Thursday, April 7, 2011

Begging dog makes bucketful of cash: South Beach, Miami



A homeless man in America has trained his dog to beg for money for him.

A mongrel in South Beach, Miami, has been earning his keep by quite literally bringing home buckets of money for his owner.

The dog, named locally as Chocolate, has been filmed begging for money in a packed restaurant in the Florida city.

Tourists recorded him carrying a bucket from table to table before waiting patiently until diners dropped money into his begging bowl.

When a careless donor missed the receptacle, the dog carefully retrieved the bill from the floor with his teeth before adding it to his haul.

It is not known how much money the dog makes from begging, but judging by the number of notes in his bucket, he is proving quite a success. (Source)

Poster's note: The dog's fantastic, as most dogs are. But the question must still be begged: Have we, as a society, become too lazy even to panhandle?

Latest photos of Libyan Civil War

Ivory Coast: UN air strikes show West's new appetite for military action

The UN air strikes in Ivory Coast suggest Libya was no fluke: the West's appetite for military action has recovered robustly from the diplomatic trauma of the Iraq war.

After a brief honeymoon following the successful mission to protect Kosovo in 1999, it seemed the Blairite era of "liberal interventionism" had been buried along with tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

The chaos after the steamrollering of the UN Security Council by Tony Blair and George W. Bush in 2002-03 seemed likely to usher in a new period of isolationism.

Barack Obama swept to power in 2008 on a wave of anti-war sentiment, while David Cameron entered Downing Street last year insisting that the West "can't drop democracy from 40,000ft".

Yet the past three weeks have found the council – this time with a less noisy Anglo-American wing – willing to pass stunningly powerful resolutions allowing missile strikes against murderous leaders.

Both resolution 1973 on Libya and resolution 1975 on Ivory Coast give external forces the authority to take "all necessary" measures to protect civilians from violence – practically a carte blanche. (read more)

Ivory Coast: Laurent Gbagbo stays in bunker and vows not to surrender

Ivory Coast's embattled leader Laurent Gbagbo is protected by a rump of just 200 soldiers in his bunker beneath the presidential palace, the French defence minister said, but he is refusing to surrender to advancing forces.

Gerard Longuet said Mr Gbagbo has an estimated 1,000 troops left in Abidjan, as forces loyal to president-in-waiting Alassane Ouattara had the palace surrounded.

"We're going to wait and let him come out like a rat," said an adviser to Mr Ouattara

However, Mr Gbagbo refuses to give up his increasingly fragile position and continues to claim he won November's election despite international pressure.

Europe-based adviser Toussaint Alain said by telephone that he had spoken to Mr Gbagbo and to the ruler's wife, Simone, on Thursday and that their position had not changed.

"I reached the head of state and his wife less than an hour ago – and no, he will not surrender. President Gbagbo will not cede," said Mr Alain. "It's a question of principle. President Gbagbo is not a monarch. He is not a king. He is not an emperor. He is a president elected by his people." (read more)

Barack Obama locked in last minute budget talks with congressional leaders


Barack Obama was locked in crisis budget talks with congressional leaders as the US faces the prospect of a costly government shutdown.

The shutdown would see 800,000 workers asked to stay at home and could cost taxpayers more than $100 million (£61 million) a day.

Mr Obama called for a “sense of urgency” as America sought to avoid the first shutdown since 1996 when Bill Clinton was president.

Failure to reach a deal by midnight on Friday would mean that Washington would essentially run out of money.

The budget battle is a clash between resurgent Republicans, who scored a huge win in last year's midterm elections, and Mr Obama's Democrats over the size of government, debt and deficits.

All-night talks among aides failed to break the deadlock on Wednesday so Mr Obama summoned Representative John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives and a Republican, and Senator Harry Reid, a Democrat and Senate Majority Leader, for the second time in just over 12 hours. (read more)

Pain awaits Portugal as bail-out reality hits: pay cuts, a rising pension age, reduced welfare benefits

Portugal is facing the prospect of pay cuts, a rising pension age, reduced welfare benefits, labour market reforms and a bank recapitalisation as a "quid pro quo" for a multi-billion euro bail-out.

Public sector pay is already being slashed by 5pc and taxes are rising as the country grapples with crippling public debt of 93pc of GDP. Further proposals to shrink the 8.6pc budget deficit to 4.6pc this year that included benefit cuts, higher taxes, a pensions levy and lower redundancy payments were rejected by opposition parties last month, causing the government to resign and triggering the latest crisis.

On Wednesday, Portugal's interim Prime Minister Jose Socrates said he had bowed to the "inevitable" and requested a European bail-out. Analysts expect it to seek anything from €60bn to €90bn (£52.5bn to £79bn) of support, equivalent of half Portugal's GDP and roughly in line with the €85bn Irish package. Conditions attached to the rescue "would start with the measures already proposed", Elga Bartsch, chief European economist at Morgan Stanley, said.

Analysts said Portugal is caught in a debt trap as it will struggle to outgrow its borrowings. Its credit rating has been slashed to just above junk by Fitch, the credit rating agency.

The issue has come to a head because Portugal must raise about €14bn in the debt markets before the end of June, according to Giada Giani, European economist at Citi. Portugal is already paying about 6pc for one-year money, a price the government has admitted is unsustainable, and there are fears that it will be unable to find buyers to roll over its debts. (read more)

Der Spiegel: NATO Fears War without End in Libya

The front in Libya is barely moving as the country remains split between rebels and Gadhafi's troops. The rebels are complaining of not receiving enough air support, but NATO is hardly in a position to ramp it up after the withdrawal of US fighter jets. The resulting stalemate underscores the lack of a clear strategy for the allies in Libya.

American warplanes had hardly left the skies over Libya when the remonstrations began. "NATO has let us down," said rebel military chief Abdul Fattah Younis. As the rebels retreated in the town of Brega in the face of a heavy onslaught by Gadhafi's troops, there were no NATO planes in sight.

The withdrawal of the American planes, which flew more than half of the sorties in the first two weeks of the air strikes, has weakened NATO's potential force. With the organization having taken control of the operation, American planes are now only in standby mode, leaving the much smaller air forces of France and the United Kingdom to take on most of the workload. Appeals from the NATO leadership to member countries to send more aircraft have so far been met with little success. Only the British have beefed up their presence, increasing the number of its Tornado contingent from eight to 12. The French, meanwhile, are having to split their military resouces between two fronts now, with the opening of the conflict in the Ivory Coast. (read more)

Mexico mass graves discovered, tied to drug rivalry

Mexican security forces have found nearly 60 bodies in eight mass graves in the country's northern state of Tamaulipas near the US border.

Authorities found the graves on Wednesday in the town of San Fernando while investigating the kidnapping of passengers from a bus on March 25, AFP reported.

The death toll is expected to rise since the officials have counted only three of the eight graves so far.

According to Tamaulipas prosecutor's office, 11 suspects were detained and five hostages were rescued on the same mission.

The development came as earlier reports indicated that the passengers were pulled off several buses by gunmen in the area on March 25.

The officials believe they may have been killed after refusing to work for drug traffickers.
(read more)

US: Another air-traffic controller falls asleep -- yes, this happens often

A second air-traffic controller has been found sleeping on the job at night — this time intentionally. And the government said Wednesday he's being fired for it.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the unnamed controller slept for five hours intentionally during the midnight shift on Feb. 19 in Knoxville, Tenn.

It's the second incident in as many months that an FAA controller fell asleep during a midnight shift. A supervisor working alone at Washington's Reagan National Airport fell asleep for at least 24 minutes shortly after midnight on March 23.

In the incident at McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, a controller working in a radar room responsible for guiding planes in a roughly 50-mile radius around the airport was unresponsive for five hours, the FAA said.

Another controller working at the airport's tower was able to monitor the seven aircraft that flew into the airspace during that time, the agency said in a statement. All of the aircraft landed safely.

"The FAA will not tolerate this type of unprofessional and inappropriate behavior," the statement said. (read more)

Israel: Iron Dome intercepts first rocket

Ashkelon residents report seeing Grad explode in midair as dozens of rockets fired at south, meanwhile Hamas says Israel taking advantage of Goldstone's regret over Gaza war report to bomb Strip.

Residents in Ashkelon reported Thursday seeing Israel's new Iron Dome defense system intercept a Grad rocket fired towards the southern city from the Gaza Strip.

Eyewitnesses told Ynet they saw the rocket explode in midair and realized that the system had intercepted its first rocket.

Moshe Ben Hemo, a resident of Ashkelon, said, "I was in the street and I heard a strange sound, like someone pushing the gas pedal of a car. Then I saw the rocket fly through the air and explode. Immediately I realized that it was Iron Dome, that's what has been said here."

He added that the rocket alert had not been set off. "The rocket was apparently supposed to explode in Ashkelon. In any case I'm glad the system works," he said. (read more)

US Going Same Route as Greece, Portugal: Economist

The US is going down a similar road as that taken by Greece and Portugal with regard to its budget decisions, John E. Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo, said on Wednesday.

"To me—being in Europe for a few days—the plot in Greece and Portugal sounds an awful lot like the same plot that's going on in the United States. But the characters have different names," he said.

As the deadline for a budget agreement looms in Congress, Silvia told CNBC that the US must recognize that the moderate economic growth forecast by most economists for the country will fail to generate the tax revenue necessary to fund long-running government entitlement spending. (read more)

NYC Restaurants Using Radiation Detectors On Fish From Pacific

Could powerful radiation from those reactors in Japan be tainting the fish you’re eating here at home? While the government says no, some restaurant owners aren’t taking any chances.

At Le Bernardin in Manhattan fish is a way of life.

“Well our fish is the freshest, of course, and it comes from the best,” owner Eric Ripert told CBS 2’s Kristin Thorne.

But celebrity owner Ripert said he’s making sure of it. He’s testing every single piece of fish that comes through his door for radiation.

“Some of our clients started asking us some questions and they were concerned,” Ripert said.

The concern is over radiation in the Pacific Ocean. A leak in one of the nuclear reactors in tsunami-ravaged Japan has spewed tons of radioactive material into the ocean. The Food & Drug Administration is testing all fish that comes into the United States and so far they say they haven’t found any contamination. (read more)

Japan considers wider nuclear evacuation zone

Japan said Thursday it is considering expanding the area covered by a compulsory evacuation order, with no immediate end in sight to the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

As emergency workers began pumping nitrogen into the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant to prevent further explosions, the government said it was seeking advice from experts on whether more areas should be evacuated.

Residents within a 20-kilometre (12-mile) radius of the nuclear power plant have already been ordered to leave, while those living up to 10 kms beyond that have only been told to stay indoors.

Evacuation orders are currently issued when residents are at risk of receiving radiation of at least 50 millisieverts, but the government said that arrangement assumed only brief exposure.

"The standard does not take into account the effects of accumulative exposure," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said. "We are discussing what standards to use for accumulative radiation." (read more)

China warns world not to interfere in artist Ai Wei Wei case

China warned the international community it had "no right to interfere" in the case of outspoken artist Ai Weiwei, who has been detained for investigation of unspecified economic crimes.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei confirmed a state media report that Ai, an avant-garde artist taken into custody in Beijing on Sunday as the government pursues a heavy crackdown on dissent, was the subject of a police probe.

Western governments and rights groups have lined up in support of Ai, who was detained while trying to board a flight to Hong Kong and has not been heard from since, but Beijing signalled it would not tolerate criticism from abroad.

"Ai Weiwei is under investigation on suspicion of economic crimes," Hong told reporters, refusing to comment on the nature of the alleged crimes.

"It has nothing to do with human rights or freedom of expression," said the spokesman, the first Chinese official to comment on the 53-year-old's case.

"Other countries have no right to interfere."

Ai is merely the latest of dozens of activists and government critics rounded up in clampdown on dissent following online calls for demonstrations in China to emulate the "Jasmine" protests that have rocked the Arab world. (read more)

Fact or Fiction: Did Bible code reveal "Japan", "Tsunami", and "Redemption"?



Gaddafi on the move: Fighters retreating from eastern Libyan city



Rebel fighters reeled in eastern Libya on Thursday as an airstrike killed at least three people and opposition fighters and civilians embarked on a wild, panicky retreat from a major city.

Aircraft dropped the bombs on a rebel formation on the eastern Libyan battlefront, witnesses said Thursday, an act that left opposition forces wondering whether NATO aircraft conducted a mistaken airstrike on the forces they are trying to protect. At least 10 people were wounded in the bombings.

It's unclear whether Libyan aircraft or the alliance conducted the strike, between al-Brega and Ajdabiya, but there haven't been Libyan air force planes in the skies for some time because NATO aircraft have established a no-fly zone.

A NATO representative said, "it is hard for us to confirm or deny. We don't have boots on the ground."

A few hours later, civilians and rebels fearing, an approach by pro-Gadhafi forces, made a panicky retreat from Ajdabiya, with hundreds of civilian cars and trucks loaded with rocket launchers and ammunition headed out of town in the direction of the opposition headquarters of Benghazi. (read more)

US Government shutdown: FAQs -- Senate staff beginning to receive furloughs

If Congress fails to approve a spending bill by Friday, the federal government will shut down. And boy, things aren't looking good.

Lawmakers have been trying to reach a compromise that would set spending levels for the next six months. Those negotiations continued Tuesday at the White House, and it appears things did not go well.

After the meeting, House Speaker John Boehner accused the White House of proposing cuts that amount to "smoke and mirrors."

And President Obama made a rare appearance at the White House press briefing, where he berated Republicans for including hot-button political initiatives in their proposal.

It appears the two sides are still billion of dollars away from striking a deal. With time running out, a shutdown is looking ever more likely.

If it comes to that, agencies won't be able to spend money, and parts of the federal government will close up shop. (read more)

Canada: 30 chihuahuas rescued from squalor in Ontario

A humane society in Oakville, Ont., has seized at least 30 chihuahuas from a home after they were found living in squalid and cramped conditions.

The Oakville and Milton Humane Society said it visited the home last Friday after being contacted by Halton Region police. A local resident of the city west of Toronto had grown concerned about the dogs and called police.

The human society said it took the dogs into its care after talking to the owner, who "had become overwhelmed with their care."

The dogs range in age, and their condition is being assessed. The Oakville Beaver, a local newspaper, reported the animals were held in cramped crates, which were stacked on top of each other and packed with urine and feces.

"It will take some time to fully assess these dogs," Johanne Golder, the head of the humane society, said in a statement. "We will know more about them and their adoptability in the days ahead."

It is not immediately clear if any charges will be filed. (read more)

U.S. Sees Array of New Threats at Japan’s Nuclear Plant

United States government engineers sent to help with the crisis in Japan are warning that the troubled nuclear plant there is facing a wide array of fresh threats that could persist indefinitely, and that in some cases are expected to increase as a result of the very measures being taken to keep the plant stable, according to a confidential assessment prepared by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Among the new threats that were cited in the assessment, dated March 26, are the mounting stresses placed on the containment structures as they fill with radioactive cooling water, making them more vulnerable to rupture in one of the aftershocks rattling the site after the earthquake and tsunami of March 11. The document also cites the possibility of explosions inside the containment structures due to the release of hydrogen and oxygen from seawater pumped into the reactors, and offers new details on how semimolten fuel rods and salt buildup are impeding the flow of fresh water meant to cool the nuclear cores.

In recent days, workers have grappled with several side effects of the emergency measures taken to keep nuclear fuel at the plant from overheating, including leaks of radioactive water at the site and radiation burns to workers who step into the water. The assessment, as well as interviews with officials familiar with it, points to a new panoply of complex challenges that water creates for the safety of workers and the recovery and long-term stability of the reactors. (read more)

A Crack in the Great Wall-mart: Watch Out for Rising Prices from China


In a widely covered interview last Wednesday, the CEO of Wal-Mart, Bill Simon, warned that “U.S. consumers face ‘serious’ inflation in the months ahead for clothing, food and other products.” He noted: "We're seeing cost increases starting to come through at a pretty rapid rate." Given his purview, I accept Simon’s opinion as positively disconcerting, and if inflation is to hit home in the heartland of America, it will certainly begin at Wal-Mart.

While America’s labor force struggles to regain employment and reclaim real wages, the prices of necessary products are preparing to surge, creating the uncomfortable prospect of stagflation, that dour economic phenomenon of rising prices and falling wages last seriously confronted three decades ago. It would be a toxic drink to swallow. Packaged in China for Sam’s Club, and mixed with a little Mexican Wage Gouging Tequila, this “stagarita” would leave a bitter taste in an election year. And what a hangover. (read more)

FDA propaganda: FDA: Eating Fish With Radiation 2400% Above Federal Limits “Poses No Health Risks” -- yet most science says otherwise

The EPA says eating fish caught in Japan, with radiation levels 2400% above Federal limits, does not pose any health risks. First Rainwater at 18,100% above drinking water limits is labeled as testing at levels far below concern. Now radiation in fish 2400% above federal food radiation limits also poses no health risks?

What I would really like know at this point is what levels qualify as “levels of concern”?

I recently posted the Federal Radiation limits for food in water in my article about Japan nuclear radiation being found in California drinking water. (Read more)


Could west coast fishing industry be in danger due to radiation?

Some South Korean schools close over radioactive rain concerns

Concerns about radiation fallout from Japan's nuclear disaster prompted some schools in South Korea to shut on Thursday as rain fell over most of the country, but the nuclear safety agency played down immediate health risks.

School boards across the country, Japan's closest neighbor, advised principals to use their discretion in scrapping outdoor activities to address concerns among parents, an education official said.

"We've sent out an official communication today that schools should try to refrain from outdoor activities," the official said, adding the school board did not want to alarm parents unduly with the current level of radiation reported.

Some schools in the Gyeonggi province outlying the capital Seoul chose to shut for the day, Yonhap news agency reported.

The biggest school for expatriate children in the capital, the Seoul Foreign School, said all outdoor activities had been canceled, but it would remain open as the U.S. and British embassies had not issued warnings. (read more)

Bank of Japan warns economy under 'downward pressure' from disaster

Japan's economy is "under strong downward pressure" due to the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) says.

The bank said that the downward pressure largely stems from lost production and disrupted supply chains.

The central bank kept its monetary policy unchanged leaving the interest rates in the range of zero to 0.1%

BOJ said it will offer 1 trillion yen ($11.7bn; £7bn) in new one-year loans.

The loans will be extended to financial institutions in the quake-hit areas at an interest rate of just 0.1%.

Analysts say that given the current situation, the central bank is unlikely to alter its monetary policy for the time being.

"The BOJ sees no need to ease policy further and will stand pat for the time being, unless the nuclear crisis worsens significantly or production struggles to recover in the coming months," said Masamichi Adachi of JP Morgan Securities in Tokyo.

However, Mr Adachi warned that as the full extent of damage caused by the quake and tsunami becomes clear, the bank is likely to issue a further warning of its impact on economic growth. (read more)

Israel shells Gaza City after Palestinian mortar strike -- countdown to war?

Israel has shelled the Palestinian territory of Gaza, killing one person and injuring at least four, after a mortar from Gaza hit a bus in southern Israel.

A boy, 13, was seriously wounded and several others were hurt by the mortar which landed near a kibbutz.

Israeli tanks shelled Gaza City, as Defence Minister Ehud Barak ordered the army to respond quickly.

A 50-year-old man was killed and a child, 4, was injured.

Several others were also hurt.

Israel also launched an air strike on a target in northern Gaza. The site was a training camp run by the Islamist Hamas movement, the AP news agency reports. (read more)

Ivory Coast: Laurent Gbagbo 'running out of troops' -- down to 1000 angry men

Besieged Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo has fewer than 1,000 troops left in the main city of Abidjan, French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet says.

He estimates 200 of these fighters are at the presidential residence, where the strongman refuses to stand down.

Mr Gbagbo is encircled by forces loyal to rival Alassane Ouattara, who is thought to have several thousand men.

A BBC correspondent in Abidjan says a fresh attack is expected at any moment on the presidential compound.

A so-called final assault on the building on Wednesday by pro-Ouattara forces was fought off by Gbagbo loyalists. (read more)

Scientists grow 'embryonic eye' in test tube -- is the Human puzzle nearing completion?

Eye transplants to cure blindness have taken a step closer after scientists managed to 'grow' a retina in the laboratory for the first time.

Researchers were amazed when stem cells in a test tube spontaneously organised themselves into a complex structure that resembles the developing embryonic eye.

The surprising development could lead eventually to whole retinas being cultured and then transplanted, restoring sight in the blind and visually impaired.

The team from the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research in Japan, first cultivated embryonic stem cells in a test tube and then added proteins to trigger them into developing.

They hoped that they would form a recognisable organ but were still stunned when over 10 days they clustered together and began to grow the "optical cup" of a retina.

Tests showed that the cells were functioning normally and were capable of communicating with each other. (read more)

Obama vows to veto short-term bill, making US government shutdown imminent

The White House has vowed to veto the short-term spending bill House Republicans will vote on this afternoon, taking away the safety net that could have given both sides another week to avert an immediate government shutdown.

Without a short-term extension, the options would be narrowed to either a broad successful deal or a shutdown as of midnight Friday.

“If presented with this bill, the president will veto it,” the White House said in an official statement of policy.

The House bill would extend the shutdown deadline by another week, to April 15, while funding defense needs for the rest of this year so that troops’ paychecks would not be endangered by a shutdown.

Meanwhile, negotiations on a broader year-long bill appeared to be foundering.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday morning said it now “looks like it’s headed in that direction” when current funding runs out at midnight Friday. (read more)

If you think you've got it bad... Desperate slum-dwellers wade up to their EARS in filthy sludge after their homes burn down - 7th Apr 2011

Desperately wading through neck-high sludge surrounded by trash, rubble and filth, a pair of homeless Filipino men begin the search for their belongings hours after a catastrophic fire savaged hundreds of shanty town houses.

These pictures of devastation show the appalling aftermath of a dawn fire which tore through a settlement in the Philippines, leaving up to 3,000 people homeless.

The blaze in Maysilo village, near Manila, started early on Thursday morning and obliterated the residential district in the night, destroying hundreds of houses.

Firefighters say the destructive fire started at a row of squatter houses and is thought to have been caused by an exploding liquefied petroleum gas tank.

Homeless residents were left to sift through the charred carnage and wade across dirty pools of debris in the hope of retrieving any of their possessions.

Men, women and children all had to pitch in around their blackened, wrecked homes as attempts were made by residents to recover anything valuable or reuseable.

Emergency services struggled to contain the fast-spreading fire because many of the affected houses were very close together and made of light materials.

Read More

The Great Blue Hole, Belize - Most Amazing Natural Phenomenon In The World - 7th Apr 2011

The Great Blue Hole, Belize
The Great Blue Hole is a large underwater sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 70 kilometres (43 mi) from the mainland and Belize City. The hole is circular in shape, over 300 metres (984 ft) across and 124 metres (407 ft) deep. It was formed during several episodes of Quaternary glaciation when sea levels were much lower - the analysis of stalactites found in Great Blue Hole shows that formation has taken place 153,000; 66,000; 60,000; and 15,000 years ago.

Exclusive: Eman al -Obeidy Interview - 7th Apr 2011

Secret Military Biological Experiments on the US Public



North Korean Experimentation - Most EVIL HUMAN Experiments - 7th Apr 2011

North Korean Experimentation
The reports of North Korean human experimentation describe suffocation of prisoners in gas chambers, testing deadly chemical weapons, surgery without anesthesia, and damaging the brains of people to use them for target practice.

Lee described an experiment in which 50 healthy women prisoners were selected and given poisoned cabbage leaves. All of the women were required to eat the cabbage, despite cries of distress from those who had already eaten. All 50 died after 20 minutes of vomiting blood and anal bleeding. Refusing to eat the cabbage would allegedly have meant reprisals against them and their families.

Kwon Hyok, a former head of security at Camp 22, described laboratories equipped with gas chambers for suffocation gas experiments, in which three or four people, normally a family, are the experimental subjects. After undergoing medical checks, the chambers are sealed and poison is injected through a tube, while scientists observe from above through glass. In a report reminiscent of an earlier account of a family of seven, Kwon claims to have watched one family of two parents, a son and a daughter die from suffocating gas, with the parents trying to save the children using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for as long as they had the strength. Kwon's testimony was supported by documents from Camp 22 describing the transfer of prisoners designated for the experiments. The documents were identified as genuine by Kim Sang Hun, a London based expert on Korea and human rights activist. A press conference in Pyongyang, organized by North Korean authorities, denounced this.
Former prison guard Ahn Myung Chul has reported that prisoners were used for "medical operation practice" for young doctors. According to him, these doctors would practice surgery on prisoners without anesthesia. He also described deliberate efforts to study physical resistance by starving prisoners to death. According to him,
The people who carry out these executions and these experiments all drink before they do it. But they are real experts now; sometimes they hit prisoners with a hammer, on the back of the head. The poor prisoners then lose their memory, and they use them as zombies for target practice. When the Third Bureau is running out of subjects, a black van known as "the crow" turns up and picks out a few more prisoners, sowing panic among the rest. The crow comes about once a month and takes forty or fifty people off to an unknown destination. Source

Fact or Fiction: Coverup? California, Northwest, B.C. Canada under radiation as high as Japan?

Independent scientist Leuren Moret, MA, PhD (ABT) has stated in exclusive April 4, 2011 interviews with reporter Alfred Lambremont Webre that the effects of the tectonic nuclear war against the populations and breadbaskets of North America (Canada, United States, Hawaii, and Mexico) are being intentionally covered up by the administrations of Barack Obama in the United States and Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Canada.

The radiation effect of this false flag global radiation war intensified this week as radiation maps produced by the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) now confirm that the Midwest of the United States, all of California, theNorthwest including the states of Oregon and Washington and the western part of Canada are under a radiation threat with radiation levels as high as that in Japan in areas adjacent to the six units of the Fukushima nuclear power plant that started in melt-down on March 11, 2011. (read more)

Canada: Milk products recalled in Ontario due to glass hazard

The public is being warned not to consume certain Organic Meadow and Farm Boy milk products because they may contain glass fragments.

The affected products are sold in Ontario in 946 millilitre glass bottles with a best before date of April 17.

They include partly skimmed, two per cent, one per cent, whole, unhomogenzied and chocolate milk products.

There have been no reported injuries.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is monitoring the recall. (Source)

Asian brown cloud: A reader's request about Asian pollution

One of our readers commented on an earlier post regarding Asian pollution and how it's affecting North America, and stated that he or she was disappointed that there was no investigation into how that same pollution was affecting people at its source -- that is, actual Asians.

Point taken, and a great one at that.

We've decided therefore to post some pertinent information regarding Asian pollution as a whole and what it's doing to people living on the continent, taken from Wikipedia as a reminder for all those who are unaware of Asia's polluted state -- and for the rest of us who have forgotten this very buried, and very sad repercussion of rapid industrialization in the developing world.

We need to remember that pollution has no ideology or borders, and the sky is something all human beings have to share and live with.

Earthly damage that is done in one place affects us all, at both its source and far beyond the borders of offending nations, and it's an issue that will take total global cooperation in order to solve.

Here's more information on the "Asian Brown Cloud":

The Asian brown cloud is a layer of air pollution that covers parts of South Asia, namely the northern Indian Ocean, India, and Pakistan.[1][2] Viewed from satellite photos, the cloud appears as a giant brown stain hanging in the air over much of South Asia and the Indian Ocean every year between January and March, possibly also during earlier and later months. The term was coined in reports from the UNEP Indian Ocean Experiment (INDOEX).[3]

A major source remains the barely scrubbed pollution, from both coal-fueled powerplants and manufacturing in Southern China. Most clearly revealed and defined by NASA and NOAA photography. The stream extends across the Pacific Ocean by way of the jet stream. Part of the Acid Rain encountered in the United States, is directly related to the ABC. In some humidity conditions, it forms haze. It is created by a range of airborne particles and pollutants from combustion (e.g. woodfires, cars, and factories), biomass burning[4] and industrial processes with incomplete burning.[5] The cloud is associated with the winter monsoon (November/December to April) during which there is no rain to wash pollutants from the air.[6]

One major impact is on health. The 2002 study indicated nearly two million people die each year in India alone from conditions related to the brown cloud.[11]

The second assessment study was published in 2008.[12] It highlighted regional concerns:

  • Changes of rainfall patterns with the Asian monsoon. The observed weakening Indian monsoon and in China northern drought and southern flooding is influenced by the clouds.
  • Increase in rainfall over the Top End and Kimberley. A CSIRO study has found that by displacing the thermal equator southwards via cooling of the air over East Asia, the monsoon which brings most of the rain to these regions has been intensified and displaced southward.[13]
  • Retreat of the Hindu Kush-Himalayan glaciers and snow packs. The cause is attributed to rising air temperatures that are more pronounced in elevated regions, a combined warming effect of greenhouse gases and the Asian Brown Cloud. Also deposition of black carbon decreases the reflection and exacerbates the retreat. Asian glacial melting could lead to water shortages and floods for the hundreds of millions of people who live downstream.
  • Decrease of crop harvests. Elevated concentrations of surface ozone is likely to affect crop yields negatively. The impact is crop specific.

The report also addressed the global concern of warming and concluded that the brown clouds have masked 20 - 80 percent of greenhouse gas forcing in the past century. The report suggested that air pollution regulations can have large amplifying effects on global warming. (read more)

New study warns that coral reef diversity is under severe threat

The world's most diverse coral reef regions may be under greater threat from human populations than previously thought, according to a new global scientific field study.

Researchers reporting in the journal PlosBiology say that the diverse reef fish systems are the most impaired by human populations -- which runs counter to previous experimental findings which have suggested that these areas were best equipped to deal with biodiversity loss.

"Before, we thought diversity was an insurance against human stressors but it is actually a weakness," said Camilo Mora from Canada's Dalhousie University, and lead author of the study.

The study, which involved researchers from 49 countries, is the first global analysis which tries to link production of coral fish biomass with human population density.

Over a two-year period, researchers gathered biological field data from nearly 2000 reef sites worldwide detailing fish species' weight, size and abundance, enabling them to calculate the cumulative weight of individual reefs (standing biomass). These results were then compared against demographic data.

The hampering effects of human activities -- fishing, coastal development, pollution and tourism -- on reef diversity are well known, but the damage to the ones with most biodiversity -- many of which are situation in Southeast Asia --alarmed the scientists. (read more)

'Super Sherpa' to climb Everest for 21st time to clear it of litter -- says climate change has depleted much of the snow and ice

A Sherpa who has climbed Mount Everest more than anyone else, is to set off on his 21st ascent to clear the mountain of litter.

Since Everest was first conquered in 1953, thousands of people have climbed it, leaving behind the empty oxygen bottles, ropes, tents and other refuse that made their journey possible.

Nepal has since required climbers to bring down everything they take up the mountain or lose their deposit, but debris from past climbs still litters the slopes.

The team that left Katmandu on Wednesday - led by Apa, a Sherpa who has climbed Everest a record 20 times - plans to bring down 11,000lb of garbage during the spring climbing season.

"I want to do this for my country, my people and for Everest," said Apa, who uses only one name.

Expedition members, porters and guides of other expeditions will carry the garbage down the mountain, receiving 100 rupees (85p) for every kilogram they haul out. (read more)

QE3 on way while Japan's construction to help or harm global economy?

In today’s world there is always plenty to write about and today is no exception.

As far as we are concerned QE3 is on the way accompanied by almost zero official interest rates. QE1 was to bail out the financial sectors in the US and Europe and QE2 was to bail out US government debt. That is why the Fed has purchased 70% to 80% of Treasuries. Previous debt and the $1.6 trillion of new debt created this year means someone has to buy that debt and there are very few buyers. That means the Fed has to buy most of paper with funds created out of thin air in this monetization process. Those tremendous amounts of funds will most certainly increase inflation. This policy is never ending unless default becomes inevitable. That is why money and credit has to be created indefinitely until hyperinflation occurs and the system eventually collapses.

It is no surprise then along with economic, financial, social and political instability that there has been a steady movement into gold and silver related assets and commodities. As long as stimulus of one form or another continues to be used the problems won’t be solved and these investment vehicles will move higher and higher. Every time money and credit are created with no collateralized backing, such as gold and silver, the value of these aggregates in circulation falls, and such an endless cycle guarantees the demise of the currency and the rising value of gold and silver.

Recent tragic events in Japan has brought some unexpected developments, which for the time being could lift the economy from depression at least on a temporary basis. Funds committed aggregate just under $1 trillion not the official $309 billion. We believe the funds could be raised initially in the following way: $300 billion from the postal savings plan; $300 billion from yen bonds sold in the international market and $300 billion from the liquidation of US government and other US dollar denominated securities. That is for cleanup and infrastructure. Then Japanese insurance companies, as well as foreign insurers, have to raise billions more to pay off the insured. (read more)

Jim Sinclair: Buy a farm... now

Truth be told, the major theme of JSMineset has been one of self reliance in a monetary, physical and Emersonian sense. Our focus has been on your assets, your debt positions, legal matters and investment.

I have, with my dear friends here at JSMineset, tried to share what we know with you. We also pride ourselves in that we not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk.

Has Trader Dan not moved from Houston to an undisclosed location in Idaho? I am writing to you from a farm in North Western Connecticut, a rural part of the state. We provide our own water, can provide our own power, have a radio system fallback for communication, satellite phones, furnaces that burn coal or oil, an indoor pistol range that can take up to .50 calibre cartridges into a Detroit bullet trap, perimeter lighting, 16 camera day and night camera security and much more.

We have focused on conservative financial structures which were in truth taking you into the position of being your own central bank. (read more)

Global currency on brink of appearing?

There is a lot of talk about the dollar losing it’s global reserve currency status and what is to replace it. A global reserve currency is a very privileged status that makes our paper fiat dollars the king of all currencies. The dollar represents the currency of the most powerful empire in the world. This dollar allows every nation access into the largest, deepest, and presumably safest markets in the world.

It is also the only currency to be used to buy the most vital resource in the world, oil. Through the London and New York markets, countries all over the world, are forced to keep dollars to buy oil from these banking houses. As a result of this unique status, countries also settle bilateral trade with each other with our dollars. So trade between countries like Venezuela and Norway are not settled in Bolivars and Kroner, they are settled in dollars.

This unique status of the dollar is starting to fall apart and the Elite know it. Iran is now selling oil in any currency at the Iranian Oil Bourse in Kish Iran. (This is the real reason why there is a push for war with Iran.) This passive aggressive assault on the dollar has given the chance for other countries to question why they need the dollar at all. Especially when these dollars implicitly funds the aggressive American Empire. Countries like China and Russia have dropped the dollar from their bilateral trade. Japan may no longer see any reason to buy US dollars in the treasury markets, as they try to rebuild their economy after the triple disaster they are now facing. (read more)

Antarctica going green due to climate change

Antarctica is going green as a result of climate change, according to new research.

There are no trees on the frozen continent and only two species of flowering plant Antarctic hairgrass and Antarctic pearlwort, that grow on the western peninsula and surrounding islands.

A team of UK and Australian scientists has found that the hairgrass has spread over the last 50 years due to global warming.

Dr Paul Hill, of Bangor University scientist, said areas of Antarctica are becoming greener.

“We think of the Antarctic as a land of snow and ice. But, in summer on the Antarctic Peninsula, and the islands surrounding the frozen centre of the continent, the snow melts and many areas become green with mosses and two species of native flowering plant. Recently, as global temperatures have increased, and Antarctic summers have become longer and warmer, one of these flowering plants, Antarctic Hairgrass has become increasingly widespread.”

The study, published in Nature, found that the hairgrass is able to take advantage of the nitrogen produced when soil warms up and decomposes. (read more)

UK: Arts council funding announcement spells curtains for leading independent theatres

Some of the country's leading independent theatres are facing an uncertain future after more than 200 organisations were told their Arts Council funding will be withdrawn.

The Riverside Studios in Hammersmith and the Derby and Exeter theatres were among the 206 theatre companies, galleries and arts venues who learned yesterday their government grants would dry up in 2012.

Others had their budgets significantly reduced, with the critically acclaimed Almeida Theatre Company in Islington, north London seeing their grant cut from £1 million this year to £700,000 in 2015 – a real terms drop of 39 per cent.

It came as the Arts Council announced its funding settlement of £957 million for 2012-15, which included an average cut of 15 per cent to the entire portfolio.

However, in real terms this only brings the funding for 2014/15 down to 2001/02 levels, meaning it is still more generous than the first three annual settlements following the 1997 General Election.

The pot will also be boosted by increased lottery funding, which is set to rise from £149 million a year to £223 million by 2014-15. (read more)

BREAKING NEWS: 6.5 Magnitude Earthquake VERACRUZ, MEXICO - 7th Apr 2011

MEXICO CITY — A strong earthquake shook southern Mexico on Thursday, including parts of Mexico City, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The quake had a magnitude of 6.5 and was centered about 73 miles (118 km) from Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital of Chiapas state, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The epicenter was far below the surface at a depth of 104 miles (167 km), the USGS said.

The tremor was felt in some parts of Mexico City, about 366 miles (590 km) away, prompting the evacuation of schools, hotels and office buildings.

But Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said on his Twitter account there had not been any word of damage in the country's capital, which has a population of about 20 million.

Gloria Sabala, a 70-year-old resident of Las Choapas — a town of about 70,000 people about 35 miles (56 km) from the epicenter — said the earthquake seemed to have passed and that she had not seen damage from her home near the town center.

"We felt it but thank God we're all right," she told Reuters by telephone.

According to the Mexican seismological service, the quake was the sixth in the country with a magnitude of 6.0 or above in just over a year. Source

BREAKING NEWS: 13 Dead After Shooting At School In Brazil -- psychopathic slaughter of world's children continues

A man believed to be a former student has killed at least 13 people after opening fire at a school in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil.

Helicopter and ambulance emergency services land at the scene of the shooting

The gunman is one of the dead, though it is not clear if he shot himself or was killed by police.

According to local reports at least 20 people were also wounded in the shooting. (Source)