Skip to main content


Showing posts from April 27, 2015

Leaking CIA secrets leads to severe punishment, unless you are the boss

Former CIA director David Petraeus (Reuters/Chris Keane)

The problem with the lenient treatment of former CIA Director, David Petraeus, isn't that he was lightly punished for his leaks. It is that other whistleblowers are punished at all.

It's a tale of two CIA employees. The first, Jeffrey Sterling, has just been convicted of leaking information about a bungled agency sortie to James Risen, a reporter. The operation took place almost 20 years ago, around the time everyone was doing the Macarena and Tom Cruise’s first Mission Impossible movie was released. Federal prosecutors are calling for a 24-year prison sentence for Sterling.

The second, David Petraeus, has already learned his fate. He received a $100,000 fine and two-years probation. The six-figure sum may seem like a lot to you, but it’s less than the former 4-star general earns for a single speech.

Petraeus was the boss, Sterling an underling. However, Sterling’s so-called misdemeanor pales into insignificance when compare…

Russia 1st to test 10Gen uranium enrichment centrifuges

RIA Novosti / A. Solomonov

Rosatom, Russia’s nuclear agency, confirms scientists are testing 10th generation centrifuges. No other country even possesses 9th gen tech, putting Rosatom years ahead of the competition.

“We’re on to 10 Gen,” announced Aleksandr Belousov, general director of Urals Integrated Electrochemical Plant (UIEP), a Rosatom subsidiary in Novouralsk, Sverdlovsk Region, in the Urals.

“Scientists and engineers are solving technical issues, which is quite difficult. Any kind of new research and technological development is a venture undertaking, you can either succeed or fail... Any new machinery must be economically efficient. [10Gen] is being developed out of economic expediency, not for mere modernization. The more energy-intensive the machinery is, the more technical problems emerge,” Belousov said.

A gas centrifuge uses principles of centrifugal force to perform radioisotope separation of gases, by accelerating molecules to such an extent that particles of different ma…

Desperate Nepalese sleep in open as aftershocks spread fear

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Thousands of desperate Nepalese spent another night in the open in the early hours of Monday, terrorized by strong aftershocks that continued to shake the country two days after a massive quake struck, killing almost 2,500 people.

Across the capital, Kathmandu, and beyond, exhausted families whose homes were either flattened or at risk of collapse laid mattresses out on streets and erected tents to shelter from rain. The sick and wounded also lay out in the open, unable to find beds in the city's overwhelmed hospitals.

Outside Kathmandu Medical College, surgeons set up an operating theater inside a tent.

People queued for water dispensed from the back of trucks, while the few stores still open had next to nothing on their shelves. Crowds jostled at one pharmacy to snap up medicine.

High in the Himalayas, hundreds of foreign and Nepalese climbers remained trapped after a huge avalanche killed 17 people in the worst single disaster to hit Mount Everest.
View gallery

Yemen Crisis: This Exotic War Will Soon Become Europe's Problem

By Patrick Cockburn

Yemen is short of many things, but weapons is not one of them. Yemenis own between 40 and 60 million guns, according to a report by UN experts published earlier this year. This should be enough for Yemen’s 26 million people, although the experts note that demand for grenades that used to cost $5, handguns ($150) and AK-47s ($150) has increased eightfold. Whatever else happens, the war in Yemen is not going to end because any of the participants are short of weaponry.

Yemeni politics is notoriously complicated and exotic, with shifting alliances in which former enemies embrace and old friends make strenuous efforts to kill each other. But this exoticism does not mean that the war in Yemen, where the Saudis started bombing on 26 March, is irrelevant to the rest of the world. Already the turmoil there is a breeding ground for al-Qaeda type attacks such as that on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

The collapse of the country into a permanent state of warfare will send waves of boat…