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People

Bin Laden's Family Deported to Saudi Arabia


Pakistan deported the family of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to Saudi Arabia on Friday, their lawyer and a diplomat said, nearly a year after U.S. special forces killed the world's most wanted man in a northwestern Pakistani town.

The move ended months of speculation about the fate of the three widows and 11 children, who were detained by Pakistani security forces after the May 2 raid.

A Pakistani court sentenced the women to 45 days in prison this month for entering Pakistan illegally and ordered their deportation after the end of the prison term, which began on March 3 when they were formally arrested.

"The plane carrying Amal and (her brother) Zakariya al-Sadeh and the rest of the family is heading to (the Saudi Red Sea city of) Jeddah," Ambassador Abdo Ali Abdulrahman told Reuters by telephone from Islamabad early on Friday. "This chapter that has continued for a year is now closed."

The family lawyer, Aamir Khalil, said they had departed on a "special flight".

Saudi officials declined immediate comment.

Bomb

Northern Ireland: Defused Bomb 'Would Have Caused Devastation'

Image
© Agence France-Presse/Getty Images/Peter MuhlyNorthern Ireland police forenics personnel inspect damage from a car bomb that exploded outside the front of the Newry courthouse in Newry, Northern Ireland, on February 23, 2010. Another bomb, capable of causing devastation, was defused in Newry on April 27, 2012.
Two bombs, which would have caused devastation, were defused in Northern Ireland.

Two bombs planted in Northern Ireland by militant nationalists were defused on Saturday, said the police, according to Reuters.

One of the bombs which was left in an abandoned vehicle in Newry was 600 pounds and was packed with enough explosives to have killed anyone in a 50-yard radius.

Chief Superintendent Alasdair Robinson said, "The device contained two blue barrels with 125 kilograms of homemade explosives in each one, and a detonator - all the equipment which meant this device was ready to go," according to AFP. He added, "If this had exploded it would have caused devastation."

The Guardian noted that the bomb was 200 pounds bigger than the explosive device which devastated Omagh, the single largest attack in Northern Ireland which claimed the lives of 29 people in 1998.

Airplane

Senate Told Drones Now Patrolling U.S.-Canada Border

Reaper Drone
Seattle - The U.S. government's unmanned drones patrolling the U.S.-Canadian border are venturing into Washington state's airspace.

In testimony before a U.S. Senate panel this week, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said northern border surveillance using unmanned aerial aircraft now expands from North Dakota to eastern Washington.

The two 10,000-pound Predator-B unmanned aircrafts based in Grand Forks, N.D., have a 950-mile coverage range and "they do enter Washington airspace, in the vicinity of Spokane," said Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Gina Gray on Thursday.

The unmanned aircrafts "can stay in the air for up to 20 hours at a time, something no other aircraft in the federal inventory can do," Gray said. "In this manner it is a force multiplier, providing aerial surveillance support for border agents by investigating sensor activity in remote areas to distinguish between real or perceived threats, allowing the boots on the ground force to best allocate their resources and efforts."

Since 2005, the Department of Homeland Security has deployed a handful of drones around the country, with some based in Arizona, Florida, North Dakota, and Texas -- with more planned for the future. Operations out of North Dakota first began in 2011.

Comment: For more information on drones in the US read:
Police State: "Robots R'US": Military-Style Drones on 63 Military Bases In The USA


Arrow Up

Petroleum: Shocking Revelations about Oil

Dinosaur
© Gather.com
Most people do not know that petroleum is infinite. It is a common misperception that oil was created from a decaying process from ancient forests and dinosaurs, but it is simply not true, according to a new book, The Great Oil Conspiracy: How the U.S. Government Hid the Nazi Discovery of Abiotic Oil from the American People by New York Times bestselling author Dr. Jerome Corsi.

Does Oil Come From Dinosaurs?

Some believe in the abiotic theory for the origin of oil, which asserts oil is "a natural product the Earth generates constantly rather than a 'fossil fuel' derived from decaying ancient forests and dead dinosaurs." "For decades, the confiscated German documents remained largely ignored in a United States where petro-geologists and petro-chemists were convinced that oil was a 'fossil fuel' created by ancient decaying biological debris," as reported by WND.

Corsi suggests that the US government and Big Oil conspired to bury their findings "because they didn't want the public to know that the planet naturally produces oil, abundantly on a deep earth level." It is no surprise that the "fossil fuel" explanation for oil persists.

Comment: L Fletcher Prouty also had some interesting things to say about the origins of oil:




Eye 1

Spelling it out: How CISPA would affect you (FAQ)

CISPA internet privacy bill
© U.S. House of RepresentativesHouse Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers, who says CISPA will not endanger Americans' privacy.
CISPA may have cleared the U.S. House of Representatives, but the fight isn't over. It's shifted to the U.S. Senate. Here's CNET's FAQ on what you need to know about this particularly controversial Internet bill.

It took a debate that stretched to nearly seven hours, and votes on over a dozen amendments, but the U.S. House of Representatives finally approved the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act on April 26.

Passions flared on both sides before the final vote on CISPA, which cleared the House by a comfortable margin of 248 to 168.

CISPA would "waive every single privacy law ever enacted in the name of cybersecurity," Rep. Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat and onetime Web entrepreneur, said during the debate. "Allowing the military and NSA to spy on Americans on American soil goes against every principle this country was founded on."

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and author of CISPA, responded by telling his colleagues to ignore "all the things they're saying about the bill that are not true." He pleaded: "Stand for America! Support this bill!"

While CISPA initially wasn't an especially partisan bill -- it cleared the House Intelligence Committee by a vote of 17 to 1 last December -- it gradually moved in that direction. The final tally was 206 Republicans voting for it, and 28 opposed. Of the Democrats, 42 voted for CISPA and 140 were opposed. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said afterward on Twitter that CISPA "didn't strike the right balance" and Republicans "didn't allow amendments to strengthen privacy protections."

The ACLU, on the other hand, told CNET that the amendments -- even if they had been allowed -- would not have been effective. "They just put the veneer of privacy protections on the bill, and will garner more support for the bill even without making substantial changes," said Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel for the ACLU.

Keep reading for some more details from CNET's FAQ about what you need to know about CISPA.

Comment:
How likely is it that when Uncle "Big Brother" Sam come knocking on the door for your information, these companies will not "agree" to turn it over?


War Whore

Obama Approves More Drone Attacks In Yemen - Even If They Don't Know Who It Is They're Killing

The drone-happy President authorizes attacks on people in Yemen even when their names are not known.

Iraq Drone
© Salon
Ten days ago, I wrote about a request made by CIA Director David Petraeus to expand the drone war in Yemen in accordance with the following, as expressed by the first paragraph of The Washington Post article reporting it:

WaPo report clip

At the time, I wrote that "it's unclear whether Obama will approve Petraeus' request for the use of 'signature strikes' in Yemen," though that was true only in the most technical sense. It was virtually impossible to imagine that a request from David Petraeus, of all people, to Barack Obama, of all people, for authority to target even more people in Yemen for death, now without even knowing who they are, would be anything but quickly and eagerly approved. And that is exactly what has now happened, as the Post's Greg Miller reports today:

Attention

Depleted Uranium, White Phosphorous and The Deformed Children of Fallujah - Know nothing. See nothing. Say nothing.

Iraq  Sayef Ala’a
Five-year-old Sayef Ala’a with his father who hopes that foreign surgeons can rebuild his son’s ear
Special Report day three: Abandoned and afraid, the parents of Iraq's suffering children wait in vain for help

"He needs multiple surgery outside Iraq. It's a dysfunctional problem. He has no hearing in his left ear. They told me he has to be six before they can remove cartilage from his chest wall to put in his ear. All operations have to be outside Iraq to beautify the ear and give him his hearing."

And all the while his father talks, five-year-old Sayef Ala'a sits obediently on the sofa beside us, doing as his father tells him, moving his head to show us the scrappy bit of flesh that constitutes his left ear, tipping his head to one side so we can take pictures of it. Compared to other children with birth deformities, Sayef Ala'a is lucky. He can see, breathe, walk, run, play and listen to his father and friends with his right ear. And he is a little boy of much courage.

Nuke

A Hospital of Horrors: The Deformed Children of Fallujah

Fallujah General Hospital
© Getty ImagesDr Aiman Qeis cares for babies at Fallujah General Hospital, which has a high rate of children born with congenital defects
Special Report day two: Stillbirths, disabilities, deformities too distressing to describe - what lies behind the torments in Fallujah General Hospital?

The pictures flash up on a screen on an upper floor of the Fallujah General Hospital. And all at once, Nadhem Shokr al-Hadidi's administration office becomes a little chamber of horrors. A baby with a hugely deformed mouth. A child with a defect of the spinal cord, material from the spine outside the body. A baby with a terrible, vast Cyclopean eye. Another baby with only half a head, stillborn like the rest, date of birth 17 June, 2009. Yet another picture flicks onto the screen: date of birth 6 July 2009, it shows a tiny child with half a right arm, no left leg, no genitalia.

"We see this all the time now," Al-Hadidi says, and a female doctor walks into the room and glances at the screen. She has delivered some of these still-born children. "I've never seen anything as bad as this in all my service," she says quietly. Al-Hadidi takes phone calls, greets visitors to his office, offers tea and biscuits to us while this ghastly picture show unfolds on the screen. I asked to see these photographs, to ensure that the stillborn children, the deformities, were real. There's always a reader or a viewer who will mutter the word "propaganda" under their breath.

But the photographs are a damning, ghastly reward for such doubts. January 7, 2010: a baby with faded, yellow skin and misshapen arms. April 26, 2010: a grey mass on the side of the baby's head. A doctor beside me speaks of "Tetralogy of Fallot", a transposition of the great blood vessels. May 3, 2010: a frog-like creature in which - the Fallujah doctor who came into the room says this - "all the abdominal organs are trying to get outside the body."

This is too much. These photographs are too awful, the pain and emotion of them - for the poor parents, at least - impossible to contemplate. They simply cannot be published.

Airplane

Police State: "Robots R'US": Military-Style Drones on 63 Military Bases In The USA

drone 3
© n/a
It's easy to understand why Presidents, politicians and the military love robots. They don't talk back. They follow orders. You press a button and they do what they are told. They are considered so efficient, and so lethal.

These modern killing machines represent science fiction reborn as science 'faction.'

Robots and drones don't burn Korans or pose with the heads of their captives on the battlefield. (Robots also don't protest wars.) Lose the human factor and you get silent but deadly total destruction.

And that's why drone warfare has become such a weapon of choice. You have video game jockeys sitting on their asses in front of consoles of digital displays at an Air Force base outside Las Vegas, targeting suspected terrorists in Afghanistan. After a couple of quick kills, they take the rest of the day off.

It's only later, that we get the reports of civilians decimated as collateral damage.

Oops!

These new lethal toys are used both for surveillance and targeted assassinations.

Brick Wall

Scientists continue to be muzzled by Canada's Harper government

Stephen Harper Canada scientists
© Reuters/Chris WattieHarperPrime Minister Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons.
Harper government 'muzzlers' are on the prowl at an international polar conference about everything from seabirds to arctic ice.

According to an article by PostMedia News, media instructions have been sent to the Environment Canada researchers attending the week long meeting in Montreal.

"If you are approached by the media, ask them for their business card and tell them that you will get back to them with a time for (an) interview," the Environment Canada scientists were told by email late last week.

"Send a message to your media relations contact and they will organize the interview. They will most probably be with you during the interview to assist and record," says the email obtained by Postmedia News.

The memo, signed by Kristina Fickes, an Environment Canada senior communications adviser, goes on to say that recordings of interviews are to be forwarded to the department's media relations headquarters in Ottawa. Fickes signs off with a signature tagline that says: "Let the sun shine in :)"

This isn't the first time Canadian scientists have been muzzled.

Comment: Once again, Harper takes a leaf from the US playbook on how to deal with dissident voices.