‘Heartbleed’ bug puts encrypted data in danger

Trust in the Internet took a major blow as alarm spread that software commonly used to encrypt and secure online transactions could wind up giving away the store.

Computer security specialists, website masters, and fans of online privacy were worriedly abuzz with word of a freshly-discovered flaw in online data-scrambling software that hackers can turn to their advantage.

A bug dubbed “Heartbleed” in OpenSSL encryption software lets attackers illicitly retrieve passwords and other bits of information from working memory on computer servers, according to cyber-defense specialists at Fox-IT. Continue reading “‘Heartbleed’ bug puts encrypted data in danger”

EU to help Ukraine pay Russian gas bill

EEV: ?

04 Mar   2014
Brussels (AFP)

The European Union will help Ukraine pay the $2.0 billion it owes to Russian gas giant Gazprom, a top official said Tuesday, as part of an aid package reportedly worth more than one billion euros.

EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said that “payment of the outstanding Ukraine bills is high up in the Commission’s aid package,” expected to be adopted on Wednesday.

Ukraine’s state gas firm Naftogaz “owes about two billion dollars to Gazprom and we are going to help it pay this bill,” he said, adding the EU could even supply the country with gas. Continue reading “EU to help Ukraine pay Russian gas bill”

Turkey Scrambles Fighter Jets Over Russian Plane

Possible new front opens in Ukraine-Russia standoff, which has escalated with Russian missile tests and shots fired in air.

– Eight F-16 fighter jets were scrambled in the event

By Ari Yashar

First Publish: 3/5/2014, 1:13 AM
F-16 fighter jet (file)

F-16 fighter jet (file)
Flash 90

As the Ukrainian-Russian standoff has threatened to escalate into all-out war, a new front nearly opened on Monday, as Turkey scrambled fighter jets in response to a Russian surveillance plane that flew along Turkey’s Black Sea coast.

Eight F-16 fighter jets were scrambled in the event, according to a Turkish military statement on Tuesday reported by the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News. The statement noted the Russian plane did not end up entering Turkish air space.

Turkey borders the Black Sea on the south, while the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula is at the sea’s north, and has been the site of the military standoff between Russia and Ukraine. Russia has voiced upset that its ally, former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, was forced to flee the country due to a popular movement that successfully installed a pro-West interim government. Continue reading “Turkey Scrambles Fighter Jets Over Russian Plane”

US army investigates hundreds of soldiers for recruitment fraud

Officials tell Senate that illegal kickbacks cost the US at least $29m as part of national guard program to boost enlistment

 

Associated Press in Washington

theguardian.com,   Tuesday 4 February 2014 17.43 EST

us army soldier kandahar afghanistan
The recruitment program began to improve enlistment during difficult years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Photograph: Massoud Houssaini/AFP/Getty Images

Hundreds of soldiers and others are under criminal investigation in what the military describes as a widespread scheme to take fraudulent payments and kickbacks from a national guard recruiting program. The fraud cost the US at least $29m and possibly tens of millions dollars more, officials said Tuesday. Continue reading “US army investigates hundreds of soldiers for recruitment fraud”

Army Fires Back on Its right to experiment on military personel without informed consent pre-1988

– at least 7,800 soldiers had been used as guinea pigs in Project Paperclip.

– Soldiers were allegedly administered at least 250 and perhaps as many as 400 types of drugs, among them Sarin , one of the most deadly drugs known, amphetamines, barbiturates, mustard gas, phosgene gas and LSD.

U.S. government sought drugs to control human behavior etc…

– Based on interpretation of the disputed Army regulation, Wilken agreed “that the duty to warn is properly interpreted as applying on an on-going basis, not just as part of the pre-experiment consent process, and is owed to service members who became test subjects before 1988.”

By BARBARA LEONARD

 

(CN) – The 9th Circuit battle over U.S. veterans subjected to Cold War-era drug experiments just got uglier as the Army filed a cross-appeal Tuesday.

The notice of appeal comes five years after Vietnam Veterans of America led a class action against various government entities, claiming that at least 7,800 soldiers had been used as guinea pigs in Project Paperclip. Continue reading “Army Fires Back on Its right to experiment on military personel without informed consent pre-1988”

Hunt for mysterious interpreter who faked sign language at Mandela memorial / Catastrophic Security Failure

 Published time: December 11, 2013 21:06                                                                            

President Barack Obama delivers a speech next to a sign language interpreter (R) during the memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg.(AFP Photo / Alexander Joe)President Barack Obama delivers a speech next to a sign language interpreter (R) during the memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg.(AFP Photo / Alexander Joe)

South Africa is searching for a sign language interpreter who failed to translate what world leaders said at the memorial of anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela on Tuesday. Outraged by the incident, the deaf community has confirmed the man was a fake.

The unidentified man, who had a security pass, stood next to  world leaders as they addressed the crowd in the 95,000-seat  Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg. Millions saw the fake  interpreter gesticulate pure gibberish during the broadcast of  the event, which was televised across the globe. Continue reading “Hunt for mysterious interpreter who faked sign language at Mandela memorial / Catastrophic Security Failure”

WHO apologises for claiming half of Greek HIV infections are self-inflicted

WHO blames ‘gross editing error’ for report claiming half of new cases are acquired deliberately by people trying to claim benefits
Associated Press

theguardian.com, Tuesday 26 November 2013 09.53 EST

A drug user gives blood sample for a HIV test

A drug user gives a blood sample for a HIV test inside a clinic in Athens: in a correction issued on Tuesday, the WHO said its report should have read that ‘few’ new cases of HIV were deliberate. Photograph: Yorgos Karahalis/Reuters

The World Health Organisation has apologised and blamed an “editing error” for claiming in a September report that half of the new HIV cases in Greece were acquired deliberately by people trying to claim government benefits.

In a correction issued on Tuesday, the WHO said the report should have read that “few” new cases of HIV are deliberate.

“This was just a gross editing error for which the WHO apologises,” said a WHO spokesman, Gregory Härtl.

In the report published by the WHO’s European office, the agency wrote that “about half of new HIV infections are being self-inflicted”.

WHO said it only became aware of the mistake on Tuesday after journalists asked about the claim.

Since the financial crisis first hit Greece several years ago, rates of HIV infection have soared.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/26/who-apologises-hiv-infections-greece-self-inflicted

Obama was briefed earlier in year on health website problems

Source: Reuters – Wed, 20 Nov 2013 12:17 AM

Author: Reuters

(Adds details of report and quotes from hearing)

By Roberta Rampton and Caren Bohan

WASHINGTON, Nov 19 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, who has portrayed himself as surprised by technical problems with the government’s new health care website, was briefed earlier this year on a consultant’s report that warned of possible widespread site failures, the White House said on Tuesday.

There have been weeks of questions about whether Obama understood the depth of the site’s problems and let it open anyway, or simply “did not have enough awareness” of them, as the president stated at a Nov. 14 news conference.

While the government says it is improving the portal’s performance every day, security experts told a Republican sponsored congressional hearing Tuesday that in their opinions, it is still not sufficiently secure to be used confidently by consumers.

Continue reading “Obama was briefed earlier in year on health website problems”

China says 99.9 per cent of graft defendants found guilty

 

AFP

Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013

BEIJING – A total of 99.9 per cent of the verdicts reached against Chinese corruption defendants find them guilty, judicial authorities said Tuesday.

Nearly 200,000 people were investigated for embezzlement or bribery between January 2008 and August this year, China’s top prosecutor, Cao Jianming, told the National People’s Congress parliament.

Of those, 148,931 had been convicted, or 99.9 per cent of those who had been charged and had their trials completed, he said, according to a statement posted on the Supreme People’s Procuratorate website.

The figures imply that the courts only acquitted 0.1 per cent of those who came before them, or 1 in 1,000.

A total of 37.7 billion yuan ($6.2 billion) in economic losses were retrieved, it added. Of those investigated, 32 were at or above ministerial level, it said.

Authorities apprehended nearly 7,000 fugitives who escaped abroad, said a separate statement on the website.

It is the first time since 1989 that the national prosecutor has reported its anti-graft work to the parliament, according to a report by the government-run Legal Daily on Tuesday.

China’s president Xi Jinping has vowed to crack down on corruption at all levels of the government, calling graft a threat to the future of the ruling party.

But critics say the anti-corruption campaign by China’s new leaders has so far netted a series of low-ranking officials and only a handful of senior figures, with no reforms introduced to increase transparency to help fight graft.

 

http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/china-says-999-cent-graft-defendants-found-guilty

Kentucky BANS handshakes after high school sports games unless they are ‘properly supervised’

  • Schools can  choose to ignore the ban but will be penalised if altercations  happen
  • The  Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s commissioner, Julian  Tackett,  posted the directive on Tuesday saying it was ‘disappointing’  to take such  measures
  • He said it  comes after more than a dozen post-game tussles have happened in the past three  years
  • The  directive also instructs game officials to immediately leave facilities after  games and contests or risk being penalised
  • ‘Don’t do it, unless you can properly supervise  it,’ said  Tackett

By  Daily Mail Reporter and Associated Press Reporter

PUBLISHED: 08:47 EST, 9  October 2013 |  UPDATED: 09:23 EST, 9 October 2013

High school sports players in Kentucky have  been banned from conducting post-game handshakes unless they are ‘properly  supervised’ because of too many physical confrontations.

The state’s athletic sanctioning body,  Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA), posted the directive on their  website on Tuesday following more than two dozen post-game tussles in the past  three years.

The body’s commissioner, Julian Tackett, did  not mention specific fights or conflicts but said several sports have had  post-game incidents.

No more handshakes: Kentucky sports teams have been banned from engaging in organised post-game handshaking with the opposite team due to too many fights

No more handshakes: Kentucky sports teams have been  banned from engaging in organised post-game handshaking with the opposite team  due to too many fights

Do it at own risk: Schools are told they can continue doing the ritual, but that they will be penalised if fights break out

 

Do it at own risk: Schools are told they can continue  doing the ritual, but that they will be penalised if fights break out

'Disappointing': Kentucky High School Athletic Association Commissioner, Julian Tackett, said over two dozen incidents have happened during post-game handshakes in three years
‘Disappointing’: Kentucky High School Athletic  Association Commissioner, Julian Tackett, said over two dozen incidents have  happened during post-game handshakes in three years

In the directive, he said: ‘Don’t do it,  unless you can properly supervise it. And if you don’t supervise it, or if you  do and problems occur, then you will be held accountable.’

He said all sports have had problems over the  years but cited a fight between volleyball players this fall as one  example.

The organisation, which also instructed game  officials to immediately leave facilities after contests or risk being  penalised, said it was ‘disappointing’ to take such action but that it had  become necessary.

‘Henceforth, any incidents by an individual  squad member (including coaches) or group of squad members that results in  unsporting acts immediately following the contest will result in a penalty  against the member school athletic program, and additional penalties against the  individuals or schools as deemed appropriate following investigation,’ said  Tackett.

Teams can choose to ignore the order, but  those who do must supervise the activity and report any incidents to  KHSAA.

Member schools or coaches that engage in  unsportsmanlike behaviour will be fined and penalised.

‘Sportsmanship and civility remain hallmark  values,’ said Tackett. ‘It is my hope that all schools can provide the proper  supervision and accountability to continue these types of activities. But if  they can’t, then stop doing them.’

He said there was no penalty for continuing  post-game handshakes, but that ‘if you don’t do it right, you’re going to be  held accountable’.

No more: High school football players are told not to give handshakes to their opposing teams to avoid fights breaking out
No more: High school football players are told not to  give handshakes to their opposing teams to avoid fights breaking out
'Penalised': Game officials are also instructed to immediately leave facilities after contests or risk being fined
‘Penalised’: Game officials are also instructed to  immediately leave facilities after contests or risk being fined

Brian Durban, varsity coach for Olden County  High School Boys Soccer, told Fox News that  sportsmanship was ‘the most important thing you can teach’.

The coach has devised a plan to get around  the new directive: ‘If we can’t  shake our hand after the game, we can shake  before the game.’

With the state football playoffs just around  the corner and the possibility of players shaking hands after an  emotionally-charged elimination game, the directive was implemented to make  schools take responsibility for conduct or not performing a ritual of  sportsmanship.

'Good luck': Brian Durban, varsity coach for Olden County High School Boys Soccer, said his teams are now having to shake hands before the game instead
‘Good luck’: Brian Durban, varsity coach for Olden  County High School Boys Soccer, said his teams are now having to shake hands  before the game instead
Volleyball fights: The commissioner mentioned Volleyball as one of the sports where incidents have happened post-game
Volleyball fights: The commissioner mentioned Volleyball  as one of the sports where incidents have happened post-game

‘Unfortunately, for whatever reason, all  involved in contests seem to be more aggressive immediately after the contests  are concluded and winning with honour and dignity, and losing the same way,  doesn’t seem to be being instilled across the board,’ he said.

‘If you have 75 players shaking hands,’  Tackett said, ‘you’d better watch what’s going on.’

Not everyone agrees with the directive, with  some people taking to Twitter to complain.

One comment from a Twitter user, Jenny Toth,  says, ‘how about suspending the fighters instead?’

Todd Robertson, another Twitter user, posted:  ‘As a HS coach I cannot say how ridiculous and object more to the new @KHSAA  policy is banning post game handshakes. Foolish adults

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2451022/Kentucky-BANS-postgame-handshaking-citing-fights.html#ixzz2hHccIa5G Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

North Korean army placed on high alert

ВМС США USS George Washington Джордж Вашингтон авианосец корабль сша прибывает в юго-восточный портовый город Пусан Южная Корея

USS George Washington

Photo: EPA

The North Korean army is placed on alert to be ready to begin combat actions at any time in response to the US-South Korean manoeuvres that begin in the Sea of Japan on Tuesday, North Korea’s central news agency reports.

0The Korean People’s Army is ordered to attentively watch actions of American and Japanese aggressors and the South Korean regime to be ready to begin combat actions at any moment, a North Korean general staff official said in a statement published on Tuesday in response to the US, Japanese and South Korean manoeuvres in the Sea of Japan with the participation of the George Washington aircraft carrier.

0Voice of Russia, TASS

Say fromage! Agency denies censorship after withdrawing ‘gormless’ picture of Francois Hollande

Agence France Presse transmitted the unflattering picture to clients on Tuesday, then quickly issued a ‘Mandatory Kill’ order

Rob Williams

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Agence France Presse (AFP), the French press agency, has been forced to deny charges of self-censorship after attempting to withdraw a picture of the French President, Francois Hollande, with a ‘gormless’ grin on his face.

The image, which shows the President gurning while sat beneath a blackboard on which is written “Today, it’s back to school”, was taken on Tuesday as Hollande visited a school in Denain, northern France, to coincide with the start of term.

AFP initially transmitted the unflattering picture, which was taken by a pool photographer, to clients on Tuesday, then quickly issued a “Mandatory Kill” order, sparking allegations of self-censorship when the image emerged on Twitter.

The picture prompted derision from users of the micro-blogging site with one writing that no amount of Photoshop editing software “can make the president look more intelligent”.

AFP also faced a raft of questions from French media hinting that they may have come under pressure from Elysée Palace to withdraw the photo. The picture was also made available via Reuters on a pooled basis.

AFP’s global news director, Philippe Massonnet, was forced to deny suggestions that the agency withdrew the picture because of pressure from the French government.

In a lengthy piece on the AFP ‘Correspondent’ blog Mr Massonnet explains that “AFP has a rule not to transmit images that gratuitously ridicule people,” explaining that their photographers often catch public figures “at international conferences or waiting to give a speech, for instance – in unflattering but entirely human poses, such as with a finger in a nostril.”

Mr Massonnet says that the image was shot by a “pool” photographer because of the lack of space in the classroom. He explains that the photographer has a particular responsibility to avoid “unusual angles” in order to avoid the photograph being miscontrued.

Massonnet explains that this was the reason for the withdrawal of the image and that the decision was based on editorial guidelines.

He goes on, however, to conclude that the attempt to withdraw the picture “breathed new life” into the photograph writing: “In trying to “kill” the photo after it had already been transmitted, we actually drew more attention to it and fueled the suspicion that AFP had bowed to political pressure, thus causing some people to call into question the agency’s credibility.”

The incident, as Massonnet explains,  is an example of the so-called ‘Streisand effect’.

The Streisand effect is when an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicising it more widely.

The term is based on the American entertainer’s attempt in 2003 to suppress photographs of her residence in Malibu. After losing her lawsuit the almost-unseen photographs subsequently attracted worldwide attention.

India school lunch deaths: pesticide found in cooking oil

July 20, 2013 14:36

The children died after eating a free school lunch of lentils, potatoes and rice in the Bihar region on Tuesday.

pesticide india lunches

School lunch that killed 23 children in India was found to have contained agricultural pesticide. (Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images)

A powerful insecticide killed 23 young Indian students last week, a forensic report has found.

The children died after eating a free school lunch of lentils, potatoes and rice in the Bihar region on Tuesday.

The industrial-strength insecticide was found in the cooking oil used to make the meal. It was said to be five times stronger than commercial chemical insecticides.

“The report has found organophospharus in oil samples collected from the school where the mid-day meal was prepared and consumed by the children,” said Ravinder Kumar, a senior police officer in Bihar state capital Patna, according to AFP.

“It was observed by the scientists of the Forensic Science Laboratory that the poisonous substance in the (food) oil samples was more than five times the commercial preparation available in the market.”

More from GlobalPost: Poverty, not poison, killed Indian school lunch kids

The victims, aged four to 12, were buried in the playfield near the primary school that served the lunch.

Another two dozen children are still being treated in hospital.

The deaths sparked protests in the region.

Authorities are still investigating how the chemical got into the cooking oil. No arrests have been made.

The lunch was part of India’s Mid-Day Meal Scheme, which feeds 120 million children – often their only meal of the day.

The plan seeks to alleviate malnutrition and boost school attendance rates.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/130720/india-school-lunch-deaths-pesticide-found-cooking-oi

Woman sleeps with boyfriend with her family in the house

EEV: Enjoy what makes headlines in the rest of the world

 

 

 

The Star/Asia News Network Friday, Jun 21, 2013

A twenty-year-old woman was caught sleeping in a room with her boyfriend although her family, including her grandmother, was in the same house at the time, reported Harian Metro.

The Malacca Islamic Religious Department (Jaim) enforcement officers caught the woman with her 26-year-old boyfriend in a room in her family home in Masjid Tanah.

In the house during the 1.30am raid on Tuesday were the woman’s father aged 49, mother, 46, grandmother, 78, and younger sister, 19.

The religious authorities raided the house upon receiving a tip-off.

Jaim enforcement chief Rahimin Bani was quoted as saying that the couple were detained under Section 53 of the Malacca Syariah Offences Enactment.

If found guilty, the offender is liable to a RM3,000 fine, a two-year jail term or both.

 

http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Crime/Story/A1Story20130621-431253.html

Erdogan of Turkey crosses the Rubicon, adopts hard line against demonstrators (Warning Graphic Includes Death)



Turkey: police occupy Taksim, Erdogan adopts hard line

Premier attacks, we will cut Gezi Park trees

11 June, 19:50

(ANSAmed) – ANKARA, JUNE 11 – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has adopted a hard line against demonstrators who have been protesting against him for two weeks. On Tuesday , police regained control of Taksim square in Istanbul, which had been occupied by Turkish activists for ten days, after violent clashes with groups of demonstrators.

During the night new incidents were reported in Ankara, in the Alawite district of Gazi in Istanbul and in other cities.

In a speech to the parliamentary group of his Islamic AKP party on Tuesday Erdogan said the trees of Gezi Park would be cut. The unrest began two weeks ago after a crackdown on a protest against the park’s redevelopment. The premier once again accused financial lobbies and the foreign media of attacking the country.

Hundreds of anti-riot police stormed Taksim square at dawn Tuesday with tanks, water cannons and tear gas. Hundreds of demonstrators patrolling the square withdrew into adjoining Gezi Park. A few groups hurled stones and Molotov cocktails against police. Injuries and arrests were reported.

Several demonstrators claimed police deployed in the square included officers instigating violence. Later, bulldozers started to dismantle barricades set up in the past few days.

A group of protesters had gathered every day in Taksim square and Gezi Park – which has been turned into a libertarian citadel – ever since police withdrew on June 1. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Turkey asking Erdogan to step down.

The premier confirmed on Tuesday that four people, three demonstrators and a policeman, died since the beginning of the unrest. According to the national doctors’ association, 5.000 demonstrators have been injured. The violent repression operated by Turkish police has been criticized worldwide.

Many are awaiting the protest movement’s response.

Yesterday Erdogan, in an apparent move to promote a detente, announced he would meet today with representatives of the protest movement against the destruction of Gezi Park.

The Turkish economy is suffering from the unrest. Part of foreign capitals invested in the country are being withdrawn and the Borsa Istanbul lost over 10% last week, burning one billion dollars. The central bank had to intervene to support the lira which fell to its lowest level compared to the dollar since October 2011. (ANSAmed)

Michelle Obama loses her cool: First Lady threatens to leave fundraiser after lesbian protester heckles her – and the White House deletes exchange from official transcript

By  David Martosko

PUBLISHED: 22:39 EST, 4 June  2013 |  UPDATED: 00:20  EST, 5 June 2013

First lady Michelle Obama, usually upbeat and positive in public, turned sour Tuesday night and threatened to leave after a gay-rights heckler interrupted her speech at a Democratic National Committee fundraising dinner 

First lady Michelle Obama, usually upbeat and positive  in public, turned sour Tuesday night and threatened to leave after a gay-rights  heckler interrupted her speech at a Democratic National Committee fundraising  dinner

First lady Michelle Obama’s speech at a  Washington, D.C. political fundraiser was interrupted by a lesbian protester on  Tuesday night, and she threatened to leave the event if the gay rights activist  wasn’t forced to leave. But the official White House transcript doesn’t indicate  anything about the heckler or Mrs. Obama’s audible reaction.

While the first lady was speaking to  approximately 200 Democratic Party loyalists who paid up to $10,000 to attend  the event at the swanky Washington home of a wealthy lesbian couple, the  protester interrupted with demands that the president issue an executive order  forcing federal contractors to stop discriminating against gay and transgendered  job applicants.

Amanda Terkel, a Huffington Post scribe who  served as the night’s ‘pool’ ‘reporter, wrote that the ‘[m]ost notable part of  the event was an interruption from a protester about 12 minutes into the  20-minute speech. A pro-LGBT rights individual standing at the front began  shouting for an executive order on gay rights.’

‘”One of the things I don’t do well is this,”  replied FLOTUS to loud applause,’ according to Terkel. ‘She left the lectern and  moved over to the protester, saying they could “listen to me or you can take the  mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.”‘

The crowd, the pool report continued,  ‘started shouting that they wanted FLOTUS to stay.’

Terkel reported that when the protester was  escorted out, she shouted about being a ‘lesbian looking for federal equality  before I die.’

In a later report, she added that  ‘Heather  Cronk, co-director of the pro-LGBT rights group GetEQUAL, …  identified the  protester as one of their activists, Ellen Sturtz.’

Mrs. Obama brought her speaking talents - and her considerable wingspan - to stump for Democratic candidates, but got her feathers ruffled by the lesbian avenger 

Mrs. Obama brought her speaking talents – and her  considerable wingspan – to stump for Democratic candidates, but got her feathers  ruffled by the lesbian avenger

Terkel advised her fellow reporters to  ‘[p]lease check quotes with [the] official transcript.’

 

But when the White House’s transcript  arrived, The  Daily Caller reported Tuesday night, it didn’t include any  indication of an acrimonious exchange — and was missing Mrs. Obama’s threat to  leave the event.

GetEQUAL activist Ellen Sturtz heckled Michelle Obama on Tuesday night, demanding that the president sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating in their hiring on the basis of sexual orientation 

GetEQUAL activist Ellen Sturtz heckled Michelle Obama on  Tuesday night, demanding that the president sign an executive order banning  federal contractors from discriminating in their hiring on the basis of sexual  orientation

The only indication in that transcript that  anything was amiss is a note about an ‘(Inaudible audience  interruption.)’

‘I lived and worked in the closet, hiding who  I was in order to earn a living,’ Sturtz said in a statement late Tuesday  night.

‘I had planned to speak tonight with DNC  officials but, as the First Lady was talking about our childrens’ future and  ensuring that they have everything they need to live happy and productive lives,  I simply couldn’t stay silent any longer.’

‘I’m looking ahead at a generation of young  people who could live full, honest, and open lives with the stroke of the  President’s pen,’ she insisted.

The  White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But White House Press Secretary Jay Carney took an oddly coincidental  question  earlier in the day during his regularly scheduled briefing  about the same  discrimination issue that had Sturtz shouting at the top  of her  lungs.

A reporter asked Carney for a  progress  report on ‘a study of LGBT workplace discrimination possibly  led by the Council  of Economic Advisors,’ which was commissioned in 2012 after the president  declined to sign an executive order banning the  practice.

White House press secretary Jay Carney took a moment Tuesday from his 'patent troll' discussion to parry a question about the presidents plan to ban federal contractors' workplace discrimination against gays

 

White House press secretary Jay Carney took a moment  Tuesday from his ‘patent troll’ discussion to parry a question about the  presidents plan to ban federal contractors’ workplace discrimination against  gays

‘I don’t have any updated status on that for  you,’ Carney said. ‘I can tell you that the  president has long supported, as  you know, an inclusive Employment  Non-Discrimination Act. … And his  administration will continue to work to build support for it.’

‘The president’s record on support for LGBT  rights is significant and well known,’ Obama’s chief spokesman added.

Mr. Obama, he said, ‘believes that the right  approach to this problem is an inclusive piece of legislation, and that’s the  approach that we’re  taking.  It was the approach that we took with repeal  of “don’t ask,  don’t tell.”  And we continue to support this  effort.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2336084/Michelle-Obama-threatens-leave-fundraiser-lesbian-protester-heckles-speech-White-House-deletes-exchange-official-transcript.html#ixzz2VJrawuKD Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Military Sex Crimes Investigator Arrested as Congress Cracks Down

 

By ADAM KLASFELD

 

(CN) – The sexual battery arrest of the U.S. airman who heads the Sex Assault Prevention and Response Unit shook up the coincidentally timed hearing Tuesday of the Senate Committee on Armed Services.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, 41, is alleged to have drunkenly groped the breasts and buttocks of a woman he did not know in an Arlington parking lot at 12:35 a.m. on Sunday.

“The victim fought the suspect off as he attempted to touch her again and alerted police,” the police report states.

Krusinski was arrested and charged with sexual battery and released on a $5,000 bond, the Associated Press reported.

Prior to his arrest, Krusinski had been responsible for the sexual assault and prevention efforts of the U.S. Air Force.

The U.S. Department of Defense said it removed from Krusinski from that duty, “pending the outcome of an investigation.”

Secretary Chuck Hagel “expressed outrage and disgust over the troubling allegations and emphasized that this matter will be dealt with swiftly and decisively,” according to the department’s statement.

Gen. Mark Welsh, the chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, indicated that he is seeking jurisdiction for a court-martial after Krusinski is presented at Arlington County Court on Thursday, an Air Force spokesman said.

“Sexual assault has no place in the United States military,” spokesman George Little said in a statement. “The American people, including our service members, should expect a culture of absolutely no tolerance for this deplorable behavior that violates not only the law, but basic principles of respect, honor, and dignity in our society and its military.”

In a Tuesday meeting of Senate Committee on Armed Service, broadcast on C-SPAN, lawmakers heard how sexual assault has become a far too common facet of military service.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., kicked off the hearing with statistics that there are more than 70 sexual assaults on average against military personnel every day, Wired journalist Spencer Ackerman reported on Twitter.

Later in the hearing, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., proposed reforming the Uniform Code of Military Justice to limit the exonerating power of the convening authority, which appoints officers for a court-martial.

The controversial power to change overturn or overturn a sentence came to light just this past March, with the reversed sexual assault conviction of an airman, Lt. Col. James Wilkerson.

Sen. McCaskill said that a victim statement is not currently part of a clemency proceeding, but officers are free to submit letters about the virtues of the accused perpetrators.

Later in the hearing, Sen. Kristen Gillebrand, D-N.Y., passionately urged Gen. Welsh to place military sexual assault cases outside the chain of command.

Welsh said: “Commanders need to be a part of the good order and discipline of these units.”

Gillebrand countered: “Well, they’re failing in this regard, sir.”

That failure “is undermining the credibility of the greatest military force in the world,” she added. “This is not good enough!”

Welsh insisted that convening authorities rarely overturn verdicts or fail to investigate sexual assault cases, but Gillebrand said the committee hears of many cases in which women do not report assaults for fear of retaliation from the chain of command.

“Could you surmise that it may well be that the victim has no faith in the chain of command on this issue?” she asked.

 

In Wake of Airman’s Arrest, Congress Probes Military Sex Crimes

Adam Klasfeld

(CN) – The sexual battery arrest of the U.S. airman who heads the Sex Assault Prevention and Response Unit shook up the coincidentally timed hearing Tuesday of the Senate Committee on Armed Services.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, 41, is alleged to have drunkenly groped the breasts and buttocks of a woman he did not know in an Arlington parking lot at 12:35 a.m. on Sunday.

“The victim fought the suspect off as he attempted to touch her again and alerted police,” the police report states.

Krusinski was arrested and charged with sexual battery and released on a $5,000 bond, the Associated Press reported.

Prior to his arrest, Krusinski had been responsible for the sexual assault and prevention efforts of the U.S. Air Force.

The U.S. Department of Defense said it removed from Krusinski from that duty, “pending the outcome of an investigation.”

Secretary Chuck Hagel “expressed outrage and disgust over the troubling allegations and emphasized that this matter will be dealt with swiftly and decisively,” according to the department’s statement.

Gen. Mark Welsh, the chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, indicated that he is seeking jurisdiction for a court-martial after Krusinski is presented at Arlington County Court on Thursday, an Air Force spokesman said.

“Sexual assault has no place in the United States military,” spokesman George Little said in a statement. “The American people, including our service members, should expect a culture of absolutely no tolerance for this deplorable behavior that violates not only the law, but basic principles of respect, honor, and dignity in our society and its military.”

In a Tuesday meeting of Senate Committee on Armed Service, broadcast on C-SPAN, lawmakers heard how sexual assault has become a far too common facet of military service.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., kicked off the hearing with statistics that there are more than 70 sexual assaults on average against military personnel every day, Wired journalist Spencer Ackerman reported on Twitter.

Later in the hearing, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., proposed reforming the Uniform Code of Military Justice to limit the exonerating power of the convening authority, which appoints officers for a court-martial.

The controversial power to change overturn or overturn a sentence came to light just this past March, with the reversed sexual assault conviction of an airman, Lt. Col. James Wilkerson.

Sen. McCaskill said that a victim statement is not currently part of a clemency proceeding, but officers are free to submit letters about the virtues of the accused perpetrators.

Later in the hearing, Sen. Kristen Gillebrand, D-N.Y., passionately urged Gen. Welsh to place military sexual assault cases outside the chain of command.

Defending the status quo, Welsh said: “Commanders need to be a part of the good order and discipline of these units.”

Gillebrand countered: “Well, they’re failing in this regard, sir.”

That failure “is undermining the credibility of the greatest military force in the world,” she added. “This is not good enough!”

Welsh insisted that convening authorities rarely overturn verdicts or decline to refer sexual assault cases for court-martial, but Gillebrand said the committee hears of many cases in which women do not report assaults for fear of retaliation from the chain of command.

“Could you surmise that it may well be that the victim has no faith in the chain of command on this issue?” she asked.

A mammoth report released by the Department of Defense’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office, or SAPR, that afternoon backed up Sen. Gillibrand’s argument.

The SAPR program had its beginning in 2004 when then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld directed Dr. David S.C. Chu, former under secretary of defense for personnel readiness, to review the military’s treatment of sexual assault cases.

“Of those women who experienced [unwanted sexual contact] and did not report it, 47 percent indicated fear of retaliation or reprisal as the reason for not reporting, and 43 percent had heard about the negative experiences of other victims who reported their situation,” according to the two-volume report, which clocks in at roughly 1,500 pages.

Though the survey found an estimated 26,000 victims, it said only 2,558 unrestricted reports of sexual assault were filed, meaning they were not filed confidentially.

Of these reports, only 1,627 investigations were completed, disciplinary action started against 880, and 594 advanced to court-martial, the Defense Department said.

The report found that 6.1 percent of all female service members, and 1.2 percent of enlisted men, experienced unwanted sexual contact. More than half of these men and women reported that the alleged attacker was a military co-worker, or more than one.

In roughly a quarter of all cases, the alleged perpetrator was in the chain of command, according to the report.

The new protocol for reporting sexual assaults makes no attempt to remove the process from the chain of command.

“When an allegation of sexual assault is reported, the commander must now provide an in-person assessment to the first Flag officer in his or her chain of command,” the report states. “This requirements ensures that senior leadership is aware of every sexual assault allegation and is in a position to engaged as well as to conduct a meaningful discussion concerning command climate and the impact of sexual assault upon the command.”

The numbers reported by SAPR are conservative compared to those found by the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP), headquartered at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md.

Lifetime prevalence of sexual assault for civilian women is about 17 percent, the CDP found.

Prevalence for military women, however, is estimated to be between 23 and 33 percent, the CDP said. Of this group, 46 percent suffer symptoms consistent with post traumatic stress disorder. In addition, rates of re-victimization are higher for women in the military.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/05/07/57408.htm

China, Japan tense over disputed islands : Eight Chinese government ships had entered waters near the contested islands

CNN — Apr 24

 

The fragile relationship between China and Japan came under fresh strain Tuesday as ships from both sides crowded into the waters around a disputed group of islands and nearly 170 Japanese lawmakers visited a controversial war memorial.

 

The Japanese Coast Guard said eight Chinese government ships had entered waters near the contested islands in the East China Sea on Tuesday morning, the largest number to do so at any one time since tensions surrounding the territorial dispute escalated last year.China said its ships were there to monitor the movements of Japanese vessels in the area after a Japanese nationalist group chartered a flotilla of fishing boats to take dozens of activists there.

The Japanese foreign ministry responded by summoning the Chinese ambassador in Tokyo to lodge a strong protest about the Chinese ships’ presence near the uninhabited islands that lie between Okinawa and Taiwan and are known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese.

A day earlier, Beijing had made its own protest to Tokyo about a visit at the weekend by three Japanese cabinet ministers to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honors Japanese people killed while fighting for their country, including convicted war criminals.

Countries that suffered heavily at the hands of the Japanese military before and during World War II, such as China and South Korea, consider the shrine as an emblem of that aggressive period in Japanese history.

Tensions rise over Asian islands Why is Japan feuding over islands? Japan scrambles fighter jets But China’s representations failed to deter 168 Japanese members of parliament from visiting the shrine on Tuesday to pay their respects to the war dead, the most to do so in recent years.

去年9月の国有化以来、最も多い8隻が領海侵犯をしています。

One in four Americans says Obama the antichrist – poll

Обама США

Photo: RIA Novosti

About one in four Americans suspect that President Barack Obama might be the antichrist, more than a third believe that global warming is a hoax and more than half suspect that a secretive global elite is trying to set up a New World Order, according to a poll released on Tuesday.

 More U.S. voters believe President Obama is the Antichrist than think that the moon landing was a hoax, a poll released Tuesday said.

 Public Policy Polling took a look at some conspiracy theories, National Journal reported. Pollsters said 13 percent of respondents said Obama is the Antichrist and another 13 percent are unsure.

 The survey also showed that 37% of Americans thought that global warming was a hoax, while 12% were not sure and a slim majority – 51% – agreed with the overwhelming majority view of the scientific establishment and thought that it was not. The survey also revealed that 28% of people believed in a sinister global New World Order conspiracy, aimed at ruling the whole world through authoritarian government. Another 25% were “not sure” and only a minority of American voters – 46% – thought such a conspiracy theory was not true.

 Voice of Russia, The Guardian, Upi.com

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_04_03/One-in-four-Americans-says-Obama-the-antichrist-poll/

 

Ohio county condemns two new Amish houses because they have outhouses and the owners refuse to install modern plumbing

By  Daily Mail Reporter and Associated Press

PUBLISHED: 15:57 EST, 27  March 2013 |  UPDATED: 16:59 EST, 27 March 2013

 

A county health board in Ohio has condemned  two houses recently built by the Amish because they have outhouses and refuse to  install modern septic tanks and wells, claiming it is against their religion.

The fight in Hardin County, Ohio, began last  summer when the Kenton-Hardin County Board of Health said it would start  enforcing the rules on any new home, including those built by the 200 Amish  families who live there.

Health officials say the hand-dug privies  used by the Amish can allow human waste to leech into the water table and  contaminate neighboring wells.

Health violation: A county health board in northeast Ohio says Amish outhouses pose a danger to neighboring homes because human waste could leech into the groundwater 

Health violation: A county health board in northeast  Ohio says Amish outhouses pose a danger to neighboring homes because human waste  could leech into the groundwater

The two homes in question are the first the  fall under the new rules.

More than 100 Amish turned out Tuesday night  to ask the health board  to reconsider the condemnation order, which  requires that the homes be brought into compliance or the families move  out.

Henry Yoder read a letter signed by the  Hardin County Amish  community’s seven bishops asking the board to reconsider  its orders.  Yoder owns one of the houses that are not in compliance.

‘Our goal is to uphold and maintain the  biblical principles of faith  which our forefathers believed: to be a separate  people,’ Yoder read.  ‘And, as stated in Romans 12th chapter, “Be ye not  conformed.”‘

 

After more than two hours of testimony from  health officials, the  board’s eight members didn’t change their minds. They  reaffirmed the  orders to condemn the homes that they initially issued in  January.

Now, the families can dig proper wells and  install approved concrete  pits under their outhouses, appeal the orders to the  Hardin County  Common Pleas Court, or move.

Freedom of religion? The Amish say the new health rules encroach on their primitive lifestyle, which is dictated by their religious beliefs 

Freedom of religion? The Amish say the new health rules  encroach on their primitive lifestyle, which is dictated by their religious  beliefs

‘Our goal is to live simple, God-fearing  lives, and we feel your  requirements are undermining our simple way of life,’  Yoder said,  reading from the bishops’ letter. ‘Our plea is to live in peace  among  our fellow citizens and maintain our lifestyles on our own personal  properties unless it is definitely proven we are a health hazard to our  neighbors.’

All other Ohio counties with an Amish  population have long ago  settled similar disputes. Logan County, for example,  agreed to let the  Amish build their own pits as a compromise. Holmes County,  with the  state’s largest Amish population, says the Amish follow the  rules.

County Prosecutor Brad Bailey said the issue  is bigger than just two homes.

‘Our rules at the health department are to  prevent problems before they happen, not to react to them,’ he said.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2300146/Ohio-county-condemns-new-Amish-houses-outhouses-owners-refuse-install-modern-plumbing.html#ixzz2OnrY8tFr Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

South Korea calls for development of nuclear weapons

US ambassador responds that it would be a “huge mistake.”

 

South korea anti north korea protest 2013 02 21
A South Korean protester sprays on a North Korean national flag during a rally a day after North Korea announced they conducted a third nuclear test on Feb. 13, 2013 in Seoul.  (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
What do you think?

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean lawmakers from the Saenuri Party, the country’s conservative ruling party, stepped up their battle cry at the National Assembly this week: It’s time for South Korea to man up and make its own nuclear weapons, they said.

“The only way to defend our survival would be to maintain a balance of terror that confronts nuclear with nuclear,” said Representative Shim Jae-cheol at a National Assembly meeting in Seoul on Tuesday, as quoted in the Joongang Ilbo.

Lawmakers also called for greater measures in launching preemptive strikes on critical targets and lifting the maximum limit on South Korean ballistic missiles as mandated by law.

The proclamation comes in response to North Korea’s third nuclear test on Feb. 12, sparking a war of words between the divided peninsula.

Some analysts are speculating that North Korea could carry out a fourth test soon as a show of strength. The allegation isn’t certain despite satellite imagery of increasing activity at the Punggye-ri test site, in the country’s far north.

KBS reports:

“The images KBS secured from US-based Digital Globe show signs of snow being removed and materials being transported around key facilities and roads along the site’s southern tunnel. Snow on the road along the perimeter of the site also appears to have been cleared.”

Government officials in Seoul, however, do not believe North Korea will carry out another test soon.

That’s not reassuring for regular South Koreans. Two-thirds of the country supports the creation of a nuclear program in response to the North Korean threat, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday.

The popular sentiment comes at a touchy time for president-elect Park Geun-hye, who is set to take office on Monday. Park has promised to warm ties with the hermit kingdom, hoping that tit-for-tat gestures from both sides will improve relations on the peninsula.

But Park condemned the nuclear test, saying her incoming government would not tolerate a nuclear-armed North.

The US has taken its usual role, urging restraint from Seoul after a provocation from the North. The US ambassador to South Korea, Sung Kim, said that the country developing its own nuclear capability, or the US redeploying tactical nuclear weapons, would be a “huge mistake.”

Fearing a peninsular arms race, Washington has sought to limit South Korean military capabilities since the Korean War of 1950 to 1953.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/south-korea/130221/south-korea-nuclear-weapons

Almost one-third of chemotherapy used “off-label”

Photo
4:44pm EST

By Andrew M. Seaman

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – About one-third of chemotherapies are used to fight cancers that drug regulators never approved them to treat, says a new study.

Chemotherapies – drugs that kill rapidly dividing cells – are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to fight specific cancers, but there’s nothing stopping doctors from prescribing the drugs “off-label” to treat other types of tumors.

Some researchers have questioned whether doctors were prescribing the expensive and toxic drugs outside of their intended use, according to the study’s researchers, led by Rena Conti, an assistant professor of health policy and economics at the University of Chicago.

“The main criticism of off-label prescribing has been the concern that it jeopardizes patient safety because the full risk-benefit ratio is often not completely understood,” wrote the University of Toronto’s Dr. Monika Krzyzanowska, who published an editorial accompanying the study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on Tuesday.

But that doesn’t mean the billions of dollars spent on off-label chemotherapies are wasted, according to Conti.

“We don’t know what the outcomes are. We can’t make a judgment of whether the off-label use we document… is appropriate or inappropriate,” said Conti.

For the new study, the researchers used a national prescription database from U.S. cancer doctors to estimate how the most common intravenous or injected chemotherapies were used in 2010.

They found ten chemotherapies that were still protected from competition by patents. They ranged from almost 500,000 doses of Genentech’s Avastin or bevacizumab – approved to treat brain, colorectal, lung and kidney cancers – to about 53,000 doses of Celegene’s Vidaza or azacitidine – used to treat certain blood disorders.

Overall, about 70 percent of the doses of the ten chemotherapies were used “on-label,” which means the doses were used in line with FDA approval. The other 30 percent was used to treat cancers the drug regulators never approved.

The researchers also looked at whether the off-label use of chemotherapies was supported by the National Comprehensive Care Network (NCCN), a group that publishes its own guidelines on cancer care.

They found that 14 percent of chemotherapies were prescribed off label but were supported by the NCCN’s expert opinion, and 10 percent were prescribed without NCCN or FDA support.

Conti told Reuters Health that doctors follow guidelines from expert organizations when there is not enough data for the FDA to make a decision, such as when rare diseases make it too difficult to conduct a clinical trial.

Conti and her colleagues point out, however, that some researchers have criticized NCCN recommendations, because of possible delays in guidelines based on the latest data, and possible conflicts of interests.

The total cost of chemotherapies for 2010 was $12 billion. Of that, $4.5 billion went toward off-label chemotherapies – $2.5 billion for non-NCCN supported uses.

‘A LITTLE TROUBLING’

“To me it’s a little troubling that so many drugs are given in areas where there is not a lot of data to back it up,” said Dr. Nancy Keating, a cancer researcher who was not involved with the new study.

“The tricky thing is patients with cancer and their doctors are looking for anything with a benefit. So I think they’re sometimes willing to try things where there isn’t as much data as you would like,” said Keating, from Boston’s Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

But Conti said they can’t tell from their data whether patients prescribed on-label chemotherapy did better than patients receiving off-label chemotherapy.

“What our study basically does is highlight this proportion of use that is off-label and endorsed by expert opinion, or off-label and not endorsed by expert opinion,” Conti said.

She added that their study shows chemotherapy use is driven by FDA approval and expert opinion. The other chunk that’s prescribed without expert or FDA backing may be in response to a lack of available treatments, she said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/19/us-chemotherapy-idUSBRE91I18T20130219

 

Foreigners arrested for trying to spread Christianity in Libya: ” We are a 100 percent Muslim country and this kind of action affects our national security”

Feb 17, 2013 01:43 Moscow Time

ливия флаг ливия повстанцы ливия

Photo: EPA

Four foreigners have been arrested in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on suspicion of being Christian missionaries and printing books about Christianity, a security official said on Saturday.

“They were arrested on Tuesday at a publishing house where they were printing thousands of books that called for conversion to Christianity,” security official Hussein Bin Hmeid said.

“Proselytising is forbidden in Libya. We are a 100 percent Muslim country and this kind of action affects our national security.”

Hmeid said the government-affiliated security apparatus called the Preventative Security, for which he is a spokesman, had arrested an Egyptian, a South African, a Korean and a Swede who was travelling on a U.S. passport.

“We are still holding interrogations and will hand them over to the Libyan intelligence authorities in a couple of days,” Hmeid said, without giving further details.

Voice of Russia, Reuters

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_02_17/Foreigners-arrested-for-trying-to-spread-Christianity-in-Libya/

‘Unusual seismic event’ in North Korea -atomic test monitoring body

Reuters

 

VIENNA, Feb 12 (Reuters) – An international nuclear test monitoring agency said on Tuesday that it had detected an “unusual seismic event” in North Korea, following weeks of speculation that a nuclear test was imminent in the country.

“We have detected an unusual seismic event in North Korea,” said Annika Thunborg, a spokeswoman for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organization, an agency set up to monitor compliance with a ban on nuclear tests that has yet to come into effect.

The Vienna-based CTBTO said on Twitter that “our analysts are currently studying data.”

The CTBTO is the world’s independent body for monitoring possible breaches of the test ban, with more than 270 facilities established worldwide to pick up signs of any nuclear explosions.

Its stations use different kinds of technology to detect seismic indications as well as radioactive particles in the atmosphere.  (Reporting by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Eric Beech and Mohammad Zargham)

Greece: gov’t orders dock workers to get back on the job

After islands were cut off from mainland for the sixth day

05 February, 19:39

Unusual inactivity at Greece’s biggest harbour in Piraeus, as no ship or ferry-boat left Unusual inactivity at Greece’s biggest harbour in Piraeus, as no ship or ferry-boat left

(ANSAmed) – ATHENS, FEBRUARY 5 – The Greek government later on Tuesday issued civil mobilization orders to striking dock workers who said that they would continue their action unless the government met their demands for a new collective labor contract and the full payback of arrears from ferry companies.

The decision to issue striking workers with orders to return to the job or face imprisonment came as the country’s islands were cut off from the mainland for the sixth consecutive day on Tuesday and following a meeting of seamen’s unions in which they decided to extend their strike until Friday. The strike, as Kathimerini online writes, has already had an impact on islanders, many of whom rely on the mainland for basic everyday supplies. On Monday, an island trade and commerce association warned that the seamen’s walkout poses a substantial threat to small businesses in the archipelago, which already face severe pressure due to Greece’s three-year financial crisis. Dock workers are demanding back pay from ship owners, a collective labor agreement and an end to undocumented and uninsured employees. They also want the government to cancel a plan to regulate the minimum number of dock workers required in each crew, saying that would lead to layoffs. (ANSAmed).

 

http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/generalnews/2013/02/05/Greece-gov-orders-dock-workers-get-back-the-job_8195838.html

Egypt: protesters clash with police, Morsi flees palace

(ANSAmed) – CAIRO – Egyptian police on Tuesday fired tear gas at demonstrators trying to scale the barbed wire barrier separating them from President Mohamed Morsi’s palace, leaving dozens intoxicated, sources said. The president fled the palace after demonstrators smashed through the police cordon, reaching the palace walls, other sources said.     Shortly after, security forces withdrew from the presidential palace perimeter, leaving some Republican guards within the palace itself, sources said. Al Jazeera TV broadcast images of a police armored vehicle followed by officers in riot gear, completely surrounded by protesters. At least 18 of them were intoxicated by tear gas, MENA news agency reported. (ANSAmed).

http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/nations/egypt/2012/12/04/Egypt-protesters-clash-police-Morsi-flees-palace_7902810.html

 

San Francisco to foot bill for sex change operations

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED:00:02 EST, 10  November 2012| UPDATED:00:28 EST, 10 November 2012

 

In  just a few days, San Francisco’s legislature will vote on a landmark new bill  that if approved would allow city employees to undergo sex change operations on  the government’s dime.

The comprehensive new program is part of the  city’s universal health plan and is designed to help transgendered individuals  who struggle physically and emotionally with their mismatched  bodies.

If approved, San Francisco would become the  first city to offer such benefits. Minnesota once had a similar program, but the  government eliminated it in 1998.

Historic: San Francisco legislators are prepared to vote on a landmark new bill that would cover sex change operations for city employees.Historic: San Francisco legislators are prepared to vote  on a landmark new bill that would cover sex change operations for city  employees.

The bill is the product of several members of  the city’s legislature, also known as the Board of Supervisors, and the  Transgender Law Center. After fighting on behalf of the bill for five years, the  city’s Health Commission finally approved the measure on Tuesday.

All that is left is for the full Board of  Supervisors to vote on the bill, which will come Monday.

Supporters of the new bill are calling this  move a historic step for not just LGBT equality but for civil liberty as a  whole. Board Supervisor Mark Leno, founder of the Transgender Civil Rights  Implementation Task Force he was proud to be voting on this bill.

‘We have transgender people living and  working among us,’ Leno said to ABC News. ‘They deserve the same dignity and  respect as every other citizen. One way is to make sure the city provides equal  benefits for equal work’

Likewise discrimination investigator  for the  San Francisco Human Rights Commission Marcus Arana said that  this measure is  what is fair.

“It really is a civil rights issue,” Arana  said. “We have an insurance issued that will pay for a hysterectomy in Mary but  not in Marcus, and will pay for hormone therapy in Mary but not in Marcus.”

But detractors have called the bill an  unaffordable luxury, especially during such an economically uncertain  time. This year, San Francisco’s budget  has surpassed $7 billion for the first time in history.

“Taxpayers cannot afford this, as there are  unintended costs and  unintended consequences unrelated to the actual surgery,  such as their  longer-term hormone treatment, psychology needs and other longer  term  health issues,” Thomas Moyer, a  resident and author of ‘A Conservative Survival Guide to San Francisco’ told Fox  News.

Equality: Supporters of the bill are calling the new bill a big step for LGBT rights and civil libertyEquality: Supporters of the bill are calling the new  bill a big step for LGBT rights and civil liberty

To be eligible for coverage under the new  program,  individuals will have to be employed by the city for at least one  year.  There is also a $50,000 lifetime cap and a 15 per cent of 50 per cent  deductible, which is determined based on whether or not the physician is within  the city’s health network.

On average, male-to-female surgeries cost  about $37,000, while female-to-male surgeries will cost about  $77,000.

The program will also cover hormone  treatments but will not fund cosmetic procedures. Employees also must  undergo  a rigorous medical review process that can take up to six  months, and a doctor  must deem all procedures medically necessary.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2230848/San-Francisco-foot-city-employees-sex-change-operations.html#ixzz2BsRg6iq8 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Beijing brands Tokyo’s “persistent defiance” in territorial dispute as “self-deception”: urged Tokyo to abandon its illusion of occupying the islands.

China bins Japan’s claim of easing tension

 

Zhang Yunbi and Zhao Shengnan

China Daily

Publication Date : 31-10-2012

 

Beijing yesterday hit back at claims by Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba that Tokyo was trying to calm tensions with Beijing over the Diaoyu Islands.

 

It branded Japan’s “persistent defiance” in the territorial dispute as “self-deception”.

 

Japan has denied that a territorial dispute exists over the islands, and Gemba said on Tuesday in Tokyo that his government is seeking to calm tensions with China in maintaining its position over the islands.

 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily news conference that Japan’s defiance in the dispute is a total “self-deception”.

 

He criticised Tokyo for ignoring the previous bilateral consensus that the dispute be shelved.

 

Hong said that since Japan’s illegal “purchase” of the islands in September, Sino-Japanese relations have witnessed a substantial change, and Beijing urged Tokyo to abandon its illusion of occupying the islands.

 

China and Russia, both in its territorial row with Japan, on Tuesday held talks on their relations with Japan. Both sides endorsed the importance of safeguarding post-war achievements and international order for sustaining regional and international peace and stability.

 

Japan illegally stole the islands at the end of 1895 Sino-Japanese War, and key post-war documents have returned the islands to China.

 

Lu Yaodong, director of the Japanese diplomacy teaching and research section under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Japan’s “flashy language” for diplomacy and “easing tension” are aimed at bluffing the international community, and with little sincerity.

 

Lu said: “Tokyo’s stance is not as soft as it seems, as hard-line action has been taken to escalate the territorial fray, including it hiking its budget to boost its regional maritime presence.”

 

Beijing on Monday said there was no plan for Premier Wen Jiabao to meet Japanese leaders during the Asia-Europe Meeting next week in Vientiane.

 

China’s State Oceanic Administration said that as part of regular patrols to safeguard sovereignty, four Chinese maritime surveillance ships on Tuesday were standing by in territorial waters off the Diaoyu Islands.

 

Pictures were taken from the vessels as evidence of the illegal actions of Japanese vessels in the waters, and measures were taken to expel the Japanese patrol vessels, it said.

 

Zhang Haiwen, deputy director of the China Institute for Marine Affairs, said China’s actions were aimed at countering Japan’s illegal entry into the waters, and the Chinese side has been exercising restraint.

 

The moves to force Japanese ships to withdraw shows Beijing’s determination to guard its sovereignty, and as long as Tokyo refuses to admit its “mistake”, tensions will remain, Zhang said.

 

Meanwhile, Japan is not losing any chance to publicise its claim to the islands on the international stage, with Japanese media focusing on the issue at the third trilateral dialogue between India, Japan and the United States in New Delhi on Monday.

 

Tokyo lobbied participants over its stance on the Diaoyu dispute, with Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun saying the desire at the trilateral talks to contain China “seems strong”.

 

The meeting was held to improve cooperation in combating piracy, maritime security and using the nations’ strengths to shape the Asia-Pacific region, reports said.

 

Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said China’s ties with the major world players are stable, and the “imaginary trilateral alliance” among the US, India and Japan will have little chance of becoming reality.

 

“The trilateral collaboration is a typical, temporary cooperation on key international issues, and each of the three has its own pursuits and demands. Their collaborative ties may vary on specific issues,” Ruan said.

 

http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012-10/31/content_15859114.htm

 

 

Bloody hand prints, stolen documents and shocking security failings: Harrowing pictures inside the U.S. consulate as it is revealed ‘officials knew about attack plans 48 HOURS before and did nothing’: Sorry Unedited Includes Graphic Images

  • Dramatic images  of bloody hand prints and crumbling buildings capture horror of Tuesday’s attack  on U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which fell on 11th anniversary of 9/11  terrorist attacks
  • Revealed today  that sensitive documents have gone missing from compound, including names of  Libyans working with American officials and oil contracts
  • U.S. Department  of State ‘knew of attack plans up to 48 hours ahead of time but did not tell  diplomats to go on lock-down,’ sources say
  • Libyan officials  say four men now in custody in relation to attack
  • Landlord of  building says there were 400 rioters and attack could not be  prevented

By Beth Stebner

PUBLISHED:19:48 EST, 13  September 2012| UPDATED:21:54 EST, 13 September 2012

In the wake of the deadly U.S. consulate  attack in Libya’s second-largest city, disturbing images have emerged of the  embassy, which is now little more than bloodied rubble that has been looted,  torched, and trampled upon.

These images are only part of the story, as  it has been revealed today that a major security breach could have been the  reason that American Ambassador Christopher Stevens, along with three other  Americans, were killed in Tuesday’s attack.

Reports have also circulated that the attack  in Benghazi was an inside job and that the U.S. Department of State knew of the  attack up to 48 hours ahead of time, yet chose to do nothing.

Adding to the chaos, sensitive documents have  apparently gone missing from the embassy following the attack, potentially  putting many in danger.

There will be blood: A Libyan man explains that the bloodstains on the column are from one the American staff members who grabbed the edge of the column while he was evacuated, after an attack that killed four Americans on September 11thThere will be blood: A Libyan man explains that the  bloodstains on the column are from one the American staff members who grabbed  the edge of the column while he was evacuated, after an attack that killed four  Americans on September 11th

 

Grim scene: Bloodstains at the main gate believed to be from one of the American staff members of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, LibyaGrim scene: Bloodstains at the main gate believed to be  from one of the American staff members of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi,  Libya

 

Damages: The inside of the burnt US consulate building in Benghazi two days after the deadly attack Damages: The inside of the burnt US consulate building  in Benghazi two days after the deadly attack

 

Inhospitable: A Libyan man walks in the rubble of the damaged building after a crowd of hundreds attacked the consulate Tuesday evening, many of them firing machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenadesInhospitable: A Libyan man walks in the rubble of the  damaged building after a crowd of hundreds attacked the consulate Tuesday  evening, many of them firing machine-guns and rocket-propelled  grenades

The embassy, located in Libya’s  second-largest city, was an easy target as it had not been equipped to withstand  a riot, and as such, did not have bullet-proof glass or reinforced doors,  reports said.

The  Independent,  citing diplomatic sources, has exclusively reported that the U.S. State  Department had known up to 48 hours ahead of the attacks that the compounds in  Benghazi and Cairo were potential targets. However, none of the diplomats in  either city were given warning to go on lock-down, the paper  reported.

Documents containing delicate information  have been lost in the attack, the paper reported. These documents are believed  to contain the names of Libyans who are also working for Americans, as well as  information on oil contracts.

It is also believed that the attacks could be  retribution for a drone strike which killed a top al-Qaeda official in Pakistan,  who was said to be Libyan.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of  State told MailOnline: ‘We have nothing further on the situation except what was  spoken about with two state department officials at a press conference earlier  today.’

In ruin: Chandeliers have fallen to the ground, which is covered in plaster and debris inside the burnt US consulate building in Benghazi In ruin: Chandeliers have fallen to the ground, which is  covered in plaster and debris inside the burnt US consulate building in Benghazi

 

Surveying: A Libyan man investigates the inside of the U.S. Consulate; a Libyan official said that the attacks were planned as a two-part assaultSurveying: A Libyan man investigates the inside of the  U.S. Consulate; a Libyan official said that the attacks were planned as a  two-part assault

 

Documentation: A cameraman films one of consulate's scorched offices, now full of rubble and over-turned furnitureDocumentation: A cameraman films one of consulate’s  scorched offices, now full of rubble and over-turned furniture

Both compounds have been abandoned and the  cars outside are blown out and melted from the heat of the fire. Adel Ibrahim,  who owns one of the buildings now covered in bloodshed, took the  Guardian’s Chris Stephen on a grim tour of the  property, showing crumbled walls, singed furniture, and dried blood on the  walls.

TIMELINE OF TERROR: UNFOLDING  OF THE ATTACK

 

A protester reacts as the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group The consulate consists of a main building and  a nearby annex, each of which are protected by local Libyan guard force, a  physical perimeter barrier and a ‘robust’ American security presence inside the  compounds. All times are local Benghazi time, and accounts are from  officials

10:00pm Tuesday – The main consulate building  begins began taking fire from unknown Libyan extremists. There are about 25 to  30 employees in the consulate and the annex at the time of the  attack.

10:15  pm – Attackers gain access to main consulate building and set compound on  fire. In the ensuring chaos, many escape the building, but Stevens, Smith and a  regional security officer remain inside. They become separated due to heavy  smoke and confusion while trying to evacuate. The security officer makes it  outside and he and others from the consulate and annex go back into the building  to try to rescue Stevens and Smith. They find Smith dead and pull him out but  are forced by the flames, smoke and gunfire to withdraw before they can locate  Stevens.

10:45pm – A group of security officers from the annex try to take the consulate  building back from the attackers, but they are repelled. Everyone rescued is  brought to the annex.

Midnight – The annex comes under heavy fire from the attackers. The shooting lasts  more than two hours during which the other two Americans are killed and two  Americans are wounded.

2:30an Wednesday – Libyan and U.S. security  forces retake the annex. Officials believe that Stevens got out or was pulled  out of the main consulate building during the battle for the annex and was taken  to the hospital. The officials do not know if Stevens was alive when he arrived  at the hospital.

6:00am – U.S. officials are told that Stevens  is dead but are not able to confirm it immediately because they have not seen  the body. The body is returned to U.S. personnel at the Benghazi airport at  dawn.

Ibrahim witnessed Monday night’s attack  first-hand, and said that nearly 400 protestors were swarming around the  complex. ‘Better security would not have stopped this,’ he told the Guardian,  saying that they would have needed ‘an army to stop them.’

According to the Guardian, the compound was  looted after the mob gained control of it.

But during the tour, there were scraps of  evidence that U.S. diplomats lived and worked at the compound – including a sign  that reminded them to ‘pick up your trash before leaving.’

In addition, Libya’s deputy interior minister  Wanis el-Sharef told the Associated Press today that heavily armed militants  used a protest of an anti-Islam film as a cover in their deadly attack on the  U.S. Consulate, screaming ‘God is great!’ as they scaled its outer walls and  descended on the main building.

The official told the Associated Press it was  a two-pronged attack, adding that hours after the crowd stormed the consulate  Tuesday night, the militants raided a safe house in the compound just as U.S.  and Libyan security arrived to evacuate the staff, suggesting infiltrators  within the security forces may have tipped off the militants to the location of  the safe house.

The attacks were suspected to have been timed  to coincide with the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist  strike in the United States, el-Sharef added, with the militants using the film  protest by Libyan civilians to mask their action.

Also killed in the attack were information  management officer Sean Smith, private security guard and former Navy SEAL Glen  Doherty and one other American who has yet to be identified.

El-Sharef said the four were arrested from  their homes on Thursday but would give no further details. He said it was too  early to say if they belonged to a particular group or what  their motive was.

Libya’s new prime minister, Mustafa  Abu-Shakour, said  authorities were looking for more suspects.

One of five private security guards at the  consulate said the surprise  attack began around 9:30 p.m. when several grenades  that were lobbed  over the outer wall exploded in the compound and bullets  rained down.

No one has claimed responsibility for the  attack. Some Libyan officials  have pointed the finger at a hardline Islamist  militia, the Ansar  al-Shariah Brigades, one of multiple Libyan militias  operating in the  city.

A spokesman for the group lavishly  praised  the assault for ‘protecting the faith and fighting for the  victory of God  Almighty.’ But he said the Brigades ‘did not participate  as an organization.  This was a popular uprising.’

Adding to the confusion surrounding  the  attack is that it targeted the United States, a nation that played a key role in  ridding the oil-rich, mostly desert nation of dictator  Muammar Gaddhafi.

Washington also took the lead in launching  the months-long NATO air campaign that crippled the late leader’s  forces.

Stevens was credited by most Libyans  with  organizing a political front made up of opposition groups to unite  the uprising  against Gadhafi’s 41-year rule, mediating tribal and  regional  disputes.

The  Benghazi attack also underlined the  precarious conditions in Libya  nearly a year after Gaddhafi’s fall, with a weak  central government,  militias operating as local governments, a destabilizing  proliferation  of weapons, and militant groups – some inspired by al-Qaida –  that are  active under the government’s radar.

The crowd built at the consulate – a  one-story villa surrounded by a large  garden in an upscale Benghazi  neighbourhood – in several stages,  El-Sharef said.

First, a small group of gunmen  arrived,  then civilians angry over the film.

Later, heavily armed men  with armoured  vehicles, some with rocket-propelled grenades, joined and  the numbers swelled  to more than 200.

Charred: A burnt consulate vehicle remains in front of U.S. consulate, after it was torched in the attackCharred: A burnt consulate vehicle remains in front of  U.S. consulate, after it was torched in the attack

 

 

What's left: A burnt vehicle and broken furniture inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi todayWhat’s left: A burnt vehicle and broken furniture inside  the US consulate compound in Benghazi today

 

Hints of violence: An empty bullet casing is seen on the ground near one of the burnt-out cars of the U.S. ConsulateHints of violence: An empty bullet casing is seen on the  ground near one of the burnt-out cars of the U.S. Consulate

Night of chaos: The U.S. consulate is located south of the main stretches of the city; Stevens was taken to the medical centre, but was said to have died in the initial violenceNight of chaos: The U.S. consulate is located south of  the main stretches of the city; Stevens was taken to the medical centre, but was  said to have died in the initial violence

The gunmen fired into the air outside the  consulate. Libyan security guarding the site pulled out because  they were so  out-manned.

‘We thought there was no way for the  protesters to storm the compound, which had fortified walls,’ he  said.

Libyan security advised the Americans to  evacuate at that point, but the  advice was ignored, he said. There was shooting  in the air from inside  the consulate compound, he said.

At this point, el-Sharef continued, the crowd  stormed the compound. The  consulate was looted and burned, while plainclothes  security men were  sent to evacuate the personnel.

Stevens probably died of asphyxiation following a grenade explosion that started a fire, el-Sharef said,  echoing  what the Libyan doctor to whom Stevens’ body was taken told the  AP on  Wednesday.

His account was corroborated by local  journalist Ibrahim Hadya, who was at the scene.

He told the AP that the consulate was stormed  just as the evacuation was  under way, with staff members smuggled out a side  door that opens to a  street other than the one where the militants and  protesters gathered.

 

Panic: A U.S. State Department official said Mr Stevens and his team 'became separated from each other due to the heavy, dark smoke while they were trying to evacuate the burning building'Panic: A U.S. State Department official said Mr Stevens  and his team ‘became separated from each other due to the heavy, dark smoke  while they were trying to evacuate the burning building’

 

Burnt out: The U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi - it has also been revealed today that the Benghazi consulate was not protected by the contingent of Marines that usually safeguard embassies Burnt out: The U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of  Benghazi – it has also been revealed today that the Benghazi consulate was not  protected by the contingent of Marines that usually safeguard embassies

 

Cracked: A picture shows damage inside the burnt US consulate building in Benghazi on Wednesday, with much of the roof plaster fallen and the windows blown outCracked: A picture shows damage inside the burnt US  consulate building in Benghazi on Wednesday, with much of the roof plaster  fallen and the windows blown out

Target: The embassy was vulnerable to attack because it did not have bulletproof glass, reinforced doors or other features common to embassiesTarget: The embassy was vulnerable to attack because it  did not have bulletproof glass, reinforced doors or other features common to  embassies

U.S. envoy Chris Stevens
Glen Doherty

Victims: U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, left,  apparently died of smoke inhalation; family members of Glen Doherty, right, said  that he died in Tuesday’s attack

U.S. officials have said attackers broke into  the main consulate building around 10:15 p.m. and set the compound on fire.

Loss: Sean Smith, 34, an Air Force veteran who had worked as an information management officer for 10 years in diplomatic posts, was also killedLoss: Sean Smith, 34, an Air Force veteran who had  worked as an information management officer for 10 years in diplomatic posts,  was also killed

Amid the evacuation, Stevens became separated  from others, and staffers and security who tried to find him were forced to flee  by flames, smoke and gunfire.

After an hour, according to U.S. officials,  U.S. and Libyan officials drove the attackers from the consulate.

The embassy was vulnerable to attack because  it did not have bulletproof glass, reinforced doors or other features common to  embassies, according to reports.

The attack has prompted President Barack  Obama to demand increased security at U.S. embassies around the  world.

Mr Obama, speaking a campaign event  in  Golden, Colorado Thursday, also vowed that the perpetrators would be  punished.  ‘I want people around the world to hear me,’ he said. ‘To all  those who would  do us harm: No act of terror will go unpunished.

‘I will not dim the light of the values that  we proudly present to the  rest of the world. No act of violence shakes the  resolve of the United  States of America.’

Gunfire erupted at the Benghazi compound at  10pm on Tuesday night and with the  attack coming in two waves, Libyan and  American authorities did not  regain control again until 2:30am.

A U.S. State Department official said Mr  Stevens and his team ‘became  separated from each other due to the heavy, dark  smoke while they were  trying to evacuate the burning building.

At some time between 10.15 pm and 11.20 pm,  Mr Stevens was taken from the main building by Libyans to the  hospital.

But the diplomat was not seen again by his  colleagues until hours later  when his body was brought to the Benghazi airport  from the hospital.

The attack came amid violence in Libya and  Cairo, which had been sparked by a 14-minute trailer for a film called The  Innocence Of Muslims posted  on YouTube.

Strong words: President Obama, seen walking from Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House Thursday, said at a campaign event today 'No act of terror will go unpunished'Strong words: President Obama, seen walking from Marine  One on the South Lawn of the White House Thursday, said at a campaign event  today ‘No act of terror will go unpunished’

Solemn moment: President Obama, accompanied by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, spoke in the Rose Garden Wednesday about the death of U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher StevensSolemn moment: President Obama, accompanied by Secretary  of State Hillary Clinton, spoke in the Rose Garden Wednesday about the death of  U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens

The description of events at the  consulate,  while preliminary, appeared to raise questions about security preparations and  procedures.

A U.S. official said there were no U.S.  military personnel at the mission in Benghazi at the time of the attack.

Questioned about the consulate’s security,  the officials said the compound was  guarded by both Libyan security and a  ‘robust’ force of U.S. security  officers, and that a regular security review  before the anniversary of  the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks had recently been  completed.

‘And at that point there was no information  and there were no threat streams to indicate that we were insufficiently  postured,’ said another U.S.  official.

In response to  the attacks, the U.S. has  launched a major military manhunt to find the  terrorists responsible,  announcing they are sending warships to the  coast of Libya in an apparent  terrorist hunt, and American drone  aircraft are also expected to join the  search for potential targets.

The White House has said it is  keeping an  open mind as to the reason for Tuesday’s strike in Libya, but it is  investigating whether the attack in Benghazi was planned in  advance by  terrorists.

Sinking: An armchair and furniture float in the swimming pool of the US consulate in Benghazi on ThursdaySinking: An armchair and furniture float in the swimming  pool of the US consulate in Benghazi on Thursday

 

Soggy: The furniture has been left where it was thrown, along with water bottles and shards of glassSoggy: The furniture has been left where it was thrown,  along with water bottles and shards of glass

 

Sunk: An armchair and parasol float in the swimming pool, while heavier items like deck chairs and a washing machine have gone to the bottomSunk: An armchair and parasol float in the swimming  pool, while heavier items like deck chairs and a washing machine have gone to  the bottom

The  assault had initially been thought to  have been a spontaneous reaction  to protests over an anti-Islamic film, but  there is now speculation it  was a long-planned ambush on the anniversary of the  9/11 terrorist  attack, or a revenge attack for death of an al Qaeda official in  June in Yemen.

State  Department officials said the two  incidents at the diplomatic missions  were not related and said they believe the  Benghazi violence was a  ‘clearly planned attack.’

A U.S. counter-terrorism official said the  Benghazi violence was ‘too co-ordinated or professional’ to be  unplanned.

The attack raises questions about the future  U.S. diplomatic presence in  Libya, relations between Washington and Tripoli,  and the unstable  security situation after Gaddafi’s overthrow.

It has also raised issues about why the  building, which had been attacked before, was so poorly protected.

Ravaged: An exterior view of the U.S. consulate; according to reports, the embassy was looted, and now, sensitive documents have gone missingRavaged: An exterior view of the U.S. consulate;  according to reports, the embassy was looted, and now, sensitive documents have  gone missing

 

Chaos: An interior view of the damage at the embassy shows cabinets torn off their tracking, burned walls, and general pandemonium Chaos: An interior view of the damage at the embassy  shows cabinets torn off their tracking, burned walls, and general pandemonium

 

Old Glory: A US flag is seen amid the rubble at the US consulate amid other debrisOld Glory: A US flag is seen amid the rubble at the US  consulate amid other debris

It has been suggested that the attack was in  retaliation for the death of an al Qaeda official, which was confirmed this week  and that should have meant security would have been high at the U.S embassy in  the troubled region.

Following the attack,Dr Ziad Abu Zeid, said  Mr Stevens was brought to the Benghazi Medical Center by Libyans on Tuesday  night with no other Americans, and that initially no one realized he was the  ambassador. The doctor tried for 90 minutes to revive him.

Mr Stevens was a career diplomat who spoke  Arabic and French and had already served two tours in Libya, including running  the office in Benghazi during the revolt against Muammar Gaddafi.

Five other U.S. ambassadors have been killed  in the line of duty, the last being Adolph Dubs in Afghanistan in  1979.

U.S. officials said one destroyer, the USS  Laboon, moved to a position off the coast of Libya, and the USS McFaul is en  route and should be stationed off the coast within days.

The officials say the ships, which carry  Tomahawk missiles, do not have a specific mission, but they give commanders  flexibility to respond to any mission ordered by the president.

Attacked: An armed man holds his rifle as he stands next to buildings set on fire at the US consulate, in Benghazi, Libya, September 11Attacked: An armed man holds his rifle as he stands next  to buildings set on fire at the US consulate, in Benghazi, Libya, September  11

 

Set ablaze: Explosions erupted throughout the embassy on Tuesday night, and an official vehicle can already be seen scorched and destroyedSet ablaze: Explosions erupted throughout the embassy on  Tuesday night, and an official vehicle can already be seen scorched and  destroyed

The destroyers have crews totaling about 300  each. There have been four destroyers in the Mediterranean for some time. These  moves will increase that to five.

President Obama could also command unmanned  surveillance drones to fly over Benghazi in search of jihadi encampments  possibly tied to the deadly attack, a U.S. official said who spoke on the  condition of anonymity.

The drones, which would pass gathered  information to Libyans, are expected to be approved by the Pentagon and White  House shortly. With Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at his side on  Wednesday, Mr Obama said: ‘Justice will be done.’

Speaking Wednesday, Mohamed al-Megaryef, president of Libya's highest political authority the General National Congress condemned the attack Speaking Wednesday, Mohamed al-Megaryef, president of  Libya’s highest political authority the General National Congress condemned the  attack

President Obama condemned the attack and paid  tribute to the late Ambassador Stevens as he ordered increased security at  diplomatic posts around the world.

‘It’s especially tragic that Chris Stevens  died in Benghazi, as it’s a city that he helped to save,’ Mr Obama said outside  the White House.

With ‘characteristic skill, courage and  resolve, he built partnerships with Libyans… and he worked tirelessly to  support this young democracy. ‘He was a role model to those who worked with  him and to the young diplomats who strive to follow in his footsteps.

‘These four Americans stood up for freedom  and human dignity. We grieve with their families but let us carry on their  memory… I have no doubt that their legacy will live on.’

He added: ‘The United States condemns in the  strongest possible terms this outrageous and shocking attack. There is no  justification to this type of senseless violence. None.’

In a statement, Mrs Clinton added: ‘I had the  privilege of swearing in Chris for his post in Libya only a few months ago. He  risked his own life to lend the Libyan people a helping hand to build the  foundation for a new, free nation.’

There is now speculation over the identity of  the film’s producer who works under the pseudonym of Sam Bacile. He had told  reporters that he was an Israeli Jew who financed the project with $5million  from 100 Jewish donors.

None of those statements have proven to be  true, and Israeli officials later confirmed that there is no citizen of their  country with that name. Speaking by phone from an undisclosed location on  Tuesday, ‘Bacile’ remained defiant, saying he intended his film to be a  provocative political statement condemning the religion.

‘This is a political movie,’ said Bacile. He  continued: ‘The U.S. lost a lot of money and a lot of people in wars in Iraq and  Afghanistan, but we’re fighting with ideas.’

‘Islam is a cancer, period,’ he said  repeatedly. YouTube has since blocked the video in Egypt and Libya.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2202979/Benghazi-attack-U-S-consulate-pictured-Libyan-attack-revealed-officials-knew-attack-plans-48-HOURS-before.html#ixzz26PWLEtba