Saturday, June 30, 2012

Drones vulnerable to terrorist hijacking, researchers say

Source: Fox News

“Spoofing a GPS receiver on a UAV is just another way of hijacking a plane,” Humphreys told Fox News.

In other words, with the right equipment, anyone can take control of a GPS-guided drone and make it do anything they want it to.

“Spoofing” is a relatively new concern in the world of GPS navigation. Until now, the main problem has been GPS jammers, readily available over the Internet, which people use to, for example, hide illicit use of a GPS-tracked company van. It’s also believed Iran brought down that U.S. spy drone last December by jamming its GPS, forcing it into an automatic landing mode after it lost its bearings.

Monday, June 25, 2012

America's Shameful Human Rights Record

Jimmy Carter wrote an Op-Ed for the New York Times in which he explains the sad state of the United States' human rights record. A few of his points are listed below

Source: New York Times

THE United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights.

Top officials are targeting people to be assassinated abroad,including American citizens.
As a result, our country can no longer speak with moral authority on these critical issues.

Recent legislation has made legal the president's right to detain a person indefinitely on suspicion of affiliation with terrorist organizations or "associated forces."

Recent laws have canceled the restraints in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to allow warrantless wiretapping and government mining of our electronic communications.

Any man killed by drones is declared an enemy terrorist,the death of nearby innocent women and children is accepted as inevitable.

The detention facility at Guantanamo Bay,Cuba,now houses 169 prisoners. About half have been cleared for release. Some have been tortured by waterboarding more than 100 times or intimidated with semiautomatic weapons,power drills or threats to sexually assault their mothers.

As concerned citizens, we must persuade Washington to reverse course and regain moral leadership according to international human rights norms that we had officially adopted as our own and cherished throughout the years.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tifton 85 GM Bermuda Grass Appears To Be Producing Cyanide

Source: <a href="">CBS News</a>

A genetically-modified form of Bermuda grass known as Tifton 85 mysteriously started producing cyanide.

"When our trainer first heard the bellowing, he thought our pregnant heifer may be having a calf or something," said Abel. "But when he got down here, virtually all of the steers and heifers were on the ground. Some were already dead, and the others were already in convulsions."

Within hours, 15 of the 18 cattle were dead.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Nature fights back - bugs devour GM Monsanto corn with a vengeance

Source: Natural News

In a research paper published in the July/August/September 2012 issue of the journal GM Crops & Food, scientists reported that samples taken in 2010 indicated that rootworm populations had an eleven-fold survival rate on Cry3Bb1 maize than did control populations. The paper noted that resistant corn rootworm populations first identified in 2009 had three-fold survival rates on Cry3Bb1 maize at that time compared to other populations.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Syria: David Cameron considered ordering special forces to seize Russian ship

There are reports that the CIA is providing arms to rebel opposition groups in Turkey near the border of Syria. Russia recently shipped helicopters to Syria and claims that the helicopters were previously shipped from Syria to Russia in order to have repairs made and that the repairs were ordered long before Syria began attacks on protestors. Now it appears that the UK escalated the situation further.

Source: Telegraph

David Cameron considered ordering British special forces to board and impound a Russian ship suspected of carrying arms to Syria, it has emerged.

Cobra, the Government's emergency security committee, met several times as the MV Alaed approached British waters.

With the United States placing pressure on Britain to halt the vessel, the prime minister was regularly briefed on the situation. It is understood that he was presented with several options including a military seizure of the ship.

Avoiding a confrontation that could have damaged already strained ties with Russia, the government instead took action to ensure that the Alaed's insurance cover was withdrawn.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Jesse Ventura: 'Our Military has turned into contract killers'

Jesse Ventura is promoting his new book and he's not holding back any of his opinions.

Source: The Raw Story

The one-time Navy SEAL went on to complain that even though President Obama is pulling troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, “he’s leaving private contractors over there, a lot of them. He hasn’t closed Gitmo yet. He didn’t prosecute anyone for torture. We’re now a country known throughout the world, we torture people, and I’m ashamed of that.”

Friday, June 15, 2012

John McCain speaks out against Citizens United and Romney's Super PAC

Source: Public Report

Sheldon Adelson earned a good chunk of his tremendous fortune in China and he announced yesterday that he will be giving $10 million to Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney super PAC. His future contributions could be “limitless.” McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign also took money from Sheldon Adelson and his family.

Yesterday, John McCain told PBS’s News Hour,

“Much of Mr. Adelson’s casino profits that go to him come from his casino in Macau, which says that obviously, maybe in a roundabout way foreign money is coming into an American political campaign… That is a great deal of money, and we need a level playing field and we need to go back to the realization… that we have to have a limit on the flow of money and corporations are not people.”

McCain has long been a critic of big money in politics, calling Citizens United "the most misguided, naïve, uninformed, egregious decision of the United States Supreme Court in the 21 st Century.”

This is a Suspicious News Brief.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

China’s 2012 Report On Human Rights In The United States

The United States State Department issues reports on the human rights practices of nearly 200 countries. In response, China Daily published a report on the US human rights record to help bring things into perspective.

Source: China Daily

The State Department of the United States released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011 on May 24, 2012. As in previous years, the reports are full of over-critical remarks on the human rights situation in nearly 200 countries and regions as well as distortions and accusations concerning the human rights cause in China. However, the United States turned a blind eye to its own woeful human rights situation and kept silent about it. The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011 is hereby prepared to reveal the true human rights situation of the United States to people across the world and urge the United States to face up to its own doings.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Federal Reserve: American Families' Net Worth Plunged 39 Percent Over Three Years

Source: The Washington Post

The Federal Reserve said the median net worth of families plunged by 39 percent in just three years, from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. That puts Americans roughly on par with where they were in 1992.

This is a Suspicious News Brief.

Smart Meters Are 'Massive Surveillance' Tech

Source: The Register

The European Data Protection Supervisor has warned that smart meters are a significant privacy threat and wants limits on the retention and use of customer data before it's too late.

Peter Hustinx, who fills the role with the assistance of Giovanni Buttarelli, admits there are advantages of smart metering, but warns that the technology will "also enable massive collection of personal data which can track what members of a household do within the privacy of their own homes". He pulls up examples of baby monitors and medical devices, which have identifiable patterns of energy consumption and could therefore be used to monitor what people are doing.

That might sound fanciful, but researchers have already demonstrated that the pattern of energy consumed by a decent flat-screen TV can be used to work out what programme is being watched, and Hustinx is probably right that this isn't information most of us would wish to share with our electricity providers.

Implosion of The Houla Massacre Story - Is Anyone Paying Attention?

Source: Blog

The Assad government was telling the truth when it said that Syrian forces did not commit the [Houla] massacre. According to the "regime change" narrative, the regime to be changed must be immediately and totally discredited so that nothing it claims is to be believed. Even some alternative and antiwar sites painstakingly repeated regime change propaganda about the horrors of the Assad regime —repeated with particular venom by those who six months earlier could scarcely find Syria on the map. The question is now, if they were telling the truth about Houla, what else have they been telling the truth about all along?

This is a Suspicious News Brief.

Afghamistan War Coming Home to U.S.

Some of the Afghan nationals who were injured have been immiggrated to the U.S. so they can be cared for. This essentially me ns that our tax dollars pay for both the unjury and care for these people. It sounds like Department of Defense contractors are not doing their fair share when it comes to protecting the Afghan nationals they hire to do our bidding.

Source: SFGate

Federal law requires American defense contractors to carry insurance to provide employees with medical care and compensation,but there is no verifiable data as to how many employees who are Afghan nationals receive compensation after injury.

The federal government needs to provide veteran services for those who became refugees as a consequence of serving with the U.S. military. Better yet,the contractors need to provide more protection and compensation for these individuals in Afghanistan to keep them from becoming refugees.

Our tax money went to fund the war,and now it funds social services to help these people once they become refugees. Ultimately,the taxpayer pays double.

This is a Suspicious News Brief.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Americans Are as Likely to Be Killed by Their Own Furnature as by Terrorism

Source: The Atlantic

Of the 13,288 people killed by terrorist attacks last year, seventeen were private U.S. citizens, or .001 percent. A comparable number of Americans are crushed to death by their televisions or furniture each year. This is not to diminish the real--albeit shrinking--threat of terrorism, or to minimize the loss and suffering of the 13,000 killed and over 45,000 injured around the world. For Americans, however, it should emphasize that an irrational fear of terrorism is both unwarranted and a poor basis for public policy decisions.

This is a Suspicious News Brief.

The School of the Americas, the CIA and the US-Condoned Cancer of Torture

This is a very short snippet of a very long article about the US Government involvement in training Latin American military and government officials in methods of torture and abuse throughout Latin America. This article also covers many specific incidents of torture, murder, rape and dissapearing of people as a result of this training. In many cases it seems that the CIA may have even been directly involved in carrying out torture and violations of human rights.

Source: Truth Out

And then there is, of course, the legacy of the infamous School of the Americas (now renamed the euphemistic Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation: WHINSEC). It has been accused of teaching torture, which was confirmed in a US government admission during the Clinton administration. Although now, under its new WHINSEC name, it claims to no longer offer such instruction.

Of the School of the Americas, Harbury told BuzzFlash in a 2005 interview:

Very simply, the School of the Americas is a US military institution that has given training and education to high-level military officials from across Latin America for 40 years now. The students who they have trained and educated, in huge numbers, turned out to have been the worst human rights violators in the Western Hemisphere, bar none. We're talking about high-level people under Pinochet. We're talking about eight to twelve of my husband's torturers. We're talking about people involved in massacre upon massacre within El Salvador, including people that were highly implicated in the murder of Monsignor Romero and the Maryknoll church women, etc.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

US Air Force X37-B will land after the secret mission was extended to a full year

Source: Mail Online

The U.S Air Force’s highly secret unmanned space plane will land in June - ending a year-long mission in orbit. This is the second experimental Boeing X37-B flight and it has been circling Earth at 17,000 miles per hour. This mission was scheduled to land in California in December but it is now expected to land in mid to late June.

According to X-37B manufacturer Boeing, the space plane operates in low-earth orbit, between 110 and 500 miles above earth. By comparison, the International Space Station orbits at about 220 miles.

Last May, amateur astronomers were able to detect the orbital pattern of the first X-37B which included flyovers of North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, heightening the suspicion that the vehicle was being used for surveillance.

Other industry analysts have speculated that the Air Force is just making use of the X-37B’s amazing fuel efficiency and keeping it in space for as long as possible to show off its credentials and protect it from budget cuts.

After all, under budget cuts for 2013 to 2017 proposed by the Obama administration, the office that developed the X-37 will be shut down.

This is a Suspicious News Brief.

Friday, June 8, 2012

TSA & FLL Airport Admit Lying in FOIA Response, Say They Can

Source: TSA Out of Our Pants!

If you’ve been following along for a while, you know that I have a lawsuit against the TSA for unlawfully detaining me at FLL airport after I told them they couldn’t “touch my junk,” in addition to the lawsuit that’s now sitting at the US Supreme Court which hopes to ban the scanners and the groping. After the FLL incident, I requested, via the Freedom of Information Act, the checkpoint videos of the TSA illegally holding me for one hour. I eventually got responses from all parties who could have possibly had the videos saying that no video exists:

This despite signs at the checkpoint that say, “Checkpoint under video surveillance” and at least 14 visible camera domes at the checkpoint. Eventually, the truth came out: Broward County has (or at least had) the videos, but formally lied to me “for security purposes.” Follow this logic: there are signs that say there is video being taken, there are more than a dozen visible camera domes, and every idiot expects they are being video taped while inside an airport, but the TSA and Broward County think that, for security reasons, they can’t admit to having a video of me at their checkpoint. ...
What kind of democracy would we be in when the government is allowed to lie to its citizens? How can we meaningfully exercise our constitutional rights to vote, petition our government for redress, and due process when the government not only hides from us the facts, but affirmatively says the exact opposite of the truth?

This is a Suspicious News Brief.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

High Blood Caffeine Levels in Older Adults Linked to Avoidance of Alzheimer's Disease

Source: Alpha Galileo Foundation

“These intriguing results suggest that older adults with mild memory impairment who drink moderate levels of coffee -- about 3 cups a day -- will not convert to Alzheimer’s disease -- or at least will experience a substantial delay before converting to Alzheimer’s,” said study lead author Dr. Chuanhai Cao, a neuroscientist at the USF College of Pharmacy and the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute.

This is a Suspicious News Brief.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fear and Loathing and Windows 8

It sounds like everybody will be tempted to rethink the decision to have or not have a PC running Windows. I'm gempted to install and kick the tires.

Source: Mobile Opportunity

The rollout of Windows 8 has very important implications for not just Microsoft but everyone in the tech industry. In normal times, most people are unwilling to reconsider the basic decisions they have made about operating system and applications. They've spent a huge amount of time learning how to use the system, and the last thing they want to do is start learning all over again. That's why the market share of a standard like Windows is so stable over time. But when a platform makes a major transition, people are forced to stop and reconsider their purchase. They're going to have to learn something new anyway, so for a brief moment they are open to possibly switching to something else. The more relearning people have to do, the more willing they are to switch. Rapid changes in OS and app market share usually happen during transitions like this.

This is a Suspicious News Brief.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Japan's Latest Nuclear Crisis: Getting Rid of Radioactive Debris

Source: The Atlantic

The government insists that its radiation limits ensure that the program will pose no health risks to surrounding residents. Those limits, however, have been significantly relaxed since the disaster at Fukushima. Radioactivity is measured by becquerel per kilogram, or bq/kg. Previously, Japanese regulations required nuclear waste with 100 or more bq/kg of Cesium to be monitored and disposed of in specialized containers. But the new limit for debris in the "wide area incineration" program is 240 to 480 bq/kg. Because radioactive particles accumulate and concentrate in the ash of burned rubble, the material headed for local landfills could be significantly more radioactive. The new government limit for material headed for landfills is 8000 bq/kg, 80 times the pre-Fukushima limit.

Because garbage incinerators inevitably serve as collecting grounds for radiation spread across large areas, in some cases, the limit of 8000 bq/kg has been surpassed even in facilities processing local garbage in Tokyo, according to the Ministry of the Environment. Such stories have exacerbated fears that incinerating debris from areas even closer to Fukushima could produce potentially hazardous irradiated ash.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at The Atlantic

Monday, June 4, 2012

Ron Paul supporters take over Louisiana Republican State Convention

It's been very interesting watching the Republican party fighting amongst themselves throughout the primary election season. This weekend, the Louisiana Republican party made last-minute changes to Convention rules so they could prevent Ron Paul from gaining more deligates.  The Ron Paul campaign has managed to swing many of the deligates to Ron Paul and are causing quite a bit of contraversy at several state conventions. I'm looking forward to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fl because I think the infighting may come to a head. I predict the national convention will look like an episode of Jerry Springer, with white-trash teabaggers insulting each other's momma and beating the crap out of each other.

Source: KTBS

Delegates to represent Louisiana at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL were chosen today, but not without issue. Ron Paul supporters took control of Louisiana's Republican State Convention Saturday, starting their own. It's a trend Paul supporters are doing around the nation, and it's leaving the Republican party divided.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at KTBS.