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Saturday, April 28, 2012

24/7 FrontLine Results - LPPNEWS

Repsol threatens to sue firms that help Argentina

MADRID (AP) — Spanish energy firm Repsol warned Monday that it would consider legal action against companies or investors that help Argentina exploit oil fields Repsol had planned to tap before its Argentine unit YPF was nationalized.
Repsol discovered vast shale oil and gas deposits under the "Vaca Muerta" ("Dead Cow") basin of Neuquen province that could dramatically increase Argentina's oil reserves.
Experts say Argentina will need strategic partners to tap the world's third-largest unconventional reserves, and Argentine officials have wasted no time in lining up potential investors. They met last week with executives of French-owned Total Austral and Brazil's Petrobras, announcing afterward that both planned to expand production.
They planned to meet Monday with executives from Chevron and ExxonMobil, which have their own shale stakes in Argentina, and Apache, which began drilling through shale there last year.
Repsol YPF SA spokesman Kristian Rix says the company "is reserving the rights to take legal action against any investor in YPF or its assets following the unlawful expropriation of that company."
Repsol's share price sank nearly 6 percent to €14.03 each in Madrid on Monday, underperforming the benchmark Ibex index, which fell 2.8 percent. The shares were around €18 before Argentina announced the move to take over formerly state-owned YPF.
The Spanish government, meanwhile, adopted a carrot-and-stick approach.
Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo sounded conciliatory, saying Spain historically had very good relations with Argentina and wants to recover them. He said Spain would try to convince Argentina it needed to reach agreement with Repsol on fair compensation for nationalizing YPF, which he nonetheless said was a mistake that would scare off foreign investors.
"It is in Argentina's interest not to end up isolated in the world," the minister said.
At the same time, he said, Spain has proposed to EU partners a series of retaliatory measures against Argentina, such as filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization or downgrading trade relations.
The EU could strip Argentina of trade benefits provided to developing countries or halt free-trade talks between the EU and the South American bloc called Mercosur. That would mean dealing bilaterally with Mercosur's non-Argentine members, which are Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, Garcia-Margallo said in Luxembourg.
While Argentine President Cristina Fernandez's move on YPF has infuriated Spain, the country's largest foreign investor, it has elated many Argentines.
Only two months earlier, Repsol had increased its estimate for the shale oil and gas it found in Argentina to nearly 23 billion barrels, enough to double the country's output in a decade.
But the Spanish company said it would cost $25 billion a year to develop, and warned that Argentina would need to overhaul its energy policy to attract the necessary investment.
Instead, Fernandez simply seized the company, giving her government access to billions of dollars' worth of cash, enough energy to answer domestic demand in the short term, and potentially even solving Argentina's chronic money woes in the future. The move has been overwhelmingly popular in Argentina, whose Senate will likely approve it on Wednesday.
Repsol has valued the shares Argentina seized at $10.5 billion, but it's unclear when — if ever — the company will get compensation. A report Monday in Argentina's La Nacion newspaper said Deputy Economy Minister Axel Kicillof, named by Fernandez to help run YPF, assured her that Repsol would not get "one penny."
She accused Repsol of draining YPF since gaining control in the 1990s, underinvesting in its oil and gas fields and failing to keep pace with the needs of Argentina's growing economy even as it paid huge dividends to shareholders.
Repsol blames Argentina's ever-changing mix of subsidies, price caps and export taxes for depressing production as the country's demand for energy soared since 2003, when her husband, President Nestor Kirchner, came to power.
Argentine oil production plunged 22 percent from 2000 to 2010, even as demand surged more than 40 percent, according to data from the Argentine Oil and Gas Institute and the Energy Ministry compiled by a former energy secretary, Emilio Apud.
Argentina's production has fallen so low that the government now spends billions of dollars a year on expensive imported fuels that it provides at a loss to companies and consumers.
Luis Andres Henao and Michael Warren in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Daniel Woolls in Madrid contributed to this report.
Yoani Sanchez interview Andrew Carrion,  who shouted "Down with Communism!" Pope in Mass.

Question. How did the idea of ​​taking that action at the Plaza Antonio Maceo? Was it a personal initiative of a group?
Response. I do not belong to any opposition party,  I still do not belong to any. However, these days I received the solidarity of various activist groups, especially in   the east of the country. The idea that I came out solo action  and was not told anyone, fearing that it would filter the information and prevent me from carrying it out. José Martí had already said "there are things to achieve them have to walk very hidden." Therefore was that I could get there. He had a civic motivation and principles: the Cubans had to do something for the world to know   violations and the great problems we face here with the freedom of expression and human rights. I took all that from  long time inside and that was the time to say.
Q. How did you reach this place despite the police cordon?
R. I arrived about eleven o'clock, I saw preparations for the mass and found a strategic place for their position.   There I stood. In his pocket some candy and a bottle of water,  and with that I held until 17:40 hours when rushed action.  There were two security cordons. At one point I decided, and crossed the first bead. Once inside I went running to get in front of   Altar and cried several slogans: "Down with Communism! Down dictatorship! Freedom for the people of Cuba! ' and when I had I had caught and held managed to shout 'do not let Bishop deceive the people of Cuba is not free! '.
Q. Many have applauded that your actions on March 26,   but others criticize you used the space of a Catholic Mass to shout a slogan of a political nature. What would you say to these last?
R. I sent a letter to the Archbishop of Santiago de  Cuba to explain why I did and apologize to the Pope and all   the Catholic community. But they must understand and everyone should  understand that Cubans do not have spaces to express. Due to   that one looks for a place to be heard and I think that was a opportunity that could not pass up. I did not mean stain  Mass, so I've told several priests with whom I have spoken and I have understood them. I am a Catholic and did not come with any interest  damage to the Church or the figure of the Pope.
Q. What were the main charges that you   the police did during the 20 days when you were arrested? How what penalties threatened you?
R. I do not physically abused. Know of blows they have received other opponents, but I think with so many eyes  on me or maybe because the Pope had interceded, decided not  physical retaliation against me. Yes I put for several days in a cell that was very dark and very smelly. There was no water clean there and the light lit only ten minutes to six in the morning and ten minutes to six o'clock in the afternoon. After 20 days excarcelaron me but made me sign a paper where I am limited   my freedoms. I have to show up every Wednesday in a police operations unit, I can not leave the town without asking permission, I can not meet with opposition, not giving interviews, not  I can participate in demonstrations. But I have done almost nothing  that. They are not going to shut up that way.
Q. A man, wearing the logo of the Cross Red assaulted you and you even threw a stretcher. What do you think should the behavior so aggressive? What do you feel now to he?
R. I feel sorry for him. I have a vocation Christian and I can not feel anything, because I think it is a product   53 years of indoctrination and decades of telling people it is good to use violence against those who express themselves freely. Some friends brought me the address where the man lives and I  have said "we must take action against him," but I do not think so. Would fall into the same cycle of violence and revenge. Am against any form of violence.
Q. Some people claim that shouted 'down  Communism! ' visa for a political refugee in the USA. Is that true? How do you answer that question?
R. That's not true. My main goal was, and so I told the State Security-call to the conscience of Cuban people. Let people see that you can fight. Yet another objective was to call the consciousness of Raul Castro to recognize our rights. Today it was me, but tomorrow may be hundreds, thousands or an entire people. I thought my screams would be as a driver that   drag a lot of people who were in the Plaza Antonio Maceo to do the same, but it was not well and I confess that I disappointed. I did not do in order to seek political asylum, harassment but now I'm living is unsustainable. My house surrounded and they follow me wherever I go. At the moment there is dare to do anything to me because many are awaiting my situation, but sometimes I fear that in three or four months can happen to me worse. I am very concerned my safety.
Q. Do you come back to do?
R. Yes, of course. I did it for my country, my people and at that moment I knew that this action could cost you your life.   Even I said goodbye to my family without their knowledge. Me  goodbye to my mother, my sister, my wife ... I told her that morning before leaving for the Mass 'I love you very much'. I did not think returned, I thought this would be the last day of my life.
Havana 24 ABR 2012 - 13:54 CET TAKEN FROM EL PAIS, MADRID, SPAINÚltima Updated on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 13:31

Prize-winning film's Cuban actors to seek asylum in Miami

MIAMI (Reuters) - A pair of lead actors from a prize winning film about escaping Cuba have emerged from hiding to confirm they are seeking political asylum in the United States.
The young Cuban actors went missing last week while en route to the Tribeca Film Festival in New York where they were due to appear at the movie's U.S. premiere.
Actress Anailin de la Rua and actor Javier Nunez, cast members of "Una Noche" ("One Night"), broke their silence Friday night in a TV appearance on the Miami-based Spanish language channel America TeVe.
In an interview with Reuters, de la Rua and Nunez said their life imitating art saga was not quite as dramatic in real life as the harrowing story depicted in the film.
"Una Noche" follows three Cuban teenagers who try to escape their homeland by sea on a raft to start a new life in Miami. De la Rua and Nunez, who fell in love during filming, play a brother and sister, but only one of them survives the risky journey.
The pair said their real-life decision to leave Cuba stemmed from the success of the film and invitations to travel to festival premieres - Berlin in February and then New York.
They spent six days in Germany in February, their first overseas trip, but returned to Cuba and only began to think of leaving the island permanently when they got news of the invitation to New York.
"In part it's hard to leave your family and friends behind," said de la Rua, who has two sisters and divorced parents in Havana. "But at the same time you do it so you can help them. There's no future in Cuba."
Nunez said his mother lives alone in Cuba and he plans to help her out economically along with his older brother who left Cuba for Ecuador several years ago and works as a waiter.
The actors, both aged 20, said they were surprised by the film's success, especially as it was their first - and only - acting roles. They were 15 when they auditioned separately for the film, and then spent two years preparing for their roles after being selected by the film's director Lucy Mulloy.
"She told us what she liked and didn't like. She likes very natural acting," said de la Rua.
But nearly three years passed before the film's release, during which time the pair took regular day jobs. "Our friends in Cuba kept on asking us 'when is the film coming out,' and they almost didn't believe it was for real," said de la Rua, who worked at a Havana street stall selling home-made handicrafts and jewelry to tourists. Nunez worked in a pizza restaurant.
"It never entered our minds that we would get to travel because of the film. We never imagined that it would go this far," de la Rua added.
There is a long history of Cuban athletes and artists defecting to pursue careers outside their home country, including the 1997 defection of baseball pitcher Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez who smuggled his way out of Cuba by boat and became a star with the New York Yankees.
More recently the desertions have included talented ballet dancers and soccer players.
A Miami immigration lawyer, Wilfredo Allen, who is representing the actors, said he planned to file for political asylum on their behalf in the next two weeks "based on possible persecution if they return to Cuba."
Under U.S. law Cuban citizens enjoy special immigration rights to remain in the United States, either by applying for permanent residency or by seeking political refugee status.
The couple's reappearance came a day after Nunez shared the best actor award at the Tribeca festival, along with Dariel Arrechada, a fellow actor in "Una Noche." Arrechada accepted the award on his own, and apparently plans to return to Cuba.
"Una Noche" also picked up the Tribeca Festival's best cinematography award and best new narrative director for Mulloy.
Mulloy, a London-born 32-year-old who shot the low-budget film in Havana and was inspired by a tale she heard on a trip to the island nation 10 years ago, told Reuters she wished the missing actors could have attended the award ceremony.
"I haven't heard from them," she said. "Honestly, it's all happened so quickly ... it's a shock," she added.
"I'm sad for them because they are my friends," Arrechada told Reuters in broken English and Spanish after accepting his award on Thursday, referring to his missing fellow actors.
"I wish they were here, but ... you could be happy for them, for Javier and for Anailin and for everyone. It's weird. I miss him."
The couple is staying with de la Rua's uncle in Miami and plans to move into their own place as soon as they find jobs. They said they would like to act again, but are willing to do any kind of job to kick off their new lives.
They said the director of "Una Noche" is hoping to make a sequel, titled "Una Noche Mas" (One More Night).
"We'd like to do that," said Nunez.
(Additional reporting by Christine Kearney and Tara Cleary; Editing by Vicki Allen)

Friday, April 27, 2012

New photo shows work at NKorea nuclear test site

WASHINGTON (AP) — New satellite imagery appears to show a train of mining carts and other preparations under way at North Korea's nuclear test site but no indication of when a detonation might take place.
Early this month, South Korean intelligence reported digging of a new tunnel at the Punggye-ri site, which it took as a sign that North Korea was covertly preparing for a third nuclear test.
The U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies provided The Associated Press on Friday with its analysis of a sequence of photos of the site obtained from a private satellite operator and taken between March 8 and April 18.
The analysis estimates that 8,000 cubic meters (282,500 cubic feet) of rubble have been excavated at the site, where the communist country conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.
"While it's very clear from looking at these photos that the North has stepped up preparations for a nuclear test over the past few months, it's unclear exactly when the blast will occur," said Joel Wit, editor of the institute's website, "38 North."
North Korea already has drawn U.N. Security Council condemnation for a failed, long-range rocket launch April 13 which tried to put a satellite into orbit but was viewed by the U.S. and other nations as a cover for a test of its ballistic missile technology. Pyongyang could face tougher sanctions if it goes ahead with a nuclear test.
Punggye-ri site lies in the country's northeast, and the analysis says the images show various activities at the site since March. The latest photo shows a train of mining carts, which are believed to be used to carry material excavated from within the test site.
The size of the spoil pile appears unchanged in the latest image, and it is unclear whether the test device has been placed in the chamber and the shaft sealed with other material for the final preparation stage before a detonation, the analysis says.
North Korea's longtime ruler Kim Jong Il died in December and was succeeded by his youngest son, Kim Jong Un. The North has stepped up its tough rhetoric against rival South Korea and the United States since the failed rocket test that blemished its commemorations of the centennial of the birth of the nation's founder, Kim Il Sung.
On Wednesday, a top military chief in Pyongyang said the North is armed with "powerful modern weapons" capable of defeating the U.S. — a claim questioned by experts.
Washington worries about the possibility that North Korea might develop a reliable intercontinental ballistic missile and wed it with a nuclear bomb. Outside experts say the North has enough plutonium for about four to eight "simple" bombs, but does not yet appear to have the ability to make bombs small enough to mount on a missile.

Secret Service toughens rules of conduct after Colombia prostitution scandal

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)The Secret Service, embarrassed by the Colombia prostitution scandal, moved Friday to avoid a possible repeat incident by toughening its "standards of conduct" with new restrictions on drinking alcohol, a ban on "patronizing of non-reputable establishments," and a prohibition on agents bringing foreign nationals back to their hotel rooms.
Booze is off-limits 10 hours before an agent's shift starts and should be consumed only "in moderate amounts" while off duty. When the official to be protected arrives, the consumption of alcohol is entirely forbidden.
Here is the list of the new rules, which Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary provided to Yahoo News:
The following enhanced standards of conduct are effective immediately.
1. Standards of conduct briefings will be conducted for all protective visits, events and NSSEs, as well as prior to foreign car plane departures.
2. The U.S. Department of State Regional Security Officer will work with the USSS advance team to provide intensified country-specific briefings upon arrival in a foreign country.  The briefings will update personnel on safety issues, off-limit zones and off-limit establishments for USSS personnel, and any country-specific rules imposed by the Ambassador.
3. Foreign nationals, excluding hotel staff and official counterparts, are prohibited in your hotel room.
4. Patronization of non-reputable establishments is prohibited.
5. Alcohol may only be consumed in moderate amounts while off-duty on a TDY assignment and alcohol use is prohibited within 10 hours of reporting for duty.
6. Alcohol may not be consumed at the protectee hotel once the protective visit has begun.
The following measures relating to foreign car plane staffing are effective immediately.
1. Car planes will be staffed with two GS-15 supervisors — one from the Office of Professional Responsibility and one from the field.
2. The car plane supervisors will be responsible for briefing the standards of conduct expectations prior to departure to the destination country, as well as for enforcing these standards while in the foreign country.
3. All personnel traveling will have to have completed relevant LMS-based ethics training in order to be eligible for protective travel.
4. The Security Clearance Division will intensify country-specific briefings covering all pertinent topics prior to departure for the destination country.
5. Laws of the United States shall apply to Secret Service personnel while abroad.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Analysts say North Korea's new missiles are fakes

TOKYO (AP) — Analysts who have studied photos of a half-dozen ominous new North Korean missiles showcased recently at a lavish military parade say they were fakes, and not very convincing ones, casting further doubt on the country's claims of military prowess.
Since its recent rocket launch failure, Pyongyang's top military leaders have made several boastful statements about its weapons capabilities. On Wednesday, Vice Marshal Ri Yong Ho claimed his country is capable of defeating the United States "at a single blow." And on Monday, North Korea promised "special actions" that would reduce Seoul's government to ashes within minutes.
But the weapons displayed April 15 appear to be a mishmash of liquid-fuel and solid-fuel components that could never fly together. Undulating casings on the missiles suggest the metal is too thin to withstand flight. Each missile was slightly different from the others, even though all were supposedly the same make. They don't even fit the launchers they were carried on.
"There is no doubt that these missiles were mock-ups," Markus Schiller and Robert Schmucker, of Germany's Schmucker Technologie, wrote in a paper posted recently on the website that listed those discrepancies. "It remains unknown if they were designed this way to confuse foreign analysts, or if the designers simply did some sloppy work."
The missiles, called KN-08s, were loaded onto the largest mobile launch vehicles North Korea has ever unveiled. Pyongyang gave them special prominence by presenting them at the end of the parade, which capped weeks of celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the country's founding father, Kim Il Sung.
The unveiling created an international stir. The missiles appeared to be new, and designed for long-range attacks.
That's a big concern because, along with developing nuclear weapons, North Korea has long been suspected of trying to field an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, capable of reaching the United States. Washington contends that North Korea's failed April 13 rocket launch was an attempt to test missile technology rather than the scientific mission Pyongyang claims.
But after pouring over close-up photos of the missiles, Schiller and Schmucker, whose company has advised NATO on missile issues, argue the mock-ups indicate North Korea is a long way from having a credible ICBM.
"There is still no evidence that North Korea actually has a functional ICBM," they concluded, adding that the display was a "dog and pony show" and suggesting North Korea may not be making serious progress toward its nuclear-tipped ICBM dreams.
North Korea has a particularly bad track record with ICBM-style rockets. Its four launches since 1998 — three of which it claimed carried satellites — have all ended in failure.
Though North Korea frequently overstates its military capabilities, the missiles displayed this month might foreshadow weapons it is still working on.
David Wright, a physicist with the Union of Concerned Scientists who has written extensively about North Korea's missile program, said he believes the KN-08s could be "somewhat clumsy representations of a missile that is being developed."
Wright noted that the first signs the outside world got of North Korea's long-range Taepodong-2 missile — upon which the recent failed rocket was based — was from mock-ups seen in 1994, 12 years before it was actually tested on the launch pad.
"To understand whether there is a real missile development program in place, we are trying to understand whether the mock-ups make sense as the design for a real missile," he said. "It is not clear that it has a long enough range to make sense for North Korea to invest a lot of effort in."
Theodore Postol, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former scientific adviser to the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, said the Taepodong-2 design remains the more real future threat — though even that remains at least a decade away — and the KN-08 is simply a smoke screen.
"I believe that these missiles are not only mock-ups, but they are very unlikely to be actual mock-ups of any missiles in design," he said. "Fabricating a missile like the KN-08 would require a gigantic indigenous technical effort. ... The only way North Korea could develop such a missile with its pitiful economy would be if someone gave it to them."
He noted that a comparable U.S. missile, the Minuteman III, required "decades of expertise in rocket motors, and vast sums of intellectual, technological and financial capital."
Much attention, meanwhile, has been given to the 16-wheel mobile launchers that carried the missiles during the parade, which experts believe may have included a chassis built in China. That raises questions of whether China has violated U.N. sanctions against selling missile-related technology to Pyongyang.
Some missile experts say the launchers were designed to carry a larger missile than the 18-meter-long KN-08, and argue that North Korea would not have spent millions of dollars on them unless it has, or intends to have, a big missile to put on them.
But Wright said the launchers, like the missiles they carried, could also have been more for show than anything else.
"Given the international attention it has gotten from parading these missiles you could argue that the cost of buying the large trucks — which add a lot of credibility to the images of the missiles — was money well spent in terms of projecting an image of power," he said.

Report Paya collusion between Church and the Cuban regime

Cuba / Complaint
Cubamatinal / The message, sent by e-mail to an extensive  mailing list, poses one of its parts, "Enough of despotism, doctrines, exclusive conference and conditioned of moves and maneuvers of distraction to justify and consolidate change fraud ... " Click on this link to access the document disseminated by Paya.

Madrid, April 22 / According to review of Pablo Alfonso Marti News; The opposition leader Oswaldo Paya, president of Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) who reported on Thursday within the Catholic Church in Cuba "increasingly moving into the tunnel alignment with the lies of the regime and the draft continuity of totalitarianism, which are infatuated the privilege of power. "
In one of his strongest criticism of the ecclesiastical structures Cuban Sakharov Prize 2002, recognized Catholic militancy is conference referred to the dialogue among Cubans, which opened Thursday in Havana sponsored by Cardinal Jaime Ortega, Archbishop of Havana, and the magazine Palabra Nueva, the official organ of the Archdiocese  , Stating that "it is organized and led by those in Cuba, not only opposition despise peaceful, but deny their existence, specifically, in their publications and so are encouraging the oligarchy  to continue to deny rights to the Cubans. "
Read the full text of the complaint inbound link to the news.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 9:16
"Tll must reconcile with each other, not only as people to each other, but as a human group.
We must find a way to feel all brothers, "said Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, Radio Marti, while participating in the forum on the impact of the Cuban Catholic Church in the community, sponsored by Harvard University.

The correspondent of Radio Marti at the conference, Carmen Maria Rodriguez, said the Cardinal did not answer the question asked by one of the reporters about what happened to the Cuban shouted "Down with Communism!" During the Pope's Mass in Santiago Cuba.

Furthermore, when questioned about the thirteen dissidents who entered a church in Havana, said Ortega y Alamino were not removed by force and they were criminals and persons of low educational level, reported the journalist.

Ortega y Alamino devoted part of his speech Tuesday to the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the island and the reaction it generated in the town as "evidence that faith is present in a high percentage of Cubans."

The Archbishop of Havana also recalled that "the pope said that as Christians, we should support the patient and constructive changes."

The Cardinal emphasized that "the whole world has seen that the church is alive and has been present in the long years of difficulties," and that "the pursuit of truth is the basis for freedom," as appeared in the account Twitter of the host institution.

The forum, held at the Institute of Politics at the prestigious Boston University, also attended by Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, Jorge Dominguez, Vice Chancellor for International Affairs of Harvard University, and Professor Mary Jo Bane .

For his part, Cardinal O 'Malley recalled the difficulties of being Catholic on the island during the 70 and 80 and that the former Cuban president Fidel Castro was excommunicated by Pope John XXIII in 1962.

The event also to be free and open to the public, was broadcast live via the web site of John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum.

The event was organized with the cosponsorship of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Marines discharge sergeant for Facebook posts

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A sergeant will be discharged for criticizing President Barack Obama on Facebook in a case that called into question the Pentagon's policies about social media and its limits on the speech of active duty military personnel, the Marine Corps said Wednesday.
Sgt. Gary Stein will get an other-than-honorable discharge and lose most of his benefits for violating the policies, the Corps said.
The San Diego-area Marine who has served nine years in the Corps said he was disappointed by the decision. He argued that he was exercising his constitutional rights to free speech.
"I love the Marine Corps, I love my job. I wish it wouldn't have gone this way. I'm having a hard time seeing how 15 words on Facebook could have ruined my nine-year career," he told The Associated Press.
Gary Kreep, an attorney for Stein, said he would pursue administrative appeals within the Marine Corps but anticipates the effort will fail. He said he planned to file an amended complaint in federal court.
"As long as he wants to pursue this, we will be supporting him," said Kreep, who is executive director of the United States Justice Foundation, an advocacy group.
The Marines acted after saying Stein stated March 1 on a Facebook page used by Marine meteorologists, "Screw Obama and I will not follow all orders from him." Stein later clarified that statement, saying he would not follow unlawful orders.
Brig. Gen. Daniel Yoo, the commanding general of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, said in a brief statement Wednesday that evidence supported an administrative board's recommendation to discharge Stein.
Tom Umberg, a former Army colonel and military prosecutor, said Stein persisted even after being warned.
"The Marine Corps gave him the opportunity to think about his actions, yet Sgt. Stein continued to undermine the chain of command," said Umberg, who was not involved in Stein's case. "I think his purpose was to leave the Marine Corps in a dramatic fashion in order to begin a career in talk radio or what have you."
Umberg believes the decision to discharge Stein will have limited impact because the vast majority of Marines would never consider such postings.
"I think 99 percent of the soldiers and Marines currently on duty understand the duties of supporting the chain of command and understand their rights of free speech are limited," he said. "To that 1 percent who don't know their rights to free speech are limited once they take the oath, this is a loud and clear message."
During a hearing, a military prosecutor submitted screen grabs of Stein's postings on one Facebook page he created called Armed Forces Tea Party, which the prosecutor said included the image of Obama on a "Jackass" movie poster. Stein also superimposed Obama's image on a poster for "The Incredibles" movie that he changed to "The Horribles," military prosecutor Capt. John Torresala said.
At the hearing this month at Camp Pendleton, Torresala argued that Stein's behavior repeatedly violated Pentagon policy and he should be dismissed after ignoring warnings from his superiors about his postings.
The military has had a policy since the Civil War limiting the free speech of service members, including criticism of the commander in chief.
Pentagon directives say military personnel in uniform cannot sponsor a political club; participate in any TV or radio program or group discussion that advocates for or against a political party, candidate or cause; or speak at any event promoting a political movement.
Commissioned officers also may not use contemptuous words against senior officials.

The interpretation loving Ozzie Guillen

Sports / pro totalitarian phrase in the wrong place
Ozzie Guillen

Cubamatinal / Saying "I love Fidel Castro" in Miami is like  say "Welcome Hitler" in Israel or "Long live the Ladies in White" in regular meeting of the Communists in Cuba. It was exactly what he said  The Ozzie Guillen, manager of baseball team The Florida Marlins, in an interview with Time magazine. (Note  Cubamatinal Editorial: For those unfamiliar with the subject of abuse  communist regimes throughout history, we provide two links to video documentaries published by this newspaper; A-Some thoughts on the Cuban Exclusion Act III Part and B-Some thoughts on the Cuban Exclusion Act Part II )

By Alfonso Torna Odelín

Havana, April 21 / PD / Freedom of expression, in Miami or in "La Cochinchina", also has political and financial costs. But is the "Little Havana", not so small and more tenants exiles that the very capital of the communist island, who does not forgive "Accidental" Ozzie fling toward Fidel Castro.
¿Ozzie Guillen would love to Fidel Castro if he tuck the curette, from his deathbed at Ground Zero, the decisions to be taken  World Series? Ever wonder if Ozzie history revolutionary Cuban baseball a manager has appeared with some like?
Obviously, although later admitted his mistake and said he prefers "Dead to vote for Chavez" in the November election Next, Ozzie Guillen is a communist and an unsuspecting frustrated that said at the wrong time and place, love a man that is repugnant to the fans in Miami. Nor is the kid Guillen and arrogant drug addict Diego Armando Maradona, who provided ease your purchase relapse  their idols Communists in Havana.
"What I meant is that how a person who has done so much damage, that has caused so much pain, so much blood, and so political prisoners death, is still in the system, is still with us. (...) The interpretation between English and Spanish did not turn out well, "said manager Guillen at a press conference shortly after the outbreak of the controversy.
However, the performance in the Cuban press, the pen of the journalist Alfonso Nazianzen, written in the official organ of the  Wednesday 11 April, put into the mouth of Ozzie the following bold-  sentence: "I respect Fidel Castro."
Still, respect for the love just a brisita of idolatry. But Why hate Nazianzus omitted forced Ozzie Guillen when repented at the local and international press in Miami?
Little does he know Ozzie Guillen is that most Cubans Island residents are neither Communists nor Catholics, much less devoted to Fidel Castro. Moreover, because of Fidel is that baseball in  Cuba is stagnant and many idols of our ball playing, precisely in the U.S. professional leagues.
And for the adventurous who question the freedom of expression in the Mecca of the anti-Castro (Miami), what would Lazaro Vargas, mentor Industrial capital equipment, if only I say "respect for Barack Obama "in the Latin American Stadium? When Marlins manager cost  suspension from the team for five games and fined one hundred thousand dollars. Now it remains to be seen how will the new stadium box office Miami, the pride of the Hispanic American community.
The interpretation of Ozzie Guillen has a price and the resignation Forced is nipping at his heels. It is better to be a communist all days, to say "I love Fidel Castro" at the time and wrong place.

Another British businessman arrested in bribery investigation

| By CubaNet
HAVANA, Cuba, April 24 (Agencies,  - Stephen Purvis, chief operating officer of Coral Capital Group Ltd., a British company investment in Cuba, was arrested in Havana, as part of a bribery investigation began last year Cuban authorities against some state agencies and their partners foreigners.
The information published in on Tuesday, indicates that Purvis is the second executive of Coral Capital held as part of a campaign against corruption organized by the Cuban leader Raul Castro.
In October 2011 he was arrested its chief executive, Amado Fakhre, a British citizen of Lebanese origin, but still unaware of the precise charges against Coral Capital and the fact no published by Cuban state media.
"I can confirm that a British citizen arrested and is under  research by Cuban authorities, "he told, Rhys Patrick, Head of Political Affairs and Press Secretary, Embassy of British Havana. "We are providing consular support to customary in these cases, "he said.
According,  Coral Capital Group, was registered in the British Virgin Islands 1999, and since entering the Cuban market as a firm of property roots, expanded its operations to commercial finance companies mixed state and Cuban imports of machinery and other activities including even the cultural sphere.
The British investment firm involved in building 1.220 homes for a resort and golf course in Bellomonte, with a extension of 628 acres, located on the beach east of Havana, 15 miles from the center of the capital. In an adjacent property of 20 acres, Coral planned to build a 160-room hotel overlooking the sea and a beach club for members. The initial cost  of this project that should begin this year is $ 120 million dollars.
The British company represents several foreign companies in Cuba including Yamaha Motor Corporation and Peugeot said.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Feds make 1st arrest in BP oil spill case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A BP engineer intentionally deleted more than 300 text messages indicating the amount of oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico was much greater than what the company later reported and that BP's efforts to control the spill were failing, the U.S. Justice Department alleged Tuesday in its first criminal charges related to the deadly explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig.
Kurt Mix was arrested Tuesday and charged with two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly destroying evidence sought by federal authorities.
The charges came a day before a federal judge in New Orleans was to consider a motion granting preliminary approval of a $7.8 billion civil settlement between BP and a committee of plaintiffs in a civil case. Shrimp processors have raised objections, saying the settlement does not adequately compensate them.
Criminal penalties that could be levied against BP and its partners in the operation would be based in part on estimates of the amount of oil that spilled from the Macondo well.
In an emailed statement, BP said it would not comment on the case but is cooperating with the Justice Department and other investigations into the oil spill. "BP had clear policies requiring preservation of evidence in this case and has undertaken substantial and ongoing efforts to preserve evidence," the statement said.
Mix, 50, of Katy, Texas, was scheduled to appear in federal court in Houston on Tuesday afternoon. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count. The statement did not say whether Mix had a lawyer.
The engineer deleted more than 200 messages sent to a BP supervisor from his iPhone in October 2010 containing information about how much oil was spilling out — and then erased 100 more the following year after receiving numerous legal notices to preserve the information, the Justice Department said in a news release.
On the very first day in May of 2010 that BP began to use the "top kill" method to plug the leaking well by pumping heavy mud into the blown-out well head, Katy estimated in a text to his supervisor that 15,000 barrels of oil per day were spilling — an amount greater than what BP said the method could likely handle.
The BP-leased rig Deepwater Horizon exploded the night of April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers and setting off the nation's worst offshore oil disaster. More than 200 million gallons of crude oil flowed out of the well off the Louisiana coast before it was capped.

Cuban dissident prisoner on hunger strike, "are killing me slowly"

AFP | 24/04/2012 -
Cuban dissident Jose Daniel Ferrer, who was arrested three weeks ago  in a "crackdown" following the visit of Pope Benedict XVI Cuba, told his wife he started a hunger strike because they were  "Slowly killing" in prison.
Two  imprisoned dissidents in Cuba have died in hunger strikes, Orlando Zapata in February 2010 and Wilman Villar in January this year, sparking criticism from foreign governments and rights organizations humans.
On Monday Ferrer "I said 'are killing me slowly', because he suffers from an ulcer and food and the conditions there are very bad, "he told AFP his wife, Belkis Cantillo.
"When  the guard said that was a family visit, I could not talk about policy and ended the visit, the protest and then said 'I declare a hunger strike, take food 'and I took them, " Cantillo said.
Ferrer, 41, leader of the Patriotic Union  of Cuba (UPC), which is illegal as all opposition on the island, was arrested on April 2 in Santiago de Cuba (southeast) along with 42 other opponents, who were released gradually within a week.
Had  been in prison eight years after being arrested and sentenced to 25 years part of a group of 75 dissidents in 2003. He was released in early 2011 after a dialogue between Cardinal Jaime Ortega and President Raul Castro.
"Ladies in White love life, family and country, we do not hunger strikes, but we must respect the criteria of each other and if he chose to strike as a method of struggle for democracy, we will give spiritual and moral support, "said AFP leader of the opposition group, Berta Soler.
UPC A Wilman had linked Villar, 31, who died on January 19 after 48 days on hunger strike in prison, according to the opposition.
The  communist government refused to comply Villar fasting prisoner or was  political, having been sentenced to four years in prison for "Disrespect, disobedience and attack," while resisting arrest after a domestic dispute with his wife in July 2011.
For Villar was compared by the dissent to Orlando Zapata, 42,  who died on February 23, 2010 after a hunger strike of 85 days, while serving 32 years sentence for contempt, disorder and other  charged.
Five days after the visit to the island of Benedict XVI, 26 to March 28, dissent denounced a "crackdown" in Santiago de Cuba, where it occurred the only incident of the tour, when  an assistant to the papal Mass, Andrés Carrión, shouted "down with communism, down with dictatorship "and was immediately arrested.
During  Papal visit about 150 people were detained preventively or retained in their homes, and numerous cell phones and dissidents remained out of service, as the illegal Commission Cuban Human Rights and National Reconciliation.
The Commission  directed by Elizardo Sanchez, said at least 2,393 Cubans were arrested for "political reasons" during the first quarter of this year, more than double the same period in 2011 (922).
The government, which sees opponents as "mercenaries" of the United States has not reported on the arrests.
The  dissident Guillermo Fariñas, who has completed twenty strikes hunger and won the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize in 2010, was  in solidarity with Ferrer on Monday went to the headquarters of the State Security in the central city of Santa Clara, where he lives, and  asked not to be stopped.
"We had a long conversation (with two officers), where I told them I wanted to be there detained for suffer the same fate as Joseph Daniel and they said to give them a day to consult their superior officers, "according to AFP.