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

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Bradley Manning Supporters Protest For His Release

FORT MEADE, MD.Supporters of an Army private who sent troves of classified U.S. documents to WikiLeaks held a protest march and rally outside Maryland's Fort Meade ahead of Pfc. Bradley Manning's court-martial.

Members of the Bradley Manning Support Network and others gathered Saturday near Fort Meade's main gate. They marched about a mile south along US 175.

Protesters carried signs, some reading "Free Bradley" and "Bradley Manning: Jailed for exposing war crimes."

Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, was among those showing support.

Manning's trial is to begin Monday. The 25-year-old Oklahoma native is charged with indirectly aiding the enemy by sending classified material to WikiLeaks. Manning has said he wanted the public to know how the American military was fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan with little regard for human life.



Islamists Dealt Major Blow In Egyptian Politics

Source: Associated Press

CAIRO Egypt's highest court ruled on Sunday that the nation's Islamist-dominated legislature and constitutional panel were illegally elected, dealing a serious blow to the legal basis of the Islamists' hold on power.

The ruling by the Supreme Constitutional Court says that the legislature's upper house, the only one currently sitting, would not be dissolved until the parliament's lower chamber is elected later this year or early in 2014. The constitutional panel has already dissolved after completing the charter.

But the ruling nonetheless deepens the political instability that has gripped the country since the overthrow of authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak two years ago.

The same court ruled to dissolve parliament's lower chamber in June, a move that led to the promotion of the toothless upper chamber, the Shura Council, to becoming a law-making house. The Shura Council, long derided as nothing more than a talk shop, was elected by about seven percent of the electorate last year.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57587227/islamists-dealt-major-blow-in-egyptian-politics/

McCain: Assad Has "Upper Hand" In Syrian Civil War

(CBS News) As the Syrian civil war rages on, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Sunday on "Face the Nation," what's unfolding is "unfortunately a battlefield situation where [President] Bashar Assad now has the upper hand - and it's tragic - while we sit by and watch."

Last week McCain secretly visited the war-torn country to meet with some of the rebel forces taking on Assad, and stepped up his pressure on President Obama to provide them with arms. On Sunday, he called the opposition "very tough - they're battle-hardened. They're very dedicated. They are not al Qaeda; they are not extremists."

"We have some very strong and good people who are fighting for freedom and are being massacred as we speak," McCain said. "And remember all this talk we've had in the past year or two: It's inevitable that Bashar Assad will fall? Well I think we can't make that statement today.

"... Hezbollah has now invaded, the Iranians are there, Russia is pouring weapons in," he went on. "And anyone that believes that Bashar Assad is going to go to a conference in Geneva when he is prevailing on the battlefield, it's just ludicrous to assume that."

The administration has shied away from escalating its response to the ongoing violence in Syria, despite hotly debated evidence that chemical weapons were used there in the past few months. Mr. Obama has insisted he will not act on anything less than categorical evidence, making repeated allusions to the inaccurate information that drew the United States into the Iraq War.



Wealth Of Most Americans Down 55% Since Recession

(MoneyWatch) Increasing housing prices and the stock market''s posting all-time highs haven't helped the plight most Americans. The average U.S. household has recovered only 45 percent of the wealth they lost during the recession, according to a report released yesterday from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

This finding is a very different picture than one painted in a report earlier this year by the Fed that calculated Americans as a whole had regained 91 percent of their losses. The writers of the report released yesterday point out that the earlier number is based on aggregate household-net-worth data. However, this isn't adjusted for inflation, population growth or the nature of the wealth. Further, they say much of recovery in net worth is because of the stock market, which means most of the improvement has been a boon only to wealthy families.

"Clearly, the 91 percent recovery of wealth losses portrayed by the aggregate nominal measure paints a different picture than the 45 percent recovery of wealth losses indicated by the average inflation-adjusted household measure," the report said. "Considering the uneven recovery of wealth across households, a conclusion that the financial damage of the crisis and recession largely has been repaired is not justified," the researchers said.

Household wealth plunged $16 trillion from the top of the real estate bubble in the third quarter of 2007 to the bottom of the bust in the first quarter of 2009. By the last three months of 2012, American households as a group had regained $14.7 trillion.

The report says almost two-thirds of the increase in aggregate household wealth is due to rising stock prices. This has disproportionately benefited the richest households: About 80 percent of stocks are held by the wealthiest 10 percent of the population.



Reality Catches Up With Sci-Fi In Storm Drones

TULSA, OKLA. At the time it premiered, "Twister" put forth a fantastical science fiction idea: Release probes into a storm in order to figure out which tornadoes could develop into killers.

It's no longer fiction. Oklahoma State University researchers are designing and building sleek, Kevlar-reinforced unmanned aircraft — or drones — to fly directly into the nation's worst storms and send back real-time data to first responders and forecasters.

"We have all the elements in place that make this the right place for this study to occur," said Stephen McKeever, Oklahoma's secretary of science and technology. "We have the world's best natural laboratory."

If all goes as planned, OSU's research drones will detect the making of a tornado based on the humidity, pressure and temperature data collected while traveling through the guts of a storm — critical details that could increase lead time in severe weather forecasts.

The drones would also be equipped to finally answer meteorologists' most pressing questions.

"Why does one storm spawn a tornado and the other doesn't, and why does one tornado turn into an EF1 and another into an EF5?" asked Jamey Jacob, professor at OSU's School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, which is developing the technology.



Police Retreat as Protests Expand Through Turkey

ISTANBUL — Violent protests against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan engulfed Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, on Saturday and spread to other cities, including the capital, Ankara, as tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in a second day of civil unrest and faced the tear gas and water cannons of a harsh police crackdown.

By late afternoon, the police withdrew from Istanbul’s central Taksim Square, allowing the demonstrators to gather unimpeded in the place that set off the protests last week with government plans to turn a park into a replica Ottoman-era army barracks and mall. The departure of the police, who had been widely criticized for violent tactics on Friday, set off scenes of jubilation and destruction, as some drank and partied while others destroyed police vehicles and bulldozers.

While the protest began over plans to destroy a park, for many demonstrators it had moved beyond that to become a broad rebuke to the 10-year leadership of Mr. Erdogan and his government, which they say has adopted authoritarian tactics. Some saw the police pullback as a historic victory.

“It’s the first time in Turkey’s democratic history that an unplanned, peaceful protest movement succeeded in changing the government’s approach and policy,” said Sinan Ulgen, the chairman of the Center for Economic and Foreign Policy Studies, a research group in Istanbul. “It gave for the first time a strong sense of empowerment to ordinary citizens to demonstrate and further their belief that if they act like they did the last few days they can influence events in Turkey.”

Still, it was far from clear on Saturday whether they could capitalize on that success. The Islamist-rooted government retains wide support among religious conservatives, and Mr. Erdogan insisted Saturday that the redevelopment of the square would continue as planned.



Michigan: Gas Prices Spike; Spark Long Lines, Prices As High As $4.15/gallon

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Gas prices in West Michigan are all over the place and causing some stations to see long lines of vehicles.

According to Gasbuddy.com , the Grand Rapids per gallon average for gas is $4.06. Some stations in Kent County are selling gas for $4.15 a gallon; but some are still selling gas below $4.00.

Those gas stations selling below $4 a gallon are seeing long lines of vehicles waiting to fill up.

Gasbuddy.com's Patrick DeHaan wrote on his blog Friday the cause in the jump in higher prices is because of "trade rumors of a refinery "caught" buying gasoline from other refineries. Typically this happens when a refinery suffers an unexpected glitch resulting in lower gasoline production. The affected refinery is then forced to buy gasoline on the market to cover its previous contractual obligations. When word spreads of a refinery buying in this manner, it has a tendency to spook the market, especially amidst an already tight supply of gasoline."



Prices in mid-michigan are now at 4.15 when yesterdays price was 3.79.

What a crock of shit we are being fed. 36 cent increase on a motherfucking 'rumor'...

Moscow Threatens To Speed Missiles To Syria But Also Offers To Delay

MOSCOW | Fri May 31, 2013 12:53pm EDT
(Reuters) - Russia could speed up delivery of anti-aircraft missiles to Syria if the West intervenes, but also floated the idea of suspending the shipment, Russian media reported on Friday, as Moscow set out its negotiating position ahead of peace talks.

A Russian arms industry source was quoted by Interfax news agency as threatening to hasten delivery of the hotly-contested S-300 missiles if the West were to impose a no-fly zone or Israel were to launch new air strikes.

However the source also "did not exclude that the delivery of the S-300 to Syria could be frozen for a period of time" Interfax reported, comparing the move to the delivery of another weapons system that was suspended by Moscow.

Russia's arms industry is firmly controlled by the state, and it is unlikely the unidentified source would be authorized to speak without the blessing of the Kremlin.

Russia and the West are staking out positions with parallel threats to arm the warring sides ahead of a peace conference next month, the first attempt in a year by the global powers on either side in Syria's civil war to look for a way to end it.



Russia To Send Nuclear Submarines To Southern Seas


MOSCOW | Sat Jun 1, 2013 9:40am EDT

(Reuters) - Russia plans to resume nuclear submarine patrols in the southern seas after a hiatus of more than 20 years following the break-up of the Soviet Union, Itar-Tass news agency reported on Saturday, in another example of efforts to revive Moscow's military.

The plan to send Borei-class submarines, designed to carry 16 long-range nuclear missiles, to the southern hemisphere follows President Vladimir Putin's decision in March to deploy a naval unit in the Mediterranean Sea on a permanent basis starting this year.

"The revival of nuclear submarine patrols will allow us to fulfill the tasks of strategic deterrence not only across the North Pole but also the South Pole," state-run Itar-Tass cited an unnamed official in the military General Staff as saying.

But the limited numbers of warheads and delivery vehicles such as submarines that they committed to under the New START treaty are still enough to devastate the world. Putin has made clear Russia will continue to upgrade its arsenal.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/01/us-russia-submarines-patrol-idUSBRE95007V20130601
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