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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 113117 times)
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #10200 on: Mar 4th, 2014, 12:16am »

srael is finally ready to combat shoulder-launched missiles and they’re going to do it with lasers.
Israel’s Commercial Jets Will Soon Be Firing Lasers
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2014/03/skyshield/
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Israel’s Ministry of Defense announced Wednesday that SkyShield, developed by Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems, had successfully completed testing and is certified for commercial use to combat the threat of man-portable surface-to-air missile systems (MANPADS) by combining advanced laser detection and disruption technologies.

C-MUSIC, the commercial version of SkyShield, integrates laser technology with a thermal camera to deflect incoming threats by jamming. After detecting incoming missiles with an infrared sensor, it fires a laser that disrupts the missile’s navigation system, taking it off course and detonating the missile a safe distance from the aircraft.
Image: Elbit Systems

Image: Elbit Systems

“SkyShield has been validated under the most complex and sophisticated testing conditions ever conducted in Israel and is now ready to protect Israeli airlines,” said Israel Air Force Brig. Gen. Eitan Eshel, director of research and development at Israel’s Defense Ministry.

The technological advancement is a direct response to the 2002 attempt by terrorists in Mombasa, Kenya in which two surface-to-air missiles were fired at an Israeli charter plane shortly after takeoff. The missiles missed their target and its more than 250 passengers, but the event prompted then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to call for an urgent defense response.

Although the project was supposed to be expedited, it was delayed for several years because of infighting among competing defense firms and government agencies over which one would foot the bill. Once the contract was awarded to Elbit Systems, completion of the project took about three years.

The system will first be implemented on all El Al airliners, but Elbit says it has contracts with several other countries around the world.
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« Reply #10201 on: Mar 4th, 2014, 08:47am »

Good morning Sys cheesy

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« Reply #10202 on: Mar 4th, 2014, 09:01am »

Reuters

Six banks team up in plan for shared customer data register

By Steve Slater

LONDON
Tue Mar 4, 2014 9:34am EST


(Reuters) - JPMorgan (JPM.N), Citigroup (C.N) and four more major banks have signed up with an industry group to develop a central register of information on other banks they deal with to help to meet increasing compliance demands and costs.

Swift, a Brussels-based group used by thousands of banks to exchange financial messages, said on Tuesday that six banks had agreed to develop and use the register, which will collect and share standard information required by banks as part of their due diligence processes.

Senior bankers have for some time said there is potential for banks to share information on customers to help to meet increasing "know your customer" (KYC) requirements and save money by reducing duplication of information.

Regulators require banks to have rigid KYC policies and are tightening compliance to bolster protection against money laundering and fraud.

Swift's KYC Registry will at first focus on correspondent relationships, which are the other banks they deal with in handling transactions. It was not clear whether data sharing will later extend to corporate customers or individuals.

Banks have in the past pointed to client confidentiality and security as stumbling blocks to such sharing of information, but Swift said each bank will retain ownership of its own information and control over which institutions can view the data.

JPMorgan, Citi, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N), Commerzbank (CBKG.DE), Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) and Standard Chartered (STAN.L) have signed the agreement with Swift.

The Brussels-based organization said it expects more banks to join in the coming months.

"Having a single, centralized registry for up-to-date KYC information will reduce the time, effort and cost related to gathering, accessing and sharing KYC information," said Pascal Auge, head of global transactions and payment services at Societe Generale.

The banks will join a working group to agree processes and the documentation and information necessary to meet KYC requirements across many countries and will start putting their own data into the register, Swift said.

(Editing by David Goodman)


http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/04/us-banks-compliance-register-idUSBREA2319120140304

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« Reply #10203 on: Mar 4th, 2014, 11:54am »

Looks like Cinde Costello is doing a good job of investigation in California!

Darn lanterns!


MUFON: Multiple 'helicopters chasing UFO' reports are military related

Roger Marsh
March 4, 2014

Multiple reports of military helicopters "chasing UFOs" in the Anaheim, CA, area throughout February 2014, appear to be a combination of military training exercises and man-made sky lanterns, according to a March 4, 2014, statement by Cinde Costello, Southern California Chief Investigator for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON).

Witnesses in and around Anaheim have been filing UFO reports with MUFON in February and March 2014 detailing how it appeared that helicopters were following orbs of light or a sphere-shaped object.

Costello has been following these reports closely and points out that the area has a high degree of regular, normal military activity to begin with - including almost constant military air training from the Camp Pendleton base.

"Most recently there's been some increased military activity here from January 23, 2014, to February 24, 2014, due to 'Exercise Iron Fist 2014.' This was a joint U.S. and Japanese military training exercise based out of Camp Pendleton."

Two of the six reports MUFON received, Costello said, may, or may not, have had anything to do with Exercise Iron Fist. They are: Case 54101 from February 15, 2014, and Case 54168 from February 19, 2014.

These two cases, and the other four MUFON received, are part of a larger story Costello said began with Case 54034 from February 11, 2014, that was filed on February 12, 2014.

"When the witness became startled due to a low-flying helicopter while inside his house, he then noticed his backyard lit up by the helicopter's spotlight. When he went out back to see what was going on, he saw a white 'orb' traveling from the west towards the east. Then he saw the helicopter shine its spotlight on the orb and, when doing so, it disappeared, but then reappeared when it wasn't being illuminated by the spotlight. He then watched both the helicopter and the orb, travel off towards the east, where the orb appeared to fade in and out, until he couldn't see either anymore."

The latest MUFON report, Case 54430 from February 11, 2014, but filed on March 3, 2014, may be a second witness to Case 54034. Costello said this second witness was located 3-4 miles due east of the first witness in the same time frame.

"He also reports seeing a white 'orb' being accompanied by a helicopter to his northeast, and further claims that he tried to chase them, but lost sight of them as they continued along an easterly path. The weather conditions at the time of these two events were: temp. 57-deg. F.; humidity 89%; Wind blowing from the SW at 3.5-mph; and scattered clouds at 30,000-feet."

The next report, Case 54101 from February 15, 2014, occurred in nearby Huntington Beach, Costello said, where the witness was right at the beach.

"He first heard, and then saw, a military jet traveling off the coast approaching up from the south, and heading north. This was out over the ocean, where it is extremely common to see all sorts of military activity, including routine air patrol. He claims that he saw a white 'orb' ahead of the jet, and it seemed to him like the jet was chasing the 'orb.' This scenario is consistent with military live fire exercises, but alternately it's also possible that he may have confused the bright landing lights from an incoming airliner for an 'orb.' Either way, not technically UFO-related as both are man-made."

The next set of sightings occurred on February 19, 2014.

"The first one, Case 54167, at 7:45 p.m., from Anaheim/Garden Grove was just west of Disneyland. Witness reports viewing one low-flying helicopter, which appeared to be 'chasing a metallic sphere.' They too claim that the helicopter had its spotlight on the object, but further state that, while viewing it, it suddenly 'changed its shape into a disc,' and sped off towards the east, with the helicopter in hot pursuit."

The second case for this date - February 19, 2014, is Case 54168, that occurred at 7:48 p.m. from Anaheim Hills - which is approximately 20-miles away from the location of Case 54167.

"I do not feel that this one is related to the previous one, as the witness reported being 'startled' by two very loud, low-flying military helicopters, and then noticed a small, bright white 'orb' ahead on the same path as the helicopters, then as the helicopters were approaching near the location of the 'orb,' it disappeared for 2-3 seconds...and this is where it's entirely possible that her imagination intervened here, as she now speculates that, 'It then reappeared, having gained significant distance, further separating itself from the helicopters that were obviously worried about this thing, and were at max speed chasing it.'

"I feel it was more probable in this event - Case 54168 - that the witness did see two military helicopters, because it's not unusual to see military helicopters in this area, as they often travel to the one of the many bases we have here...but the 'orb' in this case was, in actuality, a sky lantern. People, especially in this area, love to launch sky lanterns. The weather conditions at the time of these two events were: temp. 58-deg. F.; humidity 81%; calm winds, with ceiling clear."

But Costello was very pleased with a more recent sighting because the witness provided original video captured during the event.

"Case 54345 on February 27, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. from Anaheim Hills, was my 'Rosetta Stone' for figuring out what was going on down in Orange County though. This one was the only report with photographic evidence, in the form of a video.

"In this one, the witness claims that he heard a 'military' helicopter coming from the east and then states that, a large bright, white orb was being followed - or escorted by some type of military helicopter. He reports that they both went overhead and continued west, when the white glowing 'orb' slowly vanished from view as he caught it all on video. Then he claims that, 'the object seemed to have jumped to the right hand side of the sky instantly; being seen glowing in the clouds that are due for rain.' At this point, the helicopter continued until it traveled out of sight, on its own. Video available. Please forward to 'Coast to Coast A.M.''"

The witness in that case provided this piece of video for the MUFON report: http://www.mufoncms.com/files/54345_submitter_file1__February272014ufo.wmv

"The minute I watched the video, everything clicked into place. That was no military helicopter - it was a law enforcement helicopter. I could tell just by the sound of the engine and rotors. The LE helicopter did appear to check-out the 'orb,' but the orb was a sky lantern and nothing more. The minute that it winked-out the officer continued right on with his patrol. By the way, the Anaheim Police Department has a very busy Air Support Unit, which is stationed at the Fullerton Airport, just west of Anaheim Hills."

Costello points out three additional cases that may be related.
• Case 54171 - February 7, 2014, Garden Grove, 9:30 p.m. - Consistent with Sky Lantern.
• Case 54182 - February 15, 2014, Garden Grove, 7:45 a.m. - Consistent with Helium Balloon.
• Case 54151 - February 16, 2014, Cypress, 8:15 p.m. - Consistent with Sky Lanterns- At least 8 of them.
Costello provided a summation of the six cases previously reported on:
• Case 54101: Military Aircraft - possibly associated with "Exercise Iron Fist 2014."
• Case 54168: Military Helicopters, but their travel not associated with the sky lantern.
• Case 54034, 54430, 54167 and 54345: Law Enforcement helicopters, and sky lanterns.

Why so many sky lanterns in this area? Costello is concerned.

"Yes, I do feel that many of these lanterns are connected with a group of hoaxers
- probably teenagers or young adults, and it's quite possible that they may be launching them with two things in mind. First, to get a rise out of people - these lanterns are being launched at around the same time of day, in the early evening, and in locations near a major freeway - usually the '91.' And second, to annoy and distract the local Police Air Support Units."

http://www.examiner.com/article/mufon-multiple-helicopters-chasing-ufo-reports-are-military-related?CID=examiner_alerts_article
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« Reply #10204 on: Mar 4th, 2014, 3:33pm »

Hey Swamprat cheesy

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« Reply #10205 on: Mar 5th, 2014, 09:45am »

Daily Mail

Flying saucer or out-of-focus seagull pooping? Slides in Snowden's latest leak are fake UFO images used to deliberately spread misinformation, claims expert

4 March 2014
UPDATED: 15:17 EST, 4 March 2014

A set of slides purporting to show UFOs are part of the latest batch of government documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The slides belong to a Powerpoint presentation created by the British spy agency GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters). Three of the slides depict alien spaceships, but they’ve been dismissed by one UFO expert as fakes.

‘The presentation features three UFO pictures, on slides 35 to 37,’ Nigel Watson, author of Haynes UFO Investigations Manual, told Yahoo News.

The first is a black and white picture of a UFO over Redbud, Illinois, taken on 23 April 1950, the second a screenshot of a UFO video by Arturo Robles Gil filmed in Mexico and the third was taken on 01 August 2011 by a holidaymaker at Black Head, Trenarren near St. Austell, Cornwall.

'They have been explained respectively by skeptics as a hub cap thrown in the air, a deflated Mylar balloon and an out-of-focus seagull taking a poo.’

more after the jump:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2573193/Flying-saucer-focus-seagull-taking-poo-Slides-Snowdens-latest-leak-fake-UFO-images-used-deliberately-spread-misinformation-online-claims-expert.html

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« Reply #10206 on: Mar 5th, 2014, 09:50am »

Wired

Police Contract With Spy Tool Maker Prohibits Talking About Device’s Use

By Kim Zetter
03.04.14
4:34 PM

A non-disclosure agreement that police departments around the country have been signing for years with the maker of a cell-phone spy tool explicitly prohibits the law enforcement agencies from telling anyone, including other government bodies, about their use of the secretive equipment, according to one of the agreements obtained by an Arizona journalist.

The NDA includes an exception for “judicially mandated disclosures,” but no mechanisms for judges to learn that the equipment was used. In at least one case in Florida, a police department revealed that it had decided not to seek a warrant to use the technology explicitly to avoid telling a judge about the equipment. It subsequently kept the information hidden from the defendant as well.

A copy of the contract was obtained from a police department in Tucson, Arizona, which signed the agreement in 2010 with the Harris Corporation, a Florida-based maker of the equipment used by the department. The police department cited the agreement as one of the reasons it withheld information from a journalist who filed a public records request seeking information about the department’s use of the equipment.

“[The Tucson Police Department] and the City of Tucson have allowed Harris Corporation to dictate the City of Tucson’s and TPD’s compliance with Arizona public records law in regards to products and services purchased from Harris Corporation,” notes the ACLU of Arizona in a lawsuit demanding that the police department comply (.pdf) with the journalist’s records request.

The non-disclosure agreement signed by the Tucson Police Department, which went into effect June 7, 2010, not only bars the police department from discussing their use of the surveillance tool with any government entity, it requires the law enforcement agency to notify Harris any time journalists or anyone else files a public records request to obtain information about their use of the tools and also states that the police department will “assist” Harris in deciding what information to release.

The non-disclosure agreement in Arizona states specifically:


The City of Tucson shall not discuss, publish, release or disclose any information pertaining to the Products covered under this NDA to any third party individual, corporation, or other entity, including any affiliated or unaffiliated State, County, City, Town or Village, or other governmental entity without the prior written consent of Harris …

The City of Tucson is subject to the Arizona Public Records Law. A.R.S. sec 39-121, et seq. While the City will not voluntarily disclose any Protected Product, in the event that the city receives a Public Records request from a third party relating to any Protected Product, or other information Harris deems confidential, the City will notify Harris of such a request and allow Harris to challenge any such request in court. The City will not take a position with respect to the release of such material, beyond its contractual duties, but will assist Harris in any such challenge.


The agreement is believed to be the same one that led police in Tallahassee, Florida, to withhold from judges and defendants information about their own use of the spy tool in a 2008 case and at least 200 other times in investigations conducted since 2010. In the 2008 case in Tallahassee, authorities cited the non-disclosure agreement with the maker of their equipment as the reason they did not seek a warrant from a judge to use the equipment.

They later refused to tell the suspect’s attorney how they had tracked his client to the apartment where he was arrested. A judge finally forced the government to disclose the surveillance technique they had used, but only after the government insisted the court be closed and assurances that the proceedings would be sealed to prevent the information from leaking to the public. The truth came out only after the defendant appealed his conviction.

The Harris Corporation, a Florida-based company, is the leading maker of stingrays in the U.S. The secretive technology is generically known as a stingray or IMSI catcher, but Harris sells models of stingrays it specifically calls the Stingray and Stingray II. Stingrays are designed to emit a signal that is stronger than nearby cell phone towers in order to force phones in the vicinity to connect to them.

When mobile phones — and other wireless communication devices like air cards — connect to the stingray, it can see and record their unique ID numbers and traffic data, as well as information that points to the device’s location. By moving the stingray around, authorities can then triangulate the device’s location with much more precision than they can get through data obtained from a mobile network provider’s fixed tower location.

Some stingrays have the ability to collect content as well. But U.S. authorities have asserted in the past that they don’t need to obtain a probable-cause warrant to use the devices because the ones they use don’t collect the content of phone calls and text messages but rather operate like pen-registers and trap-and-traces, collecting the equivalent of header information.

The ACLU has long suspected that Harris has been loaning stingrays and other surveillance equipment to police departments for product testing and promotional purposes on the ground that they not disclose their use to courts and the public. The Tucson Police Department purchased its equipment — according to the court record, the department bought at least $400,000 worth of equipment from Harris.

The disclosure agreement signed by the Tucson police came to light after Mohamad Ali Hodai filed a public records request seeking information about the department’s use of the equipment. Hodai, who works as a freelance researcher for the Center for Media and Democracy, filed his records request last October, seeking all records related to the department’s use of the equipment, including emails.

more after the jump:
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2014/03/harris-stingray-nda/

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« Reply #10207 on: Mar 5th, 2014, 10:44am »

GOOD MORNING~TOP OF THE DAY~BUENOS TARDES... cool

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I MISSED THE MIND MELDwink...BUT A PRODUCTIVE REPRIEVE NONE~THE~LESS...

SHALOM...Z
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« Reply #10208 on: Mar 5th, 2014, 8:51pm »

IN THE END THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE
[youtube][/youtube]
The birds were on my payroll hahaha
hope you enjoyed.. grin
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« Reply #10209 on: Mar 6th, 2014, 07:43am »

GOOD MORNING Z AND SYS cheesy

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« Reply #10210 on: Mar 6th, 2014, 09:45am »

Der Spiegel

Ukraine Crisis: EU Concerned about Cost of Sanctions on Russia

By Gregor Peter Schmitz
March 05, 2014 – 03:51 PM

Great Britain would very much like to penalize Russia for its encroachment on the Crimean Peninsula. But it should cost the UK as little as possible. That, it would appear, is London's strategy for dealing with Moscow's aggression against Ukraine -- an approach made public through an embarrassing blunder on Monday. A freelance photographer snapped a picture of a classified document held by a government official as he entered Downing Street for consultations. The document outlined the potential punitive actions British Prime Minister David Cameron might take against Russia.

Britain should "be prepared to join other EU countries in imposing 'visa restrictions/travel bans' on Russian officials," the paper advised. It added that Britain should "not support, for now, trade sanctions … or close London's financial center to Russians."

The message is clear: The British economy, which profits immensely from wealthy Russians, should be protected from potential fallout from the ongoing stand-off over Ukraine. Sanctions of some sort, it has become increasingly clear, will almost certainly be imposed, particularly with EU leaders gathering in Brussels on Thursday to develop a joint bloc response.

But the document photographed outside Downing Street reflects the deep wariness in the EU of the potential costs associated with punitive action against Moscow. Brussels wants to send a message, while preventing excessive backlash.

Tough Rhetoric

The risks for such a backlash are high. The EU economy is heavily reliant on Russia -- the country represents the EU's third-largest trading partner. The reverse, of course, is true as well: Europe is number one on the Russian list. Economic ties between the EU and Russia continue to be tight despite the turbulence triggered by the global economic crisis and the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict. European exports to Russia primarily include machinery, chemicals and agrarian products whereas imports from the Russians are predominantly made up of raw materials.

The EU was also a major backer of Russia's admission to the World Trade Organization in 2012 and maintains significant influence over Moscow; EU member states are by far the most important source of foreign investment in Russia.

Nevertheless, with tough rhetoric having come out of several European capitals in recent days, and equally pointed retorts emanating from Moscow, it seems likely that some form of tit-for-tat looms. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Tuesday said that EU sanctions could come as soon as Thursday. In response, Russian parliament has warned that Moscow would respond in kind, according to a Wednesday report on the Voice of Russia website.

Countermeasures from Russia could prove painful to the EU, particularly when it comes to the energy sector. Germany, for example, imports more than a third of its natural gas and oil from Russia; other European countries are vastly more dependent on Moscow for their energy needs. Theoretically, Europe could compensate by turning to Norway for its natural gas needs, but energy prices would spike as a result.

Thus far, no concrete steps have been taken to impose penalties aside from the suspension of trade talks between the US and Russia. The EU, however, has been openly considering sanctions on individuals and specific companies, so-called targeted measures.

The US is keeping a close eye on Europe's sanctions debate, knowing full well that America alone is unable to exert sufficient pressure on Moscow. The US isn't even among Russia's top 10 trading partners. "The Americans can only exert effective economic pressure on Russia together with Europe," says transatlantic expert Jack Janes of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies in Washington.

Diligence over Speed

It is now up to the Europeans to decide how far they want to go. And given the wildly varying degrees of enthusiasm for sanctions, it seems safe to assume that they won't go far. Several Eastern European countries have emerged as hardliners, but the further the distance from Ukraine, the less the enthusiasm for confronting Russia. The Austrians, too, expressed skepticism of punitive measures on Wednesday, with Finance Minister Michael Spindelegger saying that in the Ukraine crisis, the focus should not be put on sanctions.

Germany is somewhere in the middle, with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier stressing the creation of a forum for direct Ukraine-Russia talks over sanctions. Gernot Erler, the German government's coordinator for relations with Russia, has also been cautious. "I would warn against imposing sanctions at the current point in time," he told SPIEGEL ONLINE on Tuesday. "Such a move could ruin chances for achieving a political solution, as small as the window for such a solution might appear."

No matter what happens, though, collateral damage is to be expected, with the New Russia-EU Framework Agreement likely to suffer. Negotiations on the deal have been sluggish recently, primarily due to Russia's focus on creating a customs union with Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

On the website of Germany's Foreign Ministry, a blurb about the Framework Agreement reads: "Negotiations have been ongoing since 2008 on this ambitious document, which is to establish a reliable and long-term foundation for relations in the areas of politics, economics, trade, science and culture. The discussions have come a long way. But because of the importance of the agreement to both sides, diligence takes precedence over speed."

Given the current stand-off, that is likely truer now than ever before.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/eu-concerned-about-potential-high-cost-of-sanctions-on-russia-a-957101.html

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« Reply #10211 on: Mar 6th, 2014, 09:50am »

Defense News

China Unveils Fresh Double-Digit Spending Boost for Military

Mar. 5, 2014 - 05:01PM
By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BEIJING — China on Wednesday extended its spending spree on the world’s largest armed forces, unveiling a 12.2 percent increase in the 2014 defense budget and provoking fresh concern in rival Japan.

Beijing has for years been raising spending on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in double-digit steps, reflecting its military ambitions as it asserts its new-found economic might and its claims in a series of territorial disputes with Tokyo and others.

The spending has raised eyebrows in the region and Washington.

“We will resolutely safeguard China’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” Premier Li Keqiang said at the opening of the Communist Party-controlled National People’s Congress (NPC).

Beijing will “place war preparations on a regular footing” and “build China into a maritime power”, he added.

“We will safeguard the victory of World War II and the post-war international order, and will not allow anyone to reverse the course of history,” Li said — a phrase China often uses in relation to Japan.

China has been expanding its bluewater capabilities in recent years, with its first aircraft carrier going into service in September 2012.

Beijing and Tokyo’s vessels and aircraft regularly shadow each other near disputed East China Sea islands called Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese, raising fears of a clash.

A budget report prepared for the NPC meeting said that “the appropriation for national defense is 808.23 billion yuan ($132 billion), up 12.2 percent.”

Shortly after the announcement Japan expressed concern about Beijing’s openness about the PLA — which includes the army, navy and air force.

“The transparency of China’s defense policy and military capacity, or lack thereof, has become a matter of concern for the international community, including Japan,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

This year’s stated increase follows rises of 10.7 percent in 2013, 11.2 percent in 2012 and 12.7 percent in 2011.

Analysts believe China’s actual military spending is significantly higher than publicized, with the Pentagon estimating it at between $135 billion and $215 billion in 2012.

The United States itself remains far ahead as the global leader in defense spending, with Washington approving a 2014 budget of $633 billion in December.

Great power ambitions

China devotes about three times as much as India to defense, and more than neighbors Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam combined.

Beijing’s spending could match that of Washington by the 2030s, the International Institute for Strategic Studies said in February, but added that its capabilities, expertise and ability to project power would require several more years to catch up.

Nonetheless the increases have raised concern in the US and Asia, particularly in Japan.

In comments ahead of the NPC, the gathering’s spokeswoman Fu Ying sought to play down such worries.

“Certain countries have been selling the idea of China as a major threat,” she said. “Based on our history and experience, we believe that peace can only be maintained by strength.”

China’s actions will both fuel the worries of its neighbors and encourage them to strengthen security cooperation with each other and the US, said Denny Roy, an expert on China’s military at the East-West Center in Hawaii.

“This would add to the momentum of something that’s already in motion,” he told AFP.

In December, the cabinet of Japan’s hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to spend 24.7 trillion yen ($240 billion) between 2014 and 2019 in a strategic military shift towards areas of the country facing China — a five percent boost to the defense budget over five years.

Beijing decried Tokyo’s increase at the time as an issue of “great concern to neighboring countries in Asia and the international community.”

China’s drive to modernize its military stems from an overall ambition to enhance its global stature rather than disputes with neighbors, Roy said.

Strengthening its maritime forces was important for projecting power further afield, he pointed out.

Following delivery of the Liaoning carrier, he said, China was eager to build up carrier battle groups, and eventually to be able to secure its oil supplies from the Middle East if necessary.

“China would be doing much of its modernizing and building as it is now anyway,” Roy said. “I think fundamentally it’s (about) China’s commitment to attaining great power status.”

That meant having “a strong military commensurate with China’s status in other areas — its size, its wealth, political influence, cultural influence.”

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140305/DEFREG03/303050030/China-Unveils-Fresh-Double-Digit-Spending-Boost-Military

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« Reply #10212 on: Mar 6th, 2014, 10:06am »

New York Post

Bitcoin firm CEO jumped from 25-story building to her death

By Michael Gray
March 6, 2014 | 10:13am

Startling new information has come to light in the death of 28-year-old Autumn Radtke, the CEO of First Meta, a Singapore-based virtual currency exchange.

The former Silicon Valley whiz-kid jumped from a nearby 25-story apartment building about 7 a.m. last Wednesday, according to a neighbor.

Police reported that Radtke was found lying motionless outside the building and was declared dead by paramedics. Her death has now been classified as a case of unnatural death.

Initial reports had Radtke’s body being found in her apartment. Singapore officials try to downplay suicides since the city-state hit an all-time high of 487 deaths in 2012.

The Cantonment Close apartment buildings, near where the body was found, are a two-minute walk from Radtke’s apartment, according to the neighbor.

“We had a wake at her house on Friday,” said the neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous.

“She was one of those ‘up and down’ types, by all accounts. She was often on her front step until 4 to 5 a.m. talking to California most nights of the week,” the neighbor added.

Radtke joined First Meta in 2012. First Meta is an exchange for digital currencies used in games and virtual worlds, such as Linden dollars from the Second Life online world. It accepts bitcoins as payment for other virtual currencies.

As law-enforcement officials await toxicology reports, friends said they should have seen the signs of stress and realized that she was reaching out for help.

“Everything has its price,” Radtke said in commenting on an Inc. magazine essay she posted online titled “The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship.”

http://nypost.com/2014/03/06/bitcoin-firm-ceo-jumped-to-her-death-neighbor/

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #10213 on: Mar 6th, 2014, 10:43am »

HMMM...ONE MUST CONSIDER THAT THESE FINANCIAL WIZARDS MIGHT DO BETTER BY RELOCATING TO A GROUND FLOOR RESIDENCE...WELL...WITH THE EXCEPTION TO THOSE WITH AN AFFINITY TO NAIL GUNS...(CRYSTAL~YOU KNOW MY ANGLE)...wink

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« Reply #10214 on: Mar 7th, 2014, 08:31am »

GOOD MORNING Z cheesy

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