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BBC NEWS | Africa | Profile: Algeria's Salafist group

However, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), which the Algerian army says kidnapped European tourists in the Sahara desert, is one of the country's most hardline and effective groups fighting the government.

One commentator describes the alleged 31-one-year-old as a cross between Robin Hood and Osama Bin Laden.

He is a former soldier who followed the familiar route for radical young Muslims and went to fight in Afghanistan.

The Algerian press is associating Mokhtar Belmokhtar, known as the "One-eyed", with the group.

It is thought the GSPC raises money by smuggling cigarettes, drugs, vehicles, and arms.

However, other observers say the group is not associated with Osama Bin Laden but is part of local bandit and smuggling networks.

On the United States' list of "terrorist groups" since 2002, it is said to have links to al-Qaeda as well as extensive ties in Europe, the US and the Middle East.

The band of around 300 fighters reportedly aims to topple the Algerian Government, create an Islamic state in Algeria and attack Western interests in the region.

THE CIA'S BELMOKHTAR IN ALGERIA

Link to Article

Source: aangirfan

Sat, 19 Jan 2013 15:49

Some British citizens are missing and feared dead after a rescue attempt in Algeria.The Brits were being held by the CIA's Al Qaeda terrorists.

"After a fierce day of fighting, Algerian officials said the rescue operation was over."They said at least 11 Islamist militants, including Tahar Ben Cheneb, a prominent commander in the region, were among the dead, along with three Egyptians, two Tunisians, two Libyans, a Malian and a French citizen."

The Al Qaeda-linked terrorists are led by veteran jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar.dailymail.co.uk/Mokhtar Belmokhtar, "a former Algerian soldier went to fight in Afghanistan," the BBC reported in 2003."In other words, Mokhtar Belmokhtar was recruited by the CIA."

AFRICOM Eyes the Islamic Maghreb

The Algerian daily Al-Khabar asserted that young children have been kidnapped from Algerian cities, transported to Morocco, and then sold to Israelis and American Jews who have then harvested their organs for sale on the black market.

On 29 August 2011, therearenosunglasses. reported that:

'Al-CIAda' is wasting no time - It is expanding the Imperial War into AlgeriaCol Gaddafi's wife and three children 'fled to Algeria''Ú, so Algeria must be a bad country, according to the propaganda.

And al Qaeda is at work in Algeria; al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the 26 Agust 2011 Algeria attack

"Al Qaeda's North Africa wing ... claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a military academy in Algeria, accusing it of supporting the regime of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi."

Civilians were killed in the attack.

According to the Mossad-CIA-al Qaeda:

"On the night of the 27th of this holy month, and while the Muslim Libyan people were completing their victory over the dictator Gaddafi '... the mujahideen in Algeria pursued their blessed attacks against the Algerian criminal regime, an ally to Gaddafi." Algeria denied backing Gaddafi.

http://therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com also reported on The dangers lurking in the Arab spring According to therearenosunglasses:

Disaster has come to Libya, Syria, Iraq....

The USA wants oil, military bases and a chance to frustrate China...

Algiers Casbah posted to Flickr as joyful street by jam-L

The following is taken from an article entitled: The Ugly Truth about Algeria(The article is by John R. Schindler, professor of national-security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College. He is a former counterintelligence officer with the National Security Agency.)

In Algeria, the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) was the creation of the spooks.

(Compare with the UK security services 'running the IRA', and the CIA 'running Al Qaeda'. Reportedly, French intelligence also helped run the terrorist GIA - Aangirfan)

U.S. Army Africa's commanding general meets with Algerian military and government leaders in Algiers, Algeria, in 2010. Website for this imageThe GIA conducted brutal attacks not just in Algeria but in Europe as well, including a wave of bombings in Paris in the summer of 1995, remembered by terrorism gurus as Al Qaeda's first attacks on the West...

In 2006, Al Qaeda brought these Algerian mujahidin into its ranks, renaming the local franchise Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)...

By postaletrice

The Islamist GIA was the creation of the DRS, Algeria's military intelligence service...

Much of the GIA's leadership consisted of DRS agents, who drove the group into the dead end of mass murder, a ruthless tactic that thoroughly discredited GIA Islamists among nearly all Algerians.

Most of its major operations were the handiwork of the DRS, including the 1995 wave of bombings in France.

Some of the most notorious massacres of civilians were perpetrated by military special units masquerading as mujahidin, or by GIA squads under DRS control...

The French killed many Algerians. Over a million Algerians died between 1954 and 1962.The Algerian security service DRS may also control al Qaeda in Algeria...

Algeria's neighbors... reject the idea that extremists can be combated only by... the United States...

Mali's head of state security, who is charged with keeping Algerian mujahidin out of his country, told the press in June 2009 that ''at the heart of local Al Qaeda (AQIM) is the Algerian security service, the DRS.''

Shortly thereafter, he was shot dead at home by ''unknown gunmen.''

U.S. interest in the North African Sahel has only grown in recent years, roughly in tandem with the alleged rise of AQIM (the local al qaeda) in the region.

It is no coincidence that the U.S. Army is aligning a combat brigade with U.S. Africa Command and the Pentagon's interest in the region is rising fast...

While most Algerians want an end to... the corrupt military elite that has run the country since France left in 1962, few pine for any sort of Islamist dictatorship...

http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/the-ugly-truth-about-algeria-7146?page=2

By ookami_dou

The New Zealand Listener reported on the links between the French security services and the 'Islamic terrorists' in Algeria.'In recent years, firm evidence has begun to emerge from Algerian military sources and leading academics that the dreaded GIA has been '' perhaps from the outset and certainly under Zitouni's bloody leadership '' a dummy, or 'screen' organisation managed by French/Algerian counter-intelligence.'

Reportedly, the Algerian military, disguised as terrorists, were barbaric.In February 2001, 'The Dirty War', by Habib Souaidia, a former Algerian army officer, was published.

It tells of the part played by the Algerian army in the killing of tens of thousands of Algerians.

Habib writes:"I have seen colleagues burn alive a 15-year-old child.

"I have seen soldiers disguising themselves as terrorists and massacring civilians.

"I have seen colonels kill mere suspects in cold blood.

"I have seen officers torture fundamentalists to death...."

U.S. Army Africa's commanding general meets with Algerian military and government leaders in Algiers, AlgeriaThe United States has built a huge military surveillance base at Tamanrasset in Algeria.US forces are training the Algerian military.

Washington wants to provide Algiers with pilot-less drone planes.

This military base is a result of agreements signed between Washington and Algiers for oil industry development.

In addition, the United States has worked to include Algeria in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and considers this North African country one of its most important allies outside of NATO.

West African leaders seek UN aid for Mali force

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 13:46

West African leaders Saturday sought urgent UN aid for a regional force to fight Islamists in Mali as President Francois Hollande said French troops would remain as long as needed to stamp out "terrorism".

The emergency summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc also called on member states and Chad, which has pledged 2,000 troops, to put words into action without haste.

Only about 100 African soldiers of a planned 5,800 African force have so far reached Mali, while France said Saturday that 2,000 French soldiers were now on the ground after Paris launched an offensive a little over a week ago to stop Islamists swooping down from the north, which is under their control.

A statement at the end of the Abidjan meeting called on the United Nations "to immediately provide financial and logistical backing for the deployment of MISMA", the African force.

African troop deployments have always been long-drawn affairs. A diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: "The truth is that ECOWAS has no money to transport its troops".

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who also attended the summit, said it was time for the Africans to take charge of the task of halting the extremist advance "as soon as possible".

"It is vital that the maximum number of countries worldwide contribute" to the effort, he said, speaking ahead of a donors' conference in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on January 29.

"France was obliged to intervene very, very rapidly, otherwise there would have been no more Mali," Fabius said. "But it is well understood that it is the Africans that must pick up the baton."

But Hollande, speaking in France, said: "I am often asked the question: how long will this last? I reply... 'As long as is necessary'. As long as is necessary so that terrorism can be defeated in that part of Africa".

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, who is also the current head of ECOWAS, said it was high time others did their bit to help end the crisis.

"The hour has come for a broader commitment by the major powers and more countries and organisations to the military operations to show greater solidarity with France and Africa," he said.

"We must speed up the re-establishment of Mali's territorial integrity with the logistical support of our partners ... (and) go beyond our current deployment numbers," Ouattara said, warning that the crisis threatened to destabilise the region.

Malian soldiers, backed by French troops and air power, retook the key central town of Konna on Thursday from Al-Qaeda-linked rebels who had swooped down more than a week ago and threatened the capital Bamako.

There were conflicting reports on another town, Diabaly, which the Malian army claimed was recaptured but the French defence ministry effectively denied this.

Mali's interim President Dioncounda Traore, in an address on state television late Saturday, vowed to rout the Islamists who he said wanted "to impose a medieval ideology on our people".

"This war will be without doubt costly and tiring," he said but added: "We will win this war in the name of civilisation and democracy."

Traore also appealed to other countries to back the drive against the militants by extending "logistical and any other kind of aid to create a region that is rid of terrorism, drug trafficking and organised crime".

The French presence has been a lifeline for Mali's ill-equipped and demoralised soldiers, struggling to fight an amalgam of Islamist and Tuareg rebel groups.

The Malian army proved no match for Tuareg separatist rebels who took them by surprise when they relaunched a decades-old rebellion in January last year.

As anger rose over their defeats, a group of soldiers overthrew the government in Bamako in a disastrous March coup, which only made it easier for the Tuareg and their new Islamist allies to seize the vast arid north.

(AFP)

US AFRICOM Operation Underway in Mali. ''Keeping China out of Africa''.

Link to Article

Source: Global Research

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 13:39

As we predicted this past week, the theatrical upheaval in Mali was merely a nudging exercise to move forward the stated objectives laid down in US AFRICOM policy.

With no debate or questioning in foreign policy circles, and with Obama's coronation and ceremonial pop concert in Washington DC keeping American eyes and ears glued to the corporate media punditry, NATO allies, led by the US, are carefully carving out a comprehensive military footprint in Africa in order to further evict Chinese influence from the continent.

A convenient excuse in the short-term will be to 'stop the spread of Islamic extremist, but as history has witnessed, this is merely a superficial justification for a comprehensive military and economic colonization of the region over the next two decades. Ironic that it would be America's first 'black' President who would reside over the takeover of Africa. Expect more US bases to come in the near future, as well as more violent civil wars popping up regularly in the region.

Al CIAda

BBC NEWS | Africa | Profile: Algeria's Salafist group

However, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), which the Algerian army says kidnapped European tourists in the Sahara desert, is one of the country's most hardline and effective groups fighting the government.

One commentator describes the alleged 31-one-year-old as a cross between Robin Hood and Osama Bin Laden.

He is a former soldier who followed the familiar route for radical young Muslims and went to fight in Afghanistan.

The Algerian press is associating Mokhtar Belmokhtar, known as the "One-eyed", with the group.

It is thought the GSPC raises money by smuggling cigarettes, drugs, vehicles, and arms.

However, other observers say the group is not associated with Osama Bin Laden but is part of local bandit and smuggling networks.

On the United States' list of "terrorist groups" since 2002, it is said to have links to al-Qaeda as well as extensive ties in Europe, the US and the Middle East.

The band of around 300 fighters reportedly aims to topple the Algerian Government, create an Islamic state in Algeria and attack Western interests in the region.

THE CIA'S BELMOKHTAR IN ALGERIA

Link to Article

Source: aangirfan

Sat, 19 Jan 2013 15:49

Some British citizens are missing and feared dead after a rescue attempt in Algeria.The Brits were being held by the CIA's Al Qaeda terrorists.

"After a fierce day of fighting, Algerian officials said the rescue operation was over."They said at least 11 Islamist militants, including Tahar Ben Cheneb, a prominent commander in the region, were among the dead, along with three Egyptians, two Tunisians, two Libyans, a Malian and a French citizen."

The Al Qaeda-linked terrorists are led by veteran jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar.dailymail.co.uk/Mokhtar Belmokhtar, "a former Algerian soldier went to fight in Afghanistan," the BBC reported in 2003."In other words, Mokhtar Belmokhtar was recruited by the CIA."

AFRICOM Eyes the Islamic Maghreb

The Algerian daily Al-Khabar asserted that young children have been kidnapped from Algerian cities, transported to Morocco, and then sold to Israelis and American Jews who have then harvested their organs for sale on the black market.

On 29 August 2011, therearenosunglasses. reported that:

'Al-CIAda' is wasting no time - It is expanding the Imperial War into AlgeriaCol Gaddafi's wife and three children 'fled to Algeria''Ú, so Algeria must be a bad country, according to the propaganda.

And al Qaeda is at work in Algeria; al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the 26 Agust 2011 Algeria attack

"Al Qaeda's North Africa wing ... claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a military academy in Algeria, accusing it of supporting the regime of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi."

Civilians were killed in the attack.

According to the Mossad-CIA-al Qaeda:

"On the night of the 27th of this holy month, and while the Muslim Libyan people were completing their victory over the dictator Gaddafi '... the mujahideen in Algeria pursued their blessed attacks against the Algerian criminal regime, an ally to Gaddafi." Algeria denied backing Gaddafi.

http://therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com also reported on The dangers lurking in the Arab spring According to therearenosunglasses:

Disaster has come to Libya, Syria, Iraq....

The USA wants oil, military bases and a chance to frustrate China...

Algiers Casbah posted to Flickr as joyful street by jam-L

The following is taken from an article entitled: The Ugly Truth about Algeria(The article is by John R. Schindler, professor of national-security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College. He is a former counterintelligence officer with the National Security Agency.)

In Algeria, the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) was the creation of the spooks.

(Compare with the UK security services 'running the IRA', and the CIA 'running Al Qaeda'. Reportedly, French intelligence also helped run the terrorist GIA - Aangirfan)

U.S. Army Africa's commanding general meets with Algerian military and government leaders in Algiers, Algeria, in 2010. Website for this imageThe GIA conducted brutal attacks not just in Algeria but in Europe as well, including a wave of bombings in Paris in the summer of 1995, remembered by terrorism gurus as Al Qaeda's first attacks on the West...

In 2006, Al Qaeda brought these Algerian mujahidin into its ranks, renaming the local franchise Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)...

By postaletrice

The Islamist GIA was the creation of the DRS, Algeria's military intelligence service...

Much of the GIA's leadership consisted of DRS agents, who drove the group into the dead end of mass murder, a ruthless tactic that thoroughly discredited GIA Islamists among nearly all Algerians.

Most of its major operations were the handiwork of the DRS, including the 1995 wave of bombings in France.

Some of the most notorious massacres of civilians were perpetrated by military special units masquerading as mujahidin, or by GIA squads under DRS control...

The French killed many Algerians. Over a million Algerians died between 1954 and 1962.The Algerian security service DRS may also control al Qaeda in Algeria...

Algeria's neighbors... reject the idea that extremists can be combated only by... the United States...

Mali's head of state security, who is charged with keeping Algerian mujahidin out of his country, told the press in June 2009 that ''at the heart of local Al Qaeda (AQIM) is the Algerian security service, the DRS.''

Shortly thereafter, he was shot dead at home by ''unknown gunmen.''

U.S. interest in the North African Sahel has only grown in recent years, roughly in tandem with the alleged rise of AQIM (the local al qaeda) in the region.

It is no coincidence that the U.S. Army is aligning a combat brigade with U.S. Africa Command and the Pentagon's interest in the region is rising fast...

While most Algerians want an end to... the corrupt military elite that has run the country since France left in 1962, few pine for any sort of Islamist dictatorship...

http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/the-ugly-truth-about-algeria-7146?page=2

By ookami_dou

The New Zealand Listener reported on the links between the French security services and the 'Islamic terrorists' in Algeria.'In recent years, firm evidence has begun to emerge from Algerian military sources and leading academics that the dreaded GIA has been '' perhaps from the outset and certainly under Zitouni's bloody leadership '' a dummy, or 'screen' organisation managed by French/Algerian counter-intelligence.'

Reportedly, the Algerian military, disguised as terrorists, were barbaric.In February 2001, 'The Dirty War', by Habib Souaidia, a former Algerian army officer, was published.

It tells of the part played by the Algerian army in the killing of tens of thousands of Algerians.

Habib writes:"I have seen colleagues burn alive a 15-year-old child.

"I have seen soldiers disguising themselves as terrorists and massacring civilians.

"I have seen colonels kill mere suspects in cold blood.

"I have seen officers torture fundamentalists to death...."

U.S. Army Africa's commanding general meets with Algerian military and government leaders in Algiers, AlgeriaThe United States has built a huge military surveillance base at Tamanrasset in Algeria.US forces are training the Algerian military.

Washington wants to provide Algiers with pilot-less drone planes.

This military base is a result of agreements signed between Washington and Algiers for oil industry development.

In addition, the United States has worked to include Algeria in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and considers this North African country one of its most important allies outside of NATO.

Federal Register | Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Terrorists Who Threaten To Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process

Link to Article

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 14:24

On January 23, 1995, by Executive Order 12947, the President declared a national emergency pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States constituted by grave acts of violence committed by foreign terrorists who threaten to disrupt the Middle East peace process. On August 20, 1998, by Executive Order 13099, the President modified the Annex to Executive Order 12947 to identify four additional persons who threaten to disrupt the Middle East peace process. On February 16, 2005, by Executive Order 13372, the President clarified the steps taken in Executive Order 12947.

Because these terrorist activities continue to threaten the Middle East peace process and to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, the national emergency declared on January 23, 1995, and the measures adopted to deal with that emergency must continue in effect beyond January 23, 2013. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency with respect to foreign terrorists who threaten to disrupt the Middle East peace process.

This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.

THE WHITE HOUSE,Washington, January 17, 2013.

[FR Doc. 2013-01296Filed 1-18-13; 8:45 am]

Billing code 3295-F3

Executive Order # 13099

Sec. 2. The Annex to Executive Order 12947 of January 23, 1995, is amended by adding thereto the following persons in appropriate alphabetical order:

Abu Hafs al-Masri Rifa'i Ahmad Taha Musa

Islamic Army (a.k.a. Al-Qaida, Islamic Salvation Foundation, The Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Places, The World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, and The Group for the Preservation of the Holy Sites)

Usama bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Ladin (a.k.a. Usama bin Ladin)

Follow the Pipes 2TTH

Bulgaria pulls out of controversial oil pipeline project (SETimes.com)

Link to Article

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 14:35

20/12/2011

The Bulgarian government's decision to withdraw from the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project has left Athens and Moscow disappointed, but has been welcomed by people in the Balkan nation's southern Black Sea coast.

By Svetla Dimitrova for Southeast European Times in Sofia -- 20/12/11

Bulgaria will withdraw from the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project. [File]

The Russian government is expected to discuss Bulgaria's proposal for the termination of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline agreement at a meeting early next year, Moscow-based news agency RIA Novosti reported on Monday (December 19th).

It also quoted Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky as saying that the parties to the deal, including Greece, could go either way on Sofia's request.

The Bulgarian government said on December 7th that it wanted the trilateral agreement signed in Athens on March 15th, 2007 to be terminated by mutual consent. If the other participants do not agree to this, it would pull out of the project in twelve months.

The cabinet's decision was based on the fact that Sofia no longer views the pipeline as financially and economically viable, Finance Minister Simeon Djankov told reporters, adding that Bulgaria would not face any sanctions.

"According to the analysis of the oil pipeline project, it cannot be implemented under the terms of the 2007 agreement," the minister explained.

Under the deal, the 279km overland pipeline, which was first conceived back in 1993, would transport Russian crude oil from Bulgaria's Black Sea port city of Burgas to the Greek town of Alexandroupolis on the Aegean Sea. It would have an initial annual capacity of 35 million tonnes, which could later be expanded to 50 million tonnes.

Following years of negotiations, the parties eventually agreed that Russian firms would hold 51% of the shares of the project company, TransBalkan Pipeline, leaving Bulgaria and Greece with 24.5% each.

Bulgaria officially notified its partners of its decision last week. Disappointed by Sofia's move, Greek Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister George Papakonstantinou said that Athens was ready to renegotiate the terms of the contract.

"We are very sorry for the concrete current stance of the Bulgarian government and we would like to see the existing problems resolved," the minister said in an interview with online news portal Greek Reporter. "We are ready to reopen talks with the two other contributing parties so that we can find an opportunity to implement the project in some other format."

Bulgaria's ruling centre-right party GERB has been warning about the country's possible withdrawal from the project ever since it came to power in July 2009.

Aside from the financial and economic considerations, it previously cited environmental concerns as one of the key motives for any move in that direction.

The plan to build a pipeline, part of which would run through protected areas under the EU's Natura 2000 network, has been criticised by environmental organisations. The population of Burgas and the other affected areas in the region, where many make a living from tourism, are staunchly opposed to the project.

In a referendum held in the port city in February 2008, 97% of the participants voted against the pipeline. The vote failed however due to low turnout.

A survey conducted by Sofia-based Alpha Research polling agency shortly after the government announced its decision to quit the project showed that 86% of the residents of Burgas supported the move.

Burgas Mayor Dimitar Nikolov said he "rejoiced with all of the city's residents who had shown openly and firmly their opposition to the construction of the pipeline".

Welcoming the government's decision, he also noted that life had been tense for the people of Burgas in the past few years due to the uncertainty and the potential risks the project posed.

Although she now works and lives in Sofia, Gergana Doynova said the decision was "good news" for her hometown, Burgas, as it removed a new potential threat to both the environment in the region, as well as Black Sea tourism.

"Many people along the entire sea coast depend on tourism for a living. Can you imagine what would happen in the event of an accident?" Doynova told SETimes. "An oil spill would not only have a devastating impact on the Black Sea flora and fauna, but it would surely kill tourism in Burgas and the region and doom it to years of economic decline at best."

Tsviatko Topalov, the owner of a three-story family hotel in the town of Chernomorets, 25km to the south of Burgas, said there was no room for any installations in the Black Sea.

"I am very happy the government had the guts to quit [the project]," he told SETimes. "Look at the all the economic and financial problems we have today. Bulgaria doesn't need an environmental catastrophe on top of all that. It would ruin us ... The Black Sea should be kept clean."

This content was commissioned for SETimes.com.

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Euro Pipelines - europipes.curry.com

Baku Gives Green Light to TANAP Pipeline Deal

Link to Article

Source: RIA Novosti

Fri, 18 Jan 2013 16:36

BAKU, January 18 (RIA Novosti) - Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev officially approved on Friday a project to build the Trans-Anatolian (TANAP) gas pipeline to Europe via Turkey, the president's official website reported.

Turkey and Azerbaijan signed an intergovernmental agreement on the issue in June 2012.

TANAP is projected to deliver natural gas, mostly from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas field, via Turkey to gas transport systems in Bulgaria or Greece. Turkey and Azerbaijan signed a memorandum on December 26, 2011, establishing a consortium to build and operate the pipeline.

The planned annual minimum capacity of the pipeline, to be built by late 2017, will be 16 billion cubic meters. Six billion cubic meters will be bought by Turkey and the rest will go to Europe. The project's costs have previously been estimated at $7 billion.

The project's major shareholders are the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) with an 80 percent stake and Turkey's state-owned crude oil and natural gas pipelines and trading company BOTAS with 20 percent.

SOCAR, which has the right to sell a part of its shares to minority partners, has invited BP, Statoil and Total S.A. to become minority shareholders in this project. BP and Statoil signaled their readiness to buy 12 percent each, while Total S.A. said it might buy a 5 percent stake.

Shut Up Slave!

The TSA Blog: Rapiscan Backscatter Contract Terminated '' Units to be Removed

Link to Article

Sat, 19 Jan 2013 15:22

You may remember us blogging about new privacy software we rolled out for the L3 Millimeter Wave body scanners. It's called Automated Target Recognition (ATR), and with the use of this software, our officers no longer see an image of the person being screened. This is what our officers see if the passenger alarms: You can read more about the ATR software here.Congress mandated as a part of theThe FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012that all TSA body scanners should be equipped with ATR by June 1, 2012 (There has since been an extension to June 1, 2013).At this point, all Millimeter wave units have been equipped with ATR, but even with the extension to 2013, Rapiscan was unable to fulfill their end of the contract and create the ATR software that would work with backscatter units. As a result, TSA terminated the contract with Rapiscan in order to comply with the congressional mandate.All Rapiscan AIT units currently operational at checkpoints around the country, as well as those stored at the TSA Logistics Center, will be removed by Rapiscan at their expense and stored until they can be redeployed to other mission priorities within the government. Most of the backscatter units being removed will be replaced with millimeter wave units. The millimeter units will be moved from the inventory currently deployed at other airports and from an upcoming purchase of additional millimeter wave units. By June 1, 2013 travelers will only see machines which have ATR that allow for faster throughput. This means faster lanes for the traveler and enhanced security. As always, use of this technology is optional.If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us byclicking here.

TSA Finally Removing ''Naked'' Full-Body Scanners From Airports '' The Consumerist

Link to Article

Sat, 19 Jan 2013 00:34

Image from a back-scatter scanner

Last fall, it was reported that the Transportation Security Administration was moving its controversial backscatter full-body scanners out of busier airports and moving them to smaller ones. Now, the agency says it is getting rid of these scanners altogether.This only affects backscatter scanners, which use low amounts of ionizing radiation to produce images that see through a traveler's clothing and produce images that reveal rather intimate details of the subject's naked body. Millimeter wave scanners, which use a radio wave technology to produce stick-figure outlines of the subject and call out areas where dangerous material might be hidden, will still be used.

Bloomberg reports that the reason the backscatter scanners will no longer be used is that the manufacturer, Rapiscan, couldn't develop software that would translate the scan results into something less R-rated.

Rapiscan will absorb the cost of removing its remaining 174 machines, which should be shipped off to the What The Heck Were You Thinking Institute For Idiotic Studies, but will apparently be installed in various other government agencies so that security guards can know what everyone in the building looks like naked.

The TSA had not actually purchased any new backscatter scanners from Rapiscan in a couple of years '-- choosing instead to purchase millimeter-wave machines that don't use radiation and don't require the operator to be in a separate room, thus expediting the process.

Tactical TSA Viper Team Sets Up at California Train Station :

Link to Article

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 04:32

By JG Vibestheintelhub.comJanuary 18, 2013

When the TSA was first deployed in the airports, many perceptive people in the alternative media predicted that a slippery slope was created, which would result in the eventual roll out of a brown shirt style special police force, tasked with searching innocent people and patrolling heavily populated areas.

Mainstream circles scoffed at the idea that this would ever happen, and the general population had no problem submitting to the new violations of their rights and privacy.

Now, as expected Viper TSA teams are being deployed on the streets with more frequency, and they are posting up in bus stations and train stations as well.

ABC broke this story, but as usual they portrayed it as something good, to keep people ''safe''.

Their report stated that:

People are used to seeing TSA inspectors at airports but on Wednesday, a specialized team made their presence known at the Amtrak station in Emeryville.

Train stations are difficult to secure because they're so wide open but on Wednesday, the TSA showed up unannounced to let the public, especially potential troublemakers, know that they are keeping an eye on the rails.

Amtrak passenger Vera Molina said she noticed all the black-clad TSA inspectors right away and it's a presence she appreciates.

Asked if she would like to see them more often she said, ''I would, can't hurt, just in case you never know.'' As part of their nationwide ''Viper Team'' effort, the Transportation Safety Administration put about a dozen agents at the station to see and be seen, although some of the inspectors also work undercover.

''The visible deterrent is making a presence known at the station, getting on the train, talking to passengers, lettings the bad guys know that we're here, and letting the passengers know that we're here, and working with law enforcement to really tailor our Viper teams to their needs,'' TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said.

Unfortunately, it is the TSA and the people who give them their orders who are the ''bad guys''.

The reporter writing this story goes on to apparently interview people who witnessed the Viper team, and surprise, all of them were grateful for the boot on their throat.

In this particular situation, a checkpoint was not set up, the tactical teams showed up to monitor the area and bother people at random.

However, as i mentioned earlier, this is just the beginning of a slippery slope, before you know it they will have checkpoints set up where you will be searched and asked for your government issued ID.

*****

Read more articles by this author HERE.

J.G. Vibes is the author of an 87 chapter counter culture textbook called Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance, a staff writer and reporter for The Intel Hub and host of a show called Voluntary Hippie Radio.

You can keep up with his work, which includes free podcasts, free e-books & free audiobooks at his website www.aotmr.com

---------

Government censors in broadcast studios? | Newsrooms content from Broadcast Engineering

Link to Article

Fri, 18 Jan 2013 22:18

The biggest story never reported may be headed to your newsroom.

Jan. 18, 2013Ned Soseman

Now pending before the FCC is a proposal known as the Localism, Balance and Diversity Doctrine that would subject all local news content to government review and change.

Would you believe the FCC is seriously considering assigning an official local board of censors to each local radio and TV station that reports local news to approve, spike or rewrite news stories? The proposal is on FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's desk right now. It's the biggest unreported news story in the broadcast and electronic news industry.

I was minding my own business the other morning, listening with one ear to local AM talk radio, when something hit my radar screen so hard it darned near broke it. What I heard was a guest phone interview with a man as credible as his words were chilling. The nature of his discussion was the FCC's proposed new Localism, Balance and Diversity Doctrine. Google those five words, and you will see this topic has received scant attention. The guest, Coreon Dunham, was NBC's executive legal counsel from 1965 to 1990. He wrote a book in 2012 titled ''Government Control of News: A Constitutional Challenge.'' I pried my jaw from the floor and started taking notes.

Fairness foundation

In terms of news and controversial issues, FCC policy was once defined by the Communications Act of 1934. It broadly required broadcasters to satisfy the general ''public interest.'' The year 1949 was the age of a couple of commercial TV networks generally relying on the telephone company for live program distribution to affiliates across the network. There were no satellites or videotape, and no other programming sources were available other than locally originated live or film content.

Politicians feared television, thinking networks and station owners had too much concentration of power. Clearly, there was a lack of diversity when you could count all TV news and information sources in any given market on one hand. In 1949, the FCC applied emerging rules governing radio news to television, and the Fairness Doctrine was born. It required broadcasters to devote some '-- but not necessarily equal '-- airtime to discussing matters of public interest and to air contrasting points of view. It could be done in the context of news, public affairs, editorials and other programming. The idea was to expose viewers to a diversity of viewpoints when all markets had only a few stations providing television news and programming.

With congressional backing, the FCC responded to complaints about radio and TV news, conducted investigations of station news reports and ordered changes in news coverage for balance and other government rules on news content. This wasn't known to most in the public nor did many know that the Fairness Doctrine wasn't just being used to change news coverage.

In 1987, the FCC unanimously found the Doctrine was also being used by the Commissioners, who were appointed by the president to prevent criticism of the president, after an exhaustive review of the facts they voted to terminate the Doctrine. They also found the Fairness Doctrine didn't stimulate debate as promised and, in fact, it suppressed news and made stations leery of covering some news stories that should be reported for fear of an unpredictable FCC ruling that could end their broadcast license.

At that vote, Commission Chairman Patrick said, ''We seek to extend to the electronic press the same First Amendment guarantees that the print media have enjoyed since our country's inception.'' Later, in 1987 and again in 1991, Congress attempted to overrule the FCC and reinstate the doctrine. Both attempts were vetoed by the sitting president. The FCC's decision had been argued and upheld by a D.C. Circuit Appeals Court in 1989. In his first presidential campaign, Senator Obama said he would not bring back the Fairness Doctrine.

In Congress, all seemed quiet until 2005, when a congressperson introduced the Fairness and Accountability in Broadcasting Act. It died in committee. In 2007, reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine began picking up support among some in the U.S. Senate. At a Chicago public meeting on Sept. 20, 2007, Ken Bennett, Illinois State Director for then Senator Barack Obama, read a statement from the Senator saying, "I fully endorse a call for new rules promoting greater coverage of local issues, greater responsiveness of broadcasters to the communities they operate in. I also believe that broadcasters' license renewal requests, the periodic review required to ensure that broadcasters are complying with their public interest obligations to local communities for using the public spectrum, should require greater FCC scrutiny and public input should occur more frequently." The text of the entire hearing is available here.

The controversy again seemed to quiet down, and in 2009, a White House spokesman reportedly said President Obama continues to oppose reinstatement of the Doctrine. That opposition seemed to grow and on Aug. 11, 2011, the FCC voted to formally even repeal the few provisions that were still on the books of the Fairness Doctrine along with dozens of other ''unnecessary regulations.'' You might think that would be the end of the story.

War on Brains

Federal Register | Improving Availability of Relevant Executive Branch Records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System

Link to Article

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 14:22

Since it became operational in 1998, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has been an essential tool in the effort to ensure that individuals who are prohibited under Federal or State law from possessing firearms do not acquire them from Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs). The ability of the NICS to determine quickly and effectively whether an individual is prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm depends on the completeness and accuracy of the information made available to it by Federal, State, and tribal authorities.

The NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (NIAA) (Public Law 1107-180) was a bipartisan effort to strengthen the NICS by increasing the quantity and quality of relevant records from Federal, State, and tribal authorities accessible by the system. Among its requirements, the NIAA mandated that executive departments and agencies (agencies) provide relevant information, including criminal history records, certain adjudications related to the mental health of a person, and other information, to databases accessible by the NICS. Much progress has been made to identify information generated by agencies that is relevant to determining whether a person is prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms, but more must be done. Greater participation by agencies in identifying records they possess that are relevant to determining whether an individual is prohibited from possessing a firearm and a regularized process for submitting those records to the NICS will strengthen the accuracy and efficiency of the NICS, increasing public safety by keeping guns out of the hands of persons who cannot lawfully possess them.

Therefore, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following:

Section 1. Improving the Availability of Records to the NICS. (a) Within 45 days of the date of this memorandum, and consistent with the process described in section 3 of this memorandum, the Department of Justice (DOJ) shall issue guidance to agencies regarding the identification and sharing of relevant Federal records and their submission to the NICS.

(b) Within 60 days of issuance of guidance pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, agencies shall submit a report to DOJ advising whether they possess relevant records, as set forth in the guidance, and setting forth an implementation plan for making information in those records available to the NICS, consistent with applicable law.

(c) In accordance with the authority and responsibility provided to the Attorney General by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (103), as amended, the Attorney General, consistent with the process described in section 3 of this memorandum, shall resolve any disputes concerning whether agency records are relevant and should be made available to the NICS.

(d) To the extent they possess relevant records, as set forth in the guidance issued pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, agencies shall prioritize making those records available to the NICS on a regular and ongoing basis.

Sec. 2. Measuring Progress. (a) By October 1, 2013, and annually thereafter, agencies that possess relevant records shall submit a report to the President through the Attorney General describing:

(i) the relevant records possessed by the agency that can be shared with the NICS consistent with applicable law;

(ii) the number of those records submitted to databases accessible by the NICS during each reporting period;

(iii) the efforts made to increase the percentage of relevant records possessed by the agency that are submitted to databases accessible by the NICS;

(iv) any obstacles to increasing the percentage of records that are submitted to databases accessible by the NICS;

(v) for agencies that make qualifying adjudications related to the mental health of a person, the measures put in place to provide notice and programs for relief from disabilities as required under the NIAA;

(vi) the measures put in place to correct, modify, or remove records accessible by the NICS when the basis under which the record was made available no longer applies; and

(vii) additional steps that will be taken within 1 year of the report to improve the processes by which records are identified, made accessible, and corrected, modified, or removed.

(b) If an agency certifies in its annual report that it has made available to the NICS its relevant records that can be shared consistent with applicable law, and describes its plan to make new records available to the NICS and to update, modify, or remove existing records electronically no less often than quarterly as required by the NIAA, such agency will not be required to submit further annual reports. Instead, the agency will be required to submit an annual certification to DOJ, attesting that the agency continues to submit relevant records and has corrected, modified, or removed appropriate records.

Sec. 3. NICS Consultation and Coordination Working Group. To ensure adequate agency input in the guidance required by section 1(a) of this memorandum, subsequent decisions about whether an agency possesses relevant records, and determinations concerning whether relevant records should be provided to the NICS, there is established a NICS Consultation and Coordination Working Group (Working Group), to be chaired by the Attorney General or his designee.

(a) Membership. In addition to the Chair, the Working Group shall consist of representatives of the following agencies:

(i) the Department of Defense;

(ii) the Department of Health and Human Services;

(iii) the Department of Transportation;

(iv) the Department of Veterans Affairs;

(v) the Department of Homeland Security;

(vi) the Social Security Administration;

(vii) the Office of Personnel Management;

(viii) the Office of Management and Budget; and

(ix) such other agencies or offices as the Chair may designate.

(b) Functions. The Working Group shall convene regularly and as needed to allow for consultation and coordination between DOJ and agencies affected by the Attorney General's implementation of the NIAA, including with respect to the guidance required by section 1(a) of this memorandum, subsequent decisions about whether an agency possesses relevant records, and determinations concerning whether relevant records should be provided to the NICS. The Working Group may also consider, as appropriate:

(i) developing means and methods for identifying agency records deemed relevant by DOJ's guidance;

(ii) addressing obstacles faced by agencies in making their relevant records available to the NICS;

(iii) implementing notice and relief from disabilities programs; and

(iv) ensuring means to correct, modify, or remove records when the basis under which the record was made available no longer applies.

(c) Reporting. The Working Group will review the annual reports required by section 2(a) of this memorandum, and member agencies may append to the reports any material they deem appropriate, including an identification of any agency best practices that may be of assistance to States in supplying records to the NICS.

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to a department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(d) Independent agencies are strongly encouraged to comply with the requirements of this memorandum.

Sec. 5. Publication. The Attorney General is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

THE WHITE HOUSE,Washington, January 16, 2013

[FR Doc. 2013-01274Filed 1-18-13; 8:45 am]

Billing code 4410-19

Full Text of H.R. 751 (112th): Mental Health in Schools Act of 2011 - GovTrack.us

It is the purpose of this Act to--

(3) provide for comprehensive training for children with mental health disorders, for parents, siblings, and other family members of such children, and for concerned members of the community.

(2) provide for comprehensive staff development for school and community service personnel working in the school; and

(1) revise, increase funding for, and expand the scope of the Safe Schools-Healthy Students program in order to provide access to more comprehensive school-based mental health services and supports;

The Nation's Children's Hospital: Children's National Medical Center

Paulding County, GA - What is a School Resource Officer

Link to Article

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 03:47

The SRO is an asset used by the community and the school in an attempt to address situations in the lives of students in a forum other than the judicial system.The School Resource Officer program (SRO) is a nationally accepted program involving the placement of a law enforcement officer within the educational environment. The officer, while in school, is involved in a variety of functions aimed at prevention. Besides being an active high profile law enforcement officer, the SRO is a resource for students, parents, teachers and administration regarding law issues. Another duty for the SRO is being a link to other service agencies which provide preventive and counseling services within the school district. Working hand in hand with the Principal in each school, the SRO assists with finding solutions to problems affecting school age children.

The SRO program is a proactive approach to deal with the pressures today's young people find themselves having to confront. This includes the use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco, along with peer pressure, gang activity, and sex.

These situations are not only in the schools, but in the community as well. The approach of addressing these issues only in the school, or only in the community, has not been completely effective. Traditionally, police and school did not interact until one called upon the other.

Drone Nation

Stealth Hoodie Hides Wearer From Drones : Discovery News

Link to Article

Sat, 19 Jan 2013 00:00

Surveillance cameras are ubiquitous, especially in the U.K.. and in the United States, Congress has already approved the use of drones for domestic surveillance. Then there's the ''Stingray'' tool used by the FBI to track cell phones. It's enough to make even those who've gotten nothing hide feel nervous.

New York-based artist Adam Harvey doesn't like it one bit. So he's taken it upon himself to design anti-surveillance clothing to foil government snoopers.

Harvey has been looking at the effects of such surveillance on culture for some time. Last year he designed a kind of face makeup called CVDazzle to avert face-recognition software.

In the spirit of fooling cameras '' and messing with surveillance '' Harvey has now come out in a set of hoodies and scarves that block thermal radiation from the infrared scanners drones use. Wearing the fabric would make that part of the body look black to a drone, so the image would appear like disembodied legs. He also designed a pouch for cell phones that shields them from trackers by blocking the radio signals the phone emits. For those airport X-ray machines, he has a shirt with a printed design that blocks the radiation from one's heart.

The materials the clothes are made are specialized and expensive, so these aren't the kinds of fashions that the local discount store will have '' at least not yet. Harvey does plan to offer the clothes for sale, though.

He sees the designs as a kind of conversation about surveillance in society at large. If we're going to be watched all the time, shouldn't we find a way to deal with that?

If you want to see Harvey's work, it will be at Primitive London starting Jan. 17.

Credit: Primitive London / Adam Harvey

Somalia

Clinton announces relaunch of US ties with Somalia

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 13:46

The United States and Somalia on Thursday launched a new era of diplomatic relations, as Washington recognized the African nation's government for the first time since 1991.

"Today is a milestone. It is not the end of the journey, but it is an important milestone towards that end," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after talks with new Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

"For the first time since 1991, the United States is recognizing the government of Somalia," she said, adding Washington now wanted "an open, transparent dialogue about what more we can do to help the people of Somalia realize their own dream."

The move turns the page on the darkest chapter in ties between the two nations, when in 1993 Americans were anguished by scenes of US soldiers being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu by a mob after Somali militants shot down two Black Hawk helicopters. Eighteen Americans died, and 80 were wounded.

Somalia has not had an effective central government since 1991. But a new Somali administration took office last year, ending eight years of transitional rule by a corruption-riddled government.

"Somalia is very grateful for the unwavering support from the United States to the people of Somalia," Mohamud told Clinton, after earlier meeting US President Barack Obama at the White House.

He said his country was "emerging from a very long, difficult period" but now they were moving from a time of "instability, extremism, piracy... to an era of peaceful ... development."

In recent months, a 17,000-strong African Union force, fighting alongside government troops and Ethiopian soldiers, and backed by US aid, finally wrested a string of key towns from the control of Islamist Shebab insurgents.

"Today, thanks to the extraordinary partnership between the leaders and people of Somalia with international supporters, al-Shebab has been driven from Mogadishu and every other major city in Somalia," Clinton said.

"For the first time in two decades, this country has a representative government with a new president, a new parliament, a new prime minister, and a new constitution."

She stressed that there was still a lot of work facing the country's new leaders, "but they have entered into this important mission with a level of commitment that we find admirable."

A White House statement said that Obama had congratulated the Somali leader on his election when he dropped by a meeting with US Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough and "noted the impressive security and political gains over the past year in Somalia."

Obama also "acknowledged the many challenges facing Somalia but expressed optimism about Somalia's future."

A university lecturer, Mohamud defied predictions to be chosen by lawmakers as Somalia's new president from among a dozen hopefuls in September elections.

In a sign of the violence still plaguing his country, however, he survived an assassination attempt just days after his inauguration.

"We are working for a Somalia that is at peace with itself and with its neighbors, where its citizens can go about their daily lives in safety," Mohamud told Clinton.

"Instability, violent extremism, and crime in Somalia are threat not only to Somalia, but to the region, and the world at large. We look to the future with hope, pride, and optimism."

The US move opens doors to the country, which will also be the focus of a new international conference to be hosted in Britain in May.

A US official, who asked to remain anonymous, had said no official American aid package was unveiled at Thursday's State Department meeting.

However "the fact that we recognize a government there would allow us to do things through USAID we have not been able to do before," he said, and would also pave the way for aid from the World Bank and the IMF.

(AFP)

Hookers & Blow

Brazilian prostitutes keen to learn the lingo for 2014 World Cup

Link to Article

Fri, 18 Jan 2013 08:04

Brazilian prostitutes keen to learn the lingo for 2014 World CupTop News

Brazilian prostitutes keen to "learn the lingo" for 2014 World Cup

Tue, Jan 08 17:51 PM EST

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Prostitutes in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte are signing up in droves for free language classes in order to be ready for a barrage of foreign visitors to the tropical country during the 2014 soccer World Cup.

The women join many others in Brazilian society, from politicians to construction workers, who are racing the clock to prepare 12 host cities throughout the nation for the international soccer championship.

"When all this chatter about being ready for the World Cup started last year, we decided the women needed to be prepared for it too," Cida Vieira, president of the Minas Gerais state Association of Prostitutes, told Reuters on Tuesday.

The group has solicited volunteers to teach English, Spanish and even Portuguese, she said, explaining that some of the city's sex workers are immigrants who needed to learn Brazil's primary language.

Vieira said demand for the classes could surpass the 300 women who originally expressed interest, with calls coming in from as far away as Sao Paulo, about 509 km (316 miles) from Belo Horizonte.

"This is important for the dignity of the work, the women need to be able to negotiate a fair price and defend themselves," she said.

(Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Paul Simao)

Brazilian prostitutes keen to learn the lingo for 2014 World CupTop News

Brazilian prostitutes keen to "learn the lingo" for 2014 World Cup

Tue, Jan 08 17:51 PM EST

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Prostitutes in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte are signing up in droves for free language classes in order to be ready for a barrage of foreign visitors to the tropical country during the 2014 soccer World Cup.

The women join many others in Brazilian society, from politicians to construction workers, who are racing the clock to prepare 12 host cities throughout the nation for the international soccer championship.

"When all this chatter about being ready for the World Cup started last year, we decided the women needed to be prepared for it too," Cida Vieira, president of the Minas Gerais state Association of Prostitutes, told Reuters on Tuesday.

The group has solicited volunteers to teach English, Spanish and even Portuguese, she said, explaining that some of the city's sex workers are immigrants who needed to learn Brazil's primary language.

Vieira said demand for the classes could surpass the 300 women who originally expressed interest, with calls coming in from as far away as Sao Paulo, about 509 km (316 miles) from Belo Horizonte.

"This is important for the dignity of the work, the women need to be able to negotiate a fair price and defend themselves," she said.

(Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Paul Simao)

Distraction on Doping

Why Lance Armstrong's Confession Should Make You Worry | Playbook | Wired.com

So here's the thing you need to know: The USADA takedown of Armstrong matters, and it could effect everybody. Because it will enhance the power and reach of a private, non-profit business that has managed to harness the power of the federal government in what's quickly becoming a brand new war on drugs ... with all the same pitfalls brought to you by the first war on drugs.

The USADA has wanted Armstrong for years. To it, and to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Armstrong was Moby Dick: If they could kill the whale -- and do it without a raft of positive tests to show Armstrong doped -- a new model of anti-doping would be enshrined into practice. And that's just what happened.

Brian Alexander writes frequently about doping, most recently for Outside magazine; he has also been a contributing editor at Wired. Alexander's most recent book is-The Chemistry Between Us: Love, Sex, and the Science of Attraction (written with Larry Young PhD). He-can be found on Twitter @BrianRAlexander.

Brian Alexander

But the Armstrong case isn't based on testing at all.

Nobody cared much about that treaty. And few care much now, really, because it was understood that anti-doping was about testing athletes -- mostly elite ones.

The USADA is a private outfit. Yet it gets taxpayer money. And it has existed in this weird legal nether world since its creation in 1999 at the instigation of the International Olympic Committee, United States Olympic Committee, and President Clinton's White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. The USADA is designated by the U.S. Congress as the company that handles anti-doping for this country, because the World Anti-Doping Treaty -- a UNESCO-promulgated document that the U.S. signed with almost no discussion -- obligates the U.S. to do a number of things, which includes conforming our laws to the international anti-doping code.

J.J. Abrams to produce Lance Armstrong biopic.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sat, 19 Jan 2013 15:51

AP1/19/2013 2:24:23 AM

(AP) J.J. Abrams to produce Lance Armstrong biopicBy CHRISTY LEMIREAP Movie CriticLOS ANGELESHe's already gotten the Oprah treatment. Now Lance Armstrong is headed for the silver screen.Paramount Pictures and J.J. Abrams' production company, Bad Robot, are planning a biopic about the disgraced cyclist, a studio spokeswoman said Friday.

They've secured the rights to New York Times reporter Juliet Macur's upcoming book "Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong," due out in June. Macur covered the seven-time Tour de France winner for over a decade.

No director, writer, star or start date have been set.

Armstrong is in the midst of a two-part interview with Oprah Winfrey in which he admits to using performance-enhancing drugs to reach his historic victories, something he'd defiantly denied for years. The International Olympic Committee stripped him of his 2000 bronze medal this week.

PodSuit

NPR Really

Podcasting | Personal Audio

Link to Article

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 15:07

The 1996 Personal Audio player incorporated a novel mechanism for automatically identifying and retrieving media files representing episodes in a series as those episodes became available. This mechanism was later widely adopted as the industry-standard technique called ''podcasting.'' The Personal Audio server stored a compilation file that described individual media files which represented episodes in a sequence. The compilation file was stored at a predetermined URL known to the Personal Audio player and was updated as new episodes became available. The client player could then fetch the current version of the compilation file from time to time when connected to the Internet, and download new episodes identified in the compilation file so that they could be played immediately on request, even when the client player was disconnected from the Internet.

Today, podcasts typically take the form of an industry standard RSS or Atom compilation file whose URL is stored by the client player device when the user ''subscribes'' to the podcast. By 2013, it is expected that more than 39 million users will listen to podcasts.

Personal Audio's 1996 precursor to podcasting is described and claimed in Personal Audio's U.S. Patent 8,112,504 and an additional pending divisional application, both of which are entitled ''System for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence.''

Gold!

It Will Take The Fed Seven Years To Deliver 300 Tons Of German Gold | Zero Hedge

Link to Article

Source: Cryptogon News Network

Fri, 18 Jan 2013 02:58

It Will Take The Fed Seven Years To Deliver 300 Tons Of German Gold | Zero Hedge Cryptogon News NetworkHome >> It Will Take The Fed Seven Years To Deliver 300 Tons Of German Gold | Zero HedgeDatabase queries: 38 | Page load time: 0.1s | Memory usage: 5.86 MB | PHP v.5.2.17 | MySQL v.5.5.29-log | Hotaru CMS v.1.4.2

Pharma

Federal Register | Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts

Link to Article

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 14:19

Synopsis of Proposed AmendmentThis proposed amendment responds to two recent Acts that made changes to 18 U.S.C. 2320 (Trafficking in counterfeit goods and services). One Act provided higher penalties for offenses involving counterfeit military goods and services; the other Act provided higher penalties for offenses involving counterfeit drugs, and also included a directive to the Commission. The proposed amendment also responds to recent statutory changes to 21 U.S.C. 333 (Penalties for violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act) that provide higher penalties for offenses involving intentionally adulterated drugs.

(1) Written Public Comment.'--Written public comment regarding the proposed amendments and issues for comment set forth in this notice, including public comment regarding retroactive application of any of the proposed amendments, should be received by the Commission not later than March 19, 2013.

(2) Public Hearing.'--The Commission plans to hold a public hearing regarding the proposed amendments and issues for comment set forth in this notice. Further information regarding the public hearing, including requirements for testifying and providing written testimony, as well as the location, time, and scope of the hearing, will be provided by the Commission on its Web site at www.ussc.gov.

Public comment should be sent to: United States Sentencing Commission, One Columbus Circle NE., Suite 2-500, Washington, DC 20002-8002, Attention: Public Affairs.

Jeanne Doherty, Public Affairs Officer, Telephone: (202) 502-4502.

The United States Sentencing Commission is an independent agency in the judicial branch of the United States Government. The Commission promulgates sentencing guidelines and policy statements for federal courts pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 994(a). The Commission also periodically reviews and revises previously promulgated guidelines pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 994(o) and submits guideline amendments to the Congress not later than the first day of May each year pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 994(p).

The proposed amendments in this notice are presented in one of two formats. First, some of the amendments are proposed as specific revisions to a guideline or commentary. Bracketed text within a proposed amendment indicates a heightened interest on the Commission's part in comment and suggestions regarding alternative policy choices; for example, a proposed enhancement of [2][4][6] levels indicates that the Commission is considering, and invites comment on, alternative policy choices regarding the appropriate level of enhancement. Similarly, bracketed text within a specific offense characteristic or application note means that the Commission specifically invites comment on whether the proposed provision is appropriate. Second, the Commission has highlighted certain issues for comment and invites suggestions on how the Commission should respond to those issues.

The Commission requests public comment regarding whether, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3582(c)(2) and 28 U.S.C. 994(u), any proposed amendment published in this notice should be included in subsection (c) of '1B1.10 (Reduction in Term of Imprisonment as a Result of Amended Guideline Range (Policy Statement)) as an amendment that may be applied retroactively to previously sentenced defendants. The Commission lists in '1B1.10(c) the specific guideline amendments that the court may apply retroactively under 18 U.S.C. 3582(c)(2). The background commentary to '1B1.10 lists the purpose of the amendment, the magnitude of the change in the guideline range made by the amendment, and the difficulty of applying the amendment retroactively to determine an amended guideline range under '1B1.10(b) as among the factors the Commission considers in selecting the amendments included in '1B1.10(c). To the extent practicable, public comment should address each of these factors.

Additional information pertaining to the proposed amendments described in this notice may be accessed through the Commission's Web site at www.ussc.gov.

28 U.S.C. 994(a), (o), (p), (x); USSC Rules of Practice and Procedure, Rule 4.4.

Synopsis of Proposed AmendmentThis proposed amendment responds to the SAFE DOSES Act, Public Law 112B186 (October 5, 2012), which created a new criminal offense at 18 U.S.C. 670 for theft of pre-retail medical products, increased statutory penalties for certain related offenses when a pre-retail medical product is involved, and contained a directive to the Commission to ''review and, if appropriate, amend'' the federal sentencing guidelines and policy statements applicable to the new offense and the related offenses ''to reflect the intent of Congress that penalties for such offenses be sufficient to deter and punish such offenses, and appropriately account for the actual harm to the public from these offenses.''

New Offense at 18 U.S.C. 670The new offense at section 670 makes it unlawful for any person in (or using any means or facility of) interstate or foreign commerce to'--

(1) Embezzle, steal, or by fraud or deception obtain, or knowingly and unlawfully take, carry away, or conceal a pre-retail medical product;

(2) knowingly and falsely make, alter, forge, or counterfeit the labeling or documentation (including documentation relating to origination or shipping) of a pre-retail medical product;

(3) knowingly possess, transport, or traffic in a pre-retail medical product that was involved in a violation of paragraph (1) or (2);

(4) with intent to defraud, buy, or otherwise obtain, a pre-retail medical product that has expired or been stolen;

(5) with intent to defraud, sell, or distribute, a pre-retail medical product that is expired or stolen; or

(6) attempt or conspire to violate any of paragraphs (1) through (5).

The offense generally carries a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of three years. If the offense is an ''aggravated offense,'' however, higher statutory maximum terms of imprisonment are provided. The offense is an ''aggravated offense'' if'--

(1) The defendant is employed by, or is an agent of, an organization in the supply chain for the pre-retail medical product; or

(2) the violation'--

(A) involves the use of violence, force, or a threat of violence or force;

(B) involves the use of a deadly weapon;

(C) results in serious bodily injury or death, including serious bodily injury or death resulting from the use of the medical product involved; or

(D) is subsequent to a prior conviction for an offense under section 670.

Specifically, the higher statutory maximum terms of imprisonment are:

(1) Five years, if'--

(A) the defendant is employed by, or is an agent of, an organization in the supply chain for the pre-retail medical product; or

(B) the violation (i) involves the use of violence, force, or a threat of violence or force, (ii) involves the use of a deadly weapon, or (iii) is subsequent to a prior conviction for an offense under section 670.

(2) 15 years, if the value of the medical products involved in the offense is $5,000 or greater.

(3) 20 years, if both (1) and (2) apply.

(4) 30 years, if the offense results in serious bodily injury or death, including serious bodily injury or death resulting from the use of the medical product involved.

The proposed amendment amends Appendix A (Statutory Index) to reference the new offense at 18 U.S.C. 670 to ¤ 2B1.1 (Theft, Property Destruction, and Fraud). In addition, the possibility of providing an additional reference to ¤ 2A1.4 (Involuntary Manslaughter) is bracketed.

The proposed amendment also adds a new specific offense characteristic to ¤ 2B1.1. The new specific offense characteristic provides an enhancement of [2][4] levels if the offense involves a pre-retail medical product [and (A) the offense involved (i) the use of violence, force, or a threat of violence or force; or (ii) the use of a deadly weapon; (B) the offense resulted in serious bodily injury or death, including serious bodily injury or death resulting from the use of the medical product involved; or (C) the defendant was employed by, or was an agent of, an organization in the supply chain for the pre-retail medical product]. It also provides a minimum offense level of level 14. It also amends the commentary to ¤ 2B1.1 to specify that the term ''pre-retail medical product'' has the meaning given that term in section 670(e).

Issue for CommentA multi-part issue for comment is also included on whether any changes to the guidelines instead of, or in addition to, the changes in the proposed amendment should be made to respond to the new offense, the statutory penalty increases made by the Act, and the directive to the Commission.

Proposed AmendmentSection 2B1.1(b) is amended by redesignating paragraphs (14) through (18) as (15) through (19), respectively; by inserting after paragraph (13) the following:

''(14) If the offense involved a pre-retail medical product [and (A) the offense involved the use of (i) violence, force, or a threat of violence or force; or (ii) a deadly weapon; (B) the offense resulted in serious bodily injury or death, including serious bodily injury or death resulting from the use of the medical product involved; or (C) the defendant was employed by, or was an agent of, an organization in the supply chain for the pre-retail medical product], increase by [2][4] levels. If the resulting offense level is less than level 14, increase to level 14.''; and

in paragraph (16)(B) (as so redesignated) by striking ''(b)(15)(B)'' and inserting ''(b)(16)(B)''.

The Commentary to ¤ 2B1.1 captioned ''Application Notes'' is amended in Note 1 by inserting after the paragraph beginning '' 'Personal information' means'' the following:

'' 'Pre-retail medical product' has the meaning given that term in 18 U.S.C. 670(e).'';and by inserting after the paragraph beginning '' 'Publicly trade company' means'' the following:

'' 'Supply chain' has the meaning given that term in 18 U.S.C. 670(e).''.

The Commentary to ¤ 2B1.1 captioned ''Background'' is amended by inserting after the paragraph beginning ''Subsection (b)(12)'' the following:

''Subsection (b)(14) implements the directive to the Commission in section 7 of Public Law 112B186.'';

in the paragraph beginning ''Subsection (b)(14)(B)'' by striking ''(b)(14)(B)'' and inserting ''(b)(15)(B)''; in the paragraph beginning ''Subsection (b)(15)(A)'' by striking ''(b)(15)(A)'' and inserting ''(b)(16)(A)''; in the paragraph beginning ''Subsection (b)(15)(B)(i)'' by striking ''(b)(15)(B)(i)'' and inserting ''(b)(16)(B)(i)''; in the paragraph beginning ''Subsection (b)(16)'' by striking ''(b)(16)'' and inserting ''(b)(17)''; and in the paragraph beginning ''Subsection (b)(17)'' by striking ''(b)(17)'' and inserting ''(b)(18)'', and striking ''(b)(17)(B)'' and inserting ''(b)(18)(B)''.

Appendix A (Statutory Index) is amended by inserting after the line referenced to 18 U.S.C. 669 the following:

''18 U.S.C. 670 [2A1.4,] 2B1.1''.

Issue for Comment1. In addition to creating the new offense under section 670, the Act increased penalties for some related offenses when those offenses involve a pre-retail medical product. In particular, the Act added an increased penalty provision to each of the following statutes:

(A) 18 U.S.C. 659 (theft from interstate or foreign shipments by carrier), which is referenced to ¤ 2B1.1.

(B) 18 U.S.C. 1952 (travel in aid of racketeering), which is referenced to ¤ 2E1.2 (Interstate or Foreign Travel or Transportation in Aid of a Racketeering Enterprise).

(C) 18 U.S.C. 1957 (money laundering in aid of racketeering), which is referenced to ¤ 2S1.1 (Laundering of Monetary Instruments; Engaging in Monetary Transactions in Property Derived from Unlawful Activity).

(D) 18 U.S.C. 2117 (breaking or entering facilities of carriers in interstate or foreign commerce), which is referenced to ¤ 2B2.1 (Burglary of a Residence or a Structure Other than a Residence).

(E) 18 U.S.C. 2314 (transportation of stolen goods) and 2315 (sale or receipt of stolen goods), each of which are referenced to both ¤¤ 2B1.1 and 2B1.5 (Theft of, Damage to, or Destruction of, Cultural Heritage Resources or Paleontological Resources; Unlawful Sale, Purchase, Exchange, Transportation, or Receipt of Cultural Heritage Resources or Paleontological Resources).

For each of these existing statutes, the Act amended the penalty provision to provide that if the offense involved a pre-retail medical product, the punishment for the offense shall be the same as the punishment for an offense under section 670, unless the punishment under the existing statute is greater.

An additional statutory provision identified in the directive to the Commission (but not amended by the Act) is 18 U.S.C. 2118 (robberies and burglaries involving controlled substances), which contains several distinct offenses. The guidelines to which these various offenses are referenced include ¤¤ 2A1.1, 2A2.1, 2A2.2, 2B2.1, 2B3.1 (Robbery), and 2X1.1.

The directive to the Commission provided that the Commission shall ''review and, if appropriate, amend'' the federal sentencing guidelines and policy statements applicable to offenses under section 670; under section 2118 of title 18, United States Code; or under any other section amended by the Act ''to reflect the intent of Congress that penalties for such offenses be sufficient to deter and punish such offenses, and appropriately account for the actual harm to the public from these offenses.'' The Act further states that, in carrying out the directive, the Commission shall'--

(1) Consider the extent to which the Federal sentencing guidelines and policy statements appropriately reflect'--

(A) The serious nature of such offenses;

(B) The incidence of such offenses; and

(C) The need for an effective deterrent and appropriate punishment to prevent such offenses;

(2) Consider establishing a minimum offense level under the Federal sentencing guidelines and policy statements for offenses covered by this Act;

(3) Account for any additional aggravating or mitigating circumstances that might justify exceptions to the generally applicable sentencing ranges;

(4) Ensure reasonable consistency with other relevant directives, Federal sentencing guidelines and policy statements;

(5) Make any necessary conforming changes to the Federal sentencing guidelines and policy statements; and

(6) Ensure that the Federal sentencing guidelines and policy statements adequately meet the purposes of sentencing set forth in section 3553(a)(2) of title 18, United States Code.

Issue for CommentThe Commission seeks comment on whether any changes to the guidelines instead of, or in addition to, the changes in the proposed amendment should be made to respond to the new offense, the statutory penalty increases made by the Act, and the directive to the Commission.

(1) First, the Commission seeks comment on the guideline or guidelines to which offenses under section 670, and other offenses covered by the directive, should be referenced. In particular:

(A) The proposed amendment would reference offenses under section 670 to ¤ 2B1.1, and brackets the possibility of an additional reference to ¤ 2A1.4. Should the Commission reference section 670 to one or more guidelines'--such as ¤ 2B5.3 (Criminal Infringement of Copyright or Trademark), ¤ 2N1.1 (Tampering or Attempting to Tamper Involving Risk of Death or Bodily Injury), or ¤ 2N2.1 (Violations of Statutes and Regulations Dealing With Any Food, Drug, Biological Product, Device, Cosmetic, Agricultural Product, or Consumer Product)'--instead of, or in addition to, the proposed reference(s) to ¤ 2A1.4 and ¤ 2B1.1? If so, which ones?

(B) Similarly, should the Commission reference any of the other offenses covered by the directive to one or more guidelines instead of, or in addition to, the guideline or guidelines to which they are currently referenced? If so, which ones?

(2) Second, the Commission seeks comment on the proposed amendment to ¤ 2B1.1, which would provide a new specific offense characteristic if the offense involves a pre-retail medical product [and (A) the offense involved the use of (i) violence, force, or a threat of violence or force; or (ii) a deadly weapon; (B) the offense resulted in serious bodily injury or death, including serious bodily injury or death resulting from the use of the medical product involved; or (C) the defendant was employed by, or was an agent of, an organization in the supply chain for the pre-retail medical product]. In particular:

(A) If the Commission were to promulgate the proposed amendment, how should the new specific offense characteristic interact with other specific offense characteristics in ¤ 2B1.1? In particular, how should it interact with'--

(i) The specific offense characteristic at ¤ 2B1.1(b)(13)(B), which provides a 2-level enhancement and a minimum offense level of 14 if the offense involved an organized scheme to steal or to receive stolen goods or chattels that are part of a cargo shipment; and

(ii) The specific offense characteristic currently at ¤ 2B1.1(b)(14), which provides a 2-level enhancement and a minimum offense level 14 if the offense involved a risk of death or serious bodily injury or possession of a dangerous weapon?

Should the new specific offense characteristic be fully cumulative with these current specific offense characteristics, or should the impact be less than fully cumulative in cases where more than one apply?

(B) Does the proposed amendment adequately respond to requirement (2) of the directive that the Commission consider establishing a minimum offense level for offenses covered by the Act? If not, what minimum offense level, if any, should the Commission provide for offenses covered by the Act, and under what circumstances should it apply?

(C) Does the proposed amendment adequately respond to requirement (3) of the directive that the Commission account for the aggravating and mitigating circumstances involved in the offenses covered by the Act? If not, what aggravating and mitigating circumstances should be accounted for, and what new provisions, or changes to existing provisions should be made to account for them?

(D) Does the proposed amendment adequately respond to the other requirements of the directive, in paragraphs (1), (4), (5), and (6)? If not, what other changes, if any, should the Commission make to the guidelines to respond to the directive?

(3) Section 670(e) defines the term ''pre-retail medical product'' to mean ''a medical product that has not yet been made available for retail purchase by a consumer.'' The proposed amendment would adopt this statutory definition. The Commission seeks comment on this definition. Is this definition adequately clear? If not, in what situations is this definition likely to be unclear and what guidance, if any, should the Commission provide to address such situations? Does the definition of the term ''supply chain'' (see18 U.S.C. 670(e) (stating that the term ''supply chain'' includes ''manufacturer, wholesaler, repacker, own-labeled distributor, private-label distributor, jobber, broker, drug trader, transportation company, hospital, pharmacy, or security company'')) inform the determination of whether the medical product has been made available for retail purchase by a consumer?

(4) The Commission seeks comment on how, if at all, the guidelines should be amended to account for the aggravating factor in section 670 that increases the statutory maximum term of imprisonment if the defendant is employed by, or is an agent of, an organization in the supply chain for the pre-retail medical product. Is this factor already adequately addressed by existing provisions in the guidelines, such as the adjustment in ¤ 3B1.3 (Abuse of Position of Trust or Use of Special Skill)? If not, how, if at all, should the Commission amend the guidelines to account for this factor?

(5) Finally, the Commission seeks comment on what changes, if any, it should make to the guidelines to which the other offenses covered by the directive are referenced to account for the statutory changes or the directive, or both. For example, if the Commission were to promulgate the proposed amendment to ¤ 2B1.1, adding a new specific offense characteristic to that guideline, should the Commission provide a similar specific offense characteristic in the other guidelines to which the other offenses covered by the directive are referenced?

Issue for Comment1. Section 3 of the Foreign and Economic Espionage Penalty Enhancement Act of 2012, Public Law 112-__, contains a directive to the Commission on offenses involving stolen trade secrets or economic espionage. The Commission seeks comment on what, if any, changes to the guidelines are appropriate to respond to the directive.

The DirectiveSection 3(a) of the Act directs the Commission to ''review and, if appropriate, amend'' the guidelines ''applicable to persons convicted of offenses relating to the transmission or attempted transmission of a stolen trade secret outside of the United States or economic espionage, in order to reflect the intent of Congress that penalties for such offenses under the Federal sentencing guidelines and policy statements appropriately, reflect the seriousness of these offenses, account for the potential and actual harm caused by these offenses, and provide adequate deterrence against such offenses.''

Section 3(b) of the Act states that, in carrying out the directive, the Commission shall'--

''(1) consider the extent to which the Federal sentencing guidelines and policy statements appropriately account for the simple misappropriation of a trade secret, including the sufficiency of the existing enhancement for these offenses to address the seriousness of this conduct;

''(2) consider whether additional enhancements in the Federal sentencing guidelines and policy statements are appropriate to account for'--

''(A) the transmission or attempted transmission of a stolen trade secret outside of the United States; and

''(B) the transmission or attempted transmission of a stolen trade secret outside of the United States that is committed or attempted to be committed for the benefit of a foreign government, foreign instrumentality, or foreign agent;

''(3) ensure the Federal sentencing guidelines and policy statements reflect the seriousness of these offenses and the need to deter such conduct;

''(4) ensure reasonable consistency with other relevant directives, Federal sentencing guidelines and policy statements, and related Federal statutes;

''(5) make any necessary conforming changes to the Federal sentencing guidelines and policy statements; and

''(6) ensure that the Federal sentencing guidelines adequately meet the purposes of sentencing as set forth in section 3553(a)(2) of title 18, United States Code.''.

The Offenses Described in the DirectiveOffenses described in the directive'--the transmission or attempted transmission of a stolen trade secret outside the United States; and economic espionage'--may be punished under 18 U.S.C. 1831 (Economic espionage), which requires as an element of the offense that the defendant specifically intend or know that the offense ''will benefit any foreign government, foreign instrumentality, or foreign agent''. Offenses described in the directive may also be punished under 18 U.S.C. 1832 (Trade secrets), which does not require such specific intent or knowledge, but does require that the trade secret relate to a product in interstate or foreign commerce.

Section 2 of the Act amended section 1831 to raise the maximum fine imposable for such an offense. The maximum fine for an individual was raised from $500,000 to $5,000,000, and the maximum fine for an organization was raised from $10,000,000 to either $10,000,000 or ''3 times the value of the stolen trade secret to the organization, including expenses for research and design and other costs of reproducing the trade secret that the organization has thereby avoided'', whichever is greater.

The statutory maximum terms of imprisonment are 15 years for a section 1831 offense and 10 years for a section 1832 offense. Offenses under sections 1831 and 1832 are referenced in Appendix A (Statutory Index) to ¤ 2B1.1 (Theft, Property Destruction, and Fraud).

Offenses described in the directive may also be punished under other criminal statutes relating to trade secrets under specific circumstances. Examples of two such statutes are 18 U.S.C. 1905 (class A misdemeanor for disclosure of confidential information, including trade secrets, by public employees) and 7 U.S.C. 136h (class A misdemeanor for disclosure of trade secrets involving insecticides, by Environmental Protection Agency employees). Section 1905 is referenced in Appendix A (Statutory Index) to ¤ 2H3.1 (Interception of Communications; Eavesdropping; Disclosure of Certain Private or Protected Information). Section 136h is not referenced in Appendix A (Statutory Index).

Applicable Provisions in the GuidelinesThe following provisions in the guidelines, among others, address offenses involving trade secrets:

(1) Section 2B1.1(b)(5) contains a 2-level enhancement that applies ''[i]f the offense involved misappropriation of a trade secret and the defendant knew or intended that the offense would benefit a foreign government, foreign instrumentality, or foreign agent''.

(2) Application Note 3(C)(ii) of the Commentary to ¤ 2B1.1 provides that, in a case involving trade secrets or other proprietary information, the court when estimating loss for purposes of the loss enhancement in ¤ 2B1.1(b)(1) should consider, among other factors, ''the cost of developing that information or the reduction in the value of that information that resulted from the offense.''

Request for CommentThe Commission seeks comment on what, if any, changes to the guidelines should be made to respond to the directive. In particular, the Commission seeks comment on the following:

(1) What offenses, if any, other than sections 1831 and 1832 should the Commission consider in responding to the directive? What guidelines, if any, other than ¤ 2B1.1 should the Commission consider amending in response to the directive?

(2) What should the Commission consider in reviewing the seriousness of the offenses described in the directive, the potential and actual harm caused by these offenses, and the need to provide adequate deterrence against such offenses?

(3) Do the guidelines appropriately account for the simple misappropriation of a trade secret? Is the existing enhancement at ¤ 2B1.1(b)(5), which provides a 2-level enhancement ''[i]f the offense involved misappropriation of a trade secret and the defendant knew or intended that the offense would benefit a foreign government, foreign instrumentality, or foreign agent,'' sufficient to address the seriousness of the conduct involved in the offenses described in the directive?

(4) Should the Commission provide one or more additional enhancements to account for (A) the transmission or attempted transmission of a stolen trade secret outside of the United States; and (B) the transmission or attempted transmission of a stolen trade secret outside of the United States that is committed or attempted to be committed for the benefit of a foreign government, foreign instrumentality, or foreign agent? If so, under what circumstances should such an enhancement apply, and what level of enhancement should apply?

(5) Should the Commission restructure the existing 2-level enhancement in subsection (b)(5) into a tiered enhancement that directs the court to apply the greatest of the following:

(A) An enhancement of 2 levels if the offense involved the simple misappropriation of a trade secret;

(B) An enhancement of 4 levels if the defendant transmitted or attempted to transmit the stolen trade secret outside of the United States; and

(C) An enhancement of [5][6] levels if the defendant committed economic espionage, i.e., the defendant knew or intended that the offense would benefit a foreign government, foreign instrumentality, or foreign agent?

(6) Should the Commission provide a minimum offense level of [14][16] if the defendant transmitted or attempted to transmit stolen trade secrets outside of the United States or committed economic espionage?

Synopsis of Proposed AmendmentThis proposed amendment responds to two recent Acts that made changes to 18 U.S.C. 2320 (Trafficking in counterfeit goods and services). One Act provided higher penalties for offenses involving counterfeit military goods and services; the other Act provided higher penalties for offenses involving counterfeit drugs, and also included a directive to the Commission. The proposed amendment also responds to recent statutory changes to 21 U.S.C. 333 (Penalties for violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act) that provide higher penalties for offenses involving intentionally adulterated drugs.

A 18 U.S.C. 2320 and Offenses Involving Counterfeit Military Goods and Services and Counterfeit DrugsIn general, section 2320 prohibits trafficking in goods or services using a counterfeit mark, and provides a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years (or, for a repeat offender, 20 years). If the offender knowingly or recklessly causes or attempts to cause serious bodily injury or death, the statutory maximum is increased to 20 years (if serious bodily injury) or to any term of years or life (if death). Offenses under section 2320 are referenced in Appendix A (Statutory Index) to ¤ 2B5.3 (Criminal Infringement of Copyright or Trademark).

Two recent Acts made changes to section 2320. First, section 818 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, Public Law 112-81 (December 31, 2011), amended section 2320 to add a new subsection (a)(3) that prohibits trafficking in counterfeit military goods and services, the use, malfunction, or failure of which is likely to cause serious bodily injury or death, the disclosure of classified information, impairment of combat operations, or other significant harm to a combat operation, a member of the Armed Forces, or national security. A ''counterfeit military good or service'' is a good or service that uses a counterfeit mark and that (A) is falsely identified or labeled as meeting military specifications, or (B) is intended for use in a military or national security application. See18 U.S.C. 2320(f)(4). An individual who commits an offense under subsection (a)(3) involving a counterfeit military good or service is subject to a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, or 30 years for a second or subsequent offense. See18 U.S.C. 2320(b)(3).

Second, section 717 of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, Public Law 112-144 (July 9, 2012), amended section 2320 to add a new subsection (a)(4) that prohibits trafficking in a counterfeit drug. A ''counterfeit drug'' is a drug, as defined by section 201 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, that uses a counterfeit mark. See18 U.S.C. 2320(f)(6). An individual who commits an offense under subsection (a)(4) involving a counterfeit drug is subject to the same statutory maximum term of imprisonment as for an offense involving a counterfeit military good or service'--20 years, or 30 years for a second or subsequent offense. See18 U.S.C. 2320(b)(3).

Section 717 of that Act also contained a directive to the Commission to ''review and amend, if appropriate'' the guidelines and policy statements applicable to persons convicted of an offense described in section 2320(a)(4)'--i.e., offenses involving counterfeit drugs'--''in order to reflect the intent of Congress that such penalties be increased in comparison to those currently provided by the guidelines and policy statements''. SeePublic Law 112-144, ¤ 717(b). In addition, section 717(b)(2) provides that, in responding to the directive, the Commission shallC

(A) Ensure that the sentencing guidelines and policy statements reflect the intent of Congress that the guidelines and policy statements reflect the serious nature of offenses under section 2320(a)(4) and the need for an effective deterrent and appropriate punishment to prevent such offenses;

(B) Consider the extent to which the guidelines may or may not appropriately account for the potential and actual harm to the public resulting from the offense;

(C) Assure reasonable consistency with other relevant directives and with other sentencing guidelines;

(D) Account for any additional aggravating or mitigating circumstances that might justify exceptions to the generally applicable sentencing ranges;

(E) Make any necessary conforming changes to the sentencing guidelines; and

(F) Assure that the guidelines adequately meet the purposes of sentencing as set forth in section 3553(a)(2) of title 18, United States Code.

Parts A and B of the proposed amendment respond to the statutory changes to section 2320 made by these Acts and implement the directive.

A. Counterfeit Military Goods and ServicesPart A addresses the issue of counterfeit military goods and services and contains four options. The first three options each add a new specific offense characteristic to ¤ 2B5.3. Each of these three options provides an enhancement of [2][4] levels and a minimum offense level of level 14, but they apply to different circumstances.

Option 1 closely tracks the statutory language. It applies only if the offense involves a counterfeit military good or service ''the use, malfunction, or failure of which is likely to cause serious bodily injury or death, the disclosure of classified information, impairment of combat operations, or other significant harm to a combat operation, a member of the Armed Forces, or to national security.''

Option 2 applies to any offense that involves a counterfeit military good or service.

Option 3 is not limited to counterfeit military goods or services. It applies if the defendant knew the offense involved (A) a critical infrastructure; or (B) a product sold for use in national defense or national security or by law enforcement.

Option 4 takes a different approach than the first three options. It references offenses under section 2320(a)(3) to ¤ 2M2.3 (Destruction of, or Production of Defective, National Defense Material, Premises, or Utilities), with the possibility of an additional reference to ¤ 2M2.1 (Destruction of, or Production of Defective, War Material, Premises, or Utilities) also bracketed.

B. Counterfeit DrugsPart B addresses the issue of counterfeit drugs and contains three options.

Option 1 adds a new specific offense characteristic to ¤ 2B5.3. It provides an enhancement of [2][4] levels and a minimum offense level of level 14 if the offense involves a counterfeit drug.

Option 2 revises the specific offense characteristic currently at ¤ 2B5.3(b)(5), which provides an enhancement of 2 levels, and a minimum offense level of level 14, if the offense involved (A) the conscious or reckless risk of death or serious bodily injury, or (B) possession of a dangerous weapon (including a firearm) in connection with the offense. As revised, this specific offense characteristic would have three tiers and an instruction to apply the greatest. The first tier would provide an enhancement of 2 levels, and a minimum offense level of 12, if the offense involved a counterfeit drug. The second tier would provide an enhancement of 2 levels, and a minimum offense level of 14, if the offense involved possession of a dangerous weapon in connection with the offense. The third tier would provide an enhancement of 4 levels, and a minimum offense level of 14, if the offense involved the conscious or reckless risk of death or serious bodily injury.

Options 1 and 2 each would also amend the Commentary to ¤ 2B5.3 to indicate that a departure may be warranted it the offense resulted in death or serious bodily injury.

Option 3 takes a different approach than the first two options. It references offenses under section 2320(a)(4) to ¤ 2N1.1 (Tampering or Attempting to Tamper Involving Risk of Death or Bodily Injury).

C. 21 U.S.C. 333 and Offenses Involving Intentionally Adulterated DrugsIn general, section 333(b) involves prescription drug marketing violations under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and provides a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. Offenses under section 333(b) are referenced in Appendix A (Statutory Index) to ¤ 2N2.1 (Violations of Statutes and Regulations Dealing With Any Food, Drug, Biological Product, Device, Cosmetic, Agricultural Product, or Consumer Product).

Section 716 of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, Public Law 112-144 (July 9, 2012), amended 21 U.S.C. 333 to add a new penalty provision at subsection (b)(7). Subsection (b)(7) applies to any person who knowingly and intentionally adulterates a drug such that the drug is adulterated under certain provisions of 21 U.S.C. 351 and has a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals. It provides a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

Part C of the proposed amendment presents two options for addressing the offense under section 333(b)(7). Option 1 establishes a new alternative base offense level of level 14 in ¤ 2N2.1 for cases in which the defendant is convicted under section 333(b)(7). Option 2 amends Appendix A (Statutory Index) to reference offenses under section 333(b)(7) to ¤ 2N1.1 (Tampering or Attempting to Tamper Involving Risk of Death or Bodily Injury).

Issues for CommentFinally, the proposed amendment provides a series of issues for comment on offenses involving counterfeit military goods and services under section 2320, counterfeit drugs under section 2320, and intentionally adulterated drugs under section 333(b)(7).

Proposed Amendment(A) Offenses Under Section 2320 Involving Counterfeit Military Goods and ServicesOption 1:

Section 2B5.3(b) is amended by redesignating paragraph (5) as (6) and inserting after paragraph (4) the following:

''(5) If the offense involved a counterfeit military good or service the use, malfunction, or failure of which is likely to cause serious bodily injury or death, the disclosure of classified information, impairment of combat operations, or other significant harm to a combat operation, a member of the Armed Forces, or to national security, increase by [2][4] levels. If the resulting offense level is less than level 14, increase to level 14.''.

The Commentary to ¤ 2B1.1 captioned ''Application Notes'' is amended in Note 1 by inserting after the paragraph beginning '' 'Commercial advantage'' the following:

'' 'Counterfeit military good or service' has the meaning given that term in 18 U.S.C. 2320(f)(4).''.

Option 2:

Section 2B5.3(b) is amended by redesignating paragraph (5) as (6) and inserting after paragraph (4) the following:

''(5) If the offense involved a counterfeit military good or service, increase by [2][4] levels. If the resulting offense level is less than level 14, increase to level 14.''.

The Commentary to ¤ 2B1.1 captioned ''Application Notes'' is amended in Note 1 by inserting after the paragraph beginning ''Commercial advantage'' the following:

'' 'Counterfeit military good or service' has the meaning given that term in 18 U.S.C. 2320(f)(4).''.

Option 3:

Section 2B5.3(b) is amended by redesignating paragraph (5) as (6) and inserting after paragraph (4) the following:

''(5) If [the defendant knew] the offense involved a good or service used to maintain or operate a critical infrastructure; or used by or for a government entity in furtherance of the administration of justice, national defense, or national security, increase by [2][4] levels. If the resulting offense level is less than level 14, increase to level 14.''.

The Commentary to ¤ 2B1.1 captioned ''Application Notes'' is amended by redesignating Notes 3 and 4 as 4 and 5, respectively; and by inserting after Note 2 the following:

''3. Application of Subsection (b)(5).'--

(A) Definitions.'--In subsection (b)(5):

'Critical infrastructure' means systems and assets vital to national defense, national security, economic security, public health or safety, or any combination of those matters. A critical infrastructure may be publicly or privately owned. Examples of critical infrastructures include gas and oil production, storage, and delivery systems, water supply systems, telecommunications networks, electrical power delivery systems, financing and banking systems, emergency services (including medical, police, fire, and rescue services), transportation systems and services (including highways, mass transit, airlines, and airports), and government operations that provide essential services to the public.

'Government entity' has the meaning given that term in 18 U.S.C. 1030(e)(9).

(B) Application.'--Subsection (b)(5) applies to offenses in which the good or service was important in furthering the administration of justice, national defense, national security, economic security, or public health or safety. The enhancement ordinarily would apply, for example, in a case in which the defendant sold counterfeit semiconductors for use in a military system. But it ordinarily would not apply in a case in which the defendant sold counterfeit toner cartridges for use in printers at military headquarters.''.

Option 4:

Appendix A (Statutory Index) is amended by striking the line referenced to 18 U.S.C. 2320 and inserting the following:

''18 U.S.C. 2320(a)(1),(2) 2B5.3

18 U.S.C. 2320(a)(3) [2M2.1,] 2M2.3''.

(B) Offenses Under Section 2320 Involving Counterfeit DrugsOption 1:

Section 2B5.3(b) is amended by redesignating paragraph (5) as (6) and inserting after paragraph (4) the following:

''(5) If the offense involved a counterfeit drug, increase by [2][4] levels. If the resulting offense level is less than level 14, increase to level 14.''.

The Commentary to ¤ 2B5.3 captioned ''Application Notes'' is amended in Note 1 by inserting after the paragraph beginning '' 'Commercial advantage'' the following:

'' `Counterfeit drug' has the meaning given that term in 18 U.S.C. 2320(f)(6).''; and in Note 4 by adding at the end the following:

''(D) The offense resulted in death or serious bodily injury.''.

Option 2:

Section 2B5.3(b) is amended by amending paragraph (5) to read as follows:

''(5) (Apply the Greatest):

(A) If the offense involved a counterfeit drug, increase by 2 levels. If the resulting offense level is less than level 12, increase to level 12.

(B) If the offense involved possession of a dangerous weapon (including a firearm) in connection with the offense, increase by 2 levels. If the resulting offense level is less than level 14, increase to level 14.

(C) If the offense involved the conscious or reckless risk of death or serious bodily injury, increase by 4 levels. If the resulting offense level is less than level 14, increase to level 14.''.

The Commentary to ¤ 2B1.1 captioned ''Application Notes'' is amended in Note 1 by inserting after the paragraph beginning '' 'Commercial advantage'' the following:

'' 'Counterfeit drug' has the meaning given that term in 18 U.S.C. 2320(f)(6).''; and in Note 4 by adding at the end the following:

''(D) The offense resulted in death or serious bodily injury.''.

Option 3:

Appendix A (Statutory Index) is amended by striking the line referenced to 18 U.S.C. 2320 and inserting the following:

''18 U.S.C. 2320(a)(1),(2) 2B5.3

18 U.S.C. 2320(a)(4) 2N1.1''.

(C) Offenses Under Section 333(b)(7) Involving Intentionally Adulterated DrugsSection 2N2.1 is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

''(a) Base Offense Level: (Apply the Greater)

(1) 14, if the defendant was convicted under 21 U.S.C. 333(b)(7); or

(2) 6, otherwise.''; and

in subsection (c)(1) by inserting ''[, if the resulting offense level is greater than that determined above]'' before the period at the end.

Option 2:

Appendix A (Statutory Index) is amended by striking the line referenced to 21 U.S.C. 333(b) and inserting the following:

''21 U.S.C. 333(b)(1)B(6) 2N2.1

21 U.S.C. 333(b)(7) 2N1.1''.

Issues for Comment1. Offenses Under 18 U.S.C. 2320 Involving Counterfeit Military Goods and ServicesOptions 1, 2, and 3 of the proposed amendment would provide a new specific offense characteristic in ¤ 2B5.3 for offenses involving counterfeit military goods and services. If the Commission were to adopt Option 1, 2, or 3, how should this new specific offense characteristic interact with other specific offense characteristics in ¤ 2B5.3? In particular, how should it interact with the specific offense characteristic currently at ¤ 2B5.3(b)(5), which provides a 2-level enhancement and a minimum offense level 14 if the offense involved a risk of death or serious bodily injury or possession of a dangerous weapon? Should the new specific offense characteristic be fully cumulative with the current one, or should they be less than fully cumulative in cases where both apply?

Option 2 of the proposed amendment would apply to any case in which the offense involved a counterfeit military good or service. Is the scope of this option overly broad? Are there types of cases involving a counterfeit military good or service that should not be covered by Option 2? If so, what types of cases? For example, should the Commission provide an application note for Option 2 similar to the proposed application note 3(B) contained in Option 3, requiring that the counterfeit military good or service be important in furthering national security?

Option 3 of the proposed amendment would apply to any case in which the offense involved a good or service used to maintain or operate a critical infrastructure, or used by or for a government entity in furtherance of the administration of justice, national defense, or national security. The language used in this option parallels the language regarding critical infrastructure in ¤ 2B1.1 (Theft, Property Destruction, and Fraud). In this new context, is the scope of this language overly broad? Are there types of cases that should not be covered by Option 3? If so, what types of cases?

Option 4 of the proposed amendment would reference offenses under section 2320 that involve counterfeit military goods or services (e.g., offenses described in section 2320(a)(3)) to [¤ 2M2.1 (Destruction of, or Production of Defective, War Material, Premises, or Utilities) and] ¤ 2M2.3 (Destruction of, or Production of Defective, National Defense Material, Premises, or Utilities). If the Commission were to adopt Option 4, what changes, if any, should the Commission make to those guidelines to better account for such offenses?

2. Offenses Under 18 U.S.C. 2320 Involving Counterfeit Drugs (and Response to Directive)Option 1 of the proposed amendment would provide a new specific offense characteristic in ¤ 2B5.3 for offenses involving counterfeit drugs. If the Commission were to adopt Option 1, how should this new specific offense characteristic interact with other specific offense characteristics in ¤ 2B5.3? In particular, how should it interact with the specific offense characteristic currently at ¤ 2B5.3(b)(5), which provides a 2-level enhancement and a minimum offense level 14 if the offense involved a risk of death or serious bodily injury or possession of a dangerous weapon? Should the new specific offense characteristic be fully cumulative with the current one, or should they be less than fully cumulative in cases where both apply?

Option 3 of the proposed amendment would reference offenses under section 2320 that involve counterfeit drugs (e.g., offenses described in section 2320(a)(4)) to ¤ 2N1.1 (Tampering or Attempting to Tamper Involving Risk of Death or Serious Bodily Injury). If the Commission were to adopt Option 3, what changes, if any, should the Commission make to that guideline to better account for such offenses?

In addition, to assist the Commission in determining how best to respond to the directive, the Commission seeks comment on offenses under section 2320 involving counterfeit drugs. What actual and potential harms to the public do such offenses pose? What aggravating and mitigating circumstances may be involved in such offenses that are not already adequately addressed in the guidelines? For example, if death or serious bodily injury resulted from the offense, should that circumstance be addressed by a departure provision, by a specific offense characteristic, by a cross-reference to another guideline (e.g., a homicide guideline), or in some other manner?

Does the new specific offense characteristic in Option 1, or the revised specific offense characteristic in Option 2, adequately respond to the directive? If not, what changes, if any, should the Commission make to ¤ 2B5.3 to better account for offenses under section 2320(a)(4) and the factors identified in the directive?

In the alternative, does Option 3 of the proposed amendment'--referencing offenses involving counterfeit drugs to ¤ 2N1.1'--adequately respond to the directive? If not, what changes, if any, should the Commission make to ¤ 2N1.1 to better account for offenses under section 2320(a)(4) and the factors identified in the directive?

3. Offenses Under 21 U.S.C. 333(b)(7) Involving Intentionally Adulterated DrugsOption 2 of the proposed amendment amends Appendix A (Statutory Index) to reference offenses under section 333(b)(7) to ¤ 2N1.1 (Tampering or Attempting to Tamper Involving Risk of Death or Bodily Injury). Section 2N1.1 provides a base offense level of 25 and an enhancement of 2 to 4 levels if the victim sustained serious bodily injury, depending on whether the injury was permanent or life-threatening. Section 2N1.1 also contains cross-references to other guidelines and a special instruction for certain cases involving more than one victim.

If the Commission were to reference offenses under section 333(b)(7) to ¤ 2N1.1, as the proposed amendment provides, what changes, if any, should the Commission make to ¤ 2N1.1 to better account for offenses under section 333(b)(7)?

Option 1 of the proposed amendment contemplates that offenses under section 333(b)(7) would be referenced to ¤ 2N2.1. Section 2N2.1 provides a base offense level 6 and an enhancement for repeat offenders under 21 U.S.C. 331. It also provides a cross reference to ¤ 2B1.1 (Theft, Property Destruction, and Fraud) if the offense involved fraud and a cross reference to any other offense guideline if the offense was committed in furtherance of, or to conceal, an offense covered by that other offense guideline. If offenses under section 333(b)(7) are to be sentenced under ¤ 2N2.1, what changes, if any, should the Commission make to ¤ 2N2.1? For example, should the Commission adopt Option 1, which would provide an alternative base offense level of 14 if the defendant was convicted under section 333(b)(7)? Should the Commission provide a different alternative base offense level instead? Or should the Commission provide additional specific offense characteristics, additional cross references, or a combination of such provisions to better account for offenses under section 333(b)(7)? If so, what provisions should the Commission provide?

Finally, the Commission seeks comment comparing and contrasting offenses involving intentionally adulterated drugs under section 333(b)(7) and offenses involving counterfeit drugs under section 2320(a)(4). How do these offenses compare to each other in terms of the conduct involved in the offense, the culpability of the offenders, the actual and potential harms posed by the offense, and other factors relevant to sentencing? Which offenses should be treated more seriously by the guidelines and which should be treated less seriously?

Synopsis of Proposed AmendmentThis proposed amendment addresses a circuit conflict over whether a sentencing court, in calculating the tax loss in a tax case, may subtract the unclaimed deductions that the defendant legitimately could have claimed if he or she had filed an accurate tax return.

Circuits have disagreed over whether the tax loss in such a case may be reduced by the defendant's legitimate but unclaimed deductions. Specifically, the issue is whether a defendant is allowed to present evidence of unclaimed deductions that would have the effect of reducing the tax loss for purposes of the guidelines and thereby reducing the ultimate sentence, or whether the defendant is categorically barred from offering such evidence.

The Tenth Circuit recently joined the Second Circuit in holding that a sentencing court may give the defendant credit for a legitimate but unclaimed deduction. See United States v. Hoskins, 654 F.3d 1086, 1094 (10th Cir. 2011) (''But where defendant offers convincing proof'--where the court's exercise is neither nebulous nor complex'--nothing in the Guidelines prohibits a sentencing court from considering evidence of unclaimed deductions in analyzing a defendant's estimate of the tax loss suffered by the government.''); United States v. Martinez-Rios, 143 F.3d 662, 671 (2d Cir. 1998) (''the sentencing court need not base its tax loss calculation on gross unreported income if it can make a more accurate determination of the intended loss and that determination of the tax loss involves giving the defendant the benefit of legitimate but unclaimed deductions''); United States v. Gordon, 291 F.3d 181, 187 (2d Cir. 2002) (applying Martinez-Rios, the court held that the district erred when it refused to consider potential unclaimed deductions in its sentencing analysis). These cases generally reason that where a defendant offers convincing proof'--where the court's exercise is neither nebulous nor complex'--nothing in the Guidelines prohibits a sentencing court from considering evidence of unclaimed deductions in analyzing a defendant's estimate of the tax loss suffered by the government. See Hoskins, 654 F.3d at 1094-95.

Six other circuits'--the Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Eleventh'--have reached the opposite conclusion, finding that a defendant may not present evidence of unclaimed deductions to reduce the tax loss. See United States v. Delfino, 510 F.3d 468, 473 (4th Cir. 2007) (''The law simply does not require the district court to engage in [speculation as to what deductions would have been allowed], nor does it entitle the Delfinos to the benefit of deductions they might have claimed now that they stand convicted of tax evasion.''); United States v. Phelps, 478 F.3d 680, 682 (5th Cir. 2007) (holding that the defendant could not reduce tax loss by taking a social security tax deduction that he did not claim on the false return); United States v. Chavin, 316 F.3d 666, 679 (7th Cir. 2002) (holding that the definition of tax loss ''excludes consideration of unclaimed deductions''); United States v. Psihos, 683 F.3d 777, 781-82 (7th Cir. 2012) (following Chavin in disallowing consideration of unclaimed deductions); United States v. Sherman, 372 F.App'x 668, 676-77 (8th Cir. 2010); United States v. Blevins, 542 F.3d 1200, 1203 (8th Cir. 2008) (declining to decide ''whether an unclaimed tax benefit may ever offset tax loss,'' but finding the district court properly declined to reduce tax loss based on taxpayers' unclaimed deductions); United States v. Yip, 592 F.3d 1035, 1041 (9th Cir. 2010) (''We hold that ¤ 2T1.1 does not entitle a defendant to reduce the tax loss charged to him by the amount of potentially legitimate, but unclaimed, deductions even if those deductions are related to the offense.''); United States v. Clarke, 562 F.3d 1158, 1164 (11th Cir. 2009) (holding that the defendant was not entitled to a tax loss calculation based on a filing status other than the one he actually used; ''[t]he district court did not err in computing the tax loss based on the fraudulent return Clarke actually filed, and not on the tax return Clarke could have filed but did not.'').

The proposed amendment presents three options for resolving the conflict. They would amend the Commentary to ¤ 2T1.1 (Tax Evasion; Willful Failure to File Return, Supply Information, or Pay Tax; Fraudulent or False Returns, Statements, or Other Documents), as follows:

Option 1 provides that the determination of the tax loss shall account for any credit, deduction, or exemption to which the defendant was entitled, whether or not the defendant claimed the deduction at the time the tax offense was committed.

Option 2 provides that the determination of the tax loss shall not account for any credit, deduction, or exemption, unless the defendant was entitled to the credit, deduction, or exemption and claimed the credit, deduction, or exemption at the time the tax offense was committed.

Option 3 provides that the determination of the tax loss shall not account for any unclaimed credit, deduction, or exemption, unless the defendant demonstrates by contemporaneous documentation that the defendant was entitled to the credit, deduction, or exemption.

Issues for comment are also included.

Proposed AmendmentThe Commentary to ¤ 2T1.1 captioned ''Application Notes'' is amended by redesignating Notes 3 through 7 as 4 through 8, respectively, and by inserting after Note 2 the following:

Option 1:

''3. Credits, Deductions, and Exemptions.'--The determination of the tax loss shall account for any credit, deduction, or exemption to which the defendant was entitled, whether or not the defendant claimed the deduction at the time the tax offense was committed.''.

Option 2:

''3. Credits, Deductions, and Exemptions.'--The determination of the tax loss shall not account for any credit, deduction, or exemption, unless the defendant was entitled to the credit, deduction, or exemption and claimed the credit, deduction, or exemption at the time the tax offense was committed.''.

Option 3:

''3. Credits, Deductions, and Exemptions.'--The determination of the tax loss shall not account for any unclaimed credit, deduction, or exemption, unless the defendant demonstrates by contemporaneous documentation that the defendant was entitled to the credit, deduction, or exemption.''.

Issues for Comment1. If the Commission were to adopt Option 1 or 3, what requirements, if any, should be met before an unclaimed deduction is counted, other than the requirement that the unclaimed deduction be legitimate? In particular:

(A) Should a legitimate but unclaimed deduction be counted only if the defendant establishes that the deduction would have been claimed if an accurate return had been filed? If so, should this determination be a subjective one (e.g., this particular defendant would have claimed the deduction) or an objective one (e.g., a reasonable taxpayer in the defendant's position would have claimed the deduction)?

(B) Should a legitimate but unclaimed deduction be counted only if it is related to the offense?See United States v. Hoskins, 654 F.3d 1086, 1095 n.9 (10th Cir. 2011) (''We must emphasize, however, that ¤ 2T1.1 does not permit a defendant to benefit from deductions unrelated to the offense at issue.''); see also United States v. Yip, 592 F.3d 1035, 1040 (9th Cir. 2010) (''[D]eductions are not permissible if they are unintentionally created or are unrelated to the tax violation, because such deductions are not part of the 'object of the offense' or intended loss.'').

(C) Are there differences among the various types of tax offenses that would make it appropriate to have different rules on the use of unclaimed deductions? If so, what types of tax offenses warrant different rules, and what should those different rules be? Additionally, are there certain cases in which the legitimacy of the deductions, credits, or exemptions and the likelihood that the defendant would have claimed them had an accurate return been filed is evident by the nature of the crime? For example, if a restaurant owner failed to report some gross receipts and made some payments to employees or vendors in cash, but actually keeps two sets of books (one accurate and one fraudulent), should the unclaimed deductions reflected in the accurate set of books be counted?

2. The proposed amendment presents options for resolving the circuit conflict, each of which is based on whether a defendant's tax loss may be reduced by unclaimed ''credits, deductions, or exemptions.'' The Commission seeks comment regarding whether this list of potential offsets provides sufficient clarity as to what the court may or may not consider depending on which option is chosen. In particular, should the Commission expand the language to clarify that the list includes any type of deduction?See, e.g.,United States v. Psihos, 683 F.3d 777, 781-82 (7th Cir. 2012) (noting a dispute between the parties regarding whether the unclaimed cash payments at issue were to be used in computing adjusted gross income (an ''above-the-line'' deduction) or to be used in computing taxable income (a ''below-the-line'' deduction)).

Synopsis of Proposed AmendmentThis proposed amendment and issue for comment address two circuit conflicts involving the guideline for acceptance of responsibility, ¤ 3E1.1 (Acceptance of Responsibility). A defendant who clearly demonstrates acceptance of responsibility receives a 2-level reduction under subsection (a) of ¤ 3E1.1. The two circuit conflicts both involve the circumstances under which the defendant is eligible for a third level of reduction under subsection (b) of ¤ 3E1.1. Subsection (b) provides:

(b) If the defendant qualifies for a decrease under subsection (a), the offense level determined prior to the operation of subsection (a) is level 16 or greater, and upon motion of the government stating that the defendant has assisted authorities in the investigation or prosecution of his own misconduct by timely notifying authorities of his intention to enter a plea of guilty, thereby permitting the government to avoid preparing for trial and permitting the government and the court to allocate their resources efficiently, decrease the offense level by 1 additional level.

This is the language of the guideline after it was directly amended by Congress in section 401(g) of the PROTECT Act, Public Law 108-21, effective April 30, 2003. The PROTECT Act also directly amended Application Note 6 (including adding the last paragraph of that application note), and the Background Commentary. Section 401(j)(4) of the PROTECT Act states, ''At no time may the Commission promulgate any amendment that would alter or repeal the amendments made by subsection (g) of this section.''

Whether the Court Has Discretion To Deny the Third Level of ReductionCircuits have disagreed over whether the court has discretion to deny the third level of reduction for acceptance of responsibility when the government has filed a motion under subsection (b) and the defendant is otherwise eligible.

The Seventh Circuit recently held that if the government makes the motion (and the other two requirements of subsection (b) are met, i.e., the defendant qualifies for the 2-level decrease and the offense level is level 16 or greater), the third level of reduction must be awarded. See United States v. Mount, 675 F.3d 1052 (7th Cir. 2012).

The Fifth Circuit has held to the contrary, that the decision whether to grant the third level of reduction ''is the district court's'--not the government's'--even though the court may only do so on the government's motion.''See United States v. Williamson, 598 F.3d 227, 230 (5th Cir. 2010).

The proposed amendment adopts the approach of the Fifth Circuit by recognizing that the court has discretion to deny the third level of reduction. Specifically, it amends Application Note 6 to ¤ 3E1.1 by adding a statement that ''The court may grant the motion if the court determines that the defendant has assisted authorities in the investigation or prosecution of his own misconduct by timely notifying authorities of his intention to enter a plea of guilty, thereby permitting the government to avoid preparing for trial and permitting the government and the court to allocate their resources efficiently. In such a case, the 1-level decrease under subsection (b) applies.''

An issue for comment is also provided on whether the Commission should instead resolve this issue in a different manner.

Whether the Government Has Discretion To Withhold Making a MotionCircuits have also disagreed over whether the government has discretion to withhold making a motion under subsection (b) when there is no evidence that the government was required to prepare for trial. An issue for comment is also provided on whether the Commission should resolve this circuit conflict and, if so, how it should do so.

Proposed AmendmentThe Commentary to ¤ 3E1.1 captioned ''Application Notes'' is amended in Note 6, in the paragraph beginning ''Because the Government'', by adding at the end the following: ''The court may grant the motion if the court determines that the defendant has assisted authorities in the investigation or prosecution of his own misconduct by timely notifying authorities of his intention to enter a plea of guilty, thereby permitting the government to avoid preparing for trial and permitting the government and the court to allocate their resources efficiently. In such a case, the 1-level decrease under subsection (b) applies.''.

The Commentary to ¤ 3E1.1 captioned ''Background'' is amended in the paragraph beginning ''Section 401(g)'' by inserting ''first sentence of the'' before ''last paragraph''.

Issues for Comment1. Whether the Court Has Discretion To Deny the Third Level of ReductionThe Commission seeks comment on whether it should resolve this circuit conflict in a manner other than that provided in the proposed amendment. If so, how should the conflict be resolved and how should the Commission amend the guidelines to do so?

2. Whether the Government Has Discretion To Withhold Making a MotionCircuits have also disagreed over whether the government has discretion to withhold making a motion under subsection (b) when there is no evidence that the government was required to prepare for trial.

The Second and Fourth Circuits have held that the government may withhold the motion only if it determines that it has been required to prepare for trial. See United States v. Lee, 653 F.3d 170, 173-174 (2d Cir. 2011) (government withheld the motion because it was required to prepare for a Fatico hearing; court held this was ''an unlawful reason''); United States v. Divens, 650 F.3d 343, 346 (4th Cir. 2011) (government withheld the motion because the defendant failed to sign an appellate waiver; court held the defendant was ''entitled'' to the motion and the reduction).

The majority of circuits, in contrast, have held that ¤ 3E1.1 recognizes that the government has an interest both in being permitted to avoid preparing for trial and in being permitted to allocate its resources efficiently, see¤ 3E1.1(b), and that both are legitimate government interests that justify the withholding of the motion. See, e.g.,United States v. Collins, 683 F.3d 697, 704-708 (6th Cir. 2012) (government withheld the motion because it was required to litigate pretrial motion to suppress evidence; court held the government did not abuse its discretion); United States v. Newson, 515 F.3d 374 (5th Cir. 2008) (government withheld the motion because the defendant refused to waive right to appeal; court held the government did not abuse its discretion); United States v. Johnson, 581 F.3d 994 (9th Cir. 2009) (same).

The Commission seeks comment on whether it should resolve this circuit conflict and, if so, how it should do so.

8. SetserSynopsis of Proposed AmendmentA federal court imposing a sentence on a defendant generally has discretion to order that the sentence run consecutive to (or, in the alternative, concurrently with) a term of imprisonment previously imposed but not yet discharged. See18 U.S.C. 3584(a); USSG ¤ 5G1.3, comment. (backg'd.). Recently, the Supreme Court held that a federal court also generally has discretion to order that the sentence run consecutive to (or concurrently with) an anticipated, but not yet imposed, term of imprisonment. See Setser v. United States,__ U.S. __ (March 28, 2012).

For cases in which there is a term of imprisonment previously imposed but not yet discharged, ¤ 5G1.3 (Imposition of a Sentence on a Defendant Subject to an Undischarged Term of Imprisonment) provides guidance to the court in determining whether the sentence for the instant offense should run consecutive to (or, in the alternative, concurrently with) the undischarged term of imprisonment. This proposed amendment responds to Setser by ensuring that ¤ 5G1.3 also applies to cases covered by Setser, i.e., cases in which there is an anticipated, but not yet imposed, term of imprisonment. The proposed amendment revises ¤ 5G1.3 in two ways.

First, when the offense with the undischarged term of imprisonment is relevant conduct to the instant offense and resulted in an increase in the Chapter Two or Three offense level for the instant offense, the instant offense already includes an incremental punishment to account for the prior offense. Accordingly, subsection (b) of ¤ 5G1.3 provides that the court generally should order the sentence for the instant offense to run concurrently with the undischarged term of imprisonment. The proposed amendment ensures that subsection (b) also applies to a case in which there is an anticipated, but not yet imposed, term of imprisonment for an offense that is relevant conduct to the instant offense and resulted in an increase in the Chapter Two or Three offense level for the instant offense.

Second, when the offense with the undischarged term of imprisonment is not covered by subsection (b), the sentence for the instant offense may be imposed to run concurrently, partially concurrently, or consecutively to the prior undischarged term of imprisonment to achieve a reasonable punishment for the instant offense. See¤ 5G1.3(c) (Policy Statement). The proposed amendment ensures that subsection (c) also applies to any other case in which there is an anticipated, but not yet imposed, term of imprisonment.

Conforming changes to the relevant application notes, to the background commentary, and to the heading of the guideline are also made.

Proposed AmendmentSection 5G1.3 is amended in the heading by inserting after ''Undischarged'' the following: ''or Anticipated''; in subsection (b) by inserting after ''resulted'' the following: ''or is anticipated to result''; in subsection (b)(2) by inserting after ''to the remainder of the undischarged term of imprisonment'' the following: ''or to the anticipated term of imprisonment, as applicable''; and in subsection (c) by inserting after ''an undischarged term of imprisonment'' the following: ''or an anticipated term of imprisonment''; and by striking ''prior undischarged term of imprisonment'' and inserting ''undischarged term of imprisonment or to the anticipated term of imprisonment, as applicable,''.

The Commentary to section 5G1.3 captioned ''Application Notes'' is amended in Note 3(A) by inserting after ''undischarged term of imprisonment'' the following: ''or to the anticipated but not yet imposed term of imprisonment, as applicable''; in Note 3(A)(ii) by striking ''prior undischarged'' and inserting ''undischarged or anticipated''; in Note 3(A)(iv) by striking ''prior'' and by inserting after ''imposed'' the following: '', or the fact that the anticipated sentence may be imposed,''; in Note 3(B) by striking ''prior'' and in the last sentence by inserting after ''undischarged'' both places it appears the following: ''or anticipated''; in Note 3(C) by inserting after ''Undischarged'' the following: ''or Anticipated''; by striking ''has had''; by inserting ''has been or is anticipated to be'' before ''revoked''; and by inserting ''that has been, or that is anticipated to be,'' before ''imposed for the revocation''; and in Note 3(D) by inserting after ''undischarged'' the following: ''or anticipated.''

The Commentary to section 5G1.3 captioned ''Background'' is amended by striking ''In a case in which'' and all that follows through ''Exercise of that authority,'' and inserting the following: ''Federal courts generally 'have discretion to select whether the sentences they impose will run concurrently or consecutively with respect to other sentences that they impose, or that have been imposed in other proceedings, including state proceedings.'See Setser v. United States, 132 S.Ct. 1463, 1468 (2012); 18 U.S.C. 3584(a). Federal courts also generally have discretion to order that the sentences they impose will run concurrently or consecutively with other sentences that are anticipated but not yet imposed. See Setser, 132 S.Ct. at 1468. Exercise of that discretion,''.

Synopsis of Proposed AmendmentThis proposed amendment responds to recently enacted legislation and miscellaneous and technical guideline issues.

A. Recently Enacted LegislationPart A amends Appendix A (Statutory Index) to provide guideline references for four offenses not currently referenced in Appendix A that were established or revised by recently enacted legislation. They are as follows:

1. 18 U.S.C. 39A. Section 311 of the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, Public Law 112-95 (February 14, 2012), established a new criminal offense at 18 U.S.C. 39A (Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft). The offense applies to whoever knowingly aims the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States or at the flight path of such an aircraft. The statutory maximum term of imprisonment is five years.

The proposed amendment amends Appendix A (Statutory Index) to reference section 39A offenses to ¤ 2A5.2 (Interference with Flight Crew or Flight Attendant).

2. 18 U.S.C. 1514(c). Section 3(a) of the Child Protection Act of 2012, Public Law 112-206 (December 7, 2012), established a new offense at 18 U.S.C. 1514(c) that makes it a criminal offense to knowingly and intentionally violate or attempt to violate an order issued under section 1514 (Civil action to restrain harassment of a victim or witness). The new offense has a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of five years.

The proposed amendment amends Appendix A (Statutory Index) to reference the new offense at section 1514(c) to ¤ 2J1.2 (Obstruction of Justice).

3. 18 U.S.C. 1752. The Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011, Public Law 112-98 (March 8, 2012), amended the criminal offense at 18 U.S.C. 1752 (Restricted building or grounds). As so amended, the statute defines ''restricted buildings or grounds'' to mean any restricted area (A) of the White House or its grounds, or the Vice President's residence or its grounds; (B) of a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the United States Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting; or (C) of a building or grounds restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance. The statute makes it a crime to enter or remain; to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of business or official functions; to obstruct or impede ingress or egress; or to engage in any physical violence against any person or property. The Act did not change the statutory maximum term of imprisonment, which is ten years if the person used or carried a deadly or dangerous weapon or firearm or if the offense results in significant bodily injury, and one year in any other case.

The proposed amendment amends Appendix A (Statutory Index) to reference section 1752 offenses to ¤ 2A2.4 (Obstructing or Impeding Officers) and ¤ 2B2.3 (Trespass).

4. 19 U.S.C. 1590. The Ultralight Aircraft Smuggling Prevention Act of 2012, Public Law 112-93 (February 10, 2012), amended the criminal offense at 19 U.S.C. 1590 (Aviation smuggling) to provide a more specific definition of the term ''aircraft'' (i.e., to include ultralight aircraft) and to cover attempts and conspiracies. Section 1590 makes it unlawful for the pilot of an aircraft to transport, or for any individual on board any aircraft to possess, merchandise knowing that the merchandise will be introduced into the United States contrary to law. It is also unlawful for a person to transfer merchandise between an aircraft and a vessel on the high seas or in the customs waters of the United States unlawfully. The Act did not change the statutory maximum terms of imprisonment, which are 20 years if any of the merchandise involved was a controlled substance, see¤ 1590(c)(2), and five years otherwise, see¤ 1590(c)(1).

The proposed amendment amends Appendix A (Statutory Index) to reference section 1590 offenses to ¤ 2D1.1 (Unlawful Manufacturing, Importing, Exporting, or Trafficking (Including Possession with Intent to Commit These Offenses); Attempt or Conspiracy) and ¤ 2T3.1 (Evading Import Duties or Restrictions (Smuggling); Receiving or Trafficking in Smuggled Property).

The proposed amendment also includes an issue for comment on the offenses described above.

B. Interaction Between Offense Guidelines in Chapter Two, Part J and Certain Adjustments in Chapter Three, Part CPart B responds to an application issue that arises in cases in which the defendant is sentenced under an offense guideline in Chapter Two, Part J (Offenses Involving the Administration of Justice) and the defendant may also be subject to an adjustment under Chapter Three, Part C (Obstruction and Related Adjustments).

In the Commentary to four of the Chapter Two, Part J offense guidelines, there is an application note stating that Chapter Three, Part C, does not apply, unless the defendant obstructed the investigation or trial of the instant offense. See¤¤ 2J1.2, comment. (n.2(A)); 2J1.3, comment. (n.2); ¤ ¤ 2J1.6, comment. (n.2); 2J1.9, comment. (n.1). These application notes in Chapter Two, Part J, originated when Chapter Three, Part C, contained only one guideline'--¤ 3C1.1 (Obstructing or Impeding the Administration of Justice).

Chapter Three, Part C, now contains three additional guidelines, and these application notes in Chapter Two, Part J, appear to encompass these three additional guidelines as well and generally prohibit the court from applying them. See, e.g.,United States v. Duong, 665 F.3d 364 (1st Cir. January 6, 2012) (''Thus, according to the literal terms of Application Note 2, 'Chapter 3, Part C''--presumably including section 3C1.3 C'--'does not apply.' ''). The First Circuit in Duong, however, determined that the application note in ¤ 2J1.6 was in conflict with ¤ 3C1.3 (Commission of Offense While on Release) and its underlying statute, 18 U.S.C. 3147, and indicated that the Commission's stated purpose in establishing ¤ 3C1.3 ''was not to bring that guideline within the purview of Application Note 2 of section 2J1.6''. Id. at 368. Accordingly, the First Circuit held that the application note must be disregarded. Id.

Consistent with Duong, the proposed amendment clarifies the scope of Application Note 2 by striking the general reference to Chapter Three, Part C, and replacing it with a specific reference to ¤ 3C1.1. It makes the same change to the corresponding application notes in ¤¤ 2J1.2, 2J1.3, and 2J1.9, and conforming changes to other parts of the Commentary in those guidelines.

C. Appendix A (Statutory Index) References for Offenses Under 18 U.S.C. 554Section 554 of title 18, United States Code (Smuggling goods from the United States), makes it unlawful to export or send from the United States (or attempt to do so) any merchandise, article, or object contrary to any law or regulation of the United States. It also makes it unlawful to receive, conceal, buy, sell, or in any manner facilitate the transportation, concealment, or sale of such merchandise, article, or object, prior to exportation, knowing the same to be intended for exportation contrary to any law or regulation of the United States. Offenses under section 554 have a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of ten years, and they are referenced in Appendix A (Statutory Index) to three guidelines: ¤ ¤ 2B1.5 (Theft of, Damage to, or Destruction of, Cultural Heritage Resources or Paleontological Resources; Unlawful Sale, Purchase, Exchange, Transportation, or Receipt of Cultural Heritage Resources or Paleontological Resources), 2M5.2 (Exportation of Arms, Munitions, or Military Equipment or Services Without Required Validated Export License), and 2Q2.1 (Offenses Involving Fish, Wildlife, and Plants).

The Department of Justice in its annual letter to the Commission has proposed that section 554 offenses should also be referenced to a fourth guideline, ¤ 2M5.1. The Department indicates that section 554 is used to prosecute a range of export offenses related to national security and that some cases would more appropriately be sentenced under ¤ 2M5.1 than ¤ 2M5.2. For example, when the section 554 offense involves a violation of export controls on arms, munitions, or military equipment (e.g., export controls under the Arms Export Control Act, 22 U.S.C. 2778), the section 554 offense may appropriately be sentenced under ¤ 2M5.2, because other offenses involving a violation of export controls on arms, munitions, or military equipment (such as offenses under 22 U.S.C. 2778) are referenced to ¤ 2M5.2.

In contrast, when the section 554 offense involves a violation of export controls not involving munitions (e.g., violations of economic sanctions or other export controls under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1705), the Department proposes that the section 554 offense be sentenced under ¤ 2M5.1 rather than under ¤ 2M5.2, because other offenses involving evasion of export controls (such as offenses under 50 U.S.C. 1705) are referenced to ¤ 2M5.1 (among other guidelines).

Part C of the proposed amendment amends Appendix A (Statutory Index) to broaden the range of guidelines to which offenses under 18 U.S.C. 554 are referenced. Specifically, it adds a reference to ¤ 2M5.1. The proposed amendment also brackets the possibility of adding a reference to ¤ 2M5.3 (Providing Material Support or Resources to Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations or Specially Designated Global Terrorists, or For a Terrorist Purpose).

D. Technical and Stylistic ChangesPart D makes certain technical and stylistic changes to the Guidelines Manual.

First, it amends the Commentary to ¤ 2B1.1 (Theft, Property Destruction, and Fraud) to provide updated references to the definitions contained in 7 U.S.C. 1a, which were renumbered by Public Law 111-203 (July 21, 2010).

Second, it amends the Notes to the Drug Quantity Table in ¤ 2D1.1 (Unlawful Manufacturing, Importing, Exporting, or Trafficking (Including Possession with Intent to Commit These Offenses); Attempt or Conspiracy) to provide updated references to the definition of tetrahydrocannabinols contained in 21 C.F.R. ¤ 1308.11(d), which were renumbered by 75 FR 79296 (December 20, 2010).

Third, it makes several stylistic revisions in the Guidelines Manual to change ''court martial'' to ''court-martial''.

Proposed Amendment(A) Recently Enacted LegislationAppendix A (Statutory Index) is amended by inserting after the line referenced to 18 U.S.C. 38 the following:

''18 U.S.C.39A 2A5.2'';

by inserting after the line referenced to 18 U.S.C. 1513 the following:

''18 U.S.C.1514(c) 2J1.2'';

by inserting after the line referenced to 18 U.S.C. 1751(e) the following:

''18 U.S.C.1752 2A2.4, 2B2.3''; and

by inserting after the line referenced to 19 U.S.C. 1586(e) the following:

''19 U.S.C.1590 2D1.1, 2T3.1''.

(B) Interaction Between 2J and 3CThe Commentary to ¤ 2J1.2 captioned ''Application Notes'' is amended in Note 2(A) by striking ''Inapplicability of Chapter Three, Part C'' and inserting ''Inapplicability of ¤ 3C1.1''; and striking ''Chapter Three, Part C (Obstruction and Related Adjustments)'' and inserting '' ¤ 3C1.1 (Obstructing or Impeding the Administration of Justice)''.

The Commentary to ''2J1.3 captioned ''Application Notes'' is amended in Note 2 by striking ''Chapter Three, Part C (Obstruction and Related Adjustments)'' and inserting '' ¤ 3C1.1 (Obstructing or Impeding the Administration of Justice)''; and in Note 3 by striking ''Chapter Three, Part C (Obstruction and Related Adjustments)'' and inserting ''¤ 3C1.1''.

The Commentary to ¤ 2J1.6 captioned ''Application Notes'' is amended in Note 2 by striking ''Chapter Three, Part C (Obstruction and Related Adjustments)'' and inserting '' ¤ 3C1.1 (Obstructing or Impeding the Administration of Justice)''.

The Commentary to ¤ 2J1.9 captioned ''Application Notes'' is amended in Note 1 by striking ''Chapter Three, Part C (Obstruction and Related Adjustments) '' and inserting ''¤ 3C1.1 (Obstructing or Impeding the Administration of Justice) ''; and in Note 2 by striking ''Chapter Three, Part C (Obstruction and Related Adjustments) '' and inserting ''¤ 3C1.1''.

(C) 18 U.S.C. 554Appendix A (Statutory Index) is amended by striking the line referenced to 18 U.S.C. 554 and inserting the following:

''18 U.S.C. 5542B1.5, 2M5.1, 2M5.2, [2M5.3,] 2Q2.1''.

(D) Technical and Stylistic ChangesThe Commentary to ¤ 2B1.1 captioned ''Application Notes'' is amended in Note 14(A) by striking ''1a(5) '' both places it appears and inserting ''1a(11) ''; by striking ''1a(6) '' both places it appears and inserting ''1a(12) ''; by striking ''1a(26) '' both places it appears and inserting ''1a(28)''; by striking ''1a(23) '' both places it appears and inserting ''1a(31) ''.

Section 2D1.1(c) is amended in the Notes to Drug Quantity Table, in each of Notes (H) and (I), by striking ''1308.11(d)(30) '' and inserting ''1308.11(d)(31) ''.

The Commentary to ¤ 4A1.1 captioned ''Application Notes'' is amended in each of Notes 2 and 3 by striking ''court martial'' and inserting ''court-martial''.

Section 4A1.2(g) is amended by striking ''court martial'' and inserting ''court-martial''.

Issue for Comment1. Part A of the proposed amendment would reference offenses under 18 U.S.C. 39A, 18 U.S.C. 1514(c), 18 U.S.C. 1752, and 19 U.S.C. 1590 to various guidelines. The Commission invites comment on offenses under these statutes, including in particular the conduct involved in such offenses and the nature and seriousness of the harms posed by such offenses. Do the guidelines covered by the proposed amendment adequately account for these offenses? If not, what revisions to the guidelines would be appropriate to account for these offenses? In particular, should the Commission provide one or more new alternative base offense levels, specific offense characteristics, or departure provisions in one or more of these guidelines to better account for these offenses? If so, what should the Commission provide?

Similarly, are there any guideline application issues that the Commission should address for cases involving these statutes? For example, the proposed amendment would reference offenses under 19 U.S.C. 1590 to ¤ 2D1.1 and ¤ 2T3.1. In a section 1590 case sentenced under ¤ 2T3.1, should the use of an aircraft be considered a form of ''sophisticated means,'' such that the defendant should receive the specific offense characteristic at ¤ 2T3.1(b)(1), which provides an increase of 2 levels and a minimum offense level of 12 if the offense involved sophisticated means? If not, then under what circumstances (if any) should the defendant in a section 1590 case receive that specific offense characteristic?

[FR Doc. 2013-01085 Filed 1-17-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 2210-40-P

Civil Society

Federal Register | Advisory Committee on the Secretary of State's Strategic Dialogue With Civil Society

Link to Article

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 14:18

Pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the Advisory Committee on the Secretary of State's Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society will convene in Washington, DC on March 12, 2013. The Committee provides advice on the formulation of U.S. policies, proposals, and strategies for engagement with, and protection of, civil society worldwide. The objective of this meeting is to review the progress of the Committee's five subcommittees.

The meeting will be held on March 12, 2013, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The meeting will be held at the U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW., Washington, DC The meeting is open to public participation through live stream at http://www.state.gov/s/sacsed/c47725.htm. Closed captioning will be provided.

Written comments may be submitted to Madeleine Ioannou via email to civilsociety@state.gov or facsimile to (202) 647-2413. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW., Room 6820, Washington, DC 20520. Please call ahead to (202) 647-2413 to facilitate entry into the building.

Madeleine Ioannou, Committee Executive Secretary, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW., Room 6820, Washington, DC 20520; (202) 647-2413; civilsociety@state.gov.

Agenda items to be covered include: (1) Introductions, (2) Presentations by the Chairs of the Subcommittees, (3) Discussion of any Public Submissions, (4) General Discussion, (5) Adjournment. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the Committee may file written statements with the Committee staff by sending an email to civilsociety@state.gov.

Dated: January 14, 2013.

Madeleine Ioannou,

Office of the Senior Advisor for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies, U.S. Department of State.

[FR Doc. 2013-01052 Filed 1-17-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4710-10-P

Airbus vs Boeing

Boeing's Dreamliner has to rise again '' the future of world aviation needs it | Business

Link to Article

Source: Dave Winer's linkblog feed

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 13:41

As Boeing showed off its multibillion-dollar baby on the Dreamliner's promotional world tour in 2011, one quirky feature was regularly pointed out: a sleekly designed but redundant ashtray, a compliance with regulations laid down in a different age. In the darkest torments of Boeing executives during the past few incident-packed weeks, it may have finally appeared of use: somewhere to enjoy the cigarette of the condemned, a quiet smoke to mask the smell of burning battery.

A little over a week ago, America's government and air authorities stood shoulder to shoulder with their top exporter, Boeing, to assure the world that the plane was safe after a string of incidents from fuel leaks, windscreen cracks and battery fires. They still say it '' only, right now, that no one should fly in it.

By Wednesday, a diagnosis of teething problems was no longer enough. The burning battery was back, and Japanese authorities said the latest incident was "highly serious". Corrosive fluid had leaked down through the state-of-the-art electronics below the cockpit. Hideyo Kosugi, a Japanese safety investigator surveying the All Nippon Airways 787 that had made an emergency landing at Takamatsu airport, said the stuff had gone right through the floor.

After the Japanese airlines operating almost half of the Dreamliners worldwide decided they could risk it no longer, the US Federal Aviation Administration grounded all 787s in its jurisdiction. From India to Qatar, Poland to Chile and finally Ethiopia, the global fleet was taken out of action, an ignominious fate for a plane that had been so eagerly anticipated for so very long.

In an industry where different models are normally denoted by numbers alone, naming the 787 the Dreamliner was to invite attention: a bold statement that this was to be something fundamentally different. This craft does not simply carry the commercial aspirations of Boeing; it has become symbolic of aviation's promises for a greener, quieter future.

For passengers, there was the thrill of bigger windows, funky lighting and increased cabin pressure, said to reduce the ill-effects of flying. Thomson, the first UK customer, has built an ad campaign around it. But for airlines, the critical selling point was fuel efficiency, where the airline executives' and the environmentalists' interests briefly coincide.

While rivals mutter that the aspirations have yet to be matched in operations, the lighter plane promised a 20% cut in the soaring fuel bills that have wiped out profits for many airlines.

The Dreamliner also promised a range unique for an aircraft of its size, potentially making direct flights to long-haul destinations viable with fewer passengers, not least, the secondary cities in the emerging Bric economies '' Brazil, Russia, India and China '' to which business people in the UK apparently clamour to fly.

Improvements in those spheres are by no means unique to the Dreamliner. But perhaps more than any other plane, it has come to represent the technological innovation that the aviation industry claims will allow it to meet its wider obligations to the world: that we can fly and not fry, even with ever more flights.

A carbon dioxide "roadmap" produced by Sustainable Aviation, an industry group addressing environmental issues, sees the fuel efficiencies delivered by the 787 and its successors as a way to cut about a third of all projected carbon emissions, a major part of a plan that would let traffic double by 2050 and still meet the emissions targets aviation signed up to in the wake of the Kyoto climate negotiations.

For airports in Britain's crowded south-east, the Dreamliner is also a name to conjure with. Briefly in operation here since Qatar Airways' inaugural flight just before Christmas, it claims a "noise footprint" some 60% smaller than other planes its size. Around Heathrow, such contours spell votes: Boris Johnson has spoken of 750,000 Londoners having their lives blighted by aircraft noise

As Howard Davies's commission sits down to reflect over the next two and a half years on the future shape of Britain's airport capacity, Heathrow will want to demonstrate that noise is not a insurmountable political obstacle. Current proposals from the Department for Transport, penned before Justine Greening was shuffled out of the department, will ramp up the fines for louder planes: Virgin's Richard Branson has suggested banning noisy aircraft from the airport '' but then his airline has 16 Dreamliners arriving from next year.

So Boeing's problems are aviation's problems too. Little wonder that few airlines, beyond the annoyance of those already operating the now-grounded 787, have offered anything but unqualified support and confidence. With 799 aircraft outstanding, the order book dwarfs the 50 in service. The ambitions of the fleet planners everywhere for new routes and for lower overheads hang on the 787s rolling out of the Seattle factory.

Observers have little doubt that the Dreamliner will fly again. Douglas McNeill, investment director at Charles Stanley, says: "It will get fixed. Boeing just has no alternative '' it's just a question of how much time and money it takes. If it's just the battery, it could be relatively simple. If it's an overhaul of the whole onboard power generation, it's a time-consuming and costly task."

If safety has always been paramount, the industry is taking absolutely no chances in preserving its proud boast; according to the International Air Transport Association, 2012 was the safest year on record. McNeill dismisses safety fears: "It would be more than odd, it would be astonishing if there was an issue that escaped the hundreds of thousands of hours of testing that Boeing and the FAA carried out.

"It's hard to imagine the Dreamliner not re-entering service quickly, but in the worst-case scenario it could have a real impact. It was going to be a big step forward in terms of noise and emissions."

Not everything hinges on the Dreamliner: rival Airbus has the A350 coming down the line, also built with composite materials and lithium-ion batteries. It has often been described as Airbus's answer to the Dreamliner, although the European manufacturer is quick to point out that its design '' and batteries '' are very different to Boeing's plane.

There was no hint of schadenfreude from boss Fabrice Br(C)gier at last week's Toulouse event when Airbus announced a record year for aircraft deliveries '' though second to Boeing in orders. In the long term, the efficiencies will come: concerns about the new technology may again hold up the process more than those worried by climate change or the bottom line would hope. "Airbus and Boeing will need to get these planes into service," McNeill adds.

Boeing meanwhile has said it will do all it can to restore confidence. Chief executive Jim McNerney pledged to "work around the clock" with investigators, adding: "We will make available the entire resources of the Boeing company to assist." For a corporation the size of Boeing, worth around £50bn even with its shares sliding, the current problems should amount to little more than a spot of turbulence. Airbus quickly recovered confidence and orders despite cracks in the wings of its pioneering A380 in 2011. Boeing's bosses will hope that the Dreamliner can swiftly rise above its current problems and return to the skies.

UPDATE 1-Windscreen crack is latest Boeing Dreamliner mishap

Link to Article

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 13:30

UPDATE 1-Windscreen crack is latest Boeing Dreamliner mishapTop News

UPDATE 1-Windscreen crack is latest Boeing Dreamliner mishap

Fri, Jan 11 00:58 AM EST

* Flight from Tokyo landed safely at Matsuyama airport

* No injuries reported

* Cockpit window had spider web-like crack

* Dreamliner due to launch ANA Tokyo-San Jose service later Friday

* India "concerned" at 787 glitches - govt official

By Kentaro Sugiyama and James Topham

TOKYO, Jan 11 (Reuters) - A Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner operated by All Nippon Airways Co landed safely on a domestic flight in Japan on Friday after a crack appeared in a cockpit window.

The flight from Tokyo's Haneda Airport landed at Matsuyama airport in western Japan and the plane's return flight to Tokyo was cancelled. No one was injured.

It is the fourth incident this week to test confidence in the Dreamliner, the world's first carbon-composite airliner, which comes with a list price of $207 million.

U.S. transportation authorities are launching a review of the aircraft, a source told Reuters, in the wake of separate mishaps involving an electrical fire, a fuel leak and a brake-control computer glitch. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration will announce a review into the jet's power system at a press conference later on Friday, Bloomberg News reported.

ANA said crew noticed a spider web-like crack in a window in front of the pilot's seat about 70 minutes into Friday's flight, which was close to its destination.

"Cracks appear a few times every year in other planes. We don't see this as a sign of a fundamental problem" with Boeing aircraft, a spokesman for the airline said.

The latest mishap came just hours before ANA was due to launch its maiden service between Tokyo and San Jose, California with the Dreamliner. That flight was due to leave Tokyo at 0830 GMT, returning to Japan after a 90-minute turnaround in the United States.

ANA and local rival Japan Airlines Co fly 24 of the 49 Dreamliners delivered to end-December.

In India - where state-owned Air India has taken delivery of six Dreamliner jets and has more on order - a senior government official said there was concern about the recent glitches that have hit the new aircraft. He said the government was waiting for a safety report by the country's National Transportation Safety Board.

While problems are not uncommon when new aircraft enter service - the 787 had its first commercial flight in November 2011 - analysts have noted they will compound perceptions of the plane, and of Boeing, after the Dreamliner debuted more than three years behind schedule due to a series of production delays.

Separately, Makoto Yoda, president of Japanese battery maker GS Yuasa Corp, which makes the Dreamliner batteries, said his company is looking into an incident on Monday in which a battery in the auxiliary power unit of a JAL-operated Dreamliner suffered "severe fire damage".

Yoda said GS Yuasa is sending a team of engineers to cooperate with a U.S. investigation, but added it had not had an impact on its business. Shares in GS Yuasa were up 1.2 percent on Friday after sharp falls earlier this week. Shares in ANA were up 0.6 percent in a broader market that gained 1.5 percent.

UPDATE 1-Windscreen crack is latest Boeing Dreamliner mishapTop News

UPDATE 1-Windscreen crack is latest Boeing Dreamliner mishap

Fri, Jan 11 00:58 AM EST

* Flight from Tokyo landed safely at Matsuyama airport

* No injuries reported

* Cockpit window had spider web-like crack

* Dreamliner due to launch ANA Tokyo-San Jose service later Friday

* India "concerned" at 787 glitches - govt official

By Kentaro Sugiyama and James Topham

TOKYO, Jan 11 (Reuters) - A Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner operated by All Nippon Airways Co landed safely on a domestic flight in Japan on Friday after a crack appeared in a cockpit window.

The flight from Tokyo's Haneda Airport landed at Matsuyama airport in western Japan and the plane's return flight to Tokyo was cancelled. No one was injured.

It is the fourth incident this week to test confidence in the Dreamliner, the world's first carbon-composite airliner, which comes with a list price of $207 million.

U.S. transportation authorities are launching a review of the aircraft, a source told Reuters, in the wake of separate mishaps involving an electrical fire, a fuel leak and a brake-control computer glitch. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration will announce a review into the jet's power system at a press conference later on Friday, Bloomberg News reported.

ANA said crew noticed a spider web-like crack in a window in front of the pilot's seat about 70 minutes into Friday's flight, which was close to its destination.

"Cracks appear a few times every year in other planes. We don't see this as a sign of a fundamental problem" with Boeing aircraft, a spokesman for the airline said.

The latest mishap came just hours before ANA was due to launch its maiden service between Tokyo and San Jose, California with the Dreamliner. That flight was due to leave Tokyo at 0830 GMT, returning to Japan after a 90-minute turnaround in the United States.

ANA and local rival Japan Airlines Co fly 24 of the 49 Dreamliners delivered to end-December.

In India - where state-owned Air India has taken delivery of six Dreamliner jets and has more on order - a senior government official said there was concern about the recent glitches that have hit the new aircraft. He said the government was waiting for a safety report by the country's National Transportation Safety Board.

While problems are not uncommon when new aircraft enter service - the 787 had its first commercial flight in November 2011 - analysts have noted they will compound perceptions of the plane, and of Boeing, after the Dreamliner debuted more than three years behind schedule due to a series of production delays.

Separately, Makoto Yoda, president of Japanese battery maker GS Yuasa Corp, which makes the Dreamliner batteries, said his company is looking into an incident on Monday in which a battery in the auxiliary power unit of a JAL-operated Dreamliner suffered "severe fire damage".

Yoda said GS Yuasa is sending a team of engineers to cooperate with a U.S. investigation, but added it had not had an impact on its business. Shares in GS Yuasa were up 1.2 percent on Friday after sharp falls earlier this week. Shares in ANA were up 0.6 percent in a broader market that gained 1.5 percent.

N.T.S.B. Rules Out a Cause for Battery Fire on 787 Dreamliner

Link to Article

Source: NYT > Home Page

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 13:27

TOKYO '-- The National Transportation Safety Board has ruled out excess voltage as the cause of a battery fire on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet operated by Japan Airlines at Boston's Logan Airport this month, the agency said on Sunday.

Last week, governments across the world grounded the Dreamliner jet after a problem with a lithium-ion battery on a second 787 plane, flown by All Nippon Airways forced the jet to make an emergency landing in western Japan.

The agency said in a statement forwarded by a Boeing Japan representative that examination of the flight recorder data from the JAL B-787 airplane indicated that the battery in the auxiliary power unit ''did not exceed its designed voltage of 32 volts.''

On Friday, a Japanese safety official told reporters that excessive electricity may have overheated the battery in the ANA-owned Dreamliner, which was forced to make an emergency landing at Japan's Takamatsu airport last week.

American investigators have examined the lithium-ion battery that powered the auxiliary unit, where the battery fire started in the JAL plane, as well as several other components removed from the airplane, including wire bundles and battery management circuit boards, the safety agency statement said.

On Tuesday, the investigating group will convene in Arizona to test and examine the battery charger and download nonvolatile memory from the controller of the auxiliary power unit, it added.

The GS Yuasa Corporation of Japan makes the batteries for the Dreamliner, while Thales of France makes the control systems for the battery.

EUROLand

Greece needs more European money to help with debts, says IMF.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sat, 19 Jan 2013 15:51

"The new government acknowledges that the program will fail unless it overcomes these entrenched vested interests."

Despite the two EU-IMF bailouts as well as a private-sector debt cut, the continuing recession and deficits mean that Greece's debt mountain is set to continue to rise to 190pc of output in 2014.

The IMF has been pressing Europe to do more to resolve the Greek debt crisis, after the Fund extended its Greek rescue loan to four years from three years and lowered the interest charged on it.

Eurozone countries have so far ruled out writing off any of the bailout loans they have provided Greece.

Germany, which would bear the brunt of any writedown as having the biggest eurozone economy it is the biggest bailout contributor, holds general elections later this year.

The IMF on Wednesday unblocked a frozen slice of '­Â3.2bn from its outstanding aid package.

But Thomsen insisted on Friday: "We only went ahead because we got assurances from the Europeans that they would provide the money" for Greece's future needs, before the country can return to the markets for financing.

He said the IMF did not think it was "realistic" that Greece would return to borrowing markets before the end of 2014.

"We have a need for more money from the official sector. And there is a commitment to provide that. The EuroGroup has said 'we will do so if there is no return to markets'," Thomsen said.

Speaking earlier to an internal IMF survey interview, Thomsen noted that Athens had made major progress in slashing its deficit but a "fragile" political scene means more work is needed to cement reforms that will restore confidence.

After three years of austerity cuts, Greece is "more than halfway" into addressing its huge fiscal deficit by improving the primary balance by around nine percent of output, he said.

But Thomsen warned that the socio-political setting in the country "remained fragile" and that any new uncertainty could make investors and consumers hold back.

"For consumers and investors to regain confidence, they will need to believe that the programme can gain the necessary political support to be successful," said the Dane, a senior member of the team of auditors that is monitoring Greece's recovery in return for bailout loans.

The coalition government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has been hit with several defections in the past few weeks in opposition to the continued austerity wave.

The three-party coalition has lost 16 deputies since coming to power in June, and currently has a nominal majority of 163 in the 300-seat parliament.

To avoid further wage and pension cuts, which could threaten the cohesion of the coalition, it is "critical" for the government to "seriously" tackle tax evasion and complete a downsizing of the bloated public sector, Thomsen said.

This is likely to face strong resistance from unions, who have held waves of general strikes and often violent protests against such measures in the past.

"Institutional change will take time and strong commitment. In Greece, we're still closer to the start of the process than to the end," Thomsen said.

"If it implements the programme as agreed, Greece will survive and prosper in the eurozone. We are not there yet," he said.

PedoBear

POLICE SEIZE ELM HOUSE FILES

Link to Article

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 13:04

According to The Sunday People newspaper, Child abuse cops, investigating the Elm Guest House in London, have seized a VIP list: Politicians, an MI5 agent, a Royal aide and pop stars are all named"First arrests are expected soon."

"A list of names seized by police probing allegations of child abuse includes ministers, members of the royal household and a world-famous pop star, the Sunday People can reveal.

All were recorded as visitors to the Elm Guest House that operated as a gay brothel.

"Now some could be suspects in an investigation into a network of powerful people who were secret paedophiles for years."

Nine officers visited the London home of former child protection worker Mary Moss.

Documents and a laptop were seized.

Mary Moss handed over 19 files she had hidden in a neighbour's shed.

The files list the people who allegedly went to sex parties in the 80s at the Elm Guest House, Barnes, South West London.

Among the names are two former Conservative Cabinet ministers, four other senior Tories, a Labour MP, a prominent Irish republican, a leading National Front member, two members of the royal household '' one a former Buckingham Palace employee '' plus the owner of a multinational company and two pop stars.

"One of those is a best-selling musician, but like some others on the list he is not suspected of being involved in the child abuse."L.O.L.

The list was made at meetings in 1988 between the guest house's manager Carole Kasir and child protection officials.

Other documents reportedly identify 16 boys who were trafficked to the guest house from local care homes.

Police have asked Richmond Council for a full list of children in care at the time; social services records from the London boroughs of Wandsworth, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Hounslow will also be checked by detectives.

aangirfan: ELM HOUSE - CHILD SEX RING - TOP PEOPLE

ELM HOUSE - CHILD SEX RING - TOP PEOPLE

Link to Article

Source: aangirfan

Fri, 18 Jan 2013 16:03

The UK police are to investigate allegations that members of a paedophile ring, based at Elm Guest House in Barnes in London, sexually abused young boys from Grafton Close children's home in Richmond, in London.

Those alleged to have abused the young boys include spies, celebrities, government ministers, senior Members of Parliament, top police officers, top judges, and people with links to the royal family.

Elm Guest HouseThe police launched Operation Fernbridge after they obtained a list of 'prominent people' who allegedly stayed at the guest house in the 1980s.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

"Police have taken boxes of documents from the London home of Mary Moss, who worked as an advocate for abused children at the now defunct National Association for Young People in Care.

"Mary Moss said the documents contained evidence that senior figures from a number of political parties had abused children at Elm Guest House and elsewhere."

Met investigates guesthouse child abuse claims

Elm Guest House - Records - Dramatis Personae allegedly include:Carol Kazir - guest house ownerX A top person in charge of MI5.Y MI5 officerDavid Icke's Official Forums.

The documents allegedly identify:

Two former Conservative cabinet ministers.

7 Further MPs - 4 Other Tories 2 Labour 1 Liberal

Several figures with links to the right wing Conservative Monday Club

A leading figure in the National Front, now dead

A Sinn Fein member

2 Buckingham Palace Officials

2 Pop Stars

Anthony Blunt said to have used the name 'Antony Goldstein'.

http://theneedleblog.wordpress.com/ Don't Be Distracted !

Carole Kasir, who ran Elm Guest House from 1979 to 1982, was found dead in her flat in 1990, aged 47. Mary Moss and Christopher Fay, from the charity National Association for Young People in Care, gave evidence to the inquest into Kasir's mysterious death.

Moss and Fay alleged sexual abuse of children at Elm House.

They told the court that Grafton Close, a children's home then run by Richmond borough council, supplied boys under the age of 14 to Elm Guest House.

Witnesses allege senior Tories involved in sex abuse scandal ...

Fay and Moss had a list of alleged abusers.

Fay stated that three months before she died Kasir had shown him pictures of a former Conservative Party cabinet minister in a sauna with naked boys.

Moss told the inquest that the guest house was frequented by top MPs and judges.

Allegedly, the police and criminal justice system has previously covered up the case.

Witnesses allege senior Tories involved in sex abuse scandal ...

Elm Guest HouseAccording to Max Farquar (Elm Guest House Abuse Names Allegations - Operation Fairbank)

"A party at the Elm Guest House was raided by police in 1982, following which 12 boys gave evidence that they had been abused by men."German born Carole Kasir was convicted for running a gay brothel disorderly house.

"However, the allegations of sexual abuse against children by the rich and powerful, rumoured to include politicians, police, judges, clergy and famous names from the celebrity world of entertainment '... were not pursued...

"In the last few weeks, what is claimed to be, some of the alleged Elm Guest House evidence collected by social worker Mary Moss has begun to appear on the internet.

"In particular, a series of reversed photographs which show someone holding hand written notes and photocopied images. More than 130 of these pictures have now been flipped and appear to reveal details of some of the rich and powerful men that were alleged to have frequented the Elm Guest House between 1979 and 1982.

"To be honest, the photography is not of the highest quality and some of the handwriting is very difficult to read and in some cases it's illegible. One such image is the list of names that are alleged to have visited the Elm Guest House.

"I have no way of knowing whether this list originates from Mary Moss, if it's in her own handwriting or even if any of the people listed have ever visited a house in Rocks Lane."

As seen on Google image search

"Someone claiming to be Mary Moss, or Jo Flores as she seems to be called these days, posted this message on a blog...

"A letter that she sent to Detective Chief Inspector Paul Settle :"Dear Paul,.....Your attempts to get me involved again neither advise me of any procedure or assure me of anything. "People got killed. We got closed down... "Politics is of no interest to me or to the victims but it is to those that see it as a way to bring down Government's etc but what use is that to the victims..."I have been hi-jacked in many ways before when even others were set up as puppet organization's with controls put in there just so as the Government could say that they were actually doing something. What good are reports etc recommendations. A few arrests and a few innocent ones too... "You have all I know. So rest assured I have nothing hidden and I don't need to be dead or have my family destroyed or set up or beaten up or have an accident or mentally ill person attack me or be followed, hacked or bugged or anything of that nature..."

"You can read the full letter and a subsequent reply from DCI Paul Settle HERE...

"Meanwhile, here's a reminder of the look on David Cameron's face during Tom Watson's statement to the House of Commons, when he mentioned that paedophile rings had been operating out of Number 10, Downing Street...

"If you do a Google image search for Mary Moss NAYPIC you get these 2 messages at the foot of the page:

"In response to a legal request submitted to Google, we have removed 8 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read more about the request at ChillingEffects.org.

"In response to a legal request submitted to Google, we have removed 25 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read more about the request at ChillingEffects.org.

"33 cease and desist orders? What's all that about then?"

Extract from a Jilly Cooper book - Angels Rush In:

Website for this image

Cleveland Street had a gay brothel."Attempt at Interpretation of LetterMeeting with G 10/8/88Mr. A and Mr B, persuaded Carole Kasir to change her Guest House into a Gay one. Introduced her to a South African from Holland called Peter Glucerio who ran a Paedophile magazine called "Spartacus". A and C were using the place to supply boys for sex. Among those using it was D, Director of Social Services, Richmond, E QC, F, Director of Education, Wandsworth, - a number of them supplied by G C.I.C. Grafton Lodge Childrens Home.

the tap: Leaked document spills more Elm Lodge details

aangirfan: BOY BROTHELS; TOP PEOPLE; SPOOKSaangirfan.blogspot.com/2012/.../boy-brothels-top-people-spooks.htm...Nov 5, 2012 '' BOY BROTHELS; TOP PEOPLE; SPOOKS. Cleveland Street had a gay brothel. In the USA, children from orphanages were "flown around the ...aangirfan: PROTECTING THE TOP CHILD ABUSERSaangirfan.blogspot.com/2012/11/protecting-top-child-abusers.htmlNov 6, 2012 '' "The senior Tory accused of child abuse has ... said: 'Some guy said I was in ... were frequent visitors to a boy brothel at 19 Cleveland Street.aangirfan: BODY ON QUEEN'S ESTATE - SUSPECTS RELEASEDaangirfan.blogspot.com/.../body-on-queens-estate-suspects-released.h...Sep 25, 2012 '' Prince Albert was reportedly involved in the Cleveland Street Scandal of 1889. This scandal involved a 'rentboy' brothel in London's Cleveland Street. ...Somerset apparently show that the Prince was involved with boys.aangirfan: SAVILE, ROYALTY, BARAK, CLINTON...aangirfan.blogspot.com/2012/10/savile-royalty-barak-clinton.htmlOct 10, 2012 '' Scotty Bowers, who supplied boys to famous people. RENT BOYS AND... Prince Albert was reportedly involved in the Cleveland Street Scandal of 1889. This scandal involved a 'rentboy' brothel in London's Cleveland Street.

Police launch criminal investigation into MPs' child sex ring - Crime - UK

Link to Article

Fri, 18 Jan 2013 15:58

Scotland Yard tonight launched a full investigation into allegations that Conservative politicians were members of a paedophile ring which abused children in care the 1980s.

Operation Fernbridge will centre on the alleged historic sexual abuse of children at Elm Guest House, in Rocks Lane, a suburban street in Barnes, south-west London.

Residents of a nearby care home run by Richmond Council claim they were sexually assaulted at the property by a network of prominent individuals, including Tory MPs, who used their connections to escape justice.

The allegations are one of several lines of inquiry being considered by specialist detectives at the country's biggest force as a result of information supplied to them by Labour MP Tom Watson.

In a surprise intervention in the Commons in October, Mr Watson - who alleged widespread phone hacking at the News of the World before police began a new inquiry - urged Scotland Yard to re-open the evidence file on Peter Righton, a former child care consultant who was convicted of importing illegal homosexual pornography in 1992.

Saying that the file contained ''clear intelligence of a widespread paedophile ring'', Mr Watson said at Prime Minister's Questions: ''One of its members boasts of a link to a senior aide of a former Prime Minister, who says he could smuggle indecent images of children from abroad.

''The leads were not followed up, but if the files still exist, I want to ensure that the Metropolitan Police secure the evidence, re-examine it, and investigate clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10.''

In secret. five officers on the Met's Child Abuse Investigation team began a scoping exercise, Operation Fairbank, to see if the MP's claims merited further inquiry.

Working in secret at Empress State Building in Earl's Court, London, they interviewed several adults who had contacted Mr Watson with information until December, when police confirmed the existence of the inquiry.

Tonight Scotland Yard confirmed the scoping exercise had reached sufficient seriousness that it passed ''the threshold for a criminal investigation'' and announced the creation of Operation Fernbridge.

Scotland Yard would not say how many officers are staffing Operation Fernbridge.

It is being run by the Specialist Crimes and Operations Directorate, which is known for tackling complex crime and which investigated phone hacking and other illicit newsgathering tactics that had previously escaped serious scrutiny by the police.

In a short statement, Scotland Yard said: ''The Metropolitan Police Service have today, Thursday 17 January, launched an investigation, Operation Fernbridge, into historic allegations of child abuse in the early 1980s at the Elm Guest House, Rocks Lane, Barnes, London.

''The investigation will be led by the Child Abuse Investigation Command.''

The statement went on: ''The allegations under Operation Fernbridge were initially assessed under Operation Fairbank which was information passed to police by MP Tom Watson. Operation Fernbridge reached the threshold for a criminal investigation.

''We will not be providing a running commentary on this inquiry.''

The police stressed that the allegations were historic and did not relate to the current occupants of the property, which has been under new ownership for some time.

A spokeswoman for the Met confirmed that Operation Fairbank would remain in existence and concentrate on other lines of inquiry provided by Mr Watson, who has been in regular contact with detectives. Those other lines of inquiry also involve politicians.

Last night Mr Watson said: ''This new criminal investigation is welcome news. I am confident that the Operation Fairbank team are committed to a thorough investigation that leaves no stone left unturned. As they get nearer the truth it is vital they are given the time and space to conduct the investigation without interference.

''I urge any witnesses or victims to come forward if they think they can help with the inquiry. No matter what has happened in the past, now is the time for your voice to be heard.''

The Metropolitan Police asked anyone with information to call its hotline on 020 7161 0500.

Agenda 21

Snow covers Britain with big freeze to continue into next week

Link to Article

Source: The Guardian World News

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 13:47

Sledging in St Albans, Hertfordshire: prolonged cold weather is likely to bring further travel delays. Photograph: Jonathan Hordle/Rex Features

Snow is expected to blanket the UK for the next week, with no end to the freezing conditions in sight.

The forecast of prolonged cold weather is likely to bring further delays and cancellations to travel plans after two days of snow disrupted airports and transport networks.

On Saturday, Heathrow invoked new weather planning operations for the first time and cancelled 20% of flights ahead of snowfall.

In 2010, heavy snow brought chaos to the UK's primary air hub but after a £36m investment in cold weather equipment the airport said it was coping with this week's wintry conditions. It pointed out that a reduction in its capacity was primarily due to low visibility rather than snow clogging up the runways.

Large parts of the UK will experience further snowfall on Sunday, with up to 4cm falling in the north and west, and 6cm in the east Midlands, East Anglia and the south-east, including London.

Up to 10cm could fall in local areas, and 15cm on higher ground, weather experts said.

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for ice for much of the country and advised people to take extra care as snow turns to ice in the sub-zero conditions.

In the Scottish Highlands, four climbers were swept to their deaths in an avalanche, while in Humberside seven people were taken to hospital after a doubledecker bus collided with two cars and ploughed into a garden, fire and rescue services said.

Travellers at regional airports including Leeds Bradford, Humberside and Newcastle were also frustrated by delays and disruption caused by the wintry weather.

The road and rail networks were also braced for further bad weather. The M48 Severn Bridge was closed in both directions between junctions 1 and 2, and was not expected to reopen until midday on Sunday.

Among rail services, Eurostar warned that all trains will be delayed on Sunday, with a number of services to and from Paris and Brussels cancelled.

Thousands of passengers were stranded at Heathrow for a second day on Saturday after planes were grounded. British Airways cancelled at least 100 flights, leaving people stuck for hours on planes or stranded at the airport.

On Saturday, passengers branded BA's treatment of them as "appalling" and said staff were not keeping them informed as to what was happening. BA and the airport insisted they were doing everything they could in difficult circumstances.

A spokeswoman for Heathrow said that until Sunday airlines had been making their own decisions to cancel flights.

"A lot of what has been happening at Heathrow before today '... is related to airlines making their own individual decisions about where their aircraft are placed throughout the world and how they are best going to recover those aircraft as and when the snow falls, and whether they can even get them out of the other airports," she said.

The spokeswoman said it was "a myth" that other airports did not experience disruption due to the snow, adding that Munich, Geneva and Frankfurt were all experiencing significant disruption and that 40% of flights out of Paris were already cancelled on Sunday.

"What Heathrow is experiencing is absolutely in proportion to what other airports affected by snow are experiencing."

The airport said it had invoked its Heathrow demand and capacity balancing group procedure for the first time and cancelled more than 200 flights to help ease congestion within the terminals and give travellers advance notice.

Heathrow said it would normally have aircraft arriving or departing every 45 seconds, but due to the low visibility it had to increase the space between aircraft. "At the moment that spacing is doubled and that's why we are running at a reduced capacity," it said.

The airport said that while it couldn't "clear up the sky" to improve visibility, its snow-clearing operations were running according to plan.

"At 11am we'll do a sweep of the runways. So we close one while we clean the runway, and then we swap them over '... so again that is going to reduce [capacity]."

Southern trains will run an amended timetable on Monday because of forecast snow.

Freezing conditions have also prompted motoring organisations to issue warnings. Darron Burness, the AA's head of special operations, said: "With the snow compacting down and turning icy, we're likely to see treacherous driving conditions throughout the weekend. Any fresh snow on top will just add to the problems."

Sally Webb, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: "We expect it to remain cold and there to be snow or sleet for the next week in most areas.

"It will also be icy everywhere, especially with the snow melt, and temperatures are going to be no more than 1C, dropping below zero overnight."

KNMI waarschuwt voor 'extreem weer' in Limburg en Brabant

Link to Article

Source: VK: Home

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 13:45

KNMI waarschuwt voor 'extreem weer' in Limburg en Brabant13:50 Het KNMI heeft zondag een waarschuwing ('Code oranje') uitgedaan voor 'extreem weer' in Limburg en Noord-Brabant wegens ijzel. Het kan plaatselijk verraderlijk glad zijn, zo waarschuwde het instituut. Het sneeuwt al enige uren in Limburg, maar ...

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Vaccine$

Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies - Institute of Medicine

Link to Article

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 14:26

Vaccines are among the most safe and effective public health interventions to prevent serious disease and death. Because of the success of vaccines, most Americans today have no firsthand experience with such devastating illnesses as polio or diphtheria. Health care providers who vaccinate young children follow a schedule prepared by the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Under the current schedule, children younger than six may receive as many as 24 immunizations by their second birthday. New vaccines undergo rigorous testing prior to receiving FDA approval; however, like all medicines and medical interventions, vaccines carry some risk.Driven largely by concerns about potential side effects, there has been a shift in some parents' attitudes toward the child immunization schedule. HHS asked the IOM to identify research approaches, methodologies, and study designs that could address questions about the safety of the current schedule.

This report is the most comprehensive examination of the immunization schedule to date. The IOM committee uncovered no evidence of major safety concerns associated with adherence to the childhood immunization schedule. Should signals arise that there may be need for investigation, however, the report offers a framework for conducting safety research using existing or new data collection systems.

VIDEO

France and Africa call for international aid in Mali. (Euronews video)

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 13:45

French and African leaders have called on other world powers to provide funding and logistical support in the battle for Mali.

A coalition of Islamic militants controls the north of the country.

5,000 West African troops are being deployed to lead the fight, while France is due to boost its force to 2,500 soldiers next week.

Thousands of residents of northern Mali have fled abroad. Others have headed to the south of the country, which is secured by French and Malian forces.

The United Nations is warning of a refugee crisis that could lead to hundreds of thousands of people being displaced.

At a refugee camp in Sevare, Houyekouti Maiga said: ''The Islamists have been targeting groups of girls and women to rape them. That is why I left Gao with my daughters and came here.''

Safety is also a concern in the areas outside the insurgents' control. Human Rights Watch has reported abuses by Malian security forces in the central town of Niono.

More about:France, French army, Mali, RefugeesCopyright (C) 2013 euronews

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President Obama To Be Sworn-in In Private Tomorrow Before Monday's Inauguration

Blue Room (White House) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Search Giant Google Insists It Didn't Kill Ass With Street View Car

FBI Releases Man Media Called Potential Terrorist Threat After Fighter Jets Escort Hawaiian Flight

LaHood on Boeing

Link to Article

Sat, 19 Jan 2013 15:30

US News

Page 1 of 2 | Next PageShow Entire Article'We Want to Be 1,000% Sure It's Safe:' LaHood on Boeing 787

CNBC.com | January 18, 2013 | 03:37 PM EST

The U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, is making it clear the Federal Aviation Administration will not rush to lift the grounding of Boeing [ BA 75.04 -0.22 (-0.29%) ] 787 Dreamliners.

"These things take time. It's complicated," said LaHood. "We want to make sure we get it right. The flying public expects us to get right, it'll take a little time."

LaHood made his first public comments about the Dreamliner since the FAA issued an airworthiness directive on Wednesday night grounding the 787. Since then 50 Dreamliners owned by 8 airlines around the world have been parked on tarmacs.

"Those planes won't fly until we're one thousand percent sure they are safe to fly," said LaHood.

(Read More: Are Lithium-ion Batteries Too Dangerous?)

Investigators in Japan

Friday in Japan investigators from the FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board and Boeing spent the day inspecting the All Nippon Airways Dreamliner that made an emergency landing after battery warning lights went off in the cockpit and the crew noticed an odd smell. Japan's Transport Ministry says a lithium-ion battery on that 787 failed, but it's still unclear exactly what caused the battery to fail. Investigators are looking at similarities between the Dreamliner battery in Japan and the battery that malfunctioned on a Japan Airlines 787 in Boston on January 7th.

Page 1 of 2 | Next PageShow Entire Article

Among The President's Proposals Asking Teachers Which Students May Need Mental Health Treatment

American Hostages Held By Al Qaeda

Japan's Debt Time Bomb Is Ticking: Kyle Bass. (CNBC video)

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Sat, 19 Jan 2013 15:50

They would have imploded under their own weight a few years down the road, but now that they're targeting a 2 percent inflation rate, Bass said they don't realize it's going to force them to explode much sooner.

For the past 20 years, the thinking among Japanese politicians, businessmen and investors is that Japanese bonds are safe, the yen does nothing but strengthen, and they have persistent deflation, said Bass.

With 2 percent inflation these expectations will change quickly and the yen will collapse and they'll lose control of interest rates, Bass said.

(Read More: BOJ May Scrap 0.1% Rate Floor, Pledge Open-Ended Asset Buying)

He predicts the bomb will detonate within two years.

"All of the components of the equation are in place for this to all of a sudden go off," he said. "When it turns, it will turn at once. The yen will be its strongest right before it breaks, their interest rates will be the lowest right before they break."

Bass advised anyone with yen to buy Western assets to protect themselves. He pointed to the $20 billion Softbank acquisition of Sprint and advertising agency Dentsu's purchase of Aegis in the UK as examples of Japanese companies buying Western assets.

Equity investors should also be wary. With an informal boycott of Japanese goods in China, Bass predicts a secular decline in Japanese exports to China. (Read More: Nikkei Rally to Run Into Resistance Soon: Chart)

"They're going elsewhere to procure goods in China," he said. "Japan's GDP is falling at an alarming rate, their exports are collapsing and a change in the dollar/yen is not going to restore their competitiveness of a secular decline in Japan."

He added that the people buying Japanese stocks are picking up a dime in front of a bulldozer.

"If This Guy Didn't Feel Invincible With This Weapon He'd Used In Video Games In His Hands..."

VIDEO-Failed assassination attempt on Turkish-Muslim party leader Bulgaria | MRCTV

Link to Article

Sun, 20 Jan 2013 03:34

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