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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

An Impact on History

Azerbaijan nabs Iranian agents setting trap for Israel-made drone

Maybe this is how it looks a Iranian secret agent...

Last week, the Azerbaijani police rounded up six Iranian agents who had infiltrated the country and were looking for the air bases where their government housed the drones purchased from Israel. The spies were found in possession of cash, fake passports, automatic pistols, advanced electronic equipment for tracking aircraft and electronic warfare devices for jamming flying vehicles and down them. Questioning the detainees uncovered an Iranian plot to capture one of the Israel-made UAVs as it flew over the Caspian Sea.

Following the arrests, Azerbaijan barred entry to the Iranian culture attaché serving at the embassy in Baku on his return from home leave in Tehran. No valid reason was offered for this step except that his visa had expired. Azerbaijani investigators were able to establish that he was an undercover agent who was running the captured ring.

The episode which triggered the considerable friction between Baku and Tehran surfaced on Dec. 9 when Iran spread through its media allegations that he US and Israel had stepped up their intelligence surveillance of the Astara Rayon region of southeastern Azerbaijan along the Caspian maritime frontier with Iran.

The Americans were claimed to have expanded the coverage of their radar, while Israel was said to have increased the number of Orbiter ultra-light drones spying on the region, as well as using the 10 Hermes-450 UAVs, made in Israel and recently sold to Azerbaijan. According to Iranian sources, the Hermes drones’ spying operations over the Iranian border are guided by Israeli military satellites.

In Israel, there was little doubt that Tehran was laying the groundwork for an attempt to force down an Israeli-Azerbaijani drone with the same sort of traps used against two American drones – the ScanEagle, which was downed over the Persian Gulf earlier this month, and the MQ 1 Predator which came under fire from two Iranian Air Force SU-25 fighters as it approached the skies over the Bushehr nuclear reactor.
Referring to the ScanEagle, Revolutionary Guards Navy commander Adm. Ali Fadavi said Tuesday, Dec. 4, that one of his units had captured a US drone flying over his forces in the Persian Gulf.
Catching Israeli drones is a challenge of a different order since none fly near Iranian borders. All the same, Tehran was suspected of planning to net one of the drones Azerbaijan bought from Israel and, despite the purchaser’s military markings, present it as the capture of an Israeli spy drone controlled by the Israeli Air Force and military intelligence, MI.
This would have been a feather in Tehran’s cap on a par with its success on Oct. 6 in keeping an Iranian drone, launched by Hizballah from Lebanon, on the loose for two hours in Israeli airspace before it was downed.


Father-daughter duo have the world’s first ‘telepathic’ conversation

It should be fairly obvious why, all technological considerations aside, there has been much more research into letting machines extract our thoughts, rather than insert them. Mind reading is a scary-enough concept all on its own — but mindwriting? It calls to mind the hacker deities of cyber punk novels; skinny, trench-swathed Neos projecting e-thoughts into the skulls of passing civilians. With such basic issues of privacy on the line, it took the trusting relationship between UK scientist Christopher James and his adventurous young daughter to give us our first stab at developing real telepathic, brain-to-brain communication technology.

James’ process of telepathic communication is rough, its results shaky, but the principle of brain-to-brain (B2B) communication is unquestionably met. It begins with the by-now standard collection of mental information, achieved in this case with electrodes placed against the skull. “I only used scalp electrodes on my daughter, since my wife wouldn’t let me drill holes in my daughter’s head,” James told the Times of India.

In the experiment, the sender imagined a series of binary digits, broadcasting their choices by imagining movement in their right arm or their left. The resulting patterns of brain activity were recorded and expressed by an LED — one frequency to represent a one, another to represent a zero. The patterns are simply too arcane to be useful to the conscious mind, too quick and complex, but they’re not meant to be read like Morse code, in any case.

Dr. James conducting a preceding experiment in 2009.

When the LED signal travels to the recipient, it flashes into a very specific part of the eye (which part doesn’t matter much) and so the resulting optical signal is sent to a predictable section of the visual cortex. Surface electrodes just like those that originally recorded the signal are much better than people at making sense of the quick-flash LED language, seeing in the recipient’s brain more data than does the recipient themselves.

Once the pattern has been reverse-engineered from LED back to arm-waving, the telepathic process is said to have concluded. “The key idea to grasp,” said Dr. James, “is that a person’s eyes cannot distinguish between the different frequencies of flashing lights but a part of his brain, [the] visual cortex, can.” For more serious results, the electrodes would have to be implanted on the surface of the brain, a procedure for which he had neither governmental nor spousal approval.

All in all, this advance will take some time to spawn any dystopian mind flayers or Inception-style dreamscapes. This advance has to do with the translation of thought to binary data, and the ability to technically induce that data in the brain of another person. The glaringly absent piece of the puzzle is any ability to induce much more sophisticated visual images; multi-pixel messages that appear in the mind’s eye, as opposed to the physical one.

That sort of sophistication could come through a better understanding of just how stimulation of the visual cortex influences images in the mind, or in teaching brains the language of light bulbs. With LED technology now finding its way into contact lenses, this technology seems well-suited to the (possibly) upcoming brain-machine revolution. It’s unclear was uses this tech might find in such a future, especially when it steps beyond the constraints of fatherly affection.

Extreme Tech

Syria warns opposition could use chemical weapons, then blame government.

Syria's UN ambassador is warning that extremist groups could use chemical weapons against the Syrian people and blame the government.

Bashar Ja'afari reiterated in letters, circulated Monday, to the UN Security Council and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the Syrian government is "genuinely worried" that foreign countries could provide chemical weapons to armed groups "and then claim they had been used by the Syrian government."

Although the West has shown little desire to intervene in Syria, President Barack Obama has said the regime's use of chemical weapons against the rebels would be a "red line" and change his "calculus" about a conflict.
Recent U.S. intelligence reports, however, showed the Syrian regime may be readying its chemical weapons and could be desperate enough to use them.

As the prospect of intervention gains traction, the Syrian government has been careful to never actually confirm it has chemical weapons and is instead trying to raise fears it may be framed by rebels using such weapons to spur an outside attack.

Ja'afari in his letter reiterated that "Syria will not under any circumstances use any chemical weapons that it may have."

He said instead the Syrian government is defending its people "from terrorists backed by well-known states, at the forefront of which is the United States of America." The Syrian regime and state media refer to rebels fighting to oust the government of President Bashar Assad as terrorists.

Ja'afari recalled that when UN monitors were in Syria, the government asked that a UN team visit a privately owned chlorine laboratory east of Aleppo "to inspect and secure the contents, which terrorist groups were planning to bring under their control."

UN monitors were unable to visit, however, because they came under fire, he said.

He expressed regret that no action has been taken to address these developments and hold rebel groups accountable.

The Syria uprising started in March 2011 as peaceful protests but quickly turned into a civil war after the government's brutal crackdown on dissent. Activists say more than 40,000 people have been killed.

On Sunday, fighter jets screamed over Damascus to bomb two areas in the southern part of the capital. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said fighter jets carried out six airstrikes in the Hajar Aswad area and the neighbouring Yarmouk Palestinian camp, where the rebels have been advancing.

The UN secretary-general spoke to Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem on Monday morning to express concern about the escalation of violence in recent days and especially the attack on Yarmouk, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/syria-warns-opposition-could-use-chemical-weapons-then-blame-government-1.1082463#ixzz2FPdO4oz7

Fed Will Keep Printing Money Until Economy Collapses

Jihadi leader to Christians: Convert to Islam or die

As always the peaceful religion of islam is killing people, but you know if say something bad about it probably you are a intolerant christian....
Just to have this straight now intolerant is worst than killer!!!

VIDEO - Jihadi leader Ahmad Al Baghdadi Al Hassani referred to Christians as polytheists and "friends of the Zionists."

In a recent Egyptian TV address, the extremist leader stressed that Christians must choose "Islam or death," while their women and daughters may legitimately be regarded as wives of Muslims.


Mayan apocalypse mania grips Russia

The apocalypse is surely near when Ramzan Kadyrov emerges as the voice of reason.

The ruthless leader of Chechnya is among dozens of Russians officials, priests, doctors and psychiatrists aiming to calm an anxious populace frantically preparing for the end of the world later this week.

"People are buying candles saying the end of the world is coming," Kadyrov said in comments published on his official website last week. "Does no one realise that once the end of the world comes, candles won't help them?"

For more than a month, Russians around the country have been buying up candles and matches, salt and torches in an effort to outsmart the apocalypse some believe will come when the Mayan calendar runs out on Friday.

In the coalmining town of Novokuznetsk, shelves nearly emptied of salt stocks last month as the city's residents prepared to ride through the end of the world. "60 tonnes were bought in one week," Yelena Zuyeva, a city official, said last week in comments carried on the local administration's website. "Today all trade companies are working and are ready for any level for consumer activity."

Online forums have been buzzing with people exchanging tips on what to eat after the entire human population is wiped out on Friday. "If I'm not mistaken, Russia makes all sorts of dehydrated products that are rich in all kinds of vitamins," a user named Yelena Portnenkova wrote on a forum called "How to live? What to eat?" on VKontakte, the Russian version of Facebook. "Yet filling a garage with stocks of food is not just pointless, but dangerous. If the apocalypse comes, then crowds of hungry, angry, terrified and horrified people will sweep into your garage just because they suspect they might find something edible."

Government officials have been called upon to calm fears. Vladimir Puchkov, Russia's emergency situations minister, urged Russians to call his ministry's hotline if they had any fears. His deputy, Sergei Anikeyev, added: "We don't believe in the 'end of the world' fable," adding hastily: "But we're ready to help people with any emergency situation."

With the end of the world just days away, Russians have moved from buying stocks to thinking long and hard about where to be when the lights go off. In Moscow, an underground bunker built during the second world war for the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin has offered its services: "We invite you to survive the apocalypse on 21 December in Bunker-42 on Taganka at 65 metres underground!" a note written in ominous red on its website cheerily reads.

Alexander Kolomeyets, the deputy head of Russia's Association of Independent Psychiatrists, lamented the apocalypse-mania that has gripped his country. "There are people who are prone to mental epidemics and I think that most of them are in our country," Kolomeyets said in an interview with local media in the far eastern city of Khabarovsk.

"What's happening in our country can be a lot scarier than the end of the world – so any negative information sticks. The more primitive the society, the stronger it lends itself to psychological epidemics. I think in this case our country isn't very civilised."

The Guardian

Iran threat still top priority

The Iranian threat remains of primary importance to the government, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Tuesday.

“The media silence on Iran should not lead anyone astray,” Ya’alon said during an Army Radio interview. “This issue is still our top priority.”

Ya’alon (Likud) said that Israel’s “red line” regarding Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program remains the spring of 2013, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an address to the UN in September. Ya’alon added, “In the meantime, there are interesting things happening in Iran, such as worms, viruses and explosions,” alluding to clandestine cyber-warfare operations targeting the Islamic Republic that many suspect are carried out by Israel.

Earlier this month, top US foreign policy officials said that if diplomacy does not succeed in halting Iran’s drive to acquire nuclear weapons technology, the Obama administration was prepared to “use force” by the end of 2013.

Times of Israel

A Set of earthquakes have hit Indonesia, Japan and Mexico

JAKARTA: A strong 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of central Indonesia Monday, the US Geological Survey said, sending panicked people rushing into the streets but there was no tsunami alert.

The quake struck at 0916 GMT more than 160 kilometres (99 miles) south-southeast of Gorontalo in central Indonesia's Sulawesi island at a depth of 18 kilometres.
A 5.0 magnitude earthquake hit the coast of Japan on Monday, December 17,2012. The quake’s epicenter was 139 miles from land, ESE of Ishinomaki.

Japan has been hit with 32 earthquakes since December 9; and average of 4 per day.

Though many of them have been far enough out to sea, nevertheless, with so much shaking taking place, they bring the Islands that much closer to a larger land centered tremor and subsequent tsunami

A magnitude 4.8 and 4.4earthquake hit Oaxaca, Mexico Monday evening, just moments ago. Unlike many of the previous quakes that have been off shore, these two quakes were centered on land and therefore, could have potentially caused damage and/or loss of life.

It’s still early, but so far there were no reports of injuries or significant damage.

Russia sends warships to Mediterranean Sea

Russian Black fleet ships take part in a Russian military Navy Day parade near an important navy base in the Ukrainian town of Sevastopol, on July 31, 2011.

A new fleet of Russian warships is heading to the Mediterranean Sea near the Syrian waters, Russia's Defense Ministry announces.

The ministry said on Tuesday that the flotilla has left the Baltic port of Baltiysk and is sailing for the Mediterranean.

It said the flotilla includes the frigate Yaroslavl Mudry, the landing ships Kaliningrad and Alexander Shabalin as well as two other vessels.

The ministry said that the Russian naval ships would carry out training drill after replacing another fleet in the Mediterranean.
Citing military sources, the Interfax news agency reported last week that the flotilla could be used to evacuate the Russians living in Syria in case the situation in the country worsens.

Russia, a key ally of Syria, has a small naval maintenance facility at the Syrian port of Tartus in the Mediterranean Sea.

Press Tv

Japan to set a "unlimited" monetary stimulus.

Come and join the printing fest!!!!

The profound shift in economic strategy by the world’s top creditor nation could prove a powerful tonic for the global economy, with stimulus leaking into bourses and bond markets - a variant of the "carry trade" earlier this decade but potentially on a larger scale.

"We think this could be the beginning of a fresh reflation cycle for the global system, combining with the US recovery to mark a turning point in the crisis," said Simon Derrick from BNY Mellon.

"It is tremendously important for global growth, and markets are starting to take note," said Lars Christensen from Danske Bank.

Mr Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) won a landslide victory on Sunday, securing a two-thirds "super-majority" in the Diet with allies that can override senate vetoes.

Armed with a crushing mandate, Mr Abe said he would "set a policy accord" with the Bank of Japan for a mandatory inflation target of 2pc, backed by "unlimited" monetary stimulus.

"Its very rare for monetary policy to be the focus of an election. We campaigned on the need to beat deflation, and our argument has won strong support. I hope the Bank of Japan accepts the results and takes an appropriate decision," he said.

The menace behind his words did not have to be spelled out. He has already threatened to change the Bank of Japan’s governing law if it refuses to comply. "An all-out attack on deflation is on its way," said Jesper Koll, Japanese equity chief at JP Morgan.

Mr Abe plans to empower an economic council to "spearhead" a shift in fiscal and monetary strategy, eviscerating the central bank’s independence.

The council is to set a 3pc growth target for nominal GDP, embracing a theory pushed by a small band of "market monetarists" around the world. "This is a big deal. There has been no nominal GDP growth in Japan for 15 years," said Mr Christensen.

The yen depreciated sharply to Y84.48 against the dollar on Monday, the weakest in nearly two years, as traders bet that the LDP will this time bend the Bank of Japan to its will.

The yen has weakened 5pc over the past month, helping to lift the Nikkei index of stocks by 10pc. The Tokyo bourse is still down 75pc since peaking in 1989. Land prices have fallen by two-thirds.

The LDP plans what some have dubbed a "currency warfare fund" to weaken the yen with a blitz of foreign bond purchases, copying Switzerland’s success in capping the franc.

The effect of Switzerland’s unlimited bond purchases has been to finance most of the eurozone’s budget deficits for the last year with printed money. If Japan tries to do this - with a vastly bigger economy - it would amount a blast of quantitative easing for the world.

Japan’s curse as creditor nation with $3 trillion of net assets abroad is that safe-haven flows cause the yen to strengthen during a crisis, tightening policy in a "pro-cyclical" fashion when least wanted, this time due to the Fukushima nuclear disaster and Europe’s sovereign debt saga.

The effect of the strong yen has been to asphyxiate Japan’s exporters, leading to a "hollowing out" of manfacturing as companies switch plant abroad. Fuel imports to replace the closure of nuclear plants amount to an added import shock.

The combined effect has caused the country's historic trade surplus to evaporate altogether, not helped in recent months by a partial boycott of Japanese goods in China over the Diayou-Senkaku island dispute. The burden of the strong yen has finally become too great to bear.

Opinion is split over the wisdom of ultra-loose money. Although Japan is trapped in chronic deflation, it is a stable - almost comfortable - equilibrium. The "real" value of savings is rising, in stark contrast to the West.

Stephen Jen from SLJ Macro Partners said the Bank of Japan is right to fret that a return to inflation could set off a spike in debt costs and a flight from Japanese government bonds (JGBs).

"Any meaningful sell-off in the JGBs could trigger a serious problem in Japan’s banking system. The holdings of JGBs by Japanese banks account for 900pc of their Tier I capital," he said. Better the Devil you know.

Professor Richard Werner from Southampton University, author ofPrinces of the Yen, said the Bank of Japan is to blame for the country's failure to shake off its financial crisis in the early 1990s and for two Lost Decades of perma-slump that have followed. He accused the bank of dragging its feet at every stage, forcing governments to rely on huge fiscal deficits instead.

This tight-money/loose fiscal mix has pushed public debt to 240pc of GDP. The country would have been better served if the bank had stopped the rot immediately by flooding the money supply to kickstart lending. "It has taken 20 years and the Fed's Ben Bernanke to show them how to do it."

"Mr Abe has the right intentions but the Bank of Japan knows how to put up a fight. After watching the glacial moves in Japan for over 20 years - often in the wrong direction - I want to see the details before being sure that something really big is happening," he said.

The Telegraph

We're Going to Have a World Class Crisis

Young cannibal kills and eats 11 people to impress his girlfriend

The police of the Volga region are about to complete the investigation of the criminal case, the materials of which can shock even those with nerves of steel. Twenty-three-year-old cannibal Alexander Bychkov is accused of killing at least nine people. The perpetrator was gutting corpses and eating the insides to impress his girlfriend.

The cannibal was killing homeless people. According to investigation, the killings and cannibalistic feasts were taking place presumably in the Penza region. The insane killer buried the remains of half-eaten corpses near the town of Belinsky, in the south-west of the region. To kill the homeless, the murderer used a common kitchen knife.

Human remains were indeed uncovered at places of burial during investigation. "In two cases, after the murder he separated the heart from the body to eat the human heart later," law-enforcement officers said. It was also reported that the perpetrator was eating the livers of his victims too.

The perpetrator "formed a negative attitude towards the people, who abused alcohol and lead a beggary, roguish lifestyle," experts said.

The cannibal would conduct meticulous preparations for his crimes. He carefully scrutinized criminal literature. Alexander Bychkov "developed a criminal plan, prepared a weapon and studied the examples of similar crimes committed by serial killers." He also mastered "various strategies and methods to conceal crime traces, including the bodies of the victims."

In January 2012, Alexander Bychkov broke a window of a hardware store, from which he stole money, kitchen knives and other items in the total sum of about 10,000 rubles ($300). The man was caught; police began to question him about the theft. However, the thief suddenly began to tell officers about the corpses, which he buried behind his house.

The cannibal's diary of crimes was found in his home. The man described all his crimes in detail. According to his records, Alexander Bychkov had killed 11 people, but the remains of two victims have not been found yet.

The cannibal was reading crime novels and watching crime TV shows. He was committing the crimes only during warm months.

Alexander Bychkov grew up in a dysfunctional family and was brought up by single mother. His childhood was difficult. The boy grew up and became a cowardly, but a cruel young man.

Psychologists say that Bychkov was committing atrocities to gain credibility in the eyes of his girlfriend, Svetlana. According to local newspapers, he said that the killings instilled self-confidence in him. He stopped being shy with his girlfriend, who would often criticize him for his softness and call him a doormat.

According to lawyers, if found sane, Bychkov may well expect a life sentence. Psychiatrist, PhD, Igor Yanushev, told Pravda.Ru:

"Such shocking crimes occur on a regular basis, even in much more socially advantaged countries than Russia. Foreign cannibals can be much more sophisticated in their perverted crimes than Russian ones. In Russia, believe me, cannibalism is much more prosaic, but its scale is more impressive. Every year, police catch several cannibals, and it goes about proved cases only. Usually, cannibals are mentally ill individuals.

"In most cases, cannibals get into medical, rather than penitentiary institutions after verdict. A person, when recognized mentally ill, undergoes compulsory medical treatment until he or she is healed - it doesn't last for life. After treatment, their case is reviewed again, and that's when they can face a criminal punishment.

"I personally know several cases when mental patients were recognized healed and were released to freedom right from the courtroom - the statute of limitations expired. They can be released to freedom, despite the fact that they may commit their hideous crimes in 80 percent of cases."