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Anonymous distances itself from WikiLeaks

The computer hacker collective Anonymous has distanced itself from WikiLeaks, claiming the whistleblowers’ site has become too focused on the personal tribulations of its founder, Julian Assange.

A statement posted on the Anonymous Twitter account, AnonymousIRC, described WikiLeaks as “the one man Julian Assange show” after the website began asking users to pay for access to millions of leaked documents.

“The idea behind WikiLeaks was to provide the public with information that would otherwise be kept secret by industries and governments. Information we strongly believe the public has a right to know,” said the statement on behalf of Anonymous.

“But this has been pushed more and more into the background, instead we only hear about Julian Assange, like he had dinner last night with Lady Gaga. That’s great for him but not much of our interest. We are more interested in transparent governments and bringing out documents and information they want to hide from the public.”

Anonymous has long been one of WikiLeaks’s most loyal and vocal allies. Supporters bearing Anonymous posters regularly turned out at Assange’s public announcements, and members of the group have waged an online campaign against critics of the whistleblowers’ site.

WikiLeaks said it is funded entirely by donations from members of the public. The site angered some users on Thursday after it made a donation page automatically appear before it allowed access to leaked documents. Some users are unable to view WikiLeaks material unless they choose to donate money to the site. WikiLeaks said on Twitter that the move was an attempt to counter what it called “high costs in military courts“.

In the statement, Anonymous told its 285,000 followers that WikiLeaks was an “awesome idea ruined by egos” and claimed the site had abandoned the ideals of freedom of expression.

The group added: “We have been worried about the direction WikiLeaks is going for a while. In the recent month the focus moved away from actual leaks and the fight for freedom of information further and further while it concentrated more and more on Julian Assange. It goes without saying that we oppose any plans of extraditing Julian to the USA. He is a content provider and publisher, not a criminal.”

The dispute could starve WikiLeaks of potentially newsworthy leaks in the future, as some of the site’s recent disclosures – including the cache of Stratfor emails – are alleged to have come from Anonymous.

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Planet Earth

In a Historic Move, Vote to Federally Legalize Marijuana to Take Place in Congress—This Week

Matt Agorist, The Free Thought Project
Waking Times

Washington, D.C. — As countless individuals across the land of the free are rotting in cages for possessing a plant deemed illegal by the government, a historical bill is making its way through Congress that could change everything. A congressional committee reportedly plans to vote on a bill this week that would end the federal prohibition of marijuana.

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). But that is not all. It would go one step further and seek to undo the horrific damage caused by the state’s war on this plant.

According to the legislation, the act would:

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Planet Earth

More than 5,000 birds die suddenly from a mysterious death

Wildlife experts are trying to understand the cause of the massive deaths of birds on the shores of Sambar Lake – India’s largest salt lake. 

Sambar Lake is located 80 km southwest of Jaipur (Jaipur). It covers an area of ​​190 to 230 square kilometers, depending on the season.Many migratory birds, marsh birds, gather at the lake shores at certain times of the year (Wader), flamingos, storks, ducks and dozens of different species. But, about two weeks ago, locals often began to see carcasses of birds.

To date, more than 2,000 dead birds have been found on the coastal stretch, about 12 km wide, and more than 5,000 on unofficial ones. According to locals, the former lively shores of the lake have now become a bird cemetery, among which there are rare species.

According to one resident, there are so many bird carcasses in some places that they look like a large pile of manure from afar!

The cause of the death of the birds has not yet been clarified. They were not killed with a firearm or other weapon. No wounds or signs of disease were found on their bodies. Large piles of dead birds in one place indicate that they died suddenly, exactly at the same place they were in groups overnight.

Local ornithologist Abhinav Vaishnav tells reporters:

“We have never seen anything like this here. About 5,000 birds have died here from a mysterious death …! “

Environmentalists and animal rights activists have voiced several versions of the mass deaths of birds – from a severe hailstorm to pesticides used in nearby agricultural fields. There is also a version for mass infection.

But for the locals, all of these versions seem like a pitiful attempt to put what’s going wrong. For them, such bird death is a mysterious and abnormal phenomenon.

Ramesh Chandra Road says:

“I have not seen anything like this in my 40 years of service in the forestry department. At first, I also thought it might be due to hail, but here every year there are strong hail storms. I also don’t believe in the pesticide version. No trace of them was found in the water samples. “

Some of the dead bird carcasses were sent for analysis to a laboratory in Bopal.

The locals gather the rest of the carcasses in piles, then bury them in deep holes near the beach.

Expect to be informed if further information is available on what is happening.

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Former Apollo Astronaut Pushes for International Commitment to Protect Earth from Killer Asteroids

There are few astronauts more respected and remembered than those who served on the Apollo missions – thirty-two military jet and test pilots who made or died training for the three-man Apollo missions that eventually sent humans to the Moon and back. When they have spoken – about space travel, the Moon, future missions, UFOs and other subjects – the world has listened. Rusty Schweickart, the Lunar Module pilot on Apollo 9, spoke recently about the need for an international commitment to protect Earth from killer asteroids. As usual, his comments are worth listening to.

“During the Apollo 9 mission we were dark-adapted for an experiment, looking at the spectacular night-time Earth, watching weather fronts, thunder storms and lightning, a really great sight out of the window. Then, who knows who said it first, but one of us said they saw a little flash down there and someone else says ‘yeah, I saw it too,’ but you wouldn’t have mentioned it if the first person hadn’t said it. And then we realized: that was a meteor, burning up below us. Wow, below us – which meant it came down through our altitude!”

A close encounter of the worst kind – an asteroid impact in space – instead became an experience that forever influenced Russell “Rusty” Schweickart. When he was selected in 1963, Rusty Schweickart was a unique member of NASA Astronaut Group 3 – the fourteen astronauts selected by NASA to succeed the two-man Gemini missions in the three-man Apollo flights that would eventually lead to a walk on the Moon. Those names are well-known to the public today — Collins, Cunningham, Gordon, Aldrin, Cernan, Chaffee to list a few – but back then they were better known in the military as fighter pilots and test pilots. Schweickart was an experienced Air Force pilot, but he was also a research scientist at the Experimental Astronomy Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fields of upper atmospheric physics, star tracking and stabilization of stellar images.

Astronaut Group Three announced on October 18, 1963. They are (seated, left to right) Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., William A. Anders, Charles A. Bassett II, Alan L. Bean, Eugene A. Cernan, and Roger B. Chaffee. Standing (left to right) are Michael Collins, R. Walter Cunningham, Donn F. Eisele, Theodore C. Freeman, Richard F. Gordon Jr., Russell L. Schweickart, David R. Scott and Clifton C. Williams Jr. (Credit: NASA)

The 1969 flight of Apollo 9 was the first flight of the lunar module, piloted by Schweickart, and the first spacewalk of the Apollo missions, also by Schweickart. During a recent ESA Open Day at the European Space Agency’s ESTEC technical center in Noordwijk, The Netherlands, the former astronaut heard about the latest plans to stop asteroids like the one the Apollo 9 crew encountered before they destructively impact Earth. In 2022, NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirect Test will hit the smaller member of the Didymos binary asteroids. Then, if approved this month by Europe’s space ministers, the ESA’s Hera mission will perform a close-up survey of the asteroid and crater after impact. Schweickart says he likes the idea of a multi-spacecraft mission rather than a single asteroid-seeking rocket.

“And one of the key unknowns of the kinetic impactor technique is a term we call ‘beta’ – when we hit the asteroid, how much stuff is going to come flying off? If it’s moving at greater than escape velocity, then that adds to the momentum shifting the orbit, boosting the technique’s effectiveness. That factor depends on the asteroid’s composition and structure, and we need a close-up look to find out what that is.”

In 2002, Schweickart helped found the B612 Foundation (named for the planetoid in The Little Prince), whose primary mission is “protecting the Earth from asteroid impacts and informing and forwarding world-wide decision-making on planetary defense issues.” Since asteroids can hit anywhere on Earth, Schweickart has long advocated international cooperation in both deflecting space rocks and in determining which ones to hit. He sees the NASA/ESA tandem as the first example of this cooperation. Unfortunately, we’re barely into asteroid defection business and have no idea what an impact will do – it could actually push the space rock into a higher likelihood of impact.

“In that case the observer spacecraft would have another job to do – to switch to gravity tractor mode, using altimeters and ion engines to stay just away from the asteroid, and nudge its orbit enough to miss the keyhole as well as the planet.”

Astronaut Rusty Schweickart (Credit: NASA)

Rusty Schweickart makes it sound so easy and doable, but the former Apollo and Skylab astronaut knows the dangers of space. He was the backup pilot for Roger B. Chaffee on Apollo 1, which ended in the tragic deaths of the crew members in a ground test accident. He also knows how expensive a worldwide asteroid deflection system would be and how difficult it is to get nations to agree on anything, let alone unseen dangers from outer space. That’s why he stays involved in both the technology and the politics of space.

At 84, Rusty Schweickart is still influenced by that near-impact experience on Apollo 9. For that, we should all be grateful.

Source: Mysterious Universe

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