Arrest inEgypt

The Egyptian Army arrested the leader of the U.S. designated terrorist organization Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis on Friday in North Sinai, reported Ahram Arabic news. Walid Attalah is suspected of orchestrating the RPG attack in North Sinai last Thursday that killed three Egyptian policemen and wounded seven.
Ahram Online quoted an official source saying, “Walid Attalah received Egyptian citizenship during the era of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and he is of Palestinian origins.”
Three Egyptian troops were killed on Saturday when a tunnel collapsed that runs along the border with the Gaza Strip. ABC reported one officer and two soldiers were killed and rescuers are still looking for a fourth body. Another soldier was injured in the incident.

Insanity Defined: Feds Unveil Plan to Help High-Risk Homebuyers Take On Massive Debt. Again.

And on Tuesday, three federal agencies approved a loosened set of mortgage-lending rules, removing a requirement for a 20% down payment for a class of high-quality loan known as a “qualified residential mortgage.”

Loans with little to no down payment were a common feature of the lax lending practices that were prevalent during the housing market’s bubble years.

Of course, those bubble years eventually came to an end, causing an economic meltdown of jawdropping magnitude. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama responded by running up the national debt from $10 trillion before the recession to more than $17.5 trillion today. And “experts” everywhere laid the blame at Wall Street’s feet, lambasting the banks for making reckless loans they should have known were destined to go bad. …

Late blogging.

Galt’s Gulch was without internet for most of the morning. Which gave me a chance to sight in a couple of 22 caliber rifles for the grand kids.

Strange praise.

Palestinians across the political spectrum are praising Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem, which resulted in the death of a three-month-old Israeli baby. A car driven by a suspected Hamas member crashed into a crowd at a light-rail station in, killing the baby girl and injuring eight others.

Protests in Iran

Iranians took to the streets in Isfahan on Wednesday, protesting a number of acid attacks against young women carried out in the city in recent weeks.

Iranian authorities have arrested a number of suspects in the attacks, but have not confirmed claims that the women were attacked because they were not dressed modestly enough, wearing form-fitting clothes and an insufficient head covering.

Weapons Dropped by U.S.Fall into Hands of ISIS.

Pentagon says, despite video, vast majority of military supplies air dropped near the Syrian city of Kobani reached the Kurdish fighters they were intended

Weapons dropped by US planes intended for Kurdish fighters in Syria have fallen intp the hands of the Islamic State, the terror group boasted Tuesday in a video translated by MEMRI.

In the video, an Islamic State fighter can be seen inspecting a large package attached to a parachute. the fighter then opens several crates revealing grenades, bombs and RPG rockets.

“Indeed those who disbelieve spend their wealth to avert people from the path of Allah. So they will spend it, and it will be for them a (source of) regret. Then they will be overcome,” the fighter says in the video.

Competition? … Who knew?

Medical practices in less competitive health-care markets charge more for services, according to a study. The study, based on U.S. health-care data from 2010, provides important new information about the effects of competition on prices for office visits paid by preferred provider organizations, known more commonly as PPOs. PPOs are the most common type of health insurance plan held by privately insured people in the United States.

Knowing what you are going to pay before that hospital stay.
Knowing what the hospital actually gets as opposed to what it charges.
Knowing whose health care your subsidizing.
Allowing insurance to cross state lines.

That would make it much more competitive as well. And more honest.

A look at the numbers.

Another chapter added to WWII

Scientists have discovered two significant vessels from World War II’s Battle of the Atlantic. The German U-boat 576 and the freighter Bluefields were found approximately 30 miles off the coast of North Carolina. Lost for more than 70 years, the discovery of the two vessels, in an area known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, is a rare window into a historic military battle and the underwater battlefield landscape of WWII.

Oh geez …

More Secret Service shenanigans: Agents sent to monitor staffer’s neighborhood dispute

Finally …

A Brief National Dialogue on Race

If you like your president, you can keep your president … period.

Campaign Rally in Maryland

Sub-prime loans can continue to haunt you.

… By now, banks have usually sold the houses. But the proceeds of those sales were often not enough to cover the amount of the loan, plus penalties, legal bills and fees. The two big government-controlled housing finance companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as other mortgage players, are increasingly pressing borrowers to pay whatever they still owe on mortgages they defaulted on years ago.

Using a legal tool known as a deficiency judgment, lenders can ensure that borrowers are haunted by these zombie-like debts for years, and sometimes decades, to come. Before the housing bubble, banks often refrained from seeking deficiency judgments, which were seen as costly and an invitation for bad publicity.

Some of the biggest banks still feel that way.

But the housing crisis saddled lenders with more than $1 trillion of foreclosed loans, leading to unprecedented losses. Now, at least some large lenders want their money back, and they figure it’s the perfect time to pursue borrowers — many of those who went through foreclosure have gotten new jobs, paid off old debts and even, in some cases, bought new homes. …

Well, if you’ve been reading this blog, you already know.

This is a blog about why graphene may be the next multibillion-dollar material, holding the key to computing, healthcare and energy storage.

Looking at the numbers.

Three Ebola-infected travelers are predicted to depart on an international flight every month from any of the three countries in West Africa currently experiencing widespread Ebola virus outbreaks (Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone), if no exit screening were to take place, according to new modeling research.

Well – they ran out of bottled water … and they’ve heard it all before.

At Campaign Stop, Members of Crowd Leave While Obama Speaks

Hmmm … this might be a good thing. Although there is some underlying danger.

These days, pilfered logins are falling like autumn leaves (only last week it emerged that thousands of Dropbox logins had been stolen from a third-party service for example.)

Crooks will often try to increase their bounty by testing out the credentials they’ve captured on other websites.

If users have reused their passwords on sites like Twitter and Facebook then the crooks can access those accounts too and then either exploit or sell them.

The problem is so serious that Facebook have revealed that they’re actually watching for news of big breaches, raking up as many password/username combinations posted by crooks online that it can find, and sifting through them to see if they can be used to unlock Facebook accounts.

This decision makes it way to easy to go too far.

A few days after trolls threatened to rape British fitness instructor Chloe Madeley, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling told the Mail on Sunday that sentences for web trolls would be quadrupled to two years in proposed changes to current law.

Grayling said that the illusion of anonymity enables trolls to get sadistic pleasure out of attacking others, operating as they do under the false idea that the attack is “not really real”, allowing them to strike in a “hit and run” style, often hidden behind the cover of a screen name.

They’re “cowards” who’ve “poisoned our national life”, he said.

The needed the money for other important things.

Ebola vaccine abandoned in 2008 after showing promise in trials

It’s hard to ignore all those Nobel Prizes.

The American Studies Association appears to have backed down from a threat to boycott Israeli academic institutions at its annual conference next month, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The Post spoke to CeCe Heil and David French of the American Center for Law and Justice, who had threatened the ASA and the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, which is hosting the conference, with legal action should they not allow speakers from Israeli academic institutions. Heil and French told the Post that while the ASA had not responded directly to them, the organization had indicated to blogger Eugene Kontorovich, a professor of constitutional law at Northwestern University, that it was changing its policy.

“It seems very clear to me that the ASA is climbing down here on its core boycott policy,” French told the Post.

Day by Day

I’ve always wondered about this.

Sex? It all started 385 million years ago (w/ Video)

Good idea.

On Friday, MasterCard and Oslo, Norway-based Zwipe announced the launch of a contactless payment card featuring an integrated fingerprint sensor. Say goodbye to PINs. This card, they said, is the world’s first contactless payment card featuring an integrated fingerprint sensor.

Welcome to the 21st Century.

Women are more driven to seek wealth and status than they are to reproduce, a new study suggests. The research says although low fertility may seem to go against traditional ideas about evolutionary success, a woman will delay and reduce her fertility if it brings her opportunities for higher status. The findings are based on interviews with 9,000 women in Mongolia, a country that underwent a sudden transition from a Soviet-style state to mass privatization.

Apple has something uniquely new. It’s about time.

Apple didn’t just unveil its new iPads on Thursday — it announced a separate, less advertised product that could mean trouble for wireless carriers.
With its new iPad Air 2, Apple customers will have the option of buying a cellular version loaded with the company’s new “Apple SIM” card, as Dan Frommer at Quartz points out.

A SIM card is that tiny piece of plastic in your phone that allows you to connect to a carrier’s wireless network.

Typically, a SIM card is programmed to work with one specific carrier. So, if you buy a phone on a two-year contract from AT&T, it’ll come with an AT&T SIM card inside. If you wanted to use that same phone on Verizon, you would have to buy a SIM card from Verizon and put it in that phone.

But Apple wants to change how that model works. Apple’s SIM card works with multiple carriers, so you wouldn’t have to purchase an iPad or SIM card from a carrier. To be clear, this isn’t like simply buying an AT&T SIM card directly from Apple instead of AT&T. With Apple’s SIM card, you can switch carriers whenever you please without having to commit to a two-year contract or make any purchases directly through the carrier.

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