May 31

Italy announces first case of SARS-like coronavirus (Reuters, May 31, 2013):

Italy reported its first case of the SARS-like coronavirus on Friday, a 45-year-old man who had been travelling in Jordan, the health ministry said.

The patient was in good condition and was being monitored in isolation, the ministry said in a statement. He was admitted to a hospital in Tuscany with a high fever, a cough and breathing difficulties.

A resident of Italy with foreign nationality, the man recently spent 40 days in Jordan where one of his sons was suffering from an unspecified flu.

Saudi Arabia has been the most affected by the virus, with 39 cases and 25 deaths so far, according to data from the World Health Organization.

The virus, which can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia, has spread from the Gulf to France, Britain and Germany. The WHO has called it the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

It is from the same viral family that triggered the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that swept the world in late 2003 and killed 775 people.


WHO: Coronavirus ‘threat to the world’

Newly discovered virus takes more lives, spreads (CNN, May 30, 2013):

A new SARS-like virus recently found in humans continues to spread — with the worldwide total now at 49, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

Of the 49 known infections with the MERS-CoV virus, 27 have resulted in death, the organization said.

Continue reading »

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May 31

Notes from the Underground: John Kiriakou’s Letter from Prison (Liberty Blitzkrieg, May 31, 2013):

Greetings from the Federal Correctional Institution at Loretto, Pennsylvania.  I arrived here on February 28, 2013 to serve a 30-month sentence for violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982.  At least that’s what the government wants people to believe.  In truth this is my punishment for blowing the whistle on the CIA’s illegal torture program and for telling the public that torture was official U.S. government policy.  But that’s a different story.  The purpose of this letter is to tell you about prison life.

The prison population is much like you might expect.  Loretto has 1,369 prisoners (I never call myself an “inmate.”  I’m a prisoner).  About 50% are black, 30% are Hispanic, and 20% are white.  Of the white prisoners, most are pedophiles with personal stories that would make you sick to your stomach.  The rest of the white prisoners are here for drugs, except for a dozen or so who ran ponzi schemes.

-John Kiriakou

What follows is a rather brief, but incredibly interesting letter from John Kiriakou, the only person to be jailed in a torture related case in the U.S. Of course, he wasn’t involved in torture, he blew the whistle on it.  For that offense he has been caged, while those actually involved in allowing torture roam free.  I first highlighted John’s plight last year before he was jailed in my piece:  Have You Heard of John Kiriakou? I suggest reading that post before getting into the letter below.  Enjoy.

John Kiriakou Letter From Loretto 1

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May 31

Another Oligarch Wrist Slap: Citigroup Settles in Secret on Housing Fraud Charges (Liberty Blitzkrieg, May 31, 2013):

Guess what just happened?  In case you forgot, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) had previously accused Citigroup of violating securities laws and making misrepresentations of billions of mortgage bonds.  Unsurprisingly, Citigroup settled, which is just a euphemism for an “oligarch wrist slap.” What’s really disturbing is that the settlement amount will remain a secret, which takes cronyism to yet another despicable level.  After all, take a look at the man who runs the Treasury Department.

From Bloomberg:

The conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was eager for publicity in September 2011 when it sued 17 financial institutions, accusing them of ripping off the two government-backed housing financiers. It isn’t so enthusiastic anymore.

This week the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency told a federal judge it had settled its case against Citigroup Inc. The agency won’t say how much money Citigroup is paying. Neither will Citigroup, which survived the financial crisis only because it got multiple taxpayer bailouts. The parties agreed to keep the terms confidential. The government has decided this is none of the public’s business.

The agency had accused Citigroup of violating securities laws and making misrepresentations about $3.5 billion of mortgage bonds that it sold to Fannie and Freddie during the housing bubble, before they were seized by the government. This is the second such lawsuit to be resolved so far. In January, the agency dropped its suit against General Electric Co. after reaching a deal over mortgage bonds sold to Freddie Mac. In that case, too, the terms weren’t disclosed.

This should make every American’s blood boil. The government is devoting taxpayer resources to pursue these claims in court. The public is entitled to know the results. It’s that simple.

Continue reading »

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May 31

Why Is The Smart Money Suddenly Getting Out Of Stocks And Real Estate? (Economic Collapse, May 30, 2013):

If wonderful times are ahead for U.S. financial markets, then why is so much of the smart money heading for the exits?  Does it make sense for insiders to be getting out of stocks and real estate if prices are just going to continue to go up?  The Dow is up about 17 percent so far this year, and it just keeps setting new record high after new record high.  U.S. home prices have risen about 11 percent from a year ago, and some analysts are projecting that we are on the verge of a brand new housing boom.  Why would the smart money want to leave the party when it is just getting started?  Well, of course the truth is that the “smart money” is regarded as being smart because they usually make better decisions than other people do.  And right now the smart money is screaming that it is time to get out of the markets.  For example, the SentimenTrader Smart/Dumb Money Index is now the lowest that it has been in more than two years.  The smart money is busy selling even as the dumb money is busy buying.  So precisely what does the smart money expect to happen?  Are they anticipating a market “correction” or something bigger than that? Continue reading »

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May 31

Japan halts imports of U.S. wheat after USDA’s shock finding of genetic pollution from GMOs (Natural News, May 31, 2013):

It has already begun: Japan has just cancelled a large contract to purchase U.S. wheat. “We will refrain from buying western white and feed wheat effective today,” Toru Hisadome, a Japanese farm ministry official in charge of wheat trading, told Reuters.

As many readers well know, I predicted precisely this scenario just yesterday in a Natural News article warning about the consequences of genetic pollution. There, I wrote, “All wheat produced in the United States will now be heavily scrutinized — and possibly even rejected — by other nations that traditionally import U.S. wheat. This obviously has enormous economic implications for U.S. farmers and agriculture.”

Now we’re already seeing the result: the ditching of U.S. wheat by world nations that want nothing to do with GMOs. Continue reading »

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May 31

FYI.


Obama letter possibly laced with ricin similar to contaminated Bloomberg letters, Secret Service says (CBS News, May 30, 2013):

A letter addressed to President Obama that may have been contaminated with the deadly toxin ricin is similar to two ricin-laced letters recently sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the U.S. Secret Service said Thursday.

A screening facility for mail sent to the White House intercepted the recent letter addressed to Mr. Obama, Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan said. The letter has been turned over to the FBI’s joint terrorism task force for testing and investigation.

Continue reading »

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May 31

Ibragim Todashev’s father: FBI killed my son “execution-style” (CBS News-May 30, 2013):

The father of a Chechen immigrant killed in Florida while being interrogated by the FBI about his ties to a Boston Marathon bombings suspect said Thursday that the U.S. agents killed his son “execution-style.”At news conference in Moscow, Abdul-Baki Todashev showed journalists 16 photographs that he said were of his son, Ibragim, in a Florida morgue. He said his son had six gunshot wounds to his torso and one to the back of his head and the pictures were taken by his son’s friend, Khusen Taramov.

Chechen’s father says FBI killed son to keep him quiet (Washington Post, May 29, 2013):

MOSCOW — The father of the Chechen man who was fatally shot by an FBI agent last week said agents questioned his son for hours on end about one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing and then killed him to keep him quiet.Abdulbaki Todashev, who applied Thursday for a U.S. visa so that he could pick up his son’s body in Orlando, where he died, said he has heard nothing from U.S. officials about the May 22 shooting.

“I want justice. I want an investigation,” he said at a Moscow news conference. “They come to your house like bandits, and they shoot you.”


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May 31

Ibragim Todashev Unarmed When FBI Agent Shot And Killed Him: Report (Huffington Post, May 29, 2013):

The man killed by an FBI agent during questioning about his relationship with one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects was unarmed when the agent shot him, law enforcement officials told the Washington Post.

Ibragim Todashev, 27, was interrogated for hours on May 22 in Orlando, Fla., regarding his connection with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died during a shootout with police days after the bombing.

Continue reading »

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May 31

The U.S. and the EU support “the most aggressive and successful arm” of the Syrian rebels = the Al-Nusra Front  = Al-Qaeda linked terrorists with weapons.

Now that makes ‘perfect sense’, doesn’t it?

Well, it does if you consider the information down below.


Turkey finds sarin gas in homes of suspected Syrian Islamists – reports (RT, May 30, 2013):

Turkish security forces found a 2kg cylinder with sarin gas after searching the homes of Syrian militants from the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front who were previously detained, Turkish media reports. The gas was reportedly going to be used in a bomb.

The sarin gas was found in the homes of suspected Syrian Islamists detained in the southern provinces of Adana and Mersia following a search by Turkish police on Wednesday, reports say. The gas was allegedly going to be used to carry out an attack in the southern Turkish city of Adana.

On Monday, Turkish special anti-terror forces arrested 12 suspected members of the Al-Nusra Front, the Al-Qaeda affiliated group which has been dubbed “the most aggressive and successful arm” of the Syrian rebels. The group was designated a terrorist organization by the United States in December.

Continue reading »

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May 31

Related info:

Turkish Security Forces Find 2 Kg Cylinder With Sarin Gas Searching Homes Of Syrian Militants From Al-Qaeda Linked Al-Nusra Front


The Turkish newspaper Zaman reports …

Google translation (Original article down below):

Adana al-Qaeda operation: 12 detention (Zaman, May 28, 2013):

Security General Directorate (EGM), terrorist organizations in Turkey not do any extensive security measures in a bomb and so is the action.Some suspicious vehicles and people arriving and departing to cities being reviews. In this context, the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda and Al Nusra Front militants connected with the organization of security units in preparation for some action, had pursued the fugitives. EGM Intelligence and Terrorism Department teams with whom they are connected by a recording of the suspects were followed step by step. Also possible action plans of the organization has been reached. After reaching this information, the addresses of 12 people were identified as being connected in Adana organization. In this context, the dawn of yesterday morning with the operation of the suspects were taken into custody and brought to Adana Security Directorate.

If staying in a large number of calls made from the suspects residence information, documents and digital data were seized. Also belonging to the suspects were taken to secure the weapons and bullets for review. In addition, the addresses of the suspects were seized two kilograms in the Sarin gas. As is known, Sarin gas, known as a kind of nerve gas. Is a colorless and odorless gas that is extremely difficult for the diagnosis of, a feature that is effective and lethal. In 1991, the United Nations (UN), the sarin gas in the category of weapons of mass stored by storing banned in 1993 by the Convention on Chemical Weapons. Anti-Terror Branch of Istanbul Police Department suspects the other hand, the Directorate continues to queries. Police accused, how to obtain Gazı’nı Sarin led to the question that they will use and for what purpose. The suspects, they’ll take their supplies to areas of conflict in Syria as a priority information they put forward. The police suspects that how they reached Gazı’na work deepens Sarin. Also on the subject of chemical immediate seizure of the property of a gas with the Interior Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office also reported.

AND as the Today’s Zaman reports:

For the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Erdoğan is “sending terrorists into Syria,” an unusually blunt choice of words to criticize the prime minister’s staunch support for the Syrian opposition. In a speech in front of a cheering crowd in Antalya, Kılıçdaroğlu declared on Sunday that Erdoğan is the “terrorist chieftain” for Syria, a term he borrowed from the Turkish jargon that has long been used to refer to Abdullah Öcalan, the currently jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Original article:
Continue reading »

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May 30

GMO genetic pollution alert: Genetically engineered wheat escapes experimental fields planted across 16 states (Natural News, May 30, 2013):

The genetic apocalypse we’ve been warning about for years may have already begun. The USDA just announced they found a significant amount of genetically engineered wheat growing in farm fields in Oregon. As the USDA announced yesterday, “…test results of plant samples from an Oregon farm indicate the presence of genetically engineered (GE) glyphosate-resistant wheat plants.”

Why is this a big deal? Because GE wheat has never been approved for commercialization or sale. These strains of GE wheat escaped from GMO field experiments conducted across 16 states by Monsanto from 1998 to 2005. As the USDA states, “Further testing by USDA laboratories indicates the presence of the same GE glyphosate-resistant wheat variety that Monsanto was authorized to field test in 16 states from 1998 to 2005.”

And that means genetic pollution is already out of control. The GE wheat for which Monsanto claims patent ownership is now invading farms that never planted GE wheat.

All U.S. commercially-grown wheat now suspect

There are at least five serious ramifications from this:

#1) Monsanto can now sue all the farms where GM wheat has been found growing. According to U.S. federal courts, those farmers have “stolen” Monsanto’s intellectual property.

#2) The spread of GM wheat from experimental fields to wheat production fields is proof that GMOs cause genetic pollution — self-replicating pollution with the potential to devastate global food production.

#3) All wheat produced in the United States will now be heavily scrutinized — and possibly even rejected — by other nations that traditionally import U.S. wheat. This obviously has enormous economic implications for U.S. farmers and agriculture.

Continue reading »

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May 30

Related info:

Student Loan Bubble? Just Discharge It!

40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe


The Student Loan Delinquency Rate In The United States Has Hit A Brand New Record High (Economic Collapse, May 29, 2013):

37 million Americans currently have outstanding student loans, and the delinquency rate on those student loans has now reached a level never seen before.  According to a new report that was just released by the U.S. Department of Education, 11 percent of all student loans are at least 90 days delinquent.  That is a brand new record high, and it is almost double the rate of a decade ago.  Total student loan debt exceeds a trillion dollars, and it is now the second largest category of consumer debt after home mortgages.  The student loan debt bubble has been growing particularly rapidly in recent years.  According to the Federal Reserve, the total amount of student loan debt has risen by 275 percent since 2003.  That is a staggering figure.  Millions upon millions of young college graduates are entering the “real world” only to discover that they are already financially crippled for decades to come by oppressive student loan debt burdens.  Large numbers of young people are even putting off buying homes or getting married simply because of student loan debt.

Continue reading »

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May 30


David Petraeus To Head Private Equity Firm KKR’s New Global Institute (Huffington Post, May 30, 2013):

Retired Army Gen. David Petraeus will take a new job with investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. as he attempts to rebuild his reputation after an extramarital affair with a biographer triggered his resignation as CIA director last fall.Petraeus, 60, will serve as chairman of the New York firm’s newly created KKR Global Institute. He was CIA director from September 2011 until last November. Before that, Petraeus served more than 37 years in the U.S. Army, where he rose to the rank of four-star general.

Petraeus served as commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan and also commanded forces in Iraq in 2007 and 2008, when violence in that country dropped following a surge in military forces.

KKR said Thursday that Petraeus will support its investment teams and portfolio companies when studying new investments, especially in new locations. The company did not detail terms of its agreement with Petraeus, but a spokeswoman said he will serve in a consultant’s role.

Petraeus has a doctorate from Princeton University and has written widely on international relations, military strategy and tactics, and national security issues. He also has taught economics and international relations at the U.S. Military Academy.

Continue reading »

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May 30

Monsanto website downed as Anonymous claims hack (RT, MAy 30, 2013):

Hackers from the Anonymous collective claimed to have infiltrated the website for the biotech giant Monsanto, which has been the subject of recent international protests.

The cyber-attack was carried out as part of #OpMonsanto, an attempt to demonstrate against Monsanto’s reach into every aspect of the food industry, from nature to farmers to consumers. The corporation’s main website, Monstanto.com, appeared to have been briefly disabled Wednesday night.

Continue reading »

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May 30


YouTube Added: 29.05.2013

Breaking: USDA Finds Illegal Monsanto GMO Wheat in Oregon Field (GreenMedTV, May 29, 2013)

The video above is the USDA’s official confirmation that illegal and unapproved Monsanto wheat is growing freely in Oregon.

Consider that only recently scientists held a press conference on the potential threat of GMO Wheat to “silence hundreds of human genes.” [see video]

Below is an article describing the USDA’s finding in detail.

USDA Identifies GE Glyphosate-Resistant Volunteer Wheat (Farm Futures, May 29, 2013):

No GE glyphosate-resistant wheat is currently approved for commercial sale; APHIS says it will work to determine how situation occurred

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wednesday announced that tests of plant samples from a field in Oregon indicate the presence of genetically engineered glyphosate-resistant volunteer wheat plants.

Further testing by USDA laboratories indicated the presence of the same GE glyphosate-resistant wheat variety that Monsanto was authorized to field test in 16 states from 1998 to 2005. There are no GE wheat varieties approved for sale or in commercial production in the United States or elsewhere at this time.

The detection of this wheat variety does not pose a food safety concern, APHIS said.

Continue reading »

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May 30

High School Teacher Faces Disciplinary Action for Informing Students of Their Rights (Liberty, Blitzkrieg, May 28, 2013):

Rather than being reprimanded, Illinois high school teacher John Dryden, should be held up as an example of what it truly means to be a teacher.  When confronted with a situation where he knew his students might be giving up their Fifth Amendment rights, the social studies teacher did what he believed was the right and moral thing to do.  For that action, he may be disciplined.

From Reason:

A high school social studies teacher in Batavia, Illinois, faces disciplinary action for informing students of their Fifth Amendment rights in connection with a survey asking about illegal drug use. The survey, ostensibly aimed at assessing the needs of students at Batavia High School, was distributed on April 18. After picking up the survey forms from his mailbox about 10 minutes before his first class of the day, John Dryden noticed that they had students’ names on them and that they asked about drinking and drug use, among other subjects. Dryden, who had just finished teaching a unit on the Bill of Rights, worried that students might feel obliged to incriminate themselves—an especially ticklish situation given the police officer stationed at the school. Since there was no time to confer with administrators, he says, he decided to tell his students that they did not have to complete the forms if doing so involved admitting illegal behavior. Tomorrow the school board will consider whether and how to punish Dryden for taking advantage of this teachable moment.

I suppose it makes sense.  In the gulag, ghetto of injustice America has become only crooked IRS agents should be able to plead the 5th.

The petition to support John Dryden has well over 5,000 signatures, with the most recent recent one being mine.  It can be found here.

Continue reading »

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May 30

The Scorecard: 8,000 Wall Street Protesters Arrested, Zero Bankers (Liberty Blitzkrieg, May 28, 2013):

America really has become the “land of the thief, home of the slave.”  While a minority of awake citizens desperately tries to shake their neighbors from their deep slumber, the masses continue to sit in front of the television, suck their thumbs and watch Desperate Housewives, while the oligarchs laugh incredulously at them all the way to the bank.

We all know that Attorney General Eric Holder couldn’t find a guilty banker if it came up to him and sat on his lap, but these statistics are pretty amazing and a testament to how apathetic and lost of a culture we have become.  This database of all the Occupy protestors arrested and where it happened is pretty cool.

From the Huffington Post:

Here’s a fact that may make your blood boil: Nearly 8,000 Occupy Wall Street protesters have been arrested in association with the activist movement, while not one banker has been prosecuted for the actions that lead up to the country’s financial meltdown.

Continue reading »

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May 30

Cs-134/137 from pool bottom sediment of 9 of 9 elementary school in Chiba, max as 796 Bq/Kg (Fukushima Diary, May 28, 2013)

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May 30

U.S. senator reveals “truly shocking” information about California nuclear plant — “Restart of San Onofre reactors is now off the table” (ENENews, May 29, 2013):

Title: San Onofre: Internal letter reveals Edison knew of defects at crippled
reactors but misled federal regulators to get expedited license

Source: Friends of the Earth News Release
Date: May 28, 2013

“Restart is dead”

Continue reading »

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May 30

Related info::

Syria Goes Hot: Russia To Deliver Weapons, Deploys Air Defense; Israel Warns Russia; Obama Demands No Fly Zone

Russia To Deliver S-300 Anti-Aircraft Missile Defense System To Syria ‘To Deter Foreign Intervention’

Putin Again Warns Netanyahu Hands Off Syria

Putin: Russia Will Not Tolerate Another Israeli Attack On Syria And Would Respond

Flashback:

U.S. 4 Star General Wesley Clark, Oct 3, 2007: ‘We’re Gonna Attack And Destroy The Governments In 7 Countries In 5 Years’ … ‘Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan And Iran’ (Video)



First Shipment Of Russian S-300 Rockets Arrives In Syria (ZeroHedge, May 30, 2013)

Two days ago we reported that the most recent escalation in the Syrian proxy war involved a bitter exchange between Russia and Israel, where the latter warned the former that it would proceed with destroying any arms shipments from Russia into Syria, specifically referencing the S-300 missiles that has been known to be en route to Damascus for several weeks now. The Israel defense minister warned that: “The shipments haven’t set out yet and I hope they won’t. If they do arrive in Syria, God forbid, we’ll know what to do.” Well, according to Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar not only has the shipment been sent out, but it has already arrived. Check to Israel and coming through on its warning to begin an offensive action not only against Syria, but more importantly, implicitly against Russia.

More:

“Syria has received the first shipment of Russian anti-aircraft S-300 rockets,” Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar newspaper quoted Assad as saying in an interview due to be broadcast later on Thursday.

More of the missiles would arrive soon, he was quoted as saying.

Continue reading »

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May 30

Former Bush Official Said to Be Obama Pick to Lead F.B.I. (New York Times, May 29, 2013):

WASHINGTON — President Obama plans to nominate James B. Comey, a former hedge fund executive who served as a senior Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, to replace Robert S. Mueller III as the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to two people with knowledge of the selection.By choosing Mr. Comey, a Republican, Mr. Obama made a strong statement about bipartisanship at a time when he faces renewed criticism from Republicans in Congress and has had difficulty winning confirmation of some important nominees. At the same time, Mr. Comey’s role in one of the most dramatic episodes of the Bush administration — in which he refused to acquiesce to White House aides and reauthorize a program for eavesdropping without warrants when he was serving as acting attorney general — should make him an acceptable choice to Democrats.

Continue reading »

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May 30

From the article:

“(Camp) Lejeune ignored reports from the Army and an independent contractor that its base wells were contaminated with organic solvents. As many as one million Marines, dependents and civilian workers were exposed to toxic chemicals at Lejeune.”



ADVANCE FOR USE SUNDAY, MAY 19, 2013 AND THEREAFTER – A sign cautions visitors outside a “pump and treat” facility on the Marine base at Camp Lejeune, N.C., on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. The sprawling installation is the site of one of the worst drinking water contaminations in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Allen Breed)

MARINES FAILED TO SAFEGUARD WATER SUPPLY (Veterans Today, May 19, 2013):

(SALEM, OR) –  Camp Lejeune could have used a simple test mandated by the Navy in 1963 to learn that its water wells were seriously contaminated. The AP broke the story on May 19, 2013.[1]  (UPDATED MAY 22, 2013)

As early as 1963, the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery issued “The Manual of Naval Preventive Medicine.” Chapter 5 is titled “Water Supply Ashore.” The Navy Manual required Lejeune (and other Navy and Marine Corps bases like El Toro) to use the carbon chloroform extract (CCE) test to check the quality of water for base wells.

The CCE test measures the organic content of water by adsorbing the organic matter onto activated carbon – then extracting it with chloroform. This is not a sophisticated test, but experts said that with the extremely high levels of organic compounds of TCE in some of Lejeune wells, the CCE test results should have raised red flags.

Continue reading »

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May 29

War with Russia, anyone?

Putin Again Warns Netanyahu Hands Off Syria

Putin: Russia Will Not Tolerate Another Israeli Attack On Syria And Would Respond

Russia Sends At Least 12 Warships To Syria (Times Of Israel)


Let’s Be Clear: Establishing a ‘No-Fly Zone’ Is an Act of War (The Atlantic, May 29, 2013):

The term is a euphemism that obscures the gravity of what its advocates are suggesting — a U.S. air attack on Syria.

Kudos to Josh Rogin for breaking the news that “the White House has asked the Pentagon to draw up plans for a no-fly zone inside Syria.” But wouldn’t it be a more powerful story without the euphemism?

Relying on the term “no-fly-zone” is typical in journalism. But that is a mistake. It obscures the gravity of the news.

Here’s how an alternative version of the story might look: “The White House has asked the Pentagon to draw up plans for bombing multiple targets inside Syria, constantly surveilling Syrian airspace alongside U.S. allies, and shooting down Syrian war planes and helicopters that try to fly around, perhaps for months.”

The term “no-fly-zone” isn’t analytically useless. It’s just that folks using it as shorthand should make sure everyone reading understands that, as Daniel Larison put it right up in a headline, “Imposing a No-Fly-Zone in Syria Requires Starting a New War.” That becomes clearer some paragraphs later in Rogin’s article, when he discussed Senator John McCain’s advocacy for a “no-fly-zone.” “McCain said a realistic plan for a no-fly zone would include hundreds of planes, and would be most effective if it included destroying Syrian airplanes on runways, bombing those runways, and moving U.S. Patriot missile batteries in Turkey close to the border so they could protect airspace inside northern Syria,” he wrote.

The article also quotes Robert Zarate, policy director at the hawkish Foreign Policy Initiative. His euphemisms of choice: “No doubt, the United States and its like-minded allies and partners are fully capable, without the use of ground troops, of obviating the Assad regime’s degraded, fixed, and mobile air defenses and suppressing the regime’s use of airpower.”

Does anyone think he’d describe Syrian planes bombing a U.S. aircraft carrier as “obviating” our naval assets? The question before us is whether America should wage war in Syria by bombing its weapons, maintaining a presence in its airspace, and shooting at its pilots if they take off. On hearing the phrase “no-fly-zone,” how many Americans would realize all that is involved?

I trust “start a war against Syria” would poll poorly.

That’s why advocates of that course hide the consequences of what they propose behind a euphemism. If only there were a deliberative body that the Constitution charged with declaring war, so that it would be impossible to start any wars of choice without the voice of the people being heard.

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May 29

You can’t make this stuff up!



Auckland Airport chairman-in-waiting Henry van der Heyden warned exporters in a speech about doing business with the Chinese. Photo / Richard Robinson

I’m sorry for China comments: ex – Fonterra head (New Zealand Herald, May 28, 2013):

Former Fonterra chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden has apologised to “China and its people and Government ” for warning New Zealand businesses not to trust the Chinese.

Van der Heyden broke at lunchtime from his final board meeting as a Fonterra director to issue his public apology over comments made at a Tauranga business women’s conference.

“It was an ill-judged comment taken out of context,” he told the Business Herald. “I apologise to China, its people and its Government.”

“China is where New Zealand’s future is.”

Van der Heyden was earlier reported as saying doing business in China was full of surprises. “You’ve got to go and do business with your eyes wide open.”

Asked by an export manufacturer how small New Zealand businesses could ensure they were not ripped off when trading in China, Sir Henry said bad experiences should be used as opportunities to learn.

“That’s my point about China. You will be full of surprises. Don’t ever trust them…never..”

He later said the real intent of his comment was, “Be wary, be very careful.”

Continue reading »

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May 29

You can also see and analyse the game for yourself here:

Viswanathan Anand vs Garry Kasparov (1996) (Chessgames.com)

4.4 1996 · Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack Anti-English (B90) · 1-0


YouTube

Here you can see Kasparov’s reaction to his blunder (at 5:00) :

YouTube

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May 29

America’s Military Unwilling to Confront Sex Crimes


If Only the Real Figures were so Low!

Sexual Abuse Pervasive in the Military (video) (Veterans Today, May 28, 2013, by Gordon Duff, Senior Editor):

The US military has become a culture of rape, prostitution and violence.  The West Point Motto, “Duty, Honor, Country” is not just a joke, it is a criminal lie.


YouTube Added: 28.05.2013

Description:

Sexual assaults in the military are pervasive and indicative of a diseased military culture.

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May 29

Don’t miss:

Seeds Of Death: Unveiling The Lies Of GMO’s (Full Documentary)


Hungary torches 500 hectares of GM corn to eradicate GMOs from food supply (Natural News, May 29, 2013):

When it comes to protecting the public from GMOs, Hungary knows how to get the job done: set fire to the fields growing GM corn!

Continue reading »

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May 29

Nothing coming from China is real.

All economic numbers are totally ‘massaged’ to the upside, whereas power consumption is collapsing.


China’s growth forecast lowered by IMF (Guardian, May 29, 2013):

China needs ‘continued liberalisation and reduced government involvement’ in economy, says deputy IMF managing director David Lipton

China needs to make a “decisive push” to launch new market-oriented reforms and has to control rapid credit growth that could lead to financial problems, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.

The fund trimmed its growth forecast for China this year from 8% to 7.75% because of weaker global demand but said the Chinese economy should remain robust.

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May 29

10 Under-Reported Realities In The US Labor Market (ZeroHedge, May 29, 2013):

Beneath the unemployment rate and headline jobs number is a world of labor market signals that few, if any, ever take the time to look at. ConvergEx’s Nick Colas analyzes 10 under-reported signals to look for alternative clues about the direction of the job market and, in his words, the results aren’t pretty. We’re still 2 years away from full employment at the current pace of job growth, and more people are entering the labor force for the first time since the 1980s, adding to already fierce competition for open positions.  Not to mention over 7% of those not in the labor force actually want a job right now (also intensifying competition), and the rate of job growth isn’t enough to offset the number of unemployed workers with expiring benefits.  On the plus side, the number of re-entrants to the labor force is at a 4-year low.  And for those who do have a job, average wages are higher than ever. However, the majority of the analysis shows the labor market remains stubbornly resistant to improvement – despite talking heads belief in ‘taper’ing on improvements.

Via Nick Colas of ConvergEx,

Note from Nick: We love “Top Ten lists.”  Can’t get enough of them, really.   Today Beth offers up one such collection, dedicated to the current state of the U.S. labor market.  Looks like she could have had a “Top 17” or “top 22” list, but here are her best 10…

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May 29


YouTube Added: 07.03.2012

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May 29

Student Loan Bubble? Just Discharge It (ZeroHedge, May 28, 2013):

By now everyone knows that the biggest portion of US household debt, besides mortgage debt, is a towering $1+ trillion in student loans, more than total outstanding credit cards or car loans, which is problematic for three main reasons: it is increasing at an unprecedented pace due to lax Federal lending standards, delinquent loans are soaring and are now well over $100 billion and rising at a pace of tens of billions each quarter, and it can not be discharged. At least that is conventional wisdom. But while points 1 and 2 are indisputable (and deteriorating), it is point 3 that is the more troubling for an entire generation of young men and women who are afraid to splurge on levered purchases such as houses due to an already insurmountable debt overhang, and a job market that is hardly hospitable to young entrants. Luckily, there may now be solution stamped in US case law. Continue reading »

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May 29

Flashback:


Remember the 16,000 dead pigs found in Shanghai’s Huangpu river?

China Pulls 1,000 Dead DUCKS From Sichuan River:

The news comes as the toll of dead pigs pulled from Shanghai’s Huangpu river passed 16,000.

So the conditions under which our food is produced …

@Amazon.com: Eating Animals

… will certainly not improve.

Bon appétit!


China’s Shuanghui to Buy Smithfield Foods (Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2013):

Chinese meat producer Shuanghui Group agreed to acquire Smithfield Foods Inc. for about $4.7 billion, striking what would be the largest takeover of a U.S. company by a Chinese buyer—should it get past what is likely to be heavy regulatory scrutiny.

Shuanghui agreed to pay $34 per share for Smithfield, the world’s largest hog farmer and pork processor, marking a 31% premium to Smithfield’s Tuesday closing price of $25.97. Including debt, the deal values Smithfield at $7.1 billion.

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May 29

Related info:

NYT On The Housing Recovery: ‘Homes See Biggest Price Gain in Years, Propelling Stocks’ – ZeroHedge: 3 Big Banks Halt Foreclosures In May, Keeping The ‘Recovery’ Dream Alive


Haunted By The Last Housing Bubble, Fitch Warns “Gains Are Outpacing Fundamentals” (ZeroHedge, May 28, 2013):

The last week has seen quite dramatic drops in the prices of a little-discussed but oh-so-critical asset-class in the last housing bubble’s ‘pop’. Having just crossed above ‘Lehman’ levels, ABX (residential) and CMBX (commercial) credit indices have seen their biggest weekly drop in 20 months as both rates and credit concerns appear to be on the rise. Perhaps it is this price action that has spooked Fitch’s structured products team, or simply the un-sustainability (as we discussed here, here and here most recently) that has the ratings agency on the defensive, noting that, “the recent home price gains recorded in several residential markets are outpacing improvements in fundamentals and could stall or possibly reverse.” Simply put, “demand is artificially high… and supply is artificially low.” Continue reading »

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May 29

What can you say?


Homes See Biggest Price Gain in Years, Propelling Stocks (New York Times, May 28, 2013):

Americans are in a buying mood, thanks largely to the housing recovery.

The latest sign emerged Tuesday as the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index posted the biggest gains in seven years. Housing prices rose in every one of the 20 cities tracked, continuing a trend that began three months ago. Similar strength has appeared in new and existing home sales and in building permits, as rising home prices are encouraging construction firms to accelerate building and hiring.

The broad-based housing improvements appear to be buoying consumer confidence and spending, countering fears earlier this year that many consumers would pull back in response to government austerity measures.

Keeping The ‘Recovery’ Dream Alive; 3 Big Banks Halt Foreclosures In May (ZeroHedge, May 28, 2013):

What is the only thing better than Foreclosure Stuffing to provide an artificial supply-side subsidy to the housing market? How about completely clogging the foreclosure pipeline, by halting all foreclosure sales, which is just what the three TBTF megabanks: Wells Fargo, JPMorgan and Citi have done in recent weeks. Under the guise of ‘ensuring late-stage foreclosure procedures were in accordance with guidelines’, the LA Times reports that these three banks paused sales on May 6th and all but halted foreclosures. Perfectly organic housing recovery – as we noted earlier… and guess what states the greatest number of ‘halts’ are in from these banks – California, Nevada, Arizona – exactly where the surges in price have occurred.

Via The LA Times,

Sales of homes in foreclosure by Wells Fargo & Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. ground nearly to a halt after regulators revised their orders on treatment of troubled borrowers during the 60 days before they lose their homes. Continue reading »

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May 29

Lawmakers zero in on IRS meetings at White House (Examiner, May 23, 2013):

Top IRS officials, whose agency was under investigation for targeting conservative groups, visited the Obama White House more than 100 times over two years while the probe was going on, far more often than in previous administrations and frequently enough that Republicans suspect White House officials knew about the targeting.

Lawmakers now investigating the Internal Revenue Service practice zeroed in on those nearly weekly White House meetings to determine whether an IRS official — or someone higher up in the administration — had approved the targeting and whether it was politically motivated.

The frequent meetings also raised questions about the White House’s claims that it couldn’t have instigated the targeting of conservative groups because it took a hands-off approach to the tax agency, going so far as to describe it as independent of the administration even though it’s part of the Treasury Department.

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May 28

www.libertyreserve.com:

Online Currency Exchange Accused of Laundering $6 Billion (New York Times, May 28, 2013):

The operators of a global currency exchange ran a $6 billion money-laundering operation online, a central hub for criminals trafficking in everything from stolen identities to child pornography, federal prosecutors in New York said on Tuesday.

The currency exchange, Liberty Reserve, operated beyond the traditional confines of United States and international banking regulations in what prosecutors called a shadowy netherworld of cyberfinance. It traded in virtual currency and provided the kind of anonymous and easily accessible banking infrastructure increasingly sought by criminal networks, law enforcement officials said.

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May 28

Syria Goes Hot: Russia To Deliver Weapons, Deploys Air Defense; Israel Warns Russia; Obama Demands No Fly Zone (ZeroHedge, May 28, 2013):

Those who were intently following the USDJPY pair formerly known as the stock market today missed the biggest news of the day: the proxy war in Syria just went hot, following a confluence of news, first that Russia insisted “it would deliver anti-aircraft missiles to Syria despite international criticism, as fears of spillover from the conflict grew” and in logical retaliation to yesterday’s decision by Europe to lift an arms embargo to the Al Qaeda-supported, Qatari mercenaries operating in Syria, also known as “rebels”, leading Israel’s defense minister Moshe Yaalon to immediately signal that “its military is prepared to strike shipments of advanced Russian weapons to Syria“, while back in the US “the White House has asked the Pentagon to draw up plans for a no-fly zone inside Syria that would be enforced by the U.S. and other countries such as France and Great Britain, two administration officials told The Daily Beast.” And just to make it very clear that Russia is absolutely not bluffing, it announced overnight that its four regiments of S-300 air defense systems have been deployed at the Ashuluk firing range in southern Russia as part of another snap combat readiness check of the Russian armed forces “The missions will be carried out in conditions of heavy electronic warfare to test the capabilities of the air defense units to the highest limit.” And to think: the threat of a global war, over some natgas pipelines from Qatar to Europe, and a threat to Gazprom’s monopoly.

From AFP:

Russia insisted Tuesday it would deliver anti-aircraft missiles to Syria despite international criticism, as fears of spillover from the conflict grew after three Lebanese soldiers were killed in a border-area attack.

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May 28

US Mint Resumes Selling One-Tenth Ounce Gold Coins… At A 40% Premium To Spot (ZeroHedge, May 28, 2013):

When news broke a month ago that the US Mint had suspended selling one-tenth ounce gold coins, perhaps the most surprising news was that there were thousands of consumers willing to pay the exorbitant retail premium demanded by the US mint, with the resulting order deluge promptly sapping the mint’s stretched inventories. Well: we have good news – as of moments ago the US mint has once again restocked on the popular denomination (with a 20,000 production limit), and without a limit per household. The even better news: the coin will set you back just $195. This means a “tiny” 40% premium to spot. Is there indeed a massive disconnect between spot and physical as the Mint is telegraphing? Nah: must be all those shipping and wrapping costs for the fancy box the coin is put in. Oh wait, the gift box is another $5.95 per order. And no, it isn’t the shipping and handling either: that is another $4.95. In other words: the full delivery of one coin to your front door step would cost $200 per one tenth of an ounce. Oh well: we are fresh out of ideas then.

 

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May 28

The Japanese Financial System Is Beginning To Spin Wildly Out Of Control (Economic Collapse, May 27, 2013)

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May 28

Eric Holder Under Investigation By House Judiciary Committee For Lying Under Oath (ZeroHedge, May 28, 2013):

With the euphoric market once again serving as a much needed distraction from far bigger geopolitical issues, many have forgotten the plethora of scandals the Obama administration has recently found itself engulfed in. This may change shortly, following news that the head of the US Department of Justice, Eric Holder himself, is now being investigated for lying under oath. Will he too receive an extended absence of leave (with pay) after pleading the fifth, or will the circle of lies slowly but surely start to unwind? Of course, in the New Normal it is probably not only expected, but given, that the chief legal enforcer is just a little more equal when it comes to the same justice he is tasked to enforce.

From The Hill:

The House Judiciary Committee is investigating whether Attorney General Eric Holder lied under oath during his May 15 testimony on the Justice Department’s (DOJ) surveillance of reporters, an aide close to the matter told The Hill.

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