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Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Archive for December 19th, 2013

Tropical Cyclones AMARA and BRUCE

Posted by feww on December 19, 2013

Two Tropical Cyclones Loitering in the Indian Ocean

Tropical Cyclone AMARA (TC 03S)

Time: 09:00UTC on December 19, 2013
Position: Near 17.4ºS, 67.9ºE
Movement Past Six Hours:  WSW (255 degrees) at 17km/h
Max Sustained Winds: 195 km/h
Gusts: 240+ km/h
Location: Approximately 1,370km NE of La Reunion
Significant Wave Height: 10m
Source: JTWC

cyclones amara and bruce WV-FE
Cyclones AMARA (TC 03S) and BRUCE (TC 04S) – WV Satellite Image (FIRE-EARTH Enhancement) – timed at 13:30UTC on December 19, 2013. Initial image sourced from CIMSS.

Tropical Cyclone BRUCE  (TC 04S)

Time:09:00UTC on December 19, 2013
Position: Near 12.3ºS, 91.6ºE.
Movement Past Six Hours: WSW (250 degrees) at 15km/h
Max Sustained Winds: 140 km/h
Gusts: 170 km/h
Location: Approximately 520km west Of Cocos Island
Significant Wave Height: 7m
Source: JTWC

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Thousands Lose Power as Storm Hits UK

Posted by feww on December 19, 2013


Gale-force winds, rain batter western UK, damaging property, felling trees and cutting power to thousands

Thousands of homes in NW England, SW Wales and Northern Ireland were left without electricity as gale-force winds and rain battered western UK.

Gusts of 145km/h (90mph) were reported in exposed areas of western Scotland and the Western Isles, said BBC.

Multiple flood warnings are in effect in Scotland, Wales and south-west England and an amber warning of severe gales has been issued by the UK Met Office.

Highlights from the report:

  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency flood warnings, indicating “flooding is expected, immediate action required”, are in force for a large part of the west and central  Scotland.
  • At least 25 Environment Agency flood warnings are in effect, as authorities urge  homeowners in Wales, south-west England and north-west England to take action.
  • Northern Ireland Electricity said  more damage to power lines during the night is expected.
  • Officials have warned of a possible tidal surge affecting in the west central Lowlands of Scotland.
  • Two South West Trains hit trees on railroads in southern England.

Northern Ireland Electricity said, “we are expecting the winds to peak in the early hours of the morning causing additional disruption to electricity supplies.”

Several injuries have been reported, at least two people are missing.

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NSA Mass Electronic Surveillance Programs Commercially Motivated

Posted by feww on December 19, 2013

NSA should cease storing bulk meta-data: Panel

“We recommend that legislation should be enacted that terminates the storage of bulk telephony meta-data by the government under section 215, and transitions as soon as reasonably possible to a system in which such meta-data is held instead either by private providers or by a private third party,” the panel reported.

The Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies has made 46 recommendations to  “improve” accountability of the intelligence community in its 308-page report.

Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act

Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act commonly referred to as the “library records” provision was passed by the United States Congress in 2001 as a response to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

It modified FISA [Access to records and other items under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] to allow the Director of the FBI (or an official designated by the Director) to apply for an order to produce “tangible things” [it includes “books, records, papers, documents, and other items,”] that assist in an investigation undertaken to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence operations. The section currently is interpreted to include all aspects of the NSA’s mass surveillance programs.

“We recommend that, as a general rule and without senior policy review, the government should not be permitted to collect and store all mass, undigested, non-public personal information about individuals to enable future queries and data-mining for foreign intelligence purposes,” the fourth of 46 suggestions made by the panel reads. “Any program involving government collection or storage of such data must be narrowly tailored to serve an important government interest.”

The Panel

The 5-memebr panel was comprised of Richard Clarke, a former White House counter-terrorism adviser; Michael Morell, a former deputy director of the CIA;  Geoffrey Stone a law professor at University of Chicago; Cass Sunstein a former White House technical adviser and Peter Swire, an expert in privacy law.

  • Unsurprisingly, the Panel’s recommendation came after [NOT before] a Federal District Judge ruled NSA activities “likely unconstitutional.”
  • Furthermore, the panel did NOT recommend a federal investigation into the 911 attacks that were used as a pretext for the PATRIOT Act.

Fourth Amendment

Federal District Judge Richard Leon has ruled that the electronic spy agency’s practice was an “arbitrary invasion,” in his ruling in a Washington DC federal court on Monday.

Judge Leon called the NSA’s surveillance program “indiscriminate” and an “almost Orwellian” technology that enables the government to store and analyze the phone meta-data of every telephone user in the United States. He suggested that James Madison would be “aghast” to learn that the government was encroaching on liberty of  Citizens to such an extent.

However, the Judge, appointed to the bench by George W. Bush in 2002, stayed his injunction “in light of the significant national security interests at stake in this case and the novelty of the constitutional issues,” allowing the government time to appeal the ruling.

“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval,” Judge Leon wrote in his 68-page ruling. “Surely, such a program infringes on ‘that degree of privacy’ that the founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment,” which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.

NSA data collection has a commercial format

NSA mass electronic surveillance programs have a two-prong purpose: To appease the the Security-Industrial Complex and to enrich the IT industry. They have literally nothing to do with preventing terrorism, as the Boston Marathon bombings showed.

In Google Caught Spying, Lying, Again!  FIRE-EARTH said:

Google has denied any link to the U.S. electronic mass surveillance [sic,] mainly conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA). But, the NSA data collection has a commercial format; the U.S. government and its officials have no direct use whatever for the data other than to hand it over to the U.S. corporations in return for financial favors including lucrative post-retirement positions in the “private” sector.

Google’s Door-to-Door Spying Plagues Brazil

Google is shaken but not stirred, so to speak, because the maximum fine for failure to comply with the court order [in Brazil] is just $500,000.

Google has denied any link to the mass surveillance programs conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA), which is done on behalf of corporate America(!)

NSA targets for cyber-surveillance in Brazil included President Dilma Rousseff, and the state-run energy giant Petrobras, as well as tens of millions of ordinary Brazilians.

Whereas NSA is on record for admitting to large scale collection of metadata, Google’s surveillance programs include contents, physical addresses and just about every bit and byte of information transmitted through Wi-Fi and cable networks.

Google’s data collection programs run directly in at least 72 countries,  and indirectly in dozens of other countries through the NSA and others.

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