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The European Union Times – World News, Breaking News

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The European Union Times

3D ‘invisibility cloak’ unveiled by NY scientists

Posted: 27 Sep 2014 03:14 PM PDT

A news ‘invisibility’ cloaking device has been unveiled by US scientists, which they say can be constructed at home, causes no distortion of objects in the background, and can conceal objects in 3D from different angles.

Scientists from upstate New York’s University of Rochester have managed to create the device, which looks like a set of optometrist’s equipment and can bend light around the “cloaked” object so that it appears invisible.

The lenses used in the process are easily obtainable and inexpensive. However, while “cloaking” the object, it is not currently in cloaked form, and remains a series of layered lenses which makes the object placed behind appear as if it is not there.

“A lot of people have worked on a lot of different aspects of optical cloaking for years,” said John Howell, a professor of physics at the institution.

“From what we know, this is the first cloaking device that provides three-dimensional, continuously multidirectional cloaking,” added graduate student Joseph Choi.

Previous projects working on concealing objects with “invisibility” have had limitations in that the illusion only works at a certain angle. Previous methods have also been far more complex and expensive.

The tests have seen the scientists hide a hand, someone’s face and a ruler. However, one limitation to the device is that it is objects on the edges of the lenses that remain out of sight, whereas those directly in the middle may still be at least partially seen.

However, the scientists maintain that the possibilities as a result of the device’s development are endless.

“I imagine this could be used to cloak a trailer on the back of a semi-truck so the driver can see directly behind him,” Choi said. “It can be used for surgery, in the military, in interior design, art.” As with the “Harry Potter” invisibility cloak, no distortion of background objects occurs.

In February 2013, an “invisibility cloak” was developed and displayed at a US tech conference by Dr. Baile Zhang, an assistant professor of physics at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. However, it didn’t work from various angles.

Scientists at London’s Imperial College, Duke University and the University of Texas have also been working on similar designs. Scientists for the first time succeeded in “cloaking” an object in 2006, after which the Imperial College researchers laid out their theory for others to copy.

In 2011, a physicist at the University of Texas Dallas successfully created a small invention that uses carbon nanotubes to make objects behind it disappear. At Duke, inventors used meta-materials to create a tiny cylinder that bends electromagnetic waves and makes objects vanish.


US seeks to target Syrian government

Posted: 27 Sep 2014 02:49 PM PDT

This US Navy photo shows the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) as it launches a Tomahawk cruise missile in the Persian Gulf, September 23, 2014.

US-led strikes against ISIL terrorists in the crisis-hit Syria are aimed at “eventually” targeting the Syrian government’s positions, an American investigative journalist says.

David Lindorff made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Saturday while commenting on Washington-led coalition airstrikes in Syria that began earlier this week.

“I do suspect that it’s all an effort to eventually be bombing in Syria where they can switch the target to the Syrian government’s target,” Lindorff said.

The coalition airstrikes have been targeting ISIL positions in northeastern Syria. But on Saturday, the United States launched attacks against the ISIL in the central province of Homs and the town of Minbej, east of Aleppo, Syria’s second city.

Lindorff argued that the switch was also the reason behind the British parliament’s unwillingness to get engaged in the strikes inside Syria. “I think that’s why the British parliament is reluctant to approve Britain’s support in the bombings outside of Iraq. The British have agreed to start bombing Iraq with the US… and not to join in the bombing of Syria.”

He stated that the British also dragged their feet in 2013, when the US was about to attack Syria on the pretext of the “bogus claim” that the government of President Bashar al-Assad had used poisonous gas on militant strongholds in the suburbs of the capital Damascus on August 21.

“They did not want to be dragged into attacking and regime change in Syria,” Lindorff noted.

He went on to say that there is a “clear suspicion” in Britain that the US-led strikes in Syria “is really about having the planes flying there and then eventually shifting the target to Assad.”

The US and its partners began airstrikes against ISIL in Syria on Tuesday morning. Fighter aircraft from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have taken part in the airstrikes in Syria.

US aircraft, along with fighter jets from France and Britain, have been also bombing several areas in Iraq.

The ISIL Takfiri terrorists currently control parts of Syria and Iraq. They have threatened all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Izadi Kurds and others, as they continue their atrocities in Iraq.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011 with ISIL Takfiri terrorists currently controlling parts of it mostly in the east.

The Western powers and their regional allies, especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are reportedly supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

More than 191,000 people have been killed in over three years of fighting in the war-ravaged country, says the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), calling the figure a probable “underestimate of the real total number of people killed.”


Greenwald Exposes NSA Agenda to Destroy Journalists

Posted: 27 Sep 2014 02:34 PM PDT

Glenn Greenwald has posted a story showing how the NSA and government agents work to “manipulate, deceive, and destroy” the reputations of journalists.

“Over the last several weeks, I worked with NBC News to publish a series of articles about ‘dirty trick’ tactics used by GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group),” Greenwald wrote on Wednesday.

GCHQ stands for Government Communications Headquarters, a British intelligence and security agency that works closely with the National Security Agency in the United States.

JTRIG, exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, specializes in dirty tricks to “destroy, deny, degrade [and] disrupt” enemies by “discrediting” them, planting misinformation and shutting down their communications,” according to NBC News.

In addition to cyber and denial of service attacks, JTRIG engages in propaganda efforts, called “Online Covert Action.”

“The propaganda campaigns use deception, mass messaging and ‘pushing stories’ via Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and YouTube. JTRIG also uses ‘false flag’ operations, in which British agents carry out online actions that are designed to look like they were performed by one of Britain’s adversaries,” Greenwald and NBC wrote in February.

In addition to internet-based operations, GCHQ operations “credential harvests” journalists – a technique used by the CIA under its Operation Mockingbird – and also engages in “close access technical operations,” which includes monitoring telephone calls and surveilling hotel computers in addition to sending intelligence officers to observe the targets in person at the hotels, Greenwald writes.

In his most recent article, Greenwald explains how JTRIG utilizes false flag operations to “inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets.” The intelligence operation posts falsely attributed material to undermine reputations, creates “fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy),” and posts “negative information” on forums and message boards.

Other tactics include arranging sexual “honey traps,” changing photos of social networking sites, and sending email and text to colleagues, neighbors and friends of targeted individuals.

The techniques are similar to FBI tactics used against domestic political targets in the pre-cyberspace era. Under Operation COINTELPRO in the 1960s and 1970s, the FBI stated its purpose was to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize the activities” of political activists, primarily civil rights leaders but also antiwar activists.

Author and researcher Brian Glick noted in War At Home: Covert Action Against U.S. Activists and What We Can Do About Itthe government used a variety of dirty tricks to neutralize its political enemies, including infiltration, psychological operations and warfare, legal harassment, and extralegal force and violence.

“COINTELPRO was, in large part, a success,” I wrote in 2002. “By 1972, the anti-war and black liberation movements were in complete disarray. Police pressure, mass false arrests, specious federal grand jury investigations, and flimsy if not entirely bogus conspiracy trials had all taken their toll. According to the Church Committee, which was convened to investigate FBI abuses, there were 290 separate COINTELPRO actions from 1968 until 1971, when the program supposedly terminated. Approximately 40 percent of these actions were specifically designed to keep activists from speaking, teaching, writing, and publishing, contrary to the principles of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which the government is sworn to uphold.”

Greenwald’s expose underscores the fact the government is still in the business of attacking its political enemies despite its claim to have put an end to COINTELPRO in the 1970s.

The NSA’s new CLOINTELPRO, run through British intelligence, is far more pernicious due to quantum leaps in technology. Thanks to Snowden and others we are now keenly aware of the threat as it unfolds, whereas with COINTELPRO most of the evidence of government surveillance and dirty tricks arrived after the damage hand been done.


Pentagon concerned by Russia bomber flights

Posted: 27 Sep 2014 02:29 PM PDT

Two of the Russian planes intercepted by the US and Canada were identified as Mig-31 fighter jets.

The Pentagon is increasingly concerned by long-range Russian bombers flying near American airspace, says a top US commander.

Admiral Samuel Locklear, head of the US military’s Pacific Command, issued the warning Thursday after US jets intercepted six Russian Bear long-range bombers that neared US airspace off Alaska last week.

Locklear said the “Cold War-style activity” by Russia was raising questions for US military officials.

“Certainly the return of the long-range aircraft flights that we haven’t seen in any significant number over the last decade or so is concerning. And it’s something that we watch very carefully,” Admiral Locklear told reporters, according to Reuters.

In August, US military officials said that Russian strategic nuclear bombers conducted at least 16 incursions into northwestern US and Canadian air defense zones over a 10-day period.

The United States and Russia are at loggerheads over the conflict in Ukraine, where pro-Russian forces have been fighting for control of eastern provinces.

Washington and its Western allies accuse Moscow of fueling unrest in eastern Ukraine by supplying arms to the pro-Russian forces. An accusation denied by the Kremlin.

The conflict has dragged US-Russia relations to their lowest levels since the Cold War.


Second Tory MP defects to join UKIP’s anti-EU crusade

Posted: 27 Sep 2014 01:16 PM PDT

A UK Conservative MP has defected to the UK Independence Party, formally resigning from the main ruling coalition party and prompting a by-election in his home constituency.

“I’m joining UKIP!” MP Mark Reckless announced to a standing ovation at the UKIP party conference, which took place in Doncaster on Saturday.

The 43-year-old Rochester and Strood MP, a former investment banker elected to the Commons in 2010, had previously denied rumours that he was going to “jump ship” and the announcement was sprung on the audience as an apparent surprise.

“These decisions are never easy. Mine certainly has not been. Many have been the sleepless nights when I have talked it over with my wife and have thought about the future of our children,” Reckless said.

He elaborated on his reasoning: “It’s a decision I make from optimism. A decision that is born of belief that Britain can be better, of my knowledge of how the Westminster parties hold us back, but also of my belief in the fresh start UKIP offers,” he told the conference.

Reckless labeled UK Prime Minister David Cameron “part of the problem that is holding our country back,” adding that he could keep promises on cutting immigration as a UKIP member, but not as a Conservative.

Westminster journalists had been trying to dig out potential defectors for days before the conference and Reckless was among those questioned. A number of Tory MPs have reportedly been approached by UKIP. However, Reckless had denied he would join UKIP.

The opposition Labour party termed the move a “blow” to Cameron’s authority.

“This is a hammer blow to David Cameron’s already weakened authority,” a Labour statement said. “On the eve of his conference we again see that Conservatives’ confidence in Cameron is plummeting. David Cameron has always pandered to his right, and even they are now deserting him.”

“This also underlines that UKIP are a party of Tory people, Tory policies and Tory money,” Labour added.

Reckless is the second Conservative MP to move to UKIP in as many months. Clacton’s Douglas Carswell also announced last month that he was to stand down.


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