According to two survivingcrew members of the Deepwater Horizon, oil workers from the rig were held in seclusion on the open water for up to two days after the April 20 explosion, while attorneys attempted to convince them to sign legal documents stating that they were unharmed by the incident.
The men claim that they were forbidden from having any contact with concerned loved ones during that time, and were told they would not be able to go home until they signed the documents they were presented with.Stephen Davis, a seven-year veteran of drilling-rig work from San Antonio, told The Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg today that he was held on a boat for 36 to 40 hours after diving into the Gulf from the burning rig and swimming to safety.
Once on a crew boat, Davis said, he and the others were denied access to satellite phones or radio to get in touch with their families, many of whom were frantic to find out whether or not they were OK.
Davis’ attorney told Goldenberg that while on the boat, his client and the others were told to sign the statements presented to them by attorneys for Transocean – the firm that owned the Deepwater Horizon – or they wouldn’t be allowed to go home. After being awake for 50 harrowing hours, Davis caved and signed the papers. He said most of the others did as well.
Davis’ story seems to be backed up by a similar account given to NPR by another Deepwater Horizon crewmember earlier in the month. Christopher Choy, a roustabout on the rig, said that the lawyers gathered the survivors in the galley of a boat and said, “‘You need to sign these. Nobody’s getting off here until we get one from everybody.’ … At the bottom, it said something about, like, you know, this can be used as evidence in court and all that. I told them, ‘I’m not signing it.’ “
Choy said that once he was finally allowed to get off the boat, he was shuttled to a hotel, where he met up with his wife. At the hotel, representatives from Transocean confronted him again and badgered him to sign the statement. Exhausted, traumatized and desperate to go home, Choy said that he finally relented and signed.
Commander of Camacari force was discussing fight against traffickers when he was assassinated on way to work
Brazil has a burgeoning drug problem, as police fight gangs who control supply to the addicts in the slums. (Reuters)
For police chief Clayton Leão Chaves it was supposed to be another day at the office. At around 9.40am this morning, he was making his daily journey to the police HQ in Camacari, a small city in Bahia state, and giving an interview to local radio on his mobile phone about the police’s struggle against local drug traffickers.
Then something went badly wrong.
“I heard some bangs,” one of the shows two presenters announced, perplexed, as the police chief’s voice disappeared.
“Something serious has happened to our chief. It can’t be anything else,” said his co-presenter, adding: “The chief was just talking to us. We don’t know what has happened. There is a lady weeping.”
According to local media reports, Chaves had been killed as he spoke to journalists from Bahia’s Lider FM radio station and to thousands of local listeners about attempts to improve security.
Scientist Douglas Inkley of the National Wildlife Federation pulls a broken oil boom on an island impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Barataria Bay, Louisiana May 25, 2010. (REUTERS)
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Just how many barrels of oil are gushing into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon spill is a billion dollar question with implications that go beyond the environment. It could also help determine how much BP and others end up paying for the disaster.
A clause buried deep in the U.S. Clean Water Act may expose BP and others to civil fines that aren’t limited to any finite cap — unlike a $75 million limit on compensation for economic damages. The Act allows the government to seek civil penalties in court for every drop of oil that spills into U.S. navigable waters, including the area of BP’s leaking well.
As a result, the U.S. government could seek to fine BP or others up to $4,300 for every barrel leaked into the U.S. Gulf, according to legal experts and official documents.
When all of Europe rushed into its rescue package two weeks ago (first half a trillion, market red, then a full trillion, market green), the one thing that struck us as odd was the conflicting data on the conditionality of the package, with various sources both confirming and denying that the “package” was revocable. It did seem somewhat shortsighted of the Germans, whose political leadership would soon be on the verge of a series of electoral routs, to tie its fate without even one exit hatch, to a country that is a financial toxic spiral. Sure enough, the Telegraph’s Evans-Pritchard has uncovered what may be the two loopholes in the European bailout agreement. While the first one is not surprising, the second one explains why the biggest sellers of European government debt (and/or buyers of Euro sovereign CDS), are likely the governments of the distressed, and core, countries themselves.
Markets have been rattled by reports in the German media that the Greek rescue deal contains two secret clauses. The package will be “immediately and irrevocably cancelled” if it is found to breach the EU Treaty’s “no bail-out” clause, either in a ruling by the European court or the constitutional courts of any eurozone state. While such an event is unlikely, it is not impossible. There are two cases already pending at Germany’s top court in Karlsruhe, perhaps Europe’s most “eurosceptic” tribunal.
The second clause said that if any country finds it cannot raise funding for the rescue at interest rates below the 5pc charge agreed for Greece, it may opt out of the bail-out. BNP Paribas said this would escalate quickly into a systemic crisis if Spain were in such a position, because the other countries cannot carry an ever-rising burden. The bank warned the euro project itself may start to disintegrate rapidly if these rescue provisions are ever seriously put to the test.
Kim Jong-Il has put North Korean troops on combat alert and threatened military action if the South trespasses in its waters as global stock markets freak out at the prospect of a war which, if it occurs, can be blamed on the U.S. government’s history of arming the Stalinist dictator with nuclear weapons.
Korean markets plunged 3.3 per cent overnight as investors were spooked at escalating tensions between the two countries following South Korea’s allegation that the North was responsible for the March 26 torpedoing of one of its warships
On Monday, President Obama also told the U.S. military to prepare for conflict as it plans to carry out anti-submarine and other naval exercises with South Korea.
As we have documented, North Korea’s nuclear belligerency was almost exclusively a creation of the U.S. government in that they armed the Stalinist state both directly and indirectly through global arms dealers under their control, namely Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan. While labeling North Korea as part of the “axis of evil,” the U.S. government was enthusiastically funding its nuclear weapons program at every stage.
Both the Clinton and Bush administrations played a key role in helping Kim Jong-Il develop North Korea’s nuclear prowess from the mid 1990’s onwards.
Just as with Saddam Hussein’s chemical and biological weapons program, it was Donald Rumsfeld who played a key role in arming Kim-Jong-Il.
Rumsfeld was man who presided over a $200 million dollar contract to deliver equipment and services to build two light water reactor stations in North Korea in January 2000 when he was an executive director of ABB (Asea Brown Boveri). Wolfram Eberhardt, a spokesman for ABB confirmed that Rumsfeld was at nearly all the board meetings during his involvement with the company.
Virginia Tech professor uncovered truth about lead in D.C. water
Sometimes Don Quixote beats the windmill.
It happened for Marc Edwards, a lean, intense Virginia Tech environmental engineering professor. Drawing on what he called his own “world-class stubbornness,” he mounted a six-year campaign that succeeded last week in forcing the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to admit that it had misled the public about the risk of lead in the District’s drinking water.
The CDC, which is the nation’s principal public health agency, made the confession in a “Notice to Readers” published in an official weekly bulletin Friday. It came a day after a scathing House subcommittee report said the agency knowingly used flawed and incomplete data when it assured D.C. residents in 2004 that their health hadn’t been hurt by spikes in lead in the drinking water.
The events represented a full vindication for Edwards. He had embarked on the painstaking, solo investigation primarily because he was outraged that the CDC’s original report was being used across the country as a reason to relax concern about lead in the water. Now he has the House report to back up his research.
“Until yesterday, I didn’t really feel I had what I needed to prevent future harm,” Edwards, 46, said in an interview at a downtown D.C. coffee shop Friday. “I feel a sense of relief, and I’m appalled at how difficult it was.”
It’s not a final victory yet. Edwards thinks the CDC is still trying to “rewrite history” by refusing to admit that it consciously understated the lead risk in water. He thinks it did so because it was worried about distracting the public from another health risk, leaded paint, which has long been a CDC priority.
Jonas Deronzil from Verrettes has been farming since 1974. Like small producers throughout Haiti, his meager income from corn, rice, and beans is threatened by new competition from Monsanto.
“A new earthquake” is what peasant farmer leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) called the news that Monsanto will be donating 60,000 seed sacks (475 tons) of hybrid corn seeds and vegetable seeds, some of them treated with highly toxic pesticides. The MPP has committed to burning Monsanto’s seeds, and has called for a march to protest the corporation’s presence in Haiti on June 4, for World Environment Day.
In an open letter sent of May 14, Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, the Executive Director of MPP and the spokesperson for the National Peasant Movement of the Congress of Papay (MPNKP), called the entry of Monsanto seeds into Haiti “a very strong attack on small agriculture, on farmers, on biodiversity, on Creole seeds…, and on what is left our environment in Haiti.” Haitian social movements have been vocal in their opposition to agribusiness imports of seeds and food, which undermines local production with local seed stocks. They have expressed special concern about the import of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
For now, without a law regulating the use of GMOs in Haiti, the Ministry of Agriculture rejected Monsanto’s offer of Roundup Ready GMO seeds. In an email exchange, a Monsanto representative assured the Ministry of Agriculture that the seeds being donated are not GMO.
Elizabeth Vancil, Monsanto’s Director of Development Initiatives, called the news that the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture approved the donation “a fabulous Easter gift” in an April email. Monsanto is known for aggressively pushing seeds, especially GMO seeds, in both the global North and South, including through highly restrictive technology agreements with farmers who are not always made fully aware of what they are signing. According to interviews by this writer with representatives of Mexican small farmer organizations, they then find themselves forced to buy Monsanto seeds each year, under conditions they find onerous and at costs they sometimes cannot afford.
A “highly toxic” chemical in the glue on supermarket labels can seep through packaging and contaminate food, a study has shown.
Food packaging Photo: ANDREW CROWLEY
The chemical, which is in the highest toxicity category because it poses a “particularly severe risk to health”, is found in high levels on some of the sticky labels placed on packages of fresh meat, vegetables, tubs of sauce and other foodstuffs.
Strict EU safety regulations govern which materials can come into direct contact with food, but there are no rules about the chemicals in adhesives used to fix labels to the packaging.
A study published today by the Royal Society of Chemistry shows that four toxic compounds in commonly-used glues on sticky labels can seep all the way through paper and plastic packaging and contaminate the food inside.
One such adhesive is in the “highly toxic” class along with other poisonous chemicals such as mercury, asbestos and hydrochloric acid. Highly toxic chemicals can cause organ failure and even death in high doses.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – The Trans-Alaska Pipeline, partly owned by BP, shut down on Tuesday after spilling several thousand barrels of crude oil into backup containers, drastically cutting supply down the main artery between refineries and Alaska’s oilfields.
The accident comes at a difficult time for BP — the largest single owner of the pipeline operator, holding 47 percent — as it struggles to plug a gushing Gulf of Mexico oil well.
The shutdown followed a series of mishaps that resulted from a scheduled fire-command system test at Pump Station 9, about 100 miles south of Fairbanks, said Alyeska Pipeline Service Co, the operator of the 800-mile oil line.
Tigris Financial’s Thomas Kaplan, in his New York office this past week, on his investment focus: ‘I feel the only asset I have confidence in is gold.’
Gold is setting records again, boosting the holdings of central banks, Armageddon worrywarts, and ordinary people who own gold bars, coins and jewelry.
But few individuals stand to benefit as much as low-profile billionaire Thomas Kaplan. A New York-born commodities magnate who earned a doctorate in British colonial history at Oxford, Mr. Kaplan oversees an empire devoted largely to gold.
Many fund managers and high-rollers have allocated small percentages of their portfolios to gold as a hedge against inflation. But Mr. Kaplan is the bull of bullion. He has gone further than perhaps any other major investor, betting the majority of his wealth on gold and other precious metals. And it reflects his deeply held conviction that global economic instability could bring rising demand for gold.
TALIBAN rebels are earning a bounty of up to 200,000 Pakistani rupees (£1,660) for each Nato soldier they kill, according to insurgent commanders.
The money is said to come from protection rackets, taxes imposed on opium farmers, donors in the Gulf states who channel money through Dubai and from the senior Taliban leadership in Pakistan.
So far this year 213 Nato soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, including 41 British troops, bringing the potential rewards for the Taliban to £350,000.
Taliban commanders said the bounty had more than doubled since the beginning of last year.
The insurgents, who employ “hit and run” tactics against foot patrols and convoys, use paid informants, media reports and the local population to confirm the deaths of Nato soldiers.
“We can’t lie to our commanders: they can check to see if there was a fight in that area. We get money if we capture equipment too. A gun can fetch $1,000 [£690],” said a commander from Khost province who controls about 60 fighters.
Taliban fighters launched an audacious assault on the biggest Nato base in Afghanistan in the third attack on coalition forces in under a week.
The frontal attack on Kandahar airfield forced William Hague, the new Foreign Secretary, and Liam Fox, the new Defence Secretary to cancel a scheduled trip to meet British troops on the base during their first tour of Afghanistan since taking office.
Rebels rained rockets onto the airfield and then attempted to storm the perimeter fences before being forced back by fire from watchtowers.
Fighting in southern Afghanistan is again expected to escalate this summer as American troops continue to pour into the country for Barack Obama’s surge strategy.
The Taliban movement earlier this month launched its own Al-Faath, or victory, spring offensive aimed at Nato-led forces, the Afghan government and their allies.
The Kandahar attack followed a similar attempt to storm Bagram air base north of Kabul and a deadly suicide car bombing in the capital.
Five rockets hit the sprawling base 300 miles southwest of the capital at around 8pm (4.30pm BST) on Saturday evening.
Several members of the Nato-led force and civilian contractors were wounded, but none killed. A spokesman would not say how many insurgents took part or how many died. Soldiers on the base were kept in bunkers for several hours following the attack.
WILMINGTON ISLAND, GA (WTOC) – A Wilmington Island family is upset, after they say four Tybee Island Police officers beat their autistic son.
A broken tooth, scrapes and bruises and two puncture marks from Tasers are the only reminders Clifford Grevemberg has of his visit to Tybee Island Friday night.
“They literally just beat the heck out of me,” he said.
A beating 18-year-old Clifford and his brother, Dario Mariani, said happened after they left the annual Tybee Beach Bum Parade.
They say they stopped to get food at the Rockhouse. Clifford is 18, but couldn’t go inside. Instead he sat on the curb. That’s when he said the trouble started.
Tybee Police officers asked for his ID twice. The second time he says it turned violent.
“They basically threw me down to the ground,” Clifford said. “Before I hit the ground, they Tased me. That’s when I lost my tooth.”
“I walked back inside for maybe one or two minutes to speak to one of my friends and when I came back outside, Clifford’s face was completely bloodied,” said Dario. “He was in handcuffs, he had a Taser sticking out of his back and he was screaming for help. He was asking me to help him. All he could do was cry and scream, he was in agony.”
Dario said he told the officers repeatedly that Clifford was autistic and has a heart condition.
“They completely disregarded anything I said,” said Dario.
The logo of American International Group Inc. (AIG) on the outside of their corporate headquarters in New York (Reuters)
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department has dropped a probe of American International Group Inc executives involving the credit default swaps that sent the insurer to the brink of bankruptcy and forced a huge taxpayer bailout, lawyers for the executives said on Saturday.
The investigation had centered on AIG Financial Products, which nearly brought down the giant insurer after writing tens of billions of dollars on insurance-like contracts on complex securities backed by mortgages that turned out to be toxic.
The U.S. government stepped in with a $182 billion bailout to avert a bankruptcy filing by AIG.
The criminal probe had focused on whether Joseph Cassano, who ran the financial products unit, and Andrew Forster, his deputy, knowingly misled investors about the company’s accounting losses on its credit default swaps portfolio.
“Although a 2-year, intense investigation is tough for anyone, the results are wholly appropriate in light of our client’s factual innocence,” F. Joseph Warin and Jim Walden, Cassano’s lawyers, said in a statement.
Forster’s lawyers also confirmed the probe had been dropped.
Lesson 1 – Revisiting American History, documents the conversion of the US into a monolithic financial empire as the Federal Reserve Act created a monopolized cartel of private interests, “Wall Street,” that controls all money in the system.
This killed Jeffersonian ideals and allowed vertical Hamiltonian forces to have free reign to consolidate power and wealth. It explains how this is an empire system where the top Wall Street banks are analogous to feudal lords and multi-national corporations are their feudal knights out conquering territories.
It rewrites American History books.
“A little group of willful men, representing no opinion but their own, have rendered the great government of the United States helpless and contemptible.”
– Woodrow Wilson
“I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”
– Woodrow Wilson
“When the President signs this act [Federal Reserve Act of 1913], the invisible government by the money power — proven to exist by the Monetary Trust Investigation — will be legalized. The new law will create inflation whenever the trusts want inflation. From now on, depressions will be scientifically created.” – Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr.
“The financial system has been turned over to the Federal Reserve Board. That Board administers the finance system by authority of a purely profiteering group. The system is Private, conducted for the sole purpose of obtaining the greatest possible profits from the use of other people’s money.
– Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr.
“We have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks, hereinafter called the FED. They are not government institutions. They are private monopolies which prey upon the people of these United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers.”
– Louis McFadden
“It was not accidental [the 1929 stock-market “crash”]. It was a carefully contrived occurrence. … The international bankers sought to bring about a condition of despair here so that they might emerge as rulers of us all.”
– Louis McFadden
“Some people think the Federal Reserve Banks are United States Government Institutions. They are private credit monopolies which prey upon the people of the United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers.”
– Louis McFadden
“Before passage of this [Federal Reserve] Act, the New York Bankers could only dominate the reserves of New York. Now, we are able to dominate the bank reserves of the entire country. “
– Nelson Aldrich
“The dollar represents a one dollar debt to the Federal Reserve System. The Federal Reserve Banks create money out of thin air to buy Government Bonds from the U.S. Treasury…and has created out of nothing a … debt which the American people are obliged to pay with interest.”
– Wright Patman
“In the United States today we have in effect two governments. We have the duly constituted government….. Then we have an independent, uncontrolled and uncoordinated government in the Federal Reserve System, operating the money powers which are reserved to Congress by the Constitution.”
– Wright Patman
“The Federal Reserve System is nothing more than legalized counterfeit.”
– Ron Paul
“The one aim of these financiers is world control by the creation of inextinguishable debts.”
– Henry Ford
“The division of the United States into federations of equal force was decided long before the Civil War by the high financial powers of Europe. These bankers were afraid that the United States, if they remained as one block, and as one nation, would attain economic and financial independence, which would upset their financial domination over the world.”
– Otto von Bismarck
“The high office of the president has been used to foment a plot to destroy America’s freedom, and before I leave office I must inform the citizens of this plight.”
– John F. Kennedy November 12, 1963.
Date of Kennedy Assassination : NOV. 22, 1963
Lesson 2 – Revisiting Economics 101 – Debt: Imperial Power and Control discusses the power of debt-based money, emboded in the bond market, and its ability to exert total top-down power and control over the empire.
You will learn how our system is not a free market and how neoclassical economics misses so many key points.
“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
– John Adams
“I place the economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers.”
– Thomas Jefferson
“I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution — taking from the federal government their power of borrowing.”
– Thomas Jefferson
“The few who understand the system, will either be so interested in its profits, or so dependent on its favours that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of the people mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests.” – John Sherman – Protege of the Rothschild banking family
Lesson 3 – Revisiting Civics 101 describes how the media projects a false picture in terms of who controls the US. This lesson illustrates the real power structure, which is modeled after the corporate governance system.
It typically uses Ivy Leaguers to fill its ranks and it exercises ownership rights over the country to some degree.
“I am delighted to be here in these new [Council on Foreign Relations] headquarters. I have been often to, I guess, the mother ship in New York City, but it’s good to have an outpost of the Council right here down the street from the State Department. We get a lot of advice from the Council, so this will mean I won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future.”
– Hillary Clinton
“Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
“The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.”
– Benjamin Disraeli
“There is something behind the throne greater than the king himself.”
– William Pitt 1770, British House of Lords
“You know, by the time you become the leader of a country, someone else makes all the decisions. … You may find you can get away with virtual presidents, virtual prime ministers, virtual everything.”
– Bill Clinton
“I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.”
– General Douglas MacArthur
Lesson 4 (part 1) – The Culture of Empire moves into a deeper dialogue about the empire system we’re caught in. Part 1 addresses our wealth illusion, freedom illusion, exponential growth, inflation/deflation, and bankruptcies.
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Added: 26. March 2010
Lesson 4 (part 2) – Part 2 focuses exclusively on the issue of scale. As the debt-based empire grows, the scale of our system grows causing all sorts of problems related to the loss of meaning, community, freedom, and agency.
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Added: 27. March 2010
Lesson 4 (part 3) – Part 3 focuses on the issue of velocity. The velocity of money is a standard economic concept, but economists ignore the issue of human velocity caused by the system, which results in the loss of rest, joy, delight, and deeper issues.
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Added: 27. March 2010
Lesson 4 (part 4) – Part 4 focuses on the rise of narcissism, increasing pathology and oppression, and how the financial empire eventually replaces government
Lesson 5 (part 1) explains the strategic global transition we’re currently living through. It provides the correct strategic perspective, thereby replacing false ones like the left vs. right paradigm, to help interpret the overwhelming flow of information we get from the media.