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First Amendment – U.S. Constitution – FindLaw

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Jul 212015
 

Amendment Text | Annotations

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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First Amendment – U.S. Constitution – FindLaw

Fifth Amendment | United States Constitution | Britannica.com

 Fifth Amendment  Comments Off on Fifth Amendment | United States Constitution | Britannica.com
Jun 222015
 

Fifth Amendment,amendment (1791) to the Constitution of the United States, part of the Bill of Rights, that articulates procedural safeguards designed to protect the rights of the criminally accused and to secure life, liberty, and property. For the text of the Fifth Amendment, see below.

Similar to the First Amendment, the Fifth Amendment is divided into five clauses, representing five distinct, yet related, rights. The first clause specifies that [n]o person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger. This grand jury provision requires a body to make a formal presentment or indictment of a person accused of committing a crime against the laws of the federal government. The proceeding is not a trial but rather an ex parte hearing (i.e., one in which only one party, the prosecution, presents evidence) to determine if the government has enough evidence to carry a case to trial. If the grand jury finds sufficient evidence that an offense was committed, it issues an indictment, which then permits a trial. The portion of the clause pertaining to exceptions in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia is a corollary to Article I, Section 8, which grants Congress the power [t]o make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces. Combined, they justify the use of military courts for the armed forces, thus denying military personnel the same procedural rights afforded civilians.

The second section is commonly referred to as the double jeopardy clause, and it protects citizens against a second prosecution after an acquittal or a conviction, as well as against multiple punishments for the same offense. Caveats to this provision include permissions to try persons for civil and criminal aspects of an offense, conspiring to commit as well as to commit an offense, and separate trials for acts that violate laws of both the federal and state governments, although federal laws generally suppress prosecution by the national government if a person is convicted of the same crime in a state proceeding.

The third section is commonly referred to as the self-incrimination clause, and it protects persons accused of committing a crime from being forced to testify against themselves. In the U.S. judicial system a person is presumed innocent, and it is the responsibility of the state (or national government) to prove guilt. Like other pieces of evidence, once presented, words can be used powerfully against a person; however, words can be manipulated in a way that many other objects cannot. Consequently, information gained from sobriety tests, police lineups, voice samples, and the like is constitutionally permissible while evidence gained from compelled testimony is not. As such, persons accused of committing crimes are protected against themselves or, more accurately, how their words may be used against them. The clause, therefore, protects a key aspect of the system as well as the rights of the criminally accused.

The fourth section is commonly referred to as the due process clause. It protects life, liberty, and property from impairment by the federal government. (The Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868, protects the same rights from infringement by the states.) Chiefly concerned with fairness and justice, the due process clause seeks to preserve and protect fundamental rights and ensure that any deprivation of life, liberty, or property occurs in accordance with procedural safeguards. As such, there are both substantive and procedural considerations associated with the due process clause, and this has influenced the development of two separate tracks of due process jurisprudence: procedural and substantive. Procedural due process pertains to the rules, elements, or methods of enforcementthat is, its procedural aspects. Consider the elements of a fair trial and related Sixth Amendment protections. As long as all relevant rights of the accused are adequately protectedas long as the rules of the game, so to speak, are followedthen the government may, in fact, deprive a person of his life, liberty, or property. But what if the rules are not fair? What if the law itselfregardless of how it is enforcedseemingly deprives rights? This raises the controversial spectre of substantive due process rights. It is not inconceivable that the content of the law, regardless of how it is enforced, is itself repugnant to the Constitution because it violates fundamental rights. Over time, the Supreme Court has had an on-again, off-again relationship with liberty-based due process challenges, but it has generally abided by the principle that certain rights are implicit in the concept of ordered liberty (Palko v. Connecticut [1937]), and as such they are afforded constitutional protection. This, in turn, has led to the expansion of the meaning of the term liberty. What arguably began as freedom from restraint has transformed into a virtual cornucopia of rights reasonably related to enumerated rights, without which neither liberty nor justice would exist. For example, the right to an abortion, established in Roe v. Wade (1973), grew from privacy rights, which emerged from the penumbras of the constitution.

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Fifth Amendment | United States Constitution | Britannica.com

Government Explains Away Fourth Amendment Protection for …

 Fourth Amendment  Comments Off on Government Explains Away Fourth Amendment Protection for …
Jun 092015
 

People have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their private digital communications such as email, and therefore the Fourth Amendment protects those communications. It’s a simple extension of the Supreme Courts seminal 1967 ruling in Katz v. United States that the Fourth Amendment protected a telephone conversation held in a closed phone booth. But in a brief recently filed in a criminal terrorism case arising from surveillance of a United States citizen, the government needs only a few sentences to argue this basic protection doesnt apply, with potentially dramatic consequences for the rest of us.

United States v. Mohamud

Mohamed Mohamud is a Somalia-born naturalized U.S. citizen who was convicted in 2012 of plotting to detonate a car bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Oregon. Shortly after he was arrested, he was given notice by the government that it had used evidence obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) against him.

But it wasnt until after Mohamud was convicted and just a few weeks before he was to be sentenced that the government belatedly gave him notice for the first time that it had also used evidence derived under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA). The government continues to withhold the details of the FAA surveillance, forcing Mohamud (and other defendants receiving delayed FAA notice) to raise generalized challenges to the constitutionality of the FAA based only on what is publicly known about Section 702 surveillance. Mohamud did exactly that in April, raising several legal challenges to the FAA and arguing he should receive a new trial.

The Governments Talking to a Foreigner Exception to the Fourth Amendment

While theres a lot unknown about Section 702 surveillance, we do know it authorizes the targeting of foreigners even when this targeting results in the incidental collection of constitutionally protected Americans communications. As a result, the government can acquire the contents of Americans e-mails, VOIP calls, chat sessions, and more when they communicate with people outside the US.

In its recently filed response to Mohamuds motion to suppress and for new trial, the government concedes for the sake of argument that an American whose communications are incidentally collected as part of Section 702 surveillance has constitutional interests at stake. So far so good; these constitutional interests are in fact at the core of what the Supreme Court describes as the Fourth Amendments protection of the privacy and security of individuals against arbitrary invasions by governmental officials. But then the government dismisses this fundamental protection with one staggeringly broad passage:

The Supreme Court has long held that when one person voluntarily discloses information to another, the first person loses any cognizable interest under the Fourth Amendment in what the second person does with the information. . . . For Fourth Amendment purposes, the same principle applies whether the recipient intentionally makes the information public or stores it in a place subject to a government search. Thus, once a non-U.S. person located outside the United States receives information, the sender loses any cognizable Fourth Amendment rights with respect to that information. That is true even if the sender is a U.S. person protected by the Fourth Amendment, because he assumes the risk that the foreign recipient will give the information to others, leave the information freely accessible to others, or that the U.S. government (or a foreign government) will obtain the information.

It is true that individuals assume the risk that the people they communicate with will turn over a recording to the government. So, for example, in the cases the government cites in the passage above, United States v. White and Hoffa v. United States, the Supreme Court found there is no Fourth Amendment violation if you have a private conversation with someone who happens to be a government informant and repeats what you said to the government or even surreptitiously records it. In those instances, individuals misplaced confidence that people they are communicating with wont divulge their secrets is not enough to create a Fourth Amendment interest.

But the government stretches these cases far beyond their limits, arguing that its own incidental collection of an Americans communications while targeting a foreigner is the same as having that person repeat what the American said to the government directly, even though it is the government that is eavesdropping on the conversation. In essence, when you communicate with someone whose communications are being targeted under the FAA, you have no Fourth Amendment rights. Under this reasoning, any time you send an email to someone in another country, you assume the risk that your intended recipient may be a foreigner and that the government can obtain the contents of the email without a warrant.

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Government Explains Away Fourth Amendment Protection for …

Bitcoin: Bitcoin: In Search Of Purpose – Forbes

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on Bitcoin: Bitcoin: In Search Of Purpose – Forbes
Jun 062015
 

Silk Road kingpin Ross Ulbrichts recent conviction and life sentence was more than simply a crackdown on a massive online black market for illegal drugs. It was a nail in the coffin of the radical new cryptocurrency Bitcoin, as Bitcoin was the glue that held Silk Road together.

Or was it? How significant the rise and fall of Silk Road was for Bitcoin is a matter of some debate, as is the purpose of Bitcoin itself. Controversy, however, is nothing new for Bitcoin. In fact, it seems the story of this digital currency consists of nothing but controversy.

In fact, perhaps the greatest challenge for Bitcoin is divining the technologys true purpose. Early innovators often espoused radical Libertarian goals for revolutionizing the banking system and with it, the world economy. By disintermediating third parties, Bitcoin promised to usher in a new world order of free market commerce.

Only the Bitcoin story didnt work out that way. Bitcoin soon became a haven for criminals not just Silk Road, but any number of money launderers and other shady types who gravitated toward an anonymous, relatively safe method for conducting financial transactions, in particular across national borders.

Because of its openness, Bitcoin will continue to be used by shady actors, explains Nathaniel Popper, New York Times reporter and author of Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money. In some ways, the good comparison is cash. Bitcoiners love saying the main medium for illicit transactions is still probably $100 bills because it can be an anonymous form of transacting thats untraceable, and Bitcoin still has that quality as well.

In fact, just this week news came to light that an Australian company paid hackers a ransom in Bitcoin. Clearly, Bitcoin is the extortionists currency of choice, as it combines the anonymity of cash with the global convenience of traditional wire transfers.

If Bitcoins true purpose is to facilitate criminal activity, then perhaps Bitcoin itself is or should be illegal. However, the US Government for its part pointed out that Bitcoin in and of itself wasnt illegal, but clearly required regulation. Theres no way the good attributes of Bitcoin will succeed without a strict regulatory regime, points out Clay Nelson, until recently the Director of Business Development for Bitcoin startup BitPay.

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Bitcoin: Bitcoin: In Search Of Purpose – Forbes

How the Tech Behind Bitcoin Could Stop the Next Snowden …

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Jun 042015
 

Slide: 1 / of 1 .

Caption: Getty Images

The National Security Agency knows Edward Snowden disclosed many of its innermost secrets when he revealed how aggressive its surveillance tactics are. What it doesnt know is just how much information the whistleblower took with him when he left.

For all of its ability to track our telecommunications, the NSA seemingly has little clueexactly what documents, or even how many documents, Snowden gave to the media.Like most large organizations, the NSA had tools in place to track who accessed what data and when. But Snowden, a system administrator, apparently was able to cover his tracks by deleting or modifying the log files that tracked that access.

An Estonian company called Guardtimesays it has a solution to that: using the same ideas that underpin the digital currency Bitcoin, the company says it can ensure no one can alter digital files, not even an organizationsmost senior executives or IT managers. The idea is to stop the next Snowden in his tracks by making it impossible to tamper with data, such as the NSA log files, in secret.

To prevent people from spending a single bitcoin twice, all transactions are recorded in a global, distributed ledger called the blockchain. All copies of the bitcoin client software include a copy of the blockchain, and falsifying the ledger would require controlling at least half of all the copies in existence.

Guardtimes Black Lantern uses the same idea applied to any chunk of data, such as an access log file or the data gathered by Internet of Things sensors. The blockchain could then be distributed to every executive, or even every employee, to ensure no one person can alter it. It doesnt encrypt the data, but it can let you know if someone has tampered with it.

Had the NSA been using Black Lantern, the agency would have been able to detect Snowdens activities early on, or at least would have much better idea of what Snowden took, says Guardtime CTO Matt Johnson, a former agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations agent and defense contractor.

It keeps honest people honest, he says. It makes it impossible for them to lie.

Theres irony in a former federal law enforcement officerpitching a bitcoin-style decentralized cryptography system as a way ofsecuring the NSAs data. Bitcoin proponents praise the blockchain as a way for citizens to hide their online tracks from the government; but Guardtime shows how the same technology could be used as a tool for surveillance.

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How the Tech Behind Bitcoin Could Stop the Next Snowden …

The NSA wants front door access to your encrypted data

 NSA  Comments Off on The NSA wants front door access to your encrypted data
Apr 142015
 

Last December, I had the opportunity to travel to the Netherlands to meet with multiple European tech companies, web hosts, and other infrastructure providers. The topic of intelligence agency backdoors and US corporate involvement with such policies came up more than once, often in not-entirely-friendly ways. Its therefore refreshing to see the head of the NSA, Admiral Michael S. Rogers, state up front that the NSA isnt interested in a backdoor solution to digital surveillance. Instead, he wants a so-called front-door solution which could be even worse.

Instead of handing the NSA a unilateral window into encrypted communications taking place at Google or Apple, Rogers suggested a future in which the encryption keys to access such information would be divided between at least two groups possibly more. In the simplest example, Google would retain half the key, while the NSA held the other half. Thus, the agency wouldnt be able to unilaterally snoop inside anyones files it would need Googles support.

I dont want a back door, Rogers, the director of the nations top electronic spy agency, said during a speech at Princeton University, according to the Washington Post. I want a front door. And I want the front door to have multiple locks. Big locks.

The first problem with Rogers proposed front-door solution is that its a meaningless feel-good measure given the current regulatory structure of our national security system. Before the Snowden leaks, Google, Microsoft, and other digital providers were forbidden from disclosing that theyd received national security letters, even in aggregate. Thanks to Snowden, we now know that Yahoo went to bat for users, challenging the legality and authority of the NSA and lost, every time.

Giving half a key to Google or Yahoo would be meaningless unless the company possesses the authority to refuse to use it. In theory, the court system offers robust oversight of how such capabilities are used. In practice, the FISA court has operated more like a rubber stamp body than an organization devoted to judicial oversight. The government, as a whole, doesnt currently have a great track record of respecting suspects rights the FBI is on record as ordering local police departments to drop cases rather than disclose how secret stingray hardware may have been used in ways that fundamentally violate those suspects Fourth Amendment rights.

The other systemic problem with Rogers suggestion is that it assumes a degree of trust between corporations and government at a time when such good feelings are at an all-time low. The NSA has demonstrated no practical ability to differentiate between friend and foe. Its decision to hoover up data running across Googles transatlantic cables may have been legal, but it illustrated a total lack of respect for Google and a willingness to resort to extrajudicial methods when it was convenient.

The NSA could avoid this problem by sharing the key with government-appointed escrows rather than corporations, but this simply hides the process from public view. Thats already extremely problematic.

The technological problems with the NSAs front-door policy are formidable. The divide the key among trusted parties, approach isnt new the NSA proposed exactly this method of securing its ill-fated Clipper Chip in the early 1990s. At the time, the newly-formed EFF and other consumer advocacy agencies battled the NSAs proposed system, noting that it exposed citizens to increased surveillance while providing no assurance that the cryptographic standard, dubbed Skipjack, was actually secure.

Many of these questions would remain in any escrow system the government dreamed up today. The basic question is, is it possible to design a completely secure system to hold a master key available to the U.S. government but not adversaries, said Donna Dodson, chief cybersecurity adviser at the Commerce Departments National Institute of Standards and Technologies. Theres no way to do this where you dont have unintentional vulnerabilities.

Hackers, generally speaking, dont go after the code itself or attempt to brute-force it instead, they work to compromise the organizations that hold the keys, or find other avenues of attack. Splitting the key into parts is only an advantage if the parts cant be combined or analyzed for clues to the final key structure. In order to function properly, every escrow needs to be secure, and every one-time access key needs to be destroyed.

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The NSA wants front door access to your encrypted data

Almost a quarter of UK firms 'whittle down tax bills' using tax havens and loopholes, says new analysis

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Apr 142015
 

By City & Finance Reporter for the Daily Mail

Published: 17:06 EST, 13 April 2015 | Updated: 17:06 EST, 13 April 2015

Almost a quarter of British firms are paying far lower taxes than the rates demanded by the countries in which they operate, an international study has suggested.

Analysis of more than 1,000 listed companies by MSCI found a tax gap of 56billion from firms using tax havens and loopholes to whittle down their bills.

By comparing the overall tax payments of the companies against the corporation tax rates levied in the countries where they did business, the investment research group was able to determine how many companies were scrimping on payments.

Tax loophole: Almost a quarter of British firms are paying far lower taxes than the rates demanded by the countries in which they operate, an international study has suggested

In the UK, 16 of the 71 included businesses had a tax gap of more than 10 per cent, it said.

MSCI director Linda-Eling Lee said these firms faced the prospect of falling profits if the tax loopholes were closed, as well as reputational risk if they are exposed for minimising tax.

The findings will inflame the debate around the issue of legal but dubious avoidance of tax.

The Government has sought to lead an international crackdown on what it sees as immoral tax dodging by multinational firms.

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Almost a quarter of UK firms 'whittle down tax bills' using tax havens and loopholes, says new analysis

Ukraine-NATO Cooperation Deal: Ukraine parliament renounced countrys non-aligned status last year – Video

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Apr 112015
 



Ukraine-NATO Cooperation Deal: Ukraine parliament renounced countrys non-aligned status last year
Ukraine looks to be making its next steps towards closer intergration with NATO, with the country's prime minister saying that the government is set to sign two agreements on military cooperation…

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Ukraine-NATO Cooperation Deal: Ukraine parliament renounced countrys non-aligned status last year – Video

Virgin Islands vacationers possibly exposed to deadly pesticide

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Apr 112015
 

Government officials are trying to track down vacationers who stayed at villas in the Virgin Islands who may have been exposed to a deadly pesticide.

Local officials said methyl bromide is suspected to have been used improperly several times in the U.S. Virgin Islands, in different parts of the island; even the governor said his condominium complex was fumigated with it in 2013, without his knowledge.

Investigators are still trying to piece together exactly what happened at the Sirenusa resort, where a Delaware family’s vacation in paradise turned into a nightmare. Theresa Devine and Steve Esmond and their two children fell gravely ill and suffered seizures; two brothers, ages 14 and 16, remain in comas.

But this was likely not an isolated incident. Local authorities here tell CNN there is evidence methyl bromide was used at least twice at the gated Sirenusa resort on St. John by the pest control company Terminix. They also say Terminix used the pesticide across the islands on different occasions.

Dawn Henry, the commissioner designee of the local Department of Planning and Natural Resources, or DPNR, said that while investigating what happened, the agency found methyl bromide was likely also used last fall at the same Sirenusa resort, as well as in a vacation villa in St. Croix and in two nontourist locations.

Methyl bromide is banned from indoor use, and is only approved as an agricultural pesticide. Other pest control companies on the Virgin Islands were found in possession of methyl bromide and officials said they are checking records to see whether it was used improperly. Ken Mapp, the governor of the Virgin Islands, said it was.

“What these companies did or appear to have been doing is clearly a violation of the law and they’ll be held accountable for it,” Mapp said. He said he learned his own complex was fumigated with methyl bromide in 2013, but said there have been no additional reports of people falling ill.

Authorities are trying to track down anyone who has stayed at the affected villas or who might have been exposed.

Terminix issued a statement saying it is “committed to performing all work … in a manner that is safe for our customers, employees, the public and the environment” and is “looking into this matter internally, and cooperating with authorities.”

When CNN visited the Terminix office on St. Thomas, which is corporate-owned, an employee refused to comment, and another employee closed the door.

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Virgin Islands vacationers possibly exposed to deadly pesticide

GOP hopefuls flock to NRA cattle call

 Second Amendment  Comments Off on GOP hopefuls flock to NRA cattle call
Apr 112015
 

Updated at 6:15 p.m.

Nearly all of the 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls wereonstage Friday attheNational Rifle Association’s annual leadership conference in Nashville, a GOP cattle-call of sortsthat gavethepotential candidates a chance to trumpet their Second Amendment bona fides.

Attendees heardfrom a majority of the GOP’s first- and second-tier presidential primary contenders, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Texas governor Rick Perry, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and businessman Donald Trump.

Notable absences? Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, both of whom have a prickly relationship with the NRA and were not invited to attend — Paul because of his affiliation with another gun-rights group and Christie who scores low on the NRA’s scorecard. Paul told Bloomberg that it was the group’s loss, not his: “To not be invited, probably, will serve more to cast aspersions on their group than it would on me. Because my record’s pretty clear. It probably looks a little bit petty for them not to invite a major candidate because I raised money for other Second Amendment groups.”

For those candidates who made the cut, today wasa critical campaign stop. The Post’s David A. Fahrenthold reported on the role of gun rights in the GOP last month:

Even for those who dont own [guns],they are a bellwether of individual liberty, a symbol of what big government wants and shouldnt have. … As the 2016 campaign gets going, guns and hunting will inevitably be part of its political theater. That may offer a chance for longtime gun-owning candidates to stand out….Already, on the campaign trail, several contenders have used their support for guns as a way to signal broader conservative bona fides. In a party full of internal arguments, this is one thing few will argue with.

Find the speech highlights below.

Bobby Jindal

Biggest applause line: “You sometimes get the idea that president Obama and Hillary Clinton believe that these are just crazy right-wing ideas…But these are not the ideas of a right wing conspiracy. These are the pillars of our nation. And thats why I was glad to write the law in Congress after Hurricane Katrina ensuring that never again can the government seize your firearms after a disaster.”

Biggest flop: “I remember the days when Hollywood actually liked the First Amendment. Well maybe they havent read the First Amendment lately. Theyre too busy dealing with record-low movie attendance.”

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GOP hopefuls flock to NRA cattle call

Ep 70: Frontline Perspective on the Government’s War on Liberty – Video

 Liberty  Comments Off on Ep 70: Frontline Perspective on the Government’s War on Liberty – Video
Apr 082015
 



Ep 70: Frontline Perspective on the Government's War on Liberty
The Peter Schiff Show Podcast – Episode 70 http://www.USTaxFreeZone.com SIGN UP FOR MY FREE NEWSLETTER: http://www.europac.net/subscribe_free_reports.

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Ep 70: Frontline Perspective on the Government’s War on Liberty – Video

Worlds Largest Single Marine Reserve Created in Pacific

 Islands  Comments Off on Worlds Largest Single Marine Reserve Created in Pacific
Apr 082015
 

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s government announced the creation of the worlds largest contiguous ocean reserve on Wednesday, setting aside 322,000 square miles (830,000 square kilometers) around the remote Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific for special protection.

The new reserve is nearly three and a half times bigger than the landmass of the United Kingdomlarger than the state of Californiaand is home to a stunning array of sharks, fish, corals, and other marine life, says Enric Sala, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence who led a five-week Pristine Seas expedition to the island group in March 2012 that helped establish a scientific case for the reserve. (Explore Enric’s posts from the field.)

Announced via the government’s 2015 budget, the reserve represents a bid by the U.K. to thwart the illegal fishing that threatens the species in its territorial waters. No fishing or seafloor mining will be allowed in the reserve, except for traditional fishing around the island of Pitcairn by the local population, says Sala.

The reserve’s creation is dependent on partnerships with non-governmental organizations and satellite monitoring resources, according to the budget. Those resources are already in place, says Sala.

Thirty percent of the U.K.s waters around the world are now protected, the highest percentage of any countrys waters on Earth. Although the new reserve will become the largest single marine protected area anywhere, the network of reserves created around the Pacific remote islands by the U.S. in September is bigger in total, at nearly 490,000 square miles (1,270,000 square kilometers). (Learn about how large marine reserves are protected.)

People know Pitcairn because of the Mutiny on the Bounty, but their real bounty is the rich marine life underwater, says Sala.

About 60 people live on Pitcairn Island, most of them descendants of the Bounty mutineers from 1790 and their Tahitian companions. In September 2012, in response to the expedition, the Pitcairn Council voted unanimously to create a marine protected area in their entire economic zone, which extends 200 miles (322 kilometers) out from their four islands, three of which are uninhabited. Since the islands are administered by the U.K. as a territory, the new reserve required the support of the British government.

SUPPORT NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Pitcairns waters contain some of the few pristine coral reefs left on the planet, says Sala. They also contain intact seamounts [submerged mountains] and deep-sea habitats that have not been touched by trawling and which harbor many species yet to be discovered by science.

On the 2012 expedition, Sala and his team discovered several new species of fish by dropping cameras into deep water. A larger effort is likely to discover hundreds of new animals there, he says. (See photos from Sala’s expedition showing life on Pitcairn today.)

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Worlds Largest Single Marine Reserve Created in Pacific

Illuminati Pharmaceutical Death Industry Exposed! Full Documentary 2015 – Video

 Illuminati  Comments Off on Illuminati Pharmaceutical Death Industry Exposed! Full Documentary 2015 – Video
Apr 072015
 



Illuminati Pharmaceutical Death Industry Exposed! Full Documentary 2015
See for yourself true evil! This is what your government has been doing to you, and your loved ones! They don't care about anything except murdering people while profiting off their slow, painful….

By: Otilia Ian

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Illuminati Pharmaceutical Death Industry Exposed! Full Documentary 2015 – Video

Weddings, religion and free speech

 Free Speech  Comments Off on Weddings, religion and free speech
Apr 072015
 

After a storm of protest from supporters of gay rights and the business community, Indiana and Arkansas have revised their Religious Freedom Restoration Acts. But it still isnt clear whether bakers, caterers and photographers that have religious objections to same-sex weddings can withhold their services from such celebrations.

Thetweaked Indiana law says businesses may not deny service on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, but some caterers, photographers andpizza purveyors insist they are happy to serve gays and lesbians and same-sex couples. They draw the line at facilitating/endorsing a ceremony they consider sacrilegious. (If a gay couple wants pizza for a New Years Eve party, no problem.)

Is refusing to bake or embellish a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, or simply a refusal to participate in — and endorse the message of — an activity? And is requiring someone to sell cakes or pizzas to a same-sex wedding really a “substantial burden” on their freeexercise of religion? We may find out as the Indiana law and others are tested in court.

Meanwhile, its worth noting that freedom of religion isnt the only legal weapon that potentially can be wielded by people in the wedding business who dont want to be complicit in same-sex nuptials.

Its widely believed that the political genesis of the Indiana RFRA was concern that anti-gay-marriage merchants would suffer the fate of Elaine Huguenin, a wedding photographer in New Mexico who didnt want to take pictures of a female couples commitment ceremony. The couple complained that Huguenins refusal violated a state law against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and the states Human Rights Commission andSupreme Court agreed.

Huguenin tried several arguments. She said she wasnt really discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, but the court rejected the distinction she tried to draw between sexual orientation and conduct so closely correlated with sexual orientation.

She also cited New Mexicos RFRA, but the court said that the religious-freedom law applied to only situations in which the government was a party not to disputes between private individuals. (Not very persuasively, the court said that the legislature and a court were not government agencies.) Interestingly, the Indiana RFRA made itclear that it would apply regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding.

So much for Huguenins religious-freedom arguments. But she made another claim based not on religious freedom but on another right enshrined in the 1st Amendment: the freedom of speech. As the New Mexico Supreme Court put it: Elane Photography [the name of Huguenins business] concludes that by requiring it to photograph same-sex weddings on the same basis that it photographs opposite-sex weddings, the NMHRA unconstitutionally compels it to create and engage in expression that sends a positive message about same-sex marriage not shared by its owner.

The New Mexico Supreme Court wasnt impressed by this argument, and neither, apparently, was the U.S. Supreme Court, whichdeclined last year to hear Huguenins appeal. But the issue could arise again.

The free-speech argument is arguably stronger than the religious-freedom claim. For one thing, its rooted not in a statute but in the 1st Amendment, which the Supreme Court in other cases has interpreted to prohibit compelled speech. (Perhaps the most famous example is the 1943ruling in which the court held that a state couldnt require schoolchildren to salute the American flag.)

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Weddings, religion and free speech

NSA looking for the next James Bond – Video

 NSA  Comments Off on NSA looking for the next James Bond – Video
Apr 052015
 



NSA looking for the next James Bond
The NSA is having trouble finding recruits. FBN's Cheryl Casone breaks down what the NSA is looking for in workers. Watch Cheryl Casone talk about Government on Opening Bell.

By: Fox Business

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NSA looking for the next James Bond – Video

Backlash against religious freedom laws helps gay rights in Indiana, Arkansas

 Freedom  Comments Off on Backlash against religious freedom laws helps gay rights in Indiana, Arkansas
Apr 052015
 

What began 20 years ago as a bipartisan drive to protect the rights of people to follow their faith against an overbearing government erupted this week into a divisive dispute over gay rights and religious freedom.

And the fracture can be traced back to two recent moves by the Supreme Court that set up an unusual legal crosscurrent between liberals and conservatives.

By overturning a key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, the court set in motion a string of rulings across the nation that voided state laws banning same-sex marriage. By this June, a majority of justices is widely expected to legalize gay marriage nationwide.

At the same time, the Supreme Court ruled in another case last year that the family owners of the Hobby Lobby craft-store chain had a religious-liberty right to refuse to offer contraception coverage for its employees.

So while the marriage ruling opened the door for expanded protections for gays and lesbians, the Hobby Lobby decision offered new tools for those opposed to such moves.

Conservatives applauded the 5-4 Hobby Lobby ruling, which was based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed by President Clinton in 1993. The law originally aimed to protect the Amish, Native Americans and others whose religious practices ran afoul of local or state laws says the “government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion.”

But the court’s conservative majority defined “person” to include profit-making companies. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, speaking for the liberal dissenters, called it a “decision of startling breadth” that gives “commercial enterprises, including corporations” a right to ignore laws that conflict with their owners’ religious views.

Armed with the Hobby Lobby ruling and concerned that their statewide bans against same-sex marriage were in danger, conservative lawmakers in Indiana, Arkansas and other states adopted their own versions of the federal religious-freedom law.

Some conservatives hoped the 1993 law would protect religious-minded individuals and businesses from legal mandates on gay marriage that they said would violate their faith. The most commonly cited example was a religious baker who did not want to be forced to make a cake for a gay wedding.

Using the Hobby Lobby precedent, some states broadened the scope of the federal religious-liberty law which dealt with conflicts between the government and individuals and defined a protected person to include a business, company or corporation. That small change created a large concern.

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Backlash against religious freedom laws helps gay rights in Indiana, Arkansas

Marshall Islands to appeal in nuclear case vs. US; says US is modernizing arsenal, not cutting

 Islands  Comments Off on Marshall Islands to appeal in nuclear case vs. US; says US is modernizing arsenal, not cutting
Apr 052015
 

UNITED NATIONS The tiny Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands is persisting with an unprecedented lawsuit demanding that the United States meet its obligations toward getting rid of its nuclear weapons. It filed notice Thursday that it will appeal a federal judge’s decision to dismiss the case.

The island group was the site of 67 nuclear tests by the U.S. over a 12-year period after World War II, with lasting health and environmental impacts, including more than 250 people exposed to high amounts of radiation.

The Marshall Islands filed its lawsuit last year, naming President Barack Obama, the departments and secretaries of defense and energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration. Obama in 2009 called for “a world without nuclear weapons” and said the U.S. would take concrete steps toward that goal, a declaration highlighted by the committee that awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize months later.

The U.S. is a party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, a landmark agreement to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. The United Nations this month will host the treaty’s latest five-year review conference.

But the Marshall Islands claims the U.S. is modernizing its nuclear arsenal instead of negotiating in good faith on disarmament, as the treaty requires. The lawsuit seeks action on disarming, not compensation.

A federal judge in San Francisco last month granted the U.S. government’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the Marshall Islands didn’t have standing to bring the case.

“Requiring the court to delve into and then monitor United States policies and decisions with regard to its nuclear programs and arsenal is an untenable request far beyond the purview of the federal courts,” the judge’s order said. It added that the authority to negotiate with foreign countries falls under the government’s executive branch, not the judicial one.

The Marshall Islands says the executive branch is the very one that has neglected its disarmament obligations for years.

“We believe the district court erred in dismissing the case,” the lead attorney for the Marshall Islands, Laurie Ashton, said in a statement announcing the appeal in the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. “The Marshall Islands, like every party to the NPT, is entitled to the United States’ fulfillment of its NPT promise.”

The statement also said the nuclear threat is “now magnified by the deteriorating relationship between Russia and the U.S., which between them control over 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons.”

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Marshall Islands to appeal in nuclear case vs. US; says US is modernizing arsenal, not cutting

Marshall Islands will appeal in unprecedented nuclear weapons case against US

 Islands  Comments Off on Marshall Islands will appeal in unprecedented nuclear weapons case against US
Apr 052015
 

UNITED NATIONS The tiny Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands is persisting with an unprecedented lawsuit demanding that the United States meet its obligations toward getting rid of its nuclear weapons. It filed notice Thursday that it will appeal a federal judge’s decision to dismiss the case.

The island group was the site of 67 nuclear tests by the U.S. over a 12-year period after World War II, with lasting health and environmental impacts, including more than 250 people exposed to high amounts of radiation.

The Marshall Islands filed its lawsuit last year, naming President Barack Obama, the departments and secretaries of defense and energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration. Obama in 2009 called for “a world without nuclear weapons” and said the U.S. would take concrete steps toward that goal, a declaration highlighted by the committee that awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize months later.

The U.S. is a party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, a landmark agreement to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. The United Nations this month will host the treaty’s latest five-year review conference.

But the Marshall Islands claims the U.S. is modernizing its nuclear arsenal instead of negotiating in good faith on disarmament, as the treaty requires. The lawsuit seeks action on disarming, not compensation.

A federal judge in San Francisco last month granted the U.S. government’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the Marshall Islands didn’t have standing to bring the case.

“Requiring the court to delve into and then monitor United States policies and decisions with regard to its nuclear programs and arsenal is an untenable request far beyond the purview of the federal courts,” the judge’s order said. It added that the authority to negotiate with foreign countries falls under the government’s executive branch, not the judicial one.

The Marshall Islands says the executive branch is the very one that has neglected its disarmament obligations for years.

“We believe the district court erred in dismissing the case,” the lead attorney for the Marshall Islands, Laurie Ashton, said in a statement announcing the appeal in the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. “The Marshall Islands, like every party to the NPT, is entitled to the United States’ fulfillment of its NPT promise.”

The statement also said the nuclear threat is “now magnified by the deteriorating relationship between Russia and the U.S., which between them control over 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons.”

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Marshall Islands will appeal in unprecedented nuclear weapons case against US




Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism