U.S. disrupts al-Qaeda’s online magazine
U.S. intelligence operatives covertly sabotaged a prominent al-Qaeda online magazine last month in an apparent attempt to sow confusion among the group’s followers, according to officials.
The operation succeeded, at least temporarily, in thwarting publication of the latest issue of Inspire, the English-language magazine distributed by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. When it appeared online, the text on the second page was garbled and the following 20 pages [...]
ZARQA, Jordan — Patriot missiles were deployed for the first time at an annual multinational military exercise in key U.S. ally Jordan on Sunday, Jordanian and U.S. army officers said.
The 12-day “Eager Lion” exercises have brought together 8,000 personnel from 19 mainly Arab and European countries to bolster defense capabilities in the face of a possible flare-up from neighboring Syria.
Major military exercises
under way in Jordan
Jordan on Sunday announced the start [...]
NSA taps in to user data of Google, Skype and others, secret files reveal
The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.
The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and [...]
BEIRUT— Thousands of Lebanese Hezbollah militants were massed around the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Sunday, according to rebels and a senior commander in the Lebanese Shiite movement, broadening Hezbollah’s backing of President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and stoking fears of an imminent assault on the city.
American households have rebuilt less than half of the wealth lost during the recession, leaving them without the spending power to fuel a robust economic recovery, according to a new analysis from the Federal Reserve.
From the peak of the boom to the bottom of the bust, households watched a total of $16 trillion in wealth disappear amid sinking stock prices and the rubble of the real estate market. Since then, Americans have only been [...]
Confidential report lists U.S. weapons system designs compromised by Chinese cyberspies
Designs for many of the nation’s most sensitive advanced weapons systems have been compromised by Chinese hackers, according to a report prepared for the Pentagon and to officials from government and the defense industry.
Among more than two dozen major weapons systems whose designs were breached were programs critical to U.S. missile defenses and combat aircraft and ships, according to a [...]
The chief judge of the District’s federal court issued an unusual order Wednesday, apologizing to the public and the media for not making certain court documents widely available online.
The gesture of transparency by U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth comes at a time when the Obama administration is under scrutiny for an unprecedented number of leak investigations, including one showing that the Justice Department had secretly probed the news-gathering activities of Fox [...]
Chinese hackers who breached Google’s servers several years ago gained access to a sensitive database with years’ worth of information about U.S. surveillance targets, according to current and former government officials.
The breach appears to have been aimed at unearthing the identities of Chinese intelligence operatives in the United States who may have been under surveillance by American law enforcement agencies.
It’s unclear how much the hackers were able to discover. But [...]
“The administration in power in Damascus is illegal how can we recognise a structure that isn’t even recognised by its own citizens,” Erdogan told reporters
Erdogan has rejected a Syrian proposal to help in the investigation of the bombing in Reyhanlı.
Turkey still searching for six more suspects. I would imagine it will only be a couple more days until Turkey officialy throws Assad under the bus for this bombing.
May 10, 2013
Savings from efficiency efforts and increased revenues from some categories of business were not enough to prevent the U.S. Postal Service from posting a loss of $1.9 billion in its second fiscal quarter, postal officials announced Friday.
The loss, following one of $1.5 billion in the first quarter, spurred officials to once again call on Congress to enact changes the Postal Service has proposed, including switching to five-day [...]
The Associated Press‏@AP2 min
BREAKING: Federal agency postpones all oil and gas lease auctions in California, citing budget problems. -SS
Federal agency postpones all oil and gas lease auctions in California, citing budget problems
As the weakly protected U.S. diplomatic compound in eastern Libya came under attack the night of Sept. 11, 2012, the deputy head of the embassy in Tripoli 600 miles away sought in vain to get the Pentagon to scramble fighter jets over Benghazi in a show of force that he said might have averted a second attack on a nearby CIA complex.
Hours later, according to excerpts of the account by [...]
Philippines – Mt. Mayon in Albay erupted on Tuesday morning, GMA News reporter Lia Mañalac del Castillo reported.
Mount Mayon erupting – see pic in tweet
One of the Philippines’ most active volcanoes rumbled to life Tuesday, spewing room-sized rocks toward nearly 30 surprised climbers, killing five and injuring others that had to be fetched with rescue helicopters and rope.
Special ops halted from responding to Benghazi attacks, U.S. diplomat says
As the weakly protected U.S. diplomatic compound in eastern Libya came under attack the night of Sept. 11, 2012, the deputy head of the embassy in Tripoli 600 miles away sought in vain to get the Pentagon to scramble fighter jets over Benghazi in a show of force that he said might have averted a second attack on a nearby [...]
President Obama is preparing to send lethal weaponry to the Syrian opposition and has taken steps to assert more aggressive U.S. leadership among allies and partners seeking the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad, according to senior administration officials.
The officials said they are moving toward the shipment of arms but emphasized that they are still pursuing political negotiation. To that end, the administration has launched an effort to convince Russian President [...]
Antiabortion group releases videos of clinic workers discussing live births
By Sandhya Somashekhar and Lena H. Sun,
An antiabortion group that mounted a six-month undercover investigation has released videos this week that raise questions about what might happen to a baby as a result of an unsuccessful abortion.
One video features a D.C. doctor, Cesare Santangelo, who said that in the unlikely event that an abortion resulted in a live birth, “we would not help it.” Santangelo was [...]
April 24, 2013
Despite the Great Recession of 2008 — which focused the nation’s attention on the economy — high school seniors on average showed no significant improvement in their understanding of economic issues between 2006 and 2012, according to new testing data released Wednesday by the federal government.
In 2012, about 10,900 12th-grade students in 480 public and private schools took the economics exam as part of the National Assessment [...]
In Florida, a food-stamp recruiter deals with wrenching choices
FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A good recruiter needs to be liked, so Dillie Nerios filled gift bags with dog toys for the dog people and cat food for the cat people. She packed crates of cookies, croissants, vegetables and fresh fruit. She curled her hair and painted her nails fluorescent pink. “A happy, it’s-all-good look,” she said, checking her reflection in the [...]
The Pentagon announced Friday that it has reached a preliminary agreement on a complex $10 billion arms deal with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, in what would represent the latest major weapons sale to U.S. allies in the Middle East.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will attempt to finalize the arms package next
Under terms of the deal, the United States would deliver V-22 Osprey transport aircraft, KC-135 refueling planes [...]
A lightning bolt is one of nature’s most over-the-top phenomena, rarely failing to elicit at least a ping of awe no matter how many times a person has witnessed one. With his iconic kite-and-key experiments in the mid-18th century, Benjamin Franklin showed that lightning is an electrical phenomenon, and since then the general view has been that lightning bolts are big honking sparks no different in kind from the little [...]
March 31, 2013
North Korea is sending lots of signals that it’s about to start World War III. While there is a real risk that some misstep or miscalculation might accidentally start a conflict, and while it is certainly possible that the country could repeat a smaller-scale attack like its November 2010 shelling of South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island, there are some very good reasons to think that Pyongyang is bluffing [...]
Federal investigators in Northern California routinely used a sophisticated surveillance system to scoop up data from cellphones and other wireless devices in an effort to track criminal suspects — but failed to detail the practice to judges authorizing the probes.
The practice was disclosed Wednesday in documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California — in a glimpse into a technology that federal agents [...]
Michael Birnbaum and Howard Schneider
March 19, 2013
Lawmakers in Cyprus on Tuesday rejected a bailout plan that would have rescued the country’s banks but forced savers to chip in for the cost, throwing down a gauntlet to the rest of Europe over the financial fate of the tiny island nation.
The plan to save Cyprus’s collapsing banks but to charge depositors for the service proved so controversial that not a single one [...]
ROME — After raising eyebrows by going to North Korea, former U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman is continuing his bizarre global tour by visiting Rome — purportedly to help Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson become the first black pope.
But Rodman didn’t seem too sure who he was supposed to be promoting when asked about it Wednesday. “From Africa right?” Rodman asked, wearing a hat and T-shirt promoting the Irish betting firm [...]
The Pentagon’s Cyber Command will create 13 offensive teams by the fall of 2015 to help defend the nation against major computer attacks from abroad, Gen. Keith Alexander testified to Congress on Tuesday, a rare acknowledgment of the military’s ability to use cyberweapons.
The new teams are part of a broader government effort to shield the nation from destructive attacks over the Internet that could harm Wall Street or knock out electric power, [...]
United States intelligence agencies recently detected China’s military shifting road-mobile ballistic missiles closer to its southern coast near the disputed Senkaku Islands amid growing tensions between Beijing and Japan over the islands dispute.
U.S. defense officials said the movements are being watched closely as China’s military is also holding large-scale military exercises that some fear could be a trigger for a conflict with Japan that could involve U.S. forces.
Chinese buoys placed [...]
Chinese buoys placed near islands claimed by Beijing but controlled by Japan are intended to monitor ocean conditions and should not be “played up,” a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Tuesday following questions from Tokyo.
Japan had asked China to explain the purpose of the buoys, which were placed just outside Japanese waters near uninhabited East China Sea islands called Senkaku by Japan and Diaoyu by China. Some in Japan had speculated [...]
Just wait till the real bill arrives in 2014…
Tens of thousands of Americans who cannot get health insurance because of preexisting medical problems will be blocked from a program designed to help them because funding is running low.
Obama administration officials said Friday that the state-based “high-risk pools” set up under the 2010 health-care law will be closed to new applicants as soon as Saturday and no later than March 2, [...]
Chinese warships have pointed missile radars at Japanese military targets and taken the two regional powers to the brink of “a dangerous situation”, say Japanese officials.
The news overnight marks a dangerous escalation of a four-month diplomatic and military stand-off between Australia’s two largest trading partners, involving disputed islets in the East China Sea.
Japan’s defence minister, Itsunori Onodera, told reporters last night that a Chinese frigate pointed a missile control radar [...]
Ahmadinejad says he wants to be Iran’s first astronaut
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By Associated Press, Updated: Monday, February 4, 3:13 PM
TEHRAN, Iran — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday that he’s ready to take the risk of being the first Iranian astronaut sent into space as part of Iran’s goal of a manned space flight.
“I’m ready to be the first Iranian to sacrifice myself for our country’s scientists,” the official IRNA news agency [...]
After a smooth countdown at 1.40 pm today, India’s missile, named BO5, emerged effortlessly breaking the balmy waters of the Bay of Bengal.
The missile was launched from an approximate depth of about 50 metres, simulating exactly the conditions as would prevail during an operational launch from India’s indigenously made nuclear-powered submarine bINS Arihant.
The missile whose name has been variously given as Sagarika or at times K-15 or even Dhanush has [...]
MIAMI — The taxpayer-funded Medicare program paid more than $120 million from 2009 to 2011 in violation of federal law for medical services for inmates and illegal immigrants, according to two reports issued Thursday by federal health officials.
Under federal law, Medicare generally does not pay for services for either group of patients. But the program was billed for more than $33 million in inmate care and more than $91 million [...]
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, testifying Wednesday in a Senate hearing that was politically charged and at times emotional, defended the Obama administration’s response to last year’s deadly assault on a diplomatic post in Libya and challenged Republican lawmakers to focus on meaningful ways to make diplomats safe instead of engaging in partisan attacks.
Four months after the assault, Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee made clear that they [...]