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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 112479 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #9345 on: Oct 24th, 2013, 09:33am »

Scientific American

Cacophony of Shipping Noise Found in Humpback, Killer Whale Habitat

Researchers guess that the whales' acoustic spaces are being reduced by 50 percent or 80 percent

By Elizabeth Howell
October 23, 2013

Humpback whales and killer whales are losing up to 94 percent and 97 percent, respectively, of their communication space in the busiest areas of the ocean off the British Columbia coast, according to a new study.

Although this simplified summary represents a somewhat pessimistic interpretation of 10,000 hours of underwater noise levels in various sites off the coast that yielded highly variable results, researchers say the finding is helpful because it demonstrates a method that tries to interpret what those noise levels might mean to fish or whales.

"On average, what we found is, the habitats that are most important to resident killer whales — both northern and southern populations — are the noisiest of the sites we are studying," said Rob Williams, study leader and a whale researcher with the sea mammal research unit of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

The areas most preferred by humpback and fin whales are quieter, he added, but there may be no legal protection to keep the sites that way. The study focused on three whale species, but the researchers hope to expand their work to more marine creatures, such as fish.

Shouting above the dial tone

Whale vocalizations serve many purposes, as far as researchers can tell. Calls can be used to coordinate whale movements to find food or head to mating grounds. Fish also emit calls: For example, male cusk-eels flex their muscles to emit mating calls through the water.

Marine creatures can communicate across tens of miles, but no one knows just how far whales are using and responding to the acoustic information that may be contained in their songs, or how well they are able to compete with the noise from human ocean activities. Fin whales, in particular, have very loud calls, making it easy for them to shout above ship noise at short distances, the researchers found, whereas calls made by humpbacks and killer whales are fainter and, therefore, more likely to be masked by ship noise.

"We really don't have good information on the size of the habitat that the whales are using," Williams told LiveScience. "You can say the whale's acoustic space is being reduced by 50 percent or 80 percent, but that is relative to our best guess about the range the whales are using."

The calls were recorded on a device built by the Bioacoustics Research Program at Cornell University, led by co-author Christopher Clark.

The underwater microphones, called "pop-ups," were placed on the seabed and programmed to record ship noise, whale calls or anything else that went by, collecting 4 terabytes of data between 2008 and 2010. The team sailed back to each deployment site in the fall, and played an underwater sound to retrieve the recorder.

"It's like pressing a garage-door opener: The machine is smart enough to listen for that signal and nothing else," Williams said. "It releases an electric current that burns through a wire, and they slowly pop up to the surface with hard drive and electronics intact."

Involving the whale community

Williams' team decided to crowdsource their work as much as possible to cut down on research costs. Local boat taxis, whale watchers, scientists and other people on the water were asked to deploy and pick up all 12 microphones and associated equipment, which weighed anywhere between 200 and 500 lbs. (90 and 230 kilograms) depending on the equipment's configuration. Williams said his improvised collaborators were eager to help.

Noise is an easy thing to fix in oceans that are facing acidification, a warming climate and other situations that would take decades to address, Williams added. To cut down on the cacophony, ships could slow down or avoid whale-filled areas, or manufacturers could construct quieter vessels, he suggests.

The funding for the research came from a wide range of individual donors and private foundations, including the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in the United States, the Marisla Foundation and the Canadian Whale Institute.

A study based on the research was recently published in the journal Animal Conservation. Some members of Williams' team also did a study showing increasing humpback-whale populations in British Columbia that was published in the journal PLOS ONE in September.


http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=cacophony-of-shipping-noise-found-humpback-killer-whale-habitat

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WingsofCrystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9346 on: Oct 24th, 2013, 09:36am »

on Oct 24th, 2013, 09:30am, Luvey wrote:
Good morning lovely lady... smiley

Its rather hypocritical isn't it.... when they are spying on the whole world... wink

Luvey




Good morning Luvey,

Gobsmacking, jawdropping audacity.

Crystal


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« Reply #9347 on: Oct 24th, 2013, 1:53pm »

Der Spiegel

Frenemies: Spying on Allies Fits Obama's Standoffish Profile

By Gregor Peter Schmitz
October 24, 2013 – 07:20 PM

Diplomats are not surprised that the security agencies under US President Barack Obama have reportedly been monitoring close allies like German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He has failed to foster close relationships with other heads of state, causing much frustration around the world.

US President Barack Obama was scheduled to visit the Church of Our Lady cathedral in Dresden during a June 2009 whistle-stop visit to Germany. Diplomats from the German Foreign Ministry had painstakingly planned every last detail. They were looking forward to the photographs of Chancellor Angela Merkel with the US president in front of cheering crowds.

But the White House bristled. The president didn't want to do that -- that was the word in Washington. He reportedly placed little value on such photo ops, and he had to leave as quickly as possible, to get to an appearance at the Buchenwald concentration camp. The haggling went back and forth for weeks, and in the end the White House gave in, but only a little. Obama raced through Dresden. After their visit inside the church, Merkel had to shake hands with visitors by herself. The president had already disappeared.

On this day, at the latest, it must have dawned on diplomats that this US president was different from his predecessors. He was someone who did not attach value to diplomatic niceties nor to the sensitivities of his close friends, which he already had proven as a presidential candidate. At that time he put Chancellor Merkel in an awkward position by wanting to make a campaign speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate. This site was traditionally set aside for sitting presidents, which Obama also knew.

The Democrat, who prefers to spend his evenings with his family or alone in front of his computer, has made it no secret in Washington that he does not want to make new friends. That maxim especially applies to his foreign diplomacy. Unlike his predecessor George W. Bush, Obama is loved by the people of the world, but much less by their heads of government. On the heels of recent revelations that US spy agencies might have monitored Chancellor Merkel's cell phone, the complaints about Merkel's "lost friend" Obama are misplaced. Obama doesn't want to be a friend

A Frosty Welcome

During a recent visit by a European head of government to Washington, the atmosphere was described as frosty by those in the entourage from Europe. Obama didn't find the time for even a little small talk, the sources said, and "it seemed to some like an appointment with a lawyer."

Obama angered Nicolas Sarkozy by choosing to dine with his family instead of with France's then-president during his visit to Paris. The Polish and Czech heads of state informed the president by telephone that they would not install a long-planned missile defense system. And when it comes to Britain, traditionally America's closest partner, Obama was initially uncomfortable with the long-held notion of a "special relationship" between the two countries. He may have expressed his vision for the friendship when, on his state visit, he brought the queen an iPod as a gift. London was not amused.

The frustration extended well beyond the typical bruised vanities of the Europeans, whom members of the Obama administration like to describe behind closed doors as infantile. An African head of government said during a visit to Washington that he longed for the days of George W. Bush. At least with him, he said, one knew where one stood.

'Coolness Has Its Price'

Israel, one of the closest allies of the US, was irritated that Obama didn't find time for a state visit during his first term in office. Obama let the relationships with Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan's president, and the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki deteriorate so much that the troop withdrawals grew more difficult.

And Obama promised the Asian diplomats that he would be the "Pacific president," but he just cancelled his trip to the continent because the budget debate was more important to him.

So much non-diplomacy is new among US presidents. Reagan wooed Margarent Thatcher. George H.W. Bush confided in Helmut Kohl as Bill Clinton did in Tony Blair. George W. Bush, who many thought was an isolationist, could count on a whole team of "buddies," such as the then-prime minister of Spain, José Aznar, and the Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. He even entertained them at his ranch in Texas.

Merkel was also invited there, and in return Bush ate a dinner of wild boar in her German electoral district. The chancellor has from time to time said that she values such trans-Atlantic closeness.

That is over. "Coolness has its price," Washington Post columnist Jackson Diehl wrote in 2010, adding that Obama appeared to have no genuine friend among world leaders. But what for? He has the NSA.


http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/merkel-cell-phone-affair-fits-obama-neglect-of-personal-diplomacy-a-929871.html

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9348 on: Oct 24th, 2013, 2:07pm »

Obama set his history in motion on his original campaign.
Change,ya,so much so that many friends I have had denounced him 6 mos after his 1st election.
I as a US citizen am ashamed of the Commander in Chief(?).
My son as an Army current is appalled by his behavior towards Vets in the US. shocked
These current and ongoing events are only the beginning of his demise,IMHO.
BTW,I did not vote that bastard in,nor did I vote for anyone else..I'm not bitching ,just saying what peeps have expressed to me.
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« Reply #9349 on: Oct 24th, 2013, 5:25pm »

on Oct 24th, 2013, 2:07pm, jm57 wrote:
Obama set his history in motion on his original campaign.
Change,ya,so much so that many friends I have had denounced him 6 mos after his 1st election.
I as a US citizen am ashamed of the Commander in Chief(?).
My son as an Army current is appalled by his behavior towards Vets in the US. shocked
These current and ongoing events are only the beginning of his demise,IMHO.
BTW,I did not vote that bastard in,nor did I vote for anyone else..I'm not bitching ,just saying what peeps have expressed to me.


Hi jm57,

I dislike Obama so much that when he comes on TV I have to change the channel.

Crystal


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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9350 on: Oct 25th, 2013, 02:16am »

Mozilla Goes Ape on Transparency
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/mozillas-lightbeam-tool-will-expose-who-is-looking-over-your-shoulder-on-the-web-8902269.html



Just who is looking over your shoulder when you browse the Internet? Tomorrow, web users will be given a new tool to shine a light on the commercial organisations which track your every movement online.

Lightbeam, a download produced by Mozilla, the US free software community behind the popular Firefox browser, claims to be a “watershed” moment in the battle for web transparency.

Everyone who browses the Internet leaves a digital trail used by advertisers to discover what your interests are.

Users who activate Lightbeam will be able to see a real-time visualisation of every site they visit and every third-party that is active on those sites, including commercial organisations which might potentially be sharing your data.

Mozilla wants users who install the Lightbeam add-on to Firefox, to crowd-source their data, to produce the first “big picture” view of web tracking, revealing which third-parties are most active.

Lightbeam promises a “Wizard of Oz” moment for the web, “where users collectively provide a way to pull back the curtains to see its inner workings,” Mozilla claimed.

Mark Surman, Mozilla’s executive director, said: “It’s a stake in the ground in terms of letting people know the ways they are being tracked. At Mozilla, we believe everyone should be in control of their user data and privacy and we want people to make informed decisions about their Web experience.”

Mozilla already offers users the ability to disable “cookies” - small files that download from websites onto a computer, allowing advertisers to target users based on their online activity – an option taken up by 18 per cent of UK Firefox users.

Lightbeam will reveal the source of the third-party adverts, scripts and images stored on a web page which are linked to servers in other domains. An expanding graph visualises the interactions between the sites a user intentionally visits and the third parties which may not be welcome.

Mozilla has come under “tremendous pressure” from trade bodies over its mission to bring transparency to the web, said Alex Fowler, the company’s Privacy Officer.

The software company said it was responding to increased privacy concerns following the revelation that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had tapped directly into the servers of Internet firms including Facebook, to track online communication in a surveillance programme.
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« Reply #9351 on: Oct 25th, 2013, 08:30am »

Good morning Sys cheesy

Crystal



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« Reply #9352 on: Oct 25th, 2013, 08:35am »

Wired

The Exclusive Inside Story of the Boston Bomb Squad’s Defining Day

By Brian Castner
10.25.13
6:30 AM

Two explosions. Hundreds of injuries. A sea of backpacks to be searched by hand. The worst day in the life of the Boston Bomb Squad.

On the morning of April 15, 2013, Chris Connolly, a sergeant with the Boston police bomb squad, completed a ritual he had performed annually for the past eight years. It started after dawn at the corner of Boylston and Dartmouth in the city’s tony Back Bay neighborhood. There Connolly and his teammates peered inside trash cans, peeked into car and store windows, and inspected flower planters.

In the post-9/11 world, this was standard operating procedure, a precaution practiced by civilian bomb squads around the country. Later that morning half a million spectators would watch nearly 25,000 athletes run the Boston Marathon, and security experts have considered major sporting events to be potential terrorist targets since the bombing at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. Even at this early hour, revelers were starting to gather, most ignoring the techs methodically working their way around bars and restaurants and postrace recovery areas.

Connolly himself looks more like a weight lifter than a jogger, a stocky P90X devotee with military-short salt-and-blond hair. With his blue eyes and thick accent, he is a cliche of the Boston Irish cop. His father was even a longshoreman. He started his career as an average patrolman and worked his way up to sergeant and night-shift supervisor after years of chasing gangs and drugs. After 9/11 he volunteered for the FBI’s challenging Hazardous Devices School—it was all volunteers, nobody gets coerced into working with explosives—and then became a member of the city’s 17-man bomb squad in 2004.

Once the Back Bay sweep was done and the route declared clear, Connolly returned to his post near Copley Square, the hub for medical staff and exhausted runners just past the finish line. The forecast called for cool weather. “Good,” Connolly thought, “fewer heat victims for the docs.”

Other bomb techs took up positions elsewhere along the route, but each knew that the finish line—the maximum concentration of bystanders and media—was the most likely place for an incident to occur. For now, they stood by, ready to respond to a suspicious car or an untended bag discovered by a K-9 patrol.

A sweep and a long wait: This was the life of an urban bomb squad. The hardest part, as Connolly knew, was staying alert. It’s difficult to maintain vigilance in the face of overwhelming statistical evidence that nothing is going to happen. Soon runners started coming in—the swift ones first, but gradually the slower ones, in greater numbers and more celebratory.

It happened at 2:50 pm. Connolly didn’t see the first explosion; he felt it. By the time his brain registered what it was, he felt another. The Boston Public Library and a mass of exhausted runners blocked his view. But slowly a cloud of smoke began to rise above the rooflines.

Connolly pushed his way through the dazed crowd, running toward the finish line. He saw nothing but confusion and pain. It smelled like burning hair. An acrid haze hung like smog. People were sprawled everywhere on the pavement, some with limbs at impossible angles. His mind raced. A bomb? Two? Smaller than a car bomb, for sure. But still stout, maybe 10 pounds, and easy to hide. Panicked runners were fleeing past him. Several people were trying furiously to make calls on their cell phones. To initiate another device? How many more bombs were there? Was this going to be another Madrid? Mumbai?

Connolly surveyed the scene for lone packages and backpacks—anything that could hide another similar device.

He saw bags everywhere.

With no other options, he pulled out his knife, grabbed a bag, and cut into it.

Ripping open potential explosive devices with a knife is not standard procedure. Bomb squads are loaded with sophisticated equipment, and techs normally inspect suspicious packages with a robot, an x-ray machine, or a remotely detonated explosive tool. A so-called hand entry—that Hollywood-style search for the red wire—is almost never done, unless there is no other way to quickly save a life. But that is exactly the situation Connolly and his fellow bomb squad colleagues faced in Boston.

I was an explosive-ordnance-disposal officer in the US Air Force, and I have been disarming bombs or training military and civilian squads for more than a decade. I deployed twice to Iraq, where I dismantled car bombs and investigated suicide attacks. I’ve witnessed the worst that humans can do to each other. But I have never experienced anything like what the Boston bomb squad went through in April.

Bomb work is usually highly methodical. In an average operation, a team of bomb techs will spend an hour or two disassembling a single device—and that’s if it proves to be a hoax. If it is live, it takes longer. Safety is foremost. As a military officer, fighting a war overseas, I was trained that no bomb was worth my life or the lives of the men and women under me. None of us ever made a blind hand entry. We worked bombs the right way, or we didn’t work them at all.

In Boston the rules changed. This attack wasn’t on the battlefield but on American soil, in the middle of a massive public event, and that forced the bomb techs to work in ways they never had before. They knew they could die but had a job to do: protect people from being killed by another device. Suspected explosives needed to be eliminated in seconds. The primary tool became a knife. Every single suspicious package needed to be checked.

One of the legacies of the Boston bombing will be that it officially ushered the United States into the modern epoch of Betty Crocker explosives: Follow a recipe in Inspire, al Qaeda’s online magazine, to whip up a pressure cooker packed with nails. It’s a reality that other nations know well; four suicide bombs detonated on trains and a bus in London, 10 backpack bombs discharged on trains in Madrid, three devices exploded in Bali, coordinated time-bomb attacks aimed at civilians in Mumbai hotels and taxis. And while American bomb squads were aware of these events, of course, and had even trained for them, none had seen the chaos, confusion, and enormous risks up close. No one was quite prepared for this.

McCormick saw body parts. Then he saw it — twisted metal and a battery that were clearly out of place.

When he heard the first boom, Mitch McCormick thought, “They must have shot off a celebratory cannon. That’s new.” But when the BPD bomb squad veteran felt the second crack deep in his chest, heard it echo down the Boylston Street channel, he knew, just knew, what it was. “Those are bombs!” he shouted at his partner, and jumped in the truck.

When he arrived at the second blast site, he saw “a girl with no legs,” he says. She was a grisly mess yet somehow already had tourniquets on both limbs. McCormick didn’t stop; he was a bomb tech, not a medic, and he knew that right now his job was to keep another device from going off.

Blood and cash and food were strewn everywhere. McCormick could see frightened forms huddling in a restaurant, behind a wall of glass. If there was another bomb on the patio …

He stepped inside and yelled, “If another bomb goes off, the glass will fragment into you!” The place emptied immediately. It worked so well he went next door and said the same thing.

In training, McCormick had heard that the head and feet of a suicide bomber remain intact after a blast while the rest of their body disintegrates, but he had never actually had a chance to test that rumor. Truth was, his total “live” experience was typical of most civilian bomb techs: three pipe bombs and a smattering of old hand grenades found in veterans’ attics.

He didn’t see any severed heads, but he did see other body parts. Then he saw it—the twisted sheet metal and a battery. The jagged shards were so obviously out of place among the discarded shoes and jackets and water bottles of the runners and victims. He realized it most likely had been hidden in a backpack, and he was surrounded by those, abandoned on the streets and sidewalks.

“Well, now I know what I’m looking for,” he thought, and then took a breath to steel himself. “Mitch,” he told himself, “this is American history in the making, and you’re smack-dab in the middle of it. Now don’t fuck this up, ’cause you’d rather be dead than have another one of these go off.”

“If two, why not three?” Connolly thought as he tore into a bag. He avoided the zipper, which could be a trigger, and cut into the base of the pack as he’d been taught. Nothing. If three, why not four? He cut into the next backpack, nearly slipped on the blood-slicked sidewalk, and tore the bag in two. Nothing. There would be a third bomb for sure, he reasoned, to kill the cops and medics. He reached for another bag.

“I’m gonna f**king die,” he thought. “One of these is gonna be real. But that’s OK. If it goes, it goes. That’s just the way it’s going to be today.”

Connolly cut through several more bags before he realized he couldn’t clear them all himself. He needed more techs. He tried his cell phone first but couldn’t get through. He reached for his handheld radio on his belt and pushed the transmit button.

“I need every available bomb tech at Boylston and Exeter. Boylston and Exeter. Now!”

more after the jump:
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/10/boston-police-bomb-squad/all/

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« Reply #9353 on: Oct 25th, 2013, 08:38am »

Science Daily

Bees Underwent Massive Extinctions When Dinosaurs Did

Oct. 24, 2013 — For the first time ever, scientists have documented a widespread extinction of bees that occurred 65 million years ago, concurrent with the massive event that wiped out land dinosaurs and many flowering plants. Their findings, published this week in the journal PLOS ONE, could shed light on the current decline in bee species.

Lead author Sandra Rehan, an assistant professor of biological sciences at UNH, worked with colleagues Michael Schwarz at Australia's Flinders University and Remko Leys at the South Australia Museum to model a mass extinction in bee group Xylocopinae, or carpenter bees, at the end of the Cretaceous and beginning of the Paleogene eras, known as the K-T boundary.

Previous studies have suggested a widespread extinction among flowering plants at the K-T boundary, and it's long been assumed that the bees who depended upon those plants would have met the same fate. Yet unlike the dinosaurs, "there is a relatively poor fossil record of bees," says Rehan, making the confirmation of such an extinction difficult.

Rehan and colleagues overcame the lack of fossil evidence for bees with a technique called molecular phylogenetics. Analyzing DNA sequences of four "tribes" of 230 species of carpenter bees from every continent except Antarctica for insight into evolutionary relationships, the researchers began to see patterns consistent with a mass extinction. Combining fossil records with the DNA analysis, the researchers could introduce time into the equation, learning not only how the bees are related but also how old they are.

"The data told us something major was happening in four different groups of bees at the same time," says Rehan, of UNH's College of Life Sciences and Agriculture. "And it happened to be the same time as the dinosaurs went extinct."

While much of Rehan's work involves behavioral observation of bees native to the northeast of North America, this research taps the computer-heavy bioinformatics side of her research, assembling genomic data to elucidate similarities and differences among the various species over time. Marrying observations from the field with genomic data, she says, paints a fuller picture of these bees' behaviors over time.

"If you could tell their whole story, maybe people would care more about protecting them," she says. Indeed, the findings of this study have important implications for today's concern about the loss in diversity of bees, a pivotal species for agriculture and biodiversity.

"Understanding extinctions and the effects of declines in the past can help us understand the pollinator decline and the global crisis in pollinators today," Rehan says.

The article, "First evidence for a massive extinction event affecting bees close to the K-T boundary," was published in the Oct. 23, 2013 edition of PLOS ONE. Funding for the research was provided by Endeavour Research Fellowships (Rehan) and Australian Research Council Discovery Grants (Schwarz).

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,300 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131024121158.htm

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« Reply #9354 on: Oct 25th, 2013, 08:41am »

Guardian

Germany and France warn NSA spying fallout jeopardises fight against terror

Angela Merkel and François Hollande lead push at EU summit to reshape transatlantic spying and agree new code of conduct

by Ian Traynor in Brussels
Friday 25 October 2013 07.31 EDT

Germany and France are to spearhead a drive to try to force the Americans to agree new transatlantic rules on intelligence and security service behaviour in the wake of the Snowden revelations and allegations of mass US spying in France and tapping of the German chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone.

At an EU summit in Brussels that was hijacked by the furore over the activities of the National Security Agency in the US and Britain's GCHQ, the French president, François Hollande, also called for a new code of conduct agreed between national intelligence services in the EU, raising the question of whether Britain would opt to join in.

Shaken by this week's revelations of NSA operations in France and Germany, EU leaders and Merkel in particular warned that the international fight against terrorism was being jeopardised by the perception that mass US surveillance was out of control.

The leaders "stressed that intelligence-gathering is a vital element in the fight against terrorism", a summit statement said. "A lack of trust could prejudice the necessary co-operation in the field of intelligence-gathering."

Merkel drove the point home: "We need trust among allies and partners. Such trust now has to be built anew … The United States of America and Europe face common challenges. We are allies. But such an alliance can only be built on trust."

Privately, according to senior sources who witnessed the two-hour discussion of intelligence snooping on Thursday evening, Merkel told the other leaders that the issue at stake was not that her mobile phone may have been tapped by the Americans, but that it represented "the phones of millions of European citizens".

While conceding that intelligence services everywhere might be prone to behaving badly, Hollande dismissed suggestions that the Americans were merely operating as other security services also did. He complained that the revelations by the US whistleblower, Edward Snowden, showed a level of eavesdropping and data gathering that took place nowhere in Europe and was unique to the US agency.

It is plain that the French and the Germans want to limit the damage from the NSA furore, but also hope to engage the Americans to rein in their activities. They set a deadline of the end of the year for results. The statement said other countries could join the negotiations, leaving the door open for British participation.

Given the role of GCHQ in the mass surveillance, Cameron found himself the target of veiled criticism at the summit, according to witnesses. Merkel complained that Britain enjoyed a privileged position with the Americans because it is the only EU member in the "Five Eyes Club" – the intelligence-sharing arrangement linking the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Senior EU security officials suspect that Berlin may seek to exploit the crisis to gain admission to, or at least greater co-operation with, the Five Eyes pact.

Cameron, sources said, responded to the critical remarks by stressing that under his premiership the shared intelligence with the four other countries had resulted in several terrorist plots being foiled, with countless lives saved.

The controversy deepened on Thursday when the Guardian revealed that the NSA had monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders after being given their phone numbers by an official in another US government department. The latest claims, which emerged from a classified document provided by Snowden, have further overshadowed this week's EU summit in Brussels.

Despite US efforts to placate Merkel – including a phone call with the US president, Barack Obama, on Wednesday – she has refused to conceal her anger.

Merkel briefed the other leaders in some detail on the 20-minute conversation with Obama, sources said, adding that several participants commented that they thought the US leader was "embarrassed".

The European anger and frustration was directed at a US agency seen to be out of control and beyond appropriate scrutiny rather than being aimed at Obama.

The latest confidential memo provided by Snowden reveals that the NSA encourages senior officials in its "customer" departments – such as the White House, state department and the Pentagon – to share their Rolodexes so that the agency can add the phone numbers of leading foreign politicians to their surveillance systems.

The document notes that one unnamed US official handed over 200 numbers, including those of the 35 world leaders, none of whom has been named. These were immediately "tasked" for monitoring by the NSA.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/25/germany-france-nsa-spying-merkel-hollande-eu

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« Reply #9355 on: Oct 25th, 2013, 08:46am »

Chicago Sun Times

UFO summit to land in Tinley Park

By Mike Nolan
October 24, 2013 8:28PM

Sam Maranto said he became interested in unidentified flying objects in the early 1960s and gave his first presentation on UFOs to classmates when he was in junior high school.

A UFO researcher from Orland Park who has spent nearly five decades studying the subject, Maranto will be among the presenters at this weekend’s Heartland UFO Summit in Tinley Park. The event, which is open to the public, will be held Friday through Sunday at the Hilton Garden Inn, 18335 LaGrange Road.

Maranto said the intent of the summit is to “promote serious conversation, information and thought” on a subject that fascinates anyone who’s ever looked at the night sky and spotted a light that doesn’t appear to be an airplane passing overhead or a satellite.

The three-day event, which will include talks by noted UFO researchers, will give “people who feel they have had a genuine encounter” with something otherworldly a forum to discuss their experience, Maranto said.

Many Southland residents think they may have had a close encounter with something extraterrestrial, and Maranto said that will be the subject of one of the talks.

In August 2004, people in Tinley Park and Orland Park reported seeing of a trio of red lights that appeared to travel across the sky noiselessly in a triangular formation. Similar sightings were reported around the same time in Minnesota, Texas, Canada and Australia.

The lights returned to the Southland on Halloween of that year, then again in September 2005. Thousands of people witnessed the lights and many recorded video images, making it one of the best “mass sighting” cases ever, Maranto believes.

The lights were the subject of a 2008 episode of Discovery Channel’s program “UFO Hunters.” Maranto said he hopes to some day write a book about the mysterious Southland lights.

While his full-time job is in insurance and financial services, he is also director of the Illinois Mutual UFO Network, a volunteer organization that investigates UFO sightings and promotes research on the subject.

During the summit, talks and other events are scheduled from 1 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door, and more information is available at www.heartlandufo.com or by emailing Maranto at mufonsam@comcast.net

http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/news/23291811-418/ufo-summit-to-land-in-tinley-park.html

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« Reply #9356 on: Oct 25th, 2013, 08:49am »




Please be an angel



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« Reply #9357 on: Oct 26th, 2013, 09:25am »

Huffington Post

Peru's Government UFO Agency Officially Reactivated After Increase In Sightings

By Lee Speigel
Posted: 10/25/2013 2:53 pm EDT
Updated: 10/25/2013 4:26 pm EDT

Peru's official UFO investigation department is now back in business, and its government is soliciting information from the public after an increase of sightings.

The Peruvian Office of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena Research (OIFAA) -- which was shut down for the last five years -- will seek the expertise of air force personnel, sociologists, archaeologists and astronomers to analyze as much information as possible about UFOs, OpenMinds.tv reports.

For those "who observe seemingly unconventional phenomena, which cause surprise or concern, know that there is an institution that will study and research your information," said Peru air force Col. Julio Jose Vucetich Abanto, who is in charge of the Directorate of Aerospace Interests.

The OIFAA was originally set up in 2001, but closed after seven years because of administrative issues. But other South American countries -- including Chile, Brazil and Argentina -- have ongoing UFO investigative agencies.

Vucetich told the press over the weekend that the Peruvian UFO agency is coming back to life due to "increased sightings that are occurring in the country and that people are reporting to media."

Media reports indicate that citizens of the central Andes town of Marabamba have been spotting luminous objects in the sky for several days.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/25/ufo-investigation-peru-air-force_n_4158181.html

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« Reply #9358 on: Oct 26th, 2013, 10:38am »

I'm taking a break from Stuff & Nonsense.

God Bless.

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GREAT SPIRITS ALWAYS ENCOUNTER THE MOST VIOLENT OPPOSITION FROM MEDIOCRE MINDS E=MC2


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« Reply #9359 on: Oct 26th, 2013, 11:29am »

CRYSTAL,

A WELL EARNED BREAK INDEED...I APPLAUD YOUR INCESSANT CONTRIBUTIONS...AND I'M SURE MANY HERE ARE APPLAUDING AS WELL...HAPPY GOBBLE GOBBLE,MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AS WELL!!!

SHALOM...ZETAR
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GREAT SPIRITS ALWAYS ENCOUNTER THE MOST VIOLENT OPPOSITION FROM MEDIOCRE MINDS E=MC2
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