Monday, May 23, 2011

NATO aircraft pound Tripoli; government says 3 dead, 150 injured



NATO aircraft launched more than a dozen strikes on the Libyan capital early Tuesday, and smoke could be seen rising from the area near Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's Bab-al-Azizia compound in Tripoli.

The NATO attack, one of the heaviest against Tripoli since the NATO mission began just over two months ago, started at about 1 a.m. and lasted more than 20 minutes, with alliance jets circling overhead and Libyan loyalist forces responding with anti-aircraft fire.

Moussa Ibrahim, a Libyan government spokesman, said the attack targeted a guard compound for pro-Gadhafi military volunteers that had been emptied in anticipation. At least three people were killed and 150 wounded, Ibrahim said, calling the attack an escalation by NATO.

Reporters felt and heard explosions from the airstrikes that rocked the hotel housing members of the international media. Outbursts of gunfire, as well as ambulance sirens, could be heard in the streets. (read more)

High court orders drastic prison population reduction in California -- and releasing all these criminals back into the public

The Supreme Court has affirmed a federal order telling California to reduce its overflowing prison population, a situation the majority said "falls below the standard of decency."

The 5-4 ruling Monday from the justices come in a classic battle over state versus federal authority, focusing on whether U.S. courts can step in and essentially run state prisons when officials have repeatedly violated basic constitutional guarantees afforded inmates.

The issue came down to a sharply divided debate between public safety concerns and individual rights, a debate that goes into how the three branches of government should balance competing state interests.

The swing vote was Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote of the "continuing injury and harm resulting from these serious constitutional violations," including as many as 156,000 people crammed in correctional facilities designed to hold about half that many.

He noted "needless suffering and death have been the well-documented result. Over the whole course of years during which this litigation has been pending, no other remedies have been found to be sufficient."

In dissent, Justice Samuel Alito warned any mass release of inmates to alleviate overcrowding would be "gambling with the safety of the people of California." (read more)

Euro contagion fears hit Spain and Italy



The euro and the Spanish and Italian bond markets came under pressure on Monday amid growing investor fears that the problems of Greece are hitting the bigger economies of Europe's single currency.

The euro fell to record lows against the Swiss franc and two-month lows against the dollar, while Spain's cost of borrowing for 10-year debt rose to highs last seen in September 2000. Italian 10-year bond yields also jumped.

Worries over contagion spread to Europe's equity markets, with stocks in Italy the biggest fallers down 3.3 per cent. Wall Street was affected too with the S&P 500 closing down 1.2 per cent.

John Wraith, fixed income strategist at BofA Merrill Lynch, said contagion was spreading to the bigger eurozone economies. "It is like a group of climbers roped together. As Greece slips, it pulls down other countries such as Spain and Italy."

Spanish bonds were hit by the poor performance of the ruling Socialists in regional elections. Miguel Angel Fernández Ordóñez, the governor of the Bank of Spain, said the country should not accept the high cost of financing sovereign debt and must press ahead with its economic reforms.

The extra cost Spain pays above Germany to borrow over 10 years has jumped to 2.48 percentage points. (read more)

New commenting rules -- everyone read, thanks!

The commenting rules for the website (should you like your comment to remain posted) have been changed to streamline discussions, and are now as follows:

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As always, we read and appreciate every single comment, and encourage you to take part in the discussion. Thanks everyone!

Doctor Richard Scott in trouble for "prescribing Jesus"

A Christian doctor in England has been threatened with an official warning from his professional body for discussing Jesus with a patient, The (London) Sunday Times reported.

Richard Scott, a doctor for 28 years, is under investigation by the General Medical Council (GMC) and faces disciplinary action after he suggested to a 24-year-old man that he might find solace in Christianity.

Scott, who practices at a medical center in Margate, east of London, well known for having Christian doctors, insists he only raised his spiritual beliefs after carrying out a thorough and lengthy consultation, during which medical checks and referrals for further care were arranged.

When the man's mother inquired of the consultation, however, her son apparently replied, "He just said I need Jesus." This prompted his mother to refer Scott to the GMC, claiming that he had not offered medical advice during the consultation but instead talked about Jesus.

The young man, who has been described as "in a rut and in need of help" grew up in a different religion but his faith had lapsed. He has continued to seek treatment from the practice despite the complaint filed by his mother. (read more)

US ran 'secret terror hunt' in Sweden: report

US intelligence agents have staked out suspected "terrorists" in Sweden, without the authorisation of the government there, the online edition of a Swedish daily reported Sunday.

Sweden's intelligence service Säpo discovered in 2009 that two Americans were conducting illegal, under-cover investigations in Sweden, the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) daily reported.

The two men were discovered when Säpo noticed them tracking people who it was also investigating for suspected ties to terrorist groups, the paper said, quoting several unnamed sources close to Säpo.

Washington had not informed Swedish authorities of the agents' activities in the country, and soon after their activities were discovered, the two US citizens left the country, the paper added.

Referring to Washington's failure to inform Pakistan before it tracked and killed Osama bin Laden three weeks ago, Svenska Dagladet insisted "the US has also carried out intelligence against terrorists on Swedish territory.

"Sweden has thus become the scene of a foreign power's terror hunt without the knowledge of the Swedish government," it said. (read more)

TSA Patdowns At Santa Fe Prom

Gold, silver coins to be legal currency in Utah

Utah legislators want to see the dollar regain its former glory, back to the days when one could literally bank on it being "as good as gold."

To make that point, they've turned it around, and made gold as good as cash. Utah became the first state in the country this month to legalize gold and silver coins as currency. The law also will exempt the sale of the coins from state capital gains taxes.

Craig Franco hopes to cash in on it with his Utah Gold and Silver Depository, and he thinks others will soon follow.

The idea is simple: Store your gold and silver coins in a vault, and Franco issues a debit-like card to make purchases backed by your holdings.

He plans to open for business June 1, likely the first of its kind in the country. (read more)

Pakistan turns to China for military help

Pakistan has asked China to build a naval base at its south-western port of Gwadar and expects the Chinese navy to maintain a regular presence there, a plan likely to alarm both India and the US.

“We have asked our Chinese brothers to please build a naval base at Gwadar,” Chaudhary Ahmed Mukhtar, Pakistan’s defence minister, told the Financial Times, confirming that the request was conveyed to China during a visit last week by Yusuf Raza Gilani, Pakistan’s prime minister.

Hitherto, China has shied away from moves that might alienate the US and Beijing’s neighbours, such as India, Malaysia and Indonesia. “China’s rise is a beneficial force for peace and we have no hegemonic ambitions,” said a Chinese official familiar with Beijing’s security policy.

But Christopher Yung, senior research fellow at National Defense University in Washington, said in a recent paper “the nature and degree of China’s access to out-of-area bases will be the ultimate indication and warning” of its eventual intention to become a global military power. A Pentagon official said: “We have questions and concerns about this development and [China’s] intentions. But that is why we believe it is important to have a healthy, stable and continuous military-to-military relationship.”

A senior Pakistani official familiar with Sino-Pakistani discussions on naval co-operation said: “The naval base is something we hope will allow Chinese vessels to regularly visit in [the] future and also use the place for repair and maintenance of their fleet in the [Indian Ocean region].”

Such a foothold would be the first overseas location offering support to the People’s Liberation Army navy for future out-of-area missions and so would be likely to reinforce international concerns over Beijing’s longer-term military ambitions. (read more)

D.C. Police abuse homeless man in a wheelchair, arrest and split his head open



Thousands of people have already viewed the video on YouTube (Warning: graphic language/images). It was taken by a passer-by on Thursday afternoon. It has people questioning whether Metro Transit Police were justified in subduing the man who was in a wheelchair.

The incident happened at around 3 p.m. outside the U Street-Cardozo Metro Station.

Metro Transit Police were on routine patrol at the station when they spotted the man in a wheelchair drinking an alcoholic beverage, according to Metro Spokesperson Steven Taubenkibel.

The officers asked him to leave the area but he refused, police say. The officers attempted to give him a citation.

When he refused to cooperate, they told him he would be arrested, according to a statement issued by Metro.

The statement goes on to say "the patron resisted arrest which resulted in him falling out of his wheelchair."

Some say the man was thrown to the ground causing a gash over his eye that bled onto the sidewalk.

In the video, you can hear witnesses challenging the way police handled the incident. (read more)

Egyptian Groups Call for Second Round of ‘Rage’ Protests on Lack of Change

Egyptian pro-democracy groups are calling for a second round of so-called “rage” protests on May 27 because of a lack of political progress and perceived failure to prosecute members of former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime.

The protests are proposed by several groups including Six of April Youth, which helped organize the first of a series of protests on Jan. 25 that led to Mubarak’s departure in February. Demonstrators will demand speedy trials for members of the former regime, the dissolution of municipal councils and establishment of a 50-member committee to advise Egypt’s ruling military council, Mohamed Adel, spokesman for the group, said.

“We see the need to continue the revolution because the real symbols of the former regime have not been held accountable yet,” Adel said. “We also want the military to approve forming a committee that represents groups like us for consultation on governance in order to add a civil element that keeps the revolution’s goals in sight.”

Protesters in the North African country first called for a “day of rage” on Jan. 28, when hundreds of thousands took to the streets to demand an end to the thirty-year-old regime of Mubarak. Three months after the president’s ouster, two sentences have been handed down to the former ministers of interior and tourism on corruption convictions.

Egypt is disintegrating socially and its economy “is bust,” said Mohamed ElBaradei, the former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency and possible candidate for the Egyptian presidency. (read more)

Two patients died after waiting in ambulance outside 'full' Oldham hospital unit: UK -- is Britain's healthcare system collapsing?

Two patients died after being left waiting in ambulances outside an over-stretched hospital.

The patients, believed to have been in their 80s, couldn’t get into the Royal Oldham Hospital for seven and 20 minutes respectively.

They were assessed by ambulance crews as ‘very sick’ and were both suspected of having suffered heart attacks.

The A&E department was so busy that all but the most urgent cases were being sent to other hospitals at the time. All five resuscitation beds at Oldham were full.

The two patients were assessed and treated by a casualty doctor and senior nurse in the ambulances.

It is understood neither actually had suffered a heart attack by the time they were admitted – although both later died at the hospital. One died in the resuscitation unit the following day and the other three days after being admitted to a ward.

A probe has been launched after ambulance chiefs reported the incident to regional health authority NHS North West.

It comes just two months after bosses at Pennine Acute Trust – which runs the Royal Oldham – closed the A&E at neighbouring Rochdale Infirmary. (read more)

Ash Cloud: BA Cancels All Flights To Scotland as KLM Cancels 16 Flights to Britain - 23rd May 2011

British Airways has suspended all flights from England to Scotland until 2pm tomorrow because of a shift in the direction of the cloud of Icelandic volcanic ash.

The Dutch airline KLM has cancelled 16 flights to Scotland and England on Tuesday.

Glasgow-based Loganair has called off 36 flights.

Airports in Scotland have remained open but services from Barra, Benbecula and Tiree airports are at risk from the cloud.

The latest Met Office prediction showed the plume would cover Scotland and Ireland by 6am on Tuesday.

And the latest prediction by the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre at the Met Office indicated ash would be present up to 20,000ft over almost all of the UK by midday on Tuesday.

Air traffic control company Nats has advised passengers to check with their airline before travelling to these airports.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said the ash had already caused "modest delays" to some flights including some Atlantic services.

"We continue to monitor the situation in Iceland closely in conjunction with the Met Office," he said.

US President Barack Obama was flying to London from Ireland early in an effort to avoid potential delays.

Football team Barcelona have announced they will fly to London on Tuesday - earlier than planned - to prevent disruption before their Champions League final at Wembley on Saturday. Read More

Syria says EU sanctions will harm Europe's interests - 23rd May 2011

BEIRUT, May 23 (Reuters) - European Union sanctions imposed on Syria's President Bashar al-Assad on Monday will hurt European interests as much as they will hurt Syria's, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said.

"I say this measure, just as it will harm Syria's interests, it will harm Europe's interest. And Syria won't remain silent about this measure," he told Syrian television in an interview. Source

US tourist killed, four injured in Greek landslide - 23rd May 2011

ATHENS - A US tourist was killed and four more travellers from the United States and Mexico were hurt on Monday in a landslide on the popular Greek tourist island of Santorini, police in Athens said.

'A large rock fell on the group as they walked on a path some 200m from the sea,' a police spokesman told AFP.

'One American was killed. Two more Americans and two Mexicans were hurt and were taken to a local hospital,' she added.

A spokesman for the Greek coastguard said the accident occurred at Armeni cove in the northern part of the island, near the harbour of Oia.

Neither service could confirm whether the landslide had been preceded by an earthquake. Seismic tremors are common in Greece. Source

'Headless' body washes up 100 miles from 'Craigslist ripper' scene and Just 3 miles from Sir Paul McCartney's House - 23rd May 2011

A 'headless' body has washed up on a Long Island beach 100 miles from where the decomposed remains of 10 prostitutes were found along a highway.

The body was discovered on Sunday by a beach walker on Hamptons beach - just three miles from a house owned by Sir Paul McCartney.

The body is east of Gilgo Beach, the area where at least one serial killer in the 'Craigslist Ripper' case is thought to have buried at least 10 corpses in thick undergrowth at the side of a road.

Newsday reported police saying that the body wasin a 'poor state of decomposition' on Albert's Landing in Amagansett.

Police Chief Ed Ecker said investigators did not yet know the gender of the corpse.

Up to 13 prostitutes have been murdered in Long Island and Atlantic City – now police believe two more murders may be connected to the killings, including a mother of three whose dissected body was found in a suitcase.

The dismembered body of 39-year-old Tanya Rush, a prostitute from East New York, was found in Bellmore in June 2008.

This case, along with another that the police are refusing to identify, is being reviewed, according to the New York Post.

If they are connected, it would bring the total number of killings in the so-called 'Craigslist Ripper' case to 15. Read More

Ian Brady Moors Murderer and Traitor as he Urges Muslims to carry out terror attacks in the UK - 23rd May 2011

Moors murderer Ian Brady hopes the IRA will be reactivated and accuses Muslim terrorists of being incompetent because they don't kill enough British soldiers.

The bizarre revelations have come light in a series of ranting letters sent to a female penpal from the confines of Ashworth high security hospital.

Brady was jailed for life alongside Myra Hindley in 1966 for the murders of Pauline Reade, 16, John Kilbride, 12, Keith Bennett, 12, Lesley Ann Downey, 10, and Edward Evans, 17.

His letters also show a hatred for British people who he describes as having a 'serf mentality', paying taxes to keep bankers rich.

Writing about terrorism he says: 'Today's Muslim terrorists are the most incompetent and lazy ever known, hardly able to kill a couple of UK troops a week.

'No commitment nowadays. Hopefully the IRA will reactivate and show the way again in the UK.'

His rants go on to address Tony Blair, describing him as a 'war criminal' who is earning in excess of £10million a year.

His letters, which have been handed to the Daily Mirror newspaper, cover a large variety of topics including the student protests and quality of prison food - despite him being on a hunger strike.

He is scathing of British politicians, writing: 'I haven't wasted even a minute listening to the flabby-faced reed/power-motivated liars fighting for another five years to steal from the public purse and slaughter more people abroad for their natural resources. Read More

Did high voltage cable under the seabed confuse tragic pilot whales? - 23rd May 2011

A pod of 60 whales that have disappeared from a loch in the Outer Hebrides could have lost their way after becoming confused by a high voltage power cable under the sea.

Rescuers said they are looking into the theory that their navigation may have been affected by the magnetic field emitted by the cable that runs from Loch Carnan, where the whales were found, to the mainland.

Last night hopes for the pod were fading especially after two of the pilot whales have already been found dead in South Uist.

During their four-day stay the whales were most commonly seen off the Scottish and Southern Energy power station on the shore of Loch Carnan.

How they came to end up there is being investigated by the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR).

At the end of October last year, a large pod of pilot whales almost got stranded in the same sea loch. Less than a week later, 33 whales, believed to be the same group, were found dead on a beach in Co Donegal in Ireland.

On Sunday the body of a second pilot whale was found dead on an islet in Loch Carnan. It was unable to be recovered today because of bad weather.

Tests on the body of the first whale found suggested that the female died from disease, not because it was stranded on rocks. Read More

Putin looks to retake Russian presidency from 'arrogant' Medvedev after questioning his loyalty - 23rd May 2011

For the Russian public it's still the great unknown - will Medvedev seek re-election as the country's president or will Putin come back to unseat his former protege?

There are only ten months to go before the presidential elections for the world's largest country and questions are being asked whether the close relationship between the two men is set to descend into acrimony.

It was Dimitry Medvedev who ran Vladimir Putin's election campaign 11 years ago paving the way for him into the Kremlin.

Bound by a two-term limit he duly bowed out in 2008 and became prime minister making way for Medvedev - 13 years younger than his 58-year-old mentor - to become head of state.

It was thought he would let his mentor run for his former post, which he held from May 2000 to May 2008.

But reports have begun to circulate that he has now decided not to let go of the reins of power.

If this were to happen it would set the scene for a titanic power struggle between the two men.

Read More

Is this a taste of the future? Outsourcing goes full circle as Indian firms look to the U.S. for cheap labour - 23rd May 2011m

It's a frustration experienced by most people when they've made phone calls to large companies.

An unfamiliar voice answers the phone in a call centre hundreds of miles away where cheap labour is commonplace.

But in a reversal of fortunes it now appears that large Indian companies are actually now themselves outsourcing - to U.S. shores.

Large corporations that have boomed in India amid the country's nimble economy have been drawn to the U.S. where unemployment has soared.

Struggling residents desperate for work are paid between $12 and $14 a hour to be stationed in tiny cubicles for long shifts of telesales work.

Once the employees are established, many are offered the chance to be flown to India themselves - the same tactic Western countries have done in India.

Experts said that the phenomenon, which could become more widespread in the coming years, is partly due to Indian workers demanding higher wages and higher living standards.

'The U.S. became the fastest-growing location for us last year. We expect that to continue this year,' Genpact chief executive V.N. 'Tiger' Tyagarajan said.

Joseph Vafi, an analyst at Jefferies & Co. in San Francisco told the Washington Post: 'What you have going on in India are salary hikes. As these companies get larger and larger, it just makes sense for them to do some hiring in the States.' Read More

Nicholas Bull, 28, Raped 13 year Old Girl, he Groomed on Facebook is Jailed for Nine and a Half Years - 23 May 2011

A wheelchair-bound paedophile posed as a former 'Disney On Ice' skater to groom a 12-year-old girl via Facebook before raping her.

Nicholas Bull, 28, duped the girl and her parents into believing he was an innocent disabled 13-year-old teenager.

He also used the social networking site to coax the girl into believing he was a boy she had previously met outside a shopping centre in Hull.

Then over a six-month period Bull bombarded the girl with 1,300 texts, a string of suggestive Facebook messages and lavished her with cuddly toys, jewellery and chocolates.

The loner even managed to persuade the girls parents that he was in a wheelchair after suffering an ice-skating accident while playing the character of cartoon character Stitch in Disney On Ice.

In reality, the kitchen hand from Orpington, in Kent, had been paralysed in a car accident in 2009.

And after conning the girl into agreeing to meet him, he audaciously carried on his web of lies by saying his medication made him overweight and prematurely aged him.

Bull's father had driven him to Hull to see the Aladdin pantomime last December with the girl - but later that day Bull took her back to his hotel room and raped her.

It was only when her mother finally met him that she realised he was not 13 and called the police.

Prosecutor Nick Adlington said: 'When her parents saw two men in the car, they were horrified. Instead of a 13-year-old boy, they found an overweight 20-something and his father in his 50s.' When he was arrested, Bull denied all the charges and astonishingly attempted to convince two senior detectives that he was really a 13-year-old boy.

It was only after two hours of questioning that he finally confessed to being 28. Read More

Santre Sanchez Gayle, Britain's 'youngest hitman', 15, is convicted of murder... just like his brother AND cousin - 23rd May 2011

A teenager believed to be Britain's youngest hitman is facing a life sentence today for shooting dead a young mother in a contract killing.

Santre Sanchez Gayle was just 15 when he was paid £200 to murder 26-year-old Gulistan Subasi.

It had been alleged Miss Subasi had been killed on the order of her ex-partner Serdar Ozbek in a dispute over custody of their nine-year-old son, although Mr Ozbek was cleared of murder.

As Gayle was convicted of murder today it emerged that he is related to two other young murderers – his half-brother Donnel Carty and cousin Lloywen Carty.

Donnel was jailed for life in November 2006 for the murder of City lawyer Tom ap Rhys Pryce as he made his way home from Kensal Green Tube station.

Lloywen was given a life sentence the following month over the shooting of Lee Subaran, 27, after the Notting Hill carnival in 2004.

An order granting Gayle anonymity due to his age was lifted today.

The young hitman was recruited to carry out the execution because he had no apparent connections with the Turkish community.

Gayle, known by the street name Riot, was a petty criminal whose more typical interests included girls, football, playing on his X-Box and using Facebook.

On the night of the murder in March last year he was driven to the flat in Hackney, East London where Miss Subasi was staying, and knocked on the front door.

CCTV showed the teenager, with a hoodie pulled over his head, resting a sawn-off shotgun on a front gate and pulling the trigger after the door was answered.

The murder took place at the home of the victim's mother, Dondu Subasi, who found her daughter lying with a tennis ball-sized hole in her chest. Read More

Scotland Cancels 36 flights tomorrow: Warning as ash cloud from Iceland volcano 'will drift over UK in hours' - 23rd May 2011

A Scottish airline has cancelled 36 flights tomorrow as the ash cloud billowing from a volanco in Iceland approaches UK airspace.

Regional carrier Loganair, which flies out of Glasgow, announced that there would be no flights following a Civil Aviation Authority warning that disruption could not be ruled out.

The Met Office is predicting the plume of ash from the Grimsvotn volcano will begin to drift over parts of Scotland in the next few hours and would cover all of Ireland, Scotland and parts of northern Britain by 6am tomorrow.

Asked whether this would cause some disruption to flights, a CAA spokesman said: 'That's the way it's looking certainly at the moment.'

William Hague, however, has said he does not predict the volcano will not cause the chaos seen a year ago. The Foreign Secretary has said that Britain has more information on how ash clouds move and is less likely to have to enforce a blanket flight ban.

Last April airports across the UK were shut down for five days. With school half-term holidays next week any disruption to UK airports would cause chaos for hundreds of thousands of families.

Europe's air traffic control organisation has said that if volcanic emissions continued at the same rate then the cloud might reach west French airspace and north Spain on Thursday.

Authorities have backed more relaxed rules on flying through ash after being criticised for being too strict last time.

Then, closing European air space forced the cancellation of 100,000 flights, disrupted 10 million passengers and cost the industry an estimated $1.7 billion in lost revenues.

'I think the regulators are a bit more sensible than they were last year,' Michael O'Leary, chief of budget airline Ryanair, told a conference call. "We would be cautiously optimistic that they won't balls it up again this year.'

Nevertheless, airline shares fell between 3 to 5 percent.

Iceland’s airports were closed and domestic flights cancelled yesterday as a spectacular 12-mile high mushroom cloud of ash, steam and smoke filled the sky. Read More

Ryan Giggs Is named By MP in the House as Commons as Footballer Behind Super Injunction - 23rd May 2011

The footballer at the centre of the gagging order over his affair with Big Brother star Imogen Thomas was named today in the House of Commons as Ryan Giggs.

Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege during a debate to name the Manchester united player.

He said: 'With about 75,000 people having named Ryan Giggs on Twitter, it is obviously impracticable to imprison them all.'

Naming Giggs, who yesterday celebrated becoming the most decorated player in the Premier League with 12 titles under his belt, Mr Hemming added that it would be 'impracticable' to imprison everyone on the website who had previously tweeted his identity.

Speaker John Bercow immediately leapt out of his seat and rebuked Mr Hemming in an effort to try to protect the Manchester United player's identity. Read More


First Person video of Joplin, Missouri tornado



Note: there is little to see in the above video, but the audio truly says it all.

Petition: Reinstate EPA Ongoing Testing For Radiation from Fukushima

Target: President Barack Obama, United States Congress Members, Administrators of the EPA
Sponsored by:
Concerned Citizens - Lucas Whitefield HixsonThis data verifies the risk of bioaccumulation of radioactive isotopes -- not only in the air, but also in the food chain; not only to those in Japan, but in the United States and other countries in the northern hemisphere.

As Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and the Japanese Government release new information, many experts in the United States and around the globe are concerned about the potential of increased radiation exposure in American air, food, and water.

  • In April 2011, radioactive isotopes were found in the breast milk of mothers in Tokyo, over 250 km away from the nuclear power plants at Fukushima Daiichi.

  • Many new reports also show increased levels of Cesium, Plutonium, and other fission products in the soil, food, and drinking water in Japan, as far as 400 km from their point of origin.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION

J.P. Morgan "Warns" US Government

Failure by the U.S. to get its fiscal house in order will trigger financial consequences that will “dwarf Lehman Brothers” and seriously diminish the nation’s role as a world economic leader, Jamie Dimon told a Denver audience Thursday night.

The CEO and chairman of JPMorgan Chase, whom The New York Times dubbed “the nation’s least hated Wall Street banker,” said political talk about not raising the U.S. debt ceiling could trigger a default on the nation’s financial obligations. He said that would constitute a “moral disaster” that will be nearly impossible for the U.S. to recover from.

“Things are going to happen that are not going to be pretty,“ Dimon said during a wide-ranging question-and-answer session at the University of Colorado Denver School of Business’ “Celebration of Success” dinner.

Congress and the president have to come to grips with gross overspending by the federal government, he acknowledged. But he complained that even though half of the deficit problem involves issues the two major political parties agree on, partisan considerations are preventing progress on any of it.

“Congress needs to deal with the half of it, and leave the rest of it until later,” Dimon said. (read more)

"The End of Europe Is Nigh"

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire.

That’s basically how one can summarize the situation in Europe. Several (South) European countries are on the brink of collapse. Greece is as near bankruptcy as can be. At the same time, Western and Northern Europeans are becoming increasingly disturbed by the irresponsible behavior of the Greek, and of other nations.

Other nations, you ask?

Why yes. You see, Spain is almost in a state of civil war.* Spanish youth have been protesting announced economic reforms for some time now, because once again they are the ones who have to bear the grunt of the government cuts. This while the unemployment rate among the youth is up to 40% (or more).

Meanwhile, the ones actually responsible for Spain’s economic mess – the middle-aged and the elderly – are not asked to make any significant sacrifices.

If I were a Spaniard, I wouldn’t quite accept that either.

Having said that, reforms are desperately needed. If the Spanish continue living the way they’ve lived for decades, they’re doomed – and so will the rest of the European Union. After all, Europe’s economies are interconnected. If Spain falls, the Euro suffers a major blow. And if the Euro suffers a major blow, the other Euro-countries are in deep trouble indeed.

As for Greece, especially the Dutch are increasingly angered by the attitude of the Greek. The EU has bailed out Greece, but now they want another ’loan’; even though they haven’t paid back the other one. What’s worse, many believe they will never pay these loans back. A small country like the Netherlands is asked to give the Greek 3,5 billion Euro (that’s approximately 5 billion in US Dollars. Such an amount may be peanuts for, say, the United States, but not for a country like the Netherlands that has a total population of a mere 16 million souls.

So what’s ahead for Europe? Well, to say that the future looks rather grim would be the understatement of the century. The Old Continent can’t bail out weak, corrupt, lazy and irresponsible states infinitely. One of these days, we’ll simply run out of money. (read more)