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US and Britain may arm Libya rebels if Gaddafi clings to power

Clinton Hague
© The Guardian
Hillary Clinton and William Hague claim arming rebel groups may be legal under the recent UN resolution

The US and Britain have raised the prospect of arming Libya's rebels if air strikes fail to force Muammar Gaddafi from power.

At the end of a conference on Libya in London, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, said for the first time that she believed arming rebel groups was legal under UN security council resolution 1973, passed two weeks ago, which also provided the legal justification for air strikes.

America's envoy to the UN, Susan Rice, said earlier the US had "not ruled out" channelling arms to the rebels.

The British foreign secretary, William Hague, agreed that the resolution made it legal "to give people aid in order to defend themselves in particular circumstances".

Comment: The truth translation of the headline should read: "US and Britain will continue to arm Libya rebels if Gaddafi doesn't fully submit."


Dollar

Canada: Koch Industries registers to lobby Alberta government for access to crude oil reserves

Image
Koch Industries, a powerful American energy conglomerate which helped found the Tea Party movement, has now registered to lobby the Alberta government.

Records show the company hired Global Public Affairs, one of the most influential lobby firms in Canada, to represent its interests.

The registration was made on March 15, making Koch Industries legally able to lobby provincial policymakers on the issues of "energy and resource development", "economic development" and "taxation policy."

The privately-owned company, run by Charles and David Koch, is the second largest in the United States. In addition to manufacturing household products like Brawny paper towels, it also refines an estimated 25 percent of all oil sands crude entering America.

The company also owns a crude oil terminal in Hardisty, Alberta, and operates a subsidiary called Flint Hills Resources Canada LP, which it claims to be "among Canada's largest crude oil purchasers, shippers and exporters."

2 + 2 = 4

Drugging America: The drug industry exposed

Image
© Unknown
Gwen Olsen
Washington D.C., March 27, 2011 - Pharmaceuticals are a $650 plus billion dollar a year industry. For years the most profitable business in the U.S. has been the pharmaceutical corporations, which routinely top the annual fortune 500 list. Doctor prescribed drugs support an industry which out-earns the GNP of many nations.

A core attribute to big Pharma's overwhelming 'success' lays in the liaison between the corporations and the 'symptoms management' health care industry: The pharmaceutical representative. The men and women we see meeting with physicians, walking into offices with gifts of lunch for the staff, meeting with the doctor while you wait for our appointment.

Gwen Olsen was a top level pharmaceutical rep for some of the biggest in the industry: Johnson & Johnson, Syntex Labs, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Abbott Laboratories and Forest Laboratories.

Through some chilling wake up calls in her tenure, and the tragic drug-related death of her niece, Gwen has dedicated her life to making people aware of the dangers of prescription drugs and how the drug industry manipulates doctors into prescribing, and over prescribing, their drugs.

She is exposing the dark, deep-rooted deception and corruption that is prevalent in this industry.

Gwen Olsens words are powerful. Her message absolutely frightening. Below is a transcript of our conversation as well as a video of Gwen speaking out, including her appearance on a CBS Evening News Eye On Your Children news segment.

Briefcase

BP Managers Said to Face U.S. Manslaughter Charges Review

hayward
© Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Investigators also are examining statements made by executives, including former BP CEO Tony Hayward, during congressional hearings last year.

Federal prosecutors are considering whether to pursue manslaughter charges against BP Plc (BP/) managers for decisions made before the Gulf of Mexico oil well explosion last year that killed 11 workers and caused the biggest offshore spill in U.S. history, according to three people familiar with the matter.

U.S. investigators also are examining statements made by leaders of the companies involved in the spill -- including former BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward -- during congressional hearings last year to determine whether their testimony was at odds with what they knew, one of the people said. All three spoke on condition they not be named because they weren't authorized to discuss the case publicly.

Charging individuals would be significant to environmental- safety cases because it might change behavior, said Jane Barrett, a law professor at the University of Maryland.

Vader

Syrian Protesters Come Under Fire from Security Forces

Thousands demonstrate in Deraa as frustration mounts at Bashar al-Assad's failure to deliver reforms

doctor treating injured man
© Hussein Malla/AP
A doctor treats a man injured in Sunday's violence between security forces and protesters in Latakia, Syria.
Security forces fired shots and used teargas to disperse up to 4,000 protesters in the volatile Syrian city of Deraa on Monday as frustration mounted at the slow pace of promised reforms.

Despite the widespread presence of security forces, protesters appeared to consolidate their positions in Deraa in the deep south and in the northern port city of Latakia, which are the two main fronts in the challenge to the Syrian regime.

According to human rights activists, more than 150 people have been killed in 11 days of unrest, which have seen protesters calling for increased freedoms.

Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, who has not been sighted during the protests, is expected to deliver a speech within days.

The government has pledged to lift an almost five decade old emergency law, which - among other things - severely limits citizens' rights to demonstrate. That and other reforms are yet to be implemented.

Vader

UK: Fears of crackdown on right to protest in wake of anti-cuts violence

Are Prince's nuptials being used as cover for a crackdown on dissent?
royal wedding couple
© AP
Anti-cuts agitators will be barred from Westminster for the royal wedding

Ministers and police provoked anger and dismay as they signalled tough new security measures aimed at public rallies after the violence that marred the TUC anti-cuts demonstrations.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, was warned against a "knee-jerk reaction" to the trouble amid fears that moves to ban "known hooligans" from demonstrations could be abused by over-zealous officers. The Metropolitan Police is also planning the widespread use of "stop and search" powers against extremists attempting to disrupt the royal wedding on 29 April.

Ms May spelt out the plans in an emergency Commons statement into Saturday's events, when the TUC's peaceful protest was hijacked by gangs of violent anarchists and anti-capitalists.

Comment: A knee jerk reaction, or pre-planned?

See related article: UK 'anarchists' are part of MI5


Laptop

Crude, Inconsistent Threat: Understanding Anonymous

Dubious Disclaimer

Most of the time I cover technical topics. I regularly give classes and presentations on "how this protocol works" or "how do I hack X?", those sorts of things. This time, I want to delve into a little psychology/sociology. Normally I like to stick to technology because the answers are easier to test and less subjective. When people are being measured things become a lot more muddy and less definitive. When I think of the social sciences I think of the Ernest Rutherford quote:

"All science is either physics or stamp collecting."

My general impression of the social sciences is that there is a lot of room for personal beliefs to skew the results via bad experiment design, faulty assumptions, confirmation bias and the like. I likely have biases of my own so take this paper with a boulder of sodium chloride. Also please note that to better immerse you into the Internet culture Anonymous comes from I will be linking off to many "not safe for work" (NSFW) sites. After reading enough excerpts from "chan" culture you will hopefully begin to get a better feel for the nature of Anonymous.

Abstract

A lot has been said and written about a "group" referred to as Anonymous. This paper will go into Anonymous' motivations, organization (or lack thereof) and how the term "group" is sort of a misnomer. Unfortunately, "group" is a misnomer I will use throughout the paper because I lack a better word. For those familiar with "chan" culture, this article may not be of much use, but for those that read about Anonymous and just don't get it, this paper may be of assistance. The paper is not intended to condemn nor promote, but just to help folks understand "cyber-lynch mobs" and perhaps [a]their security ramifications. Mostly I'm just tired of hearing the news get it wrong concerning the nature of the "organization".

Arrow Down

Biden vacations in Aspen amid Libya questions and Florida reporter's detainment

Joe Biden
© unknown
Joe Biden
On the eve of President Barack Obama's address to the nation on U.S. military action in Libya and a recent story about a local Florida reporter who was locked in a storage closet during a fundraiser he attended for Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, Vice President Joe Biden can only be found vacationing in the ritzy resort city of Aspen, Colorado, reports the Aspen Times.

According to theAspen Times' article published on Friday, Mr Biden was described as "vacationing" in Aspen by a local sheriff after the Vice President flew in from headlining two fundraisers for Sen.Nelson in Florida:

Biden's motorcade left the Eagle County airport headed west and picked up Interstate 70 in Gypsum, traveling through Glenwood Canyon and eventually to Snowmass.

"It's a pretty low-key visit, definitely a vacation," according to Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo.

His office and the Snowmass Village Police Department will handle Biden's local security. They'll also get lots of Secret Service protection, DiSalvo said.

Over the Presidents Day weekend, first lady Michelle Obama, her daughters and some friends visited Vail, also flying in and out of the Eagle County airport.

Document

Donald Trump: I've got my birth certificate, where is President Barack Obama's?

Donald Trump
© unknown
Donald Trump
Donald Trump now sees himself as something of a patron saint for the birthers - and he's even released his own birth certificate as he steps up criticism of the president.

Seeking to pump more energy into the birther movement and quirky chase for the White House, Trump on Monday provided a copy of his birth certificate to the conservative website Newsmax - which has played a leading role in trumpeting birther mythology.

And in an interview on Fox News, Trump cast himself as something akin to the rebel leader of the birther movement.

"Now, this guy either has a birth certificate or he doesn't," Trump said. "And I didn't think this was such a big deal, but I will tell you, it's turning out to be a very big deal because people now are calling me from all over saying, please don't give up on this issue."

Trump's insistence that he's being encouraged to continue on his birther crusade has led to what he says is the startling revelation that, "all of a sudden, a lot of facts are emerging and I'm starting to wonder myself whether or not [Obama] was born in this country."

USA

President Obama Libya Speech Video: March 28, 2011 Address at National Defense University


The full speech text as prepared for delivery is below.

Good evening. Tonight, I'd like to update the American people on the international effort that we have led in Libya - what we have done, what we plan to do, and why this matters to us.

I want to begin by paying tribute to our men and women in uniform who, once again, have acted with courage, professionalism and patriotism. They have moved with incredible speed and strength. Because of them and our dedicated diplomats, a coalition has been forged and countless lives have been saved. Meanwhile, as we speak, our troops are supporting our ally Japan, leaving Iraq to its people, stopping the Taliban's momentum in Afghanistan, and going after al Qaeda around the globe. As Commander-in-Chief, I am grateful to our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and their families, as are all Americans.

For generations, the United States of America has played a unique role as an anchor of global security and advocate for human freedom. Mindful of the risks and costs of military action, we are naturally reluctant to use force to solve the world's many challenges. But when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act. That is what happened in Libya over the course of these last six weeks.

Libya sits directly between Tunisia and Egypt - two nations that inspired the world when their people rose up to take control of their own destiny. For more than four decades, the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant - Moammar Gaddafi. He has denied his people freedom, exploited their wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized innocent people around the world - including Americans who were killed by Libyan agents.

Last month, Gaddafi's grip of fear appeared to give way to the promise of freedom. In cities and towns across the country, Libyans took to the streets to claim their basic human rights. As one Libyan said, "For the first time we finally have hope that our nightmare of 40 years will soon be over."