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Hubble telescope's zoomed-in view of a distant galaxy – LoneWolf Sager
The European Space Agency and NASA released video of a deep sky Hubble Telescope survey called GOODS North. ESA says the zoomed in view shows “a very early s…

By: LoneWolf Sager

Hubble telescope’s zoomed-in view of a distant galaxy – LoneWolf Sager – Video

Sep 012014

Ukraine seeks to join NATO
The deepening crisis in Ukraine is likely to dominate an summit of European Union leaders in Brussels on Saturday. EU officials say the leaders of the 28-mem…


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Ukraine seeks to join NATO – Video

Germany's Angela Merkel At European Commission NATO Meeting NOT TRANSLATED
Germany's Angela Merkel At European Commission NATO Meeting NOT TRANSLATED Germany's Merkel welcomes appoi…

By: Mary Greeley

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Germany’s Angela Merkel At European Commission NATO Meeting NOT TRANSLATED – Video

President Barack Obama will visit Estonia and attend a NATO summit in Wales next week to send a strong message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that his incursion into Ukraine must be reversed and to keep his hands off the Baltic nations.

A fresh move into eastern Ukraine by Russian forces in support of separatists is rattling the region, and Obama will reassure NATO’s Baltic allies Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania that the alliance will stand with them should Moscow turn its attention to them.

It will be the second visit ever to Estonia by an American president, following George W. Bush’s 2006 stop there. Obama will meet all three Baltic leaders together and give a speech on Wednesday.

The White House said Obama will stress that the alliance’s Article 5 commitment to the common defense of each member is an ironclad guarantee.

“Russia, don’t even think about messing around in Estonia or in any of the Baltic areas in the same way that you have been messing around in Ukraine,” Charles Kupchan, the senior White House director for European affairs, said on Friday in laying out Obama’s mission.

The NATO summit will put Obama in the same room with many European leaders who have joined with him in imposing economic sanctions on Moscow for its move into Ukraine and he has said Washington is considering stiffening those sanctions.

A focus of the summit will be to shift attention of the alliance toward the east as a bulwark against any Russian expansionism in Eastern Europe.

Ukraine has asked for NATO for membership, but there is no consensus within NATO for enlarging the alliance.

Also overshadowing Obama’s trip will be how to confront a challenge from Islamic State militants who have a stronghold in Syria and have made gains against government forces in Iraq.

NATO diplomats said a leaders’ dinner next Thursday will be dominated by talks on what they said is the increasingly prominent threat posed by Islamic State at NATO’s southeastern corner along Turkey’s border with Syria and Iraq.

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Obama, at NATO summit, to send strong message to Putin

As per recent Bloomberg report, Liberty Global plc. (LBTYA) is on the verge of receiving European Union (EU)'s regulatory approval to acquire full control of Ziggo N.V.

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Is Liberty Global Set to Receive EU Go-Ahead for Ziggo Buy?

Warning that beaches including Weston-super-Mare and Blackpool may not hit new EU regulations

Dozens of beaches are at risk of failing tough new standards for water quality, the Environment Agency said as it launched its summer monitoring programme.

They include beaches at resorts such as Weston-super-Mare and Blackpool, which are hugely popular with people from the West Midlands.

From next year, more stringent European Union regulations will be brought in for bathing spots around England, and the agency is warning that around 40 beaches are on track to fail if action is not taken to tackle pollution ending up in the sea.

They also include Scarborough South Bay, Lyme Regis Church Cliff beach, Southend Jubilee beach, Ilfracombe Wildersmouth and Morecambe and Walney.

If beaches fail on water quality standards under the EU rules, local authorities will have to display a sign advising against swimming.

More than 400 beaches will be tested weekly between now and September, with a total of 8,400 samples taken, and the Environment Agency said nine out of 10 swimming spots were already meeting the new standards.

But there were still areas where pollution was a problem, caused by agricultural run-off, sewage overflows, animal and bird faeces on beaches and households and businesses with badly-connected drains, the agency said.

In some areas as many as one in five houses have their drains misconnected, which means sewage is being accidentally flushed into rivers and ending up on beaches.

Water companies, local authorities and the Environment Agency were working to sort out the problem.

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Resorts at risk of failing tough new water quality targets

Social networking sites may call themselves technology companies, but the reality is their business is information The recent decision by the European Court of Justice, that EU citizens should have a "right to be forgotten" from Google search results, has picked the scab on a much deeper cultural issue; who defines the limits of free speech? American and European approaches to it could not be …

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Info wars: why it's time for Google & Co to come clean

May 252014


24th MAY 2014



On 15 April 1958, in Accra, Ghana, African leaders and political activists gathered at the first Conference of Independent African States. The Conference called for the founding of African Freedom Day, a day to mark each year the onward progress of the liberation movement, and to symbolize the determination of the People of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation. Five years later, specifically On 25 May 1963, leaders of thirty-two then independent African states met to form the Organization of African Unity (OAU). By then more than two-thirds of the continent had achieved independence, from imperial European states. This meeting changed the African freedom day date from 15 April to 25 May. The day was then declared African Liberation day. This is very significant in the sense that indeed Africans must be liberated in line with their own aspirations. The question is; has Africa achieved the aspirations of its founding leaders in this regard? Have the negative experiences we as a people went through under the york of colonialism been reversed?

Independence for African countries came at a great cost. Gallant men and women shed their blood for our independence. We saw in the initial stages of independence that we the African people enjoyed political freedom while we continued to grapple with economic freedom. Within a few years of independence, we saw the greed of the few leaders exceed the needs of the majority of the people. Political freedoms were quickly taken away. Ruling parties declared countries one party states. This period was characterised by an unprecedented levels of political oppression where the state machinery was used to silence any form of dissent, in many cases, brutally. Ruling parties soon blurred the line between the party and the government, creating a state of affairs where state resources became party resources firmly controlled by the ruling class. Political sycophancy became the order of the day. Zambia was no exception to this unfortunate dark era of political intolerance. Dissenting voices were brutally crashed. The nation was put under a perpetual state of emergency which was used with swift ruthlessness. Zambians against all odds rose against the system and dismantled the one party system in 1990. We saw a serious attempt to reverse this gain during the failed third term project.

We are now seeing a very worrying trend in Zambia where opposition party political meetings are being disrupted by the highly compromised police formation. Opposition leaders are being dragged before courts of law on flimsy charges. Innocent Zambians gathering to accompany their political leaders are being overrun by vehicles, assassination attempts have become the order of the day. The list of the evidence that shows the reversal of political freedoms are too numerous for one message.

No serious attempt is being made in Africa generally and in Zambia particularly to give the people economic freedom. Life has been reduced to dog eat dog to survive. The basic social services such as education, health, water and sanitation are all in free fall. If people cannot receive quality education, cannot access health care and do not have access to clean water and sanitation facilities, what sort of liberation are we talking about? If people cannot criticize the Government openly without fear of victimization, then what kind of liberation are we talking about? Africa has some of the longest serving Presidents, most of whom (if not all) have manipulated constitutions to perpetuate themselves in power. Africa has the indignity of having six of the of top ten worlds longest serving Presidents in the world. The longest serving President the world over, at 37 years and still counting, is from Africa. Such a record is not something to be proud about.

What do we promise as UPND? There can be no liberation if people are not economically liberated. We therefore promise economic liberation by enacting laws that will guarantee citizens participation in the economic activities of the country. We also promise the citizens free quality education. People have to be educated to make informed decisions including choosing the kind of leaders they want. We promise quality health care. We cannot have an educated people, who are economically liberated but not healthy. That will affect productivity negatively. We promise a Zambia that will be food secure. We cannot have a people that are in a good economy, educated, health but hungry. Most importantly, what I, Hakainde Hichilema personally promise to deliver, is freedom of expression and assembly through a people driven constitution. My personal commitment and that of our party UPND to a people driven Constitution is unequivocal. Zambia claims to be liberated from colonialism yet the public order act that was used by the colonialists is still in force. We seem to have changed the DJ but left the same music playing with some of it repeating ad infinitum. Countrymen and women, let us take this opportunity to take a hard look of where we are coming from and where we want to go. Where we want to go will then determine what kind of manpower we need to get us there.

Have a blessed day.

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HHs African Freedom Day Message

President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that Russia is ready for talks with Japan over disputed Pacific Islands but that Japan may not be ready for negotiations. Japan imposed visa bans on 23 Russians last month, as it followed the United States and the European Union in announcing expanded sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine. "We are ready for talks," Putin told a group of …

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Putin says Russia ready for talks with Japan over disputed islands

Russia will retaliate against increased NATO activity near its border, its top general said on Friday, in the latest sign of tensions with the western alliance over Ukraine. Since Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea region in March, NATO has moved to reassure its nervous eastern European allies by stepping up military exercises in the region and temporarily deploying additional ships and planes …

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Russia will respond to increased NATO activity near border: top general

Presiding officer Hugh ODonnell (left) and Garda officer P.J. McHugh carry the ballot box off the island of Innishfree, Co Donegal. A local home was turned into a temporary polling station where islanders Phil and Hans Schleweck from Stuttgart, Germany, cast their vote. The rest of Ireland will cast their votes on 23 May. Photograph: Paul McErlane/EPA

Sgt Val Murray assists Carmel McBride, presiding officer for Inishbofin, off Co Donegal, with the ballot box as Islanders go to the polls a day earlier in the local and European elections. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Presiding officer Hugh ODonnell (left) and Garda officer P.J. McHugh carry the ballot box to the island of Innishfree, Co Donegal. Photograph: Paul McErlane/EPA

Voters on 12 offshore islands have already cast their ballots for the European and local elections today, just one day ahead of the rest of the State.

Residents of five islands in Donegal South-West, three in Mayo and four in Galway West were able to vote up to 9pm this evening, while those living on seven islands in the Cork South-West constituency will vote tomorrow.

A total of 2,131 people are registered to vote on the 12 islands. In Donegal, where there are five islands, 753 people are entitled to vote.

Voters on Irelands 12 offshore islands cast early ballots

Southend’s beaches miss out on Blue Flag status for second year

7:00am Wednesday 21st May 2014 in News By David Trayner

ALL Southends beaches have won top awards for cleanliness but still fail to meet the strict standards needed for Blue Flag status.

Keep Britain Tidy has awarded all seven beaches around Southend Seaside Awards, which recognise quality, management, cleanliness and safety.

But Southend Council failed to enter any of the beaches for the charitys internationally-recognised Blue Flag status as it admits water is not yet clean enough.

Lynn Jones, the councils resort services manager, said: We did not apply for Blue Flags in 2014, but are very pleased to have picked up seven seaside awards which reflect the quality, management, cleanliness and safety of our beaches.

To win a Seaside Award all beaches must meet the required European Union standards, which ours have for a number of years and continue to do so.

However, to achieve a Blue Flag, water quality has to be considered excellent for around 90 per cent of the time over four years. This is under the much tougher revised bathing water directive.

The last three of the towns beaches to have Blue Flag status, East Beach and Shoebury Common in Shoebury and Three Shells in Southend, lost the award last year.

The Environment Agency warned Bell Wharf Beach in Leigh and Chalkwell Beach could miss new EU standards coming into force next year.

Originally posted here:
Southend's beaches miss out on Blue Flag status for second year

Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders on the campaign trail ahead of the European elections in Amsterdam. Photograph: Robin Utrecht/EPA

IT was extraordinary timing by the Dutch government last Thursday when it revealed just one week from the European elections that the number of refugees arriving in the Netherlands has surged from about 1,000 a month in February and March to a current figure of 1,000 per week.

The result was an emergency debate in parliament on Friday, during which there was a brief moment of drama when Geert Wilderss right-wing Freedom Party attempted to table a motion of no confidence in junior minister for justice Fred Teeven, who had disclosed the figures on television.

Despite accusing the minister of incompetence, declaring an immigration disaster, and calling for a severing of links with the EU and abandonment of the Schengen Agreement, the Freedom Partys moment quickly passed. The motion attracted no support from the rest of the opposition.

Policy of isolation It was the perfect practical example of how the informal blanket ban by all the other political parties on co-operating with Mr Wilders a ban which has been in place since he led supporters in anti-Moroccan chanting last month can leave the Freedom Party looking ineffective and isolated.

Do you want more or fewer Moroccans in your city and in the Netherlands? Mr Wilders roared to the crowd at a rally after the local elections.

Minder, minder, minder (Fewer, fewer, fewer), they roared in reply.

Wilders leaned closer to the microphone and said: Then were going to organise it.

The country descended into uproar, with a surprising amount of the criticism coming from Wilderss own constituency.

The popular right-wing daily newspaper De Telegraf railed: Those who place themselves outside the constitution by consciously turning their political message into the sort of deeply menacing politics we saw off in the past will find themselves sidelined by society.

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Freedom Party given political cold shoulder over immigration tactics

NATO Chief Rasmussen: Russian aggression against Ukraine is threat to European security
NATO Chief Rasmussen: Russian aggression against Ukraine is threat to European security videolarn CNN's Christiane Amanpour speaks with NATO Secretary Gene…

By: News World TV

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NATO Chief Rasmussen: Russian aggression against Ukraine is threat to European security – Video

May 172014

Exclusive: The U.S. mainstream media portrays the Ukraine crisis as a case of Russian imperialism, but the reality is that Moscow has been reacting to aggressive moves by Washington to expand NATO to Russias border in violation of a post-Cold War pledge, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov used Wednesdays interview with Bloomberg News to address the overriding issue regarding the future of Ukraine, at least from Moscows perspective. Speaking in fluent English, he said Russia would be categorically against Ukraine joining NATO.

Lavrov said he welcomed the interviewers question regarding whether Ukraine can be part of NATO, recognizing it as a chance to shoehorn background information into the interview.It was an opportunity to explain Moscows position to a wide English-speaking international audience first and foremost Americans.His comments seemed partly aimed at those so malnourished on mainstream media that they might be learning the history of NATO enlargement for the first time.Lavrov said:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

In my view, it all started back in the 1990s, when in spite of all the pronouncements about how the Cold War was over and that there should be no winners yet, NATO looked upon itself as a winner.

Lavrov said U.S. and NATO reneged on a series of commitments: not to enlarge the Alliance; then (after NATO was expanded contrary to that commitment), not to deploy substantial forces on the territories of new NATO members; and then not to move NATO infrastructure to the Russian border.

All these commitments have been, to one degree or another, violated, said Lavrov, adding that attempts to draw Ukraine into NATO would have a negative impact on the entire system of European security. Lavrov said Russias national security interests and 25 years of recent history make this a key problem, not only for Ukraine and NATO, but also an issue of Russia.

Is Lavrov distorting the history?The answer is important the more so inasmuch as the information needed to form cogent judgments is rarely found in the U.S. mainstream media. What happened in the months immediatelybefore and afterthe fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9/10, 1989, is key to understanding Russias attitude now.

No Dancing

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How NATO Jabs Russia on Ukraine

NEW YORK (TheStreet) – Warren Buffett’s investing lieutenants, Ted Weschler and Todd Combs, appear increasingly enthusiastic aboutLiberty Global (LBTYA) after boosting Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK.A) investment in John Malone’s European cable company in the first quarter.

Liberty Global has recently caught the eye of prominent hedge fund investors, who view the John Malone-founded company as way to profit from trends in the U.S. broadband and wireless market.

>> Read More: Liberty Global As A Safe Way to Play Netflix Expansion

Some hedge funds expect that consolidation efforts currently underway in the wireless and cable market in the U.S. will move across the Atlantic to Europe. They see Liberty Global as a prime takeover target for large telecom conglomerates such as Comcast (CMCSA), AT&T (T) and Vodafone (VOD). Meanwhile, Malone has emerged as a careful steward of Liberty Global’s purse strings and may have expanded smartly in European cable and broadband markets just ahead of a surge in user activity.

In February, Berkshire disclosed it had built a nearly 3 million share stake in Liberty Global’s Class A shares worth just under $300 million. That disclosure, made in a fourth quarter filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, was seen as a bet made by Berkshire Hathaway’s up-and-coming investing guru’s Ted Weschler and Todd Combs.

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Why Warren Buffett Really Likes Malone's Liberty Global

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) NATO's secretary general is pushing European countries to invest more in defense to better cope with crises such as the Ukraine conflict, but some governments remain resistant.

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NATO chief: Europe needs more defense spending

May 162014

WASHINGTON The crisis in eastern Ukraine has forced NATO for the first time since the collapse of the Berlin Wall to increase its ability to defend the territorial integrity of its 28-member states. The measures taken include sending 600 American troops for military exercises in the Baltic States and Poland. In addition, the United States has dispatched 12 F-16 fighter jets to Poland. Washington has also approved an aid package for Ukraine which includes $8 million dollars in non-lethal supplies such as bomb detection equipment and hand-held radios. It comes as part of reaction from the West to Russian backing of the annexation of Crimea and its support of separatists spreading mayhem in eastern Ukraine. NATO measures not enough But Stephen Blank, Russia expert with the American Foreign Policy Council, said the NATO measures are not enough. I dont think it sends much of a message at all. Its a reassurance message for the Poles and the Baltic States. It does not deter [Russian President Vladimir] Putin at all, Blank said. What would deter Putin is if NATO sent ground and air forces and air defenses to Ukraine at the request of the Ukrainian government. That would register in Moscow, but they are not going to do that. Ian Brzezinski, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council, said there are several other steps NATO can take to help Ukraine. These would include first and foremost providing military assistance to the Ukrainians that goes beyond non-lethal assistance, he said. I would include anti-tank weapons, surface-to-air missiles, things that would really complicate Russian military operations in Ukraine. Second, I would encourage the West, ideally NATO, but perhaps a coalition of European and North American countries, to deploy intelligence assets – platforms, ISR platforms – intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance platforms in Ukraine and trainers, Brzezinski said. NATO’s collective defense policy NATOs 28-members are committed to the notion of collective defense, contained in Article 5 of the NATO Treaty. But Ohio Wesleyan University Russia expert Sean Kay, said Article 5 is not an automatic security guarantee. If you look carefully at Article 5, it says that an attack on one will be considered as if its an attack on all and that the allies will meet and consult on the appropriate response, including military, he said. The way that was made automatic during the Cold War, was through the forward deployment of major U.S. troops at the inner-German border. Today, our policy is one of reinforcement and symbolic forward presence, now with those rotational exercises [in the Baltic States and Poland]. Kay said he does not believe the Western alliance will deploy a huge number of troops in NATO-member east European countries, even if the crisis between Ukraine and Russia intensifies. We would have to be very careful about that, because we might think even if the United States wants to do that, we would not get consensus among the NATO allies for something like that, Kay said. And we have to do that in a way that keeps that consensus going too, because NATO could break apart politically if pushed too hard on that question.” Ukraine crisis not yet Cold War Charles Kupchan, with Georgetown University, said by annexing Crimea and attempting to destabilize eastern Ukraine, Russia has bared its teeth in a way that it has not done since the Cold War era. Many people are now saying we now need to deal with Russia with both eyes wide open. We need now to take out of the closet NATOs plans for defense of its eastern frontier, he said. We need to contemplate a set of political and economic steps for response should Putin go into eastern Ukraine and continue to stir up trouble. Kupchan said the current crisis falls short of a new Cold War, but he said it does have the potential to go in a worrisome direction, depending on the Kremlins next moves.

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NATO Benefit to Ukraine in Question

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Thursday that cuts in European members' defence spending, especially in central and eastern Europe, were unsustainable as Russia increases its military budget. \"Russian defence spending has grown by more than 10 percent in real terms each year over the past five years,\" he told a security conference in the Slovak capital. \"By contrast …

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NATO chief: defence spending cuts in Europe unsustainable

Brazil, EU to circumvent NSA spying with undersea cable 2014 Brazil and the European Union are joining forces against the National Security Agency and spying by the United States. Brazil and the EU announced…

By: American News Videos

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Brazil, EU to circumvent NSA spying with undersea cable 2014 – Video

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