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Canada: Harper's Senate picks turn off Canadians: Layton

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© Chris Wattie/ReutersPrime Minister Stephen Harper sits with Gov. Gen. David Johnston, front row centre, and members of the federal cabinet following a swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall, May 18, 2011.
The naming of defeated Conservative candidates to the Senate just two weeks after the election is part of what's turning people off about Ottawa, NDP Leader Jack Layton said Wednesday.

Layton attacked Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who nominated three losing Tories - including two former senators who had already stepped down from the Upper Chamber to run.

"Mr. Harper talks about Senate reform but he's doing things in the same old way, in fact even worse," Layton said.

"He's taking people who have been defeated, who have been rejected by voters.... You should earn your place in the Senate and if you can't get elected, you shouldn't be appointed to the Senate two weeks later."

Bizarro Earth

Medvedev Warns West of New Cold War over Missile Deal

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© AFP/Dmitry KostyukovPresident Dmitry Medvedev speaks during his first full press conference as Russian president at the Skolkovo centre outside Moscow on May 18, 2011. Medvedev on Wednesday warned the West it would face a new Cold War if it failed to address Russia's concerns over a proposed missile defence shield for Europe
Skolkovo, Russia - President Dmitry Medvedev warned Wednesday Russia could pull out a new nuclear disarmament treaty and enter a new Cold War with the West if the two sides failed to agree on a new missile defence shield.

Medvedev told reporters that the United States' decision to push ahead with the European shield despite Russia's objections will force Moscow "to take response measures -- something that we would very much rather not do."

MIB

Pakistan, China premiers meet amid tension with US

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Beijing: Pakistan's prime minister sealed a series of agreements with China on Wednesday, highlighting Islamabad's warm ties with Beijing amid heightened tensions with Washington over the killing of Osama bin Laden.

The signing ceremony followed talks between Yousuf Raza Gilani and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the Great Hall of the People at the start of a visit to Beijing marking sixty years of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

MIB

Mandatory Mobile Phone Emergency Alert System to Launch in US

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A new mobile telephone emergency alert system will be launched in New York City and Washington DC by the end of the year, US officials have said.

The system will allow the federal government and local authorities to reach people on their mobile phones to warn them of imminent danger.

Messages from the US president or information about missing children would also be sent through the system.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said there would be no charge to users.

Eagle

Perception Management: United apologizes for reusing 9/11 flight numbers

Washington - United Airlines apologized Wednesday for briefly restarting use of flight numbers of two planes that crashed after being hijacked by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.

Spokesman Rahsaan Johnson blamed the reuse of flight numbers 93 and 175 on a "technical error." He said the airline has taken steps to have the numbers removed from its computers.

"We apologize for the error," Johnson said in an interview. "The numbers were inadvertently reinstated."

United flight 93, heading to San Francisco from Newark, N.J., crashed in Shanksville, Pa., killing all 44 people aboard. Flight 175, from Boston to Los Angeles with 65 people aboard, crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center in New York.

Johnson said the flight numbers went back into use on Monday night. The airline had stopped using the flight numbers shortly after Sept. 11.

Comment: "You Have To Keep Repeating Things To Catapult The Propaganda" - G.W. Bush


Vader

Supreme Court gives police a new entryway into homes

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© Unknown

Washington - The Supreme Court on Monday gave police more leeway to break into residences in search of illegal drugs.

The justices in an 8-1 decision said officers who loudly knock on a door and then hear sounds suggesting evidence is being destroyed may break down the door and enter without a search warrant.

Residents who "attempt to destroy evidence have only themselves to blame" when police burst in, said Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.

Laptop

US warns: hack us, and we might bomb you

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© Unknown
The US revealed its "International Strategy for Cyberspace" (PDF) yesterday. It's mostly blather about how terrific "cyberspace" is, but it gets more specific on a few key issues like national defense. Could our next war start because of a hack? The government says it's possible.

"States have an inherent right to self-defense that may be triggered by certain aggressive acts in cyberspace," says the policy. Indeed, such aggressive acts might compel a country like the US to act even when the hacking is targeted at an allied country.

"Certain hostile acts conducted through cyberspace could compel actions under the commitments we have with our military treaty partners," says the document. "When warranted, the United States will respond to hostile acts in cyberspace as we would any other threat to our country."

Gear

National Geographic Channel Show Ponders The Possibility of an Alien Attack

Alien Attack
© National Geographic

Pasadena, California. - What if there really ARE little green men out there in the vast universe who plan to plop their UFO in a cornfield in Nebraska? That's not just a question for science-fiction writers and 10-year-old boys, but for real scientists with alphabets after their names.

"It's my day job, of course, to look for them," says Dr. Seth Shostek, senior astronomer with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI.) "And I can assure you that I wouldn't do that if I didn't think that there was a good chance for success because it is not that lucrative," he says.

Shostek and several other scientists are taking the matter seriously when the National Geographic Channel presents When Aliens Attack, premiering May 22.

"NASA has a Kepler satellite orbiting the Earth right now. Within 600 days you will know what fraction of stars have planets that are somewhat like the Earth. And the expectation is that the number will come out to between 10 and 50 billion in our galaxy," says Shostek.

Chess

Israeli media reveals U.S. president's forthcoming Mideast speech, Obama will call on Israel to withdraw to the 1967 borders

Jerusalem -- U.S. President Barack Obama will call on Israel to withdraw to the 1967 borders and agree to additional concessions that will enable a resumption of the peace process, Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth revealed on Tuesday.

The newspaper claimed to have obtained a draft of Obama's planned speech at the State Department on Thursday in which he will outline his administration's Middle East policy, in light of the anti-government protests that have swept the region over the past year.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Sunday that Obama would raise the need for progress in the peace process. However, he did not reveal whether the president planned to present a diplomatic initiative to revive the process, after negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians broke down last September.

Star of David

Updated Report: Israel's Attack on Humanitarian Ship to Gaza

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© Perdana
The Spirit of Rachel Corrie (officially known as FINCH) carrying a humanitarian cargo to Gaza was attacked by an Israeli naval patrol within the so-called Palestinian Security Zone on May 15, at 10.54pm EDT.

In the course of the last few hours, Global Research has communicated several times with the Rachel Corrie vessel en route to Gaza. What is provided below is a detailed update. An earlier article was posted at 12.30am EDT

The vessel left the Greek Port of Piraeus, on Wednesday, May 11. The humanitarian initiative is sponsored by the Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF), chaired by the former Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad.

Participating in this mission are anti-war activists and journalists, consisting of 7 Malaysians, 2 Irish, 2 Indians and 1 Canadian. The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) is a partner in this endeavor. Global Research's Julie Lévesque is on board the Rachel Corrie:
The cargo ship The Spirit of Rachel Corrie (officially known as FINCH) is carrying 7.5 kilometers of UPVC (plastic) sewage pipes to help restore the devastated sewerage system in Gaza. The ship was named after the courageous American activist who was crushed and killed by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003 while trying to prevent the demolition of another Palestinian home. She died at 23. ( Perdana's Second Press Release, Nakba and the Spirit of Rachel Corrie: Humanitarian Ship Attacked by Israel now within 1.5 nautical miles of Gazan Waters, Global Research, May 16, 2011)