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New Princess Diana riddle over chilling photo of SAS sniper aiming at cars

Diana and Dodi
© Getty ImagesLovers Diana and Dodi.

The controversy over the death of Princess Diana took a new twist last night with the emergence of a photograph of an SAS sniper practising his deadly trade on the streets of Britain.

The remarkable image, now being examined by Scotland Yard detectives, shows the special forces soldier lying on a bridge in Wales peering at cars down the telescopic sights of a sniper's rifle.

The photograph was taken from the computer of Soldier N, a former SAS man who claims regiment members were responsible for the death of Diana in a Paris underpass. A total of 90 images were discovered.

The Metropolitan Police, whose specialist crime and operations command is investigating the assassination theory, last night said it would be "inappropriate" to comment on the new development.

The photograph shows two men on a bridge who are thought to be taking part in a counter-terrorism exercise.

The soldiers are practising a procedure known as high-speed vehicle interdiction, a tactic designed to stop vehicles being driven by terrorists travelling at speed.

Che Guevara

As F.B.I. pursued snowden, Lavabit e-mail service stood firm

edward snowden
© The Guardian/ReutersThe owner of the e-mail service said he closed it down after the government, in pursuit of Edward J. Snowden, sought untrammeled access to the protected messages of all his customers.
One day last May, Ladar Levison returned home to find an F.B.I. agent's business card on his Dallas doorstep. So began a four-month tangle with law enforcement officials that would end with Mr. Levison's shutting the business he had spent a decade building and becoming an unlikely hero of privacy advocates in their escalating battle with the government over Internet security.

Prosecutors, it turned out, were pursuing a notable user of Lavabit, Mr. Levison's secure e-mail service: Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked classified documents that have put the intelligence agency under sharp scrutiny. Mr. Levison was willing to allow investigators with a court order to tap Mr. Snowden's e-mail account; he had complied with similar narrowly targeted requests involving other customers about two dozen times.

But they wanted more, he said: the passwords, encryption keys and computer code that would essentially allow the government untrammeled access to the protected messages of all his customers. That, he said, was too much.

"You don't need to bug an entire city to bug one guy's phone calls," Mr. Levison, 32, said in a recent interview. "In my case, they wanted to break open the entire box just to get to one connection."

On Aug. 8, Mr. Levison closed Lavabit rather than, in his view, betray his promise of secure e-mail to his customers. The move, which he explained in a letter on his Web site, drew fervent support from civil libertarians but was seen by prosecutors as an act of defiance that fell just short of a crime.


Propaganda? : Al Qaeda plot leak has undermined U.S. Intelligence

Yemeni soldier
© Yahya Arhab/European Pressphoto Agency A Yemeni soldier at a checkpoint leading to the United States Embassy last month during tightened security in Sana, the capital.
As the nation's spy agencies assess the fallout from disclosures about their surveillance programs, some government analysts and senior officials have made a startling finding: the impact of a leaked terrorist plot by Al Qaeda in August has caused more immediate damage to American counterterrorism efforts than the thousands of classified documents disclosed by Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor.

Since news reports in early August revealed that the United States intercepted messages between Ayman al-Zawahri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden as the head of Al Qaeda, and Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the head of the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, discussing an imminent terrorist attack, analysts have detected a sharp drop in the terrorists' use of a major communications channel that the authorities were monitoring. Since August, senior American officials have been scrambling to find new ways to surveil the electronic messages and conversations of Al Qaeda's leaders and operatives.

"The switches weren't turned off, but there has been a real decrease in quality" of communications, said one United States official, who like others quoted spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence programs.

The drop in message traffic after the communication intercepts contrasts with what analysts describe as a far more muted impact on counterterrorism efforts from the disclosures by Mr. Snowden of the broad capabilities of N.S.A. surveillance programs. Instead of terrorists moving away from electronic communications after those disclosures, analysts have detected terrorists mainly talking about the information that Mr. Snowden has disclosed.

Senior American officials say that Mr. Snowden's disclosures have had a broader impact on national security in general, including counterterrorism efforts. This includes fears that Russia and China now have more technical details about the N.S.A. surveillance programs. Diplomatic ties have also been damaged, and among the results was the decision by Brazil's president, Dilma Rousseff, to postpone a state visit to the United States in protest over revelations that the agency spied on her, her top aides and Brazil's largest company, the oil giant Petrobras.


Climate change scientist Michael E. Mann's emails to be subject of state supreme court case

You have to wonder what he's got in those emails to be fighting so hard to keep people from seeing the supposedly mundane details of research.

Prince William FOIA case on global warming headed for Virginia Supreme Court
The fight by a conservative legal group and Del. Robert Marshall (R-Prince William) to obtain the e-mails written by leading climate change scientist Michael E. Mann while he was at the University of Virginia was shot down by a judge in Prince William County last year. But Marshall and the legal group appealed, and the Virginia Supreme Court has agreed to take the case and rule on whether the state's Freedom of Information Act exempts unpublished academic research from being disclosed to the public, even after it's been concluded or has been released elsewhere.


Richard C. Kast and Madelyn F. Wessel, U.Va.'s lawyers, argued that Judge Sheridan got it right when he ruled that the university had properly interpreted FOIA. They acknowledged that there was no judicial precedent on the FOIA exemption, but that "the policy of open government under the act is not 'absolute,'" citing more than 100 exemptions in Virginia's FOIA law. They noted that the Institute and Marshall challenge the judge's interpretation of "proprietary," but that the conservatives "offer no alternative definition or explanation as to why the plain meaning of the term should not apply." Plain meaning, in U.Va.'s view, being "a thing or property owned or in the possession of one who manages and controls them."

Mann said in an e-mail to me [the WaPo writer] that "I believe Judge Sheridan's ruling protecting faculty research correspondence is correct and is precisely what Sen. Thomas Michie intended when he proposed his legislation to amend Virginia's FOIA law and the legislature enacted in 1984 to enhance the ability of Virginia's public colleges and university's to protect the scholarly research endeavor."

Cell Phone

Shooting highlights dangers of distracted living

© Creatista/Shutterstock

If a murderer pointed a handgun directly at you, you'd notice, right? A recent incident in San Francisco proves that you might not - if you're staring at a cellphone.

Nikhom Thephakaysone boarded a crowded Muni train near San Francisco State University in September, and a security video now reveals that he repeatedly took out a .45-caliber gun and pointed it directly at passengers. But even after brandishing the loaded weapon several times, not one passenger noticed him, distracted as they were by their cellphones and tablets.

Only after Thephakaysone allegedly shot and killed Justin Valdez, a 20-year-old college student who was on the train, did the oblivious passengers take notice.

"These people are in very close proximity with him, and nobody sees this," District Attorney George Gascón told the San Francisco Chronicle.

"They're just so engrossed, texting and reading and whatnot. They're completely oblivious of their surroundings."

The fatal shooting that occurred in San Francisco - and the way the alleged killer was repeatedly ignored by dozens of people - highlights the degree to which people are increasingly absorbed in cellphones and other devices, to the extent that they're endangering their own lives and the lives of others.


Oklahoma pipeline explosion sparks large fire, prompting evacuations

A pipeline explosion in a rural northwestern Oklahoma town sent a fireball hundreds of feet into the air, and emergency responders on Wednesday were still at the scene, trying to extinguish the flames.

Deputy Cliff Brinson with the Harper County Sheriff's Department said the blast and fire sounded like the roar of jet engines and that the flames have reached two football field lengths into the sky, CBS reported.

Nobody's been injured, but residents living two miles away from the scene have been evacuated.

Northern Natural Pipeline engineers are still trying to cut the flow of natural gas. The explosion occurred Tuesday evening, but a day later, the fire was still raging.

One commenter at the local KSN television news site said in an early Wednesday morning Internet post: "We are seeing a glow from Lewis, Kansas."

Comment: The uploader on youtube wrote this about the explosion:

A huge explosion tore through a pipeline in Harper, Oklahoma, late on October 8, sparking a fire that could be seen up to 70 miles away. Firefighters and emergency crews from surrounding counties responded. Residents as far away as southern Kansas reported seeing flames. Credit: Spencer Albracht.

Comment: Was the explosion ignited by meteorites from above? There certainly has been an enormous increase in fireballs lately:

Breaking News: Meteor sightings in the 1000′s across the U.S. are reported to American Meteor Society


UN sued over Haiti cholera epidemic

Court case launched in New York over thousands of deaths blamed on sewage discharge from United Nations barracks

A boy receives treatment for cholera symptoms at a centre in Mirebalais, Haiti. Photograph: Eduardo Verdugo/AP
Victims of the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti are filing a compensation claim against the United Nations in a New York court, demanding that billions of dollars in damages be paid to survivors and the relatives of those killed.

The outbreak has killed more than 8,000 people and made 650,000 ill, according to officials, and scientific studies have shown the cholera strain was likely introduced to the country by UN troops from Nepal, where the disease is endemic, when contaminated sewage was discharged from their barracks into a watercourse. Before that cholera cases had been rare in Haiti.


Best of the Web: Censored by the lamestream media: 1 million American truckers planning to jam the Washington Beltway, October 11-13

UPDATE: The groups "Truckers to Shut Down America" and "Truckers Ride for the Constitution" claim they are the "founders" of the trucker movement but other groups are "out there spreading false information."
shutdown, truck
Ben Pam, an organizer for the latter group, told the Examiner that truckers are not planning on arresting any congressmen.

"We do not intend to obstruct traffic or close down any roads," he said. "We are not coming to arrest anyone."

He said the truckers only want to "awaken the American people to the complete disregard for the Constitution and bring a message to Congress that We The People demand to be heard."

Comment: Once again the hand of government control by infiltration can be seen. One or two inflammatory statements released by a "loose cannon" (read agent), which have to be contradicted or explained, will likely cause any legitimate movement to rapidly lose credibility. "Divide and conquer" works at every level of activism.

Comment: Despite the disinformation and censorship efforts of government agents like 'right-winger' Pete Santilli, the CIA's Facebook and phony leftist outlet 'ThinkProgress', the truckers' rally - which is apparently still going ahead - is a justified, rational, non-partisan form of protest from ordinary Americans who are fed up with the corruption of CorpGov.

Good luck and godspeed to all those taking part from all of us at

Show them what 'shutdown' really means!


Rare amoeba that caused the death of a child in south Louisiana found in water system

Baton Rouge - The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say a rare amoeba that caused the August death of a child in south Louisiana has been found in five locations in a north Louisiana water system.

The state Department of Health and Hospitals said Tuesday the CDC confirmed the presence of the Naegleria fowleri amoeba in five places in DeSoto Parish Waterworks District No. 1, which is one of 14 water systems in the parish.

State health officials say there are no known current cases of illness related to the discovery in DeSoto or elsewhere in Louisiana.

DHH began testing the DeSoto system as a precaution after St. Bernard Parish's water system tested positive. DeSotor was the site of one of two 2011 amoeba-related deaths in Louisiana.

Source: Associated Press


New York middle school bans footballs, and tag at recess

A New York middle school has banned footballs for fear that children might get hurt. There's more to the story than that, of course, but that's the basic gist: Weber Middle School in Long Island, New York, has banned hard footballs, baseballs, lacrosse balls and other recreational equipment, as well as some kinds of play, in an effort to help protect students from injury.

Overprotective nannying designed to reduce liability at the expense of kids' enjoyment? A responsible measure designed to protect developing bodies from concussions? There are arguments for both sides, but either way, Weber Middle's policy will start arguments.

The ban includes "hard" balls such as footballs, soccer balls and baseballs. Soft footballs are permitted. Also banned: "hard" forms of tag and other tackling games, as well as cartwheels without an adult present.

School officials cited injury rates as a reason for the policy shift.