Saturday, April 6, 2013





Tea Party Chief@2013_TeaParty Protected account22h
I also take it that Assad found out the other day, that this was not "meaningless theater" @MedvedevRussiaE


Saudi Arabia backs push to carve out liberated southern Syria

Saudi Arabia is backing a push by Syrian opposition rebels to carve out a "liberated" area in southern Syria, opening a key route of attack on Damascus.

A Free Syrian Army fighter in the southern city of Deraa  Photo: Reuters
By Ruth Sherlock, Magdy Samaan and Suha Maayeh in Amman
6:56PM BST 05 Apr 2013
The Kingdom is working with American intelligence officials in Jordan to help build a strong rebel force in southern Syria that can fight to seize control of Damascus, and offer a 'west friendly' counterweight to the proliferating hardline Islamist rebel groups, high level Syrian opposition sources and eyewitnesses have told the Daily Telegraph.
"Saudi Arabia is supporting groups here that are not religious extremists.
Americans are supervising the flow of arms and the Saudis pay for them," said a rebel who called himself Ahmed Masri speaking to the Daily Telegraph from the southern city of Deraa.
Saudi Arabia is also said to be supporting a US-led programme to train Syrian rebel fighters in Jordan. A well-placed opposition lobbyist based in Jordan told the Daily Telegraph that "the Americans are doing the training, but Saudi is paying the money for it".
Those receiving training are mainly moderate Sunni Muslim tribesmen from central and southern Syria, many of whom have served in the Syrian army.

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Many are chosen by local opposition military councils established in southern Syria.
"They are asking us to take part in a 15-day training programme," said one Syrian fighter in Jordan speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Syrian state media this week criticised Jordan for hosting the training of insurgents, threatening that by actively supporting the opposition Amman risks falling into the "volcanic crater" of the conflict.
An editorial in the government daily Al-Thawra and Syrian state television said that Jordan has a hand in training terrorists and then facilitating their entry into Syria," while state radio accused Jordan of "playing with fire." Western and Arab officials have said the fighters would help to protect the common border with Jordan and help to create a 'save haven' for refugees inside the country. Israel and the United States are also concerned that not supporting moderate rebel factions in the area will give a free reign to well-funded Islamic militant groups to seize the territories close to the Israeli frontier with Syria in the Golan Heights.
"The best case scenario is to empower a more secular opposition now and have them push on the regime from the south. This protects Israel from Islamist militants, giving them a more reasonable neighbour and opens a route to push the regime from Damascus," said a senior opposition figure in Jordan.
Abdullah al Masri, an opposition activist speaking from Deraa said: "Deraa is the key to Damascus, there is no way to liberate Damascus without liberating Deraa. It is the last artery for the regime; the last and largest governorate near the capital and to the Jordanian border that is still in their control." Much of the Saudi government funding is now being channelled through the western-backed Supreme Military Council (SMC), the armed wing for the opposition National Coalition.
Following a resurgence in the international appetite for finding a solution to the Syria crisis, General Salim Idriss, who heads the SMC has been touring donor countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Kingdom to rally support and map a military strategy.
Qatar has been working more closely with Turkey, who are more sympathetic to the Doha backed Muslim Brotherhood, whilst Saudi Arabia has been pushing much of its support through Jordan, analysts and diplomats have said.
The training and the influx of foreign-funded weapons have coincided with significant rebel gains in the south of Syria. Earlier this week rebels seized control of parts of the Karak neighbourhood in Deraa.
Most significant was the rebel captures of the headquarters of 'Brigade 38' and with it a major weapons cache. A report leaked to the Daily Telegraph claims the arms store included dozens of containers of Air Force Cobra missiles.
The fighting has also spread along the Damascus-Deraa highway and comes to within two kilometres of the Syrian capital. Seizing this area will connect three major opposition strongholds of East Ghouta, Daraya and Kadam.
"We are using the road to Jordan as a route to take out our wounded fighters," said Captain Islam Aloush, a spokesperson for Liwa al-Islam, one of the largest rebel fighting groups in Damascus.

Tea Party Chief@2013_TeaParty Protected account22h
I gather from Assad's remarks that he considers killing 120,000 people and raping and torturing "meaningless theater" @MedvedevRussiaE

Italian journalists kidnapped in Syria: Foreign Ministry

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ROME | Fri Apr 5, 2013 6:02pm EDT
(Reuters) - Italian journalists were taken hostage inSyria on Friday, the Foreign Ministry said, without providing any details about their capture.
Italian media reported that four Italian reporters were taken hostage in northern Syria, near the Turkish border. Syria has been fighting a bloody civil war for two years.
The ministry said only that "some" Italians were kidnapped but gave no further details.

The families of those taken have been informed, and a crisis unit has been formed to handle the case, a ministry spokesman said.
Italian media said that one of the reporters worked for RAI state television, two were freelance and one was an Italian-Syrian woman who works with an Italian newspaper.
(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

Parents of US journalist kidnapped in Syria say they have had no information 4 months later

(Steven Senne, File/ Associated Press ) - FILE - In this May 27, 2011 file photo American Journalist James Foley, of Rochester, N.H., poses for a photo in Boston. The parents of Foley, kidnapped in Syria more than four months ago, said Thursday April 4, 2013 that his latest disappearance is more upsetting than an earlier one in Libya because they don’t know who is holding him.

By Associated Press, Published: April 4

MILWAUKEE — The parents of an American journalist kidnapped in Syria more than four months ago said Thursday that his latest disappearance is more upsetting than an earlier one in Libya because they don’t know who is holding him.
James Foley, 39, was working in northwest Syria with another journalist when they were kidnapped by unknown gunmen on Nov. 22, his parents said. Foley, a freelance journalist, had been working in Syria for about a year and was contributing videos to Agence France-Press when he disappeared.
It’s unclear whether he’s being held by the government, a rebel group or a criminal gang, said his mother, Diane Foley.
“We don’t know who to direct our plea to,” she said. “We don’t know who is holding him or why.”
Foley was held for six weeks by the Libyan government in 2011, but his parents said that situation was very different because the U.S. government worked with the Libyan government to secure his release and provided them with regular updates.
The U.S. does not currently have a formal relationship with Syria and there has been no regular or reliable information about Foley, his parents said. Though they have been in touch with federal officials, they said the most they’ve received are rumors of their son’s whereabouts.
The Foleys traveled to Milwaukee from their home in Rochester, N.H., for a Friday night vigil for their son at Marquette University, where he studied history. He taught in Arizona, Massachusetts and Chicago before switching careers to become a journalist.
He had been working in war zones for about five years when he was taken captive in Libya while covering that country’s civil war. Another journalist — South African photographer Anton Hammerl — was shot during their capture and left to die in the desert. Foley and another journalist were released.
“I’ll regret that day for the rest of my life,” Foley told The Associated Press in 2011. “I’ll regret what happened to Anton.”
Friday is the two-year anniversary of his capture in Libya. If he had doubt about going back to a war zone, his parents said he didn’t share it with them.
His father, John Foley, said he doesn’t feel his son was reckless. Any journalist committed to covering conflict and war takes some risk, he said.
“It’s just the nature of the occupation and the environment,” John Foley said. He added, “He wanted to tell stories about people that were truthful and that would help them.”
Twenty-eight journalists were killed in Syria in 2012, prompting the Committee to Protect Journalists to name it the most dangerous country in the world to work in last year.
Those who lost their lives include award-winning French TV reporter Gilles Jacquier, photographer Remi Ochlik and Britain’s Sunday Times correspondent Marie Colvin. Also, Anthony Shadid, a correspondent for The New York Times, died after an apparent asthma attack while on assignment in Syria.
Foley had agreed to text his mother about every 48 hours so that she wouldn’t worry, and he had a video conference with his parents once a week. They learned about his disappearance in a phone call from Clare Morgana Gillis, the journalist held captive with him in Libya.
His parents said federal officials have advised them to keep quiet, and they did for more than a month. Diane Foley said they decided to speak out because publicity seemed to help secure their son’s release in 2011. Still, they second-guess themselves.
“Are we going to make him too valuable?” John Foley asked. “If we don’t say anything, is he not valuable enough?”
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Study: Government forces responsible for majority of rapes in Syria

Posted By Marya Hannun  Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 2:20 PM   Share

Rape has played a devastating role in Syria's two-year-long civil war, but data about how prevalent the practice is in the murky conflict have been hard to come by. In one of the most ambitious efforts yet to nail down statistics, a study released Wednesday indicates that Syrian government forces have committed most acts of sexual violence.
Women Under Siege, along with Columbia University epidemiologists, the Syrian-American Medical Society, and Syrian activists and journalists, has spent the past year documenting and mapping incidences of sexual violence in the war-ravaged country. And while the group acknowledges that the data-- derived largely from media and human rights reports -- is incomplete and unverified, the numbers do paint an interesting picture of who is behind acts of sexual violence in the country, and how often they're occurring.
One of the report's most compelling findings is just how many of the cases of sexual violence on record have allegedly been committed by government forces:According to the study, government forces have carried out 56 percent of sexual attacks against women. But if you include pro-regime shabiha (plain-clothed militia) perpetrators, the number is closer to 80 percent. When it comes to men (who were the victims in 20 percent of the cases tracked by Women Under Siege), the figures are even more staggering. 90 percent of the reported sexualized violence against men was committed by government forces, possibly due to the fact that these tend to occur in detention facilities. Meanwhile, the Free Syrian Army, has only carried out 1 percent of the documented sexual attacks.
FP caught up with Women Under Siege Director Lauren Wolfe to delve deeper into the story behind these figures. Here's what she had to say:
Our number of reports has nearly doubled since we last put out our stats in July, yet the stats have remained remarkably consistent. Our lead Columbia epidemiologist thinks that indicates we are potentially on the right track. But again, the key caution is always that we are only getting a portion of what's potentially out there.
Wolfe acknowledges that rape is being committed on all sides of the conflict, but stresses the importance of looking at "why so much of the information coming out of Syria indicates that the majority is being enacted by government perpetrators." According to Wolfe, there are a number of explanations for this finding.
While the Syrian opposition has been diligently documenting atrocities and reporting these to international actors, the Syrian government has restricted journalists' access to information on sexual violence. "Much of the rape appears to be occurring in government detention centers, at checkpoints, and during army raids on towns," she told FP. "Whatever less structured [rape] carried out by opposition forces may be underreported."
There's another potential explanation, Wolfe adds: "It is entirely possible that government forcesare actually carrying out the majority of the sexualized violence." Past studies of sexual violence in conflict show that state forces are more likely to perpetrate sexual violence -- a pattern that might just be recurring in Syria.

Tea Party Chief@2013_TeaParty Protected account23h
I would also like to send some of these to Africa as well, sure beats sewing up or mutilating your own parts!

Tea Party Chief@2013_TeaParty Protected account23h
I would love to send these to Syria as Assad's genocidal govt. regime is responsible for most of all the rapes there

Tea Party Chief@2013_TeaParty Protected account23h
@Yathalema Assad ruined Ashura. He turned it into the bread of violence and wickedness. I will find a way to share the bread of peace.

Tea Party Chief@2013_TeaParty Protected account23h
@Yathalema I am going to find a way to send prepared bread to Syria-we call it fry bread but I can make it with oil
11:49 PM - 4 Apr 13 · Details


U.S. hopes to donate cash instead of food to anti-hunger efforts

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By Charles Abbott
WASHINGTON | Fri Apr 5, 2013 7:11pm EDT
(Reuters) - International anti-hunger activists expect the Obama administration to propose major reforms to its food aid efforts in which the United States would donate cash instead of shipping U.S.-grown food to trouble spots around the world.
The White House declined to comment on Friday on its plans. But people who have heard the plans said the administration has discussed the strategy with interest groups and lawmakers and touted it as a way to save money while still keeping the United States the global leader in food aid.

Many anti-hunger groups back the new strategy, but other groups, including domestic producers who sell food to the program, oppose the change.
Several food aid groups said the switch to cash from food donations will be part of the administration's budget proposal next week. Such a switch would be the biggest change in U.S. food aid programs since they were created during the Cold War.
Funding for food aid would drop by roughly 25 percent under the proposal, said activists familiar with the plans. However, cash donations, coupled with purchase of food near the trouble spots, are a speedier and less costly way to deliver assistance, backers of the so-called local purchase approach said.
Up to 45 million people a year are helped through the Food for Peace program, funded at $1.4 billion this year. Food for Peace was created in 1954 to help fight poverty overseas while also unloading domestic farm surpluses. Nowadays, the government buys the food that it donates.
Aid groups say Food for Peace would be mothballed along with the $170 million-a-year Food for Progress program, designed to encourage free markets in agriculture in developing nations. Instead, $1.3 billion would go into State Department accounts for disaster relief and local development.
The State Department also runs Feed the Future, an Obama administration initiative for government and private sector work toward local food security. While most of the Food for Peace funding is spent on emergency hunger relief, up to $450 million a year is earmarked for projects to boost local food production, to reduce the need for ongoing hunger relief.
U.S. funding for food aid and international agricultural development has come under pressure in recent years as deficit reduction has became a paramount goal in Congress.
"We have to look for every efficiency we can," said Eric Munoz of Oxfam America, a prominent supporter of cash donation and local purchase. With lower delivery costs, local purchase "is a doubling of efficiency in our food aid programs," he said.
About half of the cost of U.S. food aid comes in paying to haul the commodities from U.S. ports. As a rule, at least 75 percent of U.S. food aid must travel on U.S.-flagged vessel, which can drive up costs.
A 2012 Cornell University study said local purchase "can often afford valuable cost and times savings." Grain can cost half as much, it said, although processed foods sometimes cost more locally or offered smaller savings.
Care, Actionaid, American Jewish World Service and Church World Service join Oxfam in support of cash donation. But U.S. farm groups, shippers and aid groups such as World Vision, International Relief & Development and Planet Aid say food donation is a proven system that should be kept.
"Be wary of claims that great sums will be saved and recipients will be better served by shifting all food aid funds to a flexible cash account," said Ellen Levinson, speaking for a coalition that supports food donation.
Levinson said local purchase has its limits. Food may not be available in the quantity, quality or variety that is needed for massive food programs.
The administration may guarantee U.S.-produced food a share of the revamped program rather than totally end food donation, according to groups on each side of the debate.
Nearly two dozen senators and an array of farm, maritime and aid groups wrote the White House in February to oppose a change in policy. "Food aid programs have enjoyed bipartisan support for 60 years because they work," said one of the letters.
(Reporting By Charles Abbott; editing by Ros Krasny)




Hackers Attack North Korea And Post Ridiculous Kim Jong-un Picture To State Social Media Accounts

Adam Taylor | Apr. 4, 2013, 10:41 AM | 13,753 | 10

Twitter and Flicker accounts linked to the North Korean government appear to have been hacked in what appears to be an ongoing attack on the state by Anonymous-linked hackers.
The "Uriminzokkiri" accounts — used by the North Korean government for official propaganda — on both sites appear to have been taken over some time earlier today. It appears that North Korea hasn't got control of the accounts back yet, judging by the postings.
A statement from Anonymous takes credit for a wider attack on North Korean websites, and lists a number of usernames and passwords apparently for the website That site is also down at present.
An DDOS attack at the weekend took down several North Korean government websites. The attack was labeled #OpNorthKorea.
Here's the Twitter account at the time of writing:
Here's the Flickr account:


Anonymous Hacks North Korean Twitter, Flickr AccountsBy Stephanie Mlot

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North Korea's official Twitter and Flickr accounts have been hacked, reportedly as part of "hacktivist" group Anonymous's efforts to disrupt the Communist country's Web presence.
The attackers targeted North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in a series of tweets and photos that portray him in a less-than-flattering light.
Five tweets from @uriminxok were sent between 10:45 and 11:20 p.m. Wednesday. Most included a simple message - "Hacked" - accompanied by links to various North Korean websites. One said "Tango Down" with a link to the country's Flickr page.
The group uploaded four images to North Korea's official Flickr photostream, including a fake "Wanted" poster, depicting Jong-un with pig ears and a snout, and text that said: "Threatening world peace with ICBMs and Nuclear weapons/Wasting money while his people starve to death/ Concentration Camps and the worst human rights violation in the world." The photo offers a bogus $1 million reward.
Anonymous contended in a Wednesday Pastebin message that they have "a few guys on the ground" in North Korea, who "managed to bring the real internet into the country using a chain of long distance Wi-Fi repeaters with proprietary frequencies, so they're not jammed (yet)." The group said it also has access to North Korean landlines that connected to Kwangmyong, the country's national Intranet.
"To the citizens of North Korea we suggest to rise up and bring those mother******s of a oppressive government down!" Anonymous wrote. "We are holding your back and your hand, while you take the journey to freedom, democracy and peace. Do not fear us, we are not terrorist, we are the good guys from the internet."
The group also has some more low-brow aspirations with its hacks. "We gonna inject the kittens and porn into their network," the hackers wrote, "because North Korean citizens wanna see lulzy kittehs and hawt pr0n too."
The group also claimed to have hacked, allegedly stealing more than 15,000 passwords from the news outlet. The North Korean website is currently offline.
Tensions in the Asian country remain high, as North Korea today threatened the U.S. by authorizing its military to conduct a nuclear strike, Bloomberg reported.

No agreement on Syria access for U.N. chemical arms inspectors

By Louis Charbonneau | Reuters – Thu, Apr 4, 2013

  • Reuters/Reuters - Bashar Ja'afari, Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations, listens as U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the 67th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, September …more
By Louis Charbonneau
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations and Syria have not yet agreed on how much access a team of chemical weapons inspectors will have to investigate allegations that such arms were used recently in the Syrian conflict, according to a letter to Syria's U.N. envoy.
The United Nations said last month it would investigate the Syrian government's allegations that rebels used chemical arms in an attack near the northern city of Aleppo.
Western countries also want a probe of two additional rebel claims about the use of such arms. The opposition says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government carried out all three alleged chemical attacks.
"There's no agreement on access yet," a U.N. Security Council diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity. "The inspectors won't be deploying until there's agreement on access and other modalities."
There has been an exchange of letters about access for the investigators between Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari and the head of the U.N. Office of Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane, according to a letter from Kane obtained by Reuters on Thursday.
That letter said Ja'afari wrote to Kane on Tuesday suggesting amendments to her proposed "legal and logistical parameters" for the investigation.
Ja'afari has said repeatedly that the inspectors need only limited access to the areas related to the Aleppo incident, in which the government and rebels accuse each other of firing a missile laden with chemicals that killed 26 people.
Diplomats said Assad's government has also suggested it wants a say in who will be on the inspection team.
Kane responded to Ja'afari by saying that it was "solely for the Secretary-General (Ban Ki-moon) to determine the composition of the investigation mission, which should have the necessary freedom of movement and access to conduct a thorough and objective investigation."
Kane made clear to Ja'afari that although the primary focus of the investigation would be the Aleppo incident, there were other alleged chemical weapons attacks to consider as well.
"We must remain mindful of the other allegations that chemical weapons were used elsewhere in the country," she wrote.
France and Britain wrote to Ban last month requesting that any investigation look into rebel allegations of an attack near Damascus, as well as one in Homs in late December. The rebels blame Syria's government for those incidents as well as the Aleppo attack.
The French and British request enraged Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who accused them of trying to "delay and possibly derail" the U.N. probe.
Russia has criticized Western and Arab calls for Assad to give up power and, together with China, has blocked three U.N. Security Council resolutions meant to pressure him to end the violence. Moscow has also differed with the West over which side was to blame for massacres and other atrocities in Syria.
Western diplomats and U.N. officials say Ban is determined to have all chemical weapons allegations investigated.
Ban has said he wants the inspection team, to be headed by Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom, to deploy to Syria as soon as possible. There was no mention of a deployment date for the inspection team in Kane's letter.
"The United Nations is continuing to discuss the content of the exchange of letters with the government of Syria and is hopeful that a mutual understanding ... will be reached soon," said U.N. spokesman Eduardo del Buey.
Ja'afari did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
The investigation will try to determine only if chemical weapons were used, not who used them. If it is confirmed that the weapons were used, it would be the first time in the two-year-old Syrian conflict. The United Nations estimates the conflict has resulted in the loss of more than 70,000 lives.
(Editing by Christopher Wilson)

Koreans in U.S. concerned about North's threats

Sharyn Jackson, The Des Moines Register 10:59p.m. EDT April 5, 2013
(Photo: AP)


  • Reports in South less ominous, Koreans in Iowa say
  • Some observers fear those inside South Korea take threats too lightly
  • North Korea leader Kim Jong Un came to power in 2011
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowans with ties to the Korean peninsula say they are watching closely as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un makes threats to attack South Korea and the United States.
Many say the threats are worse than what they've seen in the past, and they're tracking headlines with concern. But they're not yet deeply worried about the safety of family members back home.
"You cannot discount a crazy person with lots of firepower, especially nuclear," said Drake University business professor Inchul Suh, who grew up in Busan, South Korea. "But on the other hand, all the threats they are making I think is more of a show than a real threat."
His conclusion: "It's all bark, no bite."
North Korea has been railing against U.S.-South Korean military exercises that began in March and are set to continue until the end of this month. The United States and South Korea insist the exercises in South Korea are routine, but the North calls them rehearsals for an invasion and says it needs nuclear weapons to defend itself. The North has also expressed anger over tightened U.N. sanctions related to a nuclear test in February.
The North's military warned this week that it has been authorized to launch a nuclear attack against the U.S.
Inside South Korea, the reports are less ominous, according to Iowans with relatives there. Newspaper coverage in South Korea has at times been more muted than in the United States, The Associated Press reports.
"All of my friends and family in Korea, they don't really care about this news," said Sang-Seok Yoon, a Korean language professor at the University of Iowa.
But some Iowa observers fear South Koreans may be taking the threats too lightly. Jinjoo Hong, president of the Korean Language Club at Iowa State University and a senior education major, said, "I know there have been many threats over the years, but this time, I think they crossed the line already. I think there are real actions this time."
Youngwan Kim, a political science professor at ISU, also worries that South Koreans aren't taking the possibility of war seriously "because they have lived for the last decades with this constant threat from North Korea."
South Koreans, he said, "definitely think this is an overreaction of Western media."
Many Iowans with ties to Korea believe that the warnings in recent weeks stem from the efforts of Kim Jong Un to solidify his image.
"The best way to stabilize Kim Jong Un's power is to show off his power to other countries and also to his own," said Youngwan Kim, who grew up in Busan.
Kim Jong Un, said to be 30, came to power after his father died in late 2011.
Most analysts believe the North's escalating provocations are meant to coerce South Korea into softening its policies, win direct talks and aid from Washington, and strengthen Kim Jong Un's image at home.
The belief that the United States will intervene on behalf of South Korea has calmed nerves, said John Lee, acting president of the Korean American Society of Iowa.
"Anybody older than 50 who was close to the Korean War understands what's going on," said the Chuncheon native, who has lived in Cedar Rapids for 27 years. "Most people believe in the strong ties between the United States and Korea. If a war breaks out, a lot of people already know the South can win."
The U.S. continues to maintain 28,500 troops in South Korea, and 50,000 more are in nearby Japan.
Despite its threats of nuclear attacks, the North is not believed to have mastered the technology needed to mount nuclear bombs on long-range missiles or aim them accurately. It also could be years before the country completes the laborious process of creating enough weaponized fuel to back up its nuclear threats.
Seoul-native Yong Chin Pak, who has taught martial arts at ISU for 40 years, said his son works in South Korea, and his wife will be traveling there later this month.
"If I'm worried too much, I'm not going to let her go, and I will call him back immediately," he said. "But I don't think it's going to happen."
To Pak, the current situation is nothing more than a "young man trying to show off."
Contributing: The Associated Press



Updated July 2012
1985: Then-speaker of the Iranian Majlis Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani leads a high-level delegation to Libya, Syria, North Korea and China, reportedly to acquire missiles.

1985: Iran receives its first Scud-Bs from Libya.

1987: China sells Iran "Silkworm" anti-ship cruise missiles.

1987: Iran reportedly receives approximately 100 Scud-B missiles from North Korea. Iran had allegedly agreed to finance North Korea’s longer-range missile program in exchange for missile technology and the option to buy the finished missiles.

1988: China agrees to provide Iran with equipment and know-how to develop and test medium-range ballistic missiles.

1988: Iran successfully tests the 160 km range Mushak-160 missile.

1990: China and Iran reportedly sign a 10-year agreement for scientific cooperation and the transfer of military technology.

1991: Iran test-fires a ballistic missile identified by U.S. intelligence as a North Korean Scud-C.

1991: Syrian chief of staff General Hikmat Shihabi reportedly visits Tehran to discuss building a factory in Syria for joint development and production of surface-to-surface missiles.

1992: The U.S. Department of State sanctions Iran’s Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) for engaging in "missile technology proliferation activities" with North Korea.

1993: North Korea successfully tests the Nodong missile to a range of about 500 km.

1995: Iran receives four Scud Transporter Erector Launchers (TELs) from North Korea.

1996: The State Department sanctions North Korea’s Changgwang Sinyong Corporation and Iran’s Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) and State Purchasing Office for "missile technology proliferation activities."

1996: Iran test-fires a Chinese-built C-802 surface-to-surface cruise missile.

1996: U.S. Rep. Benjamin Gilman (R-NY) states during a Congressional hearing on China's military sales to Iran that U.S. intelligence believes China has "delivered dozens, perhaps hundreds, of missile guidance systems and computerized tools to Iran."

1996: The Washington Times reports that, according to a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report entitled "Arms Transfers to State Sponsors of Terrorism," China has supplied Iran with missile technology including gyroscopes and accelerometers as well as test equipment and components for an advanced radar system.

November 1996: Iran reportedly fires, for the first time, a Chinese C-802 anti-ship missile from one of its 10 Chinese-built "Houdong" patrol boats.

June 1997: Iran reportedly tests two Chinese-built C-801K air-launched cruise missiles from a vintage F-4 Phantom, marking the country’s first successful test of an air-launched cruise missile.

September 1997: The Russian INOR Scientific Center reportedly agrees to supply Iran's Instrumentation Factories Plan with a high-strength steel alloy and three types of alloy foil used to shield missile guidance equipment.

December 1997: U.S. satellite reconnaissance reportedly picks up the heat signature of a missile engine test at the Shahid Hemat Industrial Group (SHIG) research facility, south of Tehran.

January 1998: According to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an Iranian opposition group, Iran has completed development of the Shahab-3 intermediate range missile and it is ready for production.

July 1998: Iran tests the Shahab-3 missile. According to Iranian sources, the 16-meter long missile can carry a 1,000 kg payload 1,300 km. The missile is believed to be single-stage, liquid-fueled, scaled-up version of North Korea's Nodong missile.

July 1998: The State Department imposes sanctions on seven Russian entities for engaging in "proliferation activities related to Iran’s missile programs." Designated entities include Baltic State Technical University, Europalace 2000, Glavkosmos, Grafit, INOR Scientific Center, MOSO Company, and Polyus Scientific Production Association.

September 1998: Iran publicly displays the Shahab-3 missile at a military parade. Also on display are five air-to-air missiles, Chinese C-801 and C-802 anti-ship missiles, and three Iranian-built, solid propellant surface-to-surface missiles, including the Zelzal-2, the Nazeat, and the Shahin.

January 1999: The State Department imposes sanctions on Russia's D. Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology of Russia, Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI), and The Scientific Research and Design Institute of Power Technology for engaging in "proliferation activities related to Iran’s nuclear and/or missile programs."

February 1999: Iran's defense minister Ali Shamkhani announces that the Shahab-4 missile is in production not for military purposes, but for launching a satellite. U.S. intelligence reportedly believes the missile is derived from the 1950s-era Soviet SS-4 "Sandal" medium-range missile, which had a maximum range of 2,000 km.

April 1999: Iran announces the successful test fire of the Sayyad-1, an advanced anti-aircraft missile designed and manufactured by the Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO).

October 1999: Iran reportedly sells Scud-B and Scud-C missiles to the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). Iranian military officers and technicians are on hand to help assemble the missiles.

November 1999: U.S. intelligence reportedly believes that North Korea recently sold Iran 12 Nodong missile engines.

January 2000: Iran commissions three production lines at the Education and Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense. They will allegedly help Iran become self-sufficient in the production of HTPB resin, aluminum powder and potassium chlorite – all of which are useful in the production of solid rocket propellant.

February 2000: Iran reportedly tests a Shahab-3 missile equipped with a North Korean engine. The missile was launched from a TEL at an airbase of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Iranian sources say the missile has an inertial navigation guidance system and a circular error probable (CEP) of approximately three kilometers.

March 2000: Israeli and U.S. officials reportedly agree that Iran can deploy the Shahab-3 missile.

March 2000: The Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-178) is signed into law, authorizing sanctions against persons transferring to Iran materials and technology capable of contributing to Iran’s cruise and ballistic missile programs.

April 2000: The State Department imposes sanctions on Changgwang Sinyong, a North Korean company, and Iran’s Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO), Shahid Hemat Industrial Group (SHIG) and SANAM Industrial Group for missile technology proliferation activities.

July 2000: Iran successfully tests the Shahab-3 missile, according to Iranian state media.

August 2000: In its report on worldwide proliferation, the CIA says Iran has made considerable progress in the development of ballistic missiles, and that entities in Russia, North Korea, and China continued to supply the largest amount of ballistic missile-related goods, technology, and expertise to Iran.

September 2000: Iran tests the Shahab-3 missile, but the missile reportedly explodes shortly after launch.

May 2002: Iran tests the Shahab-3 missile. According to Iranian authorities, the test is successful.

July 2002: Iran tests the Shahab-3 missile. The test is reportedly unsuccessful.

September 2002: Iran claims to have successfully flight tested the Fateh-110, a single-stage, solid-fueled missile, with at least a 200 km range. Iran's state media reports the inauguration of a facility to produce the Fateh-110.

May 2003: The State Department imposes sanctions on two Moldovan companies, Cuanta S.A., Computer and Communicatti SRL, on a Moldovan national, Mikhail Pavlovich Vladov, and on Iran’s Shahid Hemat Industrial Group (SHIG) for contributing to missile programs in Iran.

July 2003: On July 20, a ceremony is held to mark the distribution of the Shahab-3 to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The ceremony follows by several weeks what an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman calls the "final test" of the Shahab-3 missile.

November 2003: Iran's defense ministry announces that Iran does not have any program "to build the Shahab-4 missile."

November 2003: In its report to Congress on worldwide proliferation, the CIA says that Iran's ballistic missile inventory is among the largest in the Middle East and that entities in the former Soviet Union, North Korea, and China have helped Iran progress in ballistic missile production.

January 2004: Iran begins production of the Raad cruise missile and the DM-3b active-radar sensor for the Noor anti-ship missile.

May 2004: Iran says it has begun manufacturing a cruise missile called the Kowsar (Kosar), an indigenous stealth anti-ship missile made by the Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO). The missile is said to have three variants: shore-launched, air-launched, and ship-launched.

August 2004: Iran announces the successful test of an upgraded Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missile, which reportedly is longer than the original version, with a larger fuel tank, and a "baby bottle-shaped" reentry vehicle and an increased range.

September 2004: Iran displays a number of missiles during the Holy Defense Week military parade, including the Zelzal, Nazeat, Shahab-2 and Shahab-3. Reportedly, two Shahab-3 variants featuring a triconic warhead, and assessed to have improved ranges of 1,500 km and 2,000 km, respectively, are displayed.

October 2004: Iran claims that it has successfully tested a more accurate version of the Shahab-3 missile.

December 2004: According to NCRI, Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) is developing several clandestine missiles, including the Ghadr, the Shahab-4, and the Zelzal 2, and is working on nuclear and chemical warheads.

2005: North Korea allegedly supplies Iran with 18 missile assembly kits for the BM-25 (or Musudan), a modified version of Russia’s SS-N-6. The SS-N-6 is single-stage, liquid-fueled, submarine missile with a range of 2,400 to 3,000 km.

May 2005: Iran’s Defense Minister announces the test of a solid-fuel engine for the Shahab-3, in an effort to increase the durability and range of the missile.

June 2005: President George W. Bush issues Executive Order 13382 on Blocking Property of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Proliferators and Their Supporters. The order freezes the assets of specially designated proliferators of WMD and WMD delivery systems, as well as members of their support networks; four Iranian entities are designated under this Order including Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO), Shahid Hemat Industrial Group (SHIG), Shahid Bakeri Industrial Group, and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).

December 2005: According to NCRI, Iran is using underground facilities to hide missile command and control centers and to build nuclear-capable missiles.

March-April 2006: Iran holds "Holy Prophet" war games in the Persian Gulf, involving the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Naval Force and Iran’s regular naval and armed forces. According to Iran, missiles tested include the Shahab-2, the Kowsar, the sonar-evading Hoot (Hud, Hut) underwater missile, the surface-to-air Fajr-3, and an upgraded Nour cruise missile. Reportedly, the Nour (Noor) may be a variant of the Chinese C-802, the Kowsar a variant of the Chinese C-801, and the Hoot based on the Russian-developed Shkval rocket-powered torpedo.

June 2006: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the U.S. Department of the Treasury imposes financial sanctions on four Chinese companies, Beijing Alite Technologies Company Ltd. (ALCO), LIMMT Economic and Trade Company, Ltd., China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), and China National Precision Machinery Import/Export Corporation (CPMIEC), and on the U.S.-based CGWIC representative, G.W. Aerospace, Inc., for supplying Iran with missile-related and dual-use components.

July 2006: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes financial sanctions on SANAM Industrial Group and Ya Mahdi Industries Group for their ties to missile proliferation; both are Iranian companies subordinate to Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO).

August-September 2006: During Blow of Zolfaqar war games, Iran claims to have successfully tested a radar-evading, ship-launched missile called the Sagheb, and a new surface-to-surface missile called the Saeqeh. U.S. military intelligence reportedly determines that the video of the Sagheb test released by the Iranian government is actually of an earlier Chinese missile test.

November 2006: Iran tests several missiles during the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) led "Great Prophet 2" military maneuvers, including the Shahab-2, Shahab-3, Fateh-110, Zelzal, and Scud-B. Iran claims the Shahab-3 was tested with cluster warheads and achieved a range of approximately 1,900 km. Anti-ship missiles, including the Noor, Kosar, and Nasr, are also reportedly tested.

December 2006: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 1737, imposing sanctions to prevent the transfer to Iran of materials, as well as technical or financial assistance, which might contribute to Iranian nuclear and ballistic missile development. The resolution designates eight Iranian entities involved in missile activities, for which financial resources are to be frozen.

January 2007: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes financial sanctions on Bank Sepah, a state-owned Iranian financial institution. Bank Sepah is described by Treasury as "the financial linchpin of Iran’s missile procurement network."

February 2007: Iran tests the Tor-M1 short-range air defense system provided by Russia. The Tor-M1 system has a reported range of 12 km, which may be increased to 20 km. Iran’s IRCG Air Force Commander claims that the system is capable of tracking 48 targets and engaging 8 targets using electro-optic and infrared systems.

February 2007: Iran claims to have tested a suborbital research rocket as part of the country’s space program, which may include an effort to develop an independent satellite launch capability. U.S. missile launch sensors reportedly detect no such test.

March 2007: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 1747, imposing further sanctions to prevent the transfer of arms and provision of financial assistance to Iran, and designating additional Iranian entities involved in ballistic missile activities, for which financial resources must be frozen.

June 2007: The Treasury Department imposes financial sanctions on two Iranian companies involved in missile work for Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO), which directs Iran’s missile program. Fajr Industries Group is an AIO subordinate involved in the production of missile guidance systems and Mizan Machine Manufacturing Group is an AIO front company involved in procurement.

September 2007: Iran displays the Ghadr-1 (Qadr-1) missile during a military parade, claiming it to be an upgraded version of the medium-range Shahab-3 with a range of 1,800 km. Experts say the Ghadr-1 appears identical to a Shahab-3 variant displayed in 2004. The Ghadr-1, along with other missiles displayed during the military parade, including the Shahab-3, the Fateh-110 and Zelzal-3, are in possession of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Air Force.

November 2007: Iran says it has built a new missile, the "Ashura" (or Ashoura), with a range of 2,000 km. Descriptions of the Ashura vary from a multi-stage, solid-propellant missile to a missile that uses non-SCUD technology. It is reportedly depicted in a U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) report as a stretched version of the liquid-propelled Shahab-3, fitted with larger tail fins, and in an April 2008 Israeli report as a two-stage solid-propellant missile with a triconic nose shape.

February 2008: Iran claims to have successfully launched its Kavoshgar-1 rocket into space. The launch was one of several aerospace projects unveiled. Iran also inaugurates a space center with a satellite control and tracking station and displays its "Omid" satellite. Iran claims that the Kavoshgar is a two-stage rocket, that it reached an altitude of 200 km, and that it successfully made contact with the ground station. Private analysts believe that the Kavoshgar is a single-stage, liquid-fueled missile and that the space center, located 230 km southeast of Tehran, has the potential to be used in developing long-range missiles.

March 2008: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 1803, extending travel restrictions and asset freezes to – and in some cases instituting a travel ban on – additional Iranian entities, and barring Iran from buying almost all nuclear and missile-related technology.

July 2008: Iran claims to have successfully test-fired a Shahab-3 missile with a range of 2,000 km, as well as Zelzal and Fateh surface-to-surface missiles, during "Great Prophet III" war games run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)in the Persian Gulf.

August 2008: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes financial sanctions on two Iranian firms, the Safety Equipment Procurement Company (SEP Co.) and Joza Industrial Company for their links to procurement for Iran’s missile program.

August 2008: Iran launches the "Safir," a two-stage, liquid fueled rocket based on the Shahab-3 missile, according to analysts. The rocket is about 22 meters long, with a diameter of 1.25 meters, and weighing over 26 tons. According to Iran, the rocket is intended as a satellite launch vehicle. Contrary to initial reports, however, the launch does not place a satellite into orbit.

September 2008: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes financial sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and eighteen of its subsidiaries for facilitating shipments of military cargo for Iran’s Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) and its subordinate entities. MODAFL has brokered transactions involving ballistic missile-related materials and technologies.

September 2008: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department sanctions six Iranian military firms. Three of these firms, Iran Electronics Industries, Shiraz Electronics Industries and Iran Communications Industries, make communications equipment for Iran’s military. Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA) develops and produces unmanned aerial vehicles and other military aircraft and its subsidiary Farasakht Industries makes aerospace tools and equipment. These entities are owned or controlled by Iran’s Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL).

November 2008: Iran claims to have successfully tested the Sejil (Sejjil, Sijjil), a two-stage, solid fuel, surface-to-surface missile with a range of nearly 2,000 km. According to private analysts, the missile appears to be larger than Iran’s Shahab-3, with a total length of about 22 meters, and share some design features with Soviet-era ballistic missiles.

December 2008: Western intelligence sources reportedly state that in 2008 Iran more than tripled the number of operational Shahab-3 missiles, with over 100 missiles now delivered to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

February 2009: Iran successfully launches the "Omid" telecommunications and research satellite into orbit, from Semnan province, using its own rocket, the Safir 2. The rocket is 22 meters long, weighs 26 tons and has a diameter of 1.25 meters, according to the head of Iran’s Space Agency. It is a two-stage rocket that lofted the 27 kg Omid into low earth orbit at an altitude of 250 km.

April - May 2009: Iranian officials are reportedly present when North Korea launches a long-range rocket (Unha-2) in April and detonates a nuclear device in May.

May 2009: Iran successfully test fires the Sejil-2 (Sejjil-2, Sijjil-2) missile from Semnan province. Iranian authorities claim that this version of the missile has improved sensors and that production of the missile has begun.

June 2009: Iran launches mass production of a ground-to-air missile defense system, called Shahin, reportedly capable of tracing and targeting aircraft within a range of about 40 km.

September 2009: Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) holds Grand Prophet war games. Shahab-3, Sejil, Shahab-1 and 2, Fateh, Tondar, Zelzal, and various short-range missiles are test fired. An Iranian news organization reports that the Sejil’s (Sejjil, Sijjil) operational range is 2,000 to 2,500 km.

December 2009: Iran successfully test-fires an upgraded version of the Sejil-2 (Sejill-2, Sijjil-2) missile. Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi says that the new version has a shorter launch time and great maneuverability.

February 2010: The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that Iran may have conducted work related to the design of a nuclear warhead for a ballistic missile, including missile re-entry body engineering and "engineering design and computer modeling studies aimed at producing a new design for the payload chamber of a missile."

February 2010: Iran launches the Kavoshgar-3 rocket into space carrying living creatures. Iran also unveils a new space launch vehicle, the Simorgh-3, and three new satellites. According to Iran’s space agency, the Simorgh-3 can place a 100 kg satellite into 500 km orbit. The launch vehicle reportedly uses a configuration similar to that of North Korea’s Taepodong-2 ballistic missile.

February 2010: Iran begins production of two guided missiles, the Qaem anti-helicopter missile and the Toofan-5 (Touphan-5, Toophan-5) anti-armour missile, according to Iran’s Defense Ministry.

March 2010: Iran reportedly begins the indigenous production of the Chinese-designed Nasr-1 anti-ship missile. The Nasr-1, which can carry a 130 kg warhead to a range of 38 km, is based on the Chinese C-704 missile.

March 2010: An analysis of satellite imagery by Jane’s Defence Weekly reveals significant expansion of the launch facility at Iran’s Semnan space center. The expansion, which is in progress, includes the construction of two new launch and engine test pads as well as a number of support buildings.

April 2010: Iran displays several missiles during a military parade, including the Shahab-3, the Ghadr-1 (Qadr-1), and the Sejil (Sejjil, Sijjil). The Shahab-3 is a liquid-fueled missile with a range of up to 2,000 km that is capable of carrying a 760 - 1,000 kg warhead. The Ghadr-1 is reported to be an optimized version of the Shahab-3. The Sejil is a solid-fuel, two-stage missile. These missiles were developed by Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO).

April 2010: The Mersad air defense system becomes operational, according to Iran’s Ministry of Defense. This system is reportedly equipped with advanced radar signal processing technology and electronic equipment for guidance and target acquisition. The system uses Shahin missiles, which are reportedly an upgraded version of the U.S.-made HAWK missile supplied to Iran in the 1970s.

June 2010: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 1929, barring Iran from procuring missiles, missile systems, and related spare parts as defined by the U.N. Register of Conventional Arms, and barring countries from providing Iran with training, servicing, or other maintenance related to such missiles. The resolution also "decides" that Iran should not undertake any activity related to nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, including launches, and designates additional Iranian entities involved in ballistic missile activities, for which financial resources must be frozen.

June 2010: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382 and U.N. Security Council resolution 1929, the Treasury Department sanctions the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Air Force (IRGCAF) and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Missile Command for their ties to Iran’s ballistic missile programs.

August 2010: Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi announces the successful test launch of the liquid-fueled Qiam-1 (Qaem-1) missile. Vahidi also announces the test of an upgraded Fateh-110 missile, which he claims is more accurate and can travel farther than earlier versions of this missile.

September 2010: An upgraded variant of the solid-fueled Fateh-110 missile is allegedly delivered to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Air Force (IRGCAF).

September 2010: The government of Singapore interdicts a shipment of 18 tons of aluminum powder bound for Takin Tejarat Omid Iranian in Iran. The aluminum powder could be used to make solid propellant for missiles and is among the materials that Iran is barred from importing. The quantity of aluminum powder would yield approximately 100 tons of rocket propellant suitable for use in Iran’s Fateh of Zelzal missiles.

September 2010: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department sanctions the German bank Europäisch-Iranische Handelsbank. Among other activities, the bank, along with the Export Development Bank of Iran, "enabled Iran's missile programs to purchase more than $3 million of material."

September 2010: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev bans delivery of S-300 air defense systems to Iran. The S-300 is capable of destroying aircraft at ranges of 150 km and at altitudes of up to 27 km.

October 2010: A missile with a nosecone similar to that of Iran’s Shahab-3 is displayed in a military parade in North Korea, leading some analysts to cite it as evidence of Iran-North Korea technical cooperation on missile development.

October 2010: Iran conducts an unannounced test of its Sejil/Ashura missile, according to a U.N. Panel of Experts Report.

January 2011: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department announces sanctions against Shahid Ahmad Kazemi Industries Group and M. Babaie Industries. Both companies are linked to Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) and have been used to solicit foreign technologies for Iranian ballistic missile program.

January 2011: Iran inaugurates ten new laboratories for testing space structures and complete rocket systems. These facilities reportedly feature testing rigs for rocket sections, a thermal test rig for heat shields, and fixtures for aeroelasticity testing of complete multistage rockets, all of which are controlled items under the Missile Technology Control Regime.

February 2011: Iran tests a supersonic, anti-ship ballistic missile, called the Khalij Fars, which Iran claims can carry a 650 kg warhead to a range of 300 km. According to Jane’s Missiles and Rockets, it is a new variant of the existing Fateh A-110 and uses a similar launcher.

February 2011: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382 the Treasury Department imposes sanctions on eleven entities in an illicit procurement network supporting Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO). Led by Milad Jafari, the network used companies in Iran and Turkey to procure metal parts, including steel and aluminum alloys, for Iran’s missile program.

February 2011: Iran conducts an unannounced test of several missiles, including the Khalij-Fasr (variant of Fateh-110), Shahab-3, and Sejil, according to a U.N. Panel of Experts Report.

March 2011: Iran launches a Kavoshgar-4 rocket into space carrying a test capsule designed to carry a monkey.

May 2011: Iran begins mass production of the Qiam-1 (Qaem-1) ballistic missile and delivery of the missile system to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

May 2011: According to a U.N. Panel of Experts report, Iran and North Korea are suspected of exchanging ballistic missile technology, using regular scheduled Air Koryo and Iran Air flights, in violation of sanctions on both countries.

June 2011: Iran launches the Rasad satellite into space. The 15.3 kg satellite is launched on the Safir, a two-stage rocket, which weighs 26 tons, measures 22 meters in length, and is 1.25 meters wide, according to Iranian officials. The satellite is designed to be placed in a 260 km orbit.

June 2011: Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) fires fourteen missiles as part of their "Great Prophet 6" exercises. The missiles include one Shahab-3 missile, two Shahab-1 missiles, two Shahab-2 missiles, and nine Zelzal missiles.

June 2011: An Iranian state television broadcast reveals underground missile silos that Iran claims would make its missiles less vulnerable to attack and allow for the launch of larger missiles.

August 2011: Iran inaugurates a carbon fiber production line at Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO). Carbon fiber composites have applications in missiles, specifically in items such as rocket motor exit cones and nozzles, reentry vehicle nosetips, heat shields, and leading edges of control surfaces.

September 2011: Iran's Defense Ministry reportedly delivers the of Qader anti-ship cruise missile to Iran’s Navy and to the IRGC’s Naval Force. According to Iran’s defense minister, the Qader has a range of 200 km.

November 2011: The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that under Project 111, Iran allegedly studied how to integrate a new spherical payload onto the Shahab-3 missile, including a high explosive and detonation package suitable for use in an implosion device.

December 2011 - January 2012: Iran test fires Qader, Nasr, and Mehrab missiles during the Velayat-90 naval exercise in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, according to Iran’s Ministry of Defence. The Qader is an anti-ship cruise missile with a range of 200 km and is described as an upgrade of Iran’s Noor missile. The Nasr is a short-range anti-ship missile, which was tested for the first time during the exercise. The Mehrab is a naval surface-to-air missile with anti-radar and anti-jamming capabilities, according to Iranian Naval officials.

February 2012: Iran successfully launches the Navid-e Elm-o (Navid) satellite, into orbit using the Safir launch-vehicle, according to Iran’s Ministry of Defense. The satellite weighs roughly 50 kg and is set to orbit at an altitude between 250 km of 375 km. According to Iranian defense officials, the Navid was developed in coordination with Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) and the Sharif University of Technology.

February 2012: Iran inaugurates a production line for the Zafar naval cruise missile, which is a short-range, anti-ship, radar-guided missile, according to Iran’s defense minister. A first shipment of missiles is delivered to the IRGC. The Zafar appears to be a modified version of the Chinese C-701AR missile, according to analysts.

March 2012: David Levick, a 50 year old Australian national, and his company ICM Components Inc., are indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury in the District of Columbia for illegally exporting to Iran equipment that could be used in missiles, drones and torpedoes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Equipment reportedly included VG-34 Series Miniature Vertical Gyroscopes used to control the pitch and roll of missiles and torpedoes.
July 2012: Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) reportedly fires tens of short- and medium-range missiles during the Payambar-e Azam 7 (Great Prophet 7) war games, including the Shahab 1, 2 and 3, as well as the Fateh, Qiyam (Qiam), Tondar, Khalij Fars, and Zelzal.

PRESENT DAY: First B-2 stealth bomber surpasses 7,000 flight hours
By Senior Airman Brigitte N. Brantley
509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit crew chiefs stand ready to perform maintenance on the "Spirit of Florida" after completing a historic training mission in which it became the first B-2 to reach 7,000 flight hours, Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., April 1, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry) download hi-res photo
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo (4/5/13) - Since the B-2 "Spirit of Florida" first arrived at Whiteman Air Force Base in July 1996, its stealthiness and massive firepower have been used in missions around the world.
During its latest mission April 1, the aircraft and its crew celebrated a monumental milestone as it became the first B-2 Spirit to surpass 7,000 flight hours.
"This achievement is a testament to the men and women of both the 131st and 509th Bomb Wings who take a vested interest in the B-2 mission every day," said Lt. Col. Michael Pyburn, 131st Operations Group commander, 131st Bomb Wing, Missouri Air National Guard. "Milestones like this cannot be accomplished without the dedication they consistently provide around the clock."
With a fuel capacity of 167,000 pounds and 40,000-pound payload, the multi-role heavy bomber has a virtually limitless reach. It is the only aircraft to combine range, precision, stealth and a large payload.
As one of only 20 B-2 stealth bombers in the world, the conventional- and nuclear-capable Spirit of Florida maintains constant readiness to defend America's interests anytime, anywhere.
From the crew chiefs and maintainers who ready the aircraft for takeoff to the pilots who control the Spirit of Florida, reaching the 7,000-hour mark has been an immense effort.
"We take a lot of pride in keeping our B-2s air-worthy," said Staff Sgt. Kent Sedgwick, the 13th Aircraft Maintenance Unit dedicated crew chief assigned to the Spirit of Florida. "It feels great to work on something that has such a powerful presence.”
"The 'health' of our aircraft shows just how much time and effort our crew chiefs and maintainers put into making sure everything is taken care of so our jets can take off at any moment, he said."
Sedgwick added that the Spirit of Florida was also the first to reach the 5,000-hour mark, which it did in May 2007, and the first to reach the 6,000-hour mark, which it did in January 2010.
During this flight, the B-2 was flown by Maj. Benjamin Kaminsky and was landed by crew chief Airman 1st Class Elijah Noel.

North Korea moves missile launchers, issues safety warning to foreign embassies

Published April 05, 2013

As tensions continued to mount on the Korean peninsula, the communist dictatorship in the North deployed mid-range missile launchers to its east coast and reportedly warned foreign embassies Friday it cannot guarantee the safety of diplomats after April 10.
Reuters reported early Friday that North Korea deployed two of its intermediate range missiles on mobile launchers and hid them on the east coast of the country, citing a South Korean news agency.
South Korea said Thursday North Korea moved a missile with "considerable range" to its east coast after an unnamed spokesman for the North Korean army warned the U.S. Wednesday that its military has been cleared to wage an attack using "smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear" weapons.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom foreign office confirmed in a statement Friday that North Korea asked a number of foreign embassies in Pyongyang  to consider moving staff out since they could not assure their safety in the event of conflict.
"We are consulting international partners about these developments.  No decisions have been taken, and we have no immediate plans to withdraw our Embassy,”  the UK foreign office statement said.
Under the Vienna Convention that governs diplomatic missions, host governments are required to assist in the evacuation of embassy staff from the country in the event of conflict.
North Korea has railed for weeks against joint U.S. and South Korean military exercises taking place in South Korea and has expressed anger over tightened sanctions for a February nuclear test.
``The current question was not whether, but when a war would break out on the peninsula,'' because of the ``increasing threat from the United States'', China's state news agency Xinhua quoted the North's Foreign Ministry as saying, according to a Reuters report.
U.S. National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden has called North Korea's threats "unhelpful and unconstructive."
"It is yet another offering in a long line of provocative statements that only serve to further isolate North Korea from the rest of the international community and undermine its goal of economic development," she said. "North Korea should stop its provocative threats and instead concentrate on abiding by its international obligations."
South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin dismissed reports in the Japanese and South Korean media that the missile moved this week could be a KN-08, which is believed to be a long-range missile that if operable could hit the United States.
Kim told lawmakers at a hearing that the missile's range is considerable but not far enough to hit the U.S. mainland. He said he did not know the reasons behind the missile movement, saying it "could be for testing or drills."
The range he described could refer to a mobile North Korean missile known as the Musudan, which has a range of 1,800 miles. That would make Japan and South Korea potential targets, but little is known about the missile's accuracy.
Despite North Korea's rhetoric, analysts say they do not expect a nuclear attack, which knows the move could trigger a destructive, suicidal war that no one in the region wants.
``The rhetoric is off the charts,'' said Victor Cha, former director for Asian affairs at the White House National Security.
Following through on one threat Wednesday, North Korean border authorities refused to allow entry to South Koreans who manage jointly run factories in the North Korean city of Kaesong.
Washington calls the military drills, which this time have incorporated fighter jets and nuclear-capable stealth bombers, routine annual exercises between the allies. Pyongyang calls them rehearsals for a northward invasion.
Fox News' Justin Fishel and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

North Korea actions cut chance of nuclear talks: Russia

Reuters – Thu, Apr 4, 2013

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Thursday that North Korea's disregard for U.N. restrictions was unacceptable and that its decision to pursue a nuclear program radically limited the chances of resuming stalled six-party nuclear talks.
Pyongyang formally rejected a U.N. Security Council resolution on March 9 that demanded an end to its nuclear arms program, signaling it would defy international sanctions and pursue its goal of becoming a full-fledged nuclear weapons power.
"We have taken notice of the March decision ... to further enhance the status of a country possessing nuclear arms for the purposes of self-defense," Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevichtold a briefing.
"This radically complicates, if it doesn't in practice shut off, the prospects for resuming six-party talks," he said, referring to stalled aid-for-disarmament talks between the two Koreas as well as China, Russia, Japan and the United States.
"Attempts by Pyongyang to violate ... decisions of the U.N. Security Council are categorically unacceptable," Lukashevich said.
North Korea has also said it would restart its shuttered Yongbyon nuclear reactor after leader Kim Jong-un declared at a policy-setting meeting of the ruling Workers' Party on March 31 that the country would bolster nuclear power and develop the economy.
(Reporting by Steve Gutterman, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; editing by Mike Collett-White)

North Korea hides two missiles on east coast: report

Reuters – 19 hrs ago

  • Reuters/Reuters - A North Korean soldier films military vehicles carrying missiles during a parade to commemorate the 65th anniversary of founding of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang October 10, 2010. …more
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has placed two of its intermediate range missiles on mobile launchers and hidden them on the east coast of the country, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported on Friday, citing intelligence sources in South Korea.
The report could not be confirmed, but may be intended to demonstrate a threat by the North to either Japan or to U.S. bases on Guam. The North has threatened to attack bases on Guam if the United States launches a strike on it.
"Early this week, the North has moved two Musudan missiles on the train and placed them on mobile launchers," Yonhap cited a senior military official familiar with the matter as saying.
South Korea's Defence Ministry declined to comment on the report.
There were unconfirmed media reports that the North had moved missiles to the east coast on Thursday, although it was not clear what kind of missiles had been deployed.
Speculation has centered on two kinds of missiles neither of which is known to have been tested.
One was the so-called Musudan missile which South Korea's Defence Ministry estimates has a range of up to 3,000 km (1,865 miles), the other is called the KN-08, which is believed to be an inter-continental ballistic missile, which is again untested.
South Korea's defence minister has said he does not believe the missile that was moved was the KN-08.
North Korea has slowly and steadily improved its missile capabilities in recent years and U.S. officials say its missiles may be capable of hitting outlying U.S. territories and states, including Guam, Alaska and Hawaii.
Some private experts say even this view is alarmist.
There is no evidence, the officials say, that North Korea has tested the complex art of miniaturizing a nuclear weapon to be placed on a long-range missile, a capability the United States, Russia, China and others achieved decades ago.
North Korea has been engaged in month-long war of words with the United States and South Korea in the wake of Washington-led sanctions imposed for its February nuclear test.
It has threatened to stage a nuclear strike on the United States, to attack bases on Guam and said a state of war exists on the Korean peninsula.
(Reporting by David Chance; Editing by Robert Birsel)

More SKoreans leave NKorean factory park under ban

By SAM KIM | Associated Press – 2 hrs 30 mins ago

  • Associated Press/Ahn Young-joon - A South Korean security guard works to turn back vehicles as they were refused to enter to Kaesong, North Korea, at the customs, immigration and quarantine office in Paju, …more


  • South Korean small business owners …View Photo
  • South Korean drivers wait to head …
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — More South Koreans on Saturday began to leave North Korea and the factory park where they work, four days after Pyongyang closed the border to people and goods.
Twenty-one South Koreans returned from the Kaesong industrial park Saturday morning, and about 100 of the roughly 600 still there were expected to return home by day's end, the Unification Ministry in Seoul said.
One manager, Han Nam-il, interviewed as he left, said he saw North Korean security officials "fully armed" before he crossed the border.
The industrial park is the last remnant of North-South cooperation. Pyongyang's blocking of traffic there is among many provocative moves it has made recently in anger over U.N. sanctions for its Feb. 12 nuclear test and current U.S.-South Korean military drills. North Korea suggested earlier this week that diplomats in Pyongyang leave for their own safety.
North Korea said last week it had entered a "state of war" with South Korea, but officials in Seoul say they have seen no preparations for a full-scale attack while the chance of a localized conflict remains. Earlier Pyongyang threatened a nuclear attack on the United States.
On Thursday, South Korea's defense minister said the North has moved a missile with "considerable range" to its east, possibly for testing or as part of drills. Earlier in the week, North Korea said it would restart a plutonium reactor closed in 2007 and use it to make fuel for nuclear bombs.
North Korea has not forced South Korean workers to leave Kaesong, but some of the South Korean companies working there are running out of raw materials because goods are being blocked at the border as well.
Sung Hyun-sang, head of an apparel manufacturer that employs 1,400 North Korean workers, said Friday that his factory will be "in real trouble" if supplies aren't sent to his factory in Kaesong in a week or two.
North Korea is threatening to "wither the Kaesong industrial complex to death" rather than taking South Korean managers hostage, which would spark an overwhelming international outcry, Chang Yong-seok at the Institute for Peace and Unification Studies at Seoul National University said.
But the North Korea analyst said tension at Kaesong is likely to tone down once the U.S. and South Korea wrap up their annual drills at the end of this month. The allies say the exercises in South Korea are routine, but the North calls them rehearsals for an invasion and says it needs nuclear weapons to defend itself.

Aja Brooks shared a link via Lena Shreve.

Lena Shreve
BEIJING - Pyongyang has allegedly asked Beijing to send them an envoy in order to improve their soured relations, but Beijing turned it down, seen as a warning regarding the regime’s recent warmongering rhetoric.

Multiple sources in Beijing told the JoongAng Ilbo on Tuesday that “North Korea asked China to send a high-ranking envoy at the deputy-ministerial-level, but China rejected it.

“China said ‘if they want an envoy, North Korea should send their envoy [to China] first,’” the source said.

Sen. Inhofe to Newsmax: US May Need to Strike North Korea Now

Wednesday, 03 Apr 2013 05:58 PM
By Bill Hoffmann

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An immediate pre-emptive strike against North Korea may be needed to stop its “deranged” president, Kim Jong Un, from firing nuclear weapons at the United States, Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe says.

“We should be prepared to do it right now,’’ Inhofe, a ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, told Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show.”

Story continues below video.

“In terms of the capability we have out there with the F-22s and the battleships … a pre-emptive strike from something like that would get their attention.”

Inhofe’s remarks came after the North Korean army said it had “final approval” to launch a “merciless” military assault on the United States with its “cutting-edge” nuclear weapons.

The frightening escalation of North Korea’s saber-rattling is the direct result of Kim’s mental instability, the Sooner State’s senior senator believes.

“[He] is just as bad as his daddy was. He’s not reliable in terms of what he might do, what he might say, but he is capable of doing it because he’s deranged,” Inhofe said.

The Pentagon announced Wednesday it is moving an advanced missile defense system to the western Pacific, with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel declaring North Korea “a real and clear danger” to the United States, Japan, and South Korea.

Inhofe said North Korea’s checkered history of beating the war drum proves it’s a force to be reckoned with.

“In August of 1998 … our intelligence said it would be 10 to 15 years before [North Korea] had a multistage rocket, and seven days after, on Aug. 31, they fired one,’’ Inhofe said.

“They’ve had this capability for a long period of time. Now, when they admit that they have enough plutonium for six to eight bombs, I believe that’s true. Maybe even more than that, so it is dangerous. ... So we’re going to do what’s necessary.”

Inhofe said the North Korea situation should send an important message to the Obama administration.

“It just calls to mind, at least to me, four years ago when this president did his first budget. [There was] what I called the beginning of disarming America,” he said.

“One of the things he did was doing away with the ground-base interceptor in Poland and that was one that would actually protect the eastern part of the United States.

“So maybe this is the wake-up call to the administration to know that there … are some real threats out there.”

You can listen to the Steve Malzberg Show each weekday live from 3-6 PM ET on SiriusXM 166.

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UNITED STATES #1, #2, #3

Current action: peacekeeping status, surveillance
ISRAEL #4, #5, #6
Current action: Syria
MEK - gone dormant
Hezbollah - containment
Hamas - containment, working to ceasefire with Abbas

AFGHANISTAN #7, #8, #9
Current action: Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan
Libya - Ansar Al-Shariah
As of December 2012, the group still existed, although it had adopted a low-key position
Afghanistan-Pakistan - Haqqani bombing networks
Syria overflow - weapons pipelines and bombings

FRANCE #10, #11, #12

Current action: active pursuit in Africa, cross-intelligence

EU #13, #14
Current action: active pursuit and upgraded


In the case of arrest, capture, detainment, and legal processes, the imposition of exiled to death at Johnston Atoll has been proposed as an alternative means of reducing military operational costs,
prison and detention operational costs, and to reduce the propaganda and planning of future terrorist attacks from inside prisons and long-term detention facilities, to discourage war-making through the method of terrorism:

Since the formation of the Global Counterterrorism Council

great progress has been made even just since last October, in deterring violent threats through designation, surveillance, and in diminishing the power of global terrorism all over the globe:

Half of most top threat groups listed have gone dormant, just since being listed last October, and with the help of NATO and coordinated sovereign defense, the 7 Sovereign Nations Drone Defense hearkens a new era of ethical, responsible, and accountable peacekeeping to deter the threat of global war.

Millennial advancement of the United States drone program, with China, and pilot programs with Afghanistan, lending programs with Israel, and EU funding have helped established a means of global conflict and resolution that were not possible at just over a decade ago. While President Bush Jr.’s goal was aggressive counterterrorism to end Al-Qaeda, everyone agreed that we fight smarter, and with less resources and loss of human life that was incurred from the Iraq Invasion.

Other countries knowing the risks of regional dictatorships decided to honor the memory of those who sacrificed in the Iraq Invasion-who put down an eminent threat of promised attack against the United States by Saddam Hussein, later carried out by Osama Bin Laden’s Command, and so use the Iraq Invasion to thwart the spread of WMD’s and chemical weapons by developing intelligent warfare. The Iraq Invasion was led to avenge those who died on 9-11-01, to prevent such an attack from happening again to the United States by Afghanistan housecleaning, and various intelligence and special operations. With the joint signing of the US-South Korea Alliance 3-25-13, we solidify a peaceful and more secure future than at any time during the Cold War, or in the history of the military might of the United States.

Scotland's Salmond would consider non-nuclear NATO bases

By Daniel Bases | Reuters – 23 hrs ago

  • Reuters/Reuters - Scotland's First Minister and Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Alex Salmond addresses the SNP Spring Conference at the Eden Court Theatre in Inverness, north Scotland March 23, 2013. REUTERS/Russell …more
By Daniel Bases
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Alex Salmond wants to see an independent Scotland free of submarines laden with nuclear missiles, but he says he is open to hosting NATO bases without weapons of mass destruction.
As leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), which controls the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh, the Scottish first minister announced last month that on September 18, 2014, Scots would have a chance to decide whether or not to break from the United Kingdom after more than 300 years.
A Scotland free of British Trident nuclear submarines has been a long-standing aim of the SNP.
In an interview with Reuters in New York on Thursday, Salmond said he would not get into a debate before the referendum about allowing foreign military bases on Scottish soil. But he did say it was the SNP's intention to be a NATO member.
"The choice in policy terms is to be a non-nuclear member of that organization," he said. "So then if we are talking about a non-nuclear base, then of course that would be something that would be possible in terms of the (NATO) treaty agreement."
In February, the British government led by Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron warned in a legal opinion that an independent Scotland would forfeit its membership in international bodies such as NATO and the European Union.
Salmond said an application to join the EU would be one of his first acts after a successful referendum. He predicted EU entry for an independent Scotland in 2016.
Salmond is in the United States to promote the independence cause and to drum up investment to bolster the economy of the 5.2 million strong Scottish nation. He will seek to promote a distinct foreign policy view when he visits Washington next week and meets with U.S. lawmakers.
Salmond said neither he nor Washington had broached the subject of a U.S. military base in Scotland, but the SNP had had discussions with U.S. representatives about NATO membership.
Cameron visited Scotland on Thursday and welcomed back the crew of a Trident submarine. He is at odds with some members of his own coalition government in saying that scaling back Britain's nuclear deterrent would be unwise given potential threats from Iran and North Korea.
Salmond argues that Scotland's annual contribution of 180 million pounds ($275 million) to help maintain the submarines would be better spent elsewhere.
"I accept that cleaning up contaminated land is part of the responsibilities of government, but the most important step in decontaminating nuclear materials in Scotland is not to renew a nuclear missile system for the next half century," he said.
Salmond and the SNP face a hard battle to secure independence. Opinion polls around the time the referendum date was set showed support for independence at 30 percent of the Scottish electorate while 50 percent favor the status quo.
Salmond hopes to boost support for the SNP cause by convincing Scots they would be better off with independence, not least by redirecting North Sea oil and gas revenues to their own Treasury.
According to the Scottish government, in the fiscal year ending in March 2012, Scotland accounted for 9.3 percent of UK public spending but 9.9 percent of UK tax revenue. Oil and gas aside, Scotland is pushing wind energy while building technology services in addition to tourism and Scotch Whisky industries.
On his first day of a week-long trip, Salmond signed deals with two U.S. businesses - Massachusetts-based life sciences firm Daktari and North Carolina-based business analytics software and services firm SAS - to expand operations in Scotland and add approximately 220 new jobs.
Salmond reiterated his challenge to debate Cameron on television about the merits of Scottish independence. He accused the prime minister of visiting Scotland to "scare" Scots about the impact of independence just as he was trying to promote its business and culture in the United States.
(Reporting By Daniel Bases; Editing by David Brunnstrom)

Drones show half of illegal border crossers caught

Michael Winter, USA TODAY 8:19p.m. EDT April 5, 2013

High-flying Predators in Arizona use radar developed to spot Taliban planting bombs in Afghanistan.

(Photo: John Moore, Getty Images)
Surveillance drones show that just under half of the migrants and smugglers who illegally crossed into Arizona from Mexico have been caught by U.S. border agents, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting.
The data, which comes from a radar system developed to detect roadside bombs being planted in Afghanistan, is more precise than previous estimates. In January, the Government Accountability Office reported that 64% of those crossing into Arizona illegally were apprehended in 2011, a slight increase from 2006.
High-flying unarmed Predators have used the Vehicle and Dismount Exploitation Radar -- VADER -- since March 2012 along 150 square miles stretch of desert. The system can spot adults and children from 25,000 feet, in good weather or bad.
Using radar data, the U.S. Border Patrol arrested 1,874 people (49%) between Oct. 1 and Jan. 17, but 1,962 others (51%) who were detected escaped, CIR reported.
The internal Customs and Border Protection intelligence report outlines several limitations of the system, including the obvious – it can't tell the difference between a U.S. citizen and noncitizen. On-the-ground video and other sensors are sometimes needed to confirm these so-called "nefarious tracks."
And simply identifying someone crossing the border is just the first step. On the ground, Border Patrol agents often are not available to respond because of rugged terrain or other assignments. As a result, thousands of people have slipped through. At the Border Patrol, they're known as "gotaways."
Responding to the CIR report, a Customs and Border Protection spokesman told the Los Angeles Times that the radar system was still in a "preliminary testing phase." He added that the agency used a flawed method to compare apprehension and arrests because it didn't include people detained after the drone had left the area.
The Obama administration says nearly 365,000 people were apprehended last year. Republicans have demanded more guards, drones, fencing and other security measures before legal status is granted to the estimated 11 million people believed to have entered America illegally or overstayed their visas.
President Obama is scheduled to visit the Arizona border in early May as he presses for immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship the estimated 11 million people who are in the country illegally. Despite progress with congressional leaders, major disagreements on how best to secure the Southwest border could scuttle a bipartisan compromise.
Congress is expected to take up immigration reform when it returns from recess next week.
An unarmed MQ-9 Predator B drone took off March 7 from Fort Huachuca. It was equipped with new radar to detect migrants and drug smugglers illegally crossing into Arizona from Mexico.(Photo: John Moore, Getty Images)


Combined Force in Helmand Arrests Taliban Leader

From an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Release
KABUL, Afghanistan, April 5, 2013 – A combined Afghan and coalition security force arrested a senior Taliban leader and detained another insurgent in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Afghanistan’s Helmand province today, military officials reported.
The leader is accused of commanding a cell of fighters responsible for attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. He allegedly provides weapons for insurgents and is believed to be heavily involved in improvised explosive device operations, officials said.
In other Afghanistan operations today:
-- A combined force in Nangarhar province’s Khugyani district detained an insurgent during a search for a Taliban facilitator who provides logistical support to Taliban senior leaders throughout western Nangarhar. He allegedly has organized the purchase, transfer and delivery of weapons and has sold rockets used in attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.
-- In Khost province’s Sabari district, a combined force detained two insurgents during a search for a Haqqani network leader who controls fighters responsible for attacks on Afghan and coalition forces. He also is accused of facilitating the movement of weapons and significant amounts of money for insurgency operations.
Yesterday in Jowzjan province’s Shibirghan district, a combined force arrested a Taliban facilitator and detained several other insurgents. The facilitator allegedly has procured weapons for the insurgency, including IEDs, machine guns, sniper rifles, pistols, rocket-propelled grenades, fragmentary grenades, ammunition and magazines.
In other news, Afghan and coalition forces confirmed that Taliban facilitator Mullah Zakir Akhund was killed during an April 3 operation in Jowzjan’s Shibirghan district.
Akhund was responsible for providing financial aid to insurgents in several provinces, collecting taxes for the Taliban, overseeing a network of Taliban tax collectors and coordinating financial matters with other leaders. He also was involved in providing weapons for use against Afghan and coalition forces.
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US Embassy: Va. contractor released in Afghanistan

Associated Press – 5 hrs ago

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — An American contractor detained in a contract dispute in Afghanistan was released Friday and three U.S. congressmen who complained about his detention said he had been seized without charges and beaten.
U.S. Reps. Scott Rigell and Frank Wolf of Virginia and Duncan Hunter of California sent a letter asking Secretary of State John Kerry to intervene for David Gordon, 38, of Virginia Beach, Va.
The congressmen said Gordon was detained Wednesday in a contract dispute but had not been charged. They said Gordon was injured in a beating but was not taken to an infirmary until the next day. Afghan authorities had asked for $2.4 million to release him, according to the legislators.
A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, John Rhatigan, said the Afghan government released Gordon on Friday, but he declined to comment on the demands.
"We continue to provide consular assistance as his attorney works to resolve this matter," Rhatigan said, without providing additional details.
Gordon works for northern Virginia's Tamerlane Global Services Inc.
The company's senior counsel, Ryan Kelley, said he talked to Gordon on Friday and said he was relieved he was free after what Kelley called a "terrible ordeal."
Gordon was attacked the same night he was taken into custody, leaving him bruised and with cuts requiring stitches, Kelley said.
"He was directed out into a yard and blindsided by someone and struck, it sounds like a number of times," Kelley said. "He was then put back into his holding cell with a bunch of people who committed crimes."
Kelley said Gordon, a diesel mechanic with a pregnant wife and two children at home in Virginia, was caught in "that bad behavior" even though he had no connection with a project that Tamerlane project that is the focus of a federal court case in Virginia. Gordon was leading a project to install satellite tracking devices on fuel trucks for the U.S. Department of Defense to prevent theft.
Tamerlane, which is based in Reston, is involved in logistics and cargo management in developing countries, including Afghanistan.
Kelley, who declined to give Gordon's location, said he would require additional medical treatment. He did not know the full extent of his injuries. He said his treatment in Kabul was cursory.
"He was under armed guard with six police officers who insisted on bringing him back to the jail. He wasn't fully evaluated," Kelley said.
Tamerlane appealed to the lawmakers because they considered Gordon's plight "a matter of life and death," Kelley said.
An Associated Press telephone call to a listing for a David Gordon in Virginia Beach was not answered.

Joint chiefs chairman in Afghanistan for talks

By ROBERT BURNS | Associated Press – 2 hrs 40 mins ago

  • Associated Press/Cliff Owen, File - FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2013 file photo, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey takes part in news conference at the Pentagon in Washington. Dempsey traveled to Afghanistan …more
BAGRAM, Afghanistan (AP) — A weekend visit to Afghanistan by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is aimed at assessing the type and level of additional training that U.S. troops could provide to Afghan defense forces after 2014.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, who arrived at Bagram Air Field on Saturday after an overnight flight, said that assessment will inform U.S. decisions about how many American troops should remain after the U.S. and NATO combat role ends in December 2014.
The U.S. is expected to keep between 9,000 and 10,000 in a residual force, but no final decision has been made.
Dempsey was expected to meet with U.S. and allied commanders, including the new overall commander of coalition forces, Gen. Joseph Dunford. He also planned to meet with Afghan officials and talk with soldiers in the field.
Dempsey said Friday in Stuttgart, Germany, that he would like to see how Afghan forces perform this summer before determining the size of a residual U.S. force. There are now about 66,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, down from a 2010 peak of about 100,000.
Among the key issues for Dempsey is the pacing of U.S. troop withdrawals this year and next, as well as the rate of improvement among Afghan security forces.

We’ve been working on identifying a terrorist pipeline, tracing activities, arms, bombings, and patterned behavior...



U.N. observers failing mandate to track Hezbollah arms: Israel

By Dan Williams | Reuters – Thu, Apr 4, 2013

  • Reuters/Reuters - Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talks at a news conference with U.S. President Barack Obama in Jerusalem, March 20, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing
You read this
By Dan Williams
TEL AVIV (Reuters) - U.N. peacekeepers in southern Lebanon have failed to report on Hezbollah guerrilla armaments as required, a senior Israeli official said on Thursday, arguing that Israel could not rely on foreign intervention for its security.
The remarks underscored the conservative strategies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as instability rocks Israel's neighbors and world powers urge it to roll back its West Bank occupation to make way for Palestinian state.
"Under pressure, a multi-national force is like an umbrella that gets folded up on a rainy day," Yaakov Amidror, Netanyahu's national security adviser, said in a Tel Aviv University speech.
Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah, Amidror said, has been building its arsenal despite the 35-year presence of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in its heartland.
"Has Hezbollah avoided bringing any kind of rocket, missile or other arms into southern Lebanon because UNIFIL is there?" he said. Israel believes Hezbollah has amassed 60,000 rockets, including 5,000 with heavy warheads capable of hitting Tel Aviv.
"Under their (UNIFIL) mandate, they cannot stop Hezbollah and confiscate its arms, but they can write a report. There has been no UNIFIL report about any weapon of any Hezbollah person since UNIFIL has existed," Amidror said.
As part of the U.N. ceasefire that ended Israel's inconclusive 2006 war with Hezbollah, UNIFIL's mandate was enhanced to include "assisting" the Lebanese army with keeping guerrilla "personnel, assets and weapons" out of south Lebanon.
UNIFIL spokesman Andrea Tenenti said that since 2006, the U.N. peacekeepers had "not witnessed the entry of any illegal weapons into the UNIFIL area of operations in south Lebanon".
While the border is largely quiet, Israel fears Hezbollah could pound it with rockets in retaliation should it carry out long-threatened strikes on Iran's nuclear sites.
Israel also worries that Hezbollah could obtain advanced weapons, including chemical munitions, from Syria. But the militia has said its current capabilities are sufficient.
In their own breach of the 2006 truce, the Israelis have regularly sent warplanes on surveillance flights over Lebanon.
Israel withdrew from south Lebanon in 2000 after 22 years of occupation, and from the Gaza Strip in 2005 after 38 years of occupation. Armed threats from Hezbollah in the former, and Palestinian Hamas Islamists in the latter, have been cited by Netanyahu as justifying his reluctance to give up the West Bank.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Hamas rival who governs in the West Bank, has accused Israel of sabotaging diplomacy by peppering the territory with Jewish settlements and holding up funds for his U.S.-backed administration.
The Israelis question Abbas's ability to govern long-term.
"If there aren't the appropriate security arrangements, it would be better for Israel to go without an accord (with the Palestinians) than to have an accord that will endanger its security and could bring about a situation in which in the next war, Israel will lose," Amidror said.
(Writing by Dan Williams and Dominic Evans; Editing by Jason Webb)

Egypt seizes ship carrying arms, questions crew: navy

Reuters – 1 hr 29 mins ago

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian navy forces seized a ship carrying heavy weapons as it entered Egyptian territorial waters in the Red Sea late on Wednesday, a military spokesman said on Thursday.
The Togolese-flagged ship, called COMR, was found 12 nautical miles north of Ras Muhammad in the Sinai Peninsula, general staff spokesman Ahmed Mohamed Ali said on his Facebook page.
"Inside they found a number of weapons and quantities of ammunition of various types," Ali said.
"The boat belongs to a private maritime security company which serves to secure ships passing through highly dangerous areas, especially in light of the spread of piracy in the southern Red Sea area and off the Somali coast," he added.
Security sources told Reuters earlier that the ship, with a crew of at least seven, spent a week in international waters before entering Egyptian waters.
The vessel was escorted into the port of Safaga, 569 km (356 miles) southeast of Cairo, where the crew members were being questioned and an investigation was underway to determine whether the weapons were legal, the sources said.
"The weapons and ammunition seized in the vessel are linked to the nature of their work and the tasks assigned to them to secure commercial vessels," Ali said in his statement.
International shipping companies have begun to employ private security firms to ward off the threat of Somali pirates, with contractors often picking up weapons from ships off the coast of Djibouti as they enter the areas at risk.
That, together with the presence international warships patrolling the Indian Ocean, has seen the number of successful pirate seizures of ships fall sharply to five ships in 2012, from 25 in 2011, and 27 in 2010.
(Reporting by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Paul Taylor and Jon Hemming)

April 2013 Last updated at 19:06 ET

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Italy Abu Omar rendition: Col Romano pardoned in CIA caseAbu Omar said he was tortured in Egypt

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Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has pardoned a US Air Force colonel convicted in absentia over the rendition of an Egyptian imam in 2003.
Joseph Romano was one of 23 Americans tried and sentenced by Italian courts over the CIA-led operation to abduct a cleric known as Abu Omar.
The Egyptian said he was flown to his home country and tortured there.
Mr Napolitano's office cited what it said were changes to US security policy undertaken by President Barack Obama.
It said Mr Obama had "immediately after his election, put an end to an approach to the challenges to national security... considered by Italy and the European Union not compatible with fundamental principles of rule of law".
It added that the Italian president "hoped to provide a solution to an affair considered by the United States to be without precedent because of the conviction of a US military officer of Nato for deeds committed on Italian soil".
The statement said the decision to pardon Col Romano was inspired by the same principle that Italy hoped to see used in the case of two Italian marines facing murder charges in India over the shooting of two fishermen.
Nato base
Abu Omar was subject to the process known as extraordinary rendition, through which the CIA transferred terrorism suspects to countries that practiced torture.
The policy was increasingly used in the wake of the 11 September, 2001 attacks in the US.
Italian courts convicted 22 CIA personnel over the Abu Omar case. All are believed to be living in the US and are unlikely to serve their sentences.
Col Romano was the only American convicted who was not a CIA employee.
At the time of the rendition, he was in charge of the northern Italian military air base at Aviano, where Abu Omar was flown before continuing to Egypt via Germany.
The Italian trials, which began in 2007, were the first to convict Americans over extraordinary rendition.
Last month, a court in Milan sentenced Italy's former intelligence chief Nicolo Pollari to 10 years in prison, and his former deputy, Marco Mancini, to nine years, over the Abu Omar case.
Both are expected to appeal.


Thursday, April 04, 2013


On March 31 (Easter Sunday), a Muslim drove his pickup truck through a parking lot in San Jose, California, striking parked cars. He then drove through the front of a Walmart store, crashed, got out and began assaulting shoppers with a blunt object before police arrived and arrested him.
Atlas reader FS, "Coverup? Virtually all media outlets are omitting the name of the man who plowed his car into a Walmart in San Jose, California and then began clubbing people this Easter. The man's name is Haamid Ade Zaid. He lives in Seaside, California--another detail that has been largely omitted. The small coastal city of Seaside, and neighboring Monterey, are home to the Defense Language Institute. Monterey is also home to the Naval Post Graduate School, and the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Seaside was once home to Fort Ord until is was shut down. Also, no mention on whether Zaid attended the Mosque in Seaside that was apparently being monitored."
Robert Spencer has written on this: "New York City cabdriver Mohammed Azam ran over two of his passengers for no apparent reason. Another cabbie, Hassan Daly, who was described as a "devout Muslim," plowed his cab into a crowd on a sidewalk in San Diego, injuring over 24 people. Mohammed Reza Taheri-Azar explicitly grounded his hit-and-run in the teachings of the Koran. Munir Muthana told the police who arrested him that "the Muslims will fix this country." Omeed Aziz Popal, we were told, was suffering from stress from an arranged marriage. Ismail Yassin Mohamed, we were informed, was mentally ill, suffered from depression, and hadn't being taking his medication. And Muhammad Teshale, according to "law enforcement officials," "did it to be famous."

San Jose police: Seaside man drove into Walmart, assaulted staff and customers Contra Costa Times via Before It's News
Haamid Ade Zaid

So far all the news outlets say the police think it was drug induced. Zaid has a history of crazy incidents and previously ran his truck into a car wash.

"Use a Pickup Truck as a Mowing Machine – Not To Mow Grass, But Mow Down the Enemies of Allah""America is a terrorist state and Americans are complacent in some of the worst forms of terrorism our Muslim nation has been subjected to. Millions of Muslim lives have been lost to American brutality. It is about time Muslims wake up and payback America what is due to it.
"In this section, the OSJ [i.e. Open Source Jihad], we give our readers suggestions on how to wage their individual jihad. Here is one idea of how an individual Muslim may do so. It is a simple idea and there is not much involved in its preparation. All what is needed is the willingness to give one's life for Allah.

"The idea is to use a pickup truck as a mowing machine, not to mow grass but mow down the enemies of Allah. You would need a 4WD pickup truck. The stronger the better. You would then need to weld on steel blades on the front end of the truck. These could be a set of butcher blades or thick sheets of steel. They do not need to be extra sharp because with the speed of the truck at the time of impact, even a blunter edge would slice through bone very easily. You may raise the level of the blades as high as the headlights. That would make the blades strike your targets at the torso level or higher.
"Pick your location and timing carefully. Go for the most crow[d]ed locations. Narrower spots are also better because it gives less chance for the people to run away. Avoid locations where other vehicles may intercept you.

"To achieve maximum carnage, you need to pick up as much speed as you can while still retaining good control of your vehicle in order to maximize your inertia and be able to strike as many people as possible in your first run. Keep in mind that as soon as people realize what you are up to, they would scatter and run in every direction looking for cover. They would look for areas where the vehicle cannot reach them. Therefore, it is important to study your path of operation beforehand. The ideal location is a place where there are a maximum number of pedestrians and the least number of vehicles. In fact if you can get through to 'pedestrian only' locations that exist in some downtown (city center) areas, that would be fabulous. There are some places that are closed down for vehicles at certain times due to the swarms of people. If you have access to firearms, carry them with you so that you may use them to finish off your work if your vehicle gets grounded during the attack.
"After such an attack, we believe it would be very difficult to get away safely and without being recognized. Hence, it should be considered a martyrdom operation. It's a one-way road. You keep on fighting until you achieve martyrdom. You start out your day in this world, and by the end of it, you are with Allah. This idea could be implemented in countries like Israel, the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Denmark, Holland and other countries where the government and public sentiment is in support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the American invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq or countries that had a prominent role in the defamation of Muhammed... "
"In such countries we may strike at the public at large. As long as they target our noncombatants, we will target theirs. This is one of many ways to implement this idea.
"You may modify it and add or subtract to it according to what is suitable for your particular conditions. If Allah guides your heart to such a great operation please leave behind a note. Tell the world why you did it."
Yahya's Tips for American Muslims To Use Weapons of Mass Destruction
The following are selected excerpts from Yahya's tips for American Muslims, lightly edited for clarity:
"…These are some of our suggestions [to our brothers in the U.S.]. The best operation however is the one where you come up with an innovative idea that the authorities have not yet turned their attention to, and that leads to maximum casualties or – equally important – maximum economic losses.
"The Firearm Operation…It's the least suspicious if you already own a firearm. For this choose the best location. A random hit at a crowded restaurant in the Washington Dc at lunch hour for example might end up knocking out a few government employees. Targeting such employees is paramount and the location would also give the operation additional media attention.
"Also those brothers of ours who have specialized expertise, and those who work in sensitive locations that would offer them unique opportunities to wreak havoc on the enemies of Allah, should take advantage of their skills.
"For those mujahid brothers with degrees in microbiology or chemistry lays the greatest opportunity and responsibility. For such brothers, we encourage them to develop a weapon of mass destruction, i.e. an effective poison with the proper method of delivery.
"Poisonous gases such as nerve gas are not out of reach for the chemist and require simple equipment. A microbiologist would be capable of developing the most effective strains of Clostridium botulinum and thus develop the most lethal toxin of all: botulin. An effective botulin attack administered properly could lead to hundreds if not thousands of casualties.
"For such brothers we would ask them to take the utmost security precautions and take their time even if that means years [of preparation]. Such an operation is worth the wait.
"Brothers with less experience in the fields of microbiology or chemistry, as long as they posses basic scientific knowledge, would be able to develop other poisons such as Ricin or Cyanide.
"Due to the extreme importance of moving the war with America over to the next stage, the stage of weapons of mass destruction, we will, insha'llah, cover such topics in more detail in our upcoming issues. Until then may Allah protect you all and guide you to what is best for you in this life and the afterlife."
Posted by Pamela Geller on Thursday, April 04, 2013 at 02:58 AM in Vehicular jihad | Permalink


7 Year Old Faces Two Felony Charges For Discharge Of BB Gun

No problem with him getting a serious talking to, but two felonies? Insane.
He looks like a typical 7-year-old boy, but on Tuesday night, Sam Grant is facing charges that many adults never will.He is charged with two felonies for something that happened when his mother turned her back for just a second. His parents told Eyewitness News that they’re outraged.
“We are both just shocked. We have been in a state of shock over this,” said Ray Robbins.
Sam’s parents said this scenario began in February when Sam was playing outside with his BB gun. They said he began shooting at an abandoned house right across the street, but instead, Sam shot two cars as they were passing by.
Sam’s mother, Cherry Robbins, immediately called the Catawba County Sheriff’s Department.

Gun Shop That Sold to Lanza's Mom Loses License


By the Associated Press

Posted Apr 5, 2013 10:05 AM CDT

(AP) – A Connecticut shop that sold a gun to the Newtown school shooter's mother has lost its federal firearms license. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives revoked the license of Riverview Gun Sales in East Windsor, about 15 miles north of Hartford, in December. The agency didn't disclose why. It was first reported yesterday by the Journal News of White Plains, NY.
Authorities raided the store for undisclosed reasons shortly after the December school shootings. Around the same time, a man was arrested for stealing a rifle from the shop. Shop owner David LaGuercia has said Nancy Lanza bought a gun from him years ago, but couldn't remember what kind. Adam Lanza used his mother's rifle in the massacre.

WND News@worldnetdaily22h
Feds pin bull's-eye to 'Fast and Furious' whistleblowers
'They've been transferred, retaliated against, had their...



'They've been transferred, retaliated against, had their guns and badges stripped'

Published: 1 day ago TAYLOR ROSE About | Email | Archive Subscribe to feed

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WASHINGTON – It was reported back in 2012 that members of Congress were alarmed that Obama administration officials had been threatening retaliation against the whistleblowers who exposed the government’s decision to traffic weapons to Mexican drug cartels.
So concerned were they that Rep. Darrell Issa and Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley at that time asked the Department of Justice’s internal investigator to identify and prosecute any retaliation.

Now Katie Pavlich, author of the New York Times bestseller “Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up,” news editor of and an expert on the Fast and Furious scandal, has reported the extensive attacks those employees have endured.
“They’ve been transferred, then been harassed, they’ve had their guns and badges stripped from them and placed at corner desks, and transferred to Washington D.C. at what they call the mothership” so the government can keep a better eye on them, Pavlich told WND.
Most shocking, she cites that the government “has actively worked with Media Matters to smear whistleblowers and their reputation,” which Pavlich says is “illegal” and a “violation of the Whistleblower Protection Act.”
Since the exposure of the 2009 scandal over Fast and Furious whistleblowers have been essential to the revealing of information behind the actions and nature of the scandal. The scandal itself was revealed because of whistleblowers who revealed that they were being forced to traffic arms to drug dealers in Mexico.
Pavlich told WND earlier that the goal of the operation was to create a false flag situation that the Obama administration could use to lobby for more gun control.
Congressional alarm over retaliation was based on information obtained by Grassley and Issa over the course of their inquiries into the misbehavior. Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress over the issue, and members of Congress said, last year, “We just learned that ATF senior management placed two of the main whistleblowers who have testified before Congress about Fast and Furious under the supervision of someone who vowed to retaliate against them.”
The members of Congress also cited a statement from Scot Thomasson, who at that time was in the Public Affairs Division for ATF, that made threats. “We need to get whatever dirt we can on these guys (whistleblowers) and take them down.”
The attacks apparently followed.
“Whistleblowers under the Obama administration have seen their lives turned completely upside down,” Pavlich told WND.
The Whistleblower Protection Act was supposed to protect whistleblowers and prevent retaliation, but Pavlich said that the Department of Justice has “completely changed the law” and how it is enforced.
She explained “because the DOJ disagrees with what the whistleblowers are saying, they are not going to protect them.”
One example? John Dodson.
He was an outspoken ATF whistleblower who, according to Pavlich, “worked as part of ATF Phoenix Gunrunning Group VII, the group assigned to carry out the bulk of Fast and Furious. He was told for months to allow thousands of AK-47 style guns to walk into Mexico. He was instructed to watch straw purchasers illegally buy weapons, but not to arrest them.”
As the mission progressed, Dodson began to challenge his superiors as to the ethical consequences of the operation and eventually became “vocal within ATF throughout 2010 about his concerns, and on March 3, 2011, he exposed Fast and Furious and its connection to Brian Terry’s murder on national television to CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson.”
Dodson was ruthlessly attacked by spokesmen in the ATF in letters sent to Grassley. They challenged his character, called him a “disgruntled employee.”
“I call it the brass vs. the boots,” Pavlich said. “You have the agents in the field doing very hard work, chasing down criminals in the streets. And then you have the guys in the offices who wear the fancy suits every day … who are the ones who are really trying to climb the government ladder and would do anything to get there.”
See Pavlich’s report:
Pavlich earlier explained the operations were launched as “the government was creating a situation where they could blame law-abiding citizens, turn them into criminals and creat[e] this false problem that they could solve through gun regulation.”
“This is a situation where they [the Obama administration] were willing to put public safety in danger, get thousands of people killed south of the border. The only reason we know about this is because [Border Patrol agent] Brian Terry was killed,” she said.

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Me in 2006...

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The truth comes out about Osama's death, over conflicting accounts of whether or not he was actually shot in the head or died in an explosion:

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 17s
Drones are most lethal&stealth form of warfare ever invented-they burn like chemical weapons, explode like mortars, spray like cluster bombs

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 3m
Only certain calibers of weapons explode the head on exit. Head wound of Osama consistent with a drone attack:

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 1m
Pakistan Al-Qaeda Command Center was connected to Libyan Al-Qaeda Spy Network Center, that Gaddafi hosted: all were taken down in 2011.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 2m
Police then used the information after his death to connect activities and business that was ran out of the Pakistan Al-Qaeda Command Center

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 3m
This chart led to the discovery of Osama's whereabouts where he conducted illicit business, where he was killed.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 4m
Intelligence gathering took 5 years, for one chart. This chart led to Osama's death for a drone strike. This chart was the key to ending it.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 5m
When we announced in 2011, we would not uproot after 10 years of war-Al-Qaeda changed warfare tactics by spreading out to runover countries.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 6m
Remember the underwear bomber? It is believed after Osama died, that they planned one major attack each year, until we would leave overseas.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 7m
Al-Awalaki assuming Command of Al-Qaeda was to launch a US attack, all out jihad on our soil, to avenge the death of Osama.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 7m
CIA went to mop up their mess, which is why they already had Osama's DNA and his body, and why Al-Awlaki was assumed Command of Al-Qaeda.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 8m
Bhutto knew of the drone strike, which is why she was assassinated for saying that she believed he was dead

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 9m
After being able to trace Osama's illicit businesses, police were able to turn over enough information to the military for a drone strike.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 10m
Most people did not recognize the difference and evidence was subsequently turned over to the police in 2006

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 11m
The new product was to create dual addiction to sap as much money out of the user for a quick come up of cash for nukes - methopium.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 12m
Osama began lacing meth with opium, crystallizing it. He did not have the money for nukes or to pollute black market drugs with anthrax.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 13m
Osama had to use other people to contract business with the black market, as he could not get opium in and out of the country anymore.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 15m
Osama using any of his family businesses for money laundering was not an option any more after 9-11-01.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 15m
After 9-11-01 it was nearly impossible for Osama to trade, convert currency, or use the black market to acquire nukes

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 17m
In 2006, 5 years after 9-11, police were given information they needed to begin tracing Osama's whereabouts, activities, and communication.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 19m
We did not know that drones were in use in 2006. When Senator Reid raised the debt ceiling, we borrowed from a drone we did not know about.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 19m
Since Al-Awlaki was made Commander of Al-Qaeda in 2009, Osama was already dead, most likely by a drone strike

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 21m
Fort Hood shooting was the designated Al-Qaeda response to death of Osama, all out jihad, jihad on your soil:

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 21m
Al-Awlaki in charge of issuing, by command, terrorists attacks and ordered U.S. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan to attack Fort Hood from within 2009.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 24m
The other reason we knew Osama was already dead was a change in Command Structure of Al-Qaeda …

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 26m
If you are the losing side, or believe that Islam is Islam, then you don't want to admit that you lost:

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 27m
Most of us who realized Osama was dead, knew this because the Taliban were requesting peace talks and propaganda center was tied to Libya.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 31m
By not declaring Osama was dead, United States continued after 2007 to expand drones and pursue Al-Qaeda through 2011

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 32m
Also both the United States and the Taliban denied Osama was dead to avoid crediting victory to the United States, who took it as advantage.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 33m
Perhaps the reason most perceptive people knew Osama was already dead, the Pakistan HQ was like Nazi Propaganda Center invasion after WWII.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 34m
This does not indicate being shot … nor why Bhutto was assassinated for saying Osama was dead

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 35m
Eventually-truth comes out-differing accts. do not support Osama was shot in the head but died in explosion years ago

New Details Emerge In Osama Bin Laden's Death
A third member of SEAL Team 6 has come forward with new details of Osama bin Laden's death, calling into question previous, highly-publicized accounts of the raid on the al Qaeda leader's compound in...
HuffPostWorld @HuffPostWorld · Follow
9:17 AM - 27 Mar 13 · Details

Tea Party Chief@2013_TeaParty Protected account22h
@worldnetdaily What we need is a whistleblower defense fund @DarrellIssa for the court to award $10,000 in damages and legal fee fund.
12:55 AM - 5 Apr 13 · Details


Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty

5:25 PM - 28 Mar 13 · Details
Still waiting for some answers.......
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Tea Party Election Boycott such a success, it cashes out the entire war chest of the Democratic Party:


-Health reform part 3, abortion reform, food stamp reform (organic initiatives) and encouraging exercise as part of the prescription, plus cutting Obama's travel costs

Obama's Three Biggest Political Problems

By Michael Catalini | National Journal – Thu, Apr 4, 2013


President Obama is spending time in California, but he’s not in the Golden State for R&R. He’s raising money for his Democratic colleagues and simultaneously mending his relationship with them after focusing on his own campaign in 2012.
The president won’t face voters again, but his fellow Democrats will. If Obama intends to pass the presidential baton to a Democratic successor, then boosting the economy and safeguarding the United States are top priorities.
But there are some troubling signs for the president on those fronts. Here is at three that could cause the Obama some political heartburn.
Marquricia Murray, walks with her daughter Eleana Orta, at a jobs fair in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
1. The Economy: Unemployment claims have hit a four-month high, according to the Department of Labor.  In raw terms, claims jumped to 385,000, an increase of 28,000 over the previous week’s figure. Here’s the Associated Press on why this could be happening:
“Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The recent increases could suggest that companies are cutting jobs, possibly because of steep government spending cuts that began on March 1. Other reports have pointed to that possible trend, although most economists have said that any reductions are likely temporary.”
The March unemployment rate will be out on Friday. Hiring has bounced back this year compared to last, with the economy adding an average of 200,000 jobs per month from November through February. But there are other perilous signs about the economy for the president. Economic confidence is at its lowest point since December and the underemployment rate, a combination of the unemployed plus people who are employed part-time but looking for full-time work is at 17.6 percent, according to a pair of recent Gallup surveys. Plus, at this point in his second term, Obama can't blame George W. Bush for economic stagnation.
North Korean army officers rally in downtown Pyongyang. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
2. North Korea: The reclusive regime's saber rattling is growing louder and with it the political risk for the president. As you’d expect, Republicans criticize the president’s strategic patience, but anything that can be cast as reticence to act in the face of North Korea’s belligerence carries political risk, especially when considering that 83 percent of Americans say the regime’s nuclear weapons are a critical threat.
But the administration seems to be doubling down on its strategic patience approach. Just this week, as Kim Jong Un authorized North Korea’s military to use nuclear weapons against the United States and the use flew B-2 drills, the Pentagon is now saying it will tone down its rhetoric. "We accused the North Koreans of amping things up, now we are worried we did the same thing," one Defense Department official said, according to CNN.
The Affordable Care Act is still a political lightning rod, even as it's being implemented. (Richard A. Bloom)
3. Obamacare: Obama's health care law will be a huge part of his legacy, and as its provisions begin to take effect, he has a lot on the line. While the president is betting the legislation will help insure more Americans, his critics are banking on a worst-case scenario in which red tape and higher rates could fuel a political backlash for Democrats. A CNN/ORC poll conducted in November showed 51 percent of Americans opposed the law while only 42 percent favored it. A Gallup survey conducted after the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold most of the law showed that 46 percent of Americans—a plurality—thought the legislation would be harmful to the economy.


Surprised? Monsanto Openly Wrote Own Monsanto Protection Act

March 28th, 2013
Updated 03/31/2013 at 4:28 pm
15It should come as no surprise to many of you to find out that Monsanto actually authored the wording of its own Monsanto Protection Act hidden in the recently passed and signed Continuing Resolution spending bill. How could a major corporation write its own laws and regulations, you ask?
Quite frankly I think it’s important to understand that the entire Senate passed the bill containing the Protection Act, but the politician who actually gave Monsanto the pen in order to write their very own legislation is no others than Roy Blunt — a Republican Senator from Missouri. As the latest IB Times article reveals, the Missouri politician worked with Monsanto to write the Monsanto Protection Act. This was confirmed by a New York news report I will get to shortly.
As you probably know I do not play the political clown game of left versus right, and instead highlight corruption and wrongdoing wherever it is found — regardless of party affiliation. In the case of Senator Blunt, he admits to colluding with Monsanto, a corporation that has literally been caught running ‘slave-like’ working conditions in which workers are unable to leave or eat (among many worse misdeeds).
This is one of the most blatant offenses against the citizens of the United States I’ve seen in a long time. A population that Blunt swore to serve. It’s not for the United States public at all, and it’s a serious matter that I don’t think is properly understood. The passing of this bill into law means that Monsanto is now immune from federal courts regarding any suspension or action on their crops that have been deemed to be dangerous to the people (or the environment).
This means crops that were approved and later found to damage the environment or the public will be immune from United States government action. Theoretically, one million studies could find that Monsanto’s latest creation was causing a massive cancer wave and under this law Monsanto could continue to peddle the crop to the public. The federal courts would (or will) be helpless to stop Monsanto, effectively giving Monsanto power over the entire branch of the United States government. Food Democracy Now, a major activist organization that organized signatures to fight the Monsanto Protection Act, described the rider:
“The Monsanto Protection Act would force the USDA to allow continued planting of any GMO crop under court review, essentially giving backdoor approval for any new genetically engineered crops that could be potentially harmful to human health or the environment.”
Sounds like a great idea, right?

Serving Corporations, Not People

Senator Roy Blunt and those who knowingly passed the Monsanto Protection Act (including President Obama who signed it into law just last night) have chosen to serve corporations over people. Ironic, really, as corporations legally are people — a legal area commonly used to avoid real jail sentences for major CEOs and executives who knowingly were involved with the deaths of consumers around the world.
It’s sad, really. I read up on Senator Blunt, and he does seem to constantly side with corporations over the public. Even on his Wikipedia page one line reads that Blunt ”consistently sided with Big Oil and other dirty polluters over a cleaner, more sustainable future.”I was even able to find a quote by Blunt defending his decision to allow Monsanto to write its own regulation through the Monsanto Protection Act. He told the NY Daily News in defense of the Monsanto Protection Act and his relationship with the company in writing the rider:
“What it says is if you plant a crop that is legal to plant when you plant it, you get to harvest it.”
I think Blunt is confused over which ‘people’ he is serving. I created this image to call Blunt out on his open decision to side with Monsanto over the public:
You can contact Senator Blunt through his website and let him know what you think about his decision to let Monsanto write its own Protection Act. No longer can we sit idly by while corporate juggernauts like Monsanto triumph over the people through swindling and deceit. Share this article, the image, and publicly denounce all politicians willing to sell their souls to Monsanto.
About Anthony Gucciardi:Google Plus Profile Anthony is an accomplished investigative journalist whose articles have appeared on top news sites and have been read by millions worldwide. Anthony's articles are routinely featured on top health & political websites such as Drudge Report, NaturalNews, and Infowars. Anthony is also a founding member of Natural Attitude, a leading developer of super high quality spagyric formulations.

Aja Brooks shared a link.

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In fact, we believe that current pharmacy practices and doctors are acting on implied consent rather than informed consent, and thus supplanting addiction and turning people into cash cows. After thousands of deaths from legally prescribed medication, far outweighing the number of deaths from illegal drugs, Congress wants to tackle this in conjunction with health reform and cost issues.

Anti-depressant medication reforms


Psychiatry goes insane: Every human emotion now classified as a mental disorder in new psychiatric manual DSM-5

*Thursday, December 13, 2012
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of (See all articles...)



(NaturalNews) The industry of modern psychiatry has officially gone insane. Virtually every emotion experienced by a human being -- sadness, grief, anxiety, frustration, impatience, excitement -- is now being classified as a "mental disorder" demanding chemical treatment (with prescription medications, of course).

The new, upcoming DSM-5 "psychiatry bible," expected to be released in a few months, has transformed itself from a medical reference manual to a testament to the insanity of the industry itself.

"Mental disorders" named in the DSM-5 include "General Anxiety Disorder" or GAD for short. GAD can be diagnosed in a person who feels a little anxious doing something like, say, talking to a psychiatrist. Thus, the mere act of a psychiatrist engaging in the possibility of making a diagnoses causes the "symptoms" of that diagnoses to magically appear.

This is called quack science and circular reasoning, yet it's indicative of the entire industry of psychiatry which has become such a laughing stock among scientific circles that even the science skeptics are starting to turn their backs in disgust. Psychiatry is no more "scientific" than astrology or palm reading, yet its practitioners call themselves "doctors" of psychiatry in order to try to make quackery sound credible.

How modern psychiatry really works

Here's how modern psychiatry really operates: A bunch of self-important, overpaid intellectuals who want to make more money invent a fabricated disease that I'll call "Hoogala Boogala Disorder" or HBD.

By a show of hands, they then vote into existence whatever "symptoms" they wish to associated with Hoogala Boogala Disorder. In this case, the symptoms might be spontaneous singing or wanting to pick your nose from time to time.

They then convince teachers, journalists and government regulators that Hoogala Boogala Disorder is real -- and more importantly that millions of children suffer from it! It wouldn't be compassionate not to offer all those children treatment, would it?

Thus begins the call for "treatment" for a completely fabricated disease. From there, it's a cinch to get Big Pharma to fabricate whatever scientific data they need in order to "prove" that speed, amphetamines, pharmaceutical crack or whatever poison they want to sell "reduces the risk of Hoogala Boogala Disorder."

Serious-sounding psychiatrists -- who are all laughing their asses off in the back room -- then "diagnose" children with Hoogala Boogala Disorder and "prescribe" the prescription drugs that claim to treat it. For this action, these psychiatrists -- who are, let's just admit it, dangerous child predators -- earn financial kickbacks from Big Pharma.

In order to maximize their kickbacks and Big Pharma freebies, groups of these psychiatrists get together every few years and invent more fictitious disorders, expanding their fictional tome called the DSM.

The DSM is now larger than ever, and it includes disorders such as "Obedience Defiance Disorder" (ODD), defined as refusing to lick boots and follow false authority. Rapists who feel sexual arousal during their raping activities are given the excuse that they have "Paraphilic coercive disorder" and therefore are not responsible for their actions. (But they will need medication, of course!)

You can also get diagnosed with "Hoarding Disorder" if you happen to stockpile food, water and ammunition, among other things. Yep, being prepared for possible natural disasters now makes you a mental patient in the eyes of modern psychiatry (and the government, too).

Former DSM chairperson apologizes for creating "false epidemics"

Allen Frances chaired the DSM-IV that was released in 1994. He now admits it was a huge mistake that has resulted in the mass overdiagnosis of people who are actually quite normal. The DSM-IV "...inadvertently contributed to three false epidemics -- attention deficit disorder, autism and childhood bipolar disorder," writes Allen in an LA Times opinion piece.

He goes on to say:

The first draft of the next edition of the DSM ... is filled with suggestions that would multiply our mistakes and extend the reach of psychiatry dramatically deeper into the ever-shrinking domain of the normal. This wholesale medical imperialization of normality could potentially create tens of millions of innocent bystanders who would be mislabeled as having a mental disorder. The pharmaceutical industry would have a field day -- despite the lack of solid evidence of any effective treatments for these newly proposed diagnoses.

All these fabricated disorders, of course, result in a ballooning number of false positive. As Allen writes:

The "psychosis risk syndrome" would use the presence of strange thinking to predict who would later have a full-blown psychotic episode. But the prediction would be wrong at least three or four times for every time it is correct -- and many misidentified teenagers would receive medications that can cause enormous weight gain, diabetes and shortened life expectancy.

But that's the whole point of psychiatry: To prescribe drugs to people who don't need them. This is accomplished almost entirely by diagnosing people with disorders that don't exist.

And it culminates in psychiatrists being paid money they never earned (and certainly don't deserve.)

Imagine: An entire industry invented out of nothing! And yes, you do have to imagine it because nothing inside the industry is actually real.

What's "normal" in psychiatry? Being an emotionless zombie

The only way to be "normal" when being observed or "diagnosed" by a psychiatrist -- a process that is entirely subjective and completely devoid of anything resembling actual science -- is to exhibit absolutely no emotions or behavior whatsoever.

A person in a coma is a "normal" person, according to the DSM, because they don't exhibit any symptoms that might indicate the presence of those God-awful things called emotions or behavior.

A person in a grave is also "normal" according to psychiatry, mostly because dead people do not qualify for Medicare reimbursement and therefore aren't worth diagnosing or medicating. (But if Medicare did cover deceased patients, then by God you'd see psychiatrists lining up at all the cemeteries to medicate corpses!)

It's all a cruel, complete hoax. Psychiatry should be utterly abolished right now and all children being put on mind-altering drugs should be taken off of them and given good nutrition instead.

When the collapse of America comes and the new society rises up out of it, I am going to push hard for the complete abolition of psychiatric "medicine" if you can even call it that. Virtually the entire industry is run by truly mad, power-hungry maniacs who use their power to victimize children (and adults, too). There is NO place in society for distorted psychiatry based on fabricated disorders. The whole operation needs to be shut down, disbanded and outlawed.

The lost notion of normalcy

Here are some simple truths that need to be reasserted when we abolish the quack science industry of psychiatry:

Normalcy is not achieved through medication. Normalcy is not the absence of a range of emotion. Life necessarily involves emotions, experiences and behaviors which, from time to time, step outside the bounds of the mundane. This does not mean people have a "mental disorder." It only means they are not biological robots.

Nutrition, not medication, is the answer

Nutritional deficiencies, by the way, are the root cause of nearly all "mental illness." Blood sugar imbalances cause brain malfunctions because the brain runs on blood sugar as its primary energy source. Deficiencies in zinc, selenium, chromium, magnesium and other elements cause blood sugar imbalances that result in seemingly "wild" emotions or behaviors.

Nearly everyone who has been diagnosed with a mental disorder in our modern world is actually suffering from nothing more than nutritional imbalances. Too much processed, poisonous junk food and not enough healthy superfood and nutrition. At times, they also have metals poisoning from taking too many vaccines (aluminum and mercury) or eating too much toxic food (mercury in fish, cadmium, arsenic, etc.) Vitamin D deficiency is ridiculously widespread, especially across the UK and Canada where sunlight is more difficult to achieve on a steady basis.

But the reason nutrition is never highlighted as the solution to mental disorders and illness is because the pharmaceutical industry only makes money selling chemical "treatments" for conditions that are given complicated, technical-sounding names to make them seem more real. If food and nutritional supplements can keep your brain healthy -- and believe me, they can! -- then who needs high-priced pharmaceuticals? Who needs high-priced psychiatrists? Who needs drug reps? Pill-pushing doctors? And Obamacare's mandatory health insurance money confiscation programs?

Nobody needs them! This is the simple, self-evident truth of the matter: Our society would be much happier, healthier and more productive tomorrow if the entire pharmaceutical industry and psychiatry industry simply vanished overnight.

With the DSM-5, modern-day psychiatry has made a mockery of itself. What was once viewed asmaybe having some basis in science is now widely seen as hilarious quackery.

Psychiatry itself now appears to be completely insane. And that might be the first accurate diagnosis to come out of the entire group.

Invent your own fictitious diseases!

By the way, you can be your own psychiatrist right here, right now! Simply use my handy-dandy Disease Mongering Engine which randomly generates real-sounding mental disorders!

Here's the link:

A new synthetic treatment has been developed by UCLA for meth addiction: Ibudilast, or MN-166 and it is under review of the FDA currently. While we have not quite seen the success we'd hoped for with opiate dependency, this offers new hope to people who have lost everything to their addiction, realizing that they don't have to die, when they feel like they are.
Aja Brooks shared a link.

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Aja Brooks shared a link.

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The brain's response to stress or stimulants is largely genetic, and just understanding how the brain works can help reverse mental illness and disease, and opt for natural treatments.

Just Explain It: Students & Stress

By Zelkadis Elvi and Lauren Lyster | Just Explain It - News – Tue, Apr 2, 2013

For some students, just going to school can be very stressful.  Add standardized tests to the mix, and even a gifted student can be unnerved.   

Performing well on high school competency exams opens the door to a student’s academic future like never before.  In some cases, the pressure has even filtered down to elementary school…where competition for collegiate scholarships has found a surprising new starting place.

In this Just Explain It, we’ll break down the science behind why some students perform well under pressure, while others don’t.  We’ll also look into what can be done to help students perform better in stressful situations.

Researchers have found that the success of some students can be linked to how fast dopamine is cleared from their brain.

Dopamine is a chemical messenger that helps transmit signals between nerve cells of the brain.  The chemical has many functions, playing important roles in behavior and cognition, attention, working memory and learning. Our brains work best when there’s not too much or too little dopamine.

That’s where what’s known as the COMT gene comes into play - and it comes in the form of two variants. The fast variant removes dopamine quickly and the slow variant removes the chemical gradually.

Studies of people in two environments were conducted…one under normal conditions, the other under stressful conditions.  It was found that under normal conditions, people with the slow-acting COMT gene excelled when performing mental tasks.   Under those conditions, people with the fast-acting gene didn’t perform as well.

The outcome was reversed when people were subjected to a great deal of stress.  That’s because dopamine overloads the brains of people with the slow-acting gene  – hampering their ability.  You see, dopamine rises in stressful situations.  So in this circumstance, the fast-acting gene keeps the brain’s dopamine at normal levels.

The COMT gene variants have also been shown to actually predict the activity of regions of the brain involved in cognition and emotional responses, said David Goldman, a National Institutes of Health scientist and author of “Our Genes Our Choices.“ This gene is an example of the genetic reasons why people’s brains work a little differently, and how the expression of these differences is altered by the contexts in which people find themselves, and choose.

How this all works has been studied in real life situations.  Researchers in Taiwan followed 779 students who took the national competency exam.  Under more stress than usual, students with the slow-acting enzymes scored eight percent lower on average than those with the fast-acting ones.   

There’s no need to worry though, it’s not either/or for most people.   About 50 percent of all people inherit one of each gene variation from their parents.  So that means most people have medium acting enzymes. The other half is split between fast and slow acting genes.

Researchers also found that experience leveled the playing field.  The more practice someone had at performing tasks, the less likely they were to melt under pressure.

We know that practice makes perfect, but here are some other things that can help students reduce stress.  

1.  Eat healthy.  Meals should include fruits and vegetables.
2.  Exercise regularly.
3.  Do things you enjoy often like, hobbies, sports and reading.
4.  Make sure you get enough sleep.
5.  Learn relaxation techniques like, meditation and deep breathing.

Research from the University of Missouri shows that being involved in school activities like, chess, spelling bees or science fairs gives students a chance to perform.  Some of these moments might be very stressful, but there’s a chance they could payoff in the end.  

Did you learn something? Do you have a topic you’d like explained?  Give us your feedback in the comments below or on Twitter using #JustExplainIt.

4,725 people have responded. Your response will be seen by your Facebook friends on Yahoo!

Not reallyAbsolutely
Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 16s
@DeptVetAffairs Trying to engineer this natural process with psychotropic controls doesn't always work, due to genes

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Spirulina rebuilds dopamine stores from times of flooding or of depletion-depending on gene type @DeptVetAffairs

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@DeptVetAffairs The genetics of the brain and the genetic response to stress regarding dopamine, 1 of 2 types

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@DeptVetAffairs It is my pleasure to write to you about relieving combat stress/PTSD longterm …

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Brain balance, helps a person from seeking drugs or alcohol who deplete dopamine too quickly (high stress or combat)

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The methamphetamine myth, or why drugs, alcohol, and stress are determined by genetics and genetic response

Just Explain It: Students & Stress
Why do some students handle stress better than others?
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11:26 PM - 2 Apr 13 · Details
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Meth Addiction Cure: UCLA Tests Ibudilast On Human Addicts

Posted: 04/03/2013 4:32 am EDT  |  Updated: 04/03/2013 11:16 pm EDT
LOS ANGELES -- The Food and Drug Administration has fast-tracked human tests of what may be the first cure for methamphetamine addiction. The drug also may be the first non-opiate drug treatment for heroin and opiate addiction.
In a recent trial, UCLA researchers administered the drug Ibudilast, or MN-166, to 11 non-treatment-seeking meth addicts. The trial, the first of three phases of Ibudilast human testing required for FDA approval, was meant to test the safety of the drug taken in combination with meth. Researchers said the treatment appears to have passed the safety test and eased the addiction.
"Very preliminary results would indicate that Ibudilast may dampen craving and improve cognitive functioning," said Dr. Aimee Swanson, co-investigator on the trial and research director at the UCLA Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine.
Researchers have been trying to develop medication to treat meth addiction for more than 20 years. There were about 439,000 meth abusers in the U.S. in 2011, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's national survey. Meth addiction cost the country an estimated $23.4 billion in 2005 alone, according to a RAND Corp. study.
The only options right now for meth addicts seeking recovery are counseling, an in-patient rehab center or Narcotics or Crystal Meth Anonymous. These treatments don't work for many people, Swanson said. The FDA fast tracks treatments for serious or life-threatening conditions that demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs. The designation may lead to expedited regulatory review.
"When we see people come to participate in the trial, it's really their last resort," Swanson said. "Many of them can no longer hold down a job, they have strained relationships with family members. Gone went the cars, gone went the business, gone went the house, gone went the kids. The main focus of this person's life is using meth."
The need for another option is dire, Swanson said. "It seems cruel and unusual to just leave them hanging."
Ibudilast may prevent the activation of certain cells in the central nervous system, called glial cells, which have been linked to drug dependence, researchers said. "When you're on meth, your whole brain is saying, 'I need meth,'" Swanson said. "If you could block meth from interfering with glial, it would allow the messages that you would like to be sending and receiving to actually get to your brain."
"You could say, 'You know, rather than calling my dealer right now, I'm going to say no,'" Swanson said.
The 11 meth addicts, all paid volunteers, were housed in a hospital unit and were not allowed to leave for three weeks. They were intravenously injected with meth two or three times a week while they were treated with Ibudilast. Researchers determined that the combination was safe and will now move on to phase two of the trial, which will be funded by federal government research institute the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Ibudilast was developed in Japan and has been marketed there and in Korea since 1989 to treat asthma and post-stroke complications. MediciNova, a biopharmaceutical company based in San Diego, Calif., licensed Ibudilast in 2004 as a potential treatment for multiple sclerosis.
In 2005, the company partnered with NIDA and with other researchers to test the drug on animals, mostly mice and a few monkeys, that were addicted to meth.
The second phase of the UCLA study, expected to begin mid-summer, will be a 12-week trial of 140 treatment-seeking human meth addicts. Half the volunteers will take Ibudilast twice a day, and the other half will take a placebo. They will visit the trial unit three times a week for drug-craving monitoring, urine drug screens and medication adherence monitoring. The researchers said they hope the addicts taking Ibudilast will have reduced meth cravings and improved sobriety rates.
MediciNova, the only U.S. company with rights to Ibudilast, was founded in 2000 as a spinoff of a midsize pharmaceutical company in Osaka, Japan, that specializes in treatments for cardiovascular disease. MediciNova has rights to Ibudilast and other commercial drug candidates through alliances primarily with various Japanese pharmaceutical companies. None of MediciNova's products have been approved for U.S. sale. Its current CEO is Dr. Yuichi Iwaki, also a professor of urology and pathology at the USC Keck School of Medicine.
The UCLA study is small, "so it remains to be seen whether these findings hold up in larger studies where its effectiveness will be established," said Dr. David Sack, psychiatrist and CEO of Promises addiction treatment centers.
"Nevertheless the importance of this finding cannot be overstated," Sack added, saying there is "an urgent national need" for such a drug in clinical practice. "There are no effective treatments for amphetamine dependence despite more than a generation of research."
UCLA researchers said they expect the results of the 12-week phase-two trial to be released in early 2015. If the results are positive, there would be a larger phase three study and possible FDA approval by 2018.
Ibudilast may also be the first non-opiate drug treatment for heroin and other opiate addictions. A team at Columbia University partnered with the National Institute on Drug Abuse and MediciNova to conduct a phase-one trial last year with 30 paid heroin addicts who lived in a hospital under supervision for three weeks.
The addicts were given morphine for two weeks and then a placebo for one week. Some of the participants, all sick from withdrawal symptoms, were given Ibudilast and others were given a placebo. If at any point withdrawal symptoms became unbearable, the participants were allowed to drop out.
The Ibudilast appeared to work. "The high dose of Ibudilast significantly reduced a subset of withdrawal symptoms," said Dr. Sandra Comer, professor of clinical neurobiology in Columbia's Department of Psychiatry and lead researcher on the trial, funded by the NIDA.
Recovering opiate addicts are currently treated with other opiates, such as methadone or buprenorphine.
"The problem with some of the opiate treatments for opiate addiction is that some people become dependent on the new opiate," said Johnson, chief scientific officer at MediciNova. "In some cases, it takes them years to finally get off the opiate." He added that even prescribed opiates are still dangerous, citing reports of individuals overdosing on the prescribed opiate meant to treat opiate addiction.
The researchers have begun conducting phase two of the trial on 24 non-treatment seeking heroin and prescription opiate addicts confined to a hospital unit for six weeks. The addicts will be stabilized on morphine for a few days, then slowly tapered off of the drug. Half will be given Ibudilast, and half will be given a placebo.
As the participants experience withdrawal symptoms, they will be given a choice between a dose of oxycodone, $20 or part of both. For example, a participant can choose to receive $10 with half of the oxycodone dose. Researchers said they hope the participants on Ibudilast will have reduced opiate cravings and will choose money over the opiate. The researchers said they plan to have results of the phase-two trial by the end of the year.
Ibudilast may also accelerate the pain-killing effects of opiates, so that opiates can be taken in lower doses. To test this, Columbia researchers gave participants in their phase-one trial high doses of oxycodone once at the end of the first week and once at the end of the second week. Both times, they put the patients' hands in freezing cold water. The individuals who were on Ibudilast in addition to oxycodone reported lower pain levels.
"If you can achieve good pain relief, with a lower side effect incident, that would be really beneficial for patients," Comer said. "There are all kinds of side effects of opiates like constipation, nausea and sedation. In addition, patients can become tolerant to opiates." Lower doses of prescribed opiates also lessen the risk of patients becoming addicted.
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@HuffPostCeleb So you're a fraud @KhloeKardashian like your sister @KimKardashian … using cancer rouse to fund rec ball
11:09 PM - 3 Apr 13 · Details

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White House fights Catholic Church subpoena on birth control

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By David Ingram
WASHINGTON | Fri Apr 5, 2013 8:15pm EDT
(Reuters) - The Obama administration has gone to court to try to block a subpoena from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York seeking White House documents about the government's requirement of insurance coverage for birth control.
The subpoena requesting documents from President Barack Obama and his senior advisers would be burdensome to fulfill, the administration said in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Citing U.S. Supreme Court precedent, the suit also argues that civil subpoenas of the president's executive office are inappropriate except in extraordinary circumstances.
The lawsuit was filed on Thursday and released on a court website on Friday.
Religious organizations, individuals and corporations have filed scores of suits to block a planned mandate that employers generally include coverage of contraception in health insurance plans they offer workers.
Though the mandate has some exceptions for religious employers, the New York archdiocese, one of the largest in the United States, said it expected to incur nearly $200 million each year in penalties if it refuses to comply.
The Catholic Church teaches that artificial birth control is sinful because it violates natural law.
A judge in Brooklyn federal court allowed an archdiocese lawsuit over the mandate to move forward in December, over the administration's argument that it was premature.
A lawyer for the archdiocese declined to comment on Friday on the administration's court action.
Obama has been trying to negotiate a settlement of the highly charged dispute, which pits advocates for women's health against those who say a mandate would violate the religious freedom of employers who oppose birth control.
A version of the mandate released in February would not apply to churches and other places of worship even when they operate schools and social services.
It would apply to others, including religiously affiliated nonprofit groups. But in those cases, it calls on private insurers to cover contraceptives through separate plans for employees, not through the employer's group plan.
The mandate was part of the 2010 healthcare law championed by Obama and congressional Democrats.
The Justice Department is representing the White House in the subpoena fight. A department spokeswoman had no immediate comment.
(Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Xavier Briand)

Ted Cruz @tedcruz 3h
Remarkable. Of 100 largest cities in US, only 14 have more jobs than before recession. 6 are in TX

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 4m
@tedcruz We have more work to do: this means Alaska's dropped 1%, and they were 25th worst state since November

9:53 PM - 2 Apr 13 · Details
Six of which are in...
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Senator not pleased with Department of Labor's handling of Job Corps program
Posted: 04.03.2013 at 1:43 PM

OTTUMWA, IOWA -- The Job Corps program has been in the national news lately due to an enrollment freeze coming from the United States Department of Labor.
In order to cut funding, Job Corps facilities across the country have not been able to retain new students since the freeze became effective January 28 of this year.

US Senator Chuck Grassley was at the Ottumwa Job Corps center Wednesday to take a tour of the facility, as well as to hold a town hall with staff and students. KTVO was not allowed to bring cameras of any kind into that question and answer session, but that decision came from the Department of Labor, not from Senator Grassley's office or the Ottumwa Job Corps.
To the senator, it was just one more mistake in the long line of poor decisions coming from the DOL.
"If our communication with the Department of Labor doesn't get some changes made, then the only opportunity is when appropriation bills come up during July and September, when we appropriate for the next fiscal year. There will probably be opportunity to deal with it," Senator Grassley said on the next steps towards saving the Job Corps program. "Now, I'm not on the appropriation committee, I don't know how tough of a decision that will be to make because under events like the sequester, things are going to be tougher than normal. But here again, you've got to look at it as, if you want to get unemployment down, and job centers are one way of training people to get them employed, and a lot of these people are in the health care field, there's a tremendous need in the health care industry, it isn't the wisest thing to do in a time of recession."
Senator Grassley said he's not been at all satisfied with the answers he's gotten from the Department of Labor on the issue thus far, and he believes freezing enrollment for Job Corps students is not making use of the investments in the facility.
Ideally, the senator said he wants every Job Corps center to be back at full capacity in order to train the maximum amount of students.

Aja Brooks
10 hours ago via Twitter

Retweeted Western Journalism (@WestJournalism):
Effective Youth Unemployment is 16.2%
Washington, DC – (4/5/13) – Generation Opportunity, a national, non-partisan organization advocating for Millennials ages 18-29, is announcing its Millennial Jobs Report for March 2013. The data is non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) and is specific to 18-29 year olds: The youth unemployment rate for 18-…
Aja Brooks
10 hours ago via Twitter
Retweeted (@TheTeaParty_net):
#FORWARD!: People Not In Labor Force Soar By 663,000 To 90 Million in March! #UniteBlue #CTL #LibCrib
Things just keep getting worse for the American worker, and by implication US economy, where as we have shown many times before, it pays just as well to sit back and collect disability and various welfare and entitlement checks, than to work .The best manifestation of this: the number of people not…


The Obama Fat Police will give you $30 for all your personal info - don't fall for it.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 1m

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 1m
@HHSemergency We're not interested in turning over our personal information for $30 for a cremated law.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 4m
Unless you want arrow between the eyes or shotgun in the face-take cremated law and stick it where sun doesn't shine

12:30 PM - 5 Apr 13 · Details — with Brian S. Lindsey and 18 others.
New Door to Door Interviews to Declare YOU Incompetent!!! No Guns For YOU!!!

Everyone should be aware of people going door to door for Interviews, even offering to pay you for interviewing you and members of your household.
These people, no matter how friendly, are not on your side! They are out to get all the information they can and declare you incompetent so that you
can no longer do your own management of your affairs, and deny you the right to bear arms!! When declared incompetent, the Government will appoint
someone to manage your affairs, including your money, and you no longer have any control over your life, ever again!!

REFUSE THEM, just as we did because we knew what the program is, and let them know that you know what their intentions are!

Here's what the paper they will present you with looks like. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO IT!! Download it so you know what it looks like!! Don't let them in!!

Aja Brooks shared a link via Andrew B Sheets.

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Putin putins it to U.S., well, in so many words…




Apr. 3, 2013 10:13am Becket Adams

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Some North Carolina legislators agreed Tuesday to require county social service workers to perform criminal background checks on people seeking welfare and food stamps.
The House Health and Human Services Committee voted to make the checks mandatory in all county Department of Social Services offices for people applying for the benefits or for renewing their application to keep receiving them. The DSS office also would have to tell law enforcement agencies if an applicant is a fugitive or is wanted on an outstanding warrant.
DSS offices can now perform the formal background checks if they wish, or they can simply ask the participant if he or she is in trouble with the law. Federal law prohibits people who are subject to arrest warrants for violating probation or parole or for a felony charge from receiving public assistance benefits.
Food and Nutrition Services, the formal term for food stamps, provides debit cards to low-income families. Work First — North Carolina’s welfare program, which is paid through the federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families — provides cash assistance and job training.
“We absolutely have to make sure our aid goes to law-abiding citizens first,” said state Rep. Dean Arp, R-Union, one of the bill’s primary sponsors. “This is a reasonable provision to ensure that.”
In Union County, Arp said, officials at the county DSS office were told they could no longer provide criminal information to sheriff’s deputies because of confidentiality restrictions.
“It’s outrageous to think that our current law could even be interpreted to say that DSS cannot notify law enforcement,” said Rep. Bert Jones, R-Rockingham.
Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 9m
@VP We need a gross-adjusted debt analysis, those who have sapped the tree for 5 years, and those who are rich who evaded by 7% annually!

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 11m
I want IRS audits conducted @VP on 89 million on any federal aid programs and on any individual who has not paid 7% of their annual worth!

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 12m
Between us, we have to realize debt is tyrannizing political agendas, not each other as detriment or impediments @BarackObama @SenRandPaul

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 13m
Between you both @BarackObama @SenRandPaul Obama will have to scale back, and Rand, I don't see the deficit reducing within 5 years.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 15m
Pardon me @RepPaulRyan we are in some serious shit: one false move with the budget over 10yrs. could be disastrous.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 31m
@VP I suggest @BarackObama go along with us, to get along with us, and we can work on IRS audits, tax reform, and deficit reduction together
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Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 32m
@VP Obama is starting to understand what I'm saying by his announcement of paying a portion of salary back into the Treasury.
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Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 32m
@VP Every person on federal aid programs: food, medical, welfare, or education will get a red flag for each program, they owe the IRS that $
View conversation
Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 33m
@VP We can not print our way out or trade our way out: we will have to do about 89 million IRS audits and pass tax reform.
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Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 56m
@VP We can not treat the dollar as if it is "food script" like the coal scripts of old. We have to stop borrowing and spending gradually.
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Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 57m
@VP I recommend IRS conduct audits and present public with chronic tax evaders, those who use fed. pgms. and don't pay Social Security taxes
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Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 58m
@VP Cremated legislation can not be used as a rouse by the IRS to seize savings for non-compliance, or they will collapse our markets.
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Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 59m
@VP I also recommend using prepaid cards to pay bills rather than checking acct. and I recommend saving coinage of all kinds/stockpile food
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Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 1h
@VP everyone will have to withdraw savings over time, replace the dollars withdrawn with physical coins to fix banks and spend the bills.
Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 1h
The Federal Reserve can not print enough money to reverse the inflation-deficit crisis.

Tea Party Chief @2013_TeaParty Protected account 1h
@BarackObama Kim Jong Un is waiting to see what we will do between the budget and NATO renewal consideration

12:13 PM - 4 Apr 13 · Details


2:03 PM - 4 Apr 13 · Details


Boehner rejects Obama cuts-revenue proposal

Boehner said Obama's plan was 'no way to lead and move the country forward.' | AP Photos
By REID J. EPSTEIN and KEVIN ROBILLARD | 4/5/13 7:28 AM EDT Updated: 4/5/13 9:23 PM EDT
House Speaker John Boehner immediately dismissed President Barack Obama’s package of significant new entitlement cuts tied to new tax revenues, calling them “no way to lead and move the country forward.”
The White House had portrayed the proposal, part of the budget it will release next week, as a compromise with Congressional Republicans that could have put them on track for another run at a grand bargain.

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W.H. budget cuts Medicare, Social Security: Mike Allen reports

POLITICO Roundtable: Previewing Obama budget

But Boehner said he will not consider new revenues as part of the deal, arguing that “modest” entitlement savings should not “be held hostage for more tax hikes.”
The budget proposal sets Obama up for major fights on his right and left. Republicans will not accept any new tax revenues and liberal Democrats have already signaled they will resist any cuts to Social Security and other entitlement programs that Obama is proposing.
The White House says the budget proposal would reduce the deficit by $1.8 trillion over 10 years, but it assumes the elimination of the sequester, which would otherwise account for $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction.
Already, Obama’s budget proposal goes farther than many in his own party and base said they would bear by including “chained CPI,” the adjustment that would over time reduce cost-of-living increases to Social Security and other federal benefit programs — effectively, a cut to Social Security benefits by tying them to inflation.
It’s the $9 billion in new tax revenue by setting limits on “tax-preferred retirement accounts for millionaires and billionaires” that Boehner is rejecting.
And Obama is already facing a backlash from liberal Democrats as he has floated the chained CPI idea. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said Friday that any Social Security cuts are a no-go for him.
“While there are large portions of the president’s budget that I strongly support, I remain firmly opposed to the chained CPI,” Harkin said. “This policy is an unnecessary attack on Social Security, a program that by law is unable to add to the deficit.”
At a lunch with Senate Democrats last month, Harkin and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) pressed Obama to take chained CPI off the table, arguing that Social Security doesn’t actually contribute to the deficit — since it’s walled off from the federal budget — and there are other ways to keep the government solvent.
To finance new spending programs proposed in his State of the Union address, Obama’s budget calls for new cigarette taxes and closing a loophole that now allows people to collect unemployment insurance and disability insurance simultaneously.
A senior administration official said Friday morning that Obama’s budget would include $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction – the offer the president has previously made to Boehner —and won’t add to the federal deficit.

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Offshore tax shelters disclosed in leaked documents

Report shows growing abuse by rich to avoid taxes

Author: By Chris Isidore
Published On: Apr 04 2013 06:34:29 AM CDT  Updated On: Apr 04 2013 12:53:55 PM CDT

Millions of leaked documents show a growing abuse of tax shelters by the rich around the world in an effort to avoid taxes, according to a report released Thursday.

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The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) says 90 journalists from 47 countries have used high-tech data crunching to wade through 2.5 million documents from the last 30 years. It said that the amount of data leaked is 160 times greater than the leak of U.S. State Department documents by Wikileaks in 2010.
Those using the tax shelters include American doctors and dentists, middle-class Greek villagers, families and associates of long-time despots, and ultra-rich from around the globe. Also involved: Wall Street swindlers, Russian corporate executives and international arms dealers.
"We expected to find only the mega rich using (offshore accounts)," said Gerard Ryle, director of the consortium. "But in fact we found it was being used by a much broader section of society."
Tax shelters detailed in the report include the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands, Cyprus and Switzerland. The people most often setting up offshore entities are from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The report said the money being sheltered included proceeds of Ponzi schemes as well as money drained from national coffers, adding that studies estimate that cross-border flows of global proceeds of financial crimes total between $1 trillion and $1.6 trillion a year.
The documents searched included company and trust documents and instructions, e-mails, large and small databases and spreadsheets, personal identity documents, accounting information, and agents' and companies' internal papers and reports. They came from 10 separate private collections of documents as well as from public records.
"This is not something that landed in our lap," said Mike Hudson, senior editor for the consortium. He said the documents were deliberately sought and gathered by the reporters working on the project.
"We're not a passive conduit for a leak," Hudson added
The group said the use of tax shelters has implications for the world's economies, draining countries of the tax resources they need. It points out that the European sovereign debt crisis was exacerbated by average Greeks cheating on taxes with offshore accounts, and that the latest crisis revolved around the flow of Russian funds into the banking system of Cyprus, which has become a major tax shelter.

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Chief Brooks @TeaPartyChief_ 39s
CYPRUS GOES TEA PARTY … 3,000 have meltdown march outside the bank over bailouts and forced inflation from deficits...

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Numbness gives way to anger in Cyprus over bailout

By Michele Kambas and Karolina Tagaris | Reuters – Thu, Apr 4, 2013

  • Reuters/Reuters - A woman looks on as she joins other Cypriot bank workers during a protest against the possibility of their pensions being affected should the government decide to restructure Cyprus' two largest …more
By Michele Kambas and Karolina Tagaris
NICOSIA (Reuters) - Public shock in Cyprus about the tough terms of an international bailout is turning into anger as millions of euros remain locked in the country's banks.
Cypriots were stunned by last month's collapse of its second-biggest lender, Popular Bank, and a decision to slap losses on large deposits at the Bank of Cyprus in return for financial aid from the European Union and IMF.
They are now demanding answers after allegations earlier this week that a company connected to the family of President Nicos Anastasiades shifted money out of one of the distressed lenders just before the banking system was effectively locked down on March 15.
Anger and impatience is rising as the results of an official inquiry into what caused the crisis, and exactly who knew what and when, is unlikely to be ready for weeks.
Banks reopened last week but Cypriots can withdraw only 300 euros ($390) a day under a range of controls imposed to prevent panicked residents from emptying their accounts or moving all their savings abroad. Anxiety is being deepened by confusion over how the hastily-imposed rules should operate.
Hundreds of bank workers protested outside parliament on Thursday, worried that they could lose much of their pension savings under the terms of the bailout deal. This stipulates that some depositors have to bear part of the rescue's cost if their accounts hold more than 100,000 euros ($128,500).
"I am disappointed and angry," said Iacovos Louca, 53, who works at Popular Bank, which is being wound down under the 10 billion deal with the EU and International Monetary Fund. "The politicians are out of touch with our problems and the big guys, who had the information, managed to take their money abroad."
A copy of a bank statement, first published in the Cypriot communist newspaper Haravghi which maintains it is genuine, shows a company whose owners are related to the president by marriage moving money out of Popular in early March.
The company says there was nothing untoward or non-transparent in the transaction used to facilitate a real estate project abroad. It has also said many more millions of its funds remain locked in the Cypriot banking system.
One company in Nicosia which has several offices abroad has been caught in limbo as the central bank now has to approve transfers out of Cyprus over 25,000 euros. As part of the company's payroll is managed from the island, payments to employees abroad are being delayed because of the vetting process and currency controls to avoid a bank run.
"We have held clients' money for certain pre-paid jobs, and we have a cash flow issue now," the owner of the services company said, on condition of anonymity. "We have to make payments of more than 1 million euros on behalf of our clients, and now we can only use 100,000."
Lack of clear answers on where their money may end up is fuelling public frustration.
Andrew Georgiou, a 55-year-old British consultant who moved to Cyprus a year ago with the earnings from the sale of his home in London, says all four accounts he holds with Popular - even a sterling account containing just 22 pence - are blocked.
These totaled 97,000 euros and under the bailout deal, deposits under 100,000 are fully insured. Nevertheless, Georgiou is now unable to access any funds.
Georgiou, who is of Cypriot descent, said Popular Bank had justified its action on the grounds that he was also considered a beneficiary to an account held by his 78-year-old father. It also covered money held in a trust for medical expenses.
"I wrote to the central bank and they came back saying that it was not their competence, so whose competence is it?," said Georgiou. "Nobody is explaining where anyone should go with a problem."
As a result, Georgiou has been told he and his father could eventually be entitled only to a combined 40,000 euros despite the 100,000 euro guarantee, a fraction of their savings in Popular. "Absolutely nothing adds up," he said. "They told us it was 140,000 last week."
Georgiou and others like him are in for a long wait to figure out what went wrong. Three judges appointed to look into the island's financial collapse started work on Thursday.
With an extensive remit ranging from the business sense of Cypriot banks hoarding a mass of Greek government bonds while others were selling them and the prudence of government fiscal policies, the judges will need a small army of consultants.
Cypriots are, in the meantime, resigned to years of hardship. Iraklis Paraskeva, 53, has three children to support, now studying in Greece. "I am going to find myself in the street with no future, only debts. But we will fight to the end. We have nothing left to lose." ($1 = 0.7780 euros)
(editing by David Stamp)

Germany says confident France will meet deficit obligations

Reuters – 16 hrs ago

  • Reuters/Reuters - French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici (R) speaks during a meeting with Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble at the French National School of Administration in Strasbourg, April …more

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany is confident France will stick to European Union rules on targets to cut its public deficit, a German finance ministry spokesman said on Friday, a day after Paris urged Berlin to grant it more time to hit the goal.
"There are rules in the EU that apply for all. It's mostly down to the EU Commission to evaluate how to proceed further. Then the members of the EU council will look at it," said Martin Kotthaus, spokesman for Germany's finance ministry.
"We have full confidence that France will fulfill its treaty obligations."
France has acknowledged it will miss a 2013 goal of bringing its deficit down to 3 percent of output and wants its EU partners - notably Germany, the euro zone's largest economy - to give it another year to meet the target.
(Reporting by Stephen Brown and Annika Breidthardt)

Letter I sent to the Supreme Court about Obama's origins:

Obama's citizenship contestation still rages on, as the crucible.


Obama has no budget, all decisions about government spending and military operations are being made around him and without him... is this leading from behind? Is this to blame everyone else, rather than setting the tone as a leader?
-County corruption circuit in the South tied to funding election fraud, see the players and associations involved in a huge scheme through local schools, churches, and political offices in Fulton, DeKalb, and Clayton county

Report: Georgia among riskiest for government corruption

Published: March 20, 2012


ATLANTA -- Georgia’s laws, regulations and budget leave the state more open to official corruption than most other states, a new report contends.
Georgia scored a 49 out of 100 on a broad survey of its government ethics, conflict of interest and internal oversight laws, as graded by the State Integrity Investigation by the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C. The highest score on 330-question test went to New Jersey, which got an 87.
“I think it raises very troubling questions about changes we need to make,” said state Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, a member of the state Senate Ethics Committee and vocal proponent of ethics reform.
Georgia got an “F” on nine of 14 subjects on the report card, including lobbyist disclosure, public access to information, civil service and pension fund management, political financing and legislative accountability.
One problem across several categories is that enforcement is underfunded, according to the report.
Georgia’s ethics agency must collect various financial or campaign reports for all public office candidates, political committees and lobbyists.
The Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission must also keep track of who is not filing and must assess fees. The panel has to hear and consider public questions on gray areas of ethics laws.
The commission’s budget fell from $1.9 million in fiscal year 2008 to $1.1 million for the fiscal year ending in 2012.
In the same time, the state’s total budget fell from $20.5 billion to $18.6 billion.
“Generally, all our agencies are underfunded, nor (do they) have adequate personnel to do the job they need to do,” said state Sen. John Crosby, R-Tifton, chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee. He said the report is a “concern,” but he also said there’s disagreement about what constitutes good change.
For example, Georgia does not have some states’ dollar limits on lobbyist gifts to legislators, he pointed out, but Georgia does require reporting the gift. If there were caps, perhaps spending and gifting would go “underground,” he said, adding that “now everything is open and aboveboard.”
Yet some people do skirt lobbying laws.
For an easy example, independent lobbyists who have several clients are supposed to disclose them all. But even a quick look through disclosures shows lobbyists who list only the name of their consulting company and who don’t itemize their clients.
As for sunshine laws, if someone in Georgia thinks a government is illegally keeping a document or a meeting from the public eye, their options are a lawsuit or a complaint to the state Attorney General’s Office.
“We receive about 400 complaints a year,” said AG spokeswoman Lauren Kane. If they find an actual problem, the AG’s office tries to work it out with the public official via mediation and a consent order. “A citizen could go to court” instead of her office, said Kane, “but we understand that’s expensive.”
New Jersey has an Open Records Council to hear inquiries and complaints about open records violations. Both states have dozens of exemptions in open records laws. In Georgia, the Legislature and the judiciary can keep documents to themselves.
In Georgia, top civil servants can leave their state job and immediately work anywhere, including for lobbying firms. Just in December 2011, the head of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, Allen Barnes, left the state. A month later he showed up as president and CEO of Joe Tanner and Associates, a lobbying firm.
In New Jersey, retired civil servants are barred from trying to lobby or contract with the state in the area they worked on as a public official.
Yet, the best laws are still only part of government ethics, said Natalie O’Donnell Wood, a senior policy specialist for the Center for Ethics in Government at the National Conference of State Legislatures. They collect data but do not do subjective commentary.
“A state could have a lot of laws, but whether they work is something different,” she said. The rest depends on the elected official choosing to do the right thing.
“When you’re elected to office, you’re elected to public trust,” she said.
Georgia got its highest grade, an 87, on auditing. The Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts was rated as fairly well-funded, independent, and open with its reports.
Some legislators suggested the report was unfair. McKoon said previous studies suggested Georgia was much, much closer to the top of ethics rankings, so some people thought there was no need for a change.
Indeed, a 2009 report from CPI ranked Georgia seventh, but on a much narrower, 43-question survey of disclosure laws.

Read more here:

Corruption Risk Report Card
Rank among 50 states: 50th
 Overall grade:
Click a category to see detailed scores and notes.

Click here to share this report card on your siteThe story behind the score

Georgia’s ethics laws are loaded with loopholes and are poorly enforced, yielding one of the nation’s worst scores on the State Integrity Index. Read more from SII State Reporter Jim Walls.
Latest state news for Georgia
FEB 27, 2013
The Georgia legislature has taken a major step toward strengthening the state’s ethics laws by moving a package of reform legislation through the House. The two bills in the package would impose limits on gifts from lobbyists and restore powers to the state’s ethics enforcement agency, among other changes.
The measures, which are sponsored by Speaker David Ralston, attracted little opposition,  sailing through the House on Monday with just four dissenting votes. But their fate in the Senate remains clouded. In January, the upper chamber adopted a $100 cap on lobbyist gifts in a rule change that does not apply to the House. Ralston told reporters on Monday that he would not negotiate on changing his proposed ban on gifts to match the $100 limit that the Senate enacted. While some senators have called for passing the House legislation unchanged, others have sounded more cautious.



Feds: 10 metro Atlanta officers charged in corruption case

Posted: Feb 12, 2013 12:19 PM ESTUpdated: Feb 19, 2013 12:19 PM EST

Federal authorities announced Tuesday afternoon that 10 current and former police officers from the metro Atlanta area allegedly took payouts to protect drug trafficking crimes committed by gang leaders and drug dealers.

U.S. Attorney Sally Yates said during a news conference that the officers "sold their badges" to participate in multiple drug transactions.
"When they sold their badges they betrayed not only the citizens they were sworn to protect, but also their fellow law enforcement officers who literally put their lives on the line every day to protect all of us," Yates said.

Yates said that the undercover operation arose in 2011 from an ATF investigation of an Atlanta-area street gang. Agents learned from a person associated with the gang that some police officers were allegedly involved with protecting the gang's illegal activities, including drug dealing.
"Each of the officers charged today engaged in multiple drug transactions and took thousands of dollars in payoffs," Yates said.

Authorities allege that police officers provided security to gang members during drug deals in exchange for money. According to the criminal complaint, the uniformed officers patrolled parking lots where alleged drug deals took place to ensure that rival gangs did not interrupt the transactions.
"Oftentimes the defendants showed up to the drug deals wearing their police uniforms. Oftentimes they drove their patrol cars. They were carrying their service weapons and conducted surveillance for the drug dealers," Yates said.
Among the arrested include seven metro Atlanta police officers, two former DeKalb County jail officers, a contract officer with Federal Protective Services. Five other people not connected to any law enforcement agencies were also arrested, according to Yates.
"What is troubling to us is that it was widespread; it wasn't limited to just a bad group in one particular agency," Yates said.
Atlanta Police Chief George Turner said he has zero tolerance for corrupt police officers on the take. Two APD officers were arrested on Tuesday.
Turner said that he knows accused APD Officer Kelvin Allen personally. He said that Allen has been with the APD for 20 years.
"We will not stand for this kind of behavior. As you know, this officer has been arrested. He will be eventually terminated from our department, no different than any other officer," Turner said.
Turner said that the department received word of the federal corruption probe three months ago and immediately took Allen off the streets of Zone 6.

FOX 5 News has learned the feds arrested a second Atlanta police officer Tuesday in a separate indictment. Turner said that that officer's case will be revealed on Wednesday.
"We will not stand for any officer stepping on the other side of the law. We will work with whatever authority there is to bring those officers to justice just as if we bring any other criminal to justice," Turner said.

Officials identified the law enforcement officers arrested as:  
Atlanta Police Department Officer Kelvin Allen, 42, of Atlanta;
DeKalb County Police Department Officers Dennis Duren, 32, of Atlanta and Dorian Williams, 25, of  Stone Mountain, Ga.;

Forest Park Police Department Sergeants Victor Middlebrook, 44, of Jonesboro, Ga.
and Andrew Monroe, 57, of Riverdale, Ga.;

MARTA  Police Department Officer Marquez Holmes, 45, of Jonesboro, Ga.;
Stone Mountain Police Department Officer Denoris Carter, 42, of  Lithonia, Ga., and contract Federal Protective Services Officer Sharon Peters, 43, of Lithonia, Ga.

The former law enforcement officers arrested are former DeKalb County Sheriff's Office jail officers Monyette McLaurin, 37, of Atlanta, and Chase Valentine, 44, of Covington, Ga.

Officials said that others arrested were Shannon Bass, 38, of Atlanta; Elizabeth Coss, 35, of Atlanta; Gregory Lee Harvey, 26, of Stone Mountain, Ga.; Alexander B. Hill, 22, of Ellenwood, Ga.; and Jerry B. Mannery, Jr., 38, of Tucker, Ga.
The following allegations were detailed in a press release from Yates' office:
DeKalb County Police Department
Between October 2011 and November 2011, DeKalb County Police Officer Dennis Duren, working together with Bass, provided protection for what he and Bass believed were four separate transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine.  Duren and Bass accepted cash payments totaling $8,800 for these services.  During the transactions, Duren was dressed in his DeKalb County Police uniform and carried a gun in a holster on his belt, as he patrolled on foot in the parking lots in which the undercover sales took place.  After the first two transactions, Duren allegedly offered to drive his patrol vehicle to future transactions for an additional $800 fee, and afterward received an additional $800 in cash for using his patrol vehicle in the final transaction in November 2011.  Duren and Bass are each charged with conspiring to commit extortion by accepting bribe payments and attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.  Duren also is charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Between January and February 2013, DeKalb County Police Officer Dorian Williams, working together with Mannery and Bass, provided protection for what he and Mannery believed were three separate transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine.   Williams and Mannery accepted cash payments totaling $18,000 for these services.  During the transactions, Williams was dressed in his DeKalb County Police uniform and carried a gun in a holster on his belt, and he patrolled the parking lots in which the undercover sales took place in his DeKalb Police vehicle.  During a meeting between the three transactions, Williams allegedly instructed Bass to remove any cocaine from the scene if Williams had to shoot someone during the upcoming sale.  In another meeting, Williams suggested that future drug transactions should take place in the parking lot of a local high school during the afternoon, so that the exchange of backpacks containing drugs and money would not look suspicious.  Williams and Mannery are each charged with conspiring to commit extortion by accepting bribe payments and attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.    
Stone Mountain Police Department
Between April and September 2012, Stone Mountain Police Officer Denoris Carter, working together with Mannery, provided protection for what he and Mannery believed were five separate transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine.   For these services, Carter and Mannery accepted cash payments totaling $23,500.  For all five transactions, Carter dressed in his Stone Mountain Police uniform.  In four of the deals, he arrived in his police cruiser and either patrolled or parked in the parking lots in which the undercover sales took place and watched the transactions.  During the final transaction in September 2012, Carter was on foot, displaying a firearm in a holster on his belt, and he walked through the parking lot in which the transaction took place and watched the participants.   Finally, during one of the transactions, Carter agreed to escort the purchaser of the sham cocaine in his police vehicle for several miles, until the purchaser reached Highway 78.  Carter is charged with conspiring to commit extortion by accepting bribe payments, attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  
Atlanta Police Department
Between June and August 2012, Atlanta Police officer Kelvin D. Allen, working together with Coss, provided protection for what he and Coss believed were three separate transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine.   Allen and Coss accepted cash payments totaling $10,500 for their services.  For two transactions, Allen dressed in his Atlanta Police uniform and carried a gun in a holster on his belt.  Allen patrolled on foot in parking lots in which the undercover sales took place and appeared to be monitoring the transactions.  During a meeting after the three transactions, a cooperator gave Allen and Coss each a $1,000 bonus payment in return for protecting the three transactions.  Allen and Coss are each charged with conspiring to commit extortion by accepting bribe payments and attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.  Allen also is charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
MARTA Police Department
Between August and November 2012, MARTA Police Department Officer Marquez Holmes, working together with Coss, provided protection for what he and Coss believed were four separate transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine.   For these services, Holmes and Coss accepted cash payments totaling $9,000.  During the transactions, Holmes was dressed in his MARTA Police uniform and carried a gun in a holster on his belt.  In two of the transactions, Holmes patrolled on foot in the parking lots in which the undercover sales took place and monitored the transactions.  During the other two deals, Holmes drove to the site in his MARTA police cruiser and parked next to the vehicles in which the undercover drug sale took place.  Holmes is charged with conspiring to commit extortion by accepting bribe payments, attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Forest Park Police Department
Between October to December 2012, Forest Park Police Sergeants Victor Middlebrook and Andrew Monroe, sometimes working alone and at other times together, provided protection for what they believed were six separate drug deals in the Atlanta area, all involving multiple kilograms of cocaine.   For his services in the first four transactions, Middlebook accepted cash payments totaling $13,800.  During these transactions, Middlebrook wore plain clothes, but displayed his badge and a firearm in a holster on his belt.  He patrolled on foot in the parking lots nearby the vehicles in which the undercover sales took place and appeared to be monitoring the transactions.  For the final two transactions, both Middlebrook and Monroe provided security and were given cash payments totaling $10,400.  Middlebrook again monitored the transactions on foot in plain clothes while displaying his badge and gun, while Monroe watched from his vehicle in the parking lot and afterward escorted the purchaser of the sham cocaine for several miles.  Middlebrook and Monroe are charged with conspiring to commit extortion by accepting bribe payments and attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine; Middlebrook is also charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.   
DeKalb County Sheriff's Office
In January 2013, former DeKalb County Sheriff Jail Officer Monyette McLaurin, working together with Harvey, provided protection for what they believed were two separate drug transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine.   Harvey already had provided security for two undercover drug transactions in December 2012, falsely representing that he was a DeKalb County detention officer and wearing a black shirt with the letters "SHERIFF" printed across the back during the transactions.  Harvey then stated that he knew other police officers who wanted to protect drug deals, and in January 2013 he introduced McLaurin as one of these officers.  During a meeting to discuss future drug transactions, McLaurin falsely represented that he was a deputy employed by the DeKalb Sheriff's office, even though his position as a jail officer ended in 2011.  McLaurin and Harvey further stated during this meeting that they may need to kill another person who knew that Harvey had protected drug deals, if this person reported the activity to others.  
During the two transactions in January 2013, McLaurin was dressed in a DeKalb County Sheriff's Office uniform with a badge, and he carried a gun in a holster on his belt.  He accompanied the undercover seller of the cocaine to pick up the drugs from a warehouse, counted the kilograms the seller received, and stood outside the purchaser's vehicle during the actual transaction.  He further discussed with the seller whether they should agree upon a signal for the seller to indicate that the sale had gone awry, requiring McLaurin to shoot the drug buyer.  For their services, McLaurin and Harvey were paid $12,000 in cash.  McLaurin and Harvey are each charged with attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Later in January 2013, McLaurin and Harvey introduced a second former DeKalb County Sheriff's Jail Officer, Chase Valentine, to help provide security for future drug deals.  Like McLaurin, Valentine falsely represented himself to be a DeKalb County Sheriff's Deputy, even though his position as a jail officer ended in 2010.  Together with Harvey, Valentine provided security for one undercover drug transaction on January 17, 2013, during which he wore a DeKalb Sheriff's Office uniform and a pistol in a holster on his belt.  During the transaction, Valentine escorted the seller to pick up the sham cocaine, counted the number of kilograms delivered, and stood outside the purchaser's car during the actual transaction.  For these services, Valentine received $6,000 in cash.  Valentine is charged with attempted possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Federal Protective Services
In November 2012, Sharon Peters, who was a contract officer for the Federal Protective Services, worked together with Mannery to provide protection for what they believed were two separate transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine.   For these services, Peters and Mannery accepted cash payments totaling $14,000.  For both transactions, Peters parked her vehicle nearby the cars where the sham drugs and money were exchanged, and watched the transactions.  Before both transactions, Peters told others that she had her pistol with her in the car.  Peters is charged with attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  
Imposter Clayton County Police Officer
Between December 2012 and January 2013, Alexander B. Hill falsely represented himself to be an officer with the Clayton County Police Department while providing security for what he believed were three separate drug transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine.   During an initial meeting, Hill wore a uniform that appeared to be from Clayton Police, but during the transactions he wore plain clothes and, for at least the first deal, a badge displayed on his belt.  For these services, Hill received payments totaling $9,000 in cash.  Hill charged with attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.



Mugshot Mania – 35 Atlanta Public School Educators Indicted in Teaching Scandal…

Apr, 3 2013 | Written by ATLien
A total of 35 Atlanta Public Schools educators have been indicted in a cheating scandal that has been under investigation since 2009. All but three of them have surrendered and turned themselves in to Fulton County jail for booking.
Former schools superintendent Beverly Hall (pictured above) was indicted on charges of racketeering, false statements and writings, theft by taking and false swearing in a cheating scandal that has rocked the public school system of Atlanta.
A grand jury had originally recommended a $7.5 million bond for Hall, but that amount was reduced to $200,000 after negotiations with prosecutors. She is one of the few who have managed to bond out of Fulton County jail.
Mugshots of the indicted Atlanta Public Schools (APS) educators + accusations below…
Gloria Ivey: A former Dunbar Elementary teacher, is charged with racketeering for changing students’ wrong answers to right on the 2009 CRCT. She is also charged with making false statements for telling a GBI agent she did not participate in, assist or have knowledge of anyone giving answers on the CRCT.
Carol Dennis: The secretary at Kennedy Middle School is charged with racketeering and false statements and writings.
Derrick Broadwater: Former teacher at Dobbs Elementary, charged with racketeering, three counts of making false statements and writings and false swearing.
Pamela Cleveland: A former Dunbar Elementary school teacher, is charged with racketeering for changing students’ wrong answers to right on the 2009 CRCT. She is also charged with making a false statement for telling a GBI agent she had no knowledge of anyone erasing or changing answers on the CRCT.
Sharon Davis Williams: A third area superintendent, Davis Williams is accused of instructing educators to cover up cheating and punishing a whistle-blower.
Kimberly Oden: Former teacher at Parks Middle School, charged with racketeering and making false statements and writings.

Tamara Cotman: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Cotman, who oversaw schools in some of Atlanta’s poorest neighborhoods, advised principals to refuse to cooperate with the cheating inquiry. Meeting in 2010 with a dozen principals from schools where test scores were most supect, she disparaged the state investigation then told the principals to write and read aloud memos telling state investigators to “go to hell.”
She was also accused of retaliating against an employee who answered questions about the memos. In a television interview along with other area superintendents accused of wrongdoing, Cotman denied any knowledge of widespread cheating. “I am going to fight not just for the job, but I had a reputation and career and a focus on serving children,” Cotman said.Christopher Waller: One of the key figures in the state investigative report, Waller was principal of Parks Middle School where seven educators confessed to cheating, and six others, including Waller were implicated. Cheating reportedly occurred at the school each year from 2006 through 2010, and investigators said Waller bullied teachers into copying exams and erasing wrong answers. A teacher who admitted his role in the cheating said Waller organized cheating “parties” with teachers. Another teacher told investigators that in 2009, two staff members loaded test papers into a blue cooler and delivered them to rooms where teachers corrected students’ mistakes.
They returned later with the cooler and hauled the tests away. Waller denied wrongdoing, saying that if tampering occurred, it must have been after test papers left the school. He also said he wouldn’t cheat because he is a minister and because he wouldn’t have risked his $107,000-a-year salary. Hall had held Waller up as a model principal who got results by pushing educators to unlock the potential of underachieving poor students. Reassigned in 2010 while the state conducted its probe, Waller resigned from the district in 2012, citing personal reasons.
Frances Mack: A testing coordinator at D.H. Stanton Elementary, is charged with racketeering and false statements and writings.
Shani Robinson, a former teacher at Dunbar Elementary School, charged with racketeering and making false statements and writings.Millicent Few: According to the state investigation, Millicent Few, the head of human resources for the district, “illegally ordered” the destruction of early, damaging drafts of an outside lawyer’s investigation of test-tampering at Atlanta’s Deerwood Academy. In another instance, Few ordered staff to destroy a case log of cheating-related internal investigations after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution requested it, the report said. Few told staff to replace the old log with a new, altered version.
When the district finally produced the complaints, the investigators wrote, it illegally withheld cases that made it “look bad” — either because its investigation was poor or because wrongdoing received minimal sanction. Like others, Few also made false statements to the investigators, the report said.
Few has denied that she tampered with documents or ordered anyone else to do so. Few tried to leave Atlanta and start over. She moved to Connecticut and became a consultant in Bridgeport Public Schools. But in February 2012, after only two days on the job, Few was fired after Bridgeport officials learned the full extent of the allegations against her. She moved to Connecticut and became a consultant in Bridgeport Public Schools. But in February, after only two days on the job, Few was fired after Bridgeport officials learned the full extent of the allegations against her.
Diane Webb-Buckner, a former Dunbar Elementary teacher, is charged with racketeering for changing students’ wrong answers to right on the 2009 CRCT. She is also charged with making a false statement to a GBI agent.
Dana Evans, former principal at Dobbs Elementary School, was charged with racketeering and four counts of making false statements and writings.
Michael Pitts, area superintendent, was booked into the Fulton County Jail on $25,000 bond, charged with racketeering and influencing witnesses.

Armstead Salters, principal of Gideons Elementary, was booked into the Fulton County Jail on $2 million bond, according to jail records. Salters is charged with racketeering, false statements and writings, influencing witness.
Dessa Curb, teacher at Dobbs Elementary, was booked into the Fulton County Jail on $60,000 bond, according to jail records. Curb is charged with racketeering, false statements and writings.
Tameka Goodson, a school improvement specialist at Kennedy Middle School, turned herself in around 12:30 a.m. and was booked into the Fulton County Jail on $200,000 bond, according to jail records. Goodson is charged with racketeering and false statements and writingsDonald Bullock, a testing coordinator at Usher-Collier Heights Elementary, arrived at the jail with his attorney just before 6 a.m. on Tuesday. Bullock is accused of asking two teachers to participate in falsifying standardized test answer sheets and telling the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that he wasn’t aware of teachers erasing test answers.
He’s charged with racketeering, false swearing and three counts of false statements or writings Bullock had no comment for reporters as he walked briskly from his car to the jail lobby.
Benteen Elementary testing coordinator Theresia Copeland. Copeland is charged with racketeering, theft by taking and two counts of false statements or writings.
Gregory Reid,Former Assistant Principal of Parks Middle School, is charged with racketeering, false statements and writings, theft by taking and false swearing.
Sandra Ward, a Testing coordinator at Parks Middle School, is charged with racketeering, falsifying students’ answer sheets and theft by taking.
Ingrid Abella-Sly: The former Humphries Elementary teacher is charged with racketeering for “falsifying” student answer sheets on the 2009 CRCT and making false statements to a GBI agent. Abella-Sly is also charged with theft by taking for accepting bonus money based on phony test scores.
Sheridan Rogers: The former testing coordinator at Gideons Elementary is charged with racketeering and three counts of making false statements and writings.
Starlette Mitchell: The former teacher at Parks Middle School is charged with racketeering and three counts of making false statements.

Angela Williamson: The former teacher at Dobbs Elementary is charged with racketeering; two counts of making false statements and writings; and two counts of false swearing.
Lisa Terry: The former Humphries Elementary teacher is charged with racketeering for “falsifying” student answer sheets on the 2009 CRCT and making false statements to a GBI agent. Terry is also charged with theft by taking for accepting bonus money based on phony test scores.
Sheila Evans: A Benteen Elementary teacher, is charged with racketeering, false statements and writings (2 counts); and theft by taking.
Wendy Ahmed: A teacher at Humphries Elementary, is charged with racketeering; false statements and writings (2 counts); and theft by taking.
Tabeeka Jordan: The assistant principal of Deerwood Elementary is charged with racketeering, false statements, and theft by taking. She turned herself in Tuesday.
Shayla Smith, Dobbs Elementary, charged with racketeering, two counts of racketeering and false swearing.
According to the AJC, what comes next for these educators is the great unknown.
The certainties are this:
All 35 former Atlanta Public Schools administrators and educators were required to surrender Tuesday at Fulton County Jail, where their mug shots and fingerprints were taken and entered into the national criminal database.
There was no way to get around going to the lockup on Rice Street.
Many lawyers negotiated lower bonds to get their clients released.
If defendants did not made arrangements for bond, they were to be given a physical exam and assigned to a cell block.
I feel some kinda way about this situation.  Many of these educators were used as pawns in what we all know is a bigger game of chess. Wrong is wrong but I believe a lot of these teachers were merely following orders given to them by higher ups.
It’s a sad situation any way you look at it because the problem certainly wasn’t solved by their arrests.  It’s not like these people are high paid executives who received benefits and bonuses for their actions.  But I’m not privy to all the facts, so I’ll just leave my opinion at that.

Sine Die Edition – Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections for March 28, 2013

Georgia General Assembly — Sine Die

Today is the last day of the 2013 Session of the General Assembly. Any bill not passed by both houses before today should be considered on life support – and some of them have DNR orders.
The Senate convenes at 10 AM and the House at 9:30.
Aaron Gould Sheinin and Kristina Torres with the AJC have written a good description of today’s atmosphere and maneuvering:
Conference committees: Teams of negotiators from the House and Senate continue to meet on bills that have passed both chambers but in different forms. Once an agreement is reached, no vote can happen before the compromise is printed and on lawmakers’ desks for at least one hour. That means, while the Legislature must adjourn no later than midnight, conference committee agreements must be reached before 11 p.m.
Bursts of action, periods of ease: Over the course of the day, action will ebb and flow. There could be long periods when one or both chambers stand at ease as they wait for conference committees or for a bill to come back from the other side. Those could be interrupted by mad rushes to meet looming deadlines. There may also be attempts to amend some bills by adding unrelated legislation that never made it to the floor on its own.
In some ways it’s like old-time stock car racing: adrenaline and excitement, bills held together with baling wire trying to make it over the finish line and the constant awareness that a horrible wreck is possible at any moment. The only thing missing is the smell of high octane racing fuel, though I’m told it smells just like napalm. Fear and loathing, resignation and redemption, it’s a heady mix and it’s what we political adrenaline junkies live for. Make of it what you will.

Legislative Committee Meetings

There will be a number of conference committee meetings today, but they tend to be ad hoc meetings more than formal committee meetings.