Friday, January 30, 2015

Snowstorm to Sweep From Chicago to New York City

A snowstorm will sweep from the Midwest to the Northeast spanning this weekend into Groundhog Day and will cause major travel delays and disruptions to daily activities.

Close to 100 million people live within the swath forecast to be hit with accumulating snow or enough wintry mix to make for slippery roads from Saturday evening into Monday.

Two components of the storm will merge together along a boundary of cold air to the north and warm air to the south, over the Central states this weekend.

According to Senior Meteorologist Dave Dombek, "The sooner and more aggressively this happens, the stronger the storm will be and the farther north it will track."

The strengthening storm will carry moisture in from the Pacific Ocean and grab more moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean along the way. The result will be a swath of heavy snow from part of the Mississippi and Ohio valleys to part of the mid-Atlantic and southern New England.

While the expectation of this warm/cold boundary has shifted over the past couple of days, meteorologists are reaching a consensus as to where the heaviest snow is likely to fall.

Motorists from the Midwest to the Northeast should expect slippery and dangerous conditions, while there is a possibility of a large number of flight delays and cancellations. Some of the crews and aircraft displaced during the storm may have a ripple effect across the country by early next week.

Storm to Hit Midwest Saturday Night Into Sunday

Enough snow to shovel and plow will fall in a zone of Central states' cities from Omaha, Nebraska, to Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, and Pittsburgh. In this area from near the Mississippi River to the western slopes of the Appalachians, a general 6 inches of snow is forecast with locally higher amounts.

In the Midwest, roads along the Interstate-70 and I-80/90 corridors will become snow-covered as the storm moves eastward spanning Saturday night and Sunday.

During the latter part of the storm, there will be enough wind to cause some blowing and drifting of the snow that is on the ground.

Farther south, a wintry mix is in store from Kansas City, Missouri, to St. Louis, Cincinnati, Louisville, Kentucky, and Charleston, West Virginia.

AccuWeather Winter Weather Center
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Storm to Reach Northeast Late Sunday into Monday

Farther east, cities from Scranton, Pennsylvania, to New York City; Hartford, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island, and Boston will receive significant snow Sunday night into Monday. Similar to areas farther west in the Midwest, enough snow to shovel and plow are forecast.

Travel throughout the I-80 corridor in Pennsylvania and New Jersey will become difficult, due to heavy snow. Motorists should expect slippery and dangerous travel to develop along part of I-81, the Pennsylvania and Massachusetts turnpikes, New York's Southern Tier Expressway and Thruway, as well as I-84 in the Northeast.

"The heaviest snowfall with this could be between the East-West Pennsylvania Turnpike and the New York border, over to northern New Jersey, the New York City area, and southernmost New England," Dombek said.

"A half a foot of snow is possible in this swath with the chance of local amounts into the double digits."

Winter Storm More Likely to Hit Ohio Valley This Weekend .

Monday, January 19, 2015

Pipeline breach spills up 50,000 gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River.

The Bridger Pipeline Co. said the spill occurred about 10 a.m. Saturday. The initial estimate is that 300 to 1,200 barrels of oil spilled, the company said in a statement Sunday.
Some of the oil did get into the water, but the area where it spilled was frozen over and that could help reduce the impact, said Dave Parker, a spokesman for Gov. Steve Bullock.
“We think it was caught pretty quick, and it was shut down,” Parker said. “The governor is committed to making sure the river is cleaned up.”
Bridger Pipeline Co. said in the statement that it shut down the 10-inch-wide pipeline shortly before 11 a.m. Saturday. “Our primary concern is to minimize the environmental impact of the release and keep our responders safe as we clean up from this unfortunate incident,” said Tad True, vice president of Bridger.
The EPA and state Department of Environmental Quality have responded to the area about 9 miles upriver from Glendive, Parker said.
An ExxonMobil Corp. pipeline broke near Laurel during flooding in July 2011, releasing 63,000 gallons of oil that washed up along an 85-mile stretch of riverbank.
Montana officials are trying to determine if oil could have been trapped by sediment and debris and settled into the riverbed.
ExxonMobil is facing state and federal fines of up to $3.4 million from the spill. The company has said it spent $135 million on the cleanup and other work.
Montana and federal officials notified Exxon that they intend to seek damages for injuries to birds, fish and other natural resources from the 2011 spill. The company also is being asked to pay for long-term environmental studies and for lost opportunities for fishing and recreation during and since the cleanup.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Actually happened: French high school student arrested for posting "ironic" cartoon on Facebook.

Russian Central Bank Bans Western Ratings Agencies

Former White House Official – Europe In Danger Of Mega-Bank Runs That Jeopardize The World

FBI's "Suicide Letter" to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Dangers of Unchecked Surveillance

It’s not just Muslim fanatics who treat blasphemy as a crime. So does Canada.

France’s Le Pen says Paris attacks were the work of US or Israeli agents.

Boston City employee fired after being charged in relation to I-93 protest

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Russian Central Bank Bans Western Ratings Agencies

Tyler Durden's picture

On the heels of last week's downgrades by Fitch and Moody's to just above junk status, The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has issued a statement that it will no longer use credit ratings from Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, or Moody’s that were assigned after March 1, 2014. All credit ratings will now be at the discretion of the Board of Directors of the Bank as regulators assess whether or not the ratings made after March are accurate. Sounds like Spain, Greece, and USA's previous derision over ratings agencies proclamations is heading east.
As RT reports,
The Central Bank of Russia will no longer use credit ratings from Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, or Moody’s that were assigned after March 1, 2014.

All credit ratings given to Russian companies and banks will now be at the discretion of the Board of Directors of the Bank, according to a press statement Monday. The regulator will assess whether or not the ratings made after March are accurate.

The decision comes after Fitch and Moody’s downgraded Russian sovereign debt to just above junk status. Standard & Poor’s will decide whether it cuts Russian debt to junk level by the end of January after cutting it last April, after Crimea rejoined Russia and the West began to levy sanctions against Moscow.
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Full CBR Statement:

Former White House Official – Europe In Danger Of Mega-Bank Runs That Jeopardize The World

a former White House official and Plunge Protection Team member warned King World News that Europe is now in danger of mega-bank runs that will destabilize the entire global financial system.  Former presidential adviser and member of the U.S. President's Working Group on Financial Markets, Dr. Philippa Malmgren, also discussed why the bank runs may spread across the Atlantic to the United States, eventually engulfing the entire world in chaos.
Eric King:  “It now appears at this point that the multiple bank runs in Europe have the ability to spread and create massive contagion.”
Dr. Philippa Malmgren:  “We have seen Banco Santander, which is considered the most important of the continental banks in Europe, recently announce without any warning that they didn't have enough cash and they had to do a very sudden and abrupt cash call of almost $8 billion just to stay alive….
Continue reading the Dr. Philippa Malmgren interview below…

GCHQ - MI5 - Investigate Journalists are 'a potential threat to security'

GCHQ - MI5 - Investigate Journalists are 'a potential threat to security'*rNmJSp3nq5EeUKqeqmJVPfWKwg29xgQXtw1YVZmgQRiWYplSxdXydzzUe9yDkA6YpwOyXar1iDejYb4/12160dotINFO.jpg

British spooks rated ‘investigative journalists’ alongside terrorists and hackers as potential security threats, secret documents reveal.

Internal advice circulated by intelligence chiefs at the Government spy centre GCHQ reveal that ‘journalists and reporters representing all types of news media represent a potential threat to security’.

The revelation, buried in intelligence documents leaked by the fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden, comes amid growing calls for the security services to be handed more power to monitor the internet following the Paris terror attacks.

Read more:

FBI's "Suicide Letter" to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Dangers of Unchecked Surveillance

FBI's "Suicide Letter" to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Dangers of Unchecked Surveillance

Redacted and unredacted lettersThe New York Times has published an unredacted version of the famous “suicide letter” from the FBI to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The letter, recently discovered by historian and professor Beverly Gage, is a disturbing document. But it’s also something that everyone in the United States should read, because it demonstrates exactly what lengths the intelligence community is willing to go to—and what happens when they take the fruits of the surveillance they’ve done and unleash it on a target.
The anonymous letter was the result of the FBI’s comprehensive surveillance and harassment strategy against Dr. King, which included bugging his hotel rooms, photographic surveillance, and physical observation of King’s movements by FBI agents. The agency also attempted to break up his marriage by sending selectively edited “personal moments he shared with friends and women” to his wife.
Portions of the letter had been previously redacted. One of these portions contains a claim that the letter was written by another African-American: “King, look into your heart. You know you are a complete fraud and a great liability to all us Negroes.” It goes on to say “We will now have to depend on our older leaders like Wilkins, a man of character and thank God we have others like him. But you are done.” This line is key, because part of the FBI’s strategy was to try to fracture movements and pit leaders against one another.
The entire letter could have been taken from a page of GCHQ’s Joint Threat Research and Intelligence Group (JTRIG)—though perhaps as an email or series of tweets. The British spying agency GCHQ is one of the NSA’s closest partners. The mission of JTRIG, a unit within GCHQ, is to “destroy, deny, degrade [and] disrupt enemies by discrediting them.” And there’s little reason to believe the NSA and FBI aren’t using such tactics.
The implications of these types of strategies in the digital age are chilling. Imagine Facebook chats, porn viewing history, emails, and more made public to discredit a leader who threatens the status quo, or used to blackmail a reluctant target into becoming an FBI informant. These are not far-fetched ideas. They are the reality of what happens when the surveillance state is allowed to grow out of control, and the full King letter, as well as current intelligence community practices illustrate that reality richly.
The newly unredacted portions shed light on the government’s sordid scheme to harass and discredit Dr. King. One paragraph states:
No person can overcome the facts, no even a fraud like yourself. Lend your sexually psychotic ear to the enclosure. You will find yourself and in all your dirt, filth, evil and moronic talk exposed on the record for all time. . . . Listen to yourself, you filthy, abnormal animal. You are on the record.
And of course, the letter ends with an ominous threat:
King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You have just 34 days in which to do it (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason, it has definite practical significance). You are done. There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation.
There's a lesson to learn here: history must play a central role in the debate around spying today. As Professor Gage states:
Should intelligence agencies be able to sweep our email, read our texts, track our phone calls, locate us by GPS? Much of the conversation swirls around the possibility that agencies like the N.S.A. or the F.B.I. will use such information not to serve national security but to carry out personal and political vendettas. King’s experience reminds us that these are far from idle fears, conjured in the fevered minds of civil libertarians. They are based in the hard facts of history.

Canadian blasphemy trial a warning against smugness: Walkom

It’s not just Muslim fanatics who treat blasphemy as a crime. So does Canada.

Canadian blasphemy trial a warning against smugness: Walkom
Life of Brian
In 1980, a theatre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., was charged with blasphemous libel for showing the Monty Python film, Life of Brian — a spoof on Jesus Christ. Ontario’s then-Conservative attorney general moved swiftly to stay the charge, but the blasphemy law remains, writes Thomas Walkom.
Many Canadians assume that only Muslim fanatics view blasphemy as a crime.
That assumption was bolstered after last week’s attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo by two Islamic terrorists.
The pair said they were avenging what they called Charlie Hebdo’s insults against Islam’s prophet, Muhammad.
What isn’t as well known is that blasphemy is also a crime in Canada. The penalties aren’t as severe as those meted out in, say, Saudi Arabia.
But in Canada, you can still go to jail for up to two years for expressing what the Criminal Code calls blasphemous libel.
At least one person has suffered that fate.
He was a Toronto atheist named Eugene (Ernest) Victor Sterry. In 1927, he was jailed and then deported to England for the offence of insulting Christianity.
Sterry’s particular crime was to call God an “irate Old Party who thunders imprecations” and prefers the smell of roast cutlets to that of boiled cabbage.
He also called God a “frenzied megalomaniac.”
Jeremy Patrick, a law professor now teaching in Australia, tells the tale of the Sterry case in a scholarly article published five years ago by the Annual Survey of International and Comparative Law.
It’s a tale that reminds Canadians not to be too smug.
Blasphemy was first written into Canada’s Criminal Code in 1892. At the time, it was seen as a skilful compromise.
Criticizing religion in a “fair-minded” way that used “decent language” was deemed legal. But using language intended to insult the religious convictions of the majority was not.
Put simply, it was okay to challenge religion as long as the critique was made in a manner that did not offend too many voters.

Ex-Swiss banker Rudolf Elmer found guilty in WikiLeaks trial, avoids jail

The former senior executive at Zurich-based Baer's Cayman Islands office was accused of passing confidential information to WikiLeaks on two occasions, one in 2008 and another in 2011.
Elmer was found guilty of the charges relating to 2008 but not guilty in relation to 2011. He was also found guilty of forging a letter from Baer to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2007.
He was ordered to pay costs towards the trial and was given a three-year suspended fine of up to 45,000 Swiss francs ($63,052). The prosecution had sought a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence, while Elmer's lawyer Ganden Tethong had argued for her client to be acquitted.
"The rationale from the court today has not convinced me," Tethong told reporters after the verdict. "I find (the prosecution) did not bring forward anything that would contradict what I argued."
Tethong said she would appeal the ruling.

British intelligence intercepted emails from The New York Times, Reuters, BBC, and others

Newly released Snowden documents show GCHQ was listening in the internal communications of some of the most prestigious journalistic institutions in the world. A report in The Guardian details a test exercise that resulted in emails from BBC, Reuters, The Guardian, The New York Times, Le Monde, The Sun, NBC, and The Washington Post all being deposited onto GCHQ's internal intranet, available to anyone logged into the system. It does not appear to have been an intelligence gathering exercise, and the resulting emails don't seem to have targeted any sensitive stories, but it still represents a major privacy violation and a reminder of how easily bulk collection systems can be abused.
The test was meant to demonstrate a new filtering tool meant to strip out irrelevant data from final results. Over the course of ten minutes, researchers pulled 70,000 emails directly from GCHQ's cable-tapping sites, then ran the experimental filter to see which of those messages could be surfaced as potentially valuable intelligence. Journalistic communications shot to the top of the list, although there's no evidence to suggest the journalists were intentionally targeted. The news comes at a particularly sensitive time, as Prime Minister David Cameron pushes for comprehensive new surveillance laws that could ban encrypted chat or email clients in the UK.

France’s Le Pen says Paris attacks were the work of US or Israeli agents.

PARIS: According to a report, published in The Independent, founder of France’s far right Front National, Jean-Marie Le Pen has said that the Charlie Hebdo massacre may have been the work of an “intelligence agency”.

In an interview with a virulently anti-Western Russian newspaper Komsomolskaïa Pravda, Mr Le Pen, 86, gave credence to conspiracy theories circulating on the internet suggesting that the attack was the work of American or Israeli agents seeking to foment a civil war between Islam and the West, the report said.

The independent report further says, “The shooting at Charlie Hebdo resembles a secret service operation but we have no proof of that,” the newspaper quoted Mr Le Pen as saying. “I don’t think it was organised by the French authorities but they permitted this

Actually happened: French high school student arrested for posting "ironic" cartoon on Facebook.

France begins jailing people for ironic comments


Mock Charlie Hebdo cover circulated after the murder of the magazine’s cartoonists. The text says “Charlie Hebdo is shit. It doesn’t stop bullets.”
It may sound like an ironic joke, but it isn’t. Less than a week after the massive rallies in defense of “free expression,” following the murders of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, French authorities have jailed a youth for irony.
The arrest is part of a harsh crackdown on free speech in the country that has prompted criticism from national and international human rights organizations.
A 16-year-old high school student was taken into police custody on Thursday and indicted for “defending terrorism,” national broadcaster France 3 reports.
His alleged crime?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

FAA Gives CNN Permission To Use Drones

CNN is the first news network to get permission from the FAA to let it use drones for ... from the FAA gives it a whole new scope for using them to cover the news from above.

BREAKING: 20 Year-Old British Man Linked To #CyberCaliphate, Hack On Pentagon Twitter Feed

Junaid Hussain: CyberCaliphate Leader And ISIS Member Was ...

International Business Times-18 minutes ago
Junaid Hussain is believed by U.S. and European government investigators to be the leader of CyberCaliphate, but it is unclear if he was ...
Was ISIS fan who hacked Tony Blair's Gmail behind US Central ...

NASCAR Driver Kurt Busch Testifies Ex-Girlfriend Is Trained Assassin Of Drug Lords

Kurt Busch: Ex was trained killer
ESPN - 11 mins ago
... attorney, Rusty Hardin, questioned why he still believed Patricia Driscoll is a hired killer.Musician: Kurt Busch's ex-girlfriend was out for revenge
Busch and his attorney, Rusty Hardin, have staunchly denied the accusations and cast Driscoll, who runs the Armed Forces Foundation and her own defense company, as a jilted lover who wants to destroy Busch’s reputation. They have argued that Driscoll, who Busch claimed is a trained assassin deployed on many missions, was never physically abused.
“I’m just glad that the truth got told and that we’ll wait on the commissioner’s decision,” Busch told reporters outside of Kent County Family Court on Tuesday.
Driscoll’s alleged background as a trained assassin who had experience killing drug lords via long-range sniper rifles and close combat tactics – including the use of knives and poison – became a major talking point during the latter stages of the hearing.