April 3, 2019

Prime Ministers of Greece and Turkey meet in Thessalonika

Thursday, May 4, 2006

The Greek Premier Kostas Caramanlis and his counterpart of Turkey, Rejep Tayyip Erdogan, had a meeting, for 45 minutes, in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, in the sidelines of the Inter-Balkan Cooperation Summit. Caramanlis and Erdogan had the opportunity to discuss the bilateral issues between Greece and Turkey, such as the Cyprus Issue, the dispute between the two countries in the area of Aegean Sea as well as the process of Turkey’s efforts to become a member of the European Union. Today, the Prime Minister of Turkey will have the opportunity to visit the Turkish Consulate of Thessaloniki; the house in which the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Kemal Ataturk, was born.

Except from the Caramanlis-Erdogan meeting, important discussions took place in Thessaloniki between the leaders of Southeast Europe countries. The Bulgarian Prime Minister denied the reports in Bulgarian Media, whereby the Bulgarian public sector was backing out of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipe construction. In addition, the leaders welcomed the signing of the agreement for constructing a state-of-the-art railroad network in Southeast Europe, which as he said, would modernise rail transport, reduce travel time and increase the quality of the services provided in the region.

Japan, a major contributor to Balkan reconstruction projects, has guest status at the meeting, represented by Deputy Foreign Minister, Akiko Yamanaka. The Summit focused on the European prospects of the Southeast European countries, economic relations, the issue with Kosovo, and the political crisis in Serbia, following the failed arrest of wanted General Mladic and the freezing of negotiations with the European Union.

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April 2, 2019

ACLU, EFF challenging US ‘secret’ court orders seeking Twitter data

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Late last month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed objections to the United States Government’s ‘secret’ attempts to obtain Twitter account information relating to WikiLeaks. The ACLU and EFF cite First and Fourth amendment issues as overriding reasons to overturn government attempts to keep their investigation secret; and, that with Birgitta Jonsdottir being an Icelandic Parliamentarian, the issue has serious international implications.

The case, titled “In the Matter of the 2703(d) Order Relating to Twitter Accounts: Wikileaks, Rop_G, IOERROR; and BirgittaJ“, has been in the EFF’s sights since late last year when they became aware of the US government’s attempts to investigate WikiLeaks-related communications using the popular microblogging service.

The key objective of this US government investigation is to obtain data for the prosecution of Bradley Manning, alleged to have supplied classified data to WikiLeaks. In addition to Manning’s Twitter account, and that of WikiLeaks (@wikileaks), the following three accounts are subject to the order: @ioerror, @birgittaj, and @rop_g. These, respectively, belong to Jacob Apelbaum, Birgitta Jonsdottir, and Rop Gonggrijp.

Birgitta is not the only non-US citizen with their Twitter account targeted by the US Government; Gonggrijp, a Dutch ‘ex-hacker’-turned-security-expert, was one of the founders of XS4ALL – the first Internet Service Provider in the Netherlands available to the public. He has worked on a mobile phone that can encrypt conversations, and proven that electronic voting systems can readily be hacked.

In early March, a Virginia magistrate judge ruled that the government could have the sought records, and neither the targeted users, or the public, could see documents submitted to justify data being passed to the government. The data sought is as follows:

  1. Personal contact information, including addresses
  2. Financial data, including credit card or bank account numbers
  3. Twitter account activity information, including the “date, time, length, and method of connections” plus the “source and destination Internet Protocol address(es)”
  4. Direct Message (DM) information, including the email addresses and IP addresses of everyone with whom the Parties have exchanged DMs

The order demands disclosure of absolutely all such data from November 1, 2009 for the targeted accounts.

The ACLU and EFF are not only challenging this, but demanding that all submissions made by the US government to justify the Twitter disclosure are made public, plus details of any other such cases which have been processed in secret.

Bradley Manning, at the time a specialist from Maryland enlisted with the United States Army’s 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, was arrested in June last year in connection with the leaking of classified combat video to WikiLeaks.

The leaked video footage, taken from a US helicopter gunship, showed the deaths of Reuters staff Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldeen during a U.S. assault in Baghdad, Iraq. The wire agency unsuccessfully attempted to get the footage released via a Freedom of Information Act request in 2007.

When WikiLeaks released the video footage it directly contradicted the official line taken by the U.S. Army asserting that the deaths of the two Reuters staff were “collateral damage” in an attack on Iraqi insurgents. The radio chatter associated with the AH-64 Apache video indicated the helicopter crews had mistakenly identified the journalists’ equipment as weaponry.

The US government also claims Manning is linked to CableGate; the passing of around a quarter of a million classified diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks. Manning has been in detention since July last year; in December allegations of torture were made to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the conditions under which he was and is being detained.

Reports last month that he must now sleep naked and attend role call at the U.S. Marine facility in Quantico in the same state, raised further concern over his detention conditions. Philip J. Crowley, at-the-time a State Department spokesman, remarked on this whilst speaking at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; describing the current treatment of Manning as “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid”, Crowley was, as a consequence, put in the position of having to tender his resignation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Despite his native Australia finding, in December last year, that Assange’s WikiLeaks had not committed any criminal offences in their jurisdiction, the U.S. government has continued to make ongoing operations very difficult for the whistleblower website.

The result of the Australian Federal Police investigation left the country’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, having to retract a statement that WikiLeaks had acted “illegally”; instead, she characterised the site’s actions as “grossly irresponsible”.

Even with Australia finding no illegal activity on the part of WikiLeaks, and with founder Julian Assange facing extradition to Sweden, U.S. pressure sought to hobble WikiLeaks financially.

Based on a State Department letter, online payments site PayPal suspended WikiLeaks account in December. Their action was swiftly followed by Visa Europe and Mastercard ceasing to handle payments for WikiLeaks.

The online processing company, Datacell, threatened the two credit card giants with legal action over this. However, avenues of funding for the site were further curtailed when both Amazon.com and Swiss bank PostFinance joined the financial boycott of WikiLeaks.

Assange continues, to this day, to argue that his extradition to Sweden for questioning on alleged sexual offences is being orchestrated by the U.S. in an effort to discredit him, and thus WikiLeaks.

Wikinews consulted an IT and cryptography expert from the Belgian university which developed the current Advanced Encryption Standard; explaining modern communications, he stated: “Cryptography has developed to such a level that intercepting communications is no longer cost effective. That is, if any user uses the correct default settings, and makes sure that he/she is really connecting to Twitter it is highly unlikely that even the NSA can break the cryptography for a protocol such as SSL/TLS (used for https).”

Qualifying this, he commented that “the vulnerable parts of the communication are the end points.” To make his point, he cited the following quote from Gene Spafford: “Using encryption on the Internet is the equivalent of arranging an armored car to deliver credit card information from someone living in a cardboard box to someone living on a park bench.

Continuing, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) expert explained:

In the first place, the weak point is Twitter itself; the US government can go and ask for the data; companies such as Twitter and Google will typically store quite some information on their users, including IP addresses (it is known that Google deletes the last byte of the IP address after a few weeks, but it is not too hard for a motivated opponent to find out what this byte was).
In the second place, this is the computer of the user: by exploiting system weaknesses (with viruses, Trojan horses or backdoors in the operating system) a highly motivated opponent can enter your machine and record your keystrokes plus everything that is happening (e.g. the FBI is known to do this with the so-called Magic Lantern software). Such software is also commercially available, e.g. for a company to monitor its employees.
It would also be possible for a higly motivated opponent to play “man-in-the-middle”; that means that instead of having a secure connection to Twitter.com, you have a secure connection to the attacker’s server, who impersonates Twitter’s and then relays your information to Twitter. This requires tricks such as spoofing DNS (this is getting harder with DNSsec), or misleading the user (e.g. the user clicks on a link and connects to tw!tter.com or Twitter.c0m, which look very similar in a URL window as Twitter.com). It is clear that the US government is capable of using these kind of tricks; e.g., a company has been linked to the US government that was recognized as legitimate signer in the major browsers, so it would not be too large for them to sign a legitimate certificate for such a spoofing webserver; this means that the probability that a user would detect a problem would be very low.
As for traffic analysis (finding out who you are talking to rather than finding out what you are telling to whom), NSA and GCHQ are known to have access to lots of traffic (part of this is obtained via the UK-USA agreement). Even if one uses strong encryption, it is feasible for them to log the IP addresses and email addresses of all the parties you are connecting to. If necessary, they can even make routers re-route your traffic to their servers. In addition, the European Data Retention directive forces all operators to store such traffic data.
Whether other companies would have complied with such requests: this is very hard to tell. I believe however that it is very plausible that companies such as Google, Skype or Facebook would comply with such requests if they came from a government.
In summary: unless you go through great lengths to log through to several computers in multiple countries, you work in a clean virtual machine, you use private browser settings (don’t accept cookies, no plugins for Firefox, etc.) and use tools such as Tor, it is rather easy for any service provider to identify you.
Finally: I prefer not to be quoted on any sentences in which I make statements on the capabilities or actions of any particular government.

Wikinews also consulted French IT security researcher Stevens Le Blond on the issues surrounding the case, and the state-of-the-art in monitoring, and analysing, communications online. Le Blond, currently presenting a research paper on attacks on Tor to USENIX audiences in North America, responded via email:

Were the US Government to obtain the sought data, it would seem reasonable the NSA would handle further investigation. How would you expect them to exploit the data and expand on what they receive from Twitter?

  • Le Blond: My understanding is that the DOJ is requesting the following information: 1) Connection records and session times 2) IP addresses 3) e-mail addresses 4) banking info
By requesting 1) and 2) for Birgitta and other people involved with WikiLeaks (WL) since 2009, one could derive 2 main [pieces of] information.
First, he could tell the mobility of these people. Recent research in networking shows that you can map an IP address into a geographic location with a median error of 600 meters. So by looking at changes of IP addresses in time for a Twitter user, one could tell (or at least speculate about) where that person has been.
Second, by correlating locations of different people involved with WL in time, one could possibly derive their interactions and maybe even their level of involvement with WL. Whether it is possible to derive this information from 1) and 2) depends on how this people use Twitter. For example, do they log on Twitter often enough, long enough, and from enough places?
My research indicates that this is the case for other Internet services but I cannot tell whether it is the case for Twitter.
Note that even though IP logging, as done by Twitter, is similar to the logging done by GSM [mobile phone] operators, the major difference seems to be that Twitter is subject to US regulation, no matter the citizenship of its users. I find this rather disturbing.
Using 3), one could search for Birgitta on other Internet services, such as social networks, to find more information on her (e.g., hidden accounts). Recent research on privacy shows that people tend to use the same e-mail address to register an account on different social networks (even when they don’t want these accounts to be linked together). Obviously, one could then issue subpoenas for these accounts as well.
I do not have the expertise to comment on what could be done with 4).
((WN)) As I believe Jonsdottir to be involved in the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), what are the wider implications beyond the “WikiLeaks witchhunt”?
  • Le Blond: Personal data can be used to discredit, especially if the data is not public.

Having been alerted to the ongoing case through a joint press release by the ACLU and EFF, Wikinews sought clarification on the primary issues which the two non-profits saw as particularly important in challenging the U.S. Government over the ‘secret’ court orders. Rebecca Jeschke, Media Relations Director for the EFF, explained in more detail the points crucial to them, responding to a few questions from Wikinews on the case:

((WN)) As a worse-case, what precedents would be considered if this went to the Supreme Court?
  • Rebecca Jeschke: It’s extremely hard to know at this stage if this would go to the Supreme Court, and if it did, what would be at issue. However, some of the interesting questions about this case center on the rights of people around the world when they use US Internet services. This case questions the limits of US law enforcement, which may turn out to be very different from the limits in other countries.
((WN)) Since this is clearly a politicised attack on free speech with most chilling potential repercussions for the press, whistleblowers, and by-and-large anyone the relevant U.S. Government departments objects to the actions of, what action do you believe should be taken to protect free speech rights?
  • Jeschke: We believe that, except in very rare circumstances, the government should not be permitted to obtain information about individuals’ private Internet communications in secret. We also believe that Internet companies should, whenever possible, take steps to ensure their customers are notified about requests for information and have the opportunity to respond.
((WN)) Twitter via the web, in my experience, tends to use https:// connections. Are you aware of any possibility of the government cracking such connections? (I’m not up to date on the crypto arms race).
  • Jeschke: You don’t need to crack https, per se, to compromise its security. See this piece about fraudulent https certificates:
Iranian hackers obtain fraudulent httpsEFF website.
((WN)) And, do you believe that far, far more websites should – by default – employ https:// connections to protect people’s privacy?
  • Jeschke: We absolutely think that more websites should employ https! Here is a guide for site operators: (See external links, Ed.)

Finally, Wikinews approached the Icelandic politician, and WikiLeaks supporter, who has made this specific case a landmark in how the U.S. Government handles dealings with – supposedly – friendly governments and their elected representatives. A number of questions were posed, seeking the Icelandic Parliamentarian’s views:

((WN)) How did you feel when you were notified the US Government wanted your Twitter account, and message, details? Were you shocked?
  • Birgitta Jonsdottir: I felt angry but not shocked. I was expecting something like this to happen because of my involvement with WikiLeaks. My first reaction was to tweet about it.
((WN)) What do you believe is their reasoning in selecting you as a ‘target’?
  • Jonsdottir: It is quite clear to me that USA authorities are after Julian Assange and will use any means possible to get even with him. I think I am simply a pawn in a much larger context. I did of course both act as a spokesperson for WikiLeaks in relation to the Apache video and briefly for WikiLeaks, and I put my name to the video as a co-producer. I have not participated in any illegal activity and thus being a target doesn’t make me lose any sleep.
((WN)) Are you concerned that, as a Member of Parliament involved in the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), the US attempt to obtain your Twitter data is interfering with planned Icelandic government policy?
  • Jonsdottir: No
((WN)) In an earlier New York Times (NYT) article, you’re indicating there is nothing they can obtain about you that bothers you; but, how do you react to them wanting to know everyone you talk to?
  • Jonsdottir: It bothers me and according to top computer scientists the government should be required to obtain a search warrant to get our IP addresses from Twitter. I am, though, happy I am among the people DOJ is casting their nets around because of my parliamentary immunity; I have a greater protection then many other users and can use that immunity to raise the issue of lack of rights for those that use social media.
HAVE YOUR SAY
Do you believe the U.S. government should have the right to access data on foreign nationals using services such as Twitter?
Add or view comments
((WN)) The same NYT article describes you as a WikiLeaks supporter; is this still the case? What attracts you to their ‘radical transparency’?
  • Jonsdottir: I support the concept of WikiLeaks. While we don’t have a culture of protection for sources and whistleblowers we need sites like WikiLeaks. Plus, I think it is important to give WikiLeaks credit for raising awareness about in how bad shape freedom of information and expression is in our world and it is eroding at an alarming rate because of the fact that legal firms for corporations and corrupt politicians have understood the borderless nature of the legalities of the information flow online – we who feel it is important that people have access to information that should remain in the public domain need to step up our fight for those rights. WikiLeaks has played an important role in that context.I don’t support radical transparency – I understand that some things need to remain secret. It is the process of making things secret that needs to be both more transparent and in better consensus with nations.
((WN)) How do you think the Icelandic government would have reacted if it were tens of thousands of their diplomatic communications being leaked?
  • Jonsdottir: I am not sure – A lot of our dirty laundry has been aired via the USA cables – our diplomatic communications with USA were leaked in those cables, so far they have not stirred much debate nor shock. It is unlikely for tens of thousands of cables to leak from Iceland since we dont have the same influence or size as the USA, nor do we have a military.
((WN)) Your ambassador in the US has spoken to the Obama administration. Can you discuss any feedback from that? Do you have your party’s, and government’s, backing in challenging the ordered Twitter data release?
  • Jonsdottir: I have not had any feedback from that meeting, I did however receive a message from the DOJ via the USA ambassador in Iceland. The message stated three things: 1. I am free to travel to the USA. 2. If I would do so, I would not be a subject of involuntary interrogation. 3. I am not under criminal investigation. If this is indeed the reality I wonder why they are insisting on getting my personal details from Twitter. I want to stress that I understand the reasoning of trying to get to Assange through me, but I find it unacceptable since there is no foundation for criminal investigation against him. If WikiLeaks goes down, all the other media partners should go down at the same time. They all served similar roles. The way I see it is that WikiLeaks acted as the senior editor of material leaked to them. They could not by any means be considered a source. The source is the person that leaks the material to WikiLeaks. I am not sure if the media in our world understands how much is at stake for already shaky industry if WikiLeaks will carry on carrying the brunt of the attacks. I think it would be powerful if all the medias that have had access to WikiLeaks material would band together for their defence.
((WN)) Wikinews consulted a Belgian IT security expert who said it was most likely companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Google, would have complied with similar court orders *without advising the ‘targets*’. Does that disturb you?
  • Jonsdottir: This does disturb me for various reasons. The most obvious is that my emails are hosted at google/gmail and my search profile. I dont have anything to hide but it is important to note that many of the people that interact with me as a MP via both facebook and my various email accounts don’t always realize that there is no protection for them if they do so via those channels. I often get sensitive personal letters sent to me at facebook and gmail. In general most people are not aware of how little rights they have as users of social media. It is those of uttermost importance that those sites will create the legal disclaimers and agreements that state the most obvious rights we lose when we sign up to their services.
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
((WN)) Has there been any backlash within Iceland against US-based internet services in light of this? Do you expect such, or any increase in anti-American sentiments?
  • Jonsdottir: No, none what so ever. I dont think there is much anti-American sentiments in Iceland and I dont think this case will increase it. However I think it is important for everyone who does not live in the USA and uses social services to note that according to the ruling in my case, they dont have any protection of the 1st and 4th amendment, that only apply to USA citizens. Perhaps the legalities in relation to the borderless reality we live in online need to be upgraded in order for people to feel safe with using social media if it is hosted in the USA. Market tends to bend to simple rules.
((WN)) Does this make you more, or less, determined to see the IMMI succeed?
  • Jonsdottir: More. People have to realize that if we dont have freedom of information online we won’t have it offline. We have to wake up to the fact that our rights to access information that should be in the public domain is eroding while at the same time our rights as citizens online have now been undermined and we are only seen as consumers with consumers rights and in some cases our rights are less than of a product. This development needs to change and change fast before it is too late.

The U.S. Government continues to have issues internationally as a result of material passed to WikiLeaks, and subsequently published.

Within the past week, Ecuador has effectively declared the U.S. ambassador Heather Hodges persona-non-grata over corruption allegations brought to light in leaked cables. Asking the veteran diplomat to leave “as soon as possible”, the country may become the third in South America with no ambassadorial presence. Both Venezuela and Bolivia have no resident U.S. ambassador due to the two left-wing administrations believing the ejected diplomats were working with the opposition.

The U.S. State Department has cautioned Ecuador that a failure to speedily normalise diplomatic relations may jeapordise ongoing trade talks.

The United Kingdom is expected to press the Obama administration over the continuing detention of 23-year-old Manning, who also holds UK citizenship. British lawmakers are to discuss his ongoing detention conditions before again approaching the U.S. with their concerns that his solitary confinement, and treatment therein, is not acceptable.

The 22 charges brought against Manning are currently on hold whilst his fitness to stand trial is assessed.

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April 1, 2019

Brazilian Vote Buying parliamentary commission present first joint preliminary report

Wikipedia has more about this subject:

Monday, September 5, 2005

Brazil —The Post Office and Vote Buying parliamentary commissions of investigation unanimously approved on Thursday (1) their first joint preliminary report of activities. The text was prepared by their redactors, Osmar Serraglio (PMDB) and Ibrahim Abi-Ackel (PP), from Post Office and Vote Buying commissions respectively.

The deputies cited in the report are: Carlos Rodrigues (PLRJ), José Janene (PP-PR), Pedro Correia (PP-PE), Pedro Henry (PP-MS), Sandro Mabel (PL-GO), João Magno (PTMG), João Paulo Cunha (PT-SP), José Borba (PMDB-PR), Josias Gomes da Silva (PT-BA), Paulo Rocha (PT-BA), Professor Luizinho (PT-SP), Romeu Queiroz (PTB-MG), Vadão Gomes (PP-SP), Vanderval Santos (PL-SP), José Mentor (PT-SP), Roberto Brant (PFL-MG), José Dirceu (PT-SP) and Roberto Jefferson (PTB-RJ).

The report indicts 18 Brazilian deputies and the former deputy Valdemar Costa Neto [who resigned on August 1]. They are accused of illegal campaign finance activities, of placing cronies in strategic positions in government enterprises and getting kickbacks from them, and of receiving cash payments in exchange for voting in line with the government in the Brazilian Congress.

The redactors called the allegation made by some parliamentarians that the resources were used to settle debts with electoral campaigns a “lame excuse”. According to them it is “perfectly plausible” that the loans taken by the businessman Marcos Valerio at the Banco Rural and the BMG for the ruling Workers’ Party (PT) were false and created to make the illegal funds seem legal.

In regards to the denunciations done by deputy Roberto Jefferson (PTB) the report says:

  • Everything which he said that could be investigated showed to be true, including confessions against himself .
  • Everything that must be compared to other testimonies showed a great degree of truth. As a matter of fact, all of who, hurriedly, questioned him, saw their defenses collapse, before the successive discoveries.

According to the report, the businessman Marcos Valério is a not reliable person because of his contraditory testmonies.

The report says that several documents were identified and reviewed proving that large sums of money were withdrawn from agencies of the Rural Bank, in Brasilia and Belo Horizonte, as well as from bank accounts of the enterprises SMPB and DNA Propaganda. According to the documents the beneficiaries were federal deputies who received the money in person or through relatives, advisers, or persons nominated by Marcos Valério.

The report affirms that it is possible that some payments were made on a monthly basis, and others more or less frequently. Nevertheless, according to the report the periodicity of the payments is the less important fact.

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March 30, 2019

One year on, London remembers 7/7 victims

Friday, July 7, 2006

Londoners are commemorating the one year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on its transport networks that claimed 52 lives.

On this day last year, a series of coordinated suicide bombings struck London’s public transport system during the morning rush hour, with three bombs exploded within 50 seconds of each other on three London Underground trains. A fourth bomb exploded on a bus nearly an hour later in Tavistock Square. Fifty-two people were killed in the attacks, as were the four bombers, and about 700 injured in the deadliest single act of terrorism in the United Kingdom since the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and the deadliest bombing in London since the Second World War. The four suicide bombers were all UK residents, and while Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attacks, police are unsure of its exact role in the attack.

Flowers were laid by mayor Ken Livingstone and Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for Culture, near Kings Cross station at 8:50 a.m. BST (0750 UTC), marking the time and place of the first attack on a Piccadilly Line train beneath the station.

Prime Minister Tony Blair, who attended a private memorial at London’s Fire Brigade headquarters, said “This is a time when our country unites across all races, religions and divides and stands in solidarity with all those who have suffered so much, in sympathy with them and in defence of the values which we share,”, and recalled the efforts of emergency and public service personnel and the public at large, in the aftermath of the attack.

Tributes were also paid at Tavistock Square where a bus was attacked at 9:47 a.m. BST this day one year ago.

The bells of St Paul’s Cathedral tolled at the exact time of each of the bombings.

A two minutes silence was held across the UK at noon BST (1100 UTC), including at the Wimbledon tennis tournament. In many schools, offices, shops and town centres across the country the two minutes was observed. Other events are planned around London for later in the day.

Special programmes have been broadcast on British television to mark the occasion.

Yesterday, a video of one of the bombers, Shehzad Tanweer, was broadcast on the Al-Jazeera television channel, claiming to link the attacks with Al-Qaeda.

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Neville Chamberlain’s War Diaries go on display

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

File:Arthur-Neville-Chamberlain.jpg

The personal diaries of British wartime Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain are to go on display at the Imperial War Museum in London.

Beginning on August 20, 2009, a free exhibition, marking the 70th anniversary of the declaration of WWII, will allow visitors to have an unprecedented insight into the mind of the Prime Minister at the helm of the government when war was declared on September 3, 1939. His entry for that day, a note scribbled in pencil reads simply: “War declared.” With the diaries, a letter to his sister detailing the preparations for war, and the declaration letter itself, written by Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax.

The centrepiece at the exhibition will be accompanied by King George IV‘s jacket worn on his television appearance, and other previously unseen memorabilia from the period in the immediate run up to the Second World War.

A book, entitled The World Goes To War, is to be published on August 27, 2009 to accompany the exhibition. Also, a television documentary will be broadcast on UK network ITV1.

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Steve Wright, killer of five women in Suffolk, England, sentenced to life imprisonment

Friday, February 22, 2008

Steve Wright, yesterday convicted of the murder of five women in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, has today been sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court to life imprisonment. The bodies of the five women who worked as sex workers in Ipswich were found around the town in December 2006.

The judge, Mr Justice Gross said that a “substantial degree of pre-meditation and planning” was involved meaning the requirments for a whole life sentence for Wright was met. He said, “This was a targeted campaign of murder. It is right you should spend your whole life in prison.”

Speaking after the sentencing, Deputy Chief Constable of Suffolk Police, Jacqui Cheer said, “At the start of the inquiry we could not have asked for anything more. It is a tribute to all the people who have been involved – not only police officers but their support teams and all the members of the public who phoned-in offering information.”

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March 29, 2019

27 reported dead in Iranian suicide bombings

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Two suicide bombers detonated bombs at a mosque in southeastern Iran today, killing 27 and leaving several hundred more injured.

The explosions occurred moments apart at a Shia mosque, killing both civilians and government officials from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. 27 people are confirmed dead, while reports of injuries totaled 270, and officials said the death toll is likely to rise.

The attacks were reportedly carried out by a Sunni rebel group, Jundallah, who said it was in retaliation for the execution of the group’s leader, Abdolmalek Rigi, by the Iranian government in June.

A local official, Hossein Ali Shahriari, said that “[t]he [first] attacker, dressed in women’s clothing, was trying to get in the mosque, but was prevented. When people came to rescue those hit in that blast, another bomber blew himself up. Three to four have been killed at least in the first attack;” the remainder were killed in the second blast.

The Revolutionary Guard’s top official, Yadollah Javani, blamed the United States, Israel, and Europeean countries for the attacks, citing testimony offered by Rigi before he was executed that claimed Jundallah had received aid from Western powers.

“Rigi’s confessions prove that the United States, Zionists and some European countries are directly linked with the Zahedan blasts, because he had confessed that the U.S. wants bomb attacks to be carried out across Iran…one [can] not doubt the involvement of secret foreign services in the efforts to generate tension amongst Muslims.”

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Orville Moody, 1969 U.S open winner dies at age 74

Saturday, August 9, 2008

American golfer Orville Moody died yesterday aged 74. He was the winner of the 1969 U.S open.

A former U.S army sergeant Moody gave up the military in 1967 to play a trail run on the PGA Tour, he earned almost $300,000 in one year. After 15 months of joining Moody was named PGA Player of the Year. Moody won the U.S open by only one strike with a 72-hole score of 281. Deane Beman, Al Geiberger and Bob Rosburg all finished the tournament with a score of 282. In 1989, he became only the fourth man to win both the U.S. Open and the U.S. Senior Open.

No cause of death has been giving so far. Moody had a triple bypass heart surgery in 1995.

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Australian media focuses on Olympic prospects against US for women’s basketball

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bruce, Canberra — On Monday, at a press conference at the Australian Institute of Sport on the first day of an Opals training camp, the media asked questions supporting this Olympic cycle’s storyline that the Australian team is going to the 2012 Summer Olympics for a gold medal rematch between Australia and the United States women’s national basketball team, who are once again in separate Olympic pools for the tournament. Media organisations present included Fox Sports, WIN News, the Canberra Times, and Wikimedia Australia including our reporter.

The press at the first press conference consisted of a female print journalist, four video cameras behind the two rows of seats allocated for the media, and three microphones in front of the table occupied by the national team coach Carrie Graf and national team members Lauren Jackson and Jenna O’Hea. The media contingent largely asked questions about Australia’s quest for a gold medal, how worried the Australians were about the team from the United States and how much planning the team was doing in preparation to play them in the gold medal finals for the fourth time in a row. These questions mirrored an ongoing theme in the media coverage found in television media and newspaper coverage of portraying the team as one of Australia’s few serious medal contenders. The other focus was on early game against Great Britain women’s national basketball team, who are in the same pool as Australia, who will have an advance of playing on their home ground with at least one dual-Australian/British passport holder on the United Kingdom team and a former Australian national women’s team coach leading the opposition’s side.

In contrast to media questions from television and print reporters present, Graf, Jackson and O’Hea’s responses made clear their goal was in the present. The coach and players were thinking about who would survive the cuts to make the team, establishing a good team dynamic and preparing for teams early in their Olympic campaign. The Australian side was not thinking ahead to the gold medal round as they believe their competition is good enough to be a worry.

The press directed most of their questions to Jackson and Graf, with O’Hea only asked a question late in the press conference.

Following the press conference, Fox Sports interviewed one of the Opals in a one-on-one interview. Another reporter followed up with Basketball Australia’s media representative to ask additional questions.

In the opening session for the camp, a video photographer lined up a basketball to get a shot of a basketball in the foreground while Jackson and Suzy Batkovic-Brown shot baskets in the background.

The Opals had a training session open to the media early in the day, with six journalists recording in various media how players participated in several drills including a drill where the Opals, working in groups of three on three different courts, had one minute to attempt and make as many two point field goals as possible. In one drill set, Jennifer Snell made 22 of 28 attempts.

The final media open training session of the day, starting late in the afternoon, saw only a pair of Wikimedia Australia photographers and a Basketball Australia photographer present. The rest of the media had left much earlier in the day. The media open training camp will continue through until Friday, before the team starts a two week long training camp that will be closed to the media but not before two players are cut from a squad currently 19 strong that will be pared down to 12 by the end of next month.

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