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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 95061 times)
HAL9000
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7245 on: Aug 27th, 2012, 12:02pm »

Lone,

Re 7244 above.

I don't see why you are being so bull-headed about this.

The meter belongs to the company. They have a right of access to service and maintain their equipment. If you deny them this right then I suspect that you are breaking some clause in the small print of your supply agreement.
At this point they can terminate the agreement. I.e cut you off. They will probably wait until the coldest day in winter to do this.

Why should they take your word for the meter readings ?

The only reason people usually refuse entry to a legitimate company employee is when they have something to hide.

Surely is you think their figures are wrong it is in your own interest to let them take the reading to prove your point.

I send in my gas and electricity reading via the Internet. But occasionally the company meter reader comes around to confirm them. I see no problem with this.

If you try and sue them, you will lose.

HAL
« Last Edit: Aug 27th, 2012, 12:02pm by HAL9000 » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7246 on: Aug 28th, 2012, 10:26am »

Washington Post

France urges action in Syria

By Anne Gearan and Babak Dehghanpisheh
Published: August 27

Scattershot diplomatic efforts aimed at curbing the worsening violence in Syria grew more complicated Monday, with France urging world recognition of a shadow Syrian government that the United States considers premature.

In making his plea, French President Francois Hollande became the first Western leader to call on Syria’s rebel movement to form a provisional government, putting additional pressure on President Obama to back the diplomatic gambit or authorize U.S. military action to protect civilians.

Hollande said he hoped an internationally recognized alternative Syrian government would speed the fall of President Bashar al-Assad. The United States supports such a unified movement, but on Monday it declined to endorse Hollande’s proposal, which would provide Western backing to a decentralized movement that could include extremist elements.

The latest appeal reflects growing frustration — in France and elsewhere in Europe — with international inaction to stop the bloodshed in Syria. On Monday, at least 148 people were killed in an offensive by Syrian government forces in Damascus and the surrounding area, according to opposition activists. At least 42 people died in an aerial bombardment in the northeast suburb of Zamalka.

Earlier in the day, Syrian rebels shot down a military helicopter over Damascus, according to the rebel Free Syrian Army. Dramatic video footage of the helicopter attack, posted online Monday, showed a smoking aircraft circling horizontally before taking a dramatic vertical dip and plunging to the ground in flames.

The sound of heavy machine-gun fire can be heard on the video, along with chants of “God is great.”

U.S. officials and outside military experts said it is doubtful that rebels used shoulder-fired or surface-to-air missiles to bring down the helicopter. Those weapons are considered game-changers, and it is unclear whether the rebels have been able to get them.

An estimated 20,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict, which grew out of pro­democracy protests that began in March 2011. By some measures, the violence has intensified in recent weeks.

On Saturday in the Damascus suburb of Darayya, more than 320 people were killed, many of them shot in the head, in what opposition groups described as the largest massacre of the conflict.

Hollande’s proposal stopped short of an international call to arms but nonetheless recalled former French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s early insistence that the world must act to stop atrocities in Libya under Moammar Gaddafi. Although the White House chafed at the pressure, Sarkozy’s readiness to use warplanes to enforce a zone of protection inside Libya helped drive the Obama administration’s embrace of a no-fly zone.

“France asks the Syrian opposition to form a provisional government — inclusive and representative — that can become the legitimate representative of the new Syria,” Hollande said in a speech to France’s corps of ambassadors.

Many Western nations and Arab countries have called for Assad to leave power, but none has formally recognized the opposition as the country’s legitimate leaders.

Such a government-in-waiting would require Syria’s badly divided political opposition and anti-Assad rebel fighters to unite behind a slate of leaders and a platform. It would probably also mean that extremists would be included among the would-be rulers.

The groups fighting Assad have many motives, and the factions have been slow to coordinate. U.S. officials said they are only now seeing expatriate activists make good on a promise to recruit support inside Syria for a set of unity principles they drafted in early July. The pact would commit rebels and political opposition figures to resist sectarian reprisals and respect human rights.

“They are continuing to confer among themselves,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said of the Syrian opposition factions. “What’s most important is that, moving forward, the Syrian opposition outside Syria and the Syrian opposition inside Syria coordinate and collaborate” on the framework and leadership for the country after Assad.

With no appetite in Europe for a major military action similar to last year’s intervention in Libya, attention has focused on political demands that Assad step down, rhetoric that could be strengthened by the formation of an alternative government in exile.

But U.S. officials are concerned that forming a provisional government gets ahead of both the opposition’s internal discussions and international readiness to respond to the conflict. Of greater immediate concern is a plan to deal with refugees flowing into Turkey, Jordan and elsewhere, and consensus on whether protection for refugees might extend to a military-enforced safe zone inside Syria.

France supports the creation of “free zones” for the protection of displaced people inside Syria, such as an idea floated by Turkey of a buffer zone, Hollande said.

France has also convened a U.N. meeting on Syria this week. The meeting coincides with the final day of France’s one-month rotating leadership of the Security Council.

On Monday, Turkey reopened border crossings to a tide of Syrian refugees but warned anew that it cannot house or pay for the influx alone.

Italy, Turkey, the United States and other nations with a large stake in Syria will host a separate strategy session in Rome on Wednesday. Egypt suggested a regional meeting that would include Syria’s patron Iran, but that idea has apparently fizzled.

Iran says it plans talks on a peace plan to end the civil war but has not provided details.


Dehghanpisheh reported from Beirut.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/france-urges-action-in-syria/2012/08/27/049e758a-f07f-11e1-ba17-c7bb037a1d5b_story.html?hpid=z1

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« Reply #7247 on: Aug 28th, 2012, 10:33am »

Wired

Botched Spacewalks, Crash Landings, and Smuggled Sandwiches: Spaceflight’s Most Badass Maneuvers

By Adam Mann
August 28, 2012 | 6:30 am
Categories: Space


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Image: A Titan booster launches the Gemini VIII spacecraft. NASA


We in the modern world have grown used to the wonders of the Space Age. Rockets routinely launch people, probes, and satellites into space, making this once gutsy business seem almost humdrum.

But it’s always a good thing to be reminded of the pluck and determination it takes to strap something to a giant firecracker, light the fuse, and hope that everything goes according to plan. With the recent passing of Neil Armstrong, one of spaceflight’s great heroes, we thought we’d pay tribute to a few of the most amazing and badass maneuvers in spaceflight history.

In this gallery you can find out about the men, women, and a few robots that had the right stuff to keep cool under the most difficult conditions. As everyone knows, breaking the bonds with Earth and floating around in space is already inherently badass so our list is subjective. Please feel free to let us know anything we missed in the comments.

Above:

Armstrong and Agena

The late great Neil Armstrong, whose daring knew no bounds, makes it on our list not once, not twice, but with three counts of spaceflight badassness (and that’s not even counting his awesome role as first man on the moon).

For starters there’s this well-known moment, during Armstrong’s days with the Gemini program. On his first trip to space, Armstrong and his fellow astronaut David Scott coasted their Gemini VIII capsule to the first successful docking in orbit, rendezvousing with the unmanned Agena spacecraft. Shortly after docking, with mission control out of communications range, Scott noticed Gemini was banking and that the Agena was likely to blame. Armstrong realized he would have to pull away to inspect the unmanned vehicle for problems. But when they backed off, their real problems began.

Gemini VIII began tumbling end over end at a dizzying rate of one revolution per second, leaving Armstrong and Scott with blurred vision and in danger of blacking out. Armstrong used his hand controls to steady the vehicle but with such problems, he also knew they would have to make an emergency landing.

With NASA’s tracking stations out of range, the astronauts weren’t quite sure where they would come down. Armstrong feared it would be in some remote wilderness where they would be hard to find. Gemini VIII eventually splashed down in rough swells about 500 miles east of Okinawa in the Pacific, with rescue vehicles recovering them shortly thereafter.

gallery after the jump:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/08/badass-spaceflight-history/

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« Reply #7248 on: Aug 28th, 2012, 10:36am »

Reuters

Bomber kills Islamic leader, 5 others in Russia: police

Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:49am EDT

MAKHACHKALA, Russia (Reuters) - A female suicide bomber killed an Islamic spiritual leader and at least five other people on Tuesday in the Dagestan region in Russia's North Caucasus, a police source said.

Said Atsayev, a leading Sufi Muslim cleric in the mostly Muslim region, was killed along with five followers and the bomber at his home in the village of Chirkey, the source said.

The attack came as President Vladimir Putin visited Tatarstan, a mostly Muslim region far to the north, and called for religious tolerance following attacks on mainstream Muslim leaders there last month.

"Religious tolerance has been one of the foundations of Russian statehood for centuries," Putin said before granting a state award to Tatarstan's chief mufti, who survived a car bombing in July on the same day as one of his deputies was shot dead.

"Those who want to destroy this statehood are taking aim at this (tolerance)," Putin said. "But the criminals will never achieve their dirty goals. They have no future. They will not succeed - not here in Tatarstan and the Volga region, not in the North Caucasus, not in any region of our big country."

It was not clear whether Putin knew of the latest attack in Dagestan before he made his comments.

More than a decade after federal forces toppled a separatist government in a war in Chechnya, Russia is struggling to contain an Islamic insurgency that has spread to neighboring Dagestan and other mostly Muslim provinces of the North Caucasus.

Militants fighting to carve an Islamic state from the North Caucasus stage attacks on officials and law enforcement personnel almost daily but have also increasingly targeted mainstream Muslim leaders backed by the authorities.

Atsayev was also known as Sheikh Said Afandi.

Putin, who started a six-year term in May, is eager to prevent the militant Islam that fuels the insurgency in the Caucasus from gaining ground in long-peaceful Tatarstan and neighboring Bashkortostan, also heavily Muslim.

(Writing by Steve Gutterman, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/28/us-russia-caucasus-attack-idUSBRE87R0M820120828

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« Reply #7249 on: Aug 28th, 2012, 10:39am »

Seattle Times

Originally published August 28, 2012 at 5:15 AM
Page modified August 28, 2012 at 5:56 AM

Oil rises above $96 on Tropical Storm Isaac

The price of oil rose to above $96 a barrel on Tuesday as weather forecasters said Tropical Storm Isaac, which was causing oil production cuts in the Gulf of Mexico, could soon gain intensity and turn into a hurricane.

By PABLO GORONDI
Associated Press

The price of oil rose to above $96 a barrel on Tuesday as weather forecasters said Tropical Storm Isaac, which was causing oil production cuts in the Gulf of Mexico, could soon gain intensity and turn into a hurricane.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for October delivery was up 61 cents to $96.08 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Monday, the contract fell 68 cents to close at $95.47.

In London, Brent crude rose 34 cents to $112.60 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

So far, Tropical Storm Isaac has led to refineries with the combined capacity to refine 1 million barrels of oil per day to begin suspending operations. The U.S. consumes about 19 million barrels of oil products per day.

Although the storm isn't expected to damage refineries, refinery owners often shut down operations in advance of a storm. If refineries lose power suddenly, it can take several days to restart them. If refiners conduct what is known as an orderly shutdown, operations can be restarted as soon as the source of power is assured.

Oil analyst Stephen Schork said in an email commentary that traders are focusing on a Venezuelan refinery fire, Tropical Storm Isaac and U.S. consumer confidence, which he said was expected to rise for the month of August.

Rising confidence is a sign that consumers might be ready to spend, which could lead to an increase in fuel consumption and move prices higher.

Another factor pushing up prices was an intense fire at the Amuay refinery in western Venezuela. The fire has been burning since a huge explosion at the refinery on Saturday caused a suspension of operations there.

Investors will also be monitoring fresh information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products.

Data for the week ending Aug. 24 is expected to show draws of 2 million barrels in crude oil stocks and 2 million barrels in gasoline stocks, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

The American Petroleum Institute will release its report on oil stocks later Tuesday, while the report from the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration - the market benchmark - will be out on Wednesday.

In other Nymex energy trading, gasoline was down 1.89 cents to $2.9311, while natural gas lost 4.2 cents to $2.611 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil added 1.79 cents to $3.1374 a gallon.


Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2019005765_apoilprices.html

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« Reply #7250 on: Aug 29th, 2012, 08:52am »

Reuters

Hollande spurs action on jobs plan as ratings slip

Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:38am EDT

PARIS (Reuters) - The French government is fast-tracking the introduction of a program to tackle rampant unemployment following a slide in President Francois Hollande's approval ratings.

Parliament will reconvene on September 10, two weeks earlier than anticipated, and its first task will be to examine a state-sponsored youth job creation scheme, government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said on Wednesday.

The program was approved by the cabinet earlier in the day.

She told a news conference it had been decided to move the session forward to ease congestion given the draft law was ready.

French media saw it as a reaction to a rash of surveys showing Hollande's ratings have tumbled to below 50 percent and most people feel he is acting too slowly to resolve the country's problems.

Unemployment in France was running at 10.1 percent in June, according to the EU's statistics agency Eurostat - below the euro area average of 11.2 percent but far higher than Germany's 5.4 percent.

The government's biggest legislative challenge for the weeks ahead will be the 2013 budget, due to go before parliament on September 24. Despite Hollande's comfortable majority, the bill is expected to provoke fierce debate as it needs to slash around 30 billion euros ($38 billion) from the state deficit to comply with EU commitments.

Legislation to ratify the European Union's budget responsibility pact, which ties governments to deficit targets, will be put to parliament in early October and is also expected to provoke dissent from the Socialist Party's left wing.

Hollande's approval ratings have slid faster than any other recent president since his May election as voters lose faith in his ability to deliver on campaign pledges to fix surging unemployment and anemic growth.

Since returning from the summer break, the government has announced a raft of measures aimed at helping households, including lowering fuel prices for a three-month period and permanently raising the ceiling on tax-free saving accounts.

"We are more focused on economic trends than poll trends," Vallaud-Belkacem said. "We will win over the people if we revive the economy, and that's what we're trying to do."

A survey by TNS Sofres for the weekly Le Figaro magazine to be published on Friday shows Hollande's confidence rating slipping by 5 points from July to 50 percent. 'No confidence' responses rose by 6 points to 45 percent. ($1 = 0.7958 euros)

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas and Daniel Flynn; Editing by Ruth Pitchford; Editing by Catherine Bremer/Ruth Pitchford)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/29/us-france-government-idUSBRE87S0JA20120829

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« Reply #7251 on: Aug 29th, 2012, 08:58am »

Washington Post

SEAL book depicts Osama bin Laden shot on sight in hallway, contradicting original account

By Associated Press, Published: August 28
Updated: Wednesday, August 29, 5:47 AM

WASHINGTON — A firsthand account of the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden contradicts previous accounts by administration officials, raising questions as to whether the terror mastermind presented a clear threat when SEALs first fired upon him.

Bin Laden apparently was hit in the head when he looked out of his bedroom door into the top-floor hallway of his compound as SEALs rushed up a narrow stairwell in his direction, according to former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen in “No Easy Day.” The book is to be published next week by Penguin Group (USA)’s Dutton imprint.

Bissonnette says he was directly behind a “point man” going up the stairs in the pitch black hallway. “Less than five steps” from top of the stairs, he heard “suppressed” gunfire: “BOP. BOP.” The point man had seen a “man peeking out of the door” on the right side of the hallway.

The author writes that bin Laden ducked back into his bedroom and the SEALs followed, only to find the terrorist crumpled on the floor in a pool of blood with a hole visible on the right side of his head and two women wailing over his body.

Bissonnette says the point man pulled the two women out of the way and shoved them into a corner and he and the other SEALs trained their guns’ laser sites on bin Laden’s still-twitching body, shooting him several times until he lay motionless. The SEALs later found two weapons stored by the doorway, untouched, the author said.

In the account related by administration officials after the raid in Pakistan, the SEALs shot bin Laden only after he ducked back into the bedroom because they assumed he might be reaching for a weapon.

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor would not comment on the apparent contradiction late Tuesday. But he said in an email, “As President Obama said on the night that justice was brought to Osama bin Laden, ‘We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country.’”

“No Easy Day” was due out Sept. 11, but Dutton announced the book would be available a week early, Sept. 4, because of a surge of orders due to advance publicity that drove the book to the top of the Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com best-seller lists.

The Associated Press purchased a copy of the book Tuesday.

The account is sure to again raise questions as to whether the raid was intended to capture or simply to kill bin Laden. Bissonette writes that during a pre-raid briefing, a lawyer from “either” the White House or Defense Department told them that they were not on an assassination mission. According to Bissonnette, the lawyer said that if bin Laden was “naked with his hands up,” they should not “engage” him. If bin Laden did not pose a threat, they should “detain him.”

In another possibly uncomfortable revelation for U.S. officials who say bin Laden’s body was treated with dignity before being given a full Muslim burial at sea, the author reveals that in the cramped helicopter flight out of the compound, one of the SEALs called “Walt” — one of the pseudonyms the author used for his fellow SEALs — was sitting on bin Laden’s chest as the body lay at the author’s feet in the middle of the cabin, for the short flight to a refueling stop inside Pakistan where a third helicopter was waiting.

This is common practice, as troops sometimes must sit on their own war dead in packed helicopters. Space was cramped because one of the helicopters had crashed in the initial assault, leaving little space for the roughly two dozen commandos in the two aircraft that remained. When the commandos reached the third aircraft, bin Laden’s body was moved to it.

Bissonnette writes disparagingly that none of the SEALs were fans of President Barack Obama and knew that his administration would take credit for ordering the May 2011 raid. One of the SEALs said after the mission that they had just gotten Obama re-elected by carrying out the raid.

But he says they respected him as commander in chief and for giving the operation the go-ahead.

Bissonnette writes less flatteringly of meeting Vice President Joe Biden along with Obama at the headquarters of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment after the raid. He says Biden told “lame jokes” no one understood, reminding him of “someone’s drunken uncle at Christmas dinner.”

Beyond such embarrassing observations, U.S. officials fear the book may include classified information, as it did not undergo the formal review required by the Pentagon for works published by former or current Defense Department employees.

Officials from the Pentagon and the CIA, which commanded the mission, are examining the manuscript for possible disclosure of classified information and could take legal action against the author.

In a statement provided to The Associated Press, the author says he did “not disclose confidential or sensitive information that would compromise national security in any way.”

Bissonnette’s real name was first revealed by Fox News and confirmed to The Associated Press.

Jihadists on al-Qaida websites have posted purported photos of the author, calling for his murder.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/seal-book-depicts-bin-laden-as-unarmed-when-shot-in-hallway-contradicting-original-account/2012/08/29/b097d664-f193-11e1-b74c-84ed55e0300b_story.html?hpid=z4

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« Reply #7252 on: Aug 29th, 2012, 09:02am »

Wired

Marines vs. Zetas: U.S. Hunts Drug Cartels in Guatemala
By Robert Beckhusen
August 29, 2012 | 6:30 am
Categories: Army and Marines

The war on drugs just got a whole lot more warlike. Two hundred U.S. Marines have entered Guatemala, on a mission to chase local operatives of the murderous Zeta drug cartel.

The Marines are now encamped after having deployed to Guatemala earlier this month, and have just “kicked off” their share of Operation Martillo, or Hammer. That operation began earlier in January, and is much larger than just the Marine contingent and involves the Navy, Coast Guard, and federal agents working with the Guatemalans to block drug shipment routes.

It’s a big shift for U.S. forces in the region. For years, the Pentagon has sent troops to Guatemala, but these missions have been pretty limited to exercising “soft power” — training local soldiers, building roads and schools. Operation Martillo is something quite different.

The news comes as two U.S. agents wounded in an attack in Mexico last week were discovered to be likely working for the CIA. The attack appears to be a case of mistaken identity after the agents fled from a Federal Police checkpoint, thinking the plain-clothed Mexican cops were cartel members. Police, seeing the agents’ bulletproof SUV flee their checkpoint, presumably thought the same thing, followed them and shot up their car. The agents have now been discovered as likely working for the CIA, as one of the wounded agents’ false identity was linked to a post office box in Virginia previously tied to CIA rendition flights.

The Marines’ share of the operation involves chasing drug traffickers with UH-1N Huey helicopters. The Marine contingent has four of the choppers, and the Marines are carrying weapons. “It’s not every day that you have 200-some Marines going to a country in Central and South America aside from conducting training exercises,” Staff Sgt. Earnest Barnes, the public affairs chief for Marine Corps Forces South, tells Danger Room. Prior to the Marines’ deployment, there were only a “handful” of Marines in the country, Barnes says.

However, the Marines can’t technically use their guns except in self-defense, and Barnes wouldn’t say whether they’re authorized to pursue drug traffickers on the ground. The description of what they’re doing, however, suggests that they probably can’t. Instead, they’ll be looking out for suspicious boats — including crude narco-submarines — and then radio the Guatemalans, who do the work seizing their drugs and arresting cartel members. That could be on rivers, or along Guatemala’s two coastlines, reports the Marine Corps Times.

“Overall the Marines are there to provide aerial detection and monitoring, and aerial surveillance, and so the appropriate authorities can do their job, whether it being Guatemalan military or some other form of law enforcement agency or authority to perform their duties,” Barnes says. Among the force are pilots and communication teams, as well as combat engineers to build landing sites.

On the other hand, just because the Marines may not be officially authorized to stop drug traffickers — instead only spot them — doesn’t mean they won’t be drawn into a conflict. The drug war is messy and involves going after criminal groups that don’t for the most part wear uniforms or identify themselves as cartel members. Nor is it true to say the U.S. isn’t already involved in a shooting war in Guatemala, with potentially ill consequences.

On the night of May 11, Honduran troops along with Drug Enforcement Administration agents allegedly killed two civilians — possibly four according to local accounts — including a pregnant woman. According to a report released this month by the Center for Economic Policy and Research, Guatemalan troops and U.S. agents seized a boat on a river containing cocaine near the town of Ahuas, when another boat — containing civilians — rammed into the first boat in the darkness. DEA agents and Guatemalan troops circling in a helicopter then fired on the second boat (.pdf). The U.S. has denied that any of its agents took part.

The DEA isn’t a military organization, but what the Ahuas shootings represented was a military approach to the drug war gone bad. A case of mistaken identity, sure, as the mayor of Ahuas said following the shootings. But it also reflects a danger of stopping drugs at the point of a gun.

The Ahuas shooting “demonstrates the risks of flooding foreign countries with armed representatives of the U.S. government, to fight an enemy that is largely indistinguishable from the civilian population on unknown terrain,” wrote Patrick Corcoran of InSight, a Latin America crime monitor. ”The Ahuas shooting may not have been inevitable, but as Americans take a more hands-on role, such scandals are likely to be repeated,” he wrote.

On the other hand, as Mexico’s drug violence worsened, cartels like the Zetas began spilling over Mexico’s southern border. Guatemala is now a base for the Zetas, who use the country’s remote northern region shipment route for narcotics and weapons. In February, Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina said his country is “not doing what the United States says, we are doing what we have to do” — in other words, decriminalize drugs. But Molina has also emphasized cracking down on the cartels in a mano drua, or “iron fist,” approach to crime.

Now, on the contrary, the U.S. hasn’t gone anywhere close to suggesting drugs be decriminalized. Gen. Douglas Fraser, the head of U.S. forces in South and Central America, said last year to the House Armed Sevices Committee that “the violence continues to increase in Central America, and that’s where and why we are focusing there.”

That’s where the Marines come in. And as far as the Zetas go, the U.S. hasn’t directly confronted them with troops. Mexico City will absolutely not allow it. Guatemala is different, which means the distance between the gun barrels of a militarized cartel, and that of the U.S. military, could start to get much shorter.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/08/marinesvszetas/

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« Reply #7253 on: Aug 29th, 2012, 09:05am »

Science Daily

Lunar 'Hit-And-Run': New Research Eclipses Existing Theories On Formation of the Moon

ScienceDaily (Aug. 29, 2012)

The Moon is believed to have formed from a collision, 4.5 billion years ago, between Earth and an impactor the size of Mars, known as "Theia." Over the past decades scientists have simulated this process and reproduced many of the properties of the Earth-Moon system; however, these simulations have also given rise to a problem known as the Lunar Paradox: the Moon appears to be made up of material that would not be expected if the current collision theory is correct.

A recent study published in Icarus proposes a new perspective on the theory in answer to the paradox.

If current theories are to be believed, analyses of the various simulations of the Earth-Theia collision predict that the Moon is mostly made up of material from Theia. However, studying materials from both Earth and the Moon, shows remarkable similarities. In fact, elements found on the Moon show identical isotopic properties to those found on Earth.

Given it is very unlikely that both Theia and Earth had identical isotopic compositions (as all other known solar system bodies, except the Moon, appear to be different) this paradox casts doubt over the dominant theory for the Moon formation. Moreover, for some elements, like Silicon, the isotopic composition is the result of internal processes, related to the size of the parent body. Given Theia was smaller than Earth, its Silicon isotope composition should have definitely been different from that of Earth's mantle.

A group of researchers from the University of Bern, Switzerland, have now made a significant breakthrough in the story of the formation of the Moon, suggesting an answer to this Lunar Paradox. They explored a different geometry of collisions than previously simulated, also considering new impacts configurations such as the so-called, "hit-and-run collisions," where a significant amount of material is lost into space on orbits unbound to Earth..

"Our model considers new impact parameters, which were never tested before. Besides the implications for the Earth-Moon system itself, the considerably higher impact velocity opens up new possibilities for the origin of the impactor and therefore also for models of terrestrial planet formation," explains lead author of the study, Andreas Reufer.

"While none of the simulations presented in their research provides a perfect match for the constraints from the actual Earth-Moon-system, several do come close," adds Alessandro Morbidelli, one of the Icarus' Editors. "This work, therefore, suggests that a future exhaustive exploration of the vast collisional parameter space may finally lead to the long-searched solution of the lunar paradox."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120829064827.htm

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« Reply #7254 on: Aug 30th, 2012, 09:25am »

Washington Post

Five Australian troops killed in Afghanistan as insider attacks continue

By Sayed Salahuddin
Updated: Thursday, August 30, 2:59 AM

KABUL – Five Australian troops were killed in two separate incidents in Afghanistan Wednesday and Thursday, making it the bloodiest 24-hour period for Canberra in the war and adding to growing concern about attacks on foreign troops by rogue Afghan soldiers.

Three troops were relaxing at their base in southern Uruzgan province when they were shot at close range by an Afghan man wearing a military uniform, Australia’s Vice Chief of Air Defense Force told reporters in Sydney.

The shooter managed to escape by scaling a fence after the incident late on Wednesday, Air Marshal Mark Binskin was quoted as saying. Two Australian soldiers were wounded.

Binskin said two other Australian troops died Thursday when their helicopter rolled over in Helmand, which also lies in the south and is a militant stronghold. The NATO-led coalition said there was no enemy activity at the time of the crash; the incident is under investigation.

Australian premier Julia Gillard called the loss of the five military personnel the single worst day for her country in war since the Vietnam conflict.

The deaths from Wednesday’s shooting attack, also known as an “insider” or “green on blue” attack, brings the total number of foreign troops killed by rogue Afghan security forces in August to 14. Apart from the Australians killed Wednesday, almost all of the victims were Americans.

As concern and suspicion builds between foreign forces and Afghan troops, NATO has ordered soldiers to carry loaded weapons at all times. NATO said this week that a quarter of the recent “insider” attacks were conducted by Taliban-led insurgents who had infiltrated the ranks of Afghan forces.

And the Afghan government, while blaming the attacks on “spies” from neighboring countries, has adopted some measures to stop the trend. Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the latest attack in a statement from Tehran, where he is attending a summit of Non-Aligned Movement. Karzai said the recent attacks have been carried out by groups wanting to create mistrust between the foreign troops and the Afghan forces they are training and equipping.

Attacks against Afghans are also ongoing. The chief for the provincial council of Ghazni province was gunned down Wednesday evening in an attack by militants, a spokesman for the Taliban and a provincial official reported.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/australia-suffers-its-worst-day-in-afghan-war-as-insider-attacks-continue/2012/08/30/55c37d42-f274-11e1-a612-3cfc842a6d89_story.html

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« Reply #7255 on: Aug 30th, 2012, 09:29am »

Seattle Times

Originally published August 29, 2012 at 9:24 PM
Page modified August 30, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Midwest drought to hit home with higher food prices

The government expects food prices to climb 3 to 4 percent next year because of higher meat prices.

By Melissa Allison
Seattle Times business reporter

Costco Wholesale already is paying more for chicken.

It hasn't passed the increase on to customers yet, but the federal government says consumers will pay 3 to 4 percent more for food next year — largely a result of the drought in the Midwest, which has decimated a corn crop used to feed chickens, pigs and cows.

"Pork will be next. Beef can take longer," said Jeff Lyons, Costco's senior vice president of fresh foods.

The worst drought in decades is expected to reverberate in the meat-consuming public's pocketbook, as fewer animals and more expensive feed crops rock the economics of the cattle, pork and poultry industries.

Many are bracing for higher prices, but how high they will go remains unknown while the drought and its impact, along with other food-price variables, play out.

Chicken suppliers have tried to pass along their entire 7 percent cost increase, but Issaquah-based Costco agreed to pay only part of it.

"They're trying to get healthy all at once," Lyons said, "and we said, 'We can help you right now and then see what takes place. The corn is not even in the barn yet.' "

If the government curbs its plans for ethanol production, for example, there will be more corn to feed livestock, he and others said. And if the corn harvest in Latin America is strong, corn prices could drop — sending chicken and pork down as well.

A longer-term problem could be the cattle supply.

Their numbers are already low from years of ranchers getting out of the business and a lingering drought in Texas and Oklahoma. The past 15 years have seen a 10 percent drop in the number of cattle and calves — to 97.8 million animals, the lowest in decades.

With the price of feed skyrocketing, ranchers are selling cows earlier than they wanted to avoid pouring more money into them — and increasing the supply of cattle takes longer than it does for chickens or pigs.

Ranchers also are selling heifers for slaughter. Rebuilding the supply of mother cows will take even longer than simply raising new calves.

The short-term result is a glut of fresh beef, which sent prices down this summer.

Payback is expected beginning in the winter, when there will be fewer cattle to slaughter and fewer heifers than usual to rebuild the supply.

So far, Washington cattle ranchers are not suffering from the feed-price increases. Some have their own corn and hay, said Nate Hair, president of the Cattle Producers of Washington who runs Rock Creek Cattle in Edwall, Lincoln County.

Hair might even benefit. He plans to buy 40 to 45 pregnant cows this fall and sell them next spring when prices are expected to be higher.

The trick is to dodge a drought or other catastrophe while the animals are growing, he said.

"Farmers have the Farm Bill and various programs to fall back on, but ranchers are the last of the Wild West," Hair said. "We don't get into the politics of taking any money. We're gamblers."

But not everyone can capitalize on the expected price increase.

Jerry Haun, who owns a small meat-processing operation in Walla Walla called Haun's Meats, said he has lined up fewer jobs this fall because some of the small farmers he works with could not afford to buy and feed as many cows as they had hoped at this year's prices, even though prices are expected to rise and stay high next year.

Although corn prices have doubled, Ralph Cavalieri, director of the Agricultural Research Center at Washington State University, said other factors could be more important.

"The price of grain is a small component of the price of food we ultimately buy," Cavalieri said. "Many other factors figure in there, chief of which is energy cost."

The energy that goes into processing, packaging and transporting food could affect prices more than the drought, he said.

As an example, Cavalieri figures the cost of corn in a 12-ounce box of cornflakes has risen from 5 or 6 cents to 11 cents since 2004 — most of it this year, because of the drought. Yet the price of that box to consumers rose from about $3 in 2004 to $3.80 this year.

"The cost of corn is a very small component of the cost of a box of cornflakes in the retail market," he said.

That reasoning has led Dwayne Northrop, founder of the Everett-based pizza chain Garlic Jim's, to buy ingredients as close to Washington as he can to cut energy costs.

"We're seeing none of it," he said of drought-related cost increases. "Our boxes are made by Smurfit-Stone in Portland, most of our meats come from California and our cheese is from Idaho."

Northrop used to buy cheese from Buffalo, N.Y., but found a supplier in Idaho a couple of years ago after fuel costs spiked.

He also brought production of gluten-free crusts in-house, which means price increases on a national scale are less likely to hurt him.

"If something happened in Washington that hit flour, then I'd be scrambling," he said. "But at the [franchise] store level, it helps me, because I eat the price increases that [food supplier] Sysco would pass on."

http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2019022883_foodprices30.html

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« Reply #7256 on: Aug 30th, 2012, 09:32am »







Published on Aug 29, 2012 by StephenHannardADGUK

Considering the abuse I received for my last video concerning possible UFOs on Mars, this one should at least get the sceptics chewing, and the ones who are fully awake, thinking. Please note: I am not claiming these are Extraterrestrial craft, I am getting the info out there, that's what I do, and letting folks decide what they could be. Whatever these anomalies really are, they are not image artefacts or dead pixels, or dirt on the lense. If it was dirt, it would appear on all the shots taken by that camera. Check the pics yourself on the NASA website. Peace

~

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« Reply #7257 on: Aug 30th, 2012, 09:39am »

Telegraph

Robot sculptures made out of broken gadgets and toys, by Giuseppe Fogarizzu


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« Reply #7258 on: Aug 30th, 2012, 09:44am »




Please be an angel



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http://www.soldiersangels.org/




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« Reply #7259 on: Aug 30th, 2012, 12:30pm »

This is a puny ad, doesn't say much, but here it is.

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Bigfoot

date: Friday, August 31, 2012

venue: Amplyfi

address: 5617 1/2 Melrose Ave

Los Angeles, CA 90038

View map: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=5617+1%2F2+Melrose+Ave%2C+Los+Angeles



Bigfoot on 8/31/2012 at Amplyfi

category:Arts and Entertainment

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http://www.americantowns.com/ca/losangeles/events?date=2012-08-31

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