Jordan destroys armored vehicles at Syrian border

Jordanian air forces destroyed a number of armored vehicles on Wednesday as they crossed the border from war-torn Syria, the army said in a statement. Continue reading “Jordan destroys armored vehicles at Syrian border”

Hundreds of convicted doctors still practising (U.K.)

Medical chiefs say they cannot automatically ban convicted doctors because it   may breach their human rights

A man with a stethoscope around his neck

A man with a stethoscope around his neck Photo: PA

By Agencies

10:00PM GMT 24 Nov 2013

More than 750 GPs, surgeons and other doctors have kept their jobs despite   being found guilty of offences including taking indecent images of children,   drug trafficking and fraud.

Medical chiefs have said they cannot automatically ban convicted doctors   because it may breach their human rights.

Continue reading “Hundreds of convicted doctors still practising (U.K.)”

Euro begins to crash, Eurozone now considering a Negative Deposit Rate of -0.1%

ECB is reportedly considering a negative deposit rate, meaning eurozone   lenders would have to pay the ECB to deposit money with it.

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By , and Ben Martin

4:05PM GMT 20 Nov 2013



ECB may want to make a gradual drift into negative deposit rate

16.05 The possible ECB deposit rate cut to -0.1pc may be a compromise   position “from those looking to bring the rate negative,” DRW strategist Lou   Brien writes in note:

Quote Creeping into the valley of negativity rather than charging into it might make   a move to a negative deposit rate more likely than otherwise would be the   case


Almanza and Lyons admit G4S and Serco were wrong

16.02 Both Almanza and Lyons admit that charging the MoJ for services   it did not deliver were “wrong”. Both point out that their   contracts were written in such a way that left them open to overcharging –   but both say that regardless of the contractual rights or wrongs, that it   was wrong to overcharge.

Almanza says:

Quote It was a judgement that was flawed. It was a flawed jdgement. I don’t think we   did correctly tell the difference between right and wrong, we got it wrong.

Here’s Lyons:

Quote It was totally wrong as far as we’re concerned. That may have been a   contractual interpretation – it still doesn’t make it right.


Euro dives on suggestion of negative interest rates

15.53 Here’s the chart that shows how the euro reacted to news that the   ECB is mulling a negative deposit rate.

Source: Bloomberg


Are PAC members on Prozac

Are PAC members on prozac?

15.51 But it doesn’t look like we’ve missed many fireworks at the PAC:


15.43 Shifting away from the Public Accounts Comimittee, Bloomberg   has reported that the European Central Bank is mulling a move into negative   deposit rates. The move has seen the euro drop and triggered a rally in   European shares.

Security researcher Cédric ‘Sid’ Blancher dead at 37

Skydiving accident claims Wifitap author

By  Richard Chirgwin

Posted in Security, 12th November 2013 00:59 GMT

Security researcher Cédric “Sid” Blancher has reportedly been killed in a skydiving accident in France.

At the time of writing, details of the accident remain sketchy. However, the Courrier-Picard says he died instantly after “a heavy fall on the landing zone” at the Frétoy-le-Chateau airfield.

Among other things, the 37-year-old Blancher was a sought-after speaker on WiFi security, and in 2005 published a Python-based WiFi traffic injection tool called Wifitap.

In 2006, while working for the EADS Corporate Research centre, he also put together a paper on how to exploit Skype to act as a botnet.

Cedric Blancher
Cedric Blancher, fromhis Vimeo profile

In addition to his corporate employment, Blancher had held lecturing posts in computer security at ESIEA and Limoges University.

The president of the Picardy Skydiving League, Marcel Hénique, says Blancher seems to have made an error attempting a maneuver which translates from the French as a “turn down”. ®

Original URL:

Egypt army says ready to die in “final hours” / Egypt’s armed forces have banned the president and his entourage from leaving the country


19:38 GMT: Egypt’s armed forces have banned the president  and his entourage from leaving the country, ITAR-Tass  reported. –

Source: Reuters – Wed, 3 Jul 2013 01:21 AM

Author: Reuters

CAIRO, July 3 (Reuters) – Egypt’s high command said on Wednesday the army was ready to die to defend Egypt’s people against terrorists and fools, in a response to Islamist President Mohamed Mursi that was headlined “The Final Hours”.

The post on the official Facebook page of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), headed by armed forces chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, said: “We swear to God that we will sacrifice even our blood for Egypt and its people, to defend them against any terrorist, radical or fool.”

Issued three hours after Mursi appeared on television to reject an ultimatum from Sisi that he share power with his opponents or face a military solution by 5 p.m. (1500 GMT), a military source said the statement made clear that the armed forces would not abandon their demands.

(Reporting by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Alastair Macdonald)

Militants attack NATO headquarters in Kabul International Airport

Afghan security forces inspect the site of a car bomb attack in the capital, Kabul. (File photo)

Afghan security forces inspect the site of a car bomb attack in the capital, Kabul. (File photo)
Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:12AM GMT

Kabul International Airport is home to the NATO Joint Command headquarters.

Militants have attacked a US-led military base inside Kabul International Airport in the Afghan capital, Press TV reports.

The attack was carried out shortly after dawn on Monday. Large explosions and gunfire were also heard in the area.
The US Embassy in the diplomatic area of Kabul also sounded its ‘duck and cover’ alarm.
The militants, armed with machine guns and rocket propelled grenades, are said to have seized control of a building under construction near the airport, from which they targeted the base.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack. However, the Taliban militant group said in April that it had begun its ‘spring offensive’ against the US-led foreign forces in the country.

Hashmat Stanikzai, Kabul’s police chief said that a group of attackers “entered a building in Qasaba road, west of Kabul airport, and started sporadic shooting.”

“Now the area is sealed off by the security forces and a stand-off between security forces and the attackers is ongoing,” the police chief added.

Kabul International Airport is home to the NATO Joint Command headquarters, and all flights in and out of the airport have been canceled due to the attack. Other NATO bases across the Afghan capital were also locked down.
The large NATO headquarters at the Kabul airport runs the day-to-day operations of the foreign forces in Afghanistan.
The Afghan capital last came under attack on May 24, when the Taliban militants carried out an assault on a compound of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Families in ‘squeezed middle’ see first drop in disposable income in a generation (UK)

Families caught in the so-called “squeezed middle” have suffered a nine per cent drop in their income since the start of the recession, official figures show.

Families are marginally better off than there were a year ago, research by Asda and CEBR has found

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By , Social Affairs Editor

3:43PM GMT 18 Mar 2013

Households in the middle of the income scale have been battered by wages falling in real terms and a rising cost of living since the financial crisis of 2008, with increasing food and fuel prices among the biggest pressures on family finances.

Even though they are paying relatively less tax than they were at the onset of the recession, it is still not enough to counteract the effect of falling wages, the study shows.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the average middle class household has seen their disposable income drop from £31,100 a year in the financial year 2007 to 2008 to just £29,900 in 2010-11, a fall of almost four per cent.

The figures do not take into account living costs and other essential outgoings faced by families such as childcare and food.

Yet when their gross household income, before tax and other elements is included, the total fell by as much as nine per cent, dropping from £36,400 in 2007/08 to £33,200 the figures show.

The study charts the financial fortunes of the group middle fifth of the population over a period from 1977 to 2011.

It shows that the average disposable income of a working-age household at today’s prices roughly doubled over just under 35 years.

It rose markedly during the 1990s but slowed around 2003 and has dropped since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008.

The study also shows that while pensioners have progressively become better off in that time, families with children have been squeezed to the margins.

In 1977 households with children made up more than half (53 per cent) of the main middle-income strand of the population.

But by 2011 that had fallen to less than a third.

By contrast pensioners, who in 1077 accounted for only nine per cent of the middle band made up 31 per cent in 2011.

Over the same period the proportion of people in the middle who own their own homes has grown overall.

But the proportion currently stands significantly lower than at its height in the late 1980s when 70 per cent of middle income households owned their own home.


Today only 65 per cent do

Mars Could Be Hit By Comet C/2013 A1 With Billion-Megaton Impact / Will show brighter than a full moon

Huffington Post UK  |    By
Posted: 04/03/2013 09:53 GMT  |  Updated: 04/03/2013 10:12 GMT


Mars could be hit by a comet with the power of a billion megatons in 2014, astronomers have said.

The comet C/2013 A1 was discovered earlier this year by Robert McNaught at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia.

While discovered between Jupiter and Saturn, it was projected that it would make a close pass by the planet next year.

But according to a new recalculation, the comet may hit our nearest planetary neighbour after all.

Researcher Leonid Elenin said there is now a slightly higher chance of the impact occurring – even if the actual odds are still quite low.

In fact the path of the comet is so uncertain it may still end up more than a million kilometres from its surface.

The movements of comets are difficult to predict, because as they approach the sun their structure is affected by increases in temperature which can throw it off course.

But if it were to hit the planet, the result could be major disruption. It has a speed relative to mars of about 56 kilometres/second, and could leave a crater about 500km across and 2km deep.

Either way, it appears that the rovers currently on Mars – including Curiosity – as well as the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter could capture a view of the ball of ice and dust as it passes by – or into – the planet.

New WordPress vuln emerges

W3 Total Cache has faulty defaults

By Richard Chirgwin

Posted in Security, 27th December 2012 21:29 GMT

Free whitepaper – Why RAID is Dead for Big Data Storage

Sorry to spoil the day for any sysadmins that thought today would be a slow day, but a security researcher has announced a serious vulnerability in the default configuration of a popular WordPress plugin.

W3 Total Cache, which boasts high-traffic sites like Mashable and Lockergnome among its users, has serious vulnerabilities, according to this post [1] on the Full Disclosure list.

The default setup – that is, when users simply choose “add plugin” from the WordPress catalogue – left cache directory listings enabled, according to poster Jason Donenfield.

This, he said, allows database cache keys to be downloaded on vulnerable installations – and that could expose password hashes. “A simple google search of “inurl:wp-content/plugins/w3tc/dbcache” and maybe some other magic reveals this wasn’t just an issue for me”, he writes.

Donenfield later amended the search term to “inurl:wp-content/w3tc”.

“Even with directory listings off,” he continues, “cache files are by default publicly downloadable, and the key values / file name of the database cache items are easily predictable.”

Donenfield says the developer of the plug-in intends to release a fix “soon”. In the meantime, he notes that “deny from all” should be set in the .htaccess file. ®

Where is everybody?

Picture of the DaySep. 27, 2012 – 06:52AM JST

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday. Noda spoke about Japan’s territorial disputes with China and South Korea and said that issues should be resolved peacefully, according to rule of law, and not through force.