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Campaign Watch Het grote Harry van Bommel interview met Rob Zwetsloot 1/4

Harry van Bommel #SP inerview met Rob Zwetsloot #Hoeksteen LIve! #NL #Verkiezingen september 12 2012 via Salto Televisie Amsterdam LiveStream & Qik 25 juli 2012 1/4
sp.nl salto.nl dehoeksteen.live.nu

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by | 2012/08/14 · 18:54

Consequences of the Fall of the Syrian Regime

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By George Friedman | July 24, 2012

We have entered the endgame in Syria. That doesn’t mean that we have reached the end by any means, but it does mean that the precondition has been met for the fall of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad. We have argued that so long as the military and security apparatus remain intact and effective, the regime could endure. Although they continue to function, neither appears intact any longer; their control of key areas such as Damascus and Aleppo is in doubt, and the reliability of their personnel, given defections, is no longer certain. We had thought that there was a reasonable chance of the al Assad regime surviving completely. That is no longer the case. At a certain point — in our view, after the defection of a Syrian pilot June 21 and then the defection of the Tlass clan — key members of the regime began to recalculate the probability of survival and their interests. The regime has not unraveled, but it is unraveling.

The speculation over al Assad’s whereabouts and heavy fighting in Damascus is simply part of the regime’s problems. Rumors, whether true or not, create uncertainty that the regime cannot afford right now. The outcome is unclear. On the one hand, a new regime might emerge that could exercise control. On the other hand, Syria could collapse into a Lebanon situation in which it disintegrates into regions held by various factions, with no effective central government. 

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Filed under community, Islam, Journalism, Media, Politics, religion

‘The Light in Her Eyes:’ Documenting A Syrian Story of Education and Inspiration

By:

Jon Silberg

When artist/filmmaker Julia Meltzer first visited Damascus in 2006, well before any of the current political upheaval, she encountered many surprising aspects of life inside Syria. One such unexpected phenomenon came in the form of Houda al-Habash, a devout Muslim woman who had been teaching the Koran to local girls, some as young as 3 years old—an undertaking that sat well with neither the region’s male-dominated religious community nor the more secular groups in favor of women’s empowerment.

“I know how rare it is for girls to be encouraged to read classical Arabic,” says Meltzer. “I thought, ‘This isn’t a story I’ve seen and I want to understand more about why people are choosing to come here.’”

Interestingly, much of the complexity that inspired her to direct The Light in Her Eyes with filmmaker Laura Nix also made the production an incredible challenge. “Doing anything in Syria is difficult,” Meltzer begins. “Getting someone to allow you to teach a class as a foreigner, let alone make a film, is unusual.”

Meltzer and Nix visited Syria three times from 2008-10, armed with aPanasonic AG-HVX200 and enough P2 cards to get through about four hours of shooting a day. They shot extensive interviews with al-Habash and many of the girls and women who participated in the classes, and they had access to the classes themselves, where they shot a great deal of material.

The production kit had to be kept to an absolute minimum since the project was being done under the radar of the authorities. In addition to the camera they had a tripod, two small Litepanels units, a stand, and a boom mic that went through a small mixer where practical and directly into the HVX200’s input otherwise. Meltzer, who shot the majority of the material herself, also rode audio levels and conducted interviews through a translator.

At the end of the day, Meltzer would download the P2 cards to hard drives via a laptop and do some initial editing in Apple Final Cut Pro 7. Meltzer and Nix completed cutting in the United States with editors Monique Zavistovski and Nathaniel Fregoso. The finished film was onlined and graded in Apple Color at Santa Monica post house Different by Design.

(L-R) Julia Meltzer, Houda al-Habash, Laura Nix

During shooting, the crew was also minimal. “I couldn’t work with men because they were not allowed in the mosque,” Meltzer explains. “We brought in cinematographer Anne Etheridge for part of the shoot, but otherwise it was just me.”

Throughout production, the filmmakers were always concerned that the shoot would be shut down. “We couldn’t get into the country with a lot of gear,” she says. “We didn’t have official permission to make a film in Syria. We had to put the batteries in our socks!

“We would always enter Syria through Lebanon,” she adds. “If you get turned back at Lebanon, you can go to Beirut and try again later—you don’t have to leave the region. We did get stopped at that border once and they took out everything we had, but I was able to talk my way out of it. Of course you could never do this in Syria now, but I said I was there to shoot my friend’s wedding. Everyone has a videographer at their wedding. They still called security and the police met us in Damascus, but they were nice about it and let us just go on our way. There was actually an advantage to being women filmmakers in that part of the world: no one takes you seriously.”

Interviewing Houda al-Habash

After the filmmakers completed shooting, Meltzer reports it still took over a year with the material to find a structure for the final 87-minute film. The broadcast cut comes in at 58 minutes. “It’s hard to tell a story about a conservative Muslim woman and win people over to her side,” she observes. “People come to it with very strong feelings about Muslim women—especially Muslim women wearing the hijab. How do you make that person complicated and appealing and tell a story with an arc? It’s ultimately an observational film about a world few people know about—we’re asking the audience to step into this world and just see what it’s about.”

As a postscript, it should be noted that it would be impossible to make this film in the Middle East’s current political climate. “The school is closed,” Meltzer notes. “It’s a totally different world than it was just a few years ago when we were there. But ultimately, I think the sentiment that drives these women in the film is very much what’s driving what’s happening throughout the Middle East.”

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Assad’s Response to Syria Unrest Leaves His Own Sect Divided

BEIRUT, Lebanon — After Jaber Abboud, a baker from Baniyas, Syria, first lashed out publicly at President Bashar al-Assad for failing to promote real change, his neighbors ignored it.

But Mr. Abboud and most of his community are Alawites, the same religious sect as the president. When the popular uprising broke out, many believed that if the Assad family fell, they were doomed. They closed ranks and turned on Mr. Abboud, boycotting his pastry shop and ultimately forcing him to leave town.

“The neighborhood is split — half are dejected and subservient, the rest are beasts,” he said in a telephone interview from nearby Latakia. “It is depressing to go there, it’s like a town full of ghosts, divided, security everywhere.”

As the Syrian conflict escalates to new levels of sectarian strife, Mr. Assad is leaning ever more heavily on his religious base for support. The Alawite core of the elite security forces is still with him, as are many Syrians from minority groups.

But interviews with a dozen Alawites indicated a complex split even within their ranks. Some Alawites are frustrated that security forces have not yet managed to crush the opposition, while others say that Mr. Assad is risking the future of the Alawites by pushing them to the brink of civil war with Sunni Muslims.

Mr. Assad’s ruling Baath Party professes a secular, pan-Arab socialism, but Sunnis, who make up about 74 percent of the population, have long bridled at what they see as sectarian rule by the Alawites, who are nominally Shiite Muslims and make up only 13 percent of the population.

People like Mr. Abboud say they feel stranded in a no man’s land. Blackballed by their own Alawite community, they find that the Islamists who dominate parts of the armed opposition regard them with murderous suspicion. A few with opposition credentials have been killed.

On the other extreme are Alawites who criticize Mr. Assad as being too soft, saying that his father and predecessor as president, Hafez al-Assad, would have quashed the threat by now.

With Alawite youths dying by the hundreds to defend the government, voices are raised at funerals and elsewhere asking questions like, “Why is the government not doing enough to protect us?” according to the Alawites interviewed.

There were also anti-Assad chants in Alawite neighborhoods like Zahra in Homs, like: “Bashar became a Sunni!” (Mr. Assad’s wife, Asma al-Akhras, comes from a prominent family of Sunni Muslims from Homs.)

Alawite-Sunni tensions reached a new peak after a spate of mass killings, particularly the May 25 Houla massacre of 108 Sunni Muslims, including 49 children. Survivors from Houla and people living near the slaughter last Wednesday in the farming hamlet of Qubeir said the attackers came from Alawite villages. The United Nations said suspicions in Houla were focused on pro-government militiamen known in Arabic as shabiha. Alawites dominate their ranks.

“For the first time, we began to hear directly from our Sunni neighbors that we should leave Damascus and return to our villages,” said Abu Ali, 50, a real estate agent. He said that once the school year ended he expected a flood of such departures out of fear of revenge attacks.

Fear of reprisals has prompted dire warnings from some Alawites that their future is on the line. Afaq Ahmad, a defector from the air force intelligence branch, posted a 10-minute plea on YouTube saying that Alawites have to stop committing collective suicide. He has gained prominence partly because Alawite defectors are rare.

“Does the family of Bashar al-Assad deserve to be the leaders of the Alawites?” Mr. Ahmad asked. “In the face of crimes like this, we cannot stay silent. We should stick to our religious and humanitarian principles because otherwise, history will show no mercy.”

Officials in the Assad government often say that its secular ideology has preserved the harmony among what it calls the “glorious mosaic” of Syria’s many overlapping religions, ethnic groups and tribes. But its critics call that a front for Alawite domination, reversing centuries of fierce discrimination that is reflected in Syrian geography. Scorned as nonbelievers during about 400 years of Ottoman rule and forced to pay a special tax, the Alawites sequestered themselves in impoverished mountain redoubts overlooking the Mediterranean.

But Mr. Abboud and most of his community are Alawites, the same religious sect as the president. When the popular uprising broke out, many believed that if the Assad family fell, they were doomed. They closed ranks and turned on Mr. Abboud, boycotting his pastry shop and ultimately forcing him to leave town.

“The neighborhood is split — half are dejected and subservient, the rest are beasts,” he said in a telephone interview from nearby Latakia. “It is depressing to go there, it’s like a town full of ghosts, divided, security everywhere.”

As the Syrian conflict escalates to new levels of sectarian strife, Mr. Assad is leaning ever more heavily on his religious base for support. The Alawite core of the elite security forces is still with him, as are many Syrians from minority groups.

But interviews with a dozen Alawites indicated a complex split even within their ranks. Some Alawites are frustrated that security forces have not yet managed to crush the opposition, while others say that Mr. Assad is risking the future of the Alawites by pushing them to the brink of civil war with Sunni Muslims.

Mr. Assad’s ruling Baath Party professes a secular, pan-Arab socialism, but Sunnis, who make up about 74 percent of the population, have long bridled at what they see as sectarian rule by the Alawites, who are nominally Shiite Muslims and make up only 13 percent of the population.

People like Mr. Abboud say they feel stranded in a no man’s land. Blackballed by their own Alawite community, they find that the Islamists who dominate parts of the armed opposition regard them with murderous suspicion. A few with opposition credentials have been killed.

On the other extreme are Alawites who criticize Mr. Assad as being too soft, saying that his father and predecessor as president, Hafez al-Assad, would have quashed the threat by now.

With Alawite youths dying by the hundreds to defend the government, voices are raised at funerals and elsewhere asking questions like, “Why is the government not doing enough to protect us?” according to the Alawites interviewed.

There were also anti-Assad chants in Alawite neighborhoods like Zahra in Homs, like: “Bashar became a Sunni!” (Mr. Assad’s wife, Asma al-Akhras, comes from a prominent family of Sunni Muslims from Homs.)

Alawite-Sunni tensions reached a new peak after a spate of mass killings, particularly the May 25 Houla massacre of 108 Sunni Muslims, including 49 children. Survivors from Houla and people living near the slaughter last Wednesday in the farming hamlet of Qubeir said the attackers came from Alawite villages. The United Nations said suspicions in Houla were focused on pro-government militiamen known in Arabic as shabiha. Alawites dominate their ranks.

“For the first time, we began to hear directly from our Sunni neighbors that we should leave Damascus and return to our villages,” said Abu Ali, 50, a real estate agent. He said that once the school year ended he expected a flood of such departures out of fear of revenge attacks.

Fear of reprisals has prompted dire warnings from some Alawites that their future is on the line. Afaq Ahmad, a defector from the air force intelligence branch, posted a 10-minute plea on YouTube saying that Alawites have to stop committing collective suicide. He has gained prominence partly because Alawite defectors are rare.

“Does the family of Bashar al-Assad deserve to be the leaders of the Alawites?” Mr. Ahmad asked. “In the face of crimes like this, we cannot stay silent. We should stick to our religious and humanitarian principles because otherwise, history will show no mercy.”

Officials in the Assad government often say that its secular ideology has preserved the harmony among what it calls the “glorious mosaic” of Syria’s many overlapping religions, ethnic groups and tribes. But its critics call that a front for Alawite domination, reversing centuries of fierce discrimination that is reflected in Syrian geography. Scorned as nonbelievers during about 400 years of Ottoman rule and forced to pay a special tax, the Alawites sequestered themselves in impoverished mountain redoubts overlooking the Mediterranean.

France, as the colonial power, created a separate coastal Alawite state that lasted from 1920 to 1936.

With independence, Alawites were drawn to the military and the secularist Baath Party. The coup that brought Hafez al-Assad to power in 1970 cemented their control, shocking the traditional Sunni ruling class. He stocked the secret police and the military with Alawites, creating such a fear of them that Syrians talking about the sect in public called them “Germans.”

The late president formed the elite units, now controlled by his son Maher, that are the main military force of repression. The government showed no forbearance toward its Alawite critics — they were considered traitors, often jailed for twice as long as Sunni Muslims for their role in clandestine political organizations. Now, even watching satellite channels critical of the Syrian government, like Al Jazeera, is considered treachery in Alawite communities.

The intolerance of dissent means there is no uniquely Alawite opposition movement. (There is a Facebook page,Alawites in the Syrian Revolution, and the campaign to resurrect nonviolent protests involves many young, urban Alawites.)

The first Alawite joined the executive committee of the Syrian National Council, the main opposition group in exile, only in April. Many others had been deterred by both the Sunni Muslim dominance of the group and concern for family members back home.

In Baniyas, along Syria’s roughly 100 miles of Mediterranean coast, the fate of Mr. Abboud, the baker, at the hands of the community helps to explain the reluctance.

Mr. Abboud, 57, a former soccer coach, said he had been arrested three times and badly beaten. Two of his three children received death threats, neighbors tried repeatedly to set fire to his house and friends he had known since childhood avoided him. Even his three sisters shunned him.

Until the uprising, the worst Sunni-Alawite vendetta came during the skirmishing between the Muslim Brotherhood and the government about 30 years ago. In the most notorious attack, Muslim extremists singled out Alawite military cadets in Aleppo for execution, letting others go free. The Alawites have never forgotten.

In Damascus in the 1980s, new Alawite communities were formed to ring the capital, which the city’s natives sometimes derisively call “settlements.” Salam, 28, a businessman, who grew up in one such area, said that early in the uprising, the government distributed automatic rifles there. “They told us, ‘The Sunnis are going to kill you,’ ” Salam said in an interview over Skype. “They scared us. Of course some people in our community are narrow-minded; they believed them and, unfortunately, many people accepted the weapons.”

Alawite opposition sympathizers in smaller towns tend to stay silent because they are so few. “The people will kill them,” said Wajdy Mustafa, a longtime Alawite activist now living in exile in California. Yet they fear seeking haven among the Sunnis, too, lest they be killed for their sect, he said.

There is much talk that if the government collapses, the Alawites might withdraw back into the mountains. Others speculate that mass killings by Alawite militias are aimed at consolidating control in parts of the country that they could defend in a prolonged conflict with the Sunnis.

Amid the siege mentality, however, come occasional glimmers of a different mind-set.

Reem, 28, with long, curly black hair, helps organize anti-Assad rallies in Damascus. At the start of the uprising she could not show her face in her village above Tartus, she said. Eventually she went, prompting catcalls from pro-Assad neighbors.

But on her most recent visit a month ago, no one cursed her activism, said Reem, who gave only one name to avoid recriminations. “They have begun to understand the real face of the Syrian crisis, that it is a popular revolution against a dictatorship, not against an Alawite regime,” she said, describing the shock registered by young people in the village when she described how young Alawites, Sunnis and Druze stand together in antigovernment protests in Damascus.

“They are amazed to hear that an Alawite woman without a veil and in tight jeans can demonstrate hand in hand with a Sunni woman covered in black,” she said.

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Global manhunt on for accused killer porn star

A manhunt is on for a Canadian porn star accused of murdering a man and mailing the victim’s dismembered body parts to Canada’s liberal and conservative political parties. The torso of the body was left to rot near the accused killer’s apartment complex.

What’s even more shocking is that Montreal Police Commander Ian Lefreniere says Luka Rocco Magnotta filmed himself in the act and posted the 10-minute video online for the world to see.

Montreal Police have identified the victim as 33-year-old Lin Jun. He was from the east-central Chinese city of Wuhan and was attending the University of Montreal. Police say there are videos that indicate the two men knew each other, but it is unclear whether they were dating.

Lefreniere says there is reason to believe Magnotta has fled the country, and Interpol has issued a worldwide 190-country alert for the suspect.

The Toronto Star newspaper is reporting that the suspect’s birth name is Eric Clinton Newman, and that he changed his name to Magnotta in 2006. Lefreniere said Magnotta is deranged, inhuman, and gross.

Animal activists aren’t fans of Magnotta either.

Activists started a Facebook page in December 2010 that calls Magnotta a “Vacuum Kitten Killer,” and asks for help in tracking him down. Lefreniere says he is aware Magnotta has been accused of animal cruelty.

A post on the page from this week says: “We are patiently waiting for more information on the case and have faith in the Montreal Police… Members of this group have spent over a year searching for this individual, who we believe is also responsible for several videos where animals were killed. Information gathered by group members was passed onto the authorities in Canada, and we were informed that they were actively working on locating the person seen in the videos hurting animals.”

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Workers again among the victims as factories collapse in Italy’s latest deadly earthquake

SAN FELICE SUL PANARO, Italy — Workers at the small machinery company had just returned for their first shift following Italy’s powerful and deadly quake earlier this month when another one struck, collapsing the roof.

At least three employees at the factory — two immigrants and an Italian engineer checking the building’s stability — were among those killed Tuesday in the second deadly quake in nine days to strike a region of Italy that hadn’t considered itself particularly quake prone.

By late Tuesday, the death toll stood at 16, with one person missing : a worker at the machinery factory in the small town of San Felice Sul Panaro. Some 350 people also were injured in the 5.8 magnitude quake north of Bologna in Emilia Romagna, one of Italy’s more productive agricultural and industrial regions. Originally government officials had put the death toll at 17, and there was no immediately explanation for the lowered figure.

The injured included a 65-year-old woman who was pulled out alive by rescuers after lying for 12 hours in the rubble of her apartment’s kitchen in Cavezzo, another town hard hit by the quake. Firefighters told Sky TG24 TV that a piece of furniture, which had toppled over, saved her from being crushed by the wreckage. She was taken to a hospital for treatment.

The building had been damaged in the first quake, on May 20, and had been vacant since. The woman had just gone back inside it Tuesday morning to retrieve some clothes when the latest temblor knocked down the building, firefighters said.

Factories, barns and churches fell, dealing a second blow to a region where thousands remained homeless from the May 20 temblor, much stronger in intensity, at 6.0 magnitude.

The two quakes struck one of the most productive regions in Italy at a particularly crucial moment, as the country faces enormous pressure to grow its economy to stave off the continent’s debt crisis. Italy’s economic growth has been stagnant for at least a decade, and the national economy is forecast to contract by 1.2 percent this year.

The area encompassing the cities of Modena, Mantua and Bologna is prized for its super car production, churning out Ferraris, Maseratis and Lamborghinis; its world-famous Parmesan cheese, and less well-known but critical to the economy — its machinery companies.

Like the May 20 quake, many of the dead in Tuesday’s temblor were workers inside huge warehouses, many of them prefabricated, that house factories. Inspectors have been determining which are safe to re-enter, but economic pressure has sped up renewed production — perhaps prematurely.

Seven people were killed in the May 20 quake. In both, the dead were largely and disproportionately workers killed by collapsing factories and warehouses.

Co-workers of Mohamed Azeris, a Moroccan immigrant and father of two who died in the just-reopened factory, claim he was forced back to work as a shift supervisor or faced losing his job. A local union representative had demanded an investigation.

“Another earthquake — unfortunately during the day — that means people were inside working, so I think that an investigation will need to be opened here to check who cleared as safe these companies to understand who’s responsible for this,” Erminio Veronesi told The Associated Press.

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Transition Networks Delivers SLA Assurance to Telecoms and Cable Providers at CommunicAsia 2012

Singapore — May 29, 2012 — Transition Networks Inc., the fiber access technology expert, a wholly owned subsidiary of Communications Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ-GM: JCS), today announces the Asian launch of its latest Network Interface Device (NID): the S3280, ahead of CommunicAsia 2012. This device expands on advanced timing over packet networks and is specifically designed to allow telecoms and cable providers to deploy scalable services quickly, and verification of service performance promised in Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) to customers, while minimizing capital expenditures. 

 

The S3280 allows service providers to offer their subscribers tiered Ethernet services, based on advanced features like differentiated Quality of Service (QoS) and bandwidth allocation per Ethernet Virtual Circuit (EVC). This device also enables service providers to offer SLA-quality service and support through scalable, intelligent User Network Interface (UNI), creating a greater differentiation of service offering from their competition. Within these tiered services SLAs can be supported and verified through the use of built in performance monitoring statistics. S3280 reduces Operational Expenses (OpEx) by providing methods to quickly detect and resolve faults without the need to dispatch a technician to remote locations. Remote fault detection and troubleshooting help increase customer satisfaction while minimizing operational expense. 

 

The features of the S3280 are geared for mobile backhaul and business Ethernet delivery, while also designed to support Carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE2.0) applications. The S3280 represents a compact platform designed to accommodate today’s demands and grow with tomorrow’s Ethernet requirements – ideal for Asia and beyond. The S3280’s capabilities are based on precise end-to-end performance measurement tools that allow providers to deliver a myriad of services from a single platform.

 

Jon Collins, Senior Product Manager at Transition Networks, says: “We have a new product line built specifically to meet the increasing demands of customers in the region, who continue to put more demands on service providers to offer reliable services that are faster yet more cost-effective. Transition Networks is committed to helping Asian service providers exceed their customers’ expectations as well as their competitive edge and profitability as a result of adding new services more quickly and more efficiently.”

 

“The new S3280 provides a cost-effective way to meet even the most stringent customer demands and addresses wide-scale deployment challenges while providing deterministic features similar to traditional TDM circuits such as: Service OAM, Frame Delay (FD), Frame Delay Variance (FDV or Jitter), Frame Loss Ratio (FLR), single and double tagging, Quality of Service (QoS), bandwidth allocation and remote diagnostics.” 

 

Product Features
The new S3280 builds on Transition Networks’ existing S3240 platform by adding additional port configurations as well as increasing the features of the device.  All of the ports can either be customer or network-facing, allowing for fiber to fiber, copper to fiber, or copper to copper handoffs. Some of the new features and capabilities include a complete Ethernet OAM suite that includes Ethernet Link OAM (IEEE 802.3ah), Ethernet Service OAM (IEEE 802.1ag) and Performance Monitoring (ITU-T Y.1731). This device also fully supports IPv6 and SNMPv3 making it a viable solution for next generation networks.

This feature-rich, intelligent Network Interface Device incorporates both E-Line and E-LAN services for point-to-point or point-to-multipoint connectivity between locations.  Included are additional advanced security features such as:  SSL, SSH, Multi-layer Access Control Lists (ACL), TACACS+, and management VLANs to prevent unauthorized access to anyone who isn’t a network adminstrator.  The S3280 incorporates a standards based SONET-like ring recovery mechanism titled ITU G.8032v2, which guarantees sub-50ms recovery in the event of a link failure along with interoperability between different manufacturers. The S3280 also adds 1588v2 clocking mechanisms, which is critical in ensuring proper timing and packet delivery in high-quality mobile services.

The S3280 has a normal operating temperature of -20°-65°C but offers providers a short-term extended temp range of -40°C to 75°C, allowing deployments in semi-controlled backhaul applications. The S3280 has three power input standards.  Either 100-240VAC, or dual redundant DC power inputs ranging from 18-57VDC. The fanless design of the S3280 increases the product’s reliability over the duration of its deployment. 

Provisioning, management and monitoring of the S3280 can be performed from a web-browser, the integrated CLI (either via telnet or the console port), or with an SNMP system.

Product Configuration

Transition Networks’ S3280 is a standalone NID. 

 

Model
S3280
Copper Ports
(4) 10/100/1000BASE-T (RJ-45)
Fiber Port(s)
(4) 100/1000Base-X Open SFP Slots *(SFP port is dual speed)
802.3ah
Yes
802.1ag / Y.1731
Yes
Redundant Power
Yes – (2) 18-57VDC inputs and (1) 100-240VAC input standard
Ring Protection
STP/RSTP/MSTP, G.8031 and G.8032v2
Clocking
1588v2
Jumbo Frames
9.6k
Power Fail Notification
Last/Dying Gasp and SNMP Traps on power supply failure
Mounting Options
Desktop, Wall Mount and 19” Rack Mount Kit for S3280 (Rack mount and wall mount kits sold separately)
 
Product Availability 
The S3280 is available now.  Please contact Transition Networks at +1-952-941-7600 for pricing and more information on the S3280 product line and accessories.  Or you can visitwww.transition.com/S3280 for the latest product information, including datasheets and manuals.

 

 

About Transition Networks Carrier-Grade Products
Transition Networks has achieved international recognition as a major manufacturer of high quality access and backhaul equipment for data communications and telecommunications applications. Transition has been a long-time active member of the MEF and a pontificator for the proliferation of Ethernet technology in Carrier access networks.  Transition Networks has previously achieved Carrier Ethernet Generation 1.0 certification (MEF 9, 14, and 21), and the S3280 is already Carrier Ethernet 2.0-compliant.

 

About Transition Networks Inc. 
Transition Networks Inc. is top manufacturer of high quality access and backhaul equipment for data communications and telecommunications applications. Based in Minneapolis, Transition Networks distributes hardware-based connectivity solutions exclusively through a network of resellers in 50 countries. Transition Networks is a wholly owned subsidiary of Communications Systems, Inc., a publicly traded company (NASDAQ-GM: JCS).

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Google Joins Global Innovators at CommunicAsia2012

SINGAPORE, 29 MAY 2012 – Industry giant Google, is set to join a host of industry experts and thought leaders at the Marina Bay Sands next month for the leading global event in converging broadcast and telecommunications. CommunicAsia2012 organisers have announced that Ms. Aliza Knox, Managing Director of Commerce for Google Asia Pacific, will deliver the Visionary Address on Wednesday 20 June, at the CommunicAsia2012 Summit, focusing on how ‘Asia defines the Internet’ by following the trajectory of the smartphone across Asia and how it can lead to a better understanding of the region’s current and future growth.

Until recently mobile-internet innovations in one Asian country had little impact on its immediate neighbours, which effectively meant the region was growing apart. Now that’s changing and Asia is growing together. Ms. Knox, who joined Google in 2007, has been responsible for creating a major brand presence in Singapore and for driving the company’s strategy and growth across APAC.
Ms. Knox comments, “CommunicAsia2012 Summit is an exciting space to discuss the latest technological developments taking place in the Asia Pacific region. It is my great pleasure to present the Visionary Address at this international platform. I am excited to share my views on these developments, especially of the smartphone, with fellow colleagues from the industry, and how technology has changed and enabled businesses in Asia to grow.”
Delegates at the CommunicAsia2012 Summit can look forward to over 170 conference sessions, workshops, and panel discussions that will foster dialogue among industry and government leaders, and provide executive insights and analysis on the exciting ICT developments across the globe.
A wide range of topics from cloud computing to mobile marketing will be presented by prominent speakers such as Mr. Simone Brunozzi, Technology Evangelist, Asia Pacific, Amazon Web Services; Mr. Dan Scoffer, Vice President, Marketing and Business Development, VeriFone; Mr. Vivek Jhamb, Senior Vice-President, Vodafone Global Enterprise, India; Mr. Christian Geissendoerfer, CEO of Yoose; Mr. Wayne Purboo, President, CEO & Co-Founder, QuickPlay Media; Mr. Rodrigo Donazzolo, Head of IP Interoperability, BT Global Telecom Markets Asia Pacific, and many more.
 
Mobile technology will be a key focus at the CommunicAsia2012 Summit and will feature dedicated workshops on mobile marketing strategies and mobile security. Other tracks include next-generation broadband, satellite communications, cloud computing, over the top technologies (OTT), customer experience management and augmented reality strategies.
“As mobile technologies transform the ICT landscape and revolutionise business models and marketing approaches, understanding this small but powerful device is vital to manoeuvring through the future ICT landscape. CommunicAsia2012 Summit brings together industry thought leaders, government ministries and international industry associations to generate in-depth discussion and knowledge sharing of strategies and solutions,” says Ms. Lindy Wee, Director of PR and Conferences from event organiser, Singapore Exhibition Services (SES).
Delegates at the Summit can also experience these technologies first hand at the exhibition hall, where more than 200 debut exhibitors will be located. These exhibitors will be sharing their expertise and showcasing their newest and latest products and solutions at CommunicAsia2012.
To view the full event programme and register for the CommunicAsia2012 Summit, please visit
http://www.communicasia.com/conference-programme.html. Alternatively, keep up to date with the event via Twitter by following @communicasia

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Mali government rejects north’s independence

Mali’s embattled transitional government has rejected the declaration by an alliance of northern rebels of an independent Islamic Tuareg state.

“The government of Mali categorically rejects the idea of the creation of an Azawad state, even more so of an Islamic state,” a government official told the AFP news agency on Sunday.

“Even though this state creation is just on paper and not de facto, we are coming forward to stress that Mali is secular and will remain secular,” said Hamadoun Toure, information minister in the transitional Malian administration.

The two groups that seized control of Mali’s north had announced that they agreed to merge and create an independent state in the northern half of the west African nation.

The merger, announced on Saturday, would see the Tuareg separatist-led National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), and Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith) fighters join forces to nominally control an area the size of France.

“I have just signed an accord that will see an independent and Islamic state where we have Islamic law,” Alghabass Ag Intalla, a leader of the Ansar Dine, said.

The group is accused of being linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), a North African group responsible for dozens of suicide attacks as well as the kidnappings of foreigners, some of whom were later executed.

The Saturday evening agreement was signed in the northern town of Gao, with celebratory gunfire in both Gao and Timbuktu, another town under their control, marking the development.

The two groups had been in disagreement since March, when they took over the north of Mali and forced Malian government troops to flee south.

Meanwhile, reports surfaced on Sunday that AQIM had seized an underground weapons and ammunition depot several days ago in Gao, which will vastly boost the group’s firepower.

Turf wars

Ansar Dine wants to impose Islamic law in the area they occupy, a move the secular MNLA had previously opposed.

Speaking to Al Jazeera from the UK, Akli Sha’kka, spokesman of the Tuareg Youth Movement, said that the merger was “a major turning point in Azawad history”.

“This [co-operation] comes after fraught discussions that have been taking place for almost a month now. The two groups still do not agree ideologically,” Sha’kka said.

“But the international community has to know that this will not be an extremist state. It is an Islamic state and the MNLA stated clearly at the beginning of the negotiations that Sharia law will not be imposed in the way that Ansar Dine was pushing for in the beginning.”

Abdel Fatau Musah, director of political affairs for ECOWAS, told Al Jazeera that the groups’ merger was an “opportunistic alliance”.

“The territorial integrity of Mali is non-negotiable,” Musah said. “Our offer of mediation is still on the table but the re-partitioning of Mali is off the table. ECOWAS is not going to entertain any negotiations with groups that we consider terrorist groups.”

“We are going to chase them out of that territory … from those population centres, and we have the means to do so.”

Independent homeland

Ansar Dine had previously said they were opposed to the MNLA objective of creating an independent homeland for Mali’s Tuaregs, a goal they now say they are backing.

During the late March advance, residents said there were visible turf wars with the fighters occupying different areas of the cities under their control, as the groups’ two separate flags competed for domination of various landmarks.

In Timbuktu, the last major town in the north to fall to fighters from the two groups, the MNLA took over the local airport, located on the outskirts of town, while Ansar Dine installed itself in the military camp at the centre of the city.

The agreement suggests both sides have made major concessions in talks that have been going on intermittently for weeks, and likely increases the chances they will be able to combine their fighters.

Tuareg rebels, many of whom were mercenaries who had fought for Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and returned heavily armed to their homeland, rekindled their decades-old struggle for autonomy with a massive offensive in January.

They were joined in March by Ansar Dine, a previously unknown group led by a senior figure of the 1990s Tuareg rebellion.

The north of Mali fell after a coup d’etat in the capital Bamako on March 21 left government forces disorganised and lacking motivation to fight.

The transitional government of Mali says it wants to take back captured territory but has so far been too distracted by issues of restoring political stability in Bamako to focus its attention on the issue of the north.

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India calls for more spectrum; yet to rule on pricing

India’s Telecom Commission yesterday called for more airwaves to be made available in the country’s upcoming 2G spectrum auctions, but has yet to rule on whether to back the controversial high prices for licences suggested by the regulator.

The Commission said that at least 10MHz of spectrum should be made available in each service area, double the 5MHz recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

The move is likely to be welcomed by local operators that have spoken out against the expected steep costs involved in acquiring the airwaves.

However, it is not clear if the additional spectrum will lead to lower reserve prices. TRAI has recommended a base price for a nationwide licence at INR36.22 billion (US$689.6 million) – over ten times higher than the prices set in a 2008 auction for the same airwaves. The Commission is to look at the pricing issue tomorrow (26 May), though ministers will have the final say on the auction rules.

The 10MHz of spectrum made available in each area will be made up of eight slots of 1.25MHz. Existing players will be able to buy two slots, while new players will be allowed to buy up to four slots. Additional spectrum could be made available if needed, the Commission said.

The licences awarded in the earlier 2008 auction were cancelled by India’s Supreme Court in February after the process was ruled “totally arbitrary and unconstitutional,” and deemed to have lost the Indian government as much as US$39 billion in potential income.

But the rules for the reallocation of the licences has been heavily criticised by the Indian operator community.

A report published earlier this week by PwC for the Cellular Operator Association of India (COAI) said that local operators could take on an extra US$50 billion in debt over the next five years if the auctions go ahead at the suggested prices.

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