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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 11755 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #3135 on: Mar 2nd, 2011, 08:06am »

on Mar 1st, 2011, 6:31pm, Swamprat wrote:
Cracked Mayan Code May Point to 8 Tons of Lost Treasure

Published March 01, 2011

| Fox News Latino

It's a treasure hunt even Indiana Jones would be proud of.
Buried beneath a lake in Guatamala sits a fortune in lost treasure -- Mayan gold to be precise -- and a group of German archaeologists has just set off to find it. Their only guidance, a freshly decoded ancient book containing a map to the treasure.

It sounds like a movie, but it's very much real, reported FoxNewsLatino. Joachim Rittsteig, an expert in Mayan writing who is heading up the mission to Guatemala's Lake Izabal, the site reported. Rittsteig claims to have cracked the famous Dresden Codex, a pre-Columbian Maya book possibly from the 11th century, and discovered in its pages specific information that leads to a treasure in the lake.

"The Dresden Codex leads to a giant treasure of eight tons of pure gold," said Rittsteig, who has spent more than 40 years studying the document. According to the German newspaper Bild, which is sponsoring the expedition, two reporters from the publication, a photographer, a television camera, and a professional diver will visit Izabal in an attempt to find the gold.

A professor emeritus at Dresden University and author of various publications about the Maya culture, Rittsteig stressed that the information is in the Codex.

"Page 52 talks about the Maya capital of Atlan, which was ruined by an earthquake on October 30th in the year 666 BC," he said. "In this city, they kept 2,156 gold tablets on which the Maya recorded their laws."

Read more about the quest for lost Mayan treasure (really!) at FoxNewsLatino.

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/03/01/cracked-mayan-code-uncover-8-tons-lost-treasure/#ixzz1FOhfwqsC



WOW! That is spectacular! Good morning Swamprat.
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« Reply #3136 on: Mar 2nd, 2011, 08:11am »

New York Times

March 2, 2011
Fleeing Migrant Workers Pile Up at Libya’s Borders
By SHARON OTTERMAN and ALAN COWELL

SALUM, Egypt — International assistance began trickling though the Egyptian border into Libya on Wednesday, with medical supplies and assessment teams gathering at the border checkpoint here before heading into rebel controlled areas of eastern Libya to see what needs exist there.

But far to the west, on the Libya’s border with Tunisia, relief officials on Wednesday described an unfolding crisis as tens of thousands of migrant workers, mainly Egyptians, flee from Libya’s turmoil, some saying that they fear for their lives. As they enter Tunisia with only limited means of traveling onwards by plane or sea, “there is an absolutely mammoth task that is absolutely imperative” to ease pressure on the border area, said Sybella Wilkes, a spokeswoman for the United Nations refugee agency in Geneva.

“The capacity of the border area is bursting,” she said in a telephone interview. In the past 10 days, some 150,000 people have fled to the east and west from Libya and more than half have sought of them seeking refuge in Tunisia. Some of them, she said, had reported to relief officials that Egyptians were being singled out. She quoted reports by two unidentified Syrian travelers that Egyptians traveling with them had been hauled out of their car by loyalist forces in Libya and executed.

Appealing for international help for the migrants, many of whom are sleeping on concrete at the border crossing for nights on end, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declared: “We need concrete action on the ground to provide humanitarian and medical assistance. Time is of the essence. Thousands of lives are at risk." In Salum, two Red Cross trucks filled with medical supplies idled on Egyptian side of the border, with authorities asking that the equipment be unloaded from an Egyptian truck to a Libyan truck before it could cross, said Samir Hadzimustafic, a Red Cross representative here.

United Nations officials, meanwhile, arrived in a three-car convoy and said they were headed to Benghazi, the emerging capital of rebel controlled eastern Libya, in part to see if the port there could be turned into a full-fledged corridor for humanitarian relief. Opposition control of eastern Libya has presented an unusual situation for assistance organizations, because they are not being invited in by the official government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, which lost control of the east amid the continuing rebellion against his rule. With such a fluid situation, it was a risk to discuss exactly who the United Nations officials team would meet in country, said Abdul Haq Amiri, the head of the regional United Nations office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs, and the leading diplomat of the mission.

“It is a first mission, intended to determine whether there is a need for help,” Mr. Amiri said. With him were representatives of the World Food Program, Unicef, the World Health Organization, and the U.N. refugee organization.

At the border checkpoint, where several thousand migrants waited in no-man’s land for transportation and visas to return to African and Asian countries, a team from the American Embassy met with relief officials to assess the security situation; representatives of a growing number of nations, including Britain, Austria, and Korea, sought to provide help. A Sri Lanka diplomat prepared evacuation plans for 27 migrants who he had been told were their way.

The flow of migrants has decreased here over the past several days, but thousands still wait, sleeping on floors and pavement outside, for their embassies to sign off on their visas and arrange for flights.

Six professional basketball players from sub-Saharan Africa who were playing for teams in Benghazi arrived at the border on Wednesday, saying they feared being killed by Libyans who were now targeting black Africans, in a belief they were mercenaries. Even though they were well known in Benghazi, they said, it didn’t help.

"All Africans are in trouble now, they will arrest you," said Sunny Daykins, 19, a Liberian player who played for a team called Al Hillal. "They don’t even give you time to speak." He wore his red practice pants and carried a basketball in a plastic bag, along with a small duffel bag of clothes. His phone stolen, he clutched his SIM card. "I only took the important things," he said.

Several African women waited among the crowds of men. "There are more women inside Libya, but they are afraid to come out," said Laura Seulu, 29, from Cameroon, who had been a maid for a family in Benghazi. Rebels, she said, had broken into her house, and she had left as soon as she felt there was enough of a lull in violence.

A Palestinian family of fishermen sat separately from the crowd, after Egyptian authorities tried three times to return them to Libya Tuesday, along with 30 other Palestinians. "They wanted us to return to Benghazi and get a stamp on our passport. I told him, it is destroyed there-- there is no one to talk to," said Mohammed Abdel Hussein, 32. He repeatedly refused to go back, saying they would rather wait at the border point indefinitely than return.

The family is from the front lines, a town called Ben Jouad halfway between rebel-controlled Ras Maoof and Sert, Col. Qaddafi’s hometown. Half of the people in the town support the opposition, and half support Qaddafi, and young men from both sides patrol the streets carrying guns. After Qaddafi blamed foreigners for inciting the rebellion, the family became targets, and their landlord told them he would burn their house down if they did not leave immediately, they said.

"They accused us of starting the riot there," said Mohammed Abdel Hussein, 32. "They asked if we had weapons."

Sobhia Abdel Rahman, Mohammed’s mother, 60, said she had heart trouble and had fainted twice during the two-day journey to the border.

International officials were now assessing how to help them to return home. "We want to go back to Gaza," she said, leaning on her 21 year old daughter, Heba, for support. "We just left behind everything and came."

Ayman Gharaibeh, a United Nations refugee agency official at Libya’s border with Tunisia, said on Tuesday: “We can see acres of people waiting to cross the border. Many have been waiting for three to four days in the freezing cold, with no shelter or food.”

“This seems to be getting worse by the day,” he added.

Adding to the misery, it rained overnight. Between 10,000 and 20,000 more people pressing to cross into Tunisia, Ms. Wilkes, the United Nations spokeswoman, said.

The United Nations has built a tent camp some three miles from the border with a capacity of 10,000. Many of the Egyptians, Ms. Wilkes said, are construction workers who have helped put up emergency tents. But because of the rain and the cold, “people are sleeping like sardines” in the shelters. Relief officials said they had appealed for international help in creating an air-bridge to get Egyptians back home — apparently a cheaper and more effective way of moving people in large numbers than by sea.In separate announcements, Britain and France said on Wednesday that they would send planes to airlift stranded Egyptians from the Libya-Tunisia border.

"I think it is vital to do this, these people shouldn’t be kept in transit camps if it is possible to take them back to their home and I am glad that Britain can play such an important part in doing that,” Prime Minister David Cameron told lawmakers in London.

In Paris, the French government said it would send several airplanes and a ship to take up to 5,000 Egyptians home. The foreign ministry spokesman, Bernard Valéro, also said France was looking for ways to help migrant workers who had not yet left Libya.

“With rotations by heavy-lift planes on the one hand, and a naval transport ship that will soon be in the zone on the other, we ought to be able to move at least 5,000 people in under a week," Mr. Valéro said.

On the Egypt-Libya border the border has become a sea of red tape for workers from countries that would normally need visas to enter Egypt. Stacks of handwritten visa applications sit in a packed immigration office, waiting for embassies to sign off on their citizens. The Egyptian government will allow entry only to those migrants with a plane ticket, so the International Office of Migration has become a harried travel agency searching for spare seats on flights for places like Guinea and Mali.

Migrants had many reasons for leaving. Some said their companies in Libya had shut, leaving them stranded. Others said they were just afraid. Bassiro Cande, a 41-year-old from Guinea, was among several people who said they had been either threatened or beaten in recent days, as rebels mistook them for African mercenaries whom Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi had brought in from countries to the south.

“Before only the police would beat us, now the people did as well,” Mr. Cande said. “People thought we were fighting for Qaddafi, but we were innocent.”

Asammoah Solomon, 32, from Ghana, who was waiting to board a bus, said, “We became enemies to the Libyan people.” He said a crowd in Benghazi had rushed at him and three other Ghanaians with sticks, “so we ran.”


Sharon Otterman reported from Salum, Egypt, and Alan Cowell from Paris. Scott Sayare contributed reporting from Paris.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/world/africa/03refugee.html?ref=world

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« Reply #3137 on: Mar 2nd, 2011, 08:16am »

New York Times

March 1, 2011, 12:24 pm

Ex-Goldman Director Accused of Passing Illegal Tips
By PETER LATTMAN
8:47 p.m. | Updated

The Securities and Exchange Commission has accused a former director of Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble of passing illegal tips about those companies to Raj Rajaratnam, the Galleon Group founder who is to go on trial next week on insider trading charges.

The former director, Rajat K. Gupta, is accused of passing along information on the two companies’ earnings as well as word of Warren E. Buffett’s $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs in 2008.

As a longtime senior executive at McKinsey & Company, Mr. Gupta, 62, is the most prominent business executive ensnared by the government in a wide-ranging investigation into insider trading on Wall Street. He ran McKinsey from 1994 to 2003 and counts as friends and associates some of the most powerful people in business.

In comparison, many of the defendants charged earlier with insider trading were junior traders and lawyers or midlevel executives. Over the last 18 months, federal prosecutors in Manhattan have charged 46 people with insider trading; of those, 29 have pleaded guilty.

But the S.E.C.’s civil case against Mr. Gupta reaches into the most elite boardrooms of corporate America.

“Mr. Gupta was honored with the highest trust of leading public companies, and he betrayed that trust by disclosing their most sensitive and valuable secrets,” said Robert Khuzami, the S.E.C.’s director of enforcement, in a statement. “Directors who violate the sanctity of boardroom confidences for private gain will be held to account for their illegal actions.”

The proceeding against Mr. Gupta perhaps most acutely stings Goldman, which has had at least three run-ins with the S.E.C. over the last year. Last summer, it struck a $550 million settlement with the agency over its sale of a complex mortgage investment, without admitting or denying wrongdoing. And earlier this year it canceled an opportunity for its clients to invest in Facebook because of worries that the publicity around the deal could violate S.E.C. rules. A Goldman spokesman declined to comment.

The S.E.C. case ties Mr. Gupta to Mr. Rajaratnam, the Sri Lankan-born billionaire hedge fund manager at the center of the government’s insider trading inquiry. Mr. Rajaratnam, who is fighting the criminal charges against him, is to go on trial on Tuesday.

The S.E.C. filing contends that Mr. Gupta provided details about Goldman’s financial health and plans after the collapse of Lehman Brothers rocked the financial markets. On Sept. 23, 2008, the Goldman board met via telephone to consider and approve Mr. Buffett’s $5 billion purchase of preferred shares in Goldman.

“Immediately after disconnecting from the board call, Gupta called Rajaratnam from the same line,” the S.E.C. filing says. A minute later, Galleon funds bought more than more than 175,000 shares of Goldman just minutes before the market closed, the agency says.

After the close, Goldman announced the investment, and its shares rallied on the vote of confidence by Mr. Buffett. The Galleon funds netted a profit of more than $900,000, the S.E.C. says.

In another instance, the S.E.C. said that Mr. Gupta passed along an illegal Goldman tip to Mr. Rajaratnam after a call that previewed Goldman’s positive quarterly earnings results one week before they were publicly announced. Soon after, Mr. Gupta is said to have initiated a flurry of telephone calls with Mr. Rajaratnam, who then directed his fund to load up on Goldman stock and call options. When the stock rose the next day, Mr. Rajaratnam exited his positions and earned more than $13.6 million in profits, the S.E.C. said.

Mr. Gupta is also accused of disclosing information to Mr. Rajaratnam about P.& G.’s 2008 fourth-quarter earnings on the eve of their release.

In the long investigation of Mr. Rajaratnam, thousands of conversations were recorded, including some with Mr. Gupta. But the S.E.C filing refers to none of those conversations. In recounting phone calls between the two men, the filing does not provide details of their content.

Gary Naftalis, a lawyer for Mr. Gupta, said the S.E.C. accusations were “totally baseless.”

“Mr. Gupta has done nothing wrong,” he said. “There is no allegation that Mr. Gupta traded in any of these securities or shared in any profits as part of any quid pro quo.”

The case against Mr. Gupta tarnishes an otherwise sterling business career. Born in Kolkata, India, Mr. Gupta earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1974 and joined McKinsey upon graduation. He was elected head of the consulting firm in 1994, the first non-Westerner to hold that post.

Mr. Gupta, 62, met Mr. Rajaratnam, who was born in Sri Lanka, in the middle of the last decade through their work for the Indian School of Business. Mr. Gupta co-founded the school and is its chairman, and Mr. Rajaratnam was a major donor to the school.

Mr. Gupta was a regular presence at Galleon’s offices at Madison Avenue and 57th Street and showed up there periodically for lunch. Mr. Rajaratnam’s secretary would order in Indian or Chinese food and the two men would sit in Mr. Rajaratnam’s office and chat, according to a former employee who spoke only on the condition of anonymity.

In 2006, Mr. Rajaratnam and Mr. Gupta worked together to start New Silk Route, a private equity firm focused on investments in India. Mr. Rajaratnam never had an active role in the New Silk Route. A spokeswoman for New Silk Route declined to comment.

Mr. Rajaratnam told his staff that Galleon had formally engaged McKinsey to help them better understand companies and run special projects where the fund could “do a deeper dive” into companies, the former employee said. Nothing came of the engagement, said this person.

Mr. Gupta is the second McKinsey executive to be ensnared by the government’s insider-trading inquiry. Anil Kumar, a senior McKinsey executive and onetime protégé of Mr. Gupta, pleaded guilty in January to leaking confidential information about a merger to Mr. Rajaratnam and is cooperating in the criminal case against Mr. Rajaratnam.

“We were saddened to learn about the civil charges against our former colleague,” said a McKinsey spokesman about Mr. Gupta, who left McKinsey in 2007.

Mr. Gupta holds philanthropic posts, including a senior advisory post at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a board seat at the Rockefeller Foundation. He lives in Westport, Conn.

Mr. Gupta voluntarily resigned on Tuesday from the P.&G. board, which he joined in 2007. A company spokesman said he resigned to prevent any distraction to P.&G. and its board.

At Goldman, Mr. Gupta said he would not stand for re-election in March 2010 and stepped down from the board in May.

Mr. Gupta earned more than $2.5 million as a director at Goldman and P.&G. Mr. Gupta is also a member of the board of AMR, the parent company of American Airlines. An American Airlines spokesman declined to comment.

The case against Mr. Gupta has an unusual procedural twist. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the S.E.C. can seek a full range of penalties against people not employed by a financial services firm through a relatively streamlined proceeding before an S.E.C. administrative law judge.

Historically, if the agency sought penalties against a public company director like Mr. Gupta, it had to sue in federal court, where the defendant has full discovery rights of the S.E.C.’s case, including all of its witnesses.

Mr. Naftalis, the lawyer for Mr. Gupta, said in a statement that his client’s “40-year record of ethical conduct, integrity and commitment to guarding his clients’ confidences is beyond reproach.”

He also said that Mr. Gupta lost his $10 million investment in a fund managed by Mr. Rajaratnam that collapsed during the financial crisis, “negating any motive to deviate from a lifetime of honesty and integrity.”

Ben Protess contributed reporting.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/03/01/former-goldman-director-charged-with-insider-trading/?ref=business

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« Reply #3138 on: Mar 2nd, 2011, 08:26am »

Wired Danger Room

Marines Boot Social Media Pioneers From Afghanistan After Facebook Freakout
By Spencer Ackerman
March 2, 2011 | 7:00 am
Categories: Army and Marines



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It started off as an experimental effort to cover the war in the era of social media. But launching a forum where anyone could weigh in about a combat unit’s fight proved to be more than the Marines were willing to handle. The media pioneers have been sent home — largely over some comments left on a Facebook wall.

Journalists working for Basetrack, a new nonprofit media group, arrived in the Musa Qala district of Afghanistan’s Helmand Province in October with an unconventional mission. They’d exhaustively document the war of the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines in videos, audio interviews, articles and mapping tools. And, through Facebook, they’d make their work a portal for those invested most in the Marines, like their relatives.

But the social media experiment turned out to be too social for both the battalion’s command and its superiors. They were largely fine with the journalists’ work. It was the commenting community on Facebook that drove the brass nuts. Last month, the Marines abruptly ended the experiment and terminated Basetrack’s embeds.

For some Marine family members, the command’s dissatisfaction with Basetrack’s Facebook page is hard to fathom. “I haven’t seen anything they’ve done to put any of these kids in harm’s way,” says Jackie Giambrone, mother of a Marine in the unit. “They’ve done what they promised — they kept us connected.”

Too connected for the Marines’ comfort, it would turn out.

Last year, the Marine Corps took a gamble by reversing its ban on social media. Like the rest of the Defense Department, the Corps figures it needs to get its message out on web 2.0, where its audience increasingly is. But that also puts it in uncharted open territory, where it isn’t always able to control that message.

The new social media rules gave photojournalist Teru Kuwayama an idea. He’d send embedded reporters into Afghanistan, where they’d file video, short blog posts and longer stories onto a website that simulcast its content on Facebook. It wouldn’t be a website as much as it would be a community of interest about the unit his journos covered.

And he had an opportunity. Six years after a positive embedding experience with Kuwayama in eastern Afghanistan, Maj. Justin Ansel had become the executive officer of the 1-8 Marines, which deployed to Helmand in the fall. Ansel asked Kuwayama if he’d like to document the 1-8 Marines’ war.

Thus was born Basetrack, the website and the Facebook page created to give granular, personal and at times gut-wrenching information to those who cared about the 1-8, and provoke discussion about it. After landing a $202,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, three Basetrack reporters arrived in Helmand’s Musa Qala district in early October to document the 1-8’s entire deployment. It was a major commitment to battlefield reporting at a time when many mainstream news organizations were cutting back on Afghanistan coverage.

The “large majority” of Basetrack’s content was “extremely positive,” Ansel says. “It’s unfortunate that a couple bad apples spoiled it, but that’s the way it goes.”

Some of that content was much like conventional embedded online reporting — down to the occasional disagreements about tone with the command. Its reporters produced some eye-opening stuff. One-on-one audio interviews let Marines tell their own stories, unfiltered. Embed Balasz Gardi produced a tense account ofan hourlong firefight with the Taliban in November:

We hear more radio chatter: “Just pray for us. We are going to start fighting.” A few seconds later, [Interpreter] S tells us that the Taliban commander has permitted his soldiers to fire. Within seconds, [a] firefight breaks out.

But the social media aspect of Basetrack caused Ansel aggravations. Reports from other media about Afghanistan that Bacetrack aggregated blurred the lines between what Bacetrack was saying about the battalion and what other journalists were saying about the war as a whole. And on Basetrack.org, content is accessible via pushpin icons on a Google map roughly corresponding to where the action took place. To higher headquarters, that looked like a giant targeting system, waiting to be exploited by insurgents.

Both Kuwayama and Ansel say that Basetrack’s map posed no threat to the Marines. Yes, geocoordinates show up on the screen by one of the icons, but they’re inexact, and they’re not uploaded in real time. “If you launched a Hellfire at the coordinates,” Kuwayama tells Danger Room, “you’d be nearby, but you’d miss.” Still, Ansel says, readers “see a post blocked off, and they think it must be accurate… [but] the locations of the maps were offset, sometimes at a great dis tance.”

The comments on Basetrack’s Facebook wall stirred up problems, too. Self-identified family members of the battalion kept chiming in — sometimes touching on subjects that Marines wanted left alone. In one instance, Giambrone, whose son Anthony is a lance corporal in the 1-8, posted something about a Marine wounded in an insurgent bomb attack, in what she describes as an effort to get people to pray for his recovery. Ansel e-mailed her and told her to take it down. She did, but the experience left an unpleasant taste in her mouth.

“I can understand not saying, ‘My son Anthony is on a patrol base now, he’s going on a mission,’” Giambrone tells Danger Room. “I understand that’s a security violation. But [removing] our feelings? No, that’s wrong.”

Ansel concedes that Giambrone “was probably within her rights” to post about the wounded Marine. But to him, posts that brought up sensitive subjects while nerves are still raw after an attack crossed a line. He says “two or three other times,” he e-mailed people requesting them to take their posts off the Facebook page, and had problems with many more. Suddenly, the chief advocate for Basetrack’s experiment inside the battalion was policing people’s reactions to it.

It’s a question of propriety, Ansel says. “Someone whose loved one was killed by the bad guys, and then somebody posts on, ‘We got to get out of [Afghanistan],’” he says. “I go to work every day protecting people’s freedom of speech. There’s a time and a place.” His own unfamiliarity with social networking didn’t help: “The battalion commander isn’t what you’d call a social media guy. I’m much more experienced, but I’m new to it.”

The family members split on whether Basetrack’s work was valuable or exploitative. Giambrone, who says she’s “loved Basetrack from the beginning,” began to receive e-mails from family members taking her to task. One accused Basetrack of “over-exaggerating the number of incidences and the severity of PTSD” and serving an “anti-military agenda.” Janet Kroeker, whose nephew is in a unit supporting the 1-8, says she’s gotten caustic e-mails from family members saying, “Who are you; if you’re not 1-8, why are you on Basetrack; these Basetrack people aren’t who say they are; the high command isn’t happy with them.”

Ansel won’t name names, but he says he and the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Dan Canfield, heard from officials in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Marine attachment to U.S. Central Command and from Central Command headquarters itself expressing unease with the freewheeling nature of Basetrack. That led Ansel to ask Kuwayama to shut down the Facebook page in late January. Kuwayama refused, citing a lack of specificity over what he posted that was actually problematic or illegal. “You can’t just shut down a Facebook page because of some undefined concern,” he says. Kuwayama left Musa Qala for the U.S. soon after — just as the next wave of Basetrack reporters received their approval from the military to join up with the 1-8 Marines through March 17.

By then, though, Canfield and Ansel had decided Basetrack was more trouble than it was worth. “The nail in the coffin wasn’t Facebook,” Ansel says. “The nail was, it was bigger than we were willing to fight.” On Feb. 5, Kuwayama received notification from Lt. Timothy Irish, a spokesman for the Eighth Marine Regiment, that Basetrack’s reporters were being asked to leave, citing concerns about the mapping tool’s “perceived Operational Security violations.” Yet a follow-on e-mail from a spokeswoman for the U.S. military command in southwestern Afghanistan concluded that “media ground rules were not violated.”

“The juice wasn’t worth the squeeze,” is how Ansel explains it. He wasn’t willing to fight with higher headquarters to keep Basetrack embedded through the end of the tour — most Marine embeds last two weeks — especially as he himself was preparing to head home, following the completion of his seventh post-9/11 deployment. The battalion will return to Camp Lejeuene in early April.

Kuwayama is frustrated, and is now figuring out what to do with his reporters in Kabul who won’t be continuing on to Helmand. Residual content from the embeds still gets posted to Basetrack. But there’s a social-media question about his embed that he never got to answer.

“If you have people tracking this story on a Facebook page, does their interest translate into passing on their interest to their own social networks?” Kuwayama says. “When they ‘Like’ something, what kind of carryover does it have? Can we take this beyond this nucleus, directly connected to this battalion of Marines, and spread it out a degree or two?”

more after the jump
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/03/marines-boot-social-media/#

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« Reply #3139 on: Mar 2nd, 2011, 09:00am »

Earthquakes in Arkansas May Be Man-Made, Experts Warn

By Alec Liu & Jeremy A. Kaplan
Published March 01, 2011

FoxNews.com

The sudden swarm of earthquakes in Arkansas -- including the largest quake to hit the state in 35 years -- is very possibly an after effect of natural-gas drilling, experts warn.

At issue is a practice called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," in which water is injected into the ground at high pressure to fracture rock and release natural gas trapped within it.

Geologists don't believe the fracking itself is a problem. But Steve Horton, an earthquake specialist at the University of Memphis and hydrologic technician with the U.S. Geological Survey, is worried by a correlation between the Arkansas earthquake swarm and a side effect of the drilling: the disposal of wastewater in injection wells.

"Ninety percent of these earthquakes that have happened since 2009 have been within 6 kilometers of these salt water disposal wells," he told FoxNews.com. The timing is too coincidental to ignore, Horton said.

Salt water is a common by-product of the fracking process, and the simplest solution is to inject the toxic wastewater back into the ground. But that can lubricate the surrounding rock, experts warn, possibly leading to quakes.

"They started doing these injection wells in the area that we're talking about in April of 2009. Since that time, there has been an increase in the rate of seismicity," Horton told FoxNews.com. "The increase in the rate of activity we've seen is temporally associated with the use of these wells to dispose of fluids in the subsurface."

In 2009, the small town of Cleburne, Texas, experienced the first recorded earthquake in this Texas town's 140-year history, quickly followed by another four shortly afterwards.

Was natural gas drilling -- which began in earnest in 2001 and brought great prosperity to Cleburne and other towns across North Texas -- causing the quakes?

"I think John Q. Public thinks there is a correlation with drilling," Mayor Ted Reynolds said. "We haven't had a quake in recorded history, and all the sudden you drill and there are earthquakes."

While the debate continues, the Arkansas Oil & Gas Commission has imposed an emergency moratorium on the drilling of new injection wells in the area. Wells that were active before the moratorium, which was passed in December, can remain in operation, however.

Some facts are clear, however: Seismic activity in Arkansas does seem to be increasing lately, lending support to the theory that drilling there is having a destabilizing effect.

Scott Ausbrooks, a seismologist with the Arkansas Geological Survey, said Sunday's record quake was at the "max end" of what scientists expect to happen, basing that judgment on this swarm and others in the past. It's possible that a quake ranging from magnitude 5.0 to 5.5 could occur, but anything greater than that is highly unlikely, he said.

The central Arkansas town of Greenbrier had been plagued for months by hundreds of small earthquakes, and after being woken up by the largest quake to hit the state in 35 years, residents said Monday they're unsettled by the increasing severity and lack of warning.

The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the 4.7-magnitude quake at 11 p.m. Sunday, centered just northeast of Greenbrier, about 40 miles north of Little Rock. It was the largest of more than 800 quakes to strike the area since September in what is now being called the Guy-Greenbrier earthquake swarm.

Nearly two dozen small quakes have been recorded in Arkansas in a single day.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/03/01/fracking-earthquakes-arkansas-man-experts-warn/#ixzz1FS2oJHPm

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« Reply #3140 on: Mar 2nd, 2011, 10:22am »

Shots Fired at Bus Carrying U.S. Soldiers in Germany
Published March 02, 2011

| FoxNews.com
DEVELOPING: FRANKFURT, Germany -- Frankfurt airport says shots were fired "near or on" a bus carrying U.S. soldiers.

An airport spokesman Wednesday's shooting took place in front of Terminal 2 of what is continental Europe's second-biggest hub. He declined to be named in line with policy.

News agency DAPD reported two people were killed and two others wounded, citing Frankfurt police.

There was no immediate information on their identity or further casualties.

The BBC is reporting that police arrested a 21-year-old suspect from Kosovo.

The U.S. Army Europe said it had no immediate information on the incident but was looking into it.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/03/02/shots-fired-bus-carrying-soldiers-germany/
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« Reply #3141 on: Mar 2nd, 2011, 11:17am »

Thank you for those articles Swamp.
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« Reply #3142 on: Mar 2nd, 2011, 11:20am »

New York Times

March 2, 2011
Justices Rule for Protesters at Military Funerals
By ADAM LIPTAK

WASHINGTON — The First Amendment protects hateful protests at military funerals, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday in an 8-1 decision.

“Speech is powerful,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority. “It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and — as it did here — inflict great pain.”

But under the First Amendment, he went on, “we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker.” Instead, the national commitment to free speech, he said, requires protection of “even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate.”

The case arose from a protest at the funeral of a Marine who had died in Iraq, Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder. As they had at hundreds of other funerals, members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., appeared with signs bearing messages like “America is Doomed” and “God Hates Fags.”

The church contends that God is punishing the United States for its tolerance of homosexuality.

The father of the fallen Marine, Albert Snyder, sued the protesters for, among other things, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and won a substantial jury award that was later overturned by an appeals court.

Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the ruling that three factors required a ruling in favor of the church group. First, he said, its speech was on matters of public concern. While the messages on the signs carried by its members “may fall short of refined commentary,” the chief justice wrote, “the issues they highlight — the political and moral conduct of the United States and its citizens, the fate of our nation, homosexuality in the military and scandals involving the Catholic clergy — are matters of public import.”

Second, he wrote, the relationship between the church and the Snyders was not a private grudge.

Third, the members of the church “had the right to be where they were.” They were picketing on a public street 1,000 feet from the site of the funeral, they complied with the law and with instructions from the police, and they protested quietly and without violence.

Chief Justice Roberts suggested that the proper response to hurtful protests are general laws creating buffer zones around funerals and the like, rather than empowering of juries to punish unpopular speech.

The opinion acknowledged that “Westboro’s choice added to Mr. Snyder’s already incalculable grief” and emphasized that the ruling was narrow and limited to the kinds of protests staged by the church.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer joined the majority opinion but wrote separately to say that other sorts of speech, including television broadcasts and Internet postings, might warrant different treatment.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 21 news organizations, including The New York Times Company, filed a brief supporting the church.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented in the case, Snyder v. Phelps, No. 09-751. He likened the protest to fighting words, which are not protected by the First Amendment.

“In order to have a society in which public issues can be openly and vigorously debated,” he wrote, “it is not necessary to allow the brutalization of innocent victims.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/us/03scotus.html?hp

Crystal
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« Reply #3143 on: Mar 2nd, 2011, 11:24am »

Hollywood Reporter

Q&A: Meet New MPAA Chief Chris Dodd
7:35 PM
3/1/2011
by Alex Ben Block


The former Senator introduces himself to Hollywood, talks piracy and reveals how Warren Beatty helped him decide to take the job.

Christopher Dodd was named the chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America on Tuesday, making him the new voice and face of American movies and TV shows worldwide. After nearly four decades in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, this is a significant transition for Dodd, 66, a Democrat who has long prided himself on being able to work both sides of the aisle. Shortly after the announcement, Dodd spoke by phone from the Washington, D.C. offices of the MPAA with Hollywood Reporter Senior Editor Alex Ben Block. An edited transcript follows:

The Hollywood Reporter: Go ahead and introduce yourself to Hollywood.

Christopher Dodd: I've known a lot of the folks I'll be working with for some time and I'm really very enthusiastic. I think the experiences I've had up here for the last 36 years putting together major pieces of legislation, running a major Senate office, as well as the Democratic national committee years ago, is experience that will be of value. I served in the Peace Corps, chaired the committee dealing with Latin America for the last 30 years, so I have a strong interest in Latin America. I was the chairman of the U.S.-India caucus. I was in Mumbai not long ago and met the leadership of Bollywood at the time, but had no idea I'd be doing this.

THR: You had a lot of other job offers, some of which might have paid you more. Why did you choose to take on this job?

Dodd: I talked to a lot colleagues before I left, asking their advice. Someone said something to me very smart. They said there are jobs that have great "issues." And in other [jobs] the issues won't be great but the people will be great. This is one where actually you get both. The issues are great and the people... I must tell you -- and this is not blowing smoke -- If I didn't think these were good people I wouldn't have taken the job. I'm really impressed with (Warner Bros') Barry Meyer, (Disney's) Bob Iger, who I didn't really know that well; (Universal's) Ron Meyer and I have been friends for 30 years. And (Fox's) Jim Gianopulos I didn't know terribly well, (Sony's) Michael Lynton. These are very good people. (Paramount's) Brad Grey I've known. (SNL producer) Lorne Michaels and I have been friends for 35 years. (HBO's) Richard Plepler worked for me 30 years ago. He was on my staff. I was on the first board of the Sundance Institute. Bob Redford and Warren Beatty are good friends. I had long chats with Warren about this job privately. As with everybody else, I asked, What do you think the pros and cons were about all of this? I like the people. I love the issues. I think the digital threat issue is not just a limited issue for the film industry. It is one that cuts across intellectual property. We've got to deal with it. I think market access is going to be a huge issue and challenging. So to be involved in a great set of issues with great people, involved in a great industry, it doesn't get any better than that. Jack Valenti and my dad were great friends and he became a great friend of mine. And of course Dan Glickman and I served together and I have great fondness for Dan Glickman as well.

THR: You have young children and this job requires a lot of travel. Are you ready?

Dodd: Yes. My five year old who turned six today said, "Are you ever going to be a Senator again?" I said "What would you like me to do?" She said "I'd either like to have you run the zoo or open a candy shop." I've just taken the perfect job. I'm going to be able to do both. I'm going to run a zoo and a candy shop called the MPAA.

THR: Many believe the MPAA has lost some of its influence since Jack Valenti died. What will you do differently?

Dodd: Well, look, let me feel my way along here first. There is nothing worse than someone who is an hour into the offer and acceptance who starts pontificating about exactly what has to be done across the board. I mentioned the two big issues. I know there are others. But the digital theft issue and market access are ones we've got to deal with. These are ones that cannot go on the way they are. Obviously that's going to require a lot of cooperation. The one thing I heard over and over in my conversations with the leaders of these businesses is how determined they are, while they've got differences, to come together as a team on these issues that they face. I find that tremendously exciting. That's a major, major step in my view, to have the industry itself recognize the importance of coalescing around a set of issues we can all work on together.

THR: The studios are all part of media conglomerates with different agendas. Is reaching a consensus even possible any more?

Dodd: That's not going to change. But there are a great common set of issues as well. I've mentioned two of them. There are others as well. For the two that really require attention, I think I bring experience internationally, I understand the issues and I'm determined to bring a passion to them, to educate the American public, to educate opinion leaders in this country about how important it is. If you walk down Main St., people would arrest you if you walked into a retail store and stole items. It's called looting in some cases. That's exactly what is happening with intellectual property. It's being looted and that needs to stop. We need figure out a way to carry that message and develop a means and technique to put a stop to it.


more after the jump
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/qa-meet-new-mpaa-chief-162922

Crystal
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« Reply #3144 on: Mar 2nd, 2011, 12:38pm »

Vancouver Sun

Mount Baker eruption overdue: expert

Researchers are confident they can predict time of next burst

By Margaret Munro, Postmedia News February 25, 2011


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photo by Darren Stone


Cloaked in snow and visible across the U.S. border from Vancouver, Mount Baker looks like a gentle giant.

But volcanologist Mark Jellinek, at the University of British Columbia, says Mount Baker, located in Washington state, is probably overdue for an eruption -an explosion he and his colleagues hope to predict well in advance based on the how much "wagging" goes on inside the volcano as magma rises up from the deep.

According to their research, to be published Thursday in the journal Nature, volcanoes shake and vibrate in distinct and predictable ways when they are going to blow because giant columns of magma "wag" back and forth inside them.

"It's basically like a dog wagging its tail," says Jellinek, except that the magma columns are up to a kilometre high.

They are so powerful they shake mountains and when they blow they can hurl hot ash up to 40 kilometres into the atmosphere, with sometimes devastating impact as the ash spreads across surrounding areas. (Vancouver is far enough from Mount Baker it will be spared the worst effect, though Jellinek says he expects the city could be covered in a thick layer of fine ash. "It would make a huge mess," he says.)

It has long been known that volcanoes vibrate at pretty much the same frequency before they explode, whether they are in B.C., Alaska, the Caribbean or the Philippines. But until now no one has been able to explain why volcanoes that are so different in size and character behave in the same way.

"Magma wagging" is the most plausible explanation yet, and may help forecast deadly eruptions, say Jellinek and David Bercovici from Yale University and co-author of the new study.

Their model of the "magma wagging" explains why tremors in nearly all explosive volcanoes stay in a narrow band of frequencies that can be felt but are so high humans can't hear them. Just before and during eruptions, the frequency climbs to a higher pitch, and the range spreads out.

It provides "a fundamental mechanism for tremor that is generic to nearly all volcanically explosive systems," the researchers report.

As Bercovici put it, the shaking is both a warning "and a vital clue about what is going on in the belly of the beast."

There can be weeks to months of warning before volcanoes erupt but some come to life quickly. "The most recent eruption in the Aleutians in Alaska had five hours notice," says Jellinek. "But in general we do better than that."

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Mount+Baker+eruption+overdue+expert/4337941/story.html#ixzz1FT6x4hMo

~

I was sitting on the sofa watching the Oscars Sunday evening and my a** felt a vibration through the cushions. I thought, "...Uh, my a** should NOT be vibrating." But that was so strange and silly I didn't even say anything to Alan. I could imagine his face. rolleyes
And the jokes, tongue

Maybe Mt. Baker was wagging it's tail. Though it was a constant rather than a jolt or what you would imagine a natural phenomenon would be.

Crystal
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« Reply #3145 on: Mar 2nd, 2011, 12:59pm »

on Mar 2nd, 2011, 11:20am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
New York Times

March 2, 2011
Justices Rule for Protesters at Military Funerals
By ADAM LIPTAK

WASHINGTON — The First Amendment protects hateful protests at military funerals, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday in an 8-1 decision.

“Speech is powerful,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority. “It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and — as it did here — inflict great pain.”

But under the First Amendment, he went on, “we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker.” Instead, the national commitment to free speech, he said, requires protection of “even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate.”

The case arose from a protest at the funeral of a Marine who had died in Iraq, Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder. As they had at hundreds of other funerals, members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., appeared with signs bearing messages like “America is Doomed” and “God Hates Fags.”

The church contends that God is punishing the United States for its tolerance of homosexuality.

The father of the fallen Marine, Albert Snyder, sued the protesters for, among other things, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and won a substantial jury award that was later overturned by an appeals court.

Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the ruling that three factors required a ruling in favor of the church group. First, he said, its speech was on matters of public concern. While the messages on the signs carried by its members “may fall short of refined commentary,” the chief justice wrote, “the issues they highlight — the political and moral conduct of the United States and its citizens, the fate of our nation, homosexuality in the military and scandals involving the Catholic clergy — are matters of public import.”

Second, he wrote, the relationship between the church and the Snyders was not a private grudge.

Third, the members of the church “had the right to be where they were.” They were picketing on a public street 1,000 feet from the site of the funeral, they complied with the law and with instructions from the police, and they protested quietly and without violence.

Chief Justice Roberts suggested that the proper response to hurtful protests are general laws creating buffer zones around funerals and the like, rather than empowering of juries to punish unpopular speech.

The opinion acknowledged that “Westboro’s choice added to Mr. Snyder’s already incalculable grief” and emphasized that the ruling was narrow and limited to the kinds of protests staged by the church.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer joined the majority opinion but wrote separately to say that other sorts of speech, including television broadcasts and Internet postings, might warrant different treatment.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 21 news organizations, including The New York Times Company, filed a brief supporting the church.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented in the case, Snyder v. Phelps, No. 09-751. He likened the protest to fighting words, which are not protected by the First Amendment.

“In order to have a society in which public issues can be openly and vigorously debated,” he wrote, “it is not necessary to allow the brutalization of innocent victims.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/us/03scotus.html?hp

Crystal

Although I understand the majorities opinion, I stand with Judge Alito on this. I am from Kansas and I know the hell on earth this inbred family of lawyers can reek on communities!
His opinion that what they spout are 'Fighting Words' will come back to haunt the other justices because sooner or later some will take um-bridge at some of their antics and take it upon themselves to meet out some 'prairie justice'. It has come close to that already in their home town of Topeka because of they way they have the Town council intimidated. They will be punished one way or another. Probably sooner than most think!
This whole family and the 60-70 followers are fanatics who will stop at nothing short of their own deaths to accomplish their patriarch's miss guided fervor! God help the parents of slain Soldiers. These skunks of the first order will be emboldened and start an even worse crusade now that they have been given the green light of the SCOTUS!

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« Reply #3146 on: Mar 2nd, 2011, 1:29pm »

on Mar 2nd, 2011, 12:59pm, LoneGunMan wrote:
Although I understand the majorities opinion, I stand with Judge Alito on this. I am from Kansas and I know the hell on earth this inbred family of lawyers can reek on communities!
His opinion that what they spout are 'Fighting Words' will come back to haunt the other justices because sooner or later some will take um-bridge at some of their antics and take it upon themselves to meet out some 'prairie justice'. It has come close to that already in their home town of Topeka because of they way they have the Town council intimidated. They will be punished one way or another. Probably sooner than most think!
This whole family and the 60-70 followers are fanatics who will stop at nothing short of their own deaths to accomplish their patriarch's miss guided fervor! God help the parents of slain Soldiers. These skunks of the first order will be emboldened and start an even worse crusade now that they have been given the green light of the SCOTUS!

Lone


Hi Lone,
The way this "family" behaves will certainly end up causing a situation that will turn violent and ugly.
Crystal
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« Reply #3147 on: Mar 2nd, 2011, 1:31pm »

I agree, LGM. This is an appalling decision! Justice Alito is quite correct!-----

“In order to have a society in which public issues can be openly and vigorously debated,” he wrote, “it is not necessary to allow the brutalization of innocent victims.”

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« Reply #3148 on: Mar 2nd, 2011, 2:07pm »

In case all here don't know..this whole family are lawyers! Very good lawyers...unfortunately!!! That's why I called them 'Skunks of the First Order'!!!

Lone angry

I have to add for your displeasure that this family has now taken their road show of bigotry and hate and pornograhy to our schools. That's right, to our kids. Not just high school or college either. They are protesting in front of grammar schools with kids as young as 5. Just think about those poster with the language and pictures on them being seen by those youngins'! Like I said, prairie justice will probably be forth coming very soon for these dregs of society!

SCOTUS will have to live with this decision. Only Alito will be able to say 'I told you so!

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« Reply #3149 on: Mar 2nd, 2011, 6:27pm »

I just heard on the news that the Snyders will have to pay the legal fees for this case. Mr. Snyder estimates it will be over $100,000.00. Insult to injury. He wanted to bury his son. In the same news piece they said that the VFW has offered to stand as buffers at military funerals to protect the families.
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