The Shocking Ingredients In Beer - Aussie Beer Drinkers are very LUCKY!...

beer pres

Is beer really healthy? Why are the ingredients not listed on the label? Which brands can we trust? Which brands are trying to slowly poison us with cheap and harmful ingredients? All of these questions were going through my head at once at lightning speed. So a year ago, I started to research what was really in beer and after questioning several beer companies, reading books about food science, and talking to experts, the information I discovered was downright shocking.

I see it all the time. Someone who eats organic, makes the right choices at the grocery store, is fit and lives an extraordinarily healthy lifestyle but then drinks beer like it is going out of style.

Caring about what you eat doesn’t necessarily translate into caring about what you drink and this is a HUGE MISTAKE.

Before we get into what exactly is in beer that you should be worried about, let’s talk about how body reacts to alcohol in general.

Alcohol is metabolized by the body differently than all other calories you consume. Alcohol is one of the only substances that you consume that can permeate your digestive system and go straight into your bloodstream. It bypasses normal digestion and is absorbed into the body intact, where it goes straight into the liver.

Your liver is your main fat-burning organ. If you are trying to lose weight or even maintain your ideal weight, drinking alcohol is one of your worst enemies. The liver is going to metabolize alcohol first vs. the fat you want to get rid of – making weight loss even harder. Additionally, one of the primary functions of the liver is to remove environmental toxins from your body – if it is overtaxed with alcohol, the normal removal of these toxins becomes extremely diminished and can result in rapid aging, loss of libido, and other diseases.

The one thing that has gotten me before and I’m sure many of you – is the health marketing claims on alcohol products making drinking them seem like a good idea and an added “benefit” to your health. The low alcohol content of beer makes it appear as an innocuous beverage and something people throw back without even thinking about it. Who hasn’t seen those studies that say a beer a day is great for you (I want to ask who ever stops at just one beer?)?

So, inherently, alcohol by itself is not a healthy person’s best friend – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Beer, especially American beer, is made with all sorts of ingredients beyond the basic hops, malt and yeast. There are numerous other ingredients used to clarify, stabilize, preserve, enhance the color and flavor of beer.

When you drink beer, there is almost a 100% chance that you don’t know what you are drinking (unless you quizzed the beer companies like I did). The ingredients in beer are not required by law to be listed anywhere on the label and manufacturers have no legal obligation to disclose the ingredients. For regular beer, calorie levels and percent alcohol are optional and for light beer calories are mandatory but alcohol levels are optional.

YOU MUST Read More Here: http://foodbabe.com/2013/07/17/the-shocking-ingredients-in-beer/

NOTE: In Australia, Fourex (XXXX) beer and other Lion Brand beers do NOT have any nasty GMOs or Preservatives - see www.lionco.com

"It is Lion Policy not to use Genetically Modified ingredients or Yeasts or ingredients derived from Genetically Modified Organisms in the brewing of any of our beers.

 All brewing ingredient suppliers to Lion must have certification to confirm the absence of any Genetic modification or use of GMOs in their production processes.

 We don’t currently use corn, soy or rice in the brands we brew in AUS in any of our Lion brands."


Meanwhile In The USA - Mother beheads infant, eats part of his brain


San Antonio police say a woman accused of beheading her 3-week-old infant son used a knife and two swords in the attack and ate some of the child's body parts.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus told reporters Monday that Otty Sanchez's attack on her son, Scott Wesley Buchholtz-Sanchez, was "too heinous" to fully discuss.
But he says Sanchez ate part of the newborn's brain and bit off three of his toes before stabbing herself twice.
Police say the 33-year-old Sanchez told officers who were called to her house early Sunday that she killed her son at the devil's request.
Sanchez is charged with capital murder and is being held on $1 million bail. She is recovering from her wounds at a hospital.


Meanwhile in Yemen - an eight year old Muslim child bride dies on her wedding night after suffering internal injuries due to sexual trauma.


Yemen: 8-year-old child dies of internal injuries at hands of 40-year-old husband on wedding night

Why did this little girl die? Because of something that is sanctioned by Islamic law. But to oppose this practice and say it should be stopped is "un-Islamic." So more girls will die. Better dead than "Islamophobic."

Few things are more abundantly attested in Islamic law than the permissibility of child marriage. Islamic tradition records that Muhammad’s favorite wife, Aisha, was six when Muhammad wedded her and nine when he consummated the marriage:

“The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death)” (Bukhari 7.62.88).

Another tradition has Aisha herself recount the scene:

The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became Allright, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, “Best wishes and Allah’s Blessing and a good luck.” Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age. (Bukhari 5.58.234).

Muhammad was at this time fifty-four years old.

Marrying young girls was not all that unusual for its time, but because in Islam Muhammad is the supreme example of conduct (cf. Qur’an 33:21), he is considered exemplary in this unto today. And so in April 2011, the Bangladesh Mufti Fazlul Haque Amini declared that those trying to pass a law banning child marriage in that country were putting Muhammad in a bad light: “Banning child marriage will cause challenging the marriage of the holy prophet of Islam… [putting] the moral character of the prophet into controversy and challenge.” He added a threat: “Islam permits child marriage and it will not be tolerated if any ruler will ever try to touch this issue in the name of giving more rights to women.” The Mufti said that 200,000 jihadists were ready to sacrifice their lives for any law restricting child marriage.

Likewise the influential website Islamonline.com in December 2010 justified child marriage by invoking not only Muhammad’s example, but the Qur’an as well:

The Noble Qur’an has also mentioned the waiting period [i.e. for a divorced wife to remarry] for the wife who has not yet menstruated, saying: “And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women—if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated” [Qur’an 65:4]. Since this is not negated later, we can take from this verse that it is permissible to have sexual intercourse with a prepubescent girl. The Qur’an is not like the books of jurisprudence which mention what the implications of things are, even if they are prohibited. It is true that the prophet entered into a marriage contract with A’isha when she was six years old, however he did not have sex with her until she was nine years old, according to al-Bukhari.

Other countries make Muhammad’s example the basis of their laws regarding the legal marriageable age for girls. Article 1041 of the Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran states that girls can be engaged before the age of nine, and married at nine: “Marriage before puberty (nine full lunar years for girls) is prohibited. Marriage contracted before reaching puberty with the permission of the guardian is valid provided that the interests of the ward are duly observed.”

Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini himself married a ten-year-old girl when he was twenty-eight. Khomeini called marriage to a prepubescent girl “a divine blessing,” and advised the faithful to give their own daughters away accordingly: “Do your best to ensure that your daughters do not see their first blood in your house.” When he took power in Iran, he lowered the legal marriageable age of girls to nine, in accord with Muhammad’s example.

"8-year-old Yemeni child dies at hands of 40-year-old husband on wedding night," from Albawaba, September 9 (thanks to all who sent this in):

Al Nahar, Lebanon, has reported that an eight year old child bride died in Yemen on her wedding night after suffering internal injuries due to sexual trauma. Human rights organizations are calling for the arrest of her husband who was five times her age.

The death occurred in the tribal area of Hardh in northwestern Yemen, which borders Saudi Arabia. This brings even more attention to the already existing issue of forced child marriages in the Middle Eastern region.

"According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), between 2011 and 2020, more than 140 million girls will become child brides. Furthermore, of the 140 million girls who will marry before the age of 18, 50 million will be under the age of 15."

It is reported that over a quarter of Yemen's young girls are married before the age of 15. Not only do they lose access to health and education, these child brides are commonly subjected to physical, emotional and sexual violence in their forced marriage.

One of the main issues is that there is currently no consistent established definition of a "child" that has been agreed upon worldwide. This leaves various interpretations within countries and little protection for those who are affected.

Establishing this age limit is among the top priorities of groups like HRC which was responsible for publishing the 54-page report “How Come You Allow Little Girls to Get Married?”, documenting the lifelong damage to girls who are forced to marry young. Most pro age-limit organizations agree that 18 should be the legal age for marriage.

In February 2009, a law was created in Yemen that set the minimum age for marriage at 17. Unfortunately, it was repealed after more conservative lawmakers called it un-Islamic.

Source: Jihadwatch.org


Meanwhile In Turkey - Sore Loser PM Erdogan plays the "IgnoringMuslims" Card for not getting the 2020 Games...


Comment: Maybe this poor loser should also ask the Muslim world to boycott the games - And how good would it be if that happened? At the very least, the Tokyo Games would be a lot safer and far less politically correct to just appease all the over demanding whining Islamic followers... F**k Em - The Olympic Games is all about SPORT, NOT Religion!

ANKARA (Reuters) - The choice of Tokyo instead of Istanbul to host the 2020 Olympic Games was unfair and showed that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is ignoring the Muslim world, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying on Monday.
Tokyo beat Istanbul by 60 votes to 36 in a head-to-head vote by IOC members in Buenos Aires on Saturday, giving the Japanese capital the Games for the second time. Madrid had been eliminated in a first round of voting.
"Both Tokyo and Madrid have hosted the games before; Istanbul hasn't. It hasn't been fair," Erdogan was quoted as saying in Turkish media. "In a way, they are cutting ties with the 1.5-billion people Muslim world."
Civil unrest, the unstable political situation on the country's doorstep and a wave of high-profile athletics doping cases are seen as the chief reasons for the decision to again overlook Turkey, which has a predominantly Muslim population.
Istanbul also failed in bids to land the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Games.
While the unrest in neighbouring Syria was seen by some as counting against the bid, others felt a heavy-handed police crackdown during recent anti-government protests also damaged Turkey's image.
"Istanbul presented a fantastic bid for the Games and made it through to the very last round," IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. "Sadly, as in sport there can only be one winner."
Tokyo, which hosted the 1964 Games, had an estimated non-Games budget of around $4.4 billion (2.8 billion pounds) for 2020 plus $3.4 billion for the actual event.
Istanbul's proposal had a total cost of $19 billion, making it more ambitious but also risky given the country's lack of experience in staging major sports events.
Another worry for Istanbul has been the wave of doping cases which have resulted in the Turkish Athletics Federation banning dozens of athletes for drugs violations, most recently double European 100m hurdles champion Nevin Yanit.
Turkey's Sports Minister Suat Kilic said doping was not an issue peculiar to Turkey and Erdogan confirmed the country was taking steps to fight it.
"We have said 'zero tolerance against doping' and have started our work," Erdogan said.

The Tipping Point in the Fight Against GMOs: Moms


By Nancy Massotto, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director of the Holistic Moms Network

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are taking over our food supply. Nearly 80 percent of processed foods, including those labeled "natural," contain GMOs and experts agree that organic foods are not likely entirely organic anymore due to cross-pollination (aka "genetic pollution") between conventional and organic fields. The facts are sobering.

Our food system has truly run amok. Our children are increasingly less healthy, generation to generation, than before. And, the problem seems to grow worse and worse every year.

Until now. A growing number of people, including myself, believe the tides are turning.

Ten years ago, very few moms discussed GMOs and, like me, were largely unaware of how commonplace GMO foods had become. But activists like Jeffrey Smith, Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, broke the silence by speaking out and authoring consumer-friendly books like his seminal work on the topic, "Seeds of Deception," published in 2003.

Years of tireless, fringe advocacy and increasing evidence of harm have all paved a path for a wave of moms to push things to a tipping point. Why moms? Why now? I asked Jeffrey what his take was given his intimate involvement in the movement in the past decade. In true David vs. Goliath form, his insights were inspired.

Here's what he had to say: - See more at: http://www.riseearth.com/2013/09/the-tipping-point-in-fight-against-gmos.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+riseearth%2FKZKa+%28RiseEarth%29#sthash.2gU3BbUW.dpuf

Meanwhile In Australia - A Rampaging kangaroo crashes through house window.

Drunk rooA northern Victorian man is in shock after a rampaging kangaroo caused thousands of dollars damage to his home in the northern Victoria town of Echuca.

The kangaroo was part of a mob that made its way into a housing estate in Echuca on Tuesday afternoon.

The large eastern grey kangaroo and three others got into the front yard of one home and ended up in a swimming pool.

Then it crashed through the front window of Paul Giogianni's house, causing extensive damage.

"It's lucky that (the damage) is contained to the lounge room and the little bit in my bedroom," he said.

"It could have gone on a rampage and destroyed the whole house."

The kangaroo was badly injured after crashing through the window and left a trail of blood throughout the house.

It was later put down.

Mr Giorgianni says he cannot do anything to replace damaged carpet, curtains and windows until an insurance assessor arrives.

He says no one knows why the large kangaroo ended up in the area.

"It's just unheard of with that much feed around to come into town like that," he said.

Mr Giorgianni, a truck driver, was away from home when his boss rang him to tell him what happened.

He says he did not believe him when he was told his house had been broken into by a kangaroo.


Meanwhile In Taiwan - Man arrested for… polishing other people’s cars

Recently in Taiwan, authorities finally apprehended a man who had been terrorizing a Taipei community for an untold stretch of time. This possible terrorist had been brazenly walking from car to a car with a cloth and wiping them down until they sparkled. The fiend!


Thankfully, a brave citizen saw their own car being shined by the man and reported him to the proper authorities. Unfortunately, the people of Taipei only had a brief respite from the horrors he unleashed as police released him shortly afterwards.



It turned out that the man was suffering from OCD and was compelled to polish automobiles. The police also considered the fact that cleaning unattended cars was kind of a good thing and not really a crime worth pursuing.


However, when the man was released he immediately pulled out his cloth and began wiping down all of the patrol cars as they were lined up outside the precinct. Presumably afraid for their lives, the officers heroically handed him 100 Taiwan dollars (US$3.36) and asked him to “stop cleaning.”


At that moment he stopped and walked away. He’ll be back though. It’s just a question of when.

Source: Xinhua via Fesoku (Japanese)

Meanwhile In Japan - Man walks 1,400km home after getting mugged....

The mother of a 25-year-old man was stunned to see him arrive home after he was declared missing for several days. When she last saw him he left his hometown of Sendai to attend a national trading card game competition in Kitakyushu city on 23 August.

However, when he never made his return flight on 25 August, she got worried. It turned out that her son was robbed of his wallet and mobile phone and spent the following 11 days traveling back to Sendai on foot. Upon his return the son said, “I never wanted to make a fuss. I’m sorry to everyone I inconvenienced.”

After the card game meeting ended, he was too late to catch his flight back to Sendai. Without a way back, he took to the streets so he could find an internet cafĂ© to spend the night in. As he was searching, he was approached by another man who demanded, “hand over your phone and wallet.” The son complied and the man ran off with the items. Luckily, the son had kept an extra 2,000 yen (US$20) tucked in his shoe.

At this point most people would go to the police or maybe use the money to call home. This man did neither and proceeded to walk back home himself. “I used the 2,000 yen I had hidden in my shoe and bought bread and water to fight off hunger,” he said.

Eleven days and 1,400km (870 miles) later, the son arrived on his doorstep to a stunned mother on 5 September. Her first thoughts at the sight of her lost son: “I was shocked and I thought I saw a ghost. I’m really thrilled he’s back, and I’m very sorry to everyone who was worried.”

When the news broke, netizens spoke up as one and asked, “Why the hell didn’t he contact anyone?!” We can only assume that either he truly didn’t want to bother anyone (including the police who are paid to be bothered in such cases), or perhaps he was up to something else that he didn’t want the police or family catching wind of.

Either way, he’s home safe and it’s a happy (albeit weird) ending. As an added bonus he was able to hold on to a very important trading card in his collection throughout the mugging and journey, and in the end that’s what really matters, isn’t it?

Source: Yomiuri (Japanese)

Meanwhile In China - Persecution Loses Steam; And The Government Never Lies (Yeah Right!)


The regime's persecution of spiritual group Falun Gong may be ebbing

The persecution of Falun Gong used to be the highest priority for the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, when it started the campaign under the orders of Jiang Zemin, a former head of the Party, in 1999.


Now, over 14 years later, the campaign appears to be entering a new phase as the political clout of Jiang, who saw the persecution as a personal crusade, has waned significantly and his control over key positions in the security apparatus has been undercut by political infighting.


According to statistics produced by Minghui.org, a major Falun Gong website that tracks the persecution, the number of Falun Gong practitioners sentenced to labor camps and prisons has been decreasing steadily over the last 18 months.


Minghui has also documented that a number of labor camps in different regions of China appear to be shutting down. In some cases the Falun Gong practitioners detained there are being released.


This trend is a break from the past, where “eradicating” the peaceful spiritual discipline was the foremost political priority for the Chinese Communist Party, mass book burnings were held in the streets, and state television stations conducted 24-hour propaganda marathons.


Even so, the changes over the last year do not mean the persecution has stopped, according to experts. But they indicate that the campaign is not being given the intensive political emphasis it was once given, and that in certain regions of China it is unable to be sustained.


Labor Camp Closures


This year the new Chinese Communist Party leadership, under Xi Jinping, announced that it would halt or reform the labor camp system. The claim was initially met with some skepticism, but human rights groups said that some changes are taking place, with particular labor camps being shut down. In other cases they are simply renamed as drug rehabilitation centers, while the same abuses inside them take place.


In mid July two forced labor camps in southern Beijing released a number of Falun Gong practitioners who were detained there, according to Minghui, the Falun Gong website.

The Beijing Women’s Forced Labor Camp began  releasing Falun Gong practitioners since May, and the Xin’an Forced Labor Camp released a large number of Falun Gong practitioners on July 5, according to Minghui.

Read More Here: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/279531-persecutions-grip-weakens-in-china/?photo=2

Meanwhile In The USA - Farmers appeal to Supreme Court to seek protection from GE Crops


New York - September 5, 2013 - A group of 73 American organic and conventional family farmers, seed businesses and public advocacy groups asked the U.S. Supreme Court today to hear their case against Monsanto Company challenging the chemical and biotech seed giant's patents on genetically engineered seed. In Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) et al v. Monsanto, the plaintiffs have been forced to sue preemptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement should their fields ever become contaminated by Monsanto's genetically engineered seed, something Monsanto has done to others in the past.

In a June 10th ruling earlier this year, a three-judge panel at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that a group of organic and otherwise non-GMO farmer and seed company plaintiffs are not entitled to bring a lawsuit to protect themselves from Monsanto's transgenic seed patents "because Monsanto has made binding assurances that it will not 'take legal action against growers whose crops might inadvertently contain traces of Monsanto biotech genes (because, for example, some transgenic seed or pollen blew onto the grower's land).'"

"While the Court of Appeals correctly found that the farmers and seed sellers had standing to challenge Monsanto's invalid patents, it incorrectly found that statements made by Monsanto's lawyers during the lawsuit mooted the case," said Daniel Ravicher, Executive Director of the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) and lead counsel to the plaintiffs inOSGATA et al v. Monsanto. "As a result, we have asked the Supreme Court to take the case and reinstate the right of the plaintiffs to seek full protection from Monsanto's invalid transgenic seed patents."

Read More here: http://www.nationofchange.org/american-farmers-appeal-us-supreme-court-seek-protection-ge-crops-1378565523

Meanwhile In China - over exploitation and abuse of natural resources has led to serious water pollution and water scarcity that is approaching crisis proportions.

[caption id="attachment_4232" align="aligncenter" width="402"]This picture taken on Dec. 13, 2011, shows a woman collecting a sample of the red polluted water flowing from a sewer into the Jian River in Luoyang, north China's Henan Province. Water pollution is becoming an existential crisis for China. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) This picture taken on Dec. 13, 2011, shows a woman collecting a sample of the red polluted water flowing from a sewer into the Jian River in Luoyang, north China's Henan Province. Water pollution is becoming an existential crisis for China. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)[/caption]

China’s rapid industrialization and urbanization along with over exploitation and abuse of natural resources has led to serious water pollution and water scarcity that is approaching crisis proportions.

A recently released annual environmental bulletin by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) reveals that over 30 percent of the country’s rivers and over 50 percent of groundwater are below national water quality standards. The continuing deterioration of water quality affecting people’s lives and health has become one of the most urgent existential crises for China.

In the first half of 2013, 12 state-controlled surface water monitoring stations revealed that heavy metal content at these sites surpassed national water quality standards by 22 times. Water samples taken from the Yangtze River and the Yellow River showed that mercury exceeded safe levels by 50 percent, followed by arsenic at 36.4 percent, according to a semiannual report by the MEP, released on Aug. 2.

Wastewater discharged nationwide in 2012 totaled 68.46 billion tons, according to the bulletin. Of the 1,200 rivers being monitored, 850 are contaminated, and over 90 percent of watersheds were contaminated.

State-controlled sections of the top 10 watersheds, including the Yangtze and Yellow rivers, 20.9 percent had “mild” pollution and 10.2 percent “medium-level” pollution, according to the statistical data in the bulletin.

Of the 4,929 groundwater-quality monitoring points in 198 cities, 57.3 percent reported “poor” or “very poor” water quality.

Groundwater quality has been degraded from massive dumping of untreated or partially treated wastewater. In addition, increased urbanization and industrial development in recent years have led to a growing overdraft of groundwater in some regions, which has significantly lowered the water level, Chinacitywater.org cited Zhang Hongtao, chief engineer of China’s Ministry of Land and Resources as saying.

“Residential sewage, municipal wastewater, industrial effluents, and agricultural chemicals are dumped into rivers, which has inevitably contaminated the groundwater and threatened groundwater sources. Water pollution problems have become grim,” Zhang said.

According to the Economic Information Daily, pollutants from industrial, agricultural, and residential sources are the major causes of water pollution in China. Industrial pollution is caused by directly discharging untreated industrial effluents into nearby streams, lakes, rivers, or oceans.

Read More Here: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/268522-china-faces-big-water-crisis/


Meanwhile In PNG - Testicle eating fish may be migrating; Even to Sweden...

testicle fish

A SMALL fish with a big reputation - for biting off the testicles of men in the waters of Papua New Guinea - is on the move. It has made its way to France and there are fears it could be headed for London next.

Last month we reported the exotic pacu, found in PNG and South American rivers, had been discovered in Sweden's Orsund Sound.

The discovery sparked a warning to Swedish men not to engage in nude bathing.

A Scandinavian fish expert, Henrik Carl, warned the fish could grow to 90 centimetres, weigh up to 25kg and slice through flesh with their human-like teeth.

"They bite because they're hungry, and testicles sit nicely in their mouth," he said.

Now the pacu has been found in the River Seine, according to a Paris police report.

Given the creature's amazing migratory ability, the Brits are scared it may not be long before they are swimming up the Thames, the Mirror reported.

How US and UK spy agencies defeat internet privacy and security

• NSA and GCHQ unlock encryption used to protect emails, banking and medical records
• $250m-a-year US program works covertly with tech companies to insert weaknesses into products
• Security experts say programs 'undermine the fabric of the internet'

US and British intelligence agencies have successfully cracked much of the online encryption relied upon by hundreds of millions of people to protect the privacy of their personal data, online transactions and emails, according to top-secret documents revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden.

The files show that the National Security Agency and its UK counterpart GCHQ have broadly compromised the guarantees that internet companies have given consumers to reassure them that their communications, online banking and medical records would be indecipherable to criminals or governments.

The agencies, the documents reveal, have adopted a battery of methods in their systematic and ongoing assault on what they see as one of the biggest threats to their ability to access huge swathes of internet traffic – "the use of ubiquitous encryption across the internet".

Those methods include covert measures to ensure NSA control over setting of international encryption standards, the use of supercomputers to break encryption with "brute force", and – the most closely guarded secret of all – collaboration with technology companies and internet service providers themselves.

Through these covert partnerships, the agencies have inserted secret vulnerabilities – known as backdoors or trapdoors – into commercial encryption software.

The files, from both the NSA and GCHQ, were obtained by the Guardian, and the details are being published today in partnership with the New York Times and ProPublica. They reveal:

• A 10-year NSA program against encryption technologies made a breakthrough in 2010 which made "vast amounts" of data collected through internet cable taps newly "exploitable".

• The NSA spends $250m a year on a program which, among other goals, works with technology companies to "covertly influence" their product designs.

• The secrecy of their capabilities against encryption is closely guarded, with analysts warned: "Do not ask about or speculate on sources or methods."

• The NSA describes strong decryption programs as the "price of admission for the US to maintain unrestricted access to and use of cyberspace".

• A GCHQ team has been working to develop ways into encrypted traffic on the "big four" service providers, named as Hotmail, Google, Yahoo and Facebook.

Read More Here:





Meanwhile In China - Workers' rights 'flouted' at Apple iPhone factory

Apple loo

The new cheaper iPhone that Apple will unveil to a global audience on Tuesday is being produced under illegal and abusive conditions in Chinese factories owned by one of America's largest manufacturing businesses, investigators have claimed.

Workers are asked to stand for 12-hour shifts with just two 30-minute breaks, six days a week, the non-profit organisation China Labor Watch has claimed. Staff are allegedly working without adequate protective equipment, at risk from chemicals, noise and lasers, for an average of 69 hours a week. Apple has a self-imposed limit of 60 working hours a week.

The problems were uncovered at a plant in Wuxi, near Shanghai, where Apple's first low-cost handset, dubbed the iPhone 5C, is being produced. The plant is owned by Florida-based Jabil Circuit, a US company with 60 plants in 33 countries including Scotland, and a turnover of $17bn (£11bn) a year. Jabil said it had uncovered problems last month and was taking immediate steps to investigate the allegations. Apple said its experts were "already on site" to look into the claims.

"It is the duty of national governments to regulate the conduct of their companies abroad," China Labor Watch argued. "The US government also shares in the responsibility for labour abuses committed by US companies manufacturing in China."

Jabil has 30,000 employees at Wuxi, where cases for the colourful iPhone 5C are being . The majority are hired indirectly through employment agencies, the investigators claim. Local laws set a limit of 30% agency workers in any company's workforce to prevent the exploitation of staff.

In order to be recruited, staff are asked to sign two-year contracts and pay significant sign-up fees, and are also charged to process identification documents, open a bank account for wages, and for intrusive medical examinations.

The report, published on Thursday, is based on interviews with about 90 employees and evidence from an undercover investigator who worked at Wuxi for a month. It also claims that female workers were asked to take pregnancy tests, which would be both against Chinese law and a breach of the code of practice imposed last year by Apple on all its suppliers.

Apple has made efforts to improve conditions in the factories where its products are assembled after uproar over the treatment of workers at the vast Foxconn factories, where iPhones are assembled.

The Jabil factory arranges accommodation for workers in dormitory blocks where some sleep eight to a room, suffering disturbed rest because the rooms are shared by a mixture of day- and night-shift staff. The report claims the base wage at Jabil is 1,500 RMB (£160) a month, half the average monthly wage in the city of Wuxi. Only by working 100 hours of overtime a month can employees secure an income that matches the average.

Because of the poor pay and 12-hour shift patterns "married workers have no choice but to leave their children in their rural homes with grandparents", the report states. Strict secrecy is imposed

to protect the Apple products they are helping to create. Staff sign confidentiality agreements and undergo security checks on entering the plant and when leaving their work station for a toilet break.


Japan - Nigerian Bar owner, 3 hostesses arrested for drugging, robbing customer


Police in Tokyo have arrested a Nigerian bar owner and three hostesses for drugging the drinks of a male customers and then using his cash cards to empty out his bank account.

Police identified the bar as Club Little Cat in the Kabukicho district in Shinjuku and said that about 20 men had been drugged and robbed since April, netting the suspects around 10 million yen, Sankei Shimbun reported. Police suspect that since the club opened seven years ago, male customers have been robbed of about 300 million yen.

The four were formally charged over a robbery that took place on April 20. According to police, a hostess targeted a 42-year-old male drinking by himself and plied him with whiskey containing a knockout drug. The hostess took the man’s cash card to a convenience store and stole 1.3 million yen, before returning the cash card, police said.

Police didn’t say how the suspects were able to ascertain the victim’s PIN number.

Source: Japan Today


Meanwhile In Japan - KFC now offering deep-fried soup

KFC Witness protection program

KFC Japan has a new menu item for fall: fried soup.

As a nation of passionate foodies, Japan gets periodically swept up in culinary trends. While waiting patiently for the garlic boom of the late ‘90s to come back, we’ve seen mangoes, pancakes, and the citrus-infused chili paste yuzu kosho all enjoy time in the spotlight.

One of the current darlings of the Japanese palate is the creamy soup corn potage. A common fixture in Japanese cafes, its popularity exploded when popular popsicle brand Gari Gari-kun expanded its lineup to include a corn potage flavor, which went on to become such a huge hit stores couldn’t keep it in stock.

But while Gari Gari-kun’s parent company hit upon the idea of freezing the soup, KFC Japan has chosen to run in completely the opposite direction, and will be releasing a deep-fried corn potage fritter this month.

“We bread the corn potage and cook it to a crisp,” explains the fast food giant, making their deep-fried sorcery sound like the most natural thing in the world. While we won’t be able to say for sure until we’ve taste-tested it, we can’t imagine the corn potage fritter, which KFC claims stays soft and creamy on the inside, being anything less than mouth-wateringly glorious.

Aside from simple gluttony, KFC cites the autobiography of founder Colonel Sanders as an inspiration for their new creation. The Colonel’s autobiography contains a recipe for potato bacon fritters, which KFC Japan started from and tweaked in developing its corn potage variant.

The corn potage fritter goes on sale Sept 5 at KFC locations across Japan. Like many eye-catching restaurant offerings in the country, it will only be available for a limited time, so hard-core fried food aficionados should move quickly, difficult as that may be for them.

Source: KFC Japan


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Claims are being made by the South China Morning Post that singer Hyon Song-wol was gunned down in front of her family just three days after being arrested for breaching North Korean pornography laws.

Hyon, who first met Kim about a decade ago, was among a dozen well-known performers executed with machine guns.

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