Saturday, December 27, 2014

Theory emerges in Sony hacking suggesting Russian hackers: Linguists identified foreign phrasing in about 2,000 words from hacker emails and posts that may have been penned by a Russian native speaker. | Ukraine army swaps hundreds of captives with rebel forces | Ukraine suspends trains and buses to Crimea - Reuters UK | After Scrutiny, C.I.A. Mandate Is Untouched | Media Watchdog Condemns Raid On RFE/RL's Baku Office | North Korea slams U.S. over Internet shutdown, calls Obama a ‘monkey’ | Joe Biden: Our hearts ache for Rafael Ramos's family - video | Police turn backs on de Blasio at funeral of NYPD officer Rafael Ramos | Florida Police Officer Charles Kondek, Killed On Duty, Remembered at Funeral | Russia's Revised Military Doctrine Sees Major Threats from NATO, US | Russia Offers Sympathy To North Korea Amid Sony Hack

Linguists identified foreign phrasing in about 2,000 words from hacker emails and posts that may have been penned by a Russian native speaker.

Theory emerges in Sony hacking suggesting Russian hackers

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What if it wasn’t North Korea after all?
In the controversy over the Sony hacking, government officials have accused the sequestered communist country of hacking Sony, but security analysts argue Russian hackers may be the culprit.
Writing samples from hackers claiming responsibility for leaking finance reports and emails by Sony employees suggest the native language was Russian, according to Taia Global, a cyber security consulting group.
“Our preliminary results show that Sony's attackers were most likely Russian, possibly but not likely Korean and definitely not Mandarin Chinese or German,” the Seattle-based company wrote in a Christmas Eve blog post.
Linguists analyzed about 1,600 words in strangely worded emails and posts by the “Guardians of Peace,” but the findings are not enough to conclude North Korea spawned the cyber attacks that started Nov. 24.
The emails are surprisingly plentiful, Taia Global president Jeffrey Carr, said.
“Normally hackers don’t leave so many texts,” Carr told the Daily News in a brief phone call.
Phrases such as “our agents find themselves act in necessary places” and “is called by the greed of Sony” were compared to four major languages to detect the writer’s native language.
The majority of the phrasing could have been translated word for word from Russian, Shlomo Argamon, a professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, learned.
“The author(s) were writing in English, knew English words, but were not proficient. They did not make their meaning clear,” Argamon told the Daily News.
Argamon is also a scientist at Taia Global, but has been researching text for the past eight years to detect the author’s native language and age.
His study concludes it's not impossible that the messages were written by a native Korean speaker, but it's unlikely. 
Argamon’s study shows 15 out of 20 phrasings translated to English in the emails matched the Russian language. Nine matched Korean, but Mandarin and German is ruled out completely.
The analysis is the same method used to show imprisoned UK killer Jamie Starbuck faked emails to his murdered wife’s family on her behalf for two years.
Though the findings do not completely rule North Korea out, it questions the US government's recent vow to avenge cyber attacks perpetrated within the country over Sony’s release of "The Interview".
Other theories detailed by the New York Times this week suggest any hacker could be responsible as long as they had an internet connection and basic hacking skills. 
Malware programmed using a Korean language setting may have been a red herring as well.
Or simply, it was an inside job by a disgruntled Sony employee with sizeable knowledge on the company’s servers and passwords, the Times added.
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Theory emerges in Sony hacking suggesting Russian hackers - New York Daily News

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New York Daily News

Theory emerges in Sony hacking suggesting Russian hackers
New York Daily News
What if it wasn't North Korea after all? In the controversy over the Sony hacking, government officials have accused the sequestered communist country of hacking Sony, but security analysts argue Russian hackers may be the culprit. Writing samples from ...

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Security firm says Sony hack might have been an inside job

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Despite claims by the FBI that North Korea was behind the massive hack against Sony, several cybersecurity experts have come forward to raise questions about the allegation, with some suggesting that insiders at the company could be to blame.
One such expert, Kurt Stammberger from the Norse cybersecuirty firm, told CBS News that his team believes a woman identified only as “Lena” was heavily involved in the hack, not North Korea.
“We are very confident that this was not an attack master-minded by North Korea and that insiders were key to the implementation of one of the most devastating attacks in history,” he told the news outlet.
“Sony was not just hacked, this is a company that was essentially nuked from the inside,” Stammberger added.
Little is known about Lena, but Norse believes the woman is somehow linked with the hacking group behind the attack, known as the ‘Guardians of Peace.’ The firm also suspects the woman was a former employee of Sony who worked there for 10 years before leaving in May 2014.
According to Stammberger, Lena’s position in the company would have given her the access and knowledge needed to identify the servers that hackers ultimately stole troves of data from.
Stammberger didn’t completely rule out North Korea’s role in the cyber attack, but he told CBS that evidence pointing to the country could actually be a case of misdirection.
“There are certainly North Korean fingerprints on this but when we run all those leads to ground they turn out to be decoys or red herrings,” he said.
Last week, the FBI officially pinned the hack on North Korea, saying the breach involved lines of code, methods, and encryption algorithms previously developed by the country.
“Technical analysis of the data deletion malware used in this attack revealed links to other malware that the FBI knows North Korea actors previously developed,” the FBI said in its statement. “The FBI also observed significant overlap between the infrastructure used in this attack and other malicious cyber activity the US government has previously linked directly to North Korea.”
“Separately, the tools used in the SPE attack have similarities to a cyberattack in March of last year against South Korean banks and media outlets, which was carried out by North Korea.”
Still, some remain unconvinced. Cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneier wrote that the code used by the hackers seems “to point in all directions at once.” Looking at the evidence cited by the FBI, Schneier said it’s the kind that is “easy to fake, and it’s even easier to interpret it incorrectly.” He also cast doubt on the “insider threat” theory, arguing that such an individual wouldn’t need the hacking tools used to breach Sony’s servers.
Schneier noted that the FBI has not revealed all the reasons for its claim, though, and acknowledged that classified evidence could clearly point the finger at North Korea. Unless that evidence is known, it’s hard to say with any certainty.
Other possibilities include the idea that North Korea “co-opted” the initial attack after an embarrassing glut of information was made public, using that as an opportunity to strike Sony, as it was reeling and facing pressure to cancel ‘The Interview’ movie.
While Sony did cancel the premiere and release of ‘The Interview’ – a comedy which tells the story of a CIA plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, it has since relented in the face of public criticism, which included harsh words from President Barack Obama. The movie is now available on streaming services and will be in theaters in limited release on Christmas Day.
Regarding the film’s release, a North Korean envoy to the United Nations said the country will condemn the decision but will not have any “physical reaction.” He added that the movie is an “unpardonable mockery of our sovereignty and dignity of our supreme leader.”
        
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U.S. Border Patrol Investigating Threat of Kidnapped Agent - KIII TV3

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Western Journalism

U.S. Border Patrol Investigating Threat of Kidnapped Agent
KIII TV3
LA JOYA (Kiii News) - U.S. Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley are still investigating the possible kidnapping of a fellow agents. Detectives said that La Joya police received a call Thursday claiming that an agent was taken by the cartel in Mexico.
Cartel claims they've kidnapped Border Patrol agentMacro Insider
Dispatchers Receive Threatening CallsKRGV

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Ukraine army swaps hundreds of captives with rebel forces

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Prisoners of war exchanged as negotiators try to reach broader agreement involving a ceasefire and withdrawal of troops
Ukrainian authorities and separatists exchanged hundreds of prisoners of war on Friday, a spokesman for President Petro Poroshenko said, part of a 12-point plan aimed at ending the pro-Russian uprising in the east of the country.
The agreement to swap 150 Ukrainian servicemen for 222 rebels followed peace talks between envoys of Ukraine, Russia, the separatists and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on Wednesday.
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Queen's speech is surprise Christmas Day TV hit winning ratings war with 7.8million viewers

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The annual battle to be top of the Christmas TV came down to a fight between the bawdy Mrs Brown’s Boys and the traditional Queen’s Speech. And Her Majesty came out on top.

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After Scrutiny, C.I.A. Mandate Is Untouched

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Four decades ago, a Senate committee’s revelations about abuses committed by the intelligence community led to major alterations at the C.I.A. But times have changed.

Michael Brown Memorial Hit by Car, Then Rebuilt - New York Times

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kplr11.com

Michael Brown Memorial Hit by Car, Then Rebuilt
New York Times
FERGUSON, Mo. — A makeshift memorial to Michael Brown has been restored by his supporters, after it was apparently hit by a car. Social media reports about damage to the memorial started early Friday. Supporters were out before dawn rebuilding the ...
Thousands Gather for Wake of NYPD Officer Killed in Line of DutyNBCNews.com
Ferguson Police Deny Calling Michael Brown Memorial a "Pile of Trash," But the ...Bustle
Michael Brown memorial hit by car overnightCBS News
The Inquisitr -Hutchinson News
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Venezuela's Maduro Names New Foreign Minister

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President Nicolás Maduro reassigned his foreign minister, a man who was considered a prominent proponent of easing state controls over Venezuela’s economy, as ambassador to the United Nations.

Human Rights Groups in Egypt Brace for Crackdown Under New Law 

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Ragia Omran, a lawyer, center, waiting to speak in Cairo earlier this month during a trial of activists facing charges of organizing unauthorized protests.

Prices dropping daily at the pump - KVUE

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Prices dropping daily at the pump
KVUE
According to AAA, gas prices have fallen every day since the end of September. That's longer than any period previously tracked. The battle to win customers, and offer the best deal on gas reached a new low in Round Rock. "I have a lot of stores down the ...

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Maduro congratulates Castro brothers on new ties with US - Zee News

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Maduro congratulates Castro brothers on new ties with US
Zee News
Caracas: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, a frequent critic of the United States, congratulated the Castro brothers Friday on Cuba`s rapprochement with Washington, but warned that the embargo on the island would remain for a long time. This month`s ...

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Sudden U.S. Thaw Worries Cuban Dissidents

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As the United States and Cuba enter a period of unprecedented dialogue, many dissidents who stood with American officials in condemning the Castros contend that President Obama gave away too much.

Sudden US Thaw Worries Cuban Dissidents - New York Times

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New York Times

Sudden US Thaw Worries Cuban Dissidents
New York Times
HAVANA — Sitting in her brother's spare apartment, near a blinking plastic Christmas tree, Sonia Garro was relishing her newfound freedom, happily trading her prison garb for a purple dress and flip-flops with bright pink plastic bows over the toes. Ms. Garro ...

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Study: Marijuana use has increased in Colorado - Washington Post

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Study: Marijuana use has increased in Colorado
Washington Post
DENVER — Colorado emerged as the state with the second-highest percentage of regular marijuana users as it began legalizing the drug, according to a new national study. The Denver Post (http://dpo.st/1BdXt69) reports the study by the National Survey on ...

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Study: Marijuana use has increased in Colorado

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DENVER (AP) -- Colorado emerged as the state with the second-highest percentage of regular marijuana users as it began legalizing the drug, according to a new national study....

North Korea blames US for internet shutdown

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Pyongyang accuses US of responsibility for recent outages amid row over cyber attack on film studio Sony Pictures
North Korea accused the US on Saturday of being responsible for internet outages it has experienced in recent days amid a confrontation between them over the hacking of the film studio Sony Pictures.
North Korea’s main internet sites experienced intermittent disruptions early in the week for reasons that US tech companies said could range from technological glitches to a hacking attack.
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Ukraine suspends trains and buses to Crimea - Reuters UK

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Ukraine suspends trains and buses to Crimea
Reuters UK
KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine is suspending all train and bus services to Crimea due to a "deteriorating" security situation on the Black Sea peninsula which was annexed by Russia in March, Ukrainian transport chiefs said on Friday. Although controlled by ...

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Marijuana use has increased in Colorado, study shows - Fox News

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Marijuana use has increased in Colorado, study shows
Fox News
DENVER – Colorado emerged as the state with the second-highest percentage of regular marijuana users as it began legalizing the drug, according to a new national study. The Denver Post reports the study by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health ...

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Russia's new military doctrine names NATO build-up as main threat - euronews

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The Moscow Times

Russia's new military doctrine names NATO build-up as main threat
euronews
Moscow has continuously denied supporting the rebellion and is currently working with Kyiv and the rebels towards a political solution to the crisis. The doctrine says the deployment of foreign military forces on the territory of Russia's neighbours could be ...
Revised Russian Doctrine Calls NATO Main ThreatVoice of America
Putin saved Russia from disintegration – GorbachevRT
US sees continued economic decline in Russia, but Moscow strikes an upbeat ...Washington Post
Xinhua-CBS Local- Daily Times
all 560 
news articles »

Ukraine-Separatist Prisoner Exchange To Finish December 27

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Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine were due on December 27 to complete their exchange of prisoners

Kiev, rebels exchange POWs - ABS CBN News

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Kiev, rebels exchange POWs
ABS CBN News
Ukrainian servicemen stand guard next to a bus with pro-Russian rebels during exchange of prisoners of war outside Donetsk. Reuters. KIEV - Ukraine's government and pro-Russian separatists on Friday exchanged hundreds of prisoners of war while Kiev ...

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Ukraine: New Round Of Prisoner Swaps Expected

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Ukrainian prisoners of war get ready to be transported for exchange for members of pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk

Media Watchdog Condemns Raid On RFE/RL's Baku Office

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Reporters Without Borders has condemned the raid on the Baku bureau of RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service as the latest attempt to stamp out media pluralism in the country.

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After turbulent 2014, next year may be no calmer

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - From financial crisis in Russia to cyber warfare with North Korea, 2014 has generated new flashpoints right into its final days, setting 2015 up to be just as turbulent.
  

North Korea slams U.S. over Internet shutdown, calls Obama a ‘monkey’ 

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BEIJING — North Korea on Saturday compared President Obama to a “monkey in a tropical forest” as it blamed the administration for disrupting its Internet access amid a hacking dispute related to the movie “The Interview.”Read full article >>






Americans are eager to visit Cuba, but US rule changes may be slow to follow - Washington Post

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Americans are eager to visit Cuba, but US rule changes may be slow to follow
Washington Post
MEXICO CITY — There are the people who want to honeymoon on the same beaches their grandparents did decades ago. Those who want to extend their Florida vacations with a quick jaunt to the island 90 miles south. Those who want to buy the Havana ...

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Hillary Clinton's Economic Approach Under Scrutiny - Huffington Post

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STLtoday.com

Hillary Clinton's Economic Approach Under Scrutiny
Huffington Post
WASHINGTON (AP) — If Hillary Rodham Clinton seeks the White House again, her message on the economy could be an important barometer as she courts fellow Democrats. Members of her party are watching closely how the former secretary of state ...
Clinton economic approach under scrutinyThe San Luis Obispo Tribune

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Joe Biden: Our hearts ache for Rafael Ramos's family - video

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Vice-president Joe Biden speaks to the tens of thousands of police and other mourners at the funeral of police officer Rafael Ramos on Saturday in New York. Ramos was one of two police officers ambushed by a gunman who said he was avenging the killing of unarmed black men by police. Ramos's partner Wenjian Liu was also killed in the attack Continue reading...

Police turn backs on de Blasio at funeral of NYPD officer Rafael Ramos 

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  • Ramos and Officer Wenjian Liu were shot dead last Saturday
  • Union chief Lynch says police feel ‘betrayal' by mayor
Hundreds of police officers turned their backs on the New York mayor Bill de Blasio on Saturday as he spoke during the funeral service for Rafael Ramos, one of two New York Police Department officers killed in an ambush shooting in Brooklyn last week.
Thousands of officers gathered outside Christ Tabernacle Church in Queens for the funeral, where speakers included vice-president Joe Biden, New York governor Andrew Cuomo and NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton.
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Vatican releases Femen activist who took St Peter’s Square Jesus statue 

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Yana Zhdanova, who protested topless in square on Christmas Day, ordered to never return to Vatican City
The Vatican has released a Ukrainian activist who bared her breasts in St. Peter’s Square on Christmas Day and snatched the statue of the baby Jesus from the Vatican’s outdoor nativity scene.
Vatican spokesman the Rev Federico Lombardi said the Vatican prosecutor met with Yana Zhdanova on Saturday and decided to order her freed. She was also ordered to never set foot again in Vatican City state, including St. Peter’s Basilica, or on other Vatican property outside the city state’s walls.
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WorldViews: McCain: ‘We are literally doing everything the Iraqi government has requested.’ 

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BAGHDAD — Normally a fierce critic of President Obama’s foreign policy, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) sounded almost like an ally to the president on Saturday when he spoke to reporters at the U.S. Embassy.Read full article >>






Man at New York psychiatric hospital killed by fellow patient, police say - Reuters

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New York Daily News

Man at New York psychiatric hospital killed by fellow patient, police say
Reuters
(Reuters) - A patient at a psychiatric hospital in New York City has been charged with killing a fellow patient at the state-run facility, police said on Saturday. Police responded late Friday to an emergency call from the Bronx Psychiatric Center, in the Bronx ...
Man strangles patient with electrical cord at psych facilityNew York Post
Police: Patient killed patient at NYC psych center13WHAM-TV
Cops: 1 patient killed another at NYC psych centerMontana Standard
News 12 Bronx (registration)
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Florida Police Officer Charles Kondek, Killed On Duty, Remembered at Funeral - NBCNews.com

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Wink News

Florida Police Officer Charles Kondek, Killed On Duty, Remembered at Funeral
NBCNews.com
The Florida police officer fatally shot by a fugitive while on duty was mourned by family, friends and fellow officers at an emotional funeral service Saturday. The community in Tarpon Springs, just west of Tampa, lined the sidewalks as the procession for Officer ... 
Florida cop Charles Kondek remembered as 'phenomenal' father and police officerNew York Daily News

Community bids farewell to slain Florida officerUSA TODAY 
'He Left as a Warrior': Emotional Funeral for Slain Florida CopTheBlaze.com
Tampabay.com-WWSB ABC 7
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USA harbors plans to decapitate Russia within minutes

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The West has declared a cold war on Russia. The ultimate goal of the United States of America is to destroy Russia. The Americans already consider plans about the neutralization of the nuclear potential of Russia. Plan A is to strike a blow that would behead Russia. Plan B is to destroy the launcher. President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Konstantin Sivkov, shared his views about the developing standoff between Russia and the West in an interview with Pravda.Ru.
“American politicians have committed a variety of crimes. Will anyone be held accountable for those crimes? What about the international law, the UN and other organizations? Are they doing anything?”
“Indeed, one can enumerate their crimes for long. In Iraq, about 1 million 200 thousand people have been killed. The American elite will answer for all that when Nuremberg-2 trial takes place. Hitler’s elite answered for all atrocities and crimes only after Hitler’s war machine was destroyed and the Nuremberg trial was held.
“The American elite will not be held accountable for anything until their military machine is destroyed. Needless to say that external forces can not contribute to the defeat of the American elite. Ferguson showed only a little bit of tension. In fact, the American society is very conflicted from the inside. There are extensive layers of conflict. Layers of conflict are very extensive. There are ethnic, cultural, property, territorial differences and even ideological signs. In the United States, there are many internal contradictions.
“Today, these contradictions get lost in overconsumption, but the time of overconsumption comes to an end. There are already people in America, who line up and fight for free food coupons. The American society will decay some day, and that will be the day, when the question of responsibility of the American elite is going to arise.”
“In addition to carrots of consumption, they use sticks in America at a much greater extent. The penal system in the United States is very strong.”
“This is true. Hitler’s state machine was the same. Nevertheless, there were people in Nazi Germany, who were fighting against all that. They try to give an acceptable level to the majority of population. Yet, they do not have enough brains to ensure decent maintenance to veterans of their own armed forces. In the United States of America, scandals related to retired military men, who do not receive social benefits, are frequent.
American society will decay some day
“Suffice it to recall the recent scandal about the soldier, who, allegedly shot Osama Bin Laden. Well, that’s not even the point. Pay attention to the last speech from the Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, General Gerasimov. His speech was nothing but a de facto recognition of the fact that the West had declared cold war on Russia. I want to remind you that in 1949, it was not the USSR, but the West that started the cold war. It was not the Soviet Union, but the West that was building the Iron Curtain. The United States created NATO in 1949, and the Warsaw Pact saw the light only in 1955, six years later. We had to take some measures in response. Today, the story is the same.”
“There are many reports saying that the United States has been seriously preparing for war against Russia, that they plan to use thousands of cruise missiles.”
“This is an absolutely realizable thing. Against Yugoslavia and Iraq, the United States used more than a thousand missiles. Yet, one has to deploy all these missiles somewhere first. It is impossible to launch them all at once – such an attack will have to be conducted for quite a long time. Therefore, if they launch a missile at Russia, Russia will respond with a retaliatory nuclear strike. Therefore, thousands of missiles can be good only if they succeed in neutralizing Russia’s nuclear potential.
“It can be possible to neutralize Russia’s nuclear potential in two ways. The first one is an attack that would behead Russia. The idea is to destroy command centers, from which orders are made. The second way is to destroy the launcher that launches missiles. They can use both ways too. Note that during the recent years, the Americans have been criticizing Russia for its alleged violations of the treaty on medium-range missiles. By signing this treaty, we, in fact, made all of Europe unreachable for our medium-range missiles. Now, Russia can strike nuclear blows on Europe only with the help of air forces. Yet, there are powerful air defense systems in Europe that are difficult to overcome.
“We went for it, because the Americans developed Pershing-II missiles. A distinctive feature of this missile is a flat trajectory of flight and a very high precision contact – about five-ten meters. Such a ballistic missile overcomes the distance of 2.5-3 thousand kilometers within 5-8 minutes. Thus, the Americans created conditions for a beheading strike. They obtained an opportunity to strike Moscow and other Russian cities from the territory of Turkey and many other places.
Americans take efforts to destroy Russia in mere minutes
“In order to protect our country from this decapitating strike, we took up the treaty on intermediate-range missiles. Today, the Americans scream and shout that we allegedly violate the treaty. All this, of course, is being done to find a reason to pull out from the treaty and launch the deployment of such missiles. In addition, the Americans have the so-called breakout potential. After the START-1 Treaty that Gorbachev concluded, nuclear weapons were cut from about ten to nearly four thousand warheads for each side. Russia destroyed 6,000 warheads. Moreover, the weapons-grade uranium and plutonium obtained from the disassembly of those warheads was handed over to the United States for a symbolic amount.”
“You mean it was sold for a penny?”
“Sold for a penny, yes. Today, the Americans use it for their nuclear power plants. They also supply it to Ukraine. The Americans have not dismantled their 6,000 nuclear warheads – they still store them there in America. Those warheads, at any time, can be mounted on the second stages of Minutemen missiles that have not been dismantled either. The Americans dismantled only the third stage of those missiles. With its second stage, a Minuteman can fly for about 5,000 kilometers. They can deplay such missiles in Europe. So today, Russia has found itself in a very difficult situation.
“The Soviet Union had a clear ideology when it entered the Cold War. The Soviet ideology was recognized globally. The USSR also had the consolidated classless society. The USSR was led by unconditional patriots, who won the war. The Soviet Union had the economy the potential of which was equal to 30-50 percent of the US economy. The USSR had a well-developed industry that did not depend on the West. The Soviet industry could develop independently.
“In the USSR, there were full-fledged scientific schools that were as advanced as American scientific schools. Most importantly, the USSR had a great strategic backyard in the form of socialist countries, where Soviet troops were stationed. That was how the Soviet Union entered the Cold War. Today’s situation, if compared to the beginning of the previous Cold War, is like heaven and earth.
“Today, we are in a situation, when, unfortunately, theory begins to turn into practice. Today’s Russia does not have anything of that. The economic potential of today’s Russia makes only ten percent of the American economic potential. To crown it all, we are tied to the West thanks to the destruction of our fundamental and applied science.”
“Do you think that the situation is that catastrophic?”
“We are entering the war being in a catastrophic situation. Extraordinary measures should be taken. If these measures are not taken, our country will be defeated very quickly. The only thing that holds back the West today is our nuclear capability. Nevertheless, this nuclear potential can be neutralized. A modern war against Russia will be carried out the way it had been done in Ukraine, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Iraq …”
        
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Russia's Revised Military Doctrine Sees Major Threats from NATO, US - Voice of America

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Voice of America

Russia's Revised Military Doctrine Sees Major Threats from NATO, US
Voice of America
WASHINGTON—. President Vladimir Putin approved a new military doctrine Friday outlining the threat Russia says is posed by NATO's expansion and military buildup closer to its border. NATO has boosted its military presence in Eastern Europe this year ...

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Russia Offers Sympathy To North Korea Amid Sony Hack

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Russia says the movie that has sparked the Sony hacking dispute was so scandalous that North Korea's anger was "quite understandable."

Russia's Defense of the Ruble Cuts Reserves by $15.7 Billion in Week - Bloomberg

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Bloomberg

Russia's Defense of the Ruble Cuts Reserves by $15.7 Billion in Week
Bloomberg 
With oil prices and sanctions over the Ukraine conflict pushing Russia toward recession, the authorities have raised rates and sought to ease dollar demand. The steps have helped stem the currency rout, after the ruble collapsed to a record low 80 ...

Явлинский о действиях кремлевской власти

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Переговоры в Минске терпят крах. Как разрешать конфликт на востоке Украины? Верно ли власть действует в...
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Queen's Christmas Message Speaks to Reconciliation

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth used her annual Christmas Day broadcast on Thursday to advocate reconciliation, especially in Scotland where an unsuccessful independence referendum earlier this year polarised public opinion. Channeling the spirit of a brief World War One Christmas truce between British and German soldiers 100 years ago, the 88-year-old monarch held the historic moment out as an example of how irreconcilable differences can sometimes be bridged. "Of course, reconciliation takes different forms. In Scotland after the referendum many felt great disappointment,while others felt great relief; and bridging these differences will take time," she said. Scots voted by a margin of 55-45 to reject independence from the United Kingdom in a September referendum after a sometimes bitter two-year campaign which divided friends and families. Alex Salmond, the former leader of the defeated pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) suggested before the vote that his party would accept the result, however close, and not resurrect the matter for years. But the SNP has since staged an unexpected recovery and, under its new leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has made clear it will work towards a second referendum. The divisions that opened up during the referendum campaign remain raw. "Sometimes it seems that reconciliation stands little chance in the face of war and discord," said the queen. "But, as the Christmas truce a century ago reminds us, peace and goodwill have lasting power in the hearts of men and women.

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Breaking In: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice 

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Russia: Ukraine's pursuit of Nato membership 'poses danger to European security' 

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Sergei Lavrov says West using Kiev's Nato bid to fuel confrontation between Russia and Ukraine






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«Мне не нужен паспорт страны изгоя». Литератор Вадим Белоцерковский об отказе от российского гражданства. - 25 декабря, 2014 

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The Guardian view on religious intolerance: the burden of the cross | Editorial 

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In much of the world, and many Islamic societies especially, Christians are oppressed. The rights of humans should always come before the proclaimed rights of God
The invasion of Iraq in 2003 and its aftermath can be seen in hindsight as the greatest catastrophe to strike the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East since the Mongol invasions. In some ways it was worse. The Mongol invasions had as a side effect the postponement for about 50 years of the collapse of the Crusader kingdoms. The invasion of Iraq contributed nothing to the safety of any Christian community anywhere.
The hideous convulsions that followed have been dreadful for everyone in the region, but nobody has suffered more than the Christians, persecuted alike in Sunni and Shia states. In the nations that are not at war, they are tolerated but oppressed; in the Gulf, most Christians are servants, abominably treated. Their religion must be practised in secret, with converts threatened with death. In Iran, a missionary or a pastor is hanged from time to time as an exercise in public morality.
Continue reading...

Russian 'ABM killer' intercontinental missile to enter service in 2016 - RT

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RT

Russian 'ABM killer' intercontinental missile to enter service in 2016
RT
Russia's newest RS-26 missile system, dubbed the 'anti-missile defense killer', will join the ranks of the country's defenses in less than two years, Russia's Strategic Missile Force commander said. “We are continuing the test program for RS-26 and ...

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Из-за снегопада в Москве образовались самые большие пробки за всю историю - Грани.Ру

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Газета.Ru

Из-за снегопада в Москве образовались самые большие пробки за всю историю
Грани.Ру
В Москве из-за снегопада зафиксированы самые большие автомобильные заторы за всю историю наблюдений. Об этом сообщила менеджер по работе со СМИ компании "Яндекс" Элина Ставиская. "Друзья, запомните этот исторический день. Впервые 10 баллов пробок показались так ...
В Москве зафиксированы самые большие пробки в историиРБК
На северо-западе МКАД образовалась пробка почти в 30 кмМаяк
Москву сковал транспортный коллапсДни.Ру
Коммерсантъ -Взгляд -Актуальные новости - периодическое издание о событиях в мире
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US Political Shift Could Affect Iran Talks

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Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis are continuing into 2015 after Iran and six world powers failed to agree by a November deadline. U.S. domestic politics, however, could complicate efforts to reach a deal in the new year. While Secretary of State John Kerry sounded an optimistic note in his first official meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in September of 2013, Tehran's top diplomat questioned whether the ideas could be put into action. “Now we have to see whether we can match our positive words with deeds so that we can move forward,” Zarif said at the time. Since then, the two diplomats have met numerous times as negotiators for Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany work toward a deal limiting Iran’s nuclear enrichment activity. Iran says its nuclear goals are peaceful. Some Western powers fear Iran wants to make nuclear weapons. An agreement would give Iran relief from crippling sanctions. After a series of meetings between January and June, though, negotiators extended talks to November 24, only to follow with another extension. “These talks are not going to get easier just because we extend them. They have been tough. And they are going to stay tough,” said Kerry. Zarif indicates there is a key stumbling block. “The major obstacle was that there is a compounded mistrust, mutual,” he recently said. While negotiators now hope to reach a deal by July, their efforts may be complicated by a sea-change in the political make-up of the U.S. Congress. The new Republican-controlled Senate may be less inclined to lift sanctions immediately if there is a nuclear agreement, says analyst Robert Einhorn of the Washington-based Brookings Institution. “The Obama administration believes that, with the new Congress that will be seated in January, it can’t go to them right away and ask for a vote to lift sanctions," he said. "They believe that the case will be much stronger later on, if and when the IAEA [nuclear watchdog] reaches a conclusion that Iran is in compliance.” He also said lawmakers may become frustrated if negotiations drag on. “Members of Congress are anxious to impose additional sanctions," he said. "That could have a disruptive effect.” Kerry says while negotiators still have “significant points of disagreement,” they do believe that a comprehensive deal that addresses concern about Iran’s nuclear program is still possible.

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Суд в Бостоне. Прибытие Джохара Царнаева

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Originally published at - http://www.golos-ameriki.ru/media/video/tsarnaev-boston-court-arrival/2573842.html.
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Джохар Царнаев в суде 

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Originally published at - http://www.golos-ameriki.ru/media/video/tsarnaev-court-room-sketches/2573854.html.
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Time: 00:59More in News & Politics

Soviet-Era Dissident Gleb Yakunin Dies After Long Illness

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Gleb Yakunin, a prominent Russian priest and a veteran member of the Moscow Helsinki rights group has died after a long illness in Moscow.

Mauritanian Court Sentences Man to Death for Apostasy

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A man accused of insulting the founder of Islam has been sentenced to death by a Mauritanian court. Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir was sentenced Thursday in connection with an online article he wrote that was allegedly critical of the Prophet Muhammad. The article also said Mauritania allowed a caste system with an underclass that is discriminated against from birth. Mkhaitir, who was arrested nearly a year ago after his article appeared, is reported to have fainted when his sentence was read in court in the city of Nouadhibou. Mauritania upholds Islamic law, and prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence the author to death. Mkhaitir, who is in his late 20s, argued that his article was misunderstood. Mauritania has not carried out an execution since 1987.

Expats Are Looking To Flee Russia After The Plunge Of The Ruble - Business Insider

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Business Insider

Expats Are Looking To Flee Russia After The Plunge Of The Ruble
Business Insider
Moscow (AFP) - The plunge of the ruble hasn't left only Russians shell shocked -- foreign workers from traders to maids are considering bailing out as Moscow turns from an El Dorado into a financial black hole. The phenomenon is not quantifiable nor is ...

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Russia offers support to North Korea amid Sony hack controversy - Fox News

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International Business Times

Russia offers support to North Korea amid Sony hack controversy
Fox News
MOSCOW – Russia on Thursday offered sympathy to North Korea amid the Sony hacking scandal, saying the movie that sparked the dispute was so scandalous that Pyongyang's anger was "quite understandable." Washington failed to offer any proof to back ...
Russia Sympathizes With North Korea Over 'The Interview'International Business Times 
Film about assassination of North Korean leader may be banned in RussiaRussia Beyond the Headlines

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Can Russia's Vladimir Putin help deliver a Palestinian state? - Jerusalem Post

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Jerusalem Post

Can Russia's Vladimir Putin help deliver a Palestinian state?
Jerusalem Post
Out of total desperation given the near-zero chance of gaining UN Security Council approval of a draft mandating an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, Abbas has now turned to Russia, one of the five permanent members of the UNSC, in hopes that it ...
Russia Expresses Support for PA's UN ResolutionArutz Sheva

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