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OND is a community feature  on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary.  Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00AM Eastern Time.

OND Editors  OND is a community feature  on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary.  Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00AM Eastern Time.

OND Editors consist of founder Magnifico, regular editors jlms qkw, maggiejean, wader, Oke, rfall, and JML9999, alumni editors palantir, BentLiberal and ScottyUrb, guest editor annetteboardman, and current editor-in-chief Neon Vincent.   We invited our readers to comment & share other news.


BBC:North and South Korea agree to government-level meeting

North and South Korea agree to government-level meeting

Officials from North and South Korea have agreed to hold the first high-level meeting since 2007, the South Korean Yonhap news agency says.

It follows hours of preliminary talks in the truce village of Panmunjom aimed at rebuilding trust between the two Koreas.

The talks are due to take place in Seoul on Wednesday and Thursday, Yonhap adds.

The meeting comes after months of rising tension between both sides.

BBC:Libya army chief of staff 'resigns' after deadly clashes

Libya army chief of staff 'resigns' after deadly clashes

Libyan army chief of staff Youssef al-Mangoush has reportedly resigned after 30 people died in clashes between protesters and a militia in Benghazi.

The General National Congress accepted his resignation in a session on Sunday, sources at the assembly say.

The clashes erupted when protesters gathered outside the Libya Shield Brigade premises demanding it disband.

The government has struggled to tackle the presence of armed militias since Col Gaddafi's death in 2011.

BBC:Brazil 'on alert' over an oil spill from Ecuador

Brazil 'on alert' over an oil spill from Ecuador

Brazil is "on alert" over an oil spill that originated in Ecuador and is travelling downstream towards the Brazilian Amazon.

In a statement, the Brazilian foreign ministry said the navy and other agencies had been informed, and help was offered to Ecuador and Peru.

Last month, an estimated 11,480 barrels of oil leaked from a damaged pipeline into the River Coca in Ecuador.

The spill has already reached the Peruvian Amazon region of Loreto.  

BBC:Obama and Xi end 'constructive' summit

Obama and Xi end 'constructive' summit

US President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have ended a two-day summit described by a US official as "unique, positive and constructive".

US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon said Mr Obama had warned Mr Xi that cyber-crime could be an "inhibitor" in US-China relations.

He also said that both countries had agreed that North Korea had to denuclearise.

The talks in California also touched on economic and environmental issues.

BBC:Venezuela's Maduro scraps plan for food restriction

Venezuela's Maduro scraps plan for food restriction

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro says he has halted a plan to restrict the sale of basic food items in the country's most populous state, Zulia.

The scheme would have limited the number of packages of items such as rice, milk and sugar shoppers were allowed to buy.

The authorities said it was aimed at curbing smuggling to Colombia.

Venezuela is suffering from a shortage of some goods, with milk, toilet paper and sugar often not easily available.

BBC:Turkey's Erdogan warns patience with protests will run out

Turkey's Erdogan warns patience with protests will run out

(Reuters) - Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan warned protesters who have taken to the streets across Turkey demanding his resignation that his patience has its limits and compared the unrest with an army attempt six years ago to curb his power.

Riot police used teargas and water cannon to disperse anti-government protesters from a square in the capital, Ankara, just a few kilometers from where Erdogan spoke.

He held six rallies on Sunday, a measure of tensions after a week of the biggest demonstrations and worst rioting of his decade in power. Thousands waved red Turkish flags and shouted Allahu Akbar (God Is Greatest) as he accused protesters of attacking women wearing headscarves and desecrating mosques by taking beer bottles into them.

"I believe in Erdogan and his path. We will not let some looters hijack our country and our flag," said a housewife who gave her name as Zeynep, waving a national flag with Erdogan's picture emblazoned on it.

Reuters:In Hong Kong, ex-CIA man may not escape U.S. reach

In Hong Kong, ex-CIA man may not escape U.S. reach

(Reuters) - Edward Snowden's decision to flee to Hong Kong as he prepared to expose the U.S. government's secret surveillance programs may not save him from prosecution due to an extradition treaty in force since 1998.

A 29-year-old former CIA employee, Snowden has identified himself as the person who gave the Guardian and the Washington Post classified documents about how the U.S. National Security Agency obtained data from U.S. telecom and Internet companies.

While preparing his leaks, Snowden left Hawaii for Hong Kong on May 20 so he would be in a place that might be able to resist U.S. prosecution attempts, he told the Guardian.

"Mainland China does have significant restrictions on free speech but the people of Hong Kong have a long tradition of protesting in the streets, making their views known," Snowden, a U.S. citizen, said in a video interview posted on the Guardian's website.

Reuters:Jordan hosts U.S. jets and missiles in drills in Syria's shadow

Jordan hosts U.S. jets and missiles in drills in Syria's shadow

(Reuters) - U.S. troops equipped with Patriot missiles and fighter jets began military exercises in Jordan that have drawn condemnation from Russia, which accuses the West of fanning the conflict in neighboring Syria.

Washington confirmed last week it was sending the F-16 jets and missiles - which can be used against planes and other missiles - to its ally Jordan, and said it may consider keeping them there after the drills.

Both Washington and Amman said on Sunday the Eager Lion exercises were not related to the war in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad's air power has given him an edge over lighter-armed rebels.

But the Damascus government, and its most powerful ally Moscow, have been sensitive about any transfer of Western arms closer to the conflict, particularly any gear that could be used to enforce a no-fly zone.

Reuters:Evangelical Christians gain political clout in Catholic Brazil

Evangelical Christians gain political clout in Catholic Brazil

(Reuters) - When televangelist Silas Malafaia gathered 40,000 followers outside Brazil's Congress this week, it wasn't just to raise their arms to the sky and praise the Lord.

The rally was a show of support for lawmakers who oppose abortion and same-sex marriage and a message to other politicians that they should not ignore Brazil's fast-growing evangelical churches if they want to stay in office.

"Gay activism is moral garbage," Malafaia roared into the microphone to a cheering crowd on the grassy esplanade of the Brazilian capital. "Satan will not destroy our family values."

The rise of evangelical Christians as a conservative political force in Latin America's largest nation has put the ruling Workers' Party on guard and led President Dilma Rousseff - who is seeking re-election in 2014 - to appoint an evangelical bishop to her cabinet.

Reuters:Japan current account surplus doubles as income gains, exports rise

Japan current account surplus doubles as income gains, exports rise

(Reuters) - Japan's current account surplus doubled in April from a year earlier, and bank lending posted its biggest annual rise in over three years, in a fresh sign the government's aggressive policies to stimulate growth are paying early dividends.

Separate data showed the world's third-biggest economy grew 1.0 percent in the first quarter, revised up slightly from a preliminary estimate, underscoring a steady recovery driven by a pickup in global growth and sweeping stimulus policies by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The current account surplus stood at 750 billion yen ($7.70 billion), up 100.8 percent from a year earlier and much bigger than a median market forecast of a 320 billion yen surplus, data from the Ministry of Finance showed on Monday.

Hefty income gains including returns from Japanese investments abroad, which were boosted by a weak yen, more than made up for trade deficits, analysts say.

Reuters:Explosions, gunfire heard around Kabul international airport

Explosions, gunfire heard around Kabul international airport

(Reuters) - Insurgents launched a pre-dawn attack on Afghanistan's main international airport in the capital, Kabul, on Monday, police said, with explosions and gunfire heard coming from an area that also houses major foreign military bases.

There were no immediate reports of casualties and there was also no early claim of responsibility for the attack.

Attacks on the heavily guarded airport, used by civilians and the military, are relatively rare and would represent an ambitious target for insurgents, with recent assaults staged against less well-protected targets.

The airport, by comparison, is home to a major operational base for NATO-led forces that have been fighting Taliban and other insurgents for 12 years and is bristling with soldiers and police, guard towers and several lines of security checkpoints.

Police said the attack appeared to be centered on the military side of the airport, to the west of the civilian terminal.

Reuters:China's economy stumbles in May, growth seen sliding in Q2

China's economy stumbles in May, growth seen sliding in Q2

(Reuters) - Risks are rising that China's economic growth will slide further in the second quarter after weekend data showed unexpected weakness in May trade and domestic activity struggling to pick up.

Evidence has mounted in recent weeks that China's economic growth is fast losing momentum but Premier Li Keqiang tried to strike a reassuring note, saying the economy was generally stable and that growth was within a "relatively high and reasonable range".

China's economy grew at its slowest pace for 13 years in 2012 and so far this year economic data has surprised on the downside, bringing warnings from some analysts that the country could miss its growth target of 7.5 percent for this year.

"Growth remains unconvincing and the momentum seems to have lost pace in May," Louis Kuijs, an economist at RBS, said in a note. "The short-term growth outlook remains subject to risks and we may well end up revising down our growth forecast for 2013 further."

Apple Insider:AT&T follows Verizon, lengthens device upgrade period to two years

AT&T follows Verizon, lengthens device upgrade period to two years

It would appear that AT&T iPhone users will have to wait a bit longer to upgrade to their next handsets, as the carrier announced on Sunday that it will be extending its hardware upgrade cycle to a length of two years.

Notice Picture

Beginning June 9, AT&T customers with contracts ending on or after March 1, 2014 will have their upgrade qualification time extended to 24 months, the carrier said on its official blog. Prior to the policy shift, customers were eligible for an upgrade after only 20 months.

Previously, Engadget reported on the switch, citing a leaked memo provided by an anoymous source.

The shift, which applies to all devices sold by the telecom, will also affect all new AT&T customers. However, the new upgrade period will not affect Corporate Responsible Users with contractual upgrade terms.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Expect... (12+ / 0-)

    John McCain to be photographed at the Kabul airport tomorrow [unknowingly] hanging out with the attackers.


  •  Thank you JML9999 ... (11+ / 0-)

    for this most excellent fill in OND. I'm impressed.

    The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.― Neil deGrasse Tyson

    by maggiejean on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 09:09:43 PM PDT

  •  Reuters quoted one of us (6+ / 0-)

    Ex-CIA man says exposed spy scheme for better world
    By Andrew Osborn and Peter Graff
    LONDON | Sun Jun 9, 2013 6:34pm EDT

    At left-leaning U.S. blog The Daily Kos, contributor "Corvo" wrote "It's a shame that Edward Snowden won't be 36 years of age on 20 January 2017; otherwise I should want to vote for him to be our next president."

    "The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead." ~ Paul Krugman.

    by Neon Vincent on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 10:03:50 PM PDT

  •  Sustainability headlines from Reuters for 6/10/13 (5+ / 0-)

    Here are four sustainbility headlines I pulled off the front page and top stories on Reuters, which I did to prove a point about how much top news has a sustainability focus these days.

    'No Nile, no Egypt', Cairo warns over Ethiopia dam

    U.S. management of wild horses flawed, scientific report finds

    Legal uncertainty cuts progress against Amazon deforestation

    Tesla Motors shares face drain from pricey batteries -Barron's

    "The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead." ~ Paul Krugman.

    by Neon Vincent on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 10:05:04 PM PDT

  •  Q the sun (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Truman Show - Rain

    Truman Show - Sirius

    Truman Show - Spontaneous

    Truman Show - Do Something

    Truman Show - That One's For Free

    Truman Show - Creator

    The Adjustment Bureau

    None Of Them Are You

    The Adjustment Bureau - No One Is Suppose To See

    You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying. You will never be safe whatever protections you put in place." - Edward Snowden

    by anyname on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 10:35:38 PM PDT

  •  Down down down (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, jlms qkw

    I'm either singing a Johnny Cash song or describing the Don Draper's character archetype after tonight's Mad Men.

    Don't trust anyone over 84414

    by BentLiberal on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 10:59:21 PM PDT

  •  D-wave chip - Vesuvius (0+ / 0-)

    D-Wave’s 512-qubit chip, code-named Vesuvius

    In May, D-Wave published a paper in the influential journal Nature that backed up at least some of its claims. And more importantly, it landed a customer. That same month, mega defense contractor Lockheed Martin bought a D-Wave quantum computer and a support contract for $10 million.

    The critics have been so vociferous in large part because Rose isn’t shy about promoting his company. But that’s just the way he is. Rose likens D-Wave’s quantum computers to the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s biggest particle accelerator. “They’re the largest programmable quantum systems that have ever been built by a long shot,” he says. And his latest pitch is that D-Wave is on verge of unveiling the world’s first quantum cloud. That’s right, quantum-computing-as-a-service.

    D-Wave’s computer is designed to solve what are called combinatorial optimization problems. The classic example is figuring out the most efficient route for a traveling salesman going to multiple destinations. There’s no mathematical shortcut that computers can take to solve combinatorial optimization problems. They have to use brute force: Simply check all possible combinations. The trouble is, the number of possibilities explodes exponentially with the problem size. For example, if you have six destinations, there are 64 possible combinations. If you have 20 destinations, there are 1,048,576 possible combinations.

    D-Wave’s next-generation computer is designed to handle problems with as many as 512 variables. In theory, that lets you solve problems involving two to the 512 possible combinations, and a problem of that size is beyond the reach of any classical computer that could ever be built. “It’s bigger than the number of atoms in the universe,” Rose says. “It doesn’t matter how big a supercomputer you make.”

    He then convinced Lockheed Martin’s management to buy a D-Wave computer and install it in a lab at USC’s Information Sciences Institute. Lockheed Martin and USC split time on the machine, and Lockheed Martin’s access is via a secure network. The machine came online at noon on December 23, and the company now has 50 people working on it.

    You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying. You will never be safe whatever protections you put in place." - Edward Snowden

    by anyname on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 03:13:19 AM PDT

  •  September 2013 (0+ / 0-)
    Sitting in a restaurant not far from NSA headquarters, the place where he spent nearly 40 years of his life, Binney held his thumb and forefinger close together. “We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state,” he says.
    Utah Data Center _ NSA up and running in September 2013

    NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden’s Claims Are Believable Because We’ve Heard Them Before

    William Binney is a former highly placed intelligence official with the United States National Security Agency (NSA) turned whistleblower who resigned on October 31, 2001, after more than 30 years with the agency.

    The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center

    Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.

    But “this is more than just a data center,” says one senior intelligence official who until recently was involved with the program. The mammoth Bluffdale center will have another important and far more secret role that until now has gone unrevealed. It is also critical, he says, for breaking codes. And code-breaking is crucial, because much of the data that the center will handle—financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications—will be heavily encrypted. According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”

    In the process—and for the first time since Watergate and the other scandals of the Nixon administration—the NSA has turned its surveillance apparatus on the US and its citizens. It has established listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls, whether they originate within the country or overseas. It has created a supercomputer of almost unimaginable speed to look for patterns and unscramble codes. Finally, the agency has begun building a place to store all the trillions of words and thoughts and whispers captured in its electronic net. And, of course, it’s all being done in secret. To those on the inside, the old adage that NSA stands for Never Say Anything applies more than ever.

    The data stored in Bluffdale will naturally go far beyond the world’s billions of public web pages. The NSA is more interested in the so-called invisible web, also known as the deep web or deepnet—data beyond the reach of the public. This includes password-protected data, US and foreign government communications, and noncommercial file-sharing between trusted peers. “The deep web contains government reports, databases, and other sources of information of high value to DOD and the intelligence community,” according to a 2010 Defense Science Board report. “Alternative tools are needed to find and index data in the deep web … Stealing the classified secrets of a potential adversary is where the [intelligence] community is most comfortable.” With its new Utah Data Center, the NSA will at last have the technical capability to store, and rummage through, all those stolen secrets. The question, of course, is how the agency defines who is, and who is not, “a potential adversary.”

    According to Binney—who has maintained close contact with agency employees until a few years ago—the taps in the secret rooms dotting the country are actually powered by highly sophisticated software programs that conduct “deep packet inspection,” examining Internet traffic as it passes through the 10-gigabit-per-second cables at the speed of light.

    The software, created by a company called Narus that’s now part of Boeing, is controlled remotely from NSA headquarters at Fort Meade in Maryland and searches US sources for target addresses, locations, countries, and phone numbers, as well as watch-listed names, keywords, and phrases in email. Any communication that arouses suspicion, especially those to or from the million or so people on agency watch lists, are automatically copied or recorded and then transmitted to the NSA.

    The scope of surveillance expands from there, Binney says. Once a name is entered into the Narus database, all phone calls and other communications to and from that person are automatically routed to the NSA’s recorders. “Anybody you want, route to a recorder,” Binney says. “If your number’s in there? Routed and gets recorded.” He adds, “The Narus device allows you to take it all.” And when Bluffdale is completed, whatever is collected will be routed there for storage and analysis.

    According to Binney, one of the deepest secrets of the Stellar Wind program—again, never confirmed until now—was that the NSA gained warrantless access to AT&T’s vast trove of domestic and international billing records, detailed information about who called whom in the US and around the world. As of 2007, AT&T had more than 2.8 trillion records housed in a database at its Florham Park, New Jersey, complex.

    Verizon was also part of the program, Binney says, and that greatly expanded the volume of calls subject to the agency’s domestic eavesdropping. “That multiplies the call rate by at least a factor of five,” he says. “So you’re over a billion and a half calls a day.” (Spokespeople for Verizon and AT&T said their companies would not comment on matters of national security.)

    After he left the NSA, Binney suggested a system for monitoring people’s communications according to how closely they are connected to an initial target. The further away from the target—say you’re just an acquaintance of a friend of the target—the less the surveillance. But the agency rejected the idea, and, given the massive new storage facility in Utah, Binney suspects that it now simply collects everything. “The whole idea was, how do you manage 20 terabytes of intercept a minute?” he says. “The way we proposed was to distinguish between things you want and things you don’t want.” Instead, he adds, “they’re storing everything they gather.” And the agency is gathering as much as it can.

    Once the communications are intercepted and stored, the data-mining begins. “You can watch everybody all the time with data- mining,” Binney says. Everything a person does becomes charted on a graph, “financial transactions or travel or anything,” he says. Thus, as data like bookstore receipts, bank statements, and commuter toll records flow in, the NSA is able to paint a more and more detailed picture of someone’s life.

    The NSA also has the ability to eavesdrop on phone calls directly and in real time. According to Adrienne J. Kinne, who worked both before and after 9/11 as a voice interceptor at the NSA facility in Georgia, in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks “basically all rules were thrown out the window, and they would use any excuse to justify a waiver to spy on Americans.” Even journalists calling home from overseas were included. “A lot of time you could tell they were calling their families,” she says, “incredibly intimate, personal conversations.” Kinne found the act of eavesdropping on innocent fellow citizens personally distressing. “It’s almost like going through and finding somebody’s diary,” she says.

    You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying. You will never be safe whatever protections you put in place." - Edward Snowden

    by anyname on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 03:36:01 AM PDT

    •  geostationary satellites (0+ / 0-)
      1 Geostationary satellites

      Four satellites positioned around the globe monitor frequencies carrying everything from walkie-talkies and cell phones in Libya to radar systems in North Korea. Onboard software acts as the first filter in the collection process, targeting only key regions, countries, cities, and phone numbers or email.

      2 Aerospace Data Facility, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado

      Intelligence collected from the geostationary satellites, as well as signals from other spacecraft and overseas listening posts, is relayed to this facility outside Denver. About 850 NSA employees track the satellites, transmit target information, and download the intelligence haul.

      3 NSA Georgia, Fort Gordon, Augusta, Georgia

      Focuses on intercepts from Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Codenamed Sweet Tea, the facility has been massively expanded and now consists of a 604,000-square-foot operations building for up to 4,000 intercept operators, analysts, and other specialists.

      4 NSA Texas, Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio

      Focuses on intercepts from Latin America and, since 9/11, the Middle East and Europe. Some 2,000 workers staff the operation. The NSA recently completed a $100 million renovation on a mega-data center here—a backup storage facility for the Utah Data Center.

      5 NSA Hawaii, Oahu

      Focuses on intercepts from Asia. Built to house an aircraft assembly plant during World War II, the 250,000-square-foot bunker is nicknamed the Hole. Like the other NSA operations centers, it has since been expanded: Its 2,700 employees now do their work aboveground from a new 234,000-square-foot facility.

      6 Domestic listening posts

      The NSA has long been free to eavesdrop on international satellite communications. But after 9/11, it installed taps in US telecom “switches,” gaining access to domestic traffic. An ex-NSA official says there are 10 to 20 such installations.

      7 Overseas listening posts

      According to a knowledgeable intelligence source, the NSA has installed taps on at least a dozen of the major overseas communications links, each capable of eavesdropping on information passing by at a high data rate.

      8 Utah Data Center, Bluffdale, Utah

      At a million square feet, this $2 billion digital storage facility outside Salt Lake City will be the centerpiece of the NSA’s cloud-based data strategy and essential in its plans for decrypting previously uncrackable documents.

      9 Multiprogram Research Facility, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

      Some 300 scientists and computer engineers with top security clearance toil away here, building the world’s fastest supercomputers and working on cryptanalytic applications and other secret projects.

      10 NSA headquarters, Fort Meade, Maryland

      Analysts here will access material stored at Bluffdale to prepare reports and recommendations that are sent to policymakers. To handle the increased data load, the NSA is also building an $896 million supercomputer here.

      You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying. You will never be safe whatever protections you put in place." - Edward Snowden

      by anyname on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 03:40:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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