Flight MH370: mystery cargo continues to raise questions --Delivery company refuses to reveal the contents or sender of a two-tonne shipment on board --Company that produced batteries also kept secret 23 May 2014 Questions continue to circle around a mystery shipment that was on board Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 when it disappeared more than two months ago. NNR Global Logistics, a Penang-based company that handled some of the cargo, has refused to reveal its contents. The company admitted that 200kg of lithium-ion batteries formed part of the shipment. But a senior official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Engineering and Technology (E&T) Magazine this formed only part of the consignment, which weighed a total 2,453kg.
Malaysia releases satellite data on missing jet 27 May 2014 The Malaysian government on Tuesday released 45 pages of raw satellite data it used to determine the flight path of the missing jetliner, information long sought after by some of the relatives of the 239 people on board the plane. An international investigation team led by Malaysia has concluded that it flew south after it was last spotted on Malaysian military radar about 90 minutes after takeoff and ended up in the southern Indian Ocean off Australia...Some family members who have been critical of the Malaysian government's handling of the incident say they want independent experts to review the data. Several experts in physics, satellite technology and mathematics have said that based on the information released so far, they have been unable to verify the investigation team's conclusions.
Missing plane: Scientists question methods and politics of the MH370 search 23 May 2014 Underwater scientists have labelled the search for MH370 a "debacle" and say Prime Minister Tony Abbott was playing politics when he prematurely announced the black box pingers had been found. The acoustic experts, who do not wish to be identified, said the four crucial signals detected by a US pinger locator were almost certainly not from the missing Malaysian Airlines plane's black boxes, but from another man-made source. They insisted that the signals were in the wrong frequency and detected too far apart to be from the boxes. "As soon as I saw the frequency and the distance between the pings I knew it couldn’t be the aircraft pinger," one scientist told News Corp Australia.
Holy Valerie Plame, Batman! 'Worse' than WikiLeaks: White House mistakenly identifies CIA chief in Afghanistan 25 May 2014 The CIA's top officer in Kabul was exposed Saturday by the White House when his name was inadvertently included on a list provided to news organizations of senior U.S. officials participating in President Obama's surprise visit with U.S. troops. The White House recognized the mistake and quickly issued a revised list that did not include the individual, who had been identified on the initial release as the "Chief of Station" in Kabul, a designation used by the CIA for its highest-ranking spy in a country.[Gee, what a shame! Guess he's now got more to worry about than the CIA's poppy fields! And, when/if the CLG obtains the outed name, we're reporting it. -LRP]
Karzai refused to meet Obama at Bagram Air Base, says US official 25 May 2014 Afghan President Hamid Karzai was offered a meeting with President Barack Obama at Bagram Air Base outside Kabul but declined, a US official said Sunday. The official said that Washington was not surprised that the meeting did not work out at short notice, after Obama arrived at the base on a surprise visit after night fell on Sunday.
Independent Scotland Could Offer Edward Snowden Political Asylum 25 May 2014 An independent Scotland could offer political asylum to Edward Snowden, whose disclosure of classified NSA documents on US surveillance techniques prompted an international storm. Members of the Scottish parliament (MSPs) have considered a call for the former NSA contractor, who is currently being sheltered in Russia, to be given political asylum in Scotland if voters opt for independence in September's referendum. Campaigner Mick Napier, a former university lecturer, put forward a petition to the Scottish parliament's Public Petitions Committee, saying Snowden was owed a "debt of gratitude" for his actions and that hosting him would be an "honour for Scotland".
Russia Will Not Give Up Fighters for Human Rights - Putin on Snowden 23 May 2014 The US is to blame for whistleblower Edward Snowden ending up in Moscow, but Russia is not the type of country that hands over fighters for human rights [unlike USociopaths], Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday. "[Snowden] arrived at our transit zone and later it was explained that no one wanted him...And they [the Americans] scared everyone, and he ended up in our transit zone. What were we supposed to do? Russia is not the type of country that gives up fighters for human rights," Putin said during the plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. "Why did [the Americans] scare the whole world? If they can force planes down with presidents on board, then they could have forced down anything with Mr. Snowden on board anywhere," he said. [Exactly.]
Guantanamo Force-Feeding of Inmate to Resume 23 May 2014 A court has lifted a temporary restraining order that prevented the force-feeding of a Guantanamo Bay hunger striker. US District Judge Gladys Kessler said the military must be allowed to carry out the procedure in the case of Abu Wa'el Dhiab because of the "very real probability" that he will die. She issued the restraining order last week in response to a legal petition by the 42-year-old seeking to stop the feedings at the US naval base in Cuba.
Far-Right National Front 'Win' in France 26 May 2014 Voters have dramatically altered the make-up of the European Parliament by doubling the number of MEPs from the populist, eurosceptic right and the anti-austerity Left. Marine Le Pen's far-Right National Front scored its first victory in European Parliament elections in France. Without waiting for the final result, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls went on television to call the result "an earthquake" for France and Europe.
Update: 3 civilians killed Ukrainian army shells Slavyansk residential area, 2 civilians killed 26 May 2014 At least two three civilians have reportedly been killed and several wounded when the Ukrainian Army launched a mortar attack on the town of Slavyansk in eastern Ukraine. One of the shells fell near a local teachers college, according to Ridus news portal. Residential blocks were ruined as a result of the assault by Kiev's forces on Monday, the Ridus correspondent reported from the scene. At least two apartment blocks were damaged and "at least two people – a man and a woman – were killed," the reporter said.
The business behind Ukraine's new billionaire president 26 May 2014 One of Ukraine's richest men, newly 'elected' President Pyotr Poroshenko, has a long history of mixing business with politics...Preliminary results show Poroshenko the clear winner with 50.1 percent of the vote, beating out 21 other candidates including former President Yulia Tymoshenko, who only received 13.1 percent of the vote. Voters in Ukraine's eastern cities boycotted the election and denounced unfair, as they believe are unable to represent their interests and concerns.
Tepco resumes testing of ALPS water cleaning system in Fukushima 23 May 2014 Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday it has restarted one of the three experimental water-filtration lines at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in Fukushima Prefecture. The other two lines in the Advanced Liquid Processing System are expected to go back online in June, Tepco officials said. Tepco revived the line by replacing its degraded radiation filters with new ones. The line stopped in March after it was unable to remove radioactive materials from the tainted water properly.
Glitch-prone ALPS water treatment equipment shut down at Fukushima plant --First time for all three channels to be out of operation simultaneously 21 May 2014 Hundreds of thousands of tons of highly contaminated water accumulating at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant will go untreated for some time, as key equipment to remove radioactive substances has been shut down completely. According to Tokyo Electric Power Co., the last of three channels of the ALPS [Advanced Liquid Processing System] multinuclide removal equipment that treats contaminated radioactive water was switched off May 20 due to trouble with prior processing. The equipment has been operating intermittently due to a series of glitches since it was introduced for trial runs in March 2013.
Japan court rejects startup of 2 nuclear reactors 22 May 2014 A court Wednesday refused to let two nuclear reactors restart operations in western Japan, saying their risk assessment is too optimistic and safety measures insufficient despite lessons from the Fukushima disaster. The denial by the district court in Japan's nuclear hub of Fukui is the first since the crisis and comes as some Japanese reactors are in the final stages of safety screening before a restart, and plaintiffs and their anti-nuclear supporters say the court ruling could sway local acceptance. Anti-nuclear sentiment and the public's distrust to utility operators and authorities have persisted since the 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.
Elliot Rodger added to the list of mass shooting perpetrators with no criminal history 26 May 2014 Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes. Sandy Hook school attacker Adam Lanza. And now Elliot Rodger. All were young loners with no criminal history who went on shooting sprees false flags, leaving devastated families in their wake. Mass murderers tend to have a history of pent-up frustration and failures, are socially isolated and vengeful, blaming others for their unhappiness, experts say. [Yes, 'blaming others' - especially their ONR, CIA or FBI handlers.] Since mass killings are rare, scholars say there's no way to predict who has deadly intentions, let alone who will reach a breaking point and take action.
7 dead in drive-by shooting near UC Santa Barbara 24 May 2014 A drive-by shooter went on a rampage near a Santa Barbara university campus that left seven people dead, including the attacker, and seven others wounded, authorities said Saturday. The gunman got into two gun battles with deputies during Friday night's rampage in the beachside community of Isla Vista before crashing his black BMW into a parked car, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said. Deputies found him dead with a gunshot wound to the head, but it wasn't immediately clear whether he was killed by gunfire or if he committed suicide, he said.
Officials Cast Wide Net in Monitoring Occupy Protests 22 May 2014 When the Occupy protests spread across the country three years ago, state and local law enforcement officials went on alert. The communications, distributed by people working with counterterrorism and intelligence-sharing offices known as fusion centers, were among about 4,000 pages of unclassified emails and reports obtained through freedom of information requests by lawyers who represented Occupy participants and provided the documents to The New York Times...Military employees also shared Occupy material. Two Defense Department employees, for example, regularly sent information to the fusion center in Washington or to a federal official connected to the center.
Global anti-GMO action: People unite against Monsanto dominance 24 May 2014 Over 400 cities worldwide will see millions marching against the US chemical and agricultural company Monsanto in an effort to boycott the use of Genetically Modified Organisms in food production. Marches are planned in 52 countries in addition to some 47 US states that are jointing in the protest.
Anti-GMO activists will rally against Monsanto in SW Portland 24 May 2014 Opponents to genetically modified seeds are gathering in Southwest Portland on Saturday for the annual March against [corpora-terrorists] Monsanto, which manufacturers seeds resistant to its herbicide Roundup. The rally is one of six in Oregon and comes on the heels of votes in Jackson and Josephine county banning the cultivation of genetically modified seeds. Other rallies are taking place in Coos Bay, Eugene, Madras, Salem and Tillamook. There will also be marches around the globe, from Europe to African and South America.
Measures to ban most GMO crops passing in Jackson, Josephine OR counties 20 May 2014 A controversial Jackson County measure to ban most genetically engineered crops passed, as did a similar measure in next-door Josephine County, according to unofficial returns Tuesday night. Jackson County's Measure 15-119 has attracted more than 1.3 million to the southern Oregon county with about 206,000 residents. That includes 455,000 donated to the opposition campaign from six biotechnology and agriculture companies, including Monsanto and Syngenta. "We fought the most powerful and influential chemical companies in the world and we won," said Elise Higley, a Jackson County farmer with the anti-GMO group Our Family Farms Coalition.
NJ Democrats push millionaires tax Christie has vetoed 23 May 2014 Faced with a two-year budget crisis, Gov. Chris Christie asked Democrats to support his plan to take 2.43 billion meant for public workers' pensions. Instead, he will have a big fight on his hands, the Democratic leaders of the Legislature said Thursday. At a rally outside the Statehouse with more than 100 union members and supporters, state Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto again called on the Republican governor to raise taxes on the state's wealthiest earners.
Judge orders Congressman John Conyers's name placed on August primary ballot 23 May 2014 U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Leitman on Friday ordered U.S. Rep. John Conyers's name placed on the August primary ballot. Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garret and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson found Conyers ineligible for the ballot because some of the people who circulated petitions for the congressman's ballot application weren't properly registered to vote. Conyers and a group of voters sued, claiming the Michigan law requiring ballot petition circulators to be registered to vote keeps people from expressing support for candidates, violating freedom of speech and political association.
Gate-crashing polar bear locked out of conference 26 May 2014 The doors of the National Party's central North Island conference were barred when a gate-crashing polar bear lumbered up to the security guard. Greenpeace New Zealand was behind the gimmick that was designed to challenge attendees to consider climate change as "the polar bear in the meeting". The life-size bear padded up to the door of Hamilton's Kingsgate Hotel about 8.45am on Saturday, accompanied by Greenpeace energy campaigner Steve Abel, but the pair were denied entry.