Swine Flu Outbreak Map

24 July 2009


Spy Agencies Hid True Number of Employees
from SpyTalk by Jeff Stein

It took only a couple months and about 100 CIA operatives and Special Forces troops, supported by U.S. air power, to chase the Taliban out of Kabul in 2001.

In contrast, the only thing the four-year-old Directorate of National Intelligence seems to be accomplishing is hiring more Washington bureaucrats.

Meanwhile, the Senate Intelligence Committee has found that at least some of the spy agencies under DNI's purview have not been reporting their true numbers of employees.



Swine flu cases double to 100,000 in Britain
from CNN.com

There were 100,000 new cases of swine flu in England last week, nearly double the number from the previous seven days, authorities announced Friday.



CIA Sat on Alleged Drone Hit on Bin Laden’s Kid
from Danger Room by Adam Rawnsley

U.S. drones may have killed one of Osama Bin Laden’s sons in Pakistan, according to a variety of reports. But the CIA has sat on the news for months for the ambiguous purpose of “messing with al-Qaeda.”

Saad Bin Laden, an al-Qaeda member and the eldest son of Osama Bin Laden and his first wife, Najwa Ghanem, is reported to have been killed by a drone strike in Pakistan sometime the past few months. In the absence of DNA evidence from the strike’s aftermath, one source told NPR that U.S. officials remain “80-85 percent certain” of Saad’s death. News of his apparent death was gleaned from intercepted communications and reports from the field, American officials say.



Records: American Trained With Al Qaeda in Pakistan
from FOXNews.com

Bryant Neal Vinas took courses in plastic explosives and bomb theory, according to a statement he gave to investigators as part of a terrorism case in Belgium



Report: Cleric issues fatwa against VP pick
from CNN.com

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent pick for the country's top vice president continued to draw fire Thursday, with a senior cleric issuing a fatwa against the appointment, a leading reformist newspaper reported Sunday.



Researcher raids browser history for webmail login tokens
from The Register

In a disclosure that has implications for the security of e-commerce and Web 2.0 sites everywhere, a researcher has perfected a technique for stealing unique identifiers used to prevent unauthorized access to email accounts and other private resources.



Police: 3rd bomb in Jakarta attack malfunctioned (AP)
from AP

The suicide attackers who struck the Indonesian capital last week planted a third bomb intended to send panicked crowds to hotel lobbies where the other bombs would explode, but the device's timer malfunctioned, police said Friday.



Troops Say Unfit Linguists Being Recruited for Afghanistan
from Associated Press by Jason Straziuso

Josh Habib lay in a dirt field, gasping for air. Two days of hiking with Marines through southern Afghanistan’s 115-degree Fahrenheit heat had exhausted him. This was not what he signed up for.

Habib is not a Marine. He is a 53-year-old engineer from California hired by a contracting company as a military translator. When he applied for the lucrative linguist job, Habib said his recruiter gave no hint he would join a ground assault in Taliban land. He carried 40 pounds of food, water and gear on his back, and kept pace - barely - with Marines half his age.

US troops say companies that recruit military translators are sending linguists to southern Afghanistan who are unprepared to serve in combat, even as hundreds more are needed to support the growing number of troops. Some translators are in their 60s and 70s and in poor physical condition - and some don’t even speak the right language.



Israeli Warships' Passage Through Suez Canal Causes a Stir
from Los Angeles Times by Jeffrey Fleishman and Batsheva Sobelman

There's no sneaking a warship through the Suez Canal, so it's best to sail through and remain coy. Israel has done just that.

At least two of its missile-class Saar 5 warships and a Dolphin submarine have sailed through the canal in recent weeks, prompting conjecture about Israel's intentions. Possible scenarios include the sending of a message to Iran about Israeli military might and giving the impression that Israel and Egypt, which controls the Suez, are closely cooperating against regional security threats.

The Israeli government has said little about why the vessels were on missions that took them through the Suez, but they come as Israel has grown insistent on stopping Iran's nuclear program. That fits in with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's attempts to link the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with agreements from Arab states to help Israel counter Iran.




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