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  • RuralRebel 9:12 pm on June 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Government Daddy paying Moms…..why not???? 

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  • RuralRebel 9:04 pm on June 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Hey why not? ???? What else would we expect 

    U.S. State Department Cover-Ups Range From Prostitution Charges To ….
    Aurelia Fedenisn, CBS News, 

    WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – Uncovered documents show the U.S. State Department may have covered up allegations of illegal behavior ranging from sexual assaults to an underground drug ring.

    CBS News reports that is has unearthed documents from the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), an internal watchdog agency, that implicate the State Department in a series of misconducts worldwide.

    The memo, reported by CBS News’ John Miller, cited eight specific examples, including allegations that a State Department security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” with foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and the charge and that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries” — a problem the report says was “endemic.”

    Former State Department internal investigator Aurelia Fedenisn told CBS News, “We also uncovered several allegations of criminal wrongdoing in cases, some of which never became cases.”

    Often times, other DSS agents were simply told to back off of investigations of high-ranking State Department members. Fedenisn told CBS that “hostile intelligence services” allow criminal behavior to continue.

    In one such cover-up, investigators were told to stop probing the case of a U.S. ambassador who was suspected of patronizing prostitutes in a public park. The memo states that the ambassador was permitted to return to his post despite having, “routinely ditched…his protective security detail” in order to “solicit sexual favors from prostitutes.”

    A draft of the Inspector General’s report on the performance of the Diplomatic Security Service, obtained by CBS News, states, “Hindering such cases calls into question the integrity of the investigative process, can result in counterintelligence vulnerabilities and can allow criminal behavior to continue.”

    Fedenisn was part of the team that drafted the whistleblower report, and CBS News reports that two hours after the charges were reported, investigators from the State Department’s Inspector General showed up at her door.

    A statement to CBS News states, “It goes without saying that the Department does not condone interference with investigation by any of its employees.”

     
  • RuralRebel 2:32 pm on June 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    State Department memo reveals possible cover-ups, halted investigations -Link Shared from Drudge Report for Android 

    http://www.cbsnews.com
    State Department memo reveals possible cover-ups, halted investigations

    (CBS News) CBS News has uncovered documents that show the State Department may have covered up allegations of illegal and inappropriate behavior within their ranks.

    The Diplomatic Security Service, or the DSS, is the State Department’s security force, charged with protecting the secretary of state and U.S. ambassadors overseas and with investigating any cases of misconduct on the part of the 70,000 State Department employees worldwide.

    CBS News’ John Miller reports that according to an internal State Department Inspector General’s memo, several recent investigations were influenced, manipulated, or simply called off. The memo obtained by CBS News cited eight specific examples. Among them: allegations that a State Department security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” on foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and the charge and that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries” — a problem the report says was “endemic.”

    The memo also reveals details about an “underground drug ring” was operating near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and supplied State Department security contractors with drugs.

    Aurelia Fedenisn, a former investigator with the State Department’s internal watchdog agency, the Inspector General, told Miller, “We also uncovered several allegations of criminal wrongdoing in cases, some of which never became cases.”

    In such cases, DSS agents told the Inspector General’s investigators that senior State Department officials told them to back off, a charge that Fedenisn says is “very” upsetting.

    “We were very upset. We expect to see influence, but the degree to which that influence existed and how high up it went, was very disturbing,” she said.

    In one specific and striking cover-up, State Department agents told the Inspector General they were told to stop investigating the case of a U.S. Ambassador who held a sensitive diplomatic post and was suspected of patronizing prostitutes in a public park.

    The State Department Inspector General’s memo refers to the 2011 investigation into an ambassador who “routinely ditched … his protective security detai” and inspectors suspect this was in order to “solicit sexual favors from prostitutes.”

    Sources told CBS News that after the allegations surfaced, the ambassador was called to Washington, D.C. to meet with Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, but was permitted to return to his post.

    Fedenisn says “hostile intelligence services” allow such behavior to continue. “I would be very surprised if some of those entities were not aware of the activities,” she said. “So yes, it presents a serious risk to the United States government.”

    A draft of the Inspector General’s report on the performance of the DSS, obtained by CBS News, states, “Hindering such cases calls into question the integrity of the investigative process, can result in counterintelligence vulnerabilities and can allow criminal behavior to continue.”

    John Miller spoke with Mike Pohelitz, a retired Senior Agent at the DSS who was involved in one of the cases listed in the Inspector General’s memo. Pohelitz said he was told to stop investigating one of the cases and that the order likely came from the upper ranks of the DSS.

    “I got the information through my DS channel,” he told Miller. “But it had to come from somebody higher than DS, I’m sure.”

    According to Fedenisn, when a high-ranking State Department security officials was shown a draft of their findings that investigations were being interfered with by State Department higher-ups, he said, “This is going to kill us.” In the final report however, all references to specific cases had been removed.

    “I mean my heart really went out to the agents in that office, because they really want to do the right thing, they want to investigate the cases fully, correctly, accurately … and they can’t,” Fedenisn said.

    Fedenisn, a DSS agent for 26 years, was a part of the team that prepared the draft report and is now a whistleblower who has taken her concerns to Congress.

    Two hours after CBS News made inquiries to the State Department about these charges, investigators from the State Department’s Inspector General showed up at her door.

    In a statement provided to CBS News, the State Department said they will “not comment about specific allegations of misconduct, internal investigations or personnel matters. Not all allegations are substantiated. It goes without saying that the Department does not condone interference with investigations by any of its employees.”

    This news link http://tiny.iavian.net/12ln was sent from a friend.

     
  • RuralRebel 1:38 pm on June 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Obomber can’t hide behind investigation now!!!! 

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  • RuralRebel 1:27 pm on June 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Security clearances held by millions of Americans via USA Press News ( http://goo.gl/9lMuJ ) 

    The Day in Pictures

    Security clearances held by millions of Americans

    by John Bacon and William M. Welch, USA TODAY

    An Army private leaks information to a whistle-blower website. A defense contractor leaks information on intelligence gathering by the National Security Agency.

    They are just two of almost 5 million people holding a government security clearance, federal documents show.

    A January report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence says more than 4.9 million people have some sort of government security clearance. About 1.4 million of those lay claim to “top secret” clearance.

    Army Pvt. Bradley Manning created an uproar when he admitted turning over hundreds of thousands of classified Army reports and U.S. diplomatic cables to the website WikiLeaks, which then created a firestorm by publishing the information. His court martial began last week.

    Now comes Edward Snowden, a former CIA technical assistant turned intelligence contractor, releasing detailed information on intelligence gathering by the National Security Agency that included access to phone records of millions of Americans.

    Controversy is not new for security clearance efforts. A Government Accountability Office report in July blasted the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for failing to provide uniform policies across government agencies to “determine eligibility for access to classified information.” The office declined comment on the latest leak.

    The NSA says its hiring practices include background investigations designed to “determine the applicant’s honesty, trustworthiness, reliability, discretion, and unquestioned loyalty to the United States.”

    Most security clearance investigations verify basic information such as previous employment, education and residence. Interviews are conducted with an applicant’s friends, neighbors, supervisors and co-workers. Criminal and credit checks are also conducted.

    The higher the level of clearance, the more involved and costly the investigations. They can take months to complete, and often backlogs add to the time involved for a clearance to win approval.

    Most, but far from all, security clearances are held by government workers. They hold 2,757,33 “confidential/secret” clearances and 791,200 clearances designated as “top secret.” Contractors claim 582,524 “confidential” clearances and 483,263 “top-secret” ones. There is another general category of people who hold 167,925 “confidential/secret” clearances and 135,506 top-secret.

    Copyright 2013 USATODAY.com

        

    http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~r/usatoday-NewsTopStories/~3/2FVcxaxyA44/

     
  • RuralRebel 1:18 pm on June 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Shall we sue now? 

    Grouping students by ability back in favor

    By VIVIAN YEE
    June 9, 2013
    It was once common for elementary-school teachers to arrange their classrooms by ability, placing the highest-achieving students in one cluster, the lowest in another. But ability grouping and its close cousin, tracking, in which children take different classes based on their proficiency levels, fell out of favor in the late 1980s and the 1990s as critics charged that they perpetuated inequality by trapping poor and minority students in low-level groups.

    Now ability grouping has re-emerged in classrooms all over the country — a trend that has surprised education experts who believed the outcry had all but ended its use.

    A new analysis from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a Census-like agency for school statistics, shows that of the fourth-grade teachers surveyed, 71 percent said they had grouped students by reading ability in 2009, up from 28 percent in 1998. In math, 61 percent of fourth-grade teachers reported ability grouping in 2011, up from 40 percent in 1996.

    “These practices were essentially stigmatized,” said Tom Loveless, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who first noted the returning trend in a March report, and who has studied the grouping debate. “It’s kind of gone underground, it’s become less controversial.”

    The resurgence of ability grouping comes as New York City grapples with the state of its gifted and talented programs — a form of tracking in some public schools in which certain students, selected through testing, take accelerated classes together.

    These programs, which serve about 3 percent of the elementary school population, are dominated by white and Asian students.

    Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker who is running for mayor, has proposed expanding the number of gifted classes while broadening the criteria for admission in hopes of increasing diversity. (The city’s Education Department has opposed the proposal, saying that using criteria other than tests would dilute the classes.)

    Teachers and principals who use grouping say that the practice has become indispensable, helping them cope with widely varying levels of ability and achievement.

    When Jill Sears began teaching elementary school in New Hampshire 17 years ago, the second graders in her class showed up on the first day with a bewildering mix of strengths and weaknesses. Some children coasted through math worksheets in a few minutes, she said; others struggled to finish half a page. The swifter students, bored, would make mischief, while the slowest would become frustrated, give up and act out.

    “My instruction aimed at the middle of my class, and was leaving out approximately two-thirds of my learners,” said Ms. Sears, a fourth-grade teacher at Woodman Park Elementary in Dover, N.H. “I didn’t like those odds.”

    So she completely reorganized her classroom. About a decade ago, instead of teaching all her students as one group, she began ability grouping, teaching all groups the same material but tailoring activities and assignments to each group.

    “I just knew that for me to have any sanity at the end of the day, I could just make these changes,” she said.

    While acknowledging that wide variation in classrooms poses a challenge, critics of grouping — including education researchers and civil rights groups — argued in the 1980s and 1990s that the practice inevitably divided students according to traits corresponding with achievement, like race and class. Some states began recommending that schools end grouping in the 1990s, amid concerns that teachers’ expectations for students were shaped by the initial groupings, confining students to rigid tracks and leading teachers to devote fewer resources to low-achieving students.

    “The kids who are thought of as the least able end up with the fewest opportunities and resources and positive learning environments,” said Jeannie Oakes, author of “Keeping Track: How Schools Structure Inequality,” a popular critique of grouping. “The potential benefit is so far outweighed by the very known and well-documented risks.”

    Though the issue is one of the most frequently studied by education scholars, there is little consensus about grouping’s effects.

    Some studies indicate that grouping can damage students’ self-esteem by consigning them to lower-tier groups; others suggest that it produces the opposite effect by ensuring that more advanced students do not make their less advanced peers feel inadequate. Some studies conclude that grouping improves test scores in students of all levels, others that it helps high-achieving students while harming low-achieving ones, and still others say that it has little effect.

    Proponents of grouping argue that without it, teachers are forced to teach to the middle, leaving out both struggling children and gifted learners. They also say there is a “peer effect,” in which high-achieving children do better if paired with other high-achieving students. Done judiciously and flexibly, they say, grouping can help all students. The reasons for the resurgence are unclear. Some experts attribute it to No Child Left Behind, the 2001 law that strengthened accountability standards for schools. By forcing teachers to focus on students who fell just below the proficiency cutoff, the law may have encouraged teachers to group struggling students together to prepare them for standardized tests.

    Technology might have also played a role, Mr. Loveless said, with teachers becoming more comfortable using computers to allow children to learn at different speeds.

    In interviews, several teachers said they believed modern-day grouping was not discriminatory because the groups were constantly in flux. But they acknowledged the additional challenge of tailoring instruction to different groups, as they must produce multiple lesson plans and keep closer track of students’ progress.

    At Public School 156 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, which enrolls mostly African-American and Hispanic children, many living in homeless shelters, Cathy Vail randomly sorts her fifth graders at the beginning of the year using lettered sticks. After six weeks of testing and observing them, she shifts them into “teams” of seven or eight.

    Children may be assigned to different groups for reading and math, and can switch groups if they have shown progress, struggle to get along with other students in a group or need extra help with a particular lesson. Ms. Vail uses thrice-yearly reading assessments and a test before each math unit to make sure children do not remain in groups that are too advanced or too slow for them, she said; one student this year, for instance, has moved up two groups in both reading and math.

    Ms. Vail teaches the same lesson, whether it is a math concept or a book, to the entire class, but gives each group a different assignment. Working on each week’s set of new vocabulary words, all four groups draw illustrations and write captions using the assigned words, but she encourages team C, her highest-achieving group, to write more complex sentences, perhaps using two new vocabulary words in the same sentence. She also asks children in team C to peer-teach students in the other groups.

    “At the end of the day, they’re learning the same words, but just with different levels of complexity and nuance,” she said.

    When she moves students to new groups, she tells them it is because she can best help them there, and she believes they see the grouping positively, she said.

    “It has to be done properly — you can’t make a kid feel small because they’re in group A,” her lowest-achieving group, she said. “If you don’t have a stigma attached to the group, then I don’t see the problem.”

    In Ms. Sears’s classroom at Woodman Elementary in Dover, the three or four groups of students rotate throughout the day, some being taught on the rug while others work in desk clusters. Before each unit, she groups the 26 children based on initial assessments, takes a few days to observe them in the smaller groups and revises the groups again, sometimes as often as every day.

    In the decimal unit, one group might learn to add decimals using blocks they can manipulate with their hands, while another might be able to draw the models on their own. Yet another might practice using the algorithm for adding. The last group might be asked to analyze a word problem and apply the calculation.

    “I can really hone in on their performance and see if they need to move up to a group that will help them access the same content in a way that works for them,” said Ms. Sears, who refers to the technique as dynamic grouping. “Are they an abstract learner, are they someone who needs to draw a picture, are they someone who needs to move their body, are they someone that likes to work alone?”

    She said the minority children in her class were more or less evenly distributed among the groups.

    African-American and Hispanic children make up about 15 percent of Woodman’s population, its principal, Patrick Boodey, said. More than half of the school’s students are eligible for free or reduced lunch. Socioeconomic factors are a stronger indicator of where a student will end up than race, he said, with minorities spread among groups but with many poorer children congregating in lower-tier groups and remedial programs.

    Ability grouping in reading has been a common practice at the school for at least a decade, and more teachers are beginning to group children in math as well, he said. The school has so embraced the practice that Ms. Sears will go to Maine this summer to train teachers in two districts in grouping.

    “Dynamic grouping is the norm, and it’s going to continue to be,” Mr. Boodey said.

     
  • RuralRebel 12:22 pm on June 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    ‘No Nile, no Egypt’, Cairo warns over Ethiopia dam -Link Shared from Drudge Report for Android 

    http://www.reuters.com
    ‘No Nile, no Egypt’, Cairo warns over Ethiopia dam

    Egyptians youth dances and enjoy a Nile River cruise in Cairo June 6, 2013. Egypt will demand Ethiopia stop building a dam on one of the main tributaries of the Nile, a senior government aide said on Wednesday, ramping up a confrontation over the project that Egypt fears will affect its main source of water.

    Credit: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

    By Shadia Nasralla

    CAIRO | Sun Jun 9, 2013 2:42pm EDT

    (Reuters) – Egypt’s foreign minister, vowing not to give up “a single drop of water from the Nile”, said on Sunday he would go to Addis Ababa to discuss a giant dam that Ethiopia has begun building in defiance of Cairo’s objections.

    Speaking to Egypt’s state news agency MENA two days after the Ethiopian government flatly rejected a request from Cairo to halt the project, Mohamed Kamel Amr said Egyptians view any obstacle to the river’s flow as a threat to national survival.

    “No Nile – no Egypt,” he said, highlighting the pressure on the Egyptian government, whose popularity is wilting in the face of economic troubles, to prevent the hydro power plant cutting already stretched water supplies for its 84 million people.

    Last week, Ethiopia summoned the Egyptian ambassador after politicians in Cairo were shown on television suggesting military action or supporting Ethiopian rebels – a mark of the threat felt in Cairo from the plan to dam the Blue Nile, the tributary that supplies the bulk of water downstream in Egypt.

    “Egypt won’t give up on a single drop of water from the Nile or any part of what arrives into Egypt from this water in terms of quantity and quality,” Amr told MENA, noting that Egypt has little rain and is effectively desert without its great river.

    Speaking at a news conference, he declined to detail the action Egypt might take next but noted Ethiopian assurances that Africa’s biggest hydro station would not cut water supplies.

    “We have a plan for action, which will start soon,” Amr said. “We’ll talk to Ethiopia and we’ll see what comes of it.

    “Ethiopia has said it will not harm Egypt, not even by a liter of water. We are looking at … this being implemented.”

    Countries that share the Nile have long argued over the use of its waters, repeatedly raising fears that the disputes could eventually boil over into war. Egypt, struggling with a shortage of cash and bitter internal political divisions following a 2011 revolution, called on Ethiopia to stop work after engineers began diverting the course of the Blue Nile late last month.

    In Addis Ababa, a government spokesman called that request a “non-starter” and dismissed threats from Cairo of “sabotage” and “destabilization”, saying attempts by Egypt under its previous military rulers to undermine Ethiopian leaders had failed.

    The possible downstream effects of the $4.7-billion Grand Renaissance Dam, some 40 km (25 miles) from Ethiopia’s border with Sudan, have been disputed and full details are unclear.

    While letting water through such dams – of which Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia already have several – may not reduce its flow greatly, the filling of the reservoir behind any new dam means cutting the river’s flow for a time. Evaporation from reservoirs can also permanently reduce water flowing downstream.

    Now 21 percent complete, the new dam on the Blue Nile will eventually have capacity of 6,000 megawatts and is central to Ethiopia’s plans to become Africa’s leading exporter of power.

    Sudan, which borders Egypt and Ethiopia and also gets much of its water from the Nile, said it supported the project.

    “The Grand Renaissance Dam brings many benefits and blessings for us,” Information Minister Ahmed Belal Osman told reporters in Khartoum.

    He gave no details, but Sudanese officials have said the dam will enable Ethiopia to export power to Sudan, a country with frequent outages and one of its closest allies in Africa.

    (Editing by Alastair Macdonald, Tom Pfeiffer and Kevin Liffey)

    This news link http://tiny.iavian.net/12jf was sent from a friend.

     
  • RuralRebel 11:56 am on June 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Oh deer! Florida cops rescue fawn with Doritos bag stuck on head 

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    http://dailym.ai/13PSXub Oh deer! Florida cops rescue fawn with Doritos bag stuck on head … #MailOnline

     
  • RuralRebel 11:22 am on June 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Crazy Ants 

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