WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States dismissed new Al-Qaeda supremo Ayman al-Zawahiri as a pale imitation of Osama bin Laden and warned the Egyptian to expect a similar fate to his slain predecessor.
US officials painted the 59-year-old long-time number two as an “armchair general” with no combat experience, saying he not only lacked charisma and leadership skills but was also a divisive figure who could fracture Al-Qaeda.
Top US military officer Admiral Mike Mullen told Zawahiri to expect the same treatment meted out to bin Laden, who was killed by US commandos in the dead of night in a May 2 raid on his hideout in Pakistan.
“As we did both seek to capture and kill — and succeed in killing — bin Laden, we certainly will do the same thing with Zawahiri,” said Mullen, who is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
He will be dead 10 years from now..
The National Security Agency is working with Internet service providers to deploy a new generation of tools to scan e-mail and other digital traffic with the goal of thwarting cyberattacks against defense firms by foreign adversaries, senior defense and industry officials say.
The novel program, which began last month on a voluntary, trial basis, relies on sophisticated NSA data sets to identify malicious programs slipped into the vast stream of Internet data flowing to the nation’s largest defense firms. Such attacks, including one last month against Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin, are nearly constant as rival nations and terrorist groups seek access to U.S. military secrets.
The report describes the total failure of the present global antidrug effort, and in particular America’s “war on drugs,” which was declared 40 years ago today. It notes that the global consumption of opiates has increased 34.5 percent, cocaine 27 percent and cannabis 8.5 percent from 1998 to 2008. Its primary recommendations are to substitute treatment for imprisonment for people who use drugs but do no harm to others, and to concentrate more coordinated international effort on combating violent criminal organizations rather than nonviolent, low-level offenders.
"The fuels are now a molten blob at the bottom of the reactor," Gundersen added. "TEPCO announced they had a melt through. A melt down is when the fuel collapses to the bottom of the reactor, and a melt through means it has melted through some layers. That blob is incredibly radioactive, and now you have water on top of it. The water picks up enormous amounts of radiation, so you add more water and you are generating hundreds of thousands of tons of highly radioactive water."
Independent scientists have been monitoring the locations of radioactive "hot spots" around Japan, and their findings are disconcerting.
"We have 20 nuclear cores exposed, the fuel pools have several cores each, that is 20 times the potential to be released than Chernobyl," said Gundersen. "The data I’m seeing shows that we are finding hot spots further away than we had from Chernobyl, and the amount of radiation in many of them was the amount that caused areas to be declared no-man’s-land for Chernobyl. We are seeing square kilometres being found 60 to 70 kilometres away from the reactor. You can’t clean all this up. We still have radioactive wild boar in Germany, 30 years after Chernobyl."
from the following-in-the-footsteps-of-china dept
It was just a few weeks ago that Nicolas Sarkozy brought together a bunch of techies at the e-G8 to tell them that he wanted to start regulating the internet much more seriously. Apparently, he’s not wasting much time. There’s a draft executive order making the rounds that would give the French government wide latitude in censoring the internet throughout France. It really sounds quite similar to China’s “Great Firewall.”
To implement article 18 of the law for the Digital Economy of June 21th, 2004, the French government is proposing to give to several of its ministries the power to order the censorship of online content that harms or otherwise puts at risk public order and security, the protection of minors, of public health, national defence, or physical persons.
Clearly, the definition of these categories of content are both vague and overreaching. Such censorship measures – whether they consist in the removal or filtering of content – would be directly undertaken by the government, without any decision by a judicial authority. In practice, they would apply to all kinds of websites or online news services.
A former senior C.I.A. official says that officials in the Bush White House sought damaging personal information on a prominent American critic of the Iraq war in order to discredit him.
Glenn L. Carle, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who was a top counterterrorism official during the administration of President George W. Bush, said the White House at least twice asked intelligence officials to gather sensitive information on Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor who writes an influential blog that criticized the war.
Because, in America, people want their politicians to be like their god: OK with horrible, deplorable acts of violence, but damning anyone over a little sexuality.
A fire in Nebraska’s Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant briefly knocked out the cooling process for spent nuclear fuel rods, ProPublica reports.
The fire occurred on June 7th, and knocked out cooling for approximately 90 minutes. After 88 hours, the cooling pool would boil dry and highly radioactive materials would be exposed.
On June 6th, the Federal Administration Aviation (FAA) issued a directive banning aircraft from entering the airspace within a two-mile radius of the plant.
We don’t need to worry about the dangers of nuclear power as long as we can rely on the diligence, independence, and competence of our federal regulators.
On 22 November 1963, while riding beside President Kennedy in a motorcade in Dallas, John Connally, then governor of Texas, was shot through his arm and lung by Lee Harvey Oswald. President Kennedy was shot and killed in the same incident. The history books say it slightly differently—that Connally was wounded during Oswald’s assassination of President Kennedy. The assumption is always that Oswald was shooting at Kennedy and that Connally was hit by accident or as a secondary target of opportunity. Could it not, however, have been the other way around?
Taken during mobility testing on June 3, 2011, this image is of the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, inside the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Preparations continue for shipping the rover to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in June and for its fall 2011 launch.