Britain will go to the United Nations over claims of a nerve gas attack near Damascus that rebels say has killed over 1,000 people, with William Hague saying the reports would mark a “shocking escalation” if proved true.
The Syrian National Coalition, the main Western-backed opposition group in the country, said at a press conference that 1,300 people had been killed as shells loaded with poisonous gas rained down on the capital’s eastern suburbs of Douma, Jobar, Zamalka, Arbeen and Ein Tarma.
The death toll given by George Sabra, the group’s deputy head, represented a vast increase from the figure of 213 suggested earlier by activists and medical sources.
The government of Bashar Assad issued a strong denial, accusing activists of seeking to distract a United Nations team currently visiting the country to probe alleged use of chemical weapons.
Dozens of businesses have been hacked and their computer servers used to host images of child sexual abuse, the Internet Watch Foundation has said. The charity said legal pornographic sites had also been attacked to redirect users to the illegal material. The offending material was sometimes accompanied by malware, it said. The IWF told BBC Radio 5 live it had… Read more →
Say hello to the robots that will be competing in the December 2013 DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials at the Homestead-Miami Speedway! Which is your favorite?
The robots shown here are in various states of readiness. The teams have until December to complete their bots for the initial round of physical competition in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. The goal of the competition is to advance the technology required to create robots to assist humans in disaster response.
The six Track A robots will compete against seven teams using the Atlas robot, created by Boston Dynamics for DARPA, and against an unknown number of teams from Track D.
The NYPD is releasing harmless gases into the subway system during the morning rush beginning Tuesday to study how chemical weapons could be dispersed through the air. Police, working with Long Island’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, were spotted placing air-sampling devices in specific areas on the street and within the subway system across the five boroughs. Several researchers spent Tuesday morning… Read more →
The leaders of Germany and France have rounded angrily on the US for the first time over spying claims, signalling that ambitious EU-US trade talks scheduled to open next week could become an early casualty of theburgeoning transatlantic espionage dispute. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and French president, François Hollande, described the disclosures of massive US spying and snooping in Europe as unacceptable, with the Germans… Read more →
Mere hours before the fiery car crash that took his life, journalist Michael Hastings sent an email to friends and colleagues urging them to get legal counsel if they were approached by federal authorities. “Hey [redacted] the Feds are interviewing my ‘close friends and associates,’” read the message dated June 17 at 12:56 p.m. from Hastings to editors at the… Read more →
The FBI’s License to Kill: Agents Have Been Deemed “Justified” in Every Shooting Since 1993
http://www.democracynow.org - New documents reveal the FBI has cleared its agents in every single shooting incident dating back two decades. According to the New York Times, from 1993 until today, FBI shootings were deemed justified in the fatal shootings of 70 people and the wounding of 80 others. Out of 289 shootings that were found to be deliberate, no agent was disciplined except for letters of censure in five cases. Even in a case where the bureau paid a shooting victim more than a million dollars to settle a lawsuit, the internal review did not find the agent who shot the man culpable. The issue of FBI accountability has recently re-emerged following last month’s fatal shooting of Ibragim Todashev during questioning by agents in Orlando, Florida. He was reportedly unarmed. We speak to Charlie Savage, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter who co-reported the story.
FBI’s Use of Drones for U.S. Surveillance Raises Fears over Privacy, Widening Corporate-Gov’t Ties
http://www.democracynow.org - The FBI acknowledged this week that drones are carrying out surveillance within the United States. FBI Director Robert Mueller called the drone use “very seldom,” while acknowledging regulations to address privacy concerns have yet to be completed. Meanwhile, in the latest leak of classified National Security Agency material, The Guardian reported Thursday that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has signed off on rules that appear to grant wide latitude to the NSA in retaining and making use of Americans’ private data, rather than “minimizing” its usage. We discuss the latest issues of domestic surveillance with Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild and author of the forthcoming book, “Spying on Democracy: Government Surveillance, Corporate Power and Public Resistance.” Boghosian examines the increasing monitoring of ordinary citizens, and the corporations that work with the government to mine data collected from a wide range of electronic sources.
Russia has for the first time demonstrated the short-to-mid-range air defense platform ‘Vityaz,’ which will replace older variants of the S-300 system due to be scrapped soon. The army will begin testing the new hardware later this year. READ MORE:http://on.rt.com/l3yc4t
(Photo: Wikipedia) President Obama renewed his push for a reduction in the world’s nuclear stockpiles during a wide-ranging speech in Berlin on Wednesday, claiming the U.S. could continue to maintain a strong deterrent while ultimately striving toward eliminating nuclear weapons. “So long as nuclear weapons exist, we are not truly safe,” Obama said. Speaking at the Brandenburg Gate, Obama proposed… Read more →
Amid growing fears of a massive electromagnetic pulse hit from either a solar flare or a terrorist nuclear bomb, House Republicans on Tuesday will unveil a plan to save the nation’s electric grid from an attack that could mean lights out for 300 million Americans. Dubbed the Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act, the legislation would push… Read more →