Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Anonymous dumps US State Dept database !

Anonymous dumps US State Dept database 19 Feb 2013 Anonymous claims to have hacked the United States State Department website and captured a database, which has now been published on the Internet. The data dump by the hacktivists contains the names and email addresses of State Department consular and careers staffers and in some cases, their phone numbers and date of birth. Usernames are also found in the database dump. Searching state.gov and other sites shows that several email addresses and other data match State Department staffers in the United States and legations around the world.

U.S. State Department hacked by Anonymous --'www.state.gov database owned hard by #Anonymous' [Full post is here.] 18 Feb 2013 Our reasons for this attack are very simple. You've imprisoned or either censored our people. We will not tolerate things as such. You don't see us going around censoring everything that is inappropriate or we do not like. Basically, you tried to put an end to us and you got owned, there's nothing more you can say or do. You took away Topiary, Avunit, Neuron, Pwnsauce, lolspoon, Aaron Swartz shall we go on? [Yes, they also took away Jeremy Hammond and John Kiriakou.] Heck you think this makes us weak? We are only growing stronger because of the fact that you are forcing us to revolt. When the lions roar you will hear them. And when it's feeding time you'll be our dinner. Aaron Swartz this is for you, this is for Operation Last Resort.

Anonymous activists hack into 600,000 Israeli email accounts 17 Feb 2013 Activists associated with the group "Anonymous" claimed on Friday to have hacked some 600,000 email accounts from the Israeli server Walla!, stealing user details and information. A report in Australia's SC Magazine says hackers published email addresses and passwords in 93 different posts on Pastebin.com, a website used by hackers to communicate. The campaign targeted Israeli websites, such as those of the IDF spokesperson's unit, the Prime Minister's office, and other official websites.

Westwood supports Assange on London catwalk 17 Feb 2013 British designer Vivienne Westwood showcased more than her fashion designs at London Fashion Week on Sunday by sporting a Julian Assange T-shirt in support of the WikiLeaks founder. British designer Westwood selected a T-shirt emblazoned with her face and the words "I am Julian Assange" to wear at her Red Label fashion show, which sent models in ribbed, woolen dresses striding down the halls of London's Saatchi Gallery. Westwood, a leading name on the London leg of the international fashion circuit, called Assange a "hero" and said she had raised 3,000 pounds ($4,700) for him through selling the T-shirts.

US to play active military role in Mali: US Senator 19 Feb 2013 An American Senator says the United States is likely to play a more active military role in Mali, where a French-led war is raging, after the West African country holds elections. "There is the hope that there will be additional support from the United States in these and other areas, but... American law prohibits direct assistance to the Malian military following the coup," Senator Christopher Coons (D-DE), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Africa, told journalists in the Malian capital, Bamako, on Monday. The US has been providing intelligence, transport and mid-air refueling to France since it started its military campaign in Mali last month. US law prohibited direct assistance to Mali's armed forces because of last year's military coup, led by a US-trained Malian army captain, who toppled the country's elected government.

Israeli president Shimon Peres to give Obama medal 18 Feb 2013 President Barack Obama will be the first sitting American president to receive Israel's Presidential Medal of Distinction, the office of Israeli President Shimon Peres announced on Monday. "It will be the first time in history that a serving president of the United States of America will receive an award of this kind from the president of the State of Israel," the office said in a statement, according to the Israeli publication The Times of Israel. The announcement comes ahead of Obama's first presidential trip to the Jewish state next month, when he is set to receive the award.

Venezuela celebrates Chavez return after surgery 19 Feb 2013 President Hugo Chavez made a surprise return to Venezuela on Monday, 10 weeks after leaving for cancer surgery in Cuba, sparking celebration among his supporters. VTV, the government television station, said he arrived at 2:30 a.m. and was taken to the Carlos Arvelo Military Hospital in the capital, where he will continue his treatment for an unspecified form of pelvic cancer. "We have arrived again in Venezuela," said a post at 3:42 a.m. on Chavez's long-dormant Twitter account. "Thank you, my God! Thank you, beloved people! We will continue treatment here." It was the first message on his Twitter account since November.

Airspace Breached at Obama Vacation 18 Feb 2013 U.S. fighter jets intercepted three small planes and a helicopter that entered restricted airspace over the weekend near the Florida golf resort where President Barack Obama was vacationing, according to a military spokesman. After the intrusions--including one on Saturday by a single-engine Cessna that initially failed to respond to Air Force warnings--all of the aircraft safely departed the off-limits area, said Army Lt. Col. Mike Humpreys, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

BBC journalists stage 24-hour strike 17 Feb 2013 BBC journalists are staging a 24-hour strike in a row over jobs, threatening disruption to radio and TV news programmes. Members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) walked out at midnight as part of a campaign against compulsory redundancies. The union said jobs were set to be axed across the corporation, including BBC Scotland, Five Live, the Asian Network and the World Service. Picket lines are due to be mounted outside BBC offices across the UK, including London, Cardiff, Glasgow and Birmingham.

Nuclear power: ministers offer reactor subsidies until 2050 18 Feb 2013 The government is launching a last-ditch attempt to sign up energy companies to build new nuclear power stations by proposing to sign contracts guaranteeing subsidies for up to 40 years. The coalition agreement reached between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in 2010 promised that nuclear power stations would be built only if the industry got no public subsidy, but costly overruns for new reactors overseas and the exit of several major utilities from the UK programme, most recently Centrica, have driven ministers and officials to backtrack on that pledge and accept they will have to provide financial support. The Guardian has learned that ministers, intent on keeping the guaranteed wholesale cost of each unit of energy below the politically crucial figure of £100 per megawatt hour, are proposing to extend contracts from the 20 years originally envisaged to at least 30 and possibly as long as 40 years.

WHO urges vigilance over SARS-like virus 16 Feb 2013 The World Health Organisation on Saturday urged countries to be vigilant over the spread of a potentially fatal SARS-like virus after a new case in Britain brought the global number to 12. "Based on the current situation and available information, WHO encourages all Member States to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns," the United Nations health agency said in a statement. A total of 12 cases have been reported to the WHO, with five of them fatal -- three in Saudi Arabia and two in Jordan.

Police reportedly arrest man with loaded gun at New Jersey airport 17 Feb 2013 Officials say a Pennsylvania man was arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport after screeners noticed a loaded gun in his carry-on bag. The Star-Ledger of Newark reports that 59-year-old Robert Kellerman of Long Pond was taken into custody just after 6 a.m. Sunday by Port Authority police. They were notified after Transportation Security Administration screeners saw the .22-caliber handgun at a checkpoint inside Terminal C. Kellerman was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon.

1 dead in shooting near Portland hospital, police say 18 Feb 2013 (OR) One person is dead after a shooting on the grounds of a southeast Portland hospital but none of the hospital's patients or staff were injured, Fox12 reports. Police said the shooting occurred near Portland Adventist Medical Center, but did not release more details. It was unclear who fired the gun shots but the gunman is apparently dead, according to Fox 12.

Thousands march in D.C. to protest Keystone pipeline 17 Feb 2013 Thousands of environmental activists marched in Washington Sunday to protest plans for the Keystone XL pipeline. Organizers of "Forward on Climate," who planned the event, told Reuters about 35,000 people from 30 states protested in what they said was the biggest climate rally in U.S. history. Protesters also said that President Barack Obama should put a stop on the pipeline to honor his inaugural pledge to act on climate change.

Hundreds march near Mission Bay to protest proposed Keystone XL pipeline project 17 Feb 2013 Hundreds of San Diegans marched near Mission Bay on Sunday, joining a nationwide protest to reject the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project. A huge protest occurred in Washington, D.C. on Sunday to send a message to President Obama about the long-term effects of the pipeline on the environment. A similar message was heard from hundreds in San Diego.

Thousands rally in S.F. against pipeline 17 Feb 2013 Thousands of people rallied in downtown San Francisco on Sunday to urge President Obama to reject construction of the [deadly] Keystone XL oil pipeline, an action they said would prove he is committed to fighting global warming. The demonstration across from the Ferry Building was held at the same time as similar events in cities including Chicago, Seattle and Los Angeles. The main event in Washington, D.C., drew tens of thousands of supporters in what was billed as the largest climate change rally in U.S. history. Organizers of the San Francisco protest estimated that more than 4,000 people gathered to condemn the proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline, which would run nearly 2,000 miles to connect Canada's oil sands to refineries around the Gulf of Mexico.

US drone operators, cyber troops to get distinguished medal: Pentagon 14 Feb 2013 The Pentagon says it is creating the Distinguished Warfare Medal that can be awarded to those US troops who launch assassination drone strikes and direct cyber attacks. The outgoing US Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, said on Wednesday that the US drone operators and those who direct cyber attacks would be eligible to receive the medal for their direct impact on a US military operation from afar. "I've seen firsthand how modern tools, like remotely piloted platforms and cyber systems, have changed the way wars are fought," Panetta said.

At Least 20 CIA Prisoners Still Missing 13 Feb 2013 In one of President Barack Obama first acts in the White House, he ordered the closure of the CIA's so-called "black-site" prisons, where terror suspects had been held and, sometimes, tortured. The CIA says it is "out of the detention business," as John Brennan, Obama's pick to head the agency, recently put it. But the CIA's prisons left some unfinished business. In 2009, ProPublica listed more than thirty people who had been held in CIA prisons and were still missing. Some of those prisoners have since resurfaced, but at least twenty are still unaccounted for.

Italian ex-spy chief gets 10 years in CIA case 12 Feb 2013 Italy's former military intelligence chief was sentenced to 10 years in jail on Tuesday for his role in the kidnapping of an Egyptian Muslim cleric in an operation organized by the United States. An American former CIA station chief was this month sentenced in absentia to seven years in jail after imam Abu Omar was snatched from a Milan street in 2003 and flown to Egypt for interrogation torture during the United States' "war on terror". The Milan appeals court sentenced Niccolo Pollari, former head of the Sismi military intelligence agency, to 10 years in prison and his former deputy Marco Mancini to nine years.

Attorney-client meeting room was bugged, Navy lawyer testifies at Guantánamo --A Navy lawyer testified that there was a listening device in a room where defense attorneys met with their clients but said no one was eavesdropping. [?] 12 Feb 2013 The military had a hidden microphone in a room where defense attorneys met detainees prisoners awaiting death-penalty trials, a senior prison official disclosed at the war court Tuesday. But, eavesdropping equipment aside, nobody was using it to listen in on the confidential conversations prisoners have with their lawyers or the Red Cross, Navy Capt. Thomas Welsh, the prison camps' chief staff attorney testified. Welsh said he discovered the eavesdropping capability in January 2012, after eight months on the job at Guantánamo, by spotting a "law enforcement official" listening in on a meeting between a detainee, prosecutor and defense lawyers. They were discussing a possible plea deal inside Camp Echo, a compound of huts.

U.S. should hit 'pause' button on billions more in Afghan aid: watchdog --U.S. 'reconstruction' aid to Afghanistan approaching $100 billion 13 Feb 2013 The U.S. government should reconsider whether to spend more on reconstruction aid in Afghanistan, the U.S. watchdog that monitors the funds said on Wednesday, citing Afghanistan's persistent corruption and inability to manage projects as U.S. troops withdraw. John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghan reconstruction, said $20 billion in U.S. assistance for Afghanistan had been appropriated but not yet spent. Nearly $10 billion more in aid may soon be approved by Congress. Sopko asked whether any of this money should be released... The subcommittee chairman, Republican Jason Chaffetz (UT-3), said it was especially distasteful for Washington to be sending taxpayers' money to "the most corrupt government on the face of the planet" in a time of fiscal scarcity at home. [$100 billion to pretend to rebuild that which we destroyed. But we can't get a road built in the US due to the 'deficit.' US corpora-terrorists, mercenaries and drug lords are the biggest beneficiaries--so by all means, let's cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid--but keep the CIA's opium and gas routes fully funded!]

Ten Afghan civilians killed in NATO airstrike 13 Feb 2013 A NATO airstrike killed 10 Afghan civilians, including five children, in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, local officials said, a toll that if confirmed is likely to raise tension between President Hamid Karzai's government and U.S.-led NATO forces. The strike, in the Shigal district of Kunar province, was confirmed by NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), though a spokesman said it could not confirm civilian casualties. "Foreign forces carried out the attack by themselves without informing us," Kunar Governor Fazlullah Wahidi told Reuters.

Rand Paul will block CIA appointment until he gets more info on drone program --Can a drone be used to kill an American in America? 13 Feb 2013 Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul is threatening to block President Obama's choice to head the CIA until the administration forks over more information about its covert drone program. Specifically, can a U.S. drone be used to kill an American on American soil? Recently-disclosed administration legal documents bless the targeting of Americans involved with terrorist groups abroad. Until he gets answers, Paul says he's willing to do "whatever it takes" - including a so-called "hold," which would block the Senate from taking up John Brennan's nomination as CIA director.

G.O.P. Blocks Vote in Senate on Hagel for Defense Post 15 Feb 2013 Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked President Obama's nominee to lead the Pentagon in a defiant move likely to further strain partisan tensions while preventing the White House, at least temporarily, from assembling its second-term national security team. In a result that broke down almost strictly along party lines, Democratic senators could not muster the support to advance the nomination of Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, to a final vote. The vote was 58 to 40, falling short of the 60 that were needed [because DemocRAT Harry Reid caved on filibuster reform].

Senate Republicans block vote on Hagel nomination 14 Feb 2013 Senate Republicans blocked a vote on Chuck Hagel's nomination as secretary of defense on Thursday, launching an unprecedented filibuster and a severe rebuke to the White House. Falling one vote shy of the 60 needed to move forward on the nomination, the Hagel filibuster brought stark condemnations from President Obama and Senate Democrats for its precedent-setting nature -- the first time a defense secretary nominee had been filibustered. The setback came during what many believe is a critical period for the Pentagon as it winds down troops from Afghanistan and implements costly budget cuts.

Terrorism watchdog questioned 'bewildering' array of terror powers 14 Feb 2013 The terrorism watchdog yesterday criticised the "bewildering" range of anti-terror powers in the UK and said he wished the "evocative" phrase had never entered the law. David Anderson QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism laws, questioned the need for specific powers to tackle suspected terrorists, brought about in nine separate pieces of legislation in just over a decade. He said no matter how serious or unique "terrorism" offences were it did not necessarily follow that specific powers were needed.

Why is the Department of Homeland Security buying so many bullets? 14 Feb 2013 The Homeland Security Department wants to buy more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition in the next four or five years. It says it needs them -- roughly the equivalent of five bullets for every person in the United States -- for law enforcement agents in training and on duty. Peggy Dixon, spokeswoman for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga., said one of the contracts would allow Homeland Security to buy up to 750 million rounds of ammunition over the next five years for its training facilities.

Homeland Security Approves Their Right to Search and Seize Your Electronics Without Suspicion 14 Feb 2013 Our government agencies have allowed themselves the right to search and seize your electronic devices with stunning impunity. Just two weeks ago, the Department of Homeland Security quietly released a a strangely worded document reaffirming their own right to search and seize your electronics without suspicion or cause, anywhere along the United States border (which they define as 100 miles in from the border – an area twice as long as Rhode Island). In reality, this is nothing new, Homeland Security been doing this since at least 2009; That's when Secretary Napolitano put her stamp on the Bush-era practice, and promised an impact assessment within 120 days. Over two years later, it's finally here, and it is nothing more than a poorly written press release.

Roof collapses at Chernobyl nuclear plant: Ukraine 13 Feb 2013 A section of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine collapsed under the weight of snow, officials said Wednesday, raising new concerns about the condition of the facility that was the site of the world's worst nuclear accident. There were no injuries after Tuesday's accident nor any increase in radiation from the reactor that exploded in 1986, the country's emergency agency said. French construction firms Vinci and Bouygues said Wednesday they had evacuated as a precaution around 80 employees working on a new protective shelter from the site.

Police Investigate Bones Found in Cook Nuclear Plant Intake 14 Feb 2013 Divers cleaning the water intake at Michigan's D.C. Cook nuclear plant recently pulled out what they believed could be human remains. In a report filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, American Electric Power said the divers found bone fragments in the plant's screen house Tuesday afternoon and later gave them to police. Operations at the reactors, both running at full power at the time, were not affected. Bloomberg quoted a plant spokesman as saying the Berrien County Sheriff's Office is determining if the bones are human.

Activists arrested at White House protesting Keystone pipeline 13 Feb 2013 When President Obama spoke about climate change global warming in the State of the Union address Tuesday night, he failed to mention the proposed Keystone XL pipeline [of course], which aims to transport heavy crude oil from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast and which needs his approval for a construction permit. But that controversial project -- which ranks as one of the top climate decisions the president will have to make this year -- took center stage Wednesday as 48 activists engaged in civil disobedience at the gates of the White House. Shortly after noon, D.C. police began arresting the protesters.

Former UVA Professor Arrested at Protest Outside White House 13 Feb 2013 Former University of Virginia professor and civil rights leader Julian Bond was arrested Wednesday outside the White House. Bond was with a group of prominent activists including actress Daryl Hannah and former Congressman Robert Kennedy Jr. They were protesting to send a message to President Obama. The group wants the president to block the [deadly] Keystone XL pipeline project, which would carry oil from Canada to Texas.

Obama executive order redefines critical infrastructure 14 Feb 2013 President Barack Obama's cybersecurity executive order, signed on Tuesday, could significantly expand the list of companies categorized as part of U.S. critical infrastructure sector, security experts said Wednesday. The executive order requires federal agencies and critical infrastructure owners and operators to work cooperatively to minimize cyber risks and strengthen resilience to attacks. It also calls for the creation of new consensus security standards and best practices that critical infrastructure companies will be urged, but not mandated, to follow.

Anonymous fails to shut down live streams of Obama address 12 Feb 2013 Despite Anonymous's vows to block Web broadcasts of tonight's State of the Union address, the hacktivist collective failed to disrupt the president's speech. Declaring that "there will be no State of the Union Address on the Web tonight," the loose-knit group announced earlier today its intention to block live streams of the address in protest of the president not mentioning issues during his speech that are important to Anonymous. However, live streams originating from the White House's Web site and YouTube appeared unaffected during the president's speech. Anonymous, which is famous for using distributed denial-of service attacks to jam Web sites, was protesting a variety of issues, including the prosecution of Web activist Aaron Swartz, the long detention of alleged WikiLeaker Bradley Manning, wireless wiretapping, the targeted killings of U.S. citizens by drones, and the National Defense Authorization Act, which it calls "an act of outright tyrannical legislation."

Burned remains ID'd as fugitive ex-cop Dorner 14 Feb 2013 Officials say burned remains found in a California mountain cabin have been positively identified as fugitive former police officer Christopher Dorner. San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller said Thursday that the identification was made through Dorner's dental records.

Waco, redux: Fugitive ex-Los Angeles cop believed dead after gun battle, fire 13 Feb 2013 A fugitive ex-cop accused of a grudge-fueled killing spree targeting police officers and their families is believed to have died in a mountain cabin that burned down [by law enforcement] in the climax to a massive weeklong manhunt across Southern California, authorities said on Wednesday. Police were awaiting forensic analysis to confirm that charred human remains found in the smoldering ruins of the cabin were those of the 33-year-old fugitive, Christopher Dorner. Authorities including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the man, who had barricaded himself inside the cabin during a standoff with police on Tuesday in the snow-swept hills of the San Bernardino National For

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