- Ray Kelly to Get 10-Officer Detail When He Leaves, Costing Taxpayers $1.5M (DNAinfo, Dec 4, 2013):
NEW YORK CITY — The bill taxpayers will have to pay to protect Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly when he leaves office next month just got bigger.
The NYPD’s Intelligence Division — with Kelly’s input — is recommending that Kelly take with him a 10-officer complement of taxpayer-funded bodyguards, up from the six-officer detail the commissioner had wanted last month.
The detail will now include a lieutenant, three sergeants and six detectives to chauffeur and protect Kelly and his family around-the-clock in the Big Apple and even out of town after he ends his 12-year run atop Police Headquarters — at an estimated cost of more than $1.5 million a year, sources estimate.
- Snowden documents show NSA gathering 5bn cell phone records daily (Guardian, Dec 5, 2013):
The National Security Agency is reportedly collecting almost 5 billion cell phone records a day under a program that monitors and analyses highly personal data about the precise whereabouts of individuals, wherever they travel in the world.
Details of the giant database of location-tracking information, and the sophisticated ways in which the NSA uses the data to establish relationships between people, have been revealed by the Washington Post, which cited documents supplied by whistleblower Edward Snowden and intelligence officials.
Dec 3, 2013
During a congressional committee hearing about the constitutional limits imposed on the presidency and the implications of President Barack Obama’s disregard for implementing the Affordable Care Act as written, one expert testified that the consequences of the president’s behavior were potentially grave. He said that the precedent set by Obama could eventually lead to an armed revolt against the federal government.
On Tuesday, Michael Cannon, Cato Institute’s Director of Health Policy Studies, testified before a congressional committee about the dangers of the president’s legal behavior.
“There is one last thing to which the people can resort if the government does not respect the restrains that the constitution places on the government,” Cannon said. “Abraham Lincoln talked about our right to alter our government or our revolutionary right to overthrow it.”
“That is certainly something that no one wants to contemplate,” he continued. “If the people come to believe that the government is no longer constrained by the laws then they will conclude that neither are they.”"That is a very dangerous sort of thing for the president to do, to wantonly ignore the laws,” Cannon concluded, “to try to impose obligation upon people that the legislature did not approve.”
From the article:
“… Mumbai customs offers a reward of up to 50,000 rupees per kg of bullion seized for informers in gold smuggling cases. Cocaine and heroin informers get only up to 40,000 rupees and 20,000 rupees respectively.“
- Gold Smuggling Increases 7x in India and Surpasses Illegal Drug Trade (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Dec 4, 2013):
The absurd “War on Gold” that India has launched this year has been covered many times on this site. From the moment I read about it, it was obvious that if Indians want their gold, the Indians will have their gold. You can’t break thousands of years of tradition and culture because of the ignorant whims of a few bureaucrats.
Earlier today, Reuters published an article detailing the extent to which Indian smugglers will go in order to bring the money of kings into the country. This includes hiding it in underwear, swallowing it whole and even painting gold staples gray. What is most disturbing is the lengths authorities are willing to go to in order to stop a supposedly free people from buying a brick of metal.
(Reuters) – Indian gold smugglers are adopting the methods of drug couriers to sidestep a government crackdown on imports of the precious metal, stashing gold in imported vehicles and even using mules who swallow nuggets to try to get them past airport security.
- Food poverty in UK has reached level of ‘public health emergency’, warn experts (Independent, Dec4, 2013):
Hunger in Britain has reached the level of a “public health emergency” and the Government may be covering up the extent to which austerity and welfare cuts are adding to the problem, leading experts have said.
In a letter to the British Medical Journal, a group of doctors and senior academics from the Medical Research Council and two leading universities said that the effect of Government policies on vulnerable people’s ability to afford food needed to be “urgently” monitored.
- Japan’s secrets bill turns journalists into terrorists (Japan Times, Dec 3, 2013):
Shinzo Abe owes Xi Jinping a debt of gratitude.The buzz in Japanese cyberspace is that Chinese President Xi is wagging the dog by declaring a controversial “air-defense identification zone” across the East China Sea. The move has drastically ramped up tensions with Japan and the United States, both of which have blatantly disregarded Beijing’s unilateral edict. According to one prevailing theory, Xi is whipping up an international storm to change the subject domestically away from income inequality, official corruption and China’s blackening skies.
The leader benefiting most from the controversy, though, may be Japan’s Abe. With his own populace furious over China’s unilateral decree, the prime minister is seizing the opportunity to rush a chilling official-secrets bill into law.