Dec 31

Donations in 2010:

€2 TF

You are the only one that donated in 2010.

Thank you for your support.

I also want to thank all  readers that have supported Infinite Unknown by buying books etc. via Amazon.

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Dec 31

Excellent video!



Added: 30. Dezember 2010

Related information:

- The Ultimate Cost of 0% Money

- These Central Banks Are Printing Money – Prepare Yourself

Gold:

- George Soros’ and John Paulson’s Biggest Holding Is GOLD

- China, Russia, Iran are Dumping the Dollar, Buy Gold And Silver

- Gold and Gold Mining Shares As a Percentage of Global Assets or ‘The Once In a Lifetime Ride’

Silver:

- Silver Derivatives – China and JP Morgan

- Max Keiser: Want JP Morgan to Crash? Buy Silver!

- Max Keiser: Crash JP Morgan – Buy Silver!

- JPMorgan Silver Manipulation Explained (Must-See!)

And don’t forget to do this (!!!):

- James G. Rickards of Omnis Inc.: Get Your Gold Out Of The Banking System

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Dec 31


Sexual assault we can take a bath in!

Criminals!


The humiliations of the patdown policy, which Janet Napolitano wants to expand, are an Orwellian assault on American freedom


A TSA officer signals an airline passenger forward at a security checkpoint at Seattle-Tacoma international airport, Washington State. Photograph: Elaine Thompson/AP

The holiday brought bittersweet news: unless the Transportation Security Authority disbands, I’ll never see a certain friend of mine again. His long-term unemployment finally ended, and next month, he starts a great new job. But it’s in Texas, too far to drive; from my place in Connecticut to his new home in San Antonio is 2,000 miles – 500 more than separates London from Moscow.

As an American – that is, someone considered lucky to get seven consecutive days off work – the only way I could possibly travel such distance is to fly. But flying includes the legal obligation I submit to having my genitalia groped by some TSA thug wearing the same latex gloves already shoved down nine dozen other strangers’ underwear. There’s only two ways an American flyer can reliably avoid this: be rich enough to buy your own plane, or a high-ranking congressman or other VIP exempt from the indignities they inflict upon ordinary citizens.

The ACLU maintains an ever-growing database of these indignities, many so graphic they’re illegal to broadcast over public airwaves. Actions that violate FCC standards are embraced by the TSA. “Mary in Texas” reported:

The TSA agent used her hands to feel under and between my breasts. She then rammed her hand up into my crotch until it jammed into my pubic bone … I was touched in the pubic region in between my labia … She then moved her hand across my pubic region and down the inner part of my upper thigh to the floor. She repeated this procedure on the other side. I was shocked and broke into tears.

A woman named Chris said:

“In the four times she explored the area where my inner thigh met my crotch, she touched my labia each time, and one pass made contact with my clitoris, through two layers of clothing. I told her I felt humiliated, assaulted and abused … In my work as a nurse, if I did what the TSA did against a patient’s will it would be considered assault and battery, and I did not see how the TSA should have different rules.”

Recipients of such treatment aren’t allowed to show distress. Melissa from Massachusetts did anyway:

“I was shaking and crying the entire time. I was begging them to hurry up but they kept stopping and telling me to calm down. It is impossible to gain composure when a stranger has her hands in your underwear.”

I couldn’t. I know my limits: can’t sprout wings and fly, spin straw into gold, or ooze obedience toward anyone who’d treat me as the TSA treats Melissa, Mary, Chris and countless others. And once I said something rude – even an obscenity-free comment like “Have fun on your knees, sniffing my crotch like the dog that you are” [see top photo] – I’d be arrested on terrorism charges and the media would run sympathetic stories about poor TSA agents disliked for merely following orders. Self-described patriots would say “Disrespecting authority is unAmerican” and recommend harsh punishment for me.

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Dec 30

GOLDMAN PRIZEWINNER SHOOTS UP FOREIGN MINING FIRMS IN MONGOLIA

WESTERN DECEPTIONS AND THE EXTINCTION OF THE NOMADS

Predatory capitalism has invaded Mongolia — the savage western hordes overrunning the land — and but for the recent Hollywood movie spectacle Mongol [1] and colorful travel magazine articles no one in America hears much of anything about the place. Behind the bells and whistles promoting ‘democracy’, ‘conservation’, ‘human rights’, and a ‘free press’, Mongolia is under attack and the people suffering a world of hurt. The same companies destroying Mongolia are destroying Congo and Canada and everywhere else they appear. Meanwhile, three years after winning the Goldman Environmental Prize — the ‘Green Nobel’ — Mongol herder Tsetsegee Munkhbayar shot at foreign mining operations and thus he is denounced and shunned by the same foreigners who recognized him as a hero. This is a story about the killing of the earth, the killing of truth, the killing of hope — and the killing of the nomad’s way.

In early September 2010, a small band of Mongolian citizens armed with hunting rifles opened fire on gold mining equipment owned by two foreign mining firms operating illegally in northern Mongolia. One of the four armed activists was Tsetsegee Munkhbayar, a 2007 winner of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize — the ‘Green Nobel’ — awarded annually to pivotal environmentalists taking a stand around the globe.

“With unwavering passion,” reads the National Geographic Emerging Explorers profile of Tsetsegee Munkhbayar, “he inspired thousands of local villagers, held press conferences, organized town hall meetings, lobbied legislators, and led protest marches — mobilizing an unprecedented level of grassroots participation among citizens who previously felt they had no power to shape government policy.” [2]

Three years after winning the award — and a whole lot more illegal mining and pollution later — Munkhbayar’s little gang of four and their militant actions against the capitalist invasion remain in complete media whiteout in the western press: it’s as if the early September shootings never happened. While the civic activists face possible prosecution and extended jail terms — if not sudden unexplained death — rapacious mining companies further plunder and pollute the land.

The gang of four — Tsetsegee Munkhbayar, G. Bayaraa, D. Tumurbaatar and O. Sambuu-Yondon — are environmentalists from the United Movement of Mongolian Rivers and Lakes (UMMRL), a consortium of Mongolian groups organized to fight foreign extractive industries that have invaded the fledgling ‘democracy’. UMMRL was formed in June 4, 2009 after its predecessor, the Mongolian Nature Protection Coalition (MNPC), dissolved in the spring of 2008. Tsetsegee Munkhbayar — and many collaborators he works with — was pivotal to the creation of both MNPC and UMMRL.

Behind the story of Tsetsegee Munkhbayar is a story of greed, private profit, deception, betrayal, stealth and heartbreak. Just three years after becoming a global hero, Tsetsegee Munkhbayar is today shunned by the people who lobbied to make him a Goldman Award winner, and they have even branded him and his colleagues as terrorists.

“The shooters sent a powerful message,” reported EurasiaNet, the only foreign media outlet to report on the recent shooting action. “Puraam, a Chinese firm, and Centerra Gold, a Canadian-operated company, “aren’t welcome in the area, one of Mongolia’s only forested regions.” [3] Centerra is also operating in Kyrgyzstan, a former Russian republic where paramilitary government forces repressed public protests and shot hundreds of unarmed protesters in 2010. [4]

Centerra Gold and Puraam Mining are operating on 168 hectares of land and contaminating the headwaters of the Selenge, Mongolia’s largest river, and the source for Lake Baikal, the world’s largest freshwater lake. The Gatsuur deposit, currently exploited by Centerra Gold, contains an estimated 1.3 million ounces of gold valued at tens of billions of dollars. Centerra’s Boroo gold mine began production in 2004 and yields an average of 180,000 ounces of gold annually.

The locals see very little from the gold taken from their lands. At least 70% of the population lives in absolute poverty. Alcoholism is a national epidemic. The social fabric is unraveling. Human trafficking is a big business. Everything is for sale, or already sold.

“[People] see the 1990s privatization rush and years of harsh weather as a kind of economic one-two punch. Twenty years after Mongolia peacefully threw off 70 years of communism, one-third of Mongolia’s 2.9 million people live below the poverty level of less than $2 a day; even white-collar workers like doctors and teachers can earn as little as $300 a month.” [5]


Mining operations devastate the sensitive Mongolian environment. Photo credit: unknown.

The mining companies arrived in Mongolia hand-in-hand with the international NGOs — euphemistically called ‘non-government’ organizations — and they promote the western imposed ideal of ‘privatization’. The unstated assumptions that came along with this are that freedom-loving westerners are uniquely qualified to teach Mongolians about democracy, human rights, good government and environmental stewardship. Tsetsegee Munkhbayar was patronized and promoted by this framework of foreign intervention.

“According to the promoters,” writes Dr. Joan Roelofs, “the precondition for such benefits is a ‘free market’ economy, or the adoption of ‘neoliberalism’, which entails the privatization of most government functions, deregulation of business, abolition of subsidies and welfare, and availability of all assets (land, TV stations, national newspapers, etc.) for purchase by any corporation, regardless of nationality. Freedom also means that foreigners can start any business anywhere…” [6]

Continue reading »

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Dec 30


Full article here: Ultimate Cost of 0% Money

Continue reading »

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Dec 30

Must-see:  Quantitative Easing Explained (!!!)



Added: 29. December 2010

And don’t forget to do this (!!!):

- James G. Rickards of Omnis Inc.: Get Your Gold Out Of The Banking System

Gold:

- George Soros’ and John Paulson’s Biggest Holding Is GOLD

- China, Russia, Iran are Dumping the Dollar, Buy Gold And Silver

- Gold and Gold Mining Shares As a Percentage of Global Assets or ‘The Once In a Lifetime Ride’

Silver:

- Max Keiser: Want JP Morgan to Crash? Buy Silver!

- Max Keiser: Crash JP Morgan – Buy Silver!

- JPMorgan Silver Manipulation Explained (Must-See!)

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Dec 30


Dr Wim Vanderbauwhede of the University of Glasgow who led the team and (right) the chip which promises to usher in a new age of high-speed computing

Scientists have created an ultra-fast computer chip which is 20 times faster than current desktop computers.

Modern PCs have a processor with two, four or sometimes 16 cores to carry out tasks.

But the central processing unit (CPU) developed by the researchers effectively had 1,000 cores on a single chip.

The developments could usher in a new age of high-speed computing in the next few years for home users frustrated with slow-running systems.

And the new ‘super’ computer is much greener than modern machines – using far less power – despite its high speed.

Scientists used a chip called a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) which like all microchips contains millions of transistors – the tiny on-off switches which are the foundation of any electronic circuit.

Continue reading »

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Dec 30


Surveillance state: Campaigners have said money could have been spent on schools and hospitals

Councils have spent £315million on spy cameras – despite slashing jobs and public services.

Their commitment to keep the streets under surveillence seems undiminished by the cuts being made to bring the nation’s finances back into check.

A survey of 336 councils shows why Britain has been dubbed the ‘big brother’ capital of the world.

They spent a total of £314,835,170 on installing and operating CCTV cameras from 2007 to 2010.

Campaigners for civil liberties branded the findings ‘scandalous’ and said the money would have been better spent on schools, hospitals and other vital services.

Continue reading »

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Dec 30

Taxpayer money at work!?!?



I was about to delete an offensive comment on this blog – one of the very few we get – and thought, hmm, I wonder where this guy is posting from? Because, really, it is quite unusual for us to get nasty comments. Lo and behold, the troll posted to our website from an IP address controlled by the federal government’s Department of Homeland Security! Here is the taxpayer-funded troll’s gem of a comment, for your entertainment:

Fuck you, Fuck all you cocksuckers, you wont change anything. ride the bus, TSA is here to stay there doing a great job keeping americia safe.

(Later, I checked our comment database and found 19 more of these gems from the same IP address. See below.)

Here is a link to the screenshot of the WordPress comment. As you can see, the IP address it was posted from is 216.81.80.134. Here is the publicly accessible whois record for that IP:

NetRange: 216.81.80.0 – 216.81.95.255
CIDR: 216.81.80.0/20
OriginAS:
NetName: ONENET
NetHandle: NET-216-81-80-0-1
Parent: NET-216-0-0-0-0
NetType: Direct Assignment
NameServer: NS5.DHS.GOV
NameServer: NS6.DHS.GOV
NameServer: NS3.DHS.GOV
NameServer: NS4.DHS.GOV
RegDate: 2008-05-07
Updated: 2009-09-01
Ref: http://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-216-81-80-0-1

OrgName: DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
OrgId: DHS-37
Address: 7681 BOSTON BLVD
Address: NDC I
City: SPRINGFIELD
StateProv: VA
PostalCode: 22153
Country: US
RegDate: 2005-12-05
Updated: 2008-05-22
Ref: http://whois.arin.net/rest/org/DHS-37

OrgTechHandle: DIA9-ARIN
OrgTechName: DHS IPv6 ADMINISTRATION
OrgTechPhone: +1-703-921-7595
OrgTechEmail: DHS.IPv6.ADMIN@dhs.gov
OrgTechRef: http://whois.arin.net/rest/poc/DIA9-ARIN

OrgNOCHandle: DIA9-ARIN
OrgNOCName: DHS IPv6 ADMINISTRATION
OrgNOCPhone: +1-703-921-7595
OrgNOCEmail: DHS.IPv6.ADMIN@dhs.gov
OrgNOCRef: http://whois.arin.net/rest/poc/DIA9-ARIN

Some questions come to mind:

  • Is this an official statement?
  • If not, is it an accurate representation of the DHS position?
  • Was this person on the public dime when he or she posted this?
  • Who posted this and what is their position with DHS?

This is not the first time we have been trolled by individuals connected to the TSA. Someone posted a personal attack on me from an IP belonging to mitre.org, a corporation whose core competency is securing federal government contracts, including DHS and TSA ones. Any effective TSA resistance threatens not only the TSA itself but also the bureaucrats who got us to this point and the corporations who are getting paid for the technology.

EDIT: In fact, there are are 19 comments from that IP address in our comment database! Here are some choice ones:

November 9:

Funny site you have going on here, looking forward to the guest comic postings.. what a bunch of rubes you all are.. BTW TSA officers make on avg $14.50 per hour to start. Much more than your bottle collecting jobs you have.

In this one, the troll identifies himself as “Butch Forman” with an email address of BForman@hotmail.com.

You people are really messed up. That you sit around and put forth the hatred that you spew. If any of you are parents who have children, I feel sorry for the kids because you will raise them to be cynical, skeptical and totally paranoid. The TSA who work everyday trying to earn a living are parents, retired professionals, students, ex-law enforcement a whole diverse population of people who are trying to support their families and hope that they are doing what is necessary to protect those who travel. Give it a rest would you and if you feel that way about flying, then do me and the TSA a favor and don’t fly, that is your right, exercise it please. It makes the line at the airport alot shorter for those of us who get it.

You can refuse to fly too. Train, car, bus, boat, walk, bicycle, motorcycle,..You don’t have to fly…You know that TSA perosnnel travel by air also..and they go through security just as anyone lse does….Are you for real or just argumentative…Homeschooled your kids..makes sense now

Another one from that same IP is from “DP” with email address darryl.price@cox.net. Another one from “Jeff” with email address burniate@gmail.com.

November 15 from yabba3@aol.com

Like I said before; This is turining into one of the best comedy sites on the internet… I love the fact that you have people all wound up about this liar.. Good for your ad dollars I’ll bet.. Ohhh let me guess what you folks have in mind next to generate $$ …. Ummm oh yeah TSA “agents” are really aliens looking for food!!!!!

From “iLoveTSAandtheUSA” with email sweet_n_tender_hooligans@yahoo.com

Do any of you really think TSA is going to care if everyone requests a full body pat down instead of walking through the metal detector or body scanners?
They get to go home once their shift is over, no matter how long the lines are.
Less passengers flying means less work for them!
TSA must be doing something right if no hijackings or attacks have occured on American soil since 9/11.
I’d feel much safer if everyone was screened thoroughly. A terrorist can be anyone.

November 18 from “Anonymous” with email 00machgt@gmail.com

Wow so what you people want is a Private Security firm with no accountability to take over a Federalized, controlled, accountable and impregnable screening force. Good luck, I see an attack in our near future. Americans are so spoiled. You want protection with no loss of freedoms. Think back to 9-11. would you have been saying the same things if this took place right after that day? Grow up and get a life instead of bashing a working system. Everyone hates the IRS but no one complains when a Police officer comes to assist you when your being assaulted. Sounds funny because the tax laws the IRS enforces pays all civil service salaries. Once again society announces its ignorance.

Let me clear this up for you people who clearly are misinformed. At EVERY airport you visit there will be a little sign stating in a blip, that you are voluntarily subimiting youself and your property for screening. So when you walk through, no one is putting a gun to your head and making you fly. its your choice. And because this is a Commercial airline transporting people, it must require that everyone be screened throughly. And because you are so upset and not thinking you fail to realize the simplicity of it. You put your bags in and you walk through. So no it isnt illegal people. Is it illegal for Private companies to do it? no because its security duhhh. Then how is it illegal when TSA does it. You people dont think. And if you read the press reslease from TSA, they state that the images are not kept and that the officer isnt allowed to see theface of the person being screened. If you feel something is off when you go to get scanned, then inform a Law enforcement official or ask for a TSA rep. Simple. Stop throwing out lies and nonsense people. I can imagine you all sitting around thinking up crazy rumors to circulate. Also Im 4 years Army MP and I know a thing or two about security. thanks

November 25 from ” YourWrong” with email Johnny324234@hotmail.com

Why has your great Opt-Out leader never posted on this site what he would do to keep passengers who choose to fly safe from being blown up? Being a critic is for simpletons – experts however actually have to look for solutions.

Think about it!!!

And there are more. These are just the best ones.

EDIT: I’ll release the screenshot from the WordPress admin interface shortly.

EDIT: Here is the screenshot [744KB PNG]. It’s big and you may have to zoom in on it in your browser or image viewer. Note: this is just of the other 19 comments. There is a screenshot of the latest one at the top of this page, and I marked it as spam so I suppose it doesn’t show up in the search.

by George Donnelly on December 22, 2010

Source: We Won’t Fly

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Dec 30

The recent theory put forward by Ted Butler has the Silver conspiracy world all abuzz. Ted concludes that it is CHINA and not JP Morgan behind the huge silver short position on the COMEX. Here’s the article:

http://www.investmentrarities.com/ted_butler_comentary12-21-10.shtml

“JP Morgan must have some reason to justify the big concentrated COMEX silver short position. If they claim that they are long silver OTC swap positions as an offset to their COMEX short position, it becomes critical that the CFTC inquire who is holding the short side of the OTC silver swaps. My belief is that it will be Chinese interests on the short side of the swap.”

Butler goes on to discuss reasons why he comes to this conclusion which are very understandable and, in my opinion, likely. Due to a strategy the Chinese developed over the past 10 years almost ALL PHYSICAL SILVER mined in the world passes through China to be refined. Very little silver is processed anywhere else in the world because most other refineries have gone out of business. In hindsight, it is easy to see why other refiners closed their doors…because China forced them to! The way they achieved the cornering of the global silver refining business was by offering silver miners BETTER PRICES and UP FRONT PAYMENTS for their silver ore. Naturally, silver miners around the world started accepting the Chinese bids for the ore shifting almost all silver refining to China.

But that brings us to a much bigger issue when it comes to the ultimate moonshot for silver and the vulnerability of JP Morgan’s concentrated silver short position. By definition, all COMEX contracts in both futures and options are merely paper derivatives of silver. Regardless of the Chinese involvement in selling paper silver derivatives, JP Morgan is ultimately on the hook for filling these commitments for physical silver if delivery is requested. If they have a contractual agreement with certain Chinese interests who have placed those derivative bets through the JPM trading arm, those “agreements” are only as good as the counter parties ability to perform.

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Dec 29

Leon Walker from Michigan faces trial after opening his wife’s Gmail account to discover she was having an affair


Leon Walker was charged after opening up the Gmail account of his wife, Clara. Photograph: Alex Segre/Rex Features

A Michigan man has been charged under anti-hacking legislation designed to protect trade secrets after logging on to his wife’s email account and discovering she was having an affair.

Leon Walker, 33, faces a trial lawyers say could have significant repercussions given that nearly half of US divorce cases involve some form of snooping, such as reading emails, text messages or social networking.

Walker was charged after opening the Gmail account of his wife, Clara, who was married twice previously. Walker found she was having an affair with her second husband, who had once been arrested for beating her in front of her young son from her first husband.

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Dec 29

United Nations security assessments show an escalating pattern of violence in Afghanistan in recent months, contradicting the largely upbeat conclusions of a White House review of progress published less than a fortnight ago.


The assessments appear to contradict the White House review, which claimed the troop surge had succeeded in halting Taliban momentum in much of the country Photo: AP

An official confirmed that violence had gripped some areas that had once been regarded as stable, at the same time as it emerged that confidential UN maps charted a decline in security from March to October this year.

The charts show that insecurity in the south – the scene of the fiercest fighting between US-led forces and insurgents – has not receded, despite President Barack Obama’s decision to send an extra 30,000 troops.

During the same period, 16 districts across the north and east had seen security worsen, according to The Wall Street Journal, which obtained the documents.

The assessments appear to contradict the White House review, which claimed the troop surge had succeeded in halting Taliban momentum in much of the country.

Kieran Dwyer, communications director of the UN mission in Afghanistan, said security for aid workers had worsened in some parts of the country.

“Throughout 2010 it is well known there have been serious incidents in many districts that had previously been more stable,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

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Dec 29

Angry passengers revolted at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on Monday as freezing rain and power cuts disrupted flights for a second day.


Passengers queue in front of ticket and information counters at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport  Photo: AP

A large group of passengers, many stranded for more than 24 hours, stormed the passport control zone, demanding information on their flights.

Despite upbeat statements by the Moscow power grid company and airport officials, “electricity is still largely off, with baggage conveyors and escalators remaining at a standstill,” Interfax news agency reported.

Some 200 flights were cancelled on Monday after freezing rain snapped power lines and cut electricity to Domodedovo the day before, while a lack of de-icing fluid kept planes from taking off at Sheremetyevo, another big Moscow airport.

Sub-zero temperatures and snow are typical for Moscow’s winter months, but the weekend saw an unusually heavy downpour of rare freezing rain that can form a thick layer of ice on power cables, eventually breaking them under its weight.

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Dec 29


A labourer hoses water into the site of a rare earth metals mine at Nancheng county, Jiangxi province December 21, 2010.

Dec. 28 BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Tuesday it will cut its export quotas for rare earth minerals by more than 11 percent in the first half of 2011, further shrinking supplies of metals needed to make a range of high-tech products.

China produces about 97 percent of rare earth minerals, used worldwide in high-technology, clean energy and other products that exploit their special properties for magnetism, luminescence and strength.

The rare earth issue could further strain U.S.-China ties, which have been battered this year by arguments over human rights, Tibet, Taiwan, the value of the Chinese currency and North Korean military attacks on South Korea.

Chinese President Hu Jintao is due to visit the United States next month for talks with President Barack Obama that both sides hope can stabilise the vital relationship.

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Dec 29

An Egyptian national accused of spying for Mossad has allegedly told his interrogators that Israeli sabotage brought down the country’s internet network two years ago.


Mossad is Israel’s foreign intelligence agency

The purported confessions of Tareq Abdul Razzaq Hassan, a businessman, represent the latest evidence of growing public tensions between Israel and Egypt.

Severe disruptions to Egypt’s internet service in December 2008 were blamed at the time on damage to underwater data cables caused by a ship’s anchor.

But Hassan told police that the incident was, in fact, the work of Israel’s foreign intelligence agency, according to interrogation records leaked to an independent Egyptian newspaper.

It is not the first time that Israel has been linked to politically motivated cyber attacks, with a number of experts suggesting that Mossad was the most likely culprit behind Stuxnet, a powerful computer worm that caused serious damage to Iran’s nuclear programme.

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Dec 29


Members of the fire service fill tanks with water as people queue with empty bottles to collect water, as tens of thousands of homes and businesses are affected by severe water shortages caused by broken pipes, outside Avoniel leisure center in east Belfast, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010. Frustration and fear of disease mounted in Northern Ireland Wednesday as tens of thousands of people coped with a severe water shortage after much of the supply drained away through broken pipes following a deep freeze and a sudden thaw. (AP Photo/PA, Paul Faith) UNITED KINGDOM OUT, NO SALES, NO ARCHIVE (Paul Faith – AP)

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — Frustration and fears of disease mounted in Northern Ireland on Wednesday as 36,000 people were left without water, some for more than a week, after a deep freeze and a sudden thaw caused aging pipes to burst.

With reservoirs running low, water supplies were cut off in many towns and cities, and residents turned to emergency water tankers and bottled water for their cooking, cleaning and drinking needs.

Scotland said it was sending 160,000 liters (42,000 gallons) of bottled water to help meet demand.

Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness, called the situation “a grave crisis,” and said people had been let down by their water supplier.

The Northern Ireland government scheduled an emergency meeting for Thursday to discuss the crisis.

Doctors warned of potential disease outbreaks if water was not restored, but officials said it would take several days or more to bring back all service.

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Dec 29

‘Each dot is an entire galaxy containing billions of stars.’

Thousands of galaxies crowd into this Herschel image of the distant Universe. Each dot is an entire galaxy containing billions of stars. For more than a decade, astronomers have puzzled over strangely bright galaxies in the distant Universe. These ‘luminous infrared galaxies’ appear to be creating stars at such phenomenal rates that they defy conventional theories of galaxy formation.

ESA’s Herschel infrared space observatory, with its ability for very sensitive mapping over wide areas, has seen thousands of these galaxies and pinpointed their locations, showing for the first time that they are packing themselves closely together, forming large clusters of galaxies by the force of their mutual gravity.

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Dec 28


Snow plows attempt to clear runways at Philadelphia International Airport as thousands of flights were cancelled across the East Coast

The white Christmas in the South was one for the record books. Columbia, South Carolina, had its first significant Christmas snow since weather records were first kept in 1887.

Atlanta had just over an inch of snow – the first measurable accumulation on Christmas Day since the 1880s.

Last updated at 8:29 PM on 27th December 2010

Full article here: Daily Mail

More:

- Blizzards Batter US East Coast, Heaviest December Snowfall in Six Decades, Travel Comes to a Standstill, 4,000 Flights Cancelled, NYC Airports Shut

In the UK:

- Britain: Coldest Christmas Day EVER (-18C)

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Dec 28

Britain’s largest force solves six crimes every day by identifying suspects from CCTV, according to a senior officer.

Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville said Scotland Yard has revolutionised the use of CCTV by treating it like DNA or fingerprints.

The officer, who heads the Met’s identification unit, said the number of suspects identified by his team has risen by a quarter to 2,512.

The majority of suspected villains are named by officers and informants but some are passed on for public appeals.

He said: “The key to our success is that images, unidentified images, are treated as a forensic discipline. They are treated like fingerprints and DNA. When we get them we make sure that every effort is made to identify them.

“It is not the technology, it is more about managing it in a way that produces the best results. That is why we have got police forces from around the world coming to see how we do it. We had officers from Sweden and Holland over in the last week.”

The Met identified 2,512 wanted people in 2010, compared with 1,970 the previous year. The figures included four suspected murderers, 23 rapists and sex attackers and five wanted gunmen.

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Dec 28

“Researchers who criticised the drug recalled receiving anonymous threats, incuding parcels containing miniature coffins, but no direct link with Servier was established.”


French politicians of both the right and left are facing severe embarrassment and legal recriminations with the forthcoming publication of an official report on what could become the worst health scandal in the country’s history.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has promised “the most complete transparency” on how a drug which is now suspected to have killed up to 2,000 people was officially approved, and subsidised, for 33 years by the French health service.

Despite repeated warnings from scientists in France and abroad, the Mediator drug was prescribed to 5,000,000 French people, originally to fight diabetes and later as an appetite-suppressing, slimming pill. A report from the French health inspectorate, due in mid-January, will investigate why successive French health ministers, of the left and right, failed to heed advice that the drug – produced by the French pharmaceutical giant, Servier – was at best useless, and at worst highly dangerous.

Separate French press investigations have focused on an alleged campaign of intimidation and disinformation by the Servier company to keep the drug – and a lucrative predecessor, eventually banned in the US in 1997 – on the market.

Servier, the second largest French drugs company, founded 50 years ago by Jacques Servier, 88, a French doctor, is known for its cult of secrecy and its excellent relations with French politicians. President Sarkozy himself once worked for the company as a lawyer during his brief legal career, when he was a young man.

Mediator contains a substance called benfluorex, which has been alleged in a series of scientific investigations to attack the cardio-vascular system and, in particular, to damage the valves of the heart. Despite a series of warnings, the drug remained legal – and its use was even officially subsidised by the French health service – until late last year.

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