Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #14177 on: Jan 21st, 2016, 06:29am »
GOOD MORNING ALL
New York Times
Putin ‘Probably Approved’ Litvinenko Poisoning, British Inquiry Says
By ALAN COWELL JAN. 21, 2016
LONDON — A high-profile British inquiry into the poisoning of Alexander V. Litvinenko, a former K.G.B. officer turned critic of the Kremlin, concluded in a report released on Thursday that his murder “was probably approved” by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and the head of the country’s spy service.
The finding by Robert Owen, a retired High Court judge, in a 328-page report, represented by far the most damning official link between Mr. Litvinenko’s death on Nov. 23, 2006, and the highest levels of the Kremlin.
The report could revive strains in relations between Britain and Russia, which were plunged into a chill reminiscent of the Cold War by the death of Mr. Litvinenko, a whistle-blower who had fought corruption in Moscow’s security services.
Speaking after the release of the report, Mr. Litvinenko’s wife, Marina, said she was “very pleased that the words my husband spoke on his deathbed, when he accused Mr. Putin, have been proved by an English court.”
Mr. Litvinenko died 22 days after ingesting green tea laced with polonium 210 — a rare and highly toxic isotope — in the company of two Russian associates, Andrei K. Lugovoi and Dmitri V. Kovtun. He was 43. The three men had met in the Pine Bar of the Millennium Hotel in London.
Mr. Lugovoi, now a member of Parliament in Russia, said the accusation that he murdered Mr. Litvinenko was “absurd,” the Russian news agency Interfax reported, and a Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry S. Peskov, said the Litvinenko case “is not among the topics that interest us.”
The inquiry was called after years of dogged efforts by Ms. Litvinenko to press for a full accounting of her husband’s death. The British police have accused Mr. Lugovoi and Mr. Kovtun of murder, charges they deny.
The killing also raised questions in London about the potential involvement of Nikolai Patrushev, the head of Russia’s F.S.B. security service, the domestic successor to the K.G.B., at the time of Mr. Litvinenko’s death, and Mr. Putin.
“Taking full account of all the evidence and analysis available to me,” Judge Owen said in the report, “I find that the F.S.B. operation to kill Mr. Litvinenko was probably approved by Mr. Patrushev and also by President Putin.”
Although the wording seemed to suggest a degree of caution, the report left no doubt that Mr. Litvinenko’s death had, in the judge’s view, been an act of murder planned by a Russian state agency.
“I am sure that Mr. Lugovoi and Mr. Kovtun placed the polonium 210 in the teapot at the Pine Bar” on Nov. 1, 2006, Judge Owen’s report said. “I am sure that Mr. Lugovoi and Mr. Kovtun knew that they were using a deadly poison.”
He added: “I am sure that Mr. Lugovoi and Mr. Kovtun were acting on behalf of others when they poisoned Mr. Litvinenko.”
Judge Owen suggested, however, that the two men were not aware “precisely what the chemical that they were handling was, or the nature of all its properties.”
As motives for Mr. Litvinenko’s poisoning, Judge Owen listed various possible factors, including a belief that he had betrayed the F.S.B. during his time working for the organization as an investigator in Moscow and had begun to work for British intelligence after he fled in 2000.
He was also a close associate of prominent opponents of the Kremlin based in London, including Boris Berezovsky, a former oligarch and enemy of Mr. Putin’s who died in 2013, the report said.
“Finally, there was undoubtedly a personal dimension to the antagonism between Mr. Litvinenko on one hand and President Putin on the other,” the report said.
It excluded any role in the poisoning by the British security services, organized crime gangs, Mr. Berezovsky or other associates of Mr. Litvinenko.
In a deathbed statement, Mr. Litvinenko had denounced Mr. Putin and accused him of murder — a charge the Russian leader denied.
“You may succeed in silencing one man, but the howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr. Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life,” Mr. Litvinenko’s statement said.
Mr. Litvinenko, his wife and their son, Anatoly, had lived in Britain since fleeing Russia in 2000 and had secured British citizenship weeks before he died. Ms. Litvinenko has told the inquiry that her husband worked as an agent of the British MI6 spy service.
Testimony at the inquiry suggested that Mr. Litvinenko was seeking to trace links between Mr. Putin, his entourage and organized crime groups. He was planning to travel to Spain to meet with investigators there when he was poisoned.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #14178 on: Jan 21st, 2016, 06:36am »
US military aims to create cyborgs by connecting humans to computers
Researchers hope to develop a high-bandwidth, implantable neural interface to open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics
by Samuel Gibbs 20 January 2016
The US government is researching technology that it hopes will turn soldiers into cyborgs, allowing them to connect directly to computers.
The US military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) has unveiled a research programme called Neural Engineering System Design (NESD) which aims to develop an implantable neural interface, connecting humans directly to computers.
Human-computer interfaces are not a new research topic, but most have been hampered by slow, limited control, providing movement of robotic prosthetics or allowing humans to input text or similar into a computer by concentrating on certain feelings or thoughts of motions.
Phillip Alvelda, NESD manager for Darpa, said: “Today’s best brain-computer interface systems are like two supercomputers trying to talk to each other using an old 300-baud modem. Imagine what will become possible when we upgrade our tools to really open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics.”
At the moment, human-computer interfaces connect a large number of neurons at a time – somewhere between 100 and 1,000 - to a machine. Darpa aims to refine the technology so as to connect individual neurons. This would give much finer control, reduce noise and, in theory, speed up communications between a human and a computer.
The lofty goal will require breakthroughs in neuroscience, synthetic biology, low-power electronics, photonics, medical device manufacturing and packaging, as well as clinical testing, according to the research agency.
While anything funded via Darpa has the end goal of a military application, human-computer interfaces are currently standing in the way of advanced civil applications, not least the replacement of lost limbs, restoration of sight and other senses, as well as the control of disease.
The NESD programme ties into the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (Brain) initiative launched by Barack Obama in 2013, which pledged $100m towards research aiming to cure or help brain disorders and brain damage.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #14186 on: Jan 24th, 2016, 06:35am »
GOOD MORNING ALL, HOPE EVERYONE IS OKAY IN THIS STORM.
Zee news India
Are those military aircraft trailing a UFO?
Last Updated: Saturday, January 23, 2016 - 09:14
New Delhi: Space and UFO enthusiasts will enjoy decoding this mystery! Shocking images have surfaced on the internet that involves two military aircraft following what seems to be a UFO!
The photographs appear to have been taken in a rural field in Bulgaria and were published by a Bulgarian paranormal website, by the name of Portal 12.
A translated version of the report stated that, “Military planes chased an unidentified flying object near Nova Zagora yesterday afternoon.”
'The craft were flying at very low altitude in the area above the villages of Gaz, Zagortci, and Han Asparuhovo.'
According to the editor of UFO Sightings Daily, Scott C Waring, who picked up the story, a UFO was seen over farm land near some very tall power lines and it was being monitored by a military aircraft.
"The UFO seems to not be in any kind of hurry to move and the jet seems like it’s only there to identify the craft to those back at base”, he said.
The report further said that although the incident was witnessed by many people, no one has come forward to confirm the bizarre sighting, yet.