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Friday, January 31, 2014

K9 Down

K9 Sani
United States Border Patrol, U.S. Government
End of Watch: Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Breed: German Shepherd
Age: 4
Gender: M
Incident Date: 7/15/2013
ied as the result of heat exhaustion while he and his handler tracked a group of drug mules west of Tucson, Arizona.

After tracking the group for approximately an hour K9 Sani began showing signs of distress. His handler abandoned the track and transported Sani to a veterinary hospital in Tucson. Sani underwent treatment for two days but was unable to recover.

Another canine team located the narcotics that K9 Sani had been tracking, but the traffickers were not apprehended.

K9 Sani had served with the United States Border Patrol for three years.
Rest in Peace Sani …and enjoy running the green grass of Heaven!
In Memory of all Police Dogs

They handled themselves with beauty & grace
And who could ever forget that beautiful face
Whether at work; or at home; whatever the test
They always worked hard; and did their best

They were real champions; at work or at play
But their lives were cut short; suddenly one day
While working on the job with their partner one day
They put themselves out on a limb; out into harms way

They gave the ultimate sacrifice; any dog can give
They gave up their life; so someone could live
The best of their breed; as his partner and anyone would say
Many hearts are now broken; that he had to prove it this way

Now as the trees are blowing in the gentle breeze
The sun is shining; thru the leaves on the trees
The meadows are green; and the grass grows tall
Off in the distance they can see a waterfall

As they look over the falls; down through the creek
The water flows gently; as a rabbit sneaks a peek
Far up above; in the deep blue sky
They see the birds soar high; as they fly by

They see animals playing; at the bridge by a waterfall
Chasing each other; and just having a ball
They play all day; from morning to night
There's no more rain; just warm sunlight

Off in the distance; they hear trumpets blow
Then all the animals look up; and notice a bright glow
The harps would play and the angels would sing
As they know they've come home; they've earned their wings

We remember that they died; in the line of duty
And are now with the Lord; sharing in heaven's beauty
Off to the meadows now; where they can play and roam free
With an occasional rest stop; under a tall oak tree

No more bad guys to chase; or bullets to take
Just a run through the meadow; down to the lake
A quick splash in the water; then back to the shore
Then it's off to the forest; to go play some more

These special dogs are back home; up in heaven above
They're cradled in God's arm's; and covered with His love
We'll light a candle for all of them; in the dark of night
In loving memory of all; these very special knights

By John Quealy

Officer Down

Officer Darrell Jean Windhaus
United States Department of Homeland Security
End of Watch: Sunday, December 29, 2013
Age: 71
Tour: 42 years
Badge # INDIA-7458

Officer Darrell Windhaus suffered a fatal heart attack at the Brownsville Seaport, in Brownsville, Texas, after boarding a ship to conduct an inspection.

He collapsed on the deck after climbing a 100-foot ladder to board the oil tanker M/T Chemtrans Sky. Paramedics immediately responded to the scene, but were unable to revive him.

Officer Windhaus was a military veteran and had served with the United States Customs and Border Protection, as well as its predecessor the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, for 42 years. He is survived by his daughter, sister, and brother.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

It is done

Got my paper finished and uploaded. My forth class for my masters degree,

Intelligence 506, Analytics II. And I recall how much I hate finishing reports when I’m rushed.

But that is behind me. I uploaded the file and I’m off of school…for a few days. I have to start my next class next week.. But for now I’m getting to relax.

Some 12 year old and and a Romeo y Juleta, some Michael Berry on the iPhone and I’m sitting outside the house on a beautiful evening. Not a cloud in the sky and it’s in the 50s. Life is good.

Tonight, I’m going to go to bed, take a Tylenol PM to knock me out and I’m sleeping in tomorrow. I need a break. But the honey do list starts in the morning.

- Fix the curtin rod on the back door.
- Start moving the books and stuff upstairs,
- Mount the TV in the office.
- Get the truck fixed. I think I have a dead ignition coil and I will pay someone good money to fix that.
- And about a hundred other things to finish.

It’s been a long few weeks and I want to relax. Hopefully I can have a good Sunday with the Broncos winning. I’m really not a fan of the team but I want Manning to get another ring and I hate the Seahawks after the last year. Kiss my ass Seattle.

I’m signing off. Hope you have a great Friday and a better weekend.

Officer Down

Correctional Deputy Jeremy Wayne Meyst
Tulare County California Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Age: 31
Tour: 9 years

Correctional Deputy Jeremy Meyst was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Road 204, near Highway 198, shortly after 2:30 am.

He was transporting two prisoners from the Porterville substation to the main jail in Visalia when the crash occurred. He was ejected from the transport van when it overturned. The two prisoners suffered minor injuries.

Deputy Meyst had served with the Tulare County Sheriff's Office for nine years. He is survived by his wife and children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Security Weekly: January 30, 2014

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis: A New al Qaeda Franchise in Egypt? 
By Scott Stewart 
On the morning of Jan. 28, two gunmen on a motorcycle assassinated Gen. Mohammed Said, an aide to the Egyptian interior minister, during his commute to work. The assassination came four days after the Cairo Security Directorate was attacked with a large vehicle bomb. Both events were claimed by a group called Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which has declared war on the Egyptian security establishment. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which translates to "Supporters of Jerusalem," also tried to assassinate Egyptian Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim in September 2013 and did assassinate Lt. Col. Mohamed Mabrouk, a senior counterterrorism official, on Nov. 17, 2013, in Cairo. Most likely, the group is also responsible for bombing a natural gas pipeline south of El Arish on Jan. 28. 
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis seems confident and proficient in terrorism tradecraft. It was willing and able to kill Said even though security was heightened in Cairo after the Mabrouk assassination and the directorate bombing. The group has planned and executed multiple attacks against distant targets using different tactics, indicating that it has a relatively long reach. In fact, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has rapidly become one of the most active jihadist groups in the world, and there are strong indications that it is an al Qaeda franchise group, though it has not openly adopted the al Qaeda name. Because of this, it merits further investigation. 
Group Origins 
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis emerged in 2011. At least some of its members appear to be linked to a previous jihadist group that operated in the Sinai called Tawhid wa al-Jihad (Monotheism and Jihad). Like Tawhid wa al-Jihad, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis seems to be heavily influenced by Iraqi jihadists. A video released by the group on Dec. 1, 2013, featured part of a speech by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a deceased al Qaeda in Iraq commander. It also contained a statement from current Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani al-Shami urging Egyptians to take up arms against the Egyptian military.  
A video the group released Oct. 26 claiming responsibility for the failed assassination attempt against Mohammed Ibrahim featured video clips of Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abu Muhammad al-Adnani al-Shami. In the video, the purported suicide bomber denounced the Muslim Brotherhood and called on Egyptians to embrace jihad.Included in the group's logo is the Rayat al-Uqab flag, which bears the round seal of the Prophet Mohammed and features prominently in its video. In the modern context, the flag was first widely used by jihadists in Iraq and has become the official flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Other jihadist groups such as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and al Shabaab have also adopted this particular variant of the "Black Standard," as it's sometimes called. The widespread use of this flag by Ansar Beit al-Maqdis therefore is symbolically significant. 
Some observers claim that Ansar Beit al-Maqdis is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. Some accounts even go so far as to claim that Ansar Beit al-Maqdis is the armed wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. Nabil Naeem, former leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad militant group, has accused Hamas of funding Ansar Beit al-Maqdis. But these alleged linkages appear to be politically motivated in an attempt to justify the Egyptian regime's crackdown on the Brotherhood, which it has designated as a terrorist organization. 
Given Ansar Beit al-Maqdis' jihadist ideology, it is highly unlikely that the group would have any significant dealings with either the Muslim Brotherhood or Hamas, which are Islamist, not jihadist, organizations. The two ideologies are simply incompatible, and in fact they compete for recruits and resources. Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood have been heavily criticized in jihadist circles, even by Ansar Beit al-Maqdis itself. Hamas has also killed jihadists in the Gaza Stripwho were linked to Tawhid wa al-Jihad in the Sinai.Indeed, any connections are tenuous. It's possible that some Egyptians have left the Brotherhood for Ansar Beit al-Maqdis. Some Brotherhood members have become radicalized since their party was ousted from power. Others have grown disillusioned and frustrated with the Muslim Brotherhood's policy of nonviolence. Thinking that violence is the only viable solution, they have turned to Ansar Beit al-Maqdis. 
Anomalies and Linkages 
In addition to the publicized links to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis is also allegedly linked to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has referred to the group as its "muhajideen brothers in the Sinai." The group also appears to be getting weaponry from Libya, including surface-to-air missiles. 
There are also some very interesting reports that the group is linked to the Muhammad Jamal Network. Muhammad Jamal is a former member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad who was close to that group's former leader, current al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri. According to the U.S. State Department, Jamal established a militant group after his release from an Egyptian prison in early 2011 following the resignation of former President Hosni Mubarak. That group reportedly opened training camps in Egypt and Libya. The U.N. Security Council's anti-terrorism committee has levied sanctions against the Muhammad Jamal Network, alleging that the group was involved in the September 2012 Benghazi attacks. U.S. counterterrorism sources also believe the Muhammad Jamal Network may have been involved in the attack on the Benghazi Special Mission Compound, even if Jamal himself was not in Libya at the time of the attack. 
Jamal was reportedly re-arrested by Egyptian authorities in November 2012 and apparently remains in Egyptian custody. According to the U.S. State Department, Jamal had letters on his computer discussing the establishment of terrorist groups in the Sinai Peninsula when he was arrested. The Egyptian newspaper Al-Youm Al-Sabi published an excerpt ostensibly from one of the letters, in which Jamal wrote to al-Zawahiri boasting that he had set up solid organizations in Egypt, Libya and the Sinai. Jamal said that he had received some funding from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula but was asking al-Zawahiri for additional funding since smuggling arms and missiles from Libya into Egypt is costly. 
Past jihadist groups operating in the Sinai have shown the capability to strike soft tourist targets on the peninsula, bomb pipelines, attack some military and police targets and launch occasional rocket attacks against Israel. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has been able to accomplish all of these, but their reach has gone far beyond the Sinai, and their ability to assassinate government officials and deliver vehicle bombs to downtown Cairo is far beyond anything we have seen with past jihadist organizations operating from the Sinai Peninsula. These capabilities certainly hint at outside assistance -- the type that al Qaeda and its franchises could provide through a conduit such as Muhammad Jamal.When we consider the timing of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis' creation and put it into the context of Muhammad Jamal's purported activities, there seems to be a strong correlation. That connection appears even stronger when one considers the advanced terrorist tradecraft displayed by Ansar Beit al-Maqdis in their operations.  
Therefore, we believe it is highly likely that Ansar Beit al-Maqdis is actually an al Qaeda franchise group that is attempting to downplay its connection to the al Qaeda core by eschewing the al Qaeda brand name. This has been a trend in recent years as the al Qaeda name has become more of a liability than an advantage. Using the al Qaeda label and publicly swearing loyalty to al Qaeda leaders normally brings heavy attention from the United States and its allies, so many groups avoid it. 
Groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria, Ansaru in Nigeria and Ansar al-Shariah in Libya and Tunisia have opted out of using the al Qaeda name. (Ansar al-Shariah is also very closely linked to Muhammad Jamal.) Al Shabaab in Somalia likewise kept its name even after it swore loyalty to al Qaeda's leaders. We have also seen a well-established al Qaeda franchise group, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, try to hide its hand by using the pseudonym Ansar al-Shariah during its 2011 effort tocapture and control a large portion of southern Yemen. These kinds of names do not have the same negative connotations as al Qaeda, which has been responsible for killing innocent Muslims.The Egyptian government quickly shut down previous jihadist groups that operated in the Sinai. But the current regime is preoccupied with quelling the dissent generated by the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood government. With the government distracted, an al Qaeda franchise was able to quietly establish itself in the Sinai and in mainland Egypt.This particular franchise appears to have links to organizations such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, groups that have mastered the art of surviving the pressure applied against them by the United States and its local allies for many years. Such organizations can teach Ansar Beit al-Maqdis terrorist tradecraft skills such as operational planning and bombmaking. But more important, they can share skills such as operational security and clandestine activity. The group's operations inside Cairo indicate that it not only has infrastructure in the Sinai but also a network of operatives and safe-houses within mainland Egypt -- and likely within Cairo itself. 
The Importance of Egypt 
If Ansar Beit al-Maqdis continues to learn these lessons, it will pose a formidable challenge to Egyptian security forces, which are also struggling to put down the protests and violence of disaffected Muslim Brotherhood members. This will be compounded by the fact that Egypt is situated next to eastern Libya, a hotbed of jihadist activity awash in weaponry with a porous border. 
Many countries have attempted to get a handle on the flow of militants and weapons from eastern Libya. It was a critical objective of the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi that was destroyed in September 2012. After that attack, the Americans were forced to withdraw their personnel from Benghazi, and several other countries, including Egypt, have followed suit. Libyan security forces are also extremely limited in what they can accomplish in Benghazi and the east. Many Libyan security officials have been assassinated in the region, and those currently there are largely in a defensive posture and heavily constrained. Tripoli lacks either the capability or the interest to provide sufficient security to keep these security officials safe. More skeptical observers believe certain security officers have been intentionally sent to Benghazi to die. 
At the very least, the attacks and assassinations in eastern Libya have driven foreigners out and have curbed Libyan security activities, providing jihadist groups like Ansar al-Shariah and the Muhammad Jamal Network significant operational latitude. The instability in eastern Libya is consequently affecting Egypt, as it is other countries in the region. But it is not Libyan militants who are targeting Egypt; rather, Egyptian militants are using eastern Libya for training, planning and logistical purposes. 
If Muhammad Jamal's letter to al-Zawahiri is authentic, the jihadists he was associated with in Egypt were having financial problems in 2012. However, based on recent operations, especially the progression of attacks that began in mid-2013 and accelerated over the past quarter of the year, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis now appears to be sufficiently armed. This may indicate that the group has found a new source of revenue either from foreign donors or from willing or extorted local sources. They also may be getting money by smuggling weapons from Libya to other militant groups in the region. The group does not yet appear to have followed the example of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which fund themselves largely through kidnapping.The group also does not appear to be lacking for personnel and infrastructure. This may be due to the fusion of older jihadists organized under Muhammad Jamal with newer recruits radicalized by the coup that overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood government.  The operational tempo of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis' attacks appears to be quickening. It conducted two major attacks in Cairo over the past week alone. It seems that the group may have been responsible for the two lower-level bombings in Giza on Jan. 24. (A related group appears to be behind the other two.) Over the past few days, the group has also conducted several attacks in the Sinai, including a pipeline bombing, attacks against army bases, checkpoints and an airport, and shooting down an army helicopter. If sustained, this level of operation will make them one of the most active jihadist groups in the world. 
But unlike some other countries where jihadist groups are actively operating, such as Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia, Egypt is a core Arab country that matters geopolitically because it has the Suez Canal. Egypt's internal stability determines the stability of the surrounding region, which is especially important given the current anarchy in Libya and Syria. Historically, the Egyptian military has been the only institution capable of preventing Egypt from descending into chaos. Currently, the military is actively trying to regain its former political position and has been using the activities of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis as justification for harsher crackdowns on political rivals such as the Muslim Brotherhood. 
However, if a professional al Qaeda franchise like Ansar Beit al-Maqdis entrenches itself in Egypt, it could foment a protracted insurgency that could destabilize the country. This not only has major implications for neighboring countries such as Israel and Jordan, which are nervously watching the rise of jihadist activity around them, but also the United States, whose damaged relationship with the Egyptian military will necessarily undergo repair as all sides try to cope with this emerging threat.

Officer Down

Sergeant Kevin "Gale" Stauffer
Tupelo Mississippi Police Department
End of Watch: Monday, December 23, 2013
Age: 38
Tour: 9 years

Sergeant Gale Stauffer was shot and killed as he and two other officers responded to a bank robbery on South Gloster Street, near the intersection with Main Street, at approximately 3:00 pm.

As the officers approached the suspect, who was stopped in traffic at a railroad crossing, the man opened fire on them at close range. Sergeant Stauffer was shot and killed and a second officer was critically wounded before the man fled in a vehicle.

A citizen used one of the officers' radios to alert dispatchers that the officers had been shot. The wounded officer was transported to a local hospital in guarded condition.

Investigation linked the suspect to a bank robbery earlier that morning in Atlanta, Georgia. On Saturday, December 28th, the suspect was shot and killed after robbing another bank in Phoenix, Arizona, and opening fire on a responding officer. As the suspect shot at the officer a responding detective approached from the side and fatally shot him.

Sergeant Stauffer was a combat veteran of the Louisiana Army National Guard. He had served with the Tupelo Police Department for eight years and was posthumously promoted to the rank of sergeant. He had previously served with the Lee County Sheriff's Office for one year.

Sergeant Stauffer is survived by his wife and two young children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

What's going on in the World Today 140129

President Merkin Muffley: Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room.

Major T. J. "King" Kong: Survival kit contents check. In them you'll find: one forty-five caliber automatic; two boxes of ammunition; four days' concentrated emergency rations; one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills; one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible; one hundred dollars in rubles; one hundred dollars in gold; nine packs of chewing gum; one issue of prophylactics; three lipsticks; three pair of nylon stockings. Shoot, a fella' could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.

General "Buck" Turgidson: Mr. President, we must not allow a mineshaft gap!

Dr. Strangelove: Sir! I have a plan!
[standing up from his wheelchair]
Dr. Strangelove: Mein Führer! I can walk!

General "Buck" Turgidson: Doctor, you mentioned the ratio of ten women to each man. Now, wouldn't that necessitate the abandonment of the so-called monogamous sexual relationship, I mean, as far as men were concerned?
Dr. Strangelove: Regrettably, yes. But it is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious... service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature.
Ambassador de Sadesky: I must confess, you have an astonishingly good idea there, Doctor.

General Jack D. Ripper: Fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face.

President Merkin Muffley: You mean people could actually stay down there for a hundred years?
Dr. Strangelove: It would not be difficult, Mein Führer. Nuclear reactors could - heh, I'm sorry, Mr. President - nuclear reactors could provide power almost indefinitely.

Can't believe this movie is 50! :<)





Elections and Investments in Africa in 2014

Cameroon Tries to Stop Spillover Violence

Security Threats on Cameroon's Borders

Egypt: The Military Moves Toward the Presidency


Forecast 2014: Africa


Africa is discovering a new spirit of optimism, reminiscent of the first decade of its post-colonial era. Despite inadequate infrastructure and at times even poorer governance, the continent has been attracting more and more interest from American and European investors, as well as Chinese, targeting such countries as Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Angola, Tanzania, and Rwanda to name a few. Today, half of the world’s 30 fastest-growing countries are in Africa, which is quickly losing its image of hopelessness and despair. Unfortunately, economic growth, while significant, rarely benefits the impoverished majority, even amid scenes of bustling business taking place from Dakar to Nairobi, and statistics indicating an emerging African middle class of some 150 million – which could quickly rise to 300 million by 2015, barring any ‘black swan’ events. Politically, there is optimism as almost all 55 African countries have some kind of constitution with an active civil society that is contributing to more democratic or pluralistic political engagement. The continent’s two longest lasting internal conflicts (Somalia and Congo) persist; even if at a lower intensity, while two newer ones (Mali, Central African Republic) continue unabated. However, considering that from 1998-2003, the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and its neighbors left some three million dead, the 2,000 registered ‘military’ deaths recorded in 2013 suggests that 2014 could be one of Africa’s most peaceful in recent history....


Migration to Kazakhstan

The Significance of Ukraine's Violent Protests

What Thailand Means for Southeast Asia

Conversation: The Latest on Thailand's Political Crisis

Vietnam: A Delay in Nuclear Power Raises Energy Security Concerns/////

Ukraine's Escalating Violence Creates Difficult Decisions for Its President

Ukraine: Parliament Agrees to Amnesty Bill January 29, 2014

The Ukrainian government passed a bill granting amnesty to all those involved in recent protests, RT reported Jan. 29. The amnesty excludes people suspected of serious crimes such as murder and kidnapping and is conditional upon the opposition removing barricades, vacating occupied buildings and disbanding crowds. Opposition leaders responded by saying that they will not accept an amnesty that requires them to stop demonstrating.


North Korea: A South Korean news service reported over the weekend that their sources said that all relatives of Chang Sung-taek, the executed uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, have been executed.

"Extensive executions have been carried out for relatives of Jang Song-thaek," one source said. "All relatives of Jang have been put to death, even children."

The executed relatives include Jang's sister Jang Kye-sun, her husband and Ambassador to Cuba Jon Yong-jin, and Ambassador to Malaysia Jang Yong-chol, who is a nephew of Jang, as well as his two sons, the sources said.

All of them were recalled to Pyongyang in early December and executed. The sons, daughters and even grandchildren of Jang's two brothers were all executed, they said. "Some relatives were shot to death by pistol in front of other people if they resisted while being dragged out of their apartment homes," another source said.

Some relatives by marriage, including the wife of the Ambassador to Malaysia, reportedly were spared execution and sent to remote villages along with their maiden families, according to the sources.

"The executions of Jang's relatives mean that no traces of him should be left," a source said. "The purge of the Jang Song-thaek people is under way on an extensive scale from relatives and low-level officials."

Comment: While there is no separate confirmation of these accounts, extermination of the entire family line of an enemy is practiced by oriental despots. (See Wittfogel, Oriental Despotism) The executions apparently began after 12 December, the date Chang was executed. The number of those executed is not known.

These reports contrast with the unctuous reconciliation policy the North has implemented. One effect of the reconciliation policy is to divert international attention from the continuing purge in the North




Venezuela&#039;s President Turns to Chavez;s Old Allies for Support

Mexico: Deal Reached With Vigilante Groups January 28, 2014

The Mexican government on Jan. 28 said it has reached an agreement with the leaders of Michoacan state's self-defense groups, AP reported. Mexico said the armed groups will be incorporated into obscure security units called the Rural Defense Corps. The professed goal of the self-defense militias is to combat the Knights Templar, the state's dominant criminal group. While taking charge of security in each town they enter, the vigilantes sometimes disarm police

El Salvador's Durable Gang Truce


Taliban Attack Complicates U.S. Withdrawal From Afghanistan


China: Protecting Food Security Amid Land Reform

Rising Financial Risks in China's Coal Sector

China: Plans To Start Patrols In South China Se January 22, 2014

Beijing has announced plans to start regular civilian patrols in the disputed South China Sea, Voice of America reported Jan. 22. A vessel based in the Paracel Islands will begin patrolling the waters of the South China Sea, site of territorial disputes between China and four members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations including Vietnam


China: On 26 January, three Chinese ships patrolled the James Shoal in the South China Sea, an area also claimed by Malaysia. The Chinese task group comprised the amphibious landing craft, Changbaishan, and two destroyers, state news agency Xinhua reported.

."During the ceremony held in the Zengmu Reef area, soldiers and officers aboard swore an oath of determination to safeguard the country's sovereignty and maritime interests," Xinhua said. Zengmu Reef is the Chinese name for James Shoal.

Xinhua said South Sea Fleet commander Vice Admiral Jiang Weilie "urged soldiers and officers to always be prepared to fight, improve combat capabilities and lead the forces to help build the country into a maritime power".

According to news reports, last March, Malaysia protested the incursion of four Chinese ships in James Shoal, about 80 km (50 miles) off the Malaysian state of Sarawak on western Borneo Island. Chinese sailors fired guns in the air during the visit to the shoal. In April 2013, a Chinese maritime surveillance ship returned to James Shoal and left behind markers of China's claim.

Comment: This is the same task group that left the Paracel Islands on 22 January to begin a long range patrol of Chinese claimed waters and islands. James Shoal is just off Borneo at the southern end of the South China Sea.

The missions of this task group are demonstration and intimidation, not just patrol. Changbaishan is a large, modern landing ship with two destroyers as escorts. The Chinese navy is showing the flag and gratuitously inviting a fight.




Iraq: Plans Being Formed To Triple Crude Production January 29, 2014

Iraq plans to triple its capacity to pump crude oil by 2020 and is forming a joint strategy with Iran to challenge Saudi Arabia's grip on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the Telegraph reported Jan. 29, citing Hussain al-Shahristani, Iraq's deputy prime minister for energy. British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell manage two large oil fields in southern Iraq that would be key to achieving Baghdad's goal.



How Russia and the U.S. Continue to Use the Snowden Leaks

Russia Weighs its Options for Managing Regional Debts


Jihadist-Rebel Clashes in Syria





Except where noted courtesy STRATFOR.COM

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

From a cop's viewpoint....

In the academy one of our trainers explained "the stand", how a cop speaks to anyone on the street.  At an angle, weapon away from the person your facing so your weak hand is forward to block and strong hand is back to hit.  And he mentioned his wife has to tell him to stop that at parties, etc.  Sorry, old habits are hard to break.

A sergeant on the force posted this on Facebook and it gives insight to how cops think.

Why Do Some Police Officers Seem Arrogant? 
Just doing his job. 
This question originally appeared on Quora. 
Answer by Justin Freeman, former patrol officer: 
Because they have different priorities than you do. 
Humans, like most everything else in the universe, seek to maintain a sense of equilibrium in things. This is true for not just matters of physiology, but for social interactions as well. Think about the interactions you have on a daily basis: In most all of them, you enter an interaction with at least a neutral mindset and perhaps even an assumption of goodwill. When a guy wakes up next to his partner, he doesn't harbor an innate suspicion about the partner's motives—he assumes that the partner is as goodwilled as she was when she fell asleep, and the couple's interactions proceed on this assumption. 
Or think about your interactions at work. Absent narcissism or self-deprecation, when you go into a job, you default to considering your peers as more or less equal. Of course, as time wears on, you begin to categorize people, but those initial interactions will be civil and respectful, because that's what's expected—that is the silent understanding wrought by the norms of your workplace. 
Now, think about the workday of a police officer. Her job assignments consist, primarily, of being dispatched to successive 911 calls. When someone calls 911 for police service, there is a tacit admission by the caller that the situation at hand has deteriorated beyond the caller's control and police are needed in order to bring the situation back under control. That is the unstated assumption that the officer has going into each situation—not that a social equilibrium needs to be maintained, but that a situation needs to be quickly and efficiently brought back under control. 
Further than this, when she gets to the scene of many to most of these 911 calls, she encounters people who seek to frustrate her endeavors. She talks to witnesses who lie in circles about not seeing anything. She talks to suspects who lie about where they'd just been or what they were just doing. She talks to drunk people who can't coordinate themselves and won't remember what she said in 10 minutes. She talks to addicts who try to conceal the fact that they're high even though involuntary tics have consumed their body. She talks to grade school kids and teenagers who have been conditioned to mistrust or despise police. She talks to people who lie about their identity because they have warrants or because they just want to frustrate her. She talks to people who act nervous and take too long to answer simple questions, raising her suspicions. She talks to people who have drugs, guns, knives, and any manner of other contraband hidden in their residence, in their vehicle, or on their person. 
Now consider that the officer is doing this many times per shift—10, 20, maybe more—encounters every day. She will quickly learn that, in order to get anything accomplished with these liars and obstructionists, she is going to have to employ tactics that in any other field would be unacceptable. She is going to have to be blunt, brusque, and curt. She's going to have to call bluffs and smokescreens and BS. She's going to have to interrupt rambling, circular explanations. She's going to have to look people in the eye and say, "We both know that you're lying to me right now." 
And through it all, she will begin to develop the opposite assumption from the freshly roused partner and the guy at the water cooler—work interactions are not among peers, and people are likely not worthy of implicit trust. 
Now, you, who I will assume is a normal, everyday citizen, comes into contact with this police officer. Even though she can probably surmise that you're not a frequent flyer, she doesn't know you and doesn't enter into interpersonal contact with the same assumptions you do. Additionally, if she's in uniform, it's possible she has a task at hand she's focused on. Until you are a known quantity, you may be treated coolly and humorlessly.Now, let's take a step back. You, the partner and/or co-worker, interprets the response of this police officer through the lens of your expectations and judge her to be arrogant. I mean, after all, she's acting all distant and aloof and snobby, right? However, your assessment is based on your interaction in a vacuum and likely doesn't factor in much of anything I just said. That doesn't mean either one of you is "wrong." You're coming from different places. 
In closing, I'd bid you to be forgiving. This officer cannot afford to give people the benefit of the doubt, because there are only so many people you can relax your guard around in her line of work before she gets herself or someone else hurt or killed. Be gracious to her, for her burden is great.
This man beside us also has a hard fight with an unfavouring world, with strong temptations, with doubts and fears, with wounds of the past which have skinned over, but which smart when they are touched. It is a fact, however surprising. And when this occurs to us we are moved to deal kindly with him, to bid him be of good cheer, to let him understand that we are also fighting a battle; we are bound not to irritate him, nor press hardly upon him nor help his lower self.                      
—John Watson, c. 1903
Thank you Brent S for the link.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Seattle, of all places, does something right to an rent-a-mober....

Pepper-sprayed Occupy Portland protester Liz Nichols gets $7,116 payment demand from city

Pay up.

That’s the message Portland is sending Elizabeth Evon Nichols -- to the tune of $7,116.

Nichols is the Occupy Portland protester whose image became widely known for being blasted in the face with pepper spray by a Portland police officer in fall 2011. She sued the city for excessive force but lost after a four-day trial in August in U.S. District Court in Portland.

She had sought $30,000, noting the excruciating pain of pepper spray in her eyes and throat -- and the ensuing nightmares, depression and worsening eczema.

But the jury sided with Portland, and so the city was entitled to recover its costs of defending itself. Deputy city attorney David Landrum said he offered to drop the city's pursuit of costs if Nichols agreed to waive an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He called one of Nichols' attorneys with the offer.

"I said 'I don't need to drag this money out of her,'" Landrum said, noting that he knows Nichols, 23, is a college student at Portland State University. At the time of her federal trial, she also was working as a janitor.

Landrum said he didn't hear anything for weeks, so he called back and got his answer: Nichols decided to appeal. So the city sought its payback. On Oct. 18, federal judge Michael Mosman signed off on the $7,116 that Nichols now owes. That award is reflected in paperwork that the city attorney's office filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court Wednesday. The breakdown is as follows:

$350 for fees to the clerk
$85 for fees for summons and subpoena
$5,195 for fees for transcripts used in the case
$82 for fees for witnesses
$838 for copying costs
$20 for docket fees
$546 for other costs...

...On Nov. 17, 2011, Nichols had linked arms with other Occupy Portland protesters and didn’t move down a sidewalk and away from a bank next to Pioneer Courthouse Square despite police orders to do so.

During a December 2012 noncriminal trial in which Nichols was fighting a ticket for failing to obey police orders, officer Doris Paisley said she pushed Nichols in the throat with a baton as Nichols stood her ground. Paisley said Nichols then threw her hands up in an aggressive fashion, and the officer shoved Nichols in the torso with the baton.

Officer Jeffrey McDaniel then pepper-sprayed Nichols in the face, her mouth open. The moment was captured by an Oregonian photographer in an image that circulated around the globe.

Nichols had testified she hadn't heard any police orders to move down the sidewalk and that she didn't lunge at Paisley with her hands. Nichols said she did open her mouth to shout at the officer just as she was blasted with spray.

A Multnomah County Circuit judge fined Nichols $260.

A step in the right direction.

The State of the Union and what we need to celebrate.

I for one will not be watching tonight's State of the Union. I've seen enough of the man-child for my life and I know what he will be saying is a lie at best and generally showing himself as a self-aggrandizing tyrant. It's gonna be funny to hear B Hussein talk about Global Warming, err Climate Change in 20 degree weather and snow. But I digress.

In 1982, President Reagan started the "tradition" of guests in the First Lady's box, presenting to the country Lenny Skutnik, a CBO employee who, like millions of Americans before, preformed extraordinary acts when called upon. On January 13th, he save a woman in the Potomac River after the crash of Air Florida Flight 90. After Reagan introduced him, the President said:
Just two weeks ago, in the midst of a terrible tragedy on the Potomac, we saw again the spirit of American heroism at its finest the heroism of dedicated rescue workers saving crash victims from icy waters.

And we saw the heroism of one of our young Government employees, Lenny Skutnik, who, when he saw a woman lose her grip on the helicopter line, dived into the water and dragged her to safety.
A real leader praises those who have accomplished when call upon. Now we know that would never occur to B Hussein who would claim credit for the sun rise each day if he could get away with it. One of the people that will be in a congressman's box tonight is Stafford TX Police Officer Ann Carrizales, who was shot twice last fall and followed her shooters for almost ten miles at speeds exceeding 90 mph. I wonder if our man-child in chief will mention her bravery as an example of American exceptionalism, or that the shooters were all illegal aliens, oh, undocumented immigrants, here to do the crimes Americans won't do anymore? I know, you can laugh now.

But while checking out NY Pravda, err Times a few days ago I caught this and it was interesting. Who this leftist rag thinks should be in the First Lady's box and why. Now I find this teacher, or this teacher working with former convicts and former prisoner's stories quite uplifting, showing how people can rise from the bottom, doing their best when at the bottom, overcoming adversity and making more of themselves. But for some reason NYT, I'll bet B Hussein would like your other suggestions:

A Former Critic of Obamacare: Hey, he's gonna have to get the disaster of his signature achievement, destruction of the finest health care system on earth behind him. This may help.

An N.R.A. Member Who Supports Background Checks: Now this is really funny. The suggestion came in from
"Daniel Webster is a professor and the director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore."

Is this the same Bloomberg, the multi-billionaire former Mayor of New York with his fraud group Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

A Female Veteran of Combat: To show this woman for her service and recognize her heroism. No, to push for women in infantry, which is a disaster currently unfolding in the Pentagon.

A Scientist Warning About Climate Change: Enough said. Maybe you can get the ALGORE in, if he can make it from the airport through the snow.

A Walmart Employee on Strike: Now this uninteresting. The statement of the article:

Anthony Goytia works for America’s largest employer - Walmart. For over a year, he has toiled as an overnight stock associate, yet Anthony is still part-time at $9.60 an hour. Anthony has asked for a raise and full-time hours, but Walmart – despite its billions – said no to this father of three. So Anthony went on strike this year, calling on Walmart to treat its employees with respect.

Gee, will they may the point people are not getting full time employment because Obamacare requires everyone over 30 hours to be provided a HMO that cost thousands. Or that the Wal-Mart insurance plan, which was very popular with its employees, was stopped because the of the actions of B Hussein Obama? Naa, I don't think so.

I think I'll work on my paper instead.

Officer Down

Investigator Jeffrey Hugh Bryant
Centre Alabama Police Department
End of Watch: Friday, December 20, 2013
Age: 51
Badge # 104

Investigator Jeff Bryant was killed in an automobile crash on Alabama 35, three miles north of Gaylesville, at approximately 3:00 pm.

He had gone to a neighboring county to meet with another officer and was returning to Centre when the crash occurred. Another driver had lost control of her vehicle and crossed the center line after over correcting. Her vehicle struck Investigator Bryan's patrol car head-on. Investigator Bryant, the other driver, and a 2-year-old child in the other car were killed. A second child was flown to a hospital in serious condition.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Security Weekly: January 23, 2014

Re-Examining the Threat to the Sochi Olympic Games 
By Scott Stewart 
On Jan. 19, a group called Vilayat Dagestan released a video on its website claiming responsibility for the Dec. 29 and Dec. 30, 2013, suicide bombings in Volgograd, Russia. The Dec. 29 attack targeted the main train station in Volgograd and the device was detonated just outside the passenger screening point. The Dec. 30 attack targeted a public transportation trolley bus. 
The video contained a segment ostensibly detailing the construction of one of the devices used in the December attacks as well as statements made by the two purported suicide operatives. Notably, the presumed suicide operatives featured in the video were not the subjects Russian authorities had previously identified as the Volgograd bombers.Near the end of the 49-minute video was a statement threatening the Olympic Games, which will be held in Sochi, Russia, from Feb. 7 to Feb. 23. (The Paralympics will also be held in Sochi, from March 7 to March 16.) One of the presumed bombers said "As far as your [Putin's] Olympics go, the one which you want to have so badly, we want to let you know we made a present for you. You do what you want, and we will do what we want. If you have Olympics we will have a present for tourists as well. This will also be a revenge for the shed blood around the world." 
The statement has made quite a splash in the global media as panicked news stories discussed the "unique" threat to the Sochi Olympics and U.S. lawmakers fretted about Olympic security on TV talk shows. In truth, it would be very unusual for a terrorist group to announce in advance that it was going to attack a specific target within a narrow time frame. I have been investigating and analyzing terrorism since the 1980s, and I am unaware of a militant group ever conducting a successful terrorist attack after issuing such a clearly defined threat. 
But this type of terrorist theater, in which the international media acts as a terror magnifier, is exactly what Vilayat Dagestan hoped to achieve when they released the video. It is clearly intended to be a psychological warfare tool. Threatening emails sent to Olympic Committees such as those of Hungary and Slovenia may also be part of this propaganda effort. As we've previously discussed, propaganda efforts are extremely important in modern terrorism, and even if it is impossible to conduct an attack against a high-profile international media event such as the Olympics, creating panic in the media benefits the Dagestani militants by bringing attention to their cause and by allowing them to embarrass the Russian government -- all while allowing them to terrorize people across the globe vicariously. 
Vilayat Dagestan 
"Vilayat," a word that comes from various languages in the region, means "state" or "administrative subdivision." The Caucasus Emirates, the largest militant group active in the Caucasus is divided into smaller administrative sections, and Vilayat Dagestan is one of them. 
Though the identities of the suicide bombers involved in the Volgograd attacks in December are now known, the analytical points we previously drew from the attacks are no less salient: Aspiring militants in the region can easily connect with professional terrorist operatives, and these operatives have the expertise and access to ordnance to be able to train and equip them.    
At the beginning of the video, a team of bombmakers is shown preparing what is believed to be one of the suicide devices from the Volgograd attacks. The bombmakers, whose faces were never shown on camera, wear gloves to prevent leaving fingerprints that would allow them to be identified and apprehended by Russian authorities. They are shown preparing what appears to be an artillery shell for use as a suicide device. They drill out the fuse well, insert blasting caps into the hole and then wire the blasting caps to a simple command detonation switch. The video also shows the bombmakers testing the wiring of the firing circuit. The fact that the bombmakers use two blasting caps -- a technique called dual priming -- and test their firing circuit is a sign that they have been professionally trained. 
The video shows that the device was manufactured with a simple command detonation switch that was attached to the bomber's arm and hand. There is no indication in the video that they employed a more complex firing chain with a backup detonation system that could be fired remotely if the bomber got cold feet. This may signify that the group is confident in its ability to groom and indoctrinate suicide bombers. Indeed, in all three suicide attacks in Volgograd since October, the bombers have activated the devices. 
The Threat to the Olympic Games 
But no matter how professional, well-equipped and committed Vilayat Dagestan is, attacking the Olympic Games will be no easy task. As we noted in our assessment of the threat to the Olympics, Sochi is a remote village, and access to Sochi and the Olympic sites can be sealed off via concentric rings of security -- what the Russians are calling the "ring of steel." Russian President Vladimir Putin has been working for many years to reaffirm Russia's role as an international leader, and he has staked a lot of his personal pride and reputation, and the reputation of Russia itself, on these games. As a result, the Russians have devoted significant resources to securing the games -- Moscow reportedly is using three times more personnel than London did in the previous Olympics. 
In the wake of the Volgograd attacks, a renewed militant threat and international trepidation, the Russians will undoubtedly take even more precautions. Thus, it is highly unlikely that Vilayat Dagestan will be able to penetrate Olympic security and conduct an attack at the games. 
This assessment is supported by a review of recent militant attacks in Russia. Even though Vilayat Dagestan has professional bombmakers and well-indoctrinated suicide bombers, it has only managed to hit soft targets with minimal security. The Dec. 29 bombing at the train station in Volgograd occurred outside the security screening checkpoint, not beyond it. Even the January 2011 Caucuses Emirates attack against Moscow's Domodedovo Airport involved a strike outside the airport security hardline. The group's history of attacks demonstrates no ability to attack heavily secured targets, making it highly unlikely that it possesses the operational tradecraft to penetrate Olympic security -- especially after having made a specific threat against the games. (Caucasus Emirates emir Doku Umarov also directly threatened the games in a video released July 2013.) 
By its nature, terrorism depends on clandestine activity and the element of surprise. Broadly speaking, it is a tool used by an insurgent or militant groups, or even a weak state, against a stronger military power. Those conducting terrorist attacks must surprise their enemy -- they do not have the strength to directly engage security forces and impose their will militarily. Therefore, it is rare for an actor to execute an attack it has repeatedly advertised. It is one thing for Osama bin Laden to make general threats, like "We are declaring war against the United States," but it is quite another to make highly specific threats, like "We are going to attack New York and Washington in the first two weeks of September 2001." 
Olympic security has also been significantly improved and increased since the last successful attack inside the Olympic security perimeter in 1972. (Eric Rudolph's attack in Centennial Park during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics was conducted against a soft target -- a concert open to the public -- outside the Olympic security perimeter.) Based on these improvements in Olympic security and the demonstrated operational limitations of the militants in the region, we are far more likely to see attacks against soft targets outside of the Olympic security perimeter in Sochi than we are an attack inside the security perimeter. 
Since terrorism involves deception, most direct threats that have been made have not resulted in attacks. Rather, specific threats are made to generate publicity and create panic. Those who make them want to create panic and then either observe what security response the threats generate or divert security forces to create a more permissive operational environment in another area. 
Velayat Dagestan's threats and the earlier Caucasus Emirates threats to the Olympics have already drawn the media's attention and prompted increased security precautions in Sochi. It is unclear whether the increased security presence in Sochi will result in a more permissive operational environment elsewhere in Russia that will help militants conduct attacks. However, as the Volgograd attacks have shown, even an attack far away from the Olympics will still generate a lot of media attention, embarrass the host country and its president and instill fear in Olympic athletes, spectators and the public.

Monday, January 27, 2014

What's going on in the World Today 140127





Nigerian Militants Threaten the Country's Oil Industry


Nearing a Critical Moment in Ukraine's Protests

Ukraine: President, Opposition Meet As Police Officers Are Freed January 25, 2014 |

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and members of a working group set up to resolve the country's political crisis are meeting once again Jan. 25 for the fourth consecutive day of talks amid ongoing clashes between protesters and authorities around Ukraine, Ukrayinksa Pravda and Kyiv Post reported, citing a statement from the office of the president. Meanwhile, the government regained control of the Energy Ministry building, which protesters seized earlier in the day, and two police officers who had been held captive by activists in Kiev's city hall were reportedly released. Peaceful protesters and foreign diplomats helped negotiate the release of the officers, Interior Minister Vitali Zakharchenko said. As the security situation deteriorates in Ukraine, Yanukovich is left with few options.

Ukraine: Protests Spread To Regional Governments January 26, 2014 nti-government protests have spread across Ukraine as some 3,000 people tried to take over a regional government office in Dnipopetrovsk and 5,000 people demanded the departure of government officials in Zaporizhia, RT reported Jan. 26. Further destabilization in Ukraine could have deep implications not only for President Viktor Yanukovich's government but also for the country's broader ties with Russia and the West.

Turkey: Prisoner Exchange With Greece Being Considered January 24, 2014

Turkish and Greek authorities are negotiating a possible prisoner exchange, Radikal reported Jan. 24, citing the Ethnos newspaper. Turkey could hand over former Postbank board chairman Angelos Filipidis in exchange for two Turkish intelligence officials and one member of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front, a militant group that carried out an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara. Filipidis was arrested in Istanbul on Jan. 11.


Unemployment in Spain Persists Despite Positive Indicators

Spain&#039;s Shrinking Labor Force


Peru: Resolves Maritime Border Dispute with Chile January 27, 2014

The International Court of Justice at The Hague settled a long-standing territorial dispute between Peru and Chile on Jan. 27, Reuters reported. Over half of a contested 38,000 square kilometer (14,670 square mile) ocean zone has been awarded to Peru, though Chile retains profitable fishing grounds. Despite their geopolitical rivalry, both countries share export and investment opportunities and a negotiated solution that avoids conflict is advantageous to both Santiago and Lima.

The Panama Canal's Expansion

The Panama Canal's Expansion




China, Taiwan: Cross-Strait Officials To Hold First Meeting January 28, 2014

Beijing invited a Taiwanese cross-strait affairs official to the Chinese mainland for face-to-face talks, the first since 1949, the South China Morning Post reported Jan. 27. The head of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, Wang Yu-Chi, will meet his counterpart, Zhang Zhijun of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, after Lunar New Year festivities are over. The announcement came one day after Taipei approved a proposal to build a petrochemical plant in China, a move made possible by the October 2013 lifting of a ban on Taiwanese countries investing in Chinese energy. Enhanced economic integration could bring China a step closer to fulfilling a core geopolitical imperative by reuniting with the island.

Could a Detente with the U.S. Change Iran?



Iraq: Update. On 22 January, at least 88 people, mostly gunmen, were killed, and 29 more were wounded in violence across Iraq. Sunni Arab rebels apparently retain control of parts of Ramadi and Fallujah. Today there were indications that Samarra also is in rebellion.




Russia: Expanding Its Influence Through Education




Bombings in Egypt Signal Expanding Militant Capabilities

Egypt: At Least 9 Killed In Anti-Government ClashesJanuary 25, 2014

At least nine people were killed and 300 people were arrested in clashes between anti-government protesters and authorities in several Egyptian cities Jan. 25, a day when thousands rallied for and against the current military-led government in commemoration of the third anniversary of the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's Health Ministry and security sources said, Ahram Online and Reuters reported. Security forces used teargas and fired automatic weapons in the air to deter opposition protesters from reaching Cairo's Tahrir Square. Four protesters were killed elsewhere in the capital, two supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi died in clashes in the southern town of Minya, two people were killed in Giza, and a woman was killed in a clash in Alexandria. In the three years since the overthrow of the Mubarak government, Egypt has seen three constitutional referendums and six national votes.


North Korea: The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) published a report concerning the notice that the Central Committee of the DPRK Red Cross Society sent to the South Korean Red Cross on Friday proposing a resumption of family reunions during the Lunar New Year celebration.

"The notice said: The crucial proposal and open letter of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK to terminate the evermore escalating distrust and confrontation between the north and the south and pave a wide avenue for improving the inter-Korean relations are now positively supported and approved by all Koreans who aspire after the nation's reconciliation and unity and the country's reunification."

"The open letter sent to the south Korean authorities by the NDC of the DPRK in the wake of the crucial proposal made to them on January 16 fully reflects the patriotic decision and noble sense of responsibility of the supreme leadership of the DPRK to put an end to the history of the territorial partition and national split in view of the hard reality to which the Korean nation can no longer remain a passive on-looker and open a fresh phase of national reunification."

The Central Committee of the DPRK Red Cross Society proposed the south side to arrange the reunion of separated families and their relatives from the north and the south with the Lunar New Year's Day as an occasion, prompted by the single desire to open a way of improving the relations between the north and the south in practice as desired and wished by all Koreans at home and abroad…."

"The reunion may take place at Mt. Kumgang Resort as had already been agreed upon between the north-south Red Cross organizations and it is better to fix the date of the event as the south side deems it convenient at the time when cold weather turns warm after the Lunar New Year's Day, taking the time required for arranging it into consideration, the notice pointed out."

"As for other matters, they can be discussed and settled through the Panmunjom Red Cross hotline, the notice said, adding that the north side would look forward to a positive answer from the south side."

Pakistan: Update. The treason trial of the former president Musharraf has been delayed again after the special court adjourned to consider his medical report. Lawyers representing Musharraf handed the report to the judges on Friday, 24 January. Justice Faisal Arab, who leads the three-man panel, said the court would retire until Wednesday to review the information.
Defense lawyers also said on Friday that Musharraf wants to go abroad to undergo medical treatment for a heart condition.

Comment: Today's medical report is the second supplied by the military hospital treating Musharraf. Musharraf's defense strategy is to leave Pakistan for medical reasons with court approval. He could easily leave smuggled in a military aircraft, but he wants to leave with dignity, insisting he is innocent.

Egypt: Four bombings took place in and around Cairo on Friday, including a car bomb at the main police headquarters which damaged a nearby museum. The Health Ministry announced that 18 people died and at least 70 and possibly over a100 people were injured. The Ministry blamed the attacks on the Muslim Brotherhood.
Comment: The bombings commemorated the third anniversary of the overthrow of former President Mubarak. They constitute a security lapse, but it is nearly impossible to maintain security considering that the Islamists and jihadists have many sympathizers in the urban and rural population.
The terrorists like to celebrate anniversaries. Thus, it is premature to draw conclusions about insurgency or security trends in Cairo, based on these attacks.


January 24, Softpedia – (International) CNN blogs and social media accounts hacked by Syrian Electronic Army. Attackers claiming affiliation with the Syrian Electronic Army hacktivist group compromised, hijacked, and defaced several blogs, Twitter accounts, and a Facebook page belonging to CNN. CNN later removed fake articles and announcements posted to the blogs and accounts.

Except where noted courtesy STRATFOR.COM

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Some good news from Los Angeles...and Houston

Could it be even the people of LA say enough!
Jury rules against banker in LAPD excessive force claim

LOS ANGELES — A former banker and movie executive who said police beat him with batons in a bizarre street confrontation lost his $20 million excessive force claim on Friday against the Los Angeles Police Department.

During the three-day trial, Brian Mulligan acknowledged that he had used a drug mixture known as bath salts in the weeks leading up to the May 2012 incident. Police officers said he appeared delusional, wandering the streets with crumpled $100 bills falling out of his pockets and made animal sounds when they confronted him.

"This guy had gone crazy," Officer John Miller told jurors. "He'd lost his marbles. I was a bit scared. I'd never seen anybody frothing at the mouth and growling as an adult human being."

Mulligan, once a globe-trotting executive who logged a million air miles a year, said he was driven to the drug to deal with sleeping problems but denied the substance made him paranoid during the confrontation.

Jurors in federal court deliberated less than three hours before finding that two officers didn't violate Brian Mulligan's federal or state civil rights and didn't batter him...

...Defense attorneys and the officers said they were delighted with the decision.

"I'm just extremely happy," Miller said outside court. "I'm employed. ... We did nothing wrong."

Peter Ferguson, who represented Officer James Nichols, said experts who testified for the plaintiff couldn't persuade the jury because the officers did nothing wrong.

"These officers have had to live with these allegations for the last year or so," the lawyer said. "They're glad they are getting back to work."...

...Mulligan's suit claimed that he suffered a broken nose and shoulder and other injuries along with mental torture from the unprovoked beating, and that the officers bludgeoned him with their batons.

On Friday, jurors left their deliberations room once to examine one of the batons.

The officers testified that they restrained but did not beat him, and Nichols said he hadn't used his baton in 13 years on the force.

The one-time Deutsche Bank official said he had used bath salts at least 20 times — but not on the night of the encounter.

Nichols testified that Mulligan told him he had taken a type of bath salts called "White Lightning" four days earlier and hadn't slept since.

Let me get this straight. The man said he did take Bath Salts, a hallucinogen, hadn't slept for four days which means paranoia probably set in, but he can say he was assaulted with batons. Right! Sounds like a man who hit rock bottom and was looking for a quick lottery win in suing Los Angeles. Thankfully this got killed.

Brings to mind an incident from last week. A woman came in wanting to file a complaint on an officer. After speaking with her for a while, she is adamant she wants a formal complaint against the officer. So I give her the form, which must be filled out by her in her own handwriting and then notarized. I told her a formal investigation cannot occur until it's notarized and we have notaries on site. Well she seems to not want to complete it "just yet", she'll finish it at home. She may want to complain, but she knows what happens if she lies on a sworn document. Kinda refreshes the memory. She decided she would "fill it out at home" and left.

Why do I think this won't been sent in. May have saved the tax payers a few bucks on that one.

Officer Down

Investigator Cuauhtemoc Estrada
Cook County Illinois Sheriff's Police Department
End of Watch: Friday, December 20, 2013
Age: 50
Tour: 20 years
Badge # 320

Investigator Cuauhtemoc Estrada was shot and killed while intervening in a robbery, near the intersection of 30th Street and St. Charles Road in Bellwood, while off duty.

Investigator Estrada was attending a Christmas party at the VFW hall when he stepped outside and observed an armed robbery taking place in the parking. He identified himself and was reaching for his service weapon when he was shot once in the chest.

He was transported to Loyola University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Two suspects in connection with Investigator Estrada's murder were apprehended two days later.

Investigator Estrada was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the Cook County Sheriff's Police Department for 20 years.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

New toy...Harley-Davidson 2014 Police Bikes!

Authority Reborn: The Reinvented 2014 Harley-Davidson Police Motorcycles  
Improving on the best with the help of real officers who ride every day on patrol

After 110 years of producing American-made, reliable and meticulously crafted motorcycles, some companies might rest on their laurels and rely upon their previous model designs to keep their customers satisfied.  

Harley-Davidson, however, has continually pushed the envelope of refinement by improving their machines year after year, and this year has turned their attention squarely upon making significant improvements to their law enforcement motorcycle line – relying not only upon their century-plus of experience, but upon feedback from a wide variety of officers who lay boots on pedals day in, day out, across all different environments throughout the United States.  As a result, by going literally back to the drawing board and bringing officers along for the ride, Harley-Davidson has been able to come up with the ultimate law enforcement machine.

So, what’s better about the 2014 line?  Well, let’s start with the core of the machine: the engine, which has been upgraded to a 1690cc High Output Twin Cam 103 model with 6% more horsepower than the previous law enforcement model, and a 4% increase in torque.  In real terms, that means that you have more passing power, critical at not only highway speeds, but also in your day-to-day operations on the road.  The handling has also been improved by the introduction of a 29 degree steering head angle and a changeover to a lighter-weight, open-concept wheel, along with Harley’s existing deep lean angles and  low center of gravity.

Now, all of that is great if you want to go fast and turn tight, but what about stopping?  Fortunately, a new braking system has that covered: the standard equipment Reflex Linked Brake System with ABS coordinates the front and rear brakes, linking them when you’re traveling over 25mph for a unified stopping effort, and unlinking below 25mph to allow for slow-speed maneuvering as you get closer to coming to a complete stop, especially when conditions are less than ideal.

As far as seeing, and being seen (and heard), there have been some cool improvements made to the lighting and emergency-lighting-and-siren systems as well.  

The first of these is, in fact, a first: on the 2014 Police Electra Glide® model, the headlight is now a Daymaker™ LED unit providing 916 lumens of daylight-quality light, with a 2x wider viewing area than a standard halogen light.  The 2014 Police Road King model features a dual-halogen setup which offers a 546 lumen low beam, and a whopping 1,460 lumen high beam to project your visibility far down the road.

Next, Harley looked at the controls for the emergency systems on board, and again went back to the drawing board with their police advisory panel members.  The result is a completely redesigned hand control system which offers all of the features you need, in less space, with more information and options.  Speed capture, cruise control, push-to-talk, and more are all controlled with one-touch buttons.  Digital displays tell you speed and gear position.  Emergency lighting  can now be controlled independently, front and rear.  An Accessory mode allows you to run emergency lights and siren even with the ignition off.  And finally, a “Stealth Mode” switch allows you to instantly turn off all exterior lighting (except instruments and brakes) to give you the element of surprise.

Last but not least, even the little details were attended to with the new redesign – little details with big impact on your day-to-day life as a motor officer.  By redesigning the batwing fairing on the Police Electra Glide®, and incorporating Harley’s new Splitstream™ vent, head buffeting is reduced to ensure you can stay comfortable and on-track with your suspects and your surroundings alike.  Storage has been improved with new, larger saddlebags which have easy One-Touch latches for quick access to all of your equipment.  And finally, in the place where you most directly meet the bike, last year’s improved seat suspension system helps to absorb some of the roughness of the road while still feeling it under your wheels.....
Oh Beth, I want a new toy!