News from a World gone mad

yet there is still so much beauty


January 22, 2016

The men who drop in goats: US govt spent $6m bringing 9 animals to Afghanistan

© Reuters

he US Department of Defense squandered $6 million airlifting rare Italian goats into Afghanistan, attempting to boost the cashmere industry there.

The Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO) spent almost $800 million on various projects in Afghanistan over a five-year period in an attempt to bolster the war-torn economy.

John F. Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), told a Senate hearing this week that TFBSO activities in Afghanistan were “stymied by a lack of strategy, leadership, and coordination” and many of the projects had “little-to-no chance” of actually effecting change.

One such “poorly planned” project saw the task force import nine rare, blond male goats from Italy, and set up a farm and  a lab to certify the wool. The goal was to “bolster the cashmere industry in Herat [Afghanistan’s third largest city].”

The failed project cost American taxpayers just over $6 million. Contractors have claimed up to 350 jobs were created in the process, but Sopko said the project’s status is unknown. He also could not say whether the goats had actually been eaten.

Sopko spoke of numerous other failed projects that were undertaken as well, including the construction of an “ill-conceived” $43 million natural gas filling station in the city of Sheberghan, near Afghanistan’s natural gas fields.

The task force also spent $42 million to develop a “Silicon Valley-modeled startup incubator” for businesses and $7.5 million on “carpet support,” which aimed to “increase the sales of hand knotted carpets.”

TFBSO claims this created nearly 10,000 carpet weaving jobs, but the report’s initial analysis questions “the veracity of this figure.”

Nearly $150 million was spent “by TFBSO leadership to protect, house, and feed its personnel primarily on facilities that were not operated by the US government,” for which SIGAR “has not yet found any data or documentation that analytically demonstrates the return on investment the Task Force gained.”

READ MORE: Pentagon spent $150 million on luxury villas for employees in Afghanistan

“Over the past two years,” Sopko said, “SIGAR has received more complaints of waste, fraud, and abuse relating to TFBSO activities than for any other organization operating in Afghanistan.”

TFBSO ended its programs in Afghanistan at the end of 2014 and ceased all operations in March 2015.

 source RT








  • Iain Duncan Smith has already slashed support for the disabled. Now he wants to cut it further
  • Senior man on wheelchair, rear view

Iain Duncan Smith has already slashed support for the disabled. Now he wants to cut it further

The Government is consulting on cutting support for the terminally ill and disabled. Here’s why you should be frightened

GettySenior man on wheelchair, rear view
Bleak future: Changes could see the disabled benefits cut

Just before Christmas, the Government announced a consultation on the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) process, in particular on aids and appliances in the context of the PIP daily living component.

Aids and appliances, such as wheelchairs and walk-in showers, help people live independently.

This is only two years after the introduction of PIP to replace Disability Living Allowance, so has the Government suddenly found out that it doesn’t work?

Do the 105 claimant cases that the Government’s consultation is based on really reflect the 611,121 current PIP claimants? Apparently so.

Getty ImagesAnti austerity protesters prepare to throw balls towards Downing Street after the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne left 11 Downing Street on July 8, 2015 in London, England.
Protest: The amount the disabled receive in support could be cut by the Government

Many disabled people are rightly concerned about the implications this will have on their eligibility for PIP, the other social security support that comes with this, such as carer’s allowance, and what this could mean to their being able to live with any degree of independence.

full story and comments at Mirror

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride


Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson investigate a mysterious ghostly bride. We’ve been here before – but what if this wasn’t the modern day but the late Victorian period? What if the world’s most famous consulting detective and his best friend lived in a Baker Street of steam trains, hansom cabs, top hats and frock coats? Welcome to Sherlock in 1895!

link over here Sherlock Holmes

NOAA’s View Of The East Coast Storm From Space

A nighttime portrait

Spectre (2015) PosterA cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.  Spectre

I built a tree in my daughter’s bedroom

by · 17 days ago

Final results (room panorama)

Final results (room panorama)
Materials cost for the entire project, including the room renovations was about $4,250. It took about 350 hours of my time -mostly spent on weekends or at night during the past 18 months.

Final results (bottom sitting area)

Final results (bottom sitting area)
She has her own reading light inside the tree, which is a 12v fixture on its own dimmer switch (located next to her right arm on the carpeted inside wall). My wife suggested the sitting area in the middle. This feature made the whole project more daunting, but in the end, I was glad she thought of it.
the full story and amazing oictures at :I built my daughter a tree

‘Avatar 2’ Delayed, Will Not Arrive in Christmas 2017

Avatar 2 Delayed

For anyone who was excited to see James Cameron‘s long-gestating Avatar 2 take on Star Wars: Episode VIII for a Christmas box office battle royale, we have some bad news. Avatar 2 will not be ready to meet the Christmas 2017 release that was staked out for the sequel. Though the release date was never officially claimed by 20th Century Fox, Cameron himself said they were targeting the holiday release window just last month. But now we have no idea when the sequel might hit the big screen.

The Wrap has the news of Avatar 2 delayed, though at this point we’re not surprised. For the past few years Avatar 2 has been rumored for 2014, 2015, 2016 and most recently 2017. But when Cameron did mention the previous Christmas 2017 target, he added that meeting that date wasn’t as important as “the fact that when we get all three films done, we drop them a year apart.”

full story at FILM blogging the reel world










This is turning into a five Fennec day and that is a very good think.Treasure their warmth,the calmnes after the storm,all is in balance and you finly exhale and begin breathing again.The window to the world is open once again 🙂

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