A Little Owl imitates a ceramic insulator on a telegraph pole. The bird was spotted by wildlife photographer Mircea Costina in Dobrogea, Romania – but only after another bird gave its position away.
Delightful. A little smartass bird.
Amal Abdulfattah’s account provides rare details of the al-Qaeda leader’s life from when he fled Afghanistan in late 2001 until his death aged 54 last May during a US Navy SEAL operation in Abbottabad, in Pakistan.
Abdulfattah, from Yemen, was arrested by Pakistani authorities following the US raid on bin Laden’s compound near the Pakistani capital Islamabad, along with two of his Saudi wives, and her five children…
The report, from the office of the inspector general of police in Islamabad, recommended Abdulfattah and her children be immediately deported.
After arriving in Pakistan in July 2000 on a three-month visa, in the company of her sister and brother-in-law, Abdulfattah travelled to Kandahar, in neighbouring Afghanistan, at the time capital of the Taliban regime.
The date of her marriage to bin Laden was not specified, but the police report said afterwards she moved in with him and his other two wives.
“She further revealed that after the incident of 9/11, they all scattered and she came to Karachi with one of her daughter’s, Safia,” the report said. Safia, her first child by the al-Qaeda kingpin, was born in Kandahar in 2001. She stayed in Karachi for eight to nine months, moving between homes arranged for them by Pakistani families and bin Laden’s oldest son Saad.
Abdulfattah then met back with the fleeing bin Laden in Peshawar, in northwest Pakistan. The report suggests that the pair did not part from that moment until the raid in Abbottabad.
They stayed for eight or nine months in Swat, then for two years in Haripur, 90 minutes from Islamabad, before moving to the garrison town of Abbottabad in 2005.
During this time, Abdulfattah had four other children by bin Laden, by then the most-wanted man in the world. In Haripur, Aasia, a girl, was born in 2003 and Ibrahim, a boy, was born the next year. On both occasions Abdulfattah gave birth in a public hospital, the police report said. The other two children, Zainab, a girl, and Hussain, a boy, were born in Abbottabad in 2006 and 2008…
The continued detention of bin Laden’s wives has led to accusations that Pakistan is attempting to muzzle them to stop them from providing details that could embarrass Islamabad or add to suspicions it knew where bin Laden was.
The only debatable question is how much of the Pakistan government had knowledge of Bin Laden’s presence? And for how long?
Canada is removing the penny from its currency from next year after the government announced that one cent pieces are too expensive to produce…
Each 1 cent, made from either copper-plated zinc (1997-1999 coins) or copper plated steel (2000-2012 coins) costs around 1.6 cents to produce, and scrapping them will save an estimated $11 million Canadian dollars a year…
Jim Flaherty, the Canadian finance minister, told the Canadian House of Commons: “Pennies take up too much space on our dressers at home. They take up far too much time for small businesses trying to grow and create jobs.”
The Royal Canadian Mint will produce its final penny next month, and stop providing the coin to banks and financial institutions in the autumn.
Pennies will remain legal tender, but the government said it hoped most people would turn them in to be recycled as scrap metal. Their use will become largely redundant, as companies and retailers have been told to begin rounding up sums to the nearest nickel (five cents)…
Pennies are not the only form of currency to be vanishing – Canada has already begun phasing out paper bank notes, replacing high domination bills with plastic versions.
Perish the thought we should exhibit a combination of modern thought and old-fashioned frugality inside Congress. Our elected blowhards have been prattling about doing something similar for decades. Up-to-Beltway-standard, nothing has been accomplished.
In the last 35 years or so, Phillipines, Sweden, UK, New Zealand, Mexico, Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Israel, Netherlands, Hungary, Brazil, Argentina, India, Singapore and Papua New Guinea have done something similar. By the time the United States Congress authorizes a small sensible task like this we’ll already be making money transfers by quantum mental telepathy.
VISA and MasterCard are alerting banks across the country about a recent major breach at a U.S.-based credit card processor. Sources in the financial sector are calling the breach “massive,” and say it may involve more than 10 million compromised card numbers.
In separate non-public alerts sent late last week, VISA and MasterCard began warning banks about specific cards that may have been compromised. The card associations stated that the breached credit card processor was compromised between Jan. 21, 2012 and Feb. 25, 2012. The alerts also said that full Track 1 and Track 2 data was taken – meaning that the information could be used to counterfeit new cards.
Neither VISA nor MasterCard have said which U.S.-based processor was the source of the breach. But affected banks are now starting to analyze transaction data on the compromised cards, in hopes of finding a common point of purchase. Sources at two different major financial institutions said the transactions that most of the cards they analyzed seem to have in common are that they were used in parking garages in and around the New York City area.
It’s not clear how many cards were breached in the processor attack, but a sampling from one corner of the industry provides some perspective. On Wednesday, PSCU — a provider of online financial services to credit unions — said it alerted 482 credit unions that appear to have had cards impacted by the breach, and that a total of 56,455 member VISA and MasterCard accounts were compromised.
Brian Krebs is an expert on computer security with an international reputation. This is a breaking story and he’s still soliciting info about this security failure.
As usual, the banking industry worries more about scaring clients than trusting folks with information about what danger they may be in. So, very little is public yet about which credit card processor screwed up.
Keep an eye on your monthly credit card statements, folks. Watch for strange transactions. If you can access your account online – I’d suggest doing so more frequently for a spell.
Training materials used by the FBI for dealing with American Muslims and other Islamic communities have advised agents they can break the law and impinge on some of their targets’ civil rights.
The instructions were contained in confidential materials reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of an internal FBI probe into what sort of training agents were exposed to when dealing with Islam…
Though that material has not been published – and senate staffers were not allowed to keep copies – committee member Senator Dick Durbin has revealed some of its contents in a letter written to FBI director Robert Mueller.
In the letter – first revealed by the Danger Room blog on wired.com – Durbin describes one slide that read: “Under certain circumstances, the FBI has the ability to bend or suspend the law and impinge on freedoms of others.”
That comment is sure to anger civil liberties groups and Muslim community organisations who have long complained that their community has been subject to undue harassment and racial profiling by law enforcement.
It should also anger any American citizen who believes our Constitution is worth defending.