First up, a sad reminder from the Oakland Tribune:
Oakland workers outraged over noose hung from city truck
Police launched an investigation Wednesday into a noose found hanging from a truck at Oakland’s corporation yard, and top city leaders met for more than two hours with workers to discuss the racially charged incident.
“If we figure out who did it, that person will be a former employee of the city,” interim City Administrator Henry Gardner said.
A hanging noose is associated with the lynching of African-Americans in the South. “The symbol is extremely powerful, unmistakably hateful and clearly indicating the hanging of blacks,” said Gardner, who is African-American.
Two African-American Public Works employees spotted the noose hanging from a bar on the back of their city-issued pickup truck about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, officials said.
From the London Telegraph, getting hyperbolic:
Britain facing ‘greatest terrorist threat’ in history
- David Cameron warns that Isil have made ‘specific’ threats against Britain as the terror threat level is raised
Britain faces the “greatest and deepest” terror threat in the country’s history, David Cameron warned as he pledged emergency measures to tackle extremists.
The UK threat level was raised to “severe” — its second highest — meaning that a terrorist attack is “highly likely” in light of the growing danger from British jihadists returning from Iraq and Syria.
The Prime Minister said that the risk posed by Isil (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) will last for “decades” and raised the prospect of an expanding terrorist nation “on the shores of the Mediterranean”.
He disclosed that Isil had made “specific” threats against the UK and did not rule out military action to tackle the growing problem.
The Associated Press offers irony:
Saudi king warns of terrorist threat to Europe, US
The king of Saudi Arabia has warned that extremists could attack Europe and the U.S. if there is not a strong international response to terrorism after the Islamic State group seized a wide territory across Iraq and Syria.
While not mentioning any terrorist groups by name, King Abdullah’s statement appeared aimed at drawing Washington and NATO forces into a wider fight against the Islamic State group and its supporters in the region. Saudi Arabia openly backs rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad, but is concerned that the breakaway al-Qaida group could also turn those very same weapons on the kingdom.
“If neglected, I am certain that after a month they will reach Europe and, after another month, America,” he said at a reception for foreign ambassadors Friday.
From the Guardian, a call to action:
The US government can brand you a terrorist based on a Facebook post. We can’t let them make up the rules
- Innocent people’s lives are being ruined. Why isn’t anyone watching the watchlist?
The US government’s web of surveillance is vast and interconnected. Now we know just how opaque, inefficient and discriminatory it can be.
As we were reminded again just this week, you can be pulled into the National Security Agency’s database quietly and quickly, and the consequences can be long and enduring. Through ICREACH, a Google-style search engine created for the intelligence community, the NSA provides data on private communications to 23 government agencies. More than 1,000 analysts had access to that information.
This kind of data sharing, however, isn’t limited to the latest from Edward Snowden’s NSA files. It was confirmed earlier this month that the FBI shares its master watchlist, the Terrorist Screening Database, with at least 22 foreign governments, countless federal agencies, state and local law enforcement, plus private contractors.
On to drones, first with PetaPixel:
Yellowstone Levels Criminal Charges at Drone Users Who are Violating the Park’s Ban
Yellowstone is no longer taking a slap-on-the-wrist, “we’ll let you off with a warning” approach to people who violate the park’s ban on camera drones. Egged on by several incidents since the ban went into effect, the park is starting to file criminal charges against violators that could mean $5,000 fines and/or 6 months in jail.
The main reason for the crackdown seems to be Theodorus Van Vliet, who earlier this month crashed his drone into the Grand Prismatic Spring after it was widely publicized that the park had banned the use of the little RC helicopters.
This incident has led to a long and expensive search for the drone — which has still not been found — as concerns mount about what this piece of machinery might do to the delicate bacterial ecosystem inside the hot spring. But Van Vliet is far from alone in breaking the ban
And from the San Antonio Express-News, get droned for Jesus!:
Texas megachurch pastor uses drones to spread his message
- Drones, dubstep and… God?
A North Texas megachurch pastor is using drones, which have killed more than 4,700 people in the past decade, to spread his message of the omniscient power of God through sermons and in a 45-second video ad.
The ad, which ran in Dallas-area theaters during previews for the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy,” promotes “Drone Month” at Pastor Ed Young’s Fellowship Church in Grapevine. The video features Young, standing in front of a predator drone armed with missiles, comparing drones’ ability to “know it all” and “see it all” to God while dubstep music plays in the background.
“The drone metaphor is a terrible and disturbing one,” said Matthew Gault, who wrote about the ads in Medium’s War is Boring blog. “It trivializes the big questions about a scary new technology and equates God with a weapon of war.”
And while we’re in Texas, gun blazing at the border via the Guardian:
Texas Border Patrol agent fires at armed militia member
- Unknown number of militia members have come to the Texas border following a surge in illegal immigration this summer
A Border Patrol agent pursuing a group of migrants in a wooded area near the Texas-Mexico border on Friday fired several shots at an armed man who later identified himself as a militia member.
Border Patrol spokesman Omar Zamora said agents had been chasing a group of migrants east of Brownsville Friday afternoon when an agent saw a man holding a gun near the Rio Grande. The agent fired four shots, but did not hit the man. The man then dropped his gun and identified himself as a member of a militia. Zamora said no other details were immediately available.
Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio, whose agency is involved in the investigation, said the incident occurred on private property and it appeared the man had permission to be there. He was not arrested, Lucio said.
From the Latin American Herald Tribune, more cause for insecurity?:
Mexico’s Drug Cartels Said to Mull Alliance
Several of Mexico’s major drug cartels are pursuing an alliance, capital daily Reforma said on Friday, citing unnamed intelligence sources.
The Juarez organization and Los Zetas are among the groups trying to create a “cartel of cartels,” the newspaper said in a front-page story.
The impetus to band together comes after each of the criminal outfits has experience significant setbacks, the sources told Reforma.
Senior figures from the Jalisco Nueva Generacion Cartel, the Juarez-based mob run by the Carrillo Fuentes family, Los Zetas and the Beltran Leyva cartel met in June in Piedras Negras, a city in the northern border state of Coahuila, according to the sources.
The Nikkei Asian Review covers a quantum leap:
Toshiba creates leap in ‘unbreakable’ cryptography communication tech
Toshiba has developed a new technology for quantum cryptography communication networks, paving the way for commercial use of cryptographic communication.
The major Japanese electrical machinery maker aims to have this technology in commercial use within five years. The purportedly “theoretically unbreakable” encryption technology is designed to protect data from cyber-attacks, which are becoming more complicated and malicious in nature.
Quantum cryptography communication transmits encrypted data and their secret digital keys on photons passing through optical fibers. When outsiders, such as hackers, try to access such data without authorization, the keys are broken due to changes in the photons, which then makes the data impossible to decode.
After the jump, the latest plays in the Asian Game of Zones, including an Afghan spooky shootout, turmoil and threats in Pakistan, journalists murder in Balochistan, Indo/Japanese summitry, a Chinese warning, a military mandate, China bases a claim, Japanese dissent, UN warns Japan warned about epidemic of anti-Korean hate speech. . . Continue reading