Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Deadly fighting over Syria grips north Lebanon

At least 12 people have been killed and 100 wounded in the Lebanese city of Tripoli in clashes between opponents and supporters of Syria's president.

Leaders of the Sunni Muslim district of Bab al-Tabbana and the Alawite district of Jabal Muhsin declared a ceasefire from 17:00 (14:00 GMT).

Fighting died down in the late afternoon, after the truce initially appeared to have been ignored.

Earlier, the army tried to stop the violence but was forced to retreat.

Sectarian tensions in Tripoli have been aggravated by the conflict in Syria.

President Bashar al-Assad is an Alawite and members of the heterodox Shia sect occupy key positions in the government and security forces.

Syria's majority Sunni community has been at the forefront of the revolt against the state and has borne the brunt of the crackdown during the conflict, which the UN says has left more than 18,000 people dead. Read More

Merkel, Hollande to offer Greece little comfort

(Reuters) - Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande are expected to tell Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras this week that they can give him little leeway on easing the terms of his country's bailout agreement.

The French and German leaders meet on Thursday to fine-tune their joint message to Samaras, who is on a charm offensive seeking more time for Athens to meet its bailout commitments.

Senior German coalition leaders have signalled there is little chance of that and Merkel herself poured cold water on far-reaching concessions on Wednesday.

"I am going into these talks with the awareness that we have to achieve that every partner sticks to his commitments," Merkel told reporters during a trip to Moldova.

The chancellor may also lean on France's new Socialist leader to set an example to the euro zone by applying some austerity himself in France's 2013 budget debate next month.

Merkel receives Samaras on Friday and Hollande receives him on Saturday, at a moment of rare optimism on financial markets that the European Union - especially the European Central Bank - is poised for decisive action on the euro zone debt crisis. Read More

Syria: UK Joins US In Chemical Weapon Warning

David Cameron has joined with the US President in warning Syria that the use of chemical weapons in Syria or even a threat to deploy them would be "completely unacceptable".

In a phone call the two leaders said if President Bashar al Assad made such a move it "would force them to revisit their approach so far", Downing Street said.

The Prime Minister and Barack Obama said there was "much more to do" to stop the brutal killing of civilians in the Middle East state.

Earlier this week Mr Obama warned that any movement of Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons would be a "red line" which would have "enormous consequences".

Mr Cameron also discussed the situation with French President Francois Hollande and the two European nations agreed to "work more closely to identify how they could bolster the opposition and help a potential transitional Syrian government after the inevitable fall of Assad".

The leaders said they hoped a meeting of opposition groups in Cairo would show "real unity of purpose and coherence in working towards transition". Read More

Unrest spreads in violence-hit South Africa mining belt

Labor unrest in South Africa's platinum belt spread on Wednesday, raising concerns that anger over low wages and poor living conditions could generate fresh violence after 34 striking miners were shot dead by police last week.

The strike that started last week at Lonmin's Marikana mine has driven up platinum prices and stoked worries about investing in Africa's biggest economy, where chronic unemployment and income disparities threaten social stability.

At Marikana, a somber-looking President Jacob Zuma stood under a parasol held by an aide to address around 2,000 subdued miners. In the Xhosa and Zulu languages, he said there was no need for workers to die in a Labor dispute.

"This is painful to all of us. It is not acceptable for people to die where talks can be held. But I do feel your pain and have come personally to express that," he said.

The world's top platinum producer, Anglo American Platinum, said on Wednesday it had received a demand for a pay increase from its South African workers, while Royal Bafokeng Platinum said a Labor action by about 500 miners interrupted work at a shaft at its Rasimone mine.

The price of platinum leapt to its highest since early May, driven by concern about supply from South Africa, which holds 80 percent of the known reserves of the metal, used in jewelry and for catalytic converters in cars.

Spot platinum rose by as much as 1.5 percent to touch $1,524.50 an ounce, trading at $1,518.75 by 9.49 p.m. EDT.

Ten people had been killed last week before police opened fire on striking miners on Thursday, shooting dead another 34 in the worst such bloodshed since the end of apartheid white-minority rule in 1994. more

Then They Came For Me, and There Was No One Left to Speak Out (ABSOLUTE MUST WATCH)



If you ever get the chance to visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, you will be forever affected by what you see and learn there, and you will be moved by a quote you see hanging near one of the exhibits. It is a quote by Martin Niemoller which reads:

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out– because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out– because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out– because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me– and there was no one left to speak out for me.


The reason it will touch you is because these short five sentences explain how a people could so effectively detach themselves from the policies of their government so that it could ultimately imprison all political enemies and slaughter six million innocent people.

Martin Niemoller was a Protestant (Lutheran) pastor who founded the anti-Nazi Confessing Church in 1934. In November 1945, he visited the Dachau concentration camp, where he was imprisoned from 1941 until it was liberated in 1945, and it was this particular visit which is believed to have inspired him to write his now-famous quote. more

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Marine Hero Brandon Raub Falsely Detained for Exercising His Right to Free Speech


Tom Head, Texas Judge: Obama Reelection Could Lead To 'Civil War,' I'm Ready To 'Take Up Arms'


Tom Head, a county judge in Lubbock, Texas, plunged far out into the periphery of anti-President Barack Obama conspiracy theories on Monday, pushing a particularly outrageous one as justification for a tax increase in the county. Head told FOX34 that Lubbock's law enforcement needed extra tax dollars in order to be prepared for a full-scale uprising, which he said could be a byproduct of Obama's reelection.

According to Head, the president is seeking to sign a variety of United Nations treaties that will effectively take precedent over domestic law. “He's going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N., and what is going to happen when that happens?” Head asked. “I'm thinking the worst. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. And we're not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations, we're talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy."

Head continued, delving deeper into his hypothesis and claiming that he was prepared to join the hypothetical resistance. "Now what's going to happen if we do that, if the public decides to do that? He's going to send in U.N. troops. I don't want 'em in Lubbock County. OK. So I'm going to stand in front of their armored personnel carrier and say, 'You're not coming in here,'" the judge said. "And the sheriff, I've already asked him, I said, 'You gonna back me?' He said, 'Yeah, I'll back you.' Well, I don't want a bunch of rookies back there. I want trained, equipped, seasoned veteran officers to back me." more  

Thoughts: In typical la-la-land fashion, the rest of the article, and most of the comments on the article, were written/made in the spirit that he's a lunatic, that's nothing wrong, and that Obama can't harm us one bit. Ah yes, and that the UN is toothless and we need not worry. I suppose it will take a devastatingly rude awakening in which lattes are shot out of hands to finally make these people realize, "Ah crap, we were heading down the wrong road, but in order to maintain my comfortable (but mostly empty) life, I decided to pretend everything was all right. I guess it's too late now." The ignorance and naivety in which so many are voluntarily living is startling and very disappointing.

William McMahon: ATF official also holding private-sector job with JP Morgan

In an unusual arrangement, a senior official of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives involved in the controversial gun operation Fast and Furious is receiving his government salary while working full time for the investment bank J.P. Morgan, according to two Republican lawmakers.

In a letter Tuesday to B. Todd Jones, the acting ATF director, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said that Deputy Assistant ATF Director William McMahon, who oversaw the agency’s Western region during the Fast and Furious operation, has been receiving two salaries simultaneously.

The lawmakers said the ATF apparently approved allowing McMahon to remain on paid leave for four or five months while working for the investment bank in order to reach retirement eligibility.

“ATF has essentially facilitated McMahon’s early retirement and ability to double dip for nearly half a year by receiving two full-time paychecks — one from the taxpayer and one from the private sector,” Issa and Grassley wrote.

ATF spokesman Mike Campbell said the agency is reviewing the letter. “Due to privacy act considerations, all we can confirm is that Bill McMahon is still currently employed by ATF,” Campbell said. more

"Most truthful image of the year"


Caption: "Givea man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world."

Real-life "Contagion" uses DNA to halt outbreak

(Reuters) - If Hollywood needs a plot for a medical thriller, scientists at the National Institutes of Health have one: Doctors, using cutting-edge technology called whole-genome sequencing, trace an outbreak of a deadly bacterial infection, identify precisely how it's spreading - and in the final minutes sic poison-spewing robots on the rampaging microbes.

That's essentially what scientists did when Klebsiella pneumoniae, an often-lethal bacterium, spread through NIH's research hospital in Bethesda, Maryland last year, as described in a study published on Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

"With whole-genome sequencing," said microbial geneticist Julie Segre of NIH's National Human Genome Research Institute, who led the study, "we were able to understand how the outbreak was moving through the hospital and identify weaknesses" in infection-control practices, finally halting the outbreak. Read More

California governor declares state of emergency as wildfires rage

(Reuters) - California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in three Northern California counties on Wednesday after officials said wildfires in the region had destroyed at least 50 buildings and were threatening hundreds more.

Some 3,000 people have been evacuated as the so-called Ponderosa fire burned through more than 24,000 acres of steep, rugged terrain in the rural counties of Tehama and Shasta, about 125 miles north of state capital Sacramento

The blaze is 50-percent contained, fire officials said.

Brown also declared a state of emergency in nearby Plumas County, where a fire has burned through 47,000 acres.

Declaring a state of emergency frees up funds to help battle the fires. Read More

Nigel Farage MEP,UKIP "i want you all fired" - July 6th 2011 and still nothing has changed

'Breivik Copycat': Massacre plotter caught by Czech cops

'Germany must declare Eurozone ultimatum or stop bailouts'

Gagged on Torture: Gitmo lawyers silenced ahead of 9/11 hearings

'Gitmo use of tortured evidence forced me to resign' - Ex-Prosecutor

Greek Great Depression: 'Everybody going down into black hole'

'Syria war consequences totally unpredictable'

Iran's complaint against US, EU sanctions

Free WiFi on the back of a donkey in Israel's Galilee

Dozens Hacked And Burned To Death In Kenya

At least 48 people have been burned and hacked to death in ethnic clashes over cattle grazing rights in Kenya.

Gangs armed with machetes, bows, and spears locked villagers in their huts, set them alight and then butchered anyone who tried to escape.

Police said most of the dead were women and children.

They described it as the worst single attack since violence rocked the country after a contested election four years ago.
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The raid was part of a long-running dispute between rival Pokomo and Orma groups in the village of Reketa, in Tarassa, in the southeast of the country.

Regional deputy police chief Joseph Kitur said 31 women, 11 children and six men were killed. Most had been hacked to death.

However, a Kenyan Red Cross official, who asked not to be named, said 59 people had been killed. Read More

IAEA head "not optimistic" on access to Iran military site

(Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear watchdog chief played down chances of a breakthrough when talks with Iran resume on Friday but said the agency would pursue access to a military site that diplomats say may have been cleansed of evidence of illicit nuclear activity.

Visiting the Parchin complex has become a priority for the International Atomic Energy Agency as it seeks to end what the West sees as Iranian stonewalling of an IAEA investigation into allegations that Tehran has sought to design a nuclear weapon.

"I cannot be too optimistic ... We have been making our best efforts in a constructive spirit to work out an agreement between Iran and IAEA, but so far we have not been successful in reaching agreement," agency Director General Yukiya Amano told reporters on Wednesday during a visit to Finland.

"I have no indication this will change very soon," he said. Read More

Nasa to send robot to reveal the interior of Mars

After driving all around Mars with four rovers, Nasa wants to look deep into the guts of the red planet.

The space agency has decided to launch a relatively low-cost robotic lander in 2016 to find out what makes the Martian core so different from Earth.

The Insight project was chosen by Nasa's Discovery programme over missions to a Saturn moon and comet, drawing complaints from scientists that it is too focused on Mars.

The Nasa science chief, John Grunsfeld, said while all three proposed missions, which cost no more than $425m (£270m) were good, the Mars project showed the best chance of keeping within budget and on schedule.

The Insight mission includes two instruments, one French and one German, that will examine the geology of Mars in depth, exploring the core's size, composition and temperature. Read More

Did NASA discover life on Mars... 36 years ago?

Trebles all round at JPL (well it would be, but this being the US alcohol is strictly banned at NASA’s planetary exploration facility in Pasadena) after the successful arrival on the planet Mars of the mega-rover Curiosity.

When I first heard how they were planning to get more than a tonne of nuclear- powered kit down on to the Martian surface in one piece I thought they were joking.

'You’re going to use parachutes?'
Yup.

'Then retro-rockets?'
You betcha.

'Fine, but then you are going to dangle the thing on four steel cables, lower it gently to the ground from a hovering rocket-powered mothership, those cables are going to automatically detach then the mothership is going to scoot off and crash out of harm’s way. And all this with absolutely no control from Earth?'

You have understood correctly.

Well, sceptics be damned. The Skycrane system worked perfectly and Curiosity is now down, home and dry, revving up its nuclear-powered motors to go where no robot has gone before (specifically, the mother of all geological field trips involving, it is hoped, a climb up a three-mile-high Martian mountain. Read More

Turtle rescued after pranksters taped it to two dozen BALLOONS and sent it flying over neighborhood

Humane Society officials are looking for the slimy fiend who duct-taped a turtle to a bunch of balloons and sent it floating above a Southern California neighbourhood.

Residents in Oceanside were looking at a set of balloons that had become stuck in a eucalyptus tree on Sunday, and were stunned to find the turtle dangling.

The creature, undoubtedly scared, was caught on video frantically moving its legs in an effort to escape the helium-filled confinement.

Resident Chanelle Wright told KGTV: 'We look up and there's green and blue balloons up there. He was just swinging his arms trying to get out of it. Somebody had taped him to the balloons.'

Ms Wright said she called the Humane Society and Fire Department, who arrived about an hour later. Read More

Frantic bid to keep drought-hit Mississippi open for business as hundreds of barges lie stranded and experts warn of quicksand danger


Hundreds of barges are today stranded by low water on the Mississippi River near Greenville, Mississippi, after the U.S. Coast Guard closed an 11-mile stretch of the drought-parched waterway for dredging and to replace missing navigation buoys.

The worst U.S. drought in 56 years has left the river there at its lowest point since 1988, a year when a similarly dire drought also stalled commercial traffic on the major shipping waterway.

A lack of rain in the area in recent months has reduced water levels, exposing sandbars that experts warn could be deadly quicksand. Read More

Hostage Incident at the Super 8 motel in Casper, Wyoming: heavily armed police officers launch tear gas into a motel window



With a heavily armed sniper and police officers launching tear gas into a room, these dramatic pictures show the conclusion to a tense 10-hour hostage stand-off.

Police officers were called to the Super 8 motel in Casper, Wyoming, at about 6am yesterday because of concerns a number of different people were going in and out of a room.

Once officers arrived, they were told that hostages were being held in the room and that their captor was armed.

Police then began negotiations with a man to release four men and one female being held in the room.

According to the Casper Star-Tribune, just before 9am, one woman was let out of the hotel in handcuffs with a man following a short time later.

Both were believed to be hostages.By 10am, a third person was let out of the building with another released later in the day. Read More

Poodle moth, Venezuela

Zoologist, media consultant, and science writer, Dr Karl Shuker is also one of the best known cryptozoologists in the world. Author of such seminal works as Mystery Cats of the World (1989), The Lost Ark: New and Rediscovered Animals of the 20th Century (1993; greatly expanded in 2012 as The Encyclopaedia of New and Rediscovered Animals), In Search of Prehistoric Survivors (1995), and more recently Extraordinary Animals Revisited (2007), Dr Shuker's Casebook (2008), Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals on Stamps: A Worldwide Catalogue (2008), and Karl Shuker's Alien Zoo: From the Pages of Fortean Times (2010)

US Farmers abandon fields larger than Belgium and Luxembourg, food prices set to surge due to drought

The worst drought in the United States in a half a century has led to the destruction of roughly one-sixth of the expected corn crop in America over the past month and will likely lead to a significant rise in the price of corn in the very near future.

To make matters even worse, much of the corn crop in the United States is genetically modified and thus susceptible to so-called “superbugs” and is the same strain which has been banned in multiple countries in the European Union.

This July has been the hottest in American history and has caused major damage to the corn crops throughout the United States making some farmers actually entirely abandon fields greater in size than the nations of Belgium and Luxembourg.

Obviously such a major reduction in the corn supply will certainly lead to a rise in the price of corn, it is simple economics. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like such a surge would diminish any time soon.

Even more unfortunate is the fact that corn is not the only commodity which will be negatively impacted by this drought and heat wave.

Soybeans – which, like corn are used in a wide variety of food products, animal feed and other products – have also been hit hard by the weather. It is likely that it will be the worst harvest for five years now and will also likely impact the prices of other processed goods due to the rise in the price of vegetable oil, which just happens to be made from soy.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is not taking this lightly and has already predicted record-shattering price increases. more


Christopher Geraci: Florida Cop Arrested for Slamming Woman Against her Car




A police officer has been fired from his job and arrested on assault charges after his dashboard camera filmed him slamming a female suspect against her car multiple times and handling her roughly.

Florida police officer Christopher Geraci appears to grab Abbi Bonds, 29, who he believed was the driver of a hit-and-run accident, by the arm and shove her against the car more than once after she refused to obey his command to hang up her cellphone.

Though Bonds does not appear to be fighting with Geraci, 33, he yanks her hair as he attempts to cuff her, causing her to fall to her knees and bang her face against the car.

The young woman can be heard saying: 'I'm not fighting you. Why are you hitting me?'
The incident took place around 2am on August 2. Read More

Curiosity Rover spots mysterious 'UFO' zooming across the red planet's horizon..but experts insist these are nothing more than blemishes on the camera



When Curiosity first touched down on Mars, Internet pranksters were quick to mock up photographs of alien life on the alien landscape.

But it seems Nasa has itself captured something very strange on camera, including a strange white light dancing across the horizon of the red planet, and four blobs hovering in the sky
While the images are certainly a curiosity, Nasa and photography experts insist that these are nothing more than blemishes on the images, picked up by the camera lens sitting on the rover at a distance of 350 million miles away.

So what are the Mars anomalies? Judge for yourself and view the videos below: Read More

Kenyan Safari Plane Crash, 4 Dead

Four people have died after a tourist plane with 14 people on board crashed in Kenya's Maasai Mara park.

Police say two pilots and two German tourists were killed when the Mombasa Air Safari flight went down in Ngrende.

The Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority had previously reported three people dead.

But Narok district police chief Peterson Maelo said a middle-aged German man, an elderly German woman and two Kenyan pilots had died from their injuries.

"Those injured have been taken to Nairobi for treatment," he said.

A total of five Germans, four Americans and two Czechs were reported on board the aircraft.

Catherine Ochola from Flying Doctors Service, an air ambulance service, said three "more critical patients" had been flown to Nairobi.

A second air ambulance and Kenya's air force rescued other passengers. Read More

Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano Spews molten rock and ash into the sky

A sudden surge of activity in an Ecuadorian volcano is captured up close in these fiery and spectacular pictures of the natural world at work.

Ecuadorean authorities say 110 families have been evacuated from the vicinity of the Tungurahua volcano, which has been spewing molten rock, ash and lava down its slopes since the weekend.

The 1,648 foot-high volcano, which is 84 miles south east of the Ecuadorian capital Quito, has been active since October 1999. Read More

Government adviser in fight to 'save Earth' against devastating solar storms expected to knock out National Grid in 2013

A space professor from Oxfordshire is battling 'to save Earth' from a solar storm that experts fear will wreak worldwide chaos next year.

Professor Mike Hapgood, who chairs the Space Environment Impacts Experts Group (SEIEG) and advises the Government on space weather, says solar storms, generated by an outburst from the sun, are set to knock out national power grids and Global Positioning Systems.

He believes magnetic rays from the storm will result in widespread blackouts which will plunge homes and businesses into darkness.

It could also lead to potentially deadly knock-on effects, for instance if hydro-electric dams holding back millions of gallons of water are knocked offline.

Early next year, the sun will reach the peak of its 11-year activity cycle, which puts the planet at greater risk of such storms.

And experts say with the planet now relying on the Internet and hi-tech gadgetry, the chaos caused by the 2013 solar storm will have a far greater impact than any in the past. Read More

Cypriot priests warned they face pay cuts because of Eurozone crisis

Senior clergy and staff in Cyprus' Orthodox Christian Church will be given salary cuts because of dwindling revenue.

Archbishop Chrysostomos II blamed the island nation's ongoing financial crisis for the falling revenue.

He said those earning more than €2,000 ($2,460) a month are in line for the cuts.

The church's top decision-making body, the Holy Synod, will convene early next month to enact the cuts.

He said his own salary as well as that of bishops and other high-income church employees will be the first to be cut in order to 'set the good example'. Read More

RBS 'Facing Iran Transactions Probe'

Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) have fallen amid a report it is being investigated over possible violations of sanctions against Iran.

The bank, which is part-owned by the taxpayer, declined to comment on the story released by the Financial Times (FT).

It would only repeat previous disclosures that it has been in contact with US and British authorities "to discuss its historical compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including US economic sanctions regulations."

The FT said investigations by the US Department of Justice and the Federal Reserve were prompted by voluntary disclosures made by the bank about 18 months ago.

Two years ago, RBS was fined by US regulators for money-laundering activities by the Dutch bank ABN Amro, which was taken over in 2007 by a consortium led by RBS.

ABN Amro was found to have conspired to handle illegal dollar transactions for customers from Iran, Libya, the Sudan, Cuba and other countries subject to US sanctions. Read More

Tony Nicklinson dies Less than a week after he was denied the right to end his life

Tony Nicklinson, who lost a legal battle last week for the right to end his life with medical help, has died at the age of 58.

Lawyers for the father of two said he died at his home in Melksham, Wiltshire, at around 10am on Wednesday.

Family solicitor Saimo Chahal said: "I am extremely sad to tell you that I received a call at 10.45am from Jane Nicklinson to inform me that her husband Tony died peacefully at home at about 10am this morning.

"Jane told me that Tony went rapidly downhill over last weekend, having contracted pneumonia.

"He had made an advanced directive in 2004 refusing any life-sustaining treatment and also refused food from last week.

"Jane said that, after Tony received the draft judgement on August 12 refusing his claim, the fight seemed to go out of him. Read More

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake EASTERN NEW GUINEA REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 22nd August 2012

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has struck EASTERN NEW GUINEA REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA at a depth of 86.8 km (53.9 miles), the quake hit at 11:38:19 UTC Wednesday 22nd August 2012
The epicenter was 75 km (45 miles) NNE of Lae, Papua New Guinea
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake TONGA - 22nd August 2012

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck TONGA at a depth of 25.1 km (15.6 miles), the quake hit at 10:13:56 UTC Wednesday 22nd August 2012
The epicenter was 78 km (48 miles) ESE of Pangai, Tonga
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Tropical Storm Isaac May Impact 2012 Republican National Convention

As delegates and the media gather for the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 27-30, an unwanted visitor, "Isaac," may join in.

Tropical Storm Isaac is forecast to become a hurricane later this week as it moves west-northwestward, touring the northern Caribbean with squalls of heavy rain, gusty winds and rough seas.

AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center meteorologists anticipate the storm curving to the north later this weekend into early next week.

Exactly where Isaac makes this turn will be a key for the track and severity of impact on Florida and the southeastern United States during the week of Aug. 27.

The overall size of the system by then will also determine how far-reaching the effects of the tropical storm or hurricane will be. Read More

Financial and War Crisis Ahead - John Xenakis - [wepollock]

''Moscow Recaps Its Missile Defense Posture''

Moscow warned on Monday that the implementation of the European missile defense project could become a throwback to the Cold War era.

The United States says the shield is designed to protect against “rogue states” such as Iran and North Korea.

“Any unilateral and unlimited buildup of the missile capability by one state or a group of states would lead to the preservation of Cold War hangovers, damaging strategic stability in violation of all the OSCE members' obligations not to strengthen their security at the expense of others,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

The project is a test of Western sincerity about its commitment to equal security in Europe, he said, reiterating Russia’s demand for “legally binding guarantees” that the system will not be used against it.

These guarantees should be verifiable, he stressed. Source

How Congress Helps the TBTF Banks Steal Your Money with Impunity

There is a very important article on Jesse's Cafe Americain blogspot, “Warren Pollock and Ann Barnhardt On the Increased Risk to Customers In the US Financial System,” that illustrates how the US bankruptcy laws now enable theft brazen theft of customer funds by the largest banks.

I have written about this issue in the past on ZH, but Pollock and Barnhart really do a nice job of presenting the issue. (Read here)


My friend and mentor Walker Todd of AIER, who worked as a legal counsel at the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Cleveland, states the situation succinctly:

“Basically, there is a new 7th Circuit opinion saying that there is no reason to impose a constructive trust on a lender's takings of customers' funds from client commodity firms that were used (inappropriately) to secure the firms' borrowings, as long as the lender can say that it did not know WITH CERTAINTY that customers' funds were being repledged. Negligence and misappropriation (vs. knowing criminal intent) are now a sufficient excuse for letting the lender keep the money and go to the head of the line for distributions in bankruptcies of the client commodity firms. Spread the word.”

Walker goes on to say that this decision does rise to the level of “what were they thinking’ when the Powers That Be think that somehow this is saving or strengthening the financial system. He refers to the now infamous 2005 bankruptcy reform legislation, where the banks made themselves senior to the very customers and savers they are supposed to protect. Pollock summarizes the situation nicely in the article:

"The way I read it was that basically you no longer have property rights. If you have your money in any (US) financial institution, you now have no property rights because in a crisis situation a bankruptcy judge now has the right to say that all of this speculation (by the banks and brokers) takes precedence over your savings."

Another veteran attorney that I have quoted often in past articles about creditor rights comments thusly:

“This decision is just further incentive to steal. And if you do it in Fl., state attorneys say they will not prosecute theft when conducted without the use of violence. So, unless the broker threatens to injure customers that do not turnover money, in Fl., it's freedom to steal.” Read More

End Times: An Era of Multiple Crises

This is the era of multiple, prolonged, and deep crises. They touch on every facet of modern life: the political, economic, social, spiritual, scientific, cosmic, and personal.

The media construction of these modern crises merely touches the surface. Also, fake crises are invented by the oligarchical system that is ruling the planet to take the place of real crises in the public consciousness. This is done in order to distract the people from noticing the real structural crises and doing something to address their roots, which means overthrowing the oligarchical system.

Below, I've listed what I think are ten of the most profound crises, with brief descriptions of each of them.

1. A Crisis of Democracy and Western Liberalism.

The global shadow banking cabal is behind the creation of a global governance system, whose legitimacy is based not on the will of the people but on sheer government force and totalitarian brainwashing.

This fact is destroying the myths of democracy, self-government, and Western liberalism. The rise of a new style of Western fascism is now a reality, and at its heart is the non-Western belief that individual rights do not matter.

2. A Crisis of Communication Between Civilizations.

"Men do not long continue to think what they have forgotten how to say." - C.S. Lewis, from his essay, "The Death of Words."

The reduction of public discourse to simplistic and meaningless phrases, empty narratives, and repetitive talking points encourages public ignorance and empowers the forces of violence at the top and at the bottom. Read More

''Egypt's army operation in Sinai "well coordinated' with US and Israel: Military source''

Israeli press criticises increased presence of Egyptian troops in the Sinai, however Operation Eagle was 'well coordinated' with both the US and Israel, says military source

An Egyptian military source, Sunday, rebuffed what he qualified as "the noise that is coming out of the Israeli media" over the deployment of army troops in Sinai beyond the limitations stipulated in the 1979 Camp David Accords.
Speaking on a condition of anonymity, the source told Ahram Online that recent complaints voiced in the Israeli press are part of an anti-Egypt propaganda campaign that is orchestrated to intimidate President Mohamed Morsi.

Over the past few days, Israeli dailies have dwelt on comments from their military officials criticising Egypt for increasing armed forces presence across Sinai without securing approval from Israel first.

According to the Camp David peace treaty, Sinai is divided into three areas and in each of these areas Egypt is allowed a limited deployment of troops and arms.

Area C, the closest to Israeli borders with Egypt, is the most restricted. Read More

''Chavez Warns London Against Assaulting Ecuadorian Embassy''

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened London with radical measures in case British authorities attempt to break into the Embassy of Ecuador to arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Assange has been holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London for two months as he fights extradition to Sweden on sex crime charges, which he denies. Last Thursday Assange was granted asylum in Ecuador but he still faces arrest the minute he steps out of the embassy building.

“If Britain decides to violate the sovereignty of Ecuador, our response will be radical. We advise the British government to think well over this since the epoch, when empires did whatever they wanted to, is long over,” Chavez told a national television.

The Venezuelan leader did not specify the nature of the measures that would be taken in response, but said they were already being prepared. Read More