February 16th, 2014
While many cultists of Druidic and Wiccan origins might disagree, Satanism, Druidism and Paganism, including the Luciferians, can all be classed within the subset of Paganism, in modern day, which commonly refers back to the Gods of old or ancient times.
Look for instances such as these to rise, as referred to "as in the days of Noah"~BLS
NBC News' F. Brinley Bruton/ Reuters
A teen satanist in a Pennsylvania prison claims she has killed nearly two dozen people in different parts of the country, according to a report in a local newspaper.
"When I hit 22, I stopped counting," Miranda Barbour said in an jailhouse interview with local newspaper the Daily Item in Sudbury. She added in the interview that ran on Saturday that she just wanted to be honest.
She said she participated in killings in Alaska, Texas, North Carolina and California, the newspaper reported. Police said Saturday they were working with officials from other states and the FBI about her possible connection to the other murders.
Most of the killings took place in Alaska, she claimed in the interview.
In separate appearances at a state court in Sunbury in December, Miranda Barbour and her husband Elytte Barbour, 22, pleaded not guilty to killing Troy LaFerrara. The 42-year-old's body was found dumped in an alley in Sunbury, Pa.
According to officials, Elytte Barbour hid under a blanket in the back of the couple's car when his wife met up LaFerrara at a shopping mall near Harrisburg, about 50 miles south of Sunbury.
On her signal, Elytte Barbour strangled LaFerrara with a cord while his wife stabbed him about 20 times, police said.
"He said the wrong things and then things got out of control," she said. "I can tell you he was not supposed to be stabbed. My husband was just supposed to strangle him."
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February 15th, 2014
Let’s say your high school freshman son or daughter asks for your help with a particularly difficult biology homework assignment.
So you walk over, glance at the worksheet on DNA and blood type, and notice questions about a mother trying to determine the identity of her baby’s father.
Then question reads in part: “She had the state take a blood test of potential fathers. Based on the information in this table, why was the baby taken away by the state after the test?”
Possible answers? Cab driver, bartender, flight attendant, and guy at the club.
That was what Larry Basaj read on his daughter Audri’s homework page from Romeo High School — about 30 miles north of Detroit — and he said he flipped.
“What are they teaching?” he asked WDIV-TV in Detroit. “I couldn’t come up with the words. I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ It’s teaching them that it’s OK to not know who it is because you can have the state help you. And if they can’t help you, they are going to take your child away, and it’s not the way it is. I was beyond fired up last night.”
According to WWJ-TV in Detroit, the incomplete assignment was sent back with a note: “We teach our children not to sleep around.”
After talking to their daughter about the questions, Audri was concerned. “Now that I see what it really means, I think it like depicts women in a really uncomfortable light,” she told WWJ.
“The goal is that the students are understanding blood types and DNA and possibilities based on the makeup of the two parents,” explained Romeo Schools Superintendent Nancy Campbell to WWJ.
“But, again, this painted a picture, I think, that was not appropriate,” she told WWJ. “My first thought when I saw it was that it certainly been worded better.”
Campbell told WDIV the question came from a website — teachingbioformatics.com — which the teacher has used for getting problems with components and concepts students can understand. Campbell said the question will be revised.
Campbell said the teacher, who got the worksheet from a teaching website, has apologized.
“Teachers use all kinds of different resources that are available to them,” Campbell told WWJ. “[This incident] brings in awareness for all of our staff to, you know, be more thoughtful and reflective about the items they use when they put them on a homework assignment.”
According to Campbell, only one parent complained, WWJ reported.
February 15th, 2014
Reuters / BY JOSEPH MENN
A flaw in recent versions of Internet Explorer was used to attack visitors to a website for U.S. military veterans, and also appears to have been used earlier against French aerospace industry employees, researchers said Friday.
The flaw in Microsoft Corp's IE 10 Web browser was reported on Thursday, days after it was used inside the Web page of nonprofit U.S. group Veterans of Foreign Wars. The VFW said Friday that an unspecified federal law enforcement agency is investigating and that the malicious code on its site had been removed.
Security firm Websense Inc said it found similar attack code on a page set up on January 20 with a Web address nearly identical to one used by a French aerospace association.
That suggests the attacks using the flaw have been going on for at least three weeks, but might have succeeded earlier against higher-value targets and escaped discovery, said Websense Director of Security Research Alexander Watson.
FireEye Inc, which discovered the VFW attack, said it appeared connected to previous attacks against the Japanese financial sector, security firm Bit9 and others that Symantec Corp security researchers attributed to a large and well-organized group in China. (here)
The latest attacks are considered to be sophisticated as they rely on a previously unknown flaw of a sort that can cost $50,000 or more when sold by shadowy brokers to government agencies or contractors. The industry calls these flaws "zero-day vulnerabilities."
They also seem part of a multistage operation, with the attackers seeking to break into thecomputers of U.S. veterans or French defense contractors in the future. Once there, they could look for military plans or designs or passwords that would enable them to impersonate the individuals electronically. Assuming those victims' identities in emails sent to more prominent targets would make it more likely that the recipients would click on baited links or unwitting install more spying software.
Although the initial report in the new campaign mentioned only IE 10, Microsoft said it had determined that IE 9 is also vulnerable.
"We recommend customers upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 for added protection," said Adrienne Hall, general manager of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group.
Despite the use of the unknown flaw, Websense's Watson said the attacks were not that hard to spot. For one thing, a program that exploited the flaw was submitted on January 20 to Virus Total, a free Google Inc service that shows whether any major antivirus provider would block the sample. In this case, none did. In addition, the programming language operated in the open, without complicated obfuscation that can deter analysis.
Watson said that was why he felt the attacks could prove to be by a new group, or even two different new groups. As an example, the exploit code might have been written elsewhere, and used with more success, then passed along to a new group with less expertise.
The French page that was imitated is GIFAS, which claims more than 300 members, including contractors making satellites, missiles and other arms, as well as helicopters, military planes and engines.
Links to the fake page might have been sent via email to industry officials.
In the VFW's case, the hackers broke into the real Web page and inserted code shown to visitors that would lead to infection if they were using the right version of IE. FireEye said hundreds or thousands of infections occurred.
VFW spokeswoman Randi K. Law said the nonprofit group was working with law enforcement and private security incident responders.
"At this point, there is no indication that any member or donor data was compromised," she said in an email.
It was unclear whether that statement referred to the computers of website visitors or merely data stored by the VFW itself, and she did not respond to follow-up questions.
The FBI did not return a call seeking comment.
(Reporting by Joseph Menn. Editing by Andre Grenon)
February 15th, 2014
The list of those caught up in the global surveillance net cast by the National Security Agency and its overseas partners, from social media users to foreign heads of state, now includes another entry: American lawyers.
A top-secret document, obtained by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden, shows that an American law firm was monitored while representing a foreign government in trade disputes with the United States. The disclosure offers a rare glimpse of a specific instance in which Americans were ensnared by the eavesdroppers, and is of particular interest because lawyers in the United States with clients overseas have expressed growing concern that their confidential communications could be compromised by such surveillance.
The government of Indonesia had retained the law firm for help in trade talks, according to the February 2013 document. It reports that the N.S.A.’s Australian counterpart, the Australian Signals Directorate, notified the agency that it was conducting surveillance of the talks, including communications between Indonesian officials and the American law firm, and offered to share the information.
The Australians told officials at an N.S.A. liaison office in Canberra, Australia, that “information covered by attorney-client privilege may be included” in the intelligence gathering, according to the document, a monthly bulletin from the Canberra office. The law firm was not identified, but Mayer Brown, a Chicago-based firm with a global practice, was then advising the Indonesian government on trade issues.
On behalf of the Australians, the liaison officials asked the N.S.A. general counsel’s office for guidance about the spying. The bulletin notes only that the counsel’s office “provided clear guidance” and that the Australian agency “has been able to continue to cover the talks, providing highly useful intelligence for interested US customers.”
The N.S.A. declined to answer questions about the reported surveillance, including whether information involving the American law firm was shared with United States trade officials or negotiators.
Duane Layton, a Mayer Brown lawyer involved in the trade talks, said he did not have any evidence that he or his firm had been under scrutiny by Australian or American intelligence agencies. “I always wonder if someone is listening, because you would have to be an idiot not to wonder in this day and age,” he said in an interview. “But I’ve never really thought I was being spied on.”
A Rising Concern for Lawyers
Most attorney-client conversations do not get special protections under American law from N.S.A. eavesdropping. Amid growing concerns about surveillance and hacking, the American Bar Association in 2012 revised its ethics rules to explicitly require lawyers to “make reasonable efforts” to protect confidential information from unauthorized disclosure to outsiders.
Last year, the Supreme Court, in a 5-to-4 decision, rebuffed a legal challengeto a 2008 law allowing warrantless wiretapping that was brought in part by lawyers with foreign clients they believed were likely targets of N.S.A. monitoring. The lawyers contended that the law raised risks that required them to take costly measures, like traveling overseas to meet clients, to protect sensitive communications. But the Supreme Court dismissed their fears as “speculative.”
The N.S.A. is prohibited from targeting Americans, including businesses, law firms and other organizations based in the United States, for surveillance without warrants, and intelligence officials have repeatedly said the N.S.A. does not use the spy services of its partners in the so-called Five Eyes alliance — Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand — to skirt the law.
Another dispute involved Indonesia’s exports of shrimp, which the United States claimed were being sold at below-market prices.
The Indonesian government retained Mayer Brown to help in the cases concerning cigarettes and shrimp, said Ni Made Ayu Marthini, attaché for trade and industry at the Indonesian Embassy in Washington. She said no American law firm had been formally retained yet to help in a third case, involving horticultural and animal products.
Mr. Layton, a lawyer in the Washington office of Mayer Brown, said that since 2010 he had led a team from the firm in the clove cigarette dispute. He said Matthew McConkey, another lawyer in the firm’s Washington office, had taken the lead on the shrimp issue until the United States dropped its claims in August. Both cases were underway a year ago when the Australians reported that their surveillance included an American law firm.
Mr. Layton said that if his emails and calls with Indonesian officials had been monitored, the spies would have been bored. “None of this stuff is very sexy,” he said. “It’s just run of the mill.”
February 15th, 2014
"Barack Obama on Friday waded into a high-stakes union vote at Volkswagen AG's plant in Tennessee, accusing Republican politicians who oppose unionization of being more concerned about German shareholders than U.S. workers.
Obama's comments, made at a closed-door meeting of Democratic lawmakers in Maryland, came as the vote to allow union representation at the Chattanooga plant drew to a close."
By Bernie Woodall
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (Reuters) - In a stinging defeat that could accelerate the decades-long decline of the United Auto Workers, Volkswagen AG workers voted against union representation at a Chattanooga, Tennessee plant, which had been seen as organized labor's best chance to expand in the U.S. South.
The loss, 712 to 626, capped a sprint finish to a long race and was particularly surprising for UAW supporters, because Volkswagen had allowed the union access to the factory and officially stayed neutral on the vote, while other manufacturers have been hostile to organized labor.
UAW spent more than two years organizing and then called a snap election in an agreement with VW. German union IG Metall worked with the UAW to pressure VW to open its doors to organizers, but anti-union forces dropped a bombshell after the first of three days of voting.
Republican U.S. Senator Bob Corker, the former mayor of Chattanooga who helped win the VW plant, said on Wednesday after the first day of voting that VW would expand the factory if the union was rejected.
"Needless to say, I am thrilled," Corker said in a statement after the results were disclosed.
National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix hailed the outcome: "If UAW union officials cannot win when the odds are so stacked in their favor, perhaps they should re-evaluate the product they are selling to workers."
An announcement of whether a new seven-passenger crossover vehicle will be produced in Chattanooga or in Mexico could come as early as next week, VW sources told Reuters.
Despite the indignation of pro-union forces, legal experts earlier had said that any challenge of the outcome, based on Corker's comments, would be difficult, given broad free speech protection for U.S. Senators.
The UAW said it would "evaluate" the conduct in the vote, where 89 percent of eligible workers cast ballots.
"We are outraged at the outside interference in this election. It's never happened in this country before that a U.S. senator, a governor, a leader of the house, a leader of the legislature here threatened the company with those incentives, threatened workers with the loss of product," Bob King, the UAW president who has staked his legacy on expanding into the south, said.
UAW membership has plummeted 75 percent since 1979 and now stands at just under 400,000.
The Tennessee decision is likely to reinforce the widely held notion that the UAW cannot make significant inroads in a region that historically has been steadfastly against organized labor and where all foreign-owned vehicle assembly plants employ nonunion workers.
Before the results were announced, King had said in an interview with Reuters that his group and the German union were already at work organizing a Daimler AG factory in Alabama.
"We will continue our efforts at Daimler. It's not new. We're there. We have a campaign. We have a plan. We are also very involved globally with Nissan, so that will continue," he said. He did not mention the other plants when speaking to reporters late in the evening.
Dennis Cuneo, a partner at Fisher & Phillips, a national labor law firm that represents management, said earlier in the day that a loss would be a big setback for the union movement in the South, showing the UAW was unable to convince rank-and-file workers even with management's cooperation.
Such a loss "makes the UAW's quest to organize southern auto plants all the more difficult," he said.
Local anti-union organizers had protested the UAW from the start, reflecting deep concerns among many workers that a union would strain cordial relations with the company, which pays well by local and U.S. auto industry standards.
Mike Burton, one of the anti-union leaders, cheered the results. "Not on our watch," he exulted, adding, as did VW management, that plans to find a way for a workers council to help set rules for the factory would continue.
Many labor experts have said that a workers council, which is used in Germany, would not be possible at a U.S. VW factory without a union.
"We felt like we were already being treated very well by Volkswagen in terms of pay and benefits and bonuses," said Sean Moss, who voted against the UAW. "We also looked at the track record of the UAW. Why buy a ticket on the Titanic?" he added.
Many workers believed that the union had hurt operations at plants run by General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Chrysler, now a part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, he said
For VW, the stakes also were high. The German automaker invested $1 billion in the Chattanooga plant, which began building Passat mid-size sedans in April 2011, after being awarded more than $577 million in state and local incentives.
VW executives have said the new crossover vehicle, due in 2016 and known internally as CrossBlue, could be built at either the Chattanooga plant or in Mexico, but Tennessee facility was built with the expectation of a second vehicle line.
The vote has received global attention, and even President Barack Obama waded into the discussion early on Friday, accusing Republican politicians of being more concerned about German shareholders than U.S. workers.
The vote must be certified by the National Labor Relations Board.
(Additional reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit and Andreas Cremer in Berlin; Editing by Matthew Lewis, Ross Colvin and Ken Wills)