Irish police will get powers to block mobile phone signals for G8 summit in Fermanagh ~ Belfast Telegraph
by FIONNAN SHEAHAN AND TOM BRADY
‘New laws in the Republic of Ireland are being rushed in ahead of the G8 summit to allow gardai to order telecom companies to shut off signals to prevent terrorists using mobile phones to detonate bombs.
He said it was possible a terrorist group would use the G8 as a chance to “garner publicity” for themselves by setting off a bomb.
Mr Shatter said the Boston bombing was a recent example of the use of mobile phones by terrorists to detonate bombs.
Up until now, it is understood gardai could only request mobile companies as a goodwill gesture to block the mobile phone signal in an area to protect VIPs.’
SEE ALSO: Mobile phones could be cut for G8 summit amid terrorist bomb fears
SEE ALSO: 10,000 people expected at anti-hunger rally in Belfast on the eve of the G8 summit
SEE ALSO: G8 will get security from G4S… the firm responsible for the London Olympic shambles
‘Drones have become the most controversial aspect of the US military’s strategy in places like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen. But now, governments in East Asia have also started using unmanned aircraft. For them, drones play a crucial role in monitoring territorial claims. Scott Heidler reports from Singapore.’
‘Uruguay could become the first Latin American country to legalise and regulate the sale of marijuana.
Politicians are considering a law President José Mujica Cordano has proposed, which – it is hoped – would take away business from drug traffickers and organised crime.’
by Jim Lobe
‘While preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is preferable, the United States could successfully contain a nuclear Iran, according to a new report released here Monday by the Center for a New American Security, an influential think tank close to the administration of President Barack Obama.
The report, “If All Else Fails: The Challenges of Containing a Nuclear-Armed Iran,” outlines a detailed “containment strategy” designed to deter Tehran’s use of a nuclear bomb or its transfer to non-state actors, and persuade other regional states not to develop their own nuclear arms capabilities.
“The United States should do everything in its power to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, and no option should be left off the table,” said Colin Kahl, the lead author of the 80-page report and the Pentagon’s top Middle East policy official during most of Obama’s first term.
“But we also have to consider the possibility that prevention efforts – including the use of force – could fail,” he added in an email to IPS. “In that case, we’d need a strategy for managing and mitigating the threats a nuclear-armed Iran would pose to vital U.S. interests and allies. That’s what we’re focusing on.”
The administration, according to the report, has so firmly committed itself to a prevention policy – including threatening military action if diplomatic efforts and economic pressure fail – that cannot explicitly endorse a different approach “without damaging the very credibility it needs to effectively address the Iranian nuclear challenge,” according to the report.
At the same time, however, Tehran may be able to achieve “an unstoppable breakout capability” or build a weapon in secret before preventive measures have been exhausted. In addition, a U.S. or Israeli military strike may inflict only minimal damage to Iran’s nuclear program while strengthening hard-liners in the regime who believe a nuclear deterrent is the only way to ensure its survival.’
‘Pakistani politician Zahra Shahid Hussain, who alleged vote rigging in Karachi, was shot to death Saturday on the eve of a highly contested re-run of balloting in her district, police said.
Hussain was killed in what sources described as an execution-style attack.
The killing came one day before voters cast ballots for the second time this month for one national and two provincial assembly seats in Karachi following allegations of vote rigging in early balloting.
Hussain was the vice president of the Tehreek-e-Insaf party, or PTI, the political group headed by former cricket star Imran Khan.’
Abby Martin talks to Noor Mir, anti-drone campaign coordinator for CODEPINK, about the Pakistan’s elections, the future of the country, and the growing international opposition to US drone wars.
by Tom Porter
International Business Times
‘A 53-year-old British father has become the first man to have his prostate removed because tests revealed he was carrying a “faulty” cancer gene.
A clinical trial at London’s Institute of Cancer Research revealed that he carried the BRCA2 gene, which research shows is associated with a high risk of developing prostate cancer.
Several of the man’s family had suffered from breast or prostate cancer, which is why he took part in the study.
The closely associated BRCA1 gene has been known for some time to have links with breast cancer, and last week actress Angelina Jolie revealed that she had undergone a double mastectomy when tests revealed that she carried the gene.’
‘For the past 8 years, NASA astronomers have been monitoring the Moon for signs of explosions caused by meteoroids hitting the lunar surface. “Lunar meteor showers” have turned out to be more common than anyone expected, with hundreds of detectable impacts occurring every year.
They’ve just seen the biggest explosion in the history of the program.
“On March 17, 2013, an object about the size of a small boulder hit the lunar surface in Mare Imbrium,” says Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. “It exploded in a flash nearly 10 times as bright as anything we’ve ever seen before.”
Anyone looking at the Moon at the moment of impact could have seen the explosion–no telescope required. For about one second, the impact site was glowing like a 4th magnitude star.
Ron Suggs, an analyst at the Marshall Space Flight Center, was the first to notice the impact in a digital video recorded by one of the monitoring program’s 14-inch telescopes. “It jumped right out at me, it was so bright,” he recalls.
The 40 kg meteoroid measuring 0.3 to 0.4 meters wide hit the Moon traveling 56,000 mph. The resulting explosion1 packed as much punch as 5 tons of TNT.
Cooke believes the lunar impact might have been part of a much larger event.’
‘In a recent interview with NPR, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said that he used to think his company’s famous slogan — “don’t be evil” — was stupid.
NPR host Peter Sagal interviewed Schmidt recently on a segment called “Not My Job,” which humorously speaks with important leaders and includes a game of some sort.
Sagal asked Schmidt how Google came up with the slogan, “don’t be evil.”
“Well, it was invented by Larry [Page] and Sergey [Brin],” said Schmidt. “And the idea was that we don’t quite know what evil is, but if we have a rule that says don’t be evil, then employees can say, I think that’s evil. Now, when I showed up, I thought this was the stupidest rule ever, because there’s no book about evil except maybe, you know, the Bible or something.
“So what happens is, I’m sitting in this meeting, and we’re having this debate about an advertising product. And one of the engineers pounds his fists on the table and says, that’s evil. And then the whole conversation stops, everyone goes into conniptions, and eventually we stopped the project. So it did work.”‘
Another elected official is confirmed for Bilderberg 2013, this time the Spanish Minister of Economy and Competitiveness and former Lehman Brothers advisor, Luis de Guindos. The minister will be attending at the request of Bilderberg’s Spanish steering committee member Juan Luis Cebrián.
Only last week I confirmed the newly elected leader of the Swedish social-democratic party, Stefan Löfven, has received an invite to the exclusive meeting planned for Hertfordshire in the beginning of June. De Guindos will be the second confirmed elected official participating in the event. These announced participants will be followed up by many more elected officials asked to join the secretive club at the Grove Hotel, at taxpayer’s expense of course, even if Bilderberg itself describes the annual meetings as “private”.
The attendance of De Guindos at this year’s confab is interesting in the fact that Spain is one of the first nations that found themselves on the wrong end of the financial stick after the crisis hit home in Europe- as was possibly arranged at last year’s meeting. As Daniel Estulin reported on in 2012:
“The key message from the (2012) meeting: come hell or high water, it is imperative to preserve the functioning of the banking system. Spain´s Vice President received a dose of humility when she tried to push the issue of “responsibility” telling her high powered German Bilderberg colleagues that they should issue Eurobonds to save the system. The reply was more than telling: “go pound sand, little girl.””
It’s important to make clear that the current Spanish Minister of Economy and Competitiveness was an adviser to Lehman Brothers up to 2007, making him partially responsible for the mess that Spain is finding itself caught up in a few years after.
It’s significant that a member of Bilderberg’s steering committee (Juan Luis Cebrián) is inviting De Guindos to the table this year. It reveals that Bilderberg wants to make sure their pro-Euro policies will be properly communicated to Spanish officials, who can then sell it to the nation as a painful but necessary thing. Just like their Greek counterparts, Spain’s elected officials are summoned to Bilderberg to streamline the global objectives by a group of international bankers with the preferred policy measures they would like to see implemented. One could say that these elected officials are committing a treasonous act, as they cannot disclose what has been decided. Being a former Lehman Brothers adviser, the Spanish minister probably won’t need too much encouragement to execute these objectives.
To illustrate the involvement of the Spanish power structure in the annual Bilderberg meetings, just check out the royal family’s Wikipedia page, noting that all of the prominent members of the family are members of Bilderberg. Queen Sofia attends Bilderberg on a very regular basis, as does her husband King Juan Carlos. Now elected officials get to go behind the backs of the Spanish people as they swear alliance to an unelected and unaccountable body.
At this year’s Bilderberg conference, for the first time, there will be a Press Office – hosted by the Bilderberg Welcoming Committee – located on the hotel grounds. The aim of the Press Office will be to facilitate the mainstream and alternative media in their coverage of the meeting.
The Press Office will be located in a larger Reception Zone, within the grounds of The Grove Hotel (near the hotel gates). It will provide journalists, photographers, bloggers and researchers with information on this year’s conference, and details about the delegates: including an ID service for delegate photographs.
Besides the Press Office, the Reception Zone will feature a place for speakers, lavatories, and a view of the hotel drive for photographers. Electricity will be available at the Press Office for recharging cameras and phones.
There will be liaison officers from the Hertfordshire Constabulary present in the Reception Zone for the duration of the conference.
The Bilderberg Welcoming Committee is a loose association of pro-transparency campaigners, journalists and organizations, who will be hosting the Press Office.
This is the first officially sanctioned Press Office for the Bilderberg conference, and is a considerable step forward in the relations between the conference and the press.
The Bilderberg Group is famously shy of press attention. An article in the Daily Express, February 12, 1957 (a few years after the first official conference) shows how a veil of “secrecy and security” was drawn over the event:
But this attitude is finally changing, as the Chancellor George Osborne (Bilderberg attendee 2005-9, 2011) said, shortly after taking office: “We have already begun to implement the most radical transparency agenda the country has ever seen” (speech, June 8, 2010).
This sentiment was echoed, a year later, by David Cameron himself, in Prime Minister’s Questions (July 13, 2011):
“the relationship between politicians and the media must change and we must be more transparent, too, about meetings, particularly with executives, editors, proprietors and the rest of it.”
The Press Office and Reception Zone at the 2013 Bilderberg conference is a welcome part of this shift towards transparency.
If you are a member of the press, or plan to report on the event, please contact: press [at] bilderberg2013.co.uk
If you have any questions about coming along to witness the 2013 Bilderberg conference, please contact: info [at] bilderberg2013.co.uk
There will be parking for press and activists on the Old Hempstead Road, which runs alongside the A411. The details of the parking arrangements are still being finalized.
by Martin Chulov
‘Syria‘s embattled leader Bashar al-Assad has used a rare interview – carried out amid the sound of artillery fire resounding through his presidential palace in Damascus – to warn the United States and Russia that their efforts to bring about talks will do little to halt the civil war laying waste to his country, and that he has no intention of stepping down.
In an exclusive interview for the Argentinian newspaper Clarín, shared with the Observer, Assad says he welcomes attempts at dialogue, but believes that western states are looking for ways to fuel the violence, rather than stop it, and are seeking to topple his regime regardless of the toll.’
Mayor Of Osaka Says US Marines Should Take Advantage Of The Sex Industry To Cut Down Rape ~ NHK News
by NICOLE PERLROTH
The New York Times
‘The Saudi Interior Ministry said Friday that several government Web sites have come under attack in a campaign hackers are calling #OpSaudi.
Hackers who identify with the loose hacking collective Anonymous have aimed at several government Web sites, including the Saudi Ministry of Finance, General Intelligence Presidency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Directorate General of Passports, as well as sites for several major Saudi provinces, including Makkah and Jeddah.’
by Amie Ferris-Rotman
‘Russia, predicting instability once NATO-led troops withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of next year, is considering deploying border guards on the Tajik-Afghan border, Moscow’s envoy to Kabul told Reuters in an interview.
Moscow, still sore from its disastrous, decade-long war in Afghanistan in the 1980s, is increasingly concerned by what it describes as the combined threat of narcotics and terrorism reaching Russia through former Soviet Central Asian countries.’
‘Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said the United States can establish military bases in Afghanistan after the two sides sign US-Afghan bilateral security agreement.
Karzai made the demand during a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday.
The Afghan president said the agreement could be reached on condition that the US ensures lasting peace in the country.’
‘Iranian authorities executed two men on Sunday convicted of working for Israeli and U.S. spy agencies, Iran’s Fars news agency reported.
Mohammad Heidari, accused of passing security-related information and secrets to Israeli Mossad agents in exchange for money, and Kourosh Ahmadi, accused of gathering information for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, were hanged at dawn, it said.’
According to the British newspaper, reconnaissance satellites have been monitoring preparations by the Syrian army to deploy surface-to-surface Tishreen missiles.
An Israeli official told The New York Times that Israel, which has launched three recent attacks on Syria, was considering further strikes and warned President Bashar Assad that his government would face “crippling consequences” if he hit back at Israel.
The Sunday Times said the deployment of the Syrian-made Tishreen missiles, each of which can carry a half-ton payload, marks a significant escalation of tension “in a region in which the United States and Russia appear to be preparing for a Cold War-style stand-off.”‘
by Mariam Karouny
‘The most feared and effective rebel group battling President Bashar al-Assad, the Islamist Nusra Front, is being eclipsed by a more radical jihadi force whose aims go far beyond overthrowing the Syrian leader.
Al Qaeda’s Iraq-based wing, which nurtured Nusra in the early stages of the rebellion against Assad, has moved in and sidelined the organization, Nusra sources and other rebels say.
Al Qaeda in Iraq includes thousands of foreign fighters whose ultimate goal is not toppling Assad but the anti-Western jihad of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri – a shift which could extend Syria’s conflict well beyond any political accord between Assad and his foes. The fighting has already cost 90,000 lives.
The break-up of an important part of Syria’s opposition, already splintered into hundreds of armed groups, worsens the dilemma faced by the West as it debates whether intervention to support the rebels will result in arms being placed in the hands of hostile Islamist militants. And if the West were to intervene, it may now be under pressure to attack al Qaeda opposition forces rather than Assad.’
‘Israel prefers the regime of President Bashar Assad in Syria to continue than see a takeover of the country by rebel Islamist militants, The Times of London reported Friday, quoting an Israeli intelligence official.
“Better the devil we know than the demons we can only imagine if Syria falls into chaos, and the extremists from across the Arab world gain a foothold there,” the official said, according to the report.
According to the Times, the senior intelligence officer in the north of Israel said a weakened but stable Syria under Assad is not only better for Israel but for the region as a whole.
Another defense official was quoted saying it is more likely than initially estimated that Assad will remain in power.’
‘A Russian shipment of anti-ship missiles to Syria could embolden President Bashar Assad’s forces and prolong the conflict, the top U.S. military officer said on Friday.
“It’s at the very least an unfortunate decision that will embolden the regime and prolong the suffering, so it’s ill-timed and very unfortunate,” General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at the Pentagon.
Dempsey said he was referring specifically to the anti-ship missiles sent by Russia. The missiles, called Yakhonts, are equipped with an advanced radar that renders them more effective, according to officials who spoke to The New York Times on condition of anonymity because they were discussing classified intelligence information.’
Russian Pacific Fleet Warships Enter Mediterranean For First Time In Decades, To Park In Cyprus ~ Zero Hedge
by Tyler Durden
‘Earlier we reported that the US has now officially landed a Marine force in Israel as well as an assault ship, in a visit that the US Navy promptly assured “is not associated with, nor a reaction to, any world events.” It seems we were not the only ones who read this justification somewhat skeptically: so did Russia. And in a historic event, the Russian Pacific fleet, for the first time in decades, crossed the Suez Canal and entered the Mediterranean, direction Cyprus’ port of Limasol (hi Cyprus – Russia will be arriving shortly) in what is now the loudest implied warning to the US and Israel amassing military units across Syria’s border that Russia will not stand idly by as Syria is used by the Israeli “Defense” Forces for target practice. “The task force has successfully passed through the Suez Channel and entered the Mediterranean. It is the first time in decades that Pacific Fleet warships enter this region,” Capt. First Rank Roman Martov said. This is what is also known as dropping hints, loud and clear.’
by Helena Smith
‘Nobody knows which came first: the economic crisis tearing Greece apart or shisha, the drug now known as the “cocaine of the poor”. What everyone does accept is that shisha is a killer. And at €2 or less a hit, it is one that has come to stalk Greece, the country long on the frontline of Europe‘s financial meltdown.
“As drugs go, it is the worst. It burns your insides, it makes you aggressive and ensures that you go totally mad,” said Maria, a former heroin addict. “But it is cheap and it is easy to get, and it is what everyone is doing.”
The drug crisis, brought to light in a new film by Vice.com, has put Athens’s health authorities, already overwhelmed by draconian cuts, under further strain.
The drug of preference for thousands of homeless Greeks forced on to the streets by poverty and despair, shisha is described by both addicts and officials as a variant of crystal meth whose potential to send users into a state of mindless violence is underpinned by the substances with which the synthetic drug is frequently mixed: battery acid, engine oil and even shampoo.
Worse still, it is not only readily available, but easy to make – tailor-made for a society that despite official prognostications of optimism, and fiscal progress, on the ground, at least, sees little light at the end of the tunnel.’
Italy’s New Government Approval Rating Plummets From 43% To 34% In Three Weeks, Protests Return ~ Zero Hedge
by Tyler Durden
It was less than a month ago that the new Italian government of the pseudo-technocrat Letta, of Bilderberg 2012 and Aspen Institute fame, was voted in by a majority of the PD and the PDL parties (the latter agreeing so Berlusconi would get an extension of his much needed political immunity from assorted prison sentences). It may not last too long. As Reuters reports, it took just 20 days for Letta’s approval rating to plunge by 25%, dropping from 43% at the start of the month to 34%, according to an SWG institute poll. It would appear the Italian people (unlike their Japanese peers who at least according to government-controlled media data could not be happier with PM Abe, supposedly because of the bubblelicious 50% rise in the Nikkei225 year to date, even though under 20% are actually invested in the stock market making one wonder just how credible polling, and all other data in Japan actually is) don’t have Mrs. Watanabe’s childish fascination wth soaring stock bubbles, sexy bonds, mini skirts and 2% inflation bras, and instead demand real economic results. Which also means the protests are once again back.