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‘Closure of Al-Aqsa mosque to flare up Israeli-Palestinian conflict’

RT -

By closing the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Israel is launching war on four fronts - against the Palestinians, all Muslims, Jordan and the international community, Abhallah Abdullah from the Palestinian Legislative council told RT.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem has been closed to both Jewish and Muslim worshipers for the first time since 1967. Israel’s public security minister announced that the holy site is prohibited to visitors “until further notice”. At the same time, additional police forces were deployed in Jerusalem. Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, called the closure of the mosque a "declaration of war."

"This dangerous Israeli escalation is a declaration of war on the Palestinian people and its sacred places and on the Arab and Islamic nation," Abbas' spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina quoted him as saying.

READ MORE: ‘Declaration of war’: Abbas warns over 1st Al-Aqsa Mosque closure since 1967

RT: Why do you think Israel has decided to close down Al-Aqsa?

Abhallah Abdullah: This is Israel launching the war on four fronts. The first front is the Palestinians – denying the Palestinians’ the right to worship and closing their holiest site is an aggression that has to be responded to and it is crossing a red line that has been set by the EU and other [members of the] international community. The second front – Israel is launching war against all Muslims. Al-Aqsa mosque is the third holiest site for all Muslims, 1.5 billion of them. Thirdly, it is launching a war against Jordan because Jordan has an agreement with Israel; it’s a custodian of the holy site and by violating this agreement, Israel is really reneging on its commitment to keep its part of the peace agreement with Jordan. Fourthly, it is launching a war against the international community that stands for international law, for the right of the Palestinians for self-determination.

RT: A Palestinian man suspected of killing a far-right Jewish activist was shot dead by police today. Is this going to stir things up further?

AA: It didn’t start there; it started when the Israelis were discussing…how to take custodianship of the Al-Aqsa Mosque…from Jordan to Israel. It starts when the Israelis are daily flocking, under protection of the Israeli police, to desecrate the holy site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. It starts when Israeli leaders are saying that Palestinians will never have a state of their own… there will be no right for the Palestinians to self-determination, the continued policy. The reaction will be a flare up of the conflict. Nobody knows for sure how far it can go unless Israel is really contained, is held accountable for the acts of violation it is continuing, and its occupation of the Palestinian land ends.

RT:The Palestinian President calls the closure a declaration of war. Is he overreacting?

AA: I think it is a declaration of war and the Palestinians will not like that. The Palestinians have to resist any aggression against them, against their land, their rights, their holy sites. Israel has to be at least controlled. If not from within, it has to be controlled by the international community in support of international law, stability and peace in the region.

51 countries declare banking secrecy ‘obsolete’, sign pact in Berlin

RT -

The deal is called the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement and will look to build a collective exchange of bank accounts, taxes, assets, and income held outside local tax jurisdictions.

The two-day summit was organized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. It was hosted by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble and held in Berlin.

"Banking secrecy, in its old form, is obsolete," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in an interview in Bild on Wednesday.

The practice is "no longer appropriate at a time when people can transfer their money all over the world at the press of a button via the internet," said Schaeuble.

Germany is a staunch opponent of Bank secrecy by geography. On its southern border lie historically secretive Austria and Switzerland, and on the western frontier is Luxembourg, also known for its tight-lipped financial institutions.

Members like the Cayman Islands, the Virgin Islands and Liechtenstein – all notorious for being tax havens, signed the agreements.

Asset hideouts like Austria, Switzerland, and the Bahamas didn’t sign the agreement itself, but promised to join the initiative by 2018.

The new American anti-secrecy measure, FATCA, added a sense of urgency to the debate.

FATCA legislation, signed into law in 2010 and enacted on July 1, 2014, requires overseas financial institutions to identify their American customers to the IRS. The law applies to any account with more than $50,000.

​Libyan torture victim wins right to sue British government in open court

RT -

Abdel Hakim Belhaj, and his wife Fatima Bouchar, accuse the British government of allowing the regime of former Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi to torture them in 2004, with MI6 and former Labour Foreign Secretary Jack Straw complicit in US-led rendition programs.

According to anti-torture charity Reprieve, who are assisting Belhaj and his wife Fatima Boudchar in their legal challenge, Belhaj was tortured both in Libya and a CIA ‘blacksite’ in Bangkok. Al-Saadi was forced to board a plane in Hong Kong with his wife and four children before facing torture in Libya.

The allegations came to light during the 2011 uprising, in which both men fought with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, when documents relating to their transfer were uncovered.

The judgment, made by the Court of Appeal on Thursday, said the case was too “grave” to be heard in secret.

“The stark reality is that unless the English courts are able to exercise jurisdiction in this case, these very grave allegations against the executive will never be subjected to judicial investigation,” the statement said.

The judgment represents a major blow to the British government, which has previously denied or downplayed their involvement in joint rendition programs with the US.

The Foreign Office has told the BBC it was “considering” whether to appeal the decision in the Supreme Court, but is yet to take any formal action.

Belhaj, who is currently the leader of the Conservative Islamist al-Watan party in Libya, said he and his wife were “gratified” by the judges’ decision. Their torture was “as fresh and as painful for us as if it happened yesterday,” they added.

READ MORE: Tortured Libyans allege UK spied on legal talks

The statement follows demands from Belhaj’s legal representatives calling on the government to publish secret policies detailing when the communications of lawyers and journalists may have been intercepted.

Responding to the judgment, director of Reprieve Cori Crider said the UK had avoided hearing Belhaj’s case for too long, for fear of angering the US.

“The court [judgment] was right: embarrassment is no reason to throw torture victims out of court. The government’s dubious and wasteful delay tactics in this case need to end. Enough is enough,” she said.

UK ministers have been under significant pressure to unveil the true extent of government involvement in rendition and torture programs, particularly the use of Diego Garcia, a UK ‘black site’ with no formal jurisdiction, that campaigners say was used to transfer victims to be tortured overseas.

Deals of the Day (10-30-2014)

Liliputing -

Normally tablets, laptops, and other gadgets top our list of deals every day. But if you’ve already got all the gadgets you need, you might be in the market for some free or cheap apps, games, or digital media to use with them. Amazon gives away an Android app or game for free every day… but […]

Deals of the Day (10-30-2014) is a post from: Liliputing

Hacking Team Manuals: Sobering Reminder That Privacy is Elusive

Slashdot -

Advocatus Diaboli writes with a selection from The Intercept describing instructions for commercial spyware sold by Italian security firm Hacking Team. The manuals describe Hacking Team's software for government technicians and analysts, showing how it can activate cameras, exfiltrate emails, record Skype calls, log typing, and collect passwords on targeted devices. They also catalog a range of pre-bottled techniques for infecting those devices using wifi networks, USB sticks, streaming video, and email attachments to deliver viral installers. With a few clicks of a mouse, even a lightly trained technician can build a software agent that can infect and monitor a device, then upload captured data at unobtrusive times using a stealthy network of proxy servers, all without leaving a trace. That, at least, is what Hacking Team's manuals claim as the company tries to distinguish its offerings in the global marketplace for government hacking software. (Here are the manuals themselves.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








‘Largest hacking case’: Pirate Bay founder and his accomplice found guilty in Denmark

RT -

Warg, alias Anakata, and his 21-year old Danish accomplice, aka JLT, appeared in the Court of Frederiksberg in Copenhagen on Thursday morning.

The two were found guilty of “systematic and comprehensive” hacking of computer mainframes operated by US IT giant CSC between February and August of 2012. The prosecution indicted Anakata and JLT of downloading social security numbers from Denmark’s national driving license database, illegally accessing information in a Schengen Region database and cracking police email accounts.

“This is the largest hacking case to date. The crime is very serious, and this must be reflected in the sentence,” Prosecutor Maria Cingali said.

JLT, who has already served 17 months of pre-trial detention, was released.

RELATED:Hacking revenge: Argentinian music industry website turned into Pirate Bay proxy

His lawyer Michael Juul Eriksen dismissed Cingari’s calls for a two-year sentence for his client as "completely crazy,” the Local reports.

A sentence for Warg will be delivered on Friday. The prosecution is calling for the maximum possible term of six years in prison. In addition, Cingali called on the court to ban Warg from re-entering Denmark, calling the Pirate Bay founder “a threat to the interests of the Danish society.”

Both Warg and his defense have been insisting that Anakata was not the only one who had access to the MacBook computer that was used for hacking. Warg stressed the computer did not belong solely to him, but to the group of developers, meaning that the computer’s security could be comprised and any of them could actually intrude into the system operated by CSC.

“My recommendation has always been that the investigation has focused on finding clues that point to my client, even though the tracks have also pointed in another direction,” lawyer Louise Høj said, as cited by TorrentFreak.com. “It is clear that my client’s computer has been the subject of remote control, and therefore he is not responsible.”

However, the prosecution managed to present the evidence – a discussion on security and setup of CSC’s databases and systems which took place between hackers with the names “Advanced Persistent Terrorist Threat” and “My Evil Twin”. Under those pseudonyms lurked Gottfrid and his IT consultant co-defendant, the prosecution said, according to the TorrentFreak website.

All three judges and four of six jurors supported the guilty verdicts.

Judge Kari Sørensen said that remote control access to Warg’s computer was “unlikely,” given that the defendant was reluctant to reveal details about the identity of the persons, who he suspected could remotely control his computers.

Judge Ulla Otken also dismissed the remote control claims saying that Warg is guilty because the access was “systematic.” Two jurors agreed that Warg’s argument cannot be ruled out.

Warg’s lawyer has been calling for a one-year sentence for his client.

RELATED:Anti-piracy group to fight Pirate Bay in Norway court

Warg’s mother has told the Local that the prosecution’s evidence is “vague,” saying that “a dirty approach to smear” her son as a person was used.

Warg has so far spent 11 months in prison in Denmark following his extradition from Sweden in November 2013.

Prior to that Warg was deported to Sweden from Cambodia in September 2012, following his arrest in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh over copyright violations in 2009.

In Sweden, the Pirate Bay founder was charged with hacking the IBM mainframe of Logica, a Swedish IT firm that provided tax services to the Swedish government, and the IBM mainframe of the Swedish Nordea bank in order to transfer money to accounts held by four young men in Malmö.

However, in September 2013, the Swedish court of appeals cleared Warg of Nordea bank hacking after the defense claimed that the hacker’s computer could have been controlled remotely.

The court upheld a conviction for hacking into IT firm, Logica.

Lenovo buys Motorola becoming world’s third largest smartphone producer

RT -

Beijing-based Lenovo Group bought Motorola from Google, the deal elevating it to the world’s third largest smartphone producer, moving Xiaomi Corp., another Chinese smartphone maker better known in the West as ‘Mi’, to the fourth position.

“By building a strong number three and a credible challenger to the top two in smartphones, we will give the market something it has needed: choice, competition and a new spark of innovation”, Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing said in a statement on the company’s website.

The $2.9 billion deal also adds to a squall of activity aimed at transforming Lenovo, the world’s number one PC manufacturer, into a major producer of smartphones and wireless devices.

Yuanqing says Motorola provides a shortcut for entering mature markets and will make the Chinese company “a global player.”

Rick Osterloh, President of Motorola Mobility, will remain in his role. And the company, with its total of 3,500 employers, will become a fully-owned subsidiary of Lenovo, but will continue to be headquartered in Chicago. Lenovo has headquarters in Morrisville, NC, Beijing, and Singapore.

Google acquired Motorola in 2012 for $12.4 billion, but failed to bring the iconic mobile maker back to growth. Lenovo claims it would revive the firm within the next 18 months, as it expects to sell about 100 million devices this year.

Meanwhile, the company retains ownership of the bulk of Motorola’s patent portfolio, with Lenovo having an option to license patents. Some 2,000 patents and a large number of patent cross-licensing deals will go with Motorola to Lenovo.

Inside the lonely fight against the biggest environmental problem you've never heard of

Socialism OnLine! -

URL: http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/oct/27/toxic-plastic-synthetic-microscopic-oceans-microbeads-microfibers-food-chain

Inside the lonely fight against the biggest environmental problem you've never heard of. In 2011, an ecologist released an alarming study showing that tiny clothing fibers could be the biggest source of plastic in our oceans. The bigger problem? No one wanted to hear it.

Ecologist Mark Browne knew he’d found something big when, after months of tediously examining sediment along shorelines around the world, he noticed something no one had predicted: fibers. Everywhere. They were tiny and synthetic and he was finding them in the greatest concentration near sewage outflows. In other words, they were coming from us...

Topic(s): Geography:  Vote Up/Down

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