President Bush of the United States authorized NSA surveillance of citizens, bypassing court warrants

Friday, December 16, 2005

In 2002, as a part of ongoing anti-terrorist operations, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on Americans and others in the United States making contact with persons in other nations. According to a The New York Times report, the NSA monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of “hundreds, and perhaps thousands of people” inside the United States over the past three years without warrants.

Specifically, the NSA performed wiretaps on international communications that included a U.S. participant. The authorization was kept secret until December 2005, when it was reported in The New York Times, engendering serious controversy over both the legality of the blended international/domestic wiretaps and the revelation of this highly-classified program in a time of war.

According to The New York Times, John Yoo, the former deputy in the Office of Legal Counsel, justified the domestic spying in a classified Justice Department legal opinion, arguing that these activities were covered by congressional approval of the war on terrorism. That legal argument was similar to another 2002 memo authored primarily by Yoo, which outlined an extremely narrow definition of torture. That opinion, which was signed by another Justice official, was formally disavowed after it was disclosed by The Washington Post.

President Bush insisted that he has not compromised civil liberties. “Revealing classified information is illegal,” he said during an unusual live, on-camera version of his weekly radio address, about this secret program that was revealed in media reports yesterday. Senior members of congress from both parties called for an explanation. Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter, stated that “there is no doubt that this is inappropriate”. Senator Trent Lott defended the NSA directive saying “I don’t agree with the libertarians. I want my security first. I’ll deal with all the details after that.”

Traditionally the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducts most domestic eavesdropping after obtaining warrants for it. The domestic mandate of the NSA has been traditionally limited to the surveillance of foreign nationals and embassies. The NSA has reportedly obtained court orders to undertake missions in Washington, New York and other cities.

Several national security officials say the jurisdiction granted the NSA goes far beyond the USA PATRIOT Act. Under the act, it’s necessary to seek a F.I.S.A. (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrant every time law enforcement eavesdrops within the U.S. Some officials say they consider warrantless eavesdropping inside the United States to be unlawful and possibly unconstitutional.

One government official involved in the operation said he privately complained to a Congressional official about his doubts about the program’s legality. But nothing happened. “People just looked the other way because they didn’t want to know what was going on,” he said.

The New York Times, the newspaper that broke the news, stated that it delayed publication of this story for a year after the White House said it could jeopardize investigations and alert would-be terrorists under surveillance.

October 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

The Important Difference In An Underhung Or Top Running Bridge Crane

byAlma Abell

There are two different types of overhead cranes that are used in most industrial, manufacturing, fabrication and processing types of applications. These include the underhung and the top running bridge crane options.

While both are highly effective and often can be used for the same type of lift and movement of the load, there are some important differences between the two that are well worth considering. The major difference between the two is the position of the end trucks, or the part of the hoist system that connects with the crane runway.

With the top running crane, the end trucks are on the top of the runway so the bridge, the part that the trolley moves across, sits on top of the runway beam. With the underhung crane the end truck sits on the bottom flange of the runway beam. This allows for more flexibility in these systems, while the top running cranes are able to lift larger loads based on their design.

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Support Options

The top running bridge crane will require support columns along the length of the system. The underhung styles will not, rather they can mount directly to the beams of the ceiling or they can be suspended from the beams. There are also free standing runways for the underhung cranes and these will have the necessary support columns, but they are ideal in areas where the building will not support other options or for use outdoors or in other specialized applications.

Multiple Systems

Underhung bridge crane designs will allow multiple cranes on the same runway and also the option to have multiple runways across a bay. These systems can also interconnect with other underhung cranes to allow for bay to bay transport or to even move from the bridge crane to a monorail system without the need to handle the load between the two.

The top running bridge crane is ideal for a straight run with heavy loads. This type of crane system can be designed for up to 20 ton or more, while the underhung systems are typically rated for 15 ton or less.

Speed of Movement

Comparing motorized underhung and top running cranes against each other will result in the top running system running faster even with a heavier load. These systems can travel at up to 200 feet per minute while the underhung system will be significantly slower.

If production is based on the need to move the load quickly and down a straight run, the top running crane is often the best answer. For flexibility and configuration options, the overhung crane is the system to choose.

October 20, 2018 in Stainless Steel Fabrication

Apple to give free cases, refunds to iPhone 4 owners

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Apple Inc. announced Friday that it will give owners of its new iPhone 4 a free case in response to mounting concerns over the device’s antenna placement. The iPhone 4 antenna is actually a metal strip that wraps around the side of the device, which has caused dropped calls when held in a certain way.

The announcement came in a rare press conference held by Apple on Friday morning. During the event, company CEO Steve Jobs attempted to address reports by both consumers and the media of signal reception issues relating to the positioning of the phone’s antenna. Rather than recall the devices or offer a hardware fix, Jobs said yesterday that Apple will offer a free case to anyone who has purchased an iPhone 4.

The rubber cases, or “bumpers”, wrap around the side of an iPhone and have been found to alleviate the reception issues. Apple’s bumpers were priced at US$29 before the press conference, but will be free to anyone with an iPhone 4 until September 30. Jobs also said that those who had already purchased a bumper will receive a full refund for the accessory. For consumers still dissatisfied with iPhone 4, Jobs said that the phones can be returned for a refund as well.

Jobs acknowledged that “a very small percentage of users” were experiencing antenna issues, but dismissed the existence of an “Antennagate,” saying that similar problems plague all cellular phones and that the iPhone issue “has been blown so out of proportion that it is incredible.” He showed videos demonstrating a drop in signal strength when held in a certain way for other smartphones to help make his point.

According to company statistics, about one out of every 200 iPhone 4 customers have called AppleCare to complain about the antenna. The iPhone 4 return rate is about one-third of the iPhone 3GS return rate. However, Jobs admitted that the percentage of calls dropped on the iPhone 4 was slightly greater than the percentage of calls dropped on the 3GS. Jobs attributed the small increase to fewer iPhone 4 users putting cases on their devices.

In response to critics saying that Apple had not addressed the reception problem quickly enough, Jobs said that iPhone 4 had only been out for 22 days and that the company could not have resolved the issue any faster. The press event came just days after Consumer Reports declined to give Apple’s newest phone a “recommended” rating due to the antenna’s placement. The group said that Apple’s move to give away free cases is a good first step, but not permanent enough to earn a higher rating.

Earlier, on June 24, Apple told customers to either hold the phone without covering the antenna, or to use a case. The so-called “death grip”, however, has not been as big an issue for other phones as it has for iPhone 4, said Mike Gikas of Consumer Reports. On July 2, Apple associated the issue with a long-undiscovered software bug relating to the formula for calculating signal strength. An iOS update released Thursday came with an updated, more accurate method of calculating the number of cellular signal bars to display, but did not actually prevent the signal loss that comes with covering the antenna.

October 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

Ireland requests replay of FIFA World Cup play-off with France

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI), Irish Minister for Sport, Taoiseach and Facebook social network groups are requesting a replay of the controversial FIFA World Cup play-off between Ireland and France in the interests of Fair Play. The FAI lodged an appeal with FIFA and also contacted the French Football Federation (FFF), it appears FAI hopes FFF may agree that a replay is fair play. Both captians, Thierry Henry and Robbie Keane, have called for a replay.

The Irish supporters, who in the past have won the FIFA Fair Play Award, are angry after a blatant double handball by Thierry Henry enabled France to score the extra-time goal that cost Ireland entry to next year’s FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa. Most Irish anger has been directed at FIFA, although French captain Thierry Henry has admitted handling the ball.

FAI has argued that there is a strong precedent; in 2005 where FIFA invalidated the result of a FIFA World Cup qualification match between Uzbekistan and Bahrain on the basis of a technical error by the match referee. However, Law 5 of the Laws of the Game state that: “The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match, are final.” and a source at Fifa headquarters in Switzerland said that “there is no way the game can be replayed”. The generic concept of fair play is a fundamental part of the game of football and the Fair Play Campaign was conceived largely as an indirect result of the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, when the handball goal by Diego Maradona.

The referee Martin Hansson and (referee’s assistants) Stefan Wittberg and Fredrik Nilsson were unable to see the incident but didn’t ask Thierry Henry if he handled the ball. Its hoped the mistake won’t cost the Swedish referee’s a place in South Africa. FIFA’s Fair play policy is playing by the rules, using common sense and respecting fellow players, referees, opponents and fans. The French union representing the nation’s gym teachers declared outrage at what it called “indisputable cheating.”

Minister for Sport Martin Cullen wrote to FIFA president Sepp Blatter urging him to call a rematch in the interests of fair play. Taoiseach Brian Cowen raised the issue with French president Nicolas Sarkozy on the fringes of last night’s EU summit. French Prime minister François Fillon said “neither the French government nor the Irish Government should interfere in the functioning of the international federation”.

October 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

American disc jockey “DJ AM” dies at 36 of suspected drug overdose

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The American celebrity disc jockey Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein has been found dead in his apartment in Manhattan, New York. The cause of death is suspected to be a drug overdose. Goldstein was found dead by paramedics at 5:20 pm. Drug paraphernalia was found at his apartment, but the star had claimed to be clean for years after an addiction to crack cocaine.

Goldstein was a disc jockey at some of Hollywood’s most exclusive clubs and parties. He became a celebrity in his own right after relationships with actress Mandy Moore and the daughter of Lionel Richie, Nicole.

The disc jockey escaped death in September 2008 after he was involved in a plane crash that killed four people. Former drummer for rock band Blink-182, Travis Barker was also injured in the plane crash.

Several members of the Hollywood community released statements about Goldstein’s death. Television host Maria Menounos said “So horrible. In shock” and blogger Perez Hilton wrote on his Twitter page saying “He survived a deadly plane crash and now THIS, I can’t stop crying”.

October 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

WHO’s reaction to H1N1 influenced by drug companies, reports claim

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Reports suggest the World Health Organisation’s declaring a swine flu pandemic was an error driven by drug companies, and lead to unjustified fear. A year after the swine flu pandemic was declared, stocks are left unused and governments try to abandon contracts, pharmaceutical companies have profited at least £4.6billion from the sale of vaccines alone.

Reports by the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) and the Council of Europe claim that The World Health Organisation reaction to H1N1 was influenced by pharmaceutical companies and that key scientists behind advice had financial ties with firms Roche and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). These conflicts of interest have never been publicly disclosed by WHO, an apparent violation of its own rules.

The World Health Organisation issued H1N1 guidelines in 2004, recommending countries to stockpile millions of doses of antiviral medication. The advice prompted many countries around the world into buying up large stocks of Tamiflu, made by Roche, and Relenza manufactured by GSK.

A joint investigation with the BMJ and the BIJ, found that scientists involved in developing the WHO 2004 guidance had previously been paid by Roche or GSK for lecturing and consultancy work as well as being involved in research for the companies. “The WHO’s credibility has been badly damaged,” BMJ editor Fiona Godlee said in an editorial.

A report by the health committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, a 47-member human rights watchdog, found that the WHO’s reaction was influenced by drug companies that make H1N1 antiviral drugs and vaccines. It criticised WHO lack of transparency around the handling of the swine flu pandemic and says the public health guidelines by WHO, EU agencies and national governments led to a “waste of large sums of public money and unjustified scares and fears about the health risks faced by the European public.”

We’re still in the pandemic

A spokesman for WHO said the drug industry did not influence its decisions on swine flu. Margaret Chan, the organisation’s director, had dismissed inquiries into its handling of the A/H1N1 pandemic as “conspiracy theories” earlier this year, she had said: “WHO anticipated close scrutiny of its decisions, but we did not anticipate that we would be accused, by some European politicians, of having declared a fake pandemic on the advice of experts with ties to the pharmaceutical industry and something personal to gain from increased industry profits.”

Yesterday, a 16-member “emergency committee” consisting of advisors from the World Health Organisation said that the H1N1 pandemic is not yet over. The WHO has refused to identify committee members, arguing that they must be shielded from industry pressure, so possible conflicts of interest with drug companies are unknown. The BMJ report also reveals that at least one expert on the “emergency committee” received payment during 2009 from GSK.

In related news, Reuters reported, Pfizer Inc, the world’s biggest drugmaker, is selling its swine vaccine business to Chinese Harbin Pharmaceutical Group for $50 million.

October 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

News briefs:June 10, 2010

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October 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

Bomb scare closes Times Square, New York

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A car containing a bomb was discovered in Times Square, New York City, causing the evacuation of streets surrounding the area.

Reports say the vehicle, a Nissan Pathfinder, parked outside a theatre on 45th Street and Seventh Avenue, had smoke coming out of the back at around 6:30 p.m EDT (10:30 p.m. UTC). Unconfirmed reports say an unknown man ran away from the car. A roughly square area of the city, its boundaries formed by 43rd and 48th Street and 7th and 8th Avenue, was evacuated.

The New York Police Department bomb squad was called in and were able to retrieve the package using a robot. Officials removed gunpowder, consumer-grade fireworks, two five-gallon cans of gasoline, three propane tanks, electrical wiring, and two clocks with batteries that apparently were fashioned as one or two detonators. The bomb has been described as “amateurish”. No casualties or injuries were reported.

As of yet police have not named a suspect and are reviewing security footage. The car used by the suspect was stolen and had a non-matching license plate; the legitimate owner of the plates does not appear to have been involved in the incident.

President Barack Obama has congratulated the speediness with which the New York Police Department responded.

New York has been in a state of constant alert since the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. In September 2009, a plot to attack the New York Subway with suicide bombers was uncovered by police. In December 2009, Times Square was evacuated due to a illegally parked van, although it contained no explosives. On March 6, 2008, a small bomb was set off in front of the United States armed forces recruiting station in Times Square.

October 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

Australian police seize one tonne shipment of ecstacy

Friday, April 15, 2005Police in Melbourne have seized over a tonne of ecstacy in a shipment of tiles from Italy. Four were arrested on Thursday and early Friday relating to the shipment, which the Australian Federal Police has called the biggest shipment of street-ready ecstacy pills in the world.

The four men were charged with aiding and abetting a prohibited import, according to ABC radio. Five million tablets were seized, with a reported street value of US$190 million (AU$250m). Two were additionally charged with attempting to possess a prohibited import.

Federal police were continuing to investigate a crime ring behind the shipment, a spokesperson told

Federal Agent Mike Phelan said: “The AFP is now working with its counterparts in Italy and other parts of Europe to identify any overseas links with this latest seizure.”

X-rays taken of the shipment, which arrived in Port Melbourne earlier in the week, had revealed anomalies inside eight pallets which were stacked with tiles, said a report from Australian Associated Press.

Police then monitored the shipping container until it was delivered on Thursday to a suburban Melbourne factory, where two men were arrested, according to the report. Agents searched a dozen homes and businesses across Melbourne and arrested two more men early on Friday. All four suspects were due to appear in court later on Friday.

Federal Justice Minister Chris Ellison praised the AFP, the Australian Customs Service and the Australian Crime Commission involved in the operation, which he told Australian Associated Press had been ongoing since January.

“This big seizure sends a very clear message to those who want to traffic drugs to Australia, you will be caught and face very serious penalties,” Senator Ellison told the news agency, saying the shipment “could have wreaked havoc”.

“Anyone who says this sort of seizure does not slow the supply of drugs is quite obviously out of touch with reality.”

The previous largest Australian ecstasy haul occurred in November 2004 in Sydney, when 1,800 pounds of ecstasy tablets and powder were seized, Australian Federal Police (AFP) told Reuters, compared to this shipment’s weight of 2,240 pounds.

October 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

How To Separate Good Movers In Tacoma WA From Bad Ones

byAlma Abell

The moving service industry is replete with customer complaints, as some people do not spend enough time learning more about these companies. Moving companies that maintain a high standard have done their best to repair the image, but there are still cases that leave customers fuming. Residents of Tacoma can avoid problems by simply looking for a moving company that is known for providing quality service. Some of these businesses ensure that their employees are trained to handle household and commercial items with the utmost care. Some well-established movers in Tacoma, WA will also provide you with storage space if you need it.

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One of the first signs of a professional moving company is the way it handles the process of preparing an estimate. The only way to fully determine how much a moving job will cost is to look at all the items in question. Any business that attempts to provide an estimate based on a rough idea of your belongings might not be trustworthy. Remember that the estimate is a binding document, so the service provider must be thorough in its preparation. Both parties must agree on any changes, and this should also be put in writing. You can check two or three movers in Tacoma WA, but do not focus on the cheapest rate even if you want one that suits your budget. A rate that is too low could be an indicator of poor service.

Any professional moving company should have more than just a website. It should have phone numbers, and there must be a physical location even if you do not plan to visit the company. Be sure to review the estimate or any other document provided by the mover. Do not hesitate to ask for information that will prove that they are authorized to provide this type of service. Every mover must be fully licensed and insured to carry goods for residential or commercial customers. If you have never dealt with a moving company before, the website might be helpful. It will show you what kinds of services you can expect from these businesses.

October 17, 2018 in Fans