Mystery Campaign Captures Attention of Undecided Low-Information Voters in Ambitious Bid for Global DominationPosted: October 29, 2014
[VIDEO] Panic at the Press Site: Audio Captures Camera Operators Freaking Out During the Antares Rocket ExplosionPosted: October 28, 2014
Collective panic: Any ambitions for being a level-headed war correspondent or courageous A-list camera operator go up in smoke as members of the press are caught on tape going cuckoo bananas while witnessing a failed launch.
Swearing, gasping, pants-wetting, shaky-cam emotional meltdown. NSFW audio. Priceless.
The long-lost Caravaggio painting that the baroque master had with him when he died in 1610 has finally been identified, according to the world’s foremost authority on the artist.
“The creation of a body with varying tones, the intensity of the face. The strong wrists, crossed fingers and beautiful hair … the wonderful variations in light and colour – all show that it is Caravaggio.”
– Caravaggio scholar Mina Gregori
Several copies of Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy are thought to exist. But now the Caravaggio scholar Mina Gregori has said she is confident of having made a “definitive” verification of the version that she has studied in a private European collection.
After years hunting for the real thing, the eminent art expert and president of Florence’s Roberto Longhi Art History Foundation, declared: “At last, it’s you”, after finding herself seemingly gazing at the Caravaggio original. If true, the discovery would be one of rare importance in Western art. Read the rest of this entry »
Orbital Sciences Corp. said in a Tweet shortly after the explosion:
There has been a vehicle anomaly. We will update as soon as we are able.
— Orbital Sciences (@OrbitalSciences) October 28, 2014
The cargo rocket was supposed to launch Monday night, but that had to be scrubbed because a boat was too close to the “hazard zone” near the launch site.
This launch was the third of eight International Space Station cargo resupply missions under NASA’s $1.9 billion contract with Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Virginia. Orbital provides the launch vehicle and cargo spacecraft and NASA runs the range operations.
“Radar aircraft detected the boat and hailed it several times, but there was no response. A spotter plane made multiple passes around the boat at low altitudes using commonly understood signals such as wing waving to establish contact. However, the operator did not respond.”
– NASA statement
The Antares rocket was carrying 4,483 pounds of equipment to the station including 1,360 pounds of food.
Orbital Sciences said everyone at the launch site had been accounted for, and the damage appeared to be limited to the facilities. Read the rest of this entry »
BREAKING: Unsubstantiated Report: ISIS Captures, Beheads Kurdish Female Fighter ‘Rehana’ in Kobane: War Propaganda?Posted: October 28, 2014
For Brietbart.com, Mary Chasten writes: The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) reportedly beheaded a famous female Kurdish freedom fighter known only as “Rehana.” The Women Protection Units (YPG) soldier fought against the terrorist group in Kobane, a strategically important border town in Syria near Turkey.
A picture of Rehana making the V-sign became a widely-distributed image online, retweeted over 5,000 times. Reports claimed she killed over 100 Islamic State jihadists single-handedly. But now a picture of a militant holding her head is making the rounds on social media. The death is not confirmed.
Female fighters are essential to the Kurds. The Women Protection Units (YPG) in Kobane are led by Mayass Abdo, who goes by Narin Afrin. All of the female Pershmerga are volunteers and are honored to fight against the terrorists. One such soldier, Dilar Gencxemis, blew herself up outside of Kobane, killing dozens of militants. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Bad Guys with Surface-to-Air Missiles: Islamic State Terrorists Equipped with Chinese-made FN-6 MANPADsPosted: October 28, 2014
“There’s clearly significant potential threat to aviation operating in Iraqi and Syrian airspace due to ongoing fighting. Of particular concern are advanced nonconventional weapons like MANPADs.”
– State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki
Military experts at Jane’s Defence identified the weapons as Chinese-made FN-6 Man-portable air-defense systems, or MANPADs, which can reach up to 12,500 feet vertically. Read the rest of this entry »
Jihadists for Social Justice? Queens chapter leader of the New Black Panther Party, Frank Sha Francois (L) Ax-wielding Zale Thompson (R)
For the New York Post, Priscilla DeGregory, Kevin Sheehan and Kirstan Conley report:The Muslim extremist who attacked rookie cops with a hatchet last week was “a crusader seeking justice’’ — and more assaults will likely follow, the head of his local New Black Panther Party warned.
“It probably won’t be the last [attack on police] because you have a lot of frustrated people out here,” Queens chapter leader Frank Sha Francois told The Post. Read the rest of this entry »
The Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters had planned to have some kind of vote yesterday on how they would go forward. But they didn’t. From the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s leading English-language newspaper:
Occupy Central protesters and observers yesterday backed an 11th-hour decision to scrap a poll on the way forward for the month-old sit-in, saying the move made it easier to enter into more talks with the government.
Protest leaders announced the U-turn hours before the electronic ballot was to start at 7pm and apologised for not having sufficiently discussed with demonstrators the poll’s methodology and objectives. But shelving it did not mean they had shifted their stance or intended to end the occupation, Federation of Students secretary general Alex Chow Yong-kang said.
Some protesters had said the poll was redundant. A huge banner that called for delaying the poll was hung from an Admiralty footbridge yesterday morning.
Occupy co-founder Benny Tai Yiu-ting said: “The public may feel there are problems with the movement’s organisation and leadership, and we admit that … I promise that in the future, we will give sufficient notice to and discuss with protesters before making a major formal decision.”
For me, the lesson in this story is that “democracy” is not a self-executing political panacea. Democracy has a value — a high value — as ONE element of a fair and well-ordered society. But democracy can only serve its proper function as a check on the tyranny of the state when it operates within a system of well-defined and transparent laws and institutions. It is not surprising to me that the vote called by the protesters did not happen. There was no framework of law and institutional operation within which it could happen.
The smartest lawyers and statesmen in the rebel colonies worked for many months to draft the Constitution of the United States before it was finally implemented. Doing this created the framework of laws and institutions in which democracy operated as only one dynamic part of a system that was crafted after extremely careful deliberation by some of the wisest men who have ever considered these issues. The Framers of the US Constitution did their work after putting in place a temporary structure — the Articles of Confederation — to ensure a stable environment for long enough to work out the permanent “political operating system” for their country. They did not do their work in the heated stress and passion of an armed rebellion against the Crown. They first made an imperfect compromise in the Articles of Confederation to buy themselves the time they knew it would take to work out a truly well-ordered system. My advice to the protesters: study history.
“For me, the lesson in this story is that “democracy” is not a self-executing political panacea. Democracy has a value — a high value — as ONE element of a fair and well-ordered society.”
The problem, of course, is that there is no time for study. The pro-democracy protesters have been improvising and responding to the largely pro-Beijing government’s actions from the beginning. They are working from a base that is fueled by legitimate passion for liberty and fear of tyranny, but without a well-established leadership operating within a widely-recognized and accepted organizational structure.
“But democracy can only serve its proper function as a check on the tyranny of the state when it operates within a system of well-defined and transparent laws and institutions.”
In any conflict, all things being equal, the side with the more easily achieved strategic goal and the larger number of tactical options will prevail. For better or worse, in this situation, the side with both of these advantages is the pro-establishment side. For the pro-Beijing Hong Kong government, the strategic “victory condition” is maintaining the status quo, and they have a broad range of tactical options along the spectrum of patiently waiting out the protesters on one end to forcefully removing them on the other. I fear the pro-democracy side may not really realize this or, if they do, can think of no tactical response other than “keep doing what we’re doing.” Without regard to the merits of either side’s goals, this makes the pro-democracy side’s strategic and tactical position very weak. Unless they realize this and adjust their strategy and tactics accordingly, the outcome for them does not look good.
“In any conflict, all things being equal, the side with the more easily achieved strategic goal and the larger number of tactical options will prevail. For better or worse, in this situation, the side with both of these advantages is the pro-establishment side.”
This grim picture is playing itself out in a situation where the largest number of the anti-establishment protesters are high school and college students, without strong and experienced leadership that has been tested over time, and without any organizational infrastructure to support the building of strategic or tactical consensus. Unless this situation changes, it looks increasingly unlikely that the pro-democracy movement will put itself into a situation where it can achieve a real “victory.” If their only tool is a “passion for democracy,” they cannot prevail.
In a surprise move late Friday, a key Democrat on the Federal Election Commission called for burdensome new rules on Internet-based campaigning, prompting the Republican chairman to warn that Democrats want to regulate online political sites and even news media like the Drudge Report.
Democratic FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel announced plans to begin the process to win regulations on Internet-based campaigns and videos, currently free from most of the FEC’s rules. “A reexamination of the commission’s approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long over due,” she said.
“Regrettably, the 3-to-3 vote in this matter suggests a desire to retreat from these important protections for online political speech — a shift in course that could threaten the continued development of the Internet’s virtual free marketplace of political ideas and democratic debate.”
The power play followed a deadlocked 3-3 vote on whether an Ohio anti-President Obama Internet campaign featuring two videos violated FEC rules when it did not report its finances or offer a disclosure on the ads. The ads were placed for free on YouTube and were not paid advertising.
Under a 2006 FEC rule, free political videos and advocacy sites have been free of regulation in a bid to boost voter participation in politics. Only Internet videos that are placed for a fee on websites, such as the Washington Examiner, are regulated just like normal TV ads. Read the rest of this entry »
“When we started this journey together we all hoped for a happier ending. Sadly that was not to be.”
– Graham’s parents, John and Sue Graham
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Remains found nearly a week ago in a rural area of Virginia are those of a university student who disappeared last month, authorities said Friday, ending a search that left the campus and community on edge.
“We are working diligently with local law enforcement on the investigation to ensure that we make the best determination for our community and the Grahams in the pursuit of justice.”
– Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney
University of Virginia sophomore Hannah Graham, 18, disappeared Sept. 13 after a night out with friends. Her remains were found Oct. 18 about 12 miles from campus, in a heavily wooded area of Albemarle County that is home to rolling hills and horse farms.
“We are devastated by the loss of our beautiful daughter… Although we have lost our precious Hannah, the light she radiated can never be extinguished.”
– John and Sue Graham
The man Graham was last seen with, 32-year-old Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr., has been charged with abduction with intent to defile Graham. His attorney, Jim Camblos, said in a voicemail greeting that he is not answering questions about the case. Read the rest of this entry »
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — An assailant shot three sheriff’s deputies in two neighboring Northern California counties on Friday, also shooting and wounding a bystander in an attempt to carjack a vehicle, sheriff’s officials said.
Deputies were searching a canyon in the Sierra Nevada foothills near Auburn Friday afternoon for an armed man suspected in all four shootings. Placer County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Dena Erwin told The Associated Press that a woman who was seen with the man earlier in the day had been taken into custody, and Erwin said the woman had a handgun in her purse.
Residents in the rural area were being urged to stay indoors and Erwin said nearby schools were on lockdown as multiple law enforcement agencies searched for the remaining suspect.
The condition of the three deputies and bystander was not immediately known.
The dramatic events began around 10:30 a.m. when a Sacramento County deputy was shot as he approached a suspicious occupied vehicle in a parking lot in a commercial area, Sacramento County spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Bowman said. Read the rest of this entry »
The alleged shooter, who was a student, and one other person were killed, the police said. A law-enforcement official added that the shooting suspect appeared to have died from a self-inflicted wound. The police officials offered no details about the second death.
A Marysville hospital said four young people have been admitted, two males and two females, adding that three are listed in critical condition in either surgery or an intensive-care unit.
Commander Robb Lamoureux of the Marysville police department said he had no information about a motive…(more)
Originally posted on TIME:
The police chief and mayor of a Mexican town where 43 students went missing in September has been served with an arrest warrant, in connection to the disappearance.
Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo said Wednesday that Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca and wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda are accused of targeting the group of student teachers, who went head-to-head with authorities during a political event on Sept. 26 and have not been seen since. A warrant was also issued for police chief Felipe Flores Velazquez, Reuters reports, and Murillo has pegged all three as “probable masterminds” in the disappearances.
At least six students and bystanders were killed during the Sept. 26 clash, the New York Timesreports. Others were held by police before being released to a notorious gang called Guerreros Unidos. Murillo says he believes the students were mistaken for members of a rival gang known…
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