A travelling community has moved on after Stockholm University exchange students were forced out of their accommodation over safety concerns, with police claiming the situation is nothing new. …
Through a program called SiDiM, researchers at the Darmstadt Technical University in Germany have developed a new form of digital rights management (DRM) to counter piracy and trace a pirated work back to its original source. …
On Friday June 14 Russian stocks closed higher. MICEX added 1.38 percent on its way to the psychological barrier of 1,300 points, RTS advanced 2.56 percent to end at 1,293.88. Europe ended June 14 with gains on easing fears over Fed’s upcoming decision on its monetary policy, however for the week the European stocks have posted the fourth-straight weekly drop. The Stoxx Europe 600 index added 0.2percent to close at 291.13, partly rebounding after four days of losses. London’s FTSE 100 index of leading shares ended up 0.06 percent at 6,308.26 points. In Frankfurt the DAX 30 added 0.4 percent to close at 8,127.96 points, while in Paris the CAC 40 rose 0.19 percent to end at 3,805.16. US stocks ended lower Friday on weak economic reports and caution ahead of the forthcoming Federal Reserve policy meeting. A flat reading on US industrial production in May and a drop in the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index cooled the trade. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 105 points, or 0.70 percent, at 15,070. The S&P 500 lost 9 points or 0.59 percent at 1,626, while the NASDAQ fell 21 points, or 0.63 percent, to 3,423. However, the negative data cheered foreign investors. Also Friday the IMF said the Fed will keep in place its bond-buying program through the end of the year and the phase-out would be “very gradual.” The closely-watched Federal Reserve two-day policy meeting will start Tuesday. Markets have been under pressure of the Fed’s upcoming decision since late May when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the US central bank might pull back on its stimulus if indicators, especially the job market, steadily improve. On Monday the US is to publish the Empire state manufacturing index. Also Monday, finance ministers and central bankers from the G8 group are to hold the first day of a two-day summit in Northern Ireland. Asian stocks climbed Monday on hopes that the US Fed will hold on to its bond purchases. In Japan the Nikkei 225 advanced 2.2 percent to 12,960.81, extending Friday’s 2.4 percent gain. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.3 percent to 21,251.17. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.3 percent to 4,905.90. South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.1 percent to 1,887.08. Benchmarks in mainland China, Singapore and Taiwan also rose while Thailand’s SET fell. Brent oil is currently trading higher 0.03 percent up to almost $106. WTI is currently down, losing 0.04 percent to $98. …
http://www.youtube.com/v/IYBekJWgdds?version=3&f=videos&app=youtube_gdata Source - Siege ends after attacks in Pakistan’s Quetta
Stockholm university exchange students have been told to leave their accommodation immediately after a community of illegally-camping travellers has raised concerns for the students’ safety. …
Polls are set to open in Iran on Friday as voters look to elect a new president.
Senior cleric Hassan Rowhani is a strong favourite; He may benefit from votes from green supporters, whose candidates have been stopped from participating. Strong reformist backing and public recommendations for the role from previous presidents could seal victory for him.
Former nuclear negotiator and conservative candidate Saed Jalili is the most anti-western of the hopefuls. He is seen as supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s favourite candidate.
Current Tehran mayor Mohammed Baqer Qalibaf has tried to gain votes from both reformists and hard-line voters. He is former air force commander of the Revolutionary guards and ex-head of the Iranian police.
Ali Akbar Velayati was Iran’s foreign minister for over 16 years. He is a conservative figure, and sympathizes Ayatollah Khamenei’s views. Velayati has said he hopes to enter to enter talks with Syria over ending their internal conflict, with western help, if he is elected.
No candidate has managed to win the united support of hardliners, and many feel this will pave the way for a moderate candidate to claim victory.
Iranian polls: ‘West is really interested’
Mohammad Mohammadi, euronews: “The countdown has begun for the presidential elections in Iran, and with it the suspense to see who will replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after an eventful eight years.
“We have Professor Sadegh Zibakalam with us by video link, at Tehran University, to ask him about the latest polling developments. Hello Professor. In the last elections, the Iranian people and the regime had observers around the world on the edge of their seats, so to speak. This time, everything has been kept low key. Can we expect any surprises in the turnout or the results?”
Sadegh Zibakalam: “I think even at this stage, we can say that we are witnessing very, very surprising developments. Among the most important surprises taking shape is the very high level of participation. Another surprise is the silence of the outgoing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – this in spite of the fact that many people thought he would take action after his favourite candidate Esfandiar Rahim Mashaee was disqualifed.”
euronews: “Will that silence continue?”
Zibakalam: “If the election goes to the second round, I don’t think he will keep quiet. I think in the second round he’d support the conservative candidate, no matter who it was.”
euronews: “With the withdrawal of reformist candidate Mohammad Rez Aref, the moderates and reformists have shown they can form a coalition, but not the conservatives. Should the conservatives feel any danger in carrying on with several candidates?”
Zibakalam: “That is exactly the case; some conservatives have criticised their camp very seriously. They are asking why they are being overstretched, asked to take part with more than one candidate in the field. This self-criticism among the conservatives has become increasingly prominent, particularly after the reformists agreed to support Rohani after Aref’s withdrawal from the race.”
euronews: “What do you think about Supreme Leader Khamenei’s favourite candidate?”
Zibakalam: “In contrast to the elections four years ago and eight years ago, it is not really clear which candidate is the leader’s favourite. What is sure is it’s not Rohani, and maybe not even Aref. But nobody can really say which conservative candidate is his favourite.”
euronews: “Washington has said that it does not support any particular candidate, but, diplomacy aside, does the West favour one of the candidates over the others?”
Zibakalam: “Certainly: the West, the United States, the 5+1 group of world powers, and even the Arab world – including our neighbours in the Persian Gulf – can’t be indifferent towards the Iranian elections, because if the conservatives – and especially the more radical conservatives – win the elections, the situation will be continue as it has over the past eight years. I think, Iranians think, that these countries are following Iran’s elections with a lot of interest, while they are pretending to be not particularly interested.”
More about: Iran elections 2013
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Avril Danica Haines, deputy assistant to the president and deputy counsel for national security affairs, will soon begin her work as the first female deputy CIA director, replacing Michael Morell. While working in the White House, Haines approved many of the CIA’s covert actions. But after she was nominated to become the CIA’s new deputy director, surprising details about her previous employment emerged. About 20 years ago, Haines dropped out of graduate school at Johns Hopkins University and opened an erotic bookstore, which she called Adrian’s Book Café, The Daily Beast reports. The Baltimore bookstore regularly featured “Erotica Nights”, during which Haines would light candles, serve dinner and feature readings of erotic prose. The events cost $17 for singles and $30 for couples. In an interview with the Baltimore Sun, Haines said she was initially worried that only “dirty old men” would show up to the readings and that her friends accused her of “just wanting a mass orgy in your bookstore.” She defended her work, claiming that erotica can improve relationships. “Erotica has become more prevalent because people are trying to have sex without having sex,” Haines, who was in her 20’s during the interview, told the Sun. “Others are trying to find new fantasies to make their monogamous relationships more satisfying. What the erotic offers is spontaneity, twists and turns. And it affects everyone.” The Sun reporter attended an event at the bookstore, during which Haines read an explicit passage from a racy book titled “The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty”, which vividly detailed a sexual encounter during which a character lost her virginity. Haines’ bookstore did not exclusively sell erotic novels; she stocked titles of many genres, but the erotic readings garnered the most attention. Although a history of erotic readings may not be as sensational as former CIA director David Petraeus’ affair with his biographer, Haines’ past is now sparking significant media attention. Howard Barstop, a former neighbor of Haines, was surprised to hear about the woman’s erotic nights, but spoke highly of her, the Daily Beast reports. CIA Director John O. Brennan told the Washington Post that Haines “knows more about covert action than anyone in the US government outside of the CIA”. The 43-year-old White House lawyer will be the first female in CIA history to serve as deputy director. But while her missions may be covert, her past employment has become an open book. …