities caught on camera completing the ALS ice bucket challengeUnlike his famous peers, the tech-savvy Gates built a structure to help with the icy stuntGates was nominated by Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergAn ice bucket challenge nominee is taped pouring icy water down onto his or her head, then posts the video online and nominates others to do the nameThe challenge must be completed within 24 hours, and those who do not complete it usually donate $100 to an ALS-based charityBy Zoe Szathmary for MailOnline
Published: 17:45 EST, 15 August 2014 | Updated: 13:43 EST, 16 August 2014
Billionaire philanthropist ill Gates is among the latest in a wave of celebrities to complete the ALS ice bucket challenge, in an attempt to raise awareness for the disease.
Unlike his famous peers, the tech-savvy Gates engineered his own structure to help with the icy stunt.
IIn a video posted to Gates' YouTube channel, Gates sees a clip in which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg nominates him before dumping an icy bucket on his own head.
Gates then looks at the camera, and says he wants to improve the ALS ice bucket challenge.
''I'm glad to give to ALS. It's a great cause, but I want to accept this challenge, but I want to do it better than it's been done,' he says.
Scroll down for videos
Nominated: Bill Gates (left) watches the video (right) in which Mark Zuckerberg completes the ice bucket challenge and nominates Gates to do the same
Testing, testing: Gates' model even includes a miniature version of himself
The former Microsoft CEO then creates a model for his structure, in which the bucket used in the challenge hangs from a series of beams and is connected to a rope below, held by a mini-figure of Gates himself.
Gates then brings his design to life with the help of a blowtorch and metal beams.
An ice bucket challenge nominee is taped pouring water down onto his or her head, then posts the video online and nominates others to do the name, The Boston Globe explained. The challenge must be completed within 24 hours, and if not the nominee donates $100 to an ALS-based charity.
Bill Gates owns the Ice Bucket challenge
Here we go! Gates pulls the rope so he can complete the challenge
Wipeout! Water floods down after Gates pulls the rope as part of the ALS ice bucket challenge
Flooded: The charity stunt leaves the billionaire philanthropist sopping wet
Way up top: From a high placement, the bucket seems to create a more dramatic splash after Gates pulls the rope
Standing in front of his contraption, Gates says 'I'm here to join the people bringing attention to Lou Gehrig's disease by taking the ALS ice bucket challenge.
'I'm going to challenge three more people: Elon Musk, Ryan Seacrest, and Chris Anderson of TED, you have 24 hours. Good luck.'
Gates then pulls a rope, causing the bucket's contents to plunge down on him.
Other celebrities have taped themselves completing the ice bucket challenge. Some of them include Ivanka Trump, Justin Timberlake, Kris Jenner, Chloe Grace Moretz, kris Jenner, Mickey Rourke, Emmy Rossum, Andy Cohen, Martha Stewart, as well as members from both the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns.
MailOnline previously reported that members of the Kennedy family were also taped completing the ALS ice bucket challenge in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts - and Ethel Kennedy nominated President Obama.
However, a White House spokesperson told The Boston Globe 'The President appreciates Mrs. Kennedy thinking of him for the challenge - though his contribution to this effort will be monetary. The President will be making a donation to an ALS charity this week.
Kennedy clan call out Obama for Ice Bucket Challenge
I nominate you! Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, pictured, nominated Bill Gates to complete the ALS ice bucket challenge
Mark Zuckerberg films himself doing the Ice Bucket Challenge
Kennedy matriarch Ethel Kennedy also completed the ice bucket challenge - and nominated President Obama, who will donate money instead
Watch what happens! Bravo personality Andy Cohen also took the plunge
Singer Tank did the ALS ice bucket challenge on Thursday
Chilly reception: Mickey Rourke took on the ALS ice bucket challenge as a guest on 'Late Night with Seth Meyers'
ALS awareness: Actress Emmy Rossum shared her ice bucket dump on Instagram with fans
Refreshing! Chloe Grace Moretz dumps a bucket on her head
Chloe Moretz takes on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Here with friends! Justin Timberlake is seen with a group getting ready for the ice bucket challenge. Timberlake challenged Jimmy Fallon
Justin Timberlake wears Pink Floyd T for ALS ice bucket challenge
Just drying off! 'Tonight Show' host Jimmy Fallon and his backing band The Roots did the ice bucket challenge earlier this week
Taking one for the team? Members of the New York Jets participated in the ALS ice bucket challenge on Wednesday
Method acting? Cast members from 'Grey's Anatomy' also jumped in on the trend
All for charity! Reality star Kris Jenner sat on the side of a pool while she completed the challenge
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VIDEO-Can the post office save itself by becoming a bank? - Vox
Could the US Postal Service improve its financial position by becoming a bank? And could it change the financial sector for the better in the process?
This idea, known as postal banking, has become increasingly mainstream over the course of 2014. And while there's no indication such a change is imminent, it could be achieved without congressional action or any new tax revenue '-- exactly the sort of idea activists are looking for in a time of gridlock. But why are people interested in this idea? Would it really work? Is it really legal?
We have you covered.
1) What is postal banking?Broadly speaking, postal banking is government provision of banking services '-- typically relatively small-scale checking and savings accounts along with associated payment services. Historically and internationally, government-run banks have typically been paired with government-run mail services '-- hence postal banking.
A postal service requires a nationwide series of retail establishments, which is exactly the physical infrastructure that a basic banking operation requires. Postal services also dabble, via the sale of stamps, in a kind of quasi-financial business as part of their day-to-day business. Meanwhile, governments have often undertaken various policy initiatives to encourage thrift among their citizens and ensure a stable and credible payment system. Consequently, it's been common at various times and places for governments to permit or direct their postal services to get into the banking industry.
The US Postal Service (USPS) does not currently offer financial services, though it has in the past, and some people feel that it should again in the near future.
2) Why are people talking about postal banking now?The current upsurge of interest in the subject of postal banking results from three separate policy conversations. One is the continued debate, post-2008, about the financial services industry and its role in society. Private sector banks do not welcome competition from a government agency, but for the exact same reason people who are inclined to take a dim view of the banking industry tend to be enthusiastic about it. Second, the private sector banking industry as currently constituted leaves millions of Americans "unbanked," which causes a number of problems in a society where possession of a bank account is necessary to participate in many mainstream economic activities.
The other issue motivating postal banking advocates is the poor financial state of the USPS.
The grand bargain on which the Postal Service is founded is the idea that holding a monopoly on the right to deliver daily mail should be very lucrative. That lucrative monopoly is supposed to allow the USPS to provide some loss-making services, such as extending daily mail coverage to low-income rural areas and maintaining a truly comprehensive network of post offices. A lucrative monopoly should also allow the Postal Service to compensate its workforce relatively generously. Yet given the rise of digital communications, the USPS monopoly is becoming less lucrative over time '-- forcing the agency to seek a mixture of cost-cutting measures and new lines of business. Financial services could generate revenue to help USPS sustain its mission.
These different threads of interest became more intense after the January 2014 release of a white paper from the USPS Inspector General making the case for postal banking, and arguing that many financial services could be introduced without new congressional action. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has taken up the cause of postal banking, and there's polling that indicates it's popular.
3) What forms of banking did the Inspector General propose? (USPSOIG)
The IG report suggested three different levels of involvement with financial services that the Postal Service should consider.
Most basically, USPS could offer a low-fee no-interest checking account featuring a debit card. Checks could be deposited at post offices or via a smartphone app, and the postal account would allow you to pay bills or set up direct deposit. A more elaborate proposal is that "the Postal Service could partner with a bank to offer an interest-bearing savings feature on the Postal Card." A savings account, in other words.
Last, the IG suggested that the Postal Bank might make small-scale personal loans '-- in effect competing with payday loan operators and pawn shops.
The report estimates that $89 billion a year is spent by consumers on non-bank financial services '-- check cashing fees, prepaid debit card fees, payday loans, etc. '-- and that it's plausible to imagine the USPS capturing perhaps 10 percent of that market.
4) Which countries currently have postal banking?Postal banking is reasonably common globally, though looks can be deceiving here. Germany's Deutsche Postbank, for example, though originally a postal bank is currently a private retail bank. Similarly, in Japan the postal service runs a major bank but the entire operation is supposed to be privatized by 2017. But France, Switzerland, Israel, Korea, India, New Zealand, and others continue to run postal banks.
The United States, once upon a time, had a postal bank of its own called the United States Postal Savings System, signed into law by President Taft in 1911.
In its initial form, the main purpose of the USPSS was to provide ordinary citizens with limited insurance against bank failure, as funds stashed with the USPSS were guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the US government. Following the creation of the Federal Deposit Insurance Company in the 1930s, this advantage went away and the system began to slowly decline after 1947. What really did it in, however, was the rising inflation rate of the 1960s '-- with interest rates capped at 2 percent, it became a very unattractive savings vehicle and was essentially shuttered in 1967.
5) Is there any postal-themed music I can listen to?Indeed! In 2003, Ben Gibbard, Jimmy Tamborello, and Jenny Lewis recorded an album under the name The Postal Service. Here's "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" The United States Postal Service did not take too kindly to this appropriation of their name and sued the band, though the matter was eventually settled.
6) How many unbanked people could postal banking help?Right now, about ten percent of US households don't have so much as a checking account. Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Stephanie Clifford reported in 2013 for the New York Times that many employers now pay such people through high-fee prepaid debit cards that leave some low-wage workers earning less than the minimum wage in take home pay. Others have to rely on high-fee check cashing shops. And for many Americans of modest means, lack of access to bank credit means depending on very expensive payday loan shops.
According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, ten percent of American Census tracts have zero bank branches within 5 miles of their center of population. Among those tracts, 76 percent have a Post Office that's closer than the nearest bank. So a postal bank could easily improve the convenience of banking for people who live in areas where it's not profitable to open a branch.
Pew also found, unsurprisingly, that the unbanked say they would be interested in using USPS-provided financial services if provided at a lower price than is currently offered by payday lenders and check cashers.
Postal banking enthusiasts believe the USPS should be able to undercut those prices, since they'd be essentially piggybacking on existing real estate assets rather than needing revenues sufficient to cover those real estate costs and provide a profit for investors.
7) What are some arguments against postal banking?The most general argument is that just because the government could potentially enter some business with success doesn't mean that it should. Having government agencies compete with private firms could be unfair to the companies and distort the larger economy.
Concerns grow more serious the more deeply involved with financial services the postal bank would become. The most aggressive proposal '-- in which the postal bank competes with payday lenders to offer personal loans '-- carries particular dangers. Private banks have been known to badly mishandle the risks of their loan portfolio. These problems could be even more severe in a government-run enterprise where there'd be no market discipline at all around reckless lending. But once the government commits to running a public utility bank, it can't very well let it collapse in bankruptcy. You could end up with the kind of bailout situation that affected mortgage lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
A step in the direction of postal banking would also to a large extent be swimming against the global tide.
Postal banking systems are reasonably common today, but they were more common in the past. The recent trend has been toward the privatization of postal services, and the deregulation of postal markets '-- moves that reflect daily mail delivery's diminished significance in the modern world.
8) Would postal banking fix USPS' financial problems?
It would certainly help, in the sense that any injection of new revenue would inherently be useful. But the underlying source of the USPS' problems is not mysterious '-- the organization is built on the assumption that it possesses a lucrative monopoly over the delivery of a large and growing volume of daily mail. Now that mail volume has gone into decline, the Postal Service is bound to have trouble covering its costs.
Thus far, the agency has relied mainly on cutting staffing levels, seeking compensation givebacks from unions, and efforts to grow its parcel delivery business in which it competes with Fedex, UPS, DHL, and others.
These efforts have paid dividends, but don't change the basic reality that the simplest response to the declining value of the First Class Mail franchise would be to reduce the scope of the operations that the monopoly is expected to finance. Yet thus far Congress has refused to allow USPS to cease Saturday mail deliveries or close low-value rural Post Offices. Extra money from banking or other non-postal businesses would, of course, help close the gap. But in a sense, nothing will really resolve the underlying issue unless the agency is allowed to realign its required level of service provision with its core funding base.
9) Is postal banking legal?Superficially, it is not. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, among other things, bars the USPS from entering new non-postal businesses. (This is also the law that's saddled USPS with unusually onerous pension funding obligations). But the Inspector General's report argues that the kind of financial services it's advocating don't really constitute new businesses. The Postal Savings System may be shuttered, but remnants of the postal role in finance remain in the form of money orders and a present-day arrangement to sell American Express prepaid debit cards at Post Offices.
Of course, if the postal bank got too aggressive there would likely be a congressional move to shut it down. But as with so much else in life these days, in the real world a Postal Service that wanted to get into financial services could probably count on congressional gridlock to let it happen.
In practice, the decision would likely be in the hands of the USPS Board of Governors, which is supposed to have nine members in addition to the Postmaster General and the Deputy Postmaster General. Yet currently five of those seats are unoccupied, and the Obama administration has not managed to seat a single person on the board since his inauguration in January 2009. The result is a board dominated by Republican appointees who are unlikely to give the thumbs up to anything other than cutbacks at the postal service. A determined president, however, likely does have the legal authority to make at least some form of a postal bank happen.
VIDEO-Jason Riley upturns 'Meet the Press' panel after citing black crime statistics >> The Right Scoop -
Jason Riley is one of the more lucid voices on race relations in America, and his frank citation of black crime statistics befuddled the ''Meet the Press'' panel who just randomly interrupted him to get him to shut up already!
Stick it to them, Riley! I've been talking about this a lot because so many liberals have been saying that the biggest threat to them is ''racist cops,'' but they're about TWENTY times more likely to be killed by another black person.
About soopermexicanEl Sooper is an anonymous blogger who has broken many national stories and battled the mainstream liberal lapdog pendejo media with his Mexican wrestling blogger moves.
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VIDEO- Go Home Productions: My Paperback Sharona (The Beatles vs The Knack) - YouTube