20110215_item

U.S. Debt now equals total U.S. economy  
 
President Obama projects that the gross federal debt will top $15 trillion this year, officially equalling the size of the entire U.S. economy, and will jump to nearly than $21 trillion in five years’ time.
2020: Are We Only 9 Years Away from an Artificial Human Brain?  
 
“It’s a new brain. The mammals needed it because they had to cope with parenthood, social interactions, complex cognitive functions. It was so successful an evolution from mouse to man it expanded about a thousand fold in terms of the…
Butterflies make partial comeback in Mexico  
 
The number of monarch butterflies migrating from Canada and the U.S. to Mexico has increased this year, a hopeful sign following a worrying 75 percent drop in their numbers last year, experts reported Monday.
TSA comes under fire again as employees admit to repeatedly stealing money from passengers  
 
The TSA supervisor stole the money from passengers who went through his security checkpoint at Newark Liberty Airport.
The World’s First Laser Beam -“Invented to Make War Impossible”  
 
Fast on the heels Flash Gordon, who made his first appearance to the world in a science-fiction comic strip published on January 7, 1934, the frontpage of The New York Times on July 11 blared TESLA, AT 78, BARES NEW…
Million youngsters ‘maltreated’  
 
One in four people in the UK, aged between 18 and 24, claims to have experienced severe violence, sexual abuse or neglect, says the NSPCC.
The US bank and the secret plan to destroy WikiLeaks  
 
The computer hackers’ collective Anonymous has uncovered a proposal by a consortium of private contractors to attack and discredit WikiLeaks.
Public encouraged to ‘vet bills’  
 
The public are to be given their first chance to “scrutinise” government legislation as part of efforts to enhance consultation on new laws.
Chevron must pay Ecuador $8 billion, says court Author: News Desk
 
A court in Ecuador orders Chevron to pay $8 billion for damage caused to the Amazon River basin. read more
US denies smuggling spy equipment into Argentina [updated] Author: intelNews
 
The United States has denied charges by Argentine officials that it tried to smuggle espionage equipment into the South American country under the pretext of transporting training supplies for Argentine Federal Police. The charges were leveled on Thursday, after Argentine customs officials conducted what the US Department of State called an “unusual and unannounced” inspection of a US Air Force C-17 cargo plane that landed in the country. Continue reading →
Defector admits to WMD lies that triggered Iraq war (video)  
 
• Iraqi codenamed Curveball ‘invented’ tales of bio-weapons • Man told lies try to bring down Saddam Hussein regime • Fabrications used by US as justification for invasion
Italy Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi indicted in underage prostitution probe with Ruby Rubacuori  
 
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will be
“Die Shell-Leute erschossen Schwangere”  
 
Nigerianische Umweltorganisationen werfen Erdölkonzernen Menschenrechtsverletzungen und Umweltzerstörung vor. Sie fordern, die schlimmsten Verschmutzer des Landes zu verweisen. Mal wieder.Aus Dakar und Lagos Ebrima Sillah und Sam Olukoya
“Die Shell-Leute erschossen Schwangere”  
 
Nigerianische Umweltorganisationen werfen Erdölkonzernen Menschenrechtsverletzungen und Umweltzerstörung vor. Sie fordern, die schlimmsten Verschmutzer des Landes zu verweisen. Mal wieder.Aus Dakar und Lagos Ebrima Sillah und Sam Olukoya
`Monetary financing´ durch nationale EZB-Mitgliedsbanken?  
 
Bislang galt es als eherner Grundsatz der Eurozone, dass die Geldschöpfung alleine der EZB zugestanden wird, aber einzelne Eurozone-Notenbanken haben sich eine Notfall-Lizenz zum Gelddrucken eingeräumt
Ex-judge to head Egypt reform panel  
 
“I have been chosen by the Higher Military Council to head the committee for constitutional amendments,” al-Bishry said on Tuesday. The Higher Military Council had earlier vowed to rewrite the constitution within 10 days and put it to a referendum within two months. The existing constitution, which the military council has suspended, had built-in guarantees to keep Mubarak and his allies in power.
ELA: An Emperor without Clothes?  
 
Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) granted by the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) has increased substantially in recent months. ƒÞ ELA is not part of the Eurosystem operations of the CBI ¡V any resulting losses are not shared with the rest of the Eurosystem, and likely carry a State guarantee from the Irish sovereign. ƒÞ Increasing use of ELA highlights i) continuing funding problems of Irish banks, ii) increasing reluctance of ECB to fund distressed euro area banks, iii) question marks over the solvency of the consolidated Irish sovereign and banking sector.
Hospital refuses to help man dying in parking lot  
 
The 61-year-old heart attack victim was only 150 feet from the emergency room door, but ER supervisors refused to come out to help. They told police they’d have to call an ambulance to move him inside.
EDF announces 74% fall in profit  
 
Electricite de France has reported a 74% drop in net profit as demand for gas and electricity remains low.
Killing India’s Right to Information law Author: Jason Overdorf
 
India’s most vital tool for fighting corruption is bleeding from a thousand cuts. read more
MI6 spy death pair ‘untraceable’  
 
A Mediterranean couple sought in connection with the death of MI6 officer Gareth Williams may never be traced, police concede.
Chevron hits back in Amazon row  
 
US oil giant Chevron says it will appeal against an Ecuador fine of $8.6bn, amid a decades-long row over pollution in the country’s Amazon region.
Karlsruher Atomsuppe sorgt für Milliarden-Fiasko  
 
Die “Atomsuppe” ist endlich angerichtet. Fast 20 Jahre lang gammelten 60.000 Liter plutoniumverseuchte Salpetersäure im Atomforschungszentrum im Karlsruher Hardtwald in großen Tanks vor sich hin.
Internetsperren nicht EU-weit verpflichtend  
 
“Das Europäische Parlament hat heute die Einführung von verpflichtenden Internetsperren auf EU-Ebene abgelehnt. Verbindlich geregelt wird, dass Mitgliedstaaten Internetseiten mit Darstellungen des sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern löschen – weitergehende Maßnahmen liegen in der Verantwortung der Mitgliedstaaten”, erklären Nadja Hirsch und Alexander Alvaro, FDP-Mitglieder im Innenausschuss des Europäischen Parlaments.
Suezkanal blockiert  
 
Der Suezkanal ist seit Dienstagmorgen blockiert. Grund: angeblich ein untergegangenes Schiff. Ein Frachter sei bei schlechtem Wetter auf Grund gelaufen. Schiffsverkehr unterbrochen.

The defector who convinced the White House that Iraq had a secret biological weapons programme has admitted for the first time that he lied about his story then watched in shock as it was used to justify the war. [link]

UK inflation rate increases to 4%  
 
The UK inflation rate rose to 4% in January, increasing pressure for an interest rate rise in the spring.
Food prices at ‘dangerous levels’  
 
The World Bank says escalating food prices have pushed 44 million more people into poverty since last June.
Military masters  
 
Enormous expectations heaped on Egypt’s new rulers
Europa setzt Frontex in Marsch  
 
Die Europäische Union reagiert mit ihren Hilfszusagen auf ein Schreiben des italienischen Innenministers Roberto Maroni an EU-Innenkommissarin Cecilia Malmström. Neben finanzieller Soforthilfe soll wohl auch die europäische Grenzschutzagentur Frontex zu einer Mission nach Italien entsandt werden, erläuterte der Sprecher. “Frontex bereitet eine Mission in der Gegend vor.”
Egypt asks US, EU to freeze assets of officials Author: News Desk
 
Egypt has reportedly asked the U.S. and the European Union to freeze the assets of former top Egyptian officials. read more
Two-way Radio Breakthrough To Double Wi-Fi Speeds Author: CmdrTaco
 
An anonymous reader writes “Scientists at Stanford University have built a radio that can transmit and receive at the same time on the same frequency. The breakthrough could lead to a twofold increase in performance for home wireless networks and end that annoying habit of pilots finishing every sentence with ‘over.'” But you can still do it if you like. I’m not judging. Read more of this story

There is growing evidence the DoJ is involved with BoA in an attempt to ruin the professional and private life of Glenn Greenwald who supports Wikileaks. This revelation has serious implications that the government is actively subverting 1st Amendment rights to protect private business interests. [link]

US embassy cables: Guide to Bahrains politics  
 
ID:168471 Cable dated:2008-09-04T14:27:00 S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 04 MANAMA 000592 SIPDIS
Tunisia’s revolution isn’t over, but the fear has gone  
 
Tunisia’s future remains uncertain, but for many young people the end of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali’s reigns means the end of living in a police state
US Secret Service Virtualizes Tiny Town Author: CmdrTaco
 
An anonymous reader writes “For the past 40 years, a miniature model environment called “Tiny Town” has been one of the methods used to teach Secret Service agents and officers how to prepare a site security plan. The model includes different sites – an airport, outdoor stadium, urban rally site and a hotel interior – and uses scaled models of buildings, cars and security assets. With help from the Department of Homeland Security’s Science & Technology Directorate, the Secret Service is giving training scenarios a high-tech edge: moving from static tabletop models to virtual kiosks with gaming technology and 3D modeling.” Read more of this story

Clinton calls for online freedom  
 

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warns repressive governments not to restrict internet freedom, saying such efforts will ultimately fail.

Clinton Pledges $25 Million for Net Freedom Fighters Author: Spencer Ackerman
 
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton ponies up $25 million for tools that online dissidents get around “thugs, hackers and censors.” But how much does $25 million buy, really?
Obama sees ‘right Egypt signals’  
 
President Obama says he sees “the right signals” in Egypt after Hosni Mubarak’s downfall, but says Iran should also allow people to express their grievances.
FBI ‘overstated’ anthrax evidence  
 
US investigators relied too heavily on scientific evidence against a man accused of sending letters laced with anthrax in 2001, a review panel says.
Obama Wants Big Hike In Cybersecurity Research Author: CmdrTaco
 
dcblogs writes “The White House 2012 budget seeks a 35% increase to $548 million in cybersecurity research and development, including funds to help DARPA mitigate the risk of insider threats. Think WikiLeaks. Improving control system security, post Stuxnet, was also cited as priority. Overall, the budget seeks $66.1 billion for basic and applied research across all areas, an 11.6% increase. Some areas called out for special focus by the White House include robotics. The feds have already started offering grants for developing of ‘co-robots,’ which are ‘systems “that can safely co-exist in close proximity to or in physical contact with humans in the pursuit of mundane, dangerous, precise or expensive tasks.’ The US also wants to focus research on nanomanufacturing (PDF), ‘and the merging of self-assembly with lithography to achieve large-scale predictable placement of nanoscale components.'” Read more of this story

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