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Nato refuses to rule out bombing ancient ruins in air strikes aimed at taking out Gaddafi

ancient ruins
© Alamy
Hiding place: Nato has refused to rule out bombing the UNESCO World Heritage site of Leptis Magna if Colonel Gaddafi is hiding weapons there.

Nato has refused to rule out bombing Libya's ancient Roman ruins if Colonel Gaddafi is using them to hide military equipment.

Rebels in the divided country claim the under-pressure Libyan leader could be hiding rocket launchers at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Leptis Magna - which is between the capital Tripoli and rebel-held Misrata.

Wing Commander Mike Bracken, a spokesman for Nato's Libya mission, said it would be a concern for the alliance if Gaddafi and his forces were to violate international law and hide themselves in such a location.

According to CNN, he said: 'If we were to take on any targets we would consider all risks.'

However, he said that Nato could not confirm rebel concerns that weapons might be placed at the heritage site.

Penis Pump

Weinergate: Caught in the Net Confessions of a US Politician

© unknown
Anthony Weiner
In the aftermath of Anthony Weiner's rambling, tearful press conference at the Sheraton Hotel, the immediate question was not whether the New York Congressman could survive in office, but how long he could hold on.

That his career was over was taken for granted, following the bizarre, half-hour long public therapy session, in which he owned up to sending pictures of himself in his underwear, in varying states of arousal, to six different women.

"Over the past few years, I have engaged in several inappropriate conversations conducted over Twitter, Facebook, email and occasionally on the phone with women I had met online," he admitted. He apologised to his wife, his supporters and everyone he had misled in a series of brazen denials since the first image surfaced. "I don't do drugs, I was not drinking, that wasn't the cause of this. This was me doing a dumb thing, and doing it repeatedly, and then lying about it."

Although he refused to resign, saying his constituents would have the last word, he looked like a beaten man as he stalked from the room, pursued by a Fox News reporter persistently asking: "Were you fully erect?"

A fortnight ago, Weiner was a strong candidate for Mayor of New York in 2013. He is now a pariah, a political casualty thrown under the bus by his party. Leading Democrat Nancy Pelosi, formerly Speaker of the House, has called for an ethics committee investigation into his conduct. Colleagues have rushed to condemn him, putting pressure on him to stand down.

Bad Guys

Israel police train for mass Palestinian protests

© AFP/File, Ahmad Gharabli
A Palestinian youth is detained by Israeli border police during clashes outside Jerusalem in May
Hundreds of Israeli police are taking part in a training exercise in preparation for potentially large-scale Palestinian protests in September, a police spokesman said on Tuesday.

"There's an exercise that the police are carrying out... in order to deal with public order, maintaining public order, and dealing with widespread disturbances," spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told AFP.

"Several hundred police officers are taking part in that, and it is leading up to the forthcoming months ... meaning September."

The Palestinian leadership plans to seek UN recognition and membership in September in a move Israeli security officials fear could be accompanied by widespread Palestinian protests.


Anonymous vows to attack Federal Reserve

Blames bankers for impoverishing millions

Infamous hacktivist collective Anonymous has served notice that it intends to attack the websites of the Federal Reserve.

The campaign - likely to take the form of denial of service attacks and possibly sit-ins - is in protest at the Federal Reserve's role in the global financial crisis, misuse of US taxpayer funds and supposed role in driving millions worldwide into poverty. The planned cyber-assault is timed to coincide with Flag Day, 14 June.

Hacktivists have christened the campaign Operation Empire State Rebellion. Anonymous is calling for the cyber-protests to continue until Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke steps down, as explained in a video-manifesto.

Eye 1

Janet Napolitano Visits NYU Law School to Discuss Need For Citizen Spies

Janet Napolitano
© unknown
Janet Napolitano
We have to get to a place where every part of our society is cognizant of the kinds of threats that are out there, and empowered to take some common sense steps to counter that." -- Janet Napolitano

Homeland Security head, Janet Napolitano, continued her campus tour in a recent stop at NYU Law School where she gave a speech about the state of security as we approach the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and following the announced death of Osama bin Laden.

In the video below Napolitano lays out a sweeping surveillance agenda that includes citizen spies who have a mission of "shared responsibility" to thwart "Core" al-Qaeda, foreign groups "inspired by" al-Qaeda, as well as domestic "extremist" groups, which apparently include an increasing number of plots by U.S. citizens. She added that "there is no single portrait" of today's potential terrorist, citing recruiting tactics "including Hip Hop videos, if you can imagine that." And, naturally, cyberspace. Each of the four key ways that she stated as critical to Homeland Security's mission will widen the Stasi-style network of unpaid employees of the State virtually deputized to spy on their neighbor in the private and public sector and issue reports to the DHS federal security matrix.

Bad Guys

The Billion Dollar War? Libyan Campaign Breaks Pentagon Estimates Costing U.S. Taxpayers $2 Million a Day

Allies meet in Abu Dhabi to discuss post Gaddafi future The cost of the U.S. campaign in Libya is set to exceed the $750 million Pentagon estimate set out in March, according to a leaked Department of Defence Memo.

The 'eyes-only' DoD dossier said the U.S. had already spent $664 million in Libya by mid-May - a running cost of $60 million a month since the bombing began in March.

At the current rate of spending, the U.S. will have to shell out at least an extra $274 million till the end of the current 90 day no fly zone extension period - brining total expenditure to a minimum of $938 million.

The news came as donors pledged more than $1.3 billion dollars to help support Libya's main opposition group, after countries backing NATO's military mission there met to prepare for the post-Moammar Gadhafi era.
© The Associated Press
Costs: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates speaks during a media conference today. He is under pressure to stump up for the cost of operations in Libya

Defiant: The Libyan people are stronger than NATO's attacks, Libyan leader Muamer Gaddafi, said earlier this week


Sarah Palin Knows How Stupid We Are: She's Not Running, But She Loves the Attention


Sarah Palin boards her One Nation Tour bus, which stopped at historical sites between Washington and New England, including the Fox News HQ in New York.
Did you catch the Sarah Palin tour bus sweeping through America?

In case you managed to miss it, let me bring you up to date: That motor vehicle represented the sum total of Palin's "message" so far for 2012 - namely, "I'm still here, and I'm not going anywhere. So get used to it."

And, Palin might have added: "Listen, we all know I'm not going to be president in 2012, or ever. So what? You idiots in the media still treat me like I'm the presumptive candidate.' To quote Sally Field that time at the Oscars, 'You like me! You really like me!'"

Palin understands the media better than the media understand her - and that has been her special public-relations gift since she emerged from obscurity in August 2008. She is the message, not the words she speaks. When journalists take her seriously, they only add to her credibility. (Note: Palin has appeared as a contributor on the Fox News Channel, which, like MarketWatch, is owned by News Corp. NWS -0.07% .)

The media first encountered this sort of media strategy in 1968 when Richard Nixon ran for president on a platform of going around the press corps to speak directly to the people in, what was for the times, a daring maneuver. Nixon showed that a candidate didn't have to pander to the Eastern establishment wing of journalism. Palin has polished up Nixon's approach and made it her own by concentrating on making pronouncements at her friendly rallies.


"Suicide Bomber" in Somalia was Minnesota Man: FBI

© Agence France-Presse
A Somali government soldier mans a position at southern Mogadishu?s Shirkole-Ofishale premises on June 2. US investigators have identified one of the suicide bombers responsible for a May 30 attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu as a 27-year-old man from Minnesota, who left for the war-torn east African nation in 2009
US investigators have identified one of the suicide bombers responsible for a May 30 attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu as a 27-year-old man from Minnesota, who left for the war-torn east African nation in 2009.

Based on fingerprints obtained by the FBI after the attack, the bomber was positively identified as Farah Mohamed Beledi, from Minneapolis, investigators said Thursday.

Two soldiers with the African Union force in Somalia were killed in the suicide attack, which AU and Somali forces said at the time claimed the lives of at least three attackers.

Shebab extremists, who pledged allegiance to the Al-Qaeda network last year, claimed responsibility for the attack and claimed their forces killed eight AU troops without revealing their own casualties.

Beledi had been one of 13 men who have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Minneapolis "on terrorism offenses for traveling to Somalia" and joining the designated terrorist organization the Shebab, the FBI said in a statement.


Americans' Equity in Their Homes Near a Record Low

© The Associated Press / Paul Sakuma
In this June 3, 2011 photo, members of the Home Defenders League rally in front of the Bank Of America in San Jose, Calif. The Obama administration is blaming the three largest U.S. mortgage lenders for the failures of its foreclosure-prevention program. It says they've done little to help people at risk of losing their homes.
Falling real estate prices are eating away at home equity. The percentage of their homes that Americans own is near its lowest point since World War II, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. The average homeowner now has 38 percent equity, down from 61 percent a decade ago.

The latest bleak snapshot of the housing market came as mortgage rates hit a new a low for the year, falling below 4.5 percent for a 30-year fixed loan. But even alluring rates have failed to deliver any lift to the depressed housing industry.

The Fed report is based on data from the first quarter of this year. Another report last week found that home prices in big cities have fallen to 2002 levels.

Normally, home equity rises as you pay off the mortgage. But home values have fallen dramatically since the bubble in prices burst in 2006. So many homeowners are losing equity even though the outstanding balance on the loan is getting smaller.


Norway to End Air Support for Libya Mission on August 1

Norway, which has sent six F-16 fighter jets to Libya, will withdraw from air operations on August 1, two months before the expiry of NATO's current mandate, the government said Friday.

Source: Agence France-Presse