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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 25,666

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Pondering the upcoming 2014 elections, will a candidates position regarding NSA spying

influence your vote?

New Wave Of Sexual Assaults Reported In Egypt's Tahrir Square As Mass Protests Resume

By Tony G. Gabriel, The Associated Press July 1, 2013 7:06 PM

CAIRO - A new wave of sexual assaults by groups of men targeting women during anti-government protests in Cairo's central Tahrir Square has been reported as millions of Egyptians take to the streets to demand President Mohammed Morsi's ouster.

A vigilante group formed to protect women in the square, which has become the epicenter of anti-government rallies, said it recorded the highest number of attempts — 46 — on Sunday as the majority of protesters were festive as families with small children and others spilled into side streets and across boulevards, waving flags, blowing whistles and chanting.

The atmosphere became less friendly in Tahrir as night fell on the badly lit plaza, which has seen a rise in attacks against women since shortly after the 18-day revolution that forced the resignation of Morsi's predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, in 2011. Sexual harassment has long been common in Egypt, but its increasing frequency and violence has shaken the protest movement.

A Dutch woman was assaulted by multiple men as a crowd surrounded her in Tahrir Square on Friday as weekend protests by Morsi's supporters and opponents got underway, officials said.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said Monday that the 22-year-old woman was repatriated, referring to a statement issued by the Dutch embassy in Cairo.

Read more:


Federal Officials Charge 22 People With Conspiracy To Sell Heroin, Other Drugs In ND Oil Patch

By Associated Press, Updated: Monday, July 1, 6:19 PM

FARGO, N.D. — Federal authorities unsealed indictments Monday against 22 people charged with conspiracy to sell heroin and other drugs on an Indian reservation in the heart of the North Dakota oil patch.

The first indictment in the investigation, dubbed “Operation Winter’s End,” was filed in March, but authorities did not make the case public until Monday because of the ongoing investigation.

Law enforcement officials have said that organized crime and other illegal activity is increasing with the influx of people looking for work in the energy industry. Recent U.S. Census Bureau estimates show that Williston, in the far northwestern corner of the state, is the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the country.

Federal authorities have increased policing efforts in oil country by adding several FBI agents in Minot and Bismarck and a Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agent in Bismarck.

“The U.S. attorney’s office is committed to an anti-organized crime strategy in the oil patch that is built on close cooperation between federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies,” Purdon said.



Dutch Pension Group Halts Wal-Mart Investments Over Low Wages And Working Conditions

(Reuters) – Dutch pension administrator PGGM Vermogensbeheer B.V. said on Monday it would no longer invest in Wal-Mart Stores Inc , saying the retailer was not willing to discuss its concerns, including possible labor issues in the United States.

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, declined to comment.

Wal-Mart “was not prepared” to take concerns about what PGGM called “tense” U.S. labor relations into consideration and its board was not willing to participate in “fruitful dialogues” with shareholders, PGGM said in a statement.

PGGM is a Zeist, Netherlands-based pension administrator focused on pensions of employees of the Dutch healthcare and social work sector. It manages more than 140 billion euros ($182.50 billion) in assets.

PGGM said that it met with Wal-Mart multiple times about the issues of concern. In 2012, it questioned the company about the Wal-Mart de Mexico , or Walmex, bribery scandal, “but these questions were left unanswered,” it said.



Alan Grayson: ‘Callous, Bigoted’ Republicans Put Laws Up For Sale To The Highest Bidder

In a fundraising video uploaded to YouTube on Monday, Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL) attacked Republicans as “callous bigoted tools” who served only themselves and the rich.

“They have no interest whatsoever in anything but personal advancement, and the means by which they advance are to sell-out, to carve the law up into little pieces and put it up for sale to the highest bidder,” he said. “That’s the reality of the situation.”

However, Grayson acknowledged there existed a “small number” of principled Republicans with whom he could find common ground. One such Republican was former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who he worked together with on legislation to audit the Federal Reserve.

Grayson made it clear that working with Republican was not a primary concern of his. He said the people of his congressional district deserved a “gladiator” who would fight for justice, equality and peace — either with Republicans or without them.

“I feel disgust towards many of these people,” Grayson said of his fellow lawmakers. “Frankly, not only the Republicans. There are so many people who show no responsibility at all to the 700,000 people who elected them, sent them to Congress and are looking for them to do something useful for them in their lives.”



Top US Military Officer Calls Egyptian Counterpart


WASHINGTON: General Martin Dempsey, the top US military officer, called the chief of staff of Egypt's armed forces on Monday morning, a US defense official told Reuters, without providing details on the conversation.

The call by Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Egypt's Sedki Sobhi came the same day that Egypt's armed forces handed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi a virtual ultimatum to share power.

Egypt's military gave feuding politicians 48 hours to compromise or have the army impose its own road map for the country.

The United States has close ties with Egypt's armed forces, providing $1.3 billion a year to the country in military aid. The Pentagon declined to speculate on the Egyptian statement earlier on Monday and what it meant for the country's future.

Read more: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Top-US-military-officer-calls-Egyptian-counterpart/articleshow/20868249.cms

Snowden: Obama Using "Citizenship As A Weapon"

By JESSICA HARTOGS / CBS NEWS/ July 1, 2013, 6:43 PM

In his first statement since he left Hong Kong a week ago, former government contractor Edward Snowden says he has left the country after, "It became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth."

The American analyst-turned-leaker is currently believed to still be at Moscow's international airport, where he is believed to have applied for political asylum to remain in Russia.

In his statement, released Monday by Wikileaks, Snowden accuses President Obama of ordering Vice-President Biden to pressure country leaders to deny his asylum petitions.

Snowden alleges that the Obama administration is using, "citizenship as a weapon."

"Although I am convicted of nothing," Snowden writes, "It has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum."



Obama Praises Bush Before Historic Meeting in Tanzania

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania – This is unprecedented: two U.S. presidents will make a joint public appearance in Africa Tuesday.

Former President George W. Bush will join President Obama in the morning at a wreath-laying ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to honor the victims of the 1998 bombing there, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said today.

Obama told reporters Monday that George W. Bush deserves “enormous credit” for his foreign policy aid programs, like PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
“This is one of his crowning achievements,” Obama told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl.

“Because of the commitment of the Bush administration and the American people, millions of people’s lives have been saved.

“There has been some suggestion that somehow, we’ve reduced our commitment there. The fact of the matter is, is that we are serving four times the number of people today than we were when PEPFAR first began. But because we’ve gotten better at it and more efficient at it, we’re doing it at reduced cost,” he added.



Obama Suggests Spying On Nations' Allies Is Common

Source: Associated Press

1 hour ago • Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama brushed aside sharp European criticism on Monday, suggesting that all nations spy on each other as the French and Germans expressed outrage over alleged U.S. eavesdropping on European Union diplomats. American analyst-turned-leaker Edward Snowden, believed to still be at Moscow's international airport, applied for political asylum to remain in Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a statement he acknowledged sounded odd, told reporters in Moscow that Snowden would have to stop leaking U.S. secrets if he wanted asylum in Russia - and he added that Snowden seemed unwilling to stop publishing leaks of classified material. At the same time, Putin said that he had no plans to turn over Snowden to the United States.

Obama, in an African news conference with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, said the U.S. would provide allies with information about new reports that the National Security Agency had bugged EU offices in Washington, New York and Brussels. But he also suggested such activity by governments would hardly be unusual.

"We should stipulate that every intelligence service -not just ours, but every European intelligence service, every Asian intelligence service, wherever there's an intelligence service - here's one thing that they're going to be doing: They're going to be trying to understand the world better, and what's going on in world capitals around the world," he said. "If that weren't the case, then there'd be no use for an intelligence service."

Read more: http://dailyjournalonline.com/news/tech/putin-snowden-must-stop-leaking-secrets-to-stay/article_7667dcba-ff45-5295-962c-4134d199e88d.html

Ex-Stasi Boss Green With Envy Over NSA's Domestic Spy Powers

For Wolfgang Schmidt, who used to head East Germany's feared spy service, the NSA's reported spy program "would have been a dream come true."

by Charles Cooper June 28, 2013

For Wolfgang Schmidt, it was just bad luck that he was 20 years too late and living on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain.

As a former top spook in his nation's security bureaucracy, Wolfe also weighed into the domestic debate about whether the NSA has crossed any lines. Privacy advocates have expressed concerns about whether the agency went beyond collecting phone and Internet metadata and snooped on Americans' domestic communications.

For Schmidt, who recalled that during the Trabant era, the Stasi could only tap 40 phones at a time. Reading the seemingly daily disclosures about the NSA, he says there's little doubt about what's going on behind closed doors.

"It is the height of naivete to think that once collected this information won't be used," he said. "This is the nature of secret government organizations. The only way to protect the people's privacy is not to allow the government to collect their information in the first place."


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