If you are one of the millions of people playing Minecraft, you'll be glad to know the Redstone Update has been officially released today. The brick universe created by Notch Persson is ever evolving and now includes various new items like hoppers, droppers, trapped chests, quartz blocks, and nether bricks…. …
Russian rights watchdog accuses police of provocations during anti-Putin rally Get sho
rt URLLink copied to clipboardemail story to a friendprint versionPublished: 01 February, 2013, 14:46
Smoke blanket over the March-of-Millions rally in Bolotnaya Square (RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov)Russia’s Presidential Council for Human Rights has urged the release of protesters arrested during last year’s protest clashes in Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square, and blamed the police for provoking the unrest. So far, the document has been signed by about a half of the institution’s 62 members, Izvestia reported. The statement will be officially adopted and published within the next few days.However, some members of the council disagreed with their colleagues, and said that the document was not objective. “TV reports both on state and opposition channels clearly show that participants of the rally were resisting to law enforcers and throwing smoke bombs at police,” said Aleksandr Brod, the head of Moscow Bureau for Human Rights. Vladimir Markin, the official spokesperson of the Russian Investigative Committee, also argued that the court had previously ruled that the arrests were justified. Currently, 16 participants of the protest march are under investigation. Only one verdict has been delivered in the case so far: Maxim Luzyanin was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail.Maxim Luzyanin, suspected of involvement in the riots at Bolotnaya Square on May 6, in Moscow’s Basmanny District Court (RIA Novosti / Andrey Stenin)”);
“Neither before, nor after the May 6 [rally] have police created such unbearably incendiary conditions for protesters,” the council’s statement read, Izvestia daily reported. Several members of the body were present as public monitors at the protest held on May 6, 2012 – the day before President Vladimir Putin’s third inauguration. The demonstration was organized by the opposition in protest against the results of the presidential and parliamentary elections, which they claimed were rigged. The event was marred by violence between the riot police and demonstrators. Over 400 people were detained and dozens were injured.Rights advocates claimed that the clashes started because there were too many police cordons on the way to the site approved for the protest. As a result of congestion, many protesters were forced to travel down side streets. The council members therefore insisted that the demonstrators’ actions cannot be considered ‘mass disorder,’ of which several protesters are currently being accused.In its statement, the Human Rights Council called on judicial authorities to “manifest fairness and humanity,” and to improve protective measures for those arrested in the Bolotnaya Square case. The document’s authors also said that law enforcers should be held responsible for the clashes.The March of Millions protest rally on Bolotnaya Square (RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov)So far, the document has been signed by about a half of the institution’s 62 members, Izvestia reported. The statement will be officially adopted and published within the next few days.However, some members of the council disagreed with their colleagues, and said that the document was not objective. “TV reports both on state and opposition channels clearly show that participants of the rally were resisting to law enforcers and throwing smoke bombs at police,” said Aleksandr Brod, the head of Moscow Bureau for Human Rights. Vladimir Markin, the official spokesperson of the Russian Investigative Committee, also argued that the court had previously ruled that the arrests were justified. Currently, 16 participants of the protest march are under investigation. Only one verdict has been delivered in the case so far: Maxim Luzyanin was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail.Maxim Luzyanin, suspected of involvement in the riots at Bolotnaya Square on May 6, in Moscow’s Basmanny District Court (RIA Novosti / Andrey Stenin) …
Robert Creamer: The One and Only Cause of "Fiscal Cliff" Economic Crisis: Republicans Fear Tea Party Primaries
If your tax bill goes up $2,200 a year, or you’re one of the millions who would stop receiving unemployment benefits, the cause of your economic pain is Republican fear of being beaten in a primary by people like Sarah Palin, Sharon Angel or Richard Mourdock.Read More…
More on Tea Party
Access to private data has increased by 20 per cent by Australia’s law enforcement and government agencies – and with no warrant. Australians are 26 times more prone to be placed under surveillance than people in other countries, local media report.
In such a way, state structures accessed private information over 300,000 times last year – or 5,800 times every week, figures from the federal Attorney General’s Department showcase.
The data includes phone and internet account information, the details of out and inbound calls, telephone and internet access location data, as well as everything related to the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses visited, the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reports.
Australian media report that every government agency and organization use the gathered telecommunications data, and those include the Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Tax Office, Medicare and Australia Post.
New South Wales (NSW) Police became the biggest users of the private data, with 103,824 access authorizations during the last year – a third of all information accessed by the security forces.
The news triggered massive public outrage, with Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam telling SMH, ‘‘This is the personal data of hundreds of thousands, indeed millions of Australians, and it seems that just about anyone in government can get it.”
He said the move demonstrated the current data access regime was “out of control” and amounted to the framework for a “surveillance state”.
The reports come as the federal government proposes even wider surveillance powers, including a minimum two-year standard for telephone and web providers – a measure causing public controversy.
The president for the local NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Cameron Murphy, told the Australian Financial Review that, according to the statistics, recent proposals to step up police surveillance powers and keep internet and phone data for two years or more was little more than a “fishing expedition”.
“It’s stunning and completely outrageous that so much interception is going on,” Murphy said. “What seems t
o be happening now is this is being done as a matter of first course and not as a matter of last resort.”
The statistics gathered by the council demonstrate that Australians are 26 times more likely to be placed under surveillance than in comparable countries.
However, a spokesperson for Attorney-General Nicola Roxon indicated that “these new statistics show telephone interception and surveillance powers are playing an even greater role for police so they can successfully pursue kidnappers, murderers and organized criminals.”
Ludlam, on the other hand, detailed what the expansion should be accompanied by.
“It’s incumbent on the parliament’s national security inquiry to recommend some form of warrant authorization be introduced, and that there be a review and reduction of the government agencies that can access the personal communications data of millions of Australians,” he said.
Karl Rove says that divisiveness within the Republican Party is to blame for Republicans’ failure to retake the Senate and the presidency, despite millions of dollars in outside spending.The GOP needs to quell its infighting, he told an audience Wednesday at the Kansas Livestock Association’s 100th convention in Wichita. The problem with the Republican Party isn’t social issues, he said, but “an unwillingness to acknowledge differences.”"I’d rather have somebody who agrees with me most of the time than to send somebody there who’s going to vote against my values and my views and do the wrong thing most of the time,” he said.Read More…
More on Obama: Take 2
The draw for the largest Powerball jackpot in history is set for Wednesday, November 28 and millions of Americans are flocking to gas stations and convenience stores for a chance to win the $425 million prize. But what are your actual chances of winning?The odds of an individual ticket winning are estimated to be as low as 1 and 175 million. Before you run out to purchase your ticket, here’s a look at 15 things that are more likely to happen than winning the Powerball jackpot:Read More…
More on Video
WASHINGTON, Nov 25 (Reuters) – The top prize in the Powerball lottery will reach a record $425 million after no one won Saturday’s drawing, a lottery official said on Sunday. Iowa Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer said the jackpot was $325 million for the drawing late on Saturday. Powerball has not had a winner for two months. The $425 million record jackpot could be raised before Wednesday’s drawing since big payouts tend to spur sales, Neubauer said. “We’ll watch sales to see if an adjustment upwards needs to be made,” she said. The cash payout will be a record $278.3 million. The previous top Powerball prize was $365 million, won in 2006 by ConAgra slaughterhouse workers in Nebraska. The Powerball lottery is held in 42 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In March, three winning tickets shared the largest U.S. lottery jackpot, the $656 million Mega Millions drawing The winning Powerball numbers for Saturday were 22-32-37-44-50, and the Powerball was 34. (Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Bill Trott)Read More…