Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Kenny Solomons reveals how he clasped his hands around BlackBerry party stabbing victim to save his life

A hero actor pictured helping the knife victim stabbed in front of celebrities at last night's party for BlackBerry has told how he battled to save the man's life.

Kenny Solomons, from Barnet, north London, reacted first after the lavish nightclub bash was brought to an abrupt halt by a vicious attack.

As a crowd of onlookers gathered round the scene in Southwark, south London, the 25-year-old dived in and put his hands around the victim's throat as blood gushed out.

He was pictured holding the man there stemming the flow of blood until an ambulance arrived when paramedics told him to keep hold or the victims would die. Read More

Linda Carty: Death Row Gran Appeals For British Help

The UK Government has said it is doing all it can the save the life of a British grandmother who has spent 11 years on death row in the United States.

Linda Carty, 53, could receive a date for her execution at any moment after her final attempts to secure a new appeal failed. She would become the first British woman to be executed in 50 years.

She was convicted of killing a young mother in Texas a decade ago but has always said she was framed.

Her lawyers believe she was failed by the American legal system and admit her situation is "desperate".

Carty spoke to Sky News on death row in Texas and told us: "I am 110% innocent. I know I didn't commit this crime. They took 11 years of my life for something I know I didn't do."

She was born on the Caribbean island of St Kitts before its independence from Britain and she now wants support from the UK. Read More

Hurricane Katrina Bridge Killings, 5 Police Jailed

Five New Orleans police officers have been jailed over the shooting deaths of an unarmed 40-year-old mentally disabled man and a teenager in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The pair were gunned down at a bridge in September 2005 and four others were seriously injured.

A court heard how officers conspired to plant a gun and fabricate witnesses to cover their tracks.

Ronald Madison, described as gentle and loving by his family, was shot several times in the back and died on the city's Danziger Bridge.

High school student James Brissette, 17, was also killed.

The officers - Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius, Anthony Villavaso and Robert Faulcon - were convicted of federal firearms charges that carried mandatory minimum prison sentences of at least 35 years. Read More

'Up To One Million Families Hit By Govt Cuts'

Up to a million families each stand to lose an average of £511 a year under tax and benefit changes, according to research.

Anti-poverty campaigners dubbed the start of the financial year Bad Friday, warning cuts totalling more than £2bn were taking effect over the Easter weekend.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said the impact calculated by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) was proof of a "tax credits bombshell" with up to a million households losing eligibility entirely.

Mr Balls said the IFS figures revealed a "bombshell".

"Families on middle and low incomes are this weekend facing a tax credits bombshell from David Cameron and George Osborne," he said.

"For all the Government's talk about increasing the personal allowance, these independent figures show that while they may be giving with one hand they are taking much more away with the other." Read More

One Goh Charged over Oakland University Killings

A former nursing student has been charged with murder and attempted murder after seven people were shot dead at a small university in California.

Three other people were wounded in the attack at Oikos University in Oakland on Monday.

One Goh was detained at a shopping centre a short drive from the Christian college, which has close links to the Korean community.

The 43-year-old, who had been expelled from the university, is expected to appear in court later. He could face the death penalty, if convicted.

"The enormity and devastation of these crimes is unprecedented in Alameda County," District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said.

The suspect was charged shortly after several hundred people gathered to mourn the victims.

At Oakland's Allen Temple Baptist Church on Tuesday night, Mayor Jean Quan joined pastors from the Bay Area's Korean Christian community in calling for unity and peace in their often-troubled city. Read More

Cities on front line of climate change

The world's cities face the brunt of climate change but some are starting to respond vigorously to the threat, experts say at a conference here staged ahead of the June Rio summit.

More than half of the world's population of seven billion currently lives in cities and by 2050, this is expected to increase to 70 percent, or around 6.4 billion, according to UN figures.

More than 60 percent of the increase will occur in Asian cities -- and nearly half of the growth will happen in cities that currently have 500,000 inhabitants or fewer.

It means that cities will face unparalleled challenges when climate change starts to bite, scientists said Monday at a meeting on the world's environment ahead of the June 20-22 summit. Read More

Focus on technology overlooks human behavior when addressing climate change

Technology alone won't help the world turn away from fossil fuel-based energy sources, says University of Oregon sociologist Richard York. In a newly published paper, York argues for a shift in political and economic policies to embrace the concept that continued growth in energy consumption is not sustainable.

Many nations, including the United States, are actively pursuing technological advances to reduce the use of fossil fuels to potentially mitigate human contributions to climate-change. The approach of the International Panel on Climate Change assumes alternative energy sources - nuclear, wind and hydro - will equally displace fossil fuel consumption. This approach, York argues, ignores "the complexity of human behavior."

Based on a four-model study of electricity used in some 130 countries in the past 50 years, York found that it took more that 10 units of electricity produced from non-fossil sources - nuclear, hydropower, geothermal, wind, biomass and solar - to displace a single unit of fossil fuel-generated electricity. Read More

'Israel needs double Iron Dome defenses'

Amid fears Israel faces a massive missile bombardment from Iran and its allies, former Defense Minister Amir Peretz says the country needs double the number of Iron Dome counter-rocket batteries it plans to buy to protect the home front.

Peretz's comments fueled the debate about Israel's scramble to develop defenses against what is seen as the worst threat the country has faced.

There's a certain irony in this since Peretz was defense minister during the 2006 war against Hezbollah, when the Iranian-backed group unleashed an unprecedented rocket bombardment against northern Israel. Read More

Israelis prefer preemptive strike to nuclear Iran: poll

Nearly two-thirds of Israeli Jews believe that the consequences for the Jewish state of a nuclear-armed Iran would be worse than those of an Israeli attack on the Islamic Republic, a poll showed on Monday.

The poll, published in Haaretz newspaper, found that 65 percent of Jewish Israelis agreed with the statement that "the price Israel would have to pay for living with the threat of an Iranian bomb would be greater than the price it would pay for attacking Iran's nuclear facilities."

Commissioned by the right-leaning Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, the survey found 26 percent disagreed with the statement, while nine percent said they were unsure. Read More

The Legacy of the CIA’s Secret LSD Experiments on America

Newly unclassified information blows wide the U.S. government's covert operation to dose hundreds of unwitting Americans with LSD in the 1950s and '60s.

Before LSD escaped the lab and was evangelized by hippies, the U.S. government was secretly testing the effects of the drug on hundreds of unsuspecting American civilians and military personnel. In a must-read feature on newly unclassified material on the Central Intelligence Agency’s covert operation, the MK-ULTRA program, which ran from 1953 to 1964, SF Weekly fully exposes the bizarre world of the CIA’s unethical drug tests. The utterly-unbelievable-but-true story involved using hookers to lure in unwitting johns for undisclosed testing, narcotics agents who slipped drugs into drinks, and a U.S. marshal who held up a San Francisco bar not knowing he was high on acid.

It sounds like something out of a paranoid dream. And indeed, before the documentation and other facts of the program were made public, those who talked of it were frequently dismissed as being psychotic. But the U.S. government’s history of secret human experimentation ought to be kept in mind, particularly when we consider the power we grant to it and the way we regulate drugs.

The LSD experiments were purportedly carried out because the U.S. believed that communist Russia, North Korea and China were using the drug to brainwash captured Americans. Consequently, the CIA didn’t want to fall behind in developing and responding to this potentially useful technology. Read More

Saudi Arabia And China Team Up To Build A Gigantic New Oil Refinery

The largest oil exporter in the Middle East has teamed up with the second largest consumer of oil in the world (China) to build a gigantic new oil refinery and the mainstream media in the United States has barely even noticed it. This mammoth new refinery is scheduled to be fully operational in the Red Sea port city of Yanbu by 2014. Over the past several years, China has sought to aggressively expand trade with Saudi Arabia, and China now actually imports more oil from Saudi Arabia than the United States does.

In February, China imported 1.39 million barrels of oil per day from Saudi Arabia. That was 39 percent higher than last February. So why is this important? Well, back in 1973 the United States and Saudi Arabia agreed that all oil sold by Saudi Arabia would be denominated in U.S. dollars. This petrodollar system was adopted by almost the entire world and it has had great benefits for the U.S. economy. But if China becomes Saudi Arabia’s most important trading partner, then why should Saudi Arabia continue to only sell oil in U.S. dollars? And if the petrodollar system collapses, what is that going to mean for the U.S. economy?

Those are very important questions, and they will be addressed later on in this article. First of all, let’s take a closer look at the agreement reached between Saudi Arabia and China recently.

The following is how the deal was described in a recent China Daily article….

In what Riyadh calls “the largest expansion by any oil company in the world”, Sinopec’s deal on Saturday with Saudi oil giant Aramco will allow a major oil refinery to become operational in the Red Sea port of Yanbu by 2014.

The $8.5 billion joint venture, which covers an area of about 5.2 million square meters, is already under construction. It will process 400,000 barrels of heavy crude oil per day. Aramco will hold a 62.5 percent stake in the plant while Sinopec will own the remaining 37.5 percent.

At a time when the U.S. is actually losing refining capacity, this is a stunning development. Read More

Deception and Diplomacy: The US, Japan, and Okinawa

The following text makes extensive use of the treasure trove of documents on the US-Japan-Okinawa relationship released by Wikileaks and published in The Asahi Shimbun and Ryukyu Shimpo in May 2001, setting them in the frame of four decades of chicanery.

It also discusses the so-called "mitsuyaku" or secret diplomacy between the two countries that has gradualy come to light in the past two years without any help from Wiki, the "confession" of former Prime Minister Hatoyama, the strange case of the "Maher affair, and the shock waves of recent shifts in thinking about the Okinawa problem in Washington. APJ

1. Zokkoku Blues

For the student of contemporary Japan, these are sad times, and it is not just because of the catastrophe that struck the country in March and the Chernobyl-like horrors that have continued since then to spread across the Northeast, though it has been impossible to observe these without shock and grief. But it is sad above all because of the growing sense that Japan lacks a truly responsible democratic government to address these issues, and because its people deserve better.

It seems only yesterday that the Japanese people, tired and disgusted with a half century of corrupt and collusive LDP rule, voted to end it. How quickly since September 2009 their efforts were reversed, renewal and reform blocked, and a compliant US-oriented regime reinstated whose irresponsibility is matched only by its incompetence. This is true whether considering the response to the nuclear crisis, marked by evasion, manipulation and collusion (of bureaucrats, politicians, the media, and the nuclear industry), or of the handling of the Okinawa base issue, which is central to the country's most important relationship, that with the United States. Read More

Saudis Intend To Put Iran Out of Business

[The Saudis are playing a high stakes game, intended to help destroy the Iranian economy. Leasing/purchasing these 11 Very Large Crude Carriers enables the Saudis to both greatly increase Aramco's crude oil sales and to undercut international oil prices, so that Iran will feel the bite of international sanctions.

If these tankers are used to ease fuel inflation in the US, then Obama will get a large boost in the polls when those tankers arrive in the US at the end of March of early April. If gas suddenly goes down and the corners of Obama's mouth go up in a perpetual grin, then we will understand why, but will any of it really matter in the end?

This is what Prince Turki al-Faisal had in mind when he recently threatened to go after Iran by flooding the oil market--

“Iran is very vulnerable in the oil sector, and it’s there that more could be done to squeeze the current government....To put this into perspective, Saudi Arabia has so much [spare] production capacity — nearly 4 million barrels per day — that we could almost instantly replace all of Iran’s oil production.” Read More

Benjamin Franklin, Rolling Over In His Grave

The amount of U.S. currency circulating outside banks rose sharply in July/August 2001. The growth ran into the billions of dollars, and was concentrated in $100 bills. These large-scale currency movements matter for anyone who cares about learning the truth about 9/11.

Under money laundering and other laws, assets can be frozen and seized in the banking system. Knowing this, parties concerned that their assets might be frozen or otherwise at risk after 9/11 would have had an incentive to liquidate securities and banking accounts beforehand, and withdraw their money in difficult-to-trace ways. This could have happened in U.S. banking and securities accounts, as well as accounts denominated in U.S. dollars outside the United States. Finding the parties responsible for large-scale withdrawals of currency before 9/11 could help identify people aware of, if not responsible for, those events.

A banking crisis in Argentina can provide a relatively innocent explanation for the mid-2001 surge in currency shipments, at least in part. But we still have no evidence of an honest, thorough investigation into other possible reasons for those shipments, reasons related to the crimes of September 11, 2001. And the mid-2001 currency shipments to Argentina are worthy of 9/11 investigation, as well.The amount of U.S. currency circulating outside banks rose sharply in July/August 2001. The growth ran into the billions of dollars, and was concentrated in $100 bills. These large-scale currency movements matter for anyone who cares about learning the truth about 9/11.

Under money laundering and other laws, assets can be frozen and seized in the banking system. Knowing this, parties concerned that their assets might be frozen or otherwise at risk after 9/11 would have had an incentive to liquidate securities and banking accounts beforehand, and withdraw their money in difficult-to-trace ways. This could have happened in U.S. banking and securities accounts, as well as accounts denominated in U.S. dollars outside the United States. Finding the parties responsible for large-scale withdrawals of currency before 9/11 could help identify people aware of, if not responsible for, those events.

A banking crisis in Argentina can provide a relatively innocent explanation for the mid-2001 surge in currency shipments, at least in part. But we still have no evidence of an honest, thorough investigation into other possible reasons for those shipments, reasons related to the crimes of September 11, 2001. And the mid-2001 currency shipments to Argentina are worthy of 9/11 investigation, as well. Read More

Free Ride! Meet the Companies That Don't Even Pretend to Pay Taxes

Like me, you’re probably knee-deep in receipts and forms right now, getting ready to pay your share in taxes so that our country can function. Meanwhile, many giant corporations are getting a free ride. Fairness is one of our most treasured American values, but “scam and dodge” has become the mantra of our corporations and the pols who protect them.

Big business apologists like to tell us that the U.S. corporate tax rate of 35 percent is too high, and makes companies less “competitive” with foreign firms. Yet we all know that corporations hire legions of wily accountants to find loopholes that often bring their tax rate down to next to nothing.

In 2008, Goldman Sachs paid a laughable 1.1 percent of its income in taxes. That same year, it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an $800 billion bailout, courtesy of you and me. Let’s savor that irony for a moment, as we recall that the bailout is not all we paid for Goldman Sachs to operate its rapacious business, which, as the cynical editors of Bloomberg recently reminded us, apparently has no obligation to serve humanity. Read More

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake TIMOR REGION, INDONESIA - 5th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck the Timor Region, Indonesia at a depth of 15.7 km (9.8 miles), the quake hit at 01:44:39 UTC Thursday 5th April 2012
The epicenter was 26 km (16 miles) Southeast of Kupang, Timor, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake FIJI - 4th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck Fiji at a depth of 17.7 km (11 miles), the quake hit at 22:41:21 UTC Wednesday 4th April 2012
The epicenter was 152 km (94 miles) NNE of Lautoka, Viti Levu, Fiji
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.5 Magnitude Earthquake NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 4th Apr 2012

A magnitude 5.5 earthquake has struck the New Britain Region, Papua New Guinea at a depth of 16.7 km (10.4 miles), the quake hit at 20:27:29 UTC Wednesday 4th April 2012
The epicenter was 21 km (13 miles) NPapua New Guinea, Papua New Guinea
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

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Scientist shows how he tweaked bird flu to infect humans, Remember this is the Same Guy Who SMUGGLED Bird Flu Samples from Indonesia to Japan

A scientist whose work was deemed too dangerous to publish by US biosecurity advisers revealed for the first time on Tuesday how he created a hybrid bird flu virus that is spread easily by coughs and sneezes.

In a conference presentation webcast live to the public, he has detailed how his team created the virus.

Professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka at the University of Wisconsin-Madison described experiments that pinpointed four genetic mutations enabling the virus to spread between ferrets kept in neighbouring cages. The animals are considered the best models of how the infection might spread between people.

In December, the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) called for key sections of Kawaoka's work to be deleted from a paper in press at the British science journal Nature, amid fears that a rogue state or bioterrorist group might use the information to create a biological weapon.

The NSABB raised similar concerns over a paper by Dr Ron Fouchier at Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam. That study, describing another mutant bird flu strain that can also be spread through the air between ferrets, is under consideration at the US journal Science. Read More