There’s no denying that everything looks cooler in slow motion, but birds of prey on the hunt are particularly mesmerizing through the lens of a high-speed camera. This Goshawk is being lured into attacking a water balloon baited with a piece of meat, and its mid-air maneuvers make even our most advanced fighter planes look primitive.
And while no one has ever questioned the lethality of a hawk’s claws (or the fragility of a balloon) watching it tear into this water balloon is just terrifying. If there’s one lesson to walk away with here, it’s to never walk around in the wilderness with a chunk of raw meat on your head.
Daily thousands of commuters pass through the offices of the Brussels Kortenberglaan near the Cinquantenaire. In one of the anonymous blocks the heart of European intelligence. True Here, houses more than 140 intelligence experts from all EU Member States. They work for the EU Intelligence Analysis Centre (INTCEN), the Information Directorate of the Military Staff and the Situation Room.
“To be clear: we are not operational intelligence. We have no interception capability, put no clandestine operations and keep any personal information to, “says Ilkka Salmi. For three years, the former CEO of the Finnish state security at the head of the INTCEN, where over thirty intelligence officers from EU Member States and as many officials and diplomats working.
“Our mission is strategic intelligence,” says Salmi. ”The secret services of the 28 EU Member States to send us on a voluntary basis by analysis reports – no raw intel . We put the puzzle pieces together and write it then reports to support the policy work of the European External Action Service. ”
And then there’s the Situation Room (SITROOM), staffed by 33 employees. Salmi: “They are a kind of European 911. They monitor permanently open sources such as the media and social networks. ”
Produces an average of about five hundred INTCEN reports, half with the classification “ restreint ”, the other half bears the stamp”confidential ”or” secret ”. Salmi: “We focus include the Middle East and the Syrian crisis. How the situation will develop further?What about the chemical weapons or the massacres of the civilian population? What consequences are there for the refugee situation? Could the crisis spread to the region? ”
Military intelligence specialists
The intelligence directorate of the EU Military Staff has a similar command INTCEN. ”Our main mission is timely to identify which could pose a threat to the EU and to provide insight into regional developments for the EU are important. Understanding trends’ The words of Georgy Alafuzoff, former chief of the Finnish military intelligence (another Finn so) and since 2013 head of department of the Intelligence Directorate. ”We are the military intelligence specialists within the EU. Our approach is military, but we are working closely with the INTCEN. That military and civilian intelligence analysts work so closely, is quite unique. ”
“Naturally, our attention in the first place is given to regions with challenges and problems confronting the EU interests: the Horn of Africa, in view of our military operation in Somalia, Mali, where a military operation is running and the Central African Republic where the EU is active military in the future. “
A much smaller player in the EU’s intelligence community finally, the anti-terrorism coordinator. The Belgian Gilles de Kerckhove and his team – four consultants and two persons who provide administrative support – does not carry out intelligence work, but formulates recommendations on counter-terrorism for European policy makers. Therefore, they have maintained permanent contacts with leading figures from the intelligence services of EU Member States and beyond. File the Syriëstrijders is currently a priority for the Kerchove.
Securing some 570 specialists in Brussels buildings, employees and classified documents of the EU.
Besides all this intelligence the European institutions also have an impressive security apparatus. Securing some 570 specialists in Brussels buildings, employees and classified documents of the Council, the Commission, the Parliament and the External Action Service. An additional task is to make all kinds of security threats-from bicycle theft to cyber attacks. Employees aware
Remarkably, the security directorates belated established. Really Although the Commission since the sixties has become a target for foreign secret services, its security became professionalized in the late eighties. Today, the department is headed by the Belgian Guido Vervaet, counterintelligence department is managed by compatriot Michel De Wolf, former State Security…
When George Orwell wrote his classic novel “1984” in 1948, he was convinced that we would be living in a Big Brother society by 1984. However, he was more than a decade off the mark. It wasn’t until the emergence of Google that we started to see the beginnings of a system which wants to place its tentacles into every aspect of our lives.
I should start off by admitting that I am a Google user. I have a Gmail email address, I use Google Maps to find my way about, I use Chrome to browse the Internet, and the search engine to make queries. I have often thought about making a complete break from Google and taking my information elsewhere. But what stops me? Quite simply, it feels too difficult. It isn’t convenient to start moving stuff around.
And that is the way Google has designed it. They have given us services for free which are cool, useful and make us productive. We think nothing of signing up, so we can be one of the cool kids. But, eventually, we are so plugged into the Google collective that breaking away is like trying to run away from a cult. You may get away for a few days, but eventually you end up going back to them because the pull is just too much for you to bear. When you start using Google again, you may tell the screen “sorry I left you Google, I don’t know what came over me, it won’t happen again”.
What’s the Alternative
People may counter “well what’s the alternative?”, and they would have an excellent point. Microsoft? Don’t make me laugh. They are so much in bed with the NSA that pillow talk involves handing over whatever the government wants them to hand over.
And Apple? Despite their efforts to demonize Microsoft, and make themselves out to be the more attractive of the two, don’t be fooled into thinking that they are any better than Microsoft when it comes to government requests. And any criticism of the company is quickly deflected by that fierce army known as the “Apple Fanboys”.
That brings us neatly to “the government”. I write it in quotation marks because it isn’t just one government after the information. It’s lots of governments that want the kind of user data that Google can provide.
The NSA and the other various American alphabet agencies are in the driver’s seat sure, but countless other governments are in the passenger and back seats. British security services will be demanding information on a regular basis, at the very least. The “special relationship” is alive and well.
And what are they after? Everything that you have willingly handed over to Google. And that is the most ironic, shocking thing about it. If the NSA knocked on your door and asked you for your movements last night, asked to read your email, asked what you have been searching for recently online, you would not so politely (I hope) tell them where in their nether regions they should stick their requests, and get a warrant before coming back. I’ve seen Law & Order – I can talk the talk and walk the walk.
But Google? If they ask for the same information, no problem. We plug our GPS co-ordinates into Google Maps, we keep the search history switched on, detailing every single thing we have searched for, we keep every single email we have ever received in the limitless Gmail archive (because there’s no need to delete anything, right?)…
In recent years, no company has been more associated with evil than Monsanto, says Lessley Anderson, asking “why?” for Modern Farmer:
The house was raised above the ground, like a mushroom or a white ray gun, its rooms radiating out like spokes of a wheel. It was 1957 and this was the “House of the Future,” a prototype modular house created by Monsanto, in collaboration with M.I.T. to help solve the housing crisis baby boom America was in the middle of. Not coincidentally, the house was made of plastic, one of Monsanto’s products at the time.
“They imagined fast subdivisions of this house, like Levittown,” says Gary Van Zante, curator of architecture and design at the M.I.T. Museum.
While that never happened, Walt Disney did select it as an exhibition at his new Disneyland. For 10 years, until it was torn down, the chemical giant’s creation stood peacefully in The Happiest Place On Earth, where millions of people marveled at it.
It is safe to say that if Monsanto’s pod house were erected there today, it would not be such a happy home.
Over the past decade, Monsanto has become a pop cultural bogeyman, the face of corporate evil. The company and its genetically modified organism (GMO) seeds have been the subject of muckraking documentaries (“Forks Over Knives” and “GMO OMG“), global protests, and assaults by everybody from environmental activists to “The Colbert Report.” Facebook and other social media are awash in memes (here’s a blog devoted to the topic) and hashtags like #monsantoevil. And it seems everyone, from your plumber to your mother, has an opinion about the company. This past year, when Monsanto bought a weather data company called the Climate Corporation for about $1 billion, David Friedberg, the company’s CEO, found himself bending over backwards justifying his decision to sell. (As if the money wasn’t enough reason!) Friedberg told the New Yorkerthat even his father disapproved: “His first reaction was, ‘Monsanto? The most evil company in the world? I thought you were trying to make the world a BETTER place?’” (Friedberg also felt compelled to write a letter to his entire staff, laying out his rationale for Monsanto’s aptness as a new owner.) In short, you don’t need to have a degree in marketing and communications to see that Monsanto has a PR problem.
How did this happen? How did Monsanto go from the future of American innovation to a late-night punchline? Critics point to their role in GMOs, creating “frankenfood,” but Monsanto is not the only company that produces genetically modified organisms. And though it has a bad environmental record, so do lots of companies. Also, unlike, say, other corporate villains like General Motors (the antihero of Michael Moore’s “Roger & Me”) Monsanto is not a consumer facing company, and its actual biotechnological workings are mystifying to the average person. Yet somehow it manages to serve as a focal point for popular fear and rage about everything from political pandering to globalization. Why?
In Groening’s version, you can see the same Hollywood stars including Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt and Meryl Streep in that typical yellow Simpsons hue, but there is Homer being pushed down beneath Bradley Cooper’s foot.
An anti-government protester sit near the bodies of two demonstrators killed by a sniper during clashes with the police in the center of Kiev on February 20, 2014.(AFP Photo / Sergei Supinsky)
Estonian foreign ministry has confirmed the recording of his conversation with EU foreign policy chief is authentic. Urmas Paet said that snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev were hired by Maidan leaders.
Paet told RIA-Novosti news agency that he talked to Catherine Ashton last week right after retiring from Kiev, but refrained from further comments, saying that he has to “listen to the tape first.”
“It’s very disappointing that such surveillance took place altogether. It’s not a coincidence that this conversation was uploaded [to the web] today,” he stressed.
“My conversation with Ashton took place last week right after I returned from Kiev. At that time I was already in Estonia,” Paet added.
RT has also contacted Ashton’s spokesperson, Maja Kocijancic, who said “we don’t comment on leaked phone conversations.”
The call took place after Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Paet visited Kiev on February 25 at the peak of clashes between the pro-EU protesters and security forces in the Ukrainian capital.
It was reportedly uploaded to the web by officers of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) loyal to ousted President Viktor Yanukovich who hacked Paet’s and Ashton’s phones.
During the conversation, Paet stressed that “there is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovich, but it was somebody from the new coalition.”
According to the Estonian FM, “all the evidence shows”that the “same snipers” at Maidan were shooting at people from both sides – the police and the protesters.
Ashton reacted to the information by saying: “Well, yeah…that’s, that’s terrible,” adding that the matter is worth investigating.
94 people were killed and another 900 injured during the standoff between police and protesters at Maidan Saquare in Kiev last month.