Apr 21

- Retail Store Closures Soar In 2014: At Highest Pace Since Lehman Collapse (ZeroHedge, April 21, 2014):

What a better way to celebrate the rigged markets that are telegraphing a “durable” recovery, than with a Credit Suisse report showing, beyond a reasonable doubt, that when it comes to traditional bricks and mortar retailers, who have now closed more stores, or over 2,400 units, so far in 2014 and well double the total amount of storefront closures in 2013, this year has been the worst year for conventional discretionary spending since the start of the great financial crisis!

Continue reading »

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Apr 21

- Keynesian Knightmare: US Savers Outnumber Spenders By Record Numbers (ZeroHedge, April 21, 2014):

“Janet, we have a problem,” is the resoundingly loud message from the latest Gallup poll of Americans preference (and relative enjoyment) of “saving” vs. “spending”. It seems, despite all the hoop-la and exuberance about an ‘economic recovery’ that is pent-up due to weather but about to break out to escape velocity, the majority of Americans continue to enjoy saving money more than spending it, by 62% to 34%. The 2014 saving-spending gap is the one of the widest since Gallup began tracking Americans’ preferences in 2001. How long before a discussion of negative rates re-appears as the rich and powerful Oz-ians contemplate the latest effort to ‘change’ people’s mass psychology… Continue reading »

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Apr 21

Customers flock to buy gold accessories at a gold store on sale in Taiyuan

- China Goes Dark: PBOC To Keep Goldbugs Clueless About Its Gold Buying Spree (ZeroHedge, April 21, 2014):

One of the more perplexing divergences that have plagued precious metal watchers and goldbugs when it comes to the great “black box” that is the world’s biggest buyer of gold in recent years – China (which overtook India after that particular country established unprecedented capital controls to block the import of gold) is that on one hand China has been allowing the outside world to glimpse its ravenous buying of gold through the Hong Kong-Shenzhen corridor (where nearly 70% of the Chinese gold jewellery business is located) since Hong Kong customs provides a full breakdown of how much gold it exports into China, yet on the other the PBOC has refused to update its official gold holdings in exactly five years.

Continue reading »

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Apr 21

Former Rep. Ron Paul

- Nevada Standoff Is A Symptom of Increasing Authoritarianism (The Ron Paul Institute, April 21, 2014):

The nation’s attention has for the past few weeks been riveted by a standoff in Nevada between armed federal agents and the Bundys, a ranching family who believe the federal government is exceeding its authority by accessing “fees” against ranchers who graze cattle on government lands. Outrage over the government’s use of armed agents to forcibly remove the Bundys’ cattle led many Americans to travel to Nevada to engage in non-violent civil disobedience in support of the family.

The protests seem to have worked, at least for now, as the government appears to have backed off from direct confrontation. Sadly, some elected officials have inflamed the situation by labeling the Bundys and their supporters “domestic terrorists,” thus justifying any future use of force by the government. That means there is always the possibility of another deadly Waco-style raid on the Bundys or a similar group in the future. Continue reading »

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Apr 21

- Russia Warns It May Enter Recession As Soon As This Quarter (ZeroHedge, April 21, 2014):

While hardly coming as a surprise to anyone, Russia is getting increasingly more vocal about the near certainty that the country is about to slam headfirst into a technical (at first), and then outright recession.

  • RUSSIA MAY ENTER `TECHNICAL RECESSION’ IN 2Q, ORESHKIN SAYS
  • RUSSIAN 2014 CAPITAL OUTFLOWS MAY REACH $70B-$80B: ORESHKIN
  • RUSSIAN 2014 CURRENT-ACCOUNT SURPLUS MAY EXCEED $50B: ORESHKIN
  • RUSSIAN GDP MAY CONTRACT IN 2Q OR 3Q VS YR EARLIER: ORESHKIN

Bloomberg reports that Russia’s economy may halt or contract in 2Q or 3Q, citing Maxim Oreshkin, head of Finance Ministry’s strategic forecasting dept.

It seems that we’ll get negative growth again in the second quarter compared with the previous quarter.” Oreshkin says

Continue reading »

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Apr 21

- Ukraine and the grand chessboard (Asia Times, April 17, 2014):

By Pepe Escobar

The US State Department, via spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki, said that reports of CIA Director John Brennan telling regime changers in Kiev to “conduct tactical operations” – or an “anti-terrorist” offensive – in eastern Ukraine are “completely false”. This means Brennan did issue his marching orders. And by now the “anti-terrorist” campaign – with its nice little Dubya rhetorical touch – has degenerated into farce.

Now couple that with NATO secretary general, Danish retriever Anders Fogh Rasmussen, yapping about the strengthening of military footprint along NATO’s eastern border: “We will have more planes in the air, mores ships on the water and more readiness on the land.”

Welcome to the Two Stooges doctrine of post-modern warfare.

Pay up or freeze to death

Continue reading »

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Apr 21

Former Official - Fukushima radiation is killing children… heart problems, leukemia, thyroid — Terrible things are going on

- Former Official: Fukushima radiation is killing children… heart problems, leukemia, thyroid — Terrible things are going on — Authorities hiding truth from whole world — We need to admit many people are dying, but we’re not allowed to say that (VIDEO) (ENENews, April 21, 2014):

Interview with Katsutaka Idogawa, former mayor of Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, April 21, 2014:

At 9:30 in

  • Katsutaka Idogawa, former mayor of Futaba in Fukushima Prefecture: There are still about 2 million people living in the prefecture, who have all sorts of medical issues. The authorities claim this has nothing to do with the radiation fallout from Fukushima. I demanded that the authorities substantiate their claim in writing, but they ignored my request. There are some terrible things going on in Fukushima. […] The biggest problem is that there is no one to help us. […] I talked to local authorities in different places in Fukushima, but no one would listen to me. They believe what the government says, while in reality radiation is still there — and it is killing children. They are dying of heart conditions, asthma, leukemia, thyroid complications. Lots of kids are extremely exhausted after school, others are simply unable to attend PE classes. But the authorities are still hiding the truth from us, and I don’t know why. Don’t they have children of their own? It hurts so much to know they can’t protect our children. Continue reading »

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Apr 21

- Depositor In Failed Russian Bank Loses It, Takes Hostages, Demands $700,000 Ransom (ZeroHedge, April 20, 2014):

Earlier today, the Central Bank of Russia announced that starting April 21, it would revoke the license of Moscow’s Bank Zapadny. According to reports, “the bank had cooked its books and failed to comply with regulations on the amount of assets a financial organization must maintain to ensure its stability, the central bank said.” In other words, your typical FDIC Failure Friday only on Monday morning. Hardly notable. It is what happened next that was shocking. Shortly after the bank shutdown announcement, an armed man took three hostages at a Belgorod branch of precisely this failed Bank Zapadny.

Considering the bank is located in a Russian city in proximity to Ukraine some early speculation suggested the two may be related, however it appears
this may simply be the latest case of a disgruntled bank client taking matters into his own hands.  As RT reports, “he may be a client of the bank wishing to withdraw his deposit despite the bank losing its license…..Life News tabloid says it has identified one of the attackers as 46-year-old Aleksandr Vdovin, a client who holds the bank’s promissory notes for a large sum, and who decided to reimburse them at gunpoint.”

belgorod 1_0

belgorod 2_0

Well, that’s one way of dealing with bail-ins…

RT reports more: Continue reading »

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Apr 21

- Madness! (The Cobden Centre, April 15, 2014):

“Central bankers control the price of money and therefore indirectly influence every market in the world. Given this immense power, the ideal central banker would be humble, cautious and deferential to market signals. Instead, modern central bankers are both bold and arrogant in their efforts to bend markets to their will. Top-down central planning, dictating resource allocation and industrial output based on supposedly superior knowledge of needs and wants, is an impulse that has infected political players throughout history. It is both ironic and tragic that Western central banks have embraced central planning with gusto in the early twenty-first century, not long after the Soviet Union and Communist China abandoned it in the late twentieth. The Soviet Union and Communist China engaged in extreme central planning over the world’s two largest countries and one-third of the world’s population for more than one hundred years combined. The result was a conspicuous and dismal failure. Today’s central planners, especially the Federal Reserve, will encounter the same failure in time. The open issues are, when and at what cost to society ?
- James Rickards, ‘The death of money: the coming collapse of the international monetary system’, 2014. [Book review here]

“Sir, On the face of it stating that increasing the inheritance tax allowance to £1m would abolish the tax for “all except a very small number of very rich families” (April 5) sounds a very reasonable statement for the Institute for Fiscal Studies to make, but is £1m nowadays really what it used to be, bearing in mind that £10,000 was its equivalent 100 years ago ?

“A hypothetical “very rich” person today could have, for example, a house worth £600,000 and investments of £400,000. If living in London or the South East, the house would be relatively modest and the income from the investments, assuming a generous 4 per cent return, would give a gross income of £16,000 a year, significantly less than the average national wage.

“So whence comes the idea that nowadays such relatively modest wealth should be classified as making you “very rich” ? The middle-aged should perhaps wake up to the fact that our currency has been systematically debased, though it may be considered impolite to say so as it challenges the conventional political and economic wisdom. To be very rich today surely should mean you have assets that give you an income significantly higher than the national average wage ?”
- Letter to the editor of the Financial Times from Mr John Read, London NW11, 12 April 2014

 

“The former coach house in Camberwell, which has housed the local mayor’s car, was put on the market by Southwark council as a “redevelopment opportunity”. At nearly £1,000 per square foot, its sale value is comparable to that of some expensive London homes.”
- ‘London garage sells for £550,000’ by Kate Allen, The Financial Times, 12 April 2014.

“Just Eat, online takeaway service, slumped below its float price for the first time on Tuesday as investors dumped shares in a raft of recently floated web-based companies amid mounting concern about their high valuations..

“Just Eat stunned commentators last week when it achieved an eye-watering valuation of £1.47 billion, more than 100 times its underlying earnings of £14.1 million..

““They have fallen because the company was overvalued. Just Eat was priced at a premium to Dominos, an established franchise that delivers and makes the pizzas and has revenues of £269 million. Just Eat by comparison is a yellow pages for local takeaways where there is no quality control and no intellectual property and made significantly less revenues of £96.8 million. A quality restaurant does not need to pay 10 per cent commission to Just Eat to drive customers through the door,” Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets said.”
- ‘Investors lose taste for Just Eat as tech stocks slide’ by Ashley Armstrong and Ben Martin,
The Daily Telegraph, 8 April 2014.

Keep interest rates at zero, whilst printing trillions of dollars, pounds and yen out of thin air, and you can make investors do some pretty extraordinary things. Like buying shares in Just Eat, for example. But arguably more egregious was last week’s launch of a €3 billion five-year Eurobond for Greece, at a yield of just 4.95%. UK “investors” accounted for 47% of the deal, Greek domestic “investors” just 7%. Just in case anybody hasn’t been keeping up with current events, Greece, which is rated Caa3 by Moody’s, defaulted two years ago. In the words of the credit managers at Stratton Street Capital, Continue reading »

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Apr 21

FYI.


Modern interpretation of Christ driving the money changers from the temple
Modern interpretation of Christ driving the money changers from the temple by Anthony Freda/Daniel Zollinger

- Why Jesus Was REALLY Killed: Challenging the Money Changers (Washington’s Blog, April 20, 2014):

Why Jesus Was Killed

Preface: If you are an atheist and believe that religion is crazy, please remember that some 85% of the American population identifies itself as Christian and millions more identify themselves as Jewish. Very few Americans are atheists … and the majority don’t trust atheists. Therefore, knowing a few bible verses might be helpful for atheists speaking to people of faith.

Reverend Howard Bess notes:

Continue reading »

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Apr 21

- Western lawmakers gather in Utah to talk federal land takeover (The Salt lake Tribune, April 18, 2014):

‘It’s time’ » Lawmakers from 9 states gather in Utah, discuss ways to take control of federal lands.

It’s time for Western states to take control of federal lands within their borders, lawmakers and county commissioners from Western states said at Utah’s Capitol on Friday.

More than 50 political leaders from nine states convened for the first time to talk about their joint goal: wresting control of oil-, timber -and mineral-rich lands away from the feds.

“It’s simply time,” said Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, who organized the Legislative Summit on the Transfer for Public Lands along with Montana state Sen. Jennifer Fielder. “The urgency is now.”

Continue reading »

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Apr 21

- US financial showdown with Russia is more dangerous than it looks, for both sides (Telegraph, April 16, 2014):

The US Treasury faces a more formidable prey with Russia, the world’s biggest producer of energy with a $2 trillion economy, superb scientists and a first-strike nuclear arsenal

The United States has constructed a financial neutron bomb. For the past 12 years an elite cell at the US Treasury has been sharpening the tools of economic warfare, designing ways to bring almost any country to its knees without firing a shot.

The strategy relies on hegemonic control over the global banking system, buttressed by a network of allies and the reluctant acquiescence of neutral states. Let us call this the Manhattan Project of the early 21st century.

“It is a new kind of war, like a creeping financial insurgency, intended to constrict our enemies’ financial lifeblood, unprecedented in its reach and effectiveness,” says Juan Zarate, the Treasury and White House official who helped spearhead policy after 9/11.

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Apr 21

- KBR and Halliburton Can Be Sued For Iraq Toxic Burn Pits, Court Rules (Global Research, April 17, 2014):

KBR and Halliburton – two major U.S. military contractors – can be sued for the health impacts of trash incineration on U.S. soldiers who served in the war in Iraq, according to a new court decision that allows a series of 57 lawsuits against the companies to go forward.

The two companies have been paid some $40 billion for services provided to troops serving in the U.S. War on Terror throughout Central Asia and the Middle East in countries ranging from Afghanistan and Iraq to Kuwait and Uzbekistan. (Most of the contracts were implemented by KBR which was a subsidiary of Halliburton until 2007 when it was spun off into a separate company)

Continue reading »

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Apr 20

New Sat Question

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Apr 20

Barclays

- Barclays Latest To Exit Commodity Trading, Layoff Several Thousand Staff (ZeroHedge, April 20, 2014):

 With JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank having exited the commodities business (and numerous other banks discussing it ahead of the Fed and regulators’ decisions over banking rules of ownership), it appears a few short months of regulatory scrutiny is enough to warrant more broad-based cuts across bulge-bracket banks historically most manipulated and profitable business units. As The FT reports, Barclays, one of the world’s biggest commodities traders, is planning to exit large parts of its metals, agricultural and energy business in a move expected to be announced this week. This comes on the heels of Barclays shuttering its power-trading operations (after refusing to pay $470mm in fines) with CEO Jenkins expected to announce several thousand layoffs.

Continue reading »

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Apr 20

Putin-Gold

- This Means War: US To Target Putin’s Personal $40 Billion Stash (ZeroHedge, April 20, 2014):

While the White House has continually threatened further sanctions against Russia for non-de-escalation (even as it un-de-escalates itself), the specifics of the additional sanctions have been sparse. German CEO warnings over blowback from economic sanctions… the “nonsense” of replacing Russian gas with US gasthe Russian warnings of “interdependence” and “boomerangs”… all reduce the West’s arsenal of financial sanctions. But, as The Times of London reports, perhaps the US has found a crucial pain point for Putin – a sanctions regime that would target Putin’s personal wealth, which includes a reported $40 billion stashed in Swiss bank accounts.

Continue reading »

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Apr 20

- Peak Smuggling: Indian Has 12 Gold Bars Removed From His Stomach (ZeroHedge, April 20, 2014):

While US central bankers seem to believe that you can eat iPads, it seems one Indian fellow has taken the ongoing restrictions on gold imports, owning, or transacting in India to a whole new level. As we have noted previously – have led to an epidemic of smuggling as Indians continue to horde the precious metal (the only true source of financial security in their view) by any means possible. As The BBC reports, 12 bars of gold have been removed from the stomach of a 63-year-old businessman in the Indian capital Delhi. The surgeon said he had never seen a “case like this before,” and customs officials were called and confiscated the gold – where whistleblowers for gold smuggling are rewarded more richly than for cocaine and heroine smuggling.

20140420_gold

As The BBC reports, and as we have noted before, India, the world’s largest consumer of gold, has seen a record rise in smuggling after a rise in duty on imports of metal to curb the current account deficit.

Last year India’s government hiked the import duty on gold three times to curb demand for the precious metal. Gold imports, which had peaked at 162,000kg in May 2013, came down to 19,300kg in November after the hike.

But this takes the proverbial biscuit… Continue reading »

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Apr 20

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States
A recent al-Qaeda video shows a militant training to carry out his mission of lying back and watching America’s status as a superpower erode

- FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States (THE ONION, April 15, 2014):

WASHINGTON—Putting the nation on alert against what it has described as a “highly credible terrorist threat,” the FBI announced today that it has uncovered a plot by members of al-Qaeda to sit back and enjoy themselves while the United States collapses of its own accord.

Multiple intelligence agencies confirmed that the militant Islamist organization and its numerous affiliates intend to carry out a massive, coordinated plan to stand aside and watch America’s increasingly rapid decline, with terrorist operatives across the globe reportedly mobilizing to take it easy, relax, and savor the spectacle as it unfolds.

“We have intercepted electronic communication indicating that al-Qaeda members are actively plotting to stay out of the way while America as we know it gradually crumbles under the weight of its own self-inflicted debt and disrepair,” FBI Deputy Director Mark F. Giuliano told the assembled press corps. “If this plan succeeds, it will leave behind a nation with a completely dysfunctional economy, collapsing infrastructure, and a catastrophic health crisis afflicting millions across the nation. We want to emphasize that this danger is very real.”

“And unfortunately, based on information we have from intelligence assets on the ground, this plot is already well under way,” he added.

Continue reading »

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Apr 20

Bundy Family Uncovers New BLM Cattle Grave

- Picture: Bundy Family Uncovers New BLM Cattle Grave (Appalachian Area News, April 20, 2014):

A new photo released by the Bundy family posted to the official Bundy Ranch Facebook page Sunday shows more evidence that the Bureau of Land Management was illegally killing and burying cattle.

The image shows multiple dead cows being removed from what appears to be a mass grave discovered over the weekend.

“Digging up one of the HUGE holes where they threw the cows that they had ran to death or shot,” the facebook description reads. “I feel that this NEEDS to be put out for the public to see.”

Continue reading »

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Apr 20

FYI.


- The Secret World Of Gold (ZeroHedge, April 20, 2014):

In light of the Chinese demand we discussed earlier, the ongoing manipulation of ‘rigged’ markets everywhere, and rising geopolitical tensions (as the de-escalation continues), we thought it worth dusting off this excellent  and wide-ranging look at the history and present of the barbarous relic, gathering many perspectives (pro and con) on gold.

The following documentary moves from historical shipwrecks to Nazi ‘death gold’ and England’s war chest to recent years where widespread economic uncertainty has given the yellow metal a “new luster in the world of high finance.” Valued for its permanence, beauty and scarcity, people will lie, cheat, steal and kill in the name of gold; and the clip provides color on many of the market manipulations of the last few years. As MacDonald says, whether it’s a few gold coins or gold bars stored in one of the many vaults around the world, many investors are taking a shine to gold. But there’s not a lot of it. It is said that, even melted down, there would not be enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool. Some claim that much of the gold held by the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve and Fort Knox is gone – that for every 100 ounces of gold traded, there exists only one ounce of real, physical gold. So, where is the gold – and who really owns it?

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Apr 20

Related info:

- Measles Outbreak Traced To FULLY VACCINATED Patient

- 90% Of Those Infected With Measles In New York Outbreak ARE VACCINATED

- Vaccine Fraud Exposed: Measles And Mumps Vaccines Are Designed To Fail, Say Merck Virologists

So is the vaccine actually causing the disease here?

As a side note: It takes usually only one acupuncture treatment to cure mumps.


8 mumps cases at NJ college (MYFOXNY, April 18, 2014):

The New Jersey Department of Health is investigating eight confirmed cases of mumps found in students at Stevens Institute of Technology.

The college in Hoboken says the students range in age from 18 to 21. All were fully vaccinated with two documented doses of mumps-containing vaccine.

- NJ Mumps Victims Were Vaccinated, Officials Say (ABC News, April 18, 2014):

An outbreak of mumps among New Jersey college students has highlighted the “weak sister” in the MMR vaccine.

At least eight students at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken have contracted the contagious virus despite having received two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, according to the college.

Continue reading »

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Apr 20

Sheeple-20

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Apr 20

Happy Easter From Monsanto

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Apr 20

- BNP Banker, His Wife And Nephew Murdered In Belgium (ZeroHedge, April 20, 2014):

In the beginning it was banker suicides. Then about two weeks ago, suicides were replaced by outright murders after the execution-style killing of the CEO of a bank in otherwise sleepy (and tax evasive) Lichtenstein by a disgruntled client. Then on Friday news hit of another execution-type murder in just as sleepy, if not so tax evasive, Belgium, where in the city of Vise, a 37-year-old Director at BNP Paribas Fortis was murdered alongside his wife and a 9 year old nephew in a premeditated and orchestrated drive-by shooting.

L’venir reports:

According to Marcel Neven, Mayor of Vise, nothing can yet explain what caused the violent shooting that rocked the neighborhood sports hall of his town this Friday, April 18, late at night. A man of 37 years, Benedict Philippens, bank manager Ans-Saint-Nicolas, was shot. A little 9 year old boy, living in Dolhain, was also killed. A lady, the wife of the man and the boy aunt and godmother, Carol Haid, 37 also died of his injuries on Saturday, in the morning. She was hit by three bullets in the back, said a judicial source.

According to information from the survey and some witnesses, a car waiting outside their house Berneau street near the sports hall Visé. When the victims’ car is back in the driveway, shots were fired from the car that waited patiently. The author of the shots is actively sought. Continue reading »

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Apr 20

- Five Reported Killed In East Ukraine Following Ultra-nationalist Attack (ZeroHedge, April 19, 2014):

And to think it was just two days ago when all the USDJPY momentum ignition algos roared to life on flashing headline news of yet another diplomatic “de-escalation” of tensions in Ukraine. What was clearly ignored is that since John Kerry was involved, it was nothing but the latest sham. And the proof came moments ago when Reuters reported, citing Russian state television on Sunday, that five people were killed when Ukraine gunmen attacked a checkpoint manned by pro-Russian separatists near the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk.

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Apr 20

FYI.


- Anonymous Releases Email Allegedly Detailing Western Backed False Flag in Ukraine (The Daily Sheeple, April 19, 2014)

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Apr 20

Flashback:

- The Ug99 fungus: A time bomb for world wheat crop (Los Angeles Times)

- Airborne fungus Ug99 threatens global wheat harvest (The Guardian):

“The US army produced wheat rust as part of its biological weapons programme in the 1960s”

- UN alert: One-fourth of world’s wheat at risk from new fungus (World Tribune)

- Billions at risk from wheat super-blight (New Scientist)


Wheat-rust

- Wheat rust: The fungal disease that threatens to destroy the world crop (Independent, April 18, 2014):

Experts in Europe and Africa are racing to develop resistant grain varieties as university researchers predict the likely spread across continents of the air-borne spores of the fungus

Scientists are warning that wheat is facing a serious threat from a fungal disease that could wipe out the world’s crop if not quickly contained. Wheat rust, a devastating disease known as the “polio of agriculture”, has spread from Africa to South and Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe, with calamitous losses for the world’s second most important grain crop, after rice. There is mounting concern at the dangers posed to global food security.

Experts have been aware of the threat since a major epidemic swept across North America’s wheat belt in the 1950s, destroying up to 40 per cent of the crop. Since then, tens of millions of pounds have been invested in developing rust-resistant varieties of the grain. However, an outbreak in Uganda in 1999 was discovered to have been caused by a virulent mutation of the fungus. There has been alarm at the speed at which further mutations have subsequently developed and spread across continents.

Continue reading »

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Apr 20

WW3.


U.S. Army soldiers

- Report indicates that US aligned regimes are preparing for war (RT, April 18, 2014):

Every year the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) releases a study on military spending around the world. This year’s report contains many interesting details.

Some things in the report presented by the United Nations Commission on disarmament on April 14 have not changed at all. As has been the case for decades, the United States remains the largest military spender in the world, despite the much heralded “defense cuts.” The US, NATO, and “non-NATO US allies” account for over 64 percent of all military spending in the world.

Preparations for war in the Middle East?

The report, however, pointed out that US aligned regimes in the Middle East are rapidly increasing their military spending, and purchasing modern, high-tech weapons. The list of US aligned states in the Middle East is a collection of autocratic, repressive kingdoms and emirates. These countries are not “democratic” by any stretch. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, and other states are absolute monarchies. People are flogged, stoned, and beheaded routinely. Torture goes on without apology, and no elections take place. “Free speech” is nearly non-existent, as people are locked up, arbitrarily killed, and otherwise repressed for speaking out.

Continue reading »

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Apr 20

Pakistan may ban Japan edible items

- Concerned officials now considering ban on Japan food items — Nuclear scientists previously told gov’t to halt all imports after finding high radiation levels — Never implemented due to fear of hurting bilateral relationship (ENENews, April 19, 2014):

The Nation, Apr. 18, 2014: Pakistan may ban Japan edible items [...] in case if traces of radioactive material are found on them. Federal Minister of Commerce Khurum Dastgeer Khan told the Senate on Thursday, currently the Ministry of National Food Security and Research is tasked to conduct thorough research to determine either the edible items from Japan were infected by radioactive rays or not. [...] Senator Suriya Amiruddin who was interested to know whether there is any proposal under consideration of the Government to impose ban on import of edible items from Japan to avoid negative effect of radiation in those items. [...] in April 2011, Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority had directed authorities dealing with Cargo arriving directly or indirectly from Japan to screen all types of consignments including edible/non-edible, for radiation. [...] The directives were issued from the country’s well-reputed institution Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority [...] The PNRA made clearance mandatory for every consignment being imported from Japan. It is worthy of mentioning here that country’s nuclear scientists had advised the federal government three years back to halt all types of goods from Japan to minimize the threat of radiation following the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis in Japan. The scientists had advised the government after they detected high level of Iodine from the consignments imported from Japan. [...] in view that the move to ban imports from Japan may hurt bilateral relationship between the two friendly countries, the Pakistani government never imposed ban on import of goods from Japan.

Continue reading »

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Apr 20


Al Jazeera April 18, 2014

Description:

Eighty thousand buildings fill Detroit’s landscape, the result of 50 years of decline. Unsightly and dangerous abandoned buildings line city streets in crime-filled neighborhoods. Now, Detroit is embarking on an effort to clean house. In its bankruptcy restructuring, the city has proposed to set aside half a billion dollars toward demolishing and fixing up rundown buildings. Bisi Onile-Ere reports from Detroit, Michigan.

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