Daily Archives

US: States short $1 trillion to fund retiree benefits

CNNMoney.com – Just as they are contending with massive gaps in their operating budgets, states and localities must also deal with a $1 trillion deficit in public employees’ retirement benefits’ funds, a new report found. The shortfall amounts to more than $8,800 for every household in the nation, according to the Pew Center on the States, which published its findings Thursday. Read Article

AIDS vaccine effects may wear off, researchers say

Reuters – An AIDS vaccine that appears to have worked at least partly in Thailand may only temporarily protect patients, with the effects starting to wane after a year or so, researchers reported on Thursday. That may explain why results of the experimental vaccine have been so difficult to interpret, said Dr. Nelson Michael, a colonel at the Walter Reed Army Research Institute of Research in Maryland, who helped lead the trial. Read Article

Overfishing Threatens Key Species in Mexico, Greenpeace Says

Latin American Herald Tribune -The species of fish and shellfish most consumed in Mexico “are at risk” due to overfishing, according to Greenpeace, which presented Tuesday a list of the ones that are most endangered. Red snapper, shrimp, sardines, sharks, rays, tuna and groupers from the Gulf of Mexico, salmon from the Atlantic and grey mullet are all on the Red List prepared by the environmental organization. ”We Mexicans want to continue eating fish and shellfish, and we should not wait for their populations to be exhausted,” Alejandro Olivera, coordinator of the oceans-and-coasts campaign for Greenpeace Mexico, said in a communique. He blamed the National Fisheries Commission, or Conapesca, for the overfishing, since the current fishing policy has put “many” populations at risk and has impoverished the fishing sector by having more and more people working in it while undersea resources are disappearing. Read Article

Wall Street’s Bailout Hustle

Rolling Stone – Goldman Sachs and other big banks aren’t just pocketing the trillions we gave them to rescue the economy – they’re re-creating the conditions for another crash Read Article

Innocent People Could Have Lives Wrecked By ‘Big Brother’ Vetting Checks

Daily Telegraph – Workers judged to be lonely and to have a chaotic home life could be barred from working with vulnerable people, even though there is no evidence that they pose a risk, according to guidelines from the Government’s new vetting agency. Decisions about staff will be taken by officials who have never met them, based on details passed on by their employers. Read article

Ed. – That puts a lot of power in the hands of the employers. Not difficult to exploit. The question is: “WHO SAYS?” What gives an official, or even a possibly ‘jaded’ employer OR a forensic pathologist(?) the right to judge the worth of another human being? – which is essentially what they are doing. And this would seem to be in the abscence of any supporting statistics about the risk of harm to the vulnerable population.

Bad economies in US states to worsen: governors

Reuters – The already gloomy conditions of states’ economies are set to worsen, according to preliminary survey findings from the National Governors Association released on Saturday. In a survey conducted last week of 45 of the 50 states, the group found that states have $18.8 billion of budget gaps yet to be closed in fiscal 2010. This comes after they have already imposed measures to eliminate budget imbalances totaling $87 billion in the fiscal year, which for most started last summer. Read Article

Chemicals suspected in breast cancer, US experts want tests

PhysOrg.com – US experts called Friday for toxicity tests on chemicals they suspect play a role in the development of breast cancer, a leading cause of death in American women. “We’re currently not identifying chemicals that could be contributing to the risk of breast cancer,” said Megan Schwarzman, a physician and environmental health researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. Read Article

Russia hints it will back Iran sanctions calls

Times Online – Iran’s Supreme Leader took to the deck of a naval guided missile destroyer yesterday in defiance of the international storm sparked by the United Nations’ warning that Tehran may be building a nuclear bomb. There were renewed calls for sanctions from the United States, Britain, France and Germany. But some of the strongest reaction came from Russia, the country traditionally most reluctant to impose them, raising hopes of a consensus at the UN Security Council. Read article

OPEN YOUR EYES NEWS ANALYSIS The effects of Anthropogenic Climate Change (apparently)

A comprehensive and regularly updated list of all the apparent effects of Anthropogenic Climate Change according to the mainstream media over the last two decades. CLICK HERE TO READ

EDITORS WARNING: Do not read this analysis if you are of a nervous disposition, easily confused or easily scared.

Quotation Of The Week

“For too long our society has been left to fend for itself to judge the safety of environments. Corporations churn out thousands of new products and chemicals each year, advertising their functionality, convenience, efficiency, aesthetic and health promoting effects. Rarely do we hear about their ingredients, or eventual fate as waste. Public discourse, too, is dominated by the private sector, which has effectively shaped our values, our consumer behaviour, and how we assess risk. The effect has been the creation of more chemicals, pollution, and waste than ever before in human history, which in turn has accelerated the chemical transformation of the planet and our bodies, as well as the growing incidence of human illness associated with degraded environments”

- Prof. John Wargo, Green Intelligence

Israeli embassy raises eyebrows with tennis tweet

Guardian – Message boasts of Israeli player’s ‘hit on Dubai target’ amid mounting row over Hamas chief’s killing. Amid the mounting diplomatic row over Mossad’s alleged assassination of a Hamas commander in Dubai, the Israeli embassy has turned to Twitter to comment. A tweet issued by the embassy today read: “@israeluk You heard it here first: Israeli tennis player carries out hit on #Dubai target http://ow.ly/18A79″. It links to a story about the Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer, who beat the top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki yesterday to reach the quarter-finals of the Dubai Championship. Read article

Jobless Claims, Inflation Jump as US Economy Wobbles

CNBC – The number of U.S. workers filing new applications for unemployment insurance unexpectedly surged last week, while producer prices increased sharply in January, raising potential hurdles for the economic recovery.Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 31,000 to 473,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That compared to market expectations for 430,000. Another report from the department showed prices paid at the farm and factory gate rose a faster than expected 1.4 percent from December after a 0.4 percent gain in December, as higher gasoline prices and unusually cold temperatures helped boost energy costs. Read Article

US Compensates Afghans For Death, Damage From War – The death of a child or adult is worth $1,500-$2,500

Associated Press – The fallout of war has a price in southern Afghanistan. U.S. Army units fighting the Taliban in Helmand province have a compensation system for any death, injury or damage to crops and buildings caused by American forces to Afghan civilians and their property. The suffering of a population caught between combatants during the Afghan war is a politically sensitive issue, and NATO troops have sought to make amends for deadly airstrikes and other instances in which civilians were killed. Read article

1961: Nine Months Before Operation Northwoods, US Leaders Suggested False Flag Terror in the Dominican Republic

The history of Operation Northwoods is now fully in the public domain, that in 1961 the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up American airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba.  [ See an ABC news report; the official documents ]. The plans for Operation Northwoods were signed on March 13, 1962. It has now been revealed in official State Department documents that nine months earlier, another false flag attack was apparently discussed in order to justify an invasion of the Dominican Republic. Read the official State Department records.

Ed – Can you think of any other situations in more recent history when similar events took place and were blamed on terrorists?

New Morning-After Pill Works For Up To 5 Days – What Is It?

Physorg.com — A new type of morning-after pill is more effective than the most widely used drug at preventing pregnancies in women who had unprotected sex and also works longer, for up to five days, a new study says. The report was published Friday in the British medical journal, Lancet. Levonorgestrel, the most widely used emergency contraceptive pill, is only effective if women take it within three days of having sex. It is sold under various brand names including Levonelle and Plan B, and is available in more than 140 countries, including the United States, Canada and many countries in western Europe. In nearly 50 of those countries women can get it without a prescription. Read article

Ed. – 1. Ulipristal acetate (UPA; formerly known as CDB-2914) is a novel, high-affinity, selective progesterone receptor modulator, specifically developed by HRA Pharma for emergency contraception.link 2. Also, Swiss Biopharmaceutical Company PregLem in-licensed ulipristal acetate from HRA Pharma to develop and commercialize it for the treatment of uterine myoma (fibroids) in doses of 5 and 10 mg.Preglem.com 3. Regarding safety of Elleaone, adverse events were in general similar to those reported for levonorgestrel. ema

HAITI: Private Contractors ‘Like Vultures Coming to Grab the Loot’

IPS – Critics are concerned that private military contractors are positioning themselves at the centre of an emerging “shock doctrine” for earthquake-ravaged Haiti. Next month, a prominent umbrella organisation for private military and logistic corporations, the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA), is co-organising a “Haiti summit” which aims to bring together “leading officials” for “private consultations with attending contractors and investors” in Miami, Florida. Read article

Former Dutch Meteorlogical Institute director and sceptic Henk Tennekes gets vindication from Netherlands’ largest daily newspaper

De Telegraaf (Netherlands) – Gagged! Thrown out on the street! In the nineties, Henk Tennekes was made to clear his desk and resign as Director of the KNMI (Dutch Meteorological Institute). His sin? In a newspaper column the world-renowned meteorologist had disproved all the bold claims about climate change. Swearing in high places! And in the meantime, “hard proof” for the greenhouse effect evaporated. After all the scandal surrounding the UN IPCC panel, the sceptics voice can finally be heard. Time for the rehabilitation of Holland’s first climate exile? Read Original Dutch Article Read English Translation

British Concentration Camps In Germany After WWII

The Guardian – German spa became a forbidden village where Gestapo-like techniques were used. Despite the six years of bitter fighting which lay behind him, James Morgan-Jones, a major in the Royal Artillery, could not have been more specific about the spectacle in front of him. “It was,” he reported, “one of the most disgusting sights of my life.” Curled up on a bed in a hospital in Rotenburg, near Bremen, was a cadaverous shadow of a human being. “The man literally had no flesh on him, his state of emaciation was incredible,” wrote Morgan-Jones. This man had weighed a little over six stones (38kg) on admission five weeks earlier, and “was still a figure which may well have been one of the Belsen inmates”. At the base of his spine “was a huge festering sore”, and he was clearly terrified of returning to the prison where he had been brought so close to death. “If ever a man showed fear – he did,” Morgan-Jones declared. Read Article

Ed – Have you ever wondered why this inglorious piece of Britain’s past isn’t also taught at schools or in documentaries? Because history is written by the winners, and the less favourable reality is quietly forgotten

Former US officials fend off simulated cyberattack

AFP – Former top US officials staged a digital doomsday simulation on Tuesday in which a huge cyberattack crashes cellphone networks, slows Web traffic to a crawl and plunges major cities into darkness. Dubbed “Cyber ShockWave,” the elaborate exercise was held in a Washington hotel room transformed for the day into the White House Situation Room, where the president and his advisers typically meet to address national emergencies. Read article

Ed – why is the media playing war games? With so many former high profile government officials playing the part it gives it a sense of credibility that is freakishly scary.  Despite the canned statements that it was a “believable” scenario, the fact remains that such a widespread debilitating attack is very unlikely to ensue from a smartphone application. Such a program would have very limited capability and almost no impact on any nation’s communications or energy networks. Ask any programmer.

Citi: China Sold Their Treasuries Because They Want To Buy Tons Of Gold

Business Insider – In regards to whether or not China truly sold down its holdings of U.S. treasuries recently, the situation remains a bit murky. But Citi’s Alan Heap thinks it happened for sure. Moreover, he thinks China has a plan for the cash they pulled out of the U.S. — They’ll use it to buy 191 tonnes of gold from the IMF. Read Article

Ed – The USA’s multi-trillion dollar debt, and the effects of its recent ‘quantitative easing’ (printing money) are about to come home to roost

Official: FBI probing Pennsylvania school webcam spy case

AP — The FBI is investigating a Pennsylvania school district accused of secretly activating webcams inside students’ homes, a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case told The Associated Press on Friday. The FBI will explore whether Lower Merion School District officials broke any federal wiretap or computer-intrusion laws, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Days after a student filed suit over the practice, Lower Merion officials acknowledged Friday that they remotely activated webcams 42 times in the past 14 months, but only to find missing student laptops. They insist they never did so to spy on students, as the student’s family claimed in the federal lawsuit. Read Article

New Evidence That Green Tea May Help Fight Glaucoma and Other Eye Diseases

ScienceDaily “” Scientists have confirmed that the healthful substances found in green tea — renowned for their powerful antioxidant and disease-fighting properties — do penetrate into tissues of the eye. Their new report, the first documenting how the lens, retina, and other eye tissues absorb these substances, raises the possibility that green tea may protect against glaucoma and other common eye diseases. Read Article