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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bye Bye Eurozone! - Thanks to the Bailouts, Germany Now Has a Debt to GDP of 300%...

The European Crisis is accelerating with every day. Indeed, at this point there’s a new major development (if not more than one) on a daily basis. Rather than detailing every single news item, I’d rather address the larger concerns. This will better help you understand the larger systemic issues and how this is all likely to play out. Greece, which we’ve been told was “saved” more than a dozen times, is back on the ropes and on the verge of needing a third bailout:
             Greece will need more debt restructuring…EU officials
 Greece is unlikely to be able to pay what it owes and further debt restructuring is likely to be necessary, three EU officials said on Tuesday, a cost that would have to fall on the European Central Bank and euro zone governments.
 The officials said that twice bailed-out Greece would be found to be way off track by EU and International Monetary Fund officials who have been assessing the country.
 Inspectors from the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF -- together known as the troika -- returned to Athens on Tuesday and will complete their debt-sustainability analysis next month, but the sources said the conclusions were already becoming clear.
 It means Greece's official-sector creditors -- the ECB and euro zone governments -- will have to restructure some of the estimated 200 billion euros of Greek government debt they own if Athens is to be put back on a sustainable footing.

This Is What 670 Million People Without Power Look Like: Pictures From A Blacked Out India

First thing today we reported that India just suffered what may have been the biggest blackout in history, after half of the country's population of 1.2 billion, or just under 700 million was without power, as the electric grid of more than a dozen states suffered an epic collapse. Below we shares some pictures courtesy of Times of Indiagiving some sense of what it means for two Americas worth of people to live without electricity indefinitely. Of note: the calm, peace and order despite the epic traffic jams and crowds. One wonders what would happen in the US if the entire country was without electrcity for even just one hour. Finally, one wonders what the impact to the Indian, Asian, and Global economy will be as a result of the complete halt that at least half of India - one of the world's core marginal economies - has ground to a halt.
India’s northwestern boundary with neighboring Pakistan is so brightly lit that the thin orange line tracing its path can be seen from space. Photo: NASA/EO
A road is packed in heavy traffics following power outage and rains in the central part of New Delhi, India, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. India's energy crisis spread over half the country Tuesday when both its eastern and northern electricity grids collapsed, leaving 600 million people without power in one of the world's biggest-ever blackouts. Traffic lights went out across New Delhi.

Panic in Uganda as outbreak of deadly Ebola virus spreads — RT

A laboratory specialist examines specimens of the Ebola virus at the Uganda virus research centre in Entebbe, 40km (25 miles) south from capital Kampala (Reuters/James Akena)The Ugandan Government has created an emergency task force to deal with an outbreak of the Ebola virus. Dozens of terrified patients have fled hospitals afraid of contracting the disease, making quarantine near-impossible. The onset of the virus outbreak – the third in the last 12 years – has caused the deaths of at least 14 people in western Uganda. Depending on the strain the Ebola fatality rate can be up to 90 per cent. Health officials said the first cases were registered at the beginning of July, but only now have been confirmed as Ebola. In total, 20 people have been infected over the course of the month. Six more cases have been confirmed on Monday, bringing the total number of registered Ebola infections to 26.
The first cases came from a single village, where at first the sudden deaths were explained as witchcraft.  Health officials say this slowed the identification of the virus increasing the number infected. But as soon as news broke of the onset of one of the deadliest virus known to man, patients at the Kagadi hospital where some of the ill have died, fled in terror of being infected. Ugandan Health Secretary Stephen Bayaruhanga said many sick people who may have been infected with the virus refused to get tested at hospitals, fearing they may contract the disease there if they don’t already have it. In Kampala, where at least two of the cases have been treated, seven doctors and 13 health workers are under quarantine.

Minority Report Style "Pre-Crime" prevention is here! - Big Brother will save us!

Food prices will explode next year: First floods, now severe fires and drought threaten Russian wheat harvest

July 31, 2012 – MOSCOW – Russia is currently in the grips of an extremely strong heat wave. City and town residents are suffocating from the sweltering heat. For example, it is about 30 degrees in Moscow with prospects of the thermometer going up in the next few days. The heat wave situation is aggravated by wild fires producing clods of poisonous smoke. The wood rich Siberian taiga near Krasnoyarsk is fighting 83 fires on the territory of 12.130 hectares. As for rural Russia, that only last year was the world’s third-biggest grain producer, it suffers colossal damages. It threats to destroy a significant part of the crops. If last year’s harvest amounted to 94 million tons, this year it is a predicted at 80 to 85 million. Given the situation, earlier in July the Agriculture Ministry had to revise its harvest predictions. As Rossiyskaya Gazeta writes, the hardest hit are the important grain-producing areas including Kuban, Stavropol, Volgograd, Volga, Rostov-on-Don, Lipetsk, Penza, Ulyanovsk, Kurgan and Altai. Nevertheless, Arkady Zlochevsky, president of the Russian Grain Union thinks that “The risks are there, but then there is a chance to avoid them.” Zlochevksy added that there will be 85 million tons of crops and the size of the harvest would depend on the weather. With the leftover stocks from previous harvests, the export potential will then be about 18-20 million tons. Although this is less than last year, when the country exported more than 26 million tons, it is still better than 2010, when the droughts and wild fires in Russia ruined about a third of all the grain harvested and the country had to impose an embargo on grain exports. The area of Russia’s irrigated fields is about 2.5 million hectares, and Russia has 44 million hectares of land under spring crops this year. “The biggest losses are not caused by the weather, it is rather the failure to comply with production rules in bad weather,” said Zlochevsky. On the other hand Oleg Sukhanov, head of the market analysis unit at the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies, thinks that Russia may gather in only 77 million tons of grain. And, Sukhanov said, “that is not the worst-case scenario.” His forecast is worrisome as Russia’s annual domestic consumption amounts to 67 million to 72 million tons. As is expected this year Russia may consume up to 68.5 million tons of grain and so, considering the remaining stocks from previous years, Sukhanov’s institute colleagues are putting the Russian grain export potential this year at a mere 13.5 million tons. –VOR

UK taxpayers to foot the bill for the Olympics - seats go unsold! All Olympics cities lose money - big time, why do cities want these costly spectacles?

Groundhog day / Déjà vu all over again! Greece Runs Out Of Money. Again!!!

While we are not certain how many times we have used the above headline in the past we know it is not the first time. Nor the fifth. Yet here we are again, reporting that Greece is out of money again. "Near-bankrupt Greece is fast running out of cash while it waits for its next installment of aid from international lenders, a deputy finance minister said on Tuesday, sounding the alarm on the country's precarious financial position. Greece's European partners have repeatedly promised the country will be funded through August, when it must repay a 3.2 billion euro bond, but the details of the funding have yet to be disclosed. In the absence of that money, Greece would run out of funds to pay everyday public expenses ranging from police and other public service wages to pensions and social benefits. "Cash reserves are almost zero. It is risky to say until when (they will last) as it always depends on the budget execution, revenues and expenditure," Deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras told state NET television" In other words just like the US yesterday, Greece has also overestimated its revenues and underestimated its expenditures; also Greece in August is what the US itself will be in about 3-4 months, when the debt ceiling is hit. Luckily, the political environment in D.C. is open and cordial, and a prompt resolution to both the debt ceiling issue and the fiscal cliff, especially as they all coincide just in time for the presidential election is guaranteed.
The tragic Greek lament continues via Reuters:

'X-Files' Gruesome fetus dump in forest not an isolated incident - Russian police

Editor's Note: The following is a quote from the article linked below: The authorities discovered that a number of hospitals supplied the Urals Medical Academy in Ekaterinburg, the region’s capital, with "material for scientific research,"... MATERIALS FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH just happened to be HUMAN FETUSES, and hundreds of them. Apparently there are 10 such dump sites! The world of underground science is indeed a dark one, and people have no idea that that which is depicted as fiction in TV and movies is probably more true than most of us would like to believe! Here's another quote: "Prior to that, they were normally dumped into coffins and taken away for incineration." So there were by no means isolated incidents but had been going on for some time. How many thousands of human fetuses were used in research by just this one facility, and how many thousands, and hundreds of thousands may even now be used in research worldwide. Where do these fetuses come from that they are readily available in such great numbers?

A major waste disposal company and a medical academy have been implicated in a fetus-dumping case that has shocked the world. Authorities have also learned that dumping human waste was routine for the academy. The shocking discovery in a forest led the Sverdlovsk Region health ministry to vet the waste disposal process at all hospitals with gynecological and maternity wards within a 100-km (63-mile) radius. The authorities discovered that a number of hospitals supplied the Urals Medical Academy in Ekaterinburg, the region’s capital, with "material for scientific research," according to Life News online. 
Police investigators interrogated an employee of the academy who admitted that dumping medical waste was systematic and routine for the facility, and that 10 barrels containing human fetuses had been dumped in May, in addition to the four barrels with 248 fetuses already discovered. The location of the 10 barrels remains unknown. 
The investigators also searched the academy and discovered an agreement between the Urals Medical Academy and “Spetsavtobaza”, a waste disposal company run by the administration of Ekaterinburg. The academy’s employees also said barrels full of human fetuses were loaded onto the company’s trucks and subsequently taken to a forest. 
"The embryos first had to be incinerated,” said one employee who was present as the trucks were being loaded. "From what I understood the cargo was not accepted as it was wet, covered in formaldehyde, and was therefore simply taken to a forest. Prior to that, they were normally dumped into coffins and taken away for incineration."
Authorities are on the lookout for the vehicle that took the four barrels full of fetuses to the forest. The academy’s rector had previously suggested that a former employee had dumped the fetuses, which were used as research material for her thesis. "A year ago, the woman was fired, after which she took some of the research material.” rector Sergey Kutepov said. “Maybe she wanted to continue her research at home.However, investigators have ruled out the former employee’s involvement, saying it would have been “illogical” and “physically impossible” for one woman to transport the four 50-liter barrels.

Did Cyber-attacks in India cause 600 million to lose power in India in sweltering heat?

Editor's Note: Although power outages are a frequent occurrence in India, the scale of these outages, for which no valid reason has been provided, have me wondering if this was a case of Cyber-warfare? I suppose we'll never know the answer but for half the country to lose power at once is more than just a bit strange!
600 million without power as massive blackout plagues India — RT

India’s northern and eastern power grids have failed, plunging half the country into darkness. It is the second consecutive day in which blackouts struck India. Power outages darkened over 19 states according to local officials, including Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, J&K, Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand, UP, Himachal, Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan. Power has been restored in the coastal state of Odisha, reports television channel NDTV.
"The north, northeastern and the eastern grids are down but we are working and we would have them restored shortly,''Naresh Kumar, a spokesman at the Powergrid Corporation of India Ltd, said to AFP. Hundreds of miners are reported to have been trapped in Burdwan, North of Kolkata following the outages.
"We are trying to rescue the coal miners. All efforts are on to resume power supplies. You need power supplies to run the lifts in the underground mines," Mamata Banerjee told reporters in the state capital Kolkata.
While in the Indian capital around 100 MWs of emergency power is currently being pumped into priority areas, such as hospitals and traffic signals. Power is also being channeled into the subway to help get stranded passengers to the nearest station. The subway has been partially restored after coming to a grinding halt when the power cut struck. Additionally, at least 300 trains have been affected by the outage across the North of the country. A grid failure in Delhi and much of northern India left more than 300 million without electricity on Monday.
This was one of the worst power outages to hit the country in more than a decade. By mid-morning on Monday, electricity had returned to parts of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. The states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir also suffered blackouts. Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde issued a statement saying that a three-member committee would be charged with determining the causes of the mass blackouts. He did not address claims that the outages may have been triggered by some states drawing more than their share of energy.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Alleged Batman shooter Holmes charged in Colorado shooting - faces death penalty

Accused Aurora, Colorado theater shooter James Holmes was charged Monday morning with crimes relating to the massacre that left a dozen people dead. The 24-year-old man has been arraigned on 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder.
Holmes is accused of opening fire in a crowded cinema on the morning of July 20 shortly after a midnight screening of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises began at an Aurora, CO theater. In addition to being charged with 140 counts related to murder, authorities are prosecuting him on one count of crime enhancer and one count of possession of an explosive device.
Craig Silverman, a former chief deputy district attorney in Denver, tells a local ABC affiliate that many legal experts expect the trial to be dominated by debates over Holmes’ health. In the days after the incident, it was reported to the media that Holmes had been seeing a psychiatrist before the massacre.
"I don't think it's too hard to predict the path of this proceeding," Craig Silverman tells the station. "This is not a whodunit. … The only possible defense is insanity."
If the court refuses to hear pleas of insanity likely to be introduced by Holmes’ attorney, he could face the death penalty if convicted of the charges.
The Century 16 movie theatre is seen from a memorial setup across the street on July 28, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado (AFP Photo / Joe Raedle)Today: 02:187 comments

Aurora theater lacked security on night of Batman shootings

The Colorado movie theater at which 12 people were killed and 58 wounded by a gunman this month did not have any uniformed security guards on duty the night of the July 20 shootings, even though other US theaters had additional protection that night.
Colorado theater shooting
Arsenal found by Prince Goeorge County Police in suspect's home27.07, 20:4238 comments

Police claim to thwart mass shooting in Maryland

Police have arrested a man only 24 miles from Washington, D.C. who allegedly had been plotting to carry out a mass shooting at his workplace.
AFP Photo / Saul Loeb 26.07, 22:3729 comments

Uninsured Colorado shooting victim faces $2 mln medical bill

Lying in the hospital in an induced coma after a gunshot through his eye, 23-year old Aurora shooting victim Caleb Medley has no idea that he’s facing $2 million in medical costs.
Colorado theater shooting
AFP Photo / Adek Berry26.07, 22:2532 comments

Obama vs. AK-47s

In a passionate plea delivered this week to address gun rights in America in the wake of the Aurora, Colorado massacre, US President Barack Obama asked for the country to reconsider just who can have access to high power firearms.
Reuters/Joshua Lott24.07, 21:4967 comments

Gun sales skyrocket after Colorado massacre

The theater shooting in Colorado last week continues to generate discussions about firearms in America, but it is doing more than just getting people to talk. Gun sales in Colorado have skyrocketed in the days since the Aurora, CO massacre.

As the world enters another Economic Depression, are the dust bowls of the dirty 30's returning as well?

July 30, 2012 – ARIZONA – A second cloud of yellow in less than a week overwhelmed suburban Phoenix on Sunday, mixing with torrential rains and gusty winds that wreaked havoc on midday traffic in the area. The thick wall of dust, known as a haboob, which is Arabic for ‘strong wind,’ was seen making its way through the town of Laveen about eight miles southwest of downtown Phoenix. The greater Phoenix area and northwest and north central Pinal County were under a dust storm warning that expired at 7pm on Sunday. This comes just days after an enormous dust cloud measuring around 2,000 feet tall and almost 100km wide swept over the city, traveling at 35mph. The dust cut power to some 9,000 homes and caused disruptions at the local airport. Caused by Arizona’s monsoon season which begins in early June and runs through till the end of September, haboob’s only occur in Africa, the Middle East, Australia and Phoenix, Arizona. Known as the grand daddy of dust storms, the haboob is a rare event and is caused by loose dust being blown upwards in the absence of rain and collecting skywards where it is then propelled by another more distant thunderstorm brewing behind it. Despite some of the 1.5 million residents of Phoenix objecting to the term haboob being used, meteorologists in the city confirmed that they have been using the Arabic word to describe the massive dust storms for over 30 years. ‘I think what’s going on is that we’ve had a higher frequency of stronger dust storms over the last couple of years and the term has been in play much more because of that,’ said Ken Waters of the Phoenix National Weather Service office to KPHO. Blowing gusts of up to 50 mph at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, the haboob is destructive because of the fine dust particles that manage to permeate everywhere during the storm. –Daily Mail 

The facts (not the fiction) of the rottenness of the Chinese Economy

Factual data point after factual data point is indicating more than a little stress in the Chinese economy (and the Asian engine of growth in general). Whether it is bank loan losses escalating, shadow-banking stress, real-estate corruption, dismal retail spending, the shrinking textile industry, the artificial production in the crushingly slow metals industry , the construction industry's contraction, or the massive '50%-above-demand' channel-stuffing now occurring in the Chinese auto market, Diapason Commodity's Sean Corrigan succinctly notes: "China bulls will not heed any of this, of course, for they are prisoners of the nested illusion that all increases in outlay represent genuine growth (cf, Occidental property bubbles) and that higher growth must imply greater profitability. They will also argue, on any uptick in the macro numbers, that the worst is not only behind us, but that it has been more than fully priced in." Given a picture paints a thousand words, Asian trade volumes have ended their rebound and are exhausted.

Euro zone crisis coming to a head in September? Greek exit looming, will Euro survive?

(Reuters) - Over the past couple of years, Europe has muddled through a long series of crunch moments in its debt crisis, but this September is shaping up as a "make-or-break" month as policymakers run desperately short of options to save the common currency.
A structure showing the Euro currency sign is seen in front of the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters in Frankfurt July 11, 2012. REUTERS/Alex DomanskiCrisis or no crisis, many European policymakers will take their summer holidays in August. When they return, a number of crucial events, decisions and deadlines will be waiting.
"September will undoubtedly be the crunch time," one senior euro zonepolicymaker said. 
In that month a German court makes a ruling that could neuter the new euro zone rescue fund, the anti-bailout Dutch vote in elections just as Greece tries to renegotiate its financial lifeline, and decisions need to be made on whether taxpayers suffer huge losses on state loans to Athens.
On top of that, the euro zone has to figure out how to help its next wobbling dominoes, Spain and Italy - or what do if one or both were to topple.
"In nearly 20 years of dealing with EU issues, I've never known a state of affairs like we are in now," one euro zone diplomat said this week. "It really is a very, very difficult fix and it's far from certain that we'll be able to find the right way out of it."

Anaheim, California protests continue over police killings of unarmed men!

Published on Jul 30, 2012 by 
Video courtesy:

At least nine people have been arrested by Orange County Police as they pushed protesters back during a street rally in outrage over the recent officer-involved shootings that left two locals dead - FULL STORY:

WOW - Enter the Twilight Zone! Germany and Italy, the two most indebted countries in Europe, vow to save the Eurozone

July 29, 2012 – EUROPE – German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti will do everything to protect the euro zone and swiftly implement measures agreed by European leaders in June, their governments said in a statement on Sunday. The wording of the statement, issued after the pair discussed the euro zone crisis in a phone call on Saturday, echoed a pledge made by Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on Friday and the European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi on Thursday. European leaders have gone on the offensive in recent days, underlining their commitment to tackling the euro zone’s crippling debt problems and seeking to restore calm after a week in which Spanish bond yields hit euro-era highs and Greece raised concern it would be unable to honor its bailout conditions and could exit the euro. Draghi’s comments were read by markets as an indication the ECB may revive its program of buying bonds of troubled governments on the secondary market. Near-bankrupt Greece is desperately struggling to make savings. Its creditors are currently in Athens to assess progress and decide whether to keep it hooked up to a 130-billion euro lifeline. Greek political leaders had agreed on most of the austerity measures demanded by creditors, a source close to talks said on Sunday, and politicians were now eyeing pension and wage cuts to find the final 1.5 billion euros of savings still needed. Greece must find savings worth 11.5 billion euros for 2013 and 2014 to satisfy its increasingly impatient lenders. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said there was no room for any more concessions for Greece, in an interview published in Welt am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday, a view echoed by German Economy Minister Philipp Roesler. Policymakers are working on “last chance” options to bring Greece’s debts down and keep it in the euro zone, with the ECB and national central banks looking at also taking significant losses on the value of their bond holdings, officials said.  –Reuters
And now, for our next trick: These two countries have $4 trillion in debt between the two of them. If they have been unable to fix their own budget deficit problems, how can they possibly save the eurozone we ask? This is more politcal nonsense and stall tactics to buy time, while the ECB fires up the printing presses. If you haven’t found the exit signs yet; now would be good time to start looking. -The Extinction Protocol

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Economic Collapse Update 072712 - It's all over except for the fat lady singing!

Published on Jul 27, 2012 by 
How many times does the same scratchy record need to be replayed before people realize that the issue is not to CALM THE MARKETS. If the only way markets can be calmed is by Central banks creating near infinite amounts of money out of thin air, then there is NO MARKET worth saving, nor is it possible to save such markets. In the process of saving 'THE MARKET' whole nations and billions of people will be sacrificed. The better alternative is to sacrifice a few billionaires and save the people not the market. It is the LIARS in the media that do not explain the issues clearly to the people but keeps them confused, so they do not understand what is in their best interest until it is too late! When forced Austerity drives people into poverty, as in Greece and Spain, they do wake up but once again when it is too late. Will people in America and Germany and the UK and Canada ever wake up and realize that what is happening to Greece, Ireland, Spain and other nations will happen to them as well? I'm sure they will wake up, but sadly like the Greeks who did not wake up as long as the Ouzo was flowing, and like the Spaniards who did not wake up as along as the Sangria was flowing, neither will the Americans wake up as long as the beer is flowing, and there are a dozen football games every Sunday on TV! The ECB cannot possibly save Europe with its fake money; neither can the Fed save the USA with its monopoly money; it's all over except for the singing! And I can see the fat lady warming up already and read to take center stage; can you?

'Scientists understand only 4% of universe' - is it possible to understand 4% of Infinity?

Isaiah 40:21 Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in…

A real scientist would begin with the premise that there is a CREATOR and then try to figure out where the CREATOR came from, and other deeper questions. Just because man cannot figure out how the Universe might have been created is no reason to conclude that there is no CREATOR. Just because an elephant may not understand how to build a bridge or  house or an airplane, is no reason for the elephant to conclude that there is no builder of such things. As the degree of intelligence varies on Earth from insects to animals to man, so too the probability of infinite intelligence in an infinite universe is very high. It is far more intelligent to conclude there is an intelligent CREATOR with infinite intelligence who created everything than it is to conclude that a perfectly ordered Universe just happened all by itself...

I find it hard to believe that so-called 'Scientists' even understand 4% of the Universe; that would mean that they have been able to quantify 100% of the Universe, which means they have been able to quantify INFINITY, which is impossible!
Psalm 147:5  Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
Despite all the scientific breakthroughs and Nobel Prizes for discoveries, scientists seem to be no nearer to a possible answer to their main question - why did the universe appear? ­RT sat down to talk to Aleksey Filippenko, an American astrophysicist and professor of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley, CA.

He was the member of the team that received 2011 Nobel Prize for discovering the dark energy that is speeding up the expansion of the entire universe. And he believes that it could have sprung into existence without any divine help whatsoever.

Civil war rages in Syria as Govt. claims victory in Aleppo - how long before Syrian No-Fly Zone is imposed by NATO?

Syrian govt claims victory in Damascus as Aleppo battle rages — RT

The Syrian government has declared victory in Damascus while the fierce struggle for control of Aleppo continues. Meanwhile, the country’s Foreign Minister is in Iran, seeking support from the Islamic state.
According to Reuters, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said, "Today I tell you, Syria is stronger… In less than a week they were defeated (in Damascus) and the battle failed. So they moved on to Aleppo and I assure you, their plots will fail."
The comment was made during his visit to Tehran, where he met with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi.
Fighting between rebel and government forces escalated in Aleppo on Sunday, just as Salehi expressed doubts that a managed Syrian power transition would ever work. According to Reuters, he called the very idea an “illusion.”
“Thinking naively and wrongly that if there is a power vacuum perhaps in Syria and if there is a transition of power in Syria, simply another government will come to power, that I think is just a dream," Salehi said.
According to reports from Al Arabiya, Muallem said, “We believe that all the anti-Syrian forces have gathered in Aleppo to fight the government…and they will definitely be defeated.”
Intense fighting continued in Aleppo on Sunday, as government troops aimed to regain control in the southwestern neighborhoods of Salaheddine and parts of Saif al-Dawla, which were seized by rebels last week.
Aleppo is Syria’s commercial hub, and is seen as a critical city for both the regime and the opposition.
Rebels are believed to control between a third and half of the neighborhoods in Aleppo.
"Trust me." US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)28.07, 22:3495 comments

Best of friends? CIA considers Israel one of its biggest spy threats

While US politicians boast strong ties with Israel, CIA officials suggest Israel is one of its biggest counter-intelligence threats. With spyware that rivals that of American agencies, it is extremely difficult to detect the extent of its spying.
Syrian opposition fighters battle government security forces (unseen) during the siege of the Shaar district police station in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo (AFP Photo / Pierre Torres)28.07, 18:4486 comments

Aleppo blame game: Conflicting reports from the ground in Syria

Syria’s main commercial hub, Aleppo, was rocked with violent clashes overnight, but there are conflicting reports as to who was responsible for the fighting. Mainstream media is siding with the rebels, while witnesses say the rebels are to blame.
Syria unrest
The Alaed cargo vessel was stopped in UK waters under suspicion that it was carrying Russia-made helicopters to Syria. (RIA Novosti / Vadim Zhernov)28.07, 18:3032 comments

Russia won’t comply with anti-Syrian sanctions, vessel inspections

Russia says it will not cooperate with new EU sanctions which allow searching all vessels suspected of delivering weapons to Syria. Moscow warned it will not consent to inspections of ships traveling under its flag.

One US combat veterans attempts suicide every 30 min. - Denied benefits and healthcare regularly!

(Reuters) - On a warm summer afternoon in Champion, Ohio, Michael Ecker, a 25-year-old Iraq war veteran, called out to his father from a leafy spot in their backyard. Then, as the two stood steps apart, Michael saluted, raised a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
"His eyes rolled back," his father, Matt, said softly as he recounted the 2009 suicide. "There was just nothing I could do."
Army veteran Michael Ecker is pictured with his parents Matt and Cheryl at his graduation from boot camp in this photo shown in Champion, Ohio, April 19, 2012. On a warm summer afternoon in Champion, Michael Ecker, a 25-year-old Iraq war veteran, called out to his father from a leafy spot in their backyard. Then, as the two stood just steps apart, Michael saluted, raised a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. REUTERS-Jason CohnWeeks before he killed himself, Michael received a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs accusing him of "over-reporting" the extent of his psychiatric problems. It was the culmination of a long struggle that Ecker, diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury related to his service, had waged since returning home from the war to try to hold down a steady job, obtain VA disability benefits and resume a life as close to normal as possible.
"I've often thought about finding that doctor and saying, ‘Over-reporting?!' and giving him the death certificate," Matt Ecker said.
About once every half hour in America, a veteran within the VA healthcare system tries to commit suicide, according to VA figures for fiscal year 2011.
President Barack Obama singled out suicide prevention as a priority when he talked about veterans issues on the campaign trail in 2008. He once cited the case of an 89-year-old World War II veteran who took his life the day after complaining about his treatment by the VA.

Siberia ablaze: Raging forest fires engulf five Russian regions — RT

Siberian cities are cloaked in smoke from raging wildfires whipped up by winds. The blazes are raging in five regions, covering an area over 22,200 acres (90 square kilometers).
The situation is hampered by extreme temperatures. And though all flights in the regional city of Omsk have been grounded by the blaze, firefighters say it poses no threat to populated areas or industry. 
Thick smoke is holding back containment work and is preventing the emergency planes and helicopters from reaching the worst-hit areas.
Some 3,000 people, 412 units of fire-fighting equipment and 24 aircraft have been mobilized to fight the blazes.
Around 34 wildfires have been identified. Weather forecasters say hot and dry weather with temperatures of up to 35 degrees Celsius will remain until at least August 5.
Earlier authorities were forced to close two airports in the cities of Tomsk and Omsk, due to heavy smoke and poor visibility.
Siberian wildfires (RIA Novosti / Alexandr Kryazhev)18.06, 21:394 comments

State of emergency declared in Siberia as fires rage

A state of emergency has been declared in several eastern regions, where hundreds of wildfires are now raging.
Fires in Siberia (RIA Novosti / Kirill Braga)10.04, 21:17

Deadly wildfires engulf Siberia

Hundreds of firefighters are battling to put out massive wildfires in Siberia. The fires started earlier this month and have now spread to cover 15,000 hectares.
The streets of Bratsk blanketed by smoke from forest fires, October 1, 2011 (RIA Novosti / Gennady Taraskov)01.10.2011, 21:402 comments

Suspected arsonists behind Siberian fires arrested

Police in the Russian city of Bratsk are investigating 11 criminal cases opened in connection with fires that have blanketed the city with thick smoke.
Illegal logging is thriving all across Russia27.07.2011, 09:03

Forest fires: smoke screen for illegal lumber trade

Those who say that money does not grow on trees have obviously never been to Russia. Illegal logging is thriving all across the country as people learn how to profit from natural disasters.