“AMERICAN SNIPER” CHRIS KYLE’S MADE UP MILITARY RECORD

“AMERICAN SNIPER” CHRIS KYLE’S MADE UP MILITARY RECORD

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“AMERICAN SNIPER” CHRIS KYLE DISTORTED HIS MILITARY RECORD, DOCUMENTS SHOW

American Sniper Article

Since the publication of American Sniper, Kyle’s exploits in Iraq during the height of the war have taken on almost mythic proportions and many of his fellow soldiers regard his actions during his four deployments in Iraq as heroic. During the November 2004 American siege of Fallujah, for example, Kyle saved an injured Marine’s life by dragging him to safety while taking and returning fire down an alleyway.

Kyle also wrote in his book that he had 160 “confirmed kills” as a sniper. Service members in battle largely self-report the number of enemy combatants they kill.

“SEALs are silent warriors, and I’m a SEAL down to my soul,” Kyle wrote inAmerican Sniper. “If you want to check me out, ask a SEAL.”

Two members of the SEAL community said that while Kyle’s actions under fire were commendable, he tarnished his accomplishments through misrepresentation.

“It takes away from the legitimate heroism he showed,” said a retired SEAL who was deployed to Iraq when Kyle was also deployed there.

The 2004 incident resulted in a Bronze Star with Valor, one of three that Kyle was awarded. That action was recommended by his commanding officers for a Silver Star, but it was denied by the secretary of the Navy at the time. Kyle was aware that the Silver Star was denied, according to his autobiography, and did not count it among the two Silver Stars he claimed to receive. He did not say in the book what either of those Silver Stars were for.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Robert Bateman, a military historian, said that public reports of stolen valor became more common in the decade after the Vietnam War. Bateman also said it was inexcusable that Kyle, or any other veteran, would inflate his record, even if the veteran, like Kyle, had demonstrated clear heroism during his service.


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Résumé inflation may be less of a scandal for civilians, Bateman said, but for those in the military “some elements are paid in blood.”

A retired SEAL officer said several of Kyle’s commanding officers were aware that he had misrepresented how many decorations he had collected. The retired officer attended the ceremony for Kyle’s single Silver Star, which was awarded to him for a 2006 deployment in Ramadi, Iraq. “During 32 sniper overwatch missions,” the citation reads, “he personally accounted for 91 confirmed enemy fighters killed.”

When asked if he had been aware of Kyle’s inaccurate accounting of his awards, Jocko Willink, one of Kyle’s former commanding officers, said, “Chris Kyle, like many of the SEALs, soldiers, and Marines I had the honor to serve with, deserve much more than whatever ribbons and medals they received.”

Another former commanding officer, Leif Babin, declined to comment. Willink and Babin co-authored a book, Extreme Ownership, which details their time commanding SEALs in Iraq. It includes a section about Kyle’s prowess as a sniper, but does not tally his medals.

This is not the first time that Kyle has been accused of misrepresentation. In 2014, just over a year after Kyle’s death, a Minnesota jury found that he had lied in American Sniper and defamed former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura by claiming to have punched Ventura out at a bar in Coronado, California. The jury awarded Ventura, who served in a precursor unit to the Navy SEALs during the Vietnam War, $1.8 million in damages and ordered Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, to pay. (Taya Kyle is appealing the ruling.)

When contacted by The Intercept, Taya Kyle, through a representative, declined to comment about her husband’s service record.

The former SEAL officer who attended Kyle’s Silver Star ceremony said it was a poorly kept secret in the naval special operations community that Kyle embellished his record. “The SEAL leadership was aware of the embellishment, but didn’t want to correct the record because Kyle’s celebrity status reflected well on the command.”

“Everybody went on a pilgrimage to his funeral at Cowboys Stadium,” the ex-SEAL said, “knowing full well his claims weren’t true.”

READ MORE: https://theintercept.com/2016/05/25/american-sniper-chris-kyle-distorted-his-military-record-documents-show/

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The End Of The U.S. Saudi Arabian Relationship And Its Grave Consequences

The End Of The U.S. Saudi Arabian Relationship And Its Grave Consequences

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The End Of The U.S., Saudi Arabian Relationship And Its Grave Consequences

In this video Luke Rudkowski breaks down the latest developments on the deteriorating relationship between the U.S and Saudi Arabia. We go over the new law that puts on Barack Obama’s desk that will lead to a direct confrontation with Saudi Arabia and the Saudis response to it. We explain why there is so much tension right now in this long term relationship and how it has to do with the international petro-dollar oil sales. Support and invest in us on https://www.patreon.com/WeAreChange with just $1 a month we can be a fully free independent news organization for you and by you, with your investment we can do so much more.

developments on the deteriorating relationship between the U.S and Saudi Arabia. We go over the new law that puts on Barack Obama’s desk that will lead to a direct confrontation with Saudi Arabia and the Saudis response to it. We explain why there is so much tension right now in this long term relationship and how it has to do with the international petro-dollar oil sales. Support and invest in us on https://www.patreon.com/WeAreChange with just $1 a month we can be a fully free independent news organization for you and by you, with your investment we can do so much more.

SOURCES

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wor…

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/saud…

http://wearechange.org/saudi-press-91…

http://www.wnd.com/2016/05/saudi-pape…

http://therundownlive.com/bombshell-r…

http://www.salem-news.com/articles/se…

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/year…

http://www.ae911truth.org/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJsJj…

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/17/politic…

http://abcnews.go.com/International/w…

https://twitter.com/Partisangirl/stat…

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/natio…

http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/04/25/i…

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/doug-ba…

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-secr…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/s…

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-se…

http://www.globalresearch.ca/is-saudi…

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/22/russia…

http://www.businessinsider.com/saudi-…

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/…

https://www.rt.com/business/331139-ru…

http://www.usapoliticstoday.com/goodb…

Support WeAreChange by Subscribing to our channel HERE http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c…


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Hillary Clinton failed to report several hacking attempts

Hillary Clinton failed to report several hacking attempts

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Hillary Clinton failed to report several hacking attempts, grew afraid of opening emails 

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a secret email to conduct official business broke a number of department policies, an inspector general concluded in a report sent to Capitol Hill Wednesday that also suggests she used the account to try to hide her communications from the public.

The 83-page report, obtained by The Washington Times, is devastating in its evaluation of Mrs. Clinton’s behavior, saying it can find no record of her getting approval from either security or legal staffers for her unique arrangement. The report also undercuts many of her campaign’s explanations for her use of the system, dismisses comparisons to her predecessors’ email use, and points to repeated hacking attempts that she failed to report.

After one of the 2011 hack attempts Mrs. Clinton’s tech staffer shut the server down for a few minutes, hoping that would solve the situation, but quickly warned top aides not to send Mrs. Clinton “anything sensitive” after the attempted breach, according to the report, which was obtained by The Washington Times.


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After another suspicious attempt Mrs. Clinton said she was scared to open email — but failed to report the matter.

 “Notification is required when a user suspects compromise of, among other things, a personally owned device containing personally identifiable information,” the investigators said. “However, OIG found no evidence that the Secretary or her staff reported these incidents to computer security personnel or anyone else within the Department.”

At one point in 2010, Mrs. Clinton’s emails were ending up in subordinates’ spam filters because they were Hillary-Clinton-Christina-Aguileracoming from a non-state.govaccount. One of her top aides urged her to sign up for an official account or letting everyone in the department know of her address so she could be added as a verified account, but she refused, saying she didn’t “want any risk of the personal being accessible.”

In 2011, technology staffers proposed giving her an official department Blackberry to replace her personal device, which was malfunctioning — but warned it would make her messages subject to open-records requests. Her top personal aide, Huma Abedin, rejected the suggestion, saying it “doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

Mrs. Clinton, in a striking move, refused to cooperate with the probe. All of her colleagues did: current Secretary John Kerry and former Secretaries Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine Albright.

Mrs. Clinton’s staff was also reluctant, the investigators said. Her chief of staff, deputy chiefs of staff and her technology gurus all refused to cooperate with the probe.

The emails have proved damaging to Mrs. Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Her campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday morning, but she has said her use of the secret email account was not a good choice.

Still, she’s insisted she did not break any laws and did not risk secure information.

hillary my turn artThe new report lays out many of the details of Mrs. Clinton’s server. The domain name clintonemail.com was registered on Jan. 13, while she was still serving in the Senate and before she was confirmed to be secretary on Jan. 21.

State Department staffers were repeatedly asked to help solve problems with Mrs. Clinton’s server and her devices, such as her Blackberry — particularly in trying to communicate between her secret address and the state.gov accounts used by most of her subordinates.

But the inspector general was unable to discover who gave the final approval for Mrs. Clinton to use the odd arrangement. The department’s legal office said it was not asked to review or approve the setup, and was unaware of anyone else approving it — though some of them did email Mrs. Clinton on her secret account.

Democrats have pointed to Mr. Powell, who also used a personal email account while at the department, as precedent for Mrs. Clinton’s actions.

“The Inspector General confirmed what we have known all along — that Secretary Clinton followed the practice of her predecessor when she used a personal email account,” said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee. “While Secretary Clinton preserved and returned tens of thousands of pages of her emails to the Department for public release, Secretary Powell returned none. Republicans need to stop wasting taxpayer dollars singling out SecretaryClinton just because she is running for President.”

But the inspector general said the IT environment was fluid during Mr. Powell’s time in office, and had firmed up substantially by the time Mrs. Clinton took office.

During her tenure, the department specifically warned employees not to send information deemed “sensitive but unclassified” outside of the internal network, and said if they needed to do so, they should speak with tech staffers to work out a solution. Mrs. Clinton never

“OIG found no evidence that Secretary Clinton ever contacted IRM to request such a solution, despite the fact that emails exchanged on her personal account regularly contained information marked as SBU,” the investigators said.

READ MORE: http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/25/hillary-clinton-failed-report-several-hacking-atte/


 

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US scientists create chimeras: half-human, half-animal embryos’

US scientists create chimeras: half-human, half-animal embryos’

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RTX22FCW

A chimera of Notre Dame Cathedral, overlooks the French capital, including the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, France, January 14, 2016. Reuters/Charles Platiau

Researchers in the US are creating half-human, half-animal embryos to help save lives, particularly people with a wide range of ailments. The embryos create better animal models to study the occurrence of human diseases and its progression.

One of the aims of the experiment using chimeras is to create farm animals with human organs. The body parts could then be harvested and transplanted into very sick people, reports Boisestatepublicradio.

However, a number of bio-ethicists and scientists frown on the creation of interspecies embryos which they believe crosses the line. New York Medical College Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy Stuart Newman calls the use of chimeras as entering unsettling ground which damages “our sense of humanity.”

Ryan Troy and John Powers, from the University of California-Davis (UCD), in a paper titled “Human-Animal Chimeras: What are we going to do?” cites the mention of chimeras in Greek mythology as a monster made up of multiple parts of different animals such as a goat’s body, a lion’s head and a serpent’s tail.

The two admit that the use of chimeras is controversial, but believe that many scientists think it is not a threat to human dignity. They add that on top of the list of fears on the use of chimeras is that humans and animals should stay as separate entities.

Because of the question mark on the ethics of its use, the National Institutes of Health has placed a moratorium on funding of chimera experiments, but some researchers resort to alternative funding. In defending the UCD’s creation of chimeras, reproductive biologist Pablo Ross explains, “We’re not trying to make a chimera just because we want to see some kind of monstrous creature … We’re doing this for a biomedical purpose.”

Ross is attempting to create a pancreas which could be transplanted into a diabetic. He uses new gene-editing techniques to remove the gene which pig embryos need to make a pancreas. Ross injects the human-induced pluripotent stem cells into the pig embryos. For the embryo to develop and produce an organ Ross implanted the chimera embryos into the wombs of adult pigs, injecting 25 embryos into each side of the pig’s uterus.

After 28 days, Ross would retrieve the chimeric embryos and dissects it to see what the human stem cells are doing inside, if it starts to form a pancreas.

Arizona State University bioethicists warns that by inserting human DNA into animals and giving the animas some human capacities, it would be “kind of, maybe, even playing God.” But Ross replies, “I don’t consider that we’re playing God or even close to that. We’re just trying to use the technologies that we have developed to improve people’s life.”

This post Was Originally on: International Business Times http://www.ibtimes.com.au/ 


 

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Getting a photo ID is easy. Unless you’re poor, black, Latino or elderly

Getting a photo ID is easy. Unless you’re poor, black, Latino or elderly

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Getting a photo ID so you can vote is easy. Unless you’re poor, black, Latino or elderly. via. Washington Post

Getting a photo ID so you can vote is easy. Unless you’re poor, black, Latino or elderly. via. Washington Post

In his wallet, Anthony Settles carries an expired Texas identification card, his Social Security card and an old student ID from the University of Houston, where he studied math and physics decades ago. What he does not have is the one thing that he needs to vote this presidential election: a current Texas photo ID.

For Settles to get one of those, his name has to match his birth certificate — and it doesn’t. In 1964, when he was 14, his mother married and changed his last name. After Texas passed a new voter-ID law, officials told Settles he had to show them his name-change certificate from 1964 to qualify for a new identification card to vote.

So with the help of several lawyers, Settles tried to find it, searching records in courthouses in the D.C. area, where he grew up. But they could not find it. To obtain a new document changing his name to the one he has used for 51 years, Settles has to go to court, a process that would cost him more than $250 — more than he is willing to pay.

“It has been a bureaucratic nightmare,” said Settles, 65, a retired engineer. “The intent of this law is to suppress the vote. I feel like I am not wanted in this state.”

Supporters say that everyone should easily be able to get a photo ID and that the requirement is needed to combat voter fraud. But many election experts say that the process for obtaining a photo ID can be far more difficult than it looks for hundreds of thousands of people across the country who do not have the required photo identification cards. Those most likely to be affected are elderly citizens, African Americans, Hispanics and low-income residents.

“A lot of people don’t realize what it takes to obtain an ID without the proper identification and papers,” said Abbie Kamin, a lawyer who has worked with the Campaign Legal Center to help Texans obtain the proper identification to vote. “Many people will give up and not even bother trying to vote.”

A federal court in Texas found that 608,470 registered voters don’t have the forms of identification that the state now requires for voting. For example, residents can vote with their concealed-carry handgun licenses but not their state-issued student university IDs.

Across the country, about 11 percent of Americans do not have government-issued photo identification cards, such as a driver’s license or a passport, according to Wendy Weiser of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

READ MORE: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/getting-a-photo-id-so-you-can-vote-is-easy-unless-youre-poor-black-latino-or-elderly/


 

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China’s Futuristic ‘Straddling Bus’ Finally Becomes a Reality?

China’s Futuristic ‘Straddling Bus’ Finally Becomes a Reality?

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Can China’s Futuristic ‘Straddling Bus’ Finally Become a Reality?

straddle bus

First dreamed up in 1969, the bus may help Chinese cities ease traffic and curb air pollution.

Car ownership in China is soaring, with an estimated 20 million new drivers hitting the roads each year. Cities there can expect no shortage of air pollution and hellish traffic jams. While local governments are hoping that parking regulations and plate restrictions will ease congestion, engineers and designers are trying to find relief in technology.

What if there were a city bus that could carry more than a thousand passengers from one point to another without taking up any space on the road?

As fantastical as that sounds, it’s a solution that Chinese cities like Beijing are actually considering. Participants at the 19th International High-Tech Expo in Beijing this weekend watched excitedly as a tiny “straddling bus” gobbled up cars and spit them back out as it glided above the traffic in a model city. It’s a replica of what could be the future of China’s public transport.

The bus would span two traffic lanes and carry up to 1,400 passengers. It would travel up to 40 miles an hour above street level on a special track, allowing regular cars under 7 feet high to freely pass underneath. (As a extra touch, its underbelly even simulates the sky.)

But since then, the straddling bus idea has stayed just that—an idea. Song first introduced his version in 2010. While it grabbed international headlines, it never came to fruition. At the time, Beijing said that it had plans to start building roughly five miles of track by the end of the year. But three years down the line, some news outlets began expressing doubt when they saw that no tracks had actually been laid out.

This time, according to the Xinhua news agency, the Beijing-based company Transit Explore Bus is currently building a life-size model in Changzhou and they plan to test it in July or August. If successful, it could help ease China’s transit problem, although it would still take years for the country to bring down its pollution levels. But as I previously wrote, new technology would have to encourage China’s 1.4 billion people to change their behavior. That includes changing their attitudes toward air pollution and the desire to own a car.

More importantly, it would run on electricity and take the place of 40 buses, which could cut annual fuel consumption by 800 tons and carbon emissions by almost 2,500 tons, according to an interview with the chief engineer, Song Youzhou, conducted by China’s official news agency, Xinhua. And it would be less expensive than a subway system as it doesn’t involve digging up the ground.

The idea, while innovative, isn’t new. As TreeHugger pointed out, two architects—Craig Hodgetts and Lester Walker—dreamed up a similar concept back in 1969 as part of their “immodest proposal” for redesigning New York City. They called it the Bos-Wash Landliner, as it would run between Washington, D.C., and Boston. Writing in New York Magazine and providing a drawing that looks like something out of a classic Nintendo game, the authors expressed even bigger ambitions:

The Bos-Wash Land-liner, bound for Boston, streaking through the 86th street reservoir area of Central Park … just about to drop off and pick up busloads of commuters before it resumes full speed of 200 miles an hour. It rides on nearly friction-free air cushion bearings (those plates which you see hugging the sides of the road are something like vacuum cleaners in reverse; the horses connecting them to the turbine-powered, ducted fan-jets above are filled with air). The fan-jets themselves have a re-generator cycle, which means no hot exhaust—important since the Land-liner will be zooming only 16 feet over your head if you are driving along the freeway.

But since then, the straddling bus idea has stayed just that—an idea. Song first introduced his version in 2010. While it grabbed international headlines, it never came to fruition. At the time, Beijing said that it had plans to start building roughly five miles of track by the end of the year. But three years down the line, some news outlets began expressing doubt when they saw that no tracks had actually been laid out.

This time, according to the Xinhua news agency, the Beijing-based company Transit Explore Bus is currently building a life-size model in Changzhou and they plan to test it in July or August. If successful, it could help ease China’s transit problem, although it would still take years for the country to bring down its pollution levels. But as I previously wrote, new technology would have to encourage China’s 1.4 billion people to change their behavior. That includes changing their attitudes toward air pollution and the desire to own a car.

READ MORE: http://www.citylab.com/tech/2016/05/can-chinas-futuristic-straddling-bus-finally-become-a-reality/483953/

Wyoming Law Criminalizes Collecting Evidence Of Pollution

Wyoming Law Criminalizes Collecting Evidence Of Pollution

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In Wyoming, Taking A Photo of a Polluted Stream Could Land You In Jail 

In Wyoming, Reporting Environmental Damage Could Land You in Prison

A law passed by Wyoming Republicans officially makes it illegal for citizens to collect evidence of pollution on public land that could lead to a government investigation of environmental destruction.

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead signed Senate Bill 12 into law in March making it a criminal offense to “collect resource data,” such as photographs of polluted waterways and land that is private, public, or federal outside of city limits. Violators of the law could face a $5,000 fine and/or prison time.
According to ThinkProgress,

Under the law “collect” means to “take a sample of material, acquire, gather, photograph or otherwise preserve information in any form from open land which is submitted, or intended to be submitted to any agency of the state, or federal government.”
The laws says that only citizens who are given express permission to collect such evidence can actually do so, which quite frankly makes it easier for public and private employees to cover up environmental wrongdoing. For example, if a cattle rancher allows his herd to graze too close to public waterways on public land and the cattle cause an E. coli outbreak in the water that could poison people, citizens who collect evidence of this to report to government agencies would be subject to prosecution. In short, the law is an effort to silence and censor whiste-blowers and environmental activists from proving that landowners are illegally polluting public lands.

The Wyoming Sierra Club condemned the law in a statement to ThinkProgress as a broad effort to prevent scientific research and other efforts to help protect the environment.

“We are deeply concerned that this poorly written and overly vague bill will prevent concerned citizens and students from undertaking valuable research projects on public lands, out of fear of accidentally running afoul of the new law (the scope of which no one clearly understands) and being criminally and civilly prosecuted. There is no need for this new bill, and we can only conclude that it is an attempt by private landowners to scare people away from valid research efforts on public land.”

This effort by Wyoming Republicans happened at the same time that Republicans in the United States Senate voted unanimously to sell public lands, including national forests and waterways, to states whose conservative governments will likely turn around and sell those lands to private industry for mining, logging, and drilling.

Why conceal this information instead of using it to clean up the environment?

According to a recent Slate article, a local environmental group found that many Wyoming streams are contaminated by E. coli bacteria. That contamination comes from cow waste that has seeped into waterways. Ranchers don’t want to change their operations, cutting off the source of the pollution. Instead, they chose to cut off the source of complaints.

We’ve seen this strategy from big animal ag interests before.

More than 20 state legislatures have introduced bills limiting public access to information about animal farming since 2011; four have passed. So-called ag-gag laws are aimed at whistleblower workers and concerned neighbors who share photos or videos from factory farms. This “gags” people from coming forward to report food safety threats, workers’ abuses, environmental problems, and animal welfare issues. Many of these laws are based on a “model law” drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in 2002. ALEC is a conservative group for state legislators funded by corporations. The group promotes an anti-regulatory, pro-industry agenda.

Of all the industries that would benefit from citizen oversight, the beef industry, which has seen drastic cuts in government inspectors, may rank the highest.

Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Working on a factory farm or in a slaughterhouse is a dangerous job. Workers labor for long hours, are paid little, and experience high injury rates.
  • Animal waste can contain high concentrations of Salmonella, E. coli, and Cryptosporidium. These pathogens, along with antibiotics, ammonia, heavy metals, and hormones can end up in waterways humans use for drinking and swimming.
  • Time and time again, whistleblowers have come forward with horrific accounts of animal abuses. In a recent investigation in Wisconsin, video shows workers cutting off cows’ tails with pruning shears, spraying them in the face with high-pressure water hoses, and dragging them by their necks with ropes attached to tractors.

The meat industry has argued for self-regulation to avoid government inspectors. And they have threatened workers who come forward with complaints of illegal and unethical behavior.

We live in a democracy; it’s time we start behaving like one. State legislatures should not be able to suppress information or muzzle citizen activism intended to improve our health and safety.


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Does Canada have something to hide in Fort McMurray?

Does Canada have something to hide in Fort McMurray?

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Fort Mc’Murray fires 

Does Canada have something to hide?

Not long ago We are Change Reported on a Nuclear waste facility that was buring and emitinting toxic fumes into the wilderness, now we find that the Canadian government is making people sign non-disclosure agreements before entering the area.

Questions as to why there is such a shroud of secrecy, why all those entering Fort McMurracy have to sign a non-disclosure agreement, why Canada turned down international offers of help?

What are they trying to hide?
Ever since the event, the media has repeated the ‘fact’ that 2,400 structures were destroyed, and that, ‘thankfully’, 90% of the city was ‘saved’. If the city was substantially spared, why do Canadian media reports also state that “Fort McMurray is not ready to resume its role of home to anyone yet”?

Oddly, a ‘cone of silence’ was imposed on the city shortly after the wildfire forced its entire population to flee on May 3-4.

What are they hiding?

Was the destruction wrought by the wildfire on ‘the capital of Canada’s oil industry’ far worse than the government claimed?

 

Press For TruthWhat Caused The Fort McMurray Fire?Press For Truth


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WORLD WIDE WAVE OF BOMB THREATS !

WORLD WIDE WAVE OF BOMB THREATS !

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Wave of bomb threats hits schools nationwide

APPLETON – A wave of threats directed at schools across the nation Monday forced authorities to lock down buildings or evacuate students.

The threats, which appear to be driven by automated calls, have been directed at elementary, middle and high schools in states across at least four time zones.

Some districts reported that the calls included a bomb threat while others just described the calls as “threatening.”

The calls were reported in California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

Ken Trump, a national school security expert and president of a school security consulting firm, said Monday’s nationwide bomb hoaxes have the hallmarks of swatting.

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Swatting, according to Trump, are “highly disruptive” hoax threats that are intended to trigger massive police response. Trump said they are often described as robotic, computer-generated voices that call in threats to schools or police departments.

A single swatting case can impact multiple states, jurisdictions and even travel across international borders, Trump said.

“They tend to come in waves,” he said. “We’ve seen them cross six states in an afternoon.”

Trump said swatting incidents have “skyrocketed” nationwide in the past two years.

“(Swatting) suspects are often more sophisticated,” he said. “They can use Voice Over IP (Internet Protocol) systems or other technologies that can be virtually impossible to track down.”


 

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation responded to request for comment, writing, “We are aware of recent bomb threats at various schools in different states, and we remain in touch with our law enforcement partners to provide assistance if needed. As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activities which could represent a threat to public safety.”

Lee Allinger, superintendent of schools in Appleton, Wisconsin, said he can’t remember a string of threats so widespread that seem to be connected. Janet Berry Elementary School in Appleton received an automated threat about 11:45 a.m.

“It’s the first one that I can recall that’s been of this nature, where it’s been an automated call or a robo kind of call and that it’s been widespread — not just next door to us but across the state and the country,” he said.

Tom McCarthy, a Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction spokesperson, said the department did not know how many schools statewide had received threats. He did not comment on the string of bomb hoaxes.

In the United Kingdom, at least 21 schools received bomb threats, as well, according to The Independent.

Read More: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/05/23/wave-bomb-threats-hits-schools-nationwide/84816474/

http://www.postcrescent.com/story/news/2016/05/23/wave-bomb-threats-hits-schools-nationwide/84807710/

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Former Prime Minister backs U.S. sailors suing over Fukushima radiation

Former Prime Minister backs U.S. sailors suing over Fukushima radiation

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Former Prime Minister Koizumi backs U.S. sailors suing over Fukushima radiation

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi speaks at a news conference Tuesday in Carlsbad, California. | KYODO NATIONAL

KYODO/ japantimes.co.jp /

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has thrown his support behind a group of former U.S. sailors suing the operator of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. The sailors claim health problems they now suffer were caused by exposure to radiation after a triple meltdown at the plant following an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

Speaking at a news conference Tuesday in Carlsbad, California, with some of the plaintiffs, Koizumi said, “Those who gave their all to assist Japan are now suffering from serious illness. I can’t overlook them.”

The lawsuit was lodged in 2012 against plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., which was last month renamed Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.

The plaintiffs include crew members of the U.S. aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, which provided humanitarian relief along the tsunami-battered coastline in a mission dubbed Operation Tomodachi.

Koizumi spent Sunday through Tuesday meeting 10 of the plaintiffs, asking about the nature of the disaster relief they undertook and about their symptoms.

“I learned that the number of sick people is still increasing, and their symptoms are worsening,” he told the news conference.

Koizumi called on those in Japan, both for and against nuclear power, to come together to think of ways to help the ailing U.S. servicemen.

The group of about 400 former U.S. Navy sailors and Marines alleges the utility did not provide accurate information about the dangers of radioactive material being emitted from the disaster-struck plant.

This led the U.S. military to judge the area as being safe to operate in, resulting in the radiation exposure, the group claims.

One of the plaintiffs at the news conference, Daniel Hair, said Koizumi’s involvement made him feel for the first time that Japan is paying serious attention to their plight.

According to lawyers for the group, seven of its members have died so far, including some from leukemia.

Koizumi, who served as prime minister between 2001 and 2006, came out in opposition to nuclear power in the wake of the 2011 disaster. He has repeatedly urged the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to halt its efforts to restart dormant reactors across Japan.


 

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