BBC News – Syria hands in chemical weapons destruction plan

Syria has handed in a plan for the destruction of its chemical weapons to the watchdog monitoring the process.

In a statement, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical weapons (OPCW) said the declaration was submitted three days ahead of schedule.

OPCW inspectors are also due to complete visiting the last four of 23 weapons sites declared by Syria.

The OPCW\’s mission was set up following outrage at a chemical weapons attack near the Syrian capital in August.

Sixty inspectors have been in Syria since 1 October. The OPCW, which is based in The Hague, said on Friday that its team in Syria had visited 19 of the 23 sites disclosed by Syria.

via BBC News – Syria hands in chemical weapons destruction plan.

TERENA> Webcam> Koningsplein webcam, Amsterdam

Amsterdam Live stream with sound.

The camera is mounted on the outside of our office, on the 4th floor. The office is in central Amsterdam above the Singel canal and the busy junction between the flower market (off-screen right) the roads that run between the shops, hotels, cinemas and restaurants at Leidseplein (bottom right corner) and the popular shopping areas of Spui (top left) and Kalverstraat (top centre). Check the Contact page for details and a photo of the office building. To be specific, the camera is located below the turret, a little to the right.

via TERENA> Webcam> Koningsplein webcam, Amsterdam.

Aquaponic Farm Grows Produce Year-round and Creates Jobs for Young Adults with Autism

Since the launch of Green Bridge Growers almost 15 months ago in South Bend Indiana, the organization has focused on growing produce sustainably with aquaponic methods while recruiting young adults with autism to work at the farm.

Jan Pilarski, co-founder and CEO at Green Bridge Growers, started the organization with the aid of her son, Chris Tidmarsh, who has autism.

“My son Chris and I share an interest in growing food sustainably, but came to that independently and by different paths,” Pilarski said. “In the workshops and conferences we participated in three years ago related to food justice and sustainable farming, we were exposed to aquaponics. That model of sustainable, year-round growing appealed to us both.”

via Aquaponic Farm Grows Produce Year-round and Creates Jobs for Young Adults with Autism.

BND to spend €100 mln on internet spying – The Local

Spy vs Spy being revived as comic, comic opera and TV show? Angela will take Natasha’s part and toss up who will be the new Boris – but Putin wants the job?

The money is to be spent on new technology and on hiring as many as 100 new employees, the service wrote. The €100 million is to be spent over a five year period, but the federal government has already released €5 million for the first phase.

The BND is moving forward with its plans despite criticism over the US spying programme. The agency, like the US National Security Agency, wants to be sure that it can survey cross-border data traffic.

The story said that German law allows for spy agencies to monitor as much as 20 percent of communication between Germany and other countries, but due to technical limitations only five percent of such traffic is being monitored.

These include emails, telephone calls, Facebook postings and Skype conversations.

In contrast to the US, which can make a record of suspicious communications, German spies have tighter restrictions. Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich is calling for a loosening of those regulations.

Friedrich also defended the US from German criticism of the recently revealed spying program, saying “That’s not how you treat friends who are our most important partner in the fight against terrorism. He made his comments to the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

Friedrich said Germany is dependent on information delivered from the US and Der Spiegel noted that there has been a considerable exchange of information between Germany and the US and that many attacks in Germany have been prevented, in part, by US information.

via BND to spend €100 mln on internet spying – The Local.

Egyptian Aak. Week 43


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Why I hate Malala – Not

Do you still not see why instead of going through the hassle of an ideological metamorphosis and purging myself of the ideals I’ve spent all my life with, it’s a million times more convenient to just buy the conspiracy theories? I hate Malala because it’s by far the most convenient choice.

I hate Malala because then I don’t have to look at myself in the mirror. I hate Malala because then I can keep my head buried in the sand. I hate Malala because then marrying my daughter off would be my sole responsibility towards her. I hate Malala because then I don’t have to regret all those times my mother fed me with her own hands while my sister was busy washing the dishes. I hate Malala because it helps me sleep peacefully, with my sense of superiority very much intact.

via Why I hate Malala.

Without a new farm bill, welcome back 1949

If Congress fails to pass a farm bill by the end of the year, farm programs will likely take a trip back to the days of the Truman Administration.

The 1949 farm bill, the last piece of permanent farm legislation passed by that Congress, represented a conglomeration of 1940s and 1930s farming practices, according to Mike Traxinger, legislative spokesperson for the South Dakota Farmers Union.

The commodity price supports and planting restrictions included in the 1949 farm bill are dated. The threat of reverting to those subsidies has always provided the nudge Congress has needed to enact a new farm bill, Traxinger said.

via Without a new farm bill, welcome back 1949.

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