Archive for November, 2010

The U.S government has taken control of and shut down more than 70 websites it has emerged. Alarmingly, the vast majority of the sites appear to be file sharing related. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) which is part of the Department of homeland security, made the decision to pull the plug on over 70sites including BitTorrent search engine Multiple music download sites and a small number of outlets selling fake designer clothing were also unexpectedly seized.

When visiting any of the 70+ sites, visitors are greeted with a message explaining that ICE has taken control of the website domain and contained quotes from U.S Copyright Infringements laws. It is believed that no site data has been touched by ICE in what they call an “Ongoing Investigation”. They simply take control of the domain name and point it to a different IP address. All site files remain intact.

With the majority of sites being file sharing related, it is without doubt that they were the main target. However, it is bizarre that ICE chose to take control of which is merely a search engine and does not host any torrent files or copyrighted materials.

The seizure comes as the UK police seek similar control over .uk domains.


The Iranian government has accused the US and Israel of plotting what they deemed “terrorist attacks,” which killed one Iran nuclear scientist and wounded another.

The Obama administration is warning online whistleblower WikiLeaks that its expected imminent release of classified State Department documents will put countless lives at risk.

I blogged a few days ago about this but this is too important not to keep a follow up on….

North Korea Warns It’s on ‘Brink of War’ Amid New Artillery Fire

YEONPYEONG ISLAND, South Korea –  North Korea warned Friday that U.S.-South Korean plans for military maneuvers put the peninsula on the brink of war, and appeared to launch its own artillery drills within sight of an island it showered with a deadly barrage this week.

The fresh artillery blasts were especially defiant because they came as the U.S. commander in South Korea, Gen. Walter Sharp, toured the South Korean island to survey damage from Tuesday’s hail of North Korean artillery fire that killed four people.

None of the latest rounds hit the South’s territory, and U.S. military officials said Sharp did not even hear the concussions, though residents on other parts of the island panicked and ran back to the air raid shelters where they huddled earlier in the week as white smoke rose from North Korean territory.

Tensions have soared between the Koreas since the North’s strike Tuesday destroyed large parts of this island, killing two civilians as well as two marines in a major escalation of their sporadic skirmishes along the sea border.

The attack — eight months after a torpedo sank a South Korean warship further west, killing 46 sailors — has also laid bare weaknesses in South Korea’s defense 60 years after the Korean War. The skirmish forced South Korea’s beleaguered defense minister to resign Thursday, and President Lee Myung-bak on Friday named a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the post.
The heightened animosity between the Koreas is taking place as the North undergoes a delicate transition of power from leader Kim Jong Il to his young, inexperienced son Kim Jong Un, who is in his late 20s and is expected to eventually succeed his ailing father.

As Washington and Seoul pressed China to use its influence on Pyongyang to ease tensions amid worries of all-out war, the U.S. prepared to send a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to South Korean waters for joint military drills in the Yellow Sea starting Sunday.

The North, which sees the drills as a major military provocation, unleashed its anger over the planned exercises in a dispatch earlier Friday.

“The situation on the Korean peninsula is inching closer to the brink of war,” the report in the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said.

A North Korean official boasted that Pyongyang’s military “precisely aimed and hit the enemy artillery base” as punishment for South Korean military drills — a reference to Tuesday’s attack — and warned of another “shower of dreadful fire,” KCNA reported in a separate dispatch.

China also expressed concern over any war games in waters within its exclusive economic zone, though the statement on the Foreign Ministry website didn’t mention the drills starting Sunday. That zone extends 230 miles (370 kilometers) from China’s coastline and includes areas south of Yeonpyeong cited for possible maneuvers, though the exact location of the drills is not known.

China strongly protested an earlier round of drills in the region but has been largely mute over the upcoming exercises. Beijing could be withholding direct criticism to avoid roiling ties with South Korea and the U.S. and to register its displeasure with ally North Korea.

The North Korean government does not recognize the maritime border drawn by the U.N. in 1953, and considers the waters around Yeonpyeong Island its territory.

Yeonpyeong Island, home to South Korean military bases as well as a civilian population of about 1,300 people, lies only 7 miles (11 kilometers) from North Korean shores and is not far from the spot where the South Korean warship sank in an explosion in March.

Gen. Sharp said during his visit to the island that Tuesday’s attack was a clear violation of an armistice signed in 1953 at the end of the three-year Korean War.

“We at United Nations Command will investigate this completely and call on North Korea to stop any future attacks,” he said Friday.

Washington keeps more than 28,000 troops in South Korea to protect its ally from aggression — a legacy of the Korean War that is a sore point for North Korea, which cites the U.S. presence as the main reason behind its need for nuclear weapons.

Dressed in a heavy camouflage jacket, army fatigues and a black beret, Sharp walked down a heavily damaged street strewn with debris from buildings. Around him were charred bicycles and shattered bottles of soju, Korean rice liquor.

AP photographers at an observation point on the northwest side of Yeonpyeong heard explosions and saw at least one flash of light on the North Korean mainland.

There were no immediate reports of damage. Only a few dozen residents remain on Yeonpyeong, with most of the population of 1,300 fleeing in the hours and days after the attack as authorities urged them to evacuate.

Many houses were blackened, half-collapsed or flattened, the streets littered with shattered windows, bent metal and other charred wreckage. Several stray dogs barked as they sat near destroyed houses. A group of South Korean marines carrying M-16 rifles patrolled along a seawall as the sun rose from the ocean.

On Thursday, the South’s president ordered reinforcements for the 4,000 troops on Yeonpyeong and four other Yellow Sea islands, as well as top-level weaponry and upgraded rules of engagement.

He also sacked Defense Minister Kim Tae-young amid intense criticism that Yeonpyeong was unprepared for the attack and that the return fire came too slowly. Lee named former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Kim Kwan-jin to the post, the president’s office announced Friday.

Lee, dressed in a black suit, visited a military hospital in Seongnam near Seoul Friday to pay his respects to the two marines killed in the North Korean attack.

Lee laid a white chrysanthemum, a traditional symbol of grief, on an altar, burned incense and bowed before framed photos of the two young men. Consoling sobbing family members, he vowed to build a stronger defense.

“I will make sure that this precious sacrifice will lay the foundation for the strong security of the Republic of Korea,” he wrote in a condolence book, according to his office.

Tragic mom Yannick Brea fought for her life as her sword-wielding son chased her through their blood-soaked Brooklyn apartment, a look inside the crime scene shows.

The inside of the front door and the front hallway leading to the rear bedrooms are splattered with blood, suggesting she’d tried to fell out the front door but could not. 

Bedding and furniture in three of the apartment’s four bedrooms are blood-soaked, indicating that the 55-year-old victim was running for her life from room to room with her son Michael Brea in pursuit during the rampage.

Pools of blood covered the bathroom floor, where cops found her body in a kneeling position.

Family and friends said money woes and a stalled showbiz career likely pushed the stressed-out bit actor over the edge in the days before he hacked his mother to death during the bloody rampage in their Brooklyn home.

“Michael had many money problems and couldn’t pay his bills,” his longtime friend and barber Sylvan Benoit said Wednesday. “I think this happened because of stress over money.”

Brea, 31, had small roles in “Ugly Betty” and the movie “Step Up 3D” but was not working while living at home with his mother and twin brother Marcel.

He owned a Subway franchise on Broadway in Brooklyn in 2008, but the franchise was taken away by the parent company last year over performance and management problems. Subway had placed liens for unpaid rent of almost $20,000 on the restaurant.

Brea also owed American Express more than $13,000, and New York State was after him for about $2,500 in taxes, court records show.

Neighbor Clinton Clare said Michael Brea rarely worked after losing the Subway franchise, and had no car.

“His mother was supporting him, and he had to use his father’s car to get around,” said Clare, one of the first to hear Yannick Brea’s bone-chilling screams about 1 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Dumondsaid the family believes Michael suffered a “mental breakdown.” She said he went to bed early Monday night , refusing his mother’s offer of dinner, after complaining of “a terrible headache.”

Hours later, he awoke neighbors in the four-story Prospect Heights apartment building by screaming Biblical passages and demanding that his terrified mother “Repent! Repent! Repent!” before slashing her repeatedly with the three-foot sword as she cried for help.

Cops eventually broke in, Tasered Brea and found his mother’s blood-soaked body kneeling in the bathroom.

Brea has been charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon. He remains under psychiatric evaluation at Bellevue Hospital.

Deadly North, South Korea Artillery Exchange Raises Escalation Fears

North Korea’s shelling of Yeonpyeong island killed two South Korean marines and led to an exchange of fire between the two countries. Lindsey Hilsum of Independent Television News has more.


Outgoing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi won enough votes from her Democratic colleagues to keep the party’s top spot in the next Congress when the GOP takes over control. As expected, GOP Minority Leader John Boehner won backing from his party to be the next speaker of the House.