North Korea ends peace pacts with South

March 8, 2013 by  
Filed under World

North Korea says it is scrapping all non-aggression pacts with South Korea, closing its hotline with Seoul and shutting their shared border point.

The announcement follows a fresh round of UN sanctions punishing Pyongyang for its nuclear test last month.

Earlier, Pyongyang said it reserved the right to a pre-emptive nuclear strike against its “aggressors”.

The US said it took the threats seriously, but that “extreme rhetoric” was not unusual for Pyongyang.

South Korea’s defence ministry said that the North would become “extinct” if it went through with its threat.

The North Korean announcement, carried on the KCNA state news agency, said the North was cancelling all non-aggression pacts with the South and closing the main Panmunjom border crossing inside the Demilitarized Zone.

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FLASHBACK 27 May 2009: North Korea abandons truce and threatens to attack the South

Pyongyang said that South Korea’s decision to start intercepting ships that are suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction was tantamount to “a declaration of war against us”.

The statement follows a number of missile tests and an underground nuclear test by the North in the last two days.

The statement, through North Korea’s state newswire, warned Seoul that North Korea “will no longer be bound by the armistice accord” and that the “Korean peninsula will go back to a state of war”.

Pyongyang had previously warned Seoul that joining the US-led Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) would have fearful consequences.

No formal peace treaty has ever been signed between the two countries, but an armistice in 1953 and a Mutual Defence treaty between the US and South Korea effectively ended the Korean war.

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Americans renouncing citizenship to become British thanks to tax rise

March 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Economy

London-based American lawyers, who specialise in tax and immigration, report a threefold increase over the last five years in the number of American citizens who are giving up their citizenship – a process known as “renunciation”.

Across the world 1,781 Americans renounced their citizenship in 2011 compared with just 231 in 2008, when US tax laws changed, although it remains unknown how many are adopting British rather than any other nationality.

Many decide to give up their American citizenship after tiring of the lengthy US tax return process, which requires them to pay tax on their total income regardless of where they live.

“There’s no question that the number of people renouncing their US citizenship is increasing,” said Diane Gelon, a US tax and immigration lawyer based in London.

“I probably get a dozen cases a year now when before 2008 when the tax laws changed it was just three or four.”

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School lockdown drill terrorizes students

March 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Americas

TURNER, Ore — Some parents and students in the small town of Turner, near Salem, were upset after a lockdown drill sent kids running for their classrooms in terror Wednesday.

“I was on the playground and I see everyone screaming, running into their classrooms,” said fifth-grader Carter Bourassa.  “I turn around and there is this guy climbing over the fence with a stick.”   Carter said the man was dressed in a hoodie.

“I thought someone was going to kidnap us or kill us,” said Carter.  “I was scared and there was a lot of people crying.”

The kids raced inside to their classrooms. Carter said the man then started banging on the windows.


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Police and Military Participate in Terror Drill at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado (Dorner’s last duty station)

February 27, 2013 by  
Filed under Americas

CORONADO, Calif. – Sailors at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado were engaged in a training scenario along with police Wednesday that included mock-terrorists storming through the base entrance.

According to Navy officials, during the annual “Citadel Shield” exercise, intruders are tasked with eliminating guards to get on base and making their way into a building, where several people are then held hostage.

The Navy said it wants to make it feel as real as possible, giving sailors a chance to react to possible threats.

The exercise also included injury scenarios where gunshot wounds were treated.


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Video from CBS Channel 8

Carney may move the UK to plastic cash

February 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Economy

Mr Carney introduced “polymer bills” to Canada last year and, on CTV television yesterday, hinted Britain may follow suit after he joins in July.

Asked if the UK could look forward to a “polymer pound”, he said: “The Bank is exploring a variety of options for their next currency, yes.”

Polymer bills have not been universally welcomed in Canada, where there have been reports of them melting in the heat and problems pulling fresh notes apart, but Mr Carney is a staunch advocate.

“The whole point of them is they come apart, they last longer, they’re cleaner and greener, good value for taxpayers and better for the environment,” he told CTV.

Britain’s “paper” bank notes are made from cotton fibre and linen rag. The Bank last year put its £1bn printing contract out to tender.

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Esquire’s claim that Navy SEAL doesn’t have healthcare is a lie

February 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Americas

Esquire magazine claims “The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden … Is Screwed.”

The story details the life of the Navy SEAL after the successful raid to take out the No. 1 terrorist, and it asserts that once the SEAL got out of the military he was left to fend for himself.   “…here is what he gets from his employer and a grateful nation:   Nothing. No pension, no health care, and no protection for himself or his family.”   Except the claim about health care is wrong. And no servicemember who does less than 20 years gets a pension, unless he has to medically retire.

Like every combat veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the former SEAL, who is identified in the story only as “the Shooter”, is automatically eligible for five years of free healthcare through the Department of Veterans Affairs.   But the story doesn’t mention that.

The writer, Phil Bronstein, who heads up the Center for Investigative Reporting, stands by the story. He said the assertion that the government gave the SEAL “nothing” in terms of health care is both fair and accurate, because the SEAL didn’t know the VA benefits existed.   “No one ever told him that this is available,” Bronstein said.

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NOTE: Before being discharged from the U.S. military, everyone goes to a mandatory class called TAP (Transition Assistance Program), where service men and women learn about their VA benefits (what they are elegible for, and what they are not elegible for). It is also common knowledge in the military that once you get out, you’re on your own as far as ‘pensions’ go, unless you do your 20 years and retire. It’s very difficult to believe that a Navy SEAL from ST6 (the best of the best) did not know he wasn’t going to get retirement pay if he didn’t do 20 years.

And by the way, Esquire, nobody in the navy uses the word ‘pension;’ it’s called ‘retirement pay.’

L.A. County Sheriff’s Department intends to fire seven deputies for belonging to a secret law enforcement clique that allegedly celebrated shootings and branded members with matching tattoos

February 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Police State

Seven Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies have been notified that the department intends to fire them for belonging to a secret law enforcement clique that allegedly celebrated shootings and branded its members with matching tattoos, officials said.

The Times reported last year about the existence of the clique, dubbed the Jump Out Boys, and the discovery of a pamphlet that described the group’s creed, which required aggressive policing and awarded tattoo modifications for police shootings.

The seven worked on an elite gang-enforcement team that patrols neighborhoods where violence is high. The team makes a priority of taking guns off the street, officials said.

The Sheriff’s Department has a long history of secret cliques with members of the groups having reached high-ranking positions within the agency. Sheriff officials have sought to crack down on the groups, fearing that they tarnished the department’s reputation and encouraged unethical conduct.

In the case of the Jump Out Boys, sheriff’s investigators did not uncover any criminal behavior. But, sources said, the group clashed with department policies and image.

Their tattoos, for instance, depicted an oversize skull with a wide, toothy grimace and glowing red eyes. A bandanna with the unit’s acronym is wrapped around the skull. A bony hand clasps a revolver. Smoke would be tattooed over the gun’s barrel for members who were involved in at least one shooting, officials said.

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2nd Dorner look-alike describes how he was one wrong move away from being shot by police

February 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Americas

In the midst of a state-wide manhunt for the suspect in multiple shootings, a man mistaken for the suspect was surrounded by police and handcuffed briefly.

Just before 10:30 a.m. Thursday, an individual at the Holiday Inn on North Harbor Drive called police after seeing someone who matched the description of Christopher Dorner — the former Navy reservist tied to a double homicide in Irvine on Sunday and a series of police officer shootings earlier Thursday.

The hotel was less than a block away from where dozens of law enforcement agents were gathering at Naval Base Point Loma at the same time.   Police located the man and told him to drop his cell phone and put his hands in the air. Police put him in handcuffs as he told them he had just landed in San Diego less than an hour ago.   They later learned that the man was Portland, Ore. resident Greg Pruitt, not Dorner


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North Korea ‘under martial law’

January 31, 2013 by  
Filed under World

In an emergency meeting of his top defence and security officials on Saturday, the North Korean leader issued a series of orders that included the conclusion of preparations for a new nuclear test, the Joongang Daily reported.

North Korean state media has also reported that Kim ordered his officials to take “effective, high-profile state measures.”

While it has been anticipated that Pyongyang will go ahead with what will be the regime’s third nuclear test, in spite of international pressure to refrain from doing so, analysts had predicted that the blast would be timed to coincide with the birthday on February 16 of Kim Jong-il, the former leader who died in late 2011, or the inauguration of the new government in South Korea nine days later.

The reports now suggest that the demonstration of North Korea’s nuclear prowess is more imminent.

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Gulf cartel member who threatened to kill Hidalgo County Sheriff turns himself in (?)

January 24, 2013 by  
Filed under Americas

EDINBURG — He told Spanish-language broadcasters he was a cartel-connected killer of a Border Patrol agent.

He told authorities he was a former Mexican police officer whom organized crime tried to knock off south of the border — and who ultimately turned himself in to avoid hit men in Mexico with connections to the Hidalgo County sheriff.

Then on Thursday, Gustavo Lozano told a judge he’d been at fault.

“I am sorry for what I’ve done,” Lozano told Justice of the Peace Bobby Contreras in Spanish at his arraignment hearing at the Hidalgo County Jail.

Lozano was wanted by the Sheriff’s Office for making threats against Sheriff Lupe Treviño and a telephone dispatcher July 25.

On Wednesday morning, Lozano turned himself in to federal authorities at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge who rushed him to a local hospital to treat what the sheriff said is a self-inflicted cut to his neck — not the physical vestiges of a cartel attempt on his life, as Lozano told authorities. He has been under close supervision by authorities since.

He was formally charged by Contreras with two counts of making terroristic threats against a public official and his bond was set at $2 million. According to the criminal complaint filed against Lozano, he had identified himself as a former police officer named “Genaro Garza” and said he would kill Treviño and his family for opening an investigation against him. Authorities tracked the phone number used to Lozano and “further learned Lozano has a history of placing threatening phone calls to law enforcement,” the complaint states.


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