News Thread

For the talkin' of jibba jabba.
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Re: News Thread

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:14 am

Damn. Even if Kryptonians come around looking for shit, they still won't be expecting the Spanish Inquisition! Sanctified KRYPTONITE!
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Re: News Thread

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:04 pm

Brazil's new President the 70's Freedom Fighter wrote:The former guerrilla set to be the world's most powerful woman
Brazil looks likely to elect an extraordinary leader next weekend

By Hugh O'Shaughnessy


Sunday, 26 September 2010
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Dilma Rousseff in her 1970 police mugshot, when she led a revolutionary group

The world's most powerful woman will start coming into her own next weekend. Stocky and forceful at 63, this former leader of the resistance to a Western-backed military dictatorship (which tortured her) is preparing to take her place as President of Brazil.


As head of state, president Dilma Rousseff would outrank Angela Merkel, Germany's Chancellor, and Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State: her enormous country of 200 million people is revelling in its new oil wealth. Brazil's growth rate, rivalling China's, is one that Europe and Washington can only envy.

Her widely predicted victory in next Sunday's presidential poll will be greeted with delight by millions. It marks the final demolition of the "national security state", an arrangement that conservative governments in the US and Europe once regarded as their best artifice for limiting democracy and reform. It maintained a rotten status quo that kept a vast majority in poverty in Latin America while favouring their rich friends.

Ms Rousseff, the daughter of a Bulgarian immigrant to Brazil and his schoolteacher wife, has benefited from being, in effect, the prime minister of the immensely popular President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the former union leader. But, with a record of determination and success (which includes appearing to have conquered lymphatic cancer), this wife, mother and grandmother will be her own woman. The polls say she has built up an unassailable lead – of more than 50 per cent compared with less than 30 per cent – over her nearest rival, an uninspiring man of the centre called Jose Serra. Few doubt that she will be installed in the Alvorada presidential palace in Brasilia in January.
It goes on to explain that in the 70's her group kidnapped several foreign ambassadors and held them hostage in exchange for the release of political prisoners, if I were the ambassador to Brazil from a first world country right now I'd be nervous ;)
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Re: News Thread

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:35 pm

Oh how the wheel turns. This is a glorious turn of events. One of those goddamn communists who the USA fought by teaching their fellow rightwing (South/Latin) American fascists how to commit atrocities, now becoming a future president of an emerging power - a soon-to-be leader of the same nation the US funded so much shit at? Beautiful. Pure poetry.

Oh, Ronald Reagan. How the future spites thee. :D

Hopefully there won't be anymore mornings again for America. :twisted:

And they thought Obama was a secret muslim communist terrorist? Hah.
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Re: News Thread

Post by Siege » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:58 pm

Tycoon who took over Segway firm dies in freak accident after riding one of the machines off a cliff and into a river

The multi-millionaire owner of the Segway company died in a freak accident yesterday when he rode one of the high-tech two-wheel machines off a cliff and into a river.

Former miner Jimi Heselden, 62, plunged into the River Wharfe while riding around his West Yorkshire estate in Boston Spa on a rugged country version of the Segway.

He bought the firm last December and was using one of the machines - which use gyroscopes to remain upright and are controlled by the direction in which the rider leans - to inspect the grounds of his property.

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said today: 'Police were called at 11.40am yesterday to reports of a man in the River Wharfe, apparently having fallen from the cliffs above.

'A Segway-style vehicle was recovered. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
'At this time we do not believe the death to be suspicious.'

Invesitgators are probing whether there was a fault with his particular machine or it was driver error.

His death comes just a week after he became one of the UK's most generous philanthropists, having given away £10million to a charity foundation he set up in 2008. He had previously given £13million to the same organisation.

Mr Heselden was worth £166million and ranked 395th on the Sunday Times Rich List - above X Factor boss Simon Cowell - thanks to his defence company Hesco Bastion.

In a statement today Hesco Bastion said: 'It is with great sadness that we have to confirm that Jimi Heselden OBE has died in a tragic accident near his home in West Yorkshire.

'Jimi was chairman of Hesco Bastion Ltd, the world leading manufacturer of protective barriers, and owner of Segway Inc.
'Jimi is perhaps best known for his charity work with Help for Heroes and the Leeds Community Foundation.

'A £10m gift to the foundation earlier this month saw his lifetime charitable donations top £23m.

'Our thoughts go out to his family and many friends, who have asked for privacy at this time.'
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Re: News Thread

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:24 pm

That is a shitty way to die. Fall off a cliff on a Segway? Like, that just sucks. I think its suicide. Or it was a pretty shitty and dumb accident. How fast do those things move anyway?
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Re: News Thread

Post by Magister Militum » Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:41 am

At the risk of sounding like a complete asshole, I laughed when I read that he cause of death was driving off a cliff with a segway of all things. Still, I do feel sorry for the guy, especially given the way he went.
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Re: News Thread

Post by Invictus » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:28 am

Vegas Hotel Pool 'Death Ray' Burns Tourists
Guests at the new Vdara hotel have been complaining that because of an architectural flaw on the glass skyscraper, the sun's rays are being magnified and reflected onto an area of the pool, causing severe burns. There have been reports that even plastic has melted from the heat.

Bill Pintas almost lost some hair from his experience with the hot spot.

After a recent swim in the pool just after noon, he went back to his lounge chair.

"I'm sitting there in the chair and all of the sudden my hair and the top of my head are burning," Pintas told ABC News. "I'm rubbing my head and it felt like a chemical burn. I couldn't imagine what it could be."

Pintas shifted around and suddenly the back of his legs were burning. He ran to a nearby umbrella but even that didn't provide cover, let alone a shadow.

"It was as bright as outside," said Pintas, a Chicago lawyer who owns a condo at the Vdara.

"I used to live in Miami and I've sat in the sun in Las Vegas 100 times. I know what a hot sun feels like and this was not it," he added. "My first inclination was thinking: Jesus we've destroyed the ozone layer because I am burning."

Then Pintas learned he wasn't the first person to experience the magnified sunlight. At the bar, he explained the intense heat to some employees.

"They're kind of giggling and say: 'Yeah, we know. We call it the death ray,'" Pintas recalled.

They told him it even melts plastic cups. A plastic Vdara bag holding Pintas' newspaper was also burned through by the sun. The black letters bearing the name Vdara had entirely melted away.

Gordon Absher, a spokesman for MGM Mirage, which owns the Vdara, said the company is well aware of the problem and is addressing it.

"Because of the curved, concave shape of that hotel, they sometimes get isolated pockets of high temperatures," Absher said.

Apparently there is a more scientific name for the "death ray," a name that the hotel's management prefers: "solar convergence phenomenon."

The idea of a blinding light being magnified by a glass hotel in the middle of the desert shouldn't surprise anyone. And, in fact, MGM Mirage thought of this when designing the Vdara building. It hired a consultant who decided to place a thin film over the window which reduces the sun's effects by 70 percent.

"But even with that, when folks are out on the pool deck, on some days people will feel this reflection and the heat associated with it," said Absher, who noted this was the hotel's first summer of operation.

Fixing the problem isn't going to be easy. As the Earth spins, the sun moves across the horizon. But as the seasons change, the angle of the Earth to the sun changes too, meaning shadows – and in this case the hot spot – move in a different way. Putting in one row of thick umbrellas won't solve the problem because each day they would have to be a few feet back or a few feet forward from their prior day's position.

"This is quite literally an astronomical challenge," Absher said. "We are dealing with a moving target."

Right now, the hotel is looking at getting some larger, thicker umbrellas, maybe some large plants and a few other more high-tech options, Absher said. Since the summer heat is on its way out, the hotel has a few months to find a solution.
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Re: News Thread

Post by Czernobog » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:04 am

Stuxnet is coming
Stuxnet worm 'targeted high-value Iranian assets'
One of the most sophisticated pieces of malware ever detected was probably targeting "high value" infrastructure in Iran, experts have told the BBC.

Stuxnet's complexity suggests it could only have been written by a "nation state", some researchers have claimed.

It is believed to be the first-known worm designed to target real-world infrastructure such as power stations, water plants and industrial units.

It was first detected in June and has been intensely studied ever since.

"The fact that we see so many more infections in Iran than anywhere else in the world makes us think this threat was targeted at Iran and that there was something in Iran that was of very, very high value to whomever wrote it," Liam O'Murchu of security firm Symantec, who has tracked the worm since it was first detected, told BBC News.

Some have speculated that it could have been aimed at disrupting Iran's delayed Bushehr nuclear power plant or the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz.

However, Mr O'Murchu and others, such as security expert Bruce Schneier, have said that there was currently not enough evidence to draw conclusions about what its intended target was or who had written it.

Initial research by Symantec showed that nearly 60% of all infections were in Iran. That figure still stands, said Mr O'Murchu, although India and Indonesia have also seen relatively high infection rates.
'Rare package'

Stuxnet was first detected in June by a security firm based in Belarus, but may have been circulating since 2009.

Unlike most viruses, the worm targets systems that are traditionally not connected to the internet for security reasons.

Instead it infects Windows machines via USB keys - commonly used to move files around - infected with malware.

Once it has infected a machine on a firm's internal network, it seeks out a specific configuration of industrial control software made by Siemens.

Once hijacked, the code can reprogram so-called PLC (programmable logic control) software to give attached industrial machinery new instructions.

"[PLCs] turn on and off motors, monitor temperature, turn on coolers if a gauge goes over a certain temperature," said Mr O'Murchu.

"Those have never been attacked before that we have seen."

If it does not find the specific configuration, the virus remains relatively benign.

However, the worm has also raised eyebrows because of the complexity of the code used and the fact that it bundled so many different techniques into one payload.

"There are a lot of new, unknown techniques being used that we have never seen before," he said These include tricks to hide itself on PLCs and USB sticks as well as up to six different methods that allowed it to spread.

In addition, it exploited several previously unknown and unpatched vulnerabilities in Windows, known as zero-day exploits.

"It is rare to see an attack using one zero-day exploit," Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at security firm F-Secure, told BBC News. "Stuxnet used not one, not two, but four."

He said cybercriminals and "everyday hackers" valued zero-day exploits and would not "waste" them by bundling so many together.

Microsoft has so far patched two of the flaws.
'Nation state'

Mr O'Murchu agreed and said that his analysis suggested that whoever had created the worm had put a "huge effort" into it.

"It is a very big project, it is very well planned, it is very well funded," he said. "It has an incredible amount of code just to infect those machines.

There have been no instances where production operations have been influenced or where a plant has failed

His analysis is backed up by other research done by security firms and computer experts.

"With the forensics we now have it is evident and provable that Stuxnet is a directed sabotage attack involving heavy insider knowledge," said Ralph Langner, an industrial computer expert in an analysis he published on the web.

"This is not some hacker sitting in the basement of his parents' house. To me, it seems that the resources needed to stage this attack point to a nation state," he wrote.

Mr Langner, who declined to be interviewed by the BBC, has drawn a lot of attention for suggesting that Stuxnet could have been targeting the Bushehr nuclear plant.

In particular, he has highlighted a photograph reportedly taken inside the plant that suggests it used the targeted control systems, although they were "not properly licensed and configured".

Mr O'Murchu said no firm conclusions could be drawn.

However, he hopes that will change when he releases his analysis at a conference in Vancouver next week.

"We are not familiar with what configurations are used in different industries," he said.

Instead, he hopes that other experts will be able to pore over their research and pinpoint the exact configuration needed and where that is used.
'Limited success'

A spokesperson for Siemens, the maker of the targeted systems, said it would not comment on "speculations about the target of the virus".

He said that Iran's nuclear power plant had been built with help from a Russian contractor and that Siemens was not involved.

"Siemens was neither involved in the reconstruction of Bushehr or any nuclear plant construction in Iran, nor delivered any software or control system," he said. "Siemens left the country nearly 30 years ago."

Siemens said that it was only aware of 15 infections that had made their way on to control systems in factories, mostly in Germany. Symantec's geographical analysis of the worm's spread also looked at infected PCs.

"There have been no instances where production operations have been influenced or where a plant has failed," the Siemens spokesperson said. "The virus has been removed in all the cases known to us."

He also said that according to global security standards, Microsoft software "may not be used to operate critical processes in plants".

It is not the first time that malware has been found that affects critical infrastructure, although most incidents occur accidentally, said Mr O'Murchu, when a virus intended to infect another system accidentally wreaked havoc with real-world systems.

In 2009 the US government admitted that software had been found that could shut down the nation's power grid.

And Mr Hypponen said that he was aware of an attack - launched by infected USB sticks - against the military systems of a Nato country.

"Whether the attacker was successful, we don't know," he said.

Mr O'Murchu will present his paper on Stuxnet at Virus Bulletin 2010 in Vancouver on 29 September. Researchers from Kaspersky Labs will also unveil new findings at the same event.
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Re: News Thread

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:23 am

That is very, very, very interesting. Not knowing anything about computers at all, I have no idea what's what, but man that is bloody curious. And a bit scary.
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Re: News Thread

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:26 pm

I've read that story a couple of times, it is disturbing since it seems to mean its entirely possible for future military software could get out into the internets. This article details some of the possible ramifications and lists some other instances where information attacks could have been used in the past.
In other news, Pirates of the Gulf of Aden could face the awful wrath of the London insurance industry wrote:Insurance firms plan private navy to take on Somali pirates

Patrol boats crewed by armed guards to protect valuable ships in Gulf of Aden

By Cahal Milmo, Chief Reporter

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Image

A Somali, part armed militia, part pirate, carries his high-caliber weapon on a beach in the central Somali town of Hobyo

Insurers have drawn up plans for the world’s first private navy to try to turn the tide against Somali pirates who continue to plague the global shipping industry by hijacking vessels for ransoms of more than £100m a year, The Independent has learnt.

The new navy, which has the agreement in principle of several shipping groups and is being considered by the British Government, is the latest attempt to counter the increasingly sophisticated and aggressive piracy gangs who operate up to 1,200 miles from their bases in the Horn of Africa and are about to launch a new wave of seaborne attacks following the monsoon season.

A multi-national naval force, including an EU fleet currently commanded by a British officer, has dramatically reduced the number of assaults in the Gulf of Aden in recent months. But seizures continue with 16 ships and 354 sailors currently being held hostage. The Independent has seen Nato documents which show both ransom payments and the period that pirates are holding vessels have doubled in the last 12 months to an average $4m and 117 days respectively.

In response, a leading London insurer is pushing ahead with radical proposals to create a private fleet of about 20 patrol boats crewed by armed guards to bolster the international military presence off the Somali coast. They would act as escorts and fast-response vessels for shipping passing through the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean.

Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT), which insures 14 per cent of the world’s commercial shipping fleet, said the unprecedented “private navy” would work under the direct control of the military with clear rules of engagement valid under international law. Early discussions have also been held with the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Transport and the Foreign Office.

The revelation comes as a coalition of shipping organisations and seafarers’ unions today call for governments to dedicate greater resources towards tackling piracy off Somalia.

Sean Woollerson, a senior partner with JLT, told The Independent: “We are looking at setting up a private navy to escort vessels through the danger zones. We would have armed personnel with fast boats escorting ships and make it very clear to any Somali vessels in the vicinity that they are entering a protected area.

“At the moment there is a disconnect between the private security sector and the international naval force. We think we can help remedy that and place this force under the control of the multi-national force. We look after about 5,000 ships and have had 10 vessels taken in total, including a seizure where one crew member was shot and killed. Piracy is a serious problem, these are criminals basically extorting funds, so why not do something more proactive?”

The force, which would have set-up costs of around £10m, would be funded by insurers and shipping companies in return for a reduction on the anti-piracy insurance premiums, which average around £50,000 per voyage and can reach £300,000 for a super-tanker. The maritime insurance industry, much of it based in London, has borne the brunt of the financial cost of the piracy problem, paying out $300m (£191m) in ransoms and associated costs in the last two years alone.

Major obstacles remain before the private navy can set sail, such as the legal status of a private force and it relationship with the Nato-controlled naval fleet. But major shipping companies and key insurers are keen to proceed with the plan. Although private contractors already offer armed teams on board vessels, the idea of a sizeable industry-funded naval force is a major departure and evidence of the strength of feeling there that more needs to be done to counter piracy.

A source at one major shipping organisation said the proposal was “viable”, although it was vital it did not lead to a down-scaling of the international military force.

A FCO spokesman said it had not yet received a “formal” proposal but added: “We believe that such a concept could be considered. It would need to be endorsed and supported by the UK in close discussion with coalition partners in current counter piracy operations.”

The prospect of the private sector directly intervening to protect the 6.8 billion tons of goods moved by sea each year is symptomatic of renewed alarm at the success of about 1,000 pirates controlled by Somali clans in disrupting the 22,000 ships which pass through the Gulf of Aden annually.

Using light fishing skiffs and armed with AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades and ladders, the raiders attack hundreds of vessels a year, forcing seized crews to sail to the Somali coastline where they are held hostage until the ship owner agrees to pay a ransom. The problem peaked last year with 217 attacks and 47 ship seizures but despite the success of naval patrols in deterring raiders in the Gulf of Aden, the hijackings continue there and in the Indian Ocean, an area so vast that naval commanders admit it cannot be effectively policed. So far in 2010, there have been 123 attacks and 33 seizures.

As a result, shipping companies are contemplating the increased use of armed contractors on board their vessels, something previously considered more likely to escalate encounters with pirates.

MSC, the world's second largest container shipping company, announced this week that it will decide “within days” whether to arm its vessels. Pasquale Ferrero, assistant operations manager, said: “We do not have armed guards at the moment but we are considering their use to protect our crew, the ship and the cargo.”

A coalition of shipping companies, trade unions and welfare organisations yesterday sought to increase the pressure on governments and international bodies to provide more military cover and secure an agreement which allows pirates to be captured and prosecuted. Currently nearly all suspected pirates captured off the Somali coast are simply stripped of their weapons and allowed to return to port.

Spyros Polemis, president of the International Shipping Federation, said: “We need a new strategy and additional military resources. Governments must really wake up to the enormity of the problem, as the number of pirates continues to increase in the knowledge they can act with virtual impunity. The international community can no longer afford to sit on its hands and cede control of its vital seaways to criminals.”
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Re: News Thread

Post by Kingmaker » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:38 pm

Insurers have drawn up plans for the world’s first private navy
Uh... private navies are nothing new. Sure, they've been out of style for a few centuries, but they've cropped up wherever a group of people with a lot money has needed a navy and a/the state has failed to oblige. You know, just like other kinds of private military forces.

I question the effectiveness of this, however. 20 boats isn't much for the entire coast of somalia (don't a zillion ships go through that area everyday?). Plus, "patrol boat" is a fairly nebulous term. Are we talking about a PT boat or a pocket frigate? (Much closer to the former than the later, I expect). Unless these escorts are seriously badass it is more likely that the Somalis will either be more inclined to start shooting or else just target one of the hundreds of ships that aren't being escorted. If they really want to stop piracy, they either need to greatly increase warship density in the area or start cleaning out pirate havens i.e. make piracy unacceptably dangerous and/or unprofitable. Or provide some economic alternatives to piracy for unemployed fishermen.
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Re: News Thread

Post by Magister Militum » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:21 am

Shroom Man 777 wrote:That is very, very, very interesting. Not knowing anything about computers at all, I have no idea what's what, but man that is bloody curious. And a bit scary.
As always, I tend to have the opposite reaction. Stuxnet sounds fucking awesome in terms of its capabilities for me, though I'm probably an outlier due to my IT background. I should note, however, that the threat is being overblown somewhat. Stuxnet was written for a specific type of industrial machinery produced by Siemens. To replicate this act across the world, you would have to write a lot of different versions of Stuxnet (though I could be wrong on this - more research on my part is needed). Frankly, I'm more intrigued by the culprits behind this and their motives.
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Re: News Thread

Post by Kingmaker » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:53 am

Police uprising/strike in Ecuador.
Soldiers in Ecuador have rescued President Rafael Correa from a police hospital after a day of protests by security forces angry at benefit cuts.

Mr Correa was rescued after soldiers opened fired on dissident police.

Moments after being freed he appeared on the balcony of Quito's presidential palace and spoke to thousands of cheering supporters.

He thanked the crowds and said he had just lived through the saddest day of his government.

The violence came after dark on a day of unrest in Ecuador that the president and his supporters said amounted to an an attempted coup.

Mr Correa had been holed up in the police hospital, where he was treated after being hit by tear gas in a confrontation.

Hundreds of police, angry over a law that would cut their benefits, appeared to have prevented him from leaving the clinic.

Under cover of darkness Mr Correa was reportedly smuggled out of the hospital in a wheelchair even as a gunbattle between troops and police was under way.

Unrest had been reported across Ecuador on Thursday amid anger at a new law cutting benefits for public servants.

Speaking to his supporters, Mr Correa said he hoped the events of the day would serve "as an example to those who want to bring a change and stop the citizens' revolution without going through the polls".

Mr Correa said at least one police officer had died during the gunbattle at the clinic. Earlier there had been unconfirmed reports that one person had been killed and several injured during the unrest.

There are unconfirmed reports that a second army operation against dissident police is still under way in Quito.

'Kill the president'
The drama began on Thursday morning when members of the armed forces and police angry at the austerity measures occupied several barracks and set up road blocks across the country.


TV stations showed images of police setting tyres on fire in the streets of Quito, Guayaquil and other cities. The National Assembly building was also occupied.

Police also took control of Quito's international airport for several hours.

In an emotional speech to soldiers from Quito's main barracks, President Correa tore at his shirt and said: "If you want to kill the president, here he is. Kill him, if you want to. Kill him if you are brave enough."

Moments later Mr Correa was forced to flee the barracks wearing a gas mask shortly afterwards when tear gas was fired by the protesters.

The president was later treated for the effects of the gas at a police hospital. His supporters said that dissident officers were preventing him to leave the clinic.

Mr Correa has blamed the Patriotic Society Party (PSP), led by Lucio Gutierrez, for fomenting the unrest, and said "all bad elements" in the police force would "be removed".

During the day Mr Correa received strong support from governments throughout the Americas, with a string of Latin American nations and the US all speaking up for the embattled president.
Gun battles between the police and army? :shock:
Hearsay from Ecuadoran classmates and professors reports that there was also a huge surge of crime during the day, and that elements of the military were siding with the police.
When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Heading said: "Stick to the Devil you know."
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Re: News Thread

Post by Invictus » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:02 am

Apparently, the Ecuadoran president was held hostage in the hospital by the police, and then rescued by the army.

In other news, I need to grow up:

S.Koreans pose weighty question for N.Korea's tubby heir
SEOUL — Professors worldwide are pondering the political implications after North Korea released its first photo of the heir-apparent Kim Jong-Un.

But South Korea's Internet community had just one overriding question about the youngest son of leader Kim Jong-Il: how did he get so fat when his country is starving?

The North's official media released its first ever picture of Jong-Un on Thursday, days after he was appointed a four-star general by his father and was given two powerful ruling party posts.

Analysts said the release of the image -- showing a distinctly chubby young man -- confirms Jong-Un's status as eventual successor to his ailing 68-year-old father in the reclusive communist state.

Internet posts were more personal.

"Pyongyang's fat pig," wrote one user, a comment which could earn a death sentence north of the border.

"North Korean residents are all starving to death, but what did they eat to get so fat like that?" wrote another, referring to the Kim dynasty which has ruled the impoverished nation since its founding in 1948.

Founding father Kim Il-Sung was portly in later life. His son and current leader Kim sported a prominent pot belly until he lost weight dramatically following a stroke in 2008.

Jong-Un's half-brother Kim Jong-Nam appears obese in photos taken during his pampered life in Macau.

Jong-Un "takes after his grandfather Kim Il-Sung but he is short and stout like his father", Yang Moo-Jin of Seoul's University of North Korean Studies told AFP Thursday.

The photo attracted thousands of comments on Nate, South Korea's major portal which aggregates news articles from other sites.

"He (Jong-Un) might have intentionally gained weight to look just like Kim Il-Sung. They look so exactly the same that it's brainwashing," read one.

"Wow, they are huge! They should let one more fat son in and form a North Korean version of teletubbies," read another.

Another user commented scathingly: "What you (Jong-Un) eat daily could save hundreds of your people."

The front-page lead of conservative newspaper Chosun Ilbo was equally scornful. Its headline read: "The only fat Prince of Pyongyang".

Weight-watching is not a problem which the ruling family shares with its people. The country suffered famine in the 1990s which killed hundreds of thousands and severe food shortages persist.

One out of three young children is stunted by malnutrition, the United Nations children's fund has said.

Jong-Un, believed to be aged about 27, "probably eats much more than the average North Korean", said Cho Myung-Chul, a researcher at the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy who defected from the North.

"North Koreans think being fat is good, unlike South Koreans who want to be skinny," Cho told AFP.

"There is a high possibility Jong-Un intentionally gained weight to look like Kim Il-Sung."

On the political implications, Cho agreed with other analysts.

"Releasing a photo of Kim Jong-Un now means the succession plan has become public and legitimate in North Korea, and that the son will (eventually) rule."

That prospect angered about 100 protesters in central Seoul Friday, who trampled on photos of both father and son.

"North Korea's three-generation succession is a ridiculous world comedy!" read one placard.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
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Re: News Thread

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:34 am

Uh oh, he is a fatty! An internet fatty! Fatty nerd! :mrgreen:
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Re: News Thread

Post by Siege » Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:03 pm

God, I can see it now.

Online Guy #1: "I am the dictator of South Korea!"

Online Guy #2: "Hur hur prove it!"

*California is nuked*
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Re: News Thread

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:25 am

Siege wrote:God, I can see it now.

Online Guy #1: "I am the dictator of South Korea!"

Online Guy #2: "Hur hur prove it!"

*California is nuked*
CONCESSION ACCEPTED :twisted:


Huffington Post wrote:WASHINGTON — American scientists deliberately infected prisoners and patients in a mental hospital in Guatemala with syphilis 60 years ago, a recently unearthed experiment that prompted U.S. officials to apologize Friday and declare outrage over "such reprehensible research."

The discovery dredges up past wrongs in the name of science – like the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study in this country that has long dampened minority participation in medical research – and could complicate ongoing studies overseas that depend on cooperation from some of the world's poorest countries to tackle tough-to-treat diseases.

Uncovering it gives "us all a chance to look at this and – even as we are appalled at what was done – to redouble our efforts to make sure something like this could never happen again," said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.

The NIH-funded experiment, which ran from 1946 to 1948, was uncovered by a Wellesley College medical historian. It apparently was conducted to test if penicillin, then relatively new, could prevent some sexually transmitted infections. The study came up with no useful information and was hidden for decades.

"We are outraged that such reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Friday.

President Barack Obama called Guatemala's president, Alvaro Colom, later Friday to apologize. Clinton had called to apologize the night before.

"Obviously this is shocking, it's tragic, it's reprehensible," said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. "It's tragic and the U.S. by all means apologizes to all those who were impacted."

Guatemalan Embassy official Fernando de la Cerda said his country hadn't known anything about the experiment until Clinton called to apologize Thursday night.

"We appreciate this gesture from the USA, acknowledging the mistake and apologizing," he said. "This must not affect the bilateral relationship."

Strict regulations today make clear that it is unethical to experiment on people without their consent, and require special steps for any work with such vulnerable populations as prisoners. But such regulations didn't exist in the 1940s.

The U.S. government ordered two independent investigations to uncover exactly what happened in Guatemala and to make sure current bioethics rules are adequate. They will be led by the prestigious Institute of Medicine and the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.

Wellesley College historian Susan Reverby made the discovery while combing the archived records of Dr. John Cutler, a government researcher involved in the Tuskegee study that from 1932 to 1972 tracked 600 black men in Alabama who had syphilis without ever offering them treatment.

She discovered that Cutler also led the Guatemala project that went a step further: A total of 696 men and women were exposed to syphilis or in some cases gonorrhea – through jail visits by prostitutes or, when that didn't infect enough people, by deliberately inoculating them. They were offered penicillin, but it wasn't clear how many were infected and how many were successfully treated.

She reported that the U.S. had gained permission from Guatemalan officials to conduct the study, but did not inform the experimental subjects.

While secretly trying to infect people with serious diseases is abhorrent today, the Guatemalan experiment isn't the only example from what Collins on Friday called "a dark chapter in the history of medicine." Forty similar deliberate-infection studies were conducted in the United States during that period, Collins said.

"We've made some obvious moral progress" in protecting the poor and powerless, said Dr. Arthur Caplan, a University of Pennsylvania bioethicist. "The sad legacy" of past unethical experiments is that "they still shape who it is that we can get to trust medical researchers."

A continuing ethical dilemma in developing countries is what Caplan calls the "left-behind syndrome," when the people who helped test a treatment can never afford the resulting care.

"It's still ethically contentious as to how we ought to conduct, or whether we ought to conduct, certain forms of research in poor nations today," he said.

Reverby, whose work was first reported by NBC News, made the discovery last year and gave a speech about it at a medical historians' meeting in May, which a U.S. health official heard. She provided her findings to the government the next month, resulting in Friday's apology, and has posted them on her website.

The revelation of abuses by a U.S. medical research program is only the latest chapter in the United States' troubled history with the impoverished Central American nation, which has a per capita gross domestic product about half of that of the rest of Central America and the Caribbean.

The U.S. helped topple the democratically elected president Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 and backed several hardline governments during a 36-year civil war that ended in 1996 and cost 200,000 lives.
Excellent.

EDIT:

Cross-posted from SDN

The Guatemalans sacrificed much for the United States of America's war on microorganism terror, thus showing themselves to be truly with America rather than against it. There is no need to apologize for this, as casualties are an acceptable loss for any war, and like the vans full of Iraqi children torn to pieces by helicopter fire for the terroristic act of being in proximity to a bunch of Iraqis on the ground with Reuters camera crews, this is merely an unfortunate case of collateral damage - not an atrocity, despite what these limp-dicked liberals and anti-American communists would say. No lives are ever lost in vain in the war against terror, be it in the Middle East, the Middle Earth, or in the infections of the middle ear. These Guatemalans gave their lives, and had their precious bodily fluids sapped and impurified, in the name of something far greater than themselves and their country. American foreign interests, God's most beautiful creation. So for their values, their loyalties, and in knowing what is most important in the free world - namely the United States of America - these Guatemalan patriots have done their solemn duties in refreshing the tree of liberty from time to time with their infected blood and urethral discharges. God bless Guatemala, but not as much as He blesses America. Thank you, all of you. 8-)
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Re: News Thread

Post by Czernobog » Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:57 pm

Druids Recognised In Britain

LONDON – Druids have been worshipping the sun and earth for thousands of years in Europe, but now they can say they're practicing an officially recognized religion.
The ancient pagan tradition best known for gatherings at Stonehenge every summer solstice has been formally classed as a religion under charity law for the first time in Britain, the national charity regulator said Saturday. That means Druids can receive exemptions from taxes on donations — and now have the same status as such mainstream religions as the Church of England.


The move gives an old practice new validity, said Phil Ryder, the chairman of the 350-member Druid Network.
"It will go a long way to make Druidry a lot more accessible," he said.
Druids have practiced for thousands of years in Britain and in Celtic societies elsewhere in Europe. They worship natural forces such as thunder and the sun, and spirits they believe arise from places such as mountains and rivers. They do not worship a single god or creator, but seek to cultivate a sacred relationship with the natural world.
Although many see them as robed, mysterious people who gather every summer solstice at Stonehenge — which predates the Druids — believers say modern Druidry is chiefly concerned with helping practitioners connect with nature and themselves through rituals, dancing and singing at stone circles and other sites throughout the country believed to be "sacred."
Ancient Druids were known to be religious leaders, judges and sages among the Celts during pre-Christian times, although little evidence about their lives survived. There are now various Druid orders and about 10,000 practitioners in Britain — and believers said the numbers are growing because more people are becoming aware of the importance to preserve the environment.


The Druid Network fought for nearly five years to be recognized under the semi-governmental Charity Commission, which requires proof of cohesive and serious belief in a supreme entity and a moral framework.
After initially rejecting the Druid Network's application, the Charity Commission decided this week that Druidry fit the bill.
"There is sufficient belief in a supreme being or entity to constitute a religion for the purposes of charity law," the commission said.
Adrian Rooke, a Druid who works as a counselor, said Druidry appeals to people who are turning away from monotheistic religions but still long for an aspect of spirituality in their lives.
"It uplifts the spirit," he said. "The world is running out of resources, and in that context it's more important to people now to formulate a relationship with nature."
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Re: News Thread

Post by Czernobog » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:43 pm

Posted from another forum, originally from the National Review:
Graveyard of a cliche: Afghanistan presents no impossible military challenge, its 'history' notwithstanding.

Andrew Roberts. National Review, Sep 20, 2010.

In the lexicon of the Left, the adjective "unconquerable" has now attached itself to the noun "Afghanistan" just as indelibly as the adjective "illegal" once attached itself to the noun "war in Iraq." The New York Times, NPR, the Huffington Post, and the BBC, let alone the wilder shores of the liberal blogosphere, all take it for granted that Afghanistan has always been "the graveyard of empires"--thereby more or less openly encouraging us to draw the inevitable conclusion that the present struggle against the Taliban is unwinnable. Yet the truth could not be more different; rather than the graveyard of empires, Afghanistan has historically been their revolving door.

Half-recalled and grossly embellished folk memories of what the Afghan tribes-man and his ancestors are supposed to have done over the centuries have created a myth of a hardy warrior people who have defeated every imperial power since Alexander the Great, be they the Persians, Mongols, Moghuls, Russians, British, or Soviets. We are invited to remember the First Afghan War of 1839-42 and that painting by Elizabeth Butler of the lone horseman riding back into Jalalabad after the massacre of every single European in the Retreat from Kabul. Similarly, we are reminded of the British defeat at Maiwand in 1880, and of course the humiliation of the USSR in the 1980s. Anyone who tries to invade Afghanistan, the legend implies, is thus flying in the face of history.

Yet that's all it is: a legend. For as Thomas Barfield of Boston University, author of Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History, points out: "For 2,500 years [Afghanistan] was always part of somebody's empire, beginning with the Persian Empire in the fifth century b.c."

The reason that Alexander stayed in Afghanistan so briefly was that there was so little to keep him there, in terms of wealth or produce; he went to Afghanistan to pass through into India. Afghanistan had already been conquered by the Median and Persian Empires beforehand, and afterwards it was conquered by the Seleucids, the Indo-Greeks, the Turks, and the Mongols. The country was quiet for most of the reigns of the Abbasid Dynasty and its successors between 749 and 1258. When Genghis Khan attacked it in 1219, he exterminated every human being in Herat and Balkh, turning Afghanistan back into an agrarian society. Mongol conqueror Tamerlane treated it scarcely better. The Moghuls held Afghanistan peaceably during the reign of Akbar the Great, and for well over a century afterwards.

Hardly any of these empires bothered to try to impose centralized direct power; all devolved a good deal of provincial autonomy as the tribal and geographical nature of the country demanded in the period before modern communications and the helicopter gunship. Yet it was they who ruled, and the fact that the first recognizably Afghan sovereign state was not established until 1747, by Ahmad Shah Durrani, illustrates that the idea of sturdy Afghan independence is a myth.

All that these empires (and, later, the British Empire) required from Afghanistan was that it not be used as a base from which attacks could be mounted, in Britain's case from czarist Russia during what was called "The Great Game." NATO is not demanding that much more today, merely a modicum of human rights, especially for women. Had the Taliban not hosted and protected alQaeda while it masterminded the 9/11 attacks, Afghanistan would almost certainly have been left alone entirely. Today, NATO is simply trying to help the majority--as we discover from recent polling, the large majority--of Afghans "to prevent a cancer from once again spreading through that country," in the words of President Obama.

Nor is Islamic fundamentalism a historically deep-seated phenomenon in Afghanistan. NATO is often accused by the Left of trying to impose Western values on the Afghans, but it was King Amanullah who instituted Kemalist modernization--such as monogamy, Western clothing, and the abolition of the veil-back in 1928. The only people seeking to impose a foreign culture on Afghans are the Taliban.

One of the more recent historical examples of Afghans' supposed ability to fend off colonial powers, the country's struggle with the British Empire, deserves close scrutiny. For all the undoubted disaster of Britain's First Afghan War, the popular version of events is faulty in several important respects. It is true that 16,500 people died in the horrific Retreat from Kabul, but fewer than a quarter of them were soldiers, and only one brigade was British. The moronic major-general William George Keith Elphinstone evacuated Kabul in midwinter, on Jan. 6, 1842, and the freezing weather destroyed the column as much as the Afghans did; one Englishwoman recalled frostbite so severe that "men took off their boots and their whole feet with them." Wading through two feet of snow and fast-flowing, freezing rivers killed many more than jezail bullets did, and despite Lady Butler's painting of assistant surgeon William Brydon entering Jalalabad alone on his pony, in fact several hundred--possibly over a thousand--survived the retreat and were rescued by the punitive expedition that recaptured Kabul by September 1842. Early in 1843, the governor-general, Lord Ellenborough, sent Sir Charles Napier to capture Sind, and thereafter Afghanistan stayed quiet for 30 years.

Sir Jasper Nicolls, the commander-inchief of India, listed the reasons for the defeat at the time as: "1. not having a safe base of operations, 2. the freezing climate, 3. the lack of cattle, and 4. placing our magazines and treasure in indefensible places." The lessons NATO needs to learn from the Kabul catastrophe of 1842 are therefore precisely nil, for none of these are applicable in Afghanistan today, where NATO has not lost a single man from frostbite, has not lost a significant engagement against the Taliban, and does not fight with a baggage train of civilians four times its number. Lack of cattle isn't so important nowadays, either.

The Second Afghan War, which was actually won by Maj. Gen. Sir Frederick Roberts (no relation) at the battle of Kandahar in August 1880, holds similarly few lessons for us today. The major problems in 1878 were the maintenance of lines of communication over the passes and the intimidation of people in the occupied towns. NATO's lines of communication are not being harried today, and anyhow air power has transformed that as well as the battlefield. After 1880, in the words of Richard Shannon's book The Crisis of Imperialism, "Afghan resistance was subdued and Afghanistan was reduced to the status virtually of a British protectorate" until it was given its independence in 1919. And for all its postindependence instability--of the five successors of Dost Mohammed, an emir and a leading figure in the fight against British colonialism, all were assassinated or overthrown--Afghanistan did not threaten countries outside its borders until 9/11.

If those British imperial precedents therefore don't presage today's fighting in Afghanistan, neither do the others we are commonly warned of by the Left. The Vietnam generation likes to try to equate this war to that one, despite the absence of jungle in Afghanistan and totally different methods of engagement. North Vietnam had an army of hundreds of thousands, was supported at different times by Russia and China, and had significant help in the South from the Vietcong. By total contrast the Taliban numbers between 10,000 and 15,000 men, is hated by ordinary Afghans, and is not supported by any of the Great Powers. Moreover, America lost over 58,000 men in Vietnam, whereas it has lost a total of 1,139 in Afghanistan.

Nor is the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan a useful precedent. The invasion of 120,000 men of the Red Army at Christmas 1979 was undertaken not by the Soviet Union's best units, but by soldiers from the Soviet republics adjacent to Afghanistan, in order to make it look like a limited, local operation. These two-year conscripts were often drunk or on opium. The Soviets ultimately lost 15,000 men (i.e. more than ten times the number of Americans over the same length of time). Their helicopter gunships devastated most of the villages between Ghazni and Kandahar in February 1980, utterly regardless of civilian casualties. Their equipment, training, discipline, and morale were incomparably worse than NATO's today, and NATO has sent the very best men it has, including the British Household Division and the U.S. Marine Corps. The Soviets had thousands of defections to the enemy, whereas NATO has so far had two.

British deaths in the current Afghanistan conflict--by no means all at Taliban hands, as many were accidental--now amount to 0.25 percent of the British Army. No country that wishes to play a significant part in the world can simply withdraw from a struggle because it has lost 0.25 percent of its army on the battlefield. Neither Britain nor America could have won a war in its entire history on that basis. Never in the field of human conflict have so many fought for so long with so few losses as in Afghanistan. Every individual death is a tragedy, but it is vital to put each in its proper perspective: that of a long, vital struggle against a vicious--but historically very unimpressive--foe.

Mr. Roberts is author of Masters and Commanders: How Four Titans Won the War in the West, 1941-45
(HarperCollins).
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Re: News Thread

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:54 am

HEUTE IST BRAGSTAG

German-American Day!
German-American Day is a holiday in the United States, observed annually on October 6. The holiday, which celebrates German American heritage, commemorates the date in 1683 when 13 German families from Krefeld near the Rhine landed in Philadelphia. These families subsequently founded Germantown, Pennsylvania, the first German settlement in the original thirteen American colonies.[1] Originally celebrated in the nineteenth century, German-American Day died out in World War I as a result of the anti-German sentiment that prevailed at the time. The holiday was revived in 1983.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October 6th as German-American Day to celebrate and honor the 300th anniversary of German American immigration and culture to the United States.[2] On August 6, 1987, Congress approved S.J. Resolution 108, designating October 6, 1987, as German-American Day. It became Public Law 100-104 when President Reagan signed it on August 18. A proclamation (#5719) to this effect was issued October 2, 1987, by President Reagan in a formal ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, at which time the President called on Americans to observe the Day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
RONALD VON REAGAN! One of the few, if only, things where real-life coincides with OZ Comix. :lol:

Let us celebrate this by creating more randome altarnate realty scenareos with altarnate histories where germs rules the universe and everyone is so stoopid that kaiser wilhelm X won world war 22 in 1886! :P


Excerpt gotten from Loinstar at SDN.

EDIT:

Oh man, it also gets revived in the Reagan regime. Yes. It so works. Except in Comix, Germantown was probably in California.
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Re: News Thread

Post by Malchus » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:29 am

I swear, sometimes I think Putin's life is turning into some sort of surreal sitcom
Erotic calendar wishes 'Happy Birthday, Mr Putin'

By Anna Malpas (AFP) – 16 hours ago

MOSCOW — Lingerie-clad students from Moscow's most renowned university have posed in an erotic calendar proclaiming their love for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who turns 58 on Thursday.

The calendar, called "Vladimir Vladimirovich, We love you. Happy Birthday Mr Putin," features twelve women wearing only underwear and pouting at the camera with saucy slogans.

The women are all named as journalism students at the Moscow State University and a spokeswoman for the faculty confirmed to AFP that the models study there.

Clad in a black lace negligee, Miss March, Lena Gornostayeva, wishes Putin a happy birthday with the message: "You put out the forest fires, but I'm still burning."

Journalism faculty spokeswoman Larisa Bakulina slammed the calendar as a "work of erotic tastelessness."

"We are not happy that they used the brand of the journalism faculty," she said. "It is tactless on the part of the publishers."

One of the creators of the calendar, Maxim Perlin, 22, a producer at a patriotic Internet televison channel, said that he put it together with a publisher, Vladimir Tabak.

The models posed for free, he told AFP, claiming the calendar had an empowering message.

"The idea of the calendar was to show girls who are not simply models who turn up for 100 dollars, but girls who have some political opinion, who have already achieved some success," he said.

Asked why the models were in underwear, he said: "In my opinion it's more beautiful and more interesting."

Fifty thousand copies of the calendar went on sale on Tuesday at Auchan hypermarkets, Perlin told AFP. "We hope it will have some commercial success."

On Wednesday a stack of the calendars, costing 260 rubles each (8.71 US dollars) was on sale at a hypermarket on Leninsky Prospekt in southern Moscow.

Designer Antonina Shapovalova, a leader of Nashi pro-Kremlin youth movement, in 2008 created a line of girls' thong knickers with the slogan "Vova, I'm with you," using a nickname for Vladimir Putin.

Perlin works for a pro-Kremlin channel called Russia.ru. Its creator Konstantin Rykov was behind a website called Zaputina.ru, or For Putin, which pushed for the leader to run for a third presidential term.

Perlin denied to AFP that he was a member of United Russia or any pro-Kremlin youth group and said that the calendar was funded from proceeds of publishing projects.

"We chose girls from our acquaintances and friends. I am a journalist and my friends are journalists. We know the girls who study there very well. They are 90 percent our friends."

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved. More »
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Re: News Thread

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:48 am

Happy birthday Mister Putin! Keep rockin' in the Motherland mangs! :)

SOVIET SOVIETSKI! STANISLAV SHROOMANSKI! DA TOVARISCHSKIS!
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Re: News Thread

Post by Siege » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:07 pm

I'm sure these ladies will turn out to be the sort of independent, objective journalists that Russia so desperately needs.

Or not.
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Re: News Thread

Post by Heretic » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:09 pm

Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.
-Joseph Campbell

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Re: News Thread

Post by Siege » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:34 pm

Well, it worked for the Serbians... It might sound silly but if a $5 decoy and a tub of hot water to simulate a running engine will cause you to waste a $20,000 JDAM that could've taken out a real $2,5 million T-90 tank, to me that sounds like a win-win situation for the Russkies.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

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