Newscast Media HOUSTON, Texas — 2011 has been an incredible year and very busy one for media practitioners. Newscast Media has compiled some of the most profound stories and events that we covered during the past year. There are some events that did not make the list, but that doesn’t mean we did not cover them. As we ring in the new year that is expected to be even much busier than the previous one, since it is an election year, we would like to wish all our readers a prosperous 2012.
2011 in review as compiled by Newscast Media
10. Anonymous, the group of hackers that became notorious for their denial-of-service attacks and data breaches on a host of targets, like Amazon, Sony, the CIA, bankers, police officers, and Fox News, are now becoming a force to be reckoned with as they undertake the role of political hacktivists. The hacker group claims to also have hacked into NATO servers and has in its possession one gigabyte of data. The Anons are a loosely organized group of hackers sympathetic to WikiLeaks.
9. Revelations of extramarital affairs forced GOP frontrunner Herman Cain to abandon his quest for the presidency. Cain had initially risen above the barrage of accusations, yet a single accusation by his mistress of 13 years, Ginger White, delivered a knockout punch, that sent Cain reeling to the sidelines, as the heartbeat of his campaign was silenced. On December 3, 2011, Cain announced he was suspending his campaign for president.
8. NASA scientists confirmed the discovery of a new habitable planet in the “habitable zone,” the region where liquid water could exist on a planet’s surface. The newly confirmed planet, Kepler-22b, is the smallest yet found to orbit in the middle of the habitable zone of a star similar to our sun. The planet is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth.
7. After a devastating 8.9 earthquake rocked Japan on March 11, 2011, it is believed that over 6,000 people were killed, leaving millions without water, electricity and food. The earthquake sent a 20-foot high tsunami crashing into the north-eastern coast of Japan, sweeping everything within its path including houses.
6. Somalia topped the list of 2011 failed states due to the absence of a permanent national government in the country for almost twenty years, the ongoing civil violence, economic hardship, poor social conditions, and the displacement of several million Somali citizens. Complete list of 2011 failed states is here.
5. Search giant Google may be late when it comes to the social network scene but its new site, Google+, is growing much more rapidly than Facebook, Myspace and Twitter did in their early days. Tracking firm comScore, said Google+, which was launched by the Internet search and advertising giant on June 28, had 25 million unique visitors as of July 24, making it the fastest growing social network ever.
4. In a move that reversed a pledge to Saudi, European and Egyptian officials to hold off on asking the United Nations to recognize as a new state Israel’s occupied Palestinian territories, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas decided to go through with his application to the U.N. Security Council on Sept. 23 for the admission of a Palestinian state to the world body. On October 31, UNESCO’s General Conference voted to admit Palestine as a member of the organization. The vote was carried by 107 votes in favor of admission and 14 votes against, with 52 abstentions. Washington reacted by suspending its funding for UNESCO, which accounted for a fifth of its annual budget.
3. The world loses Steve Jobs who will be remembered as one of the greatest inventors of the information age. Jobs, the architect behind the iMac, iTunes, iPod and iPad, is known for his famous speech in which he said, “You’ve got to find what you love, and that is as true for work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle. Stay hungry, stay foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. I wish that for you. Stay hungry, stay foolish.”
2. Iran’s electronic warfare unit hacked into a US satellite and intercepted a drone illegally patrolling the Islamic Republic. The RQ-170 Sentinel drone also known as the “Beast of Kandahar” was
safely landed on Iranian soil, and Iranian officials declared it their property as they displayed it for the whole world to see. An Iranian official told Tehran Times that another exhibition is scheduled that will
be open to national reporters and foreign ambassadors based in Tehran.
The exhibition will display four Israeli drones that have violated the Iranian airspace along the eastern borders and three remote controlled US aircrafts that have entered the country along either its eastern or southern borders. The “Beast” is the world’s most sophisticated aircraft that uses the same kind of stealth technology as the B-2 stealth bomber.
1. Egyptian youth forced longtime US-Israeli ally Hosni Mubarak out of office after ruling the country for 29 years, making him the longest serving President of Egypt. The youth movement used public demonstrations that caught the attention of Washington, prompting Obama to demand Mubarak’s resignation that effectively took place on February 11, 2011.
Categories: News Tags: 2011 year in review, Anonymous hacktivists, Egypt's youth movement, Herman Cain suspends campaign, Iran downs US drone, Japanese 8.9 earthquake, NASA discovers habitable planet, Obama asks Mubarak to step down, Somalia makes failed states list
Newscast Media AUSTIN, Texas — In a move to prove he is in it for the long run, Texas Gov. Rick Perry sued the Virginia State Board of Elections in federal court for eliminating his name from the ballot, due to insufficient signatures from registered voters. The suit challenges the constitutional validity of the Virginia statute which appears to infringe upon voters’ rights to participate in an election, and candidates’ rights to stand for election.
The case will likely go all the way to the Supreme Court if it is not resolved in the lower courts. As a sign that Perry is ready to take this to the nation’s highest court, using case law supporting his argument that the Constitution’s First amendment was being violated, Perry cited Buckley v American Constitutional Law Foundation in which the Supreme Court held that a Colorado law requiring all petition circulators to be registered Colorado voters, violated the Constitution’s First Amendment.
Remember, the purpose of the US Constitution is to prevent government from violating your rights. Perry lives outside the “Matrix” and knows that he has an inherent right, to speak freely and associate without hindrance. He also knows that he need not seek those rights from the government, because the US Constitution protects those God-given rights. This is something most Americans (who live in the “Matrix”) do not understand. They falsely believe they get their rights from a document, that’s why it is not unusual to hear someone say: “So and so violated my constitutional rights.” Lawyers and judges get a kick out of such statements.
If you look at paragraph three of the lawsuit, Perry makes it very clear that these are his rights, and the purpose of the Constitution is to protect them. He writes:
“3. Virginia’s requirement petition circulators to be either eligible or registered qualified voters violates Plaintiff’s freedom of speech and association protected by the First and Fourth Amendments of the United States Constitution.”
Notice he did not say freedom of speech and association provided by the US Constitution, he said freedom of speech and association “protected” by the US Constitution. Perry knows he does not need the government to give him what already belongs to him. It would be like going into your kitchen when you are hungry, then asking your neighbor for permission if you can eat food from your own fridge, yet the food is already yours. Of course your neighbor will be tickled by such a request, since you already have the right to access what’s yours.
Perry’s emphasis is that those rights he was born with are protected by the US Constitution, which prevents government from infringing upon them. People who live outside the Matrix see things that ordinary people ignore or laugh at, yet it makes a difference to speak a certain kind of language that only those outside the Matrix understand. You may read or download the entire lawsuit here.
by Napp Nazworth
Newscast Media HOUSTON, Texas — Although Ron Paul could win the Iowa caucus, he cannot win the nomination because his “fanatical believers” are not “mainstream America,” said former presidential candidate and media personality Mike Huckabee.
“Ron Paul is not going to get elected president. He’s not. His views on foreign policy are so much an anathema to the Republicans, much less the Democrats, and what I call ‘middle-of-the-road people,’” Huckabee said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“He has a very strong core of fanatical believers, but they do not represent the mainstream of America.”
In particular, Huckabee mentioned Texas Congressman Paul’s views on the possibility of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon.
“You can’t go around saying, ‘yeah, it’s OK for Iran to have a nuclear weapon.’ That’s beyond off-the-edge to think that it’s OK for the government of Iran to have nuclear devices. And [Paul] says, ‘well Pakistan has them and Israel has them and U.S. and Russia have them.’ The difference is they have them so they won’t use them. Iran wants to get one because they want to use it. There’s a big difference. It’s like he doesn’t get it.”
Paul has argued that continuing sanctions against Iran is only “promoting [Iran's] desire to have” nuclear weapons. “We don’t need another war,” Paul added emphatically.
In addition to Huckabee’s criticism of Paul, the Texas Congressman is catching blowback from both libs and conservatives because his racially charged newsletters. Huffington Post did a piece on him that did not help, so did conservative blog that dug up some dirt on Ron Paul in this article by HotAir.
With the Iowa caucus taking place on Jan. 3, Paul has to find a way to diffuse the negative press from both sides. Whether or not he can pull it off remains to be seen.
Newscast Media VATICAN CITY — Society has always had an inclination to spirituality and religion as a way to either regulate the conduct of humans or as a vehicle to seek solace and inspiration. Even without organized religion, people had their own ways of finding both religious and spiritual expression. Major religions found a way to coexist peacefully with each other because most of them share a common thread and beliefs in the supernatural.
In the eight and ninth centuries there were two super-powers that ruled the world. One was Christianity with the Byzantine Empire, the other was Islam, controlled by the Caliphate. There was yet a third force that had no particular religion called the Khazarian Empire as shown in the map below:
The Khazar king was interested in adopting a religion and took a look at both forces. He reason that it he submitted to Christianity, he would be under the jurisdiction of the Holy Roman Emperor and if he chose Islam he would have to answer to the Caliph of Baghdad. In order not to offend both religions, he chose the Hebrew religion and traditions because Christians and Muslim both believe in the Old Testament.
A few centuries later, the Khazars moved North to southern Russia and eventually assimilated throughout Europe. Islam remained in Arabia and North Africa, while Christianity spread all the way down to South America. In Africa, Christianity was introduced by French and British missionaries after it had already spread around the world. This time of the year, all major religions are celebrating the Christmas season in their way. Some do it by giving gifts, others through reconciliation, while some do it through prayerful worship.
The purpose of the map above is to demonstrate that major religions do have the ability to coexist peacefully if they choose to. During my travels, I was able to capture some of the symbolism used in Christianity in the video below I filmed in the Eternal City, as we reign in the Christmas holidays and a new year that’s at hand.
Videography by Joseph Earnest
Categories: News Tags: Bernini artist, Byzantine Empire, Khazaria, Khazarian empire, Khazars, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Santa Maria Maggiore, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, The Caliph of Baghdad, the Caliphate, The Pantheon
Newscast Media TEHRAN — Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said at a press conference on Thursday that the naval maneuvers dubbed Velay at 90 will start on Saturday and will cover an area stretching from the east of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden. According to Sayyari, this is the first time that Iran’s Navy carries out naval drills in such a vast area.
He added the exercises will manifest Iran’s military prowess and defense capabilities in the international waters, convey a message of peace and friendship to regional countries, and test the newest military equipment among other objectives of the drills.
Rear Admiral Sayyari said that the newest missile systems and torpedoes will be employed in the maneuvers, adding that the most recent tactics used in subsurface battles will also be demonstrated in the maneuvers.
He also said that Iranian destroyers, missile-launching vessels, logistic vessels, drones and coastal missiles will also be tested. Iran stages several air, land and sea war games each year to test its newly produced weapons and equipments.
In the last naval drills staged by the Iranian Army, in May 2010 a six-staged naval maneuver was held, codenamed Vellay at 89, in the Strait of Hormuz and Northern Indian Ocean.
Source: FARS News Agency
Newscast Media HOUSTON, Texas — A couple of years ago, I decided to start collecting vinyl records or LPs (Long Play) as they are usually referred to. One of the reasons among many, is that we live in the information age and everything is being digitized. With the government moving to regulate the Internet, soon music lovers will not be able to access free songs on sites like YouTube, because the feds are drafting laws to restrict sharing of digital media.
Right now, if you want to listen to a song from the 80s that you may not have in your collection, all you have to do is go to YouTube or even Rhapsody, simply type in the name of the song, and you’re set.
In order to preserve some of the music that can only be found on LPs, I decided I would start an LP collection, since I already have a serious CD collection that is solid. I started with George Benson’s Twice The Love album that I purchased on eBay since I could not find it on CD anywhere. The experience of collecting rare classics is quite satisfying though I only do it as a hobby.
Every culture is defined by its music and architecture. Even the nomads who move from place to place still have their distinct music that defines them. The same applies to buildings or architectural styles; for example, Japanese traditional buildings are different from Indians. That’s what defines them. Even indigenous tribes like the Masai of Africa build differently than the Eskimos in North America.
In my quest to collect music that I suspect might become extremely hard to come by within the next decade, it is undeniable from the evidence I have on hand that the 80s produced that best quality of music. Some reading this may beg to differ, and you are free to add your input in the ‘comments’ section. What makes music from the 80s stand out is that the musicians took time to write meaningful lyrics that had stories behind them and also depth. Their music had substance.
There are some who listen to music for the melody. Others listen to the beat, while some listen to the lyrics. Everyone has an aspect of music that captivates the listener. In regard to melody, I have found that the violin creates the sweetest melody of any musical piece, whether it is used as a background or lead instrument. However, the bass guitar seems to be the most hypnotizing instrument, and has always captivated me.
As far as sensuality, the piano will always reign supreme, but is rivaled by the flamenco guitar, if one really knows how to pluck it. The two leading flamenco guitarists being Armik and Ottmar Liebert. Some musicians can almost make their instruments speak. When you listen to Paul Young’s Everytime You Go Away, the bass guitarist makes that instrument speak, even in a hip-hop song like Reckless by Ice-T from movie Breakin’ soundtrack—whoever plucks that bass guitar is a virtuoso.
Other genres like Rock also have the ability to fuse the electric guitar and the bass guitar into something sensational like the song Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz that has a catchy bassline amalgamated with the electric guitar. Just as the electric guitar is the hallmark of Rock, while the violin defines classical music, Dancehall Reggae is defined by the bass guitar.
The musician whose style took me the longest to understand was Anita Baker. I couldn’t get into her music for almost half a decade. I finally got to appreciate her unique style, yet she is still one of the most underrated singers in the music industry. Another underrated singer who belongs in the same sentence as Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and Patti LaBelle, is Roberta Flack, who has a very distinctive voice and an impressive collaboration track record.
We currently have singers who almost sound alike and haven’t been able to distinguish themselves from the pack. When you look back to the divas like SADE, her voice defines her, not her dance videos or how much skin she reveals. Even Bonnie Tyler’s husky voice in Total Eclipse Of The Heart, is her unique trademark, while Patti LaBelle is known for her artful screaming, yet staying true to form.
You have to love Mizz LaBelle in her classics New Attitude, and also Stir It Up, a track that was part of Eddie Murphy’s Beverly Hills Cop I soundtrack. She has mastered the art of screaming while she sings, that even in her ballad If You Asked Me To that she did in 1989, and was later duplicated by Celine Dion in the 1992, maintains the intended sensuality as she hits the major and minor notes in the song.
As I mentioned earlier, lyrics do play a major part in terms of delivering the intended message in a song. My listening experience reveals that by far, the greatest lyricist of our time is Charles Hart, who wrote the lyrics to The Phantom of The Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber. His lyrics have made The Phantom the highest-grossing entertainment event of all time; the most financially successful theatrical show ever; and the most successful entertainment project in history.
The lyrics to The Phantom Of The Opera are so compelling, believe it or not, this journalist memorized the entire musical by heart.
An effective musician is one who creates music that resonates with, and enthralls the listener, whereby both become one. This is not limited to just listening, it also applies to dance, where the rhythm is what moves the dancer. Being in such a state of oneness—between the dancer and music, or listener and melody, is what is referred to in slang as being hyped.
A perfect example of a song in which the listener becomes one with the music, is Andre Rieu’s rendition of the song Ben originally performed by Michael Jackson. Such, is an example of a musician who can make his instrument speak. You simply have to listen for yourself to how intoxicating the violin is. Watch below:
With legislation under consideration in Congress, such as the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP, 10-second clips to full-length documentaries are subject to removal from platforms like YouTube or Facebook under the terms of the proposed legislation. That is why a physical collection of music is more practical to own, to complement a digital musical library.
Categories: News Tags: Andre Rieu performing Ben, Anita Baker you belong to me, Celine Dion if you asked me to, George Benson twice the love, Ice-T Reckless, Lenny Kravitz fly away, long play, LP record, Michael Jackson's Ben, Patti LaBelle if you asked me to, Patti LaBelle New Attitude, Patti LaBelle Stir it up, Paul Young everytime you go away
Newscast Media DAMASCUS — While tens of thousands of Syrians descended upon Umayyad Square in the capital of Damascus Wednesday to renew their support for President Bashar al-Assad, the West demands he step down from office.
Xinhua, the Chinese news agency reports that Syrians streamed into the Umayyad Square in the heart of Damascus chanting solidarity with Assad and expressing discontent with the international uproar against their leadership, just a day before the Arab observer mission commences for one month to monitor Syria’s unrest on the ground.
Although Syria has agreed to allow in Arab monitors, the United States remains steadfast in its call for Assad to step down, the U.S. State Department said Tuesday.
In a different news article by Lebanon media, Al-Manar News says U.S. aircrafts dropped spy devices in the hills that surround the town of Afrin, in Syria.
A Turkish source said that the dropping of these devices hardware “came after the Syrian authorities decision to deploy the seventh contingent along the eastern border and south-eastern province of Hatay (Iskenderun Brigade).”
Meanwhile, PressTV is reporting that a Lebanese official says an Italian fighter jet carrying aid supplies for anti-Syrian insurgency elements has landed in the country’s capital, Beirut. The Secretary of the Leadership Committee of the Independent Nasserite Movement in Lebanon Mustafa Hamdan said on Tuesday that the military aircraft has arrived in Beirut airport in an effort to provide aid for what has been described as Syrian refugees, and the Italian Foreign Ministry had confirmed the news.
Stating that certain elements are making efforts to create instability in Lebanon, Hamdan criticized media silence in the country over the issue and said such efforts pose a serious threat to Lebanon’s security and stability.
He added that these sorts of measures are carried out in line with insistence by US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman for the establishment of military bases in Lebanon to challenge Syria. http://www.newscastmedia.com/assad2.html
Newscast Media HOUSTON, Texas — There is no doubt that the U.S. has played and continues to play a major role in the uprisings taking place globally, in terms of regulating the outcome. We saw that happen in Egypt, then Libya, Yemen and now Syria. Yet America has to exercise caution before encouraging the ousting of leaders who are perceived to be non-compliant with the West’s agenda.
It is justifiable for a superpower to intervene for humanitarian reasons, yet the countries that really need that assistance are ignored. Take for example a country like Somalia that has been ignored because it is a failed state, or even the atrocities that were committed by the rebels in Libya who Gaddafi referred to as “rats”, against the black Libyans including the Tuaregs. There was no intervention from the West despite overwhelming evidence that these circumstances warranted humanitarian intervention.
It is curious that Hillary Clinton would be more concerned about what she interprets as civil rights of people living in third world countries, and makes threats to cut aid from countries that do not comply with cultural norms imposed upon them by the West, that are unacceptable in many countries. She ignores obvious human rights violations like the recent beheading of a woman in Saudi Arabia for allegedly practicing sorcery or magic, as reported in this article on December 12, or the recent execution of a South African woman by the Chinese government, for alleged drug trafficking, as reported by the BBC in this news story.
This was Clinton’s chance to rally against the House of Saud and the Chinese government, yet she winked at both countries, despite condemnation from human rights groups about the excessiveness of the punishment, and validity of the claims made in both cases. How then can Hillary Clinton ignore such injustices, and claim in good faith, to be a champion of human or civil rights?
Hillary Clinton is a well-mannered individual, and it shows through the communication I have had with her in the past, while her husband was still president. I still even have a letter she wrote to me, and signed, with her very own hand, that is part of my private collection. You can tell that her upbringing instilled in her impeccable etiquette, from the way she phrases her words in letters, yet if you fast-forward to over a decade later, her public speeches seem to contradict the private person. The only explanation this journalist can come up with is that she is simply following orders from above, when she makes statements that go against the grain.
Regardless of what this administration decides to ignore or act upon, when it comes to compelling leaders to step down from their positions simply because the U.S. is unhappy with certain aspects of their policies, extreme caution needs to be exercised, especially in countries that are already stable.
Anyone trained in classical antiquity is familiar with the ingeniously written masterpiece by the Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso. He tells the story of Daedalus and Icarus in Ovid’s Metamorphoses; in book 8 of 15, verses 185-235.
Daedalus is exiled on the Greek island of Crete, and yearns to return to his homeland, but is barred by King Minos to travel by land or sea. With a deep sigh he says, “The air, at least, is still open; my path lies there. King Minos is lord of the world, but not lord of the sky.”
In an attempt to defy the laws of nature, Daedalus devises a brilliant plan, by sewing together two pairs of wings using feathers; one for him, the other for his beloved son Icarus. The feathers are held together by wax — one set of wings is affixed on his young son, and Daedalus balances his aged body on the second pair of wings.
Next he instructs his son: “Now Icarus, listen carefully! Keep your flight to the middle way. If you fly too low, the water will clog your wings; if you fly too high, the sun rays will melt the wax. Follow my lead and fly between the sea and the sun.”
His hands trembling with fatherly fear, and his cheeks wet with tears, Daedalus kisses his son, as he rises and flies in front.
“Follow!” He cries, as he teaches Icarus the skills that would prove his downfall. Moving with his wings, Daedalus keeps looking back at his son Icarus. There are fishermen at sea, and shepherds in the meadows, who watch and marvel in amazement. “Certainly, they must be gods to fly through the air!”
Now all this flying goes to Icarus’ head. He ceases to follow the leader and instead soars higher and higher. Before long, the scorching rays of the sun melt the wax that held his wings, as Icarus flaps his naked arms.
“Father!” He shouts, again and again, but the boy and his shouting are drowned by sound of the sea waves, which is called the Icarian Sea. His unhappy father, calls out, “Icarus! Where are you? Where on earth shall I find you? Icarus!”
It isn’t long before the father catches a glimpse of feathers floating on the water. His eyes burning with tears, and his soul flooded with grief, Daedalus curses the skill of his hands, and buries his dear son’s corpse in a grave. The land where he lies is known as Icaria to this very day.
Just as Daedalus cursed the skill of his hands, the U.S. could end up with buyer’s remorse, after installing leaders who may prove to be more radical than previously anticipated.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON D.C. — The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged six former top executives of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) with securities fraud, alleging they knew and approved of misleading statements claiming the companies had minimal holdings of higher-risk mortgage loans, including subprime loans.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each entered into a Non-Prosecution Agreement with the Commission in which each company agreed to accept responsibility for its conduct and not dispute, contest, or contradict the contents of an agreed-upon Statement of Facts without admitting nor denying liability. Each also agreed to cooperate with the Commission’s litigation against the former executives. In entering into these Agreements, the Commission considered the unique circumstances presented by the companies’ current status, including the financial support provided to the companies by the U.S. Treasury, the role of the Federal Housing Finance Agency as conservator of each company, and the costs that may be imposed on U.S. taxpayers.
Three former Fannie Mae executives — former Chief Executive Officer Daniel H. Mudd, former Chief Risk Officer Enrico Dallavecchia, and former Executive Vice President of Fannie Mae’s Single Family Mortgage business, Thomas A. Lund — were named in the SEC’s complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The SEC also charged three former Freddie Mac executives — former Chairman of the Board and CEO Richard F. Syron, former Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer Patricia L. Cook, and former Executive Vice President for the Single Family Guarantee business Donald J. Bisenius — in a separate complaint filed in the same court.
“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives told the world that their subprime exposure was substantially smaller than it really was,” said Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division. “These material misstatements occurred during a time of acute investor interest in financial institutions’ exposure to subprime loans, and misled the market about the amount of risk on the company’s books. All individuals, regardless of their rank or position, will be held accountable for perpetuating half-truths or misrepresentations about matters materially important to the interest of our country’s investors.”
The SEC’s investigation of Fannie Mae was conducted by Senior Attorneys Natasha S. Guinan, Christina M. Marshall, Liban Jama, Mona L. Benach, and Associate Chief Accountant, Peter Rosario, under the supervision of Assistant Director Charles E. Cain, and Associate Director Stephen L. Cohen. Sarah Levine and James Kidney will lead the SEC’s litigation efforts.
The SEC’s investigation of Freddie Mac was conducted by Senior Attorneys Giles T. Cohen and David S. Karp and Assistant Chief Accountant Avron Elbaum of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement under the supervision of Assistant Director Charles E. Cain and Associate Director Stephen L. Cohen. Kevin O’Rourke and Suzanne Romajas will lead the SEC’s litigation efforts.
For more information about these enforcement actions, contact:
Robert S. Khuzami, Director
Lorin L. Reisner, Deputy Director
Stephen L. Cohen, Associate Director
Charles E. Cain, Assistant Director
Newscast Media HOUSTON, Texas — Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is finding out that the media that superficially promoted him, is now the very same machine predicting his demise. Every reasonable media practitioner knows that all the numbers that showed Gingrich jumping from single digits to 23 percent with 24 hours weren’t to be trusted. Just like Herman Cain who was heavily promoted, only to get destroyed, Gingrich fell in the same trap of believing his own press.
When liberal left-wing sites heavily featured him on their front pages, it was obvious that something was wrong because Gingrich claims to be conservative. On November 14, this CNN poll showed Gingrich soaring to second place. Thereafter, all other major media outlets ran with story including the Drudge Report that featured a headline reading: “NEWT ON TOP.” That was November 14, as shown in the image above on the left side.
Yet Michele Bachmann was not fooled by all the glowing headlines promoting Gingrich. She immediately voiced her opinion saying, “The media wants to choose who our nominee will be and who the next president of the United States will be. It’s the same as the government choosing winners and losers. It shouldn’t.”
Drudge once again featured Bachmann’s take on the media manipulating the outcome of the election process as shown above in the circled comments in the picture.
Today, a month later, the same media is carrying headlines showing Gingrich’s collapse. This is partly because the media realizes that voters are awake and cannot be easily deceived, so they are slowly shifting back to reality. It is also partly due to candidates like Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, and Michele Bachmann exposing Newt Gingrich to voters through heavy advertising that cannot be manipulated by the media, since the ads are created by the candidates themselves and not the media.
Now that Gingrich is being bumped from the top tier candidate that he really never was, we should expect the top three spots to be filled by either Romney, Paul, Perry or Bachmann. It looks like Romney and Paul are in top two slots, so either Perry or Bachmann should be able to fill the remaining slot; that’s when the race will become interesting as we watch it unfold over the next few months.
Newscast Media TEHRAN — According to a recently aired broadcast on Iranian TV, a recently-captured CIA spy confessed to taking part in a mission aimed at infiltrating the Iranian Intelligence Ministry. Amir Mirza Hekmati (the arrested spy) was employed by the US Army’s intelligence section in August 2001. The spy noted that after undergoing general and special military trainings, he was sent to a special university to learn Middle Eastern languages besides intelligence trainings.
“I was graduated from high school in 2001 and decided to enter the US Army. It was in August 2001that I wore the US Army uniform and underwent different military trainings of the army,” Hekmati said while elaborating on his being attracted to the army.
“When they realized that I know a little Persian and a little Arabic, they told me we want to send you to a university to learn Arabic language,” Hekmati added.
Based on his confession, Hekmati said that one of the reasons for presence of US military in Iraq was to be present in the Middle East and to penetrate among Muslims and make them deviate from the right path.
Another goal of the US was to control the Middle East region, including Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Bahrain, and even Tunisia in order to prevent Islamic Republic of Iran from becoming a model for those countries, according the confession.
“I learned how to use secret systems and methods for gathering information from different places and individuals. During this period, CIA was trying to find a suitable cover-up for my important mission,” Hekmati said.
He further said that he was summoned to US and in Washington Hotel after one and half hours, a CIA agent informed him that he had to go to Iran for dealing with an intelligence project. You may read Amir Mirza Hekmati’s entire public confession on Tehran Times here.
Newscast Media CAIRO, Egypt — After the latest round of violence against protesters, Egyptians are calling for a million-man march on Friday Dec. 23 to protest military rule. Nineteen different political and cultural movements released a statement on Monday urging all factions to set aside their political differences and rally under the single slogan, “Down with military rule.”
According to Ahram Online, the statement stressed that the aim of the proposed Friday demonstration was to “regain the nation’s honor,” which had been tarnished by the military following the February departure of longstanding president Hosni Mubarak.
Meanwhile, Al-Masry Al-Youm reports that in a televised news conference, General Adel Emara, member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), offered the generals’ version of the violence that erupted on Friday in downtown Cairo, which left at least 11 killed and more than 500 injured. He denied reports of the military using “excessive force” against protesters, accusing the media of falsifying reports.
“The armed forces does not use violence systematically,” said Emara. “We exercise a level of self-restraint that others envy. We do not do that out of weakness but out of concern for national interests.”
“What hurts me as a citizen and not as as a SCAF member is the scene of a young man making the victory sign after the building of the Roads and Bridges Authority was set ablaze, as if he had defeated an enemy. On the other side of the road, a solider of the same age was sacrificing his life for the the country’s sake,” said Emara.
As he was entertaining questions, Emara interrupted a reporter to announce that he had received information about a potential plot to set the building of the People’s Assembly on fire today.
According to activists and eyewitnesses, military personnel picked a fight with protesters with the intention of dispersing the sit-in, whose main demands were the firing of newly appointed Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri and the transfer of power from the military to civilians.
Groups of young activists have already proposed that the presidential poll be held on January 25, the first anniversary of Egypt’s revolution, and that a civilian president be sworn in on February 11, the same day Hosni Mubarak stepped down last year.
Other pundits suggested a different path, in which the military would cede power to the speaker of the People’s Assembly as soon as the People’s Assembly polls conclude on January 13.
Newscast Media MOSCOW — A draft resolution Russia proposed to the UN Security Council on the crisis in Syria, is being considered by the United States that has said it is prepared to work with Russia. The draft demands that “all parties in Syria immediately stop any violence irrespective of where it comes from,” but does not call for sanctions, as reported by Russian media outlet Ria Novosti.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the proposal presented a “seeming parity between the government and peaceful protesters,” but that the U.S. was going to “study the draft carefully.”
In October, Russia joined China in vetoing a UN Security Council resolution condemning President Bashar al-Assad’s crackdown on anti-government protesters which the UN believes have left more than 5,000 people dead.
“It will have to be shared with the Arab League, which has taken the lead on the response to what’s going on in Syria,” Clinton said during a news conference with Danish Foreign Minister Villy Soevndal on Thursday.
“Hopefully we can work with the Russians, who for the first time at least are recognizing that this is a matter that needs to go to the Security Council,” she said.
“It’s just that we have differences in how to approach it,” Ria Novosti reported.
The surprise move came after army deserters killed 27 security forces members in and around the city of Deraa on Thursday. Assad blames the seven-month unrest on armed gangs.
Newscast Media SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Candidates for the 2012 Primary Election who are seeking to run for office, from precinct chair to U.S President have been given an extension to file their paperwork by 6.00 p.m. on Monday December 19, 2011. A three-panel judge including Orlando Garcia, Jerry E. Smith of the 5th Circuit and District Judge Xavier Rodriguez issued a court order less than 20 minutes ago, that Newscast Media has obtained, extending the deadline.
During this new filing period:
* Candidates who have already filed may amend their district designation to
match the appropriate district designation for their residence.
* Candidates who wish to withdraw their filing, will be entitled to do so.
Withdrawn filings will be entitled to a refund of the filing fee.
* New candidate filings will be accepted for all races.
On Thursday, representatives from the Texas Democratic Party and the Republican Party of Texas will enter a mediation session to discuss the date for the 2012 Primary Election. This issue was not addressed in today’s court order, but Newscast Media will bring you updates. Click here to read or download the court order
Can Perry make a comeback?
Newscast Media DES MOINES — With just three weeks to the primaries, Gov. Rick Perry is launching ads that show the energetic side of his campaigning style. Once the frontrunner amongst the GOP candidates, Perry experienced several setbacks, but analysts believe he could still recover and make a solid finish.
Perry does best when he is unscripted like in the video below as he campaigned for re-election in the gubernatorial race.
Perry needs to display this kind of energy in the next 21 days as he did a year ago
Right now Perry is playing in the “Big League” and needs to display the energy that is trapped within him, if he expects to surpass Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney. The next three weeks will be a major decisive factor for all contenders, since the dynamics of the this race change on a constant basis.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C. — Barack Obama announced the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, however intelligence reports allege that they have simply been diverted to Jordan in preparation to overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The country has endured civil unrest, and President Assad of Syria has said he is prepared to fight and defend Syria.
Russia already has its fleet in the region to defend its ally in case of a NATO strike. This fits within the timetable of Gen. Wesley Clark who said in March 2007 that Syria was one of the seven nations that would be attacked within five years from the time he spoke.
Below is an excerpt of the interview with Amy Goodman and Gen. Wesley Clark:
AMY GOODMAN: So, go through the countries again. (to be attacked)
GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Well, starting with Iraq, then Syria and Lebanon, then Libya, then Somalia and Sudan, and back to Iran.
Russia Today RT is reporting that former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds writes that an Iraqi journalist based out of London has confirmed that US forces that vacated the Ain al-Assad Air Base in Iraq last week did in fact leave the country as part of Obama’s drawdown of troops, but rather than return home, the soldiers were transferred into Jordan during the late hours of Thursday evening.
Another source, writes Edmonds, informs her that “soldiers who speak languages other than Arabic” have been moving through Jordan mere miles from the country’s border with Syria. Read the full Russia Today report.
Hillary Clinton has praised Russia Today for its content, and says that she finds it instructive, in the way the English language alternative network delivers its news.
Hillary Clinton praises the alternative (new) media
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C. — When Hezbollah attacked Israel’s warship with the C-802 missile, Israel was alarmed and unprepared to respond. To Iran, that was a major victory, yet the question remains—how did they build it? Secret files by the U.S. government show that France, China and Israel supplied Iran the upgrades for the C-802. This was not an isolated incident of Tel Aviv helping Tehran. The Israelis brokered arms to Iran during the bloody Iran Iraq War in the 1980s. Israel has a long history of cooperating with China in arms deals.
According to information revealed in these files that were first accessed by veteran journalist Joe Trento, the Chinese had been shipping the C-802s to Iran, but by 2001 they had stopped. By then the Iranians had reverse-engineered the missile and were successfully building a much more advanced version than China had in its own arsenal. The anti-ship missile can travel about 60 kilometers, has over-the-horizon radar capability and can carry a conventional, nuclear or chemical warhead.
However, a study at Harvard shows that the missile’s reach has been upgraded and can now travel up to 120 kilometers. The C-802 can accelerate from zero to mach one in seconds. What gives Navy defenders against the missile problems is that a few kilometers before it encounters the target, the C-802 descends from an altitude of between 75 to 100 feet down to wave top, about nine feet above sea level before it punctures the hull of a ship. It is that kind of maneuverability that makes the C-802 so difficult to defend against, according to Navy weapons experts. Below is a video of the C-802 missile.
Iran’s reverse-engineered C-802 Saccade missile
What is oxymoronic about the secret files on how Iran manufactured the C-802, and the countries involved, is that they are labeled top secret, yet they have made available for anyone to view or download at this site.
Candidates like Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich seem to be so trigger-happy to lead the U.S. into another war. This is because they themselves have never been in combat nor have their families, so it is easy to try and compensate for a lack of military experience by sounding like a tough guy.
My assessment is that Obama will not lead us into war with Iran, because he appears to genuinely want to resolve the conflict through alternative means than war. Should he lose the election, it will be a GOP candidate who will attempt to wage war against Iran. However, upon reviewing the data that all other U.S. presidents who refused to lead the U.S. into a war with Iran have viewed, then that GOP president, will be forced to consider the consequences of his or her actions, considering the mistakes that have already been made, from the capture of CIA spies by Iran, to Iran’s capture of the “Beast of Kandahar” RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone.
Sun Tzu said: “He wins his battles by making no mistakes. Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already conquered. Hence the skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy. (The Art of War, page 18).
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C. — One of the most severe issues that will arise, should the U.S. attack Iran is that the Strait of Hormuz will be blocked, through which 40 percent of the world’s oil travels. The effects here at home will be obvious in relation to gas prices, but this is even a greater incentive for the Chinese to intervene on behalf of Iran.
The Chinese, just like the Russians are eager to study the downed drone, because the U.S. has been making a lot of noise about China, and Hillary Clinton is perceived by the Russians as someone who is interfering with Russian politics. Iran will definitely give the Chinese and Russians access to this new technology, and might even grant access to the North Koreans, who are believed to be helping the Iranians in developing nuclear technology. Nobody knows what the Iranians will ask in exchange for granting them unrestricted access to the drone. Essentially what happened is that the U.S. did the research and developed the technology, now Russia, China and Iran are getting it for free.
However, since the Iranians have been preparing for war for over a decade, it must be noted that they have advanced themselves in sophisticated weaponry especially at sea. The Iranian navy commander—Rear Adm. Sajad Kouchaki, one of the architects of the country’s naval doctrine—recently claimed that Iranian submarines continually monitor U.S. naval movements, frequently at close range, and have even passed underneath American aircraft carriers and other warships undetected. Below is a video showing the Geography of the Persian Gulf.
This video was shot before Iran captured the U.S. stealth drone—which changed the entire
dynamics about how Iran is now viewed, given its superior electronic
warfare unit that enabled it to capture and land the drone.
In my previously written articles, I indicated how the Iranians have literally taken a page out of Sun Tzu’s Art of War. In regard to the downed stealth drone, it was one of the prized possessions of the U.S. to the point where commandos were planning on entering Iran in an attempt to retrieve it, but the mission was later aborted because it would have been viewed as violation of Iranian territory, according to this FOX News report.
The Washington Institute for near east policy did extensive research on Iran’s Doctrine of Asymmetric Naval Warfare, and found that Iran has sought to improve its ability to achieve surprise attacks by employing low-observable technologies (such as radar-absorbent paints), strict communications discipline, stringent emissions control measures, passively or autonomously guided weapons systems (such as the Kowsar series of television-guided antiship missiles), and sophisticated command-and-control arrangements.
The report concluded that current Iranian naval deployments are aimed at deterring an American attack and—in the event of hostilities—entrapping and destroying U.S. naval forces in the Persian Gulf, at which time U.S. regional bases would be targeted with rocket and missile strikes as well. Read entire report.
One summer day in 1999, I was in Dallas, Texas driving to a meeting. Something that struck me was that the cars seemed to be stalling for almost half a mile, even though it was not rush hour. I couldn’t imagine why the traffic jam was occurring. I patiently waited to get to my exit, and as I approached it, I noticed something unusual. There were cars parked on the side of the road, right below the overpass, and the motorists were standing outside yelling something.
I found the whole spectacle intriguing, so I decided to investigate and see what all the commotion was about. Several feet above the freeway, a man is standing at the edge of the overpass attempting to grow wings. He has given up on life and wants to take his own life by leaping into the busy traffic below him. The man has one of his legs over the concrete blocks and it seems that any moment he will certainly grow wings. Behind the man is an entire squad of police officers yelling:”Don’t jump! Don’t jump!” Below him, the motorists who have stepped out of their cars are yelling at him:”Jump! Jump!”
Right now there are several voices whispering in Obama’s ear. Some are encouraging him to attack Iran, others are telling him not to do it. The voice that is most prominent, will eventually get its way. Luckily, the man in Dallas who was trying to take his life was successfully tackled by the cops, who saved him from making a fatal decision. Go to Part III and read the final installation>>
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tensions between Israel and Iran continue to rise, and inevitably the U.S. will be dragged into the conflict, therefore the events that are unfolding in the Persian Gulf are worthy of close examination. What is clear is that Israel intended to launch and attack on Iran with or without the green light from its allies. What is not clear is whether such an attack is now even possible, considering the recent developments in the region.
As reported and broadcast by Iranian media, a US RQ-170 Sentinel spy drone was downed by Iran and displayed for the world to view. The U.S. claims the Sentinel malfunctioned and downed itself. However, that explanation is highly unlikely because the drone would have crashed to the ground at high impact, destroying most of the vehicle. Iran says that drone was shot from the sky, yet they did not explain what equipment was used to shoot the unmanned vehicle, and how the drone could still be in mint condition with no apparent damage. Experts hypothesize that it was Iran’s electronic warfare unit that downed the drone through hacking, and subsequently gaining control over it, allowing it to be safely landed on Iranian soil.
Even if the Iranians were able to jam the satellites that control the drone and configure its functionality then safely land it, they would not publicize such information, and that’s the biggest problem the West is facing right now. Any plans to attack the Islamic Republic have been thwarted, and it would be foolish for any country to go to war with an adversary that they are not familiar with. Washington and Jerusalem are yet to figure out how the drone was intercepted yet it was supposed to be the most sophisticated spy plane in the world. We can therefore deduce that if the most sophisticated plane could easily be captured by Iran, then they have technologies that are a just as sophisticated or even more sophisticated, than the U.S. and Israel had initially thought. You do not rush into war with such an enemy, unless you fully understand the enemy’s modus operandi.
In 2006, during the Israel-Hezbollah war, the Israelites underestimated their adversaries, and found themselves in for a big surprise. Iran had sent some of its engineers to assist Hezbollah in operating the war equipment. Using an unmanned drone, Iran disabled and overrode the Israeli warship INS Hanit’s defense mechanism, leaving it open to attack. An Iranian version of a reverse-engineered Chinese missile was launched, and the C-802 missile bombed the Israeli warship. The Iranians accomplished two important undertakings. First they used a drone that evaded the ship’s radar, to disarm the ship; then they used the C-802 to attack the defenseless vessel. Below is the video of the attack on Israel’s warship:
You can clearly see Israel’s Hanit blow up after the C-802 is launched and recorded in real time
According to veteran journalist Joseph Trento who has spent more than 35 years as an investigative journalist, Washington and Jerusalem were startled by the attack. Iran had succeeded in launching an attack using Hezbollah as a proxy army, and Israel saw the attack coming, but could not do anything to stop it.
The missile that hit the Hanit was an Iranian-made variant of a stealthy, turbojet-powered, Chinese weapon. It’s considered along with the US Harpoon as among the best anti-ship missiles in the world.
“We’ve never seen anything like this,” one Western intelligence official told Trento, speaking about the warhead. According to Joseph Trento, who secured a meeting with a Pentagon source, he asked one CIA official what the United States knew about the C-802. The answer was not reassuring: “The U.S. doesn’t have one. We don’t know how to defend [against] it.”
How Iran disabled Israel’s Warship defense system
Because the C-802 is a variant of a Chinese missile, it is reasonable to assert that Iran also developed the technology that disarmed Israel’s warship, based on the Chinese model or blueprint of such technology. According to the Department of Defense (DOD), High-Power Microwave (HPM) Weapons also called Radio Frequency Weapons (RFWs) or E-bombs, which are non-nuclear devices that can be used to disable the electronic circuits of nearby enemy civilian and military systems, are suspected to be part of China’s arsenal. This explains how after the Chinese sold the Iranians the missiles, they could have also passed on this technology since Iran is a strong ally.
An electromagnetic warhead detonated within lethal radius of a surface combatant will render its air defense system inoperable, as well as damaging other electronic equipment such as electronic countermeasures, electronic support measures and communications. This leaves the vessel undefended until these systems can be restored, which may or may not be possible on the high seas.
So far, the U.S. admits it has no defense on the seas against the C-802, and Washington is still alarmed as to how the world’s best stealth plane was captured, which is a sign that they had undermined Iran’s aerial capabilities. Without the knowledge of how the drone was captured, and without knowing how to defend itself against the C-802, it is very unlikely that the U.S. and Israel go to war with Iran with that missing information, as some are predicting.
Some other reasons are: (i) Every stealth fighter including the B2 bomber would have to be rebuilt and coated with a more technologically advanced material on the outside to render it undetectable. (ii) The U.S. would have to rapidly develop technologies to counter the C-802, if it plans to fight on the seas. (iii) Developing, testing and perfecting such technologies takes years to accomplish, not months. (iv) China has said that it will defend Iran if attacked to protect its interests. (v) The U.S. has acknowledged China’s might in this document prepared by the Congressional Research Service, and outlines problems it faces if confrontation with China occurs. (vi) A new alliance may form between Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan and even North Korea. With such nuclear arsenal of East vs. West, even a power-hungry president would have to be a crazy lunatic, to engage such a formidable alliance.
There are some who claim Obama will start a war late in summer of 2012 with Iran to convince his voters that he is a strong president. It is highly unlikely that these technologies will be developed and perfected within 10 months for him to be able to pull off such a stunt. Without knowing how the Iranians downed the drone, and how to counter such future mishaps, one cannot develop a defense system and be 100 percent cocksure that it will be impenetrable by the enemy’s camp.
Remember, Iran has been preparing for war with the U.S. for over a decade, and seems to be more prepared for an attack than any other country the U.S. has ever encountered. Attacking Iran will be no cake-walk, and as someone who has not only been in a war zone, but also lived in it, I can tell you from personal experience that war is hell. Find out more on Part II about the ongoing Iran-US war game >>
Newscast Media AUSTIN, Texas — Governor Rick Perry will not be participating in the Trump-moderated debate that is slated for December 27, a week before the primaries begin. Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney were the first to turn down the offer because it was obvious the event would be an “ambush” debate.
A week before the primaries is the worst time for any candidate to fall into a trap, and Gov. Rick Perry made the right strategic decision to meet and greet voters during the last week leading up to Iowa, rather than participate in the debate.
A statement release by the Perry camp read: “Governor Perry has talked to Donald Trump in recent days and respects him and the folks at NewsMax very much. Traditional retail campaigning in the days and weeks leading up to the Iowa caucus is the Perry campaign’s top priority. In the coming weeks, Gov. Perry will be in Iowa almost continually, meeting with real voters, doing town hall meetings and events and talking American jobs, faith and overhauling Washington, DC to Iowa voters.”
Meanwhile, the latest news is that Michele Bachmann has also declined the invitation, and will not be attending the event. It looks like Donald Trump just got fired by the GOP. As indicated by Newscast Media in the related story below, an appearance by Bachmann and Perry would have been counter-productive.