Jan 182012
 

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Jan 182012
 

Obama sent Iran a secret letter proposing direct talks and cautioning the country against shutting down the Strait of Hormuz, an Iranian lawmaker said Wednesday.

In the letter, Obama offered to engage with Iran and warned the country against closing the key shipping route in the Middle East, the Associated Press reported. Conservative Iranian lawmaker Ali Motahari told the Fars news agency about the letter Wednesday, and Iranian spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tehran is currently considering a potential reply.

“In the letter, Obama called for direct talks with Iran,” Motahari said, according to Fars and the AP. “The letter also said that closing the Strait of Hormuz is (Washington’s) red line.”

Obama sent Iran a secret letter proposing direct talks and cautioning the country against shutting down the Strait of Hormuz, an Iranian lawmaker said Wednesday.

In the letter, Obama offered to engage with Iran and warned the country against closing the key shipping route in the Middle East, the Associated Press reported. Conservative Iranian lawmaker Ali Motahari told the Fars news agency about the letter Wednesday, and Iranian spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tehran is currently considering a potential reply.

“In the letter, Obama called for direct talks with Iran,” Motahari said, according to Fars and the AP. “The letter also said that closing the Strait of Hormuz is (Washington’s) red line.”

~ More blah-blah HERE

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Jan 182012
 

TRENTON, NJ—A former research chemist with global pharmaceutical company sanofi-aventis (“sanofi”) admitted today to stealing sanofi’s trade secrets and making them available for sale through Abby Pharmatech, Inc. (“Abby”), the U.S. subsidiary of a Chinese chemicals company, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Yuan Li, 29, of Somerset, N.J., a Chinese national, pleaded guilty to an information charging her with one count of theft of trade secrets. Li entered her guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano in Trenton federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Sanofi is a global health care company with U.S. headquarters in Bridgewater, N.J. Among other things, sanofi is engaged in the development, manufacture, and marketing of health care products, including the prescription drugs Allegra, Plavix, Copaxone, and Ambien.

Li worked as a research scientist at sanofi’s Bridgewater headquarters from August 2006 through June 2011, where she directly assisted in the development of a number of compounds that sanofi viewed as potential building blocks for future drugs. These compounds were sanofi’s trade secrets, and had not been disclosed outside of sanofi in any manner, including by means of a patent application.

While employed at sanofi, Li was also a 50 percent partner in Abby, which is engaged in the sale and distribution of pharmaceuticals.

Li admitted that between October 2008 and June 2011, she accessed an internal sanofi database and downloaded information related to a number of sanofi compounds, including their chemical structures, onto her sanofi-issued laptop computer. She also admitted she then transferred the information to her personal home computer by sending it to her personal e-mail address or via a USB thumb drive.

Li acknowledged that she made the stolen compounds available for sale on Abby’s website.

The charge to which Li pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is currently scheduled for April 23, 2012.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, with the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gurbir S. Grewal of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

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Jan 182012
 

~ Note: By the time these liberals get done costing the taxpayers a ton of money that after Governor Walker put his state in the black, it will be election time anyway. Can you say pissed off Unions?

Supporters of a push to oust Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from office are prepared to declare victory in their effort to force the Republican into a recall election. But a problem looms for Democrats: They still don’t know who would run against him.


Recall organizers say they have gathered far more than the 540,208 signatures required to force the election against both Walker and GOP Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, and will submit their petitions Tuesday.

(Signatures have to be verified, taking as long as two months)

Walker has meanwhile dominated the state’s airwaves with ads defending his agenda, including the law enacted last year that ended nearly all collective bargaining rights for most public workers and spurred the recall effort in the first place.

He’s also crisscrossed the country raising millions of dollars, taking full advantage of both the conservative rock star persona built as he put Wisconsin at the center of the national labor rights debate and a quirk in state law allowing those targeted for recall to ignore normal contribution limits until an election date is set.

Walker reported in mid-December that he’d already raised $5.1 million, with about half of that coming from out of state. He received $250,000 alone from Bob Perry, the Texas conservative who was one of the main financial backers behind the Swift Boat Veterans ads that attacked Sen. John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign.

(This comes down to the people of Wisconsin speaking loud at the voting booth for Walker) Watch for this race to be very contentious and a whole lot of cheating going on!

May 14, 2010

Democrats and union leaders insist they’re not concerned about not having someone actively running against Walker and trying to match his fundraising. In fact, they say it was part of their strategy.

- source

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Jan 182012
 

The Obama administration is considering releasing five top Taliban jihadists from custody at Guantanamo Bay in hopes of negotiating a peace agreement with the Afghan terrorist movement. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last week that administration is in “the preliminary stages” of testing whether talks with the Taliban can succeed.

President Obama plans to withdraw virtually all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by 2014. Last month, Vice President Joe Biden told an interviewer that “the Taliban per se is not our enemy.”

Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney blasted Obama’s approach to the Taliban, declaring that “The right course for America is not to negotiate with the Taliban while the Taliban are killing our soldiers.” Yet one of Romney’s top foreign policy aides has reportedly advocated a negotiating approach that is similar to Obama’s.

According to a recent report in The Hindu, radical Islamist cleric and Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide Yusuf al-Qaradawi has served as a “key mediator” in U.S.-Taliban negotiations.

The Taliban’s recent announcement that it plans to open a political office in Qatar meets a longstanding U.S./NATO condition for discussing Afghanistan’s future with the terror group. Earlier this month, reports indicated that Washington had agreed to transfer the five Taliban leaders from U.S. custody to Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government.

At some point, they could be set free.

~ This is a lengthy investigation, but here are the Top 5…

Joscelyn obtained Joint Task Force-Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) memos from 2008 evaluating the five high- risk jihadists the Taliban wants freed from Guantanamo. In each case, military intelligence officials concluded the detainee was too dangerous to release. The five are former Taliban Deputy Intelligence Minister Abdul Haq Wasiq; Taliban Army Chief of Staff Mullah Mohammed Fazi; the organization’s former governor of Herat province, Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa; Mullah Norullah Noori, a former Taliban military commander and governor; and Muhammad Nabi, one of the Taliban’s top financiers.

Some highlights:

Mullah Mohammed Fazi

Fazi was a top Taliban commander before his capture in November 2001. According to JTF-GTMO, he cooperated with Abdel Hadi al Iraqi, who led the 055 Brigade–Osama bin Laden’s chief fighting force, which served with Taliban units.

Fazi would likely rejoin the Taliban if released from U.S. custody “and establish ties with elements participating in hostilities against U.S. forces in Afghanistan,” JTF-GTMO warned.

Fazi is also wanted by the United Nations in connection with war crimes, including the murders of thousands of Afghan Shiites.

Mullah Norullah Noori

Noor (also wanted by the U.N. for anti-Shiite atrocities) had ties to Mullah Omar, the Taliban’s Supreme Leader, as well as to senior al-Qaida members. He fought alongside al-Qaida as a Taliban military general and was involved in fighting U.S. forces in late 2001.

Abdul Haq Wasiq

A task force threat assessment found that Wasiq “was central to the Taliban’s efforts to form alliances with other Islamic fundamentalist groups to fight alongside the Taliban against U.S. and Coalition forces after the 11 September 2001 attacks.” Wasiq arranged al-Qaida training of Taliban operatives that was reportedly conducted by Hamza Zubayr, a senior terrorist killed during the September 2002 raid in which 9/11 organizer Ramzi Binalshibh was captured.

Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa

Joscelyn quoted U.S. officials at Guantanamo as stating that Khairkhwa was a major drug trafficker who oversaw one of bin Laden’s training facilities. A JTF-GTMO file on Khairkhwa said that following 9/11, he “represented the Taliban during meetings with Iranian officials seeking to support hostilities against U.S. and Coalition forces.”

Muhammad Nabi

In a Jan. 23, 2008 memo, JTF-GTMO analysts said Nabi had been a senior Taliban official who served as a “member of a joint al Qaeda/Taliban…cell in Khowst and was involved in attacks against U.S. and Coalition forces” and “facilitated the smuggling of fighters and weapons.”

JUST read on @ IPT

Read profiles here and here.

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Jan 182012
 

Global uncertainty on how to deal with the threats of nuclear weapons and climate change have forced the “Doomsday clock” one minute closer to midnight, leading international scientists said Tuesday.

“It is now five minutes to midnight,” said Allison Macfarlan, chair of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which created the Doomsday clock in 1947 as a barometer of how close the world is to an apocalyptic end.

The last decision by the group, which includes a host of Nobel Prizewinning scientists, moved the clock a minute further away from midnight in 2010 on hopes of global nuclear co-operation and the election of President Barack Obama.

“It is clear that the change that appeared to be happening at the time is not happening, not materializing,” said co-chair Lawrence Krauss.

“And faced today with the clear and present dangers of nuclear proliferation, climate change and the continued challenge to find new and sustainable and safe sources of energy, business as usual reigns the norm among world leaders.”

The clock reached its most perilous point in 1953, at two minutes to midnight, after the United States and the Soviet Union tested thermonuclear devices within nine months of one another.

- source

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Jan 182012
 


The State Department will announce the decision on Keystone XL pipeline is “no,” as early as Wednesday, an industry source told Fox News, suggesting that the department will say 60 days is inadequate time to do the required environmental impact assessment on the path of the coveted pipeline.

While the State Department for three years has been reviewing the initial proposal to run a pipeline from Canada down to Texas through a sensitive Nebraska aquifer, it retreated early from indications it would approve the plan after environmentalists complained.

Industry workers and Republicans contend the project would create thousands of jobs, and Canada’s prime minister has warned if the U.S. can’t get on board, the North American nation will look to team with China.

In December, Congress attached to the payroll tax cut a deadline of 60 days for the State Department to determine approval for an alternative route.

On Tuesday, President Obama’s own jobs council suggested that it agrees with the pipeline concept. While not specifically mentioning Keystone in a report out Tuesday about improving competitiveness, the council said that when it comes to energy projects in general, the government needs to “expeditiously, though cautiously, move forward on projects that can support hundreds of thousands of jobs.”

“We think this all-in energy strategy can create significant economic growths and significant job creation,” said Lewis Hay, NextEra Energy CEO and a member of the president’s job council.

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