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Satellite

Russian lawmakers: Draft legislation endorsed for satellite navigation hub in Nicaragua

© RIA Novosti/Sergey Pyatakov
Russian lawmakers have endorsed draft legislation to allow the country to set up a satellite navigation monitoring system in Nicaragua, a Cabinet committee said Tuesday.

"The agreement is aimed at creating an organizational and legal framework for mutually beneficial partnership between Russia and Nicaragua in terms of exploring and using space for peaceful purposes," the official statement explained.

Under the agreement, Russia would set up a network of land-based control stations in the Latin American country to monitor and augment the accuracy of navigation satellites in Earth orbit.

It is hoped the system will boost Russia's GLONASS satellite navigation system, the only current alternative to the US's Global Positioning System (GPS) to feature global coverage and comparable accuracy.
Arrow Down

Delaware judge excuses wealthy child-rapist from prison because "he would not fare well"

Jan
© The News Journal / Jennifer Corbett
Judge Jan Jurden lets the rich and famous rape children without consequence.
A member of a billionaire family who received a felony for raping a child is dodging prison time because a judge says "he would not fare well" behind bars. The judge's preferential treatment exposes a glaring crack in the justice system.

Robert H. Richards IV admitted to both molesting his infant son and raping his daughter between the ages of 3-5. He ultimately plead guilty to a single count of fourth-degree rape in a deal struck with prosecutors. Richards is legally a rapist and is listed on the sex-offender registry.

He also happens to be fabulously wealthy, and apparently impervious to punishment. His family owns the du Pont chemical company and has a net worth in the billions. Richards is heir to the du Pont fortune. When not sexually-abusing innocent children, Richards lives in a multi-million dollar mansion, surviving off of the wealth amassed by his forebearers.

The Class C felony of which he was plead guilty to could have brought him up to 15 years in prison. Instead he will face zero years in prison, thanks to the suspicious leniency of his judge, Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden.

In her sentencing order, Judge Jurden wrote, "Defendant will not fare well in Level 5 setting." In Delaware, Level 5 refers to prison.
Control Panel

Ukraine crisis: NATO ministers to meet in Brussels

© Efrem Lukatsky/AP
Ukrainian soldiers during exercises at a training ground outside Kiev.
NATO foreign ministers are to meet to discuss the military alliance's response to the Ukraine crisis amid continued fears over Russia's territorial ambitions.

Training for Ukrainian forces and a more formal suspension of co-operation with Moscow are expected to be discussed at the Brussels meeting on Tuesday.

Hours before the meeting was due to start Ukraine's parliament approved by a 235-0 vote a series of joint military exercises with NATO countries that would put US troops in direct proximity to Russian forces in the annexed Crimea peninsula.

The exercises will see Ukraine conduct two sets of military exercises with the US this summer - Rapid Trident and Sea Breeze - that have prompted disquiet in Russia in previous years.

Ukraine is planning two additional manoeuvres with Poland as well as joint ground operations with Moldova and Romania.
Propaganda

Nigel Farage's appearances on Russia Today come under scrutiny

© Ian West/AFP/Getty Images
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, right, and Ukip leader Nigel Farage debating Britain's future in the EU last week.
Nigel Farage's near monthly appearances on state-owned Russia Today have come under scrutiny after his expression of admiration for Vladimir Putin this week.

In one of his 17 appearances on the channel seen by the Guardian and transmitted since December 2010, he claims Europe is governed not by elected democracies but instead "by the worst people we have seen in Europe since 1945".

The Ukip leader has appeared so frequently that he is cited in literature for the TV station Russia Today as one of their special and "endlessly quotable" British guests. "He has been known far longer to the RT audience than most of the British electorate," Russia Today claims.

The Ukip leader did not issue a word of criticism of Russian democracy in any of the Russia Today interviews viewed by the Guardian. Last August he told the channel that British intervention in Libya and Syria would go ahead regardless of any vote in the UN, and said he was still not sure President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons.
Stock Down

Economic Shock Doctrine: IMF to accelerate Ukraine's economic collapse?

kiev woman begs for money
© Reuters/Gleb Garanich
An elderly woman begs for money near a currency exchange office in Kiev
Will Maidan optimism be extinguished as the citizens of Ukraine realize their economic plight means considerable imminent hardship?

Ukraine is bankrupt. It has wavered on the cusp for some time. However, it is about to suffer the cruelest indignity: discovering that Western politicians who promised prosperity have been encouraging the IMF to deliver a leveraged poisoned chalice.

Maidan dreams are turning abruptly into a nightmare as coup gives way to penury. Siren voices from the West have lured the Ukrainian economic ship on to the rocks with the IMF about to launch a lifeboat - replete with economic subjugation as bondholders get paid and citizens suffer.
Quenelle

Greek authorities ban protests in central Athens, but demonstrations are planned outside the prohibited areas

greek demonstrations

People demonstrate outside the Greek parliament in Athens on March 30, 2014
Greek authorities have banned demonstrations in many areas of central Athens amid meetings of finance ministers of the European Union.

The meetings, scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, will discuss Greece's austerity program and market reforms demanded under the terms of the government's international bailouts.

Labor unions and leftwing groups have called for three separate demonstrations Tuesday outside the prohibited areas.
Windsock

UN ends 15 years of history with Sierra Leone

UN in sierra leone
The United Nations is leaving Sierra Leone, once home to the largest peacekeeping force in the history of the organization, after 15 years of engagement.

More than 17,000 "blue helmets" were deployed at the height of Sierra Leone's civil war to disarm rebel militias and return this West African nation to stability.

31 March 2014 marks the official end of the UN Integrated Peace building Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), the third and final phase of the UN involvement in the country.

Comment: UN 'peacekeepers' also engaged in sexual abuse and exploitation of children in the African country, but we don't expect this to be mentioned in an article that brags about UN's good deeds.

For more about Sierra Leone's recent history, read:

Would The Real War Criminals Please Stand Up

Network

Glen Greenwald criticizes NSA for staged leaks

glen greenwald
© AFP Photo / Evaristo Sa
The Guardian's Brazil-based reporter Glenn Greenwald.
Reeling from the leak of classified data, NSA officials have anticipated future leaks by sometimes announcing them to the media preemptively, a minimization tactic according to one of the journalists still holding the intel agency's documents.

Glenn Greenwald, formerly of The Guardian and now of First Look Media, penned a column Monday criticizing both US National Security Agency brass and what he sees as complicit reporters for their role in repeating unverified claims about the intelligence agency.

The outspoken columnist ripped outgoing NSA Director General Keith Alexander, who will be replaced at the top of the agency soon, for trying to prey on the public's emotions.

Comment: For more reading on this subject, check out:
About that 'greatest whistleblower ever': Ellsberg, Snowden, and the Secret Team

Bad Guys

CIA lied about interrogation program (aka torture), according to Senate report

waterboarding
© Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
Demonstrator Maboud Ebrahimzadeh lies on the pavement after his ordeal in a simulation of waterboarding outside the Justice Department in Washington November 5, 2007
A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee concludes that the CIA misled the government and the public about aspects of its brutal interrogation program for years - concealing details about the severity of its methods, overstating the significance of plots and prisoners, and taking credit for critical pieces of intelligence that detainees had in fact surrendered before they were subjected to harsh techniques.

The report, built around detailed chronologies of dozens of CIA detainees, documents a long-standing pattern of unsubstantiated claims as agency officials sought permission to use - and later tried to defend - excruciating interrogation methods that yielded little, if any, significant intelligence, according to U.S. officials who have reviewed the document.

"The CIA described [its program] repeatedly both to the Department of Justice and eventually to Congress as getting unique, otherwise unobtainable intelligence that helped disrupt terrorist plots and save thousands of lives," said one U.S. official briefed on the report. "Was that actually true? The answer is no."

Current and former U.S. officials who described the report spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue and because the document remains classified. The 6,300-page report includes what officials described as damning new disclosures about a sprawling network of secret detention sites that was dismantled by President Obama in 2009.

Comment: Since it is a fact that the official 911 story is a lie, and the same stands for Osama Bin Laden's "capture and execution", the torture used on "terrorist suspects" was nothing but the product of the perverted and sadist mindset prevailing among those who commanded its use and those who supported it.

Dollar

The odds are never in our favor

High Frequency Trading
© The Economic Collapse Blog

How would you feel if you went to the store to buy something, and someone rushed ahead of you and purchased it first and then sold it to you at a higher price? Well, in the financial world this happens millions upon millions of times. In fact, this practice has become so popular that it has spawned an entire industry known as "high frequency trading".

At this point, high frequency trading makes up about half of all trading volume on Wall Street, and it is costing the rest of us billions of dollars a year. And the funny thing is that this is all perfectly legal.

High frequency trading firms are exploiting a glitch in the system, and by allowing this to go on, the authorities have essentially given them a license to steal from the rest of us. Sadly, this is just another example that shows that the odds are never in our favor. The "little guy" never seems to be able to win, and those at the top of the food chain like it that way.

Making money in the stock market is supposed to be about making wise investment decisions. It isn't supposed to be about finding a glitch in a video game and exploiting it. But that is essentially what these high frequency traders have done. They have spent an extraordinary amount of time and energy figuring out ways to make pennies (or sometimes just fractions of a penny) on the trades that the rest of us make.
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