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Archive for February 15th, 2013|Daily archive page

Thousands of North Koreans Celebrate Nuclear Test, More Tests Planned

In News, North Korea on February 15, 2013 at 11:41 PM

02/15/2013

North Korea has reportedly told its primary ally China that it could stage one, possibly two more nuclear tests this year. The report follows a massive, 100,000-strong rally in Pyongyang to celebrate a recent nuclear test.

The tests, which could be accompanied by another rocket launch, are intended to push the United States into nuclear talks with Pyongyang.

“It’s all ready. A fourth and fifth nuclear test and a rocket launch could be conducted soon, possibly this year,” the source with direct access to the top levels of government in both Beijing and Pyongyang told Reuters. He added that the fourth nuclear test would have an equivalent of 10 kilotons of TNT, making it much larger than the previous test – the third since 2006.

Troops and civilians alike flooded into Pyongyang’s Kim Il-sung central square on Thursday to celebrate the country’s latest launch, Korean News Agency (KCNA) reported on Friday.

High-ranking government officials spoke at the rally, extolling praise for Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un for the “brilliant fruition of the extraordinary decision,” KCNA wrote, adding that “it serves as a striking demonstration of the might of a scientific and technological power and a military power capable of manufacturing any strike.”

Pyongyang’s third nuclear test drew immediate condemnation from the UN, which introduced a new set of sanctions against the rogue nation in January.

Fueling fears over North Korea’s nuclear weapons ambitions, US experts reported on Thursday that Pyongyang was upgrading one of its two rocket launch sites. Analysts from the US-Korea Institute at the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Baltimore said “important progress” had been made at the Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground since last October.

The Institute revealed that based on satellite imagery, the modifications would allow North Korea to test rockets “perhaps three to four times the size of the Unha [launched in December 2012] when construction is completed, possibly in 2016.”

“That activity may be related to another round of modifications intended to support future launches of the Unha rocket or possibly another liquid-fuelled missile,” the Institute wrote on its website.

The report also hinted that North Korea may be receiving aid from Iran, as the Korean site resembles the Semnan Launch Complex in Iran.

South Korea on guard

In the face of the growing nuclear threat posed by its northern neighbor, South Korea has pledged to develop longer range missiles to strike at Pyongyang in the event of an attack.

Seoul had previously been restricted to missiles with a range of 300km, as part of an agreement with the US; this restriction has now been extended to 800km.

Currently, both Seoul and Tokyo and trying to determine whether Pyongyang’s new test was a success. South Korea has deployed specialists on the ground to test for elevated radiation levels, while Japan has sent fighter jets to gather atmospheric samples.

Experts are keen to discern if the test was carried out with uranium or plutonium, as a uranium nuclear device would represent a significant technological advance for the rebel nation.

Via RT

Mafia Plotting to Crash Serbian Air Force One – Interior Ministry

In News on February 15, 2013 at 11:29 PM

02/15/2013

Mafia-linked criminal gangs have been trying to sabotage a Serbian government aircraft with the country’s top officials on board, Serbia’s Interior Ministry announced.

­A special investigation has produced evidence that the mafia is planning to hire staff among the aircraft’s maintenance personnel to set up a malfunction in the plane in the hopes of it crashing after takeoff. The aim of the mission, investigators believe, is to take out top government officials during an international trip.

The Serbian government employs two planes – a Falcon 50, made in 1981, and a Learjet 31A manufactured in 1991. The Falcon 50 remains the main choice of air travel for the head of state. In recent years, both aircraft repeatedly suffered minor and major faults that sometimes led to the disruption of Serbian leaders’ foreign visits.

Because of the fragile condition of the planes, the investigation believes it would be easier to conceal the criminal actions given the constant maintenance issues dogging the aircrafts.

Despite the revelations of the threat, Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and First Deputy Prime Minister Vleksandr Vucic agreed to continue foreign visits. On Thursday, Dacic was in Dublin. When told about the threat, the prime minister decided to return to Belgrade despite the safety concerns.

“I do not care,” Dacic told Serbian RTS. “I have responsibilities and I have to go back home.”

Via RT

Facebook Targeted by Sophisticated Hackers, No Evidence User Data Compromised

In News on February 15, 2013 at 11:26 PM

02/15/2013

Facebook has revealed it was the target of a “sophisticated attack” by hackers last month, but found no evidence any user data had been compromised.

The US-based social network said that the attack occurred when employees visited a mobile developer website “that was compromised”.

Facebook said in a blog post that it was not the only company to have been attacked in this way.

More than one billion people use Facebook worldwide.

“Last month, Facebook security discovered that our systems had been targeted in a sophisticated attack,” the California-based company said.

“The attack occurred when a handful of employees visited a mobile developer website that was compromised.”

Malware was downloaded on to its employees’ laptops, the firm said, adding: “As soon as we discovered the presence of the malware, we remediated all infected machines, informed law enforcement, and began a significant investigation that continues to this day.”

“We have no evidence that Facebook user data was compromised in this attack,” Facebook said in its blog post.

The firm went on to say that it was “not alone in this attack”.

“It is clear that others were attacked and infiltrated recently as well. As one of the first companies to discover this malware, we immediately took steps to start sharing details about the infiltration with the other companies and entities that were affected,” Facebook said.

This is the latest attack by apparently sophisticated hackers targeting high-profile sites.

Twitter said earlier this month that the theft of 250,000 users’ passwords, as well as usernames, emails and other data, was “not the work of amateurs”.

The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal have all accused China of “persistently” hacking into their security systems – accusations China denies.

Via BBC

Related Link: Facebook Got Hacked Last Month and is Just Telling You Now

Bahrain Erupts on 2nd Anniversary of Uprising After Teenager Killed by Security Forces

In Bahrain, News, OpBahrain, Police Brutality, Viral Videos on February 15, 2013 at 10:20 PM

02/15/2013

The second anniversary of Bahrain’s popular uprising was marked by renewed violence, resulting in the death of a 16-year old boy. In the video, filmed right after the teenager’s death, a desperate protester can be seen risking his life to stand up to the police.

The victim’s name was Hussein al-Jaziri. According to opposition websites, the teenager was killed by fragmentary bullets. Overwhelmed by this death, which he had just witnessed, a protester walked up to police and screamed at them. The policemen tried to intimidate him, but seemed thrown off balance by the protester’s daring.

 

This footage exemplifies the standstill at which the Bahraini opposition finds itself, faced with unyielding government repression. Since the start of the uprising, the confirmed death toll has risen to 82 protesters, including nine children.

Bahrain, a primarily Shiite country (Shiites make up about 75% of the population), is ruled by a Sunni monarchy. Since February 2011, members of the Shiite community, who claim they are discriminated against, have frequently protested in the streets.

“Who can honestly believe that the government is sincerely open to dialogue when not a single prisoner has been freed?”

Said Yousif is a blogger and a member of the Bahraini Center for Human Rights.

On February 14, 2011, the revolution claimed its first victim in Daih. Two years later to the day, this sad milestone is marked anew by yet another death.

The opposition took to the streets all over the country to mark this anniversary. We tried to go to Pearl Square, a symbol of the uprising which is located at the center of Manama, the capital of Bahrain. Unfortunately, security forces were out in such force that it was impossible to get there.

 

There were dozens of protests throughout the country. They were violently repressed. The police doesn’t even fire any warning shots. Furthermore, they use arms that are illegal according to international conventions, like lead shots fired at short range at the protesters.

In addition to the protests, the call by the February 14 coalition [an opposition group] to go on strike was widely followed. Not only did stores close, but we also boycotted government offices. Activists also tried to block roads by burning tires.

“On strike”, a photo uploaded to a Facebook page for Daih.

Who can honestly believe that the government is sincerely open to dialogue when not a single prisoner has been freed? When doctors are still arrested for daring to treat protesters? When the number of deaths continues to rise? Opposition MPs have even resigned from parliament [11 out of 18 resigned in April 2011]. The government continues to turn a deaf ear. It only understands the language of violence.

[Editors Note: the Bahraini Minister of Communications, Samira Rajeb, claimed Thursday on FRANCE 24 that she had tried to start a dialogue with the opposition and that the police repression was simply in response to the protesters’ violence].

Via France24

Related Link: Bahrain Police Disperse Funeral Procession with Tear Gas, Stun Grenades

White House Petition: Stop CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act)

In CISPA, News, Science & Technology, USA, USA, World Revolution on February 15, 2013 at 9:58 PM

02/13/2013

We Petition the Obama Administration to:

Stop CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act)

CISPA is about information sharing. It creates broad legal exemptions that allow the government to share “cyber threat intelligence” with private companies, and companies to share “cyber threat information” with the government, for the purposes of enhancing cybersecurity. The problems arise from the definitions of these terms, especially when it comes to companies sharing data with the feds.

Please sign and share this petition so that we can protect the internet and our privacy.

SIGN PETITION HERE

Related Links:

H.R. 624 – The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2013 aka CISPA

CISPA is Back! Tell Congress: “Violating Our Privacy Is Not An Option”

CISPA Infographic

Zombie Law: CISPA Cyber Bill Resurrected From the Dead

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