The agency intercepts “millions of images per day” — including about 55,000 “facial recognition quality images” — which translate into “tremendous untapped potential,” according to 2011 documents obtained from the former agency contractor Edward J. Snowden. While once focused on written and oral communications, the N.S.A. now considers facial images, fingerprints and other identifiers just as important to its mission of tracking suspected terrorists and other intelligence targets, the documents show.
Leaders in Kiev and the U.S. and EU accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of encouraging the tumult by sending the separatists cash, arms and manpower. Russia says Ukraine’s army should stop targeting its own citizens, a sentiment echoed by Czech President Milos Zeman, whose country is a member of the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
“When the Ukrainian army, including paramilitary organizations, fight against their own citizens, they are still citizens of Ukraine,” Zeman said in an interview on Czech Television today. “They should also realize that if it really comes to civil war, it would be a very comfortable pretext for the Russian Federation to invade.”
In interviews and in hundreds of responses to a questionnaire posted on The New York Times website, veterans around the country expressed frustration with delayed access to care and what many described as an impenetrable and unresponsive bureaucracy at department hospitals and clinics, even as many praised the quality of care they received once they saw doctors.
Eurasian Economic Union Agreement Signed (pinecarr)
The agreement is based on norms of the contractual legal framework of the Eurasian Customs Union and Common Economic Space (those were prior stages of Eurasian cooperation), which were optimized, improved and brought into compliance with the rules of the World Trade Organisation, according tokremlin.ru. The three nations will allow the free movement of goods, services, capital and labour and work on further coordinated policy in with regard to energy, industry, agriculture and transport.
An example of the retooled strategy will debut Monday, when the Obama administration will issue a draft regulation sharply limiting emissions of global-warming gases from existing coal-burning power plants. Anticipating furious opposition from congressional Republicans and coal-state Democrats, environmental groups plan to rally support for the regulation using a campaign created by the Climate Action Coalition — a coordinating body with its own staff and consultants, formed by 10 leading environmental groups and linked to 60 more.
Reef Madness (jdargis)
The Great Barrier Reef is a World Heritage Site but has been in severe decline for decades. For many species and ecosystems—corals, seagrass, dugongs, turtles, and fish including sharks—the situation is dire.
The causes of decline are well known: pollution from coastal development and agricultural run-off, coral diseases, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, and increasingly severe storms.
Climate change shifts focus for energy system (Arthur Robey)
“Right now, we’re a heavily centralized system,” Martin said. “There is a lot of opportunity to implement these new technologies like rooftop solar and energy storage. Once you get rooftop solar with battery storage, and once you start viewing plug-in vehicles as both users and suppliers of energy, and find a way to tie in to existing grid or fossil fuel resources and the utility grid, you have great potential for micro-gridding. It can mean reduced fuel use and increased efficiency, and can serve as emergency backup power during disasters.”
The oil boom has fueled a population boom for the area, bringing in tens of thousands of people looking for work. Many live in trailer parks or camps, which contain prefabricated structures that can resemble military barracks. Some companies rent blocks of hotel rooms for employees to live in, and some workers sleep in their cars or tents.
Gold & Silver
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