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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 29,876

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Newspaper: Snowden Documents Reveal Surprising Depth Of NSA Activities

WASHINGTON — The New York Times published in its Sunday print edition a wide-ranging look at the contents of the leaked Snowden documents that I recommend you read. You can find the full story here.

WikiLeaks called the article a “spoiler” in a tweet this morning and accused the Times, with which it has a hate-hate relationship, of undercutting the work of its competitors by providing just a sentence or two on revelations that deserved far more exploration.

That is one way to look at the piece. I counted at least 15 items laid out in the article’s 5,000 words that deserved a separate headline of their own, starting with the first two paragraphs where we learn that the NSA somehow pirated a list of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s talking points ahead of a friendly meeting with Barack Obama in April.

To give you a taste of the story’s range: The NSA’s Dishfire database “stores years of text messages from around the world, just in case.” The Tracfin program “accumulates gigabytes of credit card purchases.” SNACKS, which stands for Social Network Analysis Collaboration Knowledge Services, tries to figure out who reports to whom in an organization by analyzing texts. NSA gave information on the location of FARC guerrillas to the Colombian government. Its listening post in Texas helped thwart a plot against Swedish artist who had drawn pictures of the Prophet Mohammed. It tracked the visit to Kurdistan Province of Iran’s supreme leader so well that it recorded the advance team’s discussion of how to get an ambulance and a fire truck aboard other vehicles for the journey.

There’s more: NSA regularly sends people to an unnamed friendly country, in violation of a treaty, to visit the site from which eavesdropping of an unnamed location takes place. They are given cover identities, false business cards and warned to buy no souvenirs, lest it somehow leak out what’s going on. The whole enterprise is managed remotely from Fort Gordon, Ga. At Fort Gordon, which is located in Augusta, on the border with South Carolina, programmers have created a tool that emails an analyst whenever a target changes location, based on what cellphone tower his phone is in touch with.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/11/03/207332/newspaper-snowden-documents-reveal.html#storylink=cpy

US Manufacturing Expands At Best Pace In 2½ Years

Source: Associated Press


WASHINGTON — U.S. factory activity expanded in October at the fastest pace in 2½ years, suggesting that the 16-day partial shutdown of the government had little effect on manufacturers.

Instead, overseas demand and healthy U.S. auto sales appear to be supporting factory output. The housing recovery is also lifting the furniture and wood products industry despite a recent slowing in home sales.

"We've become accustomed to the way Washington operates in the past couple of years and assume that it will get resolved eventually, however painfully," said Bradley Holcomb, head of the survey committee of the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers that on Friday reported a solid manufacturing figure for October.

The ISM's manufacturing index rose to 56.4 from 56.2 in September. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

Read more: http://www.bradenton.com/2013/11/01/4804113/us-manufacturing-expands-at-best.html

WTI Crude Falls Below $95 First Time Since June on Supply

By Mark Shenk - Nov 1, 2013

West Texas Intermediate fell below $95 a barrel for the first time since June on surging U.S. stockpiles and as the dollar gained versus the euro, curbing commodity demand from investors.

Futures headed for a fourth straight weekly decline, the longest stretch of decreases in more than a year. A U.S. government report on Oct. 30 showed that supplies advanced a sixth week. The dollar climbed against the euro for a fifth day on speculation that the European Central Bank will reduce interest rates to spur economic growth.

“The supply side has overtaken everything else,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago. “There’s plenty of oil around and the market is in breakdown mode. We’re also down because the dollar is up against the euro on expectations the ECB will cut interest rates, which is extremely bearish for the market.”

WTI for December delivery decreased $1.50, or 1.6 percent, to $94.88 a barrel at 11:20 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures touched $94.81, the lowest intraday level since June 26. Prices are down 3 percent this week and fell 5.8 percent in October. The volume of all futures traded was about 22 percent below the 100-day average.



GM to Ford Lead U.S. Sales Gains on Post-Shutdown Rebound

By Craig Trudell - Nov 1, 2013

General Motors Co. (GM) and Ford Motor Co. (F) reported U.S. sales gains for October as demand recovered following the 16-day government shutdown and remained on pace for the best year since 2007.

Sales of cars and light trucks rose 16 percent at GM and 14 percent at Ford, while Chrysler Group LLC reported an 11 percent increase. The results compared with analysts’ average estimates for gains of 7.9 percent for GM, 16 percent for Ford and 14 percent for Chrysler in a survey by Bloomberg News. Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) and Nissan Motor Co. (7201) rose while trailing estimates.

Showroom traffic and sales accelerated after Congress and President Barack Obama agreed to fund the government and lift the debt limit Oct. 17, automakers said. Analysts’ average estimate called for a 7.3 percent gain in industrywide October sales, putting the U.S. market over the 13 million mark through the year’s first 10 months. Annual sales failed to cross that threshold in the three years through 2011.

“We’re seeing the resiliency of the consumer yet again,” Michelle Krebs, an analyst at auto researcher Edmunds.com, said in a telephone interview. “While we saw a little bit of slowdown during the shutdown, it picked right back up. We’re expecting a strong close and then a strong 2014.”

Sales of cars and light trucks probably climbed to 1.22 million in October, the average of nine estimates in the Bloomberg survey. The annualized industry sales rate, adjusted for seasonal trends, may rise to 15.4 million, the average of 14 estimates, from 14.4 million a year earlier.



Black Trick-Or-Treaters Urged To Stay Out Of White Virginia Neighborhood By Racist Craigslist Post

An anonymous poster has stirred up controversy in a Norfolk, Virginia, neighborhood by asking black trick-or-treaters to stay away.

The post was added to the “Rants and Raves” section of the city’s Craigslist site, reminding “overage trick or treaters” that’s it’s illegal for children older than 12 to dress up and solicit Halloween candy.

But the original post, which has since been deleted, used a specific racial slur aimed at black children to encourage kids from other neighborhoods to stay away from Larchmont/Edgewater.

“We’re a white neighborhood and we don’t want you baboons here!! You little turds better think twice going into my neighborhood or you will be legally punished,” the post said.

Police said they would respond to calls reporting overage trick-or-treaters, which is a Class 4 misdemeanor that carries a possible $250 fine for guardians, but officers said any child 12 and under who goes out before 8 p.m. can enjoy Halloween anywhere in the city they choose.


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