Saturday, 17 March 2012
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – Thomas Edison
Our vision is a proactive healthcare system
Move. Eat. Treat. hopes to promote the importance of preventative medicine with the aim of eventually developing a healthcare system, which doesn’t wait until patients become ill before it acts, but works to keep the population healthy – a true health service that is proactive rather than reactive.
We believe that the best way to achieve this is to educate healthcare professionals on how to deliver effective lifestyle advice. We hope that this will lead to a sea-change in culture within the healthcare system to one that assertively seeks prevention instead of cure. Then this will be followed by policy and organisational changes to prioritise prevention via promotion of healthy lifestyles.
Lifestyle should be a core theme of healthcare education, alongside other key pillars such as anatomy, physiology, and pathology. This campaign wants to pave the way for updated curriculums and provide education to both undergraduates and current healthcare professionals.
In order to achieve this vision, Move. Eat. Treat has a number of goals…
Goal 1: Raise public awareness about the lack of lifestyle advice in healthcare and medical education
The most successful campaigns have public backing, as with your support we have a voice. Our aim is 100 000 signatures on the petition. This support will cumulate in an event where we take the petition to 10 Downing Street and send it to the people who can make a difference. We also plan to write a letter to a leading broadsheet newspaper detailing the campaign with significant signatories and publicise this to media outlets.
Goal 2: Form a panel of experts to create an innovative lifestyle change strategy
We need to draw from multiple areas of expertise to create an innovative strategy for change. The campaign already has a fantastic board of advisors, but we need more. We plan to host an event and invite world-leading experts in their respective fields to meet and begin a discussion on how to formulate a strategy. We plan to create a stepwise long-term plan which can be implemented by any healthcare professional to effect significant change in the lifestyle of their patients.
Goal 3: Reform healthcare education to include lifestyle as a core theme
Lifestyle plays a large part in health, but currently it is massively under-represented. All healthcare professionals should regard lifestyle advice as a key part of their practice. We plan to lobby educational bodies and institutions to increase the amount of lifestyle education on the curriculum, and eventually have lifestyle recognised as a core theme both at undergraduate level and beyond.
Goal 4: Enable current practitioners to implement the lifestyle strategy plan formulated by the expert panel
Move. Eat. Treat. is a not for profit organisation and a social enterprise will be created to deliver educational courses to healthcare professionals on how to effectively utilise lifestyle advice. Money will be reinvested in courses, education, and also be used to commission research into this field. The ultimate goal is to help educate undergraduates and healthcare professionals who are currently practicing on effective lifestyle advice.
Goal 5: Collaborate with other projects and support a proactive healthcare system
There are numerous projects and organisations, which are working towards keeping people healthy and educating them and supporting a healthy lifestyle. We want to use Move. Eat. Treat. as a vehicle to support and promote other projects with similar goals of helping people be and stay healthy. This we hope will enable us to achieve our vision of a proactive healthcare system.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao Tzu
The Move. Eat. Treat. vision is a lofty one, but with your help we believe we can make a positive change to healthcare philosophy and help keep people healthy.
Move. Eat. Treat isn’t the same old drone from your doctor about losing weight. It’s about creating innovative solutions, tools and guidance to really equip people to be, and more importantly, stay healthy.
However we cannot do this without your help. Please help us by signing the petition, and spreading the word.
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78 min: Priestland's drop goal attempt goes wide. But the territorial advantage is still with Wales.
77 min: Wales have a lineout .. which they lose. Ryan Jones isn't prepared to give up that easily and storms through to gather and Wales keep the ball. Priestland is in the pocket waiting for a drop goal. The go for one more surge ...
75 min: PENALTY! WALES 16-9 France. Leigh Halfpenny slides it through the post and once again a converted try stands between the sides.
74 min: What a break from Halfpenny. he very nearly gets through the French defence - it takes two man to drag him to the ground. Eventually Trinh-Duc takes the ball into touch but then needlessly throws the ball away and Wales have a penalty. Why did he do that?
73 min: PENALTY! Wales 13-9 FRANCEYachvili knocks the simple penalty over. What a big seven minutes coming up.
72 min: Penalty to France! They decide to go for goal. Jonathan Davies reckons Wales will be happy with that. I'm inclined to agree.
72 min: It's desperate defending - truly desperate defending. It all came from a high Beauxis which Halfpenny spills France look to be in on the far side but a combination of sterling defence and bad decision making from the French and the scoreline remains at 13-6. Wales knock on and it's going to be a French scrum.
69 min: Ken Owens is making a real impact here. The substitute hooker rides one huge hit in midfield and then carries the ball again on the left touchline before george North is penalised for handling on the ground and France have a penalty - Yachvili clears for touch and Wales will have some defending to do.
67 min: A lovely low, driven kick from Priestland doesn't quite find touch but forces Trinh-Duc backwards and he has to find touch and Wales have a lineout in the French half. All of this eats up time and puts Wales in French territory. Now they need to eliminate handling or disciplinary errors.
65 min: Here come France. They're on the Wales line. Great tackle from Evans. Ken Owens then holds up Dusautoir and France are penalised for holding on and the decision is greeted by the home crowd as if it is a try.
64 min: "I wonder if the BBC might consider taking the microphone from Jonathan Davies?" wonders Stephen Davenport. "He could then fully indulge his fandom and make himself – and me – a lot happier." But then you would just be left with John Inverdale's patronising fandom. I don't think you've thought this through.
62 min: Great from Faletau who gains ground but can't quite release. It's chipped ahead but Roberts can't quite gather. Dan Lydiate then beats his own tackle of the match with a hit on Buttin which is so hard that the crack is picked up from the ref's mic. Wales make a flurry of changes and the new men need to hit the ground running.
59 min: It's quickly taken from France, kicked across field and gathered by Buttin but that man Dan Lydiate is there to make the tackle of the match. It's going to be a French scrum - but they are penalised and Wales breathe a massive sigh of relief. Rhys Priestland boots downfield.
58 min: ... France have a penalty. It was poor from Wales who let the frustration get to them and attempted to force the game but lost possession.
56 min: ... it's very slow from Wales. France aren't committing any men to the rucks and Wales just can't inject any pace into the attacks. Instead they go for Cuthbert who tries to bulldoze the French defence which he's pretty good at. Evans then goes on the stampede like an elephant in a safari park.
55 min: Wales are awarded a free kick and Priestland drills it into touch inside the French 22. The lineout is cleanly taken by Ryan Jones. George North and then Jones try to gain ground but are driven back by the French defence. This is a big play in the game ...
52 min: PENALTY! WALES 13-6 France. That is a huge kick from Leigh Halfpenny in every sense. It's from his own half, but he clears the post by some distance. It also re-establishes Wales's seven-point advantage at a time when they were coming under intense pressure from a French side who have starter the second half a lot stronger.
50 min: It's ever so scrappy now. The game has really opened up. Dusautoir brings a Welsh attack to a halt with a huge hit before turning over. Fofana, the French danger man, tries to weave through on the right. Wales clear their lines before the awesome Dan Lydiate forces France to penalise on halfway and Halfpenny is going to have a pop at goal.
48 min: Wales turn over as Ryan Jones ploughs through Yachvilli. Phillips kicks deep into the French 22 where Palisson gathers and does really well to clear his lines. He catches Cuthbert in a, ahem, sensitive area with his follow through and the clock is stopped for some treatment
47 min: William Servat has gone off and that is the last we'll see of him in a French shirt. Wales are still on the back foot as France come again. As soon as they work any sort of opening Beauxis tries a drop at goal but again it's off target and that's a terrible waste of possession. Wales need to up their game.
44 min: PENALTY! Wales 10-6 FRANCE. Beauxis makes no mistake and it's a four-point game. That lightening break from the French shows just how finely balanced the game is.
43 min: Great break from France, who switch play in a flash and Buttin makes a fine break. He chips ahead and the ball looks for a moment like it might bounce favourably for him, but Halfpenny gets a touch before Jenkins gathers. Jenkins was offside and it's a penalty to France. n
42 min: Priestland tries a drop goal from a very long way out but, much like Beauxis's effort at he start of the first half, it's nowhere near being a scoring effort.
41 min: The second half continues in much he same vain as the first - plenty of kicking. Rhys Priestland tests the new French full-back Buttin with a high up-and-under but the debutant deals with it very well indeed.
Peeep! Rhys Priestland gets what you have to say is a fairly big 40 minutes in the lives of these Wales players underway.
BREAKING HALF-TIME NEWS ... Sam Warburton has a shoulder injury and is being replaced by Ryan Jones. He's destined not to finish a game against the French.
HALF TIME: WALES 10-3 FRANCE. So far so good for Wales, who have been the better team in a scrappy game. One brilliant turnover is really what separates the sides. France haven't been much of an attacking threat and will need to improve their ball handling considerably if they're to get back in this game. Wales will look for more of the same.
40 min: Halfpenny missed the penalty! Again it comes off the upright and that's a bit of a let-off.
38 min: This is frantic stuff now. Yachvili's kick is charged down by Evans. Wales have a penalty advantage. They try to fling it wide to North to turn it into seven rather than three points but it is just that - a fling - and it sails over North's head and into touch so they'll go back for a penalty. In the midst of all that France have made a sly substitution as Buttin comes on for his debut in place of Poitrenaud
36 min: Yachvili is penalised in the Wales half - Priestland kicks for touch but gets greedy and aims deep in the French 22 but doesn't quite reach touch. France clear and the lineout will be 30 metres back towards halfway.
33 min: George North kicks ahead and wants a penalty as he feels he's taken out off the ball. Craig Joubert reckons it's an accidental trip by Fofana and there's no penalty. It's the right decision. For a moment it then looks as if Wales have an overlap on the right but Phillips lets the greasy ball slip from his hands.
32 min: PENALTY! WALES 10-3 France. Leigh Halfpenny slots it between the sticks and Wales are opening up a healthy lead.
30 min: It's all gone very sloppy and more terrible French handling as Jonathan Davies pounces on Beauxis, very nearly intercepts the ball. Davies kicks on on the ground, Palisson gets back but plays on the ground and it's a penalty to Wales.
27 min: Terrible handling from the French as Harinordoquy blindly flings a pass out of play. From the lineout Faletau makes a burst and suddenly the French defence doesn't look quite so organised as it did 10 minutes ago.
22 min: CONVERSION! WALES 7-3 France. Leigh Halfpenny steps up this time and makes no mistake. Wales are up and running.
21 min: TRY! WALES 5-3 France. Brilliant try from Alex Cuthbert. Wales turned over thanks to sterling work from Dan Lydiate and Alun Wyn-Jones who stopped Dusautoir in his tracks and weaselled the ball back into Welsh hands. It came to the winger on the right but the finish was brilliant, weaving inside off the flank, surging past flailing French tackles to send the Millennium Stadium wild.
19 min: A big break for Wales as Papet is penalised for not releasing inside the Wales 22. For a moment there is looked like Attoub was in and all he had to do was pop off the pass and France were in.
18 min: At the risk of sounding like a stuck record this French defence is looking really strong. They're not committing too many players to the rucks and Wales are finding it really different to penetrate the massed ranks whenever the ball does come loose.
15 min: Priestland misses the penalty. It comes off the upright. It's a decent effort but I'm surprised that it was Priestland, and not Halfpenny, who was given the opportunity.
14 min: Good response from Wales but the French defence looks really strong so far. An ominous sign for Wales? Jamie Roberts ducks, swivels and makes a break but is held up, then Leigh Halfpenny has a go with the same result. Yachvili is then penalised for not rolling away and it's a penalty to Wales and Thys Priestland (strangely) is going to kick at goal. "Is ball dropping the new catching?" asks Niall Mullen. "Because I'm not sure it's an effective tactic."
11 min: PENALTY! Wales 0-3 FRANCE Yachvili makes no mistake with a routine kick just to the left of the posts and France have the lead.
10 min: France surge forward from the lineout and Gethin Jenkins is penalised and this is a kickable penalty.
9 min: Penalty to France after Phillips was tackled to the ground, failed to release and popped back to his feet to go again. Beauxis kicks for territory and Wales are going to be under a bit of pressure.
6 min: Lydiate pounces on a loose ball after a sloppy up-and-under from Halfpenny. Phillips feeds Priestland who kicks on and gives chase but he's facing a losing battle to get to the ball before the French three-quarters and Palisson clears his lines.
4 min: Rhys Priestland launches a huge up-and-under which Palisson can't gather. Wales hold possession but some excellent defensive work from Dusautoir stops them in their tracks.
2 min: It's a bright start from Wales as Jonathan Davies picks up a flat pass from Priestland and gains ground on the left touchline. Again France are forced to kick for touch - this time it's Beauxis - and Wales have another lineout.
1 min: Lionel Beauxis tries, what is now his customary long range drop goal. As is also customary he barely gets it off the deck. Rhys Priestland then sends a kick deep into the French half and Poitrenaud is forced to boot for touch. First lineout for Wales.
Peeep! Craig Joubert blows his whistle and France get the game under way playing from left-to-right. "It's not going to be pretty, but it's going to be brutal," says Jonathan Davies.
2.47pm: La Marseillaise, as always, sends shivers down the spine. Old Land of My Fathers is pretty rousing too. Is it obligatory that, no matter how much you are lost in the moment, you have to point at yourself if you appear on the big screen? "Oh, look. There's me. I should point at myself."
2.41pm: Wales now come charging onto the pitch. There's going to be a minute's silence for Mervyn Davies who sadly passed away yesterday, as well as New Zealand's Jock Hobbs who also died this week. A small ripple of applause rings out - as well as a couple of customary morons trying to get their voices heard - but the for the most part it's impeccably observed. Now for the anthems.
2.39pm: The teams are lining up in the tunnel. The roof is open in the Millennium Stadium on the insistence of the French which, along with plenty of overnight rain in Cardiff, means that it's a really greasy playing surface which may suit the French game plan.
Good afternoon. A little nervous, are we? There's not much more to be said other than what has been written, spouted or churned out this week. Practically anyone who has ever even been to Wales has voiced their opinion over the past few days but what it all means is that there is surely not a Welsh person on the planet who at this stage doesn't just want to get this game up and running (and possibly just get it over with). It's time for the talking to stop and for affirmative action to begin.
But just in case any Wales's fans are feeling a little over-confident, it's worth remembering that France have had the upper hand in fixtures against the Welsh in recent years. In fact, Wales have won just one of their past eight games with France and have the bitter memory of defeat in the World Cup semi-final last year still very much at the forefront of their minds. Warren Gatland insists that revenge is not on the agenda today but I think some of the Wales supporters might have a different opinion.
Many credit that crushing (and unjust) 9-8 defeat at Eden Park with hardening this young Wales team. They say it's given them the steel to win tight games in a ruthless manner. Maybe it has, but at the same time had it not been for some very generous refereeing in Dublin, and a last gasp try at Twickenham, then they wouldn't be in this position.
But win them they did, and now it's just the unpredictable French who stand in the way of a third grand slam in seven years. Incidentally just two members of that 2005 team remain in the side today, which shows just what a new force in world rugby Wales can be. But depending on which French side shows up then the smiling faces in the Millennium Stadium may not be quite so chipper over the next 80 minutes.
Shane Williams has outlined the five things Wales need to do against France to seal the grand slam. These are 1) Attack their scrum, 2) Change the point of attack, 3) Dictate the tempo, 4) Nullify their back row and 5) Don't change our game plan. He might add to that 6) Win by any means possible.
So, in summary: no more messing around. Let's get it on. Here are the teams ...
15- Halfpenny; 14- Cuthbert, 13-Davies, 12-Roberts, 11-North; 10-Priestland, 9-Phillips; 1-Jenkins, 2-Rees, 3-Adam Jones, 4-Alun Wyn Jones, 5-Evans, 6-Lydiate, 7-Warburton (c), 8-Faletau.
Replacements: 16-Owens, 17-James, 18-Charteris, 19-Ryan Jones, 20-Lloyd Williams, 21-James Hook, 22-Scott Williams.
15-Poitrenaud, 14-Fofana, 13-Rougerie, 12-Fritz, 11-Palisson, 10-Beauxis, 9-Yachvili; 1-Poux, 2-Servat, 3-Attoub, 4-Pape, 5-Maestri, 6-Dusautoir (c), 7-Bonnaire, 8-Harinordoquy.
Replacements: 16-Szarzewski, 17-Debaty, 18-Pierre, 19-Picamoles, 20-Parra, 21-Trinh-Duc, 22-Buttin.
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Touch judges: Wayne Barnes and Stuart Terheege (both England)
TV: Iain Ramage (Scotland)
Armageddon (DDoS Botnet) Started Integrating Apache Killer Exploit ~ VOGH- VOICE OF GREYHAT| Leading Resource of Cyber-Security & Hacking News
Armageddon (DDoS Botnet) Started Integrating Apache Killer ExploitThe latest version of Denial of Service Bot (DDoS) named Armageddon integrates a relatively new exploit known as Apache Killer. Armageddon is a Russian malware family exclusively designed to launch DDoS attacks. Because it is sold as a toolkit on underground forums, there is more than one Armageddon-powered botnets on the Internet. Aside from the Apache Killer exploit, the latest Armageddon version also incorporates other application-layer DDoS techniques that target popular Internet forum platforms like vBulletin or phpBB, however these are not particularly ground-breaking.The Apache Killer exploit was released in August 2011. It exploits a vulnerability in the Apache Web server by sending a specially crafted "Range" HTTP header to trigger a denial-of-service condition. The attack is particularly dangerous because it can be successfully executed from a single computer and the entire targeted machine needs to be rebooted in order to recover from it. The vulnerability exploited by Apache Killer is identified as CVE-2011-3192 and was patched in Apache HTTPD 2.2.20, a week after the exploit was publicly released. Apache 2.2.21 contains an improved fix.Recommendation:-
System administrators should upgrade their Apache servers to the latest available version or should implement known work arounds. "There is an update to the Apache mod_security module that attempts to address this type of attack by filtering requests with 'Range' headers that are too large.
Syrian President Bashar Assad's E-mail-Id Hack Could Lead To "Cyber Warfare" ~ VOGH- VOICE OF GREYHAT| Leading Resource of Cyber-Security & Hacking News
Syrian President Bashar Assad's E-mail-Id Hack Could Lead To "Cyber Warfare"Earlier in a operation called #OpSyria hacker collective Anonymous has targeted the Syrian Cyber fence. First they hacked and defaced the Syrian Ministry of Defence then TV Network Of Syrian Pro-Government & finally Syrian president Bashar Assad been targeted by the hacker. Anonymous gained access to 78 different e-mail accounts at the Syrian Ministry of Presidential Affairs, including that of the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Mansour Fadlallah Azzam, and Assad's media adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban. Sadly, it's clear that no one bothered to give Assad's office a lesson in basic computer security, because several of the accounts apparently had the password 12345. Britain's newspaper Guardian gathered 3,000 emails passed on by a source in the Syrian opposition reveals a wealth of private information – including family photographs and videos, a scan of the president's identity card and a birth certificate belonging to a family member – that would be difficult for even the best resourced hoaxer or intelligence agency to gather or fabricate. The email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org accounts that activists say were used by Bashar al-Assad and his wife, Asma, communicate regularly and in affectionate terms with the wider family and advisers, some of whose email addresses are easily verified. Events and speeches mentioned in the emails tally with the timings of real events. The "sam" and "ak" accounts were also monitored contemporaneously by activists who say the protagonists reacted in real time to events on the ground in Syria.Review:-Cyber warfare in coming years, experts increasingly believe, could be as much about trying to protect or disseminate particularly sensitive pieces of information as about plotting cyber attacks on essential national infrastructure. "It's the first time insurgents have gained access to a regime's high-level communications during an uprising," says John Bassett, a former senior official at British signals intelligence agency GCHQ and now a senior fellow at the Royal United Services Institute.
"That could possibly be a significant turning point in the development of cyber warfare."
Some security experts doubt Syria's fragmented opposition would have had the capacity to access the e-mails without outside help, but others say those in power in Damascus may simply have been careless. The Syrian opposition say they were given details of the passwords by an internal regime source. It is a tool that could become increasingly popular. According To Guardian:-
There are several email conversations in which "Sam" and Bashar are clearly identified as the same person. In November, for example, Hadeel al-Ali, Assad's press assistant, emailed email@example.com about an interview Assad had given to a student activist, Hussam Arian, six months earlier. She attached a picture of Arian with Assad, and screenshots of the student's Facebook page, which featured the article. She said to "Sam": "I took many shots of the page of Hussam Arian and the article he wrote about you."
Another email to the address from Asma relates: "Fares closed all your twitter accounts!" Fares Kallas is Asma al-Assad's assistant, and other emails in the chain show that he had asked Twitter to close several fake accounts purporting to belong to Bashar.
In Asma's case, there are a host of emails sent between firstname.lastname@example.org and Asma al-Assad's family which offer compelling proof. Many emails sent to "ak" from her family begin "Hi Asma", and one of her family's email header lists email@example.com as Asma Akhras, Asma al-Assad's maiden name.
There are many other examples of family members sending affectionate emails to Asma at the "ak" account. On 21 November 2011, one of her brothers sent her photos of their father's recent birthday party, with the subject line "Dad's birthday 2011". The photos show Asma together with identifiable family members standing in a kitchen. The brother also circulated the photos to her other brother.
March 15, 2012
Afghanistan: Getting Out of the WayPosted by Amy Davidson
What happened in Afghanistan Wednesday, just before Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s plane landed? Worse things than we knew at first, and what we knew—a stolen truck hurtling toward the runway—had been bad enough. (I wrote about the incident over at Daily Comment, in a post about the mystery of the anti-war voter.) The Washington Post quotes Captain John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, as saying that the driver was an Afghan working for NATO forces as an interpreter:“He took a vehicle by force, drove it onto a ramp, at a high rate of speed, drove it at individuals who had to get out of the way to keep from getting hit by it, and then a flash of smoke and fire in the cab,” Kirby told reporters.
The “individuals who had to get out of the way” were senior Marine officers, according to the Post. And the truck was carrying canisters of gasoline, which were meant to explode; in the lesser fire, the attacker was burned over seventy per cent of his body and soon died. Who sent him? How did he get a job on the base, and so close to Panetta and others?
And what happened in Afghanistan Thursday? The Taliban said that they didn’t want to negotiate with us; President Hamid Karzai said that he wanted our troops in his country to only stay in bases. What would they be doing there, then? Waiting to be called out to thwart a palace coup against him? What, really, are they doing there now?
March 17, 2012
Losing Sergeant BalesPosted by Amy Davidson
Staff Sergeant Robert Bales began a series of journeys a decade ago, by plane and car and Humvee and on foot. He started out and has ended up, at least for now, in the Midwest: he is from Ohio, and, on Friday, was flown to Kansas, to the prison at Fort Leavenworth. Bales had gone to Iraq three times; in 2007, in Najaf, in the middle of a battle, his unit was sent to protect a helicopter that had crashed down: ”It was like a match lit up. It looked like a toy with a candle lit underneath it,” he said at the time, according to an Army news release. In 2010, he was driving in a Humvee when it rolled over, and his head was banged up. He flew to Afghanistan in December—his lawyer, John Henry Browne, told the Times that he didn’t want to go:The family was counting on him not being redeployed…He and the family were told that his tours in the Middle East were over.
Military officials had kept Bales’s name secret since last Sunday, when he left his base and walked by himself for about a mile until he came to a village house, and went inside. When he walked out of that house he went to another, and then another. Bales has two children of his own, a girl and boy ages three and four. In the three houses he allegedly shot and killed nine children, four of them under the age of six, and seven grown-ups, too.
Bales is thirty-eight. His namelessness was never going to last long, or be useful. (It still hasn’t been released officially: Bales’s name was leaked, and first reported by Fox News.) The explanation was that his wife and children needed to be kept safe, but they were moved from their home in Lake Tapps, Washington, and sent to Joint Base Lewis-McChord days ago. (Reporters who walked up to their house found a front porch “cluttered with empty boxes and a snow sled, while toys, a barbecue grill and a weathered hot tub sat in the fenced backyard,” according to the Times.) Transporting Bales hastily from Afghanistan to Kuwait only made both of those countries angry, in Kuwait’s case because the press figured it out before the government there did.
Without a name, Bales had been a phantom of suppositions. Browne had begun to make some of them solid, as had military officials who spoke to the press. Browne told reporters that Bales had lost part of a foot in Iraq; that was in addition to the head injury. He also said that Bales saw a friend’s leg blown off last week.
Military officials told the Times that Bales had been drinking the night of the murders, and that he was having trouble with his wife. Browne said that the drinking story was “very offensive,” according to the Post, and that Bales had a “very strong marriage.” Browne has hardly said a sentence that wouldn’t fit in a a closing statement in a defense built around post-traumatic stress disorder or diminished capacity—the loving husband and father broken by the war. But not all explanations can double as absolutions. One shouldn’t stigmatize veterans by implying that this is normal behavior; but one doesn’t want to isolate them, or leave them stranded on a difficult path, by cheerfully failing to recognize real pain.
The decision to pack Bales on a plane and out of Afghanistan may lead to other journeys. Will the villagers who saw him that night, like the woman who saw another woman taken by her hair and slammed against a wall, be brought to the trial to testify? (The answer may turn on Bales’s right to confront his accusers.) The dead left behind in the villages had names and stories and maybe strong marriages, too. We saw some of their faces in images in which mourners lifted up quilts to show their bodies. Now we are getting snapshots of Bales; neither set should banish the other.
Mauritania arrests top Libyan sought by ICC
By RAMI AL-SHAHEIBI, Associated Press – 18 minutes ago
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Mauritania on Saturday arrested Moammar Ghadafi's former intelligence chief, accused of attacking civilians during the uprising in Libya last year and the 1989 bombing of a French airliner. The International Criminal Court, France and Libya all said they want to prosecute Abdullah al-Senoussi.
Mauritania's state information agency said in a statement that al-Senoussi was arrested at the airport in the capital Nouakchott upon arrival from the Moroccan city of Casablanca. It said he was carrying a fake Malian passport.
A spokesman for Libya's ruling National Transitional Council, Mohammed al-Hareiz confirmed that the ex-intelligence chief had been captured by Mauritian officials.
As Gadhafi's regime crumbled in the second half of 2011 after more than four decades of rule, many of the dictator's inner circle fled from advancing rebels toward the Sahara, where the regime had long cultivated ties with desert groups both in Libya and in neighboring countries.
A Libyan military official said al-Senoussi, who is also Gadhafi's brother-in-law, likely fled to Chad just before the opposition captured the capital Tripoli in October and passed through Mali and Morocco before heading to Mauritania. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose the details.
Some Libyan officials reported last year that al-Senoussi had been captured and was being held in the southern city of Sabha. But some later cast doubt on that assertion, and his whereabouts have not been known — a reflection of the confusion in post-Gadhafi Libya, where "revolutionary militias" hold local control in many towns and cities with little accountability to the Tripoli government.
In October, a Western diplomatic official in Mali's capital, Bamako, told The Associated Press that al-Senoussi was in Mali and that the French government was taking the lead in hunting him down. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to the press.
Al-Hareiz said Libya is requesting the former intelligence head be handed over to Libya for trial but the line to prosecute al-Senoussi is long.
Judges at the Netherlands-based ICC issued an arrest warrant for al-Senoussi last June on two counts of crimes against humanity — murder and persecution — for allegedly masterminding attacks on civilians in the early days of the uprising that eventually toppled Gadhafi from power.
A spokesman for the ICC, Fadi El Abdallah, said the court was seeking official confirmation from Mauritania of his arrest.
"We will ask them for their cooperation in order to surrender him (to the court)," he said.
El Abdallah said that while Mauritania is not a member of the court, all UN member states have been urged by the Security Council to cooperate in the court's efforts to prosecute suspects indicted in Libya.
France also quickly lobbied to get custody of al-Senoussi. He was one of six Libyans convicted in absentia and sentenced to life in prison in France for the 1989 bombing of a passenger jet over Niger that killed all 170 people on board including 54 French people. The French government asked last year that he be handed over to France when captured.
President Nicolas Sarkozy's office said Saturday that France would be handing over an extradition request for al-Senoussi to Mauritanian authorities in the next few hours. The French leader said his arrest was the result of a joint French-Mauritanian effort.
Families of victims of the deadly plane bombing said they hoped he would be sent to France to stand trial.
"Twenty-two years after the attack, we never lost hope that those responsible for this attack, the most deadly attack to target France, would be judged," said Guillaume Denoix de Saint Marc, who heads a group of victims' family members.
If al-Senoussi is handed over to the ICC, he would be the first suspect indicted for alleged atrocities in Libya to be taken into their custody.
The court also indicted Gadhafi but the ousted leader was killed by rebel fighters in October. Libyan authorities say they want to put Seif al-Islam, one of Gadhafi's sons, on trial at home instead of turning him over him to the court.
Libyan officials are currently holding al-Islam, who was arrested in November by fighters in Libya's remote southern desert. The former heir apparent has been held largely without access to the outside world ever since.
Associated Press writer Ahmed Mohamed in Nouakchott, Mauritania, and Martin Vogl in Bamako, Mali, contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Murdoch's meeting with Thatcher exposes his modus operandi
Rupert Murdoch has been caught out by yet another paper trail. The secret 1981 meeting between him and Margaret Thatcher was exposed because two documents were preserved - the note of the meeting at Chequers and Murdoch's thank you letter.
Similarly, his company's recent problems stem from the existence of Glenn Mulcaire's extensive documentation of his phone hacking activities on behalf of the News of the World.
And it is the Wapping email archive - a virtual paper trail, if you like - that has exposed yet more extensive misbehaviour within Murdoch's News International outfit.
In the end, as Murdoch may well reflect on re-reading his letter to Thatcher and Bernard Ingham's sober note of their meeting, the truth will out.
Mind you, it has taken 30 years for us to discover that truth. At last we know what many people - especially the then Sunday Times editor, Harold Evans - suspected at the time: Thatcher and Murdoch did talk about his bid to acquire The Times and Sunday Times.
The meeting amounted, at the very least, to a lobbying exercise by Murdoch. Reading between the lines it is possible to see it as a subtle plea for assistance.
He is making it clear that he is the perfect man to acquire the newspapers. He is the man to deal with the unions.
Without even needing to say it explicitly, Thatcher also understands what Murdoch's ownership can do for her.
Here, for the first time, is Murdoch's modus operandi laid bare. Throughout his long career, he has used political "friendship" to secure commercial advantage.
And then, having gained the commercial advantage, he repays political favours. And so the dialectical dance has gone on whereever he has operated - in Britain, the US and Australia. Politics aids his business and his business aids politics.
There was never any doubt that Murdoch's bid for The Times and Sunday Times should have gone to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission because of his ownership of The Sun and the News of the World.
It was falsely claimed at the time that the MMC referral was unnecessary because The Times and Sunday Times lost money (as Murdoch told Thatcher at their meeting).
Later, Evans was to discover the truth in papers placed in the Commons library. The papers were not running at a loss after all. It was galling for Evans, who had led a management buy-out team that bid for the Sunday Times. His bid, equal in cash terms to Murdoch's, was never given the time of day.
Ever after, there was a public denial of the Sunday Times's pre-takeover profitability, just as there were "official" denials from both Thatcher and Murdoch that there had been any meeting between them prior to Murdoch making his bid.
The official Times history could not be clearer on this point. It states that there was "no communication whatsoever during the period in which The Times bid and referral was up for discussion".
The footnote in the book, by Graham Stewart, is clear about the source: an interview with Murdoch in August 2003.
Murdoch could have forgotten, of course. Amnesia has been something of a News International disease in the past year.
However, I rather think today, on reflection, he might well be saying to himself: this is the second most humble day of my life.
Julian Assange to run for Australian Senate
Published: 17 March, 2012, 11:10
Julian Assange (AFP Photo / Miguel Medina)
Famous whistleblower and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has decided to run for a seat in the Australian Senate – despite being under home arrest in Great Britain.
The decision was announced by the Wikileaks group via twitter.
While awaiting possible extradition to Sweden over alleged sex crime charges, Julian Assange, a native of Queensland in northeastern Australia, is still eligible to run for office. He plans to make a bid for the country’s Upper House.
Assange have consistently denied allegations of sexually assaulting two women in 2010.
The Australian Senate election is set for 2013.
Wikileaks has also promised to put up another candidate to challenge the current Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard in her home state of Victoria.
Julian Assange’s show ‘The World Tomorrow’ is to premiere on RT later this month.
"If you watched that video of Joseph Kony and were shocked to discover that such terrible people live in the world, you need to fire whoever’s homeschooling you," he said on Friday.
Last week, Maher praised the campaign's success in attracting young people to help a good cause. This week, he took a decidedly different tone.
"Raising awareness for Joseph Kony is like voting for Obama in 2008. It’s the beginning of solving a problem, not the end," he said. "If you just make Joseph Kony famous without capturing him, he will win."
Maher also joked that Kony will become so famous that he'll probably end up on Dancing With The Stars, getting his cell phone hacked and eventually getting into politics.
The campaign made headlines on Friday after Jason Russell, the narrator of the Kony 2012 viral video, was detained after allegedly masturbating in public.
Invisible Children, the organization that produced the video and is spearheading the cause, has also come under fire for its spending practices and accusations that the film misrepresents the situation.
Montana Jury Stages 'Mutiny' In Marijuana Case
Posted By: in_PHI_nitti
Date: Saturday, 31-Dec-2011 17:33:31
Montana Jury Stages 'Mutiny' In Marijuana Case
A marijuana mutiny? According to a prosecutor in Missoula County, Mont., potential jurors made it clear they wouldn't convict anyone for possessing a few buds of pot. District Judge Dusty Deschamps found it impossible to seat a jury, and decided to work out a plea bargain for the man in question, Touray Cornell, instead.
The Missoulian reports:
"I thought, 'Geez, I don't know if we can seat a jury,' " said Deschamps, who called a recess.
And he didn't.
During the recess, Paul and defense attorney Martin Elison worked out a plea agreement. That was on Thursday.
On Friday, Cornell entered an Alford plea, in which he didn't admit guilt. He briefly held his infant daughter in his manacled hands, and walked smiling out of the courtroom.
"Public opinion, as revealed by the reaction of a substantial portion of the members of the jury called to try the charges on Dec. 16, 2010, is not supportive of the state's marijuana law and appeared to prevent any conviction from being obtained simply because an unbiased jury did not appear available under any circumstances," according to the plea memorandum filed by his attorney.
"A mutiny," said Paul.
"Bizarre," the defense attorney called it.
In his nearly 30 years as a prosecutor and judge, Deschamps said he's never seen anything like it.
Authorities reportedly worry that Cornell's situation will set a precedent for prosecuting future drug cases in Montana.
**NEW** FINAL REPORT: CANNABIS: OUR POSITION FOR A CANADIAN PUBLIC POLICY
- Summary - html - Volume I: General Orientation - html - Volume II: Policies and Practices in Canada - html - Volume III: Public Policy Options - html - Volume IV: Appendix - html
- Fourth Report : To reassess Canada's anti-drug legislation and policies
- Third Report : To reassess Canada’s anti-drug legislation and policies...
- Second Report: To reassess Canada’s anti-drug legislation and policies...
- First Report : To reassess Canada’s anti-drug legislation and policies...
January 2012 Newest Poll shows that majority of Canadians oppose Marijuana Prohibition ( pdf new window ) 66% of Canadians in favour of Legalization or Decriminalization READ IT Montana Jury stages mutiny in marijuana case READ IT Jury nullification is the Canadian criminal justice system’s dirty little secret READ IT Big victory for jury nullification in Canadian Supreme Court : Judges can not tell juries how to rule! READ IT
In Canadian law - a jury may nullify a law if they wish to. Many of the precedents date back to when Henry Morgentaler was acquitted by several juries for performing abortions -- which were illegal at the time but accepted by the community. So juries used their right to nullify the law and acquitted Morgentaler in spite of the law.
If you are chosen for jury duty in Canada or in the US you have the right to ignore the judge, ignore the law and acquit.
Jury nullification is used by juries when laws do not reflect the will of the people or their communities. If you are a juror in a marijuana trial and agree with the majority of Canadians and the Canadian Senate ( see link below ) that marijuana laws - like the abortion laws of a previous century do not reflect the will of the people - use your right to acquit. Do not ask the judge, prosecutor or any lawyer involved in the trial whether you have this right. As officers of the court they will divert and deceive you. When you are in your jury deliberations - just say no and keep saying no - and the rest of the jury will eventually want to go home.
"Jurors have always had the ability to ignore the judge, ignore the law and acquit, jury nullification serves as an important check on government power." ..... University of Alberta law professor Sanjeev Anand ...Edmonton Sun January 15, 2006
Get your Satellite Broadband setup for free in Wales.
The Welsh Assembly have recently announce the continuation of their Broadband Support Scheme in Wales. If your current broadband speed is less than 2Mbps you qualify to have an alternative service such as satellite broadband. Under the WAG Broadband Support Scheme you can claim up to £1000.00 towards the set up costs of an alternative broadband solution.
To find out how to apply, contact our dedictaed support staff who will send you the required quote and application forms to get the process moving. We will even help complete the forms if required.
The grant for free broadband in Wales only applies to the initial set up costs, the ongoing monthly service fees are not covered, and are payable by the customer.
Call now on 0800 068 3358
|NEWSPAPERS AND NEWS MEDIA|
Thursday, 15 March 2012
Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs
By GREG SMITH
Published: March 14, 2012
TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.
To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.
It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief.
But this was not always the case. For more than a decade I recruited and mentored candidates through our grueling interview process. I was selected as one of 10 people (out of a firm of more than 30,000) to appear on our recruiting video, which is played on every college campus we visit around the world. In 2006 I managed the summer intern program in sales and trading in New York for the 80 college students who made the cut, out of the thousands who applied.
I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work.
When the history books are written about Goldman Sachs, they may reflect that the current chief executive officer, Lloyd C. Blankfein, and the president, Gary D. Cohn, lost hold of the firm’s culture on their watch. I truly believe that this decline in the firm’s moral fiber represents the single most serious threat to its long-run survival.
Over the course of my career I have had the privilege of advising two of the largest hedge funds on the planet, five of the largest asset managers in the United States, and three of the most prominent sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and Asia. My clients have a total asset base of more than a trillion dollars. I have always taken a lot of pride in advising my clients to do what I believe is right for them, even if it means less money for the firm. This view is becoming increasingly unpopular at Goldman Sachs. Another sign that it was time to leave.
How did we get here? The firm changed the way it thought about leadership. Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing. Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence.
What are three quick ways to become a leader? a) Execute on the firm’s “axes,” which is Goldman-speak for persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit. b) “Hunt Elephants.” In English: get your clients — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them. c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym.
Today, many of these leaders display a Goldman Sachs culture quotient of exactly zero percent. I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client’s success or progress was not part of the thought process at all.
It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as “muppets,” sometimes over internal e-mail. Even after the S.E.C., Fabulous Fab, Abacus, God’s work, Carl Levin, Vampire Squids? No humility? I mean, come on. Integrity? It is eroding. I don’t know of any illegal behavior, but will people push the envelope and pitch lucrative and complicated products to clients even if they are not the simplest investments or the ones most directly aligned with the client’s goals? Absolutely. Every day, in fact.
It astounds me how little senior management gets a basic truth: If clients don’t trust you they will eventually stop doing business with you. It doesn’t matter how smart you are.
These days, the most common question I get from junior analysts about derivatives is, “How much money did we make off the client?” It bothers me every time I hear it, because it is a clear reflection of what they are observing from their leaders about the way they should behave. Now project 10 years into the future: You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the junior analyst sitting quietly in the corner of the room hearing about “muppets,” “ripping eyeballs out” and “getting paid” doesn’t exactly turn into a model citizen.
When I was a first-year analyst I didn’t know where the bathroom was, or how to tie my shoelaces. I was taught to be concerned with learning the ropes, finding out what a derivative was, understanding finance, getting to know our clients and what motivated them, learning how they defined success and what we could do to help them get there.
My proudest moments in life — getting a full scholarship to go from South Africa to Stanford University, being selected as a Rhodes Scholar national finalist, winning a bronze medal for table tennis at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, known as the Jewish Olympics — have all come through hard work, with no shortcuts. Goldman Sachs today has become too much about shortcuts and not enough about achievement. It just doesn’t feel right to me anymore.
I hope this can be a wake-up call to the board of directors. Make the client the focal point of your business again. Without clients you will not make money. In fact, you will not exist. Weed out the morally bankrupt people, no matter how much money they make for the firm. And get the culture right again, so people want to work here for the right reasons. People who care only about making money will not sustain this firm — or the trust of its clients — for very much longer.
Greg Smith is resigning today as a Goldman Sachs executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
A version of this op-ed appeared in print on March 14, 2012, on page A27 of the New York edition with the headline: Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs.
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
There are profound consequences to spending even a short stint in jail. "You can get get over an addiction, but you will never get over a conviction," said Jack Cole, a retired undercover narcotics detective who now heads the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) in a statement
Someone is arrested in the United States for a drug-law violation every 18 seconds, an FBI report released Monday shows.
More than four-fifths of those arrests were for possession only and nearly half were for possession of marijuana. Of the 847,863 marijuana arrests -- one every 37 seconds -- 89 percent were for possession alone.
And those folks do spend time in jail. University of Maryland drug policy expert Peter Reuter told the Huffington Post that in Maryland, roughly a third of those arrested for marijuana possession spend time in jail, from a night to several days or more.
There are profound consequences to spending even a short stint in jail. "You can get get over an addiction, but you will never get over a conviction," said Jack Cole, a retired undercover narcotics detective who now heads the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) in a statement.
If the Maryland research is extrapolated to the rest of the country, then roughly a quarter million Americans spent time in jail in 2008 for possession of marijuana -- a drug used at one point by roughly half of all Americans, including the past three presidents.
Last December, LEAP commissioned a report by a Harvard University economist that found that legalizing and regulating drugs would inject tens of billions a year into the U.S. economy. In California, medical marijuana is currently taxed and generates several hundred million dollars per year in revenue for the state treasury.
"In our current economic climate, we simply cannot afford to keep arresting more than three people every minute in the failed 'war on drugs,'" said Cole. "Plus, if we legalized and taxed drug sales, we could actually create new revenue in addition to the money we'd save from ending the cruel policy of arresting users."
In the 27 months that now 16 year old Blade Reed has been at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, he has been maced or pepper sprayed by staff at least 14 times, spent 7 months in solitary confinement until February 2011, and has been in solitary confinement again since the beginning of February 2012. If Wabash has their way, Blade could spend an additional 704 more days plus in solitary. Blade suffers from many disabilities. This is barbaric treatment, and state sanctioned child abuse. This insane handling and management of Blade by Wabash/IDOC officials must cease, NOW!