Search This Blog

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Taking a break - please refer to following websites for News Updates

Dear Friends: I'll be taking a short break for the next 3 weeks or so, and will be able to post only sporadically. Till then, please refer to the following websites for News Updates.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Moscow surprised by US recognition of Syrian opposition - Foreign Minister Lavrov

Russia’s Foreign Minister said the US decision to recognize the Syrian opposition ignores an international pledge to begin a dialogue on Syria’s political future. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who has played a central role in Russia’s efforts to bring Syria’s rebel opposition and pro-government officials to the negotiating table, said Moscow is “surprised to learn that Washington has recognized the national coalition of Syrian revolutionary forces as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.” Lavrov admitted that he was also taken aback by the US decision.

"I was also somewhat surprised to learn that the US, as represented by its President, recognized the national coalition as the only legitimate representative of the Syrian people,” Lavrov said at a press conference following negotiations with Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak on Wednesday.
US President Barack Obama said the newly created Syrian Opposition Council "is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough" to be considered eligible for American support.
Members of Free Syrian Army fighters holding their weapons and opposition flags are pictured at Sermada near Idlib. (Reuters)"Obviously, with that recognition comes responsibilities," the US leader said in an interview with ABC News. Moscow would like to see more internal debate from the Syrian people as to what sort of political representation they want.

Washington’s recognition “contradicts the agreements stipulated by the Geneva communiqué, which presume the starting of a common Syrian dialogue," Lavrov noted. In the course of the protracted Syrian conflict, which represents a grave challenge to the government of President Bashar Assad, Moscow has held talks with both sides in an effort to not only create the conditions for peace, but to avoid any sort of outside military interference, as was the case in Libya. Lavrov argued that Washington is voicing its support for insurrection by hedging its bet on the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces.'"Since the coalition has been recognized as the only legitimate representative, the US has apparently decided to stake solely on the armed victory of this very national coalition," the Russian minister concluded.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (RIA Novosti/Dmitry Astakhov) 06.11, 12:48 30 comments

Syria's future belongs to its people - Russian premier

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stressed that the Syrian people must be allowed to choose their destiny without foreign pressure or interference.

Walmart spends millions on lobbying: India probes Wal-Mart lobbying practices

The Indian government opened a probe into Wal-Mart Stores Inc. after a report the retailer had lobbied US lawmakers to help gain access to foreign markets.­Wal-Mart disclosed in a report to the US Senate that it had paid $25 million over four years to lobby American lawmakers to expand its business overseas, including India. The report created a storm among India’s opposition lawmakers, who wanted to know if any money was spent in India to bribe local officials.

"I know it is allowed in the US. But the laws of the two countries are different. Lobbying in the US does not mean corruption but in India, it does. That is the difference. There is illegality," opposition Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha told reporters.
A municipal worker pours water on saplings near to a newly opened Bharti Wal-Mart Best Price Modern wholesale store in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad. (Reuters / Krishnendu / Halder)
A municipal worker pours water on saplings near to a newly opened 
Bharti Wal-Mart Best Price Modern wholesale store in the southern
 Indian city of Hyderabad. (Reuters / Krishnendu / Halder)
Meanwhile, Wal-Mart denies any wrong doing, saying it was a routine lobbying disclosure procedure in the US. According to US legislation, all organizations which spend more than $11,500 annually on lobbying activities and employ at least one lobbyist must register and file quarterly reports.
"This disclosure has nothing to do with political or governmental contacts with Indian government officials," a Wal-Mart spokesperson told the Times of India newspaper. "It shows that our business interest in India was discussed with US government officials along with 50 or more other topics during a three-month period."
The Indian authorities provided no further details about the inquiry, but Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said a judge would be appointed to lead an investigation. The government hopes to resolve the issue before December 20, so that parliament can pass important financial bills before the winter session ends.Wal-Mart became a sticking point between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and opposition lawmakers, who have opposed the opening of Wal-Mart stores in India. The said it will ruin business for millions of small store owners.

Demonstrators from the Samajwadi Party, a regional political party, shout slogans after they stopped a passenger train during a protest against price hikes in fuel and foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail, near Allahabad railway station September 20, 2012 (Reuters / Jitendra Prakash) 20.09, 13:06 11 comments

Millions of Indians protest foreign competition to mom-and-pop shops (PHOTOS)

India is going through a nationwide strike on Thursday, as shopkeepers, traders and workers protest a governmental reform allowing foreign retail giants into the domestic market. Activists fear the move would leave millions bankrupt.

Monday, December 10, 2012

String of mysterious ‘booming noises’ reported across several U.S. states

December 10, 2012ARIZONAJean Swesey was doing homework with her son in Cottonwood when it happened. “It was a whole series of booms,” Swesey said. “Up to six or seven. It was fast, it went loud. We were quiet and then my daughter down the hall screams really loud, ‘Did you hear that?’ I sat there for a second and I heard another set.” Swesey wasn’t alone. Residents in communities in and around Verde Valley and as far as Flagstaff called 911 or their police and fire departments to report the strange booming sounds. “It sounded like thunder, but underground,” Swesey said. “Like muffled thunder. And all the dogs in the neighborhood, all of them that were outside all started barking at once.” CBS 5 News first received reports of the explosion-like noises shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday and began checking with law enforcement and government sources. The U.S. Geological Survey reports no significant earthquake activity in Arizona that could have created the booms. The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office had deputies in the area that either heard it or tried to respond to resident calls. They found nothing. The Sedona Fire District dispatched a crew to check a report of a strange odor, but that was unfounded and may not be related to the sounds. The Camp Verde Marshal also received a number of phone calls about the booms. Officers found no evidence of any explosions. But the Verde Valley contains large expanses of uninhabited land. “Maybe when the light comes back they’ll find something,” said Gary Johnson of Sedona Fire. Swesey sure hopes so. “It was just, ‘boom-boom-boom-boom-boom all over the Verde Valley.” The cause of the mystery noise still remains a mystery. –KPHO
                                                                reported incident December 4, 2012
December 3, Rhode Island shaken: Did you hear it? On Monday night at approximately 11:20 p.m., reports of a loud boom flooded police stations and social media sites alike. Sources from the Warwick Police Department said they received nearly 100 phone calls reporting a loud noise that some thought was an explosion. Some residents called to say it shook their homes.
 Read More:
String of mysterious ‘booming noises’ reported across several U.S. states | The Extinction Protocol: 2012 and beyond

Greece in a State of Crisis: 'More austerity, more suffering, no way out'

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has visited Bavaria in an attempt to restore some faith in Athens. His trip comes less than two weeks after Greece's creditors agreed to extend billions in additional financing. George Katrougalos, an attorney and professor of constitutional law, believes the way the EU chose to deal with the crisis is unsustainable.

Foodstamps Soar By Most In 16 Months: Over 1 Million Americans Enter Poverty In Last Two Months

And we thought last month's delayed foodstamp data was bad. The just reported foodstamp number for September was a doozy, with 607,544 new Americans becoming eligible for foodstamps, as a record 47.7 million Americans are now living in poverty at least according to the USDA. The monthly increase was the highest since May 2011, and with August's 421K new impoverished America, over 1 million Americans made the EBT card their new best friend. It is unclear just which atmospheric phenomenon will get the blame for this unprecedented surge in poverty, which comes at a time when the pre-election economic data euphoria was adamant that the US economy was on an escape velocity to utopia. Instead what we do know is that in August and September, over three times as many foodstamp recipients were add to the economy as jobs (324,000). We also know that with the imminent impact of Sandy, which will send foodstamp recipients soaring, it is now looking quite possible that the US may end 2012 with just over a mindboggling 50 million Americans living in absolute poverty and collecting the $134.29 average monthly benefit per person, instead of working. Welcome to the recovery indeed.

Individual Americans on foodstamps:

Read More: Foodstamps Soar By Most In 16 Months: Over 1 Million Americans Enter Poverty In Last Two Months | ZeroHedge

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Prison-Industrial complex booming: Prison labor booms in US as low-cost inmates bring billions

US breeds a Chinese-style inmate labor scheme on its own soil. Both state and some of the biggest private companies are now enjoying the fruits of a cheap and readily available work force, with tens of millions of dollars spent by private prisons to keep their jails full.

Is the main-stream media ignoring America’s sinkhole epidemic?

 December 9, 2012OHIOHave you heard of the massive sinkholes popping up around the nation? Flammable craters spanning acres wide and leaking radiation, monster sinkholes described as ‘apocalyptic’ have forced residents out of homes, expelled radiation into the environment, and are now ushering in concerns about serious Earth changes in the near future. If you’ve heard of these sinkholes, chances are it has been from the alternative media. It’s a hot issue on forums, some social networking sectors, and certain alternative talk radio programs. Sure, it has come up in some mainstream reports here and there, but there are virtually no in-depth pieces tying everything together. And they often fail to mention the scale of these sinkholes, behemoth anomalies that can swallow up 100 foot trees, houses, with the latest Ohio sinkhole devouring 4 football fields of land. Events that are sending residents scrambling. A more serious issue, even beyond the dangers posed by these radiation-leaking sinkholes, is how man-made processes like fracking and excessive drilling are changing the planet on a larger scale. Bloomberg reports that fracking is a likely cause for a dramatic rise (sixfold) in earthquake activity from 2000 to 2011. Not to mention contamination of the water and food supply. Extreme mining practices by Texas Brine and others are also responsible for triggering the sinkholes. So are these actions ‘waking up’ the New Madrid fault line? In case you’re not familiar, the New Madrid fault line was responsible for the legendary 1811-1812 earthquakes dubbed the ‘New Madrid’ earthquakes. Extremely powerful and devastating earthquakes that are the most significant earthquakes to hit the United States in all of recorded history. As Investment Watch explains, the research indicating fracking and excessive mining in the expansion of earthquakes along the Madrid line reveals a concerning and plausible reality. It is important to note that the New Madrid fault line includes areas within Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. In the event of a large (8.0 or higher) earthquake along the fault line, however, a much greater area would likely be affected. Outside of the repercussions of the sinkholes, such as the radiation issue and major possibility of implosion or massive disruption in the area, what are the larger consequences of invasive fracking? Could a massive disaster be the result of greedy corporations endangering the entire nation? Furthermore, why is the mainstream media shying away from the issue completely? –Info Wars

Weather warfare? Deadly Typhoon Bopha makes U-turn back to Philippines

December 9, 2012MANILAHeavy rain brought flooding fears in the north of the storm-battered Philippines as Typhoon Bopha returned today, days after slamming into the south of the country and leaving almost 1,400 dead or missing. While the powerful typhoon had weakened to a tropical storm, it was still causing downpours in the north even as hundreds in the south struggled to recover from its fury, said civil defense chief Benito Ramos. “It will bring rain, not so much wind. We anticipate flash floods and landslides. We expect low-lying areas to be flooded again,” Ramos told AFP. Local relief and rescue teams along with the military were in position while residents were on alert for rising waters. Officials said 548 people are confirmed dead after Bopha struck last week.  The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said 827 are missing, a sharp rise on earlier estimates of about 500 unaccounted for. Most deaths were in Mindanao where mountainous gold-rush sites were hit hard. Almost 178,000 people were still in crowded evacuation centers. Ramos said the massive death toll in Mindanao had made residents in the north more cautious. “They are more alert now. They were watching developments in the south where we incurred a substantial number of casualties and they were alarmed,” he said. Despite Bopha’s weakening, the second-level of a three-step storm alert was raised over three northern provinces. Lower alerts were hoisted over surrounding areas, the government weather station said. Bopha struck the southern Philippines last week, wiping whole towns off the map with its 210km per hour winds and heavy rains. The strongest typhoon to hit the country this year cut through the central islands and was heading out to the South China Sea when it made a U-turn towards the north this weekend. Early Sunday Bopha was just off the northern city of Laoag, packing gusts of 120km per hour as it moved east at 15km per hour, the station said. –Sun Daily

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Syrian ground war as a prelude to war with Iran - Ten year war predicted!

The Netherlands is mobilizing two Patriot missile batteries to send to Turkey, joining German and American units. They're to guard against a possible attack from Syria, one that Lawrence Wilkerson, the former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, says will never come.

Government and Corporations in bed: Meet Liz Fowler: Architect of ObamaCare Jumps Ship To Johnson & Johnson

Via Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,
Following the passage of ObamaCare, several of the smartest people I know claimed that the bill was actually written by and for the drug and insurance companies rather than “the people” as Obama had claimed.  My friend and orthopedic surgeon Dave Janda wrote an excellent piece that I published titled: Thoughts on Obamacare from a Surgeon and Friend.
In recent days it has emerged that Liz Fowler, who is said to have been one of the key architects of ObamaCare, is doing what any good revolving door crony capitalist would do.  She is moving to the private sector to receive her payoff.  Trudy Lieberman of the Columbia Journal Review explains that:
Herewith is a brief Fowler curriculum vitae: In 2001 she had a plum job as chief counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, which deals with healthcare bills. As Greenwald’s old Salon post notes, her biography says she “played a key role” in the 2003 Medicare prescription drug law that created a new senior drug benefit—a benefit provided via private insurers, not the government, as is the case for other Medicare benefits. A few years later she landed a position at WellPoint as a vice president overseeing the giant insurer’s lobbying activities.

Fowler then returned to Senate Finance in 2008 to work for Sen. Max Baucus, who chaired the committee, which was becoming Action Central for health reform. Fowler and Baucus pretty much wrote the bill that became Obamacare—and which, we should note, did not include a proposed “public option,” which was popular with ordinary people but not the insurance companies that lobbied hard to make sure it was out of the mix.

Then this week Politico’s Dave Levinthal and Anna Palmer had a scoop: Fowler is returning to the private world, this time to a senior level position leading global health policy at Johnson & Johnson’s government affairs and policy group.
Revolving door on Wall Street.  Check.  Revolving door at the Pentagon.  Check.  Revolving door in Healthcare.  Check mate.  Welcome to America.  Check your freedom at the door.

Read the full article here.

Frankenstein lives: Florida scientists prepare to release hundreds of thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes

Hundreds of thousands of mutated mosquitoes could soon be unleashed in Florida, but don’t worry: scientists say they have a plan.
It might sound like something out of a low-budget horror film, but the US Food and Drug Administration really is considering whether or not they should allow scientists to send thousands upon thousands of genetically altered insects into the wild.
Aedes aegypti mosquitos, which can spread the dengue fever.(Reuters / Stringer)
Aedes aegypti mosquitos, which can spread the dengue fever.(Reuters / Stringer)
If all goes as planned, mosquitos modified by some serious Frankenstein treatment will be introduced into the Florida Keys and ideally mate with skeeters that carry the deadly dengue fever, passing along in the process a fatal birth defect that will hopefully eradicate the offspring before birth. From there, scientists say they expect the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected with the dangerous disease will be decimated in only a few generations without causing any major implications for the native ecosystem.
"The science of it, I think, looks fine. It's straight from setting up experiments and collecting data," Michael Doyle of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District tells the Associated Press.
No vaccination against dengue fever is currently available in any part of the world, and although the mortality rate associated with it is low, it’s still a serious concern. In the Florida Keys where the economy relies on tourism, an epidemic of any sort could be catastrophic. Some fear that sending mutated mosquitos into the environment could have grave implications as well, though, and are asking for more thorough testing before the FDA makes a decision. Of course, it doesn’t help the scientists’ case that it will take several rounds of releasing genetically modified mosquitos in order for their plan to work.
"The public resistance and the need to reach some agreement between mosquito control and the public, I see that as a very significant issue, outside of the (operating) costs, since this is not just a one-time thing," Phil Lounibos of the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory tells the AP.

Read More: Florida scientists prepare to release hundreds of thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes — RT

Friday, December 7, 2012

7.3 and 6.2 magnitude earthquakes strike off east coast of Japan - generate small tsunami

December 7, 2012 JAPAN - A strong quake centered off northeastern Japan shook buildings as far away as Tokyo on Friday and triggered a one-meter tsunami in an area devastated by last year’s Fukushima disaster, but there were no reports of deaths or serious damage. The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3, the U.S. Geological Survey said, and thousands of coastal residents were ordered to evacuate to higher ground, but the tsunami warning was lifted two hours after the tremor struck. The March 2011 earthquake and following tsunami killed nearly 20,000 people and triggered the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years when the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant was destroyed, leaking radiation into the sea and air. Workers at the plant were ordered to move to safety after Friday’s quake. Tokyo Electric Power Co, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, reported no irregularities at its nuclear plants. All but two of Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors have been idled since the Fukushima disaster as the government reviews safety. The quake measured a “lower 5” in Miyagi prefecture on Japan’s scale of one to seven, meaning there might be some damage to roads and houses that are less quake resistant. The scale measures the amount of shaking and in that sense gives a better idea of possible damage than the magnitude. The quake registered a 4 in Tokyo. The one-meter tsunami hit at Ishinomaki, in Miyagi, at the centre of the devastation from the March 2011 disaster. All Miyagi trains halted operations and Sendai airport, which was flooded by the tsunami last year, closed its runway. Five people in the prefecture were slightly injured. “I was in the centre of the city the very moment the earthquake struck. I immediately jumped into the car and started running away towards the mountains. I’m still hiding inside the car,” said Ishinomaki resident Chikako Iwai. I have the radio on and they say the cars are still stuck in the traffic. I’m planning to stay here for the next couple of hours.” There are vast areas of Ishinomaki that still have not been cleaned up since last year’s tsunami. Many houses lie in ruins, full of rubble. Workers by the shore still sort through thousands of cars that were swamped and destroyed. The cars are piled up and being taken apart for parts and scrap. Narita airport outside Tokyo was back in action after a brief closure for safety checks. There were small tsunamis, measuring in the centimeters, elsewhere near the epicenter. Tokyo, with a population of 12 million, sits on the junction of four tectonic plates: the Eurasian, North American, Philippine and Pacific. The sudden bending or breaking of any plate can trigger an earthquake. –Reuters

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Freak tornado kills 3 in Auckland, New Zealand

December 6, 2012AUCKLANDA freak tornado hit Auckland Thursday killing three people and causing “utter devastation” as wild weather ripped apart homes and caused flash flooding in New Zealand’s largest city. The storm, packing gusts of more than 110 kilometers (70 miles) per hour, struck suburban Hobsonville in the afternoon, toppling trees, ripping roofs from houses and sending debris flying. Civil Defense said three people died and seven were hospitalized, with two of the fatalities believed to have been caused by a concrete slab that landed on the cabin of a truck and the other by a falling tree. About 150 homes were badly damaged, many rendered uninhabitable, forcing residents into temporary accommodation at a nearby air force base. Resident Suzanne McFadden said the storm roared through in “five minutes of utter devastation.” Police urged people to stay indoors as flash floods blocked roads and falling trees brought down power lines, blacking out about 1,300 homes. The Met service weather agency said the tornado was created by a series of intense thunderstorms that lashed the city through the day, largely dissipating by early evening, although there were fears the winds could pick up overnight. Prime Minister John Key expressed condolences to the families of the dead and praised the efforts of emergency services, who swiftly sealed off an area of about one square kilometre (0.4 square miles) that was worst affected by the tornado. -TN

'US Army in bed with mercenaries': Blackwater new landlord in Afghanistan

US Special Operations forces have found a new landlord in Afghanistan - and a rather unusual one. They've made home in a facility operated by the 'Academi' mercenary group, formerly known as the notorious Blackwater, following a non-bid deal. Such deals are usually vice versa - as former Bush administration official Michael O'Brien puts it, now it's the tail wagging the dog. READ MORE:

Mass evacuation in Buenos Aires after toxic chemical container explodes

A chemical container has exploded in Buenos Aires, Argentina, blanketing the capital in a huge toxic cloud. Residents are being told to stay inside while a mass evacuation from the area surrounding the blast has been ordered, local media report. The container filled with pesticide caught on fire after a chemical reaction between its contents and exploded. As the flames were put out, yellow smoke billowed out of it. City officials believe the container may have been transporting garbage.
The pesticide presents a low level of danger and affects the respiratory tract,” said Sergio Berni, the national Security Secretary, as quoted by C5N television channel.
Image from Twitter/@AlertasTransito
Image from Twitter/@AlertasTransito
The incident hit the city's Port Terminal 4 early in the morning. Several buildings in the port and the surrounding area were evacuated, according to Buenos Aires's Civil Defense. Residents in near-by areas were told to stay indoors, close their windows and turn off air conditioning.
By 9:00am local time a strange heavy odor, described as similar to burnt oil or a gas leak, hit the city causing some metro lines and the city’s domestic airport to suspend operations.
Some residents complain of eye irritation and breathing problems and have to move along the streets covering their faces with masks and handkerchiefs, but officials say "the situation is under control" now.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Welcome to the Economic Recovery: Citigroup to Cut 11,000 Jobs, Take $1 Billion Charge...

Citigroup Inc. (C) Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat, who took over the bank in October, is cutting more than 11,000 jobs, scaling back operations in some emerging markets and taking a $1 billion charge this quarter in an effort to drive down costs.
The institutional clients group, which includes trading, investment banking and transaction services, will cut about 1,900 jobs, New York-based Citigroup said today in a statement. That move seeks to “improve overall productivity in our markets business, especially in areas experiencing continued low profitability, such as cash equities,” the bank said. The stock jumped more than 4 percent in New York trading.

Read More: Citigroup to Cut 11,000 Jobs, Take $1 Billion Charge - Bloomberg

China's Economy "Bottoming Out"? - Not So Fast! | ZeroHedge

While China's equity index continues to plumb new depths, the macro data of the past two weeks has been the crutch for US equity bulls losing faith in the fiscal cliff negotiations - growth is up, investment is up, and inflation is down - with analysts hailing the news as evidence that the Chinese economy has "truly bottomed out." As Michael Pettis, of China Financial Markets, notes though "I think we need to be very cautious and refrain from allowing ourselves to get too caught up in the huge sigh of relief that the sell side is heaving. Growth rates in China will continue to slow dramatically in the next few years, and if there are temporary lulls, as there must be, these do not represent any sort of “bottoming out” at all." His perspective is simply that Beijing cannot afford 'politically' to allow the transition/adjustment/reforms to take place too fast - and occasionally needs "to step on the investment accelerator." The bottom-line, he notes, is that "you can get as much growth as you like if you expand credit, but once expanding credit has become the problem, it cannot also be a permanent solution to slower growth. The country’s balance sheet continues to deteriorate – and the most recent growth spurt implies faster deterioration – and this, ultimately, is the main constraint of the Chinese growth model."

The big news in the past two weeks has been the slew of economic data suggesting that China has firmly turned the corner on its economic close down. I think we need to be very cautious and refrain from allowing ourselves to get too caught up in the huge sigh of relief that the sell side is heaving. Growth rates in China will continue to slow dramatically in the next few years, and if there are temporary lulls, as there must be, these do not represent any sort of “bottoming out” at all. They simply represent the fact that Beijing cannot afford politically to allow the adjustment to take place too quickly, and from time to time Beijing is are going to step on the investment accelerator to speed things up temporarily.

Read More: China's Economy "Bottoming Out"? - Not So Fast! | ZeroHedge

Serbian NATO ambassador suicide(d) in parking lot at Brussels airport

The fact that the Prosecutor ruled within hours of the apparent Suicide that there was nothing suspicious about it is very Suspicious. One would think that a high profile Ambassador's death would be thoroughly investigated before deciding the cause!
Serbia’s ambassador to NATO, Branislav Milinkovic has leapt to his death from a parking lot in a Brussels airport. Police have launched a probe to find out the motives behind the apparent suicide that came amid Serb talks with NATO officials.
The Serbian government has issued a statement saying that Milinkovic died instantly night after jumping from the 8- to 10-meter-high platform on Tuesday while waiting for Serbia-NATO talks to begin.
Emergency services were called to the scene of the incident, but could not save Ambassador Milinkovic.
Brussels prosecutor's office said it was "sure that it was a suicide," and will not be investigating the death further.

Read More: Serbian NATO ambassador jumps to death from parking lot at Brussels airport — RT

No Nuclear inspections for Israel: Israel rejects UN call for nuclear transparency...

Israel has rebuffed a UN call to adhere to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and open itself to international inspectors, calling the suggestion a "meaningless mechanical vote" of a body that “lost all its credibility regarding Israel.”
­In a 174-6 vote, the United Nations General Assembly demanded in a non-binding call that Tel Aviv join the NPT “without further delay," in an effort to create a legally binding nuclear-free Middle East.
Washington, Israel's strongest ally, surprised no one by voting against the resolution – but did approve two paragraphs that were voted on separately, which called for universal adherence to the NPT and for all non-signatory governments to join.
The UN body "has lost all its credibility regarding Israel with these types of routine votes that are ensured passage by an automatic majority and which single out Israel," Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor was quoted by Jerusalem Post as saying.
The Assembly's call on Israel comes days after a large majority of its members voted to grant Palestine statehood state status and just weeks after the an escalation of violence between Gazans and Israel's occupation forces. Palmor stressed, however, that since the NPT vote takes place annually, the Palestinian victory is not connected.
Israel is not a signatory to the 1970 Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, the main objective of which is to is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology. Despite near-universal acknowledgement that Tel Aviv maintains a powerful nuclear arsenal, Israeli officials promote a position claiming their government will “not be the first country to introduce weapons into the Middle East.” 

Read More: Israel rejects UN call for nuclear transparency — RT

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Egyptian Leader Morsi flees as angry crowd storms palace in Cairo, battles riot police

Egypt's President, Mohammed Morsi, has been forced to flee his Cairo residence by a wild mob demanding an end to his rule. Riot police have struggled to keep crowds from storming the leader's palace and fired tear gas at protesters. Bel Trew has been at the heart of the action... - READ MORE

Iran captures another U.S. drone | Video |

A U.S. drone has been captured while flying over Iranian air space - this according to Iran's Press TV. The ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle was gathering information over the Persian Gulf when it was captured by the naval unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. Press TV said it was captured some time "in the last few days", but it wasn't clear how. But the U.S. Navy denies any drone has been lost over the Gulf recently. In November, the United States said Iranian warplanes shot at a U.S. surveillance drone flying in international airspace, while Iran said it had overflown its borders. The ScanEagle is manufactured by Boeing. The small military plane is four feet long and has a 10-foot wingspan.

Syria threatened with inavsion: The good ole' WMD card being played again???

Watch out! SYRIA has weapons of mass destruction and must be disarmed! Here comes the Syrian invasion - who's next?

(Reuters) - NATO told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday that any use of chemical weapons in his fight against encroaching rebel forces would be met by an immediate international response.
The warning from NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen came as Syrian forces bombarded rebel districts near Damascus in a sustained counter-attack to stem rebel gains around Assad's power base. Syrian state media said a rebel mortar attack on a school had killed 28 students and a teacher.
International concern over Syria's intentions has been heightened by reports that its chemical weapons have been moved and could be prepared for use. "The possible use of chemical weapons would be completely unacceptable for the whole international community and if anybody resorts to these terrible weapons I would expect an immediate reaction from the international community," Rasmussen told reporters at the start of a meeting of alliance foreign ministers in Brussels. The chemical threat made it urgent for the alliance to send Patriot anti-missile missiles to Turkey, Rasmussen said.

Another Deadly typhoon in Philippines: 43 dead, thousands forced to flee...

Fourty three people have died and more than 56,000 were forced to evacuate to shelters as the powerful Typhoon Bopha continues to batter the southern Philippines. Bopha is the strongest typhoon to hit the country in a year. MORE INFO & PHOTOS:

Israel Expands Settlements, Obama Expands Drones - Real News

Vijay Prashad: In response to UN vote on Palestine, Israel withholds tax revenue from PA and announces new settlement construction; drones become a weapon of "police action" in war on terror...

Bad Neighbors to be shipped to retraining camps in Amsterdam!

Amsterdam residents with a record of harassing their neighbors will be exiled, the city’s mayor announced. After being forced out, they will live under police supervision in special container housing units with only basic amenities.
­Authorities in the Dutch capital have formed a task force to identify the worst offenders behind the 13,000 complaints of antisocial behavior the city receives annually, Amsterdam-based daily Het Parool reported.
A container housing unit. Sreenshot from @Ulftingenwest
A container housing unit. Sreenshot from @Ulftingenwest
Those charged who defy a compulsory six-month course in the camps will face eviction and homelessness. Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan has allocated an estimated 1.3 million euro to the project, which he argued will protect law-abiding residents from being forced to move by unruly neighbors.
The camp dwellers will supposedly be motivated to change their behavior after they return to the city, authorities said.

"The aim is not to reward people who behave badly with a new five-room home with a south-facing garden. This is supposed to be a deterrent,"
a mayoral spokesperson said.
Some have dubbed the camps ‘tuigdorpen’ – ‘scum villages’ – over their similarity to the rhetoric of right-wing anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders, leader of the Party for Freedom. Last year, Wilders said that “repeat offenders should be forcibly removed from their neighborhood and sent to a village for scum.”
The controversial proposal sparked widespread debate, with the term becoming the Netherlands’ ‘word of the year’ in a poll conducted by Van Dale, the leading national dictionary.
The new policy will come into effect in January. There are several small-scale trial projects of a similar nature already underway in the Netherlands, including a location near Amsterdam where 10 shipping container homes have been set up for persistent offenders.
The world has an extensive record of communities evicting those seen as misfits: Jewish ghettos in Europe, Bantustans for blacks in apartheid South Africa and the Soviet Union’s unofficial ‘rule of 101 km,’ which banned criminals, dissidents and work-dodgers from living closer than 100 kilometers from large cities. The Netherlands is no exception – troublemakers in the 19th century were exiled to live in special villages in Drenthe and Overijssel outside Amsterdam.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Israel faces European backlash over settlement plan: Britain and France call Ambassadors for update | Reuters

Reuters) - Israel faced concerted criticism from Europe on Monday over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to expand settlement building after the United Nations' de facto recognition of Palestinian statehood.
Britain, France and Sweden summoned the Israeli ambassadors in their respective capitals to hear deep disapproval of the plan to erect 3,000 more homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Ahead of a Netanyahu visit this week, Germany, considered Israel's closest ally in Europe, urged it to refrain from expanding settlements, and Russia said it viewed the Israeli moves with serious concern.
Angered by the U.N. General Assembly's upgrading on Thursday of the Palestinians' status in the world body from "observer entity" to "non-member state", Israel said the next day it would build the new dwellings for settlers.
Such projects in the past, on land Israel captured in a 1967 war and which Palestinians seek for a future state, have routinely drawn almost pro forma world condemnation.

Read More: Israel faces European backlash over settlement plan | Reuters

Third storm in five days wreaks havoc on U.S. West Coast... 3, 2012CALIFORNIA - Blasting out of the Pacific, the third and most powerful “Pineapple Express” storm of the week swept over the Bay Area Sunday morning, dumping heavy rain on a region already soaked to the roots and reeling from power outages and flooding. “It’s a mess,” said CHP Officer James Evans. “We’ve got flooding everywhere.” The triple whammy toppled trees and power lines, snarled traffic, caused accidents on slippery roadways and cut electrical power to about 297,000 customers in the region, including BART riders who were stranded on subway cars during a harrowing, one-hour outage early Sunday morning. Measured by rainfall and wind, this was one of the most powerful storm events since October 2009, said Jan Null, a meteorologist with the Golden Gate Weather Services. Pineapple Express is a term for warm weather fronts that start in the southwest Pacific and head toward California. This one started north of Hawaii, Null said. “It was a pretty significant series of storms,” he said. The storms actually swept through over a five-day period from Wednesday to Sunday, allowing some time for drowning areas to drain out. “If we had no breaks, it could have been worse.” After the first two storms saturated Bay Area flatlands and hillsides late last week, the National Weather Service issued flash-flood warnings over the weekend for Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties, including Ben Lomond and Boulder Creek, after as much as one inch of rain per hour fell in the area. And some of those predictions came true: On Sunday morning, authorities in Santa Cruz reported trees into power lines at several spots throughout the county. There were also two rock slides on Highway 17 — the narrow, winding connecting road between San Jose and Santa Cruz. The first slide was near Sugar Loaf Road and the second was reported at Glenwood Cutoff. Both required work but no major problems resulted. Although the Santa Cruz Mountains saw the heaviest rainfall, no part of the Bay Area was spared from the storms and the treacherous driving conditions they created. –Mercury News

Terminator: Rise of the Drones: They crash, they kill but we must have them!

Editor's Note: It appears that drones are the wave of the future, rather the wave of the present since thousands of them are flying around all over the world even today.  But as the following report makes note, drones operated by humans are liable to failure, not that of the machine, but rather that of the humans. How long before SKYNET takes over and machines will fly machines? It is amazing how quickly the world of Science-Fiction becomes the world of Science Fact.

Image from
Image from

A newly-released internal investigation by the US Air Force has shown a plague of non-mission-related accidents involving drones in its foreign operations. Meanwhile, Washington is pushing ahead with plans to allow drones into US civil airspace.
The report shows Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) crashing consistently and unpredictably due to a wide array of failures from technical malfunction, to complications in dealing with air traffic controllers, to downright incompetence. The documents, obtained by the Washington Post, number several thousand pages, and show that at least seven drones have crashed near airports in the past two years.
One account from April describes a sub-contracted operator launching an $8.9 million MQ-9 Reaper from the runway at the Seychelles International Airport without getting the go-head from the control tower. The same operator then accidentally switched off the engine without noticing and then tried an emergency landing, but did not release the wheels.
The aircraft was a write-off. It was the second similar accident at the site in just five months.
“I will be blunt here. I said, ‘I can’t believe this is happening again,’ ” the report cites an Air Force official present at the scene as saying. He later adds, “You go, ‘How stupid are you?’”
Read More: Flying into trouble? Drones to use US airspace as safety record questioned — RT

Sunday, December 2, 2012



BIG BROTHER Lives: Everyone in US under virtual surveillance, all info stored, no matter the post

RT talks to William Binney, whistleblower and former NSA crypto-mathematician who served in the agency for decades. Virtual privacy in US, Petraeus affair and whistleblowers' odds in fight against the authorities are among key topics of this exclusive interview.

More protests and social unrest in Latin America: Mexico explodes in protests!

Protesters clashed with police outside the Mexican Congress in Mexico City on Saturday, as the country’s new president, Enrique Pena Nieto, took the oath of office. Hundreds of demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails, firecrackers and rocks at security forces, who responded by using tear gas to disperse the crowd. At least two protesters were injured, one seriously and a police officer with a bleeding face was taken for medical treatment, according to law enforcement agencies.
Mexican authorities erected security barriers around the Congress several days ago in anticipation of protests by groups opposed to Nieto and the return of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to power. Forty-six year old Nieto, who will have the top job during the next six years, won the presidential election on July 1st by a narrow margin, with his victory has exposed deep divisions within the Mexican society. The president-elect has took over at midnight in a symbolic ceremony after campaigning as the new face of the PRI, repentant and restructured after the party was voted out of the presidency in 2000. The PRI had ruled for 71 years with a mix of populist handouts, graft and rigged elections.

Read More: New Mexican president sworn in amid violent protests (VIDEO, PHOTOS) — RT
A demonstrator throws stones at the police during a protest outside the Congress in Mexico City during the inauguration of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, on December 1, 2012 (AFP Photo / Ronaldo Schemidt)
A demonstrator throws stones at the police during a protest outside the Congress in Mexico City during the inauguration of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, on December 1, 2012 (AFP Photo / Ronaldo Schemidt)

Will Netanyahu launch war with Iran after Israeli elections in January?

The Israeli government’s decision to expand settlements is “a slap in the face for [the] US president,” according to former PM Ehud Olmert. He is the latest to join both domestic and foreign criticism of Israel’s punitive actions against Palestine.
­The Israeli government is unfreezing a controversial construction project in the occupied territories in retaliation for the Palestinian success at the UN. But the harsh stance is drawing criticism even from most loyal foreign allies of the Jewish state, including America. Meanwhile at home the hawkish prime minister faces resurge of opposition forces that can put his re-election prospects in doubt.
Netanyahu is enjoying a rise of popularity following the week-long war in Gaza, with his personal approval rating bouncing 11 percentage points, according to post-offensive polls. Together with his ally Avigdor Lieberman and ultra-orthodox and ultra-nationalist parties, he has a convincing lead two months ahead of the early election in January.
While maintaining domestic support, the Israeli PM is increasingly at odds with foreign friends. At the UN General Assembly vote on Thursday which granted Palestinians an upgraded status of non-member observer state, only nine countries voted against the proposition. Even nations that usually support Israel on most issues like Germany and Britain chose to abstain, and just one European nation, the Czech Republic, voted against.
“For Netanyahu to find himself all alone, with only a reluctant partner in Washington and seven other countries by his side, must surely have come as a shock,” wrote Foreign Policy magazine. It argues that Israel’s brief war with Hamas may have pushed Europeans to demonstrate approval for their Palestinian non-violent rival Fatah and its leader Mahmoud Abbas. The elected president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) champions the statehood bid, while Israel didn’t offer any tangible alternative, the magazine says.

Read More: Netanyahu cops flak for hawkish response to Palestinian UN success — RT

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Zombie Apocalypse continues: Zombie Tries To Eat Dog In Street!

Police in Pembroke, Ont., are investigating a bizarre case of a man who allegedly attacked a dog on a downtown street early Wednesday morning. The man, who is in his 20s, was apprehended under the Mental Health Act, and taken to hospital. Tanner Comeau, 18, a witness, was driving home to Petawawa through downtown Pembroke at about 12:30 a.m. ET with a friend when he saw something strange at the intersection of Pembroke Street West and Christie Street.
Zombie licking dogs blood off the street
“We drove by it, and it was in the middle of the intersection. It was a guy wrapped around a dog, choking it, biting it. It was messed up,” Comeau told the CBC’s Kristy Nease by phone from Petawawa on Thursday morning. “So we pulled over. And the guy was in his boxers. “We ran up to him, screaming at him. Our first priority was to go and hit him … but then we decided to call the cops because he was eating the dog, and there was blood all over the place and the dog was squealing. It was just really, really disturbing.” Comeau’s friend, who was driving, called 911, and the two young men started screaming at the man attacking the dog. Comeau said the noise alerted people nearby, and a crowd of about 10 to 15 people showed up. “There was a big circle of all of us yelling at him … and the dog finally got free,” Comeau said. Comeau said the man started running after the dog, but a neighbour had already taken it inside.
By that point, Comeau said police sirens and lights could be heard. The man ran down a hill with his hands in the air, screaming, Comeau said. Police gave chase to apprehend the man, said Pembroke police Const. Dillon Gerundin, who could not say if the man suffered any injuries. The officer said he was aware that a rumour was circulating in the community on social media that the man may have been high on drugs known as bath salts. Police haven’t been able to rule out drugs as a factor, but Gerundin said there “is no evidence to suggest that bath salts are involved.”

Republished with permission. 

Massive sinkhole opens up in OHIO - Sinkholes, Explosions, and Earthquakes -- What is happening?


Four options ...
1. All the recent explosions are a series of coincidental 'accidents'... Or
2. The explosions could be natural but a new development (static buildup occurring in multiple fuel tanks/gas lines) Or
3. The Explosions are man made (some group causing these explosions using energy or frequency weapons). Or
4. The explosions are being caused by large pockets of released methane (natural gas) from above the planets crust a few miles down in the Earth .