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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Year of Christ's Birth

Kaspersky Lab Uncovers Global Cyberespionage Network

MOSCOW, June 5 (RIA Novosti) - Kaspersky Lab, a Russian computer security company, said on Tuesday its experts have uncovered a global cyberespionage campaign, which may have been in existence for nearly a decade and compromised more than 350 computer systems in 40 countries.

The malicious NetTraveler surveillance toolkit has been active since as early as 2004, but its activity peaked between 2010 and 2013. The initial attack begins with spear-phishing emails with malicious attachments that use vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office to compromise systems.

“The NetTraveler group’s main domains of interest for cyberespionage activities include space exploration, nanotechnology, energy production, nuclear power, lasers, medicine and communications,” Kaspersky Lab said in a statement.

Users and organizations in Mongolia and Russia were the hardest affected, followed by India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan, South Korea, Spain and Germany.

Kaspersky Lab’s experts estimate the amount of stolen data stored on NetTraveler’s command and control servers at more than 22 gigabytes.

“Exfiltrated data from infected machines typically included file system listings, keyloggs, and various types of files including PDFs, excel sheets, word documents and files,” Kaspersky Lab said.

In addition, the NetTraveler toolkit was able to install additional info-stealing malware, such as a backdoor.

RIA NOvosti

Trade Wars: The Chinese Empire Strikes Back

We reported yesterday that Europe, in a surprising escalation of global trade wars, announced it would impose solar-panel duties against China in one week, with the terms rapidly deteriorating over the next three months. It took China less than one day to retaliate. What's worse the retaliation is aimed at Europe's already weakest - the PIIGS - by targeting not hard German machinery exports but something far more prosaic: French, Spanish and Italian wine.

Reuters reports that "in a step targeting southern European states such as France and Italy that back the duties but largely sparing north European opponents such as Germany, Beijing said it launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probe into sales of European wine. The Chinese ministry said the government had begun the probe into EU wines at the request of Chinese wine makers.

"The Commerce Ministry has already received an application from the domestic wine industry, which accuses wines imported from Europe of entering China's market by use of unfair trade tactics such as dumping and subsidies," it said in a statement.

"We have noted the quick rise in wine imports from the EU in recent years, and we will handle the investigation in accordance with the law."

The move appeared largely symbolic and less severe than if China had targeted hi-tech exports such as Airbus aircraft, made by Toulouse-based European aerospace group EADS.

Beijing imported 430 million liters of wine last year, of which more than two-thirds came from the EU, according to Chinese customs figures. Imports from France alone came to 170 million liters.

Short Diageo and Pernod?

China is the third biggest export market for French wines and spirits by value, worth 1 billion euros ($1.31 billion) in 2012 or nine percent of Paris' wine and spirits exports, according to the FEVS producers' federation.

Jim Boyce, who runs the wine blog grapewallofchina.com, said Chinese manufacturers have been upset about alleged dumping for a while.

It appears Spain's recent export stability is about to be monkeyhammered:

"The big issue was all this Spanish wine flowing in here at incredibly low prices," he said.

And should the trade war escalate, things are about to get far, far worse for Europe:

The European Union is China's most important trading partner, while for the EU, China is second only to the United States. Chinese exports of goods to the 27-member bloc totaled 290 billion euros ($376 billion) last year, with 144 billion euros going the other way.

Wine sales are only a fraction of overall exports to the rising Asian economic powerhouse but the move raises the risk of more tit-for-tat trade barriers.

The EU now has 31 ongoing trade investigations, 18 of them involving China. The largest to date is that into 21 billion euros of imports from China of solar panels, cells and wafers.

The EU says it has evidence that Chinese firms are selling solar panels below cost - a practice known as dumping. But the initial duty of 11.8 percent announced on Tuesday by European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht was far below the average 47 percent that had been planned.

China's Commerce Ministry said it took note of the lower initial rate, but called on the EU to "show more sincerity and flexibility to find a resolution both sides can accept through consultations".

Then again, in a centrally-planned world where the only "growth" is currency dilution who needs trade: Ben and Mario can just print it, right?
Zero Hedge

Fallen Humanity...it´s all been tried before

Through the 6000 years of recorded world history countless forms of ruling classes have established governments dominated by their godless unbridled ideologies (Rev. 17:2). All of these nations have used Babel's blueprint in establishing their own delusional culture and systems. Out of all of these earthly (carnal) sensual ideologies (1 Cor. 2:14, 3:19, James 3:15) have sprung forth a vast spectrum of oppressive and damnable religions (spiritual philosophies), totalitarianism, fascism, socialism, oppressive dictatorships and despots, monarchies, democracies, republic’s etc... ALL, of which have met their end because of decadence or violence.

Without Almighty God’s outside interventionmankind would eventually make its self extinct.

The ones that remain today are on the verge of collapse. What hope is there at all for the future of the world's inhabitants when all of the world's kingdoms are nothing but oppressive and violent destroyers? The sane answer is an obvious NONE, absolutely NONE. Without Almighty God’s outside intervention (John 3:16-17, Gal 1:4) mankind would eventually make its self extinct (Mark 13:22). Mankind has repeatedly beat its drum to many different tunes patterned after the Babel blueprint and all have been disastrous (Rom. 1:18-32, Rev 17:1-2,5, 18:24). In the end ALL the Nations and their inhabitants will head down the road to Armageddon for the final climatic battle of the Ages (Joel 3:11-16, Zech. 12:2-4, 14:1-4, Matt 25:41-46, Rev. 16:13-16, 19:11-21). Only those who have trusted in the Savior of the God of Abraham shall be delivered and dwell in the Kingdom age (Isa. 2:2-4, Mic. 4:1-4, Zech.8:3, 14:16-17, Matt. 25:31-40).

Mankind has repeatedly beat its drum to many different tunes patterned after the Babel blueprint and all have been disastrous.

There is absolutely NO HOPE or WAY OUT of our temporal earthly confines and our un-regenerated fallen human state and condition(Rom. 5:12-19, 7:24-25, 1 Cor. 15:21-22). There are many voices and trails that lead to ruin, but there is only one trail that will lead us to a place of deliverance and redemption (Matt. 7:13-14). That heavenly trail leads to Almighty God and His Son Jesus Christ. It is by FAITH alone that we look objectively outside of ourselves and choose to believe Almighty God and His unchangeable Word and promises (Mark 11:22, 2 Cor. 1:20, Titus 1:2, Heb. 11:1, 6). When we do, we will be set free delivered and set free from the oppressive bonds of this world and have access to Heaven's domain (Eph 1:3,Col 3:1-2).

There is absolutely NO HOPE or WAY OUT of our temporal earthly confines and our un-regenerated fallen human state and condition.

My friend, there is absolutely NO WAY OUT, no way out of this living hell, no way, no way out unless we walk Heaven’s trail. Do you know the Savior of ALL mankind, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16-17, Gal. 1:4)? ONLY in Him is there escape from the delusional, godless and fallen ideologies and philosophies that sprang forth from the Babel blue print (Rev. 17:1-3).

If you know Him not please be sure that you do. All of your ETERNITY will depend on it!

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

The ignorant Fisherman Blog

Thousands of Arabs participated in a mass rally this week calling for the establishment of the Mahdi Muslim Caliphate Worldwide

Thousands of PA Arabs participated in a mass rally in Ramallah earlier this week calling for the establishment of the Muslim Caliphate – the worldwide Islamist government that will “bring the coming of the Mahdi.” the Muslim messiah.

The Caliphate is essentially a union of Muslim countries under the spiritual and political leadership of a single individual, the Caliph. It has been an Islamic concept since the days of Muhammad, when it was established by several of his disciples. The office of “official Caliph” has been disputed at times, with rival would-be Caliphs battling each other for the title.

The last official Caliph was Abdülmecid II, who lost the office in the aftermath of the defeat of Ottoman Turkey in World War I. The best-known Caliph in the West was Suleiman the Great, an early Ottoman sultan who, in the 16th century, conquered most of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, even conquering parts of Europe, until he was stopped at “the Gates of Vienna.”

With many Muslim states politically and religiously divided, and dependent on the West for support, radical Islamists have been pushing for the reestablishment of the Caliphate – this time to be led by the all-powerful Mahdi, who will unite all Muslims and establish Islam as the dominant religion in the world, ruling for several years before the "Day of Judgment". Although the identity of the Mahdi is a secret, many Islamists believe that he is alive now, and several individuals have claimed the title. Many Islamists were said to have believed that Osama Bin-Laden was the Mahdi, or his right-hand man, until he was killed several years ago by U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

The Ramallah rally included many students from Bir-Zeit University, the PA's most prestigious university located north of Jerusalem and a major recipient of economic funding from the EU and the United States. Marchers gathered at a large mosque in El Bireh, a suburb of Ramallah, and marched to Manara Square, a large gathering place in central Ramallah. Speakers at the rally urged believers to “have faith” in the future, to give up their Western ways, and to do more to fulfill the tenets of Islam.

The rally was sponsored by Ḥizb at-Taḥrir (Party of Liberation), which has its own Mahdi candidate – organization leader Ata Abu Rashta, born in Mandatory Palestine and a long-time resident of a refugee camp near Hevron. Speakers at the rally said that Abu Rashta, as Mahdi, would unify Muslims and establish Sharia law in countries around the world. In addition, the speakers called for unity among all Muslims in order to ensure “victory in Syria,” the “liberation of Palestine from the hated Jews,” and the “freeing of mankind from the chains of capitalism.”

Arutz Sheva

NASA: There is a hole in the Sun

Coronal Hole May 2.jpg

During the latter part of last week, a huge void rotated across the face of the sun.

But never fear, it isn’t a sign of the “end times” or some weird sci-fi stellar malnourishment: This particular hole is a coronal hole. Though it may be a well-known phenomenon, it is noteworthy — it’s the largest coronal hole to be observed in the sun’s atmosphere for over a year.

Snapped through three of NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory's (SDO) extreme ultraviolet filters, this coronal hole is caused by a low density region of hot plasma.

The sun’s lower corona is threaded with powerful magnetic fields. Some are looped — or “closed” — very low in the corona, creating the beautiful, bright coronal loops that trap superheated gases that generate vast amounts of extreme ultraviolet light, radiation that is produced by multimillion degree plasma (the bright regions in the image, top).

However, there are also “open” field lines that have one end of their magnetic flux anchored in the solar photosphere. These lines fire solar plasma into interplanetary space at an accelerated rate, often intensifying space weather conditions. These regions of open field lines, or coronal holes, act like fire hoses, blasting plasma into space. These regions are the source of the the fast solar wind that accelerates solar material toward Earth, which often only takes 2-3 days to travel from the sun to Earth.

Through the SDO’s eyes, coronal holes appear dark as there is a very low density of the multimillion degree plasma generating the EUV radiation. And as this dramatic observation demonstrates, to the eyes of the SDO, the sun really does appear to have a hole.

We are currently going through an uptick in solar activity as our nearest star experiences “solar maximum” — the peak of its natural 11-year cycle. At this time, we can expect an increased frequency of solar flares and coronal mass ejections as the sun’s magnetic field becomes increasingly stressed. Although this solar maximum is less active than predicted, it is producing some powerful flares and CME’s.

Now we’re seeing huge coronal holes, all a consequence of the twisted turmoil our sun is currently enduring.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/06/04/there-hole-in-sun-nasa-says/#ixzz2VLotMpTJ

Cracks in Iran’s nuclear reactor facility following quakes

Iran’s only power producing nuclear reactor in Bushehr was damaged by earthquakes which struck Iran over April and May, diplomats told AP. Cracks have reportedly appeared in at least one section of the structure.

Cracks of several meters long have appeared in one concrete section of the facility, claimed diplomats from countries monitoring Iran’s nuclear program. Cracks however were not visible around the highly-radioactive reactor core, they said.

Tehran did not deny or confirm the report with Iran’s chief delegate to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, telling AP: “I know nothing about Bushehr.”

The safety of the plant was thrown into question following the April quakes, one of which was 7.7, and a subsequent moderate quake in early May. Their severity caused concerns that protective vessels which contain the radioactive material inside the reactors could be cracked. Intense earthquakes can also knock out power and disable cooling systems that prevent overheating and possible meltdown.

Following the tremors, Iran stated that the plant is technically sound and was built to withstand quakes up to magnitude 8.

Russian nuclear specialists examined the facility after the April quake that caused much damage in the neighboring Pakistan killing around 40 and wounded hundreds.

"The earthquake in no way affected the normal situation at the reactor, personnel continue to work in the normal regime and radiation levels are fully within the norm," an official with Atomstroyexport, the Russian company which built the facility, told RIA Novosti.

A doll lies on the rubble of a destroyed house as Iranian residents inspect the damage in the town of Shonbeh, southeast of Bushehr, on April 10, 2013.(AFP Photo / STR)

The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also said at the time that Iran reported that earthquake caused no damage to the facility.

“Iran has informed [the IAEA's Incident and Emergency Center] of the event, reporting that there has been no damage to the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant and no radioactive release from the installation,”the agency said in a statement, according to Reuters.

May’s quake was 6.2 on the Richter scale, and was followed by a 5.6 tremor the following morning. Its epicenter was 85 kilometers (52 miles) southeast of the town of Minab, located in the southern Hormuzgan Province off the Strait of Hormuz.

“What I can say about this is that the center of the earthquake was away from the Bushehr reactor which was designed and built in the 1970s ... in a way that qualifies it to withstand an earthquake of that magnitude,” General Director of International Atomic Energy Agency Yukiya Amano told the Bahrain News Agency after the quake.

Iran's environmental protection chief also indicated that the country's nuclear facilities were well protected.



A Rasmussen poll released on Tuesday regarding the Department of Justice’s targeting of Fox News reporter James Rosen and the Associated Press shows that a plurality of Americans believe that the DOJ was attempting to intimidate the media. 43 percent of respondents said they believed that the investigation of Rosen was “primarily an attempt to intimidate the media,” as opposed to 34 percent who said it was “primarily out of concern for national security.”

No doubt those numbers play a role in the American people’s newfound skepticism of government. A wide majority of Americans – 56 percent – said they see the government as a threat to individual rights, while only 30 percent see the federal government as a protector of individual rights. Overall, 70 percent of Americans say they have followed reports about the DOJ either very or somewhat closely.

US to Deploy Patriot Missiles and F-16 Jets to Jordan

The United States will deploy Patriot anti-aircraft missiles and F-16 fighter jets to Syria’s neighbor Jordan this month, Jordan said on Tuesday, drawing swift condemnation from Moscow which accused the West of sending weapons to fuel Syria’s civil war.

Jordan said the planes and missiles will be sent as part of an annual exercise to begin in the last week of June. Military sources said the exercises would involve armies from at least 18 countries with more than 15,000 troops.

“These annual exercises will increase the preparedness of the Jordanian army. This year we are in need of more advanced weapons,” Jordan’s Minister of Information Mohammad al-Momani told Reuters.

There was no official statement suggesting the Patriots or the fighters would be withdrawn when the exercises are over.

Jordan is a U.S. ally in the region and one of the Arab countries that backs the opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is fighting insurgents in a two-year-old civil war that has killed 80,000 people.

The deployment of Patriot missiles is particularly controversial for Russia, Assad’s main global ally, which believes the missiles could be used by the United States and its allies to impose a no-fly zone over Syria, heralding the first direct Western military intervention.

“We have more than once stated our opinion on this – foreign weapons are being pumped into an explosive region,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement.

“This is happening very close to Syria, where for more than two years the flames are burning of a devastating conflict that Russia and its American partners are trying to stop by proposing to hold an international peace conference as soon as possible.”

Moscow complained vociferously last year when the United States, Germany and the Netherlands deployed Patriots on Syria’s northern border in Turkey, a NATO ally. NATO said the Patriots were sent there as a precaution in case missiles were fired over the border from Syria.

Moscow said that decision was a factor in its decision to go ahead with plans to send its own anti-aircraft system, the S-300, to Assad’s government.

The Russian system has not yet been deployed but Moscow said in recent weeks it would fulfill the delivery contract.

Assad’s air power is one of his main advantages against the rebels, who are relatively lightly armed with weapons they receive from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The United States and Russia have jointly called for a peace conference on Syria later this month, the first attempt in a year by the powers supporting the opposing sides in the civil war to find a diplomatic solution.

Washington Free Beacon

Russia May Soon Adopt ‘Future Soldier’ Gear

KOVROV, June 4 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian version of “future soldier” gear could be put into service with the armed forces in the near future, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Tuesday.

Rogozin, who visited the privately owned Degtyarev small arms plant in central Russia, said the tests of domestically designed Ratnik (Warrior) gear had been completed.

“There are some issues with small arms that should be addressed in the near future, and after that the gear will be adopted by the army,” Rogozin said.

Ratnik comprises more than 40 components, including firearms, body armor and optical, communication and navigation devices, as well as life support and power supply systems, and even knee and elbow pads. The equipment can be used by regular infantry, rocket launcher operators, machine gunners, drivers and scouts.

Many other nations have similar future soldier equipment programs in progress, including the U.S. Land Warrior, Germany's IdZ, Britain's FIST, Spain's COMFUT, Sweden's IMESS and France's FELIN.

Rogozin stressed that the Russian gear would be superior in many ways to comparable NATO equipment.

“And we stand by our words,” he said.

RIA Novosti