Updates from January, 2014 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • #AceNewsGroup 17:17 on January 13, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , Local government in England, , Roger Helmer, Tom Greatrex   

    #Fracking : Cameron Ignores Plea’s from “People About Environment and Health” and Bribe’s Council’s” 


    #AceNewsServices says according to the latest UK #Fracking news from the BBC also with Video

    Councils that back #fracking will get to keep more money in tax revenue, David Cameron has said as he urged opponents to “get on board”.

    The prime minister said English local authorities would receive all the business rates collected from shale gas schemes – rather than the usual 50%.

    In a visit to a Lincolnshire fracking site, he predicted the process could support 74,000 jobs and reduce bills.

    Against fracking 01

    Against fracking 01 (Photo credit: Bosc d’Anjou)

    But Greenpeace accused ministers of trying to “bribe councils”.

    Mr Cameron’s announcement on business rates came as French company Total confirmed plans to invest about £30m to help drill two exploratory wells in Lincolnshire. It is the first major energy firm to invest in fracking in the UK.

    The British Geological Survey estimates there may be 1,300 trillion cubic feet of shale gas present in the north of England.

    But the process to extract it – called fracking, which is short for “hydraulic fracturing” – has led to protests, with environmentalists fearing the technique could cause small earth tremors, water contamination and environmental damage.

    On Monday protesters at the Barton Moss fracking facility in Greater Manchester climbed on to lorries entering the site.

    But Mr Cameron argued that the UK had the “strongest environmental controls” and pledged: “Nothing would go ahead if there were environmental dangers.

    “Shale is important for our country,” he continued. “It could bring 74,000 jobs, over £3 billion of investment, give us cheaper energy for the future, and increase our energy security.

    “I want us to get on board this change that is doing so much good and bringing so much benefit to North America. I want us to benefit from it here as well.”

    Infographic showing shale gas extraction

    Fracking involve’s drilling deep underground and releasing a high-pressure mix of water, sand and chemicals to crack rocks and release gas stored inside.

    Whitehall officials said the business rates commitment would mean councils keeping up to £1.7m extra a year from each fracking site.

    Separately, the mining industry has pledged to give communities £100,000 for test drilling and a further 1% of the revenues if shale is discovered, they added.

    Energy minister Michael Fallon said councils could benefit by up to “£10 million per well-head” if shale gas was successfully extracted in their communities, through the 1% levy on revenues.

    “How fracking recovers natural gas from shale”

    The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England, said the announcement was a “step in the right direction” but any packages had to “fairly remunerate” those affected.

    “Start Quote

    This is a naked attempt by the government to bribe hard-pressed councils into accepting fracking in their area.”

    According to Lawrence Carter of Greenpeace

    “One percent of gross revenues distributed locally is not good enough; returns should be more in line with payments across the rest of the world and be set at 10%,” a spokesman said. “The community benefits of fracking should be enshrined in law, so companies cannot withdraw them to the detriment of local people.”

    Responding to the LGA’s call for 10% of revenues, Mr Fallon said: “This is something obviously the industry will keep under review.”

    For Labour, shadow energy minister Tom Greatrex said it was right for communities to share in the potential rewards from shale gas, but he called on the government to “get its priorities right”.

    “Only by fully addressing legitimate environmental and safety concerns about fracking with robust regulation and comprehensive monitoring will people have confidence that the exploration and possible extraction of shale gas is a safe and reliable source that can contribute to the UK’s energy mix,” he said.

    Friends of the Earth’s Jane Thomas argued that the new policy “highlights the depth of local opposition to fracking and the desperate lengths ministers are prepared to go to try to overcome it”.

    ‘New North Sea’

    Lawrence Carter of Greenpeace added: “Having had their claims that fracking will bring down energy bills and create jobs thoroughly discredited, the government is now resorting to straight up bribery to sell their deeply unpopular fracking policy.”

    St Anna's Road siteThe “fracking” technique to extract shale gas has proved controversial

    The Institute of Directors welcomed the move on business rates, with chief economist James Sproule arguing: “Investment from Total is a vote of long-term confidence in the UK shale industry, and is a welcome sign that the government is creating the conditions necessary to maximise the potential benefits of a new domestic energy source.

    UKIP energy spokesman Roger Helmer warned  that “all the financial benefits [of fracking] could be swallowed up by bureaucracy” and urged the government to create a sovereign wealth fund so that  fracking  profits “would ensure financial security for future generations”.

    Map showing areas of the UK licensed for oil and gas exploration and areas under consideration for licensing

     

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  • #AceNewsGroup 16:10 on January 10, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Fast track (trade), , , , Trade pact, , , United States Senate Committee on Finance   

    #TPP is Fast-Tracked Through Congress to Facilitate a Flawed Agreement 


    #AceWorldNews says according to a post today in EcoWatch written by Ilana Solomon it was yesterday, Congress pulled a rusty, old tool from the bottom of its toolbox. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Rep. Camp (R-MI) introduced the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014, otherwise known as “fast track,” which could facilitate passage of deeply flawed trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact with limited public and Congressional input. If fast-track legislation is approved by Congress, the President would be able sign the #TPP and then send it to Congress for a straight up-or-down vote—with no room for amendments and limited floor debate. If that sounds backward, it’s because it is.

    tppFI

    The#TPP agreement could devastate communities, our climate and our environment. It would open the floodgates for the expansion of natural gas exports and fracking across the U.S. Graphic courtesy of the Electronic Frontier Foundation

    First, fast track is an outdated and inappropriate mechanism. It was first passed in 1974 when trade pacts focused on traditional trade issues, like tariffs and quotas. Today, trade pacts like the #TPP cover a broad range of issues including the environment, investment, labour, government procurement, consumer protections and many more things we face in our everyday lives. It is therefore critical that Congress maintain its constitutional authority to oversee trade policy and ensure that trade pacts protect communities, workers and the environment before the pacts get finalized.

    Second, fast track is undemocratic. After congressional approval, the President could submit signed trade pacts to Congress for an up-or-down vote within 90 days with all amendments forbidden and a maximum of 20 hours of debate. Even more atrocious is that it would actually allow the President to write legislation that would change U.S. laws to make them conform to the terms of the secretly negotiated trade agreement.

    In other words, fast-track authority eliminates a critical constitutional check-and-balance structure that aids most other democratic processes. By stripping Congress of its ability to fully debate and amend the language of today’s all-encompassing trade pacts, fast-track authority renders Congress unable to ensure that trade negotiations result in agreements that benefit communities and the environment.

    Third, it’s a risky endeavor that could help rubber-stamp very harmful trade pacts such as the #TPP. The #TPP agreement could devastate communities, our climate and our environment. It would elevate corporations to the level of nations, thus allowing foreign companies to directly sue governments in private trade tribunals over laws and policies that corporations allege reduce their profits. It would also open the floodgates for the expansion of natural gas exports and, therefore,fracking across the U.S.

    TPP What is Wrong?And the real kicker is that—despite these any many other consequences—there has been virtually no opportunity for public discussion of the trade pact, as no draft text has been publicly revealed. So Congress is actually voting on whether to quickly pass trade agreements it’s never even seen!

    Now is the time we need a full discussion about the true costs of the #TPP and other trade pacts—not a process to rush flawed deals through the finish line.

    The bottom line is that fast track would set us up for failure. It’s critical that Congress has the ability to effectively oversee trade negotiations and ensure that the contents of our trade agreements protect our workers, communities and environment in the U.S. and abroad. The public and members of Congress have effectively been left in the dark for too long. Now it’s up to Congress to take the reins and oppose fast track. On behalf of the Sierra Club and our 2.1 million members and supports, I urge members to oppose this fast-track bill and retain their right to ensure that the U.S. trades responsibly.

    Courtesy of Ilana Solomon

     

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  • #AceNewsGroup 18:48 on January 5, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , Hero,   

    Edward Snowden: Hero Or Zero? 


    #AceNewsGroup:

    #AceWorldNews says ” #truth is stranger than fiction but people who tell the #realtruth deserve to be heard and not not made to pay #freedomofspeech

    Like

    Originally posted on Robin Hood Revival:

    As we have previously stated at Robin Hood, Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning are the first of many “truthers”.  America’s condemnation of these “truthers” confirms America has a lot to hide.  The Washington establishment with it portrayal of naivety projects so it hopes, that naivety on to the American people.  The awakening for the american people began some time ago the Washington Post along with the rest of the corporate news media will never again we believe at Robin Hood be capable of shaping the American people’s reality.

    Love and blessings

    View original

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 15:22 on January 5, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , executive orders, Firearm, , , Involuntary commitment, , mental health problems, mental health records, National Instant Criminal Background Check System, NICS, , , ,   

    Obama Administration Issues “Two New Executive Orders” on Gun Control in Attempt to Erode Second Amendment 


    #AceWorldNews according to by  in his story on January 4th, 2014 that was last updated at 9:07 pm. The Obama Administration announced two new executive orders on gun control Friday, after countless other attempts to erode Second Amendment rights failed to gain public support.

    gunconfiscationAccording to one of the proposed actions, patient privacy laws would be pushed aside to allow increased government access to mental health records. Currently required to protect that information, states would now be exempt, instead encouraged to submit a patients private records into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

    A second proposal from the Department of Justice would “clarify” who is barred from owning firearms, which would include anyone involuntarily committed to an inpatient or outpatient mental institution. In an attempt to diminish concern, the administration claims that seeking help for mental issues does not prohibit a person from firearm ownership.

    “The proposed rule will not change the fact that seeking help for mental health problems or getting treatment does not make someone legally prohibited from having a firearm,” the statement said.

    Unfortunately, even without the executive orders currently applied, the government has already deceptively used this exact tactic to revoke legitimate gun ownership without due process, an issue that will undoubtedly increase.

    READ MORE: SL

     

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  • #AceNewsGroup 11:12 on January 5, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , kind support, , , ,   

    #AceNewsGroup says to All its Readers “Thank You for 1000 Likes on Our Posts” 


    WP Like Button#AceNewsGroup says today marks another milestone for our group and it is all thanks to you the readers kind support and all your likes, as we have reached 1000 and we could not do it without your support.

    So all l can say is a great big thank you from the Ace News GroupThanks in all languages   

     

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  • #AceNewsGroup 20:27 on January 4, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , 31 October, Adygea, , , Maykop, , Oystein Bogen, , , Tuapse,   

    “Russian Police Repeatedly Harassed Two Norwegian TV Journalists” 


    Sochi (Krasnodar krai), coat of arms

    Sochi (Krasnodar krai), coat of arms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    #AceWorldNews  says  Reporters Without Borders is Shocked by the Way the Russian Police Repeatedly harassed two Norwegian TV journalists , Reporter Oystein Bogen and Cameraman Aage Aune , while They Were Visiting the Sochi Region from 31 October to 2 November to cover problems related to preparations for next February’s Winter Olympics .

    Bogen and Aune, WHO work for Norway’s Privately-owned TV2 Channel, Say the Police Stopped Them six times in the space of Three days, interrogated Them in Detail About Their work and Their local contacts and, at one Point, even took Them into custody for several hours.

    “Arbitrary arrest, violation of the confidentiality of journalists’ sources, seizure of journalistic material – this string of breaches of freedom of information suggests a strategy of all-out harassment,” Reporters Without Borders said.

    Sochi / RU, 2007

    Sochi / RU, 2007 (Photo credit: william veerbeek)

    “The ordeal That These two journalists underwent bodes ill for the drastic Security Measures That Will be Applied in the Run-up to the games . Combatting terrorist threats is obviously necessary but it does not justify such excesses. We hope the Norwegian authorities will quickly obtain the explanations they have requested from their Russian counterparts. “

    “The international media must not be intimidated by this episode. There is nothing criminal about covering the preparations for the Winter Olympics or meeting local journalists and activists. We reiterate our appeal to foreign reporters to take advantage of the spotlight on Sochi to look beyond the Olympic facade and to meet local civil society representatives.

    “At the Same time, we Urge Visiting journalists to Take the Necessary Precautions to protect the confidentiality of sources and Their to avoid Surveillance of Their Communications . To this end, we have Made A ‘Digital Survival kit’ available to Them. “

    Bogen and Aune had proper accreditation and used a rental car to travel around Krasnodar, the region where Sochi is located, and to visit the neighbouring autonomous Republic of Adygea.

    They were first questioned about their plans and the people they were interviewing on 31 October.They were questioned again, twice, on 1 November in Maykop, Adygea’s capital. At the end of the second session on 1 November, other police officer suddenly arrived, accused Bogen of taking drugs and made him accompany them to a nearby clinic for a drug test. This episode ended after an hour and a half, when a person identifying himself as the local police chief released the two journalists and apologised for the “mistake.”

    The next day, they were stopped again and interrogated for an hour between Maykop and Sochi. And they were questioned again in the early evening near Tuapse, a town in the Krasnodar region. This time they were taken into custody without any explanation and were put in a cell with other suspects.

    Their equipment was temporarily confiscated and their repeated requests to be allowed to call their embassy were ignored. They were freed at around 10 pm but, as they reached the outskirts of Sochi, they were stopped again.

    After searches and a security check, they were taken to the nearest police checkpoint, where an officer questioned Bogen about his private life and his work, going so far as to ask him for a list of the people he planned to meet in Sochi and the places where he planned to film. After being forced to sign a statement without being given a copy, they were finally allowed to continue their way at around 1 am

    The Russian foreign ministry gave the two journalists a formal apology yesterday for the “series of unwarranted actions” and said the police responsible would be punished for “abusing their authority.”

    Reporters Without Borders Published an in-depth Report in early October About the State of freedom of information in the Sochi Region .

    (Photos: TV2 / Oystein Bogen, Aage Aune)


    Foreign journalists must not retreat in the face of intimidation

    Reporters Without Borders shocked intrusive actions by the police, who were subjected to two Norwegian journalists in Sochi region during from October 31 to November 2, 2013 Reporter private channel TV2 Heist Bogen and operator Ogge Eyun came to the region for reporting problems, related to the organization of the Winter Olympic Games, which begin in February 2014 According to the journalists they were detained by law enforcement officials six times in three days.During the detention of journalists questioned in detail about their professional and local contacts and even placed under arrest without explanation.

    “Arbitrary detention, secret neglect of journalistic sources, the confiscation of professional equipment … This set of violations of freedom of information shows determination to expose harassment of two journalists. Their painful stay in the region does not bode well against tough security measures that will be taken in anticipation of the Olympics, starting in January of next year. Combating the threat of terrorism is certainly necessary, but it does not justify such action. We hope that the Norwegian authorities very soon receive an explanation from the Russian leadership, “- said Reporters Without Borders.

    “The international media should not allow themselves to be intimidated by this incident. There is nothing criminal to carry reports on the preparation of the Olympic Games and to meet with local journalists and activists. We again appeal to foreign correspondents calling a wide press coverage of Sochi to not be limited to the Olympic theme and meet with civil society. At the same time, we urge to take all necessary precautions to protect the confidentiality of journalists’ sources of information and to avoid total control of their communications: for this purpose we have available for journalists’ digital survival kit ‘. “

    Heist Bogen and Ogge Eyun – duly accredited journalists. They rented a car for journeys in the Krasnodar region, which is located in Sochi, as well as the neighboring autonomous republic of Adygea. Answering questions for the first time on October 31 about the plans and the persons from whom they interviewed journalists were again a series of interviews on November 1 in Maikop (Adygea). At the end of the second interview arrived at the scene other Interior Ministry officials, accusing Heist Bogen in the use of drugs and forcibly took him to the nearest clinic for a series of tests. Journalists detained after half an hour and then released after a man arrived who introduced himself as the local police chief, and brought them to apologize for making a “mistake.”

    Nevertheless, the next day journalists were detained and interrogated again an hour between Maikop and Sochi. Then again, in the late afternoon, near Tuapse (Krasnodar region). But this time the journalists detained without explanation in a cell with other suspects, temporarily withdrawing their equipment. Their repeated requests to contact the embassy were not taken into account. Finally, in the area 22 hours journalists released from custody. However, when reporters finally got to Sochi, they once again detained. After the search and security control procedures, they were taken to a nearby checkpoint where police officer questioned Heist Bogen detail about his personal and professional life, asking to provide a list of persons with whom the latter was planning to meet in Sochi, as well as places that he was going to shoot film. Journalists have not received any copies of their statements, which were forced to sign. They finally were allowed to continue their journey in the morning.

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented a formal apology to two journalists on November 6 for “a number of unreasonable actions” that they have experienced. The ministry said that law enforcement officials, “exceeded its authority” will be punished.

    Reporters Without Borders published in early October, a report on the status of the investigation in relation to freedom of information in the region of Sochi.

    LINKED ARTICLES

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  • #AceNewsGroup 20:06 on January 4, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , LiveJournal, , , Tomsk, ,   

    “Government Anti-“Extremism” Campaign Hits Internet Content and Access in Russia” 


    Logo of Reporters Without Borders, animated tr...

    Logo of Reporters Without Borders, animated trilingual version (English, French, Spanish). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    #AceGuestNews says according to a recent article in RFS the authorities have used the issue of national security to expand Web monitoring and censorship – even while continuing to promote and develop Internet access for the population at large. The Web has played a key role in the political debate prompted by legislative and presidential elections and in the post-election mobilization of the opposition and civil society. These developments provoked a strong official response. The blogosphere has grown stronger and better organized in the face of state attacks.

    Government anti-“extremism” campaign hits Internet content and access

    President George W. Bush of the United States ...

    President George W. Bush of the United States and President Vladimir Putin of Russia, exchange handshakes Thursday, June 7, 2007, after their meeting at the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm, Germany. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Prime Minister (now President-elect) Vladimir Putin said on 9 February 2012: “Negative phenomena exist everywhere, including on the Internet, and should not be used as a pretext to limit Internet freedom.” However, the authorities have used the justification of preventing violence to reinforce their control of the Internet, with the Federal Security Service (FSB) taking steps to close a number of online organizations in late 2011. Most of these groups have clearly called on their members to respect the law and not to let themselves be provoked into violence.

    The government list of “extremist” content, as well as the boundaries of the category itself, keep growing. It now includes everything touching on religion and issues of ethnicity, which have become taboo subjects on RuNet – as the Russian Internet is known. That list is the basis of official demands to take down content, and of actions to block site access (see the Russia chapter in the 2011 report on Enemies of the Internet).

    The process of domain name registration could affect freedom of expression online by leading to closure of more sites. New rules promulgated by Nic.ru, the biggest Russian domain name-registration company, allow the cancellation of domain names for inciting violence, “extremist” activity, advocating overthrow of the government, activity in conflict with human dignity or religious beliefs. The rules reflected new official regulations. Domain name-registration companies are authorized to suspend names in the .ru and .rf (pΦ) domains upon written notification from “agencies conducting an investigation.” That provision would potentially authorize prosecutors, the FSB, the police, or the drug enforcement agency (FSKN) to order such a move.

    In Tomsk, Siberia, the broadcast arm of Roskomnadzor, the federal mass communications supervisory agency, has recently pressured the regional television network TV-2 to stop transmitting two news programs by Dozhd, the first Internet TV network in Russia, whose content is critical of the government.

    Anatoly Baranov, owner of the forum.msk.ru discussion platform, states that the Yandex search engine filtered out news items from his site on Yandex.News searches.

    Danger of the spread of online monitoring and censorship

    English: Flag of Roskomnadzor Русский: Флаг Ро...

    English: Flag of Roskomnadzor Русский: Флаг Роскомнадзора (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Roskomnadzor, whose regulatory authority extends to information technology and mass communications, has announced that it has installed on-line software to detect “extremist” material. The sites identified through this process will be given three days to take down content that meets this ill-defined standard. If a site does not comply, two additional warnings will be sent. The site will then be shut down.

    The software was to go into operation in test mode in December, 2011. Its full deployment has beenpostponed indefinitely. Nevertheless, it carries the risk of system-wide monitoring of the Russian Weband could lead eventually to the taking down of all content that displeases the authorities.

    The justice ministry, for its part, has invited bids to create its own monitoring system of content on the Internet. Such a system would allow close examination of all content touching on Russian government and justice systems, and any European Union statement concerning Russia.

    Bloggers under pressure

    Prison sentences and violent attacks were less frequent in 2011, except during the election campaign period. Yet legal proceedings and pressures of all kind continue – above all when the activities of netizens focus on sensitive topics and powerful interest groups.

    Maj. Igor Matveev of the interior ministry garrison in Vladivostok has been prosecuted on charges that seem to have been prompted by his revelations last June of practices in the military region where he served. He reported that troops were served dog food in cans falsely labelled as containing beef stew. He faces a possible 10-year sentence.

    Yuri Yegorov, a former employee of the regional government of Tatarstan’s human rights ombudsman’s office, received a six-month suspended sentence last June, as well as two years of probation, for defamation. He had revealed a case of alleged corruption in the ombudsman’s office, headed by Rashit Vagiov, that took place from February to July 2007.

    Leonid Kaganov, a prominent blogger, was forced last May to house his site abroad. In 2009, the FSB had demanded, through his hosting service, the removal of an anti-Semitic poem that was on his site because he had mocked it.

    Roman Hoseyev is the target of administrative action for having quoted from “Mein Kampf” on a site in 2005, before the 2010 banning of the book in Russia. He had drawn comparisons between statements by US President George W. Bush and Hitler.

    No information has been received about the fate of a Navy conscript who blogged under the nameVasily, publishing on Twitter under the name Sosigusyan. He denounced hazing and poor living conditions in his unit. His Twitter account was hacked and the content about the military taken down, except for the last three posts, which were written by another person.

    Propaganda and cyber-attacks

    In addition to mounting a campaign of repression against on-line oppositionists, the Kremlin deploys its own cyber-weapons. Several thousand Twitter accounts were hacked at the end of 2011 in order to flood social media with pro-government messages, using hashtags popular with oppositionists (notably, #navalny, from the name of the well-known political activist and anti-corruption bloggerAlexei Navalny, and #триумфалънпая, from Triumfalnaya Square in Moscow).

    LiveJournal was taken down by DDOS in 2006.

    LiveJournal was taken down by DDOS in 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Many Russian bloggers have pointed to a wave of “bots” unleashed against the LiveJournal social media platform. Oleg Kozyrev, an opposition blogger, has counted more than 2,000 of these software weapons.

    Oppositionist Navalny’s e-mail inbox has been hacked, with the contents displayed on a site called navalnymail.kz. According to several bloggers, this action could be part of a government-organized campaign to discredit Navalny.

    The wave of cyber-attacks peaked at the time of the legislative elections last December. A series of Distributed Denial of Service attacks paralyzed sites critical of the government before and during the vote, apparently to silence the dissidents. Access to LiveJournal, which hosts blogs critical of the Kremlin, was blocked for three days, starting on 1 December 2011. The site had already suffered a DDoS attack the month before.

    Among other Web targets are:

    • Echo of Moscow radio’s site, Echo.msk.ru
    • The independent daily Kommersant’s site, komersant.ru
    • The election-monitoring NGO’s site, golos.org
    • KartaNarusheniy.ru, an interactive map created by Golos to track reports of election fraud
    • Gazeta.ru, an independent news site
    • Lenizdat.ru, a Saint Petersburg-based independent news site
    • Slonl.ru and Newtimes.ru, opposition sites which posted the Golos map after Gazeta.ru took it down
    • Ridus.ru, a citizen-journalism site
    • Doshdu.ru, the site of Dosh, an independent news magazine about the Russian Caucasus
    • Zaks.ru, a news site on the northwest region.

    Some media organizations and opposition groups, having anticipated these developments, migrated to social networks and called on their readers to follow them on Twitter and Facebook in the event that their sites went down.

    Disputed elections, attempted control of online political debate

    Most traditional media organizations, notably television networks, are under Kremlin control, genuine political discussions have been possible only online. Any measure deemed necessary to uphold the country’s strongman, Putin, has been considered appropriate.

    Even before and during the legislative elections, debates had been hindered by cyber-attacks and by the arrests of journalists and bloggers. Those detained included Alexey Sochnev, the editor of the independent news site Besttoday.ru; Maria Plieva, a prominent blogger in Ossetia; and the president of Golos, Lilia Chibanova.

    Golos’ interactive election-fraud monitoring map proved to be a great success as the elections unfolded. Thousands of videos showing irregularities at voting places were posted to the site, prompting Russians to take to the streets in great numbers to denounce election fraud. Navalny and many journalists were arrested during these post-election demonstrations,

    The great majority of traditional media organizations – especially television networks – ignored these events. Instead, they provided largely favourable coverage of Putin’s party, United Russia, which swept the legislative elections.

    English: Emblem of Federal Security Service of...

    English: Emblem of Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation. Español: Emblema del Servicio Federal de Seguridad. Русский: Эмблема ФСБ. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    The social media site Vkontakte, which has more than 5 million members in Russia, found itself in the government spotlight. The FSB told the site’s founder and director, Pavel Durov, to shut down seven groups calling for demonstrations last December (including a group rallying to defend the ruling party). A Russian blogger estimated that up to 185,000 netizens subscribed to protest-organizing groups. A spokesman for Vkontakte said publicly that the site would not practice censorship and would not carry out the FSB order. Following the statement, Durov was summoned to appear before prosecutors in Saint Petersburg on 9 December.

    Regional discussion forums, very popular at the provincial level, with most participants anonymous, have become a favourite resource for political debate among Russian netizens, and a nightmare for the authorities. However, these sites are less powerful than the national media and easy to censor, though that has not prevented netizens from migrating to other sites, hosted abroad. At least three forums were closed or suspended during the months leading up to the early December elections.

    One of these sites is the Kostroma Jedis regional forum, which was targeted following the posting of two satirical videos criticizing Igor Slyunyaev, governor of the Kostroma region, some 300 km northwest of Moscow. In November, other forums were shut down or purged of all political content by their administrators. One such case occurred in the Arzamas, a city 410 km east of Moscow, affecting the mcn.nnov.ru site. Another took place in the west-central city of Miass, 95 km west of Chelyabinsk, affecting the forum.miass.ru site. It is not clear if these were cases of official action or self-censorship. In either case, the closing of these forums signifies a narrowing of the possibilities for political debate on the Russian Web.

    In the run-up to the presidential election in March, Golos, the election-monitoring NGO, put up a new version of its interactive map to track election fraud, with stronger defences against cyber-attack. Navalny, the activist and blogger, mounted a site, Rosvybory.org, to assist citizens in becoming presidential election observers.

    The campaign of repression mounted for the legislative elections illustrated the official attitude toward protest. And the official response was designed to create a deterrent to popular action in the presidential election period. Tensions grew during the months between the two elections. On 17 February, Reporters Without Borders denounced a wave of intimidation aimed at national independent media. Major targets included Echo of MoscowNovaya Gazeta, an independent newspaper, and Dozhd, the online television operation. The latter organization received a fax on 16 February from the Moscow prosecutor’s office, demanding detailed information on the “network’s financing for coverage of mass demonstrations on 10 and 24 December.”

    These barely veiled accusations against Dozhd track precisely with statements by Prime Minister Putin, who had publicly accused demonstrators of having acted at the encouragement of the US state department. Roskomnadzor, the mass communications authority, had already required Dozhd to defend its coverage of the December protests. After examining in detail the images that the network had transmitted, the agency finally concluded that they contained nothing objectionable.

    Journalists were again arrested and beaten during the post-election demonstrations of 5 March 2012. The clear goal was to prevent coverage of the demonstrations. However, contrary to what was seen in December, cyber-attacks seem to have been set aside – for now.

    Export of the Russian model of Web control?

    Russia has played a leading role on the international scene in promoting its vision of the Internet and exporting its Web control strategy. Moscow has proposed to the UN, together with China, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, an Internet conduct code designed to provide “information security.”

    The impact of the Kremlin’s policy is all the greater because the RuNet sphere of influence extends throughout the region, influencing countries such as Belarus and Kazakhstan in their Internet monitoring and censorship programs.

    #AceGuestViews

     

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  • #AceNewsGroup 13:34 on January 1, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , December 31, , , , ,   

    #Syria Misses Chemical Weapons Deadline #Peace 


    150 px

    150 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    #AceWorldNews says with the start of the #Geneva2Convention just around the corner on January 22, this is not what we want to hear………………………………………………………..

    EuroNews reports as and according to Damascus had agreed to hand over some of its most deadly toxins from the Syrian port of Latakia on December 31, but failed to show.

    Officials from the ‘Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ had expected the deadline to be missed.

    “We understand that a number of factors have added up which have made the Syrian authorities unable to meet this December 31 deadline – the poor weather in certain parts of Syria is one of these factors and, of course, the volatility of the security situation,” explained OPCWspokesman Christian Chartier.

    The December date was supposed to have been the first milestone of a deal brokered by the US and Russia to rid Syria of its chemical weapons arsenal by June 2014.

    In a separate development, an anti-President Bashar al-Assad monitoring group based in Britain estimates that at least 130,000 people have been killed in the conflict since it began in March 2011.

    Copyright © 2014 euronews

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 15:17 on November 28, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , environmental statement, , , , Hybrid Bill, , London - West Midlands, , Royal Assent   

    HS2: Hybrid Bill Documents that Together Form the HS2 Phase One Environmental Statement 


    HS2 Cost#AceNewsServices says these documents that together form the HS2 Phase One environmental statement outline the pro’s and con’s of HS2’s environmental impact! It has been given the name “Hybrid Bill” which of course has the hybrid word is a word which etymologically has one part derived from one language and another part derived from a different language. A little like the HS2 as it is being cobbled together in order to obtain contracts ,for those that look to benefit when their tenders are accepted. 

    Well here is this cobbled together collection of “Hybrid” parts and God help the countryside when this scheme gets approval, according to the UK Parliament Site this is the progress so far.

    Progress of the Bill

    Bill started in theHouse of Commons

    1. House of Commons
      1. 1st reading
      2. 2nd reading
      3. Committee stage
      4. Report stage
      5. 3rd reading
    2. House of Lords
      1. 1st reading
      2. 2nd reading
      3. Committee stage
      4. Report stage
      5. 3rd reading
    3. Consideration of Amendments
    4. Royal Assent

    Next event

    • 2nd reading: House of Commons2nd reading: House of Commons | Date to be announced

    Anyway judge for yourself!          

    HS2 BuildingThe ‘HS2 Phase One environmental statement’ was produced to accompany the HS2 Phase One hybrid Bill.

    We’re seeking comments on all the documents forming the environmental statement through the HS2 Phase One environmental statement consultation open between 25 November 2013 and 24 January 2014.

    Guide to the environmental statement

    This document does not form part of the ‘HS2 Phase One environmental statement’ itself but provides a short guide to the makeup of the environmental statement.

    1. Understanding the HS2 Phase One environmental statement

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance

    Non-technical summary and glossary

    1. HS2 Phase One environmental statement: non-technical summary

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance
    2. HS2 Phase One environmental statement: glossary and abbreviations

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance

    HS2 Phase 1 and 2Volume 1: introduction and background information

    This provides an introduction to the HS2 Phase One environmental statement under consultation. This volume also includes an overview of the impact assessment process and the consultation itself, and the main strategic, route-wide and local alternatives considered.

    1. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 1: introduction to the environmental statement

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance

    Volume 2: area reports

    Reports of the main environmental effects of HS2 in different geographical areas (known as ‘community forum areas’) along the HS2 Phase One route. This volume also contains books of maps relevant to each report.

    1. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 2: community forum area reports and map books

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance

    Volume 3: route wide effects

    This document sets out the likely route wide environmental effects of the construction and operation of Phase One of HS2.

    1. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 3: route-wide effects

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance

    Volume 4: off-route effects

    This document sets out the likely significant environmental effects of Phase One of HS2 expected at locations beyond the route corridor, such as rail stations, rail depots and rail lines. This volume covers areas not included in the community forum area reports in volume 2.

    1. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 4: off-route effects

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance

    Volume 5: supporting information and planning

    Documents providing information including: planning consents, standard measures to be followed when building the route, and environmental effects of moving parts of the route within its legal limits.

    1. HS2 Phase One draft environmental statement

      • 25 November 2013
      • Consultation outcome
    2. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 5: alternatives report

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance
    3. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 5: committed developments

      • 25 November 2013
      • Map
    4. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 5: draft code of construction practice

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance
    5. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 5: off-route effects supporting information

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance
    6. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 5: planning data

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance
    7. HS2 Phase One environmental statement: scope and methodology

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance
    8. HS2 Phase Two consultation: sustainability statement

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance
    9. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 5: wider effects

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance

    Volume 5: environmental topic reports and map books

    Reports by topic of the environmental effects of the building and operation of Phase One of HS2. This volume also contains books of maps relevant to each report.

    1. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 5: agriculture, forestry and soils

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance
    2. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 5: air quality

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance
    3. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 5: climate

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance
    4. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 5: community

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance
    5. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 5: cultural heritage

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance
    6. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 5: ecology

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance
    7. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 5: electromagnetic interference

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance
    8. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 5: land quality

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance
    9. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 5: landscape and visual assessment

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance
    10. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 5: socio-economics

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance
    11. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 5: sound, noise and vibration

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance
    12. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 5: traffic and transport

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance
    13. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 5: waste

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance
    14. HS2 Phase One environmental statement volume 5: water resources

      • 25 November 2013
      • Guidance

    Consultation

    Stop HS2Comments are invited on the environmental statement which covers the environmental effects of the building and operation of Phase One of HS2and the measures that could be used to manage and reduce any negative effects.

    This consultation is required by parliamentary rules to allow member of the public and other interested parties to comment on the environmental statement which accompanies the HS2 Phase One hybrid Bill.

    draft of the HS2 Phase One environmental statement was consulted on in spring 2013.

    1. HS2 Phase One environmental statement

      • 25 November 2013
      • Open consultation

    Announcements

    1. Major step forward for HS2 as hybrid Bill published

      • 25 November 2013
      • Press release
    2. High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill

      • 25 November 2013
      • Statement to Parliament

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 19:37 on November 22, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , Arthur Goldberg, Goldberg, , Johnson, , , New Frontier, W. Willard Wirtz   

    JFK the Man the President and the Legend 


    Photo portrait of John F. Kennedy, President o...

    Photo portrait of John F. Kennedy, President of the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    #AceNewsServices says before John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960 in a dramatically close election, he promised a “New Frontier” of domestic social and economic reform. As President he offered a wide agenda of legislative proposals to realize this goal. The major proposals included establishing a volunteer Peace Corps to assist underdeveloped countries, raising the minimum wage and broadening its coverage, raising Social Security benefits, providing medicare, providing federal aid to education, creating a federal department of urban affairs, and giving greater powers to the federal government to deal with economic recessions. The Congress and the country were not ready to adopt all of this program, however. The Peace Corps was established, Social Security benefits and the minimum wage were raised, and a historic housing law was enacted, but little else was enacted. Kennedy’s term was tragically shortened by an assassin’s bullet in November 1963.

    Kennedy brought an eager and able throng of people anxious to serve under him. One of the most notable among them was Arthur J. Goldberg, special counsel to the AFL-CIO and considered the leading labor lawyer in the country. Kennedy named Goldberg to be his Secretary of Labor. Known as the “Davey Crockett of the New Frontier”, Goldberg became involved in a wide range of social and cultural issues in the Kennedy Administration. He was instrumental in improving cultural life in the Capital and in beginning redevelopment of the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor from Capitol Hill to the White House. In the labor sphere, Goldberg concentrated on dealing with labor relations problems and on improving equal employment opportunities.

    The official portrait of Arthur J. Goldberg ha...

    The official portrait of Arthur J. Goldberg hangs in the Department of Labor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Early in his term Goldberg had to bring bad news on two fronts to the country: unemployment rose to 6.8 percent in January 1961; and, in March the “steel gap” closed and the Russians finally matched American steel production. Later in the year, however, the economy was in better shape. George Meany, president of the AFL-CIO, said that under Goldberg’s leadership the Department came closer to realizing its mission of promoting the welfare of working people “than it has at any time in my … experience in Washington.” Goldberg left the Department in September 1962 to become an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Collective bargaining was Secretary Goldberg’s main interest and he actively made the “good offices” of the federal government available to help settle or prevent strikes. In February 1961 President Kennedy created an advisory committee on labour- management relations to help the Administration devise sound labor policies. While he was Secretary, Goldberg helped mediate many disputes, particularly in the defense-related aerospace industry and the crucial transportation industry (railroads, shipping and airlines). Much to the delight of the culturally minded First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, Goldberg settled a strike against the New York Metropolitan Opera in time to prevent a cancellation of the 1961-1962 season.

    As the first Jewish Secretary of Labor, Goldberg was strongly conscious of the rights of minorities. He committed the Department to actively protecting the rights of blacks and others. He actively implemented Executive Order 10925 requiring the executive branch of the government to encourage equal employment opportunity for all. Within the Department, he took steps to abolish the segregation of facilities for black employees that until then was widespread in Washington’s government offices. He instituted programs to promote better career opportunities for minority employees of the Department which his successors built upon. These programs became models for the rest of the government and for the private sector.

    Another major area of concern and activity was employment and training. There was a widespread fear beginning in the 1950s that automation and other factors would rapidly eliminate low-skill jobs and create massive and permanent unemployment if nothing were done. Two new pieces of legislation gave the Department a special role in dealing with this problem: the Area Redevelopment Act of 1961 (ARA) and the Manpower Development and Training Act of 1962 (MDTA). Under the ARA the Department provided retraining and allowances for unemployed workers in areas of serious unemployment, principally the Appalachian region. MDTA was a much broader law that gave the Department major responsibilities for identifying labor shortages, training the unemployed and the underemployed, and sponsoring a comprehensive program of research. It planted the seed of what grew into a large and complex employment and training program. Secretary Goldberg established in the Department an Office of Manpower, Automation, and Training (OMAT) to carry out responsibilities under both laws.

    Amendments to the FLSA in 1961 raised the minimum wage by stages to $1.25 an hour. They also significantly broadened the scope of the law, adding 3.6 million additional workers, most of them in retail or service trades. This was the first major expansion of scope in the history of the FLSA.

    Portrait of President Lyndon B. Johnson Deutsc...

    Portrait of President Lyndon B. Johnson Deutsch: Lyndon B. Johnson (* 1908) Italiano: Lyndon B. Johnson nel 1969 Nederlands: Lyndon B. Johnson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded the slain President Kennedy in November 1963. Johnson, a former Senate majority leader, immediately set about to enact the balance of Kennedy’s New Frontier. He also added a few new measures and redesignated the whole package as the “Great Society.” Legislatively, Johnson was quite successful.

     Domestic success was marred, however, by civil disorders in the inner cities and a disastrous war in Vietnam. Johnson was reelected in 1964 but because of opposition to his war policies he did not seek reelection in 1968.

    Serving as Secretary of Labor through Johnson’s whole term and the last part of Kennedy’s was W. Willard Wirtz, initially appointed as Arthur Goldberg’s Under Secretary. Wirtz became Secretary in September 1962. Before 1961 he had a distinguished career in the teaching and practice of law, particularly labor law, and in public service. He worked with and wrote speeches for Illinois governor and Presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson. Unlike Goldberg, Wirtz did not play an active role in mediating labor disputes. Except in national emergencies, he left dispute settlement to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and other agencies. Wirtz focused on the need to assure full employment and equal opportunity to all workers. Using words that could be applied to his predecessors and successors, he described his term as Secretary in this way: “if there was a central unifying and dignifying theme … it was in the insistence that wage earners — and those seeking that status — are people …. Human beings for whom ‘work,’ but not just ‘labor’… constitutes one of the potential ultimate satisfactions.”

    During Secretary Wirtz’s tenure an almost bewildering variety of programs took shape at the Department, both to further its historic mission of enhancing workers’ “opportunities for profitable employment” and to help realize the social and economic goals of the Johnson Administration. These programs evolved from MDTA and ARA and their amendments and a number of other laws and programs. When Congress enacted President Johnson’s “War on Poverty” it created a new agency that administered a number of anti-poverty programs, but some of these programs wound up in the Department. There were DOL education and training programs dealing with such groups as unemployed youths, high school drop-outs, older people and the hard-core unemployed. These programs included on-the-job training (OJT), institutional or class-room job-training programs, remedial education, special job-finding assistance, and counseling on personal problems and job-seeking.

    To coordinate the Department’s burgeoning training and education programs, in February 1963 Secretary Wirtz established the Manpower Administration (MA), headed initially by the Under Secretary. The MA included not only the Bureau of Employment Security and the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training but also the recently established OMAT. The MA also absorbed the most important of the job-related anti-poverty programs — the Neighborhood Youth Corps (NYC).

    English: President Kennedy signing the 1961 Am...

    English: President Kennedy signing the 1961 Amendments into law, June 30, 1961. Shown with the President are (left to right) Rep. Carl Albert (D-OK); Rep. Wilbur Mills (D-AR); Sen. John J. Williams (R-DE); Rep. Thomas J. O’Brien (D-IL); Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson; Sen. Robert S. Kerr (D-OK); Rep. John W. Byrnes (R-WS); Abraham Ribicoff, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare; and Wilbur J. Cohen, Assistant Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. SSA History Archives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    The NYC was set up under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to help unemployed 14- to 21-year-old youths from poor families to gain work experience and earn income while completing high school. By the end of 1968 the program had helped over 1.5 million young people. The program had three main components: one for in-school youth; one for out-of-school, unemployed youth; and a summer component for both groups. The program was federally funded but it was administered by local non-profit sponsors such as public schools, hospitals and libraries. The enrollees largely performed public service jobs, working as aides in libraries, schools, museums and so on.

    The NYC was redesignated the Bureau of Work Training Programs when a number of new programs were added. A Special Impact program created training and employment opportunities for people in very poor neighborhoods. New Careers trained poor persons of all ages at a pre-professional level in public service fields in which there was a shortage of qualified persons, such as in health, education and public safety. Operation Mainstream helped older people and workers with outdated skills by providing work experience on community projects that would improve the local environment. These projects were in areas with high unemployment or little industry. OJT under the MDTA sought to help the underprivileged by providing training in the workplace. It also offered basic education and assistance for those not prepared to benefit from OJT. A Concentrated Employment Program sought to make all the employment and training services in a given area available to those most in need. The Work Incentive Program (WIN), established in 1967, helped get able-bodied persons receiving assistance under Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) off welfare rolls and onto payrolls by providing training and work experience and by helping them find permanent jobs.

    There were other employment assistance programs outside of the Bureau of Work Training Programs. The Employment Service administered the institutional training program, supplementing it with remedial training and income allowances. In addition, the Service expanded its operations to help the underprivileged and shifted its focus from the needs of the employer to the needs of the job-seeker. The Department made special efforts to meet the employment and training needs of women, veterans and farm workers.

    An Office of Manpower Policy, Evaluation, and Research supplanted OMAT in 1966. Its mission was to provide basic information for policy-makers. The Office developed plans for the Department’s employment and training programs and assisted other government agencies and outside groups concerned with similar problems. It conducted research and developed demonstration projects for urban ghetto dwellers and other special groups. For example, it conducted a mobility demonstration project to study ways of helping unemployed workers move to areas where the job market was better. It constantly provided feedback to the whole employment and training program on how well or poorly goals were being met. It also assisted foreign countries in planning to deal with their employment and training problems.

    Bill Signing- Manpower Development and Trainin...

    Bill Signing- Manpower Development and Training Act of 1962. President Kennedy, Secretary of Labor Arthur Goldberg… – NARA – 194205 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Employment and training dominated during Secretary Wirtz’s tenure, but there were other important activities. Equal opportunity was a major goal of the Department. Following passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 an Office of Federal Contract Compliance was established to see that contractors were not discriminating against their employees. The Women’s Bureau had worked hard to secure passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 which sought to assure that women workers would receive equal pay for the same work. In 1964 the Bracero program ended, thereby opening thousands of agricultural jobs for American workers, if they wanted them. Efforts by the Department to secure passage of a job safety and health law were unsuccessful but they laid the foundations for future legislative action.

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 15:28 on November 22, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , Assassination of John F. Kennedy, , Desmond Tutu, Henry G. Brinton, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, , , ,   

    Christ, the Cross and John F. Kennedy 


    Picture of President Kennedy in the limousine ...

    Picture of President Kennedy in the limousine in Dallas, Texas, on Main Street, minutes before the assassination. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    #AceNewsServices says this was a post l found on the web that was really different to the normal, as it cross referenced “Christ the Cross and JFK” and the fact that fifty years have passed since President John F. Kennedy was killed on November 22, 1963. He travelled to Dallas to heal a split in the Democratic party and lost his life when he was shot in an open-air limousine. A well-intentioned mission ended in death, and the world changed forever.
    Former United States President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jackie Kennedy sit in a car in front of Blair House during the arrival ceremonies for Habib Bourguiba, president of Tunisia, in Washington, in this handout image taken on May 3, 1961. REUTERS/Abbie Rowe/The White House/John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

    The assassination was a hinge in history, on par with Pearl Harbour and 9-11. It pivoted America from the calm of the 1950’s to the upheaval of the 1960’s.

    But terribly shocking tragedies can have unexpectedly good results. Christians understand this, which is why we put crosses in our churches and around our necks. The cross of Jesus Christ is a reminder of a horrible death that had beneficial results.

    Now JFK was no Christ-figure — far from it. Christians believe that Jesus was sinless, while JFK had deep personal flaws that undermined his reputation. But his death, like the death of Jesus, changed history for the better.

    Initially, reaction to Kennedy’s assassination was nationwide shock and sorrow. Then the American people rallied around his vision of putting a man on the moon by supporting the Apollo program. JFK’s call for civil rights was amplified by his successor Lyndon Johnson, who invoked Kennedy’s memory as he advocated for the Civil Rights Act.
    In the end, the death of JFK was not only a tragedy but a catalyst. I believe that it led to advances that might have become bogged down, or not occurred at all, if Kennedy had served two full terms during the chaos and conflict of the 1960s.
    Not everyone will agree that good came out of JFK’s assassination, just as there is no unanimity about the value of Christ’s death. To find a benefit in tragedy seems counterintuitive, perhaps even scandalous.
    But the followers of Jesus Christ now make up the world’s largest religious group, with more than 2 billion adherents. They accept the tragic death of Jesus as part of their religious history, and understand — in many ways — that the evil that was done to him eventually resulted in great good.
    On a practical level, Christians are motivated to fight injustice because it was a completely innocent Jesus who was nailed to a cross with criminals on either side of him. Across the country, for example, people are now working with the Innocence Project to exonerate wrongly convicted individuals.
    John F. Kennedy motorcade, Dallas, Texas, Nov....

    John F. Kennedy motorcade, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 22, 1963 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Religiously motivated movements can have national implications — as significant as the Civil Rights Act and moon landing that followed Kennedy’s death. Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu led the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in post-apartheid South Africa, which allowed victims and perpetrators to speak in public hearings and move toward reconciliation. Such a Christian focus on forgiveness comes from what Jesus said about his killers from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

    Could such good have been done without a violent death? Perhaps. But the assassination of JFK, like the crucifixion of Jesus, is both a shock and a stimulus. One death motivated the American people to work for progress, while the other continues to inspire Christians to fight injustice and do the hard work of forgiveness and reconciliation.
    The anniversary of JFK’s death is a sign, like a cross in a church. It points us toward the possibility that death is not the end, and that good can come out of evil.
    Henry G. Brinton is pastor of Fairfax Presbyterian Church in Virginia and author of “The Welcoming Congregation: Roots and Fruits of Christian Hospitality.”
     
    SOURCE: The Washington Post: On Faith
    November 22, 2013 7:00 AM

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 18:17 on November 21, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , American Civil War, , , Kevin Connor, Martin Dempsey, , , , , , , , ,   

    The Economic Cost of a U.S. Military Strike on Syria 


    Launch of a Tactical Tomahawk cruise missile f...

    Launch of a Tactical Tomahawk cruise missile from the USS Stethem. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    #AceWorldNews says as federal lawmakers and the American people grapple with the possibility of U.S. military intervention in Syria, NPP brings you  a new interactive tool tracking the Cost of National Security. The site features counters displaying the real-time running cost of U.S. military programs, including theTomahawk Cruise Missile – the weapon to be used in a strike on Syria.

    Courtesy of NPP’s Weekly Roundup

    null
    A snapshot of NPP’s rolling counter showing how much U.S. taxpayers have spent so far in 2013 on Tomahawk Missiles.

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 19:57 on November 19, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , AQAP, , Government of Yemen, Lough Erne, ,   

    Alistair Burt Middle Eastern Foreign Minister Welcomes Step that will Starve Al Qaeda of Access to Funding 


    #AceWorldNews says Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt welcomes step that will starve Al Qaeda of access to funding.

    Speaking in New York the other day, where he co-chaired the Friends of Yemen conference, Mr Burt said:
    English: World map about terrorist attacks of ...

    English: World map about terrorist attacks of al-Qaeda. Español: Atentados atribuidos a Al Qaida Dansk: Verdenskort med alle de terror angreb der påstås at været begået af al-Qaeda. Svenska: Världskarta över Al-qaida attentat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) aims to destabilise the Government of Yemen and its security forces. Its ability to do so is significantly enhanced by funding gained through large ransom payments for foreign national hostages. We estimate that in the last two years AQAP has received almost US$20 million in ransom payments. Should this continue, AQAP’s attack capability in Yemen and against its friends and neighbours will only strengthen. “Many Friends of Yemen members in this room have experienced the kidnap of their nationals overseas, and know the terrible impact kidnaps have on individuals and their families. But they also know that making concessions to terrorists, including through ransom payments, serves only to fuel the problem and increases the risk to our nationals.

    That is why members of the G8, many of whom are here today, took the unprecedented step at the G8 Summit in Lough Erne to unequivocally reject ransom payments to terrorists. Similar action to reject ransoms to terrorists by Yemen and its friends, who are committed to Yemen’s recovery, will starve AQAP of access to the funding it relies on to exist.

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 15:39 on November 6, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,   

    League of Arab States Strong Endorsement of the Geneva Two Process 


    Arab League states and Israel map.

    Arab League states and Israel map. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Responding to the League of Arab States’ statement on Syria, an FCO spokesperson said:

    We welcome the League of Arab States’ strong endorsement of the Geneva II process and their support for the Syrian National Coalition, who we recognise as the sole legitimate representatives of the Syrian people.

    We agree with the League that Geneva II is necessary to end to this bloody conflict and secure a transition to a sustainable political settlement in Syria, where there will be no place for Assad.

    We share the League’s deep concern at the dire humanitarian situation and the need urgently to improve humanitarian access. We call on all parties to comply with the UN Security Council’s Presidential Statement on humanitarian access. The Assad regime continues to obstruct efforts by humanitarian actors to meet the needs of the millions of Syrians suffering displacement and deprivation. This is unacceptable. It must stop.

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 20:17 on October 29, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Islamic banks, Islamic economic jurisprudence, Islamic finance, , , , , , World Islamic Economic Forum   

    UK: Hosting the 115 Countries World Islamic Economic Forum Delegations 


    WIEFToday, the UK will host the World Islamic Economic Forum. Delegations from more than 115 countries, including Oman will attend the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum – the first time it has been held outside the Muslim world.

    Oman now has two Islamic banks and plans have been announced by three companies to launch takaful products. The Central Bank moved with impressive speed to establish the regulatory framework to enable the Islamic financial industry to take off in the Sultanate. It was a great privilege that the Lord Mayor of the City of London was the first senior visitor to Bank Nizwa after it opened for business in January and symbolic of the ties that have already been established between the Islamic finance industries of the Sultanate and the UK.

    For me, WIEF London encapsulates the emergence of new economic ties between nations, religions and cultures . Some want investments that are managed in accordance with their faith. Others are, in the wake of the financial crisis, drawn by principles of balance, shared risk, fairness and transparency. While others still are attracted by the sheer potential of an industry worth around $1.85 trillion globally with growth rates of up to 15% per year. Whatever the draw, the buzz around Islamic and ethical finance continues to grow louder and stronger.

    The UK, already home to the world’s financial and legal capital, is an increasingly important global player in Islamic Finance and its status, reach and competitive market makes the service it is able to offer truly unique.

    Our expertise in Islamic Finance, where we have a growing number of banks, law firms and other service providers with a wealth of experience, is highly developed, and supported by an internationally renowned legal system and regulatory framework; a time-zone that is advantageous to doing businesses in the East and in the West; and thriving and cutting edge sectors as diverse as healthcare, education and smart cities.

    As delegates will see this week, the UK is open for business and has the experience, the skills, the innovation, and the connections to overcome the challenges of the global, 24 hour market and make the most of every economic opportunity. It’s why we are rightly seen as a partner of choice and why this week’s WIEF will cement Britain’s position asthe leading Western country for Islamic finance.

    Jamie Bowden British Ambassador

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 19:43 on October 28, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: Agshin Mehdiyev, , , , , , OIC, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, ,   

    UN:Security Council Recognised and Encouraged Active Contribution of Organisation of Islamic Co-operation 


    Map of nations in Organization of the Islamic ...

    Map of nations in Organization of the Islamic Conference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    The Security Council today recognized and encouraged the active contribution of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the work of the United Nations in the fields of peacemaking, preventive diplomacy, peacekeeping and peace building.

    Reading out a statement, Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev of Azerbaijan, which holds this month’s rotating presidency of the Council, said the 15-member body “recognizes and further encourages” the active contribution of the OIC in the work that aims to realize the purposes and principles embodied in the UN Charter.

    “The Council notes the commitment of both the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to foster a global dialogue for the promotion of tolerance and peace, and calls for enhanced cooperation to promote better understanding across countries, cultures and civilizations,” according to the statement.

    During the meeting which preceded the statement, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon <“http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=7233“>urged the OIC and all leaders to “do everything possible to repair rifts and rebuild confidence between Muslim communities as well as stem the influence of radical armed groups and violent extremists.”

    The UN chief urged partnerships to be strengthened between the UN and OIC which “could be uniquely placed” to launch a major initiative with partners to help end the “profoundly worrying” heightened tensions between Sunni and Shia communities in Syria and other parts of the world.

    “This upheaval that has caused the loss of so many civilian lives and represents such a threat to wider security,” Mr. Ban stressed in his remarks to the 15-member Council.

    The UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has been “making progress” in dismantling and destroying the Syrian chemical weapons programme, said Mr. Ban, while urging continued efforts to reach a comprehensive political agreement “which reflects the will of the Syrian people.”

    150 px

    150 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Highlighting other regions where the OIC would play a positive role, the top UN official highlighted that organization’s potential role to help break the status quo in the occupied Palestinian territory and forge a way forward in the Middle East peace process within the agreed frame.

    He also cited the OIC’s plans to visit Myanmar and welcomed the delegation’s “constructive engagement” to reduce tensions.

    Mr. Ban also highlighted the OIC’s efforts in Afghanistan and Sudan, and urged further partnerships in Mali, following the milestone presidential election there.

    Noting that the OIC and its member States have made significant efforts to mitigate the terrorist threat, the UN chief stressed the importance of addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of extremism and terrorism, including by strengthening efforts to peacefully resolve conflict, promote the rule of law, protect human rights and ensure good governance.

    “Terrorism is not associated with any particular religion, culture or people’s,” he said. “However, in recent years, terrorist violence has disproportionately affected countries that are members of OIC, from the Sahel and North Africa to the Middle East and South Asia.”

    He noted that the importance of intercultural dialogue between and within faiths “is more important than ever” and urged continued efforts to foster a culture of peace and co-existence through efforts such as the UN Alliance of Civilizations.

    In 2005, an initiative of Spain and Turkey created the UN Alliance of Civilizations, a forum where civil society, governments and the private sector could learn from each other and stand up for tolerance and inclusively and against extremism and polarization.

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 18:55 on October 27, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,   

    Nineteen Islamist Groups Fighting to Topple President Bashar al-Assad have Rejected Outright a Mooted US-Russian #Peace Initiative for #Syria 


    Courtesy of Voice of Russia

    19 Islamist rebel groups bow out of Syria peace talks

    Photo: EPA

    Nineteen Islamist groups fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad have rejected outright a mooted US-Russian peace initiative for Syria dubbed Geneva 2, a statement said.

    “We announce that the Geneva 2 conference is not, nor will it ever be our people’s choice or our revolution’s demand,” the groups said in a late Saturday statement read in an online video by Ahmad Eissa al-Sheikh, chief of the Suqur al-Sham chief.

    “We consider it just another part of the conspiracy to throw our revolution off track and to abort it.”

    The statement also warned that anyone who went to such talks would be committing “treason, and … would have to answer for it before our courts”.

    The statement comes weeks after dozens of major rebel groups across Syria said the Western-backed opposition umbrella grouping the National Coalition had “failed”.

    The Geneva talks slated for next month aim to bring rebel and regime representatives to the table in a bid to seek a negotiated end to the Syrian conflict, which according to a rights group has claimed more than 115,000 lives since it erupted in March 2011.

    The National Coalition is to meet on November 9 to decide whether to take part in the peace talks but has stated emphatically it will only attend if there are guarantees they Assad will step down.

    Assad for his part has said “the factors are not yet in place” for such talks, and he has repeatedly rejected negotiations with any group with ties to the rebels or to foreign states.

    Among the signatories to Saturday’s statement are powerful Islamist groups Liwa al-Tawhid, Ahrar al-Sham, Suqur al-Sham and Ahfad al-Rasul, which has fought against Al-Qaeda-affiliated fighters in Syria.

    Read more:

    Kerry and Lavrov discuss planned Syria conference

    Lavrov, Brahimi agree to continue work on convocation of Geneva-2 conference

    UN Syria peace envoy says Iran should come to Geneva talks

    Geneva-2: Obama knows Americans can’t use force – expert

    Syria opposition to decide November 9 on Geneva talks

     Voice of Russia, AFP
    Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_10_27/19-Islamist-rebel-groups-bow-out-of-Syria-peace-talks-5278/

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 15:39 on October 27, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Cape of Good Hope, , James Lancaster, , , Robben Island, , Thomas Smythe   

    The Robben Island Declaration Timeline of History 


    In support of Occupied Palestine l thought l would provide a post with a link below ,out-lining their plight and request for freedom of 
    Palestinian people have struggled for decades for justice and the realisation of their inalienable rights. These rights have been repeatedly reaffirmed by countless United Nations resolutions. Universal values, international legality and human rights cannot stop at borders, nor admit double standards, and must be applied in Palestine. This is the way forward to a just and lasting peace in the region, for the benefit of all its people’s. 
    Occupied PalestinePlease read more and add your support by re-blogging their great article at: http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/the-robben-island-declaration-for-the-freedom-of-marwan-barghouthi-and-all-palestinian-prisoners-by-mrn1sa/
    Timeline of Events:  
    1421
    Chinese fleet rounds the Cape of Good Hope and most likely sets food on the Island. In 1421, Chinese Emperor Zhu Di dispatched a huge armada of ships to sail around the world. The armada split into four fleets under the overall command of Admiral Zheng He. In August of 1421, the fleet rounded the Cape of Good Hope and relatively accurately mapped the continent for the first time. While we have no evidence of the crews setting foot on either Robben Island or the mainland, it is presumed that they would have done so.
    1488
    Portuguese discover the Island. Some 67 years later the Portuguese were the first Europeans to round the Cape. The skipper of the 2nd Ship of the Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Dias was probably the first European to set foot on Robben Island to remove meat and eggs.
    1496
    Portuguese set up a base in cave which they name ‘Portugal Cave’. In 1496, the Portuguese landed again on Robben Island and set up base in a cave which they called Portugal Cave. The present day harbour was built next to the cave which was to become the whaler Murray’s abode at Murray’s Bay. The cave no longer exists.
    1501
    Antonio de Saldanha and his men kill animals on the Island. Antonio de Saldanha retreated to Robben Island after a skirmish with the Khoe on the mainland, where he was wounded. On Robben Island, de Saldanha and his men set about killing as many penguins, seals and tortoises as they could. It is because of the many seals that were on the Island that the Dutch were later to name the island Robben, the Dutch word for seal.
    1591
    Sheep are introduced to the Island. Sir James Lancaster & Admiral Raymond were the first to introduce sheep to Robben Island, so that they would multiply and provide for future visitors. This was an important recognition of the strategic importance of the island to maritime traffic and a form of international cooperation. This practice of leaving livestock was continued in 1608 by the Dutch Admiral Cornelius Maaklof.
    1611
    Island is used as a mail station. Through records it is clear that by the time John Saris was retrieving mail from a rock on Robben Island, the practice of using the island as a mail-station was a common maritime practice. Robben Island was a post office of sorts, and played an important role in international communications.
    1614
    Chief Xhore chases British convicts to Robben Island. After being lured aboard the British ship the Hector in 1613, Chief Xhore and a companion were kidnapped and taken to England. Xhore’s companion later died en route. Sir Thomas Smythe of the British East India Company had designs for colonising the Cape of Good Hope, by sending out 100 convicts annually. Xhore was to be trained as an interpreter and facilitator of this plan, but Xhore hated his time in England and constantly demanded to be returned home. A year later, he was returned to Table Bay.
    Xhore had learnt much about the British, and this knowledge ultimately lead to his effective resistance against Sir Thomas Smythe, who had tried to settle the Cape with convicts. Xhore chased the settlers off to Robben Island, but later in 1625, Xhore was killed by the Dutch. Xhore’s sons participated in the first Khoe-Dutch war in 1658, and among other marks made on history, Xhore will be remembered as the first black South African to go to England.
    Convicted prisoners, sent to the Cape by Sir Thomas Smythe, escape to Robben Island.
    Under the patronage of King James I of England, Walter Peyton was sent to the Cape with nineteen convicted prisoners from Newgate Prison by Sir Thomas Smythe of the British East India Company. The aim of this was to establish a Penal Colony and supply station.
    An ex-officer and convicted highwayman by the name of Crosse was left behind as a leader of 10 convicts set ashore with guns, ammunition and supplies. The convicts soon got into conflict with the Khoe, lead by Chief Xhore. Having received more supplies and a longboat from the passing ship of Edward Dodsworth, Crosse fled from the mainland to Robben Island with 8 men and one boy.
    1616
    Nine months after having been left at the Cape, the British ship ‘New Years Gift’ collected 3 survivors off Robben Island. Ironically it was Chief Xhore who told the British visitors about the men then stranded on Robben Island. Crosse saw the ships at anchor and was washed out to sea and drowned during trying to reach the ships with a raft made from the wrecked long-boat.
    1617
    Three more convicts are placed on Robben Island. Under orders, English Captain Benjamin Joseph once more deposited 3 convicts on Robben Island in 1617, but a few days later a fifth ship in the fleet, picked them up again for unknown reasons.
    1620
    Robben Island, along with Table Bay, is claimed by the British. Table Bay and Robben Island were formally claimed by the British as crown possessions of King James I of England. Thereafter, the English practiced a very casual approach to the possession, and the Cape remained a hospitable sojourn for all international maritime traffic.
    1632
    Chief Autshumato is trained and taken to Robben Island with other Peninsula Khoe.
    In a similar move to the 1613 events surrounding Chief Xhore, the English took Chief Autshumato to Bantam in Java for a year (probably 1631) where he was taught the essentials of the English language. In 1632, in an act of assisted migration, Autshumato and 20 other Peninsula Khoe were then taken to Robben Island by the English to act their as postal and maritime monitoring agents.
    In the same year, Autshumato convinced the Dutch to bring over 30 more Peninsula Khoe to Robben Island. Thus it came to be that Autshumato acted as an agent for both the Dutch and the English. Autshumato was able to communicate in English, Dutch, French and Portuguese, and became an astute diplomat, yet official history portrays him as an ignorant beachcomber.
    Autshumato is also recorded as saying to visiting French ship in 1632 that he was “Au service de messejieurs Holandois et de messejieurs les Anglois.” [In the service of the Dutch men and English men]
    1636
    Ringleader of a mutiny attempt banished to Robben Island
    The former Governor of Batavia, Hendrik Bouwer, arrived in Table Bay in 1636 and ruled on a mutiny attempt which happened on one of the ships in the Dutch fleet. The ringleader was keelhauled, banished and abandoned on Robben Island.
    1638
    Khoe leave Robben Island. By 1638, due to the depletion of food (penguins, seals, cormorants and eggs) on the island, the Khoe moved back to the mainland.
    1639
    Khoe re-introduced to Island
    The Europeans had grown use to the safe haven and services offered on Robben Island, so in 1639 Johan Albrecht von Mandelslo deposited fifteen Goringhaicona Khoe on Robben Island, 4 men, 8 women and 3 children, to continue to offer a service.
    1652
    Jan van Riebeeck and Captain Sijmon Turver land on Robben Island
    With a permanent Dutch settlement established on the mainland, van Riebeeck attempted to land on Robben Island in July 1652 and almost got killed in the rough seas and south-easterly squall. On 14 September, he successfully landed on the island with Captain Sijmon Turver, exactly where today’s harbour stands. Soon after this, regular parties were sent out to collect penguins, eggs and seals.
    1654
    Robben Island used as a food station. At this time, The Cape mainland settlement was still insecure and inhospitable, and Robben Island was used as an emergency ‘pantry’ for the Cape Town VOC garrison. The garrison at this stage was largely comprised of Javanese Mardijkers. A vegetable garden was established and flocks of sheep introduced.
    An overseer of the island was appointed by van Riebeeck, Corporal Robbeljaert who was put in charge of a few shepherds who were also sent to the Island. Rabbits and dassies were also introduced, and in June 1655 van Riebeeck also organised pig breeding on Robben Island. Several more men were then sent to the island to engage in caring for the animals and gardens.
    1657
    Lighthouse erected and the first prisoners introduced
    A small Platform was erected on the highest point on Robben Island, upon which a fire was kept burning at night, when ships of the DEIC could be seen off the port. This was also the first year that an official group of prisoners was sent to the island, even although Robben Island had not yet been established as a convict workstation.
    1660
    The first recorded ship wreck is that of the Schapejacht in August 1660.
    1662
    Robben Island becomes a formal prison
    Jan van Riebeeck concluded his time as Commander at the Cape in 1662. He was succeeded by Zacharias Wagenaar, who was attributed as the man who promoted Robben Island as a formal organised prison where prisoners could be put to hard labour quarrying for blue stone and lime.
    1673
    Convicts escape the prison on Robben Island
    Five Khoe convicts achieved what was thought to be impossible. They managed to steal a rudderless boat and successfully made it back to the mainland.
    1675
    Two slaves sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island
    Two slaves were sentenced for stealing food (vegetables) and had their ears cut off. They were also sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island where they were kept in chains.
    1682
    Exiles and other captives kept in slavery
    An Englishman scholar, David Tappen, captured by the Dutch and forced to serve on the Dutch ships, spent time on Robben Island and wrote the following:
    “On Robben Island are set the rebellious rulers brought from the East Indies, where they must end their lives in very bad conditions, since many of them who are now at the Cape must now work like slaves for their living, and often get more kicks than ha’pence for their hard tasks such as carrying wood and stones, burning lime etc. To this Robben Island come not only the rebellious East India rulers and other black folk, but also rebellious Dutch who are kept in slavery there for some years.”
    1686
    Slaves prisoners on Robben Island. Prisoner lists of 1686 show numerous slave names as prisoners on Robben Island, names such as Jacob van Macassar and Arrie van Bengal. Many Chinese slave/convicts were also sent to Robben Island.
    1690
    Successful escape from Robben Island by swimming to the mainland. In 1690, a convict by the name of Jan Rykman successfully escaped Robben Island by swimming to the mainland.
    1693
    Falsely accused sent to Robben Island. Dorha, a successful Chainouqua trader, (loyal to the Dutch) and his brother-in-law (of the Hessequa) are banished to Robben Island by Simon van der Stel and the Council of Policy, on trumped-up charges (latter repealed by the DEIC) to rob Dorha of his amassed cattle and curtail his successful trading system.
    Dorha, as a successful trader in the inland areas, was a threat to the corrupt company officials who were dominating the trading processes. Dorha was a victim of a volte-face plot, which saw the company officials ally themselves to his enemy Koopman, leader of the Soeswa. In 1695, Dorha was exonerated and released from banishment on Robben Island but never regained his former prestige and was murdered by Koopman in 1701.
    1694
    Shipwreck on Robben Island
    The yacht Dageraad from Goude Bay ran ashore on the Western side of the island. Sixteen of the crew were drowned.
    1716
    Sheikh Noorul Mubeen was exiled from the Indonesian Archipelago and banished to Robben Island, but escaped by unknown means. Legend has it that he swam to the mainland where he was found by slave fishermen and hidden on the mountainside. A Karamat shrine in Oudekraal marks his burial-place.
    1743
    The Prince of Madura was banished to Robben Island with 7 of his followers, after being captured by the Dutch in the Straits of Madura. He died on Robben Island in 1754 and his body was returned to Batavia after a petition by his son.
    1744
    Tuan Matarah Sayed Abduraghman Motura (Matirim) was exiled from the Indonesian Archipelago (probably Sumatra) and banished to Robben Island where he died. A Karamat shrine on Robben Island marks his burial place and is visited by pilgrims.
    1780
    A Prince of Tadore in the Tiranate Islands, Tuan Guru, who traced his ancestry to the Sultanate of Morocco, together with Callie Abdul Rauf, Noro Imam and Barodien were said to have conspired with the English against the Dutch.
    They were captured by the Dutch and brought to the Cape as state prisoners and incarcerated on Robben Island. Tuan Guru was later released to the mainland in 1792, and Barodien and Rauf died on Robben Island. Taun Guru died in 1807 and a Karamat Shrine marks the place of his burial on Signal Hill.
    1786
    Tuan Nuruman arrived in Cape Town as a slave and was housed in the Slave Lodge. In 1786, he was found guilty of assisting a group of fellow slaves in an escape bid and sent to Robben Island. Years later, when released from the Island he settled as a freed slave and officiated as an Imam. He died in 1810 and a Karamat Shrine marks his grave on Signal Hill.
    1806
    Murray installed himself as a Whaler on the island, next to the present-day harbour, and settled in Portugal Cave with his wife and children. Since then the Bay was called Murray’s Bay.
    1846
    The first lepers were moved (from Hemel en Aarde, near Hermanus) to Robben Island and housed in existing buildings.
    1858
    Cemetery below Minto’s Hill is established, and acts as a burial ground for staff of the island during the Leprosy Settlement and Convict Station until 1923.
    1864
    Robben Island Lighthouse was built on Minto Hill. In 1938, a self-contained generating plant was installed to produce electric lighting of 464 000 candle-power. A fog-horn was installed in 1925.
    1873
    Langalibalele, Chief of the AmaHlubi, and his people worked in Kimberley and in the process acquired arms. Fearing an uprising, the Hlubi were ordered to surrender their arms by the British. They refused and fled towards Basutholand for refuge but were waylaid by troops at the top of the Drakensberg Pass. Langalibalele was brought back in chains and tried for treason and rebellion. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island. The Cape Town township Langa is named after him.
    1880
    A small restaurant and refreshment station is opened. The Island population was then 1070 of whom 800 were male.
    1882
    A gardening campaign was started by Dr. Impey and Lady Loch, and was promoted by the famous brewer Mr. Ohlsson who paid for a plantation to be laid out on the western shore at his expense. Much of this was destroyed in the Second World War for security reasons.
    Over 70 000 trees were planted at this time including thorn trees, tamarisks, firs, pines, wattles, manatoka, cypresses, acasia, salinga and belhambra. The gardening campaign was at its strongest from 1882-1912.
    During this time, Franz Jacobs lead a protest and wrote to petition the Queen to improve the terrible Leper conditions on Robben Island.
    1886
    Chaplain and Dr. Ross oppose female lepers being brought to the Island because of intercourse between male and female lepers.
    The postmaster brings out the first Robben Island Newspaper, the Robben Island Times. It cost two pounds a year to produce.
    1887
    Female leper is block built to the north of Murray Harbour.
    1890
    New buildings are built for male lepers, in the area that stretches from village to the leper cemetery south of Murray Bay.
    1892
    Tramway line is built. A 18inch gauge tramway line was laid from the boathouse to the general stores and ran to all of the key off-loading points of the island. Trolleys were drawn by mules.
    1893
    A Library is opened with 1548 volumes. A magistrate’s court was also started and the librarian doubled as resident magistrate, Mr L Powys-Jones. The Island school ceased to be a mission school and became a government school.
    1894
    Guest house is built for the resident chaplain of the Dutch Reformed Church
    The post of chaplain became necessary with the increase in leprosy patients. 
    1895
    Residence built for the Commissioner of the Island. The Commissioner was brought in as an administrator when the surgeon-superintendent of the hospital had difficulties subduing violence and dissatisfaction among leprosy patients about their forced residence on the Island. The building would later become a mess hall for officers in WW2.
    The Church of the Good Shepherd is consecrated in 1895. This was a Leper Church for men designed by Sir Herbert Baker. A carved figure of the Good Shepherd was brought from Oberammergau (famous for religious plays). A Leper church for women was called the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. A Catholic Chapel and a Dutch Reformed church was also established.
    1896
    Faure Jetty completed. This jetty acted as a replacement jetty as the one below an old Convict station was destroyed by storms.153 trips were made in 1896 by the steam ferries Tiger, Magnet and Pieter Faure.
    1910
    Leper Children and Anglican Nuns move to the Island. The Anglican sisterhood took over the children’s leper home, catering for 26 children, into their care. They were recalled to England in 1926 and the children returned to the compounds.
    1913
    After years of argument, the government agreed to remove the mental patients from the island so that they may be integrated into more humane institutions of care on the mainland.
    1930
    Lepers removed from Robben Island
    1931
    All leper buildings, with the exception of the Church of the Good Shepherd, are burned and demolished.
    1939
    Island acts as Military base. The Department of Defence established fortress Robben Island to guard Table Bay. Murray Harbour, an airstrip and gun batteries were built. A maze of tunnels and bunkers were carved into the island. It was a military fortress in every aspect and home to thousands of servicemen and women.
    The vast majority had no idea of Robben Island’s painful past and little consciousness of the pain that would be coming, yet these men and women had been mobilised to fight fascism and Nazism in Europe.
    1950’s
    Robben Island is used as a naval base. Robben Island was taken over by the SA Navy as SAS Robben Island with a population of 1200 – 1500.
    1959
    Declaration of Robben Island as an Apartheid era Prison. The National Party Minister of Justice declared that the island would once more serve as a prison. As far as possible, all military installations were to be dismantled and relocated to the mainland. Access to the island was to be restricted and suitable prison structures constructed.
    1961 – 1991
    Maximum security prison for political prisoners.
    1961 – 1996
    Medium security prison for criminal prisoners. The first political prisoners began to arrive in 1961. These early prisoners had to participate in the completion of Robben Island’s maximum security prison structures. Along with ANC and PAC prisoners, there were members of many other organisations including the SA Congress of Trades Unions, the SA Communist Party, South West African Peoples Organisation, National Liberation Front, the Non-European Unity movement, the Liberal Party, AZAPO, the APDU, BCM, UDF and others.
    After the Rivonia trial in 1964, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and other senior ANC leaders were sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island. Over the next three decades, thousands of political cadres of all persuasions and all ranks were brought by ferry to be imprisoned on the island. PAC leader, Robert Sobukwe, was initially sentenced to three years imprisonment; because the government were not prepared to release him, they passed a special law in parliament which allowed them to keep Sobukwe in prison without charges, indefinitely. It was called the Sobukwe clause.
    After the unbanning of political organisations and the release of Nelson Mandela by FW de Klerk in 1990, a slow process of releasing all political prisoners unfolded.
    1962
    January, Nelson Mandela leaves South Africa for military training.
    March, Mandela receives training from the Algerian National Liberation Front at bases of the latter across the border in Morocco.
    1991
    All political prisoners had been released from Robben Island.
    1996
    The last of the Common Law Prisoners leave the island
    1997
    1 January, The Robben Island Museum was officially opened.
    1999
    Robben Island became a World Heritage site. The museum and heritage site is visited by thousands of tourists each year.

    References

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 21:23 on October 25, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,   

    SECURITY COUNCIL’S LEADERSHIP ROLE VITAL TO END ‘APPALLING SUFFERING’ IN #SYRIA 


    United Nations

    UN OFFICIAL POST   
    After its call on all parties in Syria for humanitarian access to relieve the plight of civilians trapped by heavy fighting, the Security Council must show leadership to ensure cooperation for delivery of food and medicines, and protection measures, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator urged today.

    “I am extremely disappointed that we have not been able to make further progress on the ground,” said Valeria Amos as she briefed the Council this morning on the humanitarian situation in Syria.

    “Three weeks have passed since the adoption of the Council’s Presidential Statement [on the issue]; with little change to report. Each day that passes without the parties upholding their most basic obligations results in more lost lives, more displaced people and more people denies access to the most basic services,” added Ms. Amos, who is also the Under-Secretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs.

    On 2 October, the Council, in a Presidential Statement, urged the Syrian Government to immediately allow cross border aid deliveries, and also called on all parties to the conflict to agree on humanitarian pauses in the fighting, with special attention to key delivery routes.

    The statement also deplored the escalating violence in a conflict that has already killed more than 100, 000 people and driven some 6.5 million other form their homes since opposition protesters first sought the ouster of the Government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.

    “Words, despite their ability to shock, cannot really paint a picture of the grime and gruesome reality of Syria today,” Ms. Amos said in today’s briefing. “I call upon all members of the Council to exert influence and take necessary action to stop this brutality and violence. This Council’s leadership role is vital.”

    She said humanitarian pauses are needed in all locations “where communities are being held hostage by one party of the other to the conflict” to deliver food, medicine and shelter. “We need those who control the check-points, on both sides of the conflict to ensure the safe and unhindered passage of humanitarian convoys,” she added.

    English: Valerie Amos, Baroness Amos at the 20...

    English: Valerie Amos, Baroness Amos at the 2007 World Economic Forum on Africa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Ms. Amos also said that people must be allowed to move to safer areas without fear of attack and that he Syrian Government must immediately lift all bureaucratic impediments to humanitarian operation, including visa delays.

    The suffering will only get worse as the fighting intensifies and winter sets in, she said, warning: “this is a race against time.”

    Speaking to reporters after her briefing, Ms. Amos reiterated her disappointment at the lack of progress in efforts to alleviate the suffering in Syria and said: “What we are seeing is a deepening of the crisis, more and more people affected and in particular I expressed my concern about the extremely brutal and violent nature of this conflict.”

    Ms. Amos said she asked the Council to consider a number of measures which would help implement the Presidential Statement and had expressed the desire to discuss the issues in further detail.

    She said Council members had listened to her proposals “very carefully” and had asked questions of their own, including on the attitude of both the Government and the opposition to the aims of the Statement; on the security situation and what might be hampering aid delivery; and on specific issues such as the situations of women and children.

    “The situation on the ground has not fundamentally changed [since the adoption of the Presidential Statement]. What I need is the political support of the Security Council members and other Members of the United Nations to really make a difference,” she said.

    On the political front, UN Spokesperson Martin Nesirky said the Joint Special Representative for Syria of the UN and the League of Arab States, Lakhdar Brahimi, is in Qatar today, where he met the Emir to discuss the crisis and preparations for an international conference on Syria, to be held in Geneva.

    He said that yesterday, Mr. Brahimi was in Turkey where he met with General Salim Idriss of the Free Syrian Army and 10 of his military commanders, and they also discussed the holding of a conference on Syria. “The Joint Special Representative reiterated his view that there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis and that all efforts should be exerted to stop the conflict and end the suffering of the Syrian people,” Mr. Nesirky said.

    He said that before travelling to Doha, Mr. Brahimi met today in Ankara with Ahmet Davotuglu, Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, to discuss preparations for the Geneva conference. Mr. Brahimi heads to Tehran tomorrow.

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  • #AceNewsGroup 11:15 on October 25, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , Health insurance coverage in the United States, Health insurance exchange, , , , , ,   

    Public Healthcare Registers Bumpy Launch of Healthcare Exchange’s 


    English: Barack Obama signing the Patient Prot...

    English: Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Courtesy of: The: Pew Research Centre for the People and the Press

    A few weeks after the launch of the state-level on–line health insurance exchanges that are a cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act, the public’s impression is that it has been a bumpy Bumpy Launch for Health Insurance Exchangeslaunch. About three-in-ten Americans (29%) say the on-line health insurance exchanges are working very or fairly well while 46% say they are not.

    The national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Oct. 9-13 among 1,504 adults, finds that awareness of the exchanges has increased significantly over the past month. In early September, barely half (51%) knew that exchanges were going to be available in their state; that has risen to nearly two-thirds (65%) today.

    One-in-Seven Have Visited Health Care ExchangesNationwide, 14% of adults report having visited an exchange, and another 23% say they intend to. These figures are higher among the 18% who say they currently do not have health insurance: 22% of uninsured Americans have already visited a site, and another 42% say they intend to do so.

    So Far, Most Exchange Site Users Just Learning About ExchangesSo far, most of the visitors to the exchange websites are people who have insurance: 41% of exchange visitors have employer-provided insurance, and another 15% are covered by Medicare, Medicaid or another government program. Some 10% of exchange visitors are self-insured, and 29% of visitors are uninsured. Most (58%) who have visited the sites say they went just to learn more about the exchanges, while 32% say they were looking for health care options for themselves or their families.

    Despite offering critical evaluations of how well the exchanges are working, many of the sites’ actual visitors report that they did not face significant problems. Among those who have visited an exchange website, more say the exchanges overall are not working well by a 56%-37% margin. Yet when asked about their own experience on an exchange website, a 56% majority say they personally found the site to be very or fairly easy to use, while 40% say it was difficult to use.

    More at: http://www.people-press.org/2013/10/21/public-registers-bumpy-launch-of-health-care-exchange-websites/

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 20:49 on October 24, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Alexander, , , , Patrick Leahy, , , ,   

    Claim on “Attacks Thwarted” by #NSA Spreads Despite Lack of Evidence 


    Image representing Edward Snowden as depicted ...

    Image by None via CrunchBase

    Two weeks after Edward Snowden‘s first revelations about sweeping government surveillance, President Obama shot back. “We know of at least 50 threats that have been averted because of this information not just in the United States, but, sometimes, threats here in Germany,” Obama said during a visit to Berlin in June. “So lives have been saved.”

    In the months since, intelligence officials, media outlets, and members of Congress from both parties all repeated versions of the claim that NSA surveillance has stopped more than 50 terrorist attacks. The figure has become a key talking point in the debate around the spying programs.

    “Fifty-four times this and the other program stopped and thwarted terrorist attacks both here and in Europe — saving real lives,” Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said on the House floor in July, referring to programs authorized by a pair of post-9/11 laws. “This isn’t a game. This is real.”

    But there’s no evidence that the oft-cited figure is accurate.

    The NSA itself has been inconsistent on how many plots it has helped prevent and what role the surveillance programs played. The agency has often made hedged statements that avoid any sweeping assertions about attacks thwarted.

    A chart declassified by the agency in July, for example, says that intelligence from the programs on 54 occasions “has contributed to the [U.S. government's] understanding of terrorism activities and, in many cases, has enabled the disruption of potential terrorist events at home and abroad” — a much different claim than asserting that the programs have been responsible for thwarting 54 attacks.

    NSA officials have mostly repeated versions of this wording.

    Keith Alexander, director of the NSA.

    Keith Alexander, director of the NSA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    When NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander spoke at a Las Vegas security conference in July, for instance, he referred to “54 different terrorist-related activities,” 42 of which were plots and 12 of which were cases where individuals provided “material support” to terrorism.

    But the NSA has not always been so careful.

    During Alexander’s speech in Las Vegas, a slide in an accompanying slide show read simply “54 ATTACKS THWARTED.”

    And in a recent letter to NSA employees, Alexander and John Inglis, the NSA’s deputy director, wrote that the agency has “contributed to keeping the U.S. and its allies safe from 54 terrorist plots.” (The letter was obtained by reporter Kevin Gosztola from a source with ties to the intelligence community. The NSA did not respond when asked to authenticate it.)

    Asked for clarification of the surveillance programs’ record, the NSA declined to comment.

    Earlier this month, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., pressed Alexander on the issue at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

    “Would you agree that the 54 cases that keep getting cited by the administration were not all plots, and of the 54, only 13 had some nexus to the U.S.?” Leahy said at the hearing. “Would you agree with that, yes or no?”

    “Yes,” Alexander replied, without elaborating.

    It’s impossible to assess the role NSA surveillance played in the 54 cases because, while the agency has provided a full list to Congress, it remains classified.

    Officials have openly discussed only a few of the cases (see below), and the agency has identified only one — involving a San Diego man convicted of sending $8,500 to Somalia to support the militant group Al Shabab — in which NSA surveillance played a dominant role.

    The surveillance programs at issue fall into two categories: The collection of metadata on all American phone calls under the Patriot Act, and the snooping of electronic communications targeted at foreigners under a 2007 surveillance law. Alexander has said that surveillance authorized by the latter law provided “the initial tip” in roughly half of the 54 cases. The NSA has not released examples of such cases.

    After reading the full classified list, Leahy concluded the NSA’s surveillance has some value but still questioned the agency’s figures.

    “We’ve heard over and over again the assertion that 54 terrorist plots were thwarted” by the two programs, Leahy told Alexander at the Judiciary Committee hearing this month. “That’s plainly wrong, but we still get it in letters to members of Congress, we get it in statements. These weren’t all plots and they weren’t all thwarted. The American people are getting left with the inaccurate impression of the effectiveness of NSA programs.”

    The origins of the “54” figure go back to a House Intelligence Committee hearing on June 18, less than two weeks after the Guardian’s publication of the first story based on documents leaked by Snowden.

    At that hearing, Alexander said, “The information gathered from these programs provided the U.S. government with critical leads to help prevent over 50 potential terrorist events in more than 20 countries around the world.” He didn’t specify what “events” meant. Pressed by Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., Alexander said the NSA would send a more detailed breakdown to the committee.

    Speaking in Baltimore the next week, Alexander gave an exact figure: 54 cases “where these programs contributed to our understanding, and in many cases, helped enable the disruption of terrorist plots in the U.S. and in over 20 countries throughout the world.”

    But members of Congress have repeatedly ignored the distinctions and hedges.

    The websites of the Republicans and Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee include pages titled, “54 Attacks in 20 Countries Thwarted By NSA Collection.”

    And each congressman have often cited the figure in debates around NSA surveillance.

    • Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., who is also on the House Intelligence Committee, released a statement in July referring to “54 terrorist plots that have been foiled by the NSA programs.” Asked about the figure, Westmoreland spokeswoman Leslie Shedd told ProPublica that “he was citing declassified information directly from the National Security Agency.”
    • Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, issued a statement in July saying “the programs in question have thwarted 54 specific plots, many targeting Americans on American soil.”
    • Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., issued his own statement the next day: “The Amash amendment would have eliminated Section 215 of the Patriot Act which we know has thwarted 54 terrorist plots against the US (and counting).” (The amendment, which aimed to bar collection of Americans’ phone records, was narrowly defeated in the House.)
    • Mike Rogers, the Intelligence Committee chairman who credited the surveillance programs with thwarting 54 attacks on the House floor, repeated the claim to Bob Schieffer on CBS’ “Face the Nation” in July.”You just heard what he said, senator,” Schieffer said, turning to Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., an NSA critic. “Fifty-six terror plots here and abroad have been thwarted by the NSA program. So what’s wrong with it, then, if it’s managed to stop 56 terrorist attacks? That sounds like a pretty good record.” Asked about Rogers’ remarks, House Intelligence Committee spokeswoman Susan Phalen said in a statement: “In 54 specific cases provided by the NSA, the programs stopped actual plots or put terrorists in jail before they could effectuate further terrorist plotting.  These programs save lives by disrupting attacks. Sometimes the information is found early in the planning, and sometimes very late in the planning. But in all those cases these people intended to kill innocent men and women through the use of terror.”
    • Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., went even further in a town hall meeting in August. Responding to a question about the NSA vacuuming up Americans’ phone records, he said the program had “been used 54 times to be able to interrupt 54 different terrorist plots here in the United States that had originated from overseas in the past eight years. That’s documented.”
    • The same day, Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., who sits on the Intelligence Committee, defended the NSA at a town hall meeting with constituents in Cranston, R.I. “I know that these programs have been directly effective in thwarting and derailing 54 terrorist attacks,” he said. Asked about Langevin’s comments, spokeswoman Meg Fraser said in an email, “The committee was given information from NSA on August 1 that clearly indicated they considered the programs in question to have been used to help disrupt 54 terrorist events. That is the information the Congressman relied on when characterizing the programs at his town hall.”

    Wenstrup, Heck and Lankford did not respond to requests for comment.

    The claims have also appeared in the media. ABC News, CNN and the New York Times have all repeated versions of the claim that more than 50 plots have been thwarted by the programs.

    The seal of the U.S. National Security Agency....

    The seal of the U.S. National Security Agency. The first use was in September 1966, replacing an older seal which was used briefly. For more information, see here and here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    The NSA has publicly identified four of the 54 cases. They are:

    • The case of Basaaly Moalin, the San Diego man convicted of sending $8,500 to Somalia to support Al Shabab, the terrorist group that has taken responsibility for the attack on a Kenyan mall last month. The NSA has said its collection of American phone records allowed it to determine that a U.S. phone was in contact with a Shabab figure, which in turn led them to Moalin. NSA critic Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has argued that the NSA could have gotten a court order to get the phone records in question and that the case does not justify the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.
    • The case of Najibullah Zazi, who in 2009 plotted to bomb the New York subway system. The NSA has said that an email it intercepted to an account of a known Al Qaeda figure in Pakistan allowed authorities to identify and ultimately capture Zazi. But an Associated Press examination of the case concluded that, again, the NSA’s account of the case did not show the need for the new warrantless powers at issue in the current debate. “Even before the surveillance laws of 2007 and 2008, the FBI had the authority to — and did, regularly — monitor email accounts linked to terrorists,” the AP reported.
    • A case involving David Coleman Headley, the Chicago man who helped plan the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack. Intelligence officials have said that NSA surveillance helped thwart a subsequent plot involving Headley to attack a Danish newspaper. A ProPublica examination of that episode concluded that it was a tip from British intelligence, rather than NSA surveillance, that led authorities to Headley.
    • A case involving a purported plot to attack the New York Stock Exchange. This convoluted episode involves three Americans, including Khalid Ouazzani of Kansas City, Mo., who pleaded guilty in 2010 to bank fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to provide material support to Al Qaeda. An FBI official said in June that NSA surveillance helped in the case “to detect a nascent plotting to bomb the New York Stock Exchange.” But no one has been charged with crimes related to that or any other planned attack. (Ouazzani was sentenced to 14 years last month.) The Kansas City Star reported that one of the men in the case had “pulled together a short report with the kind of public information easily available from Google Earth, tourist maps and brochures” and that his contact in Yemen “tore up the report, ‘threw it in the street’ and never showed it to anyone.” Court records also suggest that the men in Yemen that Ouazzani sent over $20,000 to may have scammed him and spent some of the money on personal expenses.

    For more from ProPublica on the NSA, read about the agency’s campaign to crack Internet security, a look at the surveillance reforms Obama supported before he was president, and a fact-check on claims about the NSA and Sept. 11.

    Photo of Sen. Patrick Leahy by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

    by Justin Elliott and Theodoric Meyer ProPublica,  Oct. 23, 2013, 8:59 a.m.

    Follow @justinelliott                  Follow @theodoricmeyer

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 15:43 on October 24, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , DNA, , Holbeach, , House of Lords, , Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, United Kingdom National DNA Database   

    DNA Database Fingers the Guilty not the Innocent 


    This written ministerial statement was laid on 24 October 2013 in the House of Commons by James Brokenshire and in the House of Lords by Lord Taylor of Holbeach.

    The government has now delivered its commitment to reform the retention of DNA and fingerprint records by removing innocent people from the databases, and adding the guilty.

    1,766,000 DNA profiles taken from innocent adults and children have been deleted from the National DNA Database (NDNAD). 1,672,000 fingerprint records taken from innocent adults and children have been deleted from the national fingerprint database. 7,753,000 DNA samples containing sensitive personal biological material, no longer needed as a DNA profile has been obtained, have been destroyed. 480,000 of the DNA profiles removed as part of this programme were taken from children.

    At the same time, 6,800 convicted murderers and sex offenders, not on the database under the previous Government, have had their DNA taken and added to the database. These records will be kept permanently, as will those of every convicted adult on the database, to ensure our databases remain a powerful tool for fighting crime.

    Now that our DNA and fingerprint databases meet the requirements set out in Part 1, Chapter 1 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, these provisions will be commenced on 31 October.

    Animation of the structure of a section of DNA...

    Animation of the structure of a section of DNA. The bases lie horizontally between the two spiraling strands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    The NDNAD annual report for 2012-2013 was today published on the Home Office website, providing information for the public on the routine operation and effectiveness of the database, and on the programme to delete innocent people in preparation for the Protection of Freedoms Act. This report is an important part of the government’s aim for transparency and public confidence in the use of DNA.

    The figures in the first part of the report show the size of the NDNAD to 31 March 2013, part way through work to delete DNA profiles in line with the Protection of Freedoms Act. Following the deletions described above, theNDNAD will now be considerably smaller. Part two of the report provides more detailed information on these deletions.

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 13:22 on October 24, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , Department of Homeland Security, Electronic Benefit Transfer, Fox News Channel, Neil Cavuto, November 1st, , United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Navy Armed Guard   

    Will All Saints Day Turn Out to be All Hell Day in the US Video 


    English: Seal of the United States Department ...

    English: Seal of the United States Department of Homeland Security. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Fox NewsNeil Cavuto thinks the Department of Homeland Security’s $80 million outlay on armed guards to protect government buildings is directly connected to food stamp cuts set to take effect on November 1st, a day on which all hell could break loose.

    As Infowars first reported on Monday, the DHS announced its intention to hire a raft of new armed guards to prepare for “public demonstrations” and “civil disturbances” in upstate New York, adding that some of the guards would be posted outside IRS facilities.
    Covering the story on his Fox News show, Cavuto said, “November 1st could be a very iffy kind of day….this could be all hell breaks loose day,” noting that the armed guards were not to protect government buildings from terrorist threats but “From American citizens because on November 1st the food stamp program is set to start decreasing the amount that is allocated to food stamp recipients….and they’re worried that violence will ensue.”

    Cavuto’s concern that the cut in food stamp benefits could spark violence is legitimate given what happened when the EBT card system crashed for just hours earlier this month, prompting mini-riots and looting at several Walmart stores.

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 18:21 on October 23, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Mr. President (band), , , , , , , ,   


    Statement by UK Ambassador Lyall Grant to the Security Council Open Debate on the Middle East

    Thank you Mr President,

    And I would like to thank Mr Feltman for his briefing this morning.

    The United Kingdom warmly welcomes the return to direct negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders since our last open debate here in July. We extend our appreciation to the United States – particularly Secretary Kerry and Special Envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations, Martin Indyk – for their steadfast commitment. This determination has enabled the parties to return to the table.

    We welcome the Parties’ commitment to intensify negotiations in the coming weeks and applaud the bold leadership demonstrated on both sides.

    Mr President,

    The United Kingdom welcomes the Palestinian Economic Initiative – we are taking a leading role in fostering private sector-led, sustainable economic growth in support of Palestinian state-building efforts.

    We look to Israel to take the necessary steps to further ease restrictions on both the West Bank and Gaza to enable the step change in the Palestinian economy that Secretary Kerry is rightly advocating.

    It is important to build confidence among the Palestinian and Israeli peoples that their common goal of peace is within reach. Over the last few weeks there have been a number of concerning events including:

    • The murder of three Israelis – including 2 serving Israeli Defence Force soldiers in the West Bank. We condemn this unreservedly.
    • The rise in ‘price tag’ attacks across East Jerusalem and the West Bank, including setting fire and vandalising Palestinian property. Those responsible for these crimes must be brought to justice.

    We are also troubled by the rise in tensions around the Holy Sites of Jerusalem – sites that hold religious importance and are politically sensitive. We call on all parties to maintain the status quo and engage in dialogue to ensure calm.

    Mr President,

    Going forward, the international community must do it all can to support both Parties towards our common goal of reaching the negotiated two-state solution that ends the conflict once and for all.

    Mr President, on Syria….

    For the first time, with the adoption of resolution 2118, the Security Council imposes binding and enforceable obligations on the Syrian regime, with the threat of action under Chapter VII of the UN Charter in the event of non-compliance. Resolution 2118 – the first on Syria in 17 months – requires the full implementation of the Executive Council decision by the OPCW, in which Syria’s chemical weapons must be verifiably eliminated within the first half of next year. The voluntary destruction of these chemical weapons, which until recently the Assad regime denied it possessed, is a huge step forward on this issue.

    Security Council Resolution 2118 also formally endorses the Geneva Communiqué of last year, calling for a transitional governing body with full executive powers. Today, my Foreign Minister hosted a meeting of the London 11 Foreign Ministers and a senior delegation from the Syrian National Coalition led by President Jarba. The communiqué, issued after that meeting, welcomed progress on preparations for Geneva II, which could take place this November. Participants underscored that Geneva II should lead to a Transitional Governing Body with full executive powers agreed by mutual consent. They agreed that once this body is established Assad and his close associates with blood on their hands, will have no future role to play in Syria. The United Kingdom will continue to work closely with the Syrian National Coalition, who are committed to the Geneva Communique, an inclusive and democratic Syria and who reject extremism.

    Mr President

    Well over 100,000 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians continue to suffer from the regime’s brutal use of conventional weapons and gross human rights violations committed on a daily basis. The United Kingdom calls on all Member States to support the 3rd Committee resolution on the human rights situation in Syria. We must send a clear message to the Assad regime that the international community is united in its condemnation of the human rights violations.

    Mr President,

    United Nations Security Council Resolution 1461

    United Nations Security Council Resolution 1461 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    We’ve seen UN Security Council come together on humanitarian access with the adoption of a Presidential Statement – this now needs to be translated into visible change on the ground. The humanitarian situation remains dire. More than 6.8 million people are displaced and every 15 seconds a Syrian becomes a refugee – that’s almost 5,000 people every day. The United Nations estimates that up to 2.5 million people in areas under siege cannot be accessed by humanitarian agencies. The use of siege by regime forces in Moadamiyeh, Homs, Aleppo and Hasakah is unacceptable and I echo Valerie Amos’ call for an immediate pause in hostilities in Moadamiyeh to allow humanitarian agencies unhindered access to evacuate the remaining civilians and to deliver life saving treatment and supplies. The United Kingdom recognises the scale and despair of the humanitarian crisis. During the UN General Assembly week, we announced a further $160 million in humanitarian assistance, which now brings the UK’s total Syria-related humanitarian funding to $800 million, this is the largest total sum that we have ever committed to a single humanitarian crisis. The international community, as a whole, pledged over $1 billion in new funding during September. This is a welcome step, but more needs to be done.

    Mr President, turning to Lebanon….

    Lebanon history UNIFIL-Zone

    Lebanon history UNIFIL-Zone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    As July’s Security Council Presidential Statement and the recent International Support Group’s meetings demonstrated, there is genuine international unity in support of Lebanon’s stability. The United Kingdom has tripled our own humanitarian and security assistance to Lebanon this year. We call on the Lebanese parties to take urgent steps to form a new consensual government to tackle the significant challenges that they face.

    Mr President,

    We are at a critical juncture on both the Middle East Peace Process and the Syria conflict. Both crisis require bold, responsible leadership from the parties to the conflict and active engagement from the international community, to secure an end to conflict and a better future for the people of the region.

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 13:11 on October 23, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , #Banksters, , Cruz, , , , , ,   

    Ted Cruz’s Wife is Playing the Long Game in the Hope of not Attracting Attention 


    English: Ted Cruz at the Republican Leadership...

    English: Ted Cruz at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    INFOWARS:  The establishment specializes in the old fashion bait-and-switch. It knows the people are sick and tired of government as usual and they want change. Obama was billed as Mr. Hope and Change. But once installed in the White House, he immediately continued and expanded the Bush agenda, that is to say the agenda of the political establishment. Barry, like his predecessor, is little more than a frontispiece, a tele-prompter reader for the elite.

    Now that we’re fed up with Obama, it is time for the next round of phony change. That change will likely be represented by reformulated Tea Party Republicans Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.

    “The Republican establishment despises Ted Cruz. And that’s great news for the senator from Texas: It’s the most prominent sign that he’s the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination,” the National Journal opined last week.

    The faux government shutdown with its intense partisan squabbling and meticulously orchestrated theatrics provided Cruz and the reformulated Tea Party Republicans with a stage to present themselves as the answer to politics as usual. According to the script, a staid GOP dominated by the likes of old guard John McCain and John Boehner is afraid of Cruz and the supposedly renegade faction of Tea Party activists in the House. But it’s all show business.

    For all his allure as an outsider, Canada-born Ted Cruz is in fact an insider playing a role similar to the one Barack Obama played back in 2008 when his handlers portrayed him as the hope and change candidate out of nowhere.

    Cruz’s insider connection is a family affair. His wife, Heidi, is a Goldman Sachs vice president in Houston, Texas, according to her LinkedIn profile. She also served as an economic advisor for the Bush administration. In 2011, a Cruz campaign spokesman portrayed Heidi as “an expert on North American trade,” in other words she is savvy when it comes to globalist transnational trade deals like NAFTA, the single most destructive government move against the American worker in history.

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 19:17 on October 22, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , Clean-Energy, , , , , Low-carbon economy, , , , , Sustainable energy   

    UN Call in Copenhagen for Clean Energy for a Sustainable Future 


    United Nations United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for a clean energy transformation to help put the world on a more sustainable path, stressing that this will require innovation, investment and collaboration by all partners.

    “Achieving a clean energy transformation will need the joint efforts of governments, multilateral investment banks, private finance, civil society, the knowledge community and the private sector,” Mr. Ban said in a keynote <“http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=7218“>address at the Third Global Green Growth Forum in Copenhagen. “We are partners on a path to sustainability… But we have no time to waste.”

    He noted that the way energy is produced and used is “the dominant cause” of climate change. “The impact on our global economy is increasingly clear. We count the cost in human lives and economic loss,” he stated. “But, we are forging solutions together all over the world.”

    In September 2011, the Secretary-General launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, which aims to achieve three inter-linked global targets by 2030: universal access to modern energy services; the doubling of energy efficiency; and the doubling of the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix.

    “Each of these objectives serves a common end: clean, low-carbon growth. This is critical for sustainable development,” said Mr. Ban.

    He highlighted the world is fast approaching a triple deadline. The target date for achieving the global anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) falls at end of 2015. World leaders have also agreed on 2015 as the year for establishing a new sustainable development framework and reaching an agreement on climate change.

    “2015 thus represents a historic opportunity to set the world on a sustainable path,” Mr. Ban stated. “To do that we must eradicate extreme poverty and hold global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

    “These objectives are mutually reinforcing and interdependent. Achieving them will require significant global momentum – beginning with a concerted push to accelerate progress towards the MDGs.

    “On that foundation we must agree an inclusive post-2015 development framework with poverty reduction at its core and sustainable development as its guide. And to support these efforts, we must increase action and ambition on climate change.”

    To that end, Mr. Ban has proposed convening a Climate Summit next September to bring together government, business, finance and civil society leaders from around the world to mobilize political will for the climate negotiations, deliver concrete new commitments and spark “a race to the top” in climate action.

    He asked leaders to bring solutions and initiatives with targets, deliverables and investment plans. He also urged them to raise their level of ambition by scaling up the investments and financial flows necessary for making the transformation to a low-carbon economy.

    “We need large amounts of capital for the rapid development of low-carbon infrastructure,” he stated. “We are seeing progress – but not fast enough; and not at sufficient scale.

    “Climate change is the single greatest threat to sustainable development. Yet, too often, one important fact gets lost amid the fear: addressing climate change is one of our greatest opportunities,” he noted.

    UN-Energy“With enlightened action, we can create jobs, improve public health, protect the environment and spur sustainable green growth. In the coming year we should all do our utmost to unlock the barriers to climate finance that exist across the global economy.”

    The Secretary-General said he is personally engaged in trying to move the financial actors, regularly meeting with financial actors and investors. Today he attended a meeting with pension fund executives, at which he <“http://www.un.org/sg/offthecuff/index.asp?nid=3143“>asked them to help in unlocking new opportunities for capital investment in climate and development.

    He also noted, in the meeting, his intention to include pension fund leaders in the Climate Summit, and discussed the possibilities for using the event as a unique opportunity to leverage unprecedented financial, political and organizational capital.

    “I will continue to engage and challenge pension funds, insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds to look beyond the fossil-related segments of the global economy. Less than 1 per cent of pension fund assets are currently invested in sustainable infrastructure projects,” Mr. Ban told the forum.

    “Our hope is that greater investment can move towards low-carbon assets, for the good of the world and the long-term financial health of investors. At the same time, development and commercial banks can and should unlock capital to enable low-carbon investments. And regulators can break barriers to facilitating these flows.

    “There are enormous untapped investment opportunities in developing countries. All financial actors have to work together to create the mechanisms for making these investments possible. Companies and countries have to make sure that bankable projects are ready, when the money is available.

    “With focus, resolve and ambition, we can lower the global thermostat and raise the level of economic opportunity for all – from the poorest households to the largest enterprises.”

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 18:35 on October 22, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , Edwards, , , , , , , ,   

    #Syria has fully co-operated with Joint OPCW-UN Mission to Destroy Chemical Arsenal #Peace 


    150 px

    150 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    The Syrian Government has been fully cooperating with the destruction of its chemical weapons programme, the head of the joint mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations today said.

    “To date, the Government of Syria has fully cooperated in supporting the work of the advance team and the OPCW-UN Joint Mission,” said Special Coordinator Sigrid Kaag in a <“http://www.un.org/sg/offthecuff/index.asp?nid=3144“>statement from Damascus.

    She noted that the timeframes are “challenging” given the goal of eliminating the country’s chemical weapons programme in the first half of 2014.

    Inspections so far have been conducted at 17 sites, the OPCW confirmed today. At 14 of these sites, the inspectors carried out activities related to the destruction of critical equipment to make the facilities inoperable.

    “The Technical Secretariat continues to assist Syria in Damascus in finalising its initial formal declaration covering its chemical weapons and related facilities,” the OPCW noted on its website.

    Meanwhile, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is racing against time to help Syrians prepare for oncoming winter as temperatures across the region are already dropping.

    Spokesperson Adrian Edwards <“http://www.unhcr.org/526659cb6.html“>told journalists in Geneva that UNHCR relief aid has been delivered to some 2,500 people who have now been evacuated from Mouadamiya in Rural Damascus, where thousands are still believed to be trapped.

    In addition to monitoring the general condition and protection concerns of these internally displaced people, UNHCR delivered relief items including mattresses, blankets, cooking sets, hygienic supplies and other aid.

    WAGGGS-UNHCR badge

    WAGGGS-UNHCR badge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Humanitarian agencies have been denied access to Mouadamiya for months, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Its chief, Valerie Amos, reiterated in recent days calls on all parties to agree an immediate pause in hostilities there and to allow humanitarian agencies unhindered access to evacuate the remaining civilians and deliver life-saving treatment and supplies in areas where fighting and shelling is ongoing.

    Last week, through local partners, UNHCR delivered aid within the hard-to-reach city of Raqqa to more than 10,000 people. Raqqa, located in northern Iraq, hosts internally displaced people from Deir es Zour and from Aleppo, 160 kilometres to the west.

    “UNHCR observed that many of the displaced are living in buildings that lack windows, doors and electricity. People in this area will soon urgently require thermal blankets and plastic sheets to deal with winter temperatures,” Mr. Edwards said.

    The conflict, which began in March 2011, has claimed over 100,000 lives, sent more than 2 million people fleeing for safety to neighbouring countries and displaced 4.5 million within Syria.

    “Virtually every town and city across Syria is affected by the conflict or hosts traumatized, displaced people,” the spokesperson said.

    Women told us they lacked privacy in the collective shelters, Mr. Edwards noted. He added concerns about the vulnerability of women, many heading broken households.

    In addition, the UN agency is worried about the impact of the crisis on young people, almost two million of whom have dropped out of school and a growing number of which are being exploited for labour or recruited into armed groups.

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 17:09 on October 22, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , Friends of Syria Group, , , , , , , ,   

    Friends of #Syria Meeting to be Hosted in London#Peace 


    William Hague speaks on behalf of ‘London 11’ after core group of the Friends of Syria and President of National Coalition meet in London.

    After the conclusion of a core group of the Friends of Syria meeting which he had hosted in London, the Foreign Secretary spoke on behalf of the group.

    The Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

    We have just concluded an important and productive meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Friends of Syria core group, including the President of the Syrian National Coalition.

    We have met against the backdrop of the regime’s escalating use of indiscriminate and disproportionate force against the people of Syria. They are using tanks, torture, artillery, SCUD missiles, air attacks; laying siege to desperate people; and presiding over the creation of a humanitarian catastrophe.

    Members of the opposition have spoken powerfully about people starving and women and children suffering at the hands of the regime. The only sustainable way to end this conflict and the suffering of innocent Syrian civilians is through a political transition in Syria. The purpose of our meeting today has been to send a signal of our resolve, our unity and determination in brining that about, building on the diplomatic progress made during the UN General Assembly last month.

    We have agreed a number of important steps today:

    First, we agreed that we would put our united and collective weight behind the UN-led Geneva II process, which must lead to establishing by mutual consent a Transitional Governing Body with full executive powers as set out in the Communiqué in 2012. By definition that means that it can only be agreed with the consent of the Syrian National Coalition. So Assad will play no role in that future Government of Syria.

    Second, despite the enormous challenges faced by the Syrian opposition, we urged the National Coalition to commit itself fully to the Geneva II process and to lead and form the heart of any opposition delegation. Geneva offers the Syrian people the best hope to improve their lives.

    Third, we agreed with them that we will provide the intensive political and practical support that will be required to give the Geneva II process the best chance of success.

    Fourth, we agreed a set of principles, attached to today’s communiqué, that underline the unity of our approach to the Geneva II process as the Friends of Syria core group.

    We agreed the Syrian opposition, including the moderate armed groups, and moderate opposition represented by the coalition continue to need our strong collective backing. There can be no peaceful and political settlement in Syria without the participation of the moderate opposition. So we pledged further support to them.

    Syria

    Syria (Photo credit: Yishac – Isaac Alvarez i Brugada)

    President Al Jarba attended lunch and made clear, as in New York, his support. We are as clear as he is that Assad has no part in the future of Syria.

    The UK will continue to support the opposition in its efforts to help and protect the Syrian people from the murderous abuses of the regime through the more than £20 million in support to the opposition that we have provided this year. This is support that to helps to save lives and provide services to the Syrian population – including search and rescue equipment and training, power generators, communications, support and training to civil administrations.

    Between now and Geneva II Conference, we plan to announce a further package of UK support, including substantial non-lethal support to the National Coalition working with General Idris of the Free Syrian Army’s Supreme Military Council. This assistance is likely to take the form of communications, medical, and logistics equipment. It will help them to save lives on the ground.

    None of us has lost sight of the deepening humanitarian disaster.

    As winter approaches, the risks are growing to the nearly 7 million Syrians in need. This is compounded still further by the actions of the regime. The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said yesterday that the UN continues to be denied access on the ground to those in need of humanitarian assistance by obstacles placed by the Syrian regime. In the suburbs of Damascus, many innocent Syrians remain trapped as a result of the regime’s siege tactics. This is unacceptable and full and uninhibited access for humanitarian aid to people in need must be allowed.

    We have intensified the humanitarian support our eleven countries are providing, and encourage others to do the same through further funding pledges and we will be pressing the case for humanitarian access as called for by the UN Security Council on 2 October.

    The UK is the second largest humanitarian donor to the Syria conflict with over £500 million of aid allocated to date. Yesterday, we announced a further £15.5 million of lifesaving support to Palestinian refugees both inside Syrian and in neighbouring countries. This will include food for over 150,000 people and clothing for people in need of urgent help.

    Our eleven countries will continue to work closely together in the weeks leading up to a Geneva Conference to ensure it has the best possible chance of success, and the people of Syria finally get the political transition they so desperately need and deserve.

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 15:53 on October 21, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , Department of Energy, ED Davey, EDF, Edward Davey, , energy companies, , Energy Minister, Npower   

    Energy-Companies-Allowed-to-Increase-Prices-Government-has-No-Comment 


    Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy, responds to Npower‘s announcement about the rise of their energy tariffs

    Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey said:

    “This is another disappointing announcement from a big energy company. Some of the Big 6 seem not to have noticed that they are no longer alone in the market – there are now fifteen small suppliers, and some really competitive fixed deals out there.

    “Today I’m publishing hard figures on the costs energy companies really face in delivering the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), so consumers can see what this scheme is really costing energy companies.

    “These figures – supplied by the energy companies themselves – show that the costs are in line with previous schemes so there should be no need for any increase to consumer bills due to ECO.”

     EDITORS Comment:   

    The pussy footing of the Energy Minister is evident in this statement as comments, such as this leads us evermore into a state of the consumer pays higher and higher energy prices, just to stay warm! The fact that these companies bosses award themselves larger and larger pay rises, the energy shares rise ever higher, and our Energy ministers best advice is shop around, provides us with no confidence at all that this government will curtail these 6 giants!

    He states that he is going to tell us how hard done by the energy companies are with a new report ,but look at their profits year on year and bonus payments for delivering what, higher bills, lack of investment into new infrastructure, and above all no sign that this Energy minister has any intention of taking our grievances any further.

    So what next well we already know that Osborne is climbing into bed with the French company EDF, but with the added bonus {for them}, not us, that the Chinese will be taking a 20% stake. Of course we are told that the company EDF will not take any tax payers money – that is at the front end of course, not the same situation at the end of building the nuclear power plant. Then they will get a price of £92.50 per therm of electricity provided, but as ED Davey said on BBC Radio Four today ,it will drop to £89.50 ,providing they sign-up for another deal on another plant.

    Well as Ed Davey was asked by Stephanie Flanders Financial Correspondent on BBC Radio Four, does this mean the UK get to invest in the Chinese Energy Markets? – he declined to answer, changed the subject and was cut-off! He returned later with the same rhetoric as we have heard so often before, and it goes something like this ” Without this type of Investment into our Energy Industry we cannot sustain prices as we do now” what are we sustaining! 

    Is that not how this speech started, in the first place, all about the rise of energy tariffs, let me check! Yes l was right the speech was headed:Edward DaveySecretary of State for Energy, responds to Npower‘s announcement about the rise of their energy tariffs.  

    Has he forgot so quickly what he said on the 21st October 2013 – hang on a minute that is today.                      

     
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  • #AceNewsGroup 19:37 on October 19, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Moadamiyeh, , , , ,   

    #SYRIA: UN Humanitarian Chief Urges Safe Passage for Civilians Trapped in Rural Damascus 


    English: Emblem of the United Nations. Color i...

    English: Emblem of the United Nations. Color is #d69d36 from the image at http://www.un.org/depts/dhl/maplib/flag.htm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    The United Nations humanitarian chief on Saturday called for a ceasefire in Moadamiyeh in Rural Damascus to allow aid agencies access to evacuate thousands of civilians trapped by the ongoing conflict in Syria.

    “The humanitarian community has stressed time and time again that people must not be denied life-saving help and that the fighting has to stop,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos said in a <“https://docs.unocha.org/sites/dms/Documents/Statement%20by%20USG%20Valerie%20Amos%20on%20Moadamiyeh,%20Syria%2019Oct2013.pdf“>statement.

    Humanitarian agencies have been denied access to Moadamiyeh for months, the statement noted. Although the evacuation of more than 3,000 people took place on Sunday, the same number or more remain trapped. There are reports of continued shelling and fighting in the area, preventing the completion of the rescue operation.

    “I call on all parties to agree an immediate pause in hostilities in Moadamiyeh to allow humanitarian agencies unhindered access to evacuate the remaining civilians and deliver life-saving treatment and supplies in areas where fighting and shelling is ongoing,” said Ms. Amos, who is also UN Emergency Relief Coordinator.

    Those already evacuated from Moadamiyeh received immediate assistance from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, UN humanitarian agencies and partners, local businesses and private individuals, including food, medical treatment and psycho-social support.

    Ms. Amos said she continues to be “extremely worried” by the situation unfolding across Syria where ordinary women, children and men are facing horrific violence and brutality from all sides of the conflict.

    Thousands of families also remain trapped in other locations across Syria, for example in Nubil, Zahra, old Aleppo town, old Homs town and Hassakeh.

    “Civilians must be allowed to move to safer areas without the fear of attack,” stressed Ms. Amos.

    “It is vital that all parties to the conflict respect their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian laws to protect civilians and to allow neutral, impartial humanitarian organizations safe access to all people in need, wherever they are in Syria.”

    The conflict, which began in March 2011, has claimed over 100,000 lives, sent more than 2 million people fleeing for safety to neighbouring countries and displaced 4.5 million within Syria.

    #AceWorldNews #syria #peace

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 17:26 on October 19, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Executive Order 10995, Executive Order 11921, Fema, , ,   

    FEMA Most Powerful Organisation in the World – Executive Orders – Video Now 


    THE MOST POWERFUL ORGANIZATION IN THE UNITED STATES
    Is not for protecting the people as much as it is for protecting the government.
    See text of H.R.645

    These are just a few of the Obama nations executive orders.

    • EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports.
    • FemaEXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals.
    • EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 allows the government to take over all food resources and farms.
    • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision.
    • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11001 allows the government to take over all health, education and welfare functions.
    • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11002 designates the Postmaster General to operate a national registration of all persons.
    • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11003 allows the government to take over all airports and aircraft, including commercial aircraft.
    • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11004 allows the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations.
    • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11005 allows the government to take over rail-roads, inland waterways and public storage facilities.
    • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11051 specifies the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning and gives authorization to put all Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international tensions and economic or financial crisis.
    • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders, to institute industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions, and to advise and assist the President.
    • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11049 assigns emergency preparedness function to federal departments and agencies, consolidating 21 operative Executive Orders issued over a fifteen year period.
    • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11921 allows the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institution in any undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for six months.

    Courtesy of True Activist – Read more: http://www.trueactivist.com/fema-camp-has-begun-homeless-first/

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 20:51 on October 18, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , $32 billion, , December 2012, GRETA, , , ,   

    UN Rights Expert Joins Call for Concerted Global Action to Fight Human Trafficking 


    Human Trafficking petition hand in

    Human Trafficking petition hand in (Photo credit: 38 Degrees)

    A United Nations independent expert, along with two other key human rights mechanisms today stressed the importance of partnerships as the “backbone” of global efforts to tackle the scourge of human trafficking.

    “Partnership is the backbone for effective coordinated efforts to implement a human-rights based approach while addressing this multi-faceted phenomenon,” <“http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=13869&LangID=E“>said  the human rights experts from the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Co-operation and Security in Europe (OSCE), on the occasion of the European Anti-Trafficking Day.

    “Cooperation between origin, transit and destination countries, but also with regional and international mechanisms, as well as private stakeholders such as multi-national corporations and civil society organizations, is essential for comprehensive responses to trafficking in persons.”

    The UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Joy Ezeilo, underlined that trafficking is a grave violation of human rights which leads to further abuses.

    “The rights of victims should be the beating heart driving all efforts towards eradicating this phenomenon which leads thousands of women, girls, men and boys in situation of profound exploitation and violence,” Ms. Ezeilo said. “The victims, whose rights are stolen, have to be protected, assisted, provided remedies, and re-integrated.”

    Trafficking of women, children and men

    Trafficking of women, children and men (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry which has trapped some 21 million men, women and children in forced labour. According to 2005 estimates released by the International Labour Organization (ILO), profits generated in the sex industry alone are as high as $32 billion a year. Furthermore, nearly one-third of all victims of human trafficking officially detected around the world between 2007 and 2010 were children, according to a report released in December 2012 by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) citing data from 132 countries.

    The President of the Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), Nicolas Le Coz, emphasized that countries have a responsibility under international and European law to provide protection to victims to ensure their moral and physical integrity and prevent re-victimization, including by prosecuting and punishing the traffickers.

    “Given the worrying proportions human trafficking has taken, there is a need to move from a national security model to a human rights-based approach in order to better identify and assist victims of trafficking who are often undocumented migrants,” Mr. Le Coz said.

    For the OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, “the realization of a victim’s right to effective remedies is at the core of the human rights-based approach as redress and compensation are the key stepping stones on the path to full recovery and social inclusion without fear or stigma.”

    The three international expert mechanisms stressed that “a universal human rights-based approach is paramount to end human trafficking in the world today.”

    #AceWorldNews  #HumanRights  #Trafficking

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 19:43 on October 18, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,   

    UN-Urges-Countries-to-Ensure-Safe-Passage-for-#Syrians-Fleeing-Conflict 


    Flag of United Nations Refugee Agency

    Flag of United Nations Refugee Agency (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    With the numbers of Syrians seeking safety in Europe on the rise, the United Nations refugee agency <“http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/search?page=search&docid=526108d89&query=Italy“>said today it is concerned about difficulties displaced people face during their passage and at borders, including the risk of drowning at sea.

    Melissa Fleming, chief spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), cited the case of a boat carrying between 400 and 500 Syrians and Palestinians that sank in the Mediterranean last Friday. Only 200 people have been rescued.

    “We are disturbed that the cause of the tragedy could well be attributed to shots that were fired after the boat left Libya, injuring four passengers and damaging the hull,” Ms. Fleming told a news conference in Geneva.

    The same day, she noted, a boat sank just off Alexandria in Egypt with an estimated 112 passengers on board, 40 of whom were Syrian. Twelve bodies were recovered, including five children. The survivors are being held in detention facilities in two police stations.

    They were among a growing number of Syrians trying to cross the Mediterranean from Egypt to Italy because of anxiety about their security, according to UNHCR. Many mention physical assaults, verbal threats, detention and deportation.

    The Egyptian Government estimates that some 250,000 to 300,000 Syrians currently reside in Egypt, of whom more than 122,000 are registered with UNHCR.

    Between January and the end of September, at least 7,557 Syrians and Palestinians arrived on the coast of Italy, including 6,233 since August in 63 boats. This compares to about 350 Syrians in 2012. Most of the Syrian refugees that reach Italy continue on to other countries in Europe in search of asylum.

    UNHCR was particularly concerned about the increasing number of unaccompanied children making the voyage. As the cost of travel can range from $2,000-$5,000 per person, some families opt to send their children alone or with relatives or friends.

    “UNHCR notes with concern that over 800 Syrians have been arrested in Egypt since August for attempting to illegally depart and 144, including 44 children, have been deported to third countries,” said Ms. Fleming.

    “Although charges have not been laid, approximately 589 Syrians remain in administrative detention, including women and 84 children. UNHCR is seeking access to the detained in order to properly verify numbers, conditions, and needs, or provide legal assistance,” she added.

    United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ...

    United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    UNHCR recognizes that a number of countries in North Africa are increasingly affected by the displacement caused by the Syria crisis, placing additional demands on their infrastructure and resources. Given the dramatic needs of Syrian refugees, which are likely to continue and grow in the immediate future, reinforcement of capacity to receive them in North African countries is increasingly urgent, the agency stressed.

    UNHCR is working with Governments, the European Union and other partners to put in place a comprehensive response to saving lives of refugees and migrants at sea. It is calling for a number of measures to prevent further tragedies and increase responsibility sharing.

    Generous approaches to protection are needed, Ms. Fleming noted, including non-penalization of those arriving without identity documents, offering flexibility in the application of family reunification criteria and procedures, dispensing with certain visa requirements, and facilitation of the entry of Syrians for work, study, family or humanitarian purposes under national programmes.

    More than 100,000 people have been killed since opposition groups first sought the ouster of President Bashar Al-Assad in March 2011. The conflict has also sent 2 million people fleeing for safety to neighbouring countries and displaced some 4.5 million people internally.

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 18:08 on October 17, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Royal Commission, , , UN Commission of Inquiry, , , ,   

    Press release – Human Rights and Democracy Report 2012 – 2013 – #Syria 


    Coat of arms of Syria -- the "Hawk of Qur...

    Coat of arms of Syria — the “Hawk of Qureish” with shield of vertical tricolor of the national flag, holding a scroll with the words الجمهورية العربية السورية (Al-Jumhuriyah al-`Arabiyah as-Suriyah “The Syrian Arab Republic”). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Latest update: 30 September 2013

    The human rights situation in Syria has continued to deteriorate in the period between July and September 2013. The conflict has reached devastating proportions: more than 100,000 Syrians have been killed, 6.8 million are in need inside Syria and over 5.8 million Syrians have been forced to flee their homes, with over 2 million people fleeing to neighbouring countries. Nearly a third of the Syrian population is in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

    In light of the deteriorating humanitarian situation, the UK announced a further £100 million of humanitarian assistance on 25 September to help get essentials such as food, water and medicine to Syrian people in dire need. This brings the UK’s total to half a billion pounds, the UK’s largest response to a single humanitarian crisis. This reflects the scale, despair and brutality of the situation.

    We remain in full support of the UN Commission of Inquiry, who continue to gather evidence of human rights violations and abuses with the aim of bringing those responsible to account. Their latest report, published on 11 September, highlighted how civilians are continuing to suffer from the ongoing fighting. The report described crimes against humanity and war crimes being committed by the regime and its forces, and serious violations committed by extremist anti-regime armed groups. The report concluded that there is no military solution to the conflict, and that a political solution founded upon the tenets of the Geneva communiqué is the only path to peace.

    Against this background, the UK welcomed the adoption by the UN Human Rights Council of a new resolution on 27 September, which condemned the use of chemical weapons, called for the perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses to be held to account and demanded full access for the UN Commission of Inquiry and humanitarian workers. The resolution also condemned the use of chemical weapons and contained language on preventing sexual violence.

    On the same day, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Syrian chemical weapons, ending a 17-month stalemate in the Security Council on Syria. The UK strongly supported this resolution, which is a welcome step towards our broad objective of achieving a political solution to end the crisis. We continue to work towards a second Geneva conference to bring all sides together. We are appalled by the chemical weapons attack in Damascus on 21 August, which led to the death of hundreds of civilians and wounded many more. All evidence points towards government responsibility for the attacks. The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have consistently made clear that those responsible for the most serious international crimes in Syria should be held to account, and we believe the situation in Syria should be referred to the International Criminal Court.

    Since April 2012, we have committed over £40.5 million in non-humanitarian assistance to address the Syria crisis. This includes support to the moderate opposition, local councils, human rights defenders and civil society. We have provided equipment to help protect these groups and enable them to provide security and services to the Syrian people; this equipment includes armoured vehicles, body armour, generators, communications equipment and training for human rights activists.

    Latest update: 30 June 2013

    Syria

    Syria (Photo credit: ewixx)

    In the period between April and June 2013, the human rights situation in Syria continued to deteriorate. Over 93,000 Syrians have died, more than 1.6 million are refugees and 4.25 million have been displaced within Syria due to the conflict.

    We remain in full support of the work of the UN Commission of Inquiry, who continue to gather evidence of human rights violations and abuses with the aim of bringing all those responsible to account. Their latest report, published on 4 June highlighted the new levels of brutality evident in the conflict; including documented cases of the use of chemical agents, the systematic imposition of sieges, forcible displacement and sexual and gender based violence and abuse. The report notes that whilst anti-government armed groups have also committed war crimes, their violations and abuses did not reach the intensity and scale of those committed by government forces and affiliated militia.

    The UK welcomed the UN Human Rights Council’s adoption of a new resolution on 14 June, which strongly condemned the intervention of all foreign combatants, including those fighting on behalf of the Syrian regime. It urged all parties to refrain from any actions which may contribute to an increase in the number of violations of human rights and international law. The resolution stressed the need to follow-up on the Commission of Inquiry’s report and conduct a transparent and independent investigation into all violations of international law by all parties.

    We also welcomed the UN Human Rights Council’s previous resolution adopted on 28 May, centred upon the Syrian government’s siege of Al-Qusayr. The resolution strongly condemned the violations of international law by Syrian authorities and government-affiliated militias, in particular the regime’s use of ballistic missiles and other heavy weapons against the people of Al-Qusayr. The resolution demanded that the Syrian authorities allow free and unimpeded access by the UN and humanitarian agencies, and requested that the Commission of Inquiry urgently conducts a comprehensive inquiry into the events in Al-Qusayr. In a statement on 4 June, the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, reiterated the request, calling on Assad’s forces to allow immediate humanitarian access to Al-Qusayr.

    The UK remains committed to achieving a political solution to the crisis based on a vision for a united, inclusive and democratic Syria. As the Geneva Communiqué states, the public services must be preserved or restored. This includes the military forces and security services. However all governmental institutions and state offices must perform according to professional and human rights standards. We also condemn in the strongest possible terms all human rights violations and abuses in Syria, committed by anyone, including indiscriminate attacks on civilians. We call on all sides to respect international humanitarian and human rights laws, noting the particular responsibility of the Syrian authorities in this regard.

    There are now 1.6 million refugees registered/in process in neighbouring countries, and nearly a third of the Syrian population is in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. The UK is doing all it can to help all those affected by the violence and is playing a leading role as a bilateral donor to the international humanitarian response. We have already contributed £173 million in humanitarian aid so far. This has provided food for over 132,000 people across Syria, clean drinking water for almost 1 million people and almost 300,000 medical consultations. As announced at the G8, the UK is now set to double its contribution, bringing our total support to £348 million, with over £100 million going to the UN appeals. The funding includes our ongoing humanitarian aid, as well as development assistance to Jordan and Lebanon, both of whom have seen a dramatic increase in the number of Syrian refugees in recent months.

    The UK has also continued to provide support via non-lethal assistance, geared towards strengthening the moderate opposition, supporting civil society and helping to reduce the effects of regional spill over. This assistance includes training for human rights activists, communications equipment, body armour and water purification kits. This has brought the total of our non-lethal assistance to £30million.

    Further Information

    Read and comment on the country of concern – Syria

    Read and comment on the Human Rights and Democracy Report 2012 in full

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 17:42 on October 17, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Cyberspace, , , , Political freedom, ,   

    Speech on Building a new international consensus on the future of Cyberspace 


    English: William Hague at the U.S. Deptartment...

    English: William Hague at the U.S. Deptartment of State (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Foreign Secretary William Hague calls for countries to discuss collectively one of the greatest challenges facing our generation.

    I thank President Park and the government of Korea for hosting this important conference and for organising it brilliantly well.

    We are two years into a process that began in London in 2011 to address one of the greatest challenges facing our generation: building a new international consensus on the future of cyberspace. There is more that unites us as nations than divides us on this issue. We all want to benefit from secure and reliable access to the internet as a driver of growth, development, good governance and innovation in our societies, and to protect our citizens from crime and terrorism on-line.

    But there is a divide emerging in the international community that we must confront.

    On one side are countries like the UK and many others like Korea who argue that the internet must remain open and borderless, and benefit from collective oversight between governments, international organisations, industry and civil society. In our view this is the only way to ensure that the benefits of the digital age are expanded to all countries; that ingenuity and competition flourish and investment and enterprise are rewarded; and that the creativity that spurs economic growth is nurtured not stifled by excessive regulation.

    On the other side are countries calling for an international legal framework for the internet that would enable governments to exercise exclusive control over the Internet’s content and resources.

    I am convinced that placing the controls of cyberspace entirely in the hands of governments would be a drastic error that would have profound social and economic consequences. The dead hand of state control would be as stifling for the internet as it has been for many economies in the past. It would erect barriers that impede the free flow of ideas, and would lead to a ghettoized or two-tier cyberspace that hinders free trade and holds back economic growth and development. This world of closed, fragmented Internets would certainly be less free and democratic – but it would also be less creative, less innovative, less progressive and, ultimately, less prosperous than a world with a single and open Internet.

    The Internet is the heartbeat of the global economy, linking businesses that are based thousands of miles apart and constantly creating new markets, industries and technologies. Over the last 5 years, it has accounted for one fifth of GDP growth in advanced economies, with vast potential for future growth in countries where many people are now coming online for the first time.

    It provides an environment where ideas flourish and barriers to market entry are removed, enabling innovators and entrepreneurs in every corner of the globe to turn those bright ideas into financial gain. It is improving the delivery of public services such as health and education, which heighten the skill and efficiency of workforces the world over.

    It is facilitating the development of smart grids, smart buildings and smart cities, which support green and sustainable growth.

    And it is creating more attractive investment climates by widening accountability and increasing transparency.

    For these reasons, and more, societies that embrace an open and vibrant internet will be the ones that develop and prosper most in the 21st century.

    And let us be clear – human rights apply online as much as they do offline. We should have no illusions about the motivation of those who call for a regulated internet stem from a desire to control the expression and curtail the political freedoms of their citizens.

    We do all face sophisticated and persistent threats in cyberspace from terrorists or organised criminals. We will not compromise on the United Kingdom’s security or give free rein in cyberspace to those who wish to harm our country. With my full support our security and intelligence agencies will continue to address threats in cyberspace and to help our allies and partners to do the same – and the UK will remain at the centre of the debate on how we tackle those threats more effectively. But countries who seek to hide behind firewalls and erect artificial barriers on the internet will ultimately reduce their security, not enhance it. A fragmented Cyberspace would reduce trust and cooperation, making malicious or subversive activity more likely and harder to detect.

    So our challenge is to work together to build confidence and engrain norms of behaviour which govern state behaviour online and support our collective security, while upholding the values of openness and freedom which have been integral to the success of the internet and are our core values as democratic nations.

    We need a more transparent and inclusive model of governance; one where no single body controls all of the functions that govern the Internet; which is flexible, adaptable and can keep pace with the lightning speeds at which technology is advancing.

    The London process, a process that began two years ago, is designed to achieve that objective and we have made some important progress:

    We have brought the debate on the future of cyberspace to the front of the international agenda. We have taken strides towards agreeing principles that can form the basis of widely accepted norms for behaviour in cyberspace, which are captured in the “principles and guidelines” document put forward by Korean hosts. And we are making progress on capacity building to help all states tackle challenges in cyberspace. In the UK, this includes the establishment of the Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre which will open in Oxford next month and help other countries to build their own resilience and security.

    Nevertheless, we have still not reached agreement on international ‘rules of the road’ or set of standards of behaviour.

    To all those states that are uncertain where their interests lie between these competing visions of the future of cyberspace, I say that there is no stark choice between an open Internet and a secure Internet. But there is a choice between an Internet which continues to create growth and prosperity on all continents, and one which does not. We must agree to take steps to increase the confidence and trust that governments, companies and citizens all have in the Internet while preserving its transformative dynamism and creativity.

    At a time of such global economic uncertainty, making the wrong choice would have profound consequences for the future. We must come together and ensure that the Internet is not only secure, but remains an engine for progress all over the world.

    Related articles

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 13:50 on October 17, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , Alex Jones, Graham, , Jack Weinstein, , , , ,   

    Whistleblowers warn America of nuke movements 


    Emblem of the Nuclear Weapons Center of Air Fo...

    Emblem of the Nuclear Weapons Center of Air Force Materiel Command of the United States Air Force located at Kirtland Air Force Base (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    On September 3, whistle-blowers inside the US military alerted independent and mainstream media outlets about the mysterious movement of America’s dusty old nuclear warheads stored at an Air Force base in Texas. Witnesses described how the nukes were loaded onto semi-trucks bound for a military base in South Carolina. With the base commander present and approving the transfer verbally, no paperwork was ever noticed by any of the whistle-blowers.

    Infowars was one the first outlets to alert the public. “Alex Jones here with a breaking emergency alert for Infowars.com,” Jones began his news announcement, “We’re in Texas and have military sources at a major Air Force base in west Texas that have reported to us the unprecedented event of secret nuclear weapons that were stored there being removed and transferred out of the base today, to be shipped to South Carolina.”

    Read the Whiteout Press article, ‘Obama reportedly redeploys Nukes for Syria Escalation’ for complete details.

    English: Lindsey Graham, U.S. Senator from Sou...

    English: Lindsey Graham, U.S. Senator from South Carolina (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Sen. Lindsey Graham’s cryptic warning

    South Carolina’s Republican US Senator has made some bizarre comments over the last year, almost all in support of launching numerous new wars around the globe. It was Senator Graham (R-SC) who has ceaselessly argued that the US should join the Syrian rebels and launch a war against the Assad regime. Not stopping there, Graham insists that once Assad is removed from power, the US should turn on its Syrian rebel allies and annihilate them too.

    Also on September 3 – the same day as the secret nuke transfers and the suspension of America’s #2 nuke commander – Sen. Graham ominously warned the nation that his home state of South Carolina was in danger of being nuked by Iran. The only way to guarantee the entire city of Charleston would not be murdered, Graham insisted, was to launch a pre-emptive war against both Iran and Syria.

    Published by Infowars, CBS News quoted the Senator. “He [Graham] says if there is no US response [to Syria], Iran will not believe America’s resolve to block Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Graham also says those nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists could result in a bomb coming to Charleston Harbour.”

    Constant critics of America’s war machine and empire-builders immediately put the events of that one single day together and warned of an impending ‘false flag’ attack on South Carolina. They reiterated that on that one day, Sept. 3:

    • Nuclear command secretly moves nuclear warheads from Texas to South Carolina.
    • The #2 Commander of US nukes is suspended.
    • South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham warns that Iran may attack South Carolina with nukes.

    Second nuke Commander removed from duty in same week

    Just days later, the Washington Post reported that the Air Force’s top nuclear weapons commander was also removed from duty, joining his Navy counterpart. Neither the Air Force nor the Obama administration would comment on the reason for his removal.

    English:

    English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    The Post reported, ‘The Air Force removed Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, a 35-year veteran, from his command of 20th Air Force, responsible for all 450 of the service’s intercontinental ballistic missiles. Carey, who took his post in Wyoming in June 2012, will be reassigned pending the outcome of an investigation into personal misbehavior, the service said.’ Showing why so many critics of the federal government are suddenly nervous and suspicious, the outlet writes, ‘Removing senior officers in the nuclear force is rare but has happened twice this week.’

    Echoing the suspicions of a number of government critics, Infowars closed its report describing Gen. Carey’s replacement as commander of the Air Force’s nuclear weapons, ‘The highest level generals have now installed a new commander, Pentagon Air Force Commander Jack Weinstein, who may be willing to do the bidding of higher-ups that the previous two nuke commanders would not.’

    Courtesy of the Whiteout Press – Article – October 13 – 2013   http://www.whiteoutpress.com/articles/q42013/what-s-obama-doing-with-america-s-nuclear-warheads/

     
    • joecruzmn 19:16 on October 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on These Christian Times and commented:
      UPDATE ON SECRET NUCLEAR WARHEAD TRANSFER: Over a month ago I did an article titled The False Flag Connections. Ace News services has done a great job of connecting all related articles concerning this grave situation. I HIGHLY ADVISE YOU to click on all links to see how deep the rabbit hole goes. This is a story that hasn’t died off and something the main stream media isn’t really reporting. I am usually not the type to get into conspiracies, but something had to be done about this story especially with the warning Sen. Lindsey Graham gave. That was one of the reasons why I put the story up on my Blog. We must always be vigilant and seek truth. Please take the time to read and see what has happen since the transfer occurred. What was the reason for this Transfer? Where are the currently located? Why hasn’t the media been more vocal? Something doesn’t smell right and there is a possibility of a FALSE FLAG ATTACK until we know the answers to this story. God bless you and please don’t hesitate to share the word and love of Jesus Christ

      Like

      • Ace News Group 19:38 on October 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for re-blog and comment l have also started following your blog The Christian Times!
        Regards #AceNewsServices

        Like

        • joecruzmn 19:40 on October 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

          Thanks bud and you did a great job on all related articles. Keep doing what you do and if its great I will reblog. I have started to follow you as well. Let me know if it states that I am following you to make sure. God Bless

          Like

          • Ace News Group 19:49 on October 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

            Sorted Joe for your notification l am called Ian and l always make sure, l research posts and articles for the truth! It is hard to find and sometimes l have to wait to publish, but if l get any follow to this story will post. Thanks for the follow.

            God Bless Joe

            Like

            • joecruzmn 19:55 on October 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

              It is hard to find people willing to do the things you do. I am proud of people like you willing to risk reputation to search for truth. I cant wait to read some of your other articles.

              Like

  • #AceNewsGroup 13:27 on October 17, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , February 7, Government shutdown, January 15, , October 17 2013, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, , , , , ,   

    US avoids default as Congress passes deal to end shutdown 


    English: President Barack Obama makes a statem...

    English: President Barack Obama makes a statement in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House announcing a deal in the ongoing efforts to find a balanced approach to the debt limit and deficit reduction, July 31, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    US President Barack Obama has signed legislation passed by Congress Wednesday to temporarily lift the debt ceiling and end the government shutdown, averting the threat of default just hours before the October 17 deadline.

    The legislation funds the government through to January 15 and lifts the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling until February 7. The White House budget director, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, said she has issued a directive to all government employees to return to work.

    Published time: October 17, 2013 00:12
    Edited time: October 17, 2013 06:29

    The US Capitol (AFP Photo / Jewel Samad)

    Download video (13.06 MB)
     Tags

    US President Barack Obama has signed legislation passed by Congress Wednesday to temporarily lift the debt ceiling and end the government shut-down, averting the threat of default just hours before the October 17 deadline.

    The legislation funds the government through to January 15 and lifts the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling until February 7. The White House budget director, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, said she has issued a directive to all government employees to return to work.

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 22:00 on October 15, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , British Council, , , , , , , , , , the British Council   


    British teachers form partnerships with Lebanese and Jordanian schools to provide support for Syrian refugee children.

    British secondary school pupils will help Syrian counterparts who are refugees affected by the crisis, through a twinning initiative announced today by International Development Secretary Justine Greening.

    The scheme, run through the British Council, will partner UK schools with Lebanese and Jordanian schools teaching Syrian refugee children. British school children will get the chance to link up with refugee children and hear first-hand about the reality of life from those who have been affected by the situation in Syria.

    Under the initiative, British teachers and educators will form partnerships with schools in the region and provide support to their counterparts on a range of issues such as:

    • specially tailored teaching and learning resources to show schoolchildren in the UK the impact of the Syria crisis;
    • Syrian, Lebanese and British children sharing their experiences through Skype and letter writing; and
    • opportunities for teachers to share ideas, lesson plans and to work on joint projects together.
    Coat of arms of Lebanon Deutsch: Wappen von Li...

    Coat of arms of Lebanon Deutsch: Wappen von Libanon Español: Escudo de Líbano עברית: סמל לבנון (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    The scheme will focus initially on schools in Lebanon, which currently hosts more than a quarter of a million Syrian refugee children, an even higher number than there are Lebanese children. The scheme plans to expand to other schools in Jordan and more widely across the region.

    Justine Greening said:

    “Syrian secondary school children should not miss out on an education because their country is at war. We must do all we can to prevent a lost generation of Syrian children, and I want to give their UK counterparts and teachers the chance to play their part in our support.

    Teachers in Syria’s neighbouring countries are working tirelessly to ensure that everyone in their classroom has the chance to learn, no matter where they are from. But they are under tremendous pressure from cultural and language differences and the sheer weight of numbers of refugee children.

    “This initiative will give British teachers and educators the chance to make a direct difference. It will also pave the way for British school children and Syrian refugee children to build friendships, share their experiences and gain a better understanding of the wider world they are all growing up in.”

    The initiative will build on the Connecting Classrooms programme that the British Council already runs, drawing on existing partnerships with 20 schools in Jordan and Lebanon. In particular, it will work with schools in Lebanon where 20-30 per cent of pupils are refugees, in order to identify areas where support is most needed. The UK is already working with partners in Lebanon to identify the particular needs of schools there and how best to respond to these.

    Over the next two months, the British Council will run a recruitment drive to find new UK schools to partner with 16 Lebanese partner schools already looking for links with the UK. It will also prioritise UK-Lebanon/Jordan links for future school partnership application rounds (25 October 2013 and February 2014), with a focus on those schools in Lebanon and Jordan particularly affected by high numbers of refugee pupils.

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 19:47 on October 14, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , President George Bush, , , , , , ,   

    US Media Players – Had Connection to Contractors and other Organisations -#syria 


    Nearly two dozen of the commentators who appeared on major media outlets to discuss a possible US military strike on Syria had relationships with contractors and other organizations with a vested interest in the conflict, according to a new report.

    AFP Photo / Kevin C. CoxAFP Photo / Kevin C. Cox

    Tags

    The Public Accountability Initiative, a non-profit research group dedicated to “investigating power and corruption at the heights of business and government,” determined that 22 of  the pundits who spoke to the media during the public debate over whether the US should bomb Syria appeared to have conflicts of interest. Seven think tanks with murky affiliations were also involved in the debate.

    Some analysts held board positions or held stock in companies that produce weapons for the US military, while others conducted work for private firms with the relationships not disclosed to the public.

    Perhaps the most notable example is that of Stephen Hadley, a former national security advisor to President George Bush who argued in favour of striking Syria in appearances on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and Bloomberg TV. He also wrote an editorial in The Washington Post with the headline, “To stop Iran, Obama must enforce red lines with Assad.”

    MathMovesU Raytheon

    MathMovesU Raytheon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Nowhere in those appearances was it disclosed, according to the report, that Hadley is a director with Raytheon, a weapons manufacturer that produces the Tomahawk cruise missiles the US almost certainly would have used had it intervened in Syria. Hadley earns an annual salary of $128,5000 from Raytheon and owns 11,477 shares of Raytheon stock. His holdings were worth $891,189 as of August 23.

    We found lots of industry ties. Some of them are stronger than others. Some really rise to the level of clear conflicts of interest,” Kevin Connor, co-author of the report, told The Washington Post. “These networks and these commentators should err on the side of disclosure.”

    The report found that, out of 37 appearances of the pundits named, CNN attempted to disclose that individuals ties a mere seven times. In 23 appearances on Fox News there was not a single attempt to disclose industry ties. And in 16 appearances on NBC or its umbrella networks, attempts at disclosure were made five times.

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 17:49 on October 14, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Palestine refugee camps, , , , Refugee camp, , , ,   

    UN AGENCY DEPLORES VIOLENCE IN SYRIAN REFUGEE CAMP THAT KILLED SEVEN PALESTINIANS 


    English: UNRWA logo UNRWA logo

    English: UNRWA logo UNRWA logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    The United Nations agency tasked with assisting Palestinian refugees today called on all parties in Syria to stop the violence in refugee camps and other civilian areas, following violence near the Dera’a camp which killed seven Palestinians.

    “Reports from Dera’a of the further loss of Palestinian lives are deeply distressing,” <“http://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/official-statements/unrwa-deplores-violence-dera%E2%80%99-refugee-camp-southern-syria-which“>said Michael Kingsley-Nyinah, the Director of UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Syria.

    “UNRWA repeats its calls on all parties to desist from conducting armed conflict in Palestine refugee camps and other civilian areas and to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law.”

    Initial reports indicate that on Saturday, the Dera’a Palestine refugee camp was directly affected by intensive armed conflict, killing seven refugees and injuring 15 others.  As a result of the fighting, UNRWA’s Primary Health Care Centre and Women’s Programme Centre sustained heavy damage.

    The Dera’a Health Centre was reconstructed and fully re-equipped with donor funds in June 2008. Prior to the conflict, the centre offered a wide range of health services to over 25,000 Palestine refugees residing in Dera’a camp and the surrounding areas. The outbreak of war in 2011 caused many refugees to seek safety outside the camp and for many months had prevented the health centre from functioning normally, UNRWA said in a news release.

    The agency appealed to all sides and to the international community “to urgently resolve the Syria conflict through a peaceful process of mediation and dialogue,” adding that the conflict is aggravating the already severe human suffering endured by Syrians and Palestinians alike.

    Despite extreme challenges, UNRWA continues to support some 420,000 Palestine refugees in Syria with health care, primary education, cash transfers, food assistance, psycho-social support access to micro-finance and other humanitarian services.

     

     
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