First up, via the London Telegraph, opportunity knocks:
GCHQ employs more than 100 dyslexic and dyspraxic spies
- The British intelligence agency uses dyslexics’ ability to analyse complex information in a ‘dispassionate, logical and analytical’ in the fight against terror
While many people with dyslexia struggle with reading or writing, they are often extremely skilled at deciphering facts from patterns or events.
IT specialist Matt, 35, chairman of the dyslexic and dyspraxic support community at GCHQ, told The Sunday Times: “What people don’t realise is that people with neuro diversity usually have a ‘spikyskills’ profile, which means that certain skill areas will be below par and others may be well above,” he said.
“My reading might be slower than some individuals and maybe my spelling is appalling, and my handwriting definitely is … but if you look at the positive side, my 3D spacial-perception awareness and creativity is in the top 1% of my peer group.”
From the Christian Science Monitor, hints of escalations ahead:
Obama vows to strike Syrian regime if US jets attacking IS are targeted
The Obama administration said it would destroy Syria’s air defenses if they fire on US planes attacking Islamic State militants inside Syria. The White House says it won’t coordinate airstrikes with Damascus.
The Obama administration has threatened to destroy the Syrian government’s air defenses if US warplanes flying missions to attack militants in Syria are targeted over the country’s air space.
The public threat is an example of the difficult waters Mr. Obama is wading into with his plan to “destroy” the self-styled Islamic State, which is fighting to unseat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The White House insists that its effort will neither help Mr. Assad nor involve his cooperation, more than three years into Syria’s civil war.
Syrian war-planes and helicopters are already flying missions against IS and other rebel groups, and without coordination between Syrian and US forces, the risk of accidental engagements is high.
Reuters covers an exodus:
Islamic State closes in on Syrian town, refugees flood into Turkey
Islamic State militants tightened their noose on a northern Syrian border town on Sunday as the United Nations said the number of Syrian Kurds fleeing into neighbouring Turkey may have topped 100,000 and was likely to go much higher.
Residents fleeing the frontier town of Ayn al-Arab, known in Kurdish as Kobani, and its surrounding villages said the militants were executing people of all ages in the areas they had seized to create a climate of fear and slavish obedience.
Kurdish politicians in Turkey renewed their appeal to young people in the country’s mainly Kurdish southeast to head to Kobani to help their ethnic kin push back Islamic State, which has seized swathes of Iraq and Syria in recent months and proclaimed a caliphate in the heart of the Middle East.
Deutsche Welle covers a consequence:
Security clashes with Kurds on Turkey-Syria border
Turkish troops have fired water cannon and tear gas at Kurdish demonstrators during clashes on the Turkey-Syria border. Some 70,000 Syrians fleeing the “Islamic State” have now crossed into Turkey, the UN says.
Kurds on the Turkey-Syrian border came under fire from water cannon and tear gas during clashes with Turkish security forces on Sunday. Turkish troops were attempting to disperse crowds of Kurds, which had gathered in support of fellow Kurds fleeing an “Islamic State” (IS) offensive across the border from Syria.
The clashes took place at a barbed wire border fence just five kilometers from the town of Ayn al-Arab, where Kurdish fighters are holding off jihadists.
Hundreds of young demonstrators responded by hurling rocks at security forces. Police said security forces had been trying to prevent Kurdish fighters entering Syria, but local television reported that Kurds had been trying to take aid into Syria.
An ex-spook’s reservation with the Observer:
UK urged to avoid direct military action in Syria
- Former MI6 intelligence director Nigel Inkster warns against joining military action that could anger Assad allies
Nigel Inkster, a former deputy head of MI6, said that, although empowering rebel forces was sensible, the UK should not be tempted to join any potential military action in Syria which would antagonise the allies of President Bashar al-Assad, such as Russia. Britain has not ruled out air strikes in Iraq or Syria, but it has said targeting Isis positions in Syria would be complicated.
Inkster said: “Military activity that takes place in Iraq will take place with the consent of the Iraqi government. In the case of Syria, that is not the case … any such activity would technically be an act of war.
“You can be confident that Assad’s allies would be very quick to make this point. But from a military perspective the logic of such an engagement is inevitable because ultimately Syria is where this force needs to be defeated. The emphasis has to be on local actors, enabling local Syrian actors. They had some success previously [against Isis] but then they had logistical problems, running out of equipment just at the point Isis was acquiring new supplies.”
Another force has joined the fight against ISIS, Anonymous. The first half of this France 24 segment features an interview with one of the campaign’s organization’s [the other half is about the new iPhone, sorry]:
Anonymous Vs ISIS
This week #TECH24 brings you an EXCLUSIVE interview with Anonymous on why (and how) the collective decided to join the fight against the ‘Islamic State’ Group. Also in this edition: a test of the new iPhone6 and iPhone6 Plus.
ISIS continued its own war on the media report, with Sky News covering the latest barrage:
IS Releases Gruesome Full-Length Film
- The 55-minute film, which uses special effects, graphics and slow-motion replays, shows captives digging their own graves
The propaganda war being waged by Islamic State militants has intensified, with the release of a full-length documentary-style film entitled Flames of War: Fighting Has Just Begun.
The 55-minute video uploaded to the internet celebrates the campaign in Iraq and Syria and shows captured Syrian soldiers digging their own graves before being shot dead.
A masked IS fighter with a North American accent addresses the camera and claims to be in a captured army base. “We’re here with the soldiers of Bashar, you can see them now digging their own graves where they were stationed,” he says.
More from Canada’s National Post:
ISIS urges jihadists to attack Canadians: ‘You will not feel secure in your bedrooms’
The spokesman for the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham called for attacks on Canadians on Sunday in an apparent attempt to deter members of the military alliance that has formed to challenge the terrorist group.
In a 42-minute audio speech, Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani urged ISIS supporters to kill Canadians, Americans, Australians, French and other Europeans, regardless of whether they were civilians or members of the military.
“Rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling,” he said.
And the New York Times covers a certain mistrust:
Suspicions Run Deep in Iraq That C.I.A. and the Islamic State Are United
The United States has conducted an escalating campaign of deadly airstrikes against the extremists of the Islamic State for more than a month. But that appears to have done little to tamp down the conspiracy theories still circulating from the streets of Baghdad to the highest levels of Iraqi government that the C.I.A. is secretly behind the same extremists that it is now attacking.
“We know about who made Daesh,” said Bahaa al-Araji, a deputy prime minister, using an Arabic shorthand for the Islamic State on Saturday at a demonstration called by the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr to warn against the possible deployment of American ground troops. Mr. Sadr publicly blamed the C.I.A. for creating the Islamic State in a speech last week, and interviews suggested that most of the few thousand people at the demonstration, including dozens of members of Parliament, subscribed to the same theory. (Mr. Sadr is considered close to Iran, and the theory is popular there as well.)
When an American journalist asked Mr. Araji to clarify if he blamed the C.I.A. for the Islamic State, he retreated: “I don’t know. I am one of the poor people,” he said, speaking fluent English and quickly stepping back toward the open door of a chauffeur-driven SUV. “But we fear very much. Thank you!”
From the Register, eavesdropping expectations across The Pond:
New UK.gov DATA SLURPING diplomat to push US telcos to share more subscriber info
- When a DRIP becomes a flood
The British government has appointed a senior diplomat who will act as a go-between on overseas data access jurisdiction issues, to push communication providers – particularly those based in the US – to share more information with UK spooks.
The new post, created by Prime Minister David Cameron, comes after Whitehall pushed what it said was “emergency legislation” through Parliament in July this year.
At the time, Cameron convinced MPs that the rushed Data Retention and Investigatory Powers (DRIP) Act was needed to “preserve” surveillance tactics used by intelligence agencies and police forces in the UK.
From CBC News, the leaks continue:
Nude celebrity photo leak: More images posted to online forums
- Leak appears connected to dozens of photos uploaded in early September
More nude photographs of celebrities were leaked online Saturday in what appears to be the second release of material from a hacker who posted intimate images of dozens of celebrities on an internet forum earlier this month.
Among the victims of the most recent leak were reality television star Kim Kardashian, actor Vanessa Hudgens and U.S. national women’s soccer team goalie Hope Solo. Previously unreleased photos of celebrities included in the last leak, such as Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence and The Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco, were posted as well.
According to multiple media outlets, the images first appeared Saturday morning on the site 4Chan, and were also posted by users on Reddit, but were quickly deleted by site administrators.
And then there’s Texas, where King Leer reigns supreme. From Vice News:
Court Ruling Makes Taking Pictures Up Women’s Skirts Legal in Texas
The highest criminal court in Texas reversed a state law this week that prevented people from taking pictures up women’s skirts in public.
The law, which banned “improper photography or visual recording,” with the “intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person,” was deemed an unconstitutional violation of First Amendment rights to free speech and individual thought.
The act of secretly capturing lurid photography, usually aimed up women’s skirts, is commonly known as “upskirting,” and the photos are sometimes called “creepshots.” Whatever the term used to describe it, the practice is now legal in the Lone Star State after an 8-1 ruling by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
After the jump, paramilitarizing police under investigation, an old school data takedown in Indonesia, Game of Zones trade consequences, a Sino/Iranian naval exercise, and an anti-American base protest in Japan. . . Continue reading