Report: US Built Secret ‘Cuban Twitter’ Network to Undermine Communist Regime

cuban twitter 350x253 Report: US Built Secret Cuban Twitter Network to Undermine Communist Regime

Report: US Built Secret ‘Cuban Twitter’ Network to Undermine Communist Regime

The United States is in the throes of yet another scandal. This time we are being accused of creating a Cuban Twitter social network, dubbed “ZunZuneo,” to stir unrest in the Caribbean nation and undermine the Communist regime:

Yet its users were neither aware it was created by a U.S. agency with ties to the State Department, nor that American contractors were gathering personal data about them, in the hope that the information might be used someday for political purposes.

It is unclear whether the scheme was legal under U.S. law, which requires written authorization of covert action by the president and congressional notification. Officials at USAID would not say who had approved the program or whether the White House was aware of it. The Cuban government declined a request for comment…

The project, dubbed “ZunZuneo,” slang for a Cuban hummingbird’s tweet, was publicly launched shortly after the 2009 arrest in Cuba of American contractor Alan Gross. He was imprisoned after traveling repeatedly to the country on a separate, clandestine USAID mission to expand Internet access using sensitive technology that only governments use

“State Department spokesperson on reports of US-funded ‘Cuban Twitter’: ‘To suggest these are covert programs is just wrong. Congress funds democracy programming for Cuba to help empower Cubans to access more information and strengthen civil society.” – via @NBCNews

 Report: US Built Secret Cuban Twitter Network to Undermine Communist Regime

Mike Ocquaye Warns Africa’s Family System Under Satanic Attack from Gays

mike ocquaye 350x287 Mike Ocquaye Warns Africas Family System Under Satanic Attack from Gays

Mike Ocquaye Warns Africa’s Family System Under Satanic Attack from Gays (Credit: Radioxyzonline)

Mike Ocquaye, Ghana’s former deputy speaker of Parliament, warns that the traditional family system in Africa is under threat from gay promoters from the West.

Ocquaye spoke at an antigay forum in Accra saying, “Indeed the family is under satanic attack and we should take great care to protect it.”

He said, “we consider this an abomination. We don’t want a mustache man marrying another bearded man and it is the right of the children to call a man father and a woman mother.” He added, “Children brought up in the other way will become what we call miscreants.”

Mike Ocquaye, who is also a clergyman, said, “We Africans have certain values and our friends who want to remain our friends in the Western world must respect our values.”

He charged that the family system in the Western world is vanishing because it has been engulfed by homosexuality.

[H/T Ghana Web]

Norway’s Public University System Also Open to International Students for Free

norway 350x232 Norways Public University System Also Open to International Students for Free

Norway’s Public University System Also Open International Students for Free (Credit: Wikimedia)

Looking for a free education at a public university? Can you say Norway? The state-subsidized public university system is open to all Norwegians and is also free for non-Norwegians as well.

The fact is, out-of-state tuition at a public university in the U.S. per year is quite steep, over $21,000, not including room and board. So, it seems that Norway would be a better decision from an economic standpoint.

Well, there are some catches. Students must pay a fee in order to take exams and get an official card, which costs about $180. Prospective students must also prove they can afford to live there, approximately $16,000. That’s whether is through savings, work, grants or scholarships they may have received. Some international students may be able to get financial aid from the Norwegian government.

 Norways Public University System Also Open to International Students for Free

Senegal Closes Border with Guinea to Prevent Spread of Ebola Virus

senegal and guinea 350x181 Senegal Closes Border with Guinea to Prevent Spread of Ebola Virus

Senegal Closes Border with Guinea to Prevent Spread of Ebola Virus (Credit: NSBE.org)

Senegal has closed its land border with Guinea to try to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus, which Guinean authorities say is suspected of killing 70 people in the deadliest outbreak in seven years – @Reuters

The Senegalese interior ministry said the land borders will remain closed until further notice.  The statement said the governors of Kolda and Kedougou regions have already taken necessary measures to effectively implement the decision.
The weekly marketplace at Diaobe has been closed.

Ontario Labor Ministry Targets Unpaid Internships at Toronto Life, The Walrus

toronto life Ontario Labor Ministry Targets Unpaid Internships at Toronto Life, The Walrus

Ontario Labor Ministry Targets Unpaid Internships at Toronto Life, The Walrus

The Walrus and Toronto Life magazines are under fire for their unpaid internship programs. The Ontario Ministry of Labor have told both high-profile magazines to end the programs after complains of unfair labor practices.

This is a throwback to the controversy that dogged Huffington Post after it was sold to AOL and the freelance writers were vocal about helping the website become a powerful force in online news, but yet weren’t compensated.

The Globe & Mail reports that Walrus and Toronto Life will cease the unpaid internship programs on Friday after an inspector from the Ministry of Labor told the publications that their programs contravened the Employment Standards Act.

And other magazines, many of which pay their interns a stipend, have been put on notice.

“We’ve been told that, as of April 1, every inspector in the Ministry of Labour will be targeting the magazine industry in the province of Ontario,” said Doug Knight, the president of St. Joseph Media, which publishes Toronto Life and a number of other magazines.

In response to a request for comment, the ministry issued a statement. “The Ministry of Labour will be launching an enforcement blitz this spring focused specifically on internships across a variety of sectors,” it said. It did not identify the industries, and a spokesman refused to elaborate. Source: Globe & Mail

Text Messages Between Oscar Pistorius, Reeva Steenkamp Show Jealousy

oscar pistorius 350x262 Text Messages Between Oscar Pistorius, Reeva Steenkamp Show Jealousy

Text Messages Between Oscar Pistorius, Reeva Steenkamp Shows Jealousy (Credit: CityPress)

#OscarPistorius:  Text messages between Oscar Pistorius and his slain girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp showed rage fueled by jealousy. The text messages were read in court during his high-profile trial for the shooting death of Steenkamp, who he claimed he mistook for an intruder.

One text sent on Jan. 27, 2013 read, “u are very quick to act cold and offish when you’re unhappy… every 5 seconds i hear how u dated another chick,” she wrote.

Perhaps the most damaging to Pistorius was the line Steenkamp wrote saying, “i am the girl who let go with u even when i was scared out of my mind to. i’m the girl who feel in love with u and wanted to tell u this weekend.

“I get snapped at and told my accents and my voice are annoying. i touch your neck to show u i care you tell me to stop. Stop chewing gum. do this don’t do that,” read part of one long text. Source: ABC News

The text messages come as a third witness testified to hearing screaming leading up to the moments when Reeva Steenkamp was murdered by Oscar Pistorius. Anette Stipp told the court that “The thing I remember the most, and I don’t think I will ever forget, is the screaming.”

Stipp’s testimony corroborates Michelle Burger and Charl Johnson’s testimonies. They also said they heard bangs, followed by screaming and another set of bangs with more screaming, the City Press reports.

House of Horror: Suspects Arrested After Slaughter Den Found in Nigeria

nigerian flag 350x175 House of Horror: Suspects Arrested After Slaughter Den Found in Nigeria

House of Horror: Suspects Arrested After Slaughter Den Found in Nigeria

#HouseofHorror:  Nigerian police have launched a murder investigation after the discovery of rotting bodies and skeletons in an abandoned building which the media is calling a “House of Horror.”

The grisly discovery was made after a group of motorcycle taxi drivers who reported some of their members had gone missing and were believed to have been kidnapped.

Several severely malnourished people were found wandering in the bush near the abandoned building in the southwestern city of Ibadan. More were found shackled with leg chains inside the building.

Oyo state police spokeswoman Olabisi Ilobanafor told AFP, “When we got to the abandoned building in the Soka community of Ibadan yesterday (Saturday), we saw decomposed corpses, skeletons and skulls in the building and surrounding bushes.”

Ilobanafor said police had arrested some suspects at the scene. She also said, “It’s not a common occurrence in Ibadan or in the state.”

The Sunday Tribune published some gruesome pictures of rotting bodies, human skulls and a man in the throes of death with flies hovering around his face.  Human bones were also found inside a well in front of the abandoned building, which the Tribune reports belongs to Ponti Construction Company.

Police arrested six suspects, including five security guards, who are reportedly armed with guns, bows and arrows, found at the abandoned building.

 House of Horror: Suspects Arrested After Slaughter Den Found in Nigeria

Russia Concerned About Ethnic Russians in Estonia, Another Invasion Coming?

estonia 300x233 Russia Concerned About Ethnic Russians in Estonia, Another Invasion Coming?

Russia Concerned About Ethnic Russians in Estonia, Another Invasion Coming?

Russian president Vladimir Putin seems to be on a roll as concerns about the treatment of ethnic Russians in Estonia is making the news. Um, is another invasion coming?

In Putin’s defense, Moscow had cited its concern over the treatment of ethnic Russians living in Estonia, before the invasion and annexation of Crimea from the Ukraine.

Reuters quoted a Russian diplomat who expressed concerns about the rights of Russian speakers to freely speak that language in Estonia. That was the justification Russia used to invade the Ukraine. 

The diplomat told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, “Language should not be used to segregate and isolate groups” and  added that they were “concerned by steps taken in this regard in Estonia as well as in Ukraine.”

This comes as Germany and the United Kingdom agree that the European Union should impose ‘further consequences’ on Russia over Ukraine – @Reuters.

Report: Vladimir Putin to Retaliate Over EU, US Sanctions by Banning U.S. Senators

vladimir putin 300x208 Report:  Vladimir Putin to Retaliate Over EU, US Sanctions by Banning U.S. Senators

Report: Vladimir Putin to Retaliate Over EU, US Sanctions by Banning U.S. Senators

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin is preparing to ban certain U.S. senators from visiting his country as sanctions have been imposed by the U.S. and the European Union. Not to be sarcastic, but I certainly think we can all get by without our lawmakers going to Russia.

Putin is expected to release his retaliation list as early as Tuesday and while the final list is still being crafted, it will include top Obama administration officials and high profile U.S. senators, in an effort to roughly mirror the U.S. sanctions against Russian officials and lawmakers, according to diplomatic sources. At the top of the list in Congress is Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, who recently co-authored a resolution criticizing Russia’s invasion of Crimea.

Durbin’s inclusion on Putin’s list would mirror Obama’s naming of Valentina Matvienko, the head of the upper chamber of the Russian Duma. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are not expected to be on the Russian sanctions list. Source: Daily Beast

Sen. John McCain says he would be honored to be one of the senators banned from Russia, which he characterized as a gas station. McCain said, “You think I’m not going to be on it?”“I would be honored to be on that list.”

The following are banned by the U.S.:

Kremlin aides

Vladislav Surkov – An aide to President Vladimir Putin, he was once considered one of Russia’s most powerful men. He has been called the Kremlin’s “gray cardinal” for his role as a power broker behind the scenes. He’s also credited the architect of Russia’s political system, with power concentrated in the presidency. In the past he was credited with shaping the ideology of the ruling United Russia party. He has also written rock music lyrics and is rumored to have authored a book.

Sergei Glazyev – An economic aide to Putin who oversaw relations with Ukraine. He frequently blasted the protest movement in Kiev and was outspoken in his criticism of American and European support for the protests.

Top government official

Dmitry Rogozin – An outspoken, hawkish Deputy Prime Minister, he’s known to have a close friendship with Hollywood actor Steven Seagal. As a member of Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev’s government, Rogozin is responsible for the armed forces and arms industry.

 Russian lawmakers

Elena Mizulina – A senior lawmaker, she is considered one of the Kremlin’s morality enforcers in the parliament. She is perhaps best known as the co-author of last year’s homosexual “propaganda” law which sparked outrage overseas. She also proposed a measure to give Ukrainians Russian passports.

Leonid Slutsky – A lawmaker in the lower house of Parliament. He is the chair of the Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration, and Relations with Compatriots. He was one of the Russian observers attending Sunday’s referendum in Crimea.

Andrei Klishas – A member of the upper house of Parliament, the Federation Council, who proposed retaliatory action in case of Western sanctions on Russia. He is chairman of the Federation Council Committee of Constitutional Law, Judicial, and Legal Affairs, and the Development of Civil Society. 

Valentina Matviyenko – The head of the Federation Council, she is the most senior lawmaker on the sanctions list.

Crimean officials

Sergey Aksyonov – Once an obscure pro-Russian politician in Crimea, he has now been declared the prime minister.

Vladimir Konstantinov – The newly declared speaker of Crimea’s parliament.

Ukrainian officials

Viktor Medvedchuk – A pro-Russian politician, he is being sanctioned for having “materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support” to impeached President Viktor Yanukovich. Ukraine’s opposition has accused him of orchestrating or aiding a crackdown on protesters and opposition.

Viktor Yanukovich – The ousted president of Ukraine. He was elected in 2010 but was chased from office by protests last month. Source: ABC News

 Report:  Vladimir Putin to Retaliate Over EU, US Sanctions by Banning U.S. Senators

Crimea Crisis: EU Agrees to Impose Sanctions Against 21 Officials from Russia, Ukraine

crimea ukraine4 300x233 Crimea Crisis: EU Agrees to Impose Sanctions Against 21 Officials from Russia, Ukraine

Crimea Crisis: EU Agrees to Impose Sanctions Against 21 Officials from Russia, Ukraine

#Crimea Crisis:  European Union foreign ministers agree to impose sanctions, such as travel bans and asset freezes, against 21 officials from Ukraine and Russia, Lithuanian FM says – @Reuters. This comes as Crimea creates central bank and awaits Russia’s payoff.