‘West to meddle in Iraq-ISIS conflict sooner or later’/Credit Union Chooses Biometrics Over Passwords and more signs of JESUS’ soon return

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Syrian warplanes launch raids into Iraq, Iran Sends in Drones


Syrian warplanes bombed Sunni militants’ positions inside Iraq, military officials confirmed Wednesday, deepening the concerns that the extremist insurgency that spans the two neighboring countries could morph into an even wider regional conflict. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned against the threat and said other nations should stay out. Meanwhile, a new insurgent artillery offensive against Christian villages in the north of Iraq sent thousands of Christians fleeing from their homes, seeking sanctuary in Kurdish-controlled territory, Associated Press reporters who witnessed the scene said. The United States government and a senior Iraqi military official confirmed that Syrian warplanes bombed militants’ positions Tuesday in and near the border crossing in the town of Qaim. Iraq’s other neighbors — Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — were all bolstering flights just inside their airspace to monitor the situation, said the Iraqi official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. More

 


Iran Secretly Sending Drones and Supplies Into Iraq- 
Iran is directing surveillance drones over Iraq from an airfield in Baghdad and is secretly supplying Iraq with tons of military equipment, supplies and other assistance, American officials said. Tehran has also deployed an intelligence unit there to intercept communications, the officials said. The secret Iranian programs are part of a broader effort by Tehran to gather intelligence and help Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s government in its struggle against Sunni militants with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the head of Iran’s paramilitary Quds Force, has visited Iraq at least twice to help Iraqi military advisers plot strategy. And Iran has deployed about a dozen other Quds Force officers to advise Iraqi commanders, and help mobilize more than 2,000 Shiite militiamen from southern Iraq, American officials said. More
 

Bad to worse: US economy shrank more than expected in Q1


The U.S. economy contracted at a much steeper pace than previously estimated in the first quarter, but there are indications that growth has sincerebounded strongly. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday gross domestic product fell at a 2.9 percent annual rate, the economy’s worst performance in five years, instead of the 1.0 percent pace it had reported last month. While the economy’s woes have been largely blamed on an unusually cold winter, the magnitude of the revisions suggest other factors at play beyond the weather. Growth has now been revised down by a total of 3.0 percentage points since the government’s first estimate was published in April, which hadthe economy expanding at a 0.1 percent rate. More

UNITED NATIONS SEEKS US-BASED DISARMAMENT, DEMOBILIZATION AND REINTEGRATION SPECIALISTS


It’s no secret that the United Nations, with assistance from members of the Executive and Legislative branches in the United States, has been actively working to reduce Americans’ accessibility to firearms. In 2012 President Obama, along with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, spearheaded a backdoor move that would have imposed gun control on the United States through foreign means by signing a global disarmament initiative known as the Small Arms Treaty. Though that attempt failed, mass shooting incidents at Sandy Hook and elsewhere have kept the pressure on gun owners with the President having made repeated suggestions that he would mandate gun restrictions through Executive Order should state and federal legislatures fail to act. More

 

BRITISH POLICE USE FAKE TOWN TO PREP FOR RIOTS


British police are utilizing a fake town in Kent to prepare for riots staged by “angry mobs,” an indication that authorities are still nervous about social disorder three years after mass riots rocked the UK.  “The Metropolitan Police Specialist Training Centre in Gravesend is where officers are trained in various forms of public disorder and firearm use,” reports the Guardian. Images from the site show riot police dealing with gangs armed with petrol bombs, bricks and glass bottles. The fake town consists of empty shells of buildings mocked up to represent a typical street in the UK. Police are shown riding on horseback through charred and debris-strewn streets. More


Starbucks marked the 40th anniversary of Seattle Pride by raising an enormous 800 square foot rainbow flag over its headquarters in the Evergreen State. On hand to witness the raising of the flag on June 23 was Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who has long been an outspoken advocate for same-sex marriage and other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Rights. “We are thrilled that Starbucks is showing their support for the LGBT community in this very big, very public way,” Adam McRoberts, Communications Director for Seattle Pride, said in an email statement. “The flag flying over their headquarters will welcome thousands of visitors coming to Seattle to celebrate Pride this week and is a testament to the support Starbucks has shown the LGBT community over the years.” More

ISIS attack on Turkey could force U.S. response


The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, has captured a number of small towns along the Iraq-Turkey border and is threatening to take territory inside Turkey itself, which could force fellow NATO members to come to the nation’s defense. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, already has affirmed NATO’s commitment to protect Turkey. Rasmussen has told Turkish officials that NATO “won’t hesitate to do what it takes to provide effective defense and protection of our allies, including, of course, Turkey.” Ankara, however, hasn’t yet requested assistance under Article 5, which would require all NATO members to come to the defense of another member if attacked. More

Government Plans Massive Processing Center For Waves Of Illegal Kids At Border


A massive 55,000-square-foot warehouse in Texas is the location the federal government has chosen to process the waves of unaccompanied migrant children showing up at the U.S. border, ABC News reports. The original information on the warehouse was obtained by the Associated Press through a public records request. The rate of illegal minors entering the U.S., who have been arrested since October, has increased 99 percent over the same period a year prior. The plans for the facility include four fence-enclosed pods, which will house around 1,000 children in total. Critics say the Obama administration’s promise to grant legal status to many young people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children has triggered the influx. More

Credit Union Chooses Biometrics Over Passwords


The $1.1 billion Workers’ Federal Credit Union in Fitchburg, Mass., is now using biometrics for its 240 employees at 15 branches to access online applications and websites. The 75,100-member WCU has deployed an identity verification solution from DigitalPersona Inc. in Redwood City, Calif., that the company said will allow the credit union to recover 2% to 3% of its employees’ productivity time that had been spent on password re-sets. The credit union said it considered software to automate password re-sets but decided using fingerprint readers would be easier for employees. WCU considered software to automate password resets, but ultimately determined that implementing biometrics-based technology would be easier for both its employees and back office administrative staff, the company and credit union said. More

 

Scientists come up with pass codes you can’t forget


Imagine a whole new type of password — one that lets you dispense with all those numbers, letters and symbols, but is still impenetrable to attackers. Researchers at Britain’s University of York and the University of Glasgow have created a new password system that could one day allow users to access their bank accounts, their phones or their favorite websites simply by picking out a familiar face from a grid of nine faces, four times in a row. They call the system Facelock, and according to a new study published in the journal Peer J, it is teeming with benefits. Most impressively, users were able to log into a test system using Facelock after not using it for an entire year. Imagine remembering a traditional, complex password for that long! More

 

Methodists reinstate pastor defrocked over gay son’s wedding


A Pennsylvania pastor who broke church law by presiding over his son’s same-sex wedding ceremony and then became an outspoken activist for gay rights can return to the pulpit after a United Methodist Church appeals panel on Tuesday overturned a decision to defrock him. The nine-person panel ordered the church to restore Frank Schaefer’s pastoral credentials, saying the jury that convicted him last year erred when fashioning his punishment. He was then transferred to the more progressive California conference of the church, effective July 1. “I’ve devoted my life to this church, to serving this church, and to be restored and to be able to call myself a reverend again and to speak with this voice means so much to me,” an exultant Schaefer told The Associated Press, adding he intends to work for gay rights “with an even stronger voice from within the United Methodist Church.”More

 

 

Gun control advocates push to take firearms from those accused of threatening violence


Domestic abusers are not allowed to have guns. But gun control advocates want to expand that federal law to include those who merely have been accused of threatening violence — by prohibiting those under a temporary restraining order from having firearms. Second Amendment supporters say these bills are unconstitutional because they violate the right to due process. But they may be gaining traction. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., introduced a bill last week that would make it illegal to possess a gun while subject to a temporary restraining order. Temporary restraining orders generally are given for a two-week period to allow time to set up a court date for the accused to defend himself or herself before a judge. More

 


Some 1,000 Chinese jihadists are receiving military training at a base in Pakistan, as an indeterminate number of Chinese nationals are already fighting inside Syria, Jacques Neriah told a top-flight delegation from China visiting the country. Neriah, a Middle East analyst at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) who was formerly foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, presented material to his guests on the role of thousands of Chinese jihadists in the Syrian civil war, as well as on the involvement of volunteers from Uzbekistan and other Central Asian states surrounding China. More

 

PHIL ROBERTSON – Time To ‘Vote This Ungodly Bunch Out Of Washington’


“Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson is looking for new leadership in Washington. During his appearance at the “Rock the South” music festival in Cullman, the reality television star stated it’s time to vote those “ungodly” politicians out of Congress. “Whatever you do, go register to vote, especially on this next presidential election. Register to vote and you ought to register for the House and the Senate, too. Get your tail down there and vote this ungodly bunch out of Washington, D.C.,” Robertson told the crowd while getting a raucous ovation. Robertson also delved into his controversial comments he made about homosexuality in a GQ interview last December. “I’m actually a nice man,” Robertson told the crowd. “I’m trying to help those poor souls and turn them to Jesus.More

Susan Rice: U.S. must be global leader in promoting gay rights


White House national security adviser Susan E. Rice took time away from a variety of global security emergencies Tuesday to promote international gay rights, calling it “among the most challenging human rights issues we face.” The president’s top national security aide told about 200 gay-rights activists that the Obama administration is fostering gay rights in the U.S. to serve as an example for the rest of the world. She said President Obama has ordered a diplomatic and financial effort to promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women around the world. “Protecting and upholding human rights, especially for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters, is work to which we are all called,” Ms. Rice said. “America’s support for LGBT rights is not just a national cause but it’s also a global enterprise.” More

Biden: Gay Rights Take Precedence Over Culture


Seeking to mobilize a global front against anti-gay violence and discrimination, Vice President Joe Biden declared Tuesday that protecting gay rights is a defining mark of a civilized nation and must trump national cultures and social traditions. Biden told a gathering of U.S. and international gay rights advocates that President Barack Obama has directed that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women around the world “I don’t care what your culture is,” Biden told about 100 guests at the Naval Observatory’s vice presidential mansion. “Inhumanity is inhumanity is inhumanity. Prejudice is prejudice is prejudice.”More

Dubai Stock Market Crashes


The Dubai stock market crashed today, with the main index falling over 6.5%, after being down 8% at one point.  The market has been in a bear market even before today, having fallen about 20% over the last month. One big negative driver has been Arabtec, a big construction company, whose shares have been plunging amid layoff rumors. The stock is down 50% this month. Something to know is that Dubai is one of the hottest real estate markets in the world and it got crushed in the last crash. More

 

 

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