US spy chief James Clapper has strongly defended government surveillance programmes after revelations of phone records being collected and internet servers being tapped.
He said disclosure of a secret court document on phone record collection threatened “irreversible harm”.
Revelations of an alleged programme to tap into servers of nine internet firms were “reprehensible”, he said.
Internet firms deny giving government agents access to their servers.
The director of US national intelligence issued a strong-worded statement late on Thursday, after the UK’s Guardian newspaper said a secret court order had required phone company Verizon to hand over its records to the National Security Agency (NSA) on an “ongoing daily basis”.
That report was followed by revelations in both the Washington Post and Guardian that US agencies tapped directly into the servers of nine internet firms to track people in a programme known as Prism.
The reports about Prism will raise fresh questions about how far the US government should encroach on citizens’ privacy in the interests of national security.
The NSA confirmed that it had been secretly collecting millions of phone records. But Mr Clapper said the “unauthorized disclosure… threatens potentially long-lasting and irreversible harm to our ability to identify and respond to the many threats facing our nation”.
The article omitted “key information” about the use of the records “to prevent terrorist attacks and the numerous safeguards that protect privacy and civil liberties”.
He said reports about Prism contained “numerous inaccuracies”. While admitting the government collected communications from internet firms, he said the policy only targets “non-US persons”.
‘Variety of threats’
Prism was reportedly developed in 2007 out of a programme of domestic surveillance without warrants that was set up by President George W Bush after the 9/11 attacks.
Prism reportedly does not collect user data, but is able to pull out material that matches a set of search terms.
Mr Clapper said the communications-collection programme was “designed to facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-US persons located outside the United States”.
In 2006 I was a plaintiff in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against the government over a domestic spying programme. Other plaintiffs include the late Christopher Hitchens, and James Bamford, the author of a book, The Shadow Factory, about the NSA.
The lawsuit stated that NSA officials may have eavesdropped on us illegally – and that the warrantless wiretapping programme should come to a halt. In 2007 an appeals court said that we could not prove that our calls had been monitored. As a result it did not have standing. The suit was dismissed.
“It cannot be used to intentionally target any US citizen, any other US person, or anyone located within the United States,” he added.
Mr Clapper said the programme, under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, was recently reauthorised by Congress after hearings and debate.
“Information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats,” he added.
But while US citizens were not intended to be the targets of surveillance, the Washington Post says large quantities of content from Americans are nevertheless screened in order to track or learn more about the target.
The data gathered through Prism has grown to become a major contributor to the president’s daily briefing and accounts for almost one in seven intelligence reports, it adds.
The Washington Post named the nine companies participating in the programme as Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple.
Microsoft said in a statement to the BBC that it only turned over customer data when given a legally binding order, and only complied with orders for specific accounts.
“If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don’t participate in it,” Microsoft said.
Meanwhile, Yahoo, Apple and Facebook said they did not give the government direct access to their servers.
In a statement, Google said: “Google does not have a ‘back door’ for the government to access private user data.”
On Wednesday, it emerged that the NSA was collecting the phone records of tens of millions of Americans, after the Guardian published a secret order for the Verizon phone company to hand over its records.
A senior congressman, House intelligence committee chairman Mike Rogers, told reporters that collecting Americans’ phone records was legal, authorised by Congress and had not been abused by the Obama administration.
He also said it had prevented a “significant” attack on the US “within the past few years”, but declined to offer more information.
The order requires Verizon – one of the largest phone companies in the US – to disclose to the NSA the metadata of all calls it processes, both domestic and international, in which at least one party is in the US.
Such metadata includes telephone numbers, calling card numbers, the serial numbers of phones used and the time and duration of calls. It does not include the content of a call or the callers’ addresses or financial information.
Kalaba undergoes successful MRI scan
Chipolopolo midfielder Rainford Kalaba this morning successfully underwent a Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI scan on his injured right calf.
Kalaba who has been ruled out of Saturday’s game due to injury was released from the national team camp to allow him travel to Lusaka to under go the scan so as to determine the extent of his injury.
FAZ communications manager Eric Mwanza confirmed the development but could not give further details on the results of the scan.
Kalaba has been out of action for over three weeks and it remains to be seen if he will recover in time for the Sudan game which will be played next week in Ndola.
The petit midfielder who was voted as Africa’s second best player based in Africa is one of the 3 key Zambian players who will miss Saturday’s match. The other two are defence kingpin Stoppila Sunzu and shot stopper Kennedy Mweene who have both been ruled out due to injury and suspension respectively.
Lesotho coach Leslie Notsi believes his team is ready to claim a famous victory over Zambia this weekend to help Ghana in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
The Crocodiles travel to face the Chipolopolo this Saturday in the crucial game in Ndola.
Zambia desperately need a win to remain in pole position to pick the sole qualification slot in Group D.
The former African champions lead by just a point going into this weekend’s round of games.
But Lesotho coach Notsi believes his team is ready to cause another major upset which will help Ghana who would have played against Sudan by the time Zambia lines up against Lesotho.
“We are prepared for the game on Saturday and at the same time we are aware that it is going to be a tough encounter. But I believe my boys are physically and mentally ready for the game,” Notsi said.
“Last Sunday we had an international friendly against South Africa which we lost but there are very good attributes that we got from the match.
“Playing against Zambia is a motivation for us smaller upcoming footballing countries and because of that motivation we are here to win.
“We are not here to fulfill this fixture; we are here to compete. If we work hard enough hopefully we will be able to surprise the Chipolopolo.”
Ghana’s World Cup qualification non-negotiable –
Nyantakyi Posted On Thursday, 6th June 2013 By
Ameenu Shardow- Ghana FA boss Kwasi Nyantakyi insists a Black Stars win in the remaining 2014 World Cup qualifiers leading to qualification is non-negotiable. Ghana will play the first of a double-header qualifier this month against Sudan on Friday. The Black Stars will then travel to Maseru the week after to face Lesotho before returning home in September to play Zambia. Ghana currently trail Zambia in Group D by a point with three games left. And the Ghana FA boss has emphasized the importance of picking all three points in the remaining games to keep the Black Stars on track for a third successive World Cup appearance in Brazil. “We are battle ready to confront the Sudanese tomorrow Friday 7th of June,” Nyantakyi said. “We are very determined to ensuring we win this game because there is no alternative to any score line we will record than to win this game. “It is very important in order to keep us on course to qualifying to the next World Cup in Brazil. “We have to win against Sudan, we have to win against Lesotho, we have to win against Zambia. “There is no dispute, there is no negotiation about what we expect to achieve.” http://www.ghanasoccernet.com/black-stars-world-cup-qualification-non-negotiable-nyantakyi/
Fernandinho: Manchester City sign Brazilian midfielder from Shakhtar
By Alistair Magowan BBC Sport
Manchester City have completed the signing of Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernandinho for a fee of about £30m.
The 28-year-old, capped five times by Brazil, has signed a four-year deal, ending an eight-year stay in Ukraine.
Fernandinho is City’s first summer signing while the club have also struck a deal for Sevilla winger Jesus Navas.
It is understood that Fernandinho waived about £4m owed to him by Shakhtar under the terms of his contract in order to complete the deal.
The Blues, who are still without a manager after Roberto Mancini left the club, are expected to appoint Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini next week.
Who is Fernandinho?
“My ambition here is to win the title. The team here is strong, and so is the greatness of the club and the supporters,” said Fernandinho.
“Playing for a huge club in a huge league makes me so happy. I hope I will be able to repay City for what they have done for me.
“I know a lot about City. Ever since they expressed an interest in me, I have been learning more.
“I know I will face challenges but I am prepared for them. Every player at a high level faces pressure and must respond and I am ready for that too.”
Fernandinho has Champions League experience and scored against Chelsea in the group stages of last season’s competition.
The Ukrainian champions were eliminated in the last 16, losing 5-2 on aggregate to eventual runners-up Borussia Dortmund.
Fernandinho has tasted European success with Shakhtar however, as part of the team that won the Uefa Cup in 2009.
Did you know?
Fernandinho completed more dribbles in the 2012-13 Champions League than any other player.
Source: Opta Sports
He previously played for Brazilian side Clube Atletico Paranaense, moving to Europe in 2005.
City’s previous business with Shakhtar includes signing Fernandinho’s compatriot Elano, who arrived at the Etihad Stadium from Ukraine in 2007, and Mexican forward Nery Castillo, who joined on loan in 2008.
City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak signalled last week that fresh investment was forthcoming as City attempt to regain the Premier League title that they lost to city rivals Manchester United last season.
“Will there be new signings? Absolutely. This is going to be a very important year for us,” he said.
Former manager Mancini criticised the club’s hierarchy last summer for failing to secure his first-choice transfer targets.
Usain Bolt beaten by Justin Gatlin in 100m at Diamond League
Justin Gatlin beat Olympic champion Usain Bolt by one-hundredth of a second to record a surprise 100m win in Rome.
Bolt, 26, was fastest out of the blocks at the Diamond League meeting but American Gatlin, 31, powered past the Jamaican to win in 9.94 seconds.
“I need two months to get ready so I am not worried,” Bolt told BBC Sport.
In his first major meet since his early exit from the London 2012 Olympics, Phillips Idowu finished seventh in the triple jump in a season best of 16.44m.
The 34-year-old Briton produced the leap in the first round but failed his next two jumps and then passed on his final three jumps to bow out of the competition, which was won by America’s Olympic and world champion, Christian Taylor, 22, with 17.08m.
Steve Cram BBC athletics commentator
“Bolt just wasn’t very good. He had a very good start and the quickest reaction time, but there was nothing there.
“He was blowing hard to run under 10 seconds and normally that’s a stroll for him.
“He won’t like being beaten by Gatlin. Gatlin is a controversial figure and a lot of people don’t think he should be competing, but he is, and he’s looking good for the World Championships.
“But don’t write off Bolt – he always raises his game at the major championships.”
Gatlin, however, looked in fine form as he maintained his unbeaten start to the season over 100m.
The 2004 Olympic champion, who went on to serve a four-year doping ban, recorded his third Diamond League success after victories in Doha and Eugene by the narrowest of margins.
Bolt had suffered a hamstring injury last month which hampered him in his opening race of the season in the Cayman Islands, where he could only manage a time of 10.09 seconds.
And although the six-time Olympic gold medallist, who was making his first appearance in the Diamond League this season, jumped well out of the blocks, he was blowing hard by halfway as Gatlin began to impose himself on the race.
However, the American had to dip his head on the line to beat the world record holder, with France’s Jimmy Vicaut third in 10.02 seconds.
It was Bolt’s first major international loss since his false-start disqualification at the 2011 World Championships in South Korea.
Bolt came second to Yohan Blake in the 100m and 200m at the Jamaican Olympic trials last July but went on to London 2012 success in both events. He was also beaten by Tyson Gay in August 2010 in Stockholm.
Bolt, who ran a season’s best 9.95, admitted: “I got the perfect start that I wanted, then about five steps in I stumbled a bit and that kind of threw my game off.
“My legs didn’t feel like my legs coming into the straight. I guess I need to do more strength work. I think I just need time to get it back together but the fact I got a good start threw me off. At least I got under 10 seconds.
Bolt’s major honours
“It is always a good thing to lose. You can figure how to step it up. I knew I wasn’t in great shape but I’m not worried. It takes time to get back into shape and I didn’t expect much from this race.”
His next outing will be over 200m in next Thursday’s Diamond League meeting in Oslo as he builds up to the World Championships in Moscow from 10-18 August where he will be defending his title over the longer sprint distance.
Gatlin still believes Bolt will be the man to beat at the Worlds.
“It’s an honour to be able to race him and compete against him these last couple of years – he’s an inspiration for the sport,” he said.
“He’s brought so much to the sport that wasn’t there before. He’s a legend, he’s done great things, I just want to go out there and fight to the end. I’m working on my race strategy and trying to stay healthy. I’m just trying to get my start back and make sure that the middle of my race is good.”
There was another surprise in Thursday’s women’s 200m where Olympic champion Allyson Felix was well beaten into second by Ivory Coast sprinter Murielle Ahoure.
American Felix, 27, was trailing 25-year-old Ahoure coming off the bend and was unable to catch the Ivorian who ran a national record of 22.36 seconds.
Britain’s Shara Proctor, 24, finished third in a competitive women’s long jump, just eight centimetres behind London 2012 champion Brittney Reese, 26, of the United States, with fellow American Janay DeLoach Soukup, 27, splitting the pair.
In the 1500m, Hannah England, 26, sprinted clear of the bunch to claim fourth in a time of four minutes, 03.91 seconds, behind Sweden’s Abeba Aregawi, 22, who won in 4:00.23, followed by Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba, 22, and America’s Jennifer Simpson, 26.
And fellow Briton Dai Greene, the 2011 400m hurdles world champion, was fifth in his first race of the season.
Greene, 27, was left trailing by the fast-starting Johnny Dutch and Javier Culson and was unable to catch the duo as they went clear in the finishing straight.
American Dutch, 24, held on to win in 48.31 seconds with Puerto Rico’s Culson, 28, second and Senegal’s 26-year-old Mamadou Hanne third – Greene was fifth in 48.81.
Power of Positive Thinking Quotes
…And how a change in thoughts can lead to a change in life.
“The day is what you make it! So why not make it a great one?” ~ Steve Schulte
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“There is nothing good or bad, only thinking makes it so.” ~ Hamlet
“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.” ~ Og Mandino
“You cannot tailor-make the situations in life but you can tailor-make the attitudes to fit those situations.” ~ Zig Ziglar
“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” ~ Sun Tzu
“We can’t escape pain; we can’t escape the essential nature of our lives. But we do have a choice. We can give in and relent, or we can fight, persevere, and create a life worth living, a noble life. Pain is a fact; our evaluation of it is a choice.” ~ Jacob Held
“Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity.” ~ Joseph Sugarman
“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
“Optimism is the most important human trait, because it allows us to evolve our ideas, to improve our situation, and to hope for a better tomorrow.” ~ Seth Godin
“Nothing truly stops you. Nothing truly holds you back. For your own will is always within your control. Sickness may challenge your body. But are you merely your body? Lameness may impede your legs. But you are not merely your legs. Your will is bigger than your legs. Your will needn’t be affected by an incident unless you let it.” ~ Epictetus
“Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.” ~ Anthony Robbins
“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” ~ Groucho Marx
“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
“Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.” ~ Og Mandino
These positive quotes will hopefully help inspire you to stay strong and focused on your dreams. It’s about not letting challenges stop you from living the life you want. Who you are now, or what you’ve demonstrated up until now, does not define who you will become.
What you choose to do today, at this moment, will. Past mistakes, failures, wasted time and opportunities mean nothing. They are merely lessons to be quickly acknowledged and learned, nothing more. What counts is what you will do right now to become the person you were meant to be.
These quotes can serve as life lessons to live by. I chose these particular quotes because they have helped me in one way or another, and hopefully, they will have a similar effect on you as well.
If you have some positive inspirational quotes you would like to recommend, please do so in the comment section down below. Thanks and Enjoy!
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
“Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”
~ William Faulkner ~
“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand-and melting like a snowflake.”
~ Francis Bacon, Sr. ~
“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”
~ George Bernard Shaw ~
“People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.”
~ Norman Vincent Peale ~
“The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.”
~ Walter Bagehot ~
“There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.”
~ Napoleon Hill ~
“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
~ St. Francis of Assisi ~
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
~ Leo Buscaglia ~
“Keep away from small people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
~ Mark Twain ~
“The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible. ”
~ Richard M. DeVos ~
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”
~ Robert Louis Stevenson ~
Character is important in both your business and everyday activities. It consists of a set of behavior traits or way the you conduct yourself. Your behavior or conduct then determines how other people judge your character or the type of person you are.
When you have good or positive character, you act in a manner that is honorable, courageous, compassionate and ethical. It results in being viewed with respect, overcoming the difficult and feeling good about yourself. This increases your esteem and self-respect, as well as allows you to prosper. A bad reputation can even affect your confidence and relationship with others.
Having good character is important to us all in maintaining a good position in society and a favorable opinion of yourself. Having poor character affects whether others want to deal with you or your business.