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Showing posts from June, 2013

Researchers See Through Walls With 'Wi-Vi'

Want X­ray vision like the man of steel? A technology that lets you see behind walls could soon be built in to your cell phone.

MIT professor Dina Katabi and graduate student Fadel Adib have announced Wi­Vi, a demonstration of a technology that uses Wi­Fi to allow a viewer to "see" a person moving behind a wall. (Wi­Vi stands for "Wi­Fi" and "vision.")

Previous work demonstrated that the subtle reflections of wireless inter signals bouncing off a human could be used to track that person's movements, but those previous experiments either required that a wireless router was already in the room of the person being tracked, or "a whole truck just to carry the radio," said Katabi.

The new device uses the same wireless antenna as is found in a cell phone or laptop and could in theory one day be embedded in a phone. [See also "WiSee Detects Your Gestures Using WiFi."]

The trick is canceling out all interfering signals – Wi-Fi doesn't just…

China media warns Philippines of 'counterstrike' in South China Sea

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's state media warned on Saturday that a "counterstrike" against the Philippines was inevitable if it continues to provoke Beijing in the South China Sea, potentially Asia's biggest military troublespot.

The warning comes as ministers from both countries attend an Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in Brunei, starting Saturday, which hopes to reach a legally binding code of conduct to manage maritime conduct in disputed areas.

At stake are potentially massive offshore oil reserves. The seas also lie on shipping lanes and fishing grounds.

Both China and the Philippines have been locked in a decades-old territorial squabble over the South China Sea, with tensions flaring after the Philippines moved new soldiers and supplies last week to a disputed coral reef, prompting Beijing to condemn Manila's "illegal occupation".

The overseas edition of the People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, sai…

UK health service rocked by 'cover-up' claims

Investigations into preventable baby deaths allegedly concealed by senior NHS management.
London, United Kingdom - The highest echelons of Britain's National Health Service are under unprecedented scrutiny after damaging allegations linked the deaths of new-born babies to cover-ups, incompetence and smear campaigns by senior health officials.

The deaths of 16 babies and two mothers, alongside numerous clinical disasters that left babies brain damaged, may have been avoided if clinical failures at Morecambe Bay NHS Trust in northwest England had been properly investigated, it was revealed in parliament.

At the heart of the media storm were senior managers at the Care Quality Commission, the beleaguered health and safety watchdog, who allegedly destroyed a damning internal review that showed its own inspection failures had left patients at risk of seriously poor care.

The police are being urged to investigate allegations of perverting the course of justice and misconduct in public offi…

Ex-US general under investigation for leaks

Reports say retired general is being probed for leaks linked to 2010 cyber attack on Iran's nuclear programme.

One of the highest ranking military officers in the US is under investigation for allegedly leaking top secret information about a cyber attack on Iran's nuclear programme, according to reports.

NBC news channel reported on Thursday that retired General James Cartwright, a former second-highest-ranking officer, was under investigation for leaking information on a covert computer virus, called Stuxnet.

The virus was used in 2010 to temporarily disable 1,000 centrifuges used for enriching uranium by Iran's nuclear facilities.

Cartwright, who was the number two person in the joint chiefs of staff from 2007 to 2011, was instrumental in the development of Stuxnet, and his role was publicised in a New York Times article published last year.

The article exposed that the virus was the Obama administration's key weapon against Iran's nuclear weapons programme.


Iraq checkpoint hit by deadly blasts

At least 10 killed after explosions target roadblock run by government-allied Sunni group in western city of Ramadi.

Two bombs have exploded near a checkpoint in western Iraqi city of Ramadi, killing at least 10 people, police and medics have said.

The first explosion killed a police officer and the second bomb went off five minutes later as police and bystanders gathered around the wreckage in the Sunni heartland of Anbar, which shares a border with Syria.

"We were on duty at a nearby checkpoint when the car exploded. We ran to work out what was going on, but before we reached the car it exploded again," said a policeman at the scene.

Police and hospital officials said at least 22 people were wounded in the attack on the checkpoint which was run by Sahwa, a Sunni group that joined forces with the US troops to fight al-Qaida during the Iraq War.

Since then, the group has been a target for Sunni fighters who consider its members traitors.

More than 1,000 people died in attacks acro…

What the Media Isn't Telling You About War in Syria

Infographic: Choosing Iran's next president

Ex-CIA worker exposed US spy programme

Identity of Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former IT specialist at CIA, revealed at his own request, UK newspaper says.

The Guardian said on Sunday it published the identity of 29-year-old Edward Snowden, a current employee of defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, at his own request.

"I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong," Snowden was quoted as saying.

In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided to the London-based newspaper, he wrote: "I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions," but "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant."

Booz Allen confirmed on Sunday that Snowden was an employee of the company.

According to the US technology consulting firm, he has worked for Booz Allen for less than three months and was assigned to a team working in Hawaii.

"News …

Ex-CIA man revealed as US spy leak source

Edward Snowden says he leaked details of US programme harvesting internet and phone records to protect basic liberties.
A former CIA worker has revealed himself as the source of leaked information on a secret US spy programme that harvests internet and phone records of US citizens and foreigners.

Edward Snowden, a current employee of defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, said he leaked information on the Prism programme to protect "basic liberties for people around the world".

"I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under."

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, the 29-year-old said he had no intention of hiding "because I have done nothing wrong", but was aware that his actions had made him a target for US agencies.

Snowden leaked a presentation on the Prism surveillance system, which allows the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the FBI direct access to t…

Afghan forces end Kabul airport attack

Interior ministry says all seven attackers killed in Afghan capital following assault on main airport.  A coordinated suicide and grenade attack on the Kabul airport has ended with all seven attackers being killed, the Afghan interior ministry has said.

The Taliban earlier claimed responsibility for the pre-dawn attack on Monday, telling Al Jazeera that the target was the military airport.

"There were seven assailants...two (suicide bombers) died detonating themselves and five others were killed in fighting," Mohammad Ayoub Salangi, chief of Kabul police, said.

"There have not been any casualties to the security forces, and we have not received any report of civilian casualties so far," he said.

Loud explosions and bursts of small-arms fire were heard during the attack, with the US embassy sounding its "duck and cover" alarm and its loudspeakers warning that the alarm was not a drill.

Al Jazeera's Jennifer Glasse, reporting from the Afghan capital, said t…

America's Secret Fukushima Poisoning the Bread Basket of the World

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese

June 05, 2013  - Early in the morning of July 16, 1979, a 20-foot section of the earthen dam blocking the waste pool for the Church Rock Uranium Mill in New Mexico caved in and released 95 million gallons of highly acidic fluid containing 1,100 tons of radioactive material. The fluid and waste flowed into the nearby Puerco River, traveling 80 miles downstream, leaving toxic puddles and backing up local sewers along the way.

Although this release of radiation, thought to be the largest in US history, occurred less than four months after the Three Mile Island partial nuclear meltdown, the Church Rock spill received little media attention. In contrast, the Three Mile Island accident made the headlines. And when the residents of Church Rock asked their governor to declare their community a disaster area so they could get recovery assistance, he refused.

What was the difference between the Church Rock spill and the Three Mile Island partial meltdown? Churc…

US: Taliban Inflicting Heavy Losses on Afghan Troops

BRUSSELS — The U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General Joseph Dunford, says Taliban insurgents are inflicting heavy losses on Afghan national security forces as the Afghans assume the lead.

U.S. Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a gathering where U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel joined NATO defense ministers to talk about the way forward in Afghanistan as international forces prepare to draw down next year.

As that drawdown nears, international troops are taking up more of a support role and it is the Afghans who are in the lead against the insurgents. Now on the front lines with international troops only providing backup, the Afghans are at risk for greater losses.

Several weeks into the fighting season, General Dunford said the Taliban has done what it said it would do: step up high-profile assaults and insider attacks to create fear and intimidation.

He called the losses among Afghan forces significant.

“The numbers have been, as I look back …

What Is WikiLeaks?

The military trial of U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning began Monday.  He is charged with violating the Espionage Act by knowingly leaking thousands of classified documents to the Wikileaks whistleblower website.

The documents, including sensitive State Department cables and classified military logs from Iraq and Afghanistan, comprised one of the largest breaches of security in U.S. history.

Shortly after Wikileaks began posting the material online in May 2010, Manning, an intelligence analyst serving in Iraq, was detained by military authorities and has been held in solitary confinement since. Although he has already admitted leaking the documents and pleaded guilty to some of the charges, his closely watched trial is expected to last the summer.

What Is Wikileaks?
International not-for-profit group that publishes anonymously-submitted material online.Published leaks includes internal documents from the Church of Scientology, secret memos targeting corruption in the Kenyan government, I…

Drone Strikes Among Major Issues for New Pakistan PM

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s Prime Minister-designate Nawaz Sharif will review anti-terrorism cooperation with the United States soon after taking office.  A close adviser to Sharif says the incoming government will demand an immediate end to controversial American drone strikes within Pakistani territory for better future ties.

The newly-elected National Assembly on Wednesday will formally select Nawaz Sharif as the country’s prime minister for an unprecedented third time because his political party, the Pakistan Muslim League or PML-N, enjoys a majority in the lower house of parliament.

On the home front, the incoming government is expected to look for ways to revive a deteriorating economy by addressing the severe energy crisis facing the country.  But critics say Sharif will also have to take urgent steps to ease strains plaguing diplomatic relations with the United States and seek an immediate end to drone strikes on Pakistani soil, a commitment he undertook during the election campaign.

China Repeats Claims Over Disputed Islands

A senior Chinese general says warships will continue to patrol waters where Beijing has territorial claims, despite disputes with other Asian countries.

Speaking at an annual security conference in Singapore Sunday, Lieutenant-General Qi Jianguo, deputy chief of the People's Liberation Army, said Beijing regards the East China Sea and the South China Sea as being under Chinese sovereignty.

Qi told the delegates that Chinese warships and patrolling activities are totally legitimate and uncontroversial.

China is embroiled in territorial disputes with Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia over several resource-rich islands in the two seas.

Iran presidential candidate's staff arrested

Police detain campaigners for leading opposition candidate Hassan Rouhani in Tehran ahead of June 14 presidential poll.

Supporters of a leading candidate in this month's presidential election in Iran have been arrested in Tehran, an aide to the candidate has said.

Hassan Rouhani was speaking to young followers during a campaign meeting in a mosque on Saturday when police picked up several supports and members of the campaign team of the the reformist candidate, his campaign manager, Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, told the semi-official Mehr news agency.

"Some people were detained on the street after leaving the meeting, Nematzadeh told The Associated Press.

Rouhani is close to the ruling clerical elite and criticised the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during the first televised election debate on Friday.

The June 14 election is to choose a replacement for Ahmadinejad, who cannot run for a third term.

Authorities have already pared down the list of candidates to eight, dis…

Scores killed in China poultry farm blaze

At least 61 people killed in fire triggered by explosions in electrical system of farm in Jilin province.

A large fire at a poultry processing plant and processing plant in northeastern China has killed at least 61 people, state media reports.

The fire on Monday in Jilin province's Mishazi township appeared to have been sparked by three early Monday morning explosions in the farm's electrical system, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The blaze charred the entire facility and trapped workers inside sheds.

Firefighters had extinguished the blaze by early afternoon but were continuing rescue work, reports said.

Photos from the scene posted on Chinese news websites showed thick smoke billowing from the cement and corrugated iron sheds.

The semi-official China News Service quoted company officials as saying liquid ammonia had leaked and caused the explosion.

The rescue efforts were hampered by narrow exits and the "complicated interior structure" of the prefabricated buil…

Bodies of Myanmar migrants found in Thai sea

At least 12 dead bodies found near islands in Ranong province after boat sank in bad weather.

The bodies of at least 12 migrant workers from Myanmar have been found in the sea off Thailand's west coast after their boat sank during bad weather.

Police Major General Taweeporn Churin said the bodies of six men and three women were found near islands in Ranong province on Monday, after their boat sank early on Saturday morning.

He said marine police also retrieved the bodies of three women on Saturday.

Taweeporn added that 38 people were rescued.

Ranong is 460 kilometres south of Bangkok and borders Myanmar. Police say it is common for migrant workers to travel by boat to illegally enter Thailand.