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Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

‘Spamhaus mafia tactics – main threat to Internet freedom’: CyberBunker explains largest cyber-attack

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 28, 2013

Spamhaus is a major censorship organization only pretending to fight spam, a CyberBunker spokesman said in an RT exclusive. Sven Olaf Kamphuis claimed that as a constant bully of Internet service providers Spamhaus has only itself to blame for the attack.

In a Skype interview with RT, Kamphuis denied that CyberBunker was the organization behind the historical attack, pointing the finger at a large collective of internet providers around the globe called Stophaus.com.

Spamhaus has blackmailed a number of internet service providers and carriers into disconnecting clients without court orders or any legal process, Kamphuis says. Basically, he accuses them of claiming people are spammers when they are not.

“They do it on a regular basis,” Kamphuis said. “If people do not comply with their demands they just list the entire internet provider.”

Kamphuis claims they use “mafia tactics” and have a list of internet users that they do not like, which features a lot of users from China and Russia because they allegedly believe that a lot of spammers and criminals in these two countries use the internet to facilitate crime.

Spamhaus first reported massive DDoS attacks on March 20. At one point Spamhaus servers were flooded with 300 billion bits per second (300Gbps) of data, making it the largest registered attack of this kind in the history of the internet, according to Kaspersky anti-virus giant’s experts.

Image from cyberbunker.com
Image from cyberbunker.com

“The data flow generated by such an attack may affect intermediate network nodes when it passes them, thus impeding operations of normal web services that have no relation to Spamhaus or CyberBunker,”corporate communications manager at Kaspersky, Yuliya Krivosheina, wrote in a statement for RT.“Therefore, such DDoS attack may affect regular users as well, with network slowdown or total unavailability of certain web resources being typical symptoms.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Not so noble: EU’s Peace Prize win sparks debate over legitimacy

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 11, 2012

The European Union’s presidents have received this year’s Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the 27-member group. However, growing numbers of critics have pointed to the EU’s economic and foreign policy failures, arguing the prize is undeserved.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz have accepted the 930,000-euro ($1.2 million) award on behalf of the EU.

In his acceptance speech, Van Rompuy praised postwar leaders in France and Germany who created the EU by uniting their economic interests: “The EU’s secret weapon – an unrivalled way of binding our interests so tightly that war becomes impossible.”

The French and German representatives at the ceremony – President Francois Hollande and Chancellor Angela Merkel, respectively – greeted the award with standing ovations.

But critics argued the award was an inappropriate honor. Six EU leaders, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, did not attend the event. The initial news that the European Union won the 2012 Peace Prize sparked heated debate over whether the award was being discredited, a debate that also raged after US President Barack Obama’s win in 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

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What If Rich Countries Shut the Door on Immigration?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 21, 2012

They would start to look like North Korea, says an Oxford professor
image: An Italian coastguard boat carrying migrants of an undetermined nationality sails into the island port in Lampedusa, Italy, Aug. 24, 2011.

TULLIO M. PUGLIA / GETTY IMAGES
An Italian coast-guard boat carrying migrants of an undetermined nationality heads to the island port in Lampedusa, Italy, on Aug. 24, 2011

This is a “what if” interview from the World Economic Forum’s Risk Response Network. To view the rest of the series, click here.

Amid a global recession, catastrophic rates of unemployment in developed countries and a rising tide of xenophobia, the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with TIME, speaks with Ian Goldin, director of the Oxford Martin School and a professor of globalization and development at the University of Oxford, about the likelihood of anti-immigrant policies coming to the fore. Goldin warns that such policies would not only harm communities the world over, but be counterproductive.

Are we in the throes of a global backlash against immigration?
We’re seeing an increasing focus on immigration in response to the severe economic crisis, rising unemployment and falling living standards. As has happened throughout history, there’s a tendency to blame immigrants for these problems. Politically, it’s an easy option, but it’s never worked out too well as a strategy. Read the rest of this entry »

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No DNA link to Assange in condom central to sex assault case

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 18, 2012

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (AFP Photo/Carl Court)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (AFP Photo/Carl Court)

A ripped condom given to Swedish police by one of Julian Assange’s accusers does not contain the WikiLeaks founder’s DNA, forensic scientists have reportedly found.

In a 100-page document shown to Assange’s lawyers, it was revealed that the torn prophylactic, having been examined by staff at two forensic laboratories, did not bear conclusive evidence that Assange had ever worn it, the Daily Mail reported on Sunday.

Assange’s lawyers said the lack of DNA evidence on the condom, which was allegedly used during a supposed August 2010 sexual assault, indicates that a fake one could have been submitted.

The woman in question, now aged 33, claims to have been molested by Assange at her flat in Stockholm. She says that at one point he deliberately broke a condom in order to have unprotected sex with her.

Assange claims he had consensual sex with the woman, but denies intentionally tearing the condom. He had previously told police that he continued to stay at her residence for the week following the alleged incident, saying his accuser never made any mention of the ripped condom.

But DNA purportedly belonging to Assange was present on a condom submitted by a second woman, who has accused him of rape, prompting Swedish authorities to push ahead with their bid to have him extradited from the UK. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nine Reasons Why This Economy Feels So Bad

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 8, 2012

The recent slump has been unusually painful, and the feeble recovery has been disappointing. But today’s economy seems even worse than it actually is.
 
Man holding empty wallet

H. ARMSTRONG ROBERTS / RETROFILE / GETTY IMAGES

Recent U.S. economic troubles are often referred to as the Great Recession, implicitly equating them with conditions during the Great Depression. Yet by many measures the economic deterioration of the past few years is not as serious as in some earlier downturns. The drop in GDP from peak to trough for the 2007-09 recession was indeed severe, 4.7% compared with 3.2% for the 1973-75 recession. Still, it doesn’t begin to compare with the 26% decline of the early 1930s, the 18% of the 1937-38 recession or even the 12% of the often-overlooked 1945 slump. And peak unemployment was higher not only during the Great Depression, but also during the recession of the early 1980s.

Moreover, if you look beyond the national averages, several past recessions have been more destructive in certain specific regions. Rust Belt manufacturing was badly battered in the 1970s – indeed, Detroit and the U.S. auto industry have never fully recovered. And the Oil & Gas business, especially in Texas, needed a long time to bounce back from the 1980s. All things considered, the recent recession may have been worse than average, but it was hardly unprecedented – and nowhere near comparable to what happened in the 1930s. So why do today’s economic troubles seem even worse than they are? Here are nine reasons:

The recovery has been hugely disappointing. Compared with today’s feeble gains, the rebounds that followed the deep recessions of 1973-75 and the early 1980s were robust. Within 18 months, real GDP growth touched 9% and remained well above average for several years. By contrast, the current recovery has failed to get much beyond 4% at best and has averaged less than  2.25% over the three years since the official end of the recession. Read the rest of this entry »

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97-yr-old ‘Most Wanted’ Nazi war criminal arrested in Hungary

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 19, 2012

Ladislaus Csizsik-Csatary (Reuters/Laszlo Balogh)

Hungarian prosecutors have taken into custody the Nazi-era war crimes suspect Ladislaus Csizsik-Csatary, 97, who reportedly helped organizing the 1944 deportation of 15,700 Jews to Auschwitz.

He worked as a police commander in a Slovakian ghetto, at the helm of a brutal regime in the city of Kosice, where 140 people were allegedly driven to suicide to escape his torture in 1941-45.

Csizsik-Csatary fled to Canada under a new identity after being sentenced to death in absentia in 1948. He spent almost half a century in Canada, selling works of art. But his true identity was revealed in 1997 and he went on the run again, where he managed to evade capture for fifteen more years.

In April 2012, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, a human rights organization, listed Csizsik-Csatary as the most wanted war crimes suspect.

He was eventually tracked down by journalists from the British tabloid ‘The Sun’, who collaborated their efforts with the Wiesenthal Centre. Csizsik-Csatary opened the door in his socks and underpants. Once asked if he could justify his past, he stammered, ‘No, no. Go away’, and slammed the door in the face of the correspondents. Read the rest of this entry »

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Baltic ‘UFO’: New dive, new details (PHOTOS)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 18, 2012

Image from vaghauk.deviantart.com

Image from vaghauk.deviantart.com

A “UFO-shaped” object, found at the bottom of the Baltic Sea last year, has puzzled many. And a Swedish expedition that plunged into the deep eventually surfaced with more questions than answers.

Covered in soot, with little “fireplace”-like structures and lying at the end of a 300-meter “runway” – this is not something you would expect to find sitting on the sea floor. And whatever you think about extraterrestrial life, “the thing” is still there and there has to be an explanation. So what could it be?

On June 19, 2011, a team of Swedish treasure hunters was exploring the bottom of the Baltic Sea with their sonars when they noticed a bizarre, disc-like structure at a depth of 90 meters. Back then, international experts failed to explain the sonar images. In 2012, after months of preparation, the Ocean X Team, as they call themselves, went back in order to unveil the mystery.

“We’ve heard lots of different kinds of explanations, from George Lucas’s spaceship – the Millennium Falcon – to ‘It’s some kind of plug to the inner world,’ like it should be hell down there or something,” The Daily Mail quoted one of the founders of the Ocean X Team, Peter Lindberg, as saying.

The Millennium Falcon, Star Wars ship
The Millennium Falcon, Star Wars ship Read the rest of this entry »

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Amnesty: EU does not value migrants’ lives

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 14, 2012

Migrants from North Africa arrive in the southern Italian island of Lampedusa March 7, 2011. (Reuters/Antonio Parrinello)

Migrants from North Africa arrive in the southern Italian island of Lampedusa March 7, 2011. (Reuters/Antonio Parrinello)

Europe cares about reinforcing its borders but not about human lives. The criticism comes from Amnesty International, which says in its report that European governments often endanger asylum-seekers by preventing them from reaching European shores.

The human rights group says its campaign is aimed at holding to account any European country that practises human rights violations in the way it enforces migration controls.

“Today, Europe is failing to promote and respect the rights of migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees,” Amnesty alleges in a statement according to AP. “Hostility is widespread and mistreatment often goes unreported.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Euro Zone Agrees To Lend Spain Up To 100 Billion Euros

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 10, 2012

* Euro zone agrees to lend Spain up to 100 bln euros

* Spain and Eurogroup say bailout will banish any doubts

* Madrid will specify precisely how much after bank audits

* Heated debate over role of IMF in bailout

* Money would be paid by Spain’s bank restructuring fund

By Luke Baker and Julien Toyer

BRUSSELS/MADRID, June 9 (Reuters) – Euro zone finance ministers agreed on Saturday to lend Spain up to 100 billion euros ($125 billion) to shore up its teetering banks and Madrid said it would specify precisely how much it needs once independent audits report in just over a week.

After a 2-1/2-hour conference call of the 17 finance ministers, which several sources described as heated, the Eurogroup and Madrid said the amount of the bailout would be sufficiently large to banish any doubts.

“The loan amount must cover estimated capital requirements with an additional safety margin, estimated as summing up to 100 billion euros in total,” a Eurogroup statement said.

Spain said it wanted aid for its banks but would not specify the precise amount until two independent consultancies – Oliver Wyman and Roland Berger – deliver their assessment of the banking sector’s capital needs some time before June 21.

“The Spanish government declares its intention to request European financing for the recapitalisation of the Spanish banks that need it,” Economy Minister Luis de Guindos told a news conference in Madrid.

He said the amounts needed would be manageable, and that the funds requested would amply cover any needs. Read the rest of this entry »

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Greece’s Exit From The Euro Zone Approaches, While Europe Fiddles

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 25, 2012

By Mark Gonglof

Greek Exit Euro Zone
A Greek flag flies next to a statue of ancient Greek philosopher Socrates in the center of Athens on 23 May, 2012. European leaders are considering the repercussions of Greece leaving the euro zone.

Europe and Greece are at the stage in their stormy marriage where they are consulting with divorce lawyers. And we may all feel the pain of their breakup.

On Thursday a Markit Economics indextracking European service-sector and factory activity in May tumbled to its lowest level since June 2009, suggesting a deeper economic contraction. A separate Markit index of German factory activity also tumbled, as did an Ifo Institute index of German corporate confidence, both suggesting the core of the European economy is suffering, too.

Meanwhile, new public polling in Greece showed the anti-austerity Syriza partygaining more support than ever ahead of elections scheduled for June 17 — even as 85 percent of Greeks polled said they wanted the country to stay in the euro zone.

A formal European summit is scheduled for the end of June, several days after the Greek election. Many observers fear that, by then, it will be too late for decisive action to keep Greece in the euro zone.

The euro fell on Thursday to $1.253, its lowest level in nearly two years. But European stocks rallied, in part on a hope that the European Central Bank will come to the rescue with rate cuts and fresh support for struggling sovereign debt. Germany’s DAX index edged up by about 0.5 percent, while France’s CAC 40 rose 1.2 percent. Read the rest of this entry »

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Europe History Time Lapse Map Goes Viral (VIDEO)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 17, 2012

Huffington Post

Always wanted to learn more about European history but could never find the time? Look no further than the time-lapse map in the video above, which has boiled down the continent’s history into just three-and-a-half minutes.

The map traces changes in Europe’s borders from 1000 AD until 2003, and was created using software from the Centennia Historical Atlas. Read the rest of this entry »

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Scheng-end: ‘Sieve-like Europe’ to close open borders?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 26, 2012

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Assange show premiere: Time to watch ‘The World Tomorrow’ (PHOTOS)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 14, 2012

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The Happiest Countries Are in Northern Europe

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 31, 2012

By John Halliwell, Richard Layard and Jefferey Sachs

Is it possible to measure the happiness of the world’s population? Remarkably it is, and the first World Happiness Report published today does just that.

Even more remarkable is next Monday’s United Nations conference on happiness, for which the report was prepared. Last July the UN General Assembly invited all member governments to give more importance to happiness as a goal of public policy and mandated this conference as part of the process.

This means that there is now high world-level support for the demand that governments pay more attention to the happiness of their peoples when they form their policies. This is not, we emphasize, a matter of following the whims, fads, and consumer urges of the population. These do not, according to the evidence, lead to happiness. It is, rather, a matter of helping societies to find a path to what really matters more deeply and lastingly for well-being.

So what does matter in determining the happiness or life satisfaction in a nation? Income of course matters to everyone, especially the poorest. As the report shows, the richest countries are a lot happier than the poorest. The four happiest are all in Northern Europe (Denmark, Norway, Finland and the Netherlands) and the four least happy are in Sub-Saharan Africa. On a 0-10 scale, the average life evaluation score is 7.6 in the first four countries and only 3.4 in the last four. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Portugal May Be the Next Greece

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 28, 2012

The worst is over for the euro zone, the experts say. But Greece isn’t really fixed and Portugal could become a second big problem before year-end
Getty Images

GETTY IMAGES

When Greece celebrated its Independence Day on Sunday, there were scattered protests over the harsh austerity program aimed at stabilizing the country’s finances. The government reportedly removed low-hanging fruit from bitter-orange trees along the parade route, so it couldn’t be thrown by protesters. But, basically, the most recent bailout appears to be successful. As a result, worries about the European financial crisis have diminished somewhat. Indeed, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi has said that the worst is over for the euro-currency zone.

Such optimism may be premature, however. Not only does Greece remain a long-term financial concern, but in addition Portugal is on track to become a second big problem.

The dangers Greece still poses are clear. Higher taxes and government-spending cuts may reduce new borrowing, but such austerity policies also undermine a country’s ability to pay the interest on its existing debt. Unless accompanied by progrowth policies, austerity can become the financial equivalent of a medieval doctor trying to cure patients by bleeding them. In addition, the bailout plan for Greece consisted of marking down the value of much of the country’s debt held by banks and other private lenders. That means entities such as the European Central Bank now hold most of Greece’s remaining debt. And so, in the event of a default, important international institutions would suffer the greatest damage.

(MORE: Is Germany’s Euro-Crisis Strategy Actually Working?)

The net result has been to postpone the Greek financial crisis for months or even a couple of years, while raising the stakes if things go wrong. That could be seen as a considerable achievement, if you believe Greece is a unique case and that the problem has been successfully contained. The trouble is that other countries — and especially Portugal — seem to be heading down the same path. Here’s why forecasters are worried: Read the rest of this entry »

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