This is a second bombing in two days in Volgograd
Specialists at the intelligence organization succeeded years ago in penetrating the company's digital firewalls. A document viewed by SPIEGEL resembling a product catalog reveals that an NSA division called ANT has burrowed its way into nearly all the security architecture made by the major players in the industry -- including American global market leader Cisco and its Chinese competitor Huawei, but also producers of mass-market goods, such as US computer-maker Dell. SpiegelSpiegel pretty much confirms that the NSA has backdoor access to many, if not all, networking and security products.
The grounds of Etiler Police School, the only empty plot in Etiler, with a value of $1 billion, was sold to a company for $460 million with no public bidding. The state sustained a financial loss of $600 million in this sale. Including planned construction on the site, the financial loss to the state may have reached several billion dollars.
The same company waited only one month for a mining license in a forested area of Sultanbeyli Paşaköy although the Forestry Ministry had denied all such permission in that area for some time previously. In return for the mining license, which had a value of $10 billion, one of the suspects became a 50 percent partner in the business without paying the company's owner. After some time, the owner left the partnership and the company was taken over by the other partner, who had paid nothing.
In order to purchase newspapers and TV channels owned by a media group, some businessmen paid $100 million each to certain suspects in the investigation.
A piece of land in the Üçağaç neighborhood of İstanbul's Pendik district was sold by the Kadıköy 3rd Enforcement and Bankruptcy Directorate at a discount. Before the land was offered up to bidding, bogus companies were created and only they were allowed to compete for the tender.
A plot found in the Zeytinli neighborhood of İzmir's Urla district, a first-degree protected area at the time, had its status unlawfully demoted to that of a third-degree area. However, construction began on the land even before it was opened up to such development.
Rigging was involved in the tender of the Mecidiyeköy-Mahmutbey Metro Line. Several days before the tender, the managers of several companies came together and set the offers they would make in the tender.
As they were being returned to state ownership, a company was given a tender for the renovation of 14 power plants.
In return for bribes, the work of businessmen experiencing legal obstacles in the construction sector has been facilitated. Under the guise of donations, the businessmen bribed politicians' relatives to take state tenders.
Public land was unlawfully transferred to a foundation through political means. Examples include land belonging to İstanbul Gas Distribution Industry and Trade Inc. (İGDAŞ) and the İstanbul Transportation Authority (İETT). Because of plans to construct a hotel on private land next to public land that had been transferred to the foundation, an attempt was made to acquire the private land through threats.
Rigging was involved in the tender for the rental of the “Büfe-Büvet-Café” businesses to be opened in Yenikapı Station as part of the Marmaray project. The authorities' suspicions about an investigation were confirmed through the TİB and there was a pause in the rigging activities.
A company was informed in advance of the desired bid for the construction of a road between Viranşehir and Kızıltepe in southeastern Turkey, so the tender was rigged in this manner.
Confidential information about the Ankara-İstanbul High-Speed Train Project tender was also shared by some involved in the project. Today Zaman
** All NGOs affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood are now banned.
** All activities of the Muslim Brotherhood - including protests and gathering - are now illegal and will be met with force.
** Members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been told by the government to withdraw their memberships or face arrest. Penal code says those belonging to a "terrorist group" face 5-years in jail.
** The Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, is now banned.
** Government says Hamas may be declared a terrorist organization 'soon.'
The Cabinet was shaken by the resignations of three ministers on Wednesday over a sweeping corruption and bribery investigation, with one of the ministers calling on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to step down as well.
Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan and Interior Minister Muammer Güler announced their resignations earlier in the day. They denied any involvement in corruption or bribery and said their resignations were aimed at helping the “truth to come out.”
However, Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar, in a harsh statement, claimed that he had been pressured to submit his own resignation to save the prestige of the government, adding that the prime minister should also quit as most of the amendments on construction plans mentioned in the corruption investigation were made on Erdoğan's orders. Today's Zaman
Yesterday ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda took the extraordinary measure of filing an application to indefinitely adjourn the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in order to seek additional evidence to sustain the prosecution. At the core of the request is the ongoing issue of witness tampering that has haunted the ICC in Kenya for years.
Allegations of bribing, threatening and even killing potentially cooperative witnesses to the 2008 post-election violence date back to at least 2009. Several witnesses that provided testimony to UN officials have later refused to testify or simply disappeared. While international organizations like the UN Office of Drugs and Crime stepped in to help Kenya amend its domestic witness protection program and Western countries contributed to the ICC’s witness relocation program, gaps persisted. Kenya’s new Witness Protection Agency largely went unfunded while relocation offers only a temporary reprieve for witnesses facing harm.
By the time Deputy President William Ruto’s trial started earlier this year, several witnesses pulled out while others significantly changed testimony. Human rights groups have alleged such reversals are the result of high level pressure by political elites while others accuse human rights groups of coaching witnesses to lie to support the ICC charges. UN Dispatch
An FCO spokesman said: "We strongly advise all British nationals in South Sudan to leave the country if they can do so safely. You may have difficulty leaving in the event of a further deterioration in security."Sky
Ukraine expects economic growth of 3 percent in 2014, a draft budget showed on Thursday, days after Russia offered a $15 billion lifeline to help revive its smaller neighbour's economy and keep the country in its orbit.
Ukraine's economy has shrunk for the last five quarters and Ukraine had been seen at risk of default before Tuesday's deal between Kiev and Moscow, under which Russia will offer cheaper gas supplies and buy up $15 billion of Ukrainian bonds. Reuters
Torture, flogging, and summary killings are rife in secret prisons run by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), an armed group that controls large areas of northern Syria, said Amnesty International in a briefing published today.
ISIS, which claims to apply strict Shari’a (Islamic law) in areas it controls, has ruthlessly flouted the rights of local people. In the 18-page briefing, Rule of fear: ISIS abuses in detention in northern Syria, Amnesty International identifies seven detention facilities that ISIS uses in al-Raqqa governorate and Aleppo.
“Those abducted and detained by ISIS include children as young as eight who are held together with adults in the same cruel and inhuman conditions,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Director for the Middle East and North Africa. Amnesty International
The top Western-backed commander of the opposition forces in Syria has been run out of the country by Islamist militants, US officials said Wednesday.Yeah, Bashar al-Assad has won although the conflict is not ending soon. There are an estimated 2.5 million Syrian refugees outside Syria and many millions more have been displaced in the country.
According to US officials cited by the Wall Street Journal, Free Syrian Army General Salim Idris was forced to take flight. RT
The bread-and-butter of a model’s income is earned through "privates," sessions where members pay $2 a minute for a one-on-one webcam chat with a model. Some of that normally goes to the hosting site, then 40 to 75 percent goes to the studio, leaving the models with between 60 and 25 cents a minute, depending on what studio they work in.
The key, even for erotic models, is to keep your clothes on for as long as possible, which isn't too difficult because ejaculation is less of a priority for members than you’d imagine. Most of them are divorced men looking for a little companionship. From Anica’s description, modeling sounds a lot like working in sales: ask them lots of questions about themselves and be interested in what they say and they’ll love you forever—or at least until their money runs out. Eventually they might ask you to take your clothes off, at which point you’re expected to lie back and get it over with.
Making $15 to $36 an hour wouldn't be terrible under normal circumstances, but given the nature of the work, it’s a good thing there are Vice
Shanghai's concentration of tiny, harmful PM 2.5 particles was 602.5 micrograms per cubic meter on Friday afternoon, an extremely hazardous level that was the highest since the city began recording such data last December. That compares with the World Health Organisation's safety guideline of 25 micrograms. Guardian
By all counts and measures, Bradley Smith is an unequivocal business success. He's CEO of Rescue One Financial, an Irvine, California-based financial services company that had sales of nearly $32 million last year. Smith's company has grown some 1,400 percent in the last three years, landing it at No. 310 on this year's Inc. 500. So you might never guess that just five years ago, Smith was on the brink of financial ruin--and mental collapse.Entrepreneurship looks sexy from the outside but it is a nutty world.
Back in 2008, Smith was working long hours counseling nervous clients about getting out of debt. But his calm demeanor masked a secret: He shared their fears. Like them, Smith was sinking deeper and deeper into debt. He had driven himself far into the red starting--of all things--a debt-settlement company. "I was hearing how depressed and strung out my clients were, but in the back of my mind I was thinking to myself, I've got twice as much debt as you do," Smith recalls. Inc
Tension had been building since Friday, when Yanukovich declined to sign a landmark pact with EU leaders at a summit in Lithuania, going back on a pledge to work towards integrating his ex-Soviet republic into the European mainstream. ReutersYanukovich is the current President of Ukraine. He wants to take Ukraine to join Euroasian Economic Community instead.
Russia, Ukraine’s main source of energy, loans, and trade, wants to dissuade its geographical partner from making a "suicidal" move towards Europe and sacrifice the option of joining the Russian-led Customs Union, that by 2015 will be extended to the Eurasian Economic Union, after a number of other CIS members, like Armenia, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan join the club.
Greenwald and the Huffington Post say the NSA document identifies six Muslim targets as examples of people whose credibility can be undermined by exploiting their online sexual activity, among other things. In a chart listing their "vulnerabilities", two of the six are identified as being involved in "online promiscuity". GuardianIt's some sort of official blackmailing.
Meanwhile, Iran has to do the following things: halt the enrichment of all uranium above 5 percent and freeze the stockpile of uranium enriched to 3.5 percent; neutralize its stockpile of uranium that’s been enriched to 20 percent (either by diluting it to 5 percent purity or converting it to a form that cannot be used to make a weapon); stop producing, installing, or modernizing centrifuges; stop constructing more enrichment facilities; halt all activities at the Arak nuclear reactor (which has the potential to produce nuclear weapons made of plutonium); permit much wider and more intrusive measures of verification by the International Atomic Energy Agency, including daily inspections of all facilities. Slate
Fatah officials hope that the return of the Egyptian military to unchallenged power after the removal of President Mohammed Morsi offers the latest and perhaps best chance to return to Gaza in triumph, with or without Dahlan at the helm. Some believe that Fatah's best opportunity lies in defeating Hamas' rule by increasing broad opposition from within Gaza's population of 1.7 million. Others, among them some opponents of Dahlan, suggest that a Palestinian brigade mustered in al Arish could march on Gaza and, with Egyptian support, defeat the broad array of Hamas forces created in the last decade.It's a bizarre world this Middle East. In Egypt right now being a Palestinian is like a cursed mark. There is a tremendous xenophobia being fanned by the Egyptian media against the Palestinians especially after the ouster of Morsi.
Egypt, however, is in no mood for anything Palestinian, either of the Hamas or the Fatah variety. Not only is Sisi fed up with Hamas, he has more immediate challenges to address than those championed by the PLO. During a recent visit by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), this new line was made clear — Cairo has no interest in mediating Palestinian reconciliation after years in which this dialogue was lead by Egypt's security service. Nor will it respond to Fatah's hopes that Sisi's antipathy towards Hamas could be turned to its favor. Al Monitor
Ironically, at a time when the regime in Cairo is more hostile than it has been in recent memory to Hamas, and its concern about the national security challenge posed to Egypt by Islamists there and more broadly throughout Sinai is most keenly felt, Israel has emerged as a key advocate of Hamas' continued rule and has taken practical measures to somewhat offset the harder Egyptian policy line.
"What we want is calm and security in the Gaza Strip," Turgeman said. "Hamas, currently the sovereign power in the territory, has the means and the know-how. I see no alternative to control being exercised by Hamas."
On 1 January 2014 Indonesia will launch the largest public health insurance scheme in the world. It will unite a bewildering array of current schemes to cover the entire population, with the poor getting their health care free. (BBC)The ambition is pretty awe inspiring. Let's hope for competent execution.
It was a narrow escape for Novel, himself a former policeman and now lionized as “supercop” by Indonesian media, and once again, also for the anti-corruption agency. Since its establishment in 2002, the KPK has become, contrary to all expectations, a fiercely independent, resilient, popular and successful institution that is a constant thorn in the side of Indonesia’s establishment. The Jakarta GlobeThere are three shining lights in the Indonesian government right now:
The latest violence in the suburb of Tajoura, involving local militiamen and fighters from Misrata, left one dead.
Friday's clashes occurred after protesters marched on the headquarters of the Misrata militia to demand that it leave Tripoli, and were fired upon.
The leaders of a movement for self-rule in oil-rich in eastern Libya said they have formed a regional company to handle its sales of crude oil, one of the most serious challenges yet to the central government and its revenue lifeline. ABC News
Yeah that is strange. Especially since in Government jobs which employ 40% of the work force, gender plays no role and they get paid exactly the same. And we've had equality in voting and education before even some European countries. And women have the right to get a divorce and get custody of all the kids automatically and we can drive...
I think the challenge with these polls and researches is that they don't distinguish between the laws that exist and society's behavior. On the legal aspect Egyptian women are as empowered as their European and American counterparts. Job opportunities and equal pay is guaranteed by law, labor law protects pregnant women and those on maternity leaves from being fired, women have equal rights to education and to vote and to be active members of the government. And so far the personal affairs laws are very pro women, FGM is illegal and underage marriage is also illegal and women have the right to be notified if their husband has taken on a second/third or fourth wife so they can seek a divorce if they want. So legally I think Egypt outranks most of the Middle east and is on par with the developed world.
Once you look at the society you see that people do not respect some of these laws. But you cannot discount the fact that the law is on the woman's side in Egypt.
As far as I could see they polled experts in each country about their country, asking them to evaluate its progress and problems on scales. So it was not a comparative study, but they produced a comparative result. Unless I've missed something, all that really says is that Egyptian experts are less satisfied about the state of women's rights in Egypt than Saudi experts are about the state of women's rights in Saudi Arabia or Tunisian etc etc. Kind of like the report a while ago which showed that Egypt was the most dangerous country in the world for tourists. If this was how it worked, then the media shouldn't really be giving a platform to such statistical illiteracy.The reality is that if they were to rank the treatment of women in Egypt, it would have fallen somewhere in the middle rank. Egypt is not a role model country for the treatment of women but it is by far not the worse country in the Arab world for women.
Then French foreign minister Laurent Fabius showed up and threw cold water on the whole process. He clearly was attempting to torpedo the agreement, rejecting the whole notion of a six-month confidence-building period without substantial Iranian concessions. In the French system, the foreign minister doesn’t typically have a lot of autonomy, so Fabius was almost certainly acting at the orders of Socialist President Francois Hollande, who is way down in the polls and may feel the need to seem strong internationally, asserting himself against the US and Iran. The arrogance of the US and the perfidy of the far right religious government in Tehran are two things that both center-right and center-left French can agree upon. Hollande, having intervened in Mali, seems to want to throw his weight around in the Middle East. He may see an opportunity for France to come up in the world now that much of the Arab world and Israel is angry at Washington for its opening toward Iran. The US for decades has pulled off a balancing act of allying both with Israel and Saudi Arabia, in part by pointing to the danger of Iran to both. Since Obama seems to be abandoning that ploy, Paris may think there is a vacuum that it can fill. Juan ColeThere are a lot of reports pointing out that France was the reason behind the failure for the Geneva p5+1 and Iran talk to produce agreement.
One anonymous diplomat told journalists, “The Americans, the European Union and the Iranians have worked intensively for months on this proposal, and this is nothing more than an attempt by Fabius to give himself belated importance.”
As might be expected, he does not like Twitter. More to the point, he does not approve of Twitter, especially for a certain segment of the population. “If you’re famous, I don’t—for the life of me—I don’t understand why any famous person would ever be on Twitter. Why on God’s green earth would you be on Twitter? Because first of all, the worst thing you can do is make yourself more available, right? Because you’re going to be available to everybody. But also Twitter. So one drunken night, you come home and you’ve had two too many drinks and you’re watching TV and somebody pisses you off, and you go ‘Ehhhhh’ and fight back.Twitter is a double edge sword - use with care. There are so many careers ruined by Twitter posts.
“And you go to sleep, and you wake up in the morning and your career is over. Or you’re an asshole. Or all the things you might think in the quiet of your drunken evening are suddenly blasted around the entire world before you wake up. I mean, when you see, like, Ashton Kutcher coming out going, you know, ‘Everybody leave Joe Paterno alone,’ or whatever he said, you just go, ‘Fifteen minutes longer and a thought process and probably you wouldn’t have done that.’ ” Esquire
China's apotheosis, in other words, seems unstoppable. When the Pew Research Center surveyed 38,000 people in 39 countries over the summer, it found that the vast majority "believe the global balance of power is shifting.… China's economic power is on the rise, and many think it will eventually supplant the United States as the world's dominant superpower." In Washington, the Obama administration has touted a "pivot" of U.S. interests to Asia that Beijing believes is intended to counter its ascent.That picture above is I think Shanghai - and those grays are super heavy duty air pollution.
Yet there are just as many signs today that China is in deep trouble. America and the rest of the world should be less concerned about a rising China than about a sputtering—or even a crashing—China that could someday turn the world economy's greatest growth center into a global albatross. National Journal
Fighters from the Democratic Republic of Congo's M23 group, including their commander Sultani Makenga, have surrendered in Uganda, officers have said, signalling the end of an 18-month armed conflict.The UN did amazing job on this part. They actually gave the UN forces some strong mandate to get it done and boy, they got it done.
The rebel surrender follows a crushing defeat at the hands of the UN-backed Congolese armed forces.
"He is with our forces, yes, Makenga has crossed into Uganda," a senior Ugandan military officer told AFP news agency, although he declined to clarify if he had formally surrendered or was under arrest.
Paddy Ankunda, a colonel in the Ugandan army, told AFP news agency on Thursday that 1,500 men from the M23 - a number thought to account for almost the entire force - had crossed into Uganda and given themselves up, and were now being held in the Kisoro border district. Al Jazeera
Lawyers and a member of the Federal National Council have said a 1983 law that considers sorcerers con artists was insufficient, and have called for the law to be amended to allow harsher punishment.
“Magic and sorcery has nothing to do with religion,” Salim Al Ameri (Abu Dhabi) said. “It only affects people badly.”
He recently recalled a case he heard of a “sorcerer” who told someone he could make the sky rain money. The National
The German, French, Spanish and Swedish intelligence services have all developed methods of mass surveillance of internet and phone traffic over the past five years in close partnership with Britain's GCHQ eavesdropping agency.I am telling you - there are no innocent governments on this regard.
The bulk monitoring is carried out through direct taps into fibre optic cables and the development of covert relationships with telecommunications companies. A loose but growing eavesdropping alliance has allowed intelligence agencies from one country to cultivate ties with corporations from another to facilitate the trawling of the web, according to GCHQ documents leaked by the former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. Guardian
On Thursday October 24, 2013, an Oklahoma court ruled against Toyota in a case of unintended acceleration that lead to the death of one the occupants. Central to the trial was the Engine Control Module's (ECM) firmware.
Barr's ultimate conclusions were that:
- Toyota’s electronic throttle control system (ETCS) source code is of unreasonable quality.
- Toyota’s source code is defective and contains bugs, including bugs that can cause unintended acceleration (UA).
- Code-quality metrics predict presence of additional bugs.
- Toyota’s fail safes are defective and inadequate (referring to them as a “house of cards” safety architecture).
- Misbehaviors of Toyota’s ETCS are a cause of UA.
A team of astrophysicists at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und- Raumfahrt; DLR), together with German and European colleagues, has discovered the most extensive planetary system to date. Seven planets circle the star KOI-351 – more than in other known planetary systems. They are arranged in a similar fashion to the eight planets in the Solar System, with small rocky planets close to the parent star and gas giant planets at greater distances. Although the planetary system around KOI-351 is packed together more tightly, it provides an interesting comparison to our cosmic home. Livesperkilis
The United States may have bugged Angela Merkel's phone for more than 10 years, according to a news report on Saturday that also said President Barack Obama told the German leader he would have stopped it happening had he known about it. ReutersI am not worried too much with world leaders being bugger/monitored. It comes with the job. What I hate is government monitoring ordinary citizens' communications.
The Swedish furniture giant IKEA has sent self-assembly huts to the savanna of Ethiopia to house Somali refugees. If the test case proves successful, they soon could be used as alternatives to tents in other parts of the world. SpiegelThis is awesome. IKEA has the industrial capacity to produce and distribute large number of ready made shelters around the world. Right now each shelter costs 7K USD because they are made by hand and still in prototype stages. They aim to reduce the price to 1K USD for large scale production.
I think it's important to note that comparisons to "the physical hardware costs $x" or "a start-up could have done this project for $y" are completely invalid. This is an easy trap for anyone who has ever tinkered in their basement or hacked away at code can fall into. In Real Life (TM) no massive integrated system is built by MacGyver on a $5 budget.From the engineering perspective, Federal Online exchange marketplace is a massive and complex undertaking. It is a massive project with strict deadlines. No one with a software engineering background and a bit of common sense are surprised with the problems plaguing the system.
First, recall that this is a government project. There are inefficiencies and bureaucracy. Preferred suppliers. Yes, even political sweetheart deals. Percentages to the raw cost get added at every level; imagine 5 to 10 levels of subcontractors. Second, this project deals with healthcare data. The sheer amount of laws that govern the usage of this data are mind boggling. Not to mention every state has a different set of rules. This complexity is incredibly high, inefficient, and requires many, many domain experts as compared to a standard "big data computer, turn the crank" system. Lawyers, Health Policy people, Doctors, Bureaucrats in health, etc.
Third, this project has insurance companies. Insurance companies have an even more complex system of actuarial science and secret sauce that they use to package policies. Think about how long it takes an agent to get a single quote together for you. A half hour on a good day, and a week on a bad one. Now imagine every insurance company in your state having to produce a quote, using a different system of their computers and algorithms, and black magic based on this juggernaut of a government system. At this point, we can finally add in the cost and complexity of the physical system and work to physically build/program it. It's probably less than 1/8th the total cost.
Am I saying it is optimal? No. Am I saying it is the worst usage of government spending ever? No.
Finally, some perspective. Government spending is somewhere around 3.8 trillion for 2013. $634 Million is approximately 0.01% (yes, that is percent) of all government spending. Saying that a theoretical "startup" could do it for 1/6th is like taking a bucket of sand from the Sahara desert and claiming success in a terra-forming project.
TL;DR Government Bureaucracy coupled with healthcare data coupled with insurance companies coupled with a physical project is very expensive. It's not optimal, but when has government funding ever been "highly efficient" in the way it produces goods? Reddit
Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama underwent testing for HIV on Tuesday in a bid to encourage all Jakartans to seek out screening.After a long time, Jakarta is finally getting some competent administrators.
Basuki said the city administration had set up voluntary counseling and testing facilities at City Hall, which began operating on Tuesday. He said he hoped his decision to get tested himself would motivate the public to follow his example. The Jakarta Globe
The CSeries has been designed from scratch and conceived with cutting-edge technology. It is without precedent: an ultra-lightweight, ultra-quiet, ultra-fuel-efficient commercial airliner that can reach near-transcontinental distances from a measly 4,000 feet of runway. Its ability to make big leaps with small environmental footprints make it an ideal aircraft to reinvigorate downtown airports that have fallen out of favour with governments and residents in recent decades. It also has the potential to open up new direct flights on what the industry calls “long, thin” routes: destinations too far for a regional jet but with not enough travellers to justify a larger plane. In short: it will make life easier for the average travelling business schmo. Canadian Business
When the Indonesian independence was proclaimed, the rulers, the Sultan of Yogyakarta and Prince of Pakualaman made a declaration they would become part of the Republic of Indonesia. Those two regions were unified to form the Yogyakarta Special Region and the sultan became the Governor of Yogyakarta and the Prince of Pakualaman as the vice-governor; both were responsible to the President of Indonesia. The Special Region of Yogyakarta was created after the independence war ended and legalized on August 3, 1950. Wikipedia
At the end of 2008, Hervé Falciani committed what is believed to have been the most portentous theft of banking data in history. The systems engineer and former employee at the Geneva offices of HSBC left Switzerland for France and took data from around 130,000 customers at the Anglo-Asian bank along with him. SpiegelThis article is from July 2013. It is full of remarkable information about the dirty side of international tax evasion.
Falciani, 41, has also cooperated with the American authorities. Indeed, on the strength of the information he provided, HBSC was forced to pay a $1.9 billion settlement with the United States after a Senate committee found that failures in HSBC's money-laundering controls had enabled terrorists and drug cartels to gain access to the US financial system.So the US is fine with using stolen data.
SPIEGEL: Could you give us a dumbed down description of how money laundering through double accounting works?Nice trick huh.
Falciani: Let's say a Mexican drug lord has a bank account in Mexico that contains millions from the drug trade. He also has an account in Switzerland with nothing in it. Using its software, the bank sees the account balance in Mexico and grants him a loan in his Swiss account worth the same amount. The money is now laundered and the drug lord can even write off the interest on that debt from his taxes. We need to expose and combat such systems. I would like to get more governments to take part in this.
Perhaps the largest outbreak of drive-through generosity occurred last December at a Tim Hortons in Winnipeg, Manitoba, when 228 consecutive cars paid it forward. A string of 67 cars paid it forward in April at a Chick-fil-A in Houston. And then a Heav’nly Donuts location in Amesbury, Mass., had a good-will train of 55 cars last July.So it's apparently not just a movie.
Serial pay-it-forward incidents involving between 4 and 24 cars have been reported at Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Del Taco, Taco Bell, KFC and Dunkin’ Donuts locations in Maryland, Florida, California, Texas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Georgia, Alabama, North Dakota, Michigan, North Carolina and Washington. NY Times
It is tempting to see the priming fracas as an isolated case in an area of science—psychology—easily marginalised as soft and wayward. But irreproducibility is much more widespread. A few years ago scientists at Amgen, an American drug company, tried to replicate 53 studies that they considered landmarks in the basic science of cancer, often co-operating closely with the original researchers to ensure that their experimental technique matched the one used first time round. According to a piece they wrote last year in Nature, a leading scientific journal, they were able to reproduce the original results in just six. Months earlier Florian Prinz and his colleagues at Bayer HealthCare, a German pharmaceutical giant, reported in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, a sister journal, that they had successfully reproduced the published results in just a quarter of 67 seminal studies The EconomistScientific studies must be able to be replicated to verify its correctness. However there are growing number of data showing that a lot of them cannot be replicated. Bear in mind also that the effort to replicate a result requires funding and nowadays it is hard to get funding to replicate scientific research.
Most physiologists agree that sleep has come to serve many different purposes, ranging from memory consolidation to the regulation of metabolism and the immune system. While the "core" purposes of biological functions such as breathing and eating are easy to understand, however, scientists have never agreed on any such original purpose for sleeping. The new study, by Maiken Nedergaard and colleagues at the University of Rochester in New York, provides what Charles Czeisler, a sleep researcher at Harvard Medical School in Boston, calls the “first direct experimental evidence at the molecular level” for what could be sleep’s basic purpose: It clears the brain of toxic metabolic byproducts.
The new work, published online today in Science, “fits with a long-standing view that sleep is for recovery—that something is paid back or cleaned out,” says David Dinges, a sleep researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. It builds on Nedergaard's recent discovery, described last summer in Science Translational Medicine, of a network of microscopic, fluid-filled channels that clears toxins from the brain, much as the lymphatic system clears out metabolic waste products from the rest of the body. Instead of carrying lymph, this system transports waste-laden cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Before the discovery of this "glymphatic system," as Nedergaard has dubbed it, the brain's only known method for disposing of cellular trash was to break down and recycle it within individual cells, she says. Science MagIf this is true, then a consistent habit for lack of sleep is harmful to your brain.
We are pretty far from okay, but it beats spending the rest of your life getting raped in a dungeon, which is more or less what the House Republicans had planned. The Republican debt-ceiling gambit was meant to force Obama to accept the GOP agenda without any Republican concessions — a depressing enough outcome on its own. But it also would have dragged in a reordering of the Constitutional order and the institutionalization of endless crises and panics. We can’t be certain Republicans will never hold the debt ceiling hostage again; but Obama has now held firm twice in a row, and if he hasn’t completely crushed the Republican expectation that they can extract a ransom, he has badly damaged it. Threatening to breach the debt ceiling and failing to win a prize is costly behavior for Congress — you anger business and lose face with your supporters when you capitulate. As soon as Republicans come to believe they can’t win, they’ll stop playing. NY MagThe House GOP folds and it's great news for everybody. What a fuckin' bunch of drama queen.
Benchmarks are programs, or apps, that repeat a single task or set of tasks to stress-test a system, and might be just a single complex calculation that repeats again and again; in general, you'd hardly ever do what they do. They're meant to highlight key performance differences between similar devices. But, in fact, they're not useful.Benchmarks are a set of programs designed to measure and test the performance of a specific device. What Samsung has essentially done is detect a broad variety of benchmarks software and generate specific actions that improves its performance results according to a particular benchmark criteria. It's essentially lying.
How could that be? Commendably, Ars Technica dug into the Note 3's system files and discovered one called "DVFSHelper.java", which contains a list of benchmarking apps.
If the system detects that one of a hard-coded list of apps is running, it turbo-charges the graphics processing unit (GPU), yielding that 20% boost. Then when the test is over, it scales it right back, because turbo-charging uses up the battery.
To prove this, the Ars team took the code from a benchmark called Geekbench and tweaked how it would present itself to the system. "Stealthbench", as they christened it, was the same benchmarking code, yet the Note 3's GPU didn't turbo-charge. No 20% boost – just the same performance as the LG.
Samsung has pulled this trick before with built-in lists of benchmark apps for its Galaxy S4, which yielded similar 20% speedups. Guardian
An appeals panel has ruled that a Malaysian Catholic newspaper could not use "Allah" to refer to the Christian God in a case that sparked attacks on places of worship three years ago Al JazeeraThey are redefining the word that has been used for millennial in the Middle East to define the God of all monotheistic religions (Jews, Christian, Islam).
Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased
Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850
Ocean warming dominates the increase in energy stored in the climate system, accounting for more than 90% of the energy accumulated between 1971 and 2010 (high confidence). It is virtually certain that the upper ocean (0−700 m) warmed from 1971 to 2010
Over the last two decades, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been losing mass, glaciers have continued to shrink almost worldwide, and Arctic sea ice and Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover have continued to decrease in extent (high confidence)
The rate of sea level rise since the mid-19th century has been larger than the mean rate during the previous two millennia (high confidence). Over the period 1901–2010, global mean sea level rose by 0.19 [0.17 to 0.21] m
The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. CO2 concentrations have increased by 40% since pre-industrial times, primarily from fossil fuel emissions and secondarily from net land use change emissions. The ocean has absorbed about 30% of the emitted anthropogenic carbon dioxide, causing ocean acidification
Total radiative forcing is positive, and has led to an uptake of energy by the climate system. The largest contribution to total radiative forcing is caused by the increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 since 1750
Human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident from the increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, positive radiative forcing, observed warming, and understanding of the climate system.Source IPCC Summary for Policy Makers
The Post has a profile in motion of freshman House Republican Ted Yoho (FL). The focus is how he's part of the faction who forced John Boehner to trigger the government shutdown and now wants to move along to default on the national debt. How bad will default be? "I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets," Yoho told the Post. Talking Points Memo10 days to go for US self triggered default (October 17). We shall see some freak out in the financial market next week.
I'd say bravo. He still has one fucking billion dollars. I mean, really - what's the point of having 35 billion dollars if you cannot take risky projects.
That Batista, new to the oil business, had brought in wells gushing with crude was the sort of announcement investors had come to expect of him. At that moment, Batista embodied Brazil’s decade-long economic expansion, and for international investors wanting a piece of the new Brazil, he could do no wrong. Many of those investors were American. BlackRock (BLK), the world’s largest money manager, had bought millions of OGX shares. Pimco (ALV:GR), manager of the world’s largest bond fund, owned $576 million in OGX bonds. General Electric (GE) took a 0.8 percent share in EBX valued at $300 million. Brazilians “should be very proud” of what Batista and OGX had achieved, said Rousseff, sporting her own orange OGX jacket onstage at the Açu port. “OGX has a big contribution to make in the offshore oil production of Brazil.” Batista, in an interview a few days later with investment conference host Michael Milken in Beverly Hills, declared Rousseff’s appearance at his port not simply a feather in his cap but also “a major event for Brazil.”
To say Batista overreached would be to seriously undersell what has happened in the 18 months since that self-regarding presstravaganza of hubris and magical thinking. In what is shaping up to be one of the largest personal and financial collapses in history—if not the largest—Batista may be nearing bankruptcy. On Oct. 1, OGX missed a $45 million interest payment on bond debt it had racked up during its rise. Batista has sold his planes and his helicopter, and creditors are arguing over the remains of his companies. He’s no longer on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and has become the butt of jokes in Brazil. One suggests that Pope Francis plans to return to Brazil soon and will again be visiting the poor, including Batista. Business Week
The compromises reached are reflected in the “fait accompli” text presented to the wider Council membership in consultations last night. Although the draft resolution slated for adoption tonight only references Chapter VII of the UN Charter in its second to last operative paragraph, it includes an Article 39 determination that the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic constitutes a threat to international peace and security. (Chapter VII is usually invoked following an Article 39 determination by the Security Council that there has been a “threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression.” An explicit reference to Article 39 or to the nature of the determination is not essential, however, for the Council to use its Chapter VII powers.) This, together with the explicit reference to Article 25 where one would usually find a reference to “acting under Chapter VII” following the Article 39 determination, makes for an interesting compromise.This site monitors the decisions made at the UN Security Council. It provides far more details than the average summary you got in mainstream publications.
Moreover, although Article 25 commits member states to “agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council”, the draft resolution uses the more robust “obligated to accept and carry out the decisions.” In addition, the draft includes several paragraphs of binding provisions (seven of the 21 operative paragraphs begin with “decides” rather than the weaker “urges” or “notes”.)
The draft text also has the Council deciding to impose measures under Chapter VII in “the event of non-compliance with this resolution, including unauthorized transfer of chemical weapons, or any use of chemical weapons by anyone in the Syrian Arab Republic”. Once again, this is an interesting compromise, as it does not use the more airtight procedural language found in some previous Council resolutions on non-proliferation (1718 and 1874 on DPRK and 1737, 1747, 1803 and 1929 on Iran) stating that “further decisions will be required should such additional measures be necessary.” However, it does not contain a clear trigger mechanism or a specific date for compliance, although it is likely that the OPCW decision will include deadlines that need to be followed. What's in Blue