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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 49018 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #8820 on: Jul 14th, 2013, 09:57am »

Japan Times

Publishers support crackdown on Brotherhood after promises of press freedom fail to emerge

Egyptian media embrace military

by Paul Schemm

AP
July 14 2013

CAIRO – When autocrat Hosni Mubarak fell after popular protests in 2011, journalist Sabah Hamamou hoped for change at her newspaper, Al-Ahram, the state-owned media flagship with an editorial line firmly controlled by the regime.

Hamamou and some of her fellow journalists held demonstrations, issued petitions and pressed editors for the paper to break from state dictates and adopt independent, objective coverage.

Change never came. First, the military rulers who took over after Mubarak tightly controlled the paper. Once Mohammed Morsi became president, his Muslim Brotherhood stepped in and pushed coverage their direction.

“What happened was they just put in their people in Al-Ahram and other state institutions, and nobody tried to reform the institutions themselves,” Hamamou said. “The saying goes if you are confused about who is ruling Egypt, just look at the headlines of Al-Ahram.”

Now Hamamou is dismayed to see the paper and other state media unquestionably embracing the military after its coup that ousted Morsi on July 3, following protests by millions around the country demanding his removal.

It’s not only state media. Independent TV stations and newspapers have also enthusiastically backed the military and its crackdown on the Brotherhood, which included shutting down four Islamist TV stations.

Their full-throated support reflects how convinced they became over Morsi’s year that the Brotherhood were fundamentally anti-democratic and intertwined with violent extremists.

Independent stations thrived after Mubarak’s fall, usually touting their advocacy for democratic principles. Many, including several owned by wealthy opponents of the Islamists, were deeply critical of Morsi. They raised the alarm over signs of the Brotherhood monopolizing power, infringements of press freedoms and civil liberties, violent hate speech from his hardline allies — and over the killing of protesters by police under his administration.

In recent days, however, they have been uncritical of acts by the military.

After more than 50 pro-Morsi protesters were shot to death by security forces in clashes last week, a star announcer on independent CBC TV, Lamis Hadidi — once a spokeswoman for Mubarak’s 2005 re-election campaign — cautioned viewers not to think of the dead as “martyrs.”

Instead, she blamed the Islamists for “a new Brotherhood massacre.”

Egypt’s media landscape has long been sharply partisan. The Brotherhood’s TV station and others run by their ultraconservative Islamist allies — now off the air — were whole-heartedly in Morsi’s camp.

In recent weeks, the Brotherhood’s party has posted pictures of children killed in Syria’s civil war, presenting them as Egyptian Brotherhood dead.

Al-Jazeera TV, owned by Brotherhood ally Qatar, was also accused of strongly pro-Morsi coverage. Since protests against him began, the station has covered mass rallies in his support more extensively than those against him — the mirror image of some anti-Morsi stations’ coverage. Six staffers quit, accusing it of bias.

“At the end of the day, as much as journalism is supposed to be about a lack of bias, the opinion journalism model has taken over the media,” said Mahmoud Salem, an Egyptian writer and political analyst — and sharp critic of the Brotherhood. “Everyone wants to be a cheerleader for his or her team.”

Now that has turned into lashing out at the other team as well.

During a military news conference last week, a journalist from the state news agency stood up and demanded Al-Jazeera reporters be excluded.The station’s reporters walked out to chants of “Out! Out!” from others in the crowd. They also applauded repeatedly in reaction to the military spokesman’s statements.

Earlier, security forces raided the offices of the local Al-Jazeera affiliate, detaining its staff briefly and holding its manager and chief engineer for several days. On Friday, Al-Jazeera reported that a correspondent and a three-member camera team were detained by the military while filming in the city of Suez and were being questioned.

A senior police official late last week also ordered The Associated Press to stop providing the station live television footage from Tahrir Square.

The AP dispatched two executives to Cairo to protest the suppression. After a series of meetings with senior government officials, who stressed the shutdown was not official government policy, the AP live video service to Al-Jazeera was restored Wednesday.

In a statement, Al-Jazeera said it was being targeted by a “crackdown on information” and denied bias.

“We’ve always given all sides of opinion airtime on Al-Jazeera, it’s our mantra,” it said. “Large sections of the Egyptian media object to this open-minded ethos.”

Atlanta-based CNN has also come under criticism and its journalists have been harassed because many in the anti-Morsi camp accused it of a pro-Brotherhood bias after it called his ouster a coup. Protesters have carried signs against the network in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

“What specifically brought attention to CNN is that we called this a coup early on,” said Tony Maddox, director of CNN International. “Some people don’t want it described as that, but I’m afraid that is what it is and we will call it as we see it.”

Lina Atallah, editor-in-chief of a new online news site Mada Masr, said there was increased pressure on journalists to toe the line. She pointed to coverage of the protester killings last week, which repeated the military’s version of the violence with few independent witness accounts.

“What’s scary about this time around in the media performance is that there is much more agenda-setting from above,” she said.

Media emphasizing independent reporting struggle for funding in a landscape dominated by outlets owned by the state or by well-funded movements like the Islamists or by businessmen with an agenda.

Mada Masr is one attempt to create such an outlet, founded by a group of young journalists.

Publisher Hisham Kassem is attempting another, with his plans for a new independent daily, Al-Gomhouriya Al-Gadida, or the New Republic.

He said he has to fend off offers from old regime sympathizers on one hand and Brotherhood members on the other to buy it up and use it as a platform for their views.

During Mubarak’s last years in power, Kassem helmed Al-Masry Al-Youm, one of the first independent papers that avoided the sycophancy of the state press and the unreliable shrillness of opposition party newspapers.

In state media such as Al-Ahram, the ruler of the day stocked the paper with loyalists to keep it in line. Under Mubarak, Al-Ahram’s chief was a close associate of the president. State security often weighed in on its and state TV’s coverage. Al-Ahram’s newsroom was notorious for nepotism and favoritism and was influenced by the interests of the sprawling Al-Ahram conglomerate, which includes a large advertising agency.

Hamamou, a 20-year veteran at Al-Ahram and a reporter for the economic section, said she has been appalled by the unprofessionalism.

“There are no lines between editorial and advertising pages,” the 38-year-old said. “According to the documents we got after the revolution, many journalists got commissions (to write pieces) from the advertising department — it’s against journalism ethics.”

With Morsi’s inauguration and a freely elected president in place, many in the staff expected reform.

They were disappointed when the Brotherhood appointed a new chief editor they said had little experience, who turned coverage in the Islamists’ favor.

Younger journalists staged a sit-in, complete with a tent, in the paper’s lobby and demanded his removal.

The new editor, Abdel-Nasser Salama, fired some reformists appointed since Mubarak’s fall and brought back editors who had been pushed into retirement.

Still, the Brotherhood was less successful than the military in dominating the state media. There were flashes of resistance. In one case, a presenter on state TV ended his newscast by sarcastically thanking the presidency for providing the material. Another pulled out a shroud on air and pronounced she was ready to die rather than obey Brotherhood directives.

With the military now in charge, these qualms have disappeared and state media resumed lockstep support for those in charge.

Al-Ahram editors saw the direction the wind was blowing even before Morsi’s exit. On July 1, the day after the first massive rallies against the president, the paper’s front-page blared, “Morsi: Quit or be Forced to Quit.”

Hammamo and other staffers saw that as a sure sign that the military, about to make its move, had told the paper’s management to fall into line.

“The editor-in-chief wouldn’t have put this if he didn’t have direct information,” she said.

“It is human nature,” she said. “They will be with whoever is the winner.”

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/07/14/world/egyptian-media-embrace-military/#.UeK79ZDn-1t

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« Reply #8821 on: Jul 14th, 2013, 09:59am »

Does anyone happen to know of any Japanese UFO websites in English? They have an interest in UFO's and I would like to be able to read anything on the subject. I looked but couldn't find anything.

Crystal



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« Reply #8822 on: Jul 14th, 2013, 10:03am »

Der Spiegel

Eco-Blowback: Mutiny in the Land of Wind Turbines

By Matthias Schulz

July 12 2013

The German village of Husarenhof, just north of Stuttgart, nestles picturesquely between orchards and vineyards. Peter Hitzker's house stands on a sharp bend in the road. "Sometimes I get up in the morning and find a couple of totaled cars in the front yard," he says. "But I guess nowhere's perfect."

Still, he finds the wind turbine behind his garden fence harder to cope with. The tower is 180 meters (590 feet) high, and the whirr of the blades and grinding of the actuators are clearly audible.

"When I leave my local bar in Heilbronn, 15 kilometers from here, I find my way home by heading for the turbine," he quips.

But he can't think of anything else positive to say about the turbine. "It's dreadful," he says. "And it's split the village. It's war here."

The wind turbine, an Enercon E-82, has been there for over a year. When it was inaugurated, the local shooting club, the "Black Hunters", fired their guns in celebration, and the local priest delivered a sermon on protecting God's creation.

But not everyone is happy. Some are angry at the way the landscape, celebrated by German Romantic poets such as Hölderlin and Mörike, is being butchered. The opponents protest with images of the Grim Reaper holding a wind turbine rather than his traditional scythe.

The situation in Husarenhof can be found across Germany. After the nuclear disaster in Fukushima and Germany's swift decision to abandon nuclear energy and embrace renewable energy as part of its so-called Energiewende, the country's 16 federal states reacted with a sort of excessive zeal. The northeastern state of Brandenburg plans to set aside 2 percent of its land for wind farms. The western state of Rhineland-Palatinate intends to more than double the amount of wind power it generates. North Rhine-Westphalia, its neighbor to the north, is planning an increase of more than 300 percent.

The winds of change are blowing in Germany -- and hard. Flat-bed trucks laden with tower segments make their way slowly across boggy fields. Cranes crawl up narrow forest paths to set up outsized wind turbines on the tops of mountains. Germany aims to increase its production of wind power from 31,000 to 45,000 megawatts over the next seven years. By the middle of the century, it hopes to be generating 85,000 megawatts in wind power

With the prime coastal locations already taken, operators are increasingly turning their attention to areas further inland. Even valuable tourist regions -- such as the Moselle valley, the Allgäu and the foothills of the Alps -- are to be sacrificed. Sites have even been earmarked by Lake Constance and near Starnberg, where the Bavarian King Ludwig II drowned.

At the moment, things are still in the planning, reporting and application stage. Local authorities' filing cabinets are overflowing with authorization documents and wind strength measurements. Plans call for some 60,000 new turbines to be erected in Germany -- and completely alter its appearance.

The Backer-Opponent Divide

But what's really going on? Are politicians wisely creating the tools needed to prevent the end of the world as we know it? Or are they simply marring the countryside?

More than 700 citizens' initiatives have been founded in Germany to campaign against what they describe as "forests of masts", "visual emissions" and the "widespread devastation of our highland summits."

The opponents carry coffins symbolizing the death of environmental protection. They organize petitions on an almost daily basis. Local residents by Lake Starnberg have even filed a legal complaint alleging that the wind turbines violate Germany's constitution.

The underlying divide is basic and irreconcilable. On one side stand environmentalists and animal rights activists passionate about protecting the tranquility of nature. On the other are progressively minded champions of renewable energy and climate activists determined to secure the long-term survival of the planet.

The question is: How many forests must be sacrificed, how many horizons dotted with wind turbines, to meet Germany's new energy targets? Where is the line between thoughtful activism and excessive zeal? At what point is taxpayer money simply being thrown away?

The wrangling over these issues has led many in Germany's Green Party to question what their party really stands for. Enoch zu Guttenberg, a founding member of Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND), noisily left the association last year because of its support for wind power. Since then, he has felt a "panicky need" to warn humanity about the "giant totems of the cult of unlimited energy."

Michael Succow, a prominent German environmentalist and winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize, is also threatening to abandon ship. He fears soulless stretches of land and lost tranquility.

And his fears are not unfounded. Back in the 1980s, tree-huggers put up Aeroman wind turbines in their front yards -- but those days are long gone. Just the masts of today's wind turbines can reach up to 160 meters high. When active, they kill so many insects that the sticky mass slows the rotors down.

The sweeping blades of the Enercon E-126 cover an area of seven football fields. The rotors of modern wind turbines weigh up to 320 metric tons. There are 83 such three-armed bandits in Germany's largest wind farm, near the village of Ribbeck, northwest of Berlin.

As they drive their SUVs through these turbine forests, tolerantly minded city-dwellers sometimes comment on how ugly eastern Germany has become. Others find them attractive -- as they speed past.

But local Nimbies ("Nimby" = Not In My Back Yard) are indignant. Apart from everything else, the value of their homes has plummeted.

Even sparsely populated areas are beginning to take action. Take, for example, the campaign "Rettet Brandenburg" ("Save Brandenburg"). This eastern state surrounding Berlin is already home to more than 3,100 wind turbines, more than any other federal state. Now, however, the powers-that-be want to build 3,000 more turbines, but state residents are up in arms and have launched a citizen's initiative. At a protest day held in late May, its members railed against "wind-grubbers" and "monster mills."

Maxing Out Turbine Size

Nevertheless, their protests will do little to stop wind-turbine manufacturers from eagerly building taller and taller models. For the relatively weak inland winds to generate sufficient energy and profits, Germany's wind farmers need to reach higher and higher into the skies.

The goal is to get away from the turbulence found near the ground and to climb up into the Ekman layer, above 100 meters high, where the wind blows continuously. Up there, the forces of nature rage freely, creating enough terawatts to meet the energy needs of the global population hundreds of times over. Or at least that's the theory.

Inland, the "technical trend" toward bigger wind turbines "continues unabated," according to a study recently published by the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES).

A visit to the IWES test center in the northern port city of Bremerhaven reveals what lies in store. The center is home to a next-generation rotary blade: flexible, wobbly even, weighing 30 metric tons and stretching 83.5 meters across.

The mammoth prototype blade is currently at the testing stage. Hydraulic presses and cables bend and buffet the blade millions of times over, simulating the stress exerted by storms and gusts of wind.

IWES meteorologist Paul Kühn thinks that the mast themselves, without the blades, could grow to up to 200 meters high. Anything taller would be unprofitable due to the "square-cube law."

Growing Intolerance

So, might we one day see wind turbines with blades stretching up almost 300 meters into the clouds -- a somber memorial to Germany's nuclear phase-out? Even hip urban fans of renewable energy think that would take some getting used to.

Recent studies by bird protectors reveal how the giant blades chop up the air in brutal fashion. "Golden plovers avoid the wind turbines," says Potsdam-based ornithologist Jörg Lippert. Swallows and storks, on the other hand, fly straight into them. The barbastelle bat's lungs collapse as it flies by. A "terrible future" awaits the lesser spotted eagle and red kite, Lippert says.

German citizens are also having to make sacrifices to meet the ambitious goals of the new energy policy. In England, large wind turbines must be situated at least 3,000 meters away from houses in residential areas. In Germany, which is more densely populated, local planners place turbines much closer to homes. In the southern state of Bavaria, for example, the minimum separation is 500 meters, while it's just 300 meters in the eastern state of Saxony.

In the early days, when everyone was still very excited about clean wind power, some farmers in northerly coastal areas allowed turbines to be erected even 250 meters from their cottages. And then they received large compensation payments when the noise from the rotors triggered stampedes in their pigsties.

But now even those in northern Germany are grumbling. Many old wind turbines are being replaced with new, more powerful ones in a process known as "repowering." Instead of 50 meters tall, these new turbines are more than 150 meters high, have flashing lights on them to prevent aircraft from hitting them and make a lot of noise as they rotate.

more after the jump:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/wind-energy-encounters-problems-and-resistance-in-germany-a-910816.html

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« Reply #8823 on: Jul 14th, 2013, 10:05am »

Guardian

Israel targeted Russian-made missiles in Syria, US officials say

Reports suggest Israel attacked anti-ship cruise missiles sent to Assad regime near the port of Latakia

Associated Press in Washington
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 14 July 2013 00.25 EDT

US officials say Israel targeted advanced anti-ship cruise missiles near Syria's principal port city, Latakia, in an air attack this month, the New York Times reported.

The officials say the attack on 5 July near Latakia targeted a type of Russian-made missile called the Yakhont that Russia had sold to the Syrian government, the paper's website reported. Russia is a key political ally and arms supplier of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The officials provided no details on the strike, including the extent of the damage and how many missiles were used. The Times reported that the officials declined to be identified because they were discussing intelligence reports.

Israel maintains it is not involved in Syria's two-year-old civil war except to stop weapons transfers. The strike near Latakia was the fourth known air strike in Syria by Israel this year, the newspaper reported.

The attack came to light after Syrian rebels said they were not behind the explosions in Latakia on 5 July, according to the Times. Neither US nor Israeli officials have commented publicly on the report.

Reports surfaced earlier this year that Russia had delivered an advanced version of its Yakhont anti-ship cruise missile to Assad's regime even though Russia had said it was committed to peace talks. Those reports prompted the US to complain in May about an "ill-timed" step by Russia.

Such weapons would help to upgrade significantly Syria's capacity to target manned planes, drones and incoming missiles and would complicate efforts to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria if the US and other nations were to initiate one.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/14/israel-accused-russian-missiles-syria

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« Reply #8824 on: Jul 15th, 2013, 05:50am »

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/07/12/us_backs_off_propaganda_ban_spreads_government_made_news_to_americans

U.S. Repeals Propaganda Ban, Spreads Government-Made News To Americans
Posted By John Hudson Sunday, July 14, 2013 - 7:06 PM



excerpt:

For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the U.S. government's mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. But on July 2, that came silently to an end with the implementation of a new reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic U.S. consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts. So what just happened?

Until this month, a vast ocean of U.S. programming produced by the Broadcasting Board of Governors such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks could only be viewed or listened to at broadcast quality in foreign countries. The programming varies in tone and quality, but its breadth is vast: It's viewed in more than 100 countries in 61 languages. The topics covered include human rights abuses in Iran; self-immolation in Tibet; human trafficking across Asia; and on-the-ground reporting in Egypt and Iraq.

The restriction of these broadcasts was due to the Smith-Mundt Act, a long standing piece of legislation that has been amended numerous times over the years, perhaps most consequentially by Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright. In the 70s, Fulbright was no friend of VOA and Radio Free Europe, and moved to restrict them from domestic distribution, saying they "should be given the opportunity to take their rightful place in the graveyard of Cold War relics." Fulbright's amendment to Smith-Mundt was bolstered in 1985 by Nebraska Senator Edward Zorinsky who argued that such "propaganda" should be kept out of America as to distinguish the U.S. "from the Soviet Union where domestic propaganda is a principal government activity."
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« Reply #8825 on: Jul 15th, 2013, 10:55am »

on Jul 15th, 2013, 05:50am, LoneGunMan wrote:
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/07/12/us_backs_off_propaganda_ban_spreads_government_made_news_to_americans

U.S. Repeals Propaganda Ban, Spreads Government-Made News To Americans
Posted By John Hudson Sunday, July 14, 2013 - 7:06 PM



excerpt:

For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the U.S. government's mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. But on July 2, that came silently to an end with the implementation of a new reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic U.S. consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts. So what just happened?

Until this month, a vast ocean of U.S. programming produced by the Broadcasting Board of Governors such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks could only be viewed or listened to at broadcast quality in foreign countries. The programming varies in tone and quality, but its breadth is vast: It's viewed in more than 100 countries in 61 languages. The topics covered include human rights abuses in Iran; self-immolation in Tibet; human trafficking across Asia; and on-the-ground reporting in Egypt and Iraq.

The restriction of these broadcasts was due to the Smith-Mundt Act, a long standing piece of legislation that has been amended numerous times over the years, perhaps most consequentially by Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright. In the 70s, Fulbright was no friend of VOA and Radio Free Europe, and moved to restrict them from domestic distribution, saying they "should be given the opportunity to take their rightful place in the graveyard of Cold War relics." Fulbright's amendment to Smith-Mundt was bolstered in 1985 by Nebraska Senator Edward Zorinsky who argued that such "propaganda" should be kept out of America as to distinguish the U.S. "from the Soviet Union where domestic propaganda is a principal government activity."


Good morning Lone cheesy


Thank you for that article.


Crystal



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« Reply #8826 on: Jul 15th, 2013, 10:57am »

Wired

Space: The Final Frontier of Environmental Disasters?

By Adam Mann
07.15.13
6:30 AM

Some members of Congress want to put a national park on the moon.

The Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act, a bill introduced last week in the House of Representatives, would establish historic preservation sites where the Apollo 11 through 17 astronauts touched down and walked on the lunar surface. The parks would contain all artifacts and footprints left on the moon and, within a year, the sites would be submitted to UNESCO to become a World Heritage Site.

This is the first legislation ever proposed with the express aim of preserving and protecting something beyond the confines of Earth. And as such, it could be seen as an early step in the nascent field of space environmentalism.

Space may seem like a vast untapped resource, a new New World where dreams of conquest and colonization can play out. But the moon, planets, and other bodies in our solar system are pristine places of stark beauty.

Nearly everyone knows Neil Armstrong’s iconic “One Small Step” speech. But far fewer remember the unpracticed first words of Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, as he stepped off the lunar lander.

“Beautiful, beautiful. Magnificent desolation,” he radioed back to mission control.

Before we exploit these wildernesses, perhaps we should ask ourselves: Is there anything out there worth protecting?

Most people are already aware that the area immediately around our world, low-Earth orbit, has become littered with space junk. Someday, orbital debris could similarly surround the moon or Mars. Unchecked mining on other worlds could tarnish their natural beauty and foster conflict. And we might one day have to decide if one of our best candidates for colonization, Mars, should be terraformed to make it a more like home at the risk of driving native organisms (should any exist) extinct.

Space has historically been the domain of governments, whose exploration of the solar system has been slow and plodding. The commercial sector is now trying to speed things up with plans for private tourist flights to space, private space stations, moon bases, and Mars colonies, as well as industrial mining operations on the moon and near-Earth asteroids.

By utilizing the resources of space, companies will likely reap great rewards and might even help reduce pollution on Earth. But as private enterprise moves heavenward it will discover that the resources of space, like those of Earth, have their limits. As the pace of space exploration picks up, we’ll have less time to reflect on the types of stewards we want to be in space.

We humans don’t exactly have the best record of protecting our own planet. Too often on Earth, we’ve been slow to recognize the environmental harm we have caused. Perhaps space offers a second chance, an opportunity to show that we know better.

The time to reflect is now.

more after the jump:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/07/space-environmentalism/

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« Reply #8827 on: Jul 15th, 2013, 11:00am »

Guardian

Two suspected militants struck in North Waziristan region while seven others killed in Pakistani military operation.

Reuters in Peshawar
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 14 July 2013 09.57 EDT

At least nine suspected militants, including two foreigners, were killed in Pakistan's lawless tribal region in a US drone strike and a separate Pakistan military operation, security officials said on Sunday.

Pakistan has seen a spate of militant attacks since prime minister Nawaz Sharif took office last month, putting pressure on his team to act more aggressively to curb the insurgency.

Missile strikes by unmanned US aircraft have inflicted the most damage against Taliban fighters in the mountainous areas straddling the Afghan border in past years, sometimes with heavy civilian casualties.

In the third such attack since Sharif came to power, two suspected militants riding a motorcycle were struck by missiles in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan on Saturday night, one official said.

"The two men, probably Arab nationals, were passing through Mosaki village when the drone fired two missiles and hit them," said the official.

Their identities were not clear. Another security source said they were foreign militants of Turkmen origin.

It is difficult to check the impact of drone attacks on both militants and civilians because independent observers and journalists have almost no access to the areas where most of the strikes occur.

The government, while condemning drone attacks as a violation of its sovereignty, wants to appear decisive in its own efforts to combat militants on its soil and has vowed to map out a new security strategy to tackle the insurgency.

In a separate operation by the Pakistan air force, jets pounded several militant hideouts overnight, killing seven insurgents, senior security officials said.

"These areas are known as strongholds of the militants from where they stage deadly attacks in Kohat and Peshawar," one official in Kohat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Pakistani military officials believe mountains linking the Orakzai, Khyber and Kurram tribal areas are one of the main strongholds for the Taliban-linked militants in Pakistan.

Another senior military official in the northwestern frontier city of Peshawar confirmed that air strikes had taken place "somewhere between Orakzai and Khyber".

"We could hear the sounds of fighter jets and see flames when bombs were dropped in the mountains," Shafqat Hussain, a local resident in Kohat, said of the overnight operation.

Many Taliban and their al-Qaida allies fled Afghanistan to Pakistan's tribal areas after the U.S. invasion in 2001. They retreated even deeper into the mountains following a Pakistan army offensive in 2009, launching attacks from places where ground forces cannot reach them.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/14/us-drone-strike-pakistan

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« Reply #8828 on: Jul 15th, 2013, 11:02am »






Published on Jul 14, 2013


Source: http://www.wwaytv3.com/2013/07/12/ufo...
Story aired July 12, 2013.
Two men in Shallotte, North Carolina have been experiencing and recording UFO sightings on a consistent basis since 2012.

~

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« Reply #8829 on: Jul 15th, 2013, 11:04am »

Reuters

Russia's Putin: signs Snowden is shifting on the U.S.

GOGLAND ISLAND, Russia
Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:52am EDT

(Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday he saw signs that Edward Snowden, the former U.S. spy agency contractor turned fugitive leaker, was shifting towards stopping "political activity" directed against the United States.

Putin, who has previously refused to handle Snowden over to the U.S. authorities, also said Snowden's situation remained unresolved after Washington had blocked further movements for him.

(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Douglas Busvine)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/15/us-usa-security-snowden-idUSBRE96E0JC20130715

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« Reply #8830 on: Jul 15th, 2013, 11:06am »

Science Daily

Asian Origins of Native American Dogs Confirmed

July 10, 2013 — Once thought to have been extinct, native American dogs are on the contrary thriving, according to a recent study that links these breeds to ancient Asia.

The arrival of Europeans in the Americas has generally been assumed to have led to the extinction of indigenous dog breeds; but a comprehensive genetic study has found that the original population of native American dogs has been almost completely preserved, says Peter Savolainen, a researcher in evolutionary genetics at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

In fact, American dog breeds trace their ancestry to ancient Asia, Savolainen says. These native breeds have 30 percent or less modern replacement by European dogs, he says.

"Our results confirm that American dogs are a remaining part of the indigenous American culture, which underscores the importance of preserving these populations," he says.

Savolainen's research group, in cooperation with colleagues in Portugal, compared mitochondrial DNA from Asian and European dogs, ancient American archaeological samples, and American dog breeds, including Chihuahuas, Peruvian hairless dogs and Arctic sled dogs.

They traced the American dogs' ancestry back to East Asian and Siberian dogs, and also found direct relations between ancient American dogs and modern breeds.

"It was especially exciting to find that the Mexican breed, Chihuahua, shared a DNA type uniquely with Mexican pre-Columbian samples," he says. "This gives conclusive evidence for the Mexican ancestry of the Chihuahua."

The team also analysed stray dogs, confirming them generally to be runaway European dogs; but in Mexico and Bolivia they identified populations with high proportions of indigenous ancestry.

Savolainen says that the data also suggests that the Carolina Dog, a stray dog population in the U.S., may have an indigenous American origin.

Savolainen works at the Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab www.scilifelab.se), a collaboration involving KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University, the Karolinska Institutet and Uppsala University.


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130710182540.htm

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« Reply #8831 on: Jul 16th, 2013, 11:00am »

Japan Times


Utility seeks to overturn reactor ban

NRA judgment of active fault at Tsuruga plant challenged

Kyodo, JIJI
July 16 2013

Japan Atomic Power Co. filed a petition Tuesday seeking to revoke the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s instruction issued in May to assess how spent-fuel assemblies would be affected by movement in a fault that runs under one of its reactors at the Tsuruga nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture.

The move by Japan Atomic Power, which is angling to restart the Tsuruga reactors, is aimed at countering NRA’s conclusion that the fault is active.

This is the first protest filed by a power firm based on the administrative appeal law against the NRA since the regulatory body debuted last September.

A team of experts under the NRA compiled a report in May concluding that a crush zone under reactor 2 at the Tsuruga plant is an active fault requiring attention under seismic-resistant design guidelines for nuclear plants.

The NRA authorized the report and instructed the power company to submit an assessment by the end of July of how spent-fuel assemblies stored in a pool in the building housing reactor 2 could be affected by a quake.

In its objection, Japan Atomic Power requested the cancellation of the instruction, arguing that providing such an assessment would be tantamount to concluding the fault is active, which the firm denies.

The company argues that the NRA’s conclusion about the fault is mistaken and therefore the instruction based on it is illegal.

At the same time, the company said it will submit an evaluation report later this month as instructed because it can’t risk being penalized for not complying.

Last Thursday, Japan Atomic Power submitted a report to the NRA insisting that the fault shows no trace of movement during the past 120,000 to 130,000 years and therefore does not meet the definition of an active fault.

The NRA is now looking into that report.

Under the seismic-resistant design guidelines, no important structure in a nuclear facility can be built above an active fault.

Separately Tuesday, the NRA held its first meetings with power utilities to check whether their reactors satisfy the new safety requirements introduced following the 2011 Fukushima reactor meltdowns.

Four utilities have so far applied for the NRA’s safety assessments on a total of 12 reactors for which restarts are being sought.

The new requirements, introduced July 8, oblige utilities to put in place for the first time specific countermeasures against possible severe calamities, like reactor core meltdowns, as well as against huge tsunami — the direct cause of the catastrophe at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 complex.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/07/16/national/utility-seeks-to-overturn-reactor-ban/#.UeVtcJDn-1s

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« Reply #8832 on: Jul 16th, 2013, 11:03am »

Guardian

Arizona wildfire escalated rapidly before 19 firefighters were killed

Report describes in detail inferno-like conditions and unpredictable weather that led to deaths in Yarnell Hill

Associated Press in Phoenix
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 16 July 2013 08.53 EDT

A new report shows an Arizona wildfire that began with a lightning strike and caused little immediate concern because of its remote location and small size quickly grew into an inferno, leading officials to rapidly order more resources in the hours before the flames killed 19 members of an elite hotshot crew.

The report from the Arizona state forestry division provides precise detail about the response to the fire that began on 28 June outside the small town of Yarnell, including the unpredictable weather around the blaze and the exact times in which it escalated and key resources were deployed.

The report does not address the question of why the fire crew was still on the mountain above the town more than an hour after the winds shifted about 180 degrees and brought the fire back toward them. It also was not immediately clear whether the hotshots were warned of the erratically changing weather before they were forced to take shelter and were killed.

The report describes how the fire worsened hour by hour – causing flames up to 20 feet high – as managers called in inmate and hotshot firefighting crews and air support.

After the blaze was ignited about 60 miles north-west of Phoenix, an aerial unit assessed it. The unit found the fire to be "less than one acre, in a large boulder field", with little smoke and no structures at immediate risk.

Officials ordered two inmate crews, an engine and a helicopter to report to the scene early Saturday morning, 29 June, to "work multiple lightning fires" in the area.

By the next day, the Yarnell Hill fire was the only one still burning and had grown only slightly, to about four acres. Small, single-engine aircraft were used throughout the day as crews worked the ground.

By 5.30pm, the fire was only about six acres in size.

Air support was ordered but could not respond due to thunderstorms and high winds, according to the report. Later, a DC-10 capable of dropping large amounts of fire retardant to prevent the spread of flames was available but not ordered due to concerns about its effectiveness in the steep, boulder-strewn terrain and because darkness was setting in.

By 7.38pm, the blaze had grown to about 100 acres but was still "advancing slowly".

On Sunday at about 8am, the 20-member Granite Mountain Hotshots team arrived and headed in to fight the fire, as small aircraft and helicopters worked the blaze from above. Heavy air tankers were ordered just after noon, but only one was able to respond, making multiple retardant drops on the fire.

According to the report, the fire had now increased in size to about 1,000 acres and was burning swiftly through an area that had not experienced a significant wildfire in nearly 50 years.

Two large air tankers were sent back to the Yarnell Hill Fire to try to stall its advance.

A few hours later, at 3.26pm, officials received word of heavy winds from a thunderstorm moving into the area as the fire grew.

Soon thereafter, the blaze was so out of control that officials asked for half of the available western US heavy air tanker fleet – six planes. It was about 4pm.

Five of the planes were not deployed because of the limited number of tankers in the nation's aerial firefighting fleet and the dangerous weather conditions at the time. Jim Paxon, a spokesman for the Arizona division of forestry, which was managing the fire, said one plane had been headed to the fire from California, but engine problems forced it to turn back.

Paxon noted that even if the planes had been available, winds were so strong they couldn't have been used to save the firefighters' lives.

"We could have had air tankers stacked up from here to the stratosphere and it wouldn't have made a difference," he said Monday. "The fire went through retardant lines like they were non-existent."

Within 45 minutes, at 4.47pm, the hotshot crew radioed that they were trapped and deploying their emergency shelters. Less than two hours later, 19 of them were found dead. Only one crew member who was assigned as the lookout survived.

A national team of investigators is working to understand more about the firefighters' deaths and is expected to finish an initial report in about two months.

Paxon said the behavior of the fire and the enormous "blowup" when the winds shifted was highly unusual.

"It was just an extreme situation," he said.

The fire destroyed more than 100 homes before it was fully contained on 10 July.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/16/arizona-yarnell-hill-wildfire-report

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« Reply #8833 on: Jul 16th, 2013, 11:05am »

NASA.gov

Tuesday Spacewalk Ended Early

July 16 2013

A little more than one hour into Tuesday's spacewalk, Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency reported water floating behind his head inside his helmet. The water was not an immediate health hazard for Parmitano, but Mission Control decided to end the spacewalk early.

Flight Director David Korth directed that both Chris Cassidy and Parmitano return to the Quest airlock and re-enter the station. Cassidy took care of clean-up procedures before returning to the airlock. The spacewalk officially began at 7:57 a.m. EDT, and ended at 9:39 a.m. when the airlock was repressurized, for a total duration of 1 hour, 32 minutes.

Cassidy and Parmitano had planned to complete a number of tasks to prepare for the arrival of a new Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module later this year, replace a video camera on the Japanese Exposed Facility experiment platform, relocate wireless television camera equipment, troubleshoot a balky door cover over electronic relay boxes on the station’s truss and reconfigure a thermal insulation over a failed electronics box that was removed from the station’s truss last year.

http://www.nasa.gov/content/tuesday-spacewalk-ended-early/index.html

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« Reply #8834 on: Jul 16th, 2013, 11:11am »

Wired

8 Stunning Industrial Sites, From an Atom Smasher to a Solar Furnace

By Liz Stinson
07.16.13
6:30 AM



User Image
The radio anechoic chamber at Denmark’s Technical University.
Photo: Alastair Philip Wiper




At first glance, Marriage’s flour mill in Chelmsford, England looks like any other drab industrial park building. With its boxy shape and nondescript shades of army green and taupe, the factory’s exterior gives few clues to its intricate insides. “It’s just kind of a big warehouse on the side of the road that you wouldn’t really notice,” says photographer Alastair Philip Wiper. “But once you go inside there are these pipes going everywhere.”

For Wiper, a place like Marriage’s is a dream photography subject. Like most of the places he shoots, it’s industrial, functional, but ultimately visually complex. For the past year, the Copenhagen-based photographer has been documenting some of the most unexpectedly cool spaces imaginable. Wind tunnels, solar furnaces, anechoic chambers—none of Wiper’s subjects were meant to be models of beauty. Yet they all have their own particular allure. “The kind of infrastructure that is needed to supply us with daily products that we take for granted is pretty crazy,” he explains. “There are a lot of years of innovation and building and technology that we don’t really know anything about.”

gallery and more after the jump:
http://www.wired.com/design/2013/07/ever-wonder-what-the-inside-of-an-solar-furnace-looks-like-this-is-it/

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