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Quote:China will begin trading its yuan currency directly with the Singapore dollar on Tuesday, the national foreign exchange market operator said, in the latest move to promote international use of Beijing's unit.

The Singapore dollar will be added to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System's (CFETS) platform, which currently offers transactions between the yuan and 10 foreign currencies, it said Monday.

The market operator will publish a daily parity between the yuan and the Singapore dollar based on quotes from market makers and allow the currency to move three percent on either side of the central midpoint, CFETS said in a statement on its website.

It added the move is intended to "promote the bilateral trade and investment between China and Singapore, facilitate the use of (yuan) and (Singapore dollar) in the cross-border trade and investment settlement (and) meet the needs of economic entities to lower currency conversion cost".
Pigs head campaign to continue against Woolworths pigs - COSAS WCape

[Image: B1Lv0OhIgAA8JVW.jpg:small]

Woolworths has not stopped its aggression towards Palestine and the supporters of Palestine. Instead of stopping supporting the murder of Palestinian Children, Woolworths bosses continue in a racist and arrogant support of Israeli Apartheid, insulting peaceful anti-Israeli Apartheid activists. We are angry that Woolworths does not respect our demands and the demands that thousands of South Africans have made. Woolworths and their corporate bosses are unwilling to stop supporting Israel. We will be increasing our efforts to expose Woolworths, we are not happy with what Woolworths are doing - it is outrageous.

COSAS is not a clown organization, we are a very serious powerful group of young people.

We will not waste time talking about the lies that we don't like Jewish people or Muslim people, we have no problem with people of all religions- they are our comrades. If Pig's heads, food our people eat, insults people they must explain why they are not insulted by the murder of Palestinian children.

There is no pigs' head scandal, the scandal is the pigs that head Woolworths and continue to support Apartheid Israel. COSAS will implement our campaign to bring Woolworths the pigs and if the pigs campaign is unsuccessful, we will consider more radical and militant actions to ensure that Woolworths learns to be humble towards the masses and our demands.

Since we informed the public of our intentions, we have received many messages of support from Jewish and Muslim people- in fact there is already a donation for the next ten pigs heads (by a Jewish person, who chose to remain anonymous).

Despite this support there were several counter-revolutionary, Zionist and racist attempts to silence us. People tried to intimidate us and to divide us, but COSAS Western Cape are more united than ever before. The messages sent to our provincial chairperson Cde Siphakamise Ngxowa, such as the following Facebook messages "You Kaffir dog, I will bite your balls off' another 'Hey boy you have AIDS" both from Sharon O'coonors will not scare us in our radical campaign against the disgusting pigs at Woolworths.

To show the heads of Woolworths that we are serious will soon be holding a press conference on the street outside the Woolworths headquarters, with several pig's heads that are heading towards their stores this week.

Quote:The same cells that give Darek Fidyka his sense of smell are also helping him walk again.

The Bulgarian man, who was paralyzed after a knife attack in 2010, can walk after doctors in Poland transplanted nerve cells from his nose into his severed spinal cord. The successful operation was the first of its kind for regenerative medicine, and Fidyka is believed to be the first man to walk again after having a completely severed spinal cord.

The Nose Knows?

We owe our sense of smell to a pair of nerve cell bundles called olfactory bulbs, which reside on the underside of our brains behind our eyes. These structures help us smell grandma’s apple pie, but they’re unique for another reason: They’re one of the few known parts of the nervous system that regenerates throughout life.

Doctors wanted to harness the regenerative capabilities of olfactory nerve cells, so they removed one of Fidyka’s olfactory bulbs in an operation two years ago. They took olfactory ensheathing cells from the bulb, and grew these regenerating cells in a petri dish. After two weeks, doctors injected the nose cells into the spinal cord. Doctors also transplanted four strips of Fidyka’s ankle nerve fibers to bridge the 8-milimeter gap in his severed spine, and allow a path for the cells to grow.

Within three months, the treatment was reaping rewards. Fidyka — paralyzed from the chest down — regained feeling in his lower extremities; his left leg developed muscle mass; and bladder, bowel and sexual functions even returned, the BBC reports. Most importantly, he can now walk once again with the assistance of a frame. Researchers published their results Tuesday in the journal Cell Transplantation.

Professor Geoffrey Raisman, whose team at University College London performed the technique, hopes to similarly treat three more people in Poland over the next few years if funding for medical trials can be obtained. He told the Guardian:

“We believe that this procedure is the breakthrough which, as it is further developed, will result in a historic change in the currently hopeless outlook for people disabled by spinal cord injury.”

However, the main takeaway from Fidyka’s story is that this procedure is proven to be safe, at least in one person. Researchers are now looking for the best source of olfactory sheathing cells, and are working to develop biomaterials to bridge the gap in severed spinal cords.
Black Pastor Is Robbed and Threatened After Supporting A Republican

CHICAGO— A high-profile African-American surrogate for Illinois gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner says his church was the target of a politically-motivated robbery over the weekend.

Rev. Corey Brooks, who has backed Republican Rauner in his tight race against Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, said about $8,000 was taken from a collection box from his New Beginnings Church this weekend.

The money was earmarked to help the prominent church on Chicago's South Side establish a new community center near the congregation hall.

Brooks, who has appeared in a political advertisement backing Rauner, says he received threatening messages by phone and over social media on Friday because of his support of the venture capitalist Rauner. In one audio recording that Brooks shared with WGN-TV, a caller left an expletive filled message in which she called "Uncle Tom" and Rauner's "puppet."

"It's is unfair that a person does not have a right to voice their opinion and speak about who they want to support, and that some people still feel you have got to stay on this Democratic plantation," Brooks said. "If you choose to leave it or go off it, we will attack you."

Quinn also weighed in, calling the alleged threats wrong.

"I don't believe in threats at anywhere in our democracy," Quinn said. "I support the voting rights amendment to make sure everyone has a right to vote and follow their conscience. That's what America's all about."

Rauner was scheduled to make an appearance at the Brooks church on Sunday.

"It's tragic," Rauner told reporters on Saturday. "We can't allow intimidation to come on to this race or into politics. People should be allowed to vote for who they want, support who they want."

Brooks has also endorsed Republican senate candidate Jim Oberweis in his race against the Democratic incumbent, Sen. Dick Durbin.

A Chicago Tribune poll in September found Quinn had the backing of 86% of African-American voters statewide in the survey. Rauner, however, has made a big push in recent weeks to try to whittle away at the governor's lead among a group that has historically overwhelmingly supported Democratic candidates.

He's enlisted Brooks and a few other high-profile African American pastors in Chicago to help him with his push in their communities.

Canada imposes visa ban on three Ebola-hit countries

(Reuters) - Canada will stop issuing visas to people from the three West African nations where Ebola is widespread, the government said on Friday.

The federal citizenship ministry, explaining the move, said in an official document that "the introduction or spread of the disease would pose an imminent and severe risk to public health".

About 5,000 people have died in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone this year in the worst Ebola outbreak on record. Fears rose that the disease could spread beyond the region after a few cases were diagnosed in Spain and the United States.

Canada, which has not reported any cases of Ebola, is following in the footsteps of Australia, which on Tuesday became the first rich nation to issue such a ban. The country's official in charge of the response to Ebola said the move was medically unjustified.

Under the new regulations, which come into force immediately, Canada will not process visa applications from foreign nationals who have been in an Ebola-affected country within the previous three months.

U.S. President Barack Obama is so far resisting pressure to impose similar travel restrictions.

The Conservative government's decision drew fire from Canada's official opposition New Democratic Party.

"The experts we’re relying on to fight Ebola are saying this is not the right approach," the party's health critic Libby Davies said in a statement.

Codie Taylor, the chief spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

china also doesn't have a travel ban meaning they don't think it's very serious.

i think a lot of people know this thing is hyped up
Oh it's on now.

China unveils anti-drone laser weapon able to shoot down 'small aircraft' within 5 seconds

China has developed and successfully tested a highly accurate laser defense system against light drones. The homemade machine boasts a two-kilometer range and can down "various small aircraft" within five seconds of locating its target.

Boasting high speed, great precision and low noise, the system is aimed at destroying unmanned, small-scale drones flying under an altitude of 500 meters and at speeds below 50 meters per second, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing a statement by one of the developers, the China Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP).

A recent test saw the machine successfully bring down over 30 drones - a 100-percent success rate, according to the statement. The laser system is expected to play a key role in ensuring security during major events in urban areas.

"Intercepting such drones is usually the work of snipers and helicopters, but their success rate is not as high and mistakes with accuracy can result in unwanted damage," explained Yi Jinsong, a manager with China Jiuyuan Hi-Tech Equipment Corp.

Yi told Xinhua that small-scale, unmanned drones are relatively cheap and easy to use, which makes them a lucrative choice for terrorists. Concerns have also been raised recently over drones involved in unlicensed mapping activities, and the negative effect this could have on both military and civil aerial activities.

The academy is currently working on developing similar laser security systems with greater power and range, the Chinese news agency reported.

The drone industry has been booming in recent years, with the challenge to build small, hard-to-track drones that are difficult shoot down.

i saw a drone in China for the first time.. it was nuts.. it could very fast.
Facebook is first social media giant to venture into the ‘dark Web’

Facebook wants to get to know you. Intimately.

The ubiquitous social media platform peeks at other Web sites its users visit. Company founder Mark Zuckerberg has talked about privacy as a fading social norm. And the site almost banned pseudonymous drag queens.

But now, Zuckerberg will give Facebook users entree to the anonymous “dark Web” with software called Tor — a first for a Silicon Valley monolith.

“Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world,” according to the software’s Web site. “It prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location.”

Like Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, Tor allows those accessing Facebook to spy on exes’ relationship statuses or “friend” Justin Bieber without anyone knowing — even, despite its best efforts, the National Security Agency.

Facebook explained the collaboration via a post called “Making Facebook Connections More Secure” on Oct. 31. It’s available now via this magic URL, as Alec Muffett, a software engineer at the company, explained:

To make their experience more consistent with our goals of accessibility and security, we have begun an experiment which makes Facebook available directly over Tor network at the following URL:


[ NOTE: link will only work in Tor-enabled browsers ]

The goal is not keeping Facebook from tracking users’ activity. Tor won’t stop that — but it will help prevent evildoers from watching Facebook users use Facebook.

“No, you’re not anonymous to Facebook when you log in, but this provides a huge benefit for users who want security and privacy,” Runa Sandvik, a former Tor developer who Facebook said advised the project, told Wired. “You get around the censorship and local adversarial surveillance, and it adds another layer of security on top of your connection.”

Indeed, Tor could prove important in nations with “adversarial surveillance” such as China and Iran that have sought to limit access to Facebook. After Zuckerberg’s recent trip to China — where he showed off his Mandarin — a method to make his site accessible to more than 1 billion people who can’t currently use it seems much-needed.

“We are already in China,” Zuckerberg said in Beijing last month. “We want to help Chinese customers to connect to the world.”

Facebook and Tor are unlikely allies — the Oscar and Felix of Web 2.0. The social network’s security mechanisms were often fooled into thinking someone who accessed Facebook with Tor “appears to be connecting from Australia at one moment may the next appear to be in Sweden or Canada” and was the victim of hacking. Such users were often blocked.

No more. Now, the new platform works as well as the cassette-to-CD adapter in a 1990 Chevy Celebrity — though some commenters on Muffett’s post remained suspicious. When a company notoriously disinterested in privacy builds an anonymous platform and offers its hand in encrypted friendship, some look for the hand buzzer.

“Uhhh.. the purpose of using Tor is to be anonymous,” one commenter noted, “which absolutely runs counter to FB’s insistence that users only use their REAL NAMES. What gives FB, this is just more marketing BS, because I’d still be using my screen name if you were *really* interested in security and anonymity for your users.”

As another user put it: “It’s a TRAP!”

lol @ faceberg

A narcissistic sociopath is unable to tolerate criticism and needs constant praise, as well as deference from other people. Many with this condition present themselves in the best light possible and are able to easily charm others to gain their trust.

Quote:President Obama did something extraordinary, perhaps unprecedented, in his post-election news conference Wednesday: He claimed a mandate on behalf of voters who didn't vote.

"To everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you," the president said. "To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too."

What did that mean? What did those non-voters say?

It would probably be more useful to ask what the president heard. And apparently Obama heard expressions of support from non-voters across the land.

The president explained that many more voters turned out when he was elected, and then re-elected, than in Tuesday's midterms that left Republicans firmly in control of House and Senate. "One of the things that I'm very proud of in 2008 and 2012, when I ran for office, was we got people involved who hadn't been involved before," Obama said. "Part of what I also think we've got to look at is that two-thirds of people who were eligible to vote just didn't vote."

Of course, more than one-third of the people who were eligible to vote in Obama's two presidential elections didn't vote then, either. But Obama's message to Republicans was unmistakable: My mandate is bigger than your mandate.

Certainly presidential-year turnout is larger than midterm turnout; that's the way the system works. But Obama's reaction was born out of failure.

Everyone knew, going into Tuesday's voting, that Democrats were desperate to re-assemble the vaunted Obama coalition of 2008 and 2012. If that combination of minorities, women and young people came to the midterm polls in the same numbers they did in presidential years, Obama's party would do very well.

But that didn't happen — a result the president does not seem prepared to fully acknowledge. Facing the reality of a huge Republican victory, Obama spoke at his post-defeat news conference as if the voters who supported him in '08 and '12 had made a sort of virtual trip to the polls in 2014, delivering a silent but more powerful message than the one sent by Americans who actually turned out.

Perhaps Obama felt as if he had to read the results that way. After all, a more reality-based look at what happened would have been a humbling experience for a man who in the past has known great success with voters.

Remember that a month before the midterms, Obama declared that his policies "are on the ballot, every single one of them." Then Americans actually cast those ballots, and Obama's party lost decisively. A reasonable interpretation would be that voters broadly rejected the president's policies. So Obama looked for another way to read the results.

Mentally, the president appears stuck in 2012, a year when he won re-election and had a chance to enact a second-term agenda. Back then, he hoped for victories on gun control, immigration and the environment. But he got very little done. Now, having lost big in his second midterms, Obama is trying to remind everyone that he used to be a winner.

The problem is presidential terms last four years, but presidential mandates don't. George W. Bush won re-election in 2004 and used his victory to try to enact Social Security reform. He failed and two years later paid for the unpopularity of his policies — most notably, the Iraq war — with a huge defeat in the 2006 midterms.

By the time Bush lost Congress, his mandate was gone, and he was reduced to exercising the core constitutional powers of the presidency. Bush would have been laughed out of the room if, in his famous "thumping" post-election news conference of Nov. 8, 2006, he had pointed to his victories in 2000 and 2004 as evidence of some sort of virtual mandate bequeathed by voters who hadn't actually shown up at the midterm polls.

Instead, Bush's acceptance of defeat was model of reality-based politics. "I'm obviously disappointed with the outcome of the election, and as the head of the Republican Party, I share a large part of the responsibility," Bush said. "Look, this was a close election. If you look at race by race, it was close. The cumulative effect, however, was not too close. It was a thumping."

Obama didn't come anywhere near that sort of acknowledgment. If he doesn't eventually accept what happened Tuesday, the nation could be in for two years of a president living in the past, pointing to a mandate that is long past its sell-by date.


Thin-Skinned Obama Gets ‘All Wee Weed Up’ Over Michael Jordan Criticizing His Golf Game

Only a few days ago, we reported that Hall-of-Fame former NBA star Michael Jordan was highly critical of Obama’s golf game, calling him a “hack” and a “sh*tty” golfer.

Rather than let the matter die, as most presidents would probably due, overly thin-skinned Obama just couldn’t let the comment wither on the vine without trying to get the last word in. In essence, to use a term he used in 2009, he got “all wee-weed up.”

“Mike and I, we know each other, but I’ve never played golf with him,” Obama told Wisconsin radio station WJMR. “Michael wasn’t very well-informed about this. I think he might’ve just been trying to give Ahmad [Rashad] an extra ratings boost for his show,” Obama argued.

Obama has been roundly condemned for playing a massive amount of golf during his dictatorship presidency, reportedly playing 200 rounds of golf, some of it during either national or international crisis, leaving much of the country questioning his priorities.

“But there is no doubt that Michael is a better golfer than I am,” Obama conceited. Of course, if I was playing twice a day for the last 15 years, then that might not be the case,” Obama bragged.

Obama, in unbelievable hypocrisy, then blasted Jordan for playing too much golf, and not paying enough attention to his day job as an owner of the Charlotte NBA basketball team.

“He might want to spend more time thinking about the Bobcats — or the Hornets,” Obama said.

Of course, many would like Obama to pay more attention to the country and spend a little less time golfing. According to Tuesday’s Republican blowout, it looks like many Americans can’t wait until Obama has the time to play twice a day.

Who shot bin Laden? Former Navy SEALS make rival claims

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Members of the U.S. Navy Seal commando team that killed Osama bin Laden at his Pakistan hideout in May, 2011 are making conflicting claims as to who actually shot the al Qaeda leader.

The Washington Post published a story on Thursday quoting Rob O'Neill, a former SEAL, as claiming to have fired the fatal shot that hit bin Laden in the forehead after O'Neill stormed into a room in bin Laden's house in Abbottabad.

The claim by O'Neill, who travels the country giving motivational speeches, was countered by a source close to another SEAL team member.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the team member told him the fatal shot was fired by one of two other men who entered the room before O'Neill.

The Post said O'Neill acknowledged shots were fired at bin Laden by at least two other Seal team members, including Matt Bissonnette, a former Seal who wrote a 2012 book about the raid entitled "No Easy Day."

The book did not identify the person who shot bin Laden.

NBC News quoted Bissonnette on Thursday as saying: "Two different people telling two different stories for two different reasons ... Whatever he (O'Neill) says, he says. I don’t want to touch that."

Last year, after Esquire Magazine published an interview with an anonymous SEAL member, now widely reported to have been O'Neill, who claimed to have shot bin Laden, other media outlets questioned the account.

An article entitled "Who really killed bin Laden," by Peter Bergen, a CNN analyst and al Qaeda expert, quoted a then-serving SEAL team member saying the story as presented by Esquire was "complete B.S."

A representative of a speaker's organization which says it represents O'Neill said he was unavailable to comment. O'Neill's page on the website of the organization describes his career as a SEAL, but makes no mention of a role in killing bin Laden.

Bissonnette's lawyer, Robert Luskin, acknowledged Thursday that Bissonnette for some time had been under criminal investigation by both the Naval Criminal Investigation Service and the Justice Department for possible violations of a U.S. espionage law because he did not seek official clearance before publishing his book.

Bissonnette denies wrongdoing

NY State blesses ‘incest’ marriage between uncle, niece

The state’s highest court has toppled a cultural taboo — legalizing a degree of incest, at least between an uncle and niece — in a unanimous ruling.

While the laws against “parent-child and brother-sister marriages . . . are grounded in the almost universal horror with which such marriages are viewed . . . there is no comparably strong objection to uncle-niece marriages,” Tuesday’s ruling reads.

Judge Robert Smith of the Court of Appeals wrote that such unions were lawful in New York until 1893 and Rhode Island allows them.

The decision stems from a case brought by Vietnamese citizen Huyen Nguyen, 34, a woman who had appealed a ruling by an immigration judge.

The judge had tried to boot her from the United States after declaring that her 2000 marriage in Rochester to her mother’s half-brother was invalid.

Nguyen and her husband, Vu Truong, 38, appealed and won.

“I’m very happy for my clients,” said their lawyer, Michael Marszalkowski.

“They’ve been married 14 years now, but unfortunately, for half the time, there has been this concern over their heads about whether [the immigration issue] could be resolved. Thankfully, now it has been,” Marszalkowski said.

Marszalkowski said he won the case by zeroing in on the language of the state’s domestic-relations law.

The statute reads that “a marriage is incestuous and void whether the relatives are legitimate or illegitimate between either: 1. An ancestor and a descendant; 2. A brother and sister of either the whole or half blood; 3. An uncle and niece or an aunt and nephew.”

Incest is a crime punishable by a $50 to $100 fine and up to six months in jail.

Marszalkowski determined that as a matter of consanguinity, or blood relations, half-uncles and nieces share the same level of genetic ties as first cousins — or only one-eighth the same DNA.

“It really was the equivalent of cousins marrying, which has been allowed in New York state for well over 100 years,” Marszalkowski said.

Those on the six-person judicial panel acknowledged that they are not scientists, but noted that the “genetic risk in a half-uncle, half-niece relationship is half what it would be if the parties were related by the full blood.”

Nguyen and her husband, a truck driver, still live in Rochester and do not have any children.

She sued the US Attorney General Eric Holder, who enforces the country’s immigration laws.

A spokesman from his office did not return a message.

Family law expert Michael Stutman of the firm Mishcon de Reya, who is not involved in the case, said the ruling is in synch with today’s modern families.

“As people are more mobile and living longer marriages are ending and people remarry and you get blended families with step children and half children,” Stutman reasoned.

“There are plenty of other societies that allow so-called intermarriage without worrying about genetic defects. And frankly we have a long history of cousins marrying each other, take FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt,” he said.

The president and his wife were fifth cousins once removed.

Cops burst into school, weapons drawn, in surprise ‘active shooter drill’

Quote:Teachers and students at a Florida middle school got the shock of their lives as an unannounced ‘lockdown active shooter drill’ sparked panic as police burst into classrooms with weapons drawn, drawing sharp criticism from the community.

Students at Jewett Middle Academy in Winter Haven, Florida, spoke of the terror they experienced as police officers carried out their ‘active shooter drill’ inside classrooms – without informing teachers ahead of time about the exercise.

READ MORE: Massachusetts school installs ‘Shooter Detection System’

Lauren Marionneaux, a seventh-grader, told WTVT-TV that when the police officers crashed into her classroom with weapons drawn, she immediately imagined the worst.

"A lot of people started getting scared because we thought it was a real drill," Lauren said. "We actually thought that someone was going to come in there and kill us."

Later, school officials sent an email to inform parents about the drill, which was compared to fire drills that schools regularly conduct.

“Parents, students and staff are typically not notified about lockdown drills. For example, we do not give advanced notice of fire drills in order to evaluate how safety procedures work...We regret any concern that parents and students might have experienced in how the drill was conducted," the letter stated.

But for many parents, however, receiving a letter from school officials after the fact was unacceptable.

Stacy Ray, whose daughter texted her during the police exercise, said she believed the school was experiencing a real live shooting.

"I'm panicking because I'm thinking that it's a legitimate shooter coming, that something bad is happening at the school," Ray told Fox 13. The video below shows police officers in an 'active shooter exercise' in the state of Massachusetts.

^ more fear mongering.
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