"IDF: ‘Cowardly’ tunnel attack shows why Gaza op must go on"
Video of Hamas killing five soldiers demonstrates that ‘such attacks can happen anytime, anywhere,’ officer says
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Video of Hamas killing five soldiers demonstrates that ‘such attacks can happen anytime, anywhere,’ officer says
DAKAR (Reuters) – A 33-year-old American doctor working for a relief organization in Liberia’s capital has tested positive for the tropical disease Ebola, according to a statement from Samaritan’s Purse.
Dr. Kent Brantly, medical director at one of the country’s two treatment centers run by the organization, recognized his own symptoms and confined himself to an isolation ward.
It was not immediately clear how he caught Ebola. The relief group’s Melissa Strickland said that he had followed strict safety protocols when treating patients.
“It’s too early to try to explain it. We will have an intensive and thorough investigation,” she said.
Across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, at least 660 people have died from the illness, according to the World Health Organisation, as poor, ill-equipped African governments have struggled to cope with the virus.
A woman who tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus is now on the loose in a Sierra Leone city with a population of around 1 million people. The woman had been quarantined in a hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone, when she was “forcibly” removed by her family, according to Reuters.
Officials are appealing to the residents of Freetown to locate this woman. Since February, the Ebola virus has been responsible for the death of 660 people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The virus has a 90 percent death rate, according to the World Health Organization, however, this particular outbreak seems to have a 60 percent mortality rate.
Health workers here say they are now battling two enemies: the unprecedented Ebola epidemic, which has killed more than 660 people in four countries since it was first detected in March, and fear, which has produced growing hostility toward outside help. On Friday alone, health authorities in Guinea confirmed 14 new cases of the disease.Workers and officials, blamed by panicked populations for spreading the virus, have been threatened with knives, stones and machetes, their vehicles sometimes surrounded by hostile mobs. Log barriers across narrow dirt roads block medical teams from reaching villages where the virus is suspected. Sick and dead villagers, cut off from help, are infecting others.
“This is very unusual, that we are not trusted,” said Marc Poncin, the emergency coordinator in Guinea for Doctors Without Borders, the main group fighting the disease here. “We’re not stopping the epidemic.”
20 x 33 = 660Efforts to monitor it are grinding to a halt because of “intimidation,” he said. People appear to have more confidence in witch doctors.
A new report by Human Rights Watch finds federal agents or their informants have played a direct role in almost every major domestic terrorism case since 9/11. Deputy Washington Director Andrea Prasow described the targeting of Muslim Americans in sting operations.
Andrea Prasow: "If law enforcement has a reason to suspect that someone has a propensity towards violence, has expressed an interest in engaging in violence or other criminal activity, of course they should investigate, and they should use all the lawful resources they have at their disposal. But in some cases, they were doing more than that. They were expecting that people would be terrorists and doing everything they could to help them become terrorists."
Prize-winning Israeli defense expert says numbers inflated by as much as 90%, Israel says Hamas makes sophisticated long-range rockets in Gaza. A winner of the Israel Defense Prize, Dr. Moti Shefer, has said that Israel is inserting "virtual" incoming Hamas rockets into operators' radar screens in order to claim higher than warranted success rates. Dr. Shefer, who does work in exotic areas of defense and holds a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering from Stanford, said in an interview on Israel's Radio 103 last a week: "We're shooting at ourselves, mainly virtually. The virtual rocket was invented in order to increase the vagueness surrounding Iron Dome. Assume that a real rocket arrives. What does the command and control system do? It creates nine more virtual rockets, and transmits their paths on computer graphics to the rocket launcher operators. The launcher operators see 10 rockets and launch 10 Iron Dome interceptors. People hear 10 booms, one rocket enters, and you get a 90% success rate.""
The remark was reported in Israel's popular Globes "Israel's Business Arena" website.
Dr. Shefer said: "There is no missile in the world today able to intercept missiles or rockets. Iron Dome is a sound and light show that is intercepting only Israeli public opinion, and itself, of course. Actually, all the explosions you see in the sky are self explosions. No Iron Dome missile has ever collided with a single rocket..."
The death toll in Gaza today reached 194 Palestinians killed. One Israeli civilian has been killed by the rocket attacks, in an attack near the Gaza border. The Palestinian Health Ministry says that half of the dead and wounded are women and children. Gaza has one of the youngest demographics in the world, with 45 percent of the population being under the age of 14.
Dr. Shefer's comments came as Israel claims that Hamas now has the capacity to build long-range, unguided rockets with ranges of up to 60 miles, capable of reaching Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Reuters reported yesterday:
"Palestinian Hamas fighters once tried in vain to copy Israel's iconic submachine gun, the Uzi. Twenty years on, their homemade rockets streak more than 100 km (60 miles) from Gaza toward the northern Israeli city of Haifa." Such rockets are about 20 feet long, weigh tons, and require complex, precision parts such as gyroscopes and accelerometers to maintain flight stability. In unguided, long-range projectiles, onboard, microprocessor-level electronics are required to transmit flight corrections to control surfaces, such as fins, in millisecond realtime. Building hundreds of such rockets would also require many highly skilled machinists and technicians operating, and maintaining, heavy, expensive machine tools, and thousands of hours of testing, including test launches. Hamas in Gaza has been under severe naval, air, and land blockade since 2007.
Israel says hundreds of long-range rockets are being launched from Gaza at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The missile attacks attributed to Hamas on these cities would require such massive, complex rockets. Tel Aviv is about 50 miles from Gaza. With Gaza hemmed in by Israel on all sides except a ten-mile stretch of border with Egypt, it is unlikely that this volume of long-range rockets could be smuggled into Gaza. A US intelligence official said of one of the long-range rockets which Israel says Hamas possesses, the 18-foot, Syrian-made M-302: "You look at those things and it's obvious they couldn't have been slipped into Gaza," The official added that the M-302 was not given to disassembly into smaller pieces.
The territory of Gaza is 139 square miles, about the size of the city of Boston. It is covered by among the heaviest aerial and satellite surveillance in the world. It has been under continuous air, land, and sea blockade since 2007. Residents have long complained that medicines and vital supplies have not been allowed in.What this implies, of course, it that what Israelis doing is particularly evil-- manufacturing attacks against itself in order to justify their brutal slaughter of Palestinians.
Egypt destroyed the tunnels between it and Gaza in 2007, when Hamas took power. The M-302 has a weight of a little over a half-ton.
The large missiles required to traverse the roughly 50 miles between Gaza and Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem, require specialized launch vehicles which are large and slow-moving.
While there are various questions that have already emerged from what was supposed to be Ukraine's "slam dunk" proof confirming Russian rebel involvement in today's MH-17 tragedy, perhaps one just as gaping question emerges when one looks at what is clearly an outlier flight path in today's final, and tragic, departure of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777.
Perhaps the best visualization of what the issue is, comes from Vagelis Karmiros who has collated all the recent MH-17 flight paths as tracked by Flightaware and shows that while all ten most recent paths pass safely well south of the Donetsk region, and cross the zone above the Sea of Azov, it was only today's tragic flight that passed straight overhead Donetsk.
The latest round of documents from Edward Snowden reveal how the British spy agency GCHQ has developed a range of secret tools to manipulate the Internet by disseminating propaganda, rigging online polls, inflating page views, conducting mass delivery of emails, and monitoring Skype users in real time. The news website The Intercept published the document, which reads like a menu of covert tools with code names like "ANGRY PIRATE," "CONCRETE DONKEY," "STEALTH MOOSE" and "IMPERIAL BARGE," a term that refers to the ability to connect two unsuspecting phone users together in a call. The revelations come as the British Parliament is set to begin debate on a fast-tracked bill to expand government spying powers.
One week after revelations of how over the span of 35 years, a County Galway home for unwed mothers cavalierly disposed of the bodies of nearly 800 babies and toddlers on a site that held a septic tank, new reports are leveling a whole different set of charges about what happened to the children of those Irish homes.In harrowing new information revealed this weekend, the Daily Mail has uncovered medical records that suggest 2,051 children across several Irish care homes were given a diphtheria vaccine from pharmaceutical company Burroughs Wellcome in a suspected illegal drug trial that ran from 1930 to 1936.
JERUSALEM — The Israeli military said on Saturday that overnight it had struck a mosque in central Gaza that held a concealed weapons cache. The move was likely to fan Palestinian outrage during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
In Gaza, health officials said that the death toll from the Israeli airstrikes had reached 120, with hundreds more wounded. Many of those killed and wounded were said to be civilians, including women and children.
(snip)Israel’s military said that over five days of fighting it had struck more than 1,160 targets in Gaza, including rocket launchers, weapon manufacturing and storage facilities and private homes that it said had served as command-and-control centers for militants guiding the rocket fire. Overnight, the military said it had targeted 10 “terror operatives,” six of whom it said were directly involved in launching rockets at Israel at the time.
Over the last five days, there have been injuries from rocket fire but no fatalities in Israel, although militants in Gaza have launched almost 700 rockets and mortars, often reaching much deeper into Israel than in past rounds of fighting, according to the military. Israeli officials attribute the lack of fatalities largely to the success of the country’s Iron Dome missile defense system, which has intercepted most rockets headed for large population centers, and to the discipline of Israelis who heed instructions and head for protected areas when the sirens go off.
But Iron Dome does not provide total protection. A rocket struck a house in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba on Friday night, destroying it and injuring an elderly woman. A man was severely wounded on Friday and seven others suffered less serious wounds when a rocket hit a gasoline station in Ashdod, an Israeli port city, setting it ablaze.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday that Israel was “weighing all possibilities and preparing for all possibilities,” including dispatching ground forces to Gaza.
Hamas’s military wing said it was ready for a long fight, saying on its website that it had “utilized only a little of what it has prepared for the Zionist enemy.” While there was talk about some efforts underway to broker a cease-fire, none appeared imminent.
As Canadian freelance writer and journalist Brandon Martinez reminds us: “Fragmenting, weakening and Balkanizing the Middle East has been part and parcel of the Zionist impulse from the very beginnings of the Jewish state. Israeli strategist Oded Yinon candidly outlined this imperialist line of thought in his 1982 paper “A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s.” A strong, unified Iraq is Israel’s primary military concern, Yinon stressed” Yinon went on to push for the territorial dissection of Iraq into three state-lets along ethnic and confessional lines. And we may well witness these developments in Iraq. He promoted much the same scenario for Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Iran and other Arab/Muslim states bordering the Zionist colony.
Martinez further observes, “The Zionists have used deception, subterfuge and cunning to con the world into entering conflicts and conflagrations that have expedited their ominous aims. But Israel’s insatiable avarice for more land and resources will eventually be its downfall, just as every empire in history has sooner or later collapsed under its own weight.”
HOUSTON (Reuters) – The man accused of killing four children aged 4 to 14 and their parents after entering their suburban Houston home while looking for his former wife collapsed when details of the crime were read aloud in court on Friday.
Ronald Lee Haskell, 33, who is being held without bond, was in court for a hearing after being charged on Thursday with capital murder and multiple murders of his former wife’s relatives.
Haskell, who suffers from mental illness according to his attorney, was expected to face a hearing on his mental capacity and will eventually face a grand jury that will decide whether he will be tried for capital murder, which carries the possibility of the death penalty.
Haskell, wearing orange prison attire, said “Yes, sir” to the judge after his rights were read and then fainted as details of the crime were read. Bailiffs had to pick him up and wheel him out in an office chair.
Haskell is accused of fatally shooting two boys ages 4 and 14, two girls ages 7 and 9, and their parents Stephen Stay, 39, and Katie Stay, 33. Five of them were dead when found and one of the children died after being air-lifted to a hospital for treatment. Cassidy Stay, 15, survived the attack on Wednesday afternoon, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said.
Harris County prosecutor Tammy Thomas told the judge that Haskell methodically executed the family, tying them up and then firing two bullets into each of them, starting with the mother. Haskell, posing as a delivery man, entered the home when Cassidy told him to wait while she got a pen to take down his name and number, Thomas said.
The teen did not recognize her uncle, who had grown a beard in recent months, until after Haskell told her his name, Thomas testified. He then pulled a gun and ordered her to assemble the other children in the living room before tying them up as they lay on the floor, Thomas added.
Their parents were confronted when they returned from a trip to the bank, according to the prosecution. When the family was together in one room, Haskell began to shoot them in a brazen attack that showed elements of planning, said Thomas, who appeared distraught after reading details of the crime to the court.
Violence in Israel and the Occupied Territories is escalating as Israel bombs the Gaza Strip and threatens a new full-scale assault. On Monday, the Israeli military announced "Operation Protective Edge," which it says aims to stop Palestinian rocket fire into southern Israel. At least nine Palestinians were wounded in Israeli strikes on more than 50 targets in Gaza overnight. Six Hamas members were killed in Israeli strikes on Sunday, the deadliest by Israel since an eight-day assault in late 2012. Palestinian militants have fired dozens of rockets into southern Israel since the weekend, causing no casualties. To prepare for a potential attack, Israel has called up more than 1,500 troops to fortify a contingent already massed along the Gaza border. Hamas says the latest bombings "exceed all red lines" and has vowed to respond with broader rocket fire. If Israel invades Gaza, it would be the third major assault on the coastal territory in six years. The first invasion in 2008 left more than 1,400 Palestinians dead, most of them civilians.
...there is unprecedented—and I would even say genocidal—incitement against Palestinians. For example, the statement from the up-and-coming political star in Israel, Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home party, which is in Netanyahu’s ruling coalition, who actually issued a call for genocide of the Palestinian people on June 30th. She declared that the entire Palestinian people is the enemy. And she justifies their destruction, including, quote, "its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure." And she said that Israel would be justified to slaughter Palestinian mothers because they give birth to little snakes. I wish I could say that that was an extreme or outlying expression of opinion in Israel, but she got something like 5,000 likes for that statement on Facebook.
Here’s what we know for a fact to be true. Facebook’s mass psychological study, which proved that altering a user’s timeline feed was a successful method of causing emotional “contagion” to spread through the social network, was conducted in part by Cornell University’s Jeffrey T. Hancock, who was listed as one of the study’s authors.
Hancock is also involved with the Pentagon’s Minerva Initiative, which recently hit the headlines for its role in bankrolling a program which provides “funding to universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world.”
However, an even more creepy connection between the Facebook experiment and the Pentagon has emerged after it was revealed that the original press release from Cornell highlighting the study included a passage at the bottom which read, “The study was funded in part by the James S. McDonnell Foundation and the Army Research Office.”
According to the Army Research Office’s official website, “Basic research proposals from educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and private industry are competitively selected and funded,” as part of the Pentagon’s mission of “combating terrorism and new emerging threats.”
However, the text indicating the Facebook study was bankrolled by the Pentagon was later scrubbed from the website, with Cornell claiming it had made a mistake, an explanation that Jay Rosen, Journalism Professor at NYU, finds highly dubious.“Why do I call this strange? Any time my work has been featured in an NYU press release, the PR officers involved show me drafts and coordinate closely with me, for the simple reason that they don’t want to mischaracterize scholarly work,” writes Rosen.
“So now we have to believe that Cornell’s Professor of Communication and Information Science, Jeffrey Hancock, wasn’t shown or didn’t read the press release in which he is quoted about the study’s results (weird) or he did read it but somehow failed to notice that it said his study was funded by the Army when it actually wasn’t (weirder).”
“I think I would notice if my university was falsely telling the world that my research was partially funded by the Pentagon… but, hey, maybe there’s an innocent and boring explanation that I am overlooking.”The Pentagon’s involvement with a Facebook study which would have given the DoD a revealing insight into how to manipulate public dissatisfaction via social media during potential civil unrest would not be a surprising move given the Army’s obsession with anticipating domestic disorder.
Childhood immunizations are so vital to public health that the Affordable Care Act mandates their coverage at no out-of-pocket cost and they are generally required for school entry. Once a loss leader for manufacturers, because they are often more expensive to produce than conventional drugs, vaccines now can be very profitable.
Old vaccines have been reformulated with higher costs. New ones have entered the market at once-unthinkable prices. Together, since 1986, they have pushed up the average cost to fully vaccinate a child with private insurance to the age of 18 to $2,192 from $100, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even with deep discounts, the costs for the federal government, which buys half of all vaccines for the nation’s children, have increased 15-fold during that period. The most expensive shot for young children in Dr. Irvin’s refrigerator is Prevnar 13, which prevents diseases caused by pneumococcal bacteria, from ear infections to pneumonia.
I love the 33 embedded here:Like many vaccines, Prevnar requires multiple jabs. Each shot is priced at $136, and every child in the United States is required to get four doses before entering school. Pfizer, the sole manufacturer, had revenues of nearly $4 billion from its Prevnar vaccine line last year, about double what it made from high-profile drugs like Lipitor and Viagra, which now face generic competitors.
It is not clear how much Pfizer is profiting from Prevnar in the United States. But one measure is to look at the price at which Pfizer sells Prevnar for use in the poorest countries through a World Health Organization initiative: $3.30 a dose. Even at those prices, “I do not think pharmaceutical manufacturers are losing money,” said Dr. Hinman, the former C.D.C. official.