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Mon, 11 Dec 2023
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UK: Hacked Sun site greatly exaggerates Murdoch's death

Hackers breached the security of Rupert Murdoch's Sun website and briefly redirected many visitors to a hoax article falsely claiming the tabloid media tycoon had been found dead in his garden.

The hack caused many people visiting thesun.co.uk to instead reach www.new-times.co.uk/sun/, which contained a story headlined "Media moguls body discovered." The breach came as several other Murdoch-owned sites, including The Times,The Sunday Times, newsinternational.co.uk, and rupertmurdoch.co.uk suffered outages that made them inaccessible. The domain name system servers used to revolve many of those sites weren't responding to queries at time of writing.


UK: Lawmakers Hold a Grudge Against the 'Nudge'

box of chocolates

When push comes to shove, it looks like it's going to take more than a "nudge" for people to change their bad habits. So says the United Kingdom's House of Lords Science and Technology Sub-Committee. Today it issued a report on behavioral change policy that finds "nudges" and similar behavior interventions are ineffective in influencing behavioral changes when used in isolation.

Everyone has been nudged before - usually without them even knowing it. Take the chocolates conveniently placed in the checkout line, for example. A nudge is any action that seeks to change people's behavior by altering the environment or context of their decisions. A more healthy nudge might be to make fruit the default side order - rather than French fries - or to make stairs more prominent and install fewer elevators.

Lawmakers have taken an interest in nudges because of their nonregulatory nature and supposed cost-effectiveness. The U.K. government is keen to address societal issues such as obesity and carbon emissions by finding ways to change behavior without using regulation. But the Science and Technology Sub-Committee's report finds that a mixture of interventions is required, including regulation and taxation.

"We hope we will persuade the U.K. government that these interventions are valuable as part of an armory to persuade people to change behavior," says committee chair Julia Neuberger.

Star of David

Alan Sabrosky, US Marine Corps Veteran, Implicates Israel in 9-11 Attack

Alan Sabrosky a writer and consultant, specializing in national and international security affairs discloses intriguing facts on the implication of Israel in 9/11 events that are by and large unheard of in mainstream media.

Star of David

'Israelis Left Activists No Opportunities': Interview with Green Party Activist Anne Gray

Press TV has interviewed a pro-Palestine activist who was detained by Israel for four days after being denied entry into the occupied territories.

The following is a transcript of the interview with Green Party activist Anne Gray.

Press TV: Arriving by plane as civilians from Britain, what was your treatment like when you arrived in Tel Aviv?

Gray: We had no real opportunity to explain why we had come. We had no opportunity to assure the border officials that we were peaceful people engaged in a process of cultural and political dialog. The purpose of our visit was to assert the right of Palestinians to be visited. The right of Palestinian organizations to receive delegations like this for the purpose of discussion, volunteering, solidarity and the exercise of all the normal rights to non-violent activity, which we would expect in a democratic state.

Instead, we were taken straight from the passport control points after really no effective questioning at all, and put into a waiting room, which in Kafkaesque fashion turned into an airport-based detention center in a matter of hours. There was hardly any water to drink for two and a half or three hours. Then it was jail for four days before we were flown home.


Israel's Opportunity to Stop a Train Wreck

© unknown
Ever since outgoing Middle East envoy George Mitchell used the phrase "train wreck'' with Charlie Rose in May, it has become jargon for what will happen in September when the Palestinian leadership goes to the United Nations seeking "full membership for the state of Palestine." The Netanyahu government is so gravely threatened that it has made opposition to the UN affirmation of Palestinian independence a litmus test of loyalty to Israel. A catastrophe looms.

The Obama administration has announced its intention to use its Security Council veto to derail any such resolution, and both houses of the US Congress have, with near unanimity, condemned the Palestinian approach to the UN as "unilateral" and a "circumvention of direct negotiations," a death knell for the peace process. Yet consider another possibility: Instead of denouncing the pro-Palestinian UN resolution, Israel should announce its intention to support it.

Instead of a train wreck, a peace train. Against its critics, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat insisted last week that the UN bid "will preserve the peace process and the two-state solution." Why not see it that way? A means of moving the two parties out of stalemate, and toward the well-understood endgame of compromise and co-existence. "Now that you are recognized as the state you are," Israel could say, in effect, "Let's make it real by promptly settling the outstanding issues."


Arabs Dislike Obama Even More than Bush

Obama, George W. Bush
A few months back I had a quick exchange with President Barack Obama about America's standing in the Arab world.

When I mentioned we would be conducting a poll to assess Arab attitudes two years after his Cairo speech, he said he expected the ratings would be quite low and remain low until the US could help find a way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Well, the results are in and the president was right. In our survey of more than 4,000 Arabs from Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, we found favourable attitudes towards the US had declined sharply since our last poll, conducted in 2009 after Obama's first 100 days in office.

Back then, Arabs were hopeful he would bring needed change to the US-Arab relationship and the early steps by his administration reinforced this view. As a result, favourable attitudes towards the US climbed significantly from Bush-era lows.

But as our respondents made clear in this year's survey, those expectations have not been met and US favourable ratings in most Arab countries have fallen to levels lower than they were in 2008, the last year of the Bush administration.

War Whore

Thirteen Civilians Killed in Afghanistan by Airstrike

Afghanistan war
© unknown
A NATO airstrike killed 13 Afghan civilians in the Dowamanda district on the morning of July 7, including eight women and four children. Within the same 24-hour period, occupation forces killed at least 17 civilians, mostly women and children. Two children were also killed in the Ghazni province earlier this month by a NATO airstrike.

Following the massacre, Afghans held a protest rally to show their outrage against the occupation. The murder of civilians by occupation forces, now rapidly increasing, has been a source of tension between the Afghan puppet government and NATO, and has inflamed popular sentiments against U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan.

Despite the U.S. rhetoric about fighting terrorism, the greatest acts of terror have been committed by occupation forces, which have claimed the lives of hundreds of Afghan civilians over the past few months, including nine children in March.


Is Anon ready for the social network?

Rules without tyranny is harder than it seems
© anonplus

The story so far is that Anonymous - or someone associated with Anonymous, or someone cynically riding on the back of Anonymous, who knows? - has set up a site that's going to offer some kind of social network.

According to TechSpot, the idea (and the "Alpha" Website, anonplus.com) arose when Google+ allegedly banned an unknown number of Anonymous members.

The Anonplus site is couched in Anonymous' usual grandiose phraseology - "they will know that we have arrived. There will be no oppression. There will be no more tyranny. We are the people and we are Anonymous."


UK Phone Hacking: Stephenson quits, Brooks arrested

brooks & stephenson
© Getty
Rebekah Brooks after the decision to close the News of the World on 7 July. RIght: Sir Paul Stephenson said. 'I will not lose sleep over my personal integrity'
Scandal takes dramatic new turn as Met Police chief bows to pressure and ex-News International boss is questioned

The phone-hacking scandal claimed its highest-profile victim yet when Sir Paul Stephenson, Britain's most senior police officer, resigned as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police last night, saying the row over his links to a former News of the World executive harmed his ability to do his job.

Sir Paul stepped down amid a political outcry at Scotland Yard's disclosure that it had paid Neil Wallis, the former deputy editor of the NOTW, as a public-relations adviser when his force was being criticised for its failure to re-open its investigation into alleged criminality at News International.

Taking a swipe at unnamed newspaper executives who he said had kept quiet about phone hacking, the Commissioner insisted he had no grounds for suspecting Mr Wallis was involved in the saga when he was employed by the Yard between October 2009 and September last year. Mr Wallis was arrested last week on suspicion of conspiring to access voicemails.


Afghan president's top advisor killed

Jan Mohammad Khan

Jan Mohammad Khan, pictured in 2002, was killed in an attack on Sunday night at his home near the parliament in Kabul
A senior advisor to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a member of parliament have been killed in an attack in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul.

Jan Mohammad Khan, the former governor of southern province of Uruzgan was murdered in his home in the western Kabul district of Karti Char on Sunday night after at least two gunmen wearing explosives attacked his place.

Mohammad Hashem Watanwal, a member of parliament, was also killed while he was visiting Khan, AFP quoted police sources as saying.

Several security guards were killed in the incident and one of the attackers died after his explosives detonated, according to police officials and local Afghan television.

Comment: To better understand what really goes on behind the curtains in Afghanistan and who pulls the strings, read:

The War On Terror is a Fraud
CIA agent Raymond Davis 'had close links with Taliban'