And we begin with the cop, via Sky News:
Ferguson Officer Quit Because Of ‘Threats’
- The police chief complains of “egregious” threats, as the mayor says Darren Wilson will receive no severance payment package.
The white officer who shot dead black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, quit because of threats against the police department, his lawyer has said.
Darren Wilson’s resignation with immediate effect was announced on Saturday, four months after the confrontation that fuelled violent protests in the St Louis suburb and across the US.
Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told a news conference on Sunday: “The threats (from protesters) have been egregious and counselling is available to the officers.” He was joined by Ferguson Mayor James Knowles, who said Mr Wilson, 28, received no severance payment package.
On to the war, via CBC News:
Gill Rosenberg, Canadian citizen, reportedly captured by ISIS in Syria
- Canada ‘pursuing all appropriate channels’ to verify reports, is in touch with local authorities
The federal government is working to confirm reports that Gill Rosenberg, a Canadian citizen, has been captured by Islamist extremists in Syria.
According to the Jerusalem Post, websites “known to be close” to ISIS extremists reported the capture of the Israeli-Canadian woman, who joined Kurdish fighters overseas, on Sunday.
“Canada is pursuing all appropriate channels” to seek further information and is in touch with local authorities, a spokesman for the foreign ministry said on Sunday.
The newspaper said the websites give few details on the alleged capture, only that it occurred after three suicide attacks on sites where Kurdish fighters were holed up.
Another Bush/Cheney legacy from the Washington Post:
Investigation finds 50,000 ‘ghost’ soldiers in Iraqi army, prime minister says
The Iraqi army has been paying salaries to at least 50,000 soldiers who don’t exist, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Sunday, an indication of the level of corruption that permeates an institution that the United States has spent billions equipping and arming.
A preliminary investigation into “ghost soldiers” — whose salaries are being drawn but who are not in military service — revealed the tens of thousands of false names on Defense Ministry rolls, Abadi told parliament Sunday. Follow-up investigations are expected to uncover “more and more,” he added.
Abadi, who took power in September, is under pressure to stamp out the graft that flourished in the armed forces under his predecessor, Nouri al-Maliki. Widespread corruption has been blamed for contributing to the collapse of four of the army’s 14 divisions in June in the face of an offensive by Islamic State extremists.
An upcoming visit via the News in Lagos, Nigeria:
EU delegation visiting Guantanamo Bay prison
A delegation of five European officials led by French former justice minister Rachida Dati will visit the US military detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba this week, aides said Sunday.
Invited by the United States, the delegation’s informal visit is meant to help give Europe ideas on how it can help the United States shut down the controversial jail once and for all.
Dati and her delegation of European Parliament members will visit on Tuesday and will also have a chance to see inmates’ prison conditions, said Philip Kyle, her parliamentary attache.
The Canadian Press covers spookery to the north:
Disclosure of ‘sensitive’ telecom surveillance details worried feds: memo
A move by telecommunications firms to be more forthcoming with the public about their role in police and spy surveillance could divulge “sensitive operational details,” a senior Public Safety official warned in a classified memo.
Company efforts to reveal more about police and intelligence requests — even the disclosure of broad numbers — would require “extensive consultations with all relevant stakeholders,” wrote Lynda Clairmont, senior assistant deputy minister for national and cybersecurity.
Clairmont’s note, released under the Access to Information Act, provided advice to deputy minister Francois Guimont on the eve of his one-hour April 17 meeting with representatives of Telus Corp. to discuss specifically what information the company was allowed to tell the public about electronic surveillance activities.
Telus released a so-called “transparency report” five months later, revealing it had received more than 103,000 official requests for information about subscribers in 2013.
The Los Angeles Times covers a devastating hack attack:
Sony movies leak online as computer systems remain dark
If Sony Pictures employees return to work Monday after the Thanksgiving weekend without computer or email access, it will mark the beginning of the second week of blackout for the Culver City movie studio after a widespread hack.
And Sony’s headaches do not appear to have lessened. Pirated copies of some Sony movies have begun to appear online on file sharing websites in the days after the attack. It is not known whether the two problems are related.
Among the titles that have popped up are the Brad Pitt World War II drama “Fury,” the musical remake “Annie” and the upcoming film “Still Alice.” Copies of “Mr. Turner” and “To Write Love on Her Arms” have also surfaced.
From the Hill, expect more:
Corporate data breaches ‘inevitable,’ expert says
A cybersecurity expert said in an interview broadcast Sunday night that data breaches such as those at top retailers including Target and Home Depot are “inevitable.”
“Nearly every company … is vulnerable,” Dave DeWalt, Fire Eye’s chief executive, told 60 Minutes. “Even the strongest banks in the world — banks like JPMorgan, retailers like Home Depot, retailers like Target can’t spend enough money or hire enough people to solve this problem,” he added.
“This isn’t a lack of effort. Most of the large companies are growing their security spend — yet 97 percent, literally 97 percent, of all companies are getting breached,” DeWalt said.
DeWalt said it takes 229 days, on average, to discover a security breach, which are often blamed on poor passwords.
A rousing dronal endorsement from TechWeek Europe:
London Needs More Drones To Beat Its Traffic Problems, Says Boris Johnson
- Drones could prove the answer to the hordes of delivery vehicles clogging the capital’s streets, Mayor believes
The skies of London could become much more crowded after the city’s Mayor called for airborne drones to take the place of road vehicles.
Speaking at an event in Singapore during his six-day tour of south-east Asia, Boris Johnson called on the capital’s technology firms, particularly the financial technology sector, to come up with a solution to the traffic problems that plague the city, and suggested drones could be the answer.
“We have a problem, folks – all this internet shopping is leading to a massive increase in white van traffic dropping this stuff off – 45 percent it’s going to go up in London in the next seven years,” he said. “That’s going to be terrible for congestion in our city and doubtless the same will be true of Singapore as well.
“I look out at this brilliant audience here today, bulging with ideas, and I ask you possibly to solve it. We need a solution … Is it, as I hope, going to be drones? I want to be controlling an app that enables my shopping not only to be click and collect … I want my own personal drone to come and drop it wherever I choose.”
From the Guardian, a source of domestic insecurity:
Begging prosecutions increase dramatically across England and Wales
- Number of cases rises 70%, prompting concerns that cuts in support and benefits make more people resort to begging
Prosecutions for begging have rocketed across England and Wales over the past year with dramatic increases recorded in many police force areas.
The number of cases brought to court under the 1824 Vagrancy Act has surged by 70%, prompting concerns that cuts to support services and benefits are pushing more people to resort to begging.
Some areas have spiked spectacularly. The number of charges for begging in the area covered by Merseyside police rose nearly 400% from 60 cases to 291 in 12 months, while Thames Valley, which covers relatively prosperous Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, showed a similar rate of increase from 20 cases to 92.
Deutsche Welle covers a Colombian release:
Colombian rebel group FARC ‘frees kidnapped general, two soldiers’
Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, has confirmed that FARC rebels freed an army general captured earlier this month. General Ruben Alzate’s release may help restart Bogota’s suspended peace talks with the group.
The Colombian president wrote on his Twitter account on Sunday that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) had also released two other hostages, Corporal Jorge Rodriguez and army advisor Gloria Urrego. Santos said General Alzate and his fellow captives would be reunited with their families soon.
“Freed … in prefect condition,” Santos wrote.
Fifty-five-year-old General Alzate was the highest-ranking Colombian military official ever to have been kidnapped by the Marxist group. Alzate, Rodriguez and Urrego were kidnapped by FARC fighters on November 16 when they were travelling to the remote area of Choco.
And from Xinhua, the Egyptian crackdown continues:
Egypt court jails Badie and 26 others 3 years for insulting judiciary
An Egyptian court sentenced the Muslim Brotherhood’s top official Mohammed Badie and 26 of the Islamist group’s leading figures to three years in prison for insulting the judiciary.
Badie and other defendants were in the criminal court of Cairo Sunday on charges of jailbreak during the 2011 uprising. The judge delivered the sentence after the group’s leaders offended the court during trial.
The trial of Badie and other defendants on the charge of escaping from jail has been adjourned to December 20.
After the jump, on to Asia and the ongoing Games of Zones, first with a seismic shift on a contested island, the crackdown on Occupy Hong Kong heats up with a city hall siege and a street-clearing, another Chinese crackdown, Uncle Sam ups the ante in the Game of Zones as China mulls missile sales and asserts insular singularity, Japan adds island-claiming amphibious boats, Tokyo stakes a secret documents claim, and Japan ramps up its cleanup of its chemical warfare effort in occupied China, plus odds on an apocalyptic scenario. . . Continue reading