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The latest news from Robert Johnson on Business Insider

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    B-2

    The single wing B-2 has been stealthily slipping through skies for over 20 years, but until now its ability to carry nuclear munitions was limited.

    That all changes with a report from the Senate Armed Services Committee on Strategic Forces that lays out a plan to arm the B-2A stealth bomber with a state-of-the-art nuclear cruise missile, still in development.

    The Long-Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO) has been testing well for months. It should be, considering the best minds at Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northropp Grumman, and Raytheon have been working together to perfect the LRSO. Even DARPA had its hand in the plan for a missile like this to be fielded sometime over the next few years.

    The U.S. is concerned that as technologies advance over the coming years, stealth will slip into the background and jets will require a "standoff capability" .

    FAS Strategic Security Blog has a good full write-up on the topic if interested in learning more.

    SEE ALSO: Whether the US needs another B2 bomber >

    SEE ALSO: The Business Insider Military & Defense Facebook Page >

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    Assad

    Fighting in Syria has been relentless for more than two years. During this time as many as 120,000 people have been killed, including many women, children, and other civilians who wanted nothing to do with any sort of fighting.

    It's news that's gone on for so long, with so little response, that it's become easier to glaze over each new atrocity than to pay attention to any of them.

    Monday's tally of up to 500 dead is the largest single day total of the entire war, and it should also be the one incident that makes everyone stop and ask what we can do to help these people. Opposition leaders confirm 109 dead with up to 400 more suspected fatalities as the body count continues to climb.

    Nearly five days ago, Assad's forces surrounded a small suburb west of his Damascus stronghold, where some rebels had taken refuge among civilians. His forces shut off all power and water before shelling the town with artillery and sending in loyalist forces to do what they would, according to the Washington Post.

    Amid the shooting and the mayhem, Assad's troops took time to loot stores and systematically execute the few opposition members who found medical care in the makeshift hospital, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based activist group. Once the town was fully in their grasp, Assad's forces allegedly paraded dead bodies on open trucks through the western part of the capital.

    The massacre took place in a working class suburb called Jdeidet al-Fadel that has the misfortune of sitting beneath the hilltop base of Assad's elite sect of Alawite forces.

    Assad's family belongs to the Alawite sect, along with just about 12 percent of Syria's 3 million citizens. A small number of people who've ruled the country for 50 years and will not let go of power until someone takes it from them.

    Perhaps the time is coming when we'll see who that might be.

    The U.S. has 200 troops en route to the Syrian border in Jordan, and could bump that number up to 20,000 if it decides to intervene. It's the first official American move toward direct Syrian involvement.

    With Israel's Tuesday announcement that Assad is increasing his use of nerve gas on the rebels, there's no doubt officials there are increasingly concerned at what may become of Syria's massive chemical stockpiles. 

    It's a concern that has prompted Israel to ask for and receive use of Jordanian airspace for its drone operations into Syria.

    Armed, but geared for surveillance, the UAV's could be a genuine asset should the world finally decide to intervene in a long and bloody conflict most people just want to ignore.

    SEE ALSO: Assad's Killing Of Syrian Civilians Has Reached Barbaric Proportions

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    SEAL Night VisionIts been a banner decade for modern military fighting. In 2010 alone there were more than 70 armed conflicts across the globe from Sangin to Ingushetia.

    As different as each of them were, they all had one thing in common, at some point one side wanted more troops.

    Most battles eventually come down to boots on the ground and rifles in the field. So when commanders are building their ranks it's often with professional soldiers who know how to fight, and get paid well to do it.

    The idea of a mercenary may seem a bit quaint in the 21st century, but those forces make a difference and are often all that stands between a leader and his fate.

    Security giant G4S is the second-largest private employer on earth

    With more than 625,000 employees, this listed security giant is the second-largest private employer in the world (behind Wal-Mart). While some of its business is focused on routine bank, prison and airport security, G4S also plays an important role in crisis-zones right around the world.

    In 2008, G4S swallowed up Armorgroup, whose 9,000-strong army of guards has protected about one third of all non-military supply convoys in Iraq (it's also notorious for its wild parties and for having Afghan warlords on its payroll).

    But the combined group has a security presence in more than 125 countries, including some of the most dangerous parts of Africa and Latin America, where it offers government agencies and private companies heavily-armed security forces, land-mine clearance, military intelligence and training.



    Unity Resources Group is active in the Middle East, Africa, the Americas and Asia

    With more than 1,200 staff worldwide, the Australian-owned Unity Resources has been able to grow its presence in Iraq as sovereign armies withdraw. Its management consists of veterans from Australia, the U.S. and Great Britain.

    The private military firm is best-known for guarding the Australian embassy in Baghdad, where, as of 2010, it had trained Chilean soldiers to man gates and machine-gun nests. Unity personnel were also responsible for two controversial car shootings in Iraq: one killed an Australian professor, another resulted in the deaths of two civilian women.

    Outside Iraq, Unity has assisted with security during parliamentary elections in Lebanon and helped evacuate private oil companies from crisis zones in Bahrain. The firm also operates throughout Africa, the Americas, Central Asia and Europe.



    Erinys has guarded most of Iraq's vital oil assets

    Erinys has also followed U.S. State Department contracts to Iraq. Its biggest mission in recent years took 16,000 of its guards to 282 locations around the country, where they protected key oil pipelines and other energy assets.

    The group also maintains a presence in Africa, where it has traditionally focused its operations. Erinys was recently awarded two contracts in the Republic of Congo, for security at major iron ore and oil and gas projects. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Shultz Tunnel VT

    Virginia Tech has long been rumored to have a mess of steam tunnels running beneath its grounds from one end of campus to the other.

    Since entering the VT tunnels is illegal — and dangerous — it is not easy to find reliable information about the underground system. That is, until a reader pointed me to a site on what is known as "The Deep Web."

    The Deep Web runs sites on an anonymous browser that is designed to keep surfing and hosting somewhat private. (Learn all about it here from Business Insider's Dylan Love)

    The Deep Web site "Beneath VT" may be the most comprehensive authority on the VT tunnels online. It also seems to be the most discreet way to Web search "tunnel entrances" on the school's network, since campus authorities seem to take this pretty seriously. According to "Beneath VT," those who dare to venture into the tunnels face imprisonment or expulsion.  

    Before we see what's under there, let's go over some of the risks, courtesy of "Beneath VT":

    Beneath VT: Dangers

    Steam tunneling carries many risks. It's not a game ... Here are some of the perils that may await you if you choose to explore the steam tunnels.

    Capture

    The greatest danger you are likely to face. It's illegal to enter the steam tunnels, a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia, which means you can be fined up to $2500 or even face up to 12 months in jail.

    It's also against university policy, although the tunnels are not mentioned specifically. If caught, you could be warned, suspended, or even expelled.

    The Virginia Tech Police department will follow you into the tunnels if they see you entering them. Even if they don't, someone could call in a report and they will be waiting for you when you leave.

    Death

    Steam tunnels are not safe places; there are large drops and it's very easy to injure yourself if you're not careful. Do not let your guard down; be careful where you step, do not make poor decisions about when to go exploring, and always be aware of your surroundings.

    Properly warned let's take a look at a few of the tunnels Beneath VT. First our map:

    VT Tunnel MapAgnew

    The original site has an interactive map, so it is possible to see that Agnew Hall is just southwest of the drill-field. This is supposed to be the safest and easiest place to access the tunnel system. The tunnels are said to be larger here than other locations and walking is not a problem, and the Agnew to Cowgill tunnel is a straight shot.

    Agnew Cowgill Tunnel VT

    Beneath VT

    Be careful when entering the tunnel; there's a ladder located on the side of the grate opposite you. Climb down, making sure to close the grate behind you, and turn to the left. (There's not much to see to the right, but feel free to check it out of you're so inclined.) You are now heading toward Davidson Hall.

    On your way, you will pass two grates on your left side. Never use these as an exit; they are on the lower Drillfield and can be easily seen from West Campus Drive and most of the Drillfield.

    The tunnel runs mostly straight until you reach Davidson, where it turns to the right and continues on straight toward Burruss. Shortly after Davidson, you will come to a mess of pipes. This is actually where the steam tunnel crosses above the Davidson-Hahn pedestrian tunnel. Continue on, but watch your head while weaseling your way through the pipes; the pipes are padded, but I wouldn't push it. The tunnel continues on straight for a bit; you will pass another grate on your left. Do not use this as an exit either. It's the grate in front of Pamplin and can be easily seen from the Drillfield. Shortly after the grate, you should see some steps. At this point, you will be under Burruss Hall. After the steps, the tunnel will turn to the left.

    There will be some steps down, then you will enter a smaller section of tunnel that is very hot. If you continue straight, you will pass a ladder down to the subtunnel that runs toward Hahn North and passes Derring on the way. Be warned, though that the ladder is quite warm, so you will probably want to wear gloves. This subtunnel is very hot, so you won't want to spend long down there. If you continue down the tunnel, you will notice a subtunnel heading toward Derring on your right, behind some pipes. You'll have to squeeze under them if you want to check it out. Although I have not been down this subtunnel myself, I have heard that there is a locked gate down this tunnel which blocks entry into Derring's basement.

    Cassell-Barringer

    Whoever maintains the site is as thorough as they are thoughtful. Each of the 10 tunnel sections comes with directions, points of interest, instructions on entering and exiting without being seen, and a degree of difficulty. The Cassell-Barringer section of tunnel is said to be the most challenging. This run is the easternmost red line on the map, with Cassel the southern end point.

    Cassel Barringer VT Tunnels

    Beneath VT:

    I wouldn't recommend this run; it's pretty cramped and hot. It's definitely not for beginners.

    You can enter this run at the grate in front of Cassell. It's behind the big pine tree on the left side of the front of the building if you are standing with your back to Dietrick. The grate does not move quite as easily as some of the other grates, but it still works. It's a bit loud though, so make sure there's no one around.

    After you climb down the ladder, you will find yourself in a pretty cool entrance room. There's a lot of graffiti in here. You'll want to be careful of the hot water coming from the machine behind the ladder, though. It could easily give you a nasty burn ... Continue on across Washington Street. It's a tight squeeze in some places, but it's going to be like that for the rest of the run, so just get used to it.

    Eventually, you will find yourself at a turn in the tunnel. Above you is the manhole near Barringer; it looks like they had to change the height of the manhole at one point, so there are actually two sets of ladders. It's pretty cool.

    It is definitely safer to explore the tunnels using this site than without it. Along with Trip Logs and Links, the site offers an email address hosted on an aboveboard dot com site.

    We'll keep that address off here and the host's privacy as untarnished as possible.

    SEE ALSO: Creepy Pictures From The Hidden 5th Floor Of A North Korean Hotel

    SEE ALSO: BI Military & Defense facebook page for awesome updates

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    USS FREEDOM

    The Navy's troubled Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) USS FREEDOM has sailed to Singapore on its first deployment and into another host of potential problems.

    Andrea Shalal-Esa at Reuters reports the ship was tested by Navy hackers for cyber-vulnerabilities when it first arrived for its eight month tour abroad. The tests showed "vulnerabilities", but the Navy isn't letting that get in the way of its first official deployment.

    The LCS is designed to perform close to shore and with as little crew as possible while relying on its mammoth central computer. The computer accepts interchangeable mission packages (MPs), or modules, designed for various types of missions. They're supposed to aid in everything from navigation to tactics.

    All of which is great, but with a skeleton crew of 40 sailors manning a nearly 400 foot ship, that networking ability is key to the vessel's mission and survival. And if the network gets hacked it could raise no end of issues and concerns.

    The Navy says details of the test are classified and do nothing to compromise the 52 LCS' it plans to buy over the coming years.

    SEE ALSO: The Navy's $700 Million Littoral Combat Ship Can Do Amazing Things, But It Keeps Breaking Down >

    SEE ALSO: The Military & Defense facebook page for awesome updates >

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    North Korea

    With North Korea in so many of today's headlines and little idea what's genuine and what isn't, we were reminded of the little known fifth floor of the Yanggakdo Hotel.

    The Yanggakdo is North Korea's largest hotel and the second tallest building in the country. It towers over Pyongyang, but it also harbors a secret.

    The fifth floor is missing from the elevator panel, and while it can be accessed by stairs, it's off-limits to hotel guests.

    The restriction didn't keep BI contributor Calvin Sun from venturing onto the forbidden floor with the video camera he smuggled through customs. "I had a FlipHD and told them it was my 2nd music player. It worked," he wrote on his travel blog Monsoon Diaries.

    Over four trips during his two-night stay, Sun and his companions found their way to the fifth floor and posted what they found.

    The unlisted level may be a communications compound where Party members monitor hotel rooms via video and phone taps, but the thing about North Korea is you just never know. 

    47 floors with a revolving restaurant



    The Yanggakdo Hotel has a secret accessible only by stairs



    The 5th floor of the hotel is a concrete bunker



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    GTMO Delta Guard Tower

    There's no getting around the dark history of Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The U.S. military facility in Cuba was where America first embraced indefinite detention and, by many reports, torture.

    After more than a decade of operations, however, many say that conditions have improved.

    We had that impression after visiting the camp for five days in March. Although our tour of the facility was controlled by the military, we came away with the feeling that compliant detainees receive better treatment than most prisoners in the United States. For non-compliant detainees, like the 92 going on hunger strike right now, conditions remain highly restrictive.

    As for torture, the Obama administration has ordered that it stop — believe what you will.

    Indefinite detention? America is no longer adding detainees but has not figured out what to do with the ones that are already there.

    What's really happening at Guantanamo? We invite you to look over our pictures and form your own opinion.

    This single airstrip on the southwestern edge of Cuba is one of the only ways into Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.



    The detention camp was opened in 2002 to hold captives from America's War On Terror. Images of prisoners in orange jumpsuits from the temporary facility at Camp X-Ray are what most people picture when they think of Guantanamo.



    Camp Delta succeeded X-Ray as a more long-term place to hold up to 612 detainees.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    John Robertson Unclaimed

    The new documentary "Unclaimed" purports to introduce the world to former Army Sergeant John Robertson, lost over in Vietnam in 1968 and left behind for over four decades. 

    The Toronto Star reports Edmonton filmmaker Michael Jorgenson found Robertson, 76, living in a rural Vietnam village stooped with age, unable to speak English, remember his birthday or names of the children he left behind in the U.S.

    It's a story difficult to believe considering the U.S. military places such a priority on bringing every service member home, whenever possible. 

    Jorgenson told The Star he was also skeptical when Vietnam vet Tom Faunce came to him and explained a man he'd found in Vietnam was a former "Army brother" listed as killed in action and forgotten. He says he became convinced only after going to Vietnam and meeting Robertson himself.

    What he found was revealed to filmgoers in an invitation-only screening of "Unclaimed" at a Toronto theater earlier this month.

    From The Star:

    There is physical proof of Robertson’s birthplace, collected in dramatic fashion onscreen; a tearful meeting in Vietnam with a soldier who was trained by Robertson in 1960 and said he knew him on sight; and a heart-wrenching reunion with his only surviving sister — 80-year-old Jean Robertson-Holly — in Edmonton in December 2012 that left the audience at the Toronto screening wiping away tears.

    Jorgenson encountered so much resistance from the U.S. military making his film that he says he's convinced one "high-placed government source" was telling the truth when he said, “It’s not that the Vietnamese won’t let him (Robertson) go; it’s that our government doesn’t want him.” 

    Wringing out the details and talking to Robertson's American family seems to have been a gut-wrenching affair. The children whose names he couldn't recall declined DNA testing at the last minute with no explanation.

    None of that mattered to Robertson who says he fulfilled his wish of  seeing his American kids one more time before he dies.

    Robertson is now back in Vietnam, with no desire to leave. "Unclaimed" opens in the U.S. May 12, at the G.I. Film Festival in Washington, D.C.

    Apparently not everyone believes Robertson is who claims, and there's a movement among ex-Special Forces troops to prove it. The web page here was forwarded to us by someone claiming to be a 21-year Special Forces vet. We'll dig into it a bit more to see what else we can find out.

    SEE ALSO: Photos of Vietnam as it was and as it is today >

    SEE ALSO: The Military & Defense Facebook page for news and updates >

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    Dubai Bus

    A 28-year-old female sailor on shore leave in Dubai stopped a bus driver from allegedly trying to rape her by putting him in a stranglehold with her thighs, prosecutors told a court this week.

    UPDATE: It was initially reported in several outlets that the sailor was in the U.S. Navy. The Navy checked up and found no records of a female sailor in Dubai. The Navy Times report states it's likely that she was an American civilian Mariner, but officials are still unsure.

    The 21-year-old driver has been charged with attempted rape and illegally consuming alcohol but claims to remember nothing of the incident, reports Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National.

    Prosecutors say the woman was trying to hail a cab after leaving the Mall of the Emirates when a bus pulled up instead.

    She says she climbed in, but became suspicious when the driver left a main road and took an alternate route to her destination, The National reported.

    When she asked him about it the man allegedly told her "Not to worry," and drove another 10 minutes before stopping in an area filled with parked buses.

    When the Pakistani driver, called KS in court papers filed Wednesday, allegedly came back and tried to kiss her, she knocked a knife from his hand and wrestled him to the ground.

    After putting him the stranglehold, she fled and reported the incident to her commander at Port Khalid. Her blood and hair were found on the bus, according to The National.

    SEE ALSO: What blew us away aboard the US Navy Destroyer USS BARRY >

    SEE ALSO: The Military and Defense Facebook Page

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    Syrian Weapons Plant MapThe Free Syrian Army (FSA) reports that Israeli fighter jets slipped into Damascus over the weekend and bombed a chemical weapons depot outside the city.

    Neither Damascus nor Jerusalem have yet confirmed the attack, according to UPI.

    According to The Jewish Press (JP) "many" reports came in over the weekend confirming the mission. Sources told the JP Israeli jets arrived over Damascus early Saturday morning and circled Assad's presidential compound before moving on to target the weapons site.

    The Israeli jets reportedly received fire but returned to base unscathed.

    The Lebanese Daily Star confirms heavy FSA fighting occurred near the plant, the Scientific Studies and Research Center, but troops lacked the resources to breach the heavily fortified site.

    Back in January, Israel bombed a Syrian convoy that may have departed from this center.

    Regardless of the details, it appears to have been another deadly weekend in Syria.

    The country's Network for Human Rights reports 88 deaths on Sunday aloneincluding 12 children, eight women, five torture victims and 35 armed rebels. The organization said 23 of the deaths occurred in Aleppo, 16 in and around Damascus, 13 in Idlib, 12 in Hama, 10 in Homs, and nine in Daraa.

    Update: Confirmation of the attack from Israel is yet to be released. El Arabiya reports Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed his ministers to stay silent on anything relating to Syria.

    Fox News posted a video interview with Israeli ambassador to the the U.S. Michael Oren, who offers what may be the reason we never receive any confirmation from Jerusalem at all, even if the strike actually occurred:

    "[R]emoving the threat posed by Syria's chemical weapons stockpile by military force "is very, very complex."

    "Even under international law, if you strike a chemical weapons base and there is collateral damage to civilians it is as if you, the attacker, used chemical weapons," he said.

    What that could mean is that if the strike happened it was likely with tacit U.S. approval, or it never went down at all.

    We'll keep looking for any additional information from the FSA and other sources.

    SEE ALSO: An exclusive tour of the most notorious prison on earth >

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Snowden

    A rally was held today in New York's Union Square to show support for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who could be facing stiff criminal charges.

    When Snowden leaked a PowerPoint presentation from the National Security Agency (NSA) last week it caused outrage throughout the country.

    The presentation outlined the NSA program PRISM that monitors Americans' cell phone calls with the help of various technology companies.

    Snowden revealed himself publicly on Sunday and now faces prosecution from the Department of Justice.

    The following photos were taken Monday, June 10, around noon when the really began.

    Dozens of people gathered at a rally in solidarity with National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower, Edward Snowden today at New York's Union Square.



    Everyone we spoke to here was uniquely outraged at how they see the government monitoring their phone calls.



    Claire is visiting her daughter in New York, but came down because she feels the government is hiding facts on PRISM from the public.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    rupert murdoch wendi deng

    News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch filed for divorce from Wendi Deng today.

    There's no word on what the split could cost Murdoch, but the media mogul already has a history of costly divorce settlements.

    Murdoch separated from former wife Anna Torv in 1999, paying a reported $1.7 billion (including $110 million in cash), making it the most expensive divorce of all time.

    The pair had been married for 32 years. Murdoch married 30-year-old Deng just 17 days later.

    82-year-old Murdoch is worth $11.2 billion, according to Forbes.

    #17 Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving

    Settlement:$100 million

    A California judge refused to recognize the couples prenuptial agreement scrawled on a napkin and awarded Irving $100 million after the four years of marriage in 1989, according to Forbes.

    Spielberg and Irving dated from 1976 to 1979 when she broke up with him to date Willie Nelson. The two got back together and married in 1985.




    #16 Greg Norman and Laura Andrassy

    Settlement:$103 Million 

    Norman and Andrassy married in 1981 and were divorced in 2006 after 26 years, costing Norman $103 million, according to the AP.

    In September 2007 Norman married tennis star Christine Evert and divorced 18 months later. In 2010 Norman married interior designer Kirsten Kutner.



    #15 Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren

    Settlement: reported $110 million 

    From the moment Woods crashed his Escalade into the tree outside his Florida home in 2009, it was impossible to ignore the events leading up to his divorce after the couple's six years of marriage.

    She received reported $110 million in the settlement, according to the New York Daily News.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Egyptian Police Officer Cairo EgyptOur source on the ground at Tahir Square in Cairo, Egypt is telling us that Cairo police are reportedly encouraging protesters and saying they will protect the public from any Muslim Brotherhood government backlash.

    Egyptians held a June 30, 2013 protest calling for the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood president Morsi.

    This protest brought a promise from the military that if the "people's demands" were not met within 48 hours, they would step in to presumeably remove the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi from power.

    The streets are still packed with people and Tahrir Square is overflowing with protesters"It's unbelievable," Walid Ibrahim says from Tahrir Square where he's been camping out for three days. 

    Ibrahim was our guide when we visited Egypt in early April and spent 18 days in Tahrir Square during the 2011 protests.

    "I've seen people I haven't seen in two years [at the protest]." Ibrahim continued, "this regime is going down."

    The expectation of the general Egyptian protesters in Tahir Square is that if the Brotherhood steps down, the Egyptian high court will preside over the country until a new election is conducted.

    The Brotherhood's headquarters was reportedly overrun and looted, though Ibrahim says the the  structure is now well protected and the Brotherhood is shooting protesters with bird-shot loaded shotguns. 

    Word on the street is Morsi and the Brotherhood are on their way out or risk arrest by the Egyptian military, but that doesn't mean people expect them to go peacefully. Protesters expect the Brotherhood to infiltrate public demonstrations and create chaos among protesters, a tactic we saw in April. 

    To create chaos among protesters the Brotherhood will start skirmishes within groups that can escalate and spread. But as of Monday evening in Cairo, protesters say the scene is optimistic, excited and peaceful.

    When we were in Egypt three months ago the situation was dire. People were fed up with the Muslim Brotherhood regime, frustrated by its similarities to Mubarak's rule and ready for another change.

     It looks like they may be getting that change sooner than expected.

    Morsi "Get out!"



    This is the headquarters for the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo before yesterday's riots. The Brotherhood is responsible for law and order throughout Egypt.



    Crime in Egypt has reached unprecedented highs following the uprising that toppled former president Mubarak from power.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Tahrir Square in Cairo is overfilled with protesters pouring down the city's streets following an announcement by the country's military that it will intervene by Wednesday if the people's demands are not met.

    Cairo resident, Walid Ibrahim summed up these requests in one sentiment: "We want Morsi to step down."

    The Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi was elected to office just one year ago and many of his country's residents are not pleased with him, or his administration.

    The June 30, 2013 protests reportedly brought out more people than helped oust former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Bolstered by today's announcement from the Egyptian military, the crowds once again filled Tahrir Square again tonight. It's a peaceful but menacing scene.

    Cairo reporter Waffa al Badry tells Business Insider that sexual assaults upon women were notable throughout the night and she witnessed two herself. The attacks prompted some protesters to lay down a half-circle, outlined in robes on the ground, for the women to stay together in while remaining in the square.

    The assaults she witnessed happened "Right by the stage," Badry says, referring to the elevated platform in the square's center where speakers have been leading chants and commenting to the crowds.

    While no one is certain what the next two days will bring or what the army or the Brotherhood will do, it doesn't look like Egyptian protesters are going anywhere until something changes. That could also be bolstered by reports that the Cairo police have been telling the protesters to keep it up.

    Badry sent us the following photos and video shot at about midnight Cairo local time.

    July 1, 2013 Tahrir Square Cairo Egypt 2

    July 1, 2013 Tahrir Square Cairo Egypt 3

    July 1, 2013 Tahrir Square Cairo Egypt 4

    July 1, 2013 Tahrir Square Cairo Egypt 7

    July 1, 2013 Tahrir Square Cairo Egypt

    SEE ALSO:  How the Muslim Brotherhood turned Cairo into a dystopia

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    Cairo Egypt Tahrir Square Protests July 2 2013 Wafaa Badry 19Tuesday July 2 in Cairo, Egypt was fraught with the frustration and grinding weariness Egyptians have all but grown accustomed to in the 12 months of Muslim Brotherhood rule, but yesterday was different.

    Throughout the day and into the night protesters at Tahrir Square gathered to chant, pray, and call for the resignation of President Morsi. Cairo reporter Wafaa Badry tells Business Insider that thousands of protesters remained in the square throughout the night, quieting for only a few hours in the early morning before picking up their chants to greet the rising sun.

    It's been just over a year since public elections here placed the Brotherhood's Morsi into office and set the country into a year long economic decline. Coupled with growing lawlessness and political corruption all too similar to that of the former Mubarak regime, the people here have simply had enough.

    The scene wasn't so placid at Nahda Square where Badry says police allegedly fired on peaceful demonstrators showing their support of the president with machine guns and automatic weapons. This divide between the police and the administration is another irreparable fissure in Morsi's tenure and coupled with the military's ultimatum, more violence today is all but certain. Badry believes that unless both sides show restraint there is a very real threat the country could slide into an all-out civil war.

    With the Egyptian military Monday giving Morsi 48 hours to meet the demands of the people, the power to escalate conflict on both sides is immense. The two days wind down in hours and many Egyptians look to that deadline for nothing less than Morsi's unlikely resignation.

    Today promises to hold decisive events for the nearly 83 million Egyptians fed up with a bad jobs market, rising fuel, food, and utility prices and a shattered tourism industry showing no signs of rebounding. At 10 a.m. Eastern time the Army's deadline draws to a close. Badry says Egypt's national television station ordered its staff to clear their building and leave only engineers streaming video to the web from reporters in the street. The military assumed control of that building just moments ago. Anticipation is building for a decisive moment that will alter the country's history once again.

    Hopefully achieving that change won't be as deadly, or as long in coming, as many here fear. We'll continue with updates and photos from Badry, who contributed to this article.

    Cairo reporter Wafaa Badry estimates there were more than two million protesters in and around Tahrir Square for nearly all of Tuesday July 2.



    Tahrir Square became a focal point for Cairo demonstrations that grew so powerful in 2011 they helped oust former president Mubarak from more than 30 years in office.



    The Mogamma government building once symbolized the sprawling corruption of Egyptian bureaucracy. Tuesday saw protesters camped in the building's courtyard.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Tahrir July 3

    Wafaa Badry is a broadcast journalist based out of Cairo, covering the military's overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. She is in contact with Business Insider, relating events to us as they unfold on the ground.

    Sunday July 7: Badry says that crowds once again poured into Cairo's Tahrir Square carrying signs and one large national flag reading, "Go Away." Following Saturday's rising violence, Sunday's protests both in Cairo and Alexandria killed more than 30 people before crowds began thinning out toward midnight.

    Though Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi was removed by the country's military last week, his party has no intention of stepping aside without a fight. Badry says the Brotherhood isn't going to fade away or settle for a part in the military's interim government. Instead it plans to keep protesting until Morsi is reinstated.

    Badry says residents are scared. Their ability to provide for themselves and their families has never been more difficult or uncertain. The heavily subsidized gas that powers the country's vehicles has been cut, raising prices for fuel along with utilities and food. Coupled with a rising twelve-and-a-half percent unemployment rate and a plummeting currency, even the jobs that are available often don't pay more than a few dollars a day.

    If the aid provided by the U.S. were cut, even that would be harder to earn. That decision rests with the Obama administration's choice on whether to call Morsi's ousting a coup. Resentment toward the White House and its ambassador to Egypt is growing by the day.

    What Egyptians should be focused on in their new leadership is its dedication to returning the country's law and order. People here have relied on the tourism trade for so long that without incoming crowds spending foreign currency they're left with little means to earn income.

    To assuage the fear keeping tourists away, the country needs to be safe and law needs to be enforced. When Business Insider visited Cairo in April, residents had stopped even calling police after a crime. If the station answered at all, they told us, the police responding to the call lacked resources to do more than file a complaint.

    Egypt has a monopoly on the history and ancient structures people flock there to see, and while looking at the Pyramids is unlike anything else on the planet, it's not something people will risk their life to see.

    Badry has been plagued with Internet outages today and was unable to deliver her photos. We've posted an image below from the Associated Press.

    Check back for updates throughout the day.

    (Live updates from Wafaa Badry below photos.)



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    Washington State Medical Pot Growing 2013 2

    Legal marijuana is spreading across the country, with Colorado and Washington leading the way with legalizing recreational use.

    But it's a good bet that many "legal" marijuana smokers don't fully understand where that weed comes from or what business pitfalls come along with crafting strains of cannabis featuring varying levels of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol, the main chemical responsible for the high marijuana produces).

    Business Insider was invited to check out the grow operation of a local home medical marijuana producer in Washington State. We'll call him "Will" to protect his identity.

    Will, a former welder who jumped into growing last November, has the common grower fear of being shut down by the feds. He's also concerned that the very same law that led him to jump into the growing business, could now actually kill his budding operation.

    Will is especially concerned at the potential high taxes that could be levied on cannabis in the state, which could hit 75%. Washington State hopes to use these taxes to bolster its waning coffers and keep it in the black.

    Keeping the state coffers in the black could put Will in the red. To save his business, Will has started trying to grow some of the most THC-potent strains in the world to meet the high demands of the changing consumer base.

    Come take a look inside the home grow operation of a man trying to overcome the loss of his wife to cancer last year and who is fighting the daily pain of the disks in his back having almost totally degenerated.

    Will's home and grow operation is in the mountains south of Olympic National Park.



    It's remote. His only connection to the outside world is this satellite dish.



    This is Will. When Washington state voters approved a law allowing recreational marijuana use, he wasted no time finding the best pot in the world to start his business.



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    Following the call by a Muslim Brotherhood leader to lay a siege to the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, intense fighting has reportedly broken out in Tahrir Square and is spilling toward the embassy just a few hundred yards away.

    Cairo reporter Waffa Badry says supporters of ousted former president Morsi are engaged in clashes with opponents and are firing guns and hurling objects as they make their way through the Cairo streets.

    The video below was reportedly shot just 100-yards from the U.S. embassy and shows protesters firing weapons openly in the street. Badry says an associate on the ground near the fighting, told her that police have not interfered and no military forces have yet arrived to disperse the crowds.

    The embassy was closed for several days in early July following this most recent period of unrest that resulted in the removal of president Morsi by the Egyptian military.

    Al Jazeera reports at least three dead and many more injured, so far, on the march to the embassy.

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    Corporate bicycle fleets are not uncommon on Silicon Valley tech campuses, but there's no place quite like Google with its fleet of thirteen-hundred primary colored two-wheelers. 

    While visiting Google's campus last week it was clear that the bikes come in all shapes and sizes and are available to pretty much anyone to take just about wherever they please.

    Google started the experimental bike program in 2007 with 100 Huffy's, and there are still about 25 of those rolling around. It introduced the multi-colored "clown bikes" in 2009 and today Google offers employees sturdier rides designed by Google engineers.

    The bikes are maintained and housed in an anonymous building not far from HQ. The bikes are grouped and dropped at shuttle bus stops across campus where employees can peddle the remainder of the journey to work.

    Business Insider took these photos Friday July 19 when visiting Mountain View, California.

    Google Bike 2

    Google Bicycle

    Google Bike

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    USS Gerald R Ford Newport New Shipbuilding 40

    The United States is building its next generation of aircraft carrier, the FORD-class carriers. The U.S. Navy gave us access to photograph construction of the USS Gerald R. Ford at Newport News Shipbuilding, Virgina.

    The numbers behind the USS Gerald R. Ford are impressive; about $14 billion in total cost, 224 million pounds, about 25 stories high, 1,106 feet long and 250 feet wide. But the sheer enormity of the ship and construction operation is hard to grasp until you're nearly face-to-metal with the massive military beast.

    At Newport News Shipbuilding the power of new technology and 100 years of carrier design is built into every facet of the new ship. The Ford will handle up to 220 takeoffs and landings from its deck every day. Part of that quick turnaround is because when aircraft like the new F-35 return for maintenance, the plane's network will already have alerted ground crews to what's needed so they can get the aircraft on its way faster than ever before.

    The new FORD-class aircraft carrier will be the largest, most lethal ship ever when it joins the US fleet in 2016.



    The scope of the ship's construction is hard to fathom, but that chain is made up of links weighing 360-pounds each.



    It's the weight of the chains that immobilize the 224 million pound carrier, not the anchors like those seen here on the USS Abraham Lincoln.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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