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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 127805 times)
Reasoner
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8580 on: May 31st, 2013, 12:10pm »

on May 31st, 2013, 10:02am, WingsofCrystal wrote:



Published on May 30, 2013

I captyured this amazing Organic,Biological entity.This object was flying slowly from Wollongong towards the Sydney City centre or the North shore."North Sydney"

~

Crystal



This video makes me suspicious. I've only yet watched it with the sound off, but for the entire clip, I see only this object against a non-descript background, with occasional fast "lights" swimming in the foreground. If a sound track is dubbed over this, it could sound like anything. There's no way to place where this is, nor any way to validate what's being recorded is even in the sky at all. It looks to me like a view through a microscope of a very small creature in a liquid solution, with maybe some sort of light source hyper illuminating the solution.

ADDENDUM: at around 5:25, the object is seen drifting to the lower part of the video. Why? if you think the object has any kind of motility, it should be moving up or coming toward the camera. Instead, it is drifting down. The magnification level stays the same, but the camera operator is forced to move the camera to get the object back to center, and does this without changing focus. My explanation? If the object is in an aqueous solution, the solution is moving the object out of the camera's view.
« Last Edit: May 31st, 2013, 12:23pm by Reasoner » User IP Logged

no more evil. bury the hatchet. there's enough bad out there, we need more good
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8581 on: May 31st, 2013, 2:08pm »

"Does that soldier in the photo above have duct tape on his hip? I like how he thinks." grin

Ha! Its called "be prepared for anything"!
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8582 on: Jun 1st, 2013, 10:22am »

on May 31st, 2013, 12:10pm, Reasoner wrote:
This video makes me suspicious. I've only yet watched it with the sound off, but for the entire clip, I see only this object against a non-descript background, with occasional fast "lights" swimming in the foreground. If a sound track is dubbed over this, it could sound like anything. There's no way to place where this is, nor any way to validate what's being recorded is even in the sky at all. It looks to me like a view through a microscope of a very small creature in a liquid solution, with maybe some sort of light source hyper illuminating the solution.

ADDENDUM: at around 5:25, the object is seen drifting to the lower part of the video. Why? if you think the object has any kind of motility, it should be moving up or coming toward the camera. Instead, it is drifting down. The magnification level stays the same, but the camera operator is forced to move the camera to get the object back to center, and does this without changing focus. My explanation? If the object is in an aqueous solution, the solution is moving the object out of the camera's view.


Good morning Reasoner cheesy

I'm suspicious of just about all of the videos. I post them because hopefully those that know about them will comment. I wouldn't know a fake if it bit me. grin

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8583 on: Jun 1st, 2013, 10:23am »

on May 31st, 2013, 2:08pm, Swamprat wrote:
"Does that soldier in the photo above have duct tape on his hip? I like how he thinks." grin

Ha! Its called "be prepared for anything"!


Good morning Swamprat cheesy

I laughed when I saw that duct tape. He is one smart guy.

Crystal

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« Reply #8584 on: Jun 1st, 2013, 10:24am »






~

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« Reply #8585 on: Jun 2nd, 2013, 10:36am »

Washington Post

Questioning the right to tweet

By Anthony Faiola
Published: June 1

LONDON — After the recent slaying of a British soldier in a suspected Islamist extremist attack, angry social media users took to Twitter and Facebook, with some dispatching racially and religiously charged comments that got them quickly noticed on the busy boulevards of the Internet.

For at least a half-dozen users, their comments landed them in jail. Acting on complaints from outraged members of the public, British authorities slapped charges of “malicious communication” on the worst offenders.

Social media crackdowns have become the hallmark of authoritarian governments from China to Syria. But the arrests last week became the latest in a string of such cases in Britain, underscoring how even some of the world’s greatest democracies are struggling with the rising power of social media.

Last year in England and Wales, 653 people faced criminal charges related to their activity on social media, up from 46 such arrests in 2008, according to figures released to the media under a freedom-of-information request. And after the killing of the soldier last month on a busy southeast London street, some in Britain’s Conservative-led government are pushing for even broader powers to police electronic communication in an effort to root out homegrown terrorism.

As authorities intervene in more and more social media cases, however, the debate is escalating over the right to free speech in a world where anyone with a mobile device or a computer can find a public pulpit.

“There is no broad First Amendment protection in Britain on the right to free speech, and we’re still figuring out how to address public expression through social media,” said Padraig Reidy, an expert at the Index on Censorship, a London-based free speech group. “The worrying question is whether, as we try to keep up with social media, is there a tendency by the government and the police to try to limit what some people say?”

‘A very dangerous thing’

Arrests linked to social media are not unheard of in the United States, where a New Jersey high school student was brought up on charges in January for allegedly “trash-tweeting” a threat to blow up a rival high school’s gym. But experts say the legal response to social media has been stronger in Britain, a nation where critics say a tendency to jealously guard personal privacy and put public safety first has occasionally trumped the right to free speech.

Britain has seen not only a surge in criminal prosecutions but also a growing number of civil suits. Last week, for instance, the wife of the speaker of the House of Commons became the latest causality of the Great British Twitter Wars that has seen a number of social media users fined for slander.

Sally Bercow, 43, has spent years prolifically tweeting the inside scoop about life “under Big Ben,” racking up more followers than the subscriber base of some British newspapers. But in a decision seen as a warning to social media users nationwide, a high court ruled she had libeled Lord Alistair McAlpine by suggesting in a recent tweet that the Conservative politician was an unnamed pedophile in what turned out to be a spurious exposé by the BBC.

more after the jump:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/tweets-after-soldiers-death-lands-some-in-jail/2013/06/01/7e91362e-c9d8-11e2-9cd9-3b9a22a4000a_story.html?hpid=z2#

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« Reply #8586 on: Jun 2nd, 2013, 10:38am »

Reuters

Syrian rebels, Hezbollah in deadly fight in Lebanon

By Dominic Evans

BEIRUT
Sun Jun 2, 2013 11:16am EDT

(Reuters) - Hezbollah guerrillas fought a deadly battle with Syrian rebels in Lebanon's eastern border region early on Sunday, security sources said, in the latest eruption of Syria's conflict on Lebanese soil.

Sources said at least 12 rebels were killed in the fighting east of the Bekaa Valley town of Baalbek, but the toll would not be clear until bodies were retrieved from the remote and rugged border area. One Hezbollah fighter also died, they said.

Syria's two-year-old conflict has increasingly sucked in its smaller neighbor, with deadly fighting shaking the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli and rockets hitting the Bekaa Valley and southern Beirut.

Shi'ite Muslim Hezbollah, which supports President Bashar al-Assad, is fighting alongside his army to drive rebels from the Syrian border town of Qusair, while Lebanese Sunni Muslim fighters have joined the anti-Assad revolt.

The latest fighting took place near Ain el-Jaouze in a strip of Lebanese territory which extends into Syria, the sources said, and the rebels may have been ambushed as they set up rockets to fire into Shi'ite areas of the Bekaa Valley.

Rebels have said they will carry out attacks inside Lebanon in response to Hezbollah's support for Assad's assault on Qusair, a strategic town for rebel weapons supplies and fighters coming into Syria from Lebanon.

The United Nations said on Saturday that up to 1,500 wounded people might be trapped inside Qusair and U.N. officials called for an immediate ceasefire to allow them to receive treatment. The International Committee of the Red Cross asked for access, saying it was ready to enter Qusair immediately to deliver aid.

But Syrian state television said Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon by telephone on Sunday that the Red Cross would have to wait until military operations in the area were complete.

Moualem also expressed surprise at international concern over the fighting around Qusair, saying the world had been silent when rebels took over the town 18 months ago and that Syria was now clearing it of "terrorism", the television said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has a network of medical and security sources on the ground, said heavy fighting continued in the northern, eastern and southern outskirts of Qusair on Sunday.

Security Council diplomats said Russia, which along with China has shielded Assad diplomatically at the United Nations, blocked a council declaration of alarm on Saturday over the two-week siege of Qusair.

The draft statement urged forces loyal to Assad and rebels trying to oust him "to do their utmost to avoid civilian casualties and for the Syrian Government to exercise its responsibility to protect civilians".

It appealed to Assad's government "to allow immediate, full and unimpeded access to impartial humanitarian actors, including U.N. agencies, to reach civilians trapped in al-Qusair".

Moscow's move to block the statement highlights the deep chasm between Russia and Western nations on how to deal with the war in Syria despite joint efforts by Washington and Moscow to convene a peace conference on Syria.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius suggested on Sunday that the conference could take place in July, echoing comments by officials in the Middle East. He said the Syrian government and the opposition must attend what he called "the last chance" for a negotiated solution.

"It's not just about getting round the table and then asking what are we going to talk about. It needs to be prepared. That is why I say that the July date would be suitable," Fabius said.

Assad has lost control of large areas of northern and eastern Syria but his forces have been fighting fierce counter-offensives in the south and centre of the country, including Damascus, Deraa and Qusair.

The fighting has strengthened Assad's hand ahead of the proposed peace talks, which the 47-year-old leader says he supports in principle. However he has dampened prospects of any transfer of his powers to a transitional government - a central element of efforts to secure a political solution. Assad's opponents have also yet to commit to the peace talks.

The uprising against Assad, from the Alawite minority which is an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam, has killed at least 80,000 people, driven 1.5 million refugees across its borders and fuelled regional sectarian tensions.

Leading Sunni Muslim cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, based in Qatar which has led regional pressure for Assad's overthrow, called on Saturday for holy war against the Syrian government after intervention by Hezbollah, whose name in Arabic means the Party of God.

The Syrian Observatory said a bomber from the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front rebel group blew his car up near a police station in the eastern Damascus district of Jobar on Sunday, killing himself and eight members of the security forces.

Pope Francis called on Sunday for an end to the violence in Syria and appealed to kidnappers in Syria to free their captives. Syria's kidnap victims include the Greek Orthodox archbishop Paul Yazigi and Syriac Orthodox archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim, seized near Aleppo last month.

(Additional reporting by Mariam Karouny in Beirut, Louis Charbonneau at the United Nations, Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva and Philip Pullella in Rome; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Jon Hemming)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/02/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE95105O20130602

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« Reply #8587 on: Jun 2nd, 2013, 10:42am »

Scientific American

Ships and Submarines, 1913: Images from Scientific American’s Archives [Slide Show]

The state of the art in civilian and military nautical technology, from the year before World War I broke out in Europe

By Daniel C. Schlenoff
2 June 2013

The growth of travel, tourism and emigration coincided with technological advances in the art of naval warfare. These changes were set against the background of nations across the world that were lurching toward the Great War for Civilization that would break out a year later. Whether luxurious or practical, most of these ships were caught up in World War I in some way, usually as weapons or transports for the navies of the world.

gallery after the jump:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/slideshow.cfm?id=ships-submarines-state-of-the-art-1913-from-scientific-american-archive

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« Reply #8588 on: Jun 2nd, 2013, 10:45am »

Seattle Times

Originally published Saturday, June 1, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Japan’s wheat-import suspension worries state growers

Genetically modified wheat found on an Oregon farm caused Japan to suspend imports from the United States. The biggest worry for Washington state wheat growers is that the type involved — soft white wheat — is the most commonly grown in the Pacific Northwest.

By Melissa Allison
Seattle Times business reporter

Japan’s decision last week to suspend imports of wheat from the U.S. sent waves of concern throughout the Northwest wheat industry for one big reason: the type involved.

Northwest farmers are the main U.S. growers of soft white wheat, the type Japan suspended last week because genetically modified wheat plants were found growing on a farm in Oregon.

Japan ordered other types, but a wheat-import official told The Wall Street Journal it will “monitor the progress” of a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) investigation before deciding about soft white wheat. Japan is a major wheat importer, buying about $1 billion in wheat each year from the U.S.

Although the USDA has not said what type of genetically modified wheat it found in Oregon, the farm most recently grew soft white. Farmworkers realized they might be dealing with a type of modified wheat when the plants survived repeated dousings of Monsanto’s Roundup recently. Subsequent tests verified it was genetically modified wheat.

Monsanto said the unidentified northeast Oregon farm is miles from where the company tested genetically modified wheat almost a decade ago. The wheat Monsanto had tested was designed to withstand treatment by the herbicide Roundup.

“They said most test plots were destroyed before they produced a head (the top of the wheat plant, which produces kernels),” said Randy Suess, a Whitman County wheat farmer and a representative to the Washington Grain Commission.

“That’s why this is so strange,” Suess said. “I have a feeling (Japan) will come back in the market.”

Wheat markets appear to agree. Futures dropped slightly after the news, but rebounded on Friday.

Although Japan does not want genetically modified wheat, it does import genetically engineered papayas, resistant to a devastating plant disease. It also imports genetically modified corn, soybeans and canola, though it is unclear how much of that is used for human consumption.

Genetically modified wheat has not been approved for commercial growing, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in 2004 it is as safe as genetically modified crops that have been approved.

The impact on the U.S. wheat market depends on how widespread the problem is.

After the U.S. rice crop was contaminated by a test version of genetically altered rice in 2006, importers in Europe and Japan banned U.S. rice, and Bayer CropScience agreed to pay farmers $750 million.

In 2009, the European Union stopped imports of flaxseed from Canada after a genetically modified version that was ordered destroyed in 2001 was detected in shipments. Although China helped by buying most of the flax in early 2010, the Canadian flaxseed industry lost market share .

While the USDA conducts its investigation, the nonprofit Non-GMO Project in Bellingham has started testing wheat products and will test farm samples from a handful of farms in Washington and Oregon.

The project requires testing of ingredients before bestowing its “Non-GMO Project Verified” label on about 10,000 products from more than 600 companies.

If the problem is widespread, Executive Director Megan Westgate expects to know soon.

Monsanto conducted field trials of genetically modified wheat in Washington from 1999 to 2005, according to spokesman Tom Helscher.

“There were extensive stewardship protocols for each of the trials,” he said in an email. “We insured adequate isolation throughout the trials. Also included were extensive steps to insure the test material was fully removed from the field or destroyed after the trial was completed.”

The company decided not to market genetically modified wheat after the industry said it was not interested.

In part, that was because U.S. wheat farmers were unsure that Canada would approve genetically modified wheat and were concerned about competition, said Steve Mercer, a spokesman for the nonprofit U.S. Wheat Associates, which works on export-market development.

The Roundup Ready trait — which allows crops to survive while weeds are killed by the herbicide Roundup — does not appeal to farmers who include wheat crops in their rotation to give the fields a rest from Roundup. That rest is “to help reduce the chance of [weed] resistance being developed” to the herbicide, Mercer said.

Wheat farmers are interested in other traits that could come from genetic modification, he said, such as drought resistance or the ability to use nitrogen better.

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2021104405_wheatexportxml.html

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« Reply #8589 on: Jun 2nd, 2013, 10:50am »







Bigfoot At Bluff Creek Mysterious Encounters, Autumn Williams

Sasquatch Canada

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« Reply #8590 on: Jun 3rd, 2013, 10:09am »

Telegraph

MoD forced to pay compensation after death of parrot

A pet owner has been awarded £2,200 compensation by the Ministry of Defence after his parrot collapsed and died when a low-flying jet roared over its house.

By Agencies
11:06AM BST 02 Jun 2013

The payout was one of more than 200 claims made in the last three years, which has seen the MoD pay more than £1.4 million in compensation.

Other examples include £300 to two therapy groups which were disturbed by loud jet engines, and £900 for damages to a child’s trampoline in Lancashire.

Large sums were also paid for damage to livestock. In some instances, cows have been so scared they stop producing milk, and chickens have stopped laying eggs.

The death of the parrot, in Ayrshire, follows a similar incident in which a low-flying plane caused another parrot to fall off its perch and break both legs. Its owner received compensation which included the cost of two splints.

A spokesman for the MoD said an aircraft was “low-flying” if it was less than 2,000ft above ground, 500ft in the case of helicopters. They were training for flights in war zones.

Robert Oxley, of Taxpayer Scotland, said: "There is a danger that the MoD gets used to paying out compensation for these flights regardless of whether it is justified or not.

"Some payouts appear to be seriously stretching the boundaries of what is reasonable."

The highest amounts claimed for compensation were for personal injury. But huge sums were also paid out for damage to livestock, buildings and crops.

In the last year, a helicopter injured cattle and broke a fence in Dumfries and Galloway, leading to a £5,800 claim. Meanwhile a Tornado aircraft flying over Midlothian caused personal injury and sparked another claim, this time for £4,000.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/10094036/MoD-forced-to-pay-compensation-after-death-of-parrot.html

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« Reply #8591 on: Jun 3rd, 2013, 10:11am »

Wired

Taranturaptor, Pandaroo, and Other Animal Hybrids We Wish Existed

By Nadia Drake
06.03.13

Earth has no shortage of animals that amaze, frighten, and perplex us. But what if we could combine species and create even more terrifying hybrids?

This compilation of imaginary critter combos we'd love to see in the wild (from a safe distance) was inspired by our readers, who seem to be very interested in everything we write about spiders or sharks. Thus, the spidershark. With the help of friends, colleagues, readers and followers, the list grew to include a horde of monstrosities ranging from strangely adorable to intensely scary.

But why sit around and argue about whether the spider shark would have eight fins or eight additional leggy appendages or eight eyes or all of the above? We needed artists to bring these hybrids to life, and we knew just where to find them.

The Science Illustration Program at CSU Monterey Bay is a training ground for artists who love science and nature. We enticed 11 alums and current students to take on our fictional creatures and make them look real. Their awesome talent and creativity resulted in the beautiful, awe-inspiring, and sometimes terrifying visual creations in this collection.

gallery after the jump:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/06/hybrid-animal-wish-list/?pid=7018&viewall=true

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« Reply #8592 on: Jun 3rd, 2013, 10:15am »

Science Daily

Lightest Exoplanet to Be Directly Observed So Far? Faint Object Moves Near Bright Star

June 3, 2013 — A team of astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope has imaged a faint object moving near a bright star. With an estimated mass of four to five times that of Jupiter, it would be the least massive planet to be directly observed outside the Solar System. The discovery is an important contribution to our understanding of the formation and evolution of planetary systems.

Although nearly a thousand exoplanets have been detected indirectly -- most using the radial velocity or transit methods [1] -- and many more candidates await confirmation, only a dozen exoplanets have been directly imaged. Nine years after ESO's Very Large Telescope captured the first image of an exoplanet, the planetary companion to the brown dwarf 2M1207, the same team has caught on camera what is probably the lightest of these objects so far [2][3].

"Direct imaging of planets is an extremely challenging technique that requires the most advanced instruments, whether ground-based or in space," says Julien Rameau (Institut de Planetologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, France), first author of the paper announcing the discovery. "Only a few planets have been directly observed so far, making every single discovery an important milestone on the road to understanding giant planets and how they form."

In the new observations, the likely planet appears as a faint but clear dot close to the star HD 95086. A later observation also showed that it was slowly moving along with the star across the sky. This suggests that the object, which has been designated HD 95086 b, is in orbit around the star. Its brightness also indicates that it has a predicted mass of only four to five times that of Jupiter.

The team used NACO, the adaptive optics instrument mounted on one of the 8.2-metre Unit Telescopes of ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). This instrument allows astronomers to remove most of the blurring effects of the atmosphere and obtain very sharp images. The observations were made using infrared light and a technique called differential imaging, which improves the contrast between the planet and dazzling host star.

The newly discovered planet orbits the young star HD 95086 at a distance of around 56 times the distance from Earth to the Sun, twice the Sun-Neptune distance. The star itself is a little more massive than the Sun and is surrounded by a debris disc. These properties allowed astronomers to identify it as an ideal candidate to harbour young massive planets. The whole system lies some 300 light-years away from us.

The youth of this star, just 10 to 17 million years, leads astronomers to believe that this new planet probably formed within the gaseous and dusty disc that surrounds the star. "Its current location raises questions about its formation process. It either grew by assembling the rocks that form the solid core and then slowly accumulated gas from the environment to form the heavy atmosphere, or started forming from a gaseous clump that arose from gravitational instabilities in the disc." explains Anne-Marie Lagrange, another team member. "Interactions between the planet and the disc itself or with other planets may have also moved the planet from where it was born."

Another team member, Gaël Chauvin, concludes, "The brightness of the star gives HD 95086 b an estimated surface temperature of about 700 degrees Celsius. This is cool enough for water vapour and possibly methane to exist in its atmosphere. It will be a great object to study with the forthcoming SPHERE instrument on the VLT. Maybe it can also reveal inner planets in the system -- if they exist." [4]

Notes:

[1] Astronomers have already confirmed the existence of nearly a thousand planets orbiting stars other than the Sun. Almost all were found using indirect methods that could detect the effects of the planets on their parent stars -- the dips of brightness produced when planets crossed in front of them (the transit method), or the wobbling caused by the gravitational pull of planets in their orbits (the radial velocity method). So far, only a dozen exoplanets have been directly observed.

[2] Fomalhaut b may have a lower mass, but its brightness seems to be contaminated by light reflected from the surrounding dust, making the precise determination of its mass uncertain.

[3] This team also has observed an exoplanet around the star Beta Pictoris (eso1024 -- http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1024/), as well as several others.

[4] SPHERE (http://www.eso.org/sci/facilities/develop/instruments/sphere.html) is a second generation adaptive optics instrument that will be installed on the VLT in late 2013.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130603091714.htm

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« Reply #8593 on: Jun 3rd, 2013, 10:19am »

Seattle Times

Originally published June 3, 2013 at 7:17 AM
Page modified June 3, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

A sharply divided Supreme Court on Monday said police can routinely take DNA from people they arrest, equating a DNA cheek swab to other common jailhouse procedures like fingerprinting.

By JESSE J. HOLLAND
Associated Press

WASHINGTON —

A sharply divided Supreme Court on Monday said police can routinely take DNA from people they arrest, equating a DNA cheek swab to other common jailhouse procedures like fingerprinting.

"Taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court's five-justice majority.

But the four dissenting justices said that the court was allowing a major change in police powers.

"Make no mistake about it: because of today's decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason," conservative Justice Antonin Scalia said in a sharp dissent which he read aloud in the courtroom.

At least 28 states and the federal government now take DNA swabs after arrests. But a Maryland court was one of the first to say that it was illegal for that state to take Alonzo King's DNA without approval from a judge, saying King had "a sufficiently weighty and reasonable expectation of privacy against warrantless, suspicionless searches."

But the high court's decision reverses that ruling and reinstates King's rape conviction, which came after police took his DNA during an unrelated arrest. Kennedy wrote the decision, and was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer. Scalia was joined in his dissent by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Getting DNA swabs from criminals is common. All 50 states and the federal government take cheek swabs from convicted criminals to check against federal and state databanks, with the court's blessing. The fight at the Supreme Court was over whether that DNA collection could come before conviction and without a judge issuing a warrant.

According to court documents, the FBI's Combined DNA Index System or CODIS - a coordinated system of federal, state and local databases of DNA profiles - already contains more than 10 million criminal profiles and 1.1 million profiles of those arrested.

In the case before the court, a 53-year-old woman was raped and robbed but no one was arrested. Almost six years later, Alonzo King was arrested and charged with felony second-degree assault. Taking advantage of the Maryland law that allowed warrantless DNA tests following some felony arrests, police took a cheek swab of King's DNA, which matched a sample from the 2003 Salisbury rape. King was convicted of rape and sentenced to life in prison.

King eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor assault from his arrest, a crime for which Maryland cannot take warrantless DNA samples. The state courts said it violated King's rights for the state to take his DNA based on an arrest alone. The state Court of Appeals said King had "a sufficiently weighty and reasonable expectation of privacy against warrantless, suspicionless searches." But the high court's decision reinstates King's conviction.

Maryland stopped collecting DNA after that decision, but Roberts allowed police to keep collecting DNA samples pending the high court's review.

http://seattletimes.com/html/politics/2021112948_apussupremecourtdnacollection.html

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« Reply #8594 on: Jun 4th, 2013, 09:16am »

Washington Post

AP Exclusive: Some Obama top political appointees using secret US government email accounts

By Associated Press,
Updated: Tuesday, June 4, 5:04 AM

WASHINGTON — Some of President Barack Obama’s political appointees, including the secretary for Health and Human Services, are using secret government email accounts they say are necessary to prevent their inboxes from being overwhelmed with unwanted messages, according to a review by The Associated Press.

The scope of using the secret accounts across government remains a mystery: Most U.S. agencies have failed to turn over lists of political appointees’ email addresses, which the AP sought under the Freedom of Information Act more than three months ago. The Labor Department initially asked the AP to pay more than $1 million for its email addresses.

The AP asked for the addresses following last year’s disclosures that the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency had used separate email accounts at work. The practice is separate from officials who use personal, non-government email accounts for work, which generally is discouraged — but often happens anyway — due to laws requiring that most federal records be preserved.

The secret email accounts complicate an agency’s legal responsibilities to find and turn over emails in response to congressional or internal investigations, civil lawsuits or public records requests because employees assigned to compile such responses would necessarily need to know about the accounts to search them. Secret accounts also drive perceptions that government officials are trying to hide actions or decisions.

“What happens when that person doesn’t work there anymore? He leaves and someone makes a request (to review emails) in two years,” said Kel McClanahan, executive director of National Security Counselors, an open government group. “Who’s going to know to search the other accounts? You would hope that agencies doing this would keep a list of aliases in a desk drawer, but you know that isn’t happening.”

Agencies where the AP so far has identified secret addresses, including the Labor Department and HHS, said maintaining non-public email accounts allows senior officials to keep separate their internal messages with agency employees from emails they exchange with the public. They also said public and non-public accounts are always searched in response to official requests and the records are provided as necessary.

The AP couldn’t independently verify the practice. It searched hundreds of pages of government emails previously released under the open records law and found only one instance of a published email with a secret address: an email from Labor Department spokesman Carl Fillichio to 34 coworkers in 2010 was turned over to an advocacy group, Americans for Limited Government. It included as one recipient the non-public address for Seth D. Harris, currently the acting labor secretary, who maintains at least three separate email accounts.

Google can’t find any reference on the Internet to the secret address for HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Congressional oversight committees told the AP they were unfamiliar with the non-public government addresses identified so far by the AP.

more after the jump:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/whitehouse/agencies-slow-to-provide-email-addresses-of-senior-obama-appointees-leaving-most-a-mystery/2013/06/04/e61e9b94-cce7-11e2-8573-3baeea6a2647_story.html?hpid=z3#

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