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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 147708 times)
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« Reply #10335 on: Mar 24th, 2014, 10:45am »

Defense News

Europe Ramps Up Defense Posture Amid Russia Crisis
Mar. 23, 2014 - 01:05PM
By PIERRE TRAN

PARIS — A deepening crisis in Ukraine has sharpened the defense policy of NATO member states in Eastern Europe, with the Estonia prime minister calling for higher military spending and Poland seeking early orders for missile defense and drones.

Warsaw and the Baltic states — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — have been among the most vocal following Russia’s military intervention in Crimea, while a European Union summit pledged on March 21 to sign political cooperation pacts with Georgia and Moldova, formerly Soviet republics.

Washington and EU allies have extended highly targeted financial sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian officials and businessmen, and France has stated any move on the defense industry front would be in a later stage of penalties against Moscow.

On the procurement front, much of last week’s attention focused on the planned — and controversial — €1.2 billion (US $1.6 billion) deal to deliver two French-built Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Moscow. A French parliamentary official said the country’s policy toward the deal lacked “coherence.” Domestic electoral politics lay behind that.

As images of Russian troops occupying bases and convoys rolling through Crimea blanketed the air waves, European nations took different approaches. Some pledged to increase defense budgets, others hastened arms deals, while still others took a cautious approach as events unfolded.

For French industry, there are “active discussions” with government but there is no ban on seeking business with Russia, a senior executive said.

For Poland, the developments on the Crimean peninsula are a solid reason to accelerate some of the acquisition programs for the country’s military, said senior government officials. These include the plan to modernize the Polish Air Force by expanding its fleet of UAVs.

“We initially planned that key decisions relating to this [program] would be made on the turn of 2014 and 2015, but I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be able to accelerate it,” Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said on March 18.

Poland’s Defense Ministry is planning to acquire several hundred combat and reconnaissance drones by 2022. The program is estimated to be worth up to 3 billion zloty (US $980 million), reported local news agency PAP.

The country’s drone program runs in parallel to the Russian military’s acquisition plans. In February, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu announced a program to fit the Russian Armed Forces with 320 billion rubles ($8.8 billion) worth of new drones in combat and reconnaissance variants by 2020.

In Estonia, Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu told Parliament on March 19 that the Ukraine crisis has made security the top priority for Estonia, and that the efforts to increase its military capacities and coordination need to be doubled, reported local broadcaster ERR.

The policy of earmarking 2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product for defense spending is not enough, as Estonia needs to accelerate development of military capabilities, the minister said.

“We need two brigades to have real defensive capability. We will get one brigade up to readiness in a year’s time. With the current funding level, the complete arming and outfitting of the second one is envisioned after 2018,” Reinsalu said.

The setting up of joint military units is another form of regional defense cooperation, which is promoted by some of the East European allies. Poland’s Defense Minister and his Lithuanian counterpart, Juozas Olekas, recently reactivated a plan to form a joint battle group consisting of Polish, Lithuanian and Ukrainian troops. The initiative aims to strengthen the countries’ military ties and stabilize Ukraine, according to the ministers.

Britain has blocked the export of defense equipment to Russia and urged its EU allies to follow suit.

“We believe that under current circumstances there is a compelling case for EU member states to act on defense export licences,” British Foreign Secretary William Hague told Parliament last week.

London last week suspended 28 export licenses and said the authorities would not consider any further requests.

The suspensions cover export licenses for equipment, which could be used in Russian military operations in the Ukraine.

The impact on British industry will be minimal, as defense export deals with Moscow have been low compared with the French.

Armored vehicle seats, antennae for military aircraft, hand-held radios, engines for naval vessels and visors for pilots’ helmets are among the equipment for which delivery is now suspended.

The British have been more successful selling security equipment to the Russians — most of it cyber and most of it for the commercial sector and therefore outside the requirement for export license, industry executives said.

Security exports to Russia totaled around £110 million (US $181 million) in 2011 and 2012, and although the figures have not been released for 2013, there is no reason to suppose British exports in the sector greatly fell last year.

Deployments

In other developments, British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has offered the deployment of Royal Air Force Typhoon jets to reinforce the NATO Baltic Air Policing force, which flies quick reaction alert duties from a base in Lithuania.

US Air Force jets are flying quick reaction alert duties, but Polish F-16s are due to take over at the end of April.

NATO has promised to respond to the offer by April 1, a UK Defence Ministry spokesman said.

The British are continuing to deploy E-3D airborne early warning aircraft over Poland and Romania as part of a NATO mission to monitor the situation in the Ukraine.

Along with French and US allies, the British have also pulled out of the FR-UK-US maritime training exercise held annually with the Russians.

France has offered to send four fighters, fly a spy plane from the Avord base, central France, and provide cybersecurity

Mistral Issues

Meanwhile, Paris will decide in October whether to suspend the contract for the two helicopter carriers, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on March 20 during an aeronautics and defense conference organized by business daily Les Echos.

That is when the Vladivostok, the first ship, is due to be delivered. Contract law allows France the flexibility to cancel the Mistral deal.

Under arms sale contracts, the government must grant approval, not just for export, but also for handing over the system, a lawyer said.

The discretionary element in “any and all” arms deals is that authorization for delivery. The contract refers to government authorization but does not list all the factors, the lawyer said. There is an obligation for the prime contractor to make a “best effort” to get that authorization but that is not a 100 percent guarantee for delivery.

The installments should all be paid up and if the government fails to authorize the deal, the money must be paid back, the lawyer said.

On the other side of the deal, the client must also be satisfied the contract has been met and authorize the sale to be completed.

Russia would seek full compensation on the Mistral contract if France failed to deliver the ship, Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borissov said on March 19, Agence France-Presse reported.

A defense specialist said the Coface export insurance agency would finance a compensation, and France could seek to resell the ships in the world market, or send them to the French Navy. That latter choice would stretch the defense budget, which is already under strain.

But if technology has been transferred to Russia, local shipyards could build those vessels, the specialist said.

Russia is a large market as Moscow plans to spend tens of billions on modernizing the forces, and a cancellation would close the sales door to France, the specialist said.

A cancellation would also raise a question over France’s credibility in the world arms market, the specialist said.

Deciding which country is a potential client is a political choice. Some two years ago there was doubt in the administration whether France should pursue sales to Russia, even after the 2011 sale of the two carriers, the specialist said.

A lack of political coherence can be seen in the foreign minister’s March 17 announcement of a possible cancellation, which surprised the Defense Ministry. Le Drian talked March 19 of a possible suspension, which he said was “extremely unlikely” and then put off a decision to October.

There are domestic electoral concerns with jobs considered to be at risk, the parliamentary official said.

Municipal elections are being held and Le Drian has a strong political base in Brittany, west France, where the carriers are built at the Saint-Nazaire shipyard.

“I am the defense industry minister, not just defense,” Le Drian said at the conference.

Labor unions at Saint-Nazaire fear job cuts if the Russian deal were canceled. Some 600 to 1,000 posts would go, a DCNS executive said.

On the shipbuilding front, however, STX won a letter of intention on March 19 for a €1.5 billion order for two giant cruise liners for MSC Croisière, an Italian-Swiss operator. With an option for two more, the deal was worth €3 billion. STX builds the Mistral ships, with DCNS as prime contractor.

In industrial terms, there is relatively little work left on the two ships, said Jean-Marie Poimboeuf, chairman of Groupement des Industries de Construction et Activités Navales, a naval trade association.


more after the jump:
http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140323/DEFREG01/303230011/Europe-Ramps-Up-Defense-Posture-Amid-Russia-Crisis

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« Reply #10336 on: Mar 24th, 2014, 12:05pm »

HOLA CRYSTAL Y MI CASEBOOK AMIGOS cool

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« Reply #10337 on: Mar 24th, 2014, 12:49pm »

THE EAST VS THE WEST ~ COLD WAR ~ GETTING COLDER cool

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« Reply #10338 on: Mar 24th, 2014, 7:50pm »

Nice catch Zetar..smiley

One thing I like about us is we respect peoples privacy..and its horrendous when we catch politicians just chewin the fat..
So I don't want anyone listening in the following wiretap...x out..dont click...you are warned!..
stop..ok,,,this is your last chance..the red line..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RxSzSWbcxo


Ukraine Leader In New Leaked Recording: 8 Million Russians In Ukraine "Must Be Killed With Nuclear Weapons"



While the NSA is busy justifying its spying of every American its existence thanks to famous Moscow resident Edward Snowden, its Russian counterparts have been busy intercepting even more phone Ukrainian conversations.

After a month ago a leaked phone call between US assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland and the US envoy to the Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt confirmed that it was the US that was pulling the strings in what was about to be a violent coup overthrowing Ukraine's president Yanukovich, "someone" has just leaked another phone conversation, this time between parliamentarian Nestor Shufrych and former PM and ideological leader of the Ukraine "revolution" Yulia Tymoshenko and most probable future president of West Ukraine, in which Tymoshenko is makes the following threats, "It’s going too far! Bugger! We must grab arms and go whack those damn katsaps [a Ukrainian word used to refer to the Russians in a negative tone] together with their leader", "I’ll use all my connections, I’ll raise the whole world – as soon as I’m able to – in order to make sure.. Bugger!.. not even scorched earth won’t remain where Russia stands" although all her empty threats collapse in the last sentence of the phone conversation in which she says, regarding the Crimea annexation, that "we are going to take it to the Hague International Criminal Court." Good luck with that.

But the smoking gun, and where Putin once again shows just how masterful of a chess player he is, is the following statement by Tymoshenko, after asked, rhetorically, by her counterparty, "what should we do now with the 8 million Russians that stayed in Ukraine. They are outcasts"... to which she replies: "They must be killed with nuclear weapons."

Needless to say, that is not how you make Russian friends, or diffuse geopolitical tensions with your superpower neighbor, who just happens to be set on recreating USSR 2.0. Because just like that Putin has his provocation carte blanche, as the second something, anything happens to any ethnic Russian in east Ukraine, Putin can point to precisely this conversation as proof of how Ukraine's "government" feels toward the ethnic minorities in the east, and why "they deserve to be protected" the Russian bearhug. Which has been precisely Putin's plan all along.

It is not surprising that after this recording was leaked, that Tymoshenko admitted the validity of the recording except for this part, because she knows just how greatly it can and will be used against her once Putin decides it is time to expand a little further beyond just Crimea.

huhhuh? huh?, huh huh 8 huh huhhuh ? huhhuh? - huhhuh. huhhuhhuh huhhuh?: huhhuh? ? huhhuh? - ?? huhhuh??.huhhuh huhsmiley huhhuh? ?? huhhuhhuh?

huh? huhhuhhuh (@YuliaTymoshenko) March 24, 2014

Some of the other statements, transcribed by RT, confirming just how powerless Ukraine truly is in this struggle between David backed by the world's most insolvent and natgas hungry countries, and an ascendent Kremlin goliath:

Tymoshenko, who plans to run in Ukraine’s presidential election, expressed confidence that she would have found “a way to zap those assholes [Russia].”



“I’ll use all my connections, I’ll raise the whole world – as soon as I’m able to – in order to make sure.. Bugger!.. not even scorched earth won’t remain where Russia stands,” she promised.



Despite being incapacitated by spinal disc hernia the ex-PM stressed she’s ready to “grab a machine gun, you know what I’m saying, and go shoot this bastard [Putin] in the forehead.”

cool cool
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« Reply #10339 on: Mar 25th, 2014, 09:17am »

GOOD MORNING CRYSTAL AND THE COLLECTIVE CADRE OF CASEBOOK grin

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« Reply #10340 on: Mar 25th, 2014, 10:14am »

HEY Z, SYS AND UFOCASEBOOKERS!


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« Reply #10341 on: Mar 25th, 2014, 10:23am »

Wired

Ostrich Races, Naked Bike Rides, and Other Weird Sports of the World

By Jakob Schiller
03.25.14
6:30 AM



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Sol Neelman documents the wild and the wacky in competition, from live monster wrestling to Big Wheel racing and, of course, ostrich racing.

The Portland photographer has spent years traveling far and wide chronicling competition in all forms, many of them silly, some with potential. He made a book out of it called, appropriately enough, Weird Sports, and it was so successful that he’s back with a second collection, Weird Sports 2, which he’s trying to fund on Kickstarter.

“I’m pretty much a one-trick pony,” Neelman says.

That may be true, but it’s been a successful trick. WIRED first wrote about Neelman in 2011, which earned him a recurring WIRED gig chronicling the wacky games, races, and events he’d managed to find.

The latest collection includes everything from flaming tetherball to unicycle football to a zombie run. It would be hard to overstate just how weird some of these sports are. Take wife carrying, for example. Men must carry their partners through an obstacle course; the winners are rewarded with beer. (Beer plays a role in a surprising number of events Neelman covers.) Flaming tetherball and unicycle football are exactly what they sound like, and in the zombie run, racers navigate a 5K course with the undead nipping at their heels.

This is very much a passion project for Neelman, who never makes fun of his subjects. Instead, he appears to be in on the joke and wants to share it with us. He makes little or no money photographing these events and supports himself as a commercial and editorial photographer. He used the money from a large commercial shoot to fund the first Weird Sports, but now has to rely on crowdfunding to get Weird Sports 2 off the ground.

“This is the photography I really care about, even though I don’t make much money, and I just want to find ways to keep doing it,” he says.

Fortunately, Neelman lives in the capital of weird—Portland, Oregon—and can occasionally walk out his front door and find things to shoot. Last time around he photographed people playing urban golf in his hometown, and for Weird Sports 2 he photographed a naked bike ride that drew thousands of participants.

“If you’re gonna ride a bicycle, you might as well do it without any clothes, right?” he says.

From here, there’s still plenty of weird sports photograph, but Neelman says he might have to start venturing out of the country more. In Russia, for example, there’s a swim race where participants have to hold onto sex dolls. And in Japan, there’s a race where teams ride huge trees down grassy slopes. One sport he’d love to photograph that’s only been played in Thailand so far is something called Tazer Ball, which is like football with Tasers. It hasn’t officially landed in the States yet because the organizers haven’t been able to secure a permit.

“I would love to shoot weird sports forever,” Neelman says. “There’s certainly plenty out there for me to do.”


gallery after the jump:
http://www.wired.com/rawfile/2014/03/weird-sports-sol-neelman/

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« Reply #10342 on: Mar 25th, 2014, 10:29am »

Daily Mail

'I don't think there's an hour in the day when I don't think about Sasquatch!'

Inside the weird world of the Bigfoot hunters

By Ruth Styles
PUBLISHED: 12:47 EST, 24 March 2014

From the Abominable Snowman to the Loch Ness Monster, there's no shortage of mythical creatures rumoured to walk the Earth - and no shortage of people convinced they truly do exist.

But few legendary beast aficionados are as committed as those dedicated to Bigfoot, with legions of hunters from Texas to Oregon dedicated to tracking down Sasquatch.

Among them are Rick Dyer, a hunter from Georgia, and Las Vegas entrepreneur Tom Biscadi - both of whom say they are the man to uncover the truth about the mythical monster.

Now a new BBC documentary, Shooting Bigfoot, has delved into their often bizarre world where conspiracy theorists and unscheduled falls in the river are all part of the job.

But while the men are convinced, not everyone agrees, among them the mother of Rick's daughter Audrey.

And the fact she's not convinced is partly down to Rick himself, who in 2008 claimed to have found Bigfoot but was soon revealed to have found nothing more than a Sasquatch costume that he had filled with possum roadkill.

'I hurt a lot of people in 2008 with the hoax,' he admits, 'a lot of true believers, and I'd like to redeem myself and show that I'm the real deal.'

In a bid to prove it, he's travelled to Texas where reports from San Antonio say that a homeless person encountered the beast while sleeping rough in the woods.

'Some homeless people called it in and three motorists called it in, and then I came up here and across this path, I saw it,' says Rick.

'I'm not going to tell you how tall it is because I don't know but it was a hairy upright creature and when I saw it, my heart dropped.

'I am 100 per cent in no doubt that there is a Bigfoot and that there is a Bigfoot right here.'

But while Rick is dedicated to the pursuit of Sasquatch, his six years in the game make him a novice compared to Biscardi, who has spent 37 years hunting Bigfoot.

'I've seen the creature with my own eyes,' he reveals. 'I was 12ft away from one once and I freaked out.

'I made a dedication to myself that day that I'm going to bring one of these things back because I know they exist. 37 years later, I'm still doing it.'


more after the jump:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2588192/Inside-weird-world-Bigfoot-hunters.html

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« Reply #10343 on: Mar 26th, 2014, 09:45am »

Washington Post

Secret Service agents on Obama detail sent home from Netherlands after night of drinking

By Carol D. Leonnig and David Nakamura
Wednesday, March 26, 6:48 AM

Three Secret Service agents responsible for protecting President Obama in Amsterdam this week were sent home and put on administrative leave Sunday after going out for a night of drinking, according to three people familiar with the incident. One of the agents was found drunk and passed out in a hotel hallway, the people said.

The hotel staff alerted the U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands after finding the unconscious agent Sunday morning, a day before Obama arrived in the country, according to two of the people. The embassy then alerted Secret Service managers on the presidential trip, which included the agency’s director, Julia Pierson.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan confirmed Tuesday evening that the agency “did send three employees home for disciplinary reasons” and that they were put on administrative leave pending an investigation. Donovan declined to comment further.

The alleged incident took place in Noordwijk at the Huis Ter Duin Hotel, where the president stayed Monday night, a White House official said Wednesday morning. This is a resort town in the Netherlands about 15 minutes outside The Hague.

According to two people familiar with the Amsterdam incident, the three are members of the Secret Service’s Counter Assault Team, known in the agency as CAT.

The alleged behavior would violate Secret Service rules ­adopted in the wake of a damaging scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, in April 2012, when a dozen agents and officers had been drinking heavily and had brought prostitutes back to their hotel rooms before the president’s arrival for an economic summit.

Under the requirements, anyone on an official trip is forbidden to drink alcohol in the 10 hours leading up to an assignment. As members of the advance team for a presidential trip, the CAT members would have been called to duty sometime Sunday for a classified briefing ahead of the president’s arrival on Monday. Drinking late into the night Saturday evening and Sunday morning would have violated that rule.

Obama landed in the Netherlands on Monday for the start of a high-stakes week-long trip to ­Europe and Saudi Arabia in the midst of a tense standoff with Russia over its annexation of Crimea. The agents involved in the misconduct were among hundreds of U.S. personnel from the Secret Service, the military, the State Department and other agencies sent to prepare for his arrival and ensure his safety, including during his attendance at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague with dozens of world leaders.

The president’s visit started with a brief stop at the Rijksmuseum, a fine-arts museum in Amsterdam, with Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Obama traveled from The Hague to Brussels on Tuesday night.

The three involved in the drinking incident were GS-13-level agents, according to one person familiar with the investigation of the case. One of the three was a “team leader” on counter­assault, but he was not in a supervisory position in the agency, the person said.

All three people familiar with the case requested anonymity in order to discuss details of the ongoing investigation. Pierson traveled on Air Force One with Obama, and she is scheduled to remain on the trip with the president as he continues to Rome and Saudi Arabia, one of the people said.

The Counter Assault Team’s job is to protect the president if he or his motorcade comes under attack and to fight off assailants and draw fire while the protective detail removes the president from the area.

Two former agency employees with experience on foreign trips described the counterassault team as one of the most elite units in the agency, responsible for “the last line of defense” for the president. Those selected for CAT are required to be highly skilled shooters and extremely physically fit, with a demanding training regimen, said the two former employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal operations.

There are also high expectations for personal conduct on the squad, they said. On foreign trips, one former agent recalled, the counterassault team often worked shifts as long as 12 hours, the former agents recalled, and agents were expected to get rest during their time off to be in prime condition.

“They received the best technical training in the service,” said one of the former agents. “They were the only team constantly training — training on assaults, on evacuations, all sorts of things. They were very squared away. It was really difficult to get on CAT.”

In the Cartagena scandal, the Secret Service employees’ actions were discovered when one prostitute got into a noisy dispute with agents in a hotel hallway about an agent’s refusal to pay her fee. Colombian police reported the incident to the U.S. Embassy there.

Obama said at the time that the agents’ behavior was unacceptable. “We’re representing the people of the United States, and when we travel to another country I expect us to observe the highest standards, because we’re not just representing ourselves,” he said in Cartagena.

The revelations in Cartagena led to the removal of 10 agents from their jobs, multiple federal and congressional investigations, and the rules aimed at preventing similar activity in the future. Mark Sullivan, the Secret Service director at the time, apologized for his employees’ conduct. Sullivan retired in February 2013 after 30 years in the agency.

Scott Wilson in The Hague contributed to this report.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/secret-service-agents-on-obama-detail-sent-home-from-netherlands-after-night-of-drinking/2014/03/26/86d1a8a6-b4e6-11e3-8020-b2d790b3c9e1_story.html?clsrd

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« Reply #10344 on: Mar 26th, 2014, 09:48am »

Guardian

MH370: 122 objects spotted in Indian Ocean are 'most credible lead yet'

Extra vessels and aircraft arrive in search zone after satellite imagery shows items close to where earlier debris was seen.

by Tania Branigan in Beijing
Wednesday 26 March 2014 08.44 EDT

Satellite imagery showing more than 122 possible objects floating in a patch of the southern Indian Ocean offers the most credible lead yet in the hunt for the missing Malaysian airliner, the country's transport minister has said.

The items, estimated to measure between one and 23 metres, were spotted close to where Chinese and Australian aircraft earlier sighted possible debris, Hishammuddin Hussein added.

Extra vessels and aircraft arrived in the search zone – around 1,500 miles (2,500km) south-west of Perth – on Wednesday, as crews resumed work after gale-force winds and heavy rain forced them to leave the area. But forecasters warned the multinational hunt might have to be suspended again on Thursday because of gales and storms.

Twelve planes and two ships – Australia's HMAS Success and the Chinese polar supply ship Xue Long – were sweeping the zone, with South Korean aircraft joining the hunt for the first time.

Malaysia says the total area being searched covers almost 470,000 square nautical miles. Despite several possible sightings of debris, no objects have been conclusively connected to MH370, which vanished on 8 March.

Family members of many of the 239 on board have said they cannot accept Malaysia's conclusion that the flight crashed into the ocean with the loss of all lives until they see physical evidence. Experts say the wreckage is also crucial to understanding what happened to the flight.

Australia's prime minister said the country was throwing everything it had at the search, although the hunt was not open-ended.

"We are just going to keep on looking because we owe it to people to do everything we can to resolve this riddle," Tony Abbott told Nine Network.

"It is not absolutely open-ended but it is not something we will lightly abandon."

But Hishammuddin told reporters: "We will never give up trying to find the plane, to ensure closure for the families and find out what happened to MH370."

He said the images were captured by Airbus Defence and Space in France on 23 March and showed 122 potential objects floating in an area of around 400 sq km, located 2,557km from Perth.

"Some appear to be bright, possibly indicating solid material," he added.

He stressed that there was no way of telling if the potential objects came from the Boeing 777, but added: "[The area] is not far from the objects sighted by China and Australia. This is still the most credible lead that we have."

Investigators are also attempting to further narrow down the plane's possible last location based on its communications with satellites and other factors, he said.

He dismissed the widespread criticism that Malaysia has faced for its handling of the search and investigation, insisting that it had performed admirably in an unprecedented situation. "I think history will judge us well," he told reporters.

Earlier in the day, the transport minister said on Twitter that he had held an "important and fruitful meeting" with the Chinese special envoy dispatched to deal with the case. Zhang Yesui also met the prime minister, Najib Razak.

But Hishammuddin went on to implicitly criticise Chinese relatives who have accused Malaysia and Malaysia Airlines of lying to them and causing the deaths of their loved ones. Around 200 family members protested outside the embassy in Beijing on Tuesday, throwing plastic bottles and cursing diplomats who did not come out to meet them.

"Time will heal emotions that are running high … Chinese families must understand we in Malaysia also lost loved ones," said Hishammuddin.

"I have seen images [of relatives] from Australia: very rational, understanding this is a global effort, not blaming Malaysia, because it is co-ordinating something unprecedented."

Singapore's Straits Times reported that relatives berated the Malaysian ambassador and other officials at a meeting in Beijing on Wednesday.

The team told them that there was sealed evidence in the investigation – including the air traffic control radio transcript, radar data and airport security recordings – that could not be released. The ambassador, Iskandar Sarudin, declined to answer several questions.

Earlier, families complained that the airline had shut its office at the hotel, that caregivers could not be found and that the 24-hour hotline for relatives was ringing unanswered.

"Each relative was taken care of by two special volunteers, but so far, all Malaysian Airlines crew mysteriously disappeared. Do they also lose contact?" they asked via a microblog account named Malaysia Airlines MH370 Relatives Committee.

A Malaysia Airlines official reportedly said the Chinese government had advised them not to come on Tuesday given the tense mood, and that there were around 50 caregivers in Beijing, spread over five hotels, because it had a problem finding volunteers.

Investigators believe the plane was deliberately diverted by someone on board, but say they have not ruled out any possible explanations, from hijacking and sabotage to an attempt to deal with mechanical problems.

"We do not know why … We do not know how the terrible tragedy happened," the Malaysia Airlines chief executive, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, said on Tuesday.

CNN said an unnamed law enforcement official briefed on the investigation had told it that the plane's unscheduled turn to the west was believed to have been entered at least 12 minutes before the co-pilot signed off to Malaysian air traffic controllers with the words: "All right, good night."

But analysts differed on whether that could be part of an alternative flight plan programmed in case of emergency, or evidence of ill intent.

A US law firm has announced it has started multimillion-dollar legal proceedings against Malaysia Airlines and Boeing. The Chicago-based Ribbeck Law Chartered International said it had filed a court petition in the US, seeking any documents relating to design or mechanical issues or conduct by the airline that could be related to the disaster.

Its statement said: "We believe that both defendants named are responsible for the disaster of flight MH370."

It said it was acting on behalf of Januari Siregar, who lost his son in the crash, but gave no details of the damages sought beyond describing the litigation as a "multimillion-dollar process".

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/26/mh370-objects-indian-ocean-credible-lead

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« Reply #10345 on: Mar 26th, 2014, 10:05am »

GOOD MORNING CRYSTAL ~ DRWU ~ SYS ~ FLAT ~ AND THE REST OF THE CASEBOOK ERUDITES cool

I HOPE MUSIC IS PART OF YOUR DAY ~ MUSIC SOOTHES THE SAVAGE SOUL wink

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« Reply #10346 on: Mar 27th, 2014, 10:12am »

BroadwayWorld Books

B. Timothy Pennington Discusses UFO Sightings in New Book

March 26, 2014

A farm in central Mississippi might seem like an unlikely place for UFO activity, but that's just what the author and his family saw in the 1970s. Decades later, author B. Timothy Pennington began to research what he and his family experienced now that he was retired and not afraid of what speculation might do to his career as a scientist. In this new book he shares his observations and conclusions about UFOs, including some history about the field of UFO study. He draws on personal recollections and interviews with family members to supplement his own research into the phenomenon.

"Science, Skeptics and UFOS: A Reluctant Scientist Explores the World of UFOs" adds a unique voice to those who have reported seeing an unidentified flying object. The author writes that he found six widely reported Mississippi UFO cases, most of which he had been unaware of previously. Of the four well-known Mississippi cases that occurred in the 1970s, each shared some aspects of what his family experienced. And his family had plenty of experiences. Pennington writes that the ongoing sightings - almost 40 of them - took place over more than a decade, and most were within six miles of the family farm in Smith County, Mississippi. The sightings began in the mid-1930s when his paternal grandmother and her children saw a shaft of light 30 to 40 feet in diameter coming from the sky while on an evening walk. There was no conceivable source for the light as the area didn't have electricity until after World War II and helicopters with spotlights were decades away. Since a sighting in the early1980s, there had been a lapse of more than 25 years before the sightings resumed in 2011. The sightings ranged over a period of nearly 80 years and four generations after a spectacular set of sightings occurred in the summer of 2013.

In the 1970s, the author himself saw a silent white light in the sky repeatedly flying back and forth between two hovering lights. Other relatives were startled by a large object with bright lights noiselessly hovering over them as it blocked out the nighttime sky. Family members saw numerous instances of a light at low altitude slowly crossing and lighting up a field, a flying saucer and series of lights at a community dump, a light that seemed to follow someone's car, and there was even an account of an abduction. Pennington examines the scientific and skeptical points of view and freely explores alternative explanations for the sightings ranging from high-tech military aircraft to the tectonic strain theory as well as ball lightning, skyhook balloons, the auto-kinetic effect and psychological causes. Charts, illustrations and statistical analysis add up to one conclusion for Pennington: Millions of people on our planet have witnessed UFO phenomena, which are real and unexplained, - and the phenomena continue unabated while most of the scientific establishment looks the other way when someone dares to say U-F-O.

Author B. Timothy Pennington, a member of the American Chemical Society for more than 35 years, has 21 U.S. patents as an inventor and co-inventor. He spent 30 years working in the chemical industry near Lake Charles, La., after teaching and writing scripts for chemistry videotapes as part of a National Science Foundation grant. Pennington has seven publications in scientific journals and two trade industry publications. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Southern Mississippi and spent two years of postdoctoral research at the USDA Eastern Regional Research Center near Philadelphia and was a Robert A. Welsh postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Texas at Arlington before teaching at Navarro College. He and his wife, Esther, have three adult daughters and live in Sulphur, La.

For additional information, please visit http://www.ufosbtpenn.com.

Science, Skeptics and UFOs: A Reluctant Scientist Explores the World of UFOs

B. Timothy Pennington
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4575-2312-0 328 pages $19.95 US

http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwbooks/article/B-Timothy-Pennington-Discusses-UFO-Sightings-in-New-Book-20140326#.UzQ_hpDn-1s

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« Reply #10347 on: Mar 27th, 2014, 10:32am »

Reuters

Western governments see continuing Russian buildup on Ukraine border

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON
Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:27pm EDT

(Reuters) - U.S. and European security agencies estimate Russia has deployed military and militia units totaling more than 30,000 people along its border with eastern Ukraine, according to U.S. and European sources familiar with official reporting.

The current estimates represent what officials on both sides of the Atlantic describe as a continuing influx of Russian forces along the Ukraine frontier, the sources said.

The 30,000 figure represents a significant increase from a figure of 20,000 Russian troops along the border that was widely reported in U.S. and European media last week.

But U.S. and European security sources noted that these estimates are imprecise. Some estimates put current troop levels as high as 35,000 while others still suggest a level of 25,000, the sources said.

However, the sources said that U.S. and European government experts believe that there has been, and continues to be, a steady and noticeable buildup in the total number of Russian forces along the Ukrainian border, though some military units have rotated in or out of the area.

U.S. and European security sources said that the Russian force deployed along the Ukraine border includes regular military including infantry and armored units and some air support.

Also deployed are militia or special forces units comprised of Russian fighters, wearing uniforms lacking insignia or other identifying markings, similar to the first Russian forces to move into Crimea during Russia's recent military takeover there.

U.S. officials said that what Russian President Vladimir Putin actually plans to do with his forces deployed on the Ukraine border is unknown. Some officials say intelligence information available to policymakers regarding what Putin is thinking, and what he is saying to his advisors and military commanders, is fragmentary to non-existent.

But the portents are potentially ominous. "No one's ruling out the possibility of additional Russian military aggression," one U.S. official said.

U.S. President Barack Obama was non-committal when asked about the 30,000 Russian troops estimate at a news conference in The Hague on Tuesday.

"With respect to the Russian troops that are along the border of Ukraine at the moment, right now they are on Russian soil. And if they stay on Russian soil, we oppose what appears to be an effort of intimidation, but Russia has a right, legally, to have its troops on its own soil. I don't think it's a done deal. And I think that Russia's still making a series of calculations," Obama said.

(Editing by Alistair Bell and Cynthia Osterman)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/26/us-ukraine-crisis-usa-idUSBREA2P22120140326

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« Reply #10348 on: Mar 27th, 2014, 11:58am »

TOP OF THE DAY CRYSTAL ~ AND THE CASEBOOK CADRE

TO OUR FOX N FRIENDS ~ WHO PEEK NOW AND THEN grin

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« Reply #10349 on: Mar 27th, 2014, 2:16pm »

HMMMM...

DOES IT ACTUALLY HAPPEN LIKE THIS ~ OR IS IT MORE ~ TELEPATHIC...

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