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grahamhgreen

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Member since: Thu Dec 30, 2004, 02:05 PM
Number of posts: 15,054

Journal Archives

Syria conflict exclusive: Western aid going to help territory held by Isis militants

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-conflict-how-millions-of-pounds-of-western-aid-destined-for-the-needy-is-falling-into-hands-of-isis-9610491.html

Isis is also luring doctors and nurses with large salaries in return for their loyalty, a Syrian doctor working for a Norwegian medical NGO in Raqqa told The Independent.
“They are buying people one by one – they are offering doctors up to 100,000 Syrian pounds a month (£390), which is a fortune there now.
“At the beginning they would take any aid they didn’t have to pay for, but since they announced the establishment of the caliphate, they are running their own services so that it can become more like a state.”

GCHQ has tools to manipulate online information, leaked documents show

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jul/14/gchq-tools-manipulate-online-information-leak
The UK intelligence agency GCHQ has developed sophisticated tools to manipulate online polls, spam targets with SMS messages, track people by impersonating spammers and monitor social media postings, according to newly-published documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The documents – which were published on First Look Media with accompanying analysis from Glenn Greenwald – disclose a range of GCHQ "effects" programs aimed at tracking targets, spreading information, and manipulating online debates and statistics.

The disclosure comes the day before the UK parliament is due to begin up to three days' debate on emergency legislation governing British surveillance capabilities. With cross-party support the bill is expected to be voted through this week.

US advisers in Iraq risk assassination by troops they are trying to train

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2691209/US-advisers-Iraq-risk-assassination-troops-trying-train-claims-classified-report.html

Americans who are assigned to advise Baghdad’s forces could be at risk because so many units are deeply infiltrated by either Sunni extremist informants or Shiite personnel backed by Iran, the report by United States detailed.

If the US does decide to assist in moving back the the advances made by Sunni militants in northern and western Iraq over the past month, the assessment concludes that only about half of Iraq’s operational units are able to carry out the push.

BBC: Executive pay '180 times average', report finds

The High Pay Centre, a think tank, said shareholders were still backing high executive pay deals despite new powers to vote them down at annual meetings.

The pay of the average FTSE 100 chief executive increased from £4.1m to £4.7m last year, said the report.

The government should take action to close the pay gap, it
said.


In October, new rules came into effect forcing listed firms to give shareholders a binding vote on directors' pay.

Executive 'elite'

A firm's remuneration policy now requires the approval of more than 50% of shareholders for a policy to pass.

Business Secretary Vince Cable introduced the shift to make a "clearer link between pay and performance".

The High Pay Centre's report says that, without further action, trust in business will be damaged by the perception that an executive "elite" is reaping all the rewards from economic growth.

http://m.bbc.com/news/28286264

Margaret Thatcher 'personally covered up' child abuse allegations against senior ministers

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/margaret-thatcher-personally-covered-up-3848836

Margaret Thatcher personally covered up child abuse ­allegations made against one of her senior ministers, according to explosive new claims.

The Sunday People reports Tory Prime Minister is said to have held a high-powered meeting with the rising star, who was being tipped for promotion, and told him: “You have to clean up your sexual act.”

It followed an allegation that the minister had sexually abused young boys at the home of one of his political allies in 1982.

The Senate Judiciary Committee Just Backed an Amendment to Overturn ‘Citizens United'

http://m.thenation.com/blog/180605-senate-judiciary-committee-just-backed-amendment-overturn-citizens-united
Leahy's position was echoed by committee Democrats who joined him in backing an amendment that declares:

SECTION 1: To advance democratic self-government and political equality, and to protect the integrity of government and the electoral process, Congress and the States may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections. SECTION 2. Congress and the States shall have power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation, and may distinguish between natural persons and corporations or other artificial entities created by law, including by prohibiting such entities from spending money to influence elections. SECTION 3. Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress or the States the power to abridge the freedom of the press.


Don't like the word 'reasonable' in this. I know who will define that. But good news none the less!

Judge Rules G.O.P. Illegally Redrew Florida Districts

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/07/11/us/judge-rules-gop-illegally-redrew-florida-districts.html

TAMPA, Fla. — In a sharply worded decision, a Florida judge ruled late Thursday that Republicans illegally redrew the state’s congressional districts, saying they “made a mockery” of an amendment meant to inject fairness into a process that has long been politically tainted.

Judge Terry P. Lewis of Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit ordered that two districts be redrawn — one, the 10th District, now held by Representative Daniel Webster, a Republican, and the other, the Fifth District, held by Representative Corrine Brown, a Democrat. In redrawing them, neighboring districts are also likely to be affected.

The state is expected to appeal. The ruling, issued less than two months before Florida’s primary, is unlikely to affect this year’s elections. But if it stands it could have broad implications for the 2016 elections.

FORBES: With An Obamacare Boost, Cigna Latest To Raise Profit Outlook

Cigna (CI) became the latest in a parade of health insurance companies to report they are going to make even more money than they thought they would in 2014 thanks to new business strategies and a surge of younger customers signing up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

.........

The improved forecast is the latest in a parade of rosy financial projections from health insurance companies benefiting from the health law. Other insurers doing well include Aetna (AET) UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Humana (HUM) and Wellpoint (WLP), a major operator of Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans under the Anthem brand that also raised its profit outlook this week.


http://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2014/05/01/with-an-obamacare-boost-cigna-latest-to-raise-profit-outlook/


NOTE: this is from 5/1/2014

US military studied how to influence Twitter users in Darpa-funded research

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/08/darpa-social-networks-research-twitter-influence-studies

The activities of users of Twitter and other social media services were recorded and analysed as part of a major project funded by the US military, in a program that covers ground similar to Facebook’s controversial experiment into how to control emotions by manipulating news feeds.

Research funded directly or indirectly by the US Department of Defense’s military research department, known as Darpa, has involved users of some of the internet’s largest destinations, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Kickstarter, for studies of social connections and how messages spread.

.....

The project list includes a study of how activists with the Occupy movement used Twitter as well as a range of research on tracking internet memes and some about understanding how influence behaviour (liking, following, retweeting) happens on a range of popular social media platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, Kickstarter, Digg and Reddit.

......

However, papers leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden indicate that US and British intelligence agencies have been deeply engaged in planning ways to covertly use social media for purposes of propaganda and deception. Documents prepared by NSA and Britain's GCHQ (and previously published by the Intercept as well as NBC News) revealed aspects of some of these programs. They included a unit engaged in “discrediting” the agency’s enemies with false information spread online.




It can't happen here, oops.
Posted by grahamhgreen | Tue Jul 8, 2014, 01:09 PM (0 replies)

Iraqi premier Maliki removes key army chiefs, appoints own son

http://ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2014/7/govt2320.htm

"BAGHDAD,— Iraq's embattled Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has pushed his military chiefs into early retirement and placed his own son in charge of the army.

The news was leaked to various Iraqi media outlets on Saturday.

"On the order of the prime minister, the supreme commander of the ground forces, Ali Ghedan, has retired from office," a source with the Iraqi defense ministry said.

The source added that the retirement was "a direct consequence of the fall of Mosul," into the hands of the jihadist militants. "
Posted by grahamhgreen | Mon Jul 7, 2014, 04:32 AM (7 replies)
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