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Volgograd blasts follow same template as US, Syrian, Afghan attacks - MOSSAD & CIA?

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© AFP
A destroyed trolleybus stands on a street in Volgograd on December 30, 2013 after ten people were killed in a bombing on the packed vehicle, the second attack in the city in two days after a suicide strike on its main train station, officials said.
The suicide blasts in Volgograd signal that it's time for international players to stop dividing terrorists into "good" and "bad" ones based on geopolitical agenda, and to unite the globe in a battle against the threat, Russia's Foreign Ministry stated.

"A strike, cynically planned on the eve of New Year celebrations, is another attempt by the terrorists to open a domestic 'front,' spread panic and chaos, cause interfaith strife and conflicts within the Russian society," the ministry said in a statement.

The two consecutive suicide attacks in the southern Russian city of Volgograd - which killed more than 30 people on Sunday and Monday - will not see Russia retreating in its "tough and consistent battle against the insidious enemy that knows no boundaries and can only be stopped collectively," the ministry said.

The ministry stressed that the Volgograd blasts were staged using the same template as recent terror attacks in the US, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and other countries.

"The position of some politicians and political strategists, who are still trying to divide terrorists as 'good' and 'bad' ones, depending on current geopolitical aims, is becoming evidently mischievous," the ministry stressed. "Terrorism is always a crime and the punishment for it must be inevitable."

Control Panel

Sorry for letting them snoop? Dell apologizes for 'inconvenience' caused by NSA backdoor

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© AFP/Getty Images/Justin Sullivan
Security researcher Jacob Appelbaum dropped a bombshell of sorts earlier this week when he accused American tech companies of placing government-friendly backdoors in their devices. Now Texas-based Dell Computers is offering an apology.

Or to put it more accurately, Dell told an irate customer on Monday that they "regret the inconvenience" caused by selling to the public for years a number of products that the intelligence community has been able to fully compromise in complete silence up until this week.

Dell, Apple, Western Digital and an array of other Silicon Valley-firms were all name-checked during Appelbaum's hour-long presentation Monday at the thirtieth annual Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, Germany. As RT reported then, the 30-year-old hacker-cum-activist unveiled before the audience at the annual expo a collection of never-before published National Security Agency documents detailing how the NSA goes to great lengths to compromise the computers and systems of groups on its long list of adversaries.

Spreading viruses and malware to infect targets and eavesdrop on their communications is just one of the ways the United States' spy firm conducts surveillance, Appelbaum said. Along with those exploits, he added, the NSA has been manually inserting microscopic computer chips into commercially available products and using custom-made devices like hacked USB cables to silently collect intelligence.

Laptop

'NSA has carte blanche to hack computers'

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© Computing.co.uk
Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group
The NSA appears to be making its own decisions about how democratic governments should be operating, what policies they follow and in general doesn't trust them to do their jobs, Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group, told RT.

The latest revelations from Edward Snowden, published in Germany's Der Spiegel, show that the NSA is not only listening to people's phone calls and reading their e-mails, but actually has a special unit dedicated to bugging computers even before they get to the stores. Chips are installed in computers to be sold in geographical areas that the NSA deems to be worth spying on, the newspaper reports.

RT: Do the latest NSA revelations mean we can't even trust our own laptops?

Jim Killock: Sometimes it will mean that some people shouldn't trust their laptops, but also governments have to [watch] their own security organizations, and parts of what Der Spiegel's articles described today is how the NSA is hacking the Mexican government in order to find out more about how the Mexicans are dealing with drug issues, and so on. I think it's really quite dangerous and dramatic because the NSA appears to be making its own decisions about how the democratic governments should be operating, their policies and not trusting them to do their job.

RT: Who could be the target of this operation to intercept laptops? Are we talking about foreign governments or individuals as well?

Gear

North Korea: Kim Jong-un condemns uncle as 'filth' in new year address

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© Rodong Sinmun
Ruler makes first public reference to execution of Jang Song Thaek, saying ruling party has been strengthened as a result

Kim Jong-un has made his first reference to the execution of his powerful uncle, saying in a new year's addres that North Korea's ruling party had become stronger after it was purged of "factional filth".

Kim called for better relations with South Korea, warning that another war on the Korean peninsula would cause a massive nuclear disaster that would hit the United States.

Kim, the third generation of his family to rule North Korea, did not refer by name to his uncle Jang Song Thaek, whose execution in December in a rare public purge for alleged crimes against the ruling Workers' Party and the national interest.

"Our party took a firm measure to get rid of factional filth that permeated the party," Kim said in a broadcast on state television that appeared to be pre-recorded and did not show if he was speaking to an audience.

"Our unity strengthened hundredfold and party and revolutionary lines became more solid by purging the anti-party and anti-revolutionary faction."

Eye 1

Privacy concerns raised as more than one million pupils are fingerprinted in UK schools

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An estimated 31 per cent of schools did not consult parents before using the biometric technology
More than a million pupils have been fingerprinted at their secondary school - thousands without their parents' consent, according to new research published on Friday.

Figures show that four out of 10 secondary schools now use biometric technology as a means of identifying pupils - with nearly a third failing in their duty to seek parental consent before introducing the system.

The figures are based on Freedom of Information request returns from 1,255 schools to the civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch with the group warning pupils will grow up believing "it is normal to be tracked like this all the time".

The most common uses of the system are at meal-times where headteachers claim it can be a more "discreet" method of ensuring those pupils entitled to free school meals get them - and in school libraries. Some have used the system for registration of pupils at school.

Based on the FOI returns in September, Big Brother Watch estimates 1.28 million pupils have been fingerprinted. Of those surveyed, an estimated 31 per cent did not consult parents before using biometric technology from September.

Magnet

New York Times and Guardian editorials say Edward Snowden deserves clemency

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© The Raw Story
Both the New York Times and U.K. paper the Guardian published editorials on New Year's Day calling for clemency for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The publications said that Snowden's revelations may have revealed some state secrets as part of his mission to expose the National Security Agency's massive spying apparatus, but that the revelations serve the greater need of informing the public that their privacy is being violated.

"Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight," wrote the Times editorial board.

"He may have committed a crime to do so, but he has done his country a great service," the editorial continued. "It is time for the United States to offer Mr. Snowden a plea bargain or some form of clemency that would allow him to return home, face at least substantially reduced punishment in light of his role as a whistle-blower, and have the hope of a life advocating for greater privacy and far stronger oversight of the runaway intelligence community."

The Guardian's editors, meanwhile, wrote, "Mr Snowden - through journalists, in the absence of meaningful, reliable democratic oversight - had given people enough knowledge about the nature of modern intelligence-gathering to allow an informed debate. Voters might, in fact, decide they were prepared to put privacy above security - but at least they could make that choice on the basis of information."

Books

Academic Zionist agents in U.S. go public

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© Press TV
It seems that the American Studies Association's (ASA) boycott resolution vote has rattled the Zionist cages.

They have proved that Veterans Today was right with our claim that academic espionage was one of the key areas where Israeli intelligence has invested major resources for a long time.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CoP), commonly Presidents' Conference, has been chosen by the Israeli lobby to lead the counterattack against the ASA historic resolution reported by Press TV last week.

World media described the resolution breakthrough as a sign that the tipping point toward a full Israel boycott was getting closer.

The Israeli lobby bigwigs decided it was time to take risks to diminish the ASA move by stacking up a big list of university heads to oppose it. Robert Sugarman, the Conference's chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, its executive vice chairman, said:

"This remarkable response is a clear declaration that American academia will not be party to the efforts to promote the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement."

Israeli espionage has concentrated for several decades now on subverting the leadership of any American institution that could ever be an adversary in terms of opposing Israeli crimes against humanity or their long-term exploitation of America to prop up its failed economy, one that is looted by elite Zionists like our own elite banksters and multinationals have done here. As Thomas Jefferson famously said, "Merchants have no country."

Light Saber

Activist Randy Short: 'Globalist agenda behind Russia blasts'

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Dr. Randy Short, a member of the Dignity, Human Rights and Peace organization.
An American human rights activist has slammed the recent bombings in Russia, blaming the terror act on a US-led 'globalist agenda' rather than any sort of a religious effort since all major faiths forbid suicide.

Rejecting the notion that the terror act was the work of a Chechen Islamic movement, Dr. Randy Short said in a Tuesday interview with Press TV that suicide is strictly forbidden in Islam and against the teachings of its holy Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him).

He also stated that suicide is indeed "against the teachings of the Torah as well as the Christian bible," adding that "all Abrahamic faiths reject suicide."

Dr. Short went on to say that such terror acts are the results of a joint US-UK bid to establish what he referred to as a "toxic Islam" to generate proxy wars as part of their global rivalry with the former Soviet Union and even today's Russia.

"This is a creation of a multinational globalist agenda against the resource-rich people who live in the Levantine areas and other oil-rich areas that Brzezinski called the Great Chessboard or the Great Game going back to the initial British invasion of Afghanistan; and going to Afghanistan in the 1970's where the CIA began to create this false Islam and trained these mujahedeen," said Dr. Short.

Star of David

Israel's democracy claim eroding sez UK ex-MP

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© Press TV
Clare Short, former British MP for Birmingham Ladywood and ex-Secretary of State for International Development.
Former Labour Member of the British Parliament Clare Short says "Israel's claim to be a democracy is eroding very fast" after being threatened with arrest by the Tel Aviv regime's officials.

Short's remarks came following a decision by Israel's former Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya'alon to outlaw the Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR).

The move, enacted two weeks ago but revealed on Tuesday by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, means that all of the CEPR executives and directors could be detained upon arrival in Israel.

Short is also at risk of arrest as she is a member of the board of directors of the Brussels-based NGO.

Handcuffs

Ray McGovern: NSA stands for 'No Such Amendment'; intelligence agency violates U.S. Constitution

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© Press TV
Ray McGovern, a U.S. Army veteran and former CIA analyst
For the first time in history, all three branches of American government are complicit in violating the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution by facilitating illegal surveillance, Ray McGovern, a former CIA officer, told RT.

The persecution-induced suicide of online activist Aaron Swartz, the sentencing of US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning and the Edward Snowden asylum saga have all made 2013 the year that saw a clampdown on whistleblowers. Yet the US government's efforts to stifle this kind of activity will hardly stop the new tech-savvy generation from leaking sensitive data, McGovern believes, describing whistleblowing as "unstoppable."

The former CIA officer says the NSA has been dubbed 'No Such Amendment' for its bulk surveillance, which is in violation of the US Constitution, particularly its Fourth Amendment prohibiting groundless and warrantless searches and seizures.

RT: Do you think in the future the work of whistleblowers will be discouraged from all that we've seen this year, the clampdown on whistleblowers throughout the globe?

Ray McGovern: Yes, their work will be discouraged but it will be inevitable. In other words the discouragement will appear more and more crass, more and more ineffectual because the cat is out of the bag. There's this new generation, technical people, without whom people like NSA and General Hayden and General Alexander cannot exist. As Julian Assange said recently, he encourages this new generation to play the role that the industrial generation did in preparing the way for the 20th century. Seize the initiative, act courageously, realize what you have -- what Julian calls "extraordinary power" - they can't make the systems work without you and when you talk about a system's administrator, it is not just one system. It is the administrator that ties together a whole network of systems. The cat is out of the bag. Those who cannot bear, as Martin Luther King Jr. used to say, the natural medicines of air and light on what they are doing, are going to be very frantic, will try to stop this, but it is unstoppable and that's good news for the world and not just the United States.