Monday, November 29, 2010

LPP Top News...

Iran blames Israel after nuclear scientist killed

Still image taken from video shows damage to a car following the detonation of a planted bomb in Tehran Reuters – Damage to a car is seen following the detonation of a planted bomb in this still image taken from video …
TEHRAN, Iran – Iran's president accused Israel and the West of being behind a pair of daring bomb attacks that killed one nuclear scientist and wounded another in their cars on the streets of Tehran on Monday. He also admitted for the first time that a computer worm had affected centrifuges in Iran's uranium enrichment program.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials vowed that the nuclear program would not be hampered by what they described as a campaign to sabotage it — whether by assassination or by the computer virus. The United States and its allies say Iran is seeking to build a nuclear bomb, a claim Tehran denies.
The two bomb attacks occurred when assailants on motorcycles attached magnetized bombs to the cars of two nuclear scientists as they drove to work in separate parts of the capital Monday morning. They detonated seconds later, killing one scientist, wounding another and wounding each of their wives, who were in the cars, Tehran's police chief said.
At least two other Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in recent years, one of them in an attack similar to Monday's.
The wounded scientist, Fereidoun Abbasi, is on a list of figures suspected of links to secret nuclear activities in a 2007 U.N. sanctions resolution, which puts a travel ban and asset freeze on those listed. The resolution describes him as a Defense Ministry scientist who works closely with Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, believed to head secret nuclear projects. Iranian media said he was a member of the Revolutionary Guard, Iran's strongest military force.
Majid Shahriar, the scientist killed in the bombing, was involved in a major project with Iran's nuclear agency, said the agency's chief, Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi, though he did not give specifics.
"Undoubtedly, the hand of the Zionist regime and Western governments is involved in the assassination," Ahmadinejad told a press conference. He said the attack would not hamper the nuclear program.
Salehi, who was a former teacher of the slain scientist, wept as he went on state TV later to talk of the killing. "They (Iran's enemies) are mistaken if think they can shake us," he said.
Asked about the Iranian accusations, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said Israel did not comment on such matters. In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, "We decry acts of terrorism, wherever they occur. And beyond that, we do not have any information on what happened."
Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad also acknowledged for the first time that a computer worm affected centrifuges in Iran's uranium enrichment program, which the United Nations has demanded Tehran halt.
Iran has previously acknowledged discovering the Stuxnet worm, which experts say is calibrated to destroy centrifuges by causing them to spin out of control, at its nuclear facilities. But Iranian officials — including Salehi — said it was discovered and neutralized before it could cause any damage, and they accused the West of trying to sabotage Iran's program.
But Ahmadinejad told reporters, "They managed to create problems for a limited number of our centrifuges through the software ... installed on electronic parts. But this (virus) was discovered and the problem was resolved."
He said Iranian experts had learned from the attempt and "this became an experience that stops the path for (sabotage) forever."
Earlier in November, U.N. inspectors found Iran's enrichment program temporarily shut down, according to a recent report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog. The length and cause of the shutdown were not known, but speculation fell on Stuxnet.
Iran's enrichment program is of international concern because the process can create both fuel for an electricity-generating reactor and nuclear warhead material. Iran insists it wants to enrich only to run a nuclear reactor network.
The latest attacks come a day after the release of internal U.S. State Department memos by the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, including several that vividly detail Arab fears over Iran's nuclear program. In some memos, U.S. diplomats say Arab leaders advocated a U.S.-led attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.
Ahmadinejad dismissed the leaks as "mischief" aimed at damaging Tehran's ties with the Arab world.
Monday's bombings bore close similarities to another in January that killed Tehran University professor Masoud Ali Mohammadi, a senior physics professor. He was killed when a bomb-rigged motorcycle exploded near his car as he was about to leave for work.
In 2007, state TV reported that nuclear scientist, Ardeshir Hosseinpour, died from gas poisoning. A one-week delay in the reporting of his death prompted speculation about the cause, including that Israel's Mossad spy agency was to blame.
There are several active armed groups that oppose Iran's ruling clerics, but it's unclear whether they could have carried out the apparently coordinated bombings in the capital. Most anti-government violence in recent years has been isolated to Iran's provinces such the border with Pakistan where Sunni rebels are active and the western mountains near Iraq where Kurdish separatists operate.
Tehran police chief Hossein Sajednia said no one has been arrested in connection with Monday's attack and no one has so far claimed responsibility.
The bombings both took place in the morning, in locations in north and northeast Tehran that lie about a 15-minute drive apart, without traffic. There were conflicting reports on what time each attack took place.
The slain scientist, Shahriari, was a member of the nuclear engineering faculty at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran and cooperated with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said Salehi, who heads the organization.
"He was involved in one of the big AEOI projects, which is a source of pride for the Iranian nation," Salehi said, according to IRNA, without giving any details on the project. The AEOI is in charge of Iran's nuclear activities, including its uranium enrichment program.
A pro-government website,, said the wounded scientist, Abbasi, is a Revolutionary Guard member who is a laser expert at Iran's Defense Ministry and one of few top Iranian specialists in nuclear isotope separation — a process needed for a range of purposes, from producing enriched uranium fuel for a reactor, to manufacturing medical isotopes to producing a bomb.

US says leaks are a crime, threatens prosecution

Will Leaks Hurt American Business? Play Video CNBC  – Will Leaks Hurt American Business?
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US slams WikiLeaks 'attack' as new memos drop AFP/File – Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaks during a press conference at the Geneva Press Club on November …

WASHINGTON – Striking back, the Obama administration branded the WikiLeaks release of more than a quarter-million sensitive files an attack on the United States Monday and raised the prospect of criminal prosecutions in connection with the exposure. The Pentagon detailed new security safeguards, including restraints on small computer flash drives, to make it harder for any one person to copy and reveal so many secrets.
The young Army Pfc. suspected of stealing the diplomatic memos, many of them classified, and feeding them to WikiLeaks may have defeated Pentagon security systems using little more than a Lady Gaga CD and a portable computer memory stick.
The soldier, Bradley Manning has not been charged in the latest release of internal U.S. government documents. But officials said he is the prime suspect partly because of his own description of how he pulled off a staggering heist of classified and restricted material.
"No one suspected a thing," Manning told a confidant afterward, according to a log of his computer chat published by "I didn't even have to hide anything."
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton asserted Monday that WikiLeaks acted illegally in posting the material. She said the administration was taking "aggressive steps to hold responsible those who stole this information."
Attorney General Eric Holder said the government was mounting a criminal investigation, and the Pentagon was tightening access to information, including restricting the use of computer storage devices such as CDs and flash drives.
"This is not saber-rattling," Holder said. Anyone found to have broken American law "will be held responsible."
Holder said the latest disclosure, involving classified and sensitive State Department documents, jeopardized the security of the nation, its diplomats, intelligence assets and relationships with foreign governments.
A weary-looking Clinton agreed.
"I want you to know that we are taking aggressive steps to hold responsible those who stole this information," Clinton said. She spoke in between calls to foreign capitals to make amends for scathing and gossipy memos never meant for foreign eyes.
Manning is charged in military court with taking other classified material later published by the online clearinghouse WikiLeaks. It is not clear whether others such as WikiLeaks executives might be charged separately in civilian courts.
Clinton said the State Department was adding security protections to prevent another breach. The Pentagon, embarrassed by the apparent ease with which secret documents were passed to WikiLeaks, had detailed some of its new precautions Sunday.
Col. Dave Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, said it was possible that many people could be held accountable if they were found to have ignored security protocols or somehow enabled the download without authorization.
A senior Defense Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the criminal case against Manning is pending, said he was unaware of any firings or other discipline over the security conditions at Manning's post in Iraq.
In his Internet chat, Manning described the conditions as lax to the point that he could bring a homemade music CD to work with him, erase the music and replace it with secrets. He told the computer hacker who would turn him in that he lip-synched along with pop singer Lady Gaga's hit "Telephone" while making off with "possibly the largest data spillage in American history." published a partial log of Manning's discussions with hacker R. Adrian Lamo in June.
"Weak servers, weak logging, weak physical security, weak counterintelligence, inattentive signal analysis," Manning wrote. "A perfect storm."
His motive, according to the chat logs: "I want people to see the truth ... because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public."
By his own admission, Manning was apparently able to pull material from outside the Pentagon, including documents he had little obvious reason to see. He was arrested shortly after those chats last spring. He was moved in July to the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia to await trial on the earlier charges and could face up to 52 years in a military prison if convicted.
There are no new charges, and none are likely at least until after a panel evaluates Manning's mental fitness early next year, said Lt. Col. Rob Manning, spokesman for the Military District of Washington. He is no relation to Bradley Manning.
Manning's civilian lawyer, David E. Combs, declined comment.
Lapan, the Pentagon spokesman, said the WikiLeaks experience has encouraged discussion within the military about how better to strike a balance between sharing information with those who need it and protecting it from disclosure.
So far, he said, Pentagon officials are not reviewing who has access to data but focusing instead on installing technical safeguards.
Since summer, when WikiLeaks first published stolen war logs from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Defense Department has made it harder for one person acting alone to download material from a classified network and place it on an unclassified one.
Such transfers generally take two people now, what Pentagon officials call a "two-man carry." Users also leave clearer electronic footprints by entering a computer "kiosk," or central hub, en route to downloading the classified material.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the WikiLeaks case revealed vulnerable seams in the information-sharing systems used by multiple government agencies. Some of those joint systems were designed to answer another problem: the failure of government agencies to share what they knew before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
"These efforts to give diplomatic, military, law enforcement and intelligence specialists quicker and easier access to greater amounts of data have had unintended consequences," Whitman said.
Agencies across the U.S. government have installed safeguards around the use of flash drives and computer network operations, said Navy Rear Adm. Michael Brown, the Department of Homeland Security's director for cybersecurity coordination.
Like the Pentagon, Homeland Security has laid out policies to ensure that employees are using the networks correctly, that the classified and unclassified networks are properly identified, and that there are detailed procedures for moving information from one network to another.
Dale Meyerrose, former chief information officer for the U.S. intelligence community, said Monday that it will never be possible to completely stop such breaches.
"This is a personnel security issue, more than it is a technical issue," said Meyerrose, now a vice president at Harris Corp. "How can you prevent a pilot from flying the airplane into the ground? You can't. Anybody you give access to can become a disgruntled employee or an ideologue that goes bad."
One official in contact with U.S. military and diplomatic staff in Iraq said they already were seeing the effect of a tighter collar on information.
The State Department and other agencies are restricting access among the Army and nonmilitary agencies, the official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sharing of classified information.
Former CIA director Michael Hayden warned the latest leak will affect what other governments are willing to share with the U.S. as well as change the way U.S. officials share information among themselves.
"You're going to put a lot less in cables now," he said.
Associated Press writers Kimberly Dozier, Lolita C. Baldor, Anne Flaherty, Matthew Lee and Sarah Brumfield contributed to this report.

Jeff Goldberg's Bigoted Labeling of Ileana

Monday, November 29, 2010
Last week, The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg accused the "Cuban lobby" of disrupting a supposed rapprochement between Cuba and Israel ("Bibi Apologizes to the Cuban Lobby").

Goldberg was referring to a conversation between incoming House Foreign Affairs Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which she prudently warned him not to fall for Castro's rhetoric after 50 years of anti-Semitic hostility.

Where does Goldberg, who is a seasoned journalist, get off labeling a democratically elected Member of Congress as "the Cuban Lobby"?
Did Goldberg ever refer to current House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) as "the Israel Lobby"?

Or U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) as "the Gay Lobby"?

Or U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) as "the Black Lobby"?

Or U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) as "the Puerto Rican lobby"?

Labeling an elected representative due to their ethnicity, race, gender, constituent makeup or any other reason, is simply inappropriate.

Goldberg owes Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen an apology for his disrespectful (at best) or bigoted (at worst) labeling.

Time to Re-Evaluate Vietnam Policy?

Sunday, November 28, 2010
Needless to say, the U.S. policy of trade, travel and diplomatic relations with Vietnam has not brought greater freedoms, democracy or human rights to the Vietnamese people.
According to The Hill:

Cao vows push for Vietnam sanctions in his final weeks
Capitol Hill's first ethnic Vietnamese lawmaker is spending his final weeks in the House pushing for sanctions against human-rights violators in his home country.
Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao (R-La.) introduced two bills on Nov. 18. The Vietnam Democracy Promotion Act of 2010 provides aid money to promote freedom in the communist nation as well as education and refugee resettlement programs. It also imposes conditions on aid to Hanoi and requires annual progress reports. Cao's other bill, the Vietnam Human Rights Sanctions Act, would impose financial sanctions on, and deny visas to, Vietnamese officials guilty of human-rights abuses.

The sanctions bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the likely incoming chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), who defeated Republican challenger Van Tran in midterm elections but drew criticism for saying "the Vietnamese and the Republicans are, with an intensity, trying to take away this seat."

A companion bill was simultaneously introduced in the Senate by Republican Sens. Sam Brownback (Kan.), John Cornyn (Texas) and Richard Burr (N.C.).

"Vietnam's oppression of its citizens, particularly over the last year, demonstrates the need for more targeted U.S. action," the co-sponsors said in a statement. "The Vietnamese government must reverse course on its human rights record in order to strengthen U.S.-Vietnam relations." [...]

Cao's sanctions bill is modeled after the McCain-Lieberman Iran sanctions legislation, he said, but this is the first time such a bill has targeted Vietnam.

"The transition of the Government of Vietnam toward greater economic activity and trade has not been matched by greater political freedom and substantial improvements in basic human rights for the citizens of Vietnam, including freedom of religion, expression, association, and assembly," the bill states, citing numerous dissidents mistreated by the government for promoting democracy.

"The Government of Vietnam continues to detain, imprison, place under house arrest, convict, and otherwise restrict individuals for the peaceful expression of dissenting political or religious views, including democracy and human rights activists, independent trade union leaders, non-state-sanctioned publishers, journalists, bloggers, members of ethnic minorities, and unsanctioned religious groups."

Cao cites the case of 59 Catholics arrested this spring for trying to bury a woman in the cemetery of a parish that the government had decided to take over. One of the parishioners, Nam Nguyen, died from beatings in custody. Cao, Wolf and Smith all wrote letters to Vietnamese leaders seeking the Catholics' release, but six were convicted late last month, without legal representation, on charges of disturbing social order.
A man cycles on a street in Havana  

Man cycles on street in Havana

A man cycles on a street in Havana November 23, 2010.… Read more »
REUTERS/Desmond Boylan (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY)

The Archbishop of Havana announced the release of the last 11 prisoners from the 'Group of 75'

  • He has met with those who have been freed and are in Spain
  • Some of them, he says, they intend to go to the U.S.
El arzobispo de La Habana, Jaime Ortega, atiende a los medios de comunicaciónThe Archbishop of Havana, Jaime Ortega, serving the mediaEFE
Related News / AGENCIES 29.11.2010 - 14:16 hThe  Archbishop of Havana, Jaime Ortega, has announced on Monday in Madrid  that the eleven prisoners of the "Group of 75" who are still in prison  reject his exile to Spain will be released and may stay in Cuba.
"Those who stay will be released. I do not know the time. Actually that's not in my hands,  but I have a clear promise that they will release these remaining to stay in Cuba, "said the cardinal, to point out that there "Some who want to go to America."
Ortega has done that announcement after meeting in Madrid released a group of Cuban including some of the "Group of 75, sentenced in 2003 to learn first hand about their situation and problems that have yet pending in Spain.
"It was a very positive meeting," said the archbishop, who has found that ex-offenders "have concerns about their immediate future here in Spain, Status, etc.. "
The  Cardinal considered "logical" that have "concerns" as "Are large groups of families" and "some have remained in Cuba."

Meeting with prisoners

"For  I (was) very necessary to meet them personally, and for I find them very helpful to know that management is always Church is not just a continuation of what the Church has always been of concern for all prisoners, "said the cardinal.
It  This, he stressed, "a humane approach in the common sense  the word "and" profoundly Christian in the sense of charity Love your neighbor. "
Ortega held this meeting after interest in the situation of former political prisoners during his meeting with Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trinidad Jimenez, on Thursday in Madrid.
The  Archbishop met with dissidents not only the "Group of 75" but with other former prisoners who remain on the current discrepancies process of release of political prisoners in Cuba.
The Cardinal has been a mediator with the Castro regime in release of 51 political prisoners who have arrived in Spain from mid-July.
More than a third of those released is in  Spanish cities, centers hosted organizations social and the Red Cross.
Ortega arrived in Madrid Wednesday and his visit has included a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela (northwestern Spanish) because of Compostela Holy Year
S: translates LPPNEWS
The wait continues

Cuba .- Orlando Zapata's mother said that the delay in the exhumation of his body is a "plot" of the Government

MADRID, November 30 (EUROPA PRESS) -

Reina Luisa Tamayo, mother of prisoner of conscience Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who died  last February, found Tuesday that the delay in exhumation of the remains of his son, after which they leave the  island for the United States with fifteen other people, is a "Maneuver" the Cuban government against his family.
In a telephone conversation, the activist told Europe Press that although the authorities warned him on Monday morning  the preparation of an imminent departure to the Southern Cemetery Holguín (east), where her son is buried, is still out waiting for that to occur.
"We said we did and all luggage and preparásemos because the bus (bus) would come to us to go to cemetery, "said the woman, who said this new delay of the time is "other movement of the Castro brothers (Fidel and Raul) against this family. "
However, Tamayo hoped that exhumation occurs finally in the next few hours or, at the latest "in a couple of days," although it has not received any confirmation from the authorities in this regard. "We'll see tomorrow (Tuesday in Spain) because we awaiting a response from the Government, seem to want to use again something against us, "he said.
In the event that expectations are met Tamayo, after exhumation, depart with fifteen other members of his family to Havana, where he hopes to cremate the body of her son. All of them settle in the capital until the government awarded the permission to leave Cuba and the U.S. Interests Section Together on the island will confirm the granting of visas to enter the country.
However, also in this issue there are difficulties. "The Government insists that everything is arranged, but from the USA Together we have not been confirmed what the visa has not arrived paper with the authorization to leave Cuba, so I do not know how time will be in Havana, "Bowyer said.
Tamayo for weeks awaiting the exhumation of remains death of his son to leave the island and settle permanently in the United States, where he requested political asylum unknown although the city will be installed, as well as internal conditions. "They do not know anyone, but I think we can contact someone when we get, "he said.
For its part, the Cuban Commission for Human Rights National Reconciliation (CCDHRN), rejected the conditions under which produce an exhumation of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, the consider that the procedure "imposed by the Government is "Irregular" because the body is still in process decomposition.
The organization condemned, through a statement released Monday, nine months after the dissident laid to rest "Just today (Monday) the Government of Cuba joined the device effective number of secret political police to carry out the exhumation "when" their remains are still in process  of decomposition. "
"By doing so, the scheme would violate rules and regulations health conditions for the activity of the cemeteries in Cuba, "he said  CCDHRN after consultation with a specialist in the field, who  said that "in no case authorized the exhumation until two years after burial, unless there is an order judicial, "which is lacking in this case."
Consequently, the commission urged the Cuban authorities stop this "horror movie" and "respect and enforce civilized standards and norms, especially in health, to Despite their "rush to take the country in any way  as soon as possible the remains of the young. "
Zapata Tamayo died Feb. 23 after spending 86 days on hunger strike while serving a sentence of 36 years prison. Their protest was to demand improvements in the conditions imprisonment of dozens of opponents of the government of Raul Castro.
The Castro regime is considered a "mercenary", the Like all other political prisoners on the island. Amnesty International, however, recognized his work and adopted as a prisoner  of consciousness.
S: Simultaneous translations LPPNEWS FrontLine Results

Havana withdrew the visa of a Cuban doctor 'being the party of Aznar'

"They said they knew that was part of Aznar's party, and Esperanza Aguirre, who was a party that had done much damage to Cuba in Europe. "Last July, Guillermo Ponce, a Cuban doctor who has  residing in Spain for 13 years, took the shock of his life. While enjoying your holidays in the family home in Santa Clara (Cuba) cited him for to go to Immigration Office.
"I had been monitoring since he arrived on the island; Immigration and Intelligence agents said they knew I was giving lectures and talks by other countries saying that Cuba had  racism, "said Ponce, who at the meeting the agents reported that they would not take action against him because they had not found no "Irregularity" from its presence on the island.
It was a warning. A 'Hey, we know what you're doing. " Ponce, who has spent many years building the African movement in Spain, founder of the Association of Afro-Cubans in our country and consultant regional and national commission PP Immigration and regional Health. "I told them it was true, but it was a democratic use  think and think freely and that I had do not care much for politics in Cuba, contaviniendo the laws of the country, "said Ponce.
"We spent a lot of fear, the meeting lasted two hours, and my wife and children were very worried, I did not know what could happen. "Ponce, even so, I thought that would be in anecdotes, but his nightmare had just begun. When he returned last October 27 at the island visit his grandmother, who "has a delicate state of health," found at the airport with her visa, known in Cuba as Residence permit Abroad and lets you enter and exit the island at any time, was canceled.
After two hours held, passed immigration control but with the visa become worthless. "I went back to the offices of Santa Clara, and did not know tell me why I had canceled the permit, but again did mention of my political activity in Spain, "said the doctor, married to  a Spanish woman and five children. Days later, he got off the plane which would go to a meeting in Quito because "he was not authorized."
"In another room, two officers returned to me to insist on the achievements revolution had been for blacks in Cuba, I gave them my opinion, "said the head of the Emergency Department of Salamanca. Two days later, got out of the country with a 'pass' after having to buy another ticket.
Now, when you return to Cuba, you have to do as a tourist or if he had been expelled from the country. Havana lets you decide whether  and when required. "I have sent a message, send me silent. Know of my closeness to the Cuban community and the black community and our view of the lack of freedom and the need for democracy in Cuba "Says Ponce.
"It's a message to all Cuban immigrants, do not mind we live in a free country, do not want anyone to speak against the system, "says the doctor, who is not exactly happy with the performance of the Spanish Embassy.
"In the second incident, when I went to they told me no could do nothing because it was a Cuban citizen for them, I would liked a higher sensitivity, "said Ponce, who asked the Government Spanish and EU not to look away after becoming the first Cuban linked to a Spanish political party suffering reprisals.
"We can not allow ourselves to pursue our activities in democratic countries, "says the doctor, who has received support from his party's solidarity and sectors also left, and ensuring that even more strongly pursue its struggle "  human rights and freedom. "
S: translates LPPNEWS FrontLine Results