634: Rough Patch

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 58m
July 13th, 2014
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Executive Producers: Sir David Foley, Grand Duke of the USA, Gordon B Fedoriw, Black Knight Sir Inside Jobs, Maxwell Thin

Associate Executive Producers: Jayson Wall, Sir Dr. Sharkey

Cover Artist: Majorkilz


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New agents sign for WikiLeaks in Germany and Iberia
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 23:32
Just Licensing signs Bavaria Sonor for German speaking markets and Lixesa for Spain and Portugal.
Just Licensing, the master agent for the WikiLeaks brand and Julian Assange's name and likeness, has signed deals for the brand with Bavaria Sonor for German speaking markets and Lixesa for Spain and Portugal.
The agreements continue the firm's plans to build a network of powerful agents in all key territories for WikiLeaks.
''Telling the truth is about to become fashionable,'' said Olafur V Sigurvinsson, Just Licensing CEO.
''From the widespread interest that we see already, these two edgy brands: WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, are poised to make waves in fashion, accessories and other consumer product categories that people use to express themselves.
"So I am extremely pleased to announce agency agreements with Bavaria Sonor and Lixesa to bring WikiLeaks branded merchandise to market. We look forward to working with both companies to build and execute outstanding licensing programs as we roll out across Europe.''
Jos(C) F(C)lix Garc­a, Lixesa managing director, added: ''People today are passionate about freedom, transparency and simply being told the truth.
"The support WikiLeaks enjoys in Spain is phenomenal. Research has shown that 85 per cent of people support WikiLeaks, so we believe that we will see rapid traction in the marketplace.''
World Population Day
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 19:25
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I join the world in marking World Population Day on July 11, and celebrating the 20th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).
As a senator, I was part of the U.S. delegation that participated in the ICPD 20 years ago. I was honored to join the global community in Cairo where we set far-reaching goals linking global health, human rights, and development.
These goals are as relevant now as they were then. They form the foundation for our work to promote reproductive health and rights, gender equality, and the empowerment of women and young people. We have made tremendous progress over the past 20 years, especially in education and reducing maternal and child mortality.
I've seen some of this progress during my travels. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I met young girls returned to health after difficult pregnancies with the help of local health workers. And in Afghanistan, I listened to women tell me about their experiences at school and starting businesses, both unimaginable only a few years before.
But progress has not been even. Many of the most vulnerable people have been left behind, including many of our young people.
World Population Day's theme this year is ''investing in youth.'' All around the globe, young people face enormous challenges. A half a billion young people subsist on less than two dollars a day, carving out lives in urban slums and rural fields. More than two million adolescents live with the scourge of HIV/AIDS, many without access to lifesaving treatment. The practices of early and forced marriage persist, despite near-universal commitment to eliminate them. One out of every three girls in developing countries will be married before reaching 18 and more than 15 million girls will give birth each year, robbing them of a chance to finish school and pursue their dreams.
These young people will set the course of global health and population growth for many years to come. That's why we must work together to remove barriers to health services, education, and employment. Only then can they realize their full potential and help drive social and economic development.
The United States remains committed to working with the international community to build on the progress we have made. Young people represent our hope for a brighter future. Empowering them will create a better world for us all.
United Nations News Centre - On World Population Day, UN calls for investment in young people.
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 18:56
11 July 2014 '' With 1.8 billion young people around the world '' the largest generation of youth in history '' senior United Nations officials are marking World Population Day with calls for a renewed commitment to helping young people improve their lives and the common future.
''Action is urgently needed,'' Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day, stressing that too many young people are denied a right to a quality education, a decent job, and participation in the political life of their societies.
He expressed particular concern about adolescent girls who may face discrimination, sexual violence, early marriage and unwanted pregnancies.
''The solution lies in investment in health, education, training and employment for young people as they undergo the critical transition to adulthood,'' Mr. Ban underscored.
Half the world is under 25 years of age '' nearly 90 per cent of them in developing countries, according to UN figures. However, half of those employed from the group are either unemployed or in Mr. Ban's words, ''stuck in low-wage, dead-end jobs.''
''I call on all with influence to prioritize youth in development plans, strengthen partnerships with youth-led organizations, and involve young people in all decisions that affect them,'' the UN chief said. ''By empowering today's youth, we will lay the groundwork for a more sustainable future for generations to come.''
Young people are also speaking out for themselves, Mr. Ban said, noting that more than 1,000 youth organizations endorsed a Global Youth Call to recommend youth-focused goals and targets in the sustainable development agenda that will start after 2015, the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
In his message, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Babatunde Osotimehin, said: ''We know that healthy, educated, productive and fully engaged young people can help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty and are more resilient in the face of individual and societal challenges.''
Yet too many youth continue to grapple with poverty, inequality and human rights violations that prevent them from reaching their personal and collective potential, he said noting that according to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) an estimated 515 million adolescents and youth, aged 15 to 24, live on less than $2 a day, and millions more face gender discrimination and other forms of marginalization.
''A sustainable future depends on having resilient populations, which cannot be achieved without investments in young people,'' said Dr. Osotimehin, adding that youth not only form a large proportion of the world's population and deserve their fair share as a matter of equity, but are also in a critical stage of their lifecycle that will determine their future '' and thus those of their families, communities, and societies.
Call on UN Member States and other stakeholders to invest in this generation of young people who are at the centre of the new post-2015 development agenda, General Assembly President John Ashe in his message on the Day, said that'' only by partnering with young people can we make the planet more resilient and our future more prosperous.''
Observed annually on 11 July, World Population Day focuses attention on the importance of population issues in the context of development plans and programmes, and the need to find solutions for these issues.
Opt Out!
gmail email from 2 brothers
ITM Adam
John is WRONG! Last night I was listening to your rant about people needing to opt out of free email services like gmail and John firmly told you that people just aren't going to do it.
I just want you to know that's not totally true. My brother and I, long time listeners and donors (though no knighthoods yet), have done the work to opt out. Not only are we opting out of the satanic gmail, we are working on opting out of all google services. This is all thanks to my brother, who is a dude named Ben.
Unfortunately we both use Facebook for our businesses, but we are doing what we can.
Just wanted you to know that your preaching of the gospel has fallen on fertile ground here.
Now, to rid myself of that pesky smart phone....
P.S. The show has been outstanding lately. And by lately I mean since I started listening in early 2012. I never miss a show.
New Hams
Monitoring REF033C
JCD REF014C on the San Jose Repeater - Old Dudes!
Bullcrap @CIA tweets
Book Club
Middle East recommendation from Knight
After listening to the past few shows, your desire to learn more about middle east history really hit home with me.
In 2006 or 2007 I came across "United States and the Middle East: 1914 to 9/11 by Professor Salim Yaqub." Its about 12 hours of lectures dealing with the US/Middle East relations over the past 100 years (stopping at 2003).
I'd like to recommend this "book" for the NA Book Club. I hope you and other producers find this a valuable tool to understanding current US/Middle East relations.
Professor Salim Yaqub is an Associate Professor at UC Santa Barbra.
Also on Audible.
Sir Andrew Greene (of Florida, not UK)
Founding Producer (since March 2009)
The Fix Is In
World cup future vision is being distorted, we are missing something else much bigger going on. When almost 7 million Americans viewers watch ANYTHING, you know its a distraction
email from dutchman in brazil
Hallo Adam,
Voor jullie No Agenda WK-analyse:
Ik leef grotendeels op het platteland in Brazilië in de staat Minas Gerais. Heb afgelopen dagen veelvuldig de bizarre 1-7 van Brazilië tegen Duitsland besproken. Conclusie van 80% van de mensen (boeren) hier: de Brazilianen hebben zich verkocht.
Plus: van dat stadion afbranden na een verlies waar jullie over spreken is geen enkele sprake. Vlak na de wedstrijd wordt er alweer hard om gelachen. Ze zijn hier kort van memorie als het om een spelletje gaat.
Groeten uit het paradijs,
Argentine Player Says He Tore His Anus Making Match-Saving Block Against The Netherlands
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 19:48
Argentina's Lionel Messi hugs goalkeeper Sergio Romero during the shoot-out of the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 on penalties and advanced to the final. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez shoots the winning shot against Netherlands' goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen during a penalty shootout after extra time during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina defeated the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout after a 0-0 tie to advance to the finals. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez shoots the winning shot against Netherlands' goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen during a penalty shootout after extra time during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina defeated the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout after a 0-0 tie to advance to the finals. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
Argentina's goalkeeper Sergio Romero saves a shot from the penalty spot by Netherlands' Ron Vlaar in the shoot-out of the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Argentina's goalkeeper Sergio Romero celebrates after saving a penalty kick during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Bensch, Pool)
Argentina's goalkeeper Sergio Romero celebrates after saving a penalty kick during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Bensch, Pool)
Netherlands' defender Ron Vlaar (back) and Argentina's forward and captain Lionel Messi vie for the ball during the semi-final football match between Netherlands and Argentina of the FIFA World Cup at The Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Netherlands' Arjen Robben (11) is tackled by Argentina's Javier Mascherano during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina's goalkeeper Sergio Romero (1) defends the net. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Bensch, Pool)
Netherlands' Arjen Robben falls on the pitch during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Francois Xavier Marit, Pool)
Argentina's defender Ezequiel Garay heads the ball during the semi-final football match between Netherlands and Argentina of the FIFA World Cup at The Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Argentina's forward Gonzalo Higuain (L) and Netherlands' defender Daley Blind vie for the ball during the semi-final football match between Netherlands and Argentina of the FIFA World Cup at The Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images)
Netherlands' defender Ron Vlaar (R) challenges Argentina's forward and captain Lionel Messi during the semi-final football match between Netherlands and Argentina of the FIFA World Cup at The Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO / PEDRO UGARTE (Photo credit should read PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JULY 09: Nigel de Jong (L) and Ron Vlaar of the Netherlands compete for the ball with Lionel Messi of Argentina during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Semi Final match between the Netherlands and Argentina at Arena de Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Fabrizio Bensch - Pool/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JULY 09: Lionel Messi of Argentina controls the ball as (L-R) Georginio Wijnaldum, Nigel de Jong and Ron Vlaar give chase during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Semi Final match between the Netherlands and Argentina at Arena de Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JULY 09: Lionel Messi of Argentina looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Semi Final match between the Netherlands and Argentina at Arena de Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Netherlands' midfielder Dirk Kuyt (L) and Argentina's forward Ezequiel Lavezzi vie for the ball during the semi-final football match between Netherlands and Argentina of the FIFA World Cup at The Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JUAN MABROMATA (Photo credit should read JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images)
Netherlands' midfielder Nigel de Jong (L) vies with Argentina's forward Lionel Messi (C) during the semi-final football match between Netherlands and Argentina of the FIFA World Cup at The Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO / POOL / FABRIZIO BENSCH (Photo credit should read FABRIZIO BENSCH/AFP/Getty Images)
Netherlands' goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen (C) makes a save during the semi-final football match between Netherlands and Argentina of the FIFA World Cup at The Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Argentina's Ezequiel Garay, left, and Netherlands' Robin van Persie go for a header during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Netherlands' Arjen Robben, center, controls the ball between Argentina's Martin Demichelis, left, and Lucas Bigli, right, during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Francois Xavier Marit, Pool)
Argentina's Lionel Messi, right, is chased by Netherlands' Nigel de Jong (6) during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Francois Xavier Marit, Pool)
Argentina's forward and captain Lionel Messi reacts during the semi-final football match between Netherlands and Argentina of the FIFA World Cup at The Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO / NELSON ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Argentina supporters pose for a photograph prior to the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Thousands of soccer fans watch a live broadcast of the FIFA World Cup semifinal soccer match between Netherlands and Argentina on a giant screen in the center of Eindhoven, Netherlands, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Phil Nijhuis)
Argentina's Marcos Rojo, right, challenges Netherlands' Georginio Wijnaldum during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Francois Xavier Marit, Pool)
Netherlands' Robin van Persie is helped up by Argentina's Ezequiel Garay (2) during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Francois Xavier Marit, Pool)
Netherlands' goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, right, looks on as Argentina's Ezequiel Garay, left, and Netherlands' Ron Vlaar challenge for the ball during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Netherlands' Robin van Persie, left, controls the ball ahead of Argentina's Ezequiel Garay during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Francois Xavier Marit, Pool)
Netherlands' head coach Louis van Gaal instructs his players during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Argentina's Lionel Messi, right, is held by Netherlands' Nigel de Jong during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Bensch, Pool)
Players of the Dutch and Argentine national teams gather for one minute of silence to honor the memory of legendary footballer Alfredo Di Stefano, who died Monday, before the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina in Sao Paulo Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
Netherlands soccer fans cheer during a live broadcast of their team's World Cup semifinal match against Argentina inside the FIFA Fan Fest area on Copacabana beach, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
Argentina's Ezequiel Garay (2) heads the ball over the bar during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Bensch, Pool)
Argentina's Ezequiel Garay lies on the pitch during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Francois Xavier Marit, Pool)
Netherlands' Georginio Wijnaldum, left, and Argentina's Javier Mascherano go for the ball during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Francois Xavier Marit, Pool)
Netherlands' Georginio Wijnaldum, left, and Argentina's Javier Mascherano go for the ball during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Bensch, Pool)
Argentina's Lionel Messi preforms a free kick during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Francois Xavier Marit, Pool)
Argentina's Lionel Messi, left, shoots a free-kick past the Dutch defense during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
An Argentina soccer fan poses in front of an Argentine flag before a World Cup semifinal match between Argentina against Netherlands, on a street where an outdoor screen has been set for viewing, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Eduardo Di Baia)
Netherlands' Arjen Robben (11) is given the ball by Argentina's head coach Alejandro Sabella during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Bensch, Pool)
Netherlands' Robin van Persie, top, and Argentina's Ezequiel Garay (2) vie for the ball during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Bensch, Pool)
Argentina's Marcos Rojo (16) and Netherlands' Dirk Kuyt jump for the ball during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Bensch, Pool)
Netherlands' Arjen Robben, front, and Argentina's Pablo Zabaleta challenge for the ball during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Netherlands' goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen checks on the condition of Argentina's Ezequiel Garay after he took a knock during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Argentina's Enzo Perez (8) and Netherlands' Daley Blind (5) go for the ball during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Francois Xavier Marit, Pool)
Argentina's Martin Demichelis, right, clears the ball in front of Netherlands' Robin van Persie (9) and Ezequiel Garay (2) during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
Netherlands' Robin van Persie eyes the ball during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Netherlands' Robin van Persie controls the ball on his chest during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JULY 09: Robin van Persie of the Netherlands challenges Javier Mascherano of Argentina during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Semi Final match between the Netherlands and Argentina at Arena de Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JULY 09: Lionel Messi of Argentina controls the ball against Nigel de Jong (L) and Georginio Wijnaldum of the Netherlands during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Semi Final match between the Netherlands and Argentina at Arena de Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Netherlands' forward Robin van Persie (L) vies with Argentina's defender Marcos Rojo (R) during the semi-final football match between Netherlands and Argentina of the FIFA World Cup at The Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DAMIEN MEYER (Photo credit should read DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)
Players gather around injured Argentina's midfielder Javier Mascherano (C) as he lies on the ground after a collision of heads during the semi-final football match between Netherlands and Argentina of the FIFA World Cup at The Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO / NELSON ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Argentina's midfielder Javier Mascherano receives medical assistance during the semi-final football match between Netherlands and Argentina of the FIFA World Cup at The Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Argentina's midfielder Javier Mascherano receives medical assistance during the semi-final football match between Netherlands and Argentina of the FIFA World Cup at The Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Argentina's midfielder Enzo Perez (L) and Netherlands' midfielder Wesley Sneijder in action during the semi-final football match between Netherlands and Argentina of the FIFA World Cup at The Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DAMIEN MEYER (Photo credit should read DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)
Netherlands' Nigel de Jong, left, and Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain go for a header during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Argentina's head coach Alejandro Sabella directs his team during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Francois Xavier Marit, Pool)
Nachtrust Duits team verstoord | Wk voetbal 2014 | Telegraaf.nl
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 14:19
Exclusieve artikelen van de Telegraaf redactie
zo 13 jul 2014, 10:34| 120 reactiesVan onze TelesportredactieDuitsland speelt vanavond de finale van het WK in Brazili. De ploeg verpletterde Brazili in de halve finale en is de favoriet in de eindstrijd tegen Argentini. Sponsors van de FIFA trokken zich echter niets aan van de voorbereiding van het Duitse elftal.
De spelers van het Duitse team verblijven in het Sheraton Hotel in Rio de Janeiro. Daar logeren echter ook de genodigden van sponsor Coca-Cola. Zij hadden de avond voor de finale een groot feest bij het zwembad van het hotel, inclusief diner met live band.
De Duitse bond was 'not amused', maar het duurde lang voordat er een einde kwam aan het rumoer. Maar dat was nog niet alles: in de lobby van het hotel was een ruzie aan de gang en de spelers moesten lang wachten voordat zij de liften konden gebruiken.
(C) 1996-2014 TMG Landelijke Media B.V., Amsterdam.Alle rechten voorbehouden.e-mail: redactie-i@telegraaf.nlGebruiksvoorwaarden | Privacy | Cookies | Cookie-voorkeuren
Francis vs. Benedict: Which Pope Is More Soccer? - The Wire
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 19:49
Considering that it's been 600 years since the the last time the world has had two living Popes, what are the odds that we could have two living Popes and have their two home countries face off in the World Cup Final? Answer: the odds are very low. But it happened!
Unfortunately, in a heartbreaking turn of events, the Vatican has releaseda statementsaying Pope Francis and ex-Pope Benedict XVI will likely not be watching the World Cup final together, avoiding an Papal livingroom showdown as Argentina and Germany face off.
Though it's disappointing they probably won't be taking advantage of this almost unrepeatable set of circumstances, we'll find a way to get over it. It does raise another question, though: Which of our popes really cares the most about his beloved sport? Benedict and Francis are both on record as being football fans, as well as thinking the sport has some major residual benefits in the spiritual growth department. In honor of their faux-rivalry in the finals, let's take a look at who has the greater history with The Beautiful Game.
Favorite TeamAPBENEDICT: Hesupports FC Bayern Munich. This pope is no fair-weather World Cup fan '' he's here for the long haul.
FRANCIS: Then again, Pope Francis loves a club, too '' San Lorenzo '' andhe has the jersey to prove it. He also held their trophy after the Argentine championship, which he probably excitedly journaled about later.
Respect for the GameAPBENEDICT: The retired popehas saidthat soccer can be ''a tool for the teaching of life's ethical and spiritual values'' for young people. (This was before he saw the crying boyat the Brazil-Germany match. No word yet on whether he's reevaluated since.)
FRANCIS: Whereas Benedict likes to talk about soccer in high-minded terms, Francis basically just wants to meet his heroes.Like Messi!He looks so happy there. Even when Benedict is getting jerseys or touching trophies, he never looks quite as thrilled.
Spiritual SignificanceBENEDICT: In''Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for everyday of the year,''a work he produced while still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict called soccer '''a global event,' that irrespective of boundaries, links humanity around the world in one and the same state of tension: in its hopes, its fears, its emotions and joys.'' Which sounds like he likes it?
FRANCIS: When it comes down to it, Francis is just as capable of the philosophical talk behind soccer as Benedict is. Ina video message released ahead of the World Cup, Pope Francis urged players to ''overcome individualism, selfishness, all forms of racism, intolerance and manipulation of people.''
ReutersVerdict: FRANCISWhile we appreciate that Pope Benedict XVI enjoys soccer, we don't quite feel his passion for the sport matches that of his successor. He's the casual fan to Pope Francis' fanboy '' and watching our current pope nerd out is just adorable.
Holy War - World Cup final has living popes on opposite teams
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 18:56
VATICAN CITY, July 11 (UPI) --After Argentina's win Wednesday, the World Cup final will be pope versus pope as the two living pontiffs' respective countries face off in Sunday's match.Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said that Pope Benedict, 87, is not a big sports fan, and Pope Francis, 77, normally turns his lights out an hour after kick-off time, but he may delay his bedtime for the game. When asked whether or not they would root for their home countries' teams, Lombardi gave a tactful answer.
"Both would want the better team to win, without taking sides," he said.
Their diplomatic support and reported disinterest has not stopped the Internet from having fun with the battle, dubbing it the "holy war."
Argentina is counting on Pope Francis and his holy prayers to lead the team to victory -- going as far as putting him on the roster.
Even the Vatican joined in on the social media meme battle.
(C) 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Deutschland Blitzkrieg!
Berlin tells CIA station chief to leave in spy scandal | Reuters
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 01:07
By Madeline Chambers
BERLINThu Jul 10, 2014 8:06pm EDT
1 of 2. People pass the entrance to the U.S. embassy in Berlin October 28, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/Tobias Schwarz
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany told the CIA station chief in Berlin to leave the country on Thursday in a dramatic display of anger from Chancellor Angela Merkel at the behaviour of a close ally after officials unearthed two suspected U.S. spies.
The scandal has chilled relations with Washington to levels not seen since Merkel's predecessor opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. It follows allegations that Merkel herself, who grew up in Stasi-ridden East Germany, was among thousands of Germans whose mobile phones have been bugged by American agents.
"Spying on allies ... is a waste of energy," the chancellor said in her most pointed public remarks yet on the issue. "We have so many problems, we should focus on the important things."
Senior conservative supporters denounced U.S. "stupidity" and some Americans said spying on their friends had backfired. But both sides stressed their need to go on working together.
"In the Cold War maybe there was general mistrust. Today we are living in the 21st century. Today there are completely new threats," Merkel said in Berlin, once a key CIA listening post behind the Iron Curtain during the superpower duel with Moscow and now the reunited capital of Europe's most powerful economy.
Her spokesman said the request for the top U.S. intelligence official in the Berlin embassy to leave was made in response to questions raised in recent months on U.S. intelligence activity in Germany and by prosecutors' investigations.
In guarded comments, a White House spokeswoman declined comment on "reports" of "a purported intelligence matter" but she stressed: "Our security and intelligence relationship with Germany is a very important one and it keeps Germans and Americans safe ... It is essential that cooperation continue." U.S. government sources said the official - whom neither side named - was Berlin station chief for the CIA, the Central Intelligence Agency. A German source said the man would face possible forcible expulsion if he did not leave voluntarily.
Washington's embassy and Merkel's office sit a few hundred metres apart. They lie east and west of what was the Berlin Wall, for the removal of which many Germans still give great credit to their U.S. ally - deepening today's sense of betrayal.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said: "The Americans are our closest allies in all security questions.
"We're aware of our shared past. But we do not approve of this way of dealing with each other and today's measure, which was reasonable and appropriate, is a clear indication of that."
On Wednesday, Berlin said it had discovered a suspected U.S. spy in the Defence Ministry. That came just days after a German foreign intelligence worker was arrested on suspicion of being a CIA informant and admitted passing documents to a U.S. contact.
The scale of public outrage at these revelations has put pressure on Merkel to take action against the United States, an ally whose defence of West Germany in the Cold War long assured Americans a warmer welcome there than elsewhere in Europe.
However, there is a limit to what she can do and both sides stressed the need to continue to work closely together. They have done increasingly in recent years, on issues from Iran to Ukraine, as Germany shakes off its postwar reticence in foreign affairs and takes on a role more suited to its economic weight.
Experts said that talks on a free trade deal between the European Union and United States, called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), may be affected; Berlin may push harder on some aspects of the deal in areas such as data protection - long a major concern for Germans after the abuses of the Nazi Gestapo and East German Stasi secret police.
"But the idea that Merkel would somehow try to torpedo TTIP is not really likely," said Germany expert Hans Kundnani at European Council on Foreign Relations in London.
John Kornblum, a former U.S. ambassador to Germany who still lives in Berlin, said: "I believe the Germans are telling the Americans, 'We want to continue close cooperation but you've pushed us too far and have forced us to react'."
Merkel's government poured scorn on the alleged espionage.
Interior Minister de Maiziere said the information the United States appeared to have obtained was "laughable", contrasting that with the "disproportionate and serious political damage" the scandal had caused.
Merkel was "not amused", Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said, adding: "This is so stupid, it can only make you weep."
Tensions have risen since revelations last year stemming from documents leaked by Edward Snowden, a contractor with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). Those caused Berlin to demand a mutual "no-spy deal" which Washington has resisted.
"Ever since the NSA disclosures broke last year, the issue of U.S. spying has been an extremely sensitive issue in Germany," said Karen Donfried, president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, which promotes U.S.-European ties.
Some Americans asked whether the espionage activities were worth the bother: "I am not troubled that the United States conducts espionage, even against friendly states," said one former senior U.S. intelligence official.
"I am troubled when we attempt espionage and do not do it well. We learn nothing and we embarrass a friend and ourselves."
(Additional reporting by Stephen Brown, Michelle Martin, Alexandra Hudson, Annika Breidthardt and Andreas Rinke in Berlin and Mark Hosenball and Jeff Mason in Washington; Editing by Stephen Brown and Alastair Macdonald)
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Suspected German spy was in contact with friend at State Dept - US officials
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 07:37
Published time: July 12, 2014 04:00German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (L) talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry (AFP Photo / Pool / John Thys)
A German defense ministry official suspected of passing secrets to the US was in contact with a friend who is a State Department officer, not engaging in espionage with American intelligence agencies, US officials told Reuters.
Officials from the Federal Prosecutor's Office said Wednesday that residential and office premises of the staff member of the Federal Ministry of Defense in Berlin were searched on ''initial suspicion of activity for an intelligence agency.''
According to the German newspaper Die Welt, a soldier of the Bundeswehr is suspected of committing espionage. The individual was said to have made ''intensive contacts'' with alleged US intelligence officials and was under the surveillance of the Military Intelligence (MAD) some time ago.
"When sufficient evidence existed, the case was handed over to the federal prosecutor," security sources told the paper. The suspected spy has not been arrested.
On Friday, US officials familiar with the case disputed the German government's accusations, however. According to them, the US government believes the relationship between the German defense official and his State Department contact was a friendship.
If that is borne out by the on-going German investigation, it could help cool a crisis in U.S.-German security cooperation that has seen two Germans probed for spying for Washington and Germany's expulsion of the top US intelligence official in Berlin, Reuters reported.
The two cases, which came in quick succession of one another, increase the strain on already tense relations after the revelations made about the extent of global NSA espionage in June, 2013.
In the other case, the US has privately admitted that the Central Intelligence Agency played a part in the espionage operation involving a 31-year-old German man who was recently arrested for allegedly spying on behalf of the United States. He was was also an employee of Germany's foreign intelligence agency (BND).
On Thursday, Germany expelled the CIA chief in Berlin, who coordinates U.S. intelligence cooperation with German counterparts, in retaliation for the latest espionage scandals ''in addition to existing issues.''
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet this Sunday in Vienna, where the two countries are participating in nuclear talks with Iran. Steinmeier said he hopes to ''reinvigorate our friendship on a frank basis,'' the Wall Street Journal reported.
"It's up to the Americans to come up with something other than: We like you and we are friends," a senior German diplomat said to the WSJ. "We have to get something. This has to be decided in the coming weeks and months."
French industry slams US for 'not playing fair' - The Local
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 03:36
French and German leaders complained on Friday the US is trying to degrade European banks. Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP
French and German industry leaders took a swipe at the United States on Friday, saying it was trying to erode the power of the European banking industry.
The United States is not playing fairly in its trade with Europe and is deliberately undermining Europe's banking system, the heads of German and French industry said in newspaper interviews Friday.
"It cannot be that America is weakening the European financial system and then buying up a bank here or there," the head of the powerful BDI industry federation Ulrich Grillo said in an interview published both in the German daily FAZ and the French newspaper Les Echos.
He called for a "clear regulation" in the banking sector and accused the US of seeking to "starve" European banks by slapping huge fines on them.
French bank BNP was recently fined nearly $9.0 billion (6.6 billion euros) for violating US sanctions against blacklisted countries including Iran and Sudan.
The US authorities are similarly investigating Germany's second-biggest bank Commerzbank on the same suspicions and the country's biggest lender Deutsche Bank has set aside billions of euros in provisions in case it is fined too.
"From a philosophical point of view, and from the point of view of the way the dollar and the euro are organised, I think there are some real questions which need to be asked, and quickly, to prevent a weakening of the European banking system," said the president of the French Medef federation, Pierre Gattaz.
But the French and German concerns are not solely about the banking system, but wider economic and trade relations as well.
Both Grillo and Gattaz said they take issue with the US tax system, which allows US companies to place money abroad without taxing it. Such a set-up enabled, for example, General Electric to build up substantial financial reserves, with which it was able to finance its bid for the energy business of French group Alstom, beating a rival bid from Siemens of Germany.
BDI chief Grillo said such a system allowed US companies to put 30-40 percent more money on the table.
"That's a very real distortion of competition and it's making life difficult for us," Grillo complained.
He added that he hoped international tax harmonisation would be discussed at a G20 level.
Palladian Rite
3 world wars with the third being jews vs moslims and to the exhaustive death of both and the entore middle east. To usher in the socialist/marxist One World Government
palladian rite - Google Search
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 20:07
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The Palladian Rite | Surrendering Islamsurrenderingislam.com/surrendering-islam/palladian-rite- Cached - SimilarTo this end the Palladium Rite was created as the pinnacle of the pyramid ofpower: an international alliance to bring in the Grand Lodges, the Grand Orient,the ...Return to In Defence of Babylon: The Palladian Rite of Freemasonsishtarsgate.wordpress.com/.../in-defence-of-babylon-the-palladian-rite-of- freemasons/- Cached - SimilarDec 23, 2012 ... Anyone who follows these things saw the defeat of the best laid plan of theIlluminati turn to dust on 21 December 2012. When their 'fear porn' ...Albert Pike - Bible BelieversThis secret rite is called "The New and Reformed Palladian Rite." It hasheadquarters in Charleston, S.C., Rome Italy, and Berlin Germany. Pike headedthis rite ...The Palladian Order of Skull and Bones - a revealing look inside the ..."The Palladian Rite" or "The Palladian Order of Skull and Bones", knownintimately among its members as "The Order" or "Bones", does exist on theUniversity of ...The Palladian Rite - American Buddhawww.american-buddha.com/lit.terrorismilluminati.14.htm- CachedChapter Fourteen: The Palladian Rite. 1848: The Year of Revolutions. Thecontinuing intrigues of the Illuminati culminated in the several political upheavalsof ...The Palladian Rite - YouTubewww.youtube.com/watch?v=4d9rcyDTjNQMay 1, 2014 - 41 min - Uploaded by Hebrew VisionThe Palladian Rite (*note* I do not agree to the defense of Babylon, but the article contains ...Midnight Freemasons: The Palladian Ritewww.midnightfreemasons.org/2014/03/the-palladian-rite.html- CachedThe Palladian Rite, according to conspiracy theorists it is the very top of theIlluminati pyramid. Conspiracy theorists point to the Palladian Rite as being the ...About Albert Pikewww.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/sociopol_vril07a.htm- Cached - SimilarOn June 20, 1867, Scottish Rite officials conferred upon Johnson the 4th to ... ofthe Order to the New and Reformed Palladian Rite (or Reformed Palladium).Images for palladian ritePalladian Order - The Mysticawww.themystica.com/mystica/articles/p/palladian_order.html- Cached - SimilarThe Palladian Order was the subject of a massive hoax started in 1894 by theFrench ... In his works Taxil told of orgiastic rites held in lodges in India, in hidden ...Our Leaders Worship Pagan Gods - henrymakow.comwww.henrymakow.com/masons_worship_pagan_egyptian.html- Cached - SimilarNov 10, 2009 ... The next ritual described may possibly refer to part of the secret Palladium Rite,as it refers to THE TRIANGLE OF ADEPTS. The Palladium Rite ...
The Palladian Rite | Surrendering Islam
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 20:45
When Weishaupt died in 1830, Gieuseppe Mazzini, the leader of a plot to unify Italy, had been appointed head of the Illuminati in 1834. Mazzini had become a member of a revolutionary secret society by the name of the Carbonari, and in 1860 founded the Mafia. In 1870, Mazzini, Lord Henry Palmerston of England, Otto von Bismarck of Germany and Albert Pike, all thirty third degree Scottish Rite Masons, created a supreme universal rite of Masonry that would arch over all the other rites, even the different national rites.69 It centralised all high Masonic bodies in the world under one head. To this end the Palladium Rite was created as the pinnacle of the pyramid of power: an international alliance to bring in the Grand Lodges, the Grand Orient, the ninety-seven degrees of Memphis and Mizraim of Cagliostro, also known as the Ancient and Primitive Rite, and the Scottish Rite, or the Ancient and Accepted Rite.
Lord Palmerston, the Grand Patriarch or Master of Grand Orient Freemasonry, as well as knight of the Order of the Garter, was Queen Victoria's Foreign Secretary. Palmerston was also Prime Minister during Britain's Opium Wars against China, in 1840 and 1858, beginning a policy of narcotics exploitation that would later characterise the Illuminati's strategy in the twentieth century. Albert Pike had served as a Brigadier-General in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, and was one of the founding fathers and head of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, being the Grand Commander of North American Freemasonry from 1859-1891. In 1869, he was a top leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and in 1871 wrote the Masonic handbook, the Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Rite of Freemasonry.
In addition to a Supreme Council located in Charleston, South Carolina, Pike established Supreme Councils in Rome, Italy, led by Mazzini; London, England, led by Palmerston; and Berlin, Germany, led by Bismarck. He set up 23 subordinate councils in places throughout the world, including five Grand Central Directories in Washington, DC (North America), Montevideo (South America), Naples (Europe), Calcutta (Asia), and Mauritius (Africa), which were used to gather information. These branches have been the secret headquarters for the Illuminati's activities ever since.In a letter he wrote to Mazzini, dated August 15, 1871, Pike graphically outlined plans for three world wars seen as necessary to bring about the One World Order. For a short time, this letter was on display in the British Museum Library in London, and was copied by William Guy Carr, former Intelligence Officer in the Royal Canadian Navy and author of Pawns in the Game. Carr summarises:
The First World War was to be fought so as to enable the Illuminati to overthrow the powers of the Tzars in Russia and turn that country into the stronghold of Atheistic-Communism. The differences stirred up by the Agentur of the Illuminati between the British and German Empires were to be sued to foment this war. After the war ended, Communism was to be built up and used to destroy other governments and weaken religions.
World War Two was to be fomented by using the differences between Fascists and Political Zionists. This was to be fought so that Nazism would be destroyed and the power of Political Zionism increased so that the sovereign state of Israel could be established in Palestine. During world war two International Communism was to be built up until it equaled in strength that of united Christendom. At this point it was to be contained and kept in check until required for the final social cataclysm...World War Three is to be fomented by using the differences the agentur of the Illuminati stir up between Political Zionists and the Leaders of the Moslem world. The war is to be directed in such a manner that Islam and Political Zionism (including the State of Israel) will destroy themselves while at the same time the remaining nations, once more divided against each other on this issue, will be forced to fight themselves into a state of complete exhaustion physically, mentally, spiritually and economically...
Pike then told Mazzini that, after World War Three would have ended, a global social cataclysm will be provoked that will be greater than the world has ever known:
We shall unleash the Nihilists [meaning terrorists] and the atheists, and we shall provoke a formidable social cataclysm which in all its horror will show clearly to the nations the effect of absolute atheism, origin of savagery and of the most bloody turmoil. Then everywhere, the citizens, obliged to defend themselves against the world minority of revolutionaries, will exterminate those destroyers of civilization, and the multitude, disillusioned with Christianity, whose deistic spirits will from that moment be without compass or direction, anxious for an ideal, but without knowing where to render its adoration, will receive the true light through the universal manifestation of the pure doctrine of Lucifer, brought finally out in the public view. This manifestation will result from the general reactionary movement which will follow the destruction of Christianity and atheism, both conquered and exterminated at the same time.
69 Three World Wars. ''Who Was Albert Pike?''
Midnight Freemasons: The Palladian Rite
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 05:00
by Midnight Freemason ContributorThe Palladian Rite, according to conspiracy theorists it is the very top of the Illuminati pyramid. Conspiracy theorists point to the Palladian Rite as being the secret overlord of all Masonic Rites uniting all masonry together in a dark agenda to propitiate three world wars to bring about the New World Order Government led by shape shifting reptiles from outer space. Oh if only it were all that interesting. No my Brethren, this article will not focus on ufos, aliens, or government plots for world domination. This article will focus on the mysterious and perhaps real Palladian rite that has caused such a stir in the Masonic soup to make it the famed ''Top of the Satanic Pyramid''.I have heard various times on a variety of websites how the Palladian Rite is the secret Satanic cult that rules the whole of masonry from the shadows with an iron fist. But to understand the myth of a
Palladian Rite we must understand the connection of Masonry and Satanism. Rumors of Secret Satanic Rites within the Masonic fraternity can be traced to Leo Taxil's nefarious work ''The Devil in the Nineteenth Century''. As we know the ''Taxil Hoax'' attempted to connect the degrees of Masonry to animal sacrifice, homosexual rites, giant goat statues and all kinds of weird and groovy things. Sadly the population of France at the time did not know how to tell factious reporting from journalism with integrity, so this mythos began to evolve itself into the general consciousness, which is why the book is still often quoted today in anti-masonic resources. In 1890 eminent Masonic scholar, Arthur Edward Waite attempted a academic approach to the material and rumors of Satanic cults in his work ''Devil Worship in France'' where he addresses the understanding of the Luciferian Palladian Rite as being a worked up version of a real secret society that once did exist. The Palladian Rite, was a fabricated version of the Reformed Palladium Rite which existed in France for a short increment of time. According to Kenneth Mackenzie in his ''Royal Masonic Cyclopedia'' the Order of Palladium first appeared in Paris in 1737 being derived from Douai with rituals being written about 1637. This group contained heavily Greek oriented degrees, two for men under the titles of ''Adelph'' and ''Companion of Ulysses'' while female members were admitted to the degree of ''Sister of Penelope''. With a Greek influence on symbolism we can see the Lucifer aspect as being similar to Albert Pike's misinterpretation in ''Morals and Dogma'', for the Planet Venus. Lucifer is Latin for the Light bearer and is representative for Venus because Venus is the planet that continuously rises each morning just before the break of dawn, so Venus brings the light to the world which is why so many myths of solar deities have mothers who are representative of Venus.Venus is also the planetary embodiment of love which is representative of the motto of the order ''je sais aimer'' or ''I know how to love''. The seal of the Order of Palladium was a heart crowned with flowers upon an altar ornamented with palm and laurel leaves. This places the Palladium Rite in a much different light dedicated to spiritual enlightenment of the sacred feminine, not Satanism as rumored by Taxil and Rosen. The Palladium Rite was dissolved by police after a short while at the order of the Catholic state at the time and vanished into obscurity until misinterpreted by anti-masons and made the exact opposite of what it represented in the greater human consciousness. Over all it is a shame that Neo-Pagan groups of that era were not allowed to practice their beliefs in peace, their only goal being to advance the spiritual and moral aspirations of their soul. Today all that is left is a dark shadow where light once was.
James E Frey 32° classifies himself as a gentleman of the old world, which means he is known to stand in the great forests reciting poetry to fair-haired damsels while wrestling bears for sport. He is a District Education Officer for the Grand Lodge of Illinois, a Past Sovereign Prince of the of Danville AASR, member of the Oak Lawn York Rite, Medinah Shriners, Royal Order of Scotland, Quram Council Allied Masonic Degrees and initiate of the Golden Dawn Collegium Spiritu Sancti. He is also a guest lecturer on Occultism and Esoteric studies in masonry for the R.E.B.I.S Research Society.
Dr. Dennis Cuddy -- The Power Elite's Use of Wars and Crises
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 05:07
By Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D.January 28, 2008NewsWithViews.com
When Congressional Reece Committee research director Norman Dodd's legal assistant Kathryn Casey looked at the planning documents for the founding of the Carnegie Endowment, she found something quite revealing. She found that they determined war would be helpful in furthering their objectives. Relevant to this, Rene Wormser in FOUNDATIONS: THEIR POWER AND INFLUENCE (1958) wrote that the head of the endowment, Nicholas Murray Butler, used the endowment's funds to get the U.S. into World War I.
The year after the endowment was founded in 1910, Robert Minor's cartoon in the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH in 1911 depicted members of the power elite (John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J.P Morgan, etc.) welcoming Karl Marx and his "socialism" to Wall Street. The next year Woodrow Wilson ran for president, and his "handler" for the power elite, Colonel Edward M. House, assured his bosses that Wilson would support the Federal Reserve's establishment in 1913.
The year after that (1914), the power elite arranged the first World War long before the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28 by members of the Narodna Odbrana (Black Hand) secret society. On May 29, Colonel House in Berlin wrote to President Wilson: "Whenever England consents, France and Russia will close in on Germany and Austria." The trick would be to make Germany think England would not enter the war. This was done by British Secretary of State Sir Edward Grey misleading German Ambassador to England Prince Karl Max Lichnowsky. Grey was close to the (Lord Alfred) Milner Group which was executing power elite member Cecil Rhodes' plan for world government.
Milner was the power behind the scenes in British government. He, not Prime Minister David Lloyd George, actually ran British foreign affairs. Milner was favorably disposed to Marxian socialism, and pro-Bolshevist Sir Basil Zaharoff (an armaments dealer who had sold arms to both sides in several wars) was consulted by President Wilson and Prime Minister George before any major military operation. This is according to author Donald McCormick, who said Zaharoff sought to divert munitions away from anti-Bolshevists.
When World War I began, Helmuth Johannes Ludwig von Moltke was head of the German General Staff. Interestingly, he was married to Dorothy Rose-Innes, the daughter of Sir James Rose-Innes, a member of Rhodes' Association of Helpers, as was their son Helmuth James von Moltke.
It was important for the power elite to drag the U.S. into the War, and so Lord Esher (executive committee member of Rhodes' secret Society of the Elect) wrote in his diary on August 3, 1917: "Can there be any doubt that the war has made for progress?" He followed this on August 11 with "Mr. Henry Morgenthau asked me to call on him.... He was one of the principal supporters of President Wilson.... They are ready to sacrifice the lives of American citizens.... Mr. Morgenthau realizes the importance... (of) shedding American blood at the earliest possible moment." Morgenthau would be a founding member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), which was largely funded and staffed by J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller interests.
One of the key connections to these interests was William Boyce Thompson, who in 1914 became the first full-term director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. And the WASHINGTON POST (February 2, 1918) reported: "William B. Thompson, who was in Petrograd from July until November 1917, has made a personal contribution of $1,000,000 to the Bolsheviki for the purpose of spreading their doctrine in Germany and Austria."
While in Russia from July to November 1917, Thompson was head of the Red Cross mission there. The Red Cross was heavily dependent upon Wall Street and especially J.P. Morgan interests for donations. Therefore, these interests were able to use the Red Cross to further their goals. Thompson's assistant, Cornelius Kelleher, is quoted in George Kennan's RUSSIA LEAVES THE WAR as stating: "The Red Cross complexion of the mission was nothing but a mask." FDR adviser and Soviet agent in the 1940s Harry Hopkins was assistant to the general manager of the Red Cross in Washington, D.C. In December 1917, Raymond Robins succeeded Thompson as head of the Red Cross mission in Russia, and on December 26 Robins called Morgan senior partner Henry Davison (chairman of the War Council of the American Red Cross, whose son in 1920 would become a member of Skull & Bones) asking him to urge President Wilson to continue intercourse with the Bolshevik Government.
Both Robins and his wife were associated with Bolshevik activities in the U.S. Robins was a protege of Colonel House and one of his heroes was Cecil Rhodes. According to Bruce Lockhart (sent to Russia by Lord Milner and Prime Minister George) in BRITISH AGENT (1933), "Robins was the only man whom Lenin was always willing to see and who ever succeeded in imposing his own personality on the unemotional Bolshevik leader." Lenin capitulated to Robins' ultimatum to remove Saalkind as Assistant Commissar for Foreign Affairs.
Carroll Quigley in TRAGEDY AND HOPE (1966) wrote: "More than 50 years ago (before 1916) the Morgan firm decided to infiltrate the Left-wing political movements in the United States." And the Morgan-controlled American International Corporation (AIC) was probably the primary supporter of the Bolsheviks. On October 17, 1917, AIC director William Saunders (deputy chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York) wrote to President Wilson: "I am in sympathy with the Soviet form of government as that best suited for the Russian people." Other AIC directors in 1917 were Pierre du Pont, J. Peter Grace, Otto Kahn, Percy Rockefeller (Skull & Bones member), Frank Vanderlip (president of Rockefeller's National City Bank), and others. Julius Hammer (chairman of Occidental Petroleum Corporation) and his son Armand (who was a Soviet citizen) were also strong supporters of the Soviets.
Colonel House in 1912 authored PHILIP DRU: ADMINISTRATOR promoting "socialism as dreamed of by Karl Marx." And one of his aides, Kenneth Durant, became assistant secretary for the Soviet Bureau in the U.S. When the premiers of France and Italy (Clemenceau and Orlando) later expressed concern about the Bolsheviks and their westward expansion, Colonel House in his diary wrote that he deliberately misled them into thinking there was nothing that could be done about it.
President Wilson was simply a puppet of the power elite, manipulated by their agent Colonel House. And on November 28, 1917, Wilson ordered there should be no interference with the Bolsheviks' revolution. Not long thereafter, the U.S. legation in Bern, Switzerland cabled Washington "asking why the president expresses support of Bolsheviki, in view of rapine, murder and anarchy of these bands" (U.S. State Department decimal file 861.00/1305, March 15, 1918). What is telling about American members of the power elite supporting the Bolsheviks is the fact that even before the war ended, Soviet troops were fighting and killing American soldiers in the Archangel region!
Robert Minor, whose cartoon I mentioned earlier, was a socialist who went to Russia in March 1918 and then worked in the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs. He even prepared propaganda against American soldiers and was arrested, but Colonel House and President Wilson intervened on his behalf and he was released without going to trial (probably because he was not doing anything different than Thompson and Robins).
Colonel House was managing the power elite's plan to bring about "socialism as dreamed of by Karl Marx," and the First World War was a necessary part of that plan. After the war, the CFR was founded largely by Colonel House's group "the Inquiry," and in the CFR's FOREIGN AFFAIRS (June 1923) Colonel House wrote: "If war had not come in 1914 in fierce and exaggerated form, the idea of an association of nations would probably have remained dormant, for great reforms seldom materialize except during great upheavals."
The first association of nations the power elite planned, the League of Nations, didn't materialize as the world government they desired, and therefore a Second World War had to be arranged. In case you don't believe World War II was planned, how else do you explain that power elite agent H.G. Wells in 1933 in his THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME said in about six years the war would begin over a German-Polish dispute, and Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939 with Britain and France declaring war on Germany two days later? Moreover, how else do you explain power elite agent Sir Julian Huxley on December 5, 1941, saying he hoped America and Japan would be at war "next week," and the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred Sunday, December 7, 1941, the first day of the next week? The power elite knew that the second "association of nations," the U.N., formed after World War II, would also not be their desired world government, as H.G. Wells in THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME said they would succeed on their third attempt resulting from a conference in Basra, Iraq. This is why the current war in Iraq was planned by the power elite.
Cecil Rhodes' and the power elite's goal was and still is the establishment of a World Socialist Government via linking regional economic arrangements, and Lenin and Stalin were important parts of this. In Vienna in January 1913, Stalin had advocated national loyalties become subservient to regions. And the year after Colonel House's FOREIGN AFFAIRS article appeared, Stalin in April 1924 said that according to Leninism "a single world system of economy constitutes the material basis for the victory of socialism."
It was also in this time (1920s) that Jean Monnet developed his plans for the first of these economic regions, the European Union. His lawyer was a young John J. McCloy, the successor to Colonel House in managing the power elite's plan. In 1936, McCloy sat in Hitler's box at the Berlin Olympics, and during the 1940s Secretary of War Henry Stimson (Skull & Bones member who initiated George H.W. Bush into Skull & Bones) questioned "whether anyone in the Administration ever acted without having a word with McCloy."
From 1953 to 1970, McCloy was the chairman of the CFR, during which time he swam with Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev in late July 1961 at the Black Sea. In the early 1950s, Frederick Schuman in THE COMMONWEALTH OF MEN: AN INQUIRY INTO POWER POLITICS AND WORLD GOVERNMENT wrote that one way permanent peace is attainable is "through the voluntary merging of sovereignties in a global polity, with a World-State emerging out of agreement."
McCloy was followed as CFR chairman by David Rockefeller from 1970 to 1985. During that time, Bahai leader John Ferraby in ALL THINGS MADE NEW (1975) wrote similarly to Schuman that "we have entered a new era, in which the unification of mankind can be adequately organized only by a world state."
"World State" and "New World Order" were both terms used by H.G. Wells to refer to a world government. This concept was adopted by a number of people, and in JOURNEYS FOR A BETTER WORLD (1994), U.N. Secretariat official Jean Richardot declared that "a prosperous united world representing a true New World Order could only be attained step by step. While we are still far from world government, we must first focus on essential issues that work in that direction."
As I have written before, a single global currency is an important part of this effort to achieve a world government. In that regard Sarah Perry (director of VISA's Strategic Investment Program) is quoted in THE SINGLE GLOBAL CURRENCY (2006) as remarking in 2001: "When VISA was founded 25 years ago, the founders saw the world as needing a Single Global Currency for exchange. Everything we've done from a global perspective has been about trying to put one piece in place after another to fulfill that global vision."
And how will the single global currency be brought about? Nobel prize winner Robert Mundell (known as "the Father of the Euro") in a speech titled "A Decade Later: Asia New Responsibilities in the International Monetary System" delivered in Seoul, South Korea, May 2-3, 2007, revealed: "International monetary reform usually becomes possible only in response to a felt need and the threat of a global crisis. The global crisis would have to involve the dollar," and a single global currency would be "a contingency" to this global dollar crisis. As you are aware, the dollar is currently in crisis, plummeting in value.
David Rockefeller in his MEMOIRS (2002) admitted being part of a secret cabal conspiring with others to bring about a world government. This plan was revealed 100 years ago by Robert Hugh Benson in LORD OF THE WORLD (1907), in which he wrote that "in 1917... communism really began.... The new order began then." Ten years before the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, Benson foretold it. Benson also wrote of a future European Parliament, American Socialism, and "the final scheme of Western Free Trade" occurring after 1989. He revealed that in the end, continent would unite with continent, the appearance of peace would deceive many, and that "the Humanity Religion was the only one."
This final replacement of God by man as the final moral authority will characterize biblical end times. As I mentioned in my December 31, 2007 NewsWithViews.com column "Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan," Ezekiel 38:5 indicates that in the prophecy regarding Gog and Magog, Persians (Iranians) will come against Israel. According to Joseph Farah, recently on Israeli secular television were in-depth reports on Gog and Magog describing the forces that will be aligned against each other in Revelation 20. On one side will be Israel, the U.S., Britain, France and Germany. On the other side will be Iran, Russia, China, Syria and North Korea. The Gog and Magog war is also mentioned in the Koran in Sura 18:94 and 21:96, and the Iranian mullahs have also recently been referring to this. According to the Koran, the people paid tribute to "The Conqueror" Dhu al Qarnayn, popularly understood to be Alexander the Great (who was at the time considered Lord of the West, the East, Persia, etc.), to erect barriers against the wild and lawless tribes of Central Asia (Mongols from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, etc.). However, in a prognostication of the approaching "Judgment" of the world, the tribes break through the barriers when the people degenerate morally, and the wild tribes "swiftly swarm from every hill" against the formerly protected people written about in the Koran.
Writing of Alexander the Great in this part of the world was Rhodes Trust member Rudyard Kipling (who has swastikas on his early books) in THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING. What is happening is the unfolding of Rhodes' plan for world government, which in turn will lead to the fulfillment of end times biblical prophecy.
Dennis Laurence Cuddy, historian and political analyst, received a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (major in American History, minor in political science). Dr. Cuddy has taught at the university level, has been a political and economic risk analyst for an international consulting firm, and has been a Senior Associate with the U.S. Department of Education.
Cuddy has also testified before members of Congress on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice. Dr. Cuddy has authored or edited twenty books and booklets, and has written hundreds of articles appearing in newspapers around the nation, including The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He has been a guest on numerous radio talk shows in various parts of the country, such as ABC Radio in New York City, and he has also been a guest on the national television programs USA Today and CBS's Nightwatch.
Marx: Outcome-Based Education
"Don't you find it interesting," I asked Jim, "that Hillary Clinton on a number of occasions has used the word, 'remold,' when talking about society and values?" "And don't forget," I informed Jim, " that THE NEW SOCIALIST REVOLUTION was the title of a 1973 book by Michael Lerner, who has been an advisor to Hillary Clinton."
"But how are they going to use education to 'remold' society, and 'remold' it and us into what?" Jim rejoined. I then explained to him that traditional American values emphasize individual rights and responsibilities while Socialism emphasizes the group. That is why cooperative learning has played a major role in what has been called Outcome-Based Education. And one of the reasons School-to-Work initiatives (Plank 10 of Karl Marx's COMMUNIST MANIFESTO provides for a "combination of education with industrial production") have been promoted is that we are being prepared for a techno-feudal society under a World Socialist Government.
No bullying
Cultural Marxism
British Film Institute tells filmmakers to tick new diversity targets or miss funding - Telegraph
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 04:42
On screen, at least one lead character must be ''positively reflecting diversity'', with the story more likely to receive funding if it ''explicitly and predominantly explores issues of identity relating to ethnicity or national origins, a specific focus on women, people with disabilities, sexual identity, age and people from a socially disadvantaged background''.
Among the films the BFI has praised for content include Suffragette, the story of the battle for women to gain the vote, and Pride, about gay activists supporting the miners' strike. It will ask filmmakers to ensure that at least 30 per cent of supporting and non-speaking characters are also ''diverse''.
Off-screen, at least two heads of department must be from diverse backgrounds, as well as a range of ''key creatives'' including the director, screenwriter, composer and cinematographer.
The third category requires companies to offer paid internships and jobs to ''new entrants from diverse backgrounds'' and to help them progress.
''Three Ticks'' is likely to raise fears about compromising scripts' authenticity, with period dramas less likely to naturally represent ''diverse backgrounds''.
A spokesman for the BFI insisted all films would have the opportunity to meet the criteria, with even those not fulfilling them onscreen able to ''tick'' the other two sections.
Ed Vaizey, the culture minister, praised the initiative as helping to ''raise the bar'', adding that he would like to see all television, film and performing arts companies following the BFI's example.
Amanda Nevill, the CEO of the BFI, said it was ''vital'' to reflect British society in order to stay relevant and said the announcement ''is just the beginning''.
Last month, the BBC announced it would ensure one in seven actors and presenters will be either black, Asian or ethnic minority in the next three years.
At the time, critics including Philip Davies, the Conservative MP, called it ''absolutely ridiculous'' political correctness, saying that all recruitment ''should be done on ability''.
Monuments men PG13-Violence and some 'Historical Smoking'
Celebrities Rush to Give Seats to Moms and Travelers in Uniform - Businessweek
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 22:15
Twitter (TWTR) has become the ultimate shortcut for celebrity salvation: Give your first-class airplane seat to a member of the military or a harried parent and then watch how the social-media masses pronounce you a saint.
Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler offered her seat up front to a frazzled mom juggling a baby and luggage before a May flight from Los Angeles to New York, according to many, many media reports. Poehler later confirmed the story but was relatively quiet about the seat switch. She has 49,000 Twitter followers and doesn't appear to use the service. Her random act of kindness became public knowledge when Star Magazine reported the seat swap.
Amy Adams, the five-time Oscar nominee, made a similarly selfless gesture to a U.S. soldier last month on a flight from Detroit to Los Angeles. ''I didn't do it for attention for myself,'' said Adams, whose father was in the military. ''I did it for attention for the troops.'' Not that sitting next to an ESPN (DIS) reporter who loves Twitter didn't ensure that the story would circulate far and wide. Her new seat mate in steerage, Ernest Owens, also posted a photo of Adams.
''Hollywood stars have always been connected to displays of patriotism, entertaining troops and the like,'' Drexel University history Professor Robert Zaller wrote after the incident, noting that our collective, reflexive support of the troops seems to wither when it comes to funding their medical and educational needs back home. ''If Amy Adams were to fly out to Afghanistan, it would no doubt be appreciated. And if she were to fly coach all the way, that would really be something.''
Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams took the first-class seat giveaway to a new level this week, posting a photo of his Delta (DAL) ticket stub for the front row and a Marine in dress blues who was the lucky recipient of the largesse. ''I always give up my seat to military,'' he noted, ''if my seat is better!'' Since the NLF star's seat is presumably better on most flights, he must swap seats quite often. Still, there's some chance that the full-dress Marine may have been an impostor, according to the Washington Post.
Let's hope the random acts of first-class-seating kindness continue'--privately, of course, without public-relations intentions.
Minimum Wage
No Sovereignty
Rule Followers
The Secret Language of Millennials | TIME
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 01:39
TIMEOpinionpoliticsThe Secret Language of MillennialsConcert crowdGetty Images/VettaBoomers just don't understand what younger people are saying about politics and culture.Fifty years ago, Baby Boomers and their parents suffered through what was ubiquitously understood as ''the generation gap,'' or the inability for different generations to speak clearly with one another.
A new national poll of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 '-- the Millennial Generation '-- provides strong evidence of a new generation gap, this time with the Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) playing the role of uncomprehending parents. When Millennials say they are liberal, it means something very different than it did when Barack Obama was coming of age. When Millennials say they are socialists, they're not participating in ostalgie for the old German Democratic Republic. And their strong belief in economic fairness shouldn't be confused with the attitudes of the Occupy movement.
The poll of Millennials was conducted by the Reason Foundation (the nonprofit publisher of Reason.com, the website and video platform I edit) and the Rupe Foundation earlier this spring. It engaged nearly 2,400 representative 18 to 29 year olds on a wide variety of topics.
This new generation gap certainly helps to explain why Millennials are far less partisan than folks 30 and older. Just 22% of Millennials identify as Republican or Republican-leaning, compared with 40% of older voters. After splitting their votes for George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2000 (each candidate got about 48%), Millennials have voted overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates in the 2004, 2008, and 2012 elections. Forty-three percent of Millennials call themselves Democrats or lean that way. Yet that's still a smaller percentage than it is for older Americans, 49% of whom are Democrats or lean Democrat. Most strikingly, 34% of Millennials call themselves true independents, meaning they don't lean toward either party. For older Americans, it's just 10%.
Millennials use language differently than Boomers and Gen Xers (born between 1965 and 1980). In the Reason-Rupe poll, about 62% of Millennials call themselves liberal. By that, they mean the favor gay marriage and pot legalization, but those views hold little or no implication for their views on government spending. To Millennials, being socially liberal is being liberal, period. For most older Americans, calling yourself a liberal means you want to increase the size, scope, and spending of the government (it may not even mean you support legal pot and marriage equality). Despite the strong liberal tilt among Millennials, 53% say they would support a candidate who was socially liberal and fiscally conservative (are you listening, major parties?).
There are other areas where language doesn't track neatly with Boomer and Gen X definitions. Millennials have no first-hand memories of the Soviet Union or the Cold War. Forty-two percent say they prefer socialism as a means of organizing society but only 16% can define the term properly as government ownership of the means of production. In fact, when asked whether they want an economy managed by the free market or by the government, 64% want the former and just 32% want the latter. Scratch a Millennial ''socialist'' and you are likely to find a budding entrepreneur (55% saying they want to start their own business someday). Although they support a government-provided social safety net, two-thirds of Millennials agree that ''government is usually inefficient and wasteful'' and they are highly skeptical toward government with regards to privacy and nanny-state regulations about e-cigarettes, soda sizes, and the like.
For all the attention lavished on the youthful, anti-capitalist Occupy movement a few years ago, it turns out that Millennials have strongly positive attitudes toward free markets (just don't call it capitalism). Not surprisingly, they define fairness in a way that is less about income disparity and more about getting your due. Almost six in 10 believe you can get ahead with hard work and a similar number wants a society in which wealth is parceled out according to your achievement, not via the tax code or government redistribution of income. Even though 70% favor guaranteed health care, housing, and income, Millennials have no problem with unequal outcomes.
Like most older Americans, too, Millennials are deeply worried about massive and growing federal budgets and debt, with 78% calling such things a major problem.
It would be a real shame if we can't have the sorts of conversations we need to address and remedy such issues because different generations are talking past each other. Millennials are different than Boomers or Gen Xers: Culture comes first and politics second to them. They are less partisan and they are less hung up about things such as pot use, gay marriage, and immigration. But in many ways, they agree with older generations when it comes to the value and legitimacy of work, the role of government in helping the poor, and the inefficiency of government to do that.
Everyone agrees that there are crises everywhere: Social Security and Medicare are going bust and the economy has been on life support for years. The best solutions will engage and involve Americans of all ages. The Reason-Rupe poll points to some places where generations are talking past each other and others where there is wide agreement. Giving its finding, a close read might just help narrow today's generation gap so we can get on with improving all generations' prospects.
Albert Pike
Letter in the British Musem
Col. House
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 05:03
Pike designed a plan for world conquest and wrote of it in a letter to Mazzini dated August 15, 1871. He said three future world wars would prepare the world for the New World Order.
Albert Pike's plan for the Illuminati was as simple as it has proved effective. He required that Communism, Naziism, Political Zionism, and other International movements be organized and used to foment the three global wars and three major revolutions. The First World War was to be fought so as to enable the Illuminati to overthrow the powers of the Tzars in Russia and turn that country into the stronghold of Atheistic-Communism. The differences stirred up by agentur of the Illuminati between the British and German Empires were to be used to foment this war. After the war ended, Communism was to be built up and used to destroy other governments and weaken religions.
World War Two, was to be fomented by using the differences between Fascists and Political Zionists. This war was to be fought so that Naziism would be destroyed and the power of Political Zionism increased so that the sovereign state of Israel could be established in Palestine. During World War Two International Communism was to be built up until it equalled in strength that of united Christendom. At this point it was to be contained and kept in check until required for the final social cataclysm. Can any informed person deny Roosevelt and Churchill did put this policy into effect?
World War Three is to be fomented by using the differences the agentur of the Illuminati stir up between Political Zionists and the leaders of the Moslem world. The war is to be directed in such a manner that Islam (the Arab World including Mohammedanism) and Political Zionism (including the State of Israel) will destroy themselves while at the same time the remaining nations, once more divided against each other on this issue, will be forced to fight themselves into a state of complete exhaustion physically, mentally, spiritually and economically. Can any unbiased and reasoning person deny that the intrigue now going on in the Near, Middle, and Far East is designed to accomplish this devilish purpose?
After World War Three is ended, those who aspire to undisputed world domination will provoke the greatest social cataclysm the world has ever known. We quote his own written words taken from the letter catalogued in the British Museum Library, London, England.
"We shall unleash the Nihilists and Atheists, and we shall provoke a formidable social cataclysm which in all its horror will show clearly to the nations the effect of absolute atheism, origin of savagery and of the most bloody turmoil. Then everywhere, the citizens, obliged to defend themselves against the world minority of revolutionaries, will exterminate those destroyers of civilization, and the multitude, disillusioned with Christianity, whose deistic spirits will be from that moment without compass (direction), anxious for an ideal, but with out knowing where to render its adoration, will receive the true light through the universal manifestation of the pure doctrine of Lucifer, brought finally out in the public view, a manifestation which will result from the general reactionary movement which will follow the destruction of Christianity and atheism, both conquered and exterminated at the same time" (William Guy Carr, Pawns in the Game, p. xv-xvi).
This strategy is corroborated by Dr. Dennis L. Cuddy PhD. in The Power Elite's use of Wars and Crises. pike.htm
H.G. Wells
H. G. Wells - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 06:00
H. G. WellsWells some time before 1916
BornHerbert George Wells(1866-09-21)21 September 1866Bromley, Kent, EnglandDied13 August 1946(1946-08-13) (aged 79)Regent's Park, London, EnglandResting placeCrematedOccupationNovelist, teacher, historian, journalistAlma materRoyal College of Science (Imperial College London)GenresScience fiction (notably social science fiction)SubjectsWorld history, progressNotable work(s)Years active1895''1946Spouse(s)Isabel Mary Wells(1891''1894, divorced)Amy Catherine Robbins (1895''1927, her death)ChildrenGeorge Phillip "G. P." Wells (1901''1985)Frank Richard Wells (1903''1982)Anna-Jane Blanco-White (1909-2010[1][2])Anthony West (1914''1987)Herbert George ''H.G.'' Wells (21 September 1866 '' 13 August 1946)[3] was a prolific English writer in many genres, including the novel, history, politics, and social commentary, and even textbooks and rules for war games. He is now best remembered for his science fiction novels, and Wells is sometimes called the father of science fiction, as are Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback.[4][a] His most notable science fiction works include The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The Island of Doctor Moreau.
Wells's earliest specialized training was in biology, and his thinking on ethical matters took place in a specifically and fundamentally Darwinian context.[5] He was also from an early date an outspoken socialist, often (but not always, as at the beginning of the First World War) sympathising with pacifist views. His later works became increasingly political and didactic, and he wrote little science fiction, while he sometimes indicated on official documents that his profession was that of journalist.[6] Novels like Kipps and The History of Mr Polly, which describe lower-middle class life, led to the suggestion, when they were published, that he was a worthy successor to Charles Dickens,[7] but Wells described a range of social strata and even attempted, in Tono-Bungay (1909), a diagnosis of English society as a whole.
Early lifeEditHerbert George Wells was born at Atlas House, 46 High Street, Bromley, in Kent,[8] on 21 September 1866.[3] Called ''Bertie'' in the family, he was the fourth and last child of Joseph Wells (a former domestic gardener, and at the time a shopkeeper and professional cricketer) and his wife, Sarah Neal (a former domestic servant). An inheritance had allowed the family to acquire a shop in which they sold china and sporting goods, although it failed to prosper: the stock was old and worn out, and the location was poor. Joseph Wells managed to earn a meagre income, but little of it came from the shop and he received an unsteady amount of money from playing professional cricket for the Kent county team.[9] Payment for skilled bowlers and batsmen came from voluntary donations afterwards, or from small payments from the clubs where matches were played.
A defining incident of young Wells's life was an accident in 1874 that left him bedridden with a broken leg.[3] To pass the time he started reading books from the local library, brought to him by his father. He soon became devoted to the other worlds and lives to which books gave him access; they also stimulated his desire to write. Later that year he entered Thomas Morley's Commercial Academy, a private school founded in 1849 following the bankruptcy of Morley's earlier school. The teaching was erratic, the curriculum mostly focused, Wells later said, on producing copperplate handwriting and doing the sort of sums useful to tradesmen. Wells continued at Morley's Academy until 1880. In 1877, his father, Joseph Wells, fractured his thigh. The accident effectively put an end to Joseph's career as a cricketer, and his subsequent earnings as a shopkeeper were not enough to compensate for the loss of the primary source of family income.
No longer able to support themselves financially, the family instead sought to place their sons as apprentices in various occupations. From 1880 to 1883, Wells had an unhappy apprenticeship as a draper at the Southsea Drapery Emporium, Hyde's.[10] His experiences at Hyde's, where he worked a thirteen-hour day and slept in a dormitory with other apprentices,[8] later inspired his novels The Wheels of Chance and Kipps,[11] which portray the life of a draper's apprentice as well as providing a critique of society's distribution of wealth.
Wells's parents had a turbulent marriage, owing primarily to his mother being a Protestant and his father a freethinker. When his mother returned to work as a lady's maid (at Uppark, a country house in Sussex), one of the conditions of work was that she would not be permitted to have living space for her husband and children. Thereafter, she and Joseph lived separate lives, though they never divorced and remained faithful to each other. As a consequence, Herbert's personal troubles increased as he subsequently failed as a draper and also, later, as a chemist's assistant. Fortunately for Herbert, Uppark had a magnificent library in which he immersed himself, reading many classic works, including Plato's Republic, and More's Utopia. This would be the beginning of Herbert George Wells's venture into literature.
In October 1879 Wells's mother arranged through a distant relative, Arthur Williams, for him to join the National School at Wookey in Somerset as a pupil''teacher, a senior pupil who acted as a teacher of younger children.[10] In December that year, however, Williams was dismissed for irregularities in his qualifications and Wells was returned to Uppark. After a short apprenticeship at a chemist in nearby Midhurst, and an even shorter stay as a boarder at Midhurst Grammar School, he signed his apprenticeship papers at Hyde's. In 1883 Wells persuaded his parents to release him from the apprenticeship, taking an opportunity offered by Midhurst Grammar School again to become a pupil''teacher; his proficiency in Latin and science during his previous, short stay had been remembered.[9][10]
The years he spent in Southsea had been the most miserable of his life to that point, but his good fortune at securing a position at Midhurst Grammar School meant that Wells could continue his self-education in earnest.[9] The following year, Wells won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science (later the Royal College of Science in South Kensington, now part of Imperial College London) in London, studying biology under Thomas Henry Huxley. As an alumnus, he later helped to set up the Royal College of Science Association, of which he became the first president in 1909. Wells studied in his new school until 1887 with a weekly allowance of 21 shillings (a guinea) thanks to his scholarship. This ought to have been a comfortable sum of money (at the time many working class families had ''round about a pound a week'' as their entire household income)[12] yet in his Experiment in Autobiography, Wells speaks of constantly being hungry, and indeed, photographs of him at the time show a youth very thin and malnourished.
He soon entered the Debating Society of the school. These years mark the beginning of his interest in a possible reformation of society. At first approaching the subject through The Republic by Plato, he soon turned to contemporary ideas of socialism as expressed by the recently formed Fabian Society and free lectures delivered at Kelmscott House, the home of William Morris. He was also among the founders of The Science School Journal, a school magazine that allowed him to express his views on literature and society, as well as trying his hand at fiction: the first version of his novel The Time Machine was published in the journal under the title The Chronic Argonauts. The school year 1886''87 was the last year of his studies. Despite having previously passed his exams in both biology and physics, his lack of interest in geology resulted in his failure to pass and the subsequent loss of his scholarship.[citation needed]
During 1888 Wells stayed in Stoke-on-Trent, living in Basford, and also at the Leopard Hotel in Burslem. The unique environment of The Potteries was certainly an inspiration. He wrote in a letter to a friend from the area that ''the district made an immense impression on me.'' The inspiration for some of his descriptions in The War of the Worlds is thought to have come from his short time spent here, seeing the iron foundry furnaces burn over the city, shooting huge red light into the skies. His stay in The Potteries also resulted in the macabre short story ''The Cone'' (1895, contemporaneous with his famous The Time Machine), set in the north of the city.
After teaching for some time, Wells found it necessary to supplement his knowledge relating to educational principles and methodology and entered the College of Preceptors (College of Teachers). He later received his Licentiate and Fellowship FCP diplomas from the College. It was not until 1890 that Wells earned a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of London External Programme. In 1889''90 he managed to find a post as a teacher at Henley House School, where he taught A. A. Milne.[13][14]
Upon leaving the Normal School of Science, Wells was left without a source of income. His aunt Mary'--his father's sister-in-law'--invited him to stay with her for a while, which solved his immediate problem of accommodation. During his stay at his aunt's residence, he grew increasingly interested in her daughter, Isabel. He would later go on to court her.
Personal lifeEditIn 1891, Wells married his cousin Isabel Mary Wells; the couple agreed to separate in 1894 when he fell in love with one of his students, Amy Catherine Robbins (later known as Jane), whom he married in 1895.[16] Poor health took him to Sandgate, near Folkestone, where in 1901 he constructed a large family home: Spade House. He had two sons with Jane: George Philip (known as "Gip") in 1901 (d.1985) and Frank Richard in 1903 (d.1982). The marriage lasted until her death in 1927.[citation needed]
With his wife Jane's consent, Wells had affairs with a number of women, including the American birth control activist Margaret Sanger and novelist Elizabeth von Arnim.[17] In 1909 he had a daughter, Anna-Jane, with the writer Amber Reeves,[18] whose parents, William and Maud Pember Reeves, he had met through the Fabian Society; and in 1914, a son, Anthony West (1914''1987), by the novelist and feministRebecca West, twenty-six years his junior.[19]
In Experiment in Autobiography (1934), Wells wrote: "I was never a great amorist, though I have loved several people very deeply."[20]
One of the ways that Wells expressed himself was through his drawings and sketches. One common location for these was the endpapers and title pages of his own diaries, and they covered a wide variety of topics, from political commentary to his feelings toward his literary contemporaries and his current romantic interests. During his marriage to Amy Catherine, whom he nicknamed Jane, he drew a considerable number of pictures, many of them being overt comments on their marriage. During this period, he called these pictures "picshuas".[21] These picshuas have been the topic of study by Wells scholars for many years, and in 2006 a book was published on the subject.[22]
Wells's first non-fiction bestseller was Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress Upon Human Life and Thought (1901). When originally serialized in a magazine it was subtitled, "An Experiment in Prophecy", and is considered his most explicitly futuristic work. It offered the immediate political message of the privileged sections of society continuing to bar capable men from other classes from advancement until war would force a need to employ those most able, rather than the traditional upper classes, as leaders. Anticipating what the world would be like in the year 2000, the book is interesting both for its hits (trains and cars resulting in the dispersion of population from cities to suburbs; moral restrictions declining as men and women seek greater sexual freedom; the defeat of German militarism, and the existence of a European Union) and its misses (he did not expect successful aircraft before 1950, and averred that "my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocate its crew and founder at sea").[23][24]
Some of his early novels, called "scientific romances", invented several themes now classic in science fiction in such works as The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, When the Sleeper Wakes, and The First Men in the Moon. He also wrote realistic novels that received critical acclaim, including Kipps and a satire on Edwardian advertising, Tono-Bungay.
Wells also wrote dozens of short stories and novellas, the best known of which is "The Country of the Blind" (1904).
Though Tono-Bungay was not a science-fiction novel, radioactive decay plays a small but consequential role in it. Radioactive decay plays a much larger role in The World Set Free (1914). This book contains what is surely his biggest prophetic "hit". Scientists of the day were well aware that the natural decay of radium releases energy at a slow rate over thousands of years. The rate of release is too slow to have practical utility, but the total amount released is huge. Wells's novel revolves around an (unspecified) invention that accelerates the process of radioactive decay, producing bombs that explode with no more than the force of ordinary high explosive'--but which "continue to explode" for days on end. "Nothing could have been more obvious to the people of the earlier twentieth century", he wrote, "than the rapidity with which war was becoming impossible... [but] they did not see it until the atomic bombs burst in their fumbling hands". In 1932, the physicist and conceiver of nuclear chain reactionLe" Szilrd read The World Set Free, a book which he said made a great impression on him.[25]
Wells also wrote nonfiction. His bestselling two-volume work, The Outline of History (1920), began a new era of popularised world history. It received a mixed critical response from professional historians.[26] However, it was very popular amongst the general population and made Wells a rich man. Many other authors followed with "Outlines" of their own in other subjects. Wells reprised his Outline in 1922 with a much shorter popular work, A Short History of the World,[27] and two long efforts, The Science of Life (1930) and The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind (1931). The "Outlines" became sufficiently common for James Thurber to parody the trend in his humorous essay, "An Outline of Scientists"'--indeed, Wells's Outline of History remains in print with a new 2005 edition, while A Short History of the World has been recently reedited (2006).
From quite early in his career, he sought a better way to organize society, and wrote a number of Utopian novels. The first of these was A Modern Utopia (1905), which shows a worldwide utopia with "no imports but meteorites, and no exports at all";[28] two travellers from our world fall into its alternate history. The others usually begin with the world rushing to catastrophe, until people realize a better way of living: whether by mysterious gases from a comet causing people to behave rationally and abandoning a European war (In the Days of the Comet (1906)), or a world council of scientists taking over, as in The Shape of Things to Come (1933, which he later adapted for the 1936 Alexander Korda film, Things to Come). This depicted, all too accurately, the impending World War, with cities being destroyed by aerial bombs. He also portrayed the rise of fascist dictators in The Autocracy of Mr Parham (1930) and The Holy Terror (1939). Men Like Gods (1923) is also a utopian novel. Wells in this period was regarded as an enormously influential figure; the critic Malcolm Cowley stated "by the time he was forty, his influence was wider than any other living English writer." [29]
Wells contemplates the ideas of nature and nurture and questions humanity in books such as The Island of Doctor Moreau. Not all his scientific romances ended in a Utopia, and Wells also wrote a dystopian novel, When the Sleeper Wakes (1899, rewritten as The Sleeper Awakes, 1910), which pictures a future society where the classes have become more and more separated, leading to a revolt of the masses against the rulers. The Island of Doctor Moreau is even darker. The narrator, having been trapped on an island of animals vivisected (unsuccessfully) into human beings, eventually returns to England; like Gulliver on his return from the Houyhnhnms, he finds himself unable to shake off the perceptions of his fellow humans as barely civilised beasts, slowly reverting to their animal natures.
Wells also wrote the preface for the first edition of W. N. P. Barbellion's diaries, The Journal of a Disappointed Man, published in 1919. Since "Barbellion" was the real author's pen name, many reviewers believed Wells to have been the true author of the Journal; Wells always denied this, despite being full of praise for the diaries, but the rumours persisted until Barbellion's death later that year.
In 1927 a Canadian citizen, Florence Deeks (1864''1959), unsuccessfully sued Wells for infringement of copyright and breach of trust, claiming that much of The Outline of History had been plagiarized from her unpublished manuscript,[30]The Web of the World's Romance, which had spent nearly nine months in the hands of Wells's Canadian publisher, Macmillan Canada.[31]
In 2000, A. B. McKillop, a professor of history at Carleton University and a leading Canadian historian, produced a book on the Deeks versus Wells case, called "The Spinster & The Prophet: Florence Deeks, H. G. Wells, and the Mystery of the Purloined Past".[32] McKillop had been researching another Canadian historical figure when he came across information relating to this, and intrigued, followed through with this book. According to McKillop, the lawsuit was unsuccessful due to the prejudice against a woman suing a well known and famous male author; McKillop paints a detailed story based on the circumstantial evidence of the case, and suggests that in a more modern court, she would have been successful.
The story is convoluted, but basically revolves about Deeks manuscript being sent to MacMillan and Company, UK to check that references to other works did not violate copyright in those works. It appeared to go through the hands of one of the editors in the UK who passed it onto Wells as he knew Wells was thinking of a similar project. The net result was Deeks eventually rejected work came back and when eventually opened, found ""soiled, thumbed, worn and torn, with over a dozen pages turned down at the corners, and many others creased as if having been bent back in use.""[33] When she compared her work to "The Outline of History" in the winter of 1920/1921 she found remarkable similarities, exact text similarities, and the same errors and omissions that marred her work, also in Wells. There are some more detailed reviews of the book on the Internet easily found by searching under A. B. McKillop.
In 2004, Denis N. Magnusson, Professor Emeritus of the Faculty of Law, Queen''s University, Kingston, Ontario, had published in ''Queen's Law Journal'' an article on Deeks v. Wells. This re-examines the case in relation to McKillop's book (described as ''a novel'' in the editorial introduction). While having some sympathy for Deeks, he ''challenges the outpouring of public support'' for her. He argues that she had a weak case that was not well presented, and though she may have met with sexism from her lawyers, she did receive a fair trial. He goes on to say that the law applied is essentially the same law that would be applied to a similar case today (i.e.:2004)[34]
In 1933 Wells predicted in The Shape of Things to Come that the world war he feared would begin in January 1940,[35] a prediction which ultimately came true four months early, when the Second World War broke out in September 1939.[36]
In 1936, before the Royal Institution, Wells called for the compilation of a constantly growing and changing World Encyclopaedia, to be reviewed by outstanding authorities and made accessible to every human being. In 1938, he published a collection of essays on the future organisation of knowledge and education, World Brain, including the essay, "The Idea of a Permanent World Encyclopaedia".
Near the end of the Second World War, Allied forces discovered that the SS had compiled lists of people slated for immediate arrest during the invasion of Britain in the abandoned Operation Sea Lion, and Wells was included in the alphabetical list on the same page of "The Black Book" as Rebecca West.[37] Wells, as president of PEN International (Poets, Essayists, Novelists), had already angered the Nazis by overseeing the expulsion of the German PEN club from the international body in 1934 following the German PEN's refusal to admit non-Aryan writers to its membership.
Seeking a more structured way to play war games, Wells also wrote Floor Games (1911) followed by Little Wars (1913). Little Wars is recognised today as the first recreational war game and Wells is regarded by gamers and hobbyists as "the Father of Miniature War Gaming".[38]
The Fabian SocietyEditWells called his political views socialist. He was for a time a member of the socialist Fabian Society, but broke with them as his creative political imagination, matching the originality shown in his fiction, outran theirs.[39] He later grew staunchly critical of them as having a poor understanding of economics and educational reform. He ran as a Labour Party candidate for London University in the 1922 and 1923 general elections after the death of his friend W. H. R. Rivers, but at that point his faith in the party was weak or uncertain.
ClassEditSocial class was a theme in Wells's The Time Machine in which the Time Traveller speaks of the future world, with its two races, as having evolved from
the gradual widening of the present (19th century) merely temporary and social difference between the Capitalist and the Labourer ... Even now, does not an East-end worker live in such artificial conditions as practically to be cut off from the natural surface of the earth? Again, the exclusive tendency of richer people ... is already leading to the closing, in their interest, of considerable portions of the surface of the land. About London, for instance, perhaps half the prettier country is shut in against intrusion.[40]
Wells has this very same Time Traveller, reflecting his own socialist leanings, refer in a tongue-in-cheek manner to an imagined world of stark class division as "perfect" and with no social problem unsolved. His Time Traveller thus highlights how strict class division leads to the eventual downfall of the human race:
Once, life and property must have reached almost absolute safety. The rich had been assured of his wealth and comfort, the toiler assured of his life and work. No doubt in that perfect world there had been no unemployed problem, no social question left unsolved.[40]
In his book The Way the World is Going, Wells called for a non-Marxist form of socialism to be set up, that would avoid both class war and conflict between nations.[41]
World governmentEditHis most consistent political ideal was the World State. He stated in his autobiography that from 1900 onward he considered a World State inevitable. He envisioned the state to be a planned society that would advance science, end nationalism, and allow people to progress by merit rather than birth. Wells' 1928 book The Open Conspiracy argued that groups of campaigners should begin advocating for a "world commonwealth", governed by a scientific elite, that would work to eliminate problems such as poverty and warfare.[42] In 1932, he told Young Liberals at the University of Oxford that progressive leaders must become liberalfascists or enlightened Nazis who would "compete in their enthusiasm and self-sacrifice" against the advocates of dictatorship.[43][44] In 1940, Wells published a book called The New World Order that outlined his plan as to how a World Government will be set up. In The New World Order, Wells admitted that the establishment of such a government could take a long time, and be created in a piecemeal fashion.[45]
EugenicsEditSome of Wells' early science fiction works reflect his thoughts about the degeneration of humanity.[46] Wells doubted whether human knowledge had advanced sufficiently for eugenics to be successful. In 1904 he discussed a survey paper by Francis Galton, co-founder of eugenics, saying, "I believe that now and always the conscious selection of the best for reproduction will be impossible; that to propose it is to display a fundamental misunderstanding of what individuality implies... It is in the sterilisation of failure, and not in the selection of successes for breeding, that the possibility of an improvement of the human stock lies". In his 1940 book The Rights of Man: Or What are we fighting for? Wells included among the human rights he believed should be available to all people, "a prohibition on mutilation, sterilization, torture, and any bodily punishment".[47]
RaceEditWells's 1906 book The Future in America, contains a chapter, "The Tragedy of Colour", which discusses the problems facing black Americans.[48] While writing the book, Wells met with Booker T. Washington, who provided him with much of his information for "The Tragedy of Colour".[49] Wells praised the "heroic" resolve of black Americans, stating he doubted if the US could:
show any thing finer than the quality of the resolve, the steadfast effort hundreds of black and coloured men are making to-day to live blamelessly, honourably, and patiently, getting for themselves what scraps of refinement, learning, and beauty they may, keeping their hold on a civilization they are grudged and denied.[48]
In his 1916 book What is Coming? Wells states, "I hate and despise a shrewish suspicion of foreigners and foreign ways; a man who can look me in the face, laugh with me, speak truth and deal fairly, is my brother, though his skin is as black as ink or as yellow as an evening primrose".[50]
In The Outline of History, Wells argued against the idea of "racial purity", stating: "Mankind from the point of view of a biologist is an animal species in a state of arrested differentiation and possible admixture . . . [A]ll races are more or less mixed.".[51]
In 1931 Wells was one of several signatories to a letter in Britain (along with 33 British MPs) protesting against the death sentence passed upon the African-American Scottsboro Boys.[52]
In 1943 Wells wrote an article for the Evening Standard, "What A Zulu thinks of the English", prompted by receiving a letter from a Zulu soldier, Lance Coporal Aaron Hlope.[53][54][55] "What a Zulu thinks of the English" was a strong attack on anti-black discrimination in South Africa. Wells claimed he had "the utmost contempt and indignation for the unfairness of the handicaps put upon men of colour". Wells also denounced the South African government as a "petty white tyranny".[53][54][55]
ZionismEditWells had given some moderate, unenthusiastic support for Territorialism before the First World War, but later became a bitter opponent of the Zionist movement in general. He saw Zionism as an exclusive and separatist movement which challenged the collective solidarity he advocated in his vision of a world state. No supporter of Jewish identity in general, Wells had in his utopian writings predicted the ultimate assimilation of the Jewish people.[56][57][58] In notes to accompany his biographical novelA Man of PartsDavid Lodge describes how Wells came to regret his attitudes to the Jews as he became more aware of the extent of the Nazi atrocities. This included a letter of apology written to Chaim Weizmann for earlier statements he had made.[59]
World War IEditHe supported Britain in the First World War,[60] despite his many criticisms of British policy, and opposed, in 1916, moves for an early peace.[61] In an essay published that year he acknowledged that he could not understand those British pacifists who were reconciled to "handing over great blocks of the black and coloured races to the [German Empire] to exploit and experiment upon" and that the extent of his own pacifism depended in the first instance upon an armed peace, with "England keep[ing] to England and Germany to Germany". State boundaries would be established according to natural ethnic affinities, rather than by planners in distant imperial capitals, and overseen by his envisaged world alliance of states.[62]
In his book In the Fourth Year published in 1918 he suggested how each nation of the world would elect, "upon democratic lines" by proportional representation, an electoral college in the manner of the United States of America, in turn to select its delegate to the proposed League of Nations.[63] This international body he contrasted with imperialism, not only the imperialism of Germany, against which the war was being fought, but also the imperialism, which he considered more benign, of Britain and France.[64]
His values and political thinking came under increasing criticism from the 1920s and afterwards.[65]
The Soviet UnionEditThe leadership of Joseph Stalin led to a change in his view of the Soviet Union even though his initial impression of Stalin himself was mixed. He disliked what he saw as a narrow orthodoxy and intransigence in Stalin. He did give him some praise saying in an article in the left-leaning New Statesman magazine, "I have never met a man more fair, candid, and honest" and making it clear that he felt the "sinister" image of Stalin was unfair or false. Nevertheless he judged Stalin's rule to be far too rigid, restrictive of independent thought, and blinkered to lead toward the Cosmopolis he hoped for.[66] In the course of his visit to the Soviet Union in 1934, he debated the merits of reformist socialism over Marxism-Leninism with Stalin.[67]
Other endeavoursEditWells brought his interest in Art & Design and politics together when he and other notables signed a memorandum to the Permanent Secretaries of the Board of Trade, among others. The November 1914 memorandum expressed the signatories concerns about British industrial design in the face of foreign competition. The suggestions were accepted, leading to the foundation of the Design and Industries Association.[68] In the 1920s he was an enthusiastic supporter of rejuvenation attempts by Eugen Steinach and others. He was a patient of Dr Norman Haire (perhaps a rejuvenated one) and in response to Haire's 1924 book Rejuvenation: the Work of Steinach, Voronoff, and others,[69] Wells prophesied a more mature, graver society with 'active and hopeful children' and adults 'full of years' where none will be 'aged'.[70]
In his later political writing, Wells incorporated into his discussions of the World State a notion of universal human rights that would protect and guarantee the freedom of the individual. His 1940 publication The Rights of Man laid the groundwork for the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.[71]
SummaryEditIn the end Wells's contemporary political impact was limited, excluding his fiction's positivist stance on the leaps that could be made by physics towards world peace. His efforts regarding the League of Nations became a disappointment as the organisation turned out to be a weak one unable to prevent World War II, which was itself towards the very end of his life, increased the pessimistic side of his nature. In his last book Mind at the End of its Tether (1945) he considered the idea that humanity being replaced by another species might not be a bad idea. He also came to call the era "The Age of Frustration".
Wells wrote in his book God the Invisible King (1917) that his idea of God did not draw upon the traditional religions of the world: "This book sets out as forcibly and exactly as possible the religious belief of the writer. [Which] is a profound belief in a personal and intimate God. ... Putting the leading idea of this book very roughly, these two antagonistic typical conceptions of God may be best contrasted by speaking of one of them as God-as-Nature or the Creator, and of the other as God-as-Christ or the Redeemer. One is the great Outward God; the other is the Inmost God. The first idea was perhaps developed most highly and completely in the God of Spinoza. It is a conception of God tending to pantheism, to an idea of a comprehensive God as ruling with justice rather than affection, to a conception of aloofness and awestriking worshipfulness. The second idea, which is opposed to this idea of an absolute God, is the God of the human heart. The writer would suggest that the great outline of the theological struggles of that phase of civilisation and world unity which produced Christianity, was a persistent but unsuccessful attempt to get these two different ideas of God into one focus."[72] Later in the work he aligns himself with a "renascent or modern religion ... neither atheist nor Buddhist nor Mohammedan nor Christian ... [that] he has found growing up in himself".[73]
Of Christianity he has this to say: "... it is not now true for me ... Every believing Christian is, I am sure, my spiritual brother ... but if systemically I called myself a Christian I feel that to most men I should imply too much and so tell a lie." Of other world religions he writes: "All these religions are true for me as Canterbury Cathedral is a true thing and as a Swiss chalet is a true thing. There they are, and they have served a purpose, they have worked. Only they are not true for me to live in them ... They do not work for me."[74]
Final yearsEditWells's literary reputation declined as he spent his later years promoting causes that were rejected by most of his contemporaries as well as younger authors whom he had previously influenced, and in this connection George Orwell described him as "too sane to understand the modern world."[75]G. K. Chesterton quipped: "Mr. Wells is a born storyteller who has sold his birthright for a pot of message."[76]
Wells was a diabetic,[77] and a co-founder in 1934 of what is now Diabetes UK, the leading charity for diabetics in the UK.
On 28 October 1940, on the KTSA radio station in San Antonio, Texas, Wells took part in a radio interview with Orson Welles, who two years previously had performed an infamous radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds. During the interview, by Charles C Shaw, a KTSA radio host, Wells admitted his surprise at the widespread panic that resulted from the broadcast, but acknowledged his debt to Welles for increasing sales of one of his "more obscure" titles.[78]
Wells died of unspecified causes on 13 August 1946 at his home at 13 Hanover Terrace, Regent's Park, London, aged 79.[79][80] Some reports also say he died of a heart attack at the flat of a friend in London. In his preface to the 1941 edition of The War in the Air, Wells had stated that his epitaph should be: "I told you so. You damned fools."[81] He was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium on 16 August 1946, his ashes scattered at sea near Old Harry Rocks.[82] A commemorative blue plaque in his honour was installed at his home in Regent's Park.
Literary InfluenceEditThe science fiction historian John Clute describes Wells as "the most important writer the genre has yet seen", and notes his work has been central to both British and American science fiction.[83]
In Britain, Wells' work was a key model for the British "Scientific Romance", and other writers in that mode, such as Olaf Stapledon,[84]J. D. Beresford,[85]S. Fowler Wright,[86] and Naomi Mitchison,[87] all drew on Wells' example. Wells was also an important influence on British science fiction of the period after the Second World War, with Arthur C. Clarke[88] and Brian Aldiss[89] expressing strong admiration for Wells' work.
In the United States, Hugo Gernsback reprinted most of Wells's work in the pulp magazine Amazing Stories, regarding Wells' work as "texts of central importance to the self-concious new genre".[83] Later American writers such as Isaac Asimov,[90]Frank Herbert[91] and Ursula K. Le Guin[92] all recalled being influenced by Wells' work.
Wells also inspired writers of European speculative fiction such as Karel Čapek[92] and Yevgeny Zamyatin.[92]
In popular fiction and filmEditThe superhuman protagonist of J. D. Beresford's novel, The Hampdenshire Wonder, Victor Stott, was based on Wells.[85]
In M. P. Shiel's short story "The Primate of the Rose" (1928), there is an unpleasant womanizer named E. P. Crooks, who was written as a parody of Wells.[93] Wells had attacked Shiel's Prince Zaleski in 1895, and this was Shiel's response.[93] Wells would later praise Shiel's The Purple Cloud; in turn Shiel expressed admiration for Wells, referring to him at a speech to the HorshamRotary Club in 1933 as "my friend Mr. Wells".[93]
In C. S. Lewis's novel That Hideous Strength, the character Jules is a caricature of Wells,[94] and much of Lewis's science fiction was written both under the influence of Wells and as an antithesis to his work (or, as he put it, an "exorcism"[95] of the influence it had on him).
In Saul Bellow's novel Mr. Sammler's Planet, (1970) Wells is one of several historical figures the protagonist met when he was a young man.[96]
Bert is a portrayal of H. G. Wells in James A. Owen's series The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica.[citation needed]
Malcolm MacDowell plays H. G. Wells in the 1979 science fiction filmTime After Time, in which Wells uses a time machine to pursue Jack the Ripper to the present day.
HG Wells: War with the World is a made for television movie from 2006, where H.G Wells is played by Michael Sheen.
Wells is also a character in The Infinite Worlds of H. G. Wells.
HG Wells appears in a small scene in Journey to the Heart of Luna, in which 'Bertie' interacts with protagonist Nathanial Stone aboard the dirigible Zeus, on Saturday 13 April 1889. Book one of Space: 1889 & Beyond, by Andy Frankham-Allen, published in 2011.
''Don't be a cad, Bertie,'' said a voice nearby. Nathanial found his attention taken up by a portly young man, sitting on the opposite side of the aisle and a few seats back. The fellow to whom he was talking, sitting in an aisle seat, was much thinner and looked around with embarrassment. He caught Nathanial's eyes and smiled weakly. ''Teaching is surely an admirable career to pursue,'' the portly one continued, impolitely loud. Bertie, who by Nathanial's estimation could be no more than twenty-two years of age, looked at his companion, and said in a quieter tone; ''That is as may be, but we live in trying times, and there are tales to tell. Allegory. It is the only way to'...'' ''Bertie, old chap, you are not one to draw the long bow. If you want fantastical tales, then all you need do is take a trip to Venus or Mercury. I hear tell that life there is quite fantastic.'' ''If I had such funds, then I surely would.'' Nathanial smiled at Bertie, and looked away. Right now he would have gladly exchanged places with Bertie. Teaching sounded positively more appealing than where he was going. Thinking of which'...Nathanial almost stumbled, but an arm shot out from one of the seats and steadied him. He looked down at the young man gratefully. ''Thank you,'' he said. ''You are most welcome,'' the man, Bertie, replied, his eyes alight with excitement. ''Would you care to trade places, sir?'' Nathanial asked wanly. For a second Bertie clearly believed the veracity of the offer, but then he merely smiled. ''I would if I could, sir, truly.'' Nathanial shrugged. ''Lucky me, then.'' He swallowed once again and joined Captain Folkard and the men at the door.'--Both samples from Chapter I: A Scientist Travels.Wells is the subject of the biographical novel A Man of Parts by David Lodge, published in 2011.
The Syfy original series Warehouse 13 (2009-2014) has the recurring character of H.G. Wells portrayed as Helena G. Wells.
BibliographyEdit^The Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame inducted Wells in 1997, its second class of two deceased and two living persons. SF magazine editors Gernsback and John W. Campbell were the deceased members in the first class, science fiction writers Wells and Isaac Asimov in the second class, Verne in the fourth class. Gernsbach, Wells, and Verne preceded other hall of fame members (now about 70) by one, two, and three generations."Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame". Mid American Science Fiction and Fantasy Conventions, Inc. Retrieved 2013-03-25. This was the official website of the hall of fame to 2004.ReferencesEdit^"Lost daughter of Wells' passion. (writer H.G. Wells) - Version details - Trove". Trove.nla.gov.au. 1996-08-11. Retrieved 2014-03-25. ^"Death Notice Summaries Available for Listings at A Memory Tree". Amemorytree.co.nz. Retrieved 2014-03-25. ^ abcParrinder, Patrick (2004). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. ^Adam Charles Roberts (2000), "The History of Science Fiction": Page 48 in Science Fiction, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-19204-8.^Robert M. Philmus and David Y. Hughes, ed., H. G. Wells: Early Writings in Science and Science Fiction (Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1975), p. 179.^Vincent Brome, H. G. Wells: A Biography (London, New York, and Toronto: Longmans, Green, 1951).^Vincent Brome, H. G. Wells: A Biography (London, New York, and Toronto: Longmans, Green, 1951), p. 99.^ abWells, H. G. (2005) [First published 1905]. Gregory Claeys, Patrick Parrinder, ed. A Modern Utopia. Gregory Claeys, Francis Wheen, Andy Sawyer. Penguin Classics. ISBN 978-0-14-144112-2. ^ abcSmith, David C. (1986) H. G. Wells: Desperately mortal. A biography. Yale University Press, New Haven and London ISBN 0-300-03672-8^ abcWells, Geoffrey H. (1925). The Works of H. G. Wells. London: Routledge. p. xvi. ISBN 0-86012-096-1. OCLC 458934085. ^Batchelor, John (1985). H. G. Wells. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. p. 2. ISBN 0-521-27804-X. ^Reeves, M.S. Round About a Pound a Week. New York: Garland Pub., 1980. ISBN 0-8240-0119-2 Some of the text is available online.^"Hampstead: Education". A History of the County of Middlesex9: 159''169. 1989. Retrieved 9 June 2008. ^"A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882''1956)". Authors' Calendar. Retrieved 13 April 2007. ^On the 143rd anniversary of Wells's birth Google published a riddle with this location on Google Maps as the solution, but the significance of the 143rd birthday'--143 Maybury Road'--was not explained: Schofield, Jack (21 September 2009). "HG Wells - Google reveals answer to teaser doodles". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 July 2010. ^Batchelor (1985: 165)^Lynn, Andrea (2001). Shadow Lovers: The Last Affairs of H. G. Wells. Boulder, CO: Westview. pp. 10; 14; 47 et sec. ISBN 978-0-8133-3394-6. ^Margaret Drabble (1 April 2005). "A room of her own". The Guardian. ^Pegasos '' A Literature Related Resource Site. H(erbert) G(eorge) Wells (1866''1946).^Wells, Herbert George (1934). Experiment in Autobiography. Discoveries and Conclusions of a Very Ordinary Brain (Since 1866). Retrieved from http://gutenberg.ca/ebooks/wellshg-autobiography/wellshg-autobiography-00-h-dir/wellshg-autobiography-00-h.html.^"H. G. Wells' cartoons, a window on his second marriage, focus of new book | Archives | News Bureau". University of Illinois. 31 May 2006. Retrieved 10 June 2012. ^Rinkel, Gene and Margaret. The Picshuas of H. G. Wells: A burlesque diary. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2006. ISBN 0-252-03045-1 (cloth : acid-free paper).^"Annual HG Wells Award for Outstanding Contributions to Transhumanism". Web.archive.org. 20 May 2009. Archived from the original on 20 May 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2012. ^Turner, Frank Miller (1993). "Public Science in Britain 1880''1919". Contesting Cultural Authority: Essays in Victorian Intellectual Life. Cambridge University Press. pp. 219''20. ISBN 0-521-37257-7. ^Richard Rhodes (1986). The Making of the Atomic Bomb. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 24. ISBN 0-684-81378-5. ^"The Outline of History '' H. G. Wells". Cs.clemson.edu. 20 April 2003. Retrieved 21 September 2009. ^"Wells, H. G. 1922. A Short History of the World". Bartleby.com. Retrieved 21 September 2009. ^A Modern Utopia^Cowley, Malcolm. "Outline of Wells's History." The New Republic Vol. 81 Issue 1041, 14 November 1934 (p. 22''23).^At the time of the alleged infringement in 1919-20, unpublished works were protected in Canada under common law.Magnusson, Denis N. (Spring 2004). "Hell Hath No Fury: Copyright Lawyers' Lessons from Deeks v. Wells". Queen's Law Journal29: 692, note 39. ^Magnusson, Denis N. (Spring 2004). "Hell Hath No Fury: Copyright Lawyers' Lessons from Deeks v. Wells". Queen's Law Journal29: 682. ^McKillop, A. B. (2000) Macfarlane Walter & Ross, Toronto^Deeks, Florence A. (1930s) "Plagiarism?" unpublished typescript, copy in Deeks Fonds, Baldwin Room, Toronto Reference Library, Toronto, Ontario^Magnusson, Denis N. (Spring 2004). "Hell Hath No Fury: Copyright Lawyers' Lessons from Deeks v. Wells". Queen's Law Journal29: 680, 684. ^"9. The Last War Cyclone, 1940''50". The shape of things to come: the ultimate revolution (Penguin 2005 ed.). 1933. p. 208. ISBN 0-14-144104-6. ^Wagar, W. Warren (2004). H. G. Wells: traversing time. Middletown, Conn: Wesleyan University Press. p. 209. ISBN 0-8195-6725-6. ^Wells, Frank. H. G. Wells'--A Pictorial Biography. London: Jupiter Books, 1977, p. 91.^The Miniatures Page. The World of Miniatures '' An Overview.^Cole, Margaret (1974). "H. G. Wells and the Fabian Society". In Morris, A. J. Anthony. Edwardian radicalism, 1900''1914: some aspects of British radicalism. London: Routledge. pp. 97''114. ISBN 0-7100-7866-8. ^ ab"The Time Machine". Retrieved 10 June 2012. ^H. G. Wells, The Way the World is Going. London, Ernest Benn, 1928, (p. 49).^Wells, H. G. The Open Conspiracy: Blue Prints for a World Revolution (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Doran, 1928), (pp. 28, 44, 196).^Mazower, Mark, Dark Continent:Europe's Twentieth Century. New York : A.A. Knopf, 1998. ISBN 0679438092 (p. 21''22).^Coupland, Philip (October 2000). "H. G. Wells's "Liberal Fascism"". Journal of Contemporary History35 (4): 549. ^Partington, John S. Building Cosmopolis: The Political Thought of H. G. Wells. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2003. ISBN 0754634837, (p. 16).^"H. G. Wells and the uses of Degeneration in Literature". Bbk.ac.uk. 1946-08-17. Retrieved 2014-03-25. ^Andrew Clapham, Human Rights:A Very Short Introduction. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2007. ISBN 9780199205523 (pp. 29-31).^ abH. G. Wells, The Future in America (New York and London: Harper and Brothers, 1906), p. 201 (Chs.11 & 12,).^Virginia L. Denton, Booker T. Washington and the Adult Education Movement. University Press of Florida, 1993. ISBN 0813011825. (p. 150, 231)^What is Coming? A Forecast of things after the war, London, Cassell, 1916 (p. 256).^H. G. Wells, The Outline of History, 3rd ed. rev. (NY: Macmillan, 1921), p. 110 (Ch. XII, §§1''2).^Susan D. Pennybacker, From Scottsboro to Munich: race and political culture in 1930s Britain Princeton University Press, 2009. ISBN 0691088284, (p. 29).^ ab"What a Zulu Thinks of the English" was reprinted as "The Rights of Man in South Africa" in '42 to '44: A Contemporary Memoir (London, Secker and Warburg, 1944) (p. 68''74).^ abRobert Crossley, "Wells's Common Readers" in Patrick Parrinder and Christopher Rolfe, H. G. Wells Under Revision: Proceedings of the International Hg Wells Symposium London July 1986. Associated University Press, 1990. ISBN 0945636059, (p. 247).^ abJohn Huntington, Critical essays on H. G. Wells. G. K. Hall, 1991. ISBN 0816188564 (p. 176,177, 179)^Cheyette, Bryan. Constructions of "the Jew" in English Literature and Society. Cambridge University Press, 1995, pp. 143''148^Hamerow, Theodore S. Why we watched: Europe, America, and the Holocaust. W. W. Norton & Company, 2008., pp. 98''100, 219^"Desirable Aliens: British Men of Letters on The Jews". The Review of Reviews Vol. XXXIII Jan''Jun 1906, p. 378^Lodge, David (2011). A Man of Parts. London: Secker. p. 521. ISBN 9781846554964. ^H. G. Wells: Why Britain Went To War (10 August 1914). The War Illustrated album de luxe. The story of the great European war told by camera, pen and pencil. The Amalgamated Press, London 1915^Daily Herald, 27 May 1916^Wells, H. G. (1916). "The White Man's Burthen". What is coming? : a forecast of things after the war. London: Cassell. p. 240. ISBN 0-554-16469-8. OCLC 9446824. ^Wells, H. G. (1918). "The League must be representative". In the Fourth Year. London: Chatto and Windus. ISBN 1-4191-2598-2. OCLC 458935146. "The president ... is chosen by a special college elected by the people .... Is there any reason why we should not adopt this method in this sending representatives to the Council of the League of Nations?" ^"The Necessary Powers of the League". In the Fourth Year. "[T]he League of Free Nations, if it is to be a reality ... must do no less than supersede Empire; it must end not only this new German imperialism, which is struggling so savagely and powerfully to possess the earth, but it must also wind up British imperialism and French imperialism, which do now so largely and inaggressively possess it." ^Experiment in Autobiography 556. Also chapter four of Future as Nightmare: H. G. Wells and the Anti-Utopians by Mark Robert Hillegas.^Experiment in Autobiography, pp. 215, 687''689^"Joseph Stalin and H. G. Wells, Marxism vs. Liberalism: An Interview". Rationalrevolution.net. Retrieved 10 June 2012. ^Raymond Plummer, Nothing Need be Ugly Design & Industries Assn. Jun 1985^Haire, Norman (1924), Rejuvenation : the work of Steinach, Voronoff, and others, G. Allen & Unwin, retrieved 15 April 2013 ^Diana Wyndham. "'Norman Haire and the Study of Sex'". Foreword by the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG. Sydney: "Sydney University Press". , 2012, p. 117^'Human Rights and Public Accountability in H. G. Wells' Functional World State' | John Partington. Academia.edu. Retrieved on 9 August 2013.^Wells, H. G. (1917). "Preface". God the Invisible King. London: Cassell. ISBN 0-585-00604-0. OCLC 261326125. Link to the online book.^Wells (1917: "The cosmology of modern religion")^Wells, H. G. (1908). First & last things; a confession of faith and rules of life. Putnam. pp. 77''80. OCLC 68958585. ^Orwell, George (August 1941). "Wells, Hitler and the World State". Horizon. ^Chesterton's reference is to the biblical "mess of pottage", implying that Wells had sold out his artistic birthright in mid-career: Rolfe, Christopher; Parrinder, Patrick (1990). H. G. Wells under revision: proceedings of the International H. G. Wells Symposium, London, Jul 1986. Selinsgrove, PA: Susquehanna University Press. p. 9. ISBN 0-945636-05-9. ^"HG Wells '' Diabetes UK". Diabetes.org.uk. 14 April 2008. Retrieved 10 June 2012. ^Flynn, John L. "The legacy of Orson Welles and the Radio Broadcast". War of the Worlds: from Wells to Spielberg by. Owens Mills, MD: Galactic. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-9769400-0-5. ^"H. G. Wells Dies in London". St. Petersburg Times. 13 August 1946. Retrieved 29 October 2008. ^"Calendar". Classics & Cheese. Retrieved 12 February 2008. ^"Preface to the 1941 edition of The War in the Air". Retrieved 11 February 2008. ^West, Anthony. H. G. Wells: Aspects of a Life, p. 153. London: Hutchinson & Co, 1984. ISBN 0-09-134540-5.^ abJohn Clute, Science Fiction :The Illustrated Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley London, ISBN 0751302023 (p. 114''15).^Andy Sawyer, "[William] Olaf Stapledon (1886''1950)", in Fifty Key Figures in Science Fiction. New York: Routledge, 2010. ISBN 0203874706 (pp. 205''210).^ abRichard Bleiler, "John Davis Beresford (1873''1947)" in Darren Harris-Fain, ed. British Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers Before World War I. Detroit, MI: Gale Research, 1997. (pp. 27''34). ISBN 0810399415^Brian Stableford, "Against the New Gods: The Speculative Fiction of S. Fowler Wright". in Against the New Gods and Other Essays on Writers of Imaginative Fiction Wildside Press LLC, 2009 ISBN 1434457435 (pp. 9''90).^"Mitchison, Naomi", in Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature: A Checklist, 1700''1974 : with Contemporary Science Fiction Authors II. Robert Reginald, Douglas Menville, Mary A. Burgess Detroit - Gale Research Company. ISBN 0810310511 (p.1002)^Michael D. Sharp, Popular Contemporary Writers, Marshall Cavendish, 2005 ISBN 0761476016, (p. 422)^Michael R. Collings, Brian Aldiss. Mercer Island, WA : Starmont House, 1986. ISBN 0916732746 (p. 60).^In Memory Yet Green: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov 1920''1954 Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday, 1979. (p. 167)^Vertex Magazine Interview at the Wayback Machine (archived October 21, 2012) with Frank Herbert, by Paul Turner. October 1973 Volume 1, Issue 4.^ abcJohn Huntington, "Utopian and Anti-Utopian Logic: H. G. Wells and his Successors". Science Fiction Studies, July 1982.^ abcGeorge Hay, "Shiel Versus the Renegade Romantic", in A. Reynolds Morse, Shiel in Diverse Hands: A Collection of Essays. Cleveland, OH: Reynolds Morse Foundation, 1983. (pp. 109''113).^Rolfe; Parrinder (1990: 226)^Lewis, C. S., Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life. New York & London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1955. p. 36.^R. A. York, The Extension of Life: Fiction and History in the American Novel. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2003. ISBN 0838639895, (p. 40.)Further readingEditDickson, Lovat. H. G. Wells: His Turbulent Life & Times. 1969.Gilmour, David. The Long Recessional: The Imperial Life of Rudyard Kipling. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002 (paperback, ISBN 0-374-18702-9); 2003 (paperback, ISBN 0-374-52896-9).Gomme, A. W., Mr. Wells as Historian. Glasgow: MacLehose, Jackson, and Co., 1921.Gosling, John. Waging the War of the Worlds. Jefferson, North Carolina, McFarland, 2009 (paperback, ISBN 0-7864-4105-4).Mauthner, Martin. German Writers in French Exile, 1933''1940, London: Vallentine and Mitchell, 2007, ISBN 978-0-85303-540-4.McLean, Steven. 'The Early Fiction of H. G. Wells: Fantasies of Science'. Palgrave, 2009, ISBN 9780230535626.Partington, John S. Building Cosmopolis: The Political Thought of H. G. Wells. Ashgate, 2003, ISBN 978-0754634839.Sherborne. Michael. H. G. Wells: Another Kind of Life. London: Peter Owen, 2010, ISBN 978-0-72061-351-3.West, Anthony. H. G. Wells: Aspects of a Life. London: Hutchinson, 1984.Foot, Michael. H. G.: History of Mr. Wells. Doubleday, 1985 (ISBN 978-1-887178-04-4), Black Swan, New edition, Oct 1996 (paperback, ISBN 0-552-99530-4)External linksEditSources'--collections
Sources'--letters, essays and interviews
Archive of Wells's BBC broadcastsFilm interview with H. G. Wells"Stephen Crane. From an English Standpoint", by Wells, 1900.Rabindranath Tagore: In conversation with H. G. Wells. Rabindranath Tagore and Wells conversing in Geneva in 1930."Introduction", to W. N. P. Barbellion's The Journal of a Disappointed Man, by Wells, 1919."Woman and Primitive Culture", by Wells, 1895.Letter, to M. P. Shiel, by Wells, 1937.New Statesman '' In the footsteps of H G Wells at www.newstatesman.com, H. G. Wells called for a Human Rights Act.Biography
Critical essays
"Socialism and the Family" (1906) by Belfort Bax, Part 1, Part 2."H. G. Wells warned us how it would feel to fight a War of the Worlds", by Niall Ferguson, in The Telegraph, 24 Jun 2005."H. G. Wells's Idea of a World Brain: A Critical Re-assessment", by W. Boyd Rayward, in Journal of the American Society for Information Science 50 (15 May 1999): 557''579"Mr H. G. Wells and the Giants", by G. K. Chesterton, from his book Heretics (1908)."The Internet: a world brain?", by Martin Gardner, in Skeptical Inquirer, Jan''Feb 1999."Science Fiction: The Shape of Things to Come", by Mark Bould, in The Socialist Review, May 2005."Who needs Utopia? A dialogue with my utopian self (with apologies, and thanks, to H. G. Wells)", by Gregory Claeys in Spaces of Utopia: An Electronic Journal, no 1, Spring 2006."When H. G. Wells Split the Atom: A 1914 Preview of 1945", by Freda Kirchwey, in The Nation, posted 4 Sep 2003 (original 18 Aug 1945 issue).''Evil is in the Eye of the Beholder: Threatening Children in Two Edwardian Speculative Satires,'' by George M. Johnson. Science Fiction Studies. Vol. 41, No.1 (March 2014): 26-44."Wells, Hitler and the World State", by George Orwell. First published: Horizon. GB, London. Aug 1941."War of the Worldviews", by John J. Miller, in The Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal, 21 Jun 2005."Wells' Autobiography", by John Hart, from New International, Vol.2 No.2, Mar 1935, pp. 75''76"History in the Science Fiction of H. G. Wells", by Patrick Parrinder, Cycnos, 22.2 (2006)."From the World Brain to the Worldwide Web", by Martin Campbell-Kelly, Gresham College Lecture, 9 Nov 2006."The Beginning of Wisdom: On Reading H. G. Wells", by Vivian Gornick, "Boston Review", 31.1 (2007).John Hammond, The Complete List of Short Stories of H. G. WellsBiography at a website examining the legacy of The War Of The Worlds"H. G. Wells Predictions Ring True, 143 Years Later" at National GeographicPersondataNameWells, Herbert GeorgeAlternative namesWells, H. G.Short descriptionEnglish novelist, teacher, historian and journalistDate of birth21 September 1866Place of birthBromley, Kent, EnglandDate of death13 August 1946Place of deathLondon, United Kingdom
Cecil Rhodes
Cecil Rhodes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 06:43
The Rt HonCecil John RhodesDCL (5 July 1853 '' 26 March 1902)[1] was a British businessman, mining magnate, and politician in South Africa. Rhodes was named the chairman of De Beers at the company's founding in 1888.[2] De Beers, established with funding from NM Rothschild & Sons Limited in 1887,[3] today markets 40% of the world's rough diamonds, and at one time marketed 90%.[4] An ardent believer in British colonialism, Rhodes was the founder of the southern African territory of Rhodesia, which was named after him in 1895. South Africa's Rhodes University is also named after Rhodes. He set up the provisions of the Rhodes Scholarship, which is funded by his estate.
Historian Richard A. McFarlane has called Rhodes "as integral a participant in southern African and British imperial history as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln are in their respective eras in United States history... Most histories of South Africa covering the last decades of the nineteenth century are contributions to the historiography of Cecil Rhodes."[5]
ChildhoodEditEnglandEditRhodes was born in 1853 in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England. He was the fifth son of the Reverend Francis William Rhodes and his wife Louisa Peacock Rhodes. His father was a Church of Englandvicar who was proud of never having preached a sermon longer than 10 minutes. His siblings included Francis William Rhodes, who became an army officer.
Rhodes attended the Bishop's StortfordGrammar School from the age of nine, but, as a sickly, asthmatic adolescent, he was taken out of grammar school in 1869 and, according to Basil Williams,[6] "continued his studies under his father's eye...His health was weak and there were even fears that he might be consumptive, a disease of which several of the family showed symptoms. His father therefore determined to send him abroad to try the effect of a sea voyage and a better climate. Herbert [Cecil's brother] had already set up as a planter in Natal, South Africa, so Cecil was despatched on a sailing vessel to join Herbert in Natal. The voyage to Durban took him seventy days, and on 1 September 1870 he first set foot on African soil, a tall, lanky, anaemic, fair-haired boy, shy and reserved in bearing." His family's hope was that the climate would improve his health. They expected he would help his older brother Herbert[7] who operated a cotton farm.[8]
South AfricaEditWhen he first came to Africa, Rhodes lived on money lent by his aunt Sophia.[9] After a brief stay with the Surveyor-General of Natal, Dr. P.C. Sutherland, in Pietermaritzburg, Rhodes took an interest in agriculture. He joined his brother Herbert on his cotton farm in the Umkomazi valley in Natal. The land was unsuitable for cotton, and the venture failed.
In October 1871, 18-year-old Rhodes and his brother Herbert left the colony for the diamond fields of Kimberley. Financed by N M Rothschild & Sons, Rhodes succeeded over the next 17 years in buying up all the smaller diamond mining operations in the Kimberley area. His monopoly of the world's diamond supply was sealed in 1889 through a strategic partnership with the London-based Diamond Syndicate. They agreed to control world supply to maintain high prices.[10][11] Rhodes supervised the working of his brother's claim and speculated on his behalf. Among his associates in the early days were John X. Merriman and Charles Rudd, who later became his partner in the De Beers Mining Company and the Niger Oil Company.
During the 1880s Cape vineyards had been devastated by a phylloxera epidemic. The diseased vineyards were dug up and replanted, and farmers were looking for alternatives to wine. In 1892, Rhodes financed The Pioneer Fruit Growing Company at Nooitgedacht, a venture created by Harry Pickstone, an Englishman who had experience with fruit-growing in California.[12] The shipping magnate Percy Molteno had just undertaken the first successful refrigerated export to Europe and in 1896, after consulting with Molteno, Rhodes began to pay more attention to export fruit farming and bought farms in Groot Drakenstein, Wellington and Stellenbosch.[13][14] A year later, he bought Rhone and Boschendal and commissioned Sir Herbert Baker to build him a cottage there.[12][15] The successful operation soon expanded into Rhodes Fruit Farms, and formed a cornerstone of the modern-day Cape fruit industry.[16][17]
EducationEditIn 1873, Rhodes left his farm field in the care of his business partner, Rudd, and sailed for England to complete his studies. He was admitted to Oriel College, Oxford, but stayed for only one term in 1873. He returned to South Africa and did not return for his second term at Oxford until 1876. He was greatly influenced by John Ruskin's inaugural lecture at Oxford, which reinforced his own attachment to the cause of British imperialism. Among his Oxford associates were James Rochfort Maguire, later a fellow of All Souls College and a director of the British South Africa Company, and Charles Metcalfe. Due to his university career, Rhodes admired the Oxford "system". Eventually he was inspired to develop his scholarship scheme: "Wherever you turn your eye'--except in science'--an Oxford man is at the top of the tree".
While attending Oriel College, Rhodes became a Freemason in the Apollo University Lodge. Although initially he did not approve of the organisation, he continued to be a Freemason until his death in 1902. The shortcomings of the Freemasons, in his opinion, later caused him to envisage his own secret society with the goal of bringing the entire world under British rule.[8][18]
During his years at Oxford, Rhodes continued to prosper in Kimberley. Before his departure for Oxford, he and C.D. Rudd had moved from the Kimberley Mine to invest in the more costly claims of what was known as old De Beers (Vooruitzicht). It was named after Johannes Nicolaas de Beer and his brother, Diederik Arnoldus, who occupied the farm. After purchasing the land in 1839 from David Danser, a Koranna chief in the area, David Stephanus Fourie, Claudine Fourie-Grosvenor's forebearer, had allowed the de Beers and various other Afrikaner families to cultivate the land. The region extended from the Modder River via the Vet River up to the Vaal River.[19][20][21]
In 1874 and 1875, the diamond fields were in the grip of depression, but Rhodes and Rudd were among those who stayed to consolidate their interests. They believed that diamonds would be numerous in the hard blue ground that had been exposed after the softer, yellow layer near the surface had been worked out. During this time, the technical problem of clearing out the water that was flooding the mines became serious. Rhodes and Rudd obtained the contract for pumping water out of the three main mines. It was during this period that Jim B. Taylor, still a young boy and helping to work his father's claim, first met Rhodes. After Rhodes returned from his first term at Oxford he lived with Robert Dundas Graham, who later became a mining partner with Rudd and Rhodes.[22]
On 13 March 1888, Rhodes and Rudd launched De Beers Consolidated Mines after the amalgamation of a number of individual claims. With £200,000[23] of capital, the company, of which Rhodes was secretary, owned the largest interest in the mine.
Politics in South AfricaEditIn 1880, Rhodes prepared to enter public life at the Cape. With the earlier incorporation of Griqualand West into the Cape Colony under the Molteno Ministry in 1877, the area had obtained six seats in the Cape House of Assembly. Rhodes chose the rural and predominately Boer constituency of Barkly West, which would remain faithful to Rhodes until his death.
When Rhodes became a member of the Cape Parliament, the chief goal of the assembly was to help decide the future of Basutoland. The ministry of Sir Gordon Sprigg was trying to restore order after the 1880 rebellion known as the Gun War. The Sprigg ministry had precipitated the revolt by applying its policy of disarming Africans to the Basuto.
In 1890, Rhodes became Prime Minister of the Cape Colony and implemented laws that would benefit mine and industry owners. He introduced the Glen Grey Act to push black people from their lands and make way for industrial development. The growing number of enfranchised Black people in the Cape led him to raise the franchise requirements in 1892 to counter this preponderance, with drastic effects on the traditional Cape Qualified Franchise.[24] He also introduced educational reform to the area. Rhodes' policies were instrumental in the development of British imperial policies in South Africa, such as the Hut tax.
Rhodes did not, however, have direct political power over the Boer Republic of the Transvaal. He often disagreed with the Transvaal government's policies, which he considered unsupportive of mine-owners' interests. In 1895, believing he could use his influence to overthrow the Boer government, Rhodes supported the infamous Jameson Raid, an attack on the Transvaal with the tacit approval of Secretary of State for the Colonies Joseph Chamberlain. The raid was a catastrophic failure. It forced Cecil Rhodes to resign as Prime Minister of the Cape Colony, sent his oldest brother Col. Frank Rhodes to jail in Transvaal convicted of high treason and nearly sentenced to death, and led to the outbreak of both the Second Matabele War and the Second Boer War.
Expanding the British EmpireEditRhodes and the imperial factorEditRhodes used his wealth and that of his business partner Alfred Beit and other investors to pursue his dream of creating a British Empire in new territories to the north by obtaining mineral concessions from the most powerful indigenouschiefs. Rhodes' competitive advantage over other mineral prospecting companies was his combination of wealth and astute political instincts, also called the 'imperial factor', as he used the British Government. He befriended its local representatives, the British Commissioners, and through them organised British protectorates over the mineral concession areas via separate but related treaties. In this way he obtained both legality and security for mining operations. He could then win over more investors. Imperial expansion and capital investment went hand in hand.[25]
The imperial factor was a double-edged sword: Rhodes did not want the bureaucrats of the Colonial Office in London to interfere in the Empire in Africa. He wanted British settlers and local politicians and governors to run it. This put him on a collision course with many in Britain, as well as with British missionaries, who favoured what they saw as the more ethical direct rule from London. Rhodes won because he would pay to administer the territories north of South Africa against future mining profits. The Colonial Office did not have the funds to do it. Rhodes promoted his business interests as in the strategic interest of Britain: preventing the Portuguese, the Germans or the Boers from moving into south-central Africa. Rhodes' companies and agents cemented these advantages by obtaining many mining concessions, as exemplified by the Rudd and Lochner Concessions.[25]
Treaties, concessions and chartersEditRhodes had already tried and failed to get a mining concession from Lobengula, king of the Ndebele of Matabeleland. In 1888 he tried again. He sent John Moffat, son of the missionary Robert Moffat, who was trusted by Lobengula, to persuade the latter to sign a treaty of friendship with Britain, and to look favourably on Rhodes' proposals. His agent Francis Thompson, who had travelled to Bulawayo in the company of Charles Rudd and Rochfort Maguire, assured Lobengula that no more than ten white men would mine in Matabeleland. This limitation was left out of the document, known as the Rudd Concession, which Lobengula signed. Furthermore it stated that the mining companies could do anything necessary to their operations. When Lobengula discovered later the true effects of the concession, he tried to renounce it, but the British Government ignored him.[25]
Armed with the Rudd Concession, in 1889 Rhodes obtained a charter from the British Government for his British South Africa Company (BSAC) to rule, police, and make new treaties and concessions from the Limpopo River to the great lakes of Central Africa. He obtained further concessions and treaties north of the Zambezi, such as those in Barotseland (the Lochner Concession with King Lewanika in 1890, which was similar to the Rudd Concession); and in the Lake Mweru area (Alfred Sharpe's 1890 Kazembe concession). Rhodes also sent Sharpe to get a concession over mineral-rich Katanga, but met his match in ruthlessness: when Sharpe was rebuffed by its ruler Msiri, King Leopold II of Belgium obtained a concession over Msiri's dead body for his Congo Free State.[26]
Rhodes also wanted Bechuanaland Protectorate (now Botswana) under the BSAC charter. But three Tswana kings, including Khama III, travelled to Britain and won over British public opinion for it to remain governed by the British Colonial Office in London. Rhodes commented: "It is humiliating to be utterly beaten by these niggers."[25]
The British Colonial Office also decided to administer British Central Africa (Nyasaland, today's Malawi) owing to the activism of Scotsmissionaries trying to end the slave trade. Rhodes paid much of the cost so that the British Central Africa Commissioner Sir Harry Johnston, and his successor Alfred Sharpe, would assist with security for Rhodes in the BSAC's north-eastern territories. Johnston shared Rhodes' expansionist views, but he and his successors were not as pro-settler as Rhodes, and disagreed on dealings with Africans.
RhodesiaEditThe BSAC had its own police force, the British South Africa Police, which was used to control Matabeleland and Mashonaland, in present-day Zimbabwe.[citation needed] The company had hoped to start a "new Rand" from the ancient gold mines of the Shona. Because the gold deposits were on a much smaller scale, many of the white settlers who accompanied the BSAC to Mashonaland became farmers rather than miners. When the Ndebele and the Shona'--the two main, but rival, peoples'--separately rebelled against the coming of the European settlers, the BSAC defeated them in the First Matabele War and Second Matabele War. Shortly after learning of the assassination of the Ndebele spiritual leader, Mlimo, by the American scout Frederick Russell Burnham, Rhodes walked unarmed into the Ndebele stronghold in Matobo Hills. He persuaded the Impi to lay down their arms, thus ending the Second Matabele War.[27]
By the end of 1894, the territories over which the BSAC had concessions or treaties, collectively called "Zambesia" after the Zambezi River flowing through the middle, comprised an area of 1,143,000 km² between the Limpopo River and Lake Tanganyika. In May 1895, its name was officially changed to "Rhodesia", reflecting Rhodes' popularity among settlers who had been using the name informally since 1891. The designation Southern Rhodesia was officially adopted in 1898 for the part south of the Zambezi, which later became Zimbabwe; and the designations North-Western and North-Eastern Rhodesia were used from 1895 for the territory which later became Northern Rhodesia, then Zambia.[28][29]
Rhodes decreed in his will that he was to be buried in Matobo Hills. After his death in the Cape in 1902, his body was transported by train to Bulawayo. His burial was attended by Ndebele chiefs, who asked that the firing party should not discharge their rifles as this would disturb the spirits. Then, for the first time, they gave a white man the Matabele royal salute, Bayete. Rhodes was buried alongside Leander Starr Jameson and 34 British soldiers killed in the Shangani Patrol.[30] Despite occasional efforts to return his body to the United Kingdom, his grave remains there still, "part and parcel of the history of Zimbabwe" and attracts thousands of visitors each year. [31]
"Cape to Cairo Red Line"EditMap showing almost complete British control of the Cape to Cairo route, 1914 British control
One of Rhodes' dreams (and the dream of many other members of the British Empire) was for a "red line" on the map from the Cape to Cairo. (On geo-political maps, British dominions were always denoted in red or pink.) Rhodes had been instrumental in securing southern African states for the Empire. He and others felt the best way to "unify the possessions, facilitate governance, enable the military to move quickly to hot spots or conduct war, help settlement, and foster trade" would be to build the "Cape to Cairo Railway".
This enterprise was not without its problems. France had a rival strategy in the late 1890s to link its colonies from west to east across the continent. The Portuguese produced the "Pink Map", representing their claims to sovereignty in Africa.
Political viewsEditRhodes wanted to expand the British Empire because he believed that the Anglo-Saxonrace was destined to greatness. In his last will and testament, Rhodes said of the British, "I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable specimens of human beings what an alteration there would be if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon influence, look again at the extra employment a new country added to our dominions gives."[32] He wanted to make the British Empire a superpower in which all of the British-dominated countries in the empire, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Cape Colony, would be represented in the British Parliament.[33] Rhodes included American students as eligible for the Rhodes scholarships. He said that he wanted to breed an American elite of philosopher-kings who would have the United States rejoin the British Empire. As Rhodes also respected the Germans and admired the Kaiser, he allowed German students to be included in the Rhodes scholarships. He believed that eventually the United Kingdom (including Ireland), the USA, and Germany together would dominate the world and ensure peace.[9]
On domestic politics within the United Kingdom, Rhodes was a supporter of the Liberal Party.[9] Rhodes' only major impact on domestic politics within the United Kingdom was his support of the Irish nationalist party, led by Charles Stewart Parnell (1846''1891). He contributed a great deal of money to the Irish nationalists,[8][9] although Rhodes made his support conditional upon an autonomous Ireland's still being represented in the British Parliament.[9] Rhodes was such a strong supporter of Parnell that, after the Liberals and the Irish nationalists disowned Parnell because of his affair with the wife of another Irish nationalist, Rhodes continued his support.[8]
Rhodes was more tolerant of the Dutch-speaking whites in the Cape Colony than were the other English-speaking whites in the Cape Colony. He supported teaching Dutch as well as English in public schools in the Cape Colony and lent money to support this cause. While Prime Minister of the Cape Colony, he helped to remove most of the legal disabilities that English-speaking whites had imposed on Dutch-speaking whites.[9] He was a friend of Jan Hofmeyr, leader of the Afrikaner Bond, and it was largely because of Afrikaner support that he became Prime Minister of the Cape Colony.[8][9] Rhodes advocated greater self-government for the Cape Colony, in line with his preference for the empire to be controlled by local settlers and politicians rather than by London (see "Rhodes and the imperial factor" above).
Personal relationshipsEditSexualityEditRhodes never married, pleading "I have too much work on my hands" and saying that he would not be a dutiful husband.[34] Some writers and academics[35][36] have suggested that Rhodes may have been homosexual. The scholar Richard Brown observed: "there is still the simpler but major problem of the extraordinarily thin evidence on which the conclusions about Rhodes are reached. Rhodes himself left few details... Indeed, Rhodes is a singularly difficult subject... since there exists little intimate material '' no diaries and few personal letters."[37]
Brown also comments: "On the issue of Rhodes' sexuality... there is, once again, simply not enough reliable evidence to reach firm, irrefutable conclusions. It is inferred, but not proven, that Rhodes was homosexual and it is assumed (but not proven) that his relationships with men were sometimes physical. Neville Pickering is described as Rhodes' lover in spite of the absence of decisive evidence."[37] Rhodes was close to Pickering; he returned from negotiations for Pickering's 25th birthday in 1882. On that occasion, Rhodes drew up a new will leaving his estate to Pickering.[34] Two years later, Pickering suffered a riding accident. Rhodes nursed him faithfully for six weeks, refusing even to answer telegrams concerning his business interests. Pickering died in Rhodes's arms, and at his funeral, Rhodes was said to have wept with fervour.[35]
His successor was Henry Latham Currey, the son of an old friend, who had become Rhodes's private secretary in 1884.[38] When Currey was engaged in 1894, Rhodes was deeply mortified and their relationship split.[39]
Rhodes also remained close to Leander Starr Jameson after the two had met in Kimberley, where they shared a bungalow.[40] In 1896 Earl Grey came to give Rhodes bad news. Rhodes instantly jumped to the conclusion that Jameson, who was ill, had died. On learning that his house had burnt down he commented, "Thank goodness. If Dr. Jim had died, I should never have got over it."[41] Jameson nursed Rhodes during his final illness, was a trustee of his estate and residuary beneficiary of his will, which allowed him to continue living in Rhodes' mansion after his death. Rhodes' secretary, Jourdan, who was present shortly after Rhodes' death said, "Jameson was fighting against his own grief ... No mother could have displayed more tenderness towards the remains of a loved son". Jameson died in England in 1917, but after the war in 1920 his body was transferred to a grave beside that of Rhodes on Malindidzimu Hill or World's View, a granite hill in the Matopo National Park 40 km south of Bulawayo.[42]
Princess RadziwiłłEditIn the last years of his life, Rhodes was stalked by Polish princess Catherine Radziwiłł, born Rzewuska, married into a noble Polish-Lithuanian dynasty called Radziwiłł. Radziwiłł falsely claimed that she was engaged to Rhodes, or that they were having an affair. She asked him to marry her, but Rhodes refused. She got revenge by accusing him of loan fraud. He had to go to trial and testify against her accusation. He died shortly after the trial in 1902. She wrote a biography of Rhodes called Cecil Rhodes: Man and Empire Maker. Her accusations were eventually proved false.[8][43]
Boer WarsEditDuring the Boer Wars Rhodes went to Kimberley at the onset of the siege, in a calculated move to raise the political stakes on the government to dedicate resources to the defence of the city. The military felt he was more of a liability than an asset and found him intolerable. In particular, Lieutenant Colonel Kekewich disliked Rhodes because of Rhodes' inability to co-operate with the military;[44] Rhodes insisted that the military should adopt his plans and ideas instead of following their orders.[8][45] Despite the differences, Rhodes' company was instrumental in the defence of the city, providing water, refrigeration facilities, constructing fortifications, manufacturing an armoured train, shells and a one-off gun named Long Cecil.[46]
Rhodes used his position and influence to lobby the British government to relieve the siege of Kimberley, claiming in the press that the situation in the city was desperate. The military wanted to assemble a large force to take the Boer cities of Bloemfontein and Pretoria, but they were compelled to change their plans and send three separate smaller forces to relieve the sieges of Kimberley, Mafeking and Ladysmith.[47]
Death and legacyEditAlthough Rhodes remained a leading figure in the politics of southern Africa, especially during the Second Boer War, he was dogged by ill health throughout his relatively short life. He was sent to Natal aged 16 because it was believed the climate might help problems with his heart. On returning to England in 1872 his health again deteriorated with heart and lung problems, to the extent that his doctor, Sir Morell Mackenzie, believed he would only survive six months. He returned to Kimberley where his health improved. From age 40 his heart condition returned with increasing severity until his death from heart failure in 1902, aged 48, at his seaside cottage in Muizenberg.[1] The Government arranged an epic journey by train from the Cape to Rhodesia, with the funeral train stopping at every station to allow mourners to pay their respects. He was finally laid to rest at World's View, a hilltop located approximately 35 kilometres (22 mi) south of Bulawayo, in what was then Rhodesia. Today, his grave site is part of Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe.
The continued presence of Rhodes' grave in the Matopos hills has not been without controversy in contemporary Zimbabwe. In December 2010 Cain Mathema, the governor of Bulawayo, branded Rhodes' grave outside the country's second city of Bulawayo an "insult to the African ancestors" and said he believed its presence had brought bad luck and poor weather to the region. The grave site is considered an important national and historic monument on protected land which attracts a lot of tourist visitors every year.[48]
In February 2012, Mugabe loyalists and ZANU-PF activists visited the grave site demanding permission from the local chief to exhume Rhodes' remains and return them to Britain. This was considered a nationalist political stunt in the run up to an election, rather than representing any genuine national desire to remove the grave. Local Chief Masuku and Godfrey Mahachi, one of the country's foremost archaeologists, strongly expressed their opposition to the grave being removed due to its historical significance to Zimbabwe. President Robert Mugabe has also opposed any such move.[49]
In 2004, he was voted 56th in the SABC3 television series Great South Africans.[50]
At his death he was considered one of the wealthiest men in the world. In his first will, written in 1877 before he had accumulated his wealth, Rhodes wanted to create a secret society that would bring the whole world under British rule.[8] The exact wording from this will is:
To and for the establishment, promotion and development of a Secret Society, the true aim and object whereof shall be for the extension of British rule throughout the world, the perfecting of a system of emigration from the United Kingdom, and of colonisation by British subjects of all lands where the means of livelihood are attainable by energy, labour and enterprise, and especially the occupation by British settlers of the entire Continent of Africa, the Holy Land, the Valley of the Euphrates, the Islands of Cyprus and Candia, the whole of South America, the Islands of the Pacific not heretofore possessed by Great Britain, the whole of the Malay Archipelago, the seaboard of China and Japan, the ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of the British Empire, the inauguration of a system of Colonial representation in the Imperial Parliament which may tend to weld together the disjointed members of the Empire and, finally, the foundation of so great a Power as to render wars impossible, and promote the best interests of humanity.[51]
Rhodes' final will[52] left a large area of land on the slopes of Table Mountain to the South African nation. Part of this estate became the upper campus of the University of Cape Town, another part became the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, while much was spared from development and is now an important conservation area.
Rhodes ScholarshipEditIn his last will and testament, he provided for the establishment of the famous Rhodes Scholarship,[52] the world's first international study program. The scholarship enabled students from territories under British rule or formerly under British rule and from Germany to study at the Rhodes's alma mater, the University of Oxford.[52]
MemorialsEditRhodes Memorial stands on Rhodes' favourite spot on the slopes of Devil's Peak, Cape Town, with a view looking north and east towards the Cape to Cairo route. Rhodes' house in Cape Town, Groote Schuur, has recently[when?] been inhabited by the President of the R.S.A. Jacob Zuma.[53]
His birthplace was established in 1938 as the Rhodes Memorial Museum, now known as Bishops Stortford Museum.[54] The cottage in Muizenberg where he died is a provincial heritage site in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The cottage today is operated as a museum by the Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society, and is open to the public. A broad display of Rhodes material can be seen, including the original De Beers board room table around which diamonds worth billions of dollars were traded.[citation needed]
Rhodes University College, now Rhodes University, in Grahamstown, was established in his name by his trustees and founded by Act of Parliament on 31 May 1904.
The residents of Kimberley elected to build a memorial in Rhodes' honour in their city, which was unveiled in 1907. The 72-ton bronze statue depicts Rhodes on his horse, looking north with map in hand, and dressed as he was when met the Ndebele after their rebellion.[55]
QuotationsEdit"To think of these stars that you see overhead at night, these vast worlds which we can never reach. I would annexe the planets if I could; I often think of that. It makes me sad to see them so clear and yet so far."[56]"Pure philanthropy is very well in its way but philanthropy plus five percent is a good deal better."[57]"I contend that we are the first race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race...If there be a God, I think that what he would like me to do is paint as much of the map of Africa British Red as possible..."[58]"To save the forty million inhabitants of the United Kingdom from a bloody civil war, our colonial statesmen must acquire new lands for settling the surplus population of this country, to provide new markets... The Empire, as I have always said, is a bread and butter question"[59]"Remember that you are an Englishman, and have consequently won first prize in the lottery of life."[60]"Equal Rights for all Civilized Men South of the Zambesi."[61]"I could never accept the position that we should disqualify a human being on account of his colour."[62]MisquotationsEdit"To be born English is to win first prize in the lottery of life."[63]"We must find new lands from which we can easily obtain raw materials and at the same time exploit the cheap slave labour that is available from the natives of the colonies. The colonies would also provide a dumping ground for the surplus goods produced in our factories."[64][65]The wording in this quote is disputed and original source is unknown."So little done. So much to do" is often falsely quoted as being the last words uttered by Rhodes on his death bed.[66]Popular cultureEditMark Twain's sarcastic summation of Rhodes ("I admire him, I frankly confess it; and when his time comes I shall buy a piece of the rope for a keepsake"), from Chapter LXIX of Following the Equator, still often appears in collections of famous insults.[67] His account of how "Cecil Rhodes" made his first fortune by discovering, in Australia, in the belly of a shark, a newspaper that gave him advance knowledge of a great rise in wool prices, is completely fictional '' Twain dates the event at 1870, when Rhodes was in South Africa.The will of Cecil Rhodes is the central theme in the science fiction book Great Work of Time by John Crowley, an alternate history in which the Secret Society stipulated in the will was indeed established. Its members eventually achieve the secret of time travel and use it to restrain World War I and prevent World War II, and to perpetuate the world ascendancy of the British Empire up to the end of the Twentieth Century. The book contains a vivid description of Cecil Rhodes himself, seen through the eyes of a traveller from the future British Empire.In 1996, BBC-TV made an eight-part television drama about Rhodes called Rhodes: The Life and Legend of Cecil Rhodes. It was produced by David Drury and written by Antony Thomas. It tells the story of Rhodes' life through a series of flashbacks of conversations between him and Princess Catherine Radziwill and also between her and people who knew him. It also shows the story of how she stalked and eventually ruined him. In the serial, Cecil Rhodes is played by Martin Shaw, the younger Cecil Rhodes is played by his son Joe Shaw, and Princess Radziwill is played by Frances Barber. In the serial Rhodes is portrayed as ruthless and greedy. The serial also suggests that he was homosexual.[69]Rhodes was played by Ferdinand Marian in the Nazi 1941 propaganda movie Ohm Kr¼ger, where he - like all other British characters in the film - was presented as an outright villain.In 1901, Rhodes bought Dalham Hall, Suffolk. In 1902 Colonel Francis William Rhodes erected the village hall[70] in the village of Dalham, to commemorate the life of his brother, who had died before taking possession of the estate.Rhodes was a peripheral but influential character in the historical novel The Covenant by James A. Michener.Rhodes has been portrayed by Dr. C. Magbaily Fyle as a violent and brutal racist who used forced labour tactics as a means of founding De Beers.[71]ReferencesEdit^ ab"Death of Mr. Rhodes", The Times, 27 March 1902; pg. 7^[1] "1888 De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited is established on 12 March. Rhodes is named founding chairman."^[2]"With the provision of funding for the creation of De Beers in 1887, Rothschild also turned to investment in the mining of precious stones, in Africa and India."^Martin Meredith, Diamonds Gold and War, (New York: Public Affairs, 2007):162^Richard A. McFarlane, "Historiography of Selected Works on Cecil John Rhodes (1853''1902)", History in Africa, Vol. 34 (2007), pp. 437''446 (available at Project MUSE)^Cecil Rhodes, Makers of the 19th century, H. Holt & Company, 1921, retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=A1txHgXvlU4C on 22 May 2011^This is not the same person as the cricketer Herbert Rhodes.^ abcdefghThomas, Anthony (November 1997). Rhodes: The Race for Africa. London Bridge. ISBN 0-563-38742-4. ^ abcdefgFlint, John (November 1974). Cecil Rhodes. Little Brown and Company. ISBN 0-316-28630-3. ^Epstein, Edward Jay (1982). The Rise and Fall of Diamonds. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-671-41289-2. Retrieved 27 November 2008. ^Knowles, Lilian Charlotte Anne (2005). The Economic Development of the British Overseas Empire. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-415-35048-4. ^ abBoschendal. Boschendal Limited. 2007. ISBN 978-0-620-38001-0. ^Fruit and Food Technology Research Institute, Stellenbosch: Information Bulletin no.22.(1971)^De Beer, G. 160 Years of Export. Cape Town: PPECB, 2003.^Desiree Picton-Seymour Historical Buildings in South Africa Publisher: Struikhof 1989^Oberholster, A. G.; Van Breda, Pieter (1987). Paarl Valley, 1687''1987. Human Sciences Research Council. p. 91. ISBN 0-7969-0539-8. ^"Cecil John Rhodes". sahistory.org.za. Retrieved 29 October 2011. ^"Apollo University Lodge no. 357: History: 1870''1914". Apollo357.com. 14 February 1911. Retrieved 29 October 2011. ^Eric Rosenthal, Famous South African surnames^F. Orpen, British Intelligence Records and Maps, 1800's^Official Intelligence Report, British government, 1879^Rotberg, Robert I (20 October 1988). The Founder:Cecil Rhodes and the Pursuit of Power. ISBN 9780199879205. ^£200,000 (1880) = ~£12.9m (2004) =~ $22.5m (The Purchasing Power of British Pounds from 1264 to 2006)^http://myfundi.co.za/e/History_of_South_Africa_Timeline_%281485-1975%29^ abcdParsons, Neil, A New History of Southern Africa, Second Edition. Macmillan, London (1993), pp 179''181.^See article on Msiri for details and references.^Farwell, Byron (2001). The Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Land Warfare: An Illustrated World View. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 539. ISBN 0-393-04770-9. ^"First Records-'– 6. The Name Rhodesia", The Northern Rhodesia Journal, Vol II, No. 4 (1954) pp101''102.^Gray, J.A. "A Country in Search of a Name", The Northern Rhodesia Journal, Vol III, No. 1 (1956) pp75''78.^Domville-Fife, C.W. (1900). The encyclopedia of the British Empire the first encyclopedic record of the greatest empire in the history of the world. Bristol: Rankin. p. 89. ^http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/zimbabwe/9098490/Robert-Mugabe-blocks-Cecil-John-Rhodes-exhumation.html^Cecil J. Rhodes, "Confession of Faith," essay included in The Last Will and Testament of Cecil John Rhodes, ed. WT Stead (Review of Reviews Office: London), 1902.^The founder: Cecil Rhodes and the pursuit of power. Oxford University Press. 1988. p. 800. ISBN 978-0-19-504968-8. Retrieved 22 June 2010. ^ abPlomer, W., Cecil Rhodes, London, 1933.^ abAldrich, Robert; Wotherspoon, Garry (2001). Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History. Routledge. pp. 370''371. ISBN 0-415-15982-2. Retrieved 15 April 2009. ^Thomas, Antony (1996) Encyclopaedia of National Biography University of Oxford.^ abBrown, Richard, Review: The Colossus. The Journal of African History, Vol.31 No.3 (1990) pp.499''502.^Currey, John Blades (1986). Phillida Brooke Simons, ed. John Blades Currey, 1850 to 1900: Fifty Years in the Cape Colony. Brenthurst Press. p. 26. ISBN 0-909079-31-5. ^Rotberg, Robert I.; Shore, Miles F. (1988). The Founder: Cecil Rhodes and the Pursuit of Power. Oxford University Press. p. 394. ISBN 0-19-504968-3. ^Robert Massie (1991). Dreadnought:Britain, Germany and the coming of the Great War. London: Johnathan Cape. pp. 218, 230. ISBN 0-224-03260-7. ^William Thomas Stead (1902). 'The last will and testament of Cecil John Rhodes: with elucidatory notes to which are added some chapters describing the political and religious ideas of the testator. London: 'Review of Reviews'. p. 178. ^Colvin, Ian Duncan (1922). The Life of Jameson. London: E. Arnold and Co. pp. 209, 320. ^Roberts, Brian (1969). Cecil Rhodes and the princess. Hamilton. ISBN 0-241-01603-7. ^Phelan, T. (1913). The Siege of Kimberley. Dublin: M.H. Gill & Son, Ltd. ^Pakenham, Thomas (1992) The Boer War Avon Books ISBN 0-380-72001-9^Roberts, Brian (1976). Kimberley: Turbulent City. Cape Town: D. Philip in association with the Historical Society of Kimberley and the Northern Cape. ISBN 0-949968-62-5. ^Thompson, J. Lee (2007). Forgotten patriot. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press. p. 157. ISBN 0-8386-4121-0. ^Gore, Alex (22 February 2013). "Mugabe loyalists demand body of colonialist Cecil Rhodes be exhumed and sent back to Britain". MailOnline (London). Retrieved 1 April 2013. ^Laing, Aislinn (22 February 2013). "Robert Mugabe blocks Cecil John Rhodes exhumation". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 1 April 2013. ^http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/southafrica/1474531/Racists-on-list-of-Great-South-Africans.html^Rotberg, The Founder, pp. 101, 102. & Niall Ferguson, The House of Rothschild: The World's Banker, 1848''1998, Penguin Books, 2000^ abcRhodes, Cecil; Stead, William Thomas (1902). The last will and testament of Cecil John Rhodes: with elucidatory notes to which are added some chapters describing the political and religious ideas of the testator. "Review of Reviews" Office. ^"Jacob Zuma's House: The President Elect is Set to Live it Up Once More". "Property" '' the property magazine. April 2009. ^Bishops Stortford Museum[dead link]^Maylam, Paul (2005). The Cult of Rhodes. New Africa Books. p. 56. ISBN 0-86486-684-4. ^S. Gertrude Millin, Rhodes, London, 1933, p.138^Johari, J. C. (1993). Voices of Indian Freedom Movement. Anmol Publications PVT. LTD. p. 207. ISBN 978-81-7158-225-9. ^"The Story of Africa". BBC World Service. Retrieved 13 June 2009. ^Simpson, William; Jones, Martin Desmond (2000). "Googleooks entry". Europe, 1783''1914 (Routledge). ISBN 9780415226608. Retrieved 13 June 2009. ^"The lottery of life", The Independent, 5 May 2001, www.independent.co.uk. Retrieved on 26 January 2010.^Gordon Le Sueur 'Cecil Rhodes the Man and His Work', pg. 76Le Sueur states that Rhodes originally said: "Equal rights for all white men south of the Zambesi", but when asked to verify his statement, "clarified" it, and it was the "clarified" wording which the press published.^Davidson, Apollon (1988) [1984]. Cecil Rhodes and His Time (First English ed.). Moscow: Progress Publishers. p. 255. ISBN 5-01-001828-4. ^Briggs, Simon (31 May 2009). "England on guard as world takes aim in Twenty20 stakes". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 13 June 2009. ^Wong, Melody. "Teaching a "Racist and Outdated Text": A Journey into my own Heart of Darkness". Western Washington University. Retrieved 20 September 2008. ^Britten, Sarah (2006). The Art of the South African Insult. 30° South Publishers. p. 167. ISBN 978-1-920143-05-3. ^"PBS : Empires : Queen Victoria : The Changing Empire : Characters : Cecil Rhodes". PBS. Retrieved 1 April 2013. ^Complete Works of Mark Twain. Following the Equator (Part 2). Chapter XIII. Cecil Rhodes' Shark and his First Fortune; Chapter LXIX. The Most Imposing Man in British Provinces;^Rhodes of Africa (1936).^Godwin, Peter (11 January 1998). "Rhodes to Hell". Slate. Retrieved 7 January 2007. ^"Dalham Village Hall Commemoration Plaque by Colonel Frank Rhodes". ^Fyle, C. M. Introduction to the History of African Civilization: Colonial and Post-Colonial Africa Vol. II. University Press of America, 2001.Further readingEditExternal linksEditPersondataNameRhodes, Cecil JohnAlternative namesShort descriptionEnglish businessman and politician in colonial South AfricaDate of birth5 July 1853Place of birthBishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England.Date of death26 March 1902Place of deathMuizenberg, Cape Colony, (now South Africa)
Rhodes red-Line
One of Rhodes' dreams (and the dream of many other members of the British Empire) was for a "red line" on the map from the Cape to Cairo. (On geo-political maps, British dominions were always denoted in red or pink.) Rhodes had been instrumental in securing southern African states for the Empire. He and others felt the best way to "unify the possessions, facilitate governance, enable the military to move quickly to hot spots or conduct war, help settlement, and foster trade" would be to build the "Cape to Cairo Railway".
This enterprise was not without its problems. France had a rival strategy in the late 1890s to link its colonies from west to east across the continent. The Portuguese produced the "Pink Map", representing their claims to sovereignty in Africa.
Cape to Cairo Railway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 06:52
The Cape to Cairo Railway is an uncompleted project to cross Africa from south to north by rail. This plan was initiated at the end of the 19th century, during the time of colonial rule, largely under the vision of Cecil Rhodes, in the attempt to connect adjacent African possessions of the British Empire through a continuous line from Cape Town, South Africa to Cairo, Egypt. While most sections of the Cape to Cairo railway are in operation, a major part is missing between northern Sudan and Uganda.
Reasons for constructionEditBritish colonialism in Africa is closely linked to the concept of the Cape to Cairo Railway. Cecil Rhodes was instrumental in securing the southern states of the continent for the British Empire and envisioned a continuous "red line" of British dominions from north to south. A railway would be a critical element in this scheme to unify the possessions, facilitate governance, enable the military to move quickly to hot spots or conduct war, help settlement and foster trade. The construction of this project presented a major technological challenge.
France had a rival strategy in the late 1890s to link its colonies from west to east across the continent, Senegal to Djibouti. Southern Sudan and Ethiopia were in the way, but France sent expeditions in 1897 to establish a protectorate in southern Sudan and to find a route across Ethiopia. The scheme foundered when a British flotilla on the River Nile confronted the French expedition at the point of intersection between the French and British routes, leading to the Fashoda Incident and eventual diplomatic defeat for France.
The Portuguese had similar ideas, and produced the "Pink Map" representing their claims to sovereignty in Africa.
Reasons for failure to completeEditMap showing almost complete British control of the Cape to Cairo route, 1914 British control
British interests had to overcome not only the formidable obstacles posed by geography and climate, but also interfering ambitions by other powers, the Fashoda incident, and the Portuguese ambition to link Angola and Mozambique - known as the Pink Map. Opposition to British rule in South Africa was settled after the First and Second Boer Wars. Germany had secured a critical piece of territory in East Africa that precluded completion of the north-south link. However, with the defeat of Germany in 1918, most of this territory fell into British hands and politically the link was closed. After 1918, the British Empire possessed the political power to complete the Cape-Cairo Railway, but economic issues precluded its completion between the world wars. After World War II, the national struggles of the African peoples and the demise of colonialism removed the foundations for its completion.
Current linksEditNorthern sectionEditEgypt has a rail system that as early as 1854 connected Alexandria and Cairo, and that currently goes as far south as Aswan. In Egypt the railway is 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1'2 in) standard gauge. After a ferry link up on the Nile, the railway continues in Sudan from Wadi Halfa to Khartoum at the 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) narrow gauge; see Northern Africa Railroad Development. This part of the system was started by Lord Kitchener in 1897 when he subjugated the Mahdist uprising. Further railway links go south, the most southern point being Wau. A large part of the Sudanese railway network is currently in disrepair due to political turmoil.[citation needed]
Uganda railwayEditMain article: Uganda RailwayEast Africa has a network of narrow gauge 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3'8 in) railways that historically grew from ports on the Indian Ocean and went westward, built in parallel under British and German colonial rule. The furthest string north was the Uganda Railway. Eventually these networks were linked, so that today there is a continuous rail connection between Kampala, Uganda, on Lake Victoria to the coastal cities of Mombasa in Kenya and Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania. Up to the break-up of the East African Community in 1977, these companies operated as East African Railways, but operate today as different national companies: the Uganda Railways Corporation Uganda railways corporation's assets were sold over 13 years ago when government failed to run the corporation, as the cost of running it was greater than the returns. Today, railway business in Uganda is run by Rift Valley Railways of Kenya, the Kenya Railways Corporation, and the Tanzania Railways Corporation.[citation needed]
TAZARA linkEditMain article: TAZARA RailwayFrom Dar-es-Salaam, a separate 1,860 km link to Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia was completed after six years by workers of the People's Republic of China in 1976. This Tanzania-Zambia-Railway (TAZARA) was built to connect landlocked Zambia and its mineral wealth to the port at the Indian Ocean, independent from connections through South Africa or at that time Portuguese controlled territory. Yet, while not intended in the grand picture of the Cape to Cairo Railway, the TAZARA fills a critical link. This connection is at the same 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge as the system in the southern part of Africa.
Kidatu connectionEditIn 1998, a transshipment hub was built at Kidatu in southern Tanzania to connect the metre gaugeCentral Line (Tanzania) with the Cape gaugeTAZARA line. This also shortened the distance.
Southern sectionEditThe southern section was completed during British rule before the First World War and has an interconnecting system of national railways using the Cape-gauge of 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in). Construction started from Cape Town and went parallel to the Great North Road to Kimberley, through a part of Botswana to Bulawayo. From this junction the link proceeds further north, today operated by the National Railways of Zimbabwe, to the Zambezi crossing. The Victoria Falls Bridge was completed in 1905. The connection is picked up by Zambia Railways and continues to Kapiri Mposhi which is the transition point to the TAZARA link to Tanzania.
The concept of the Cape to Cairo Railway is not dead. While the current turmoil in Sudan is an obstacle to its completion, tangible concepts have been forwarded to complete the link between Sudan and East Africa for economic reasons.[1] This would complete a somewhat awkward Cape to Cairo line with three gauges (1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) twice) and three breaks of gauge.
An attempt to travel from Cape to Cairo by road was made in 1924, using two cars.[2]
ReferencesEditExternal linksEdit
Cecil Rhode's Secret Scociety
At his death he was considered one of the wealthiest men in the world. In his first will, written in 1877 before he had accumulated his wealth, Rhodes wanted to create a secret society that would bring the whole world under British rule.[8] The exact wording from this will is:
To and for the establishment, promotion and development of a Secret Society, the true aim and object whereof shall be for the extension of British rule throughout the world, the perfecting of a system of emigration from the United Kingdom, and of colonisation by British subjects of all lands where the means of livelihood are attainable by energy, labour and enterprise, and especially the occupation by British settlers of the entire Continent of Africa, the Holy Land, the Valley of the Euphrates, the Islands of Cyprus and Candia, the whole of South America, the Islands of the Pacific not heretofore possessed by Great Britain, the whole of the Malay Archipelago, the seaboard of China and Japan, the ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of the British Empire, the inauguration of a system of Colonial representation in the Imperial Parliament which may tend to weld together the disjointed members of the Empire and, finally, the foundation of so grea t a Power as to render wars impossible, and promote the best interests of humanity.[51]
Russ Baker on Rhodes jr
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 07:36
NYTimes½ Rhodes to Nowhere: A Cipher in the Oval Office2013 03 22By Russ Baker | WhoWhatWhy
RIC Editors Note:(Cipher: person or thing of no value or importance; nonentity. )In this fascinating article, Russ Baker examines the troubling lack of information on a young man that has gained much influence within the halls of power in Washington D.C. How has 35 year old Benjamin J. Rhodes (namesake of Cecil Rhodes - imperialist founder of the Rhodes Scholarship and the Round Table governance movement) come from of a ½run of the mill½ background to become a close administration insider? Not only does Rhodes write speeches and advise on foreign policy for President Obama, he was part of that notorious whitewash - the 9/11 Commission report! Why has the press effectively given this man a pass? Has Rhodes got his hands on the many pieces of the ½grand chessboard½?
For some possible context to President Obama½s current trip to Israel, I thought back to yet another of the New York Times½s oddly unsatisfying ½profiles of power.½ This one, which was published last week, introduces us to a highly influential Obama foreign policy adviser:
As President Obama prepares to visit Israel next week, he is turning, as he often does, to Benjamin J. Rhodes, a 35-year-old deputy national security adviser with a soft voice, strong opinions and a reputation around the White House as the man who channels Mr. Obama on foreign policy.
Mr. Rhodes is drafting the address to the Israeli people the president plans to give in Jerusalem, but his influence extends beyond what either his title or speechwriting duties suggest. Drawing on personal ties and a philosophical kinship with Mr. Obama that go back to the 2008 campaign, Mr. Rhodes helped prod his boss to take a more activist policy toward Egypt and Libya when those countries erupted in 2011.
Unfortunately, the article never really explains what that ½philosophical kinship½ is. It would be of particular interest to those who have always wondered, and still do not know, what Barack Obama½s overarching philosophy is.
We don½t really learn much about Rhodes½s either, beyond the fact that he is quietly pushing for more US intervention in Syria, on the heels of a successful push to convince a supposedly reticent Obama to bomb the heck out of Libya, purportedly for human rights reasons. Some now know better½that removing Qaddafi had precious little to do with helping innocent people and a lot to do with oil companies, banks and intelligence agencies.
What½s especially strange about the article is that, for those of us who continue to wonder how a virtual cipher rose so quickly from the Illinois legislature to become the most powerful person in the world, we end up wondering the same thing about an aspiring novelist from New York City who fairly catapults to enormous influence in shaping policy regarding some of the most complex and sensitive matters facing this country.
Somehow, beyond noting that ½In many ways, Mr. Rhodes is an improbable choice for a job at the heart of the national security apparatus,½ the Times is not sufficiently curious about any of this to probe further. Instead, it provides a clutch of clich½s. We learn that the Rhodes family is fiercely divided between Yankees fans and Mets fans. We learn the father is a conservative-leaning Episcopalian from Texas, the mother a liberal Jew from New York.
Though the Times never underlines this, the careful reader comes to realize that Rhodes½s guiding philosophy is as hard to discern as the precise reasons that he has the president½s ear. In 1997, he briefly worked on the re-election campaign of New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Republican. Shortly after 9/11, the aspiring novelist suddenly decided to do his part for society, moving in 2002 from Queens to Washington, and quickly found himself ½helping draft the 9/11 Commission report as well as the Iraq Study Group report.½
The Times, of course, does not think it is worth pointing out how strange this is. It is almost as if all 24-year-olds with no apparent credentials of any kind go directly to explaining the most massively controversial and complex set of circumstances to the American people.
Read the full article at: whowhatwhy.com
Obama Foreign Policy Whiz is Full of Personal Anguish and Has an Unfinished NovelBenjamin J. Rhodes was just a run-of-the-mill New York prep school kid working on a novel, when the events of 9/11 changed him forever. Now an intervention-favoring deputy national security adviser for the President, Rhodes, 35, is filled with anguish at the suffering of people the world over, trying to be free:
"It½s hard for Ben in the same way it½s hard for the president," said Denis R. McDonough, the White House chief of staff, who worked closely with Mr. Rhodes in his previous job as the principal deputy national security adviser. "He cares about people. You can½t see what½s happening in Syria and not be torn by it. At the same time, he½s very realistic."
Rhodes, who moved to Washington in 2001, apparently has the President½s ear when it comes to policy, and has favored such can½t-miss policies like arming the opposition to Qaddaffi in Libya (which has totally worked out for Mali), and now is pushing the President towards arming the Syrian opposition. Nowhere in the glowing New York Times profile does it mention his support of drone strikes, the collateral of which probably appeals more to his realistic side, than the "caring about people" one. Source
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The 2014 Rhodes scholars - stars in the making? - Features - Health & Families - The Independent
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 07:38
As ever, the biggest contingent, 32 strong, is from the United States. Within the US contingent, Harvard University has chalked up the biggest score, winning six scholarships. The sole representative of the state of Illinois is Vinay Nayak, whose pharmacist father, Raghuveer, awaiting sentence for health care fraud, is reputed to be the "bribe guy" fixer who tried to flog Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat for a vast sum. The Daily Pennsylvanian has noted ruefully that Penn University has none, for the fourth year in a row.
Cecil Rhodes, the businessman and imperialist who used to have two African states named after him, launched the first scholarship, for a couple of promising young South Africans in 1902. The number quickly expanded. In peak years, it has exceeded 90.
The most famous former Rhodes scholar is Bill Clinton, who arrived at Oxford in October 1968, stayed a year, smoked dope "without inhaling" and came away without completing his degree. Bill Bradley, a professional basketball player, New Jersey Senator and contender for the 2000 Democrat presidential nomination, preceded Clinton by three years.
Another scholar who did not finish his degree was Kris Kristofferson, who passed up several promising careers to become a singer/songwriter and, briefly, Janice Joplin's lover. A song he wrote, 'Me and Bobby McGee', became Joplin's posthumous No 1.
It comes as a surprise to some Australians to learn that their current Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, not viewed by everyone as the intellectual type, was also a Rhodes scholar, who graduated in 1983 with a 2:2 in philosophy and politics.
He is not the first. Bob Hawke, Prime Minister from 1983 to 1991, who once made the Guinness Book of Records by drinking 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds, abandoned his planned degree while he was at Oxford in 1953-55 to write a thesis on wage-fixing.
Edwin Hubble, the astronomer after whom the Hubble Space Telescope is named, arrived at Oxford in 1910 to study, incongruously, Roman and English law. He soon gave up the idea of being a lawyer.
Surprisingly, despite his great fame, he was not one of the former Rhodes scholars to bag a Nobel prize. There have been three, none as well-known as Hubble '' two Australians, Howard Florey and Sir John Eccles, who won the prizes for medicine in 1945 and 1963 respectively, and an American, Michael Spencer, who won the 2001 economics prize
Other Rhodes alumni include Dean Rusk, who was US Secretary of State in the 1960s, the US politician Senator William Fulbright and the feminist writer Naomi Wolf.
It will be interesting to see whether any of 2014 intake lives up to their illustrious allumni. Scientists, singers and leaders of the free world '' they've got a tough act to follow.
UKIP MEP's Turn Back On EU National Anthem In European Parliament - YouTube
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 21:20
Hegelianic Dialect
Sash European Parliament - Others - Sashes - Mauquoy
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 03:12
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MEPs encouraged to wear 'official sash' of European Parliament - Telegraph
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 03:12
The azure "European sash" emblazoned with the 12 stars of the EU flag, which have an official heraldic description as "a circle of 12 golden mullets" was agreed by the parliament's bureau three years ago following a clamour for more pomp and ceremony from MEPs.
"Please note that the design of the sash was made in agreement with the Protocol Service of the EP. In this regard, this is considered to be the official EP sash," said the email, obtained by The Telegraph.
MEPs pride themselves on not simply representing their nations or peoples but instead being the representatives of an overriding European interest, as it is defined by the EU treaty.
When the new parliament was convened in Strasbourg last week, it was opened with a military ceremony conducted by the Franco-German Eurocorps battle group raising the European flag accompanied by Ode To Joy, the EU's official anthem.
MEPs are better known for their gravy train pay and perks rather than the flummery of royal courts or traditional parliaments such as the Palace of Westminster but that might be changing.
"Why shouldn't our MEPs dress up too? This is the world's first transnational parliament and it is special," said an official.
Amerikan Expose | Hegelian Dialectic
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 21:02
Amerikan Expose | Hegelian Dialectic
Why is it important for you to understand the subject of the Hegelian Dialectic?Because it is the process by which all change is being accomplished in societytoday. More importantly, it is the tool that the globalists are utilizingto manipulate the minds of the average American to accept that change, whereordinarily they would refuse it.
The Hegelian Dialectic is, in short, the critical process by which the rulingelite create a problem, anticipating in advance the reaction that the populationwill have to the given crisis, and thus conditioning the people that a changeis needed. When the population is properly conditioned, the desired agendaof the ruling elite is presented as the solution. The solution isn't intendedto solve the problem, but rather to serve as the basis for a new problemor exacerbate the existing one.
When the newly inflamed difficulty reaches the boiling point of a crisis,it becomes the foundation upon which arguments may again be made for change.Hence, the process is repeated, over and over, moving society toward whateverend the planners have in mind.
It's also important to understand that as this process is being driven, argumentsare created both for and against certain measures of change. All argumentsare controlled. The presented solutions — each with varying levels ofunadornment — are "debated" publicly by the manipulators or their minions.This is done until a perceived compromise has been reached on the best measureto take in route to solving the crisis. Then, the outcome of the "debate"— which purportedly weighs the concerns of the public with the mandateto do something — is enacted as public policy.
Such is a summary of the Hegelian Dialectic. Though few in American societyhave ever heard of it, still fewer have not been profoundly impacted by itsuse in the effective neutralization of opposition in the formation of publicpolicy.
For more on the Hegelian Dialectic, including examples of its use, see thelinks below.
The background and history of the process.
A perfect example of the Hegelian Dialectic in action. In this document, the communists complain about all of the evils that they have created to blame on capitalism. Their solution to the problem? "Evil" capitalism must give way to their "fair" and "just" form of government — communism. Amerikan Expose | Hegelian Dialectic
Why is it important for you to understand the subject of the Hegelian Dialectic?Because it is the process by which all change is being accomplished in societytoday. More importantly, it is the tool that the globalists are utilizingto manipulate the minds of the average American to accept that change, whereordinarily they would refuse it.
The Hegelian Dialectic is, in short, the critical process by which the rulingelite create a problem, anticipating in advance the reaction that the populationwill have to the given crisis, and thus conditioning the people that a changeis needed. When the population is properly conditioned, the desired agendaof the ruling elite is presented as the solution. The solution isn't intendedto solve the problem, but rather to serve as the basis for a new problemor exacerbate the existing one.
When the newly inflamed difficulty reaches the boiling point of a crisis,it becomes the foundation upon which arguments may again be made for change.Hence, the process is repeated, over and over, moving society toward whateverend the planners have in mind.
It's also important to understand that as this process is being driven, argumentsare created both for and against certain measures of change. All argumentsare controlled. The presented solutions — each with varying levels ofunadornment — are "debated" publicly by the manipulators or their minions.This is done until a perceived compromise has been reached on the best measureto take in route to solving the crisis. Then, the outcome of the "debate"— which purportedly weighs the concerns of the public with the mandateto do something — is enacted as public policy.
Such is a summary of the Hegelian Dialectic. Though few in American societyhave ever heard of it, still fewer have not been profoundly impacted by itsuse in the effective neutralization of opposition in the formation of publicpolicy.
For more on the Hegelian Dialectic, including examples of its use, see thelinks below.
The background and history of the process.
A perfect example of the Hegelian Dialectic in action. In this document, the communists complain about all of the evils that they have created to blame on capitalism. Their solution to the problem? "Evil" capitalism must give way to their "fair" and "just" form of government — communism.
Hegelian Dialectic
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 21:02
What Is The Hegelian Dialectic?
by Niki F. Raapana and Nordica M. Friedrich
This article was originally published online in December 2002. For years it has been available to the public for free, as an educational resource. As a result it has been widely distributed with and without our permission. Now we would like to ask that you do not reproduce this work, as it is copyrighted.
The entire text of What Is The Hegelian Dialectic? has a permanent home in our new book, 2020: Our Common Destiny/The Anti Communitarian Manifesto (two books in one), available in mass-market paperback or an affordable, downloadable e-book.
The introduction entitled Why study Hegel? is still available here to read for free, for educational purposes.
Introduction: Why study Hegel?Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain..."... the State 'has the supreme right against the individual, whose supreme duty is to be a member of the State... for the right of the world spirit is above all special priveleges.'" -- Author/historian William Shirer, quoting Hegel in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1959)
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) was a 19th century German philosopher and theologist who wrote The Science of Logic in 1812. For many historians, Hegel is "perhaps the greatest of the German idealist philosophers."
In 1847 the London Communist League (Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels) used Hegel's theory of the dialectic to back up their economic theory of communism. Now, in the 21st century, Hegelian-Marxist thinking affects our entire social and political structure.
The Hegelian dialectic is the framework for guiding our thoughts and actions into conflicts that lead us to a predetermined solution. If we do not understand how the Hegelian dialectic shapes our perceptions of the world, then we do not know how we are helping to implement the vision for the future.
Hegel's dialectic is the tool which manipulates us into a frenzied circular pattern of thought and action. Every time we fight for or defend against an ideology we are playing a necessary role in Marx and Engels' grand design to advance humanity into a dictatorship of the proletariat. The synthetic Hegelian solution to all these conflicts can't be introduced unless we all take a side that will advance the agenda.
The Marxist's global agenda is moving along at breakneck speed. The only way to stop land grabs, privacy invasions, expanded domestic police powers, insane wars against inanimate objects (and transient verbs), covert actions, and outright assaults on individual liberty, is to step outside the dialectic. Only then can we be released from the limitations of controlled and guided thought.
When we understand what motivated Hegel, we can see his influence on all of our destinies. Then we become real players in the very real game that has been going on for at least 224 years.
Hegelian conflicts steer every political arena on the planet, from the United Nations to the major American politicalparties, all the way down to local school boards and community councils. Dialogues and consensus-building are primary tools of the dialectic, and terror and intimidation are also acceptable formats for obtaining the goal.
The ultimate Third Way agenda is world government. Once we get what's really going on, we can cut the strings and move our lives in original directions outside the confines of the dialectical madness. Focusing on Hegel's and Engel's ultimate agenda, and avoiding getting caught up in their impenetrable theories of social evolution, gives us the opportunity to think and act our way toward freedom, justice, and genuine liberty for all.
Today the dialectic is active in every political issue that encourages taking sides. We can see it in environmentalists instigating conflicts against private property owners, in democrats against republicans, in greens against libertarians, in communists against socialists, in neo-cons against traditional conservatives, in community activists against individuals, in pro-choice versus pro-life, in Christians against Muslims, in isolationists versus interventionists, in peace activists against war hawks.
No matter what the issue, the invisible dialectic aims to control both the conflict and the resolution of differences, and leads everyone involved into a new cycle of conflicts. We're definitely not in Kansas anymore.
"Hegel's Absolute Idea" chart courtesy of The Calverton School
To read the rest of What Is The Hegelian Dialectic?, get 2020: Our Common Destiny/The Anti Communitarian Manifesto. Two great books combined into one mass-market paperback! It is also available as an affordable, downloadable e-book.
You will learn....1. The origins of deductive and inductive reasoning2. Webster's definition of the Hegelian dialectic3. How the Hegelian dialectic changed the formula for deductive reasoning4. Why it is almost impossible for a layman to understand the dialectic5. The communitarian purpose for the Hegelian dialectic6. How we interpret the history of the Hegelian dialectic7. The Anti Communitarian League's conclusion8. Four examples of the power of the semantics in the dialectic9. Four different impressions of the modern Hegelian dialectic theory
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Magic Numbers
LaGarde's calendar from Mr Petty
She mentions at the beginning she is on a lunar calendar. The Gregorian calendar is a solar one. Scratch July. There are many lunar calendars. Since she is an international banker, she probably means the Jewish calendar. The month is more like September (Tishri).
WHO says 'Gay men should take AIDS drugs - even if they're not infected' | Mail Online
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 02:04
High rates of HIV in gay men, prostitutes and prisoners are threatening progress in the AIDS battle, claims the World Health Organisation (WHO)WHO is recommending all gay men consider taking antiretroviral drugsThis approach is known as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEPIt is a way for at-risk groups to protect themselves by taking a single pillExperts estimate PrEP could cut incidents of HIV in gay men by 20 to 25%PrEP, when taken consistently, has been shown to cut the risk of HIV infection in high risk people by up to 92 percentBy Stephanie Nebehay And Kate Kelland
Published: 12:20 EST, 11 July 2014 | Updated: 15:00 EST, 11 July 2014
World Health Organisation suggests gay men take antiretroviral AIDS drugs (stock image) to protect themselves from infection, alongside condoms
Gay men, prostitutes, and prisoners have stubbornly high rates of HIV and are threatening progress in the global AIDS battle, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
For the first time, the organisation is 'strongly recommending' gay men consider taking antiretroviral AIDS drugs as an extra way of protecting themselves against infection, alongside using condoms.
Such an approach, known as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, is a way for at-risk people to protect themselves by taking a single pill.
This is usually as a combination of two antiretrovirals, taken every day.
'Globally we are failing certain populations that have the greatest risk yet we know have universally poorer access to health services,' said Gottfried Hirnschall, director of the WHO's department.
'These are men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender persons, specifically transgender women, persons who inject drugs and persons who are in prisons or other closed settings.'
AIDS experts estimate that globally, HIV incidence among gay men could be cut by 20 to 25 per cent through PrEP - averting up to one million new infections in this group over 10 years.
PrEP, when taken consistently, has also been shown to cut the risk of HIV infection in high-risk people by up to 92 percent.
'The reason we are adding this to our prevention choices for men who have sex with men is that we have these very worrying increases in HIV incidence,' added Rachel Baggaley, coordinator of the WHO's department for HIV/AIDS.
The WHO said studies estimate female sex workers are 14 times more likely to have HIV than other women, gay men are 19 times more likely to have HIV than the general population, and transgender women are almost 50 times more likely than other adults to have HIV.
The approach is known as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, and experts estimate PrEP could cut incidence of HIV in gay men by 20 to 25%. PrEP, when taken consistently, has also been shown to cut the risk of HIV infection in high-risk people by up to 92 per cent. Stock image of a HIV test is pictured
For injecting drug users, the risks of HIV infection can be 50 times higher than the general population.
These people are most at risk of becoming infected with the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS, yet are least likely to get HIV prevention, testing and treatment services, the Geneva-based United Nations health agency said.
CHILD 'CURED' OF AIDS SHOW SIGNS OF THE DISEASEA Mississippi girl born with the AIDS virus and in remission for years, despite stopping treatment, is now showing signs that she still harbors HIV.
The news is a setback to hopes that very early treatment with powerful HIV drugs might reverse an infection that has seemed permanent once it takes hold.
The girl is now nearly four years old.
As recently as March, doctors said she seemed free of HIV despite not having been on AIDS drugs for about two years.
That was a medical first.
But on Thursday, doctors said tests showed that she is no longer in remission.
She is now back on treatment and is responding well, the doctors added.
'We are seeing exploding epidemics in some of these key populations,' Gottfried said - adding these groups account for up to 50 per cent of new cases of HIV infection.
Some 35.3 million people worldwide are infected with HIV, but the rising number of patients reflects great strides in recent years in developing sophisticated HIV tests and combination AIDS drugs and getting them to many of those who need them to stay alive.
As a result, the annual AIDS death toll is falling, dropping to 1.6 million people in 2012 from a peak of 2.3 million in 2005.
New HIV infections are also steadily declining, and dropped by a third in 2013 from 2011.
Yet figures show the key high risk populations continue to have high infection rates, and appear to be hard-to-reach in terms of getting the right prevention messages, or getting them the testing and treatment health services they need.
Hirnschall continued that in many countries, gay men, sex workers and other marginalised groups are left out of national HIV plans and excluded by discriminatory laws and policies.
'None of these people live in isolation,' he warned.
'Sex workers and their clients have husbands, wives and partners. Some inject drugs. Many have children. Failure to provide services to the people who are at greatest risk of HIV jeopardises further progress against the global epidemic.'
The WHO report, released ahead of the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia on 20 July, said that by the end of 2013, around 13 million people worldwide were taking AIDS drug treatment.
This has led to a 20 per cent drop in HIV-related deaths between 2009 and 2012, it said.
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WHO urges all gay men to use preventive drugs | The Japan Times
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 03:33
GENEVA '' The World Health Organization on Friday urged all men who have gay sex to take antiretroviral drugs, warning that HIV infections are rising among homosexual men in many parts of the world.
''We are seeing exploding epidemics,'' warned Gottfried Hirnschall, who heads the WHO's HIV department.
Infection rates are rising again among men who have sex with men '-- the group at the epicentre of the AIDS pandemic when it first emerged 33 years ago, he told reporters in Geneva.
While images of skeletal men dying of AIDS in the 1980s pushed the world to act, a younger generation that has grown up among new treatments that make it possible to live with HIV are less focused on the disease, he suggested.
Today, this group is 19 times more likely than the general population to be infected by HIV, Hirnschall said. In Bangkok for instance, the incidence of HIV among men who have sex with men stands at 5.7 percent, compared to less than 1.0 percent for the overall population, he said.
In its new recommendations for combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic, published Friday, the U.N. health agency for the first time ''strongly recommends men who have sex with men consider taking antiretroviral medicines as an additional method of preventing HIV infection.''
US authorities made the same recommendation in May.
Taking pre-exposure prophylaxis medication, for instance, as a single daily pill combining two antiretrovirals, in addition to using condoms, has been estimated to cut HIV incidence among such men by 20-25 percent, WHO said, adding this could avert ''up to 1 million new infections among this group over 10 years.''
The new guidelines also focus on other high-risk groups, saying men who have sex with men, transgender people, prisoners, people who inject drugs and sex workers together account for about half of all new HIV infections worldwide.
At the same time, they are often the very groups who have least access to health care services, with criminalization and stigma often dissuading them from seeking help even when it is available. When people fear seeking health care services it ''will inevitably lead to more infections in those communities,'' Rachel Baggaley of the WHO's HIV department told reporters.
Globally, transgender women and injecting drug users, for instance, are around 50 times more likely than the general population to contract HIV, while sex workers have a 14-fold higher chance of getting infected, the WHO said.
The world has generally been making great strides in tackling HIV, with the number of new infections plunging by a third between 2001 and 2012, when 2.3 million people contracted the virus. And by the end of 2013, some 13 million people with HIV were receiving antiretroviral treatment, dramatically reducing the number of people dying from AIDS.
''Progress is however uneven,'' Hirnschall said, warning that failing to address the still sky-high HIV incidence among certain groups was putting the overall battle against the deadly disease at risk.
Most countries focus the lion's share of their attention on fighting HIV infections among the general populations, paying relatively little attention to the most high-risk groups. This is especially true in sub-Saharan Africa, which is home to 71 percent of the some 35.3 million people worldwide living with HIV, the expert said.
Hirnschall stressed that tackling infections among the most at risk should be a general concern. ''None of these people live in isolation,'' he said, pointing out that ''sex workers and their clients have husbands, wives and partners. Some inject drugs. Many have children.''
Decriminalizing and destigmatizing these groups would greatly help bring down HIV infections among them, the WHO said. Promoting condom use, widespread voluntary HIV testing, treating at-risk individuals with antiretrovirals, voluntary male circumcision and needle exchange programmes figure among the other WHO recommendations for battling the disease.
TRUVADA-Governor Cuomo Announces Plan to End the AIDS Epidemic in New York State | Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Wed, 02 Jul 2014 18:22
Printer-friendly versionThree-pronged Plan Focuses on Improved HIV Testing, Preventing the Spread of the Disease, and Better Treatment for People Who Have It
Albany, NY (June 29, 2014)Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a three-point plan to ''bend the curve'' and decrease new HIV infections to the point where the number of people living with HIV in New York State is reduced for the first time. The end of the AIDS epidemic in New York will occur when the total number of new HIV infections has fallen below the number of HIV-related deaths.
The ''Bending the Curve'' three-point program includes:
Identifying persons with HIV who remain undiagnosed and linking them to health care;
Linking and retaining persons diagnosed with HIV to health care and getting them on anti-HIV therapy to maximize HIV virus suppression so they remain healthy and prevent further transmission; and
Providing access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for high-risk persons to keep them HIV negative.
"Thirty years ago, New York was the epicenter of the AIDS crisis -- today I am proud to announce that we are in a position to be the first state in the nation committed to ending this epidemic,'' said Governor Cuomo. ''New York State has reached an important milestone in controlling the AIDS epidemic, and through this comprehensive strategy, we are decreasing new HIV infections to the point where by 2020, the number of persons living with HIV in New York State will be reduced for the first time.''
The first report of AIDS occurred 33 years ago on Thursday, July 3, 1981, with some of the first AIDS cases occurring in New York. The momentum to bring the HIV/AIDS epidemic to a close already exists in New York State. New York has eliminated HIV transmission via blood products; virtually ended mother to child HIV transmission; and decreased new HIV diagnoses due to injection drug use by 96% since the mid-1990s.
While the nation as a whole has seen no decrease in the number of HIV diagnoses, over the last decade, New York State has achieved a 40 percent reduction in new HIV cases and significant decreases in HIV incidence across all categories of race, ethnicity, gender, age, and risk. Although the number of new HIV infections has been declining for a number of years, the total number of New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS has continued to increase. This is because people with HIV can now live a normal life span and the number of HIV/AIDS deaths is also decreasing.
In 2014, there were 3,000 newly diagnosed HIV infections, down from 14,000 newly diagnosed AIDS cases in 1993. The goal is to reduce the number of new HIV infections to just 750 by 2020; about the same as the number of tuberculosis cases in New York State each year.
''Bending the Curve'' will precipitate a dramatic downward trend in new HIV infections beyond the current trend. Though this effort will result in increased HIV medication expenses, it is well worth the investment given the human cost, and over time the initiative will pay for itself. Each averted HIV infection saves almost $400,000 in lifetime medical costs, and by 2020, ''Bending the Curve'' will save the State an additional $317 million and prevent more than 3,400 new cases of HIV.
This plan would not have been possible without the support of our legislative leaders, and several key policies in support of ''Bending the Curve'' have already been enacted this year in the budget, including:
The removal of the requirement for written informed consent to get an HIV test, allowing HIV tests to be ordered through a verbal consent like any other medical test.Allowing data collected by the health department to be shared with health care providers to find persons with HIV who have fallen out of care.A 30% cap of the proportion of an HIV patient's income that can be spent on rent, keeping persons with HIV stably housed, which improves their ability to stay on their medication.
Additionally, the New York State Department of Health Medicaid Program has successfully negotiated supplemental rebates with the three pharmaceutical companies representing 70% of the HIV market, AbbVie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Gilead; this agreement will further decrease the costs to the state for ensuring all HIV-infected persons are on appropriate medications. Additional pharmaceutical companies may join the agreement.
Housing Works CEO Charles King said, "This step by Governor Cuomo, setting a clear goal to end the AIDS crisis in New York State, is absolutely courageous. In doing so, the Governor is reshaping the way we think about the AIDS epidemic and is setting a new standard for leaders of other jurisdictions in the United States and, indeed, around the world."
New York City Human Resources Administration Chief Special Services Officer Dan Tietz said, "On this LGBT Pride Day, I greatly applaud Governor Cuomo for boldly leading in our three decade long fight to end the AIDS epidemic. We have the science and means to bring HIV infections below epidemic levels and with the Governor's and Mayor Bill de Blasio's smart leadership, we can end AIDS in New York by 2020. HRA is now implementing the 30% rent cap, agreed to by the Mayor and Governor in February, which is another part of this effort to save lives and money. Today's game-changing action will push other leaders in the U.S. and beyond to take the necessary steps to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic for all."
Harlem United CEO Steven C. Bussey said, ''While we are heartened by the progress we have made in confronting the AIDS epidemic in New York State, we know that we still face an epidemic of crisis proportions for many communities. Governor Cuomo's announcement to create a plan to end AIDS demonstrates the leadership and political will needed to end the epidemic as we know it in New York State.''
Treatment Action Group Executive Director Mark Harrington said, ''The goal is ambitious, but grounded in reality. NYS has always been a leader and center of innovation in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We have seen an almost 40% decrease in new HIV diagnoses in the last decade, with fewer new infections each year, while nationally there has been no decline in the number of new HIV infections diagnosed each year. With continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the State's successful Medicaid reform, we've gained the momentum necessary to put more people living with, and at risk for, HIV into primary care and the support services necessary to achieve success.''
Gay Men's Health Crisis CEO Kelsey Louie said, ''We applaud the Governor for his decisive leadership and commitment to end AIDS as an epidemic on this 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a rallying cry to fight back against social injustice. The plan to end AIDS can hopefully result in a dramatic decrease in new infections among MSMs and transgender women, especially within the low income communities of color, some of our hardest hit populations.''
Acting Executive Director of AIDS Community Research Initiative of America Benjamin Bashein said, "ACRIA applauds Governor Cuomo for his bold plan to end AIDS in New York State. We now have the knowledge and the means to dramatically reduce new infections and promote optimal health for those with HIV. Governors Cuomo's leadership will make New York a model for ending AIDS across the country and around the globe."
Aid group sounds South Sudan cholera warning
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 02:15
An outbreak of cholera is putting thousands of lives at risk in parts of South Sudan, worsening the country's humanitarian crisis amid ongoing violence, according to the aid group Save the Children.
The disease has infected more than 2,600 people and killed at least 60 since the first cases were reported in the capital, Juba, in May.
Cholera outbreaks or alerts have been reported in nine of South Sudan's 10 states.
The situation is likely to get worse with heavy rains expected in coming weeks and months, the aid group said, calling for greater supplies of medicines.
"Stagnant floodwater provides the perfect conditions for the rapid spread of cholera and roads are turning to mud, hindering efforts to get support and life-saving drugs to those that desperately need them," Pete Walsh, Save the Children's South Sudan director, said on Friday.
He noted that the spread is "extremely concerning, especially coming on top of a growing hunger crisis and as hundreds of thousands of people are struggling to survive in overcrowded, unsanitary camps".
Children are more vulnerable to cholera, which causes severe dehydration that can be fatal.
The disease is treatable if detected in time.
The world's newest country descended into chaos last December after President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy, Riek Machar, of trying to launch a coup.
A ceasefire signed earlier this year has repeatedly been violated by both sides, according to observers.
More than 400,000 South Sudanese have fled their country, seeking refuge in Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Sudan. More than one million South Sudanese remain internally displaced.
Family Planning - Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 01:37
We work with countries that are committed to expanding access to high-quality, voluntary family planning to reduce maternal and newborn mortality. Our deepest engagements are in India and Nigeria. We also work with public and private partners and make selected investments in Indonesia, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In francophone West Africa, we are core members of the Ouagadougou Partnership for Family Planning, and support Senegal and Niger to implement supply and demand approaches that can inform practice across countries in that region.
We work to keep family planning on the global agenda and to hold donors and developing countries accountable for their commitments to support family planning. Our work in this area includes grantmaking, direct advocacy, communications counsel and support, and engagement with leaders.
To monitor changes in contraceptive use and help all FP2020 countries track annual progress toward their goals and improve program performance, we are investing in rapid surveys that will provide data on family planning use in 6- and 12-month intervals, supplementing country-wide health surveys that provide data only every 3 to 5 years.
A mother and newborn in Uttar Pradesh, India
We are also leading the effort to harmonize the way various organizations track family planning resources. The new data systems will use standard metrics and provide reliable data at the national and sub-national levels. Better data and monitoring are crucial to holding donors, governments, programs, and providers accountable.
Better service delivery is critical to expanding access to and use of contraceptives, particularly in the poorest countries with the weakest health service infrastructure. We build evidence about what works to address supply and demand barriers on a large scale and in multiple countries, promote collaboration between the public and private sectors on delivery solutions, and synthesize and communicate research findings to donors, countries, and partners.
Some women do not access or use contraceptives for a variety of reasons, even when they want to avoid pregnancy. They may have misconceptions about their risk of becoming pregnant, or be deterred by the cost, inconvenience, or concerns about side effects. In some cases, opposition from family members or a limited range of available methods can be a key factor in non use.
Less than 20 percent of women in Sub-Saharan Africa and barely one-third of women in South Asia use modern contraceptives.
Continued innovation in contraceptive technology is needed to address these barriers and meet the demands of women in different circumstances and at different stages of their lives. We support the discovery, development, and distribution of new technologies that address reasons for non-use, with a focus on improving acceptance and continued use among priority user groups: women who have achieved their desired family size, women who are not using an existing methods due to side effects, and young women. These long-term investments will address contraceptive needs far beyond 2020 and will also include collaboration with the foundation's HIV program to develop new technologies that prevent both pregnancy and HIV acquisition.
Remote-controlled chip could be the future of contraceptives - CNET
Mon, 07 Jul 2014 04:56
A tiny chip implanted under a woman's skin can deliver hormonal birth control for up to 16 years and is entering pre-clinical trials next year.
If you could have safe, effective, long-term birth control that you didn't have to think about, would you jump at the chance? That's what's being proposed by a company called MicroCHIPS of Lexington Massachusetts -- in the form of a chip to be implanted under the skin.
The chip, just 20 x 20 x 7 millimetres, is designed to last up to 16 years -- about half of a woman's reproductive lifespan -- delivering a daily dose of 30mg of levonorgestrel, used in several hormonal contraceptives and emergency contraceptives. In the event a couple wants to conceive, the woman can use a remote control to turn the chip off, and then back on again when she needs to.
The implications of the technology go beyond contraceptives. Inside the chip is a reservoir array which contains and protects the hormone. In these reservoirs, however, any drug could be placed, to be released on demand, or according to a pre-programmed schedule.
"These arrays are designed for compatibility with pre-programmed microprocessors, wireless telemetry, or sensor feedback loops to provide active control," the MicroCHIPS web page reads. "Individual device reservoirs can be opened on demand or on a predetermined schedule to precisely control drug release or sensor activation."
The chip releases the contents of the reservoir when a minute electric current from a small internal battery is passed through the hermetic titanium and platinum seal, melting it and allowing the dose to release into the body.
So far, the chips have been tested in a human clinical trial, delivering osteoporosis medication to post-menopausal women over a one-month period, demonstrating that the technology works, producing no adverse immune reaction, and demonstrating the durability of the chip. The device was implanted using a local anaesthetic, and the procedure took no more than 30 minutes.
There are still some logistics to work out -- such as encrypting the chips to keep wireless data secure -- but the concept has been proven to work as desired.
Now, as part of the Bill & Miranda Gates Foundation Family Planning program, the team, led by MIT's Robert Langer, is adapting it for contraceptives, and hopes to have FDA approval for pre-clinical trials next year, with a view to have it available on the market by 2018.
MicroCHIPS Technology
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 01:36
TECHNOLOGYmicrochips' technology is based on proprietary reservoir arrays that are used to store and protect potent drugs within the body for long periods of time. These arrays are designed for compatibility with preprogrammed microprocessors, wireless telemetry, or sensor feedback loops to provide active control. Individual device reservoirs can be opened on demand or on a predetermined schedule to precisely control drug release or sensor activation.
Our reservoir-based platform can also be used in passive control systems without microprocessors or power sources. microchips' passive systems are designed to release or expose their contents based on the controlled degradation of polymeric matrices over time. These systems form the basis for miniature insertable devices that provide maximum flexibility for device placement.
Intellectual PropertyOur intellectual property portfolio supports our platform technologies and commercial products in development with approximately 140 issued or pending patents. These patents range from microreservoir fabrication and control, to long-term implantable technologies and wireless communications, as well as protein and peptide formulations for challenging delivery conditions.
microchips' intellectual property portfolio encompasses 140 issued or pending patents on platform technologies and commercial products in development.
1/3 of All Americans Already Implanted with RFID Chip | Zen Gardner
Wed, 09 Jul 2014 21:42
Red Ice Creations
In a shocking study it was recently revealed that 1 in 3 individuals tested had an active RFID in them, and they were unaware of it
In a publication from the Wyoming Institute of Technology (WIT) ''Analysis of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Chip Prevalence in 3 Discrete United States Populations'', it has been reported that doctors tested 2955 Americans from different geographic locations and walks of life.
The test subjects were stripped down and scanned bodily to see if RFID chips could be detected.
From the abstract: (emphasis ours)
''Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Chips have been used extensively in wildlife ecology and conservation to identify and track individual specimens in a population. It has been unknown, however, how often RFID chips have been implanted in human populations for the tracking and identification of individuals. This study analyzed the prevalence of RFID Chips in 3 geographically discrete populations and found that, on average, 1 in 3 individuals carried an RFID Chip. Interestingly, there was a strong correlation with RFID Chip presence and previous dental work.''
Far from knowingly implanting the RFID chips in their hands as is often reported in the media, the majority detected by the researchers were from dental work - fillings, bridges, crowns, etc. The chips are often inserted during the manufacturing process, and the patient is never aware of its existence.
A report on RFID implants from The Open Dentistry Journal explains:
A general dentist without any special training or assistance from a laboratory technician can easily perform the incorporation of a microchip transponder in a denture and the procedure is extremely economical. Its inclusion offers many benefits in dental prosthetic labeling; allowing not only the storage of patient's medical records on a searchable database, but also information on the materials used and so providing traceability. Ultimately the chip could play an invaluable forensic role in assisting with human identification.
In the end, the WIT researchers conclude, ''Our work has shown that approximately 1 in 3 individuals in the United States is carrying an RFID microchip.''
Being implanted without knowledge or giving permission is not a new phenomenon. For years people have claimed to have inexplicable implants, but are often ridiculed or dismissed. Anthony Gucciardi from Activist Post writes about a man who took legal action against a government hospital for microchip implant:
A Danish man has filed a writ against Alexandra Hospital for secretly implanting a microchip inside of his body during a 1988 operation, which he says later caused him to hear voices.
After being stabbed in the lung, Mr. Mogens Tindhof Honore received surgery at the hospital in his chest and lung. Later, in 1997, X-rays revealed a metal instrument akin to a microchip present in his left lung. At the time of the operation, Alexandra Hospital was a government hospital under the Ministry of Health.
The former seaman said that after being discharged from the hospital in 1988, he kept hearing voices in his head and could not lead a normal life. In addition to feeling unwell and coughing up blood, Mr. Honore said that strange individuals would walk up to him on the street and speak to him about outlandish subject matters.
Honore may have been implanted with an RFID chip
'(Mr Honore) also discovered and experienced that strange people on the streets would approach and speak to (him) about strange subject matters or pass strange irrelevant comments,' according to the papers filed.
Feeling constantly tracked and plagued by unusual medical problems, Mr. Honore felt a ''perpetual state of apprehension and fear for the safety of his life.'' Unable to hold his job and live a normal life, Honore returned to Alexandra Hospital in order to investigate his condition. The hospital turned him away, stating that they had no record of his stay.
In a shocking study it was recently revealed that 1 in 3 individuals tested had an active RFID in them, and they were unaware of it
In a publication from the Wyoming Institute of Technology (WIT) ''Analysis of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Chip Prevalence in 3 Discrete United States Populations'', it has been reported that doctors tested 2955 Americans from different geographic locations and walks of life.
The test subjects were stripped down and scanned bodily to see if RFID chips could be detected.
From the abstract: (emphasis ours)
''Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Chips have been used extensively in wildlife ecology and conservation to identify and track individual specimens in a population. It has been unknown, however, how often RFID chips have been implanted in human populations for the tracking and identification of individuals. This study analyzed the prevalence of RFID Chips in 3 geographically discrete populations and found that, on average, 1 in 3 individuals carried an RFID Chip. Interestingly, there was a strong correlation with RFID Chip presence and previous dental work.''
Far from knowingly implanting the RFID chips in their hands as is often reported in the media, the majority detected by the researchers were from dental work - fillings, bridges, crowns, etc. The chips are often inserted during the manufacturing process, and the patient is never aware of its existence.
A report on RFID implants from The Open Dentistry Journal explains:
A general dentist without any special training or assistance from a laboratory technician can easily perform the incorporation of a microchip transponder in a denture and the procedure is extremely economical. Its inclusion offers many benefits in dental prosthetic labeling; allowing not only the storage of patient's medical records on a searchable database, but also information on the materials used and so providing traceability. Ultimately the chip could play an invaluable forensic role in assisting with human identification.
In the end, the WIT researchers conclude, ''Our work has shown that approximately 1 in 3 individuals in the United States is carrying an RFID microchip.''
Being implanted without knowledge or giving permission is not a new phenomenon. For years people have claimed to have inexplicable implants, but are often ridiculed or dismissed. Anthony Gucciardi from Activist Post writes about a man who took legal action against a government hospital for microchip implant:
A Danish man has filed a writ against Alexandra Hospital for secretly implanting a microchip inside of his body during a 1988 operation, which he says later caused him to hear voices.
After being stabbed in the lung, Mr. Mogens Tindhof Honore received surgery at the hospital in his chest and lung. Later, in 1997, X-rays revealed a metal instrument akin to a microchip present in his left lung. At the time of the operation, Alexandra Hospital was a government hospital under the Ministry of Health.
The former seaman said that after being discharged from the hospital in 1988, he kept hearing voices in his head and could not lead a normal life. In addition to feeling unwell and coughing up blood, Mr. Honore said that strange individuals would walk up to him on the street and speak to him about outlandish subject matters.
Honore may have been implanted with an RFID chip
'(Mr Honore) also discovered and experienced that strange people on the streets would approach and speak to (him) about strange subject matters or pass strange irrelevant comments,' according to the papers filed.
Feeling constantly tracked and plagued by unusual medical problems, Mr. Honore felt a ''perpetual state of apprehension and fear for the safety of his life.'' Unable to hold his job and live a normal life, Honore returned to Alexandra Hospital in order to investigate his condition. The hospital turned him away, stating that they had no record of his stay.
In June 2011, Honore underwent an operation at Mount Elizabeth Hospital to remove the fragment.
The numbers of c hipped individuals must surely be on the rise in the U.S. and worldwide, as tracking chips are being used in many various fields, and patients and their families are lining up to receive them.
In June 2011, Honore underwent an operation at Mount Elizabeth Hospital to remove the fragment.
The numbers of c hipped individuals must surely be on the rise in the U.S. and worldwide, as tracking chips are being used in many various fields, and patients and their families are lining up to receive them.
Rotten-egg smell of farts could help battle heart disease and Alzheimer's - Independent.ie
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 19:58
Kashmira Gander
Published 12/07/2014|08:30
Scientists have harnessed the healing powers of the putrid-smelling gas present in rotten eggsThe thought may make your stomach churn, but scientists claim that the gas which makes farts smell of rotten eggs could be used to help tackle conditions including diabetes and Alzheimer's.
The gas behind the putrid stench which is present in both offensive-smelling flatulence and rotten eggs is known as hydrogen sulphide, and is highly toxic in large quantities.
But researchers claim that if dosed correctly, the gas can help tackle diabetes, strokes, heart attacks and dementia.
Professor Matt Whiteman, of the University of Exeter Medical School, explained that when cells become stressed by disease they produce tiny quantities of hydrogen sulphide. This is because the gas helps sustain mitochondria, the powerhouse of a cell, and in turn keep the cell alive. If this process does not happen, the cells die.
Experts at the University have harnessed the power of this process by designing a new compound (AP39).
''[AP39] slowly delivers very small amounts of this gas specifically to the mitochondria. Our results indicate that if stressed cells are treated with AP39, mitochondria are protected and cells stay alive,'' Professor Whiteman said.
Attempting to prevent or reverse damage to mitochondria is vital to treating a variety of conditions such as stroke, heart failure, diabetes, arthritis, and dementia.
Dr. Mark Wood of Biosciences, at the University of Exeter, said: ''Although hydrogen sulphide is well known as a pungent, foul-smelling gas in rotten eggs and flatulence, it is naturally produced in the body and could in fact be a healthcare hero with significant implications for future therapies for a variety of diseases.''
The study linked to the findings, which was published in the journal 'Medicinal Chemistry Communications', suggests that pre-clinical trials of the method are promising.
Lab models of cardiovascular disease show that if the AP39 is administered, more than 80 per cent of the powerhouse mitochondria cells survive under otherwise highly destructive conditions.
Professors Whiteman and Wood are now working towards advancing the research to a stage where it can be tested in humans.
Boots on the ground at the NIH
Just for your information, I actually happen to work at the NIH. I'm in IT, been here more than two months but less than twelve. (Sorry, mildly cautious in case this ever comes up.) I've worked on a number of tickets that involve lab workers--interns, department heads, professors, etc. etc. Most of these labs are a mess--they may know how to analyse things but they aren't as meticulous when it comes to inventory. There's way too much to watch over, from tissue samples to only the gods know what. In many hallways it does look like there's stuff that's been crammed into the corners since the 40's and 50's. (Don't know about the freezers used for various samples, other than they're all over the place.)
For what it's worth, it's a lovely campus full of very pleasant but politically close-minded people. I can't tell you how many offices I walk into have personal photos of employee X with Bill Clinton and Barak Obama--or of either one holding their grandson or niee. There's a large contingent of overseas professionals working here, they keep things private. But the Americans and Europeans alike are blatantly left-wing. They 're comfortable flying their flag--the political one, of course.
Mister C in Maryland
Vials containing smallpox virus discovered in US - The Times of India on Mobile
Wed, 09 Jul 2014 14:18
LONDON: In a development that has left both the World Health Organization and US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) worried, vials containing the deadly smallpox virus has been discovered by a US government scientist, lying forgotten in the cupboard of a building in Washington.This is the first time that unaccounted-for smallpox vials have been discovered in US. The virus, believed dead, was located in six freeze-dried and sealed vials.
Smallpox is extremely contagious and was eradicated from the planet in 1980 '-- the only human pathogen for which successful eradication has been achieved to date.
Since then, limited research focusing on diagnostic, antiviral and vaccine development, under close direction and oversight, has continued in two high-security laboratories '-- one in Russia and one in the US '-- the only places that are known still to have live variola strains.
An unidentified man with smallpox. (Getty Images photo)
However the CDC confirmed on Wednesday: "The vials appear to date from the 1950s. Upon discovery, the vials were immediately secured in a CDC-registered select agent containment laboratory in Bethesda. There is no evidence that any of the vials labelled variola has been breached, and onsite biosafety personnel have not identified any infectious exposure risk to lab workers or the public."
CDC said that on July 1, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) notified the division of select agents and toxins (DSAT) of the CDC, that employees discovered vials labeled "variola". commonly known as smallpox, in an unused portion of a storage room in a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) laboratory located on the NIH Bethesda campus.
A baby is vaccinated against smallpox at an emergency clinic in Karachi on January 11, 1962 during the worst epidemic of smallpox in Pakistan's history. (Getty Images photo)
The laboratory was among those transferred from NIH to FDA in 1972, along with the responsibility for regulating biologic products.
The FDA has operated laboratories located on the NIH campus since that time. Scientists discovered the vials while preparing for the laboratory's move to the FDA's main campus.
The vials appear to date from the 1950s. Upon discovery, the vials were immediately secured in a CDC-registered select agent containment laboratory in Bethesda.
The CDC said: "Late on July 7, the vials were transported safely and securely with the assistance of federal and local law enforcement agencies to CDC's high-containment facility in Atlanta. Overnight PCR testing done by CDC in the BSL-4 lab confirmed the presence of variola virus DNA. Additional testing of the variola samples is under way to determine if the material in the vials is viable. This testing could take up to two weeks. After completion of this testing, the samples will be destroyed."
A vial of dried smallpox vaccine is shown on December 5, 2002 in Altamonte Springs, Florida. (Getty Images phot0)
By international agreement, there are two official World Health Organization (WHO)-designated repositories for smallpox: CDC in Atlanta, Georgia in the US and the State Research Centre of Virology and Biotechnology (VECTOR) in Novosibirsk, Russia. The WHO oversees the inspection of these smallpox facilities and conducts periodic reviews to certify the repositories for safety and security.
CDC has notified WHO about the discovery, and WHO has been invited to participate in the investigation. If viable smallpox is present, WHO will be invited to witness the destruction of these smallpox materials, as has been the precedent for other cases where smallpox samples have been found outside of the two official repositories.
DSAT, in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is actively investigating the history of how these samples were originally prepared and subsequently stored in the FDA laboratory.
More than 500 dead from Ebola in west Africa as virus continues to spread.
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 18:54
It has been called the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history and the virus is continuing to spread in West Africa.
Twenty-one people died in just two days alone in July in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said the deaths happened between July 6 and 8, adding there were 44 news cases reported during that time
It brings the total of deaths in West Africa to 539 since February with 888 cases recorded.
''The epidemic trend in Liberia and Sierra Leone remains precarious with high numbers of new cases and deaths being reported,'' the WHO said.
At the beginning of July, health ministers from the three countries met at an emergency meeting in Accra in Ghana. Ministers from eight other African countries at risk joined them.
They adopted a new strategy to fight the epidemic which includes better surveillance to detect cases of the virus, improving cross-border collaboration, working with local communities and setting up a control centre in Guinea to coordinate technical support. They will also work closely with the WHO and other global partners.
On Twitter, advice from Sierra Leone's health ministry was retweeted with encouragement for people to donate to charity.
Ebola first surfaced in the 1970s in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bats are believed to be the main carrier of the virus. It is then transmitted through contact with an infected person's blood or body fluids.
The virus causes vomiting and diarrhoea, harms kidney and liver function and can then cause internal and external bleeding.'‹
Ebola outbreak spreads in West Africa
Wed, 09 Jul 2014 22:31
By John Rowe9 July 2014In an ongoing outbreak that has been characterized as unprecedented in size, geographic distribution and location, the Zaire Ebola virus is currently infecting people throughout the countries of West Africa. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has said the epidemic is currently out of control in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, where laboratory analysis has confirmed 759 cases with 467 deaths.
Ebola is a hemorrhagic fever whose first symptoms resemble those of the flu, making it hard to differentiate from other common infections. As it progresses, the disease causes internal and external bleeding, as well as multiple organ failure, often leading to death. The virus is spread through exposure to the bodily fluids of the infected and the ingestion of infected animal products, such as bush meat. There is currently no vaccine against the virus or treatment beyond that designed to alleviate the symptoms.
The fatality rate for the current Ebola epidemic is over 60 percent in lab-confirmed cases. In actuality it could be much higher due of underreporting, the hiding of cases by communities, and lack of surveillance in the beginning of the epidemic. According to MSF, Ebola death rates can be as high as 90 percent.
As of June 24, there were over 60 separate areas in West Africa with known Ebola outbreaks. This constitutes the largest and deadliest outbreak since the disease first appeared in Sudan and Zaire in 1976, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The outbreak was first confirmed in Guinea on the western coast of Africa last February, though it may have been ongoing since December. It appears to have spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia mostly due to people trying to flee the infection out of fear.
The risk of the virus spreading to areas outside of Africa is the most significant it has ever been. In the past, Ebola has been isolated to rural areas and only a few locations. The current outbreak has affected multiple urban centers and border areas that are ill-defined and see a constant flow of people.
The WHO and representatives from the affected countries held emergency talks in Ghana last week to coordinate local, national and international responses to the epidemic. Primary concerns are isolating the infected from the general population and educating the populace about the nature of the epidemic. According to the Guardian, in Liberia those hiding family or friends with suspected cases of Ebola could face prosecution by the state.
The inability of West Africa's governments to contain the epidemic is a product of the terrible poverty in the affected area. Ebola, though hard to contract under normal circumstances, spreads easily in the inadequate medical infrastructure found throughout most of Sub-Saharan Africa, where needles and other medical equipment that contain bodily fluids are often reused.
A recent report by CBS revealed the inadequate conditions of the quarantine facilities where patients are isolated, which are often nothing more than plywood and tarps with a makeshift decontamination area. Doctors, nurses and other caregivers, who are more likely to contract the virus due to their close proximity to the infected, often work in clinics outside the larger cities that lack proper barrier protection and become ill as a result. Some clinics that had been set up to deal with treating and isolating the infected were later identified as sources of the infection and had to be destroyed.
The region does not have enough trained medical professionals or proper equipment. Local populations thus must rely on traditional healers, who cannot treat the disease and then become a new source of transmission. Burial practices in West Africa often bring victims' families into contact with the deceased's bodily fluids, further spreading the infection.
Doctors Without Borders has stated that it is currently stretched beyond its limit and cannot help people in all the affected areas, which requires a massive international mobilization of resources. Regardless of whether or not international agencies are able to contain the present Ebola outbreak, the miserable social and economic conditions that prevail in West Africa ensure that thousands more will die as a result of diseases that could otherwise be contained.
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WHO | Ebola virus disease, West Africa '' update
Wed, 09 Jul 2014 22:16
Epidemiology and surveillanceWHO continues to monitor the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The current epidemic trend shows a mixed picture, as follows:
Liberia reported 16 new EVD cases and Sierra Leone, 34 new cases '' since 3 July. These numbers indicate that active viral transmission continues in the community.There has been a reduction in the number of new EVD cases reported in Guinea, with no new cases during the last 7 days.WHO continues to encourage and support outbreak containment measures in the three countries.
Health sector responseHealth Ministers and technical staff from 11 countries, representatives from WHO, and key international partner organizations met in an Emergency Ministerial meeting in Accra, Ghana July 2 and 3 to address the ongoing Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa. After hearing technical updates and sharing country and field experiences, they agreed on a strategy for an accelerated operational response to control the outbreak with priority actions to address the serious threat to countries in West Africa.
In agreeing to priorities and actions, it was acknowledged that a number of gaps and challenges remain. To address these, the World Health Organization (WHO) will establish a Sub-Regional Centre in Guinea to act as a coordinating platform to consolidate and harmonize the technical support to West African countries by all major partners and to assist in resource mobilization. Delegates to the meeting also emphasized the importance of WHO leading an international effort to promote research on EVD and other haemorrhagic fevers.
Among the key priorities at this time are:
mobilization of community, religious, and political leaders to improve awareness about and understanding of EVD;strengthening surveillance, case finding, and contact tracing;deploying additional human resources with relevant qualifications to key hot spots;identifying and committing additional domestic financial resources;organizing cross-border consultations to facilitate an ongoing exchange of information; andworking together and sharing experiences with countries that have previously managed EVD outbreaks in the spirit of south-south cooperation.In addition, national intersectoral meetings involving key government ministries, national technical committees, and other stakeholders will be held to map out a plan for immediate implementation of a sub-regional response strategy. It has also been recommended that issues related specifically to the EVD outbreak be addressed at an upcoming summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads of States.
WHO does not recommend any travel or trade restrictions be applied to Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone based on the current information available for this event.
Disease updateNew cases and deaths attributable to Ebola virus disease (EVD) continue to be reported by the Ministries of Health in the three West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Between 3 and 6 July 2014, 50 new cases of EVD, including 25 deaths, were reported from the three countries as follows: Guinea, 0 new cases and 2 deaths; Liberia, 16 new cases with 9 deaths; and Sierra Leone 34 new cases and 14 deaths. These numbers include laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases and deaths of EVD.
As of 6 July 2014, the cumulative number of cases attributed to EVD in the three countries stands at 844, including 518 deaths. The distribution and classification of the cases are as follows: Guinea, 408 cases (294 confirmed, 96 probable, and 18 suspected) and 307 deaths (195 confirmed, 96 probable, and 16 suspected); Liberia, 131 cases (63 confirmed, 30 probable, and 38 suspected) and 84 deaths (41 confirmed, 28 probable, and 15 suspected); and Sierra Leone, 305 cases (269 confirmed, 34 probable, and 2 suspected) and 127 deaths (114 confirmed, 11 probable, and 2 suspected).
Confirmed, probable, and suspect cases and deaths from Ebola virus disease in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, as of 6 July 2014New (1)ConfirmedProbableSuspectTotals by countryGuineaCases02949618408Deaths21959616307LiberiaCases16634038131Deaths941281584Sierra LeoneCases34269342305Deaths14114112127TotalsCases5062616058844Deaths2535013533518(1) New cases were reported between 3 and 6 July 2014.The total number of cases is subject to change due to reclassification, retrospective investigation, consolidation of cases and laboratory data, and enhanced surveillance. Data reported in the Disease Outbreak News are based on best available information reported by Ministries of Health.
Fear, cash shortages hinder fight against Ebola outbreak.
Fri, 04 Jul 2014 03:54
By Kwasi Kpodo
ACCRAWed Jul 2, 2014 7:05pm EDT
Health workers carry the body of an Ebola virus victim in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 25, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Umaru Fofana
ACCRA (Reuters) - West African states lack the resources to battle the world's worst outbreak of Ebola and deep cultural suspicions about the disease remain a big obstacle to halting its spread, ministers said on Wednesday.
The outbreak has killed 467 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since February, making it the largest and deadliest ever, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
West African health ministers meeting in Ghana to draw up a regional response mixed appeals for cash with warnings of the practices that have allowed the disease to spread across borders and into cities.
Abubakarr Fofanah, deputy health minister for Sierra Leone, a country with one of the world's weakest health systems, said cash was needed for drugs, basic protective gear and staff pay.
Sierra Leone announced on Wednesday that President Ernest Bai Koroma, his vice president and all cabinet ministers would donate half of their salaries to help fight the outbreak, though the total amount of the donations was not disclosed.
"In Liberia, our biggest challenge is denial, fear and panic. Our people are very much afraid of the disease," Bernice Dahn, Liberia's deputy health minister, told Reuters on the sidelines of the Accra meeting.
"People are afraid but do not believe that the disease exists and because of that people get sick and the community members hide them and bury them, against all the norms we have put in place," she said.
Authorities are trying to stop relatives of Ebola victims from giving them traditional funerals, which often involve the manual washing of the body, out of fear of spreading the infection. The dead are instead meant to be buried by health staff wearing protective gear.
Neighboring Sierra Leone faces many of the same problems, with dozens of those infected evading treatment, complicating efforts to trace cases.
The Red Cross in Guinea said it had been forced to temporarily suspend some operations in the country's southeast after staff working on Ebola were threatened.
"Locals wielding knives surrounded a marked Red Cross vehicle," a Red Cross official said, asking not to be named. The official said operations had been halted for safety reasons. The Red Cross later said only international staff were removed.
A Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) center in Guinea was attacked by youths in April after staff were accused of bringing the disease into the country.
Ebola causes fever, vomiting, bleeding and diarrhea and kills up to 90 percent of those it infects. Highly contagious, it is transmitted through contact with blood or other fluids.
WHO has flagged three main factors driving its spread: the burial of victims in accordance with tradition, the dense populations around the capital cities of Guinea and Liberia and the bustling cross-border trade across the region.
Health experts say the top priority must be containing Ebola with basic infection control measures such as vigilant handwashing and hygiene, and isolation of infected patients.
Jeremy Farrar, a professor of tropical medicine and director of The Wellcome Trust, an influential global health charity, said people at high risk should also be offered experimental medicines, despite the drugs not having been fully tested.
"We have more than 450 deaths so far, and not a single individual has been offered anything beyond tepid sponging and 'we'll bury you nicely'," Farrar told Reuters in an interview. "It's just unacceptable."
(Additional reporting by Misha Hussain in Dakar and Umaru Fofana in Freetown; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Joe Bavier, Toni Reinhold)
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'Humdinger': Swine flu virus which killed half-million modified to 'incurable' '-- RT News
Thu, 03 Jul 2014 05:35
Published time: July 02, 2014 10:07Edited time: July 02, 2014 11:37AFP Photo / Noah Seelam
A controversial flu researcher has modified the flu virus responsible for the 2009 pandemic to allow it evade the human immune system. His lab's previous works include recreating the Spanish flu and making a deadly bird flu strain highly transmittable.
The yet-to-be-published research by Professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka and his team is meant to give scientists better ways to fight influenza outbreaks, but gives chills to some people in academia, who are fearful that accidental release of the strain would result in a global disaster, according to a report by the Independent.
At his level-3 biosafety lab at Wisconsin University's Institute for Influenza Virus Research in Madison, Kawaoka experimented with the H1N1 flu strain that was responsible for the pandemic in 2009, dubbed the swine flu pandemic by the media. The work resulted in a mutated strain that is able to evade the human antibodies, effectively rendering humans defenseless against the virus.
''He took the 2009 pandemic flu virus and selected out strains that were not neutralized by human antibodies. He repeated this several times until he got a real humdinger of a virus,'' a scientist familiar with Kawaoka's research told the British newspaper.
''He's basically got a known pandemic strain that is now resistant to vaccination. Everything he did before was dangerous but this is even madder. This is the virus,'' he added.
H1N1 flu had caused serious outbreaks and two recorded pandemics, the first being the notorious Spanish flu of 1918. Kawaoka's newest work is partially derived from his experience in recreating the deadly strain.
The first H1N1 pandemic left between 50 and 100 million people dead, according to estimates. The 2009 pandemic death toll is debated, with some estimates putting the number as high as 560,000, most of them in Africa and Southeast Asia.
The professor assured the newspaper that the mutant virus is well under control in his lab and that making a strain that can beat human immune system will help epidemiologists be prepared for a contingency of a similar mutation occurring naturally.
''Through selection of immune escape viruses in the laboratory under appropriate containment conditions, we were able to identify the key regions [that] would enable 2009 H1N1 viruses to escape immunity,'' he said in an email.
''Viruses in clinical isolates have been identified that have these same changes in the [viral protein]. This shows that escape viruses emerge in nature and laboratory studies like ours have relevance to what occurs in nature,'' he added.
The research was approved by Wisconsin's Institutional Biosafety Committee, although a minority of the 17-member board is critical of Kawaoka's line of study. One such vocal critic at the committee is Thomas Jeffries, who argues that an accidental release of the virus from the safe lab is possible, citing the recent incident at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which potentially exposed some 80 people to anthrax bacteria.
"I think we can sometimes fool ourselves into thinking we have more control over a situation in a laboratory than we do," he told Wisconsin State Journal last week. "Accidents do happen."
When The Independent approached Jeffries for comments on Kawaoka's new research, he said he was not made aware of details of the study at the time the approval was given.
''What was present in the research protocols was a very brief outline or abstract of what he was actually doing'...there were elements to it that bothered me,'' Professor Jeffries said.
Rebecca Moritz, who is responsible for overseeing Wisconsin's work at the institute, said it is needed to create new vaccines.
''The work is designed to identify potential circulating strains to guide the process of selecting strains used for the next vaccine'...The committee found the biosafety containment procedures to be appropriate for conducting this research. I have no concerns about the biosafety of these experiments,'' she said.
Kawaoka said he presented preliminary results of his research to the World Health Organization and they had been ''well received.''
''We are confident our study will contribute to the field, particularly given the number of mutant viruses we generated and the sophisticated analysis applied,'' he explained.
''There are risks in all research. However, there are ways to mitigate the risks. As for all the research on influenza viruses in my laboratory, this work is performed by experienced researchers under appropriate containment and with full review and prior approval by the [biosafety committee],'' he added.
Flu virus strains are notorious for changing rapidly, with new strains emerging and causing seasonal flu epidemics. Scientists have to try and predict what kind of flu they would have to face each year and have a vaccine ready. When they succeed, an outbreak causes much less damage that it could have otherwise.
Research of 'gain of function' by viruses like the works of Kawaoka is focused on exploring how a virus can become deadlier and more transmittable or resistant to existing vaccines. Critics of such studies say they are too dangerous, both due to the risk of accidental or even deliberate release.
For instance some people in the academia called on Kawaoka to withhold parts of his research on H5N1 bird flu. Normally the virus is highly lethal, but does not transmit well, but a series of experiments with ferrets resulted in an easily transmittable strain. The experiments were simple enough for any person with expertise in microbiology to replicate, which critics said some group of would-be bioterrorists would eventually do.
Israel / Palestine
Email from Dutch boots on the ground
Hi Adam and John,
My name is Bart, a Dutch guy living in tel Aviv, Israel (not jewish, but my wife is from here).
As a long time boner (never donated and have no excuse for that) i was listening this week episode of No agenda (10-7-2014).
Sitting here in the middle of the mess i can provide you with some answers and opinions on the subject Israel - Hamas raised in this episode.
Iron Dome:
Actually only used to pretect the bigger cities like Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa. Its expensive to use so not worth to use it on the little shitty towns close to the Gaza Border. Thats why they get hit by dozens of rockets a day. Success rate of the iron dome is getting better each time it is being used (at least they claim), now reaching 90%. There is a lot of american money invested in this project but it is an Israeli invention, which they very proudly mention all the time.
In these days, when the alarm goes of and everybody runs to the shelters, you can actually see the iron dome in action if you decide to stay out (since the rockets that are launched at Tel Aviv are no scuts, just shitty fireworks). Funny thing is that you only see the rocket of the dome and an explosion, but never the incoming rocket (they show it always on tv so you can find some images of it). Now i am not an expert, but it seems a bit strange and rises the suspicion that it is a great promotion for the sale of the iron dome. An amazing defense system with a 90% success rate (?).
Hamas rocket launches:
In general most of the rockets that are being fired from Gaza are home made things that only kill when it lands on your head. Of course it damages and when fired in big amounts it breaks daily live, making school, activities, everyday live impossible and i assume that is what they try to achieve. These rockets are launched like morters, are very mobile and therefor hard to target. A car drops 2 guys, they set it up, shoot and run away. So these are hard to target, but still sometimes they are too late and get droned.
The long range rockets is something else. These are being spotted very fast and the launch platforms are taken out on the spot after 1 launch. That is also the reason that they are not used that often, also expensive.
I won't get too much into the who is right issue, i can just say it is pretty hopeless and i don't see Israel having a bright future the way they are handling situations.
Of course everybody should have the right to protect themselves, but you can say the same thing about the gazans.
Interesting is always how these things start (and always in the summer, probably the heat is pissing everybody off). But lets check the conflict that is going on now.
It started actually with the peace talks being stopped. According to Israel they don't have a partner for peace, according to the Americans Israel is not really willing to put down pre conditions. After this happened the Hamas (the 'terrorists'), who rule Gaza, and Fatah (the rulers of the west bank and western backed) decided to make a unity government, which sound logic to me if you want to progress and get out of the mess, but for Israel a reason and proof that you can't work with the other side (terrorists who want to whipe israel of the map). Not long after that 3 Israeli kids get kidnapped. Israel blamed of course Hamas (who never claimed it, but also not denied it), and went in with the army to arrest 500 Hamas members. Than rockets started to fly and Israel responded with bombing. American researchers, because one of the 3 killed kids was an american citizen, now found out after studying the kidnap, one of the boys actually called the police but wasn't taken serious, claim that the kids were killed on the spot with silencer guns which would indicate a pre set up murder case.
And with todays politics and looking at the repeating history in this region i am doubting a lot of things.
So who started here and who is protecting themselves, i don't know anymore, but it makes you wonder.
I am happy to provide more info if you are interested.
Keep up the good work.
Aaron on the US military aid
Hi Adam,
Your coverage on Israel was pretty good last show. It is a complicated situation and even us who live here are not 100% clear on what is going on with so much propaganda from all sides.
I think this is a really good article about the lies and messaging being used by the Israeli government to continue this war.
If you have any questions about the article let me know.
One note about US aid to Israel - many Israelis (including me) would like to cut this aid off as well. Israel is a rich 1st world country with a dynamic economy based on hi-tech, heavy industry, and natural gas. We use all of this aid to buy US made weapons. Sure its nice to get a $3 billion dollar gift card to spend at Raytehon - but the true purpose is a subsidy to the US defense industry.
The US politicians who claim to love Israel are really just pandering to right wing christian Zionists like these people (http://www.sacornerstone.org/about-supportisrael) and the defense industry lobbyists.
Sir Grebulaon reports
Sorry for not reporting earlier. This thing feels so much deja-vu that I've just put it in ignore mode. To me it seems like just another season of the year - autumn, winter, spring, war. This breaks out about every 1.5-2 years. Over time there are occasional "targeted killing" in Gaza by the air force (partial list at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Israeli_assassinations). Sometimes innocent bystanders get killed. These are followed by sporadic missiles flown to southern towns like Sderot, Ofakim and even the large Beer-Sheva. Israel usually ignores them. Over time, pressure builds, then comes a spark and everything blows.
This time it started with three settlement kids being kidnapped and murdered, which led to an Arab kid being kidnapped an burned to death by some crazy Jews (http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.603493). This led to riots in a few Arab cities including Kalanswa very close to where I live and shop (http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.603150)
This time the real reasons can also be related to transfers of money for Hamas government employees, internal clashing between west bank Palestinian authority and Gaza based Hamas government (i.e., http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.601438).
You have to remember three important things:
1. The fractions of the Palestinian leadership (mainly Hamas and Fatah) hate each other not much less than they hate us, and maybe more.
2. The leadership fights are over big money, mainly foreign donations, But also tax money that is being collected in Israel. I don't see how this can be related to oil. You don't think they assume anyone in Israel will listen to them claiming right on oil?
3. As in any other country, the Palestinian leadership doesn't give crap about their public.
As for the rockets and Iron Dome. Rockets from Gaza are mainly short and mid range Kassam rockets. These are no tomahawk missile! They are basically flying pipes filled with very light head (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qassam_rocket) The launchers look like a small steel ladder, or slightly larger pipes:
Hidden short range "launchers" - image from 2011 - http://img.mako.co.il/2011/10/30/210635.jpg
I don't know how the air force can detect these launchers. Perhaps they can sometimes see them being installed. But mostly you cannot see them until they launch a missile.
These rockets cannot be targeted and you have to launch many of them to actually hit something. The small head hardly does any damage unless it gets a direct hit. Most of the damage is caused by inertia and not the explosive. A single rocket is estimated to cost around $700.
An iron dome rocket on the other hand, costs around $50,000. We don't know the real hit-miss statistics, but they were estimated around 90% at 2012 and it's probably better now. This is incredible if you remember that we're talking about a missile hitting another missile mid air. Still, we don't know the actual statistics. It's probably lower if you're trying to protect southern cities in closer range, and higher in the Tel-Aviv area. Because of the cost, they launch an intercepting missile only if the incoming rocket is estimated to hit a populated area. We don't know if the stats include pre-launch miscalculations.
In any case many people see the interceptions happening, and in general we get VERY few hits, so I believe the in general the system works. It certainly has a very positive psychological effect - people are not as stressed as they were two years ago.
Try to compare the Kassam rocket to the effect of four F-16 planes coming at you with a couple of megaton bomb.
I will be listening later to the show, and write more if I have something smart to say.
One short note about the spam filtering - I use my own mail server hosted at dreamhost and using spamkarma. The mail from last Saturday got marked as spam and this has nothing to do with Google. Moreover, when I opened it in Thunderbird, it also warned me. I suspect that this particular template was recently used to by spammers, therefore the massive blocking.
--sir grebulon
Readout of the President's Call with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel | The White House
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 04:50
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
July 10, 2014
President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke today by phone. The President reiterated the United States' strong condemnation of continuing rocket fire into Israel by Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza and reaffirmed Israel's right to defend itself against these attacks. The President expressed concern about the risk of further escalation and emphasized the need for all sides to do everything they can to protect the lives of civilians and restore calm. The United States remains prepared to facilitate a cessation of hostilities, including a return to the November 2012 ceasefire agreement.
The President once again expressed condolences to the people of Israel on the kidnapping and murder of teenagers Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach, and Naftali Fraenkel, who was an American and Israeli citizen, and urged that the perpetrators be brought to justice. The two leaders also discussed the situation in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The President welcomed the arrest of suspects in the abduction and murder of Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir and expressed appreciation for the Prime Minister's determination to see that they be brought to justice. He expressed concern about the beating and detention of teenage American citizen Tariq Khdeir and acknowledged Israel's efforts to resolve this case. The two leaders discussed the P5+1 negotiations with Iran and the President reiterated that the United States will not accept any agreement that does not ensure that Iran's nuclear program is for exclusively peaceful purposes.
IDF's Gaza assault is to control Palestinian gas, avert Israeli energy crisis | Nafeez Ahmed | Environment | theguardian.com
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 23:29
Yesterday, Israeli defence minister and former Israeli Defence Force (IDF) chief of staff Moshe Ya'alon announced that Operation Protective Edge marks the beginning of a protracted assault on Hamas. The operation "won't end in just a few days," he said, adding that "we are preparing to expand the operation by all means standing at our disposal so as to continue striking Hamas."
This morning, he said:
"We continue with strikes that draw a very heavy price from Hamas. We are destroying weapons, terror infrastructures, command and control systems, Hamas institutions, regime buildings, the houses of terrorists, and killing terrorists of various ranks of command'... The campaign against Hamas will expand in the coming days, and the price the organization will pay will be very heavy."
But in 2007, a year before Operation Cast Lead, Ya'alon's concerns focused on the 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas discovered in 2000 off the Gaza coast, valued at $4 billion. Ya'alon dismissed the notion that "Gaza gas can be a key driver of an economically more viable Palestinian state" as "misguided." The problem, he said, is that:
"Proceeds of a Palestinian gas sale to Israel would likely not trickle down to help an impoverished Palestinian public. Rather, based on Israel's past experience, the proceeds will likely serve to fund further terror attacks against Israel'...
A gas transaction with the Palestinian Authority [PA] will, by definition, involve Hamas. Hamas will either benefit from the royalties or it will sabotage the project and launch attacks against Fatah, the gas installations, Israel '' or all three'... It is clear that without an overall military operation to uproot Hamas control of Gaza, no drilling work can take place without the consent of the radical Islamic movement."
Operation Cast Lead did not succeed in uprooting Hamas, but the conflict did take the lives of 1,387 Palestinians (773 of whom were civilians) and 9 Israelis (3 of whom were civilians).
Since the discovery of oil and gas in the Occupied Territories, resource competition has increasingly been at the heart of the conflict, motivated largely by Israel's increasing domestic energy woes.
Mark Turner, founder of the Research Journalism Initiative, reported that the siege of Gaza and ensuing military pressure was designed to "eliminate" Hamas as "a viable political entity in Gaza" to generate a "political climate" conducive to a gas deal. This involved rehabilitating the defeated Fatah as the dominant political player in the West Bank, and "leveraging political tensions between the two parties, arming forces loyal to Abbas and the selective resumption of financial aid."
Ya'alon's comments in 2007 illustrate that the Israeli cabinet is not just concerned about Hamas '' but concerned that if Palestinians develop their own gas resources, the resulting economic transformation could in turn fundamentally increase Palestinian clout.
Meanwhile, Israel has made successive major discoveries in recent years - such as the Leviathan field estimated to hold 18 trillion cubic feet of natural gas '' which could transform the country from energy importer into aspiring energy exporter with ambitions to supply Europe, Jordan and Egypt. A potential obstacle is that much of the 122 trillion cubic feet of gas and 1.6 billion barrels of oil in the Levant Basin Province lies in territorial waters where borders are hotly disputed between Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and Cyprus.
Amidst this regional jockeying for gas, though, Israel faces its own little-understood energy challenges. It could, for instance, take until 2020 for much of these domestic resources to be properly mobilised.
But this is the tip of the iceberg. A 2012 letter by two Israeli government chief scientists '' which the Israeli government chose not to disclose '' warned the government that Israel still had insufficient gas resources to sustain exports despite all the stupendous discoveries. The letter, according to Ha'aretz, stated that Israel's domestic resources were 50% less than needed to support meaningful exports, and could be depleted in decades:
"We believe Israel should increase its [domestic] use of natural gas by 2020 and should not export gas. The Natural Gas Authority's estimates are lacking. There's a gap of 100 to 150 billion cubic meters between the demand projections that were presented to the committee and the most recent projections. The gas reserves are likely to last even less than 40 years!"
As Dr Gary Luft - an advisor to the US Energy Security Council - wrote in the Journal of Energy Security, "with the depletion of Israel's domestic gas supplies accelerating, and without an imminent rise in Egyptian gas imports, Israel could face a power crisis in the next few years'... If Israel is to continue to pursue its natural gas plans it must diversify its supply sources."
Israel's new domestic discoveries do not, as yet, offer an immediate solution as electricity prices reach record levels, heightening the imperative to diversify supply. This appears to be behind Prime Minister Netanyahu's announcement in February 2011 that it was now time to seal the Gaza gas deal. But even after a new round of negotiations was kick-started between the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority and Israel in September 2012, Hamas was excluded from these talks, and thus rejected the legitimacy of any deal.
Earlier this year, Hamas condemned a PA deal to purchase $1.2 billion worth of gas from Israel Leviathan field over a 20 year period once the field starts producing. Simultaneously, the PA has held several meetings with the British Gas Group to develop the Gaza gas field, albeit with a view to exclude Hamas '' and thus Gazans '' from access to the proceeds. That plan had been the brainchild of Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair.
But the PA was also courting Russia's Gazprom to develop the Gaza marine gas field, and talks have been going on between Russia, Israel and Cyprus, though so far it is unclear what the outcome of these have been. Also missing was any clarification on how the PA would exert control over Gaza, which is governed by Hamas.
According to Anais Antreasyan in the University of California's Journal of Palestine Studies, the most respected English language journal devoted to the Arab-Israeli conflict, Israel's stranglehold over Gaza has been designed to make "Palestinian access to the Marine-1 and Marine-2 gas wells impossible." Israel's long-term goal "besides preventing the Palestinians from exploiting their own resources, is to integrate the gas fields off Gaza into the adjacent Israeli offshore installations." This is part of a wider strategy of:
"'.... separating the Palestinians from their land and natural resources in order to exploit them, and, as a consequence, blocking Palestinian economic development. Despite all formal agreements to the contrary, Israel continues to manage all the natural resources nominally under the jurisdiction of the PA, from land and water to maritime and hydrocarbon resources."
For the Israeli government, Hamas continues to be the main obstacle to the finalisation of the gas deal. In the incumbent defence minister's words: "Israel's experience during the Oslo years indicates Palestinian gas profits would likely end up funding terrorism against Israel. The threat is not limited to Hamas'... It is impossible to prevent at least some of the gas proceeds from reaching Palestinian terror groups."
The only option, therefore, is yet another "military operation to uproot Hamas."
Unfortunately, for the IDF uprooting Hamas means destroying the group's perceived civilian support base '' which is why Palestinian civilian casualties massively outweigh that of Israelis. Both are obviously reprehensible, but Israel's capacity to inflict destruction is simply far greater.
In the wake of Operation Cast Lead, the Jerusalem-based Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (Pcati) found that the IDF had adopted a more aggressive combat doctrine based on two principles '' "zero casualties" for IDF soldiers at the cost of deploying increasingly indiscriminate firepower in densely populated areas, and the "dahiya doctrine" promoting targeting of civilian infrastructure to create widespread suffering amongst the population with a view to foment opposition to Israel's opponents.
This was confirmed in practice by the UN fact-finding mission in Gaza which concluded that the IDF had pursued a "deliberate policy of disproportionate force," aimed at the "supporting infrastructure" of the enemy - "this appears to have meant the civilian population," said the UN report.
The Israel-Palestine conflict is clearly not all about resources. But in an age of expensive energy, competition to dominate regional fossil fuels are increasingly influencing the critical decisions that can inflame war.
Dr. Nafeez Ahmed is an international security journalist and academic. He is the author of A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It, and the forthcoming science fiction thriller, ZERO POINT. ZERO POINT is set in a near future following a Fourth Iraq War. Follow Ahmed on Facebook and Twitter.
Lebanon condemns Israel's intent to unilaterally demarcate its maritime border
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 01:32
January 06th, 201412:00amPosted In: Natural Gas, News By Country, Other Countries, Israel, Featured Articles, LebanonLebanese caretaker Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour stated on 21 December 2013 that Israel's intent to unilaterally demarcate its maritime border with Lebanon is a violation of International Law and of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and will not have any legal repercussion on Lebanon.
Both Israel and Lebanon claim as their own a maritime area of 854 square kilometers. The dispute gained topicality after substantial amounts of natural gas were found off Israel's coast. Lebanon will be launching its first licensing round in early 2015 motivated by promising seismic surveys suggesting that 45% of Lebanese waters could contain up to 95 Tcf of natural gas.
The 1982 United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) provides nations with a 200 mile offshore area (an ''Exclusive Economic Zone'') for exploiting maritime reserves. When another country lies less than 400 nautical miles away (as Cyprus does in relation to Lebanon and Israel), governments are expected to negotiate a mutually acceptable line. This is also the case for countries with adjacent coastlines like Israel and Lebanon.
Disputes over the demarcation of maritime boundaries are often triggered by the discovery of new oil and gas deposits and settled through the interpretation of UNCLOS and/or negotiation. Israel and Lebanon are in a state of war and direct negotiation is not possible between the two states. Additionally, Israel (as well as the United States and Turkey) is not a signatory of UNCLOS.
Cypriot and American officials have invested efforts in an attempt to mediate the dispute between the two countries and create an environment of peace and stability that would give confidence to investors interested in oil and gas explorations in the Levantine basin. So far, all efforts have failed to reach a settlement of the dispute. A recent visit by American officials to Lebanese caretaker minister of energy and water Gebran Bassil to this effect have allegedly achieved some progress but no real result has materialized yet.
Although no exploration activity is currently taking place in close vicinity to the disputed area, a settlement of the dispute is paramount for the effective development of the hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean. Lebanon and Israel's mutual accusations of maritime border violations risk escalating into violent confrontations that could stall the energy progress and deter international oil and gas companies from investing in troubled waters.
Karen Ayat is an analyst focused on energy geopolitics in the Eastern Mediterranean. Email Karen on ayat_karen@hotmail.com. Follow her on Twitter: @karenayat
F-Russia / Ukraine / Syria
WOW-Obvious-ITAR-TASS: Economy - Ukrainian government plans to sell Ukrnafta and Odessa Port Plant
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 07:35
KIEV, July 12 /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine's cabinet of ministers plans to sell a 50% stake in Ukrnafta and 99% of shares in the Odessa Port Plant, UNIAN reported on Friday, citing a source in the cabinet of ministers.
Under a draft resolution of the government, it is planned to endorse a list of facilities to be put for sale in 2014. The list includes stake packages in two major enterprises - Ukrnafta and the Odessa Port Plant.
Other assets on the privatization list include 99% of shares in Sumykhimproms, 75% of shares in Turboatom, blocking or controlling stakes in about 15 energy companies, about 40 packages in gas supplies and gas distribution companies, the source said, adding that the list would also include companies of a number of other sectors, such as agriculture and research.
The draft resolution is expected to be considered by the governmental committee within days, the UNIAN source said. After the list is endorsed, the government will pass individual resolutions on sales of each the enterprises on the list.
On July 10, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told the All-Ukraine Agrarian Forum that the cabinet of ministers planned to announce ''the biggest privatization campaign in the past 20 years.''
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yuri Prodan said that privatization of the country's gas transport system and the company Ukrenergo was absolutely excluded, although other state-run energy-sector companies could be put on sale.
'All-out' assault may last another month, Ukraine warns rebels - Newspaper - DAWN.COM
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 03:27
OLENIVKA (Ukraine): Ukraine warned on Thursday that its ''all-out'' assault on pro-Russian insurgents may last another month and rejected calls for a ceasefire as it pushed tanks within striking distance of the rebels' two remaining strongholds.
An earthmover's engine stuttered in the stifling heat as it dug trenches to help troops dodge artillery strikes from thousands of insurgents who are refusing to give up their bloody three-month drive to join Russian rule.
''We arrived here last night,'' said a balaclava-wearing soldier named Yuriy as his comrades stretched electric cables to a nearby farm to power up their equipment.
Reporters 30 kilometres west of Donetsk also heard echoes of heavy artillery fire around the town of Korlivka '-- held by the separatists since early April with the alleged help of Russian financial and military support.
The interior ministry added to the confident new tone resonating throughout Kiev by reporting the launch of ''an all-out attack... across several parts of the front''.
But what may have looked like bravado just a few weeks ago seemed to the bearing out the streets of eastern industrial cities that were once the economic driving engine of both the Soviet Union and Ukraine but now resemble half-gutted ghost towns.
Donetsk separatist ''prime minister'' Oleksandr Borodai admitted that he was on the verge of ordering a partial evacuation of the city because his men had still not received the additional shipments of heavy arms they had urgently sought from Moscow.
''Russia must be ready to receive several hundred thousands refugees,'' he told reporters.
Ukrainian interior ministry adviser Stanislav Rechinsky announced on state television that it looked like the last of the eastern insurgency would be crush ''within a month''.
Rechinsky added ''there will be no air or artillery strikes'' against Donetsk or its neighbouring rebel hub of Lugansk because of the toll in the low-scale war had already claimed more than 500 lives.
The Ukrainian health ministry said its earlier report of 478 civilians deaths in the eastern offensive was issued in error because it included those who had passed away from natural causes.
No talks with 'terrorists: Fears of a civil war breaking out on the EU's eastern frontier have redoubled European efforts to force Kiev to negotiate truce terms that could help calm the most explosive East-West standoff since the Cold War.
The tide in the conflict turned on Saturday when insurgents abandoned their Slavyansk bastion '-- a city of 120,000 now emptied of half its population and in dire need of fresh water and medical supplies.
Kiev paints the insurgency as a proxy war being waged by Russian President Vladimir Putin in reprisal for the February ouster of an allied administration and the collapse of his dream to push Ukraine into a powerful new post-Soviet bloc.
But Kiev's recent string of military successes have alarmed European leaders who are hoping to secure a truce to take pressure off the bloc from adopting further economic sanctions that might damage its strong energy and financial ties with Russia.
EU leaders resisted Washington's calls to be firmer with Putin and on Wednesday only promised to add 11 new names to its list of 61 Russians and Ukrainian separatists targeted by travel and financial bans.
Moscow has shrugged off such measures and Russia's wobbly stock market has rebounded in the belief that Europe was too concerned about its own economy to unleash meaningful punitive steps.
Skype talks' with rebels: Western-backed President Petro Poroshenko this week said talks with rebel commanders '-- demanded on a nearly-daily basis by Putin and his top ministers '-- were impossible because they had gone into hiding in Moscow.
But the new Kiev leaders have also been keen to avoid drawing the ire of EU leaders whose political and financial backing is vital to their survival in the face of the Russian threat.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin on Thursday for the first time suggested contacting the militia leaders by videoconference.
''We live in a modern world. Why not start our negotiations by videoconference using Skype?'' Klimkin asked.
Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2014
Russia wins German and French backing for Ukraine truce call
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 03:31
The leaders of France and Germany have backed Russia by calling for a new ceasefire in eastern Ukraine but told Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, to prevent separatist fighters and arms from crossing the border into Ukraine.
French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Putin on Thursday that it was important to reach a political solution quickly in the three-month-old conflict between government forces and separatists in the country's east.
In a three-way telephone conversation, they asked Putin to "exert all necessary pressure" on the separatists and to take "the concrete measures required to control the Russia-Ukraine border", Hollande's office said in a statement.
Russia denies accusations by Ukraine and Western governments that it has worsened the conflict by allowing fighters and weaponry to move freely into eastern Ukraine from Russia.
The Kremlin said in a statement that the three heads of state supported "a swift renewal of the ceasefire and a meeting of the contact group" on resolving the crisis.
The three leaders have had regular phone conversations on the conflict. They will also soon hold talks with Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian president, Hollande's office said.
Government forces have recently made gains against the separatists in the Russian-speaking eastern regions.
More than 200 government soldiers have been killed as well as hundreds of civilians and rebel fighters.
Also on Thursday, a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said Russia was willing to invite its Ukrainian counterparts to monitor the border together.
Alexander Lukashevich said Ukrainian border guards might be invited to patrol the border together at two border posts.
He said, however, that this would only be possible if a ceasefire was in place.
The rebels have several Ukrainian border posts under their control, and Ukraine has unsuccessfully demanded them back.
The pro-Russian rebels have been fighting government troops in eastern Ukraine for more than three months, leaving at least 400 dead.
For each Ukrainian soldier killed, president vows 'tens and hundreds' of militants will die
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 18:55
KIEV, Ukraine, July 11 (UPI) --Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko vowed Friday that pro-Russian separatists in the restive eastern region will suffer lethal consequences for killing Ukrainian troops."For every taken life of our servicemen, they will pay with tens and hundreds of theirs. Not a single terrorist will escape responsibility, everyone will get what they deserve," Poroshenko said Friday.
The president met Friday with security officials to discuss the militants' use of Russian-made BM-21 Grad rocket launchers against Ukrainian forces.
More than 30 Ukrainian soldiers and border guarders were reportedly killed earlier Friday by Grad missile strikes launched by rebels against a military camp near Zelenopillya, approximately 40 miles from Lunhansk.
(C) 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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Italy backs controversial Russian Southstream gas pipeline
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 02:11
Sandro Gozi, Italy's under secretary for European politics, said the gas pipeline "should go ahead". Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP
Italy's under secretary for European politics on Thursday gave his backing to a controversial gas pipeline from Russia, sparking criticism that the Italian government is overstepping its mandate as EU president.
Speaking in Brussels on Thursday, Sandro Gozi said the Italian government supported the South Stream project which envisages a 2,500km gas pipeline running from Russia to Italy.
''We think South Stream should go ahead, as it would improve the diversification of gas routes to Europe,'' Gozi was quoted in EU Observer as saying.
The pipeline would bypass Ukraine, where the government is currently battling pro-Russian separatists, instead passing through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia before reaching Italy.
Italy's commitment to the project was endorsed by Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini, who this week visited both Ukraine and Russia in her first trip abroad since Italy took over the EU presidency earlier this month.
READ MORE: Italy FM heads to Ukraine to broker peace
While emphasising that South Stream needed to respect EU law, she described it as being ''very important for the energy security of our country, as well as that of the entire European area.''
Russia provides an estimated 31 percent of the gas consumed in Italy.
Serbia has begun working on its stretch of the pipeline, but Bulgaria halted construction recently after the EU said the project breached competition rules.
Support from the Italian government has been criticized by Ukraine, which argues that Rome may be overstepping its mandate as EU president.
''The EU presidency should not put forward its national position, but the position of the EU as a whole. This project is not supported by all member states, so I have to ask the question whether Italy has coordinated its point of view with its other EU partners or not,'' Konstantin Yeliseyev, Ukraine's EU ambassador, was quoted in EU Observer as saying.
The comments from the Italian government were also met with criticism on social media, with Twitter users describing Italy's position as ''dreadful'' and ''risky''.
An analyst from the European Policy Centre said greater dependence on Russian gas went against the EU's strategic interests.
While another Twitter user said Mogherini's statement may limit her chances of being named the bloc's foreign minister later this month.
READ MORE: Italy's foreign minister tipped for EU top job
Putin: RT Spanish to be broadcast in Argentina 24/7
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 07:37
Published time: July 12, 2014 19:01Edited time: July 13, 2014 03:04Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (R) shakes hands with her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the Casa Rosada presidential palace in Buenos Aires July 12, 2014. (Reuters / Enrique Marcarian)
RT Spanish will start broadcasting 24/7 in Argentina, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a stop in Buenos Aires as part of his Latin American tour. RT has become the first foreign channel that will broadcast alongside Argentinian state channels.
"We are grateful to the Argentinian side for the opportunity to broadcast RT TV channel,'' Putin said at a media conference in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires in the framework of his Latin American tour.
"We will be developing cooperation in the sphere of information. This is the aim of the agreement on cooperation in the field of mass communications. It will help the leading news agencies of Russia and Argentina expand contacts and promptly exchange information,'' the Russian president said following talks with Argentinian President Cristina Fernndez de Kirchner.
For the first time in Argentina, RT Spanish will be available 24/7 via a separate ''button'' alongside state channels, said Putin.The agreement in the mass communications sphere comes into effect on Saturday.
Russian President met with his Argentine counterpart during his official tour of Latin America following his first stop at Cuba's Havana.
Following the meeting, Kirchner stressed that the two countries share approaches to the policies of double standards espoused by certain forces in the international arena. Kirchner said she believes there should be ''multi-sided, multipolar relations, as there is a need for countries of the world to drop double standards and to arrive at a solution that would be fair.''
Putin believes that Russian companies will take an active part in the modernizing of Argentinian electric power stations, as well as in building new power plants.
He added that Russia's Inter RAO group is planning to help in the construction of Chihuido-1 hydropower plant on the Neuquen River '' a project worth US$2 billion. Another Russian company '' Silovye Mashiny (Power Machinery) '' is supplying hydrogenerator equipment for the Punta Negra hydropower plant, Putin said.
Rosatom corporation is also ready to participate in the construction of new blocs for Atucha nuclear power plant in Buenos Aires province, Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak said earlier.
''As for the construction of the fourth and fifth blocs of the atomic electric station, Rosatom is currently actively working here. A technical commercial offer has already been handed over to [Argentinian] colleagues,'' Novak said.
Speaking on the results of the talks, Putin said the two nations are also planning to strengthen cooperation in other hi-tech fields, including space. In particular, Russia expects Argentina to allow on its territory the installment of ground-based stations for Russia's Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS).
As for military-technological ties, the two presidents discussed the shipment of Russian helicopters and military cargo aircraft to the Latin American country for joint work in Antarctica.
''Despite complicated processes in the world economy, we've managed to maintain a positive trend in goods turnover. Last year it increased by over 16 percent,'' the Russian president said.
Special attention will be paid to the development of cultural relations, Putin added.
The Russian president has called for holding the Russia-Argentina Bilateral Culture Year in 2015, as the two countries will also mark the 130th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations next year.
''This is a landmark event," Putin said, adding that it would bring the people of both countries closer, proving the depth of relations in culture and international affairs.
"Russia and Argentina are bound together by more than a century-long history of close ties and strong mutual attraction. They say that there is some Russian blood in every sixth Argentinean. Many people from our country found their second home in Argentina," Putin said in an exclusive interview to Latin American news agency Prensa Latina ahead of his South American tour.
Gazprom Discusses South Stream Project with Croatia
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 02:23
July 10th, 20142:42pmPosted In: Natural Gas, News By Country, Other Countries, CroatiaAfter moving on with its plan in Serbia, a Gazprom delegation paid a working visit to Croatia on Wednesday, speaking about the South Stream project and Gazprom Neft's participation in the bidding procedure for licences in the country.
'The parties addressed the current state and prospects for the cooperation in the oil and gas sector. In particular, they discussed the South Stream project as well as the project for constructing its gas branch to Croatia, which was currently under consideration,' reads a note.
Moreover, Gazprom's Alexey Miller met with Ivo Josipovic, President of the Republic of Croatia and Zoran Milanovic, Croatian Prime Minister to touch upon Gazprom's gas supply to the country.
'The Group resumed its natural gas supply to Croatian consumers in 2013. It was pointed out that during the six months of 2014 the Republic had been supplied with 0.34 billion cubic meters of gas, which exceeded the total 2013 supply volume by 45 per cent. In addition, the parties looked into the issues of implementing joint NGV projects.'
Agenda 21
Miami, the great world city, is drowning while the powers that be look away.
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 02:10
A drive through the sticky Florida heat into Alton Road in Miami Beach can be an unexpectedly awkward business. Most of the boulevard, which runs north through the heart of the resort's most opulent palm-fringed real estate, has been reduced to a single lane that is hemmed in by bollards, road-closed signs, diggers, trucks, workmen, stacks of giant concrete cylinders and mounds of grey, foul-smelling earth.
It is an unedifying experience but an illuminating one '' for this once glamorous thoroughfare, a few blocks from Miami Beach's art deco waterfront and its white beaches, has taken on an unexpected role. It now lies on the front line of America's battle against climate change and the rise in sea levels that it has triggered.
"Climate change is no longer viewed as a future threat round here," says atmosphere expert Professor Ben Kirtman, of the University of Miami. "It is something that we are having to deal with today."
Every year, with the coming of high spring and autumn tides, the sea surges up the Florida coast and hits the west side of Miami Beach, which lies on a long, thin island that runs north and south across the water from the city of Miami. The problem is particularly severe in autumn when winds often reach hurricane levels. Tidal surges are turned into walls of seawater that batter Miami Beach's west coast and sweep into the resort's storm drains, reversing the flow of water that normally comes down from the streets above. Instead seawater floods up into the gutters of Alton Road, the first main thoroughfare on the western side of Miami Beach, and pours into the street. Then the water surges across the rest of the island.
The effect is calamitous. Shops and houses are inundated; city life is paralysed; cars are ruined by the corrosive seawater that immerses them. During one recent high spring tide, laundromat owner Eliseo Toussaint watched as slimy green saltwater bubbled up from the gutters. It rapidly filled the street and then blocked his front door. "This never used to happen," Toussaint told reporters. "I've owned this place eight years and now it's all the time."
Today, shop owners keep plastic bags and rubber bands handy to wrap around their feet when they have to get to their cars through rising waters, while householders have found that ground-floor spaces in garages are no longer safe to keep their cars. Only those on higher floors can hope to protect their cars from surging sea waters that corrode and rot the innards of their vehicles.
Hence the construction work at Alton Road, where $400m is now being spent in an attempt to halt these devastating floods '' by improving Miami Beach's stricken system of drains and sewers. In total, around $1.5bn is to be invested in projects aimed at holding back the rising waters. Few scientists believe the works will have a long-term effect.
Low-lying houses in Miami Beach are especially vulnerable. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images"There has been a rise of about 10 inches in sea levels since the 19th century '' brought about by humanity's heating of the planet through its industrial practices '' and that is now bringing chaos to Miami Beach by regularly flooding places like Alton Road," says Harold Wanless, a geology professor at the University of Miami. "And it is going to get worse. By the end of this century we could easily have a rise of six feet, possibly 10 feet. Nothing much will survive that. Most of the land here is less than 10 feet above sea level."
What makes Miami exceptionally vulnerable to climate change is its unique geology. The city '' and its satellite towns and resorts '' is built on a dome of porous limestone which is soaking up the rising seawater, slowly filling up the city's foundations and then bubbling up through drains and pipes. Sewage is being forced upwards and fresh water polluted. Miami's low topography only adds to these problems. There is little land out here that rises more than six feet above sea level. Many condos and apartment blocks open straight on the edge of the sea. Of the total of 4.2 million US citizens who live at an elevation of four feet or less, 2.4 million of them live in south Florida.
At Florida International University, geologist Peter Harlem has created a series of maps that chart what will happen as the sea continues to rise. These show that by the time oceans have risen by four feet '' a fairly conservative forecast '' most of Miami Beach, Key Biscayne, Virginia Key and all the area's other pieces of prime real estate, will be bathtubs. At six feet, Miami city's waterfront and the Florida Keys will have disappeared. The world's busiest cruise ship port, which handles four million passengers, will disappear beneath the waves. "This is the fact of life about the ocean: it is very, very powerful," says Harlem.
Miami and its surroundings are facing a calamity worthy of the Old Testament. It is an astonishing story. Despite its vast wealth, the city might soon be consumed by the waves, for even if all emissions of carbon dioxide were halted tomorrow '' a very unlikely event given their consistent rise over the decades '' there is probably enough of the gas in the atmosphere to continue to warm our planet, heat and expand our seas, and melt polar ice. In short, there seems there is nothing that can stop the waters washing over Miami completely.
It a devastating scenario. But what really surprises visitors and observers is the city's response, or to be more accurate, its almost total lack of reaction. The local population is steadily increasing; land prices continue to surge; and building is progressing at a generous pace. During my visit last month, signs of construction '' new shopping malls, cranes towering over new condominiums and scaffolding enclosing freshly built apartment blocks '' could be seen across the city, its backers apparently oblivious of scientists' warnings that the foundations of their buildings may be awash very soon.
Protesters gather near the office of Senator Marco Rubio to ask him to take action to address climate change. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesNot that they are alone. Most of Florida's senior politicians '' in particular, Senator Marco Rubio, former governor Jeb Bush and current governor Rick Scott, all Republican climate-change deniers '' have refused to act or respond to warnings of people like Wanless or Harlem or to give media interviews to explain their stance, though Rubio, a Republican party star and a possible 2016 presidential contender, has made his views clear in speeches. "I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it. I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy," he said recently. Miami is in denial in every sense, it would seem. Or as Wanless puts it: "People are simply sticking their heads in the sand. It is mind-boggling."
Not surprisingly, Rubio's insistence that his state is no danger from climate change has brought him into conflict with local people. Philip Stoddard, the mayor of South Miami, has a particularly succinct view of the man and his stance. "Rubio is an idiot," says Stoddard. "He says he is not a scientist so he doesn't have a view about climate change and sea-level rise and so won't do anything about it. Yet Florida's other senator, Democrat Bill Nelson, is holding field hearings where scientists can tell people what the data means. Unfortunately, not enough people follow his example. And all the time, the waters are rising."
Philip Stoddard is particularly well-placed to judge what is happening to Miami. Tall, thin, with a dry sense of humour, he is a politician, having won two successive elections to be mayor of South Miami, and a scientist, a biology professor at Florida International University. The backyard of the home that he shares with his architect wife, Grey Reid, reflects his passion for the living world. While most other South Miami residences sport bright blue swimming pools and barbecues, Stoddard has created a small lake, fringed with palms and ferns, that would do justice to the swampy Everglades near his home. Bass, koi and mosquito fish swim here, while bright dragonflies and zebra lapwing butterflies flit overhead. It is a naturalists' haven but Stoddard is under no illusions about the risks facing his home. Although several miles inland, the house is certainly not immune to the changes that threaten to engulf south Florida.
"The thing about Miami is that when it goes, it will all be gone," says Stoddard. "I used to work at Cornell University and every morning, when I went to work, I climbed more elevation than exists in the entire state of Florida. Our living-room floor here in south Miami is at an elevation of 10 feet above sea level at present. There are significant parts of south Florida that are less than six feet above sea level and which are now under serious threat of inundation."
Nor will south Florida have to wait that long for the devastation to come. Long before the seas have risen a further three or four feet, there will be irreversible breakdowns in society, he says. "Another foot of sea-level rise will be enough to bring salt water into our fresh water supplies and our sewage system. Those services will be lost when that happens," says Stoddard.
"You won't be able to flush away your sewage and taps will no longer provide homes with fresh water. Then you will find you will no longer be able to get flood insurance for your home. Land and property values will plummet and people will start to leave. Places like South Miami will no longer be able to raise enough taxes to run our neighbourhoods. Where will we find the money to fund police to protect us or fire services to tackle house fires? Will there even be enough water pressure for their fire hoses? It takes us into all sorts of post-apocalyptic scenarios. And that is only with a one-foot sea-level rise. It makes one thing clear though: mayhem is coming."
In November 2013, a full moon and high tides led to flooding in parts of the city, including here at Alton Road and 10th Street. Photograph: CorbisAnd then there is the issue of Turkey Point nuclear plant, which lies 24 miles south of Miami. Its operators insist it can survive sea surges and hurricanes and point out that its reactor vessel has been built 20 feet above sea level. But critics who include Stoddard, Harlem and others argue that anciliary equipment '' including emergency diesel generators that are crucial to keeping cooling waters circulating in the event of power failure '' are not so well protected. In the event of sea rise and a major storm surge, a power supply disruption could cause a repeat of the Fukushima accident of 2011, they claim. In addition, inundation maps like those prepared by Harlem show that with a three-foot sea-level rise, Turkey Point will be cut off from the mainland and will become accessible only by boat or aircraft. And the higher the seas go, the deeper it will be submerged.
Turkey Point was built in the 1970s when sea level rises were not an issue, of course. But for scientists like Ben Kirtman, they are now a fact of life. The problem is that many planners and managers still do not take the threat into account when planning for the future, he argues. A classic example is provided by the state's water management. South Florida, because it is so low-lying, is criss-crossed with canals that take away water when there is heavy rainfall and let it pour into the sea.
"But if you have sea level rises of much more than a foot in the near future, when you raise the canal gates to let the rain water out, you will find sea water rushing in instead," Kirtman said. "The answer is to install massive pumps as they have done in New Orleans. Admittedly, these are expensive. They each cost millions of dollars. But we are going to need them and if we don't act now we are going to get caught out. The trouble is that no one is thinking about climate change or sea-level rises at a senior management level."
The problem stems from the top, Kirtman said, from the absolute insistence of influential climate change deniers that global warming is not happening. "When statesmen like Rubio say things like that, they make it very, very hard for anything to get done on a local level '' for instance for Miami to raise the millions it needs to build new sewers and canals. If local people have been told by their leaders that global warming is not happening, they will simply assume you are wasting their money by building defences against it.
"But global warming is occurring. That is absolutely unequivocal. Since the 1950s, the climate system has warmed. That is an absolute fact. And we are now 95% sure that that warming is due to human activities. If I was 95% sure that my house was on fire, would I get out? Obviously I would. It is straightforward."
This point is backed by Harold Wanless. "Every day we continue to pump uncontrolled amounts of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, we strengthen the monster that is going to consume us. We are heating up the atmosphere and then we are heating up the oceans so that they expand and rise. There doesn't look as if anything is going to stop that. People are starting to plan in Miami but really they just don't see where it is all going."
Thus one of the great cities of the world faces obliteration in the coming decades. "It is over for south Florida. It is as simple as that. Nor is it on its own," Wanless admits.
"The next two or three feet of sea-level rise that we get will do away with just about every barrier island we have across the planet. Then, when rises get to four-to-six feet, all the world's great river deltas will disappear and with them the great stretches of agricultural land that surrounds them. People still have their heads in the sand about this but it is coming. Miami is just the start. It is worth watching just for that reason alone. It is a major US city and it is going to let itself drown."
With eight power stations, 35 tube stations and all of Whitehall in the tidal Thames floodplain, the threat of floods has long loomed large, posing a risk to the economy, infrastructure and national heritage. With sea level rises and increased rainfall on the cards thanks to climate change, measures are being put in place to revamp and boost the ageing flood defences. Meanwhile, the south-east of England is sinking by around 1.5mm a year.
The Dutch are often looked to as the masters of flood defence engineering with their impressive array of dams, dikes and barriers. It's a skill they have had to acquire as almost half the population lives less than 3ft above sea level and many livelihoods depend on the country's strong flood defences. They have adopted a "live with water, rather than fight it" attitude in recent years, with innovations including "floating homes" being built in Amsterdam.
Bearing in mind that roughly half of New Orleans is below sea level, its future in terms of coastal flooding does not look too bright. Indeed, according to the World Bank it is the fourth-most vulnerable city to future sea level rise in economic costs, with predicted average annual losses of $1.8bn in 2050. It is predicted that rising waters and subsiding land could result in relative sea level rises of up to 4.6ft by 2100, one of the highest rates in the US.
The Maldives is generally thought of as an island paradise but is critically endangered by the rising ocean that both supports and surrounds it. Of its 1,192 islands, 80% are less than 3ft above sea level, with global warming putting the Maldives at risk of becoming the Atlantis of our time. So perhaps it is unsurprising that the Maldivian president is looking at the options of buying land should the country's 200 densely inhabited islands need to be evacuated.There's even a pot of money especially allocated for buying land overseas and moving the islands's residents to safer ground.
Bangladesh is a nation in which three majestic Himalayan rivers converge, before meandering their way to the sea via the Ganges delta: beautiful on a map, but not ideal in terms of river flooding, or tidal flooding for that matter. The country is basically a massive floodplain, with more than 20% of its land awash with water every year and around 70% experiencing severe flooding in extreme cases. As one of the world's least developed countries, it cannot afford the technology others use to mitigate the effects of flooding and has to turn to more imaginative means, such as creating houses built on stilts in coastal areas.
With poles flipping, EMP's possible
But can't admit that because it kills the AGW Cimate Change evidenc3
Adds SUN to the mix and solar rays OOPS!!
What Is Causing the Kidney Stone Epidemic?
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 15:15
The number of people suffering from kidney stones has grown over the past thirty years, and a new study shows it's likely to get worse. Here's why.
Pediatric urologist Gregory Tasian and his team analyzed over 60,000 medical records of people with kidney stones in major cities throughout the U.S. What they found was that people were more likely to develop the painful calcium deposits (pictured above) in their kidneys when average temperatures rose over 50 degrees. In fact, many cases of kidney stones cropped up roughly three days after a hot day.
Now that climate change means that some regions of the globe are heating up, it's likely that kidney stones will become even more common. The main cause for the connection between temperature and kidney stones is dehydration. When you get hot and dehydrated, the concentration of calcium and minerals in your urine goes up, and that can create the stones.
In a statement, Tasian said:
These findings point to potential public health effects associated with global climate change ... It is likely that higher temperatures increase the risk of kidney stones in those people predisposed to stone formation.
Kidney stone prevalence has already been on the rise over the last 30 years, and we can expect this trend to continue, both in greater numbers and over a broader geographic area, as daily temperatures increase. With some experts predicting that extreme temperatures will become the norm in 30 years, children will bear the brunt of climate change.
This is just one of many ways that climate change may affect us in ways that we never expected.
Read the full scientific paper in Environmental Health Perspectives.
EHP '' Daily Mean Temperature and Clinical Kidney Stone Presentation in Five U.S. Metropolitan Areas: A Time-Series Analysis
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 15:20
Skip to contentDisclaimerPublication of articles in EHP does not mean that the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) condones, endorses, approves, or recommends the use of any products, services, materials, methodology, or policies stated therein. Conclusions and opinions are those of the individual authors and advertisers only and do not reflect the policies or views of the NIEHS.
Britain 'faces blackouts' unless green balance improves, leading engineer warns
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 07:40
The UK is legally bound to produce nearly a third of its electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2020, requiring a large number of rapidly deployable gas-fired power stations to be on standby to pick up the slack at times when the sun and wind are insufficient.
Hugh Sharman is an engineering consultant who worked on a government-commissioned, but unpublished, report looking at how to keep the lights on in the face of soaring renewable energy use. He warned that Britain's ageing fleet of gas-powered plants will not be able to cope with the task of rapidly "balancing" the country's electricity supply when wind levels are low.
Mr Sharman is involved in a project to develop a new flexible gas-fired power plant but insisted his advocacy of the technology is unconnected to his commercial interests. Rather, he said, his research helped him identify the opportunity. Nor was he the only author of the report presented to the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) last year, which was commissioned by the government and carried out by engineering consultant Mott MacDonald.
A DECC spokesperson said: "The lights will not go out. National Grid already has reserve capacity in place to ensure the system can balance and has recently announced it will procure more capacity."
New report calls for ''deep decarbonization'' to stay within 2°C limit | Ars Technica
Wed, 09 Jul 2014 14:56
Many countries have publicly gone on record as supporting the goal of limiting future climate change to two degrees Celsius. Although that creates some risks for future generations, it avoids some of the potentially catastrophic changes that would come with a four degree Celsius rise.
Given what we know about the sensitivity of the climate to added greenhouse gases, it's possible to calculate how much more carbon dioxide we can admit while still having a reasonable chance of staying within the two degree Celsius envelope. What's striking about these calculations is how many large changes we'll have to make in order to get there. According to Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University's Earth Institute, the per-capita emissions would have to drop from five tons annually (where they are now) to 1.6 tons by 2050.
To accomplish this, Sachs says that all nations will have to undergo a process he calls "deep decarbonization," which is part of the title of a report he's helped organize and deliver to the UN today. Pathways to Deep Decarbonization, prepared by researchers in 15 different countries, looks into what's needed to achieve sufficient cuts in our carbon emissions. The report finds that current government pledges aren't sufficient, and the technology we need to succeed may exist, but most of it hasn't been proven to scale sufficiently.
The 15 countries involved are Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, the UK, and the US. Collectively, they currently produce 70 percent of the annual greenhouse gas emissions. They also represent economies at various stages of development, each with distinctive challenges in cutting their carbon emissions to the required levels. Groups from each country analyzed what would be needed to do so.
Achieving this, the report's authors argue, will have to come with a normal pace of economic growth: "There is no prospect of winning the fight against climate change if countries fail on poverty eradication or if countries do not succeed in raising the living standards of their people." Although this may add to the challenge of lowering carbon emissions, the report concludes that "Robust economic growth and rising prosperity are consistent with the objective of deep decarbonization."
The report identifies what Sachs called "three pillars" of emissions reductions: low-carbon electricity, massive efficiency gains, and a greater electrification of transit and infrastructure. (Sachs also added that land use changes could also have a major impact.)
There are some differences in the precise implementation approaches among the countries involved. For example, the researchers from India focus on renewable and nuclear power, in part because they have less of a commitment to a fossil fuel infrastructure and in part because the potential for carbon capture and storage in India hasn't been examined. In contrast, the plans for Canada, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, and the UK all include a heavy reliance on carbon capture and storage.
But the most important takeaways are the general lessons: every country will have to rely on technologies that aren't yet fully developed. Decarbonization strategies for things like freight and air transport aren't well developed. It's possible that some of this could be electrified. But air travel especially is likely to end up relying on advanced biofuels, which are still in the research stage. Pilot carbon capture and storage projects exist, but we have no real sense of the challenges of scaling them to a nationwide effort.
The list identified by the report's authors goes on. Electric vehicles are just starting to be scaled up, and they don't currently have the range to handle as many use cases as we'd need them to. Flexible load management on the electric grid, needed for high levels of intermittent renewable power, is also just in the testing phase. We'll also need a form of advanced nuclear power that's safe enough that it "sustains public confidence and support."
All of these require some combination of further research and government incentives to get them up to scale as quickly as possible. The report is careful to argue that the incentives have to be focused on emissions reductions, rather than any particular technology for achieving them: "Directed technological change should not be conceived as picking winners, but as making sure the market has enough winners to pick from."
The report also calls on governments to start acting like they're serious about achieving their stated goals. "Decisions made today with regards to, say, power generation and transport infrastructure," it states, "will have a long-term impact on future [greenhouse gas] emissions, which must be mapped out carefully and understood quantitatively."
Sachs was a bit more forceful as he discussed the report with the press, saying he wished that governments would get serious about cutting into carbon emissions and "stop promoting little gimmicks as a solution." More generally, Sachs said, the fact that this report was so far ahead of what government planning has achieved shows just how limited their efforts to tackle the challenges has been.
And Sachs really drove home how urgent the effort has to be, saying the goal of keeping things under two degrees Celsius is "achievable, but just barely." He pointed out that we do have the resources'--he said we devote over $30 billion dollars a year toward biomedical research, but less than a tenth of that to research into low-carbon energy. It's just that we're choosing not to use them at a pace that will help us achieve our goals.
Sustainable Development Solutions Network | Deep Decarbonization Pathways
Wed, 09 Jul 2014 14:57
Each Country Research Team develops a national Deep Decarbonization Pathway (DDP) analysis to 2050. The objective of this DDP analysis is to explore each country's possible transition to a low-carbon economy, taking into account national socio-economic conditions, development aspirations, infrastructure stocks, resource endowments, and other relevant factors.
The first phase of the DDPP focuses on the technical feasibility of DDPs. The next phases will analyze in further detail how the twin objectives of development and deep decarbonization can be met through integrated approaches; quantify the costs and benefits of deep decarbonization; identify national and international financial requirements; and map out policy frameworks for implementation.
The DDPP also organizes technology roundtables on some of the key technologies for deep decarbonization globally. The objective of these roundtables is to contribute to the mobilization of a global public and private Research, Development, Demonstration and Diffusion (RDD&D) effort to drive directed technical change.
Zero carbon and economic growth can go together, UN study says | Environment | theguardian.com
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 14:39
Australia could slash its carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and still experience average economic growth of 2.4% a year, according to a UN-backed study.
The Deep Decarbonisation Pathways report, released by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, analysed the 15 countries that account for 70% of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere, which includes Australia, the US, Britain and China.
According to the report, compiled by academics from each of the countries, the 15 countries could make deep cuts to emissions while also tripling economic output.
These cuts are needed, the report notes, if the world is to avoid the ''catastrophic'' impact of failing to keep to the internationally agreed limit of 2C global warming on pre-industrial levels. The study concedes the world is on track to overshoot this.
The study notes that Australia has high per-capita emissions, with coal-fired power providing 69% of electricity generation, higher than most other industrialised countries.
Despite this dependence on fossil fuels, ''fundamental changes'' to Australia's energy system could allow it to cut its emissions to zero by 2050 while maintaining economic growth of 2.4% a year, on average. The report points out that Australia's greenhouse gases have remained stable over the past 20 years, while the size of the economy has doubled.
A further UN report in September will set out the monetary cost of a rapid increase in renewables to cut emissions to zero.
But the newly released study plots a path that involves phasing out coal use almost entirely, shifting electricity generation to renewable sources such as solar and wind, and powering vehicles and buildings with clean electricity rather than fossil fuels such as oil and petrol.
Industrial and farming processes that can't use such clean technology would be offset by large-scale storage of carbon in soils and trees.
Anna Skarbek, the executive director of ClimateWorks, which provided input to the report alongside the Australian National University, told Guardian Australia that emissions cuts and economic growth could go hand-in-hand.
''Australia has a higher emissions intensity than other countries, but it also has a huge natural endowment in renewable energy sources,'' she said.
''Unlike many other countries, we are blessed with multiple renewable sources, as well as a much larger capacity for carbon forestry and biofuels. We can change our focus in energy systems rather than change economic growth. Australia has made successful changes in the past, from gold to wool to wheat, even in the rise of the internet in the past decade.''
Skarbek said the transition would need to start soon to help avoid breaching the 2C limit, a temperature guardrail that has bipartisan support in Australian politics.
''The science is clear '' we know that the carbon budget is being rapidly used up and will be near zero by the middle of the century,'' she said. ''If we plan now we can achieve the transition in this time.''
Frank Jotzo, director of the ANU centre for climate economics and policy, said: ''Decarbonisation would mean that the energy system and some aspects of land management look quite different from what they would under a high-carbon scenario.
''But for every declining technology there are new opportunities arising, and most of the economy would simply motor on. Cleaning up the world's energy system does not stand in the way of economic prosperity.''
The Australian government has a minimum target of a 5% cut in carbon emissions by 2020, based on 2000 levels. Governments will gather in Paris next year to thrash out their emission cut commitments beyond 2020.
A spokesman for the environment minister, Greg Hunt, said: ''The government will review Australia's 2020 target in 2015, considering further action and targets on the basis of comparable real global action.''
Temperatures could plunge to 50s in Midwest next week - but don't call it the Polar Vortex.
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 02:13
Unseasonably chilly air is headed for parts of the Midwest and northeastern U.S. where residents have been sweltering in 90 degree heatThe National Weather Service tweeted that it was part of the Polar VortexThe weather agency has since clarified, noting that the cold front is the result of a shift in the jet-streamIn parts of the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest, the coolest air is expected and highs are forecast to be in the 60s and 70sWashington will struggle to reach 80 and the chill could even impact New YorkBy Daily Mail Repoter and Ap
Published: 19:24 EST, 11 July 2014 | Updated: 19:57 EST, 11 July 2014
Unseasonably cool temperatures will arrive next week in the Midwest and as far south as Arkansas and Oklahoma.
It is not, however, the second coming of a polar vortex, a phrase the National Weather Service's Chicago office tweeted earlier this week to describe the upcoming sweater weather.
They quickly learned that wasn't such a good idea, said Amy Seeley, a weather service meteorologist who spent a good chunk of Friday morning fielding a flood of telephone calls from the media.
'I think people are pretty sensitive to those words,' she said.
Polar vortex: A cold front set to hit the Midwest next week is NOT another polar vortex, just unseasonably chilly weather
Cooling off: Six-year-old Chance Seeds runs through the water at the splash pad at McEuen Park in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho on Thursday. But the weather is set to turn chillier soon
Though Typhoon Neoguri has weakened since hitting Japan, it altered the path of the North Pacific jet stream, allowing polar air behind a trough of low pressure to spill out of Canada and into the Midwest, says Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters.
It's similar to the polar vortex pattern from the winter that turned much of the country into a freezer for weeks at a time, breaking cold weather temperature records in numerous states. But there are key differences, Masters says. This air mass is coming from western Canada and not directly from the arctic, plus the polar vortex is not nearly as strong in the summer '-- and sometimes breaks down completely.
Between Monday and Wednesday, temperatures in the Midwest will be as much as 15 degrees cooler than normal, with the biggest drops seen close to the Great Lakes, though people in Oklahoma and Arkansas will need to break out pants, too.
Meanwhile, the usually temperate Pacific Northwest should get ready to sweat. Places like Seattle could reach 90 or higher next week, Masters said.
January chill: The winter Polar Vortex brought freezing temperatures and mountains of snow to much of the Midwest and Northeast
Chicago would normally see highs in the 80s and lows in the mid-60s, but the weather service says highs early next week will climb no higher than the mid-60s '-- maybe 70 degrees'-- and lows could dip into the upper 40s.
The cool spell is coming at the wrong time for some athletes who are preparing for a triathlon in Wisconsin next weekend. If Lake Michigan is too cold, the swimming portion won't happen.
'It's disappointing because you've done all the preparations for it,' said Elizabeth Waterstraat, who has been coaching several people from suburban Chicago.
That sound you hear coming up from Oklahoma might be thousands or people turning off their money-gobbling air conditioners. It could also be the cheers of those who make their living working outside, like the employees at a Tulsa nursery, whose job entails hauling trees and shrubs around town.
Not quite: It's going to be cold in the midwest next week, but not 'polar vortex' cold
'We love it,' Paul James, marketing manager for Southwood Landscape & Garden Center, said of the forecast for temperatures running about 15 degrees lower than the typical 93- or 94-degree July days. 'Any day you don't get above 100 degrees.'
Further north, the forecast is more bad news at the Maple Lane Resort in the western Michigan community of Empire, along Glen Lake, near Lake Michigan. This summer's cooler temperatures already have affected business.
'We are fully booked for weekends here this summer but we are seeing less families spend a week up here,' office manager Amanda Rennie said. 'Last year, the stays were longer (and) I think this may have something to do with the weather.'
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Why Some Penguins Thrive in Climate Change - ABC News
Mon, 07 Jul 2014 05:22
Penguins are on the front line of climate change, as rising global temperatures melt the ice the iconic and lovable creatures call home.
Scientists who count the birds are finding that penguins are beginning to feel major impacts from the drastic changes to their habitat.
But, perhaps surprisingly, the breeding populations of three brush-tailed species of penguins inhabiting the Western Antarctic Peninsula, where the temperatures are warmest, are not all falling as the ice is quickly melting.
"We know two of the three penguin species in the peninsula, chinstrap and Ad(C)lie, are declining significantly in a region where, in the last 60 years, it's warmed by 3 degrees C. (5 degrees F.) annually and by 5 degrees C. (9 degrees F.) in winter," said Ron Naveen, the founder of Oceanites, a U.S. based non-profit and scientific research organization. He oversees the Antarctic Site Inventory which monitors penguin populations.
A third species, however, has not been losing numbers and in fact has even been expanding its range.
Counting penguins in the wild is a complicated art. Naveen's team makes repeated visits every year to the Antarctic Peninsula from November to February when egg-laying and chick creching are at their peak.
Since 1994, he has conducted 1,421 visits to the peninsula and collected data from 209 sites.
Naveen and fellow penguin counter Heather Lynch of Stony Brook University say the warming climate and the consequent loss of sea ice are contributing to the decline in Adelie and chinstrap, because the two species are dependent on the ice.
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Warming temperature is only one part of the whole story, however, according to the Naveen.
"There are a number of possibilities," he said.
Adelies and chinstrap nest primarily near the ice and rely on krill as their main food source. These shrimp-like vertebrates live underneath the ice, feeding on the algae that grows there. As the ice retreats, the krill disappear.
Darci Amundson Photography
PHOTO: A Gentoo Penguin is seen in Antartica.
Other factors such as commercial overfishing and the expanding population of humpback whales, which also feed on krill, may also contribute to the loss of their main food source.
By contrast, gentoo penguins, the third of these species, are expanding both in numbers and in geographical range, according to Naveen and Lynch's research. There are an estimated 387,000 gentoo breeding pairs and their populations are moving southward along the peninsula.
"Gentoos are an open water species and can move southward as the declining ice concentration makes new habitat available to them," Lynch said.
Scientists warn parents to buy land two meters above sea-level if they plan to pass it down to their kids.
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 23:55
Paul Spence from the University of NSW says sea levels may rise faster than estimated due to strong winds in AntarcticaMelting Antarctic glaciers could raise sea levels by 3 metres over 200 yearsNew research found water up to 4°C warmer than current temperatures at base of ice shelvesDr Spence said it was a rare case where he hoped science was wrongBy Emily Crane
Published: 01:37 EST, 8 July 2014 | Updated: 05:37 EST, 8 July 2014
Parents thinking of buying land in Australia to pass down to future generations should purchase something metres above sea level to account for climate change, a scientist has warned.
A recent study by Paul Spence, from the University of NSW's Climate Change Research Centre, has suggested sea levels may rise faster than previously estimated because climate models have failed to account for the effects of strong winds in Antarctica.
Glaciers on the Antarctic west coast may have begun melting and could raise sea levels by three metres over 200-500 years, according to Dr Spence.
Paul Spence, from the University of NSW's Climate Change Research Centre, says parents should purchase land metres above sea level to account for climate change
'If you were buying land in Australia and wanting to pass it down to your kids or your grandchildren, I suggest it's a couple of metres above sea-level,' he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
'It's the first time that I looked at my science and thought, "Oh my god, that is very concerning"!
Changes to winds have already been linked to southern Australia's drying climate but now it appears they may also have a profound impact on warming ocean temperatures under the ice shelves along the Antarctic coastline.
The study by Dr Spence has suggested sea levels may rise faster than previously estimated because climate models have failed to account for the effects of strong winds in Antarctica
'When we first saw the results it was quite a shock. It was one of the few cases where I hoped the science was wrong,' Dr Spence said.
When researchers included projected Antarctic wind shifts in a detailed global ocean model, they found water up to 4°C warmer than current temperatures at the base of the Antarctic ice shelves.
Recent estimates suggest the West Antarctic ice sheet alone could contribute 3.3 metres to long-term global sea level rise.
Glaciers on the Antarctic west coast may have begun melting and could raise sea levels by three metres over 200-500 years, according to Dr Spence
Prior to the research by Dr Spence and scientists at the UNSW and the Australian National University, most sea level rise studies focused on the rate of ice shelf melting due to the general warming of the ocean over large areas.
Using super computers at Australia's National Computational Infrastructure Facility the researchers were able to examine the impacts of changing winds on currents down to 700m around the coastline in greater detail than ever before.
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War on Ca$h
Candanavian bank teller email
Hi Adam and John,
I am a little behind in shows but I heard an episode recently where at the end you boys talked very briefly about cashless societies and mentioned that at Chase bank they don't allow third party cash deposits into accounts. As I have mentioned in emails before I am a bank teller and have been for going on 6 years now. Here in Canada, I have noticed a change in how our society treats cash and deposits.
You see, Canada, has been on the "pin card" system for some time now which we call "debit" or "interact" when using your bank card, and ALL Canadian credit and debit cards have an RFID chip and require a pin to use. We have probably been on this system for at least a solid 20 years now (minus the RFID chip which was forcibly introduced to the Canadian public about 4 years ago). Every store takes it and considered antiquated if they do not accept debit. For smaller stores it's not uncommon for them to require a $5 minimum charge before they will allow you to use debit, but generally speaking you can use it for any amount almost any where. Provided your card daily use limit and current available account balance allows you to spend that amount.
In the past few years we've seen a real push to stop the use of cash. We recently stopped the use of the penny. If you make a purchase with cash the cent amount is rounded up or down depending on what the nearest round number is. (Ex: a purchase for $5.23 rounds to $5.25 and a purchase for $5.22 rounds to $5.20) in the end it's supposed to balance out, which for the most part does within a few cents by the end of the day. However, if you are using your card the numbers stay at what the original purchase amount was.
We have also introduced our new plastic money which nearly every person who deals with cash on a regular basis hates it. The new bills do not flatten out after having been folded. If left in your pants pocket and put through the dryer they melt into a wad of unusable plastic, and if you leave your wallet in a hot car this can happen as well. So a lot of people stopped using cash for these reasons alone.
This of course all seems aimed at encouraging people to use their debit/credit cards over cash. It is also very rare for people to use cash for large purchases since it's easier not to carry around large amounts of cash and use your card instead. As well, many delivery companies like pizza or Chinese food places offer debit at the door, which allows you to use your debit card to pay for deliveries when it arrives. The machine uses the cell networks to process your payment right there.
Also recently many Canadian banks have stopped allowing third party deposits of ANY kind. This includes cheques, bank drafts or money orders. The excuse is that it is to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. (Which, the bank I work at requires us to complete annual internal courses on how to help stop and/or recognize these things and the repercussions that an employee or the Bank itself may face for getting caught, intentionally or not, doing or supporting these things.)
The other shift, is the price to order cheques and that most banks have stopped printing temporary cheques. The bank I work at has not offered the service to print temp cheques in years (stopped long before I started 6 years ago). The average cost to order 100 plain Jane, no frills, no design, basic cheques is aprox $45 and up to $60 for designer cheques. Which has jumped $10 in 5 years for glorified paper.
No one accepts cheques any more either. The odd major grocery store chain might, and of course utility companies do also. Most companies do direct deposit for payroll and even the federal government announced that by 2016 they will stop issuing cheques all together for pension and old age security cheques and other regularly issued government cheques, forcing everyone to provide banking info to them. This of course is a real problem for some people who don't have or want bank accounts and would rather just come in and get cash for their cheques.
We are no longer allowed to take cash payments to pay bills unless taken from the account at our bank or accept cheques drawn on other banking institutions to pay a bill for "fear of fraud". We are supposed to either ask them to pay said bill electronically through their account or write a cheque on their account at our institution so it can be traced easier.
It's all about tracking people and their money. The day is coming, indeed, that we will be truly cashless.
Sorry for such a long note, just thought you may find the info interesting.
Keep up the hard work!
Gamefying Amateur Radio
Lead in from DRILL perspective
I mean, really, why don't they make emergency 'nets' they fobrealistic, with government officials running a 'scripted dtill'
Complete with realistic sound effects, and simulated RF environments.
Been 'talking' with Italian developer Andrea
Does KX3 Companion
Game developers need to be all over this.
Think of virtual worlds that you reach and explore, if you can connect to them with your customized raspberry pi, arduino snap-on, Linux based digital transceiver that you build.
You can can start playing at $35 with s chines rig and your existing computer, tablet or phone
We have group games, which can include weekly multiplayer Team oriented gameplay that doubles as training for exact events in real life
Imagine the fun gamers will have, coming up new types of long range antennas and homebuilt transceivers housed in altoids boxes or tuna cans.
Sure, you might be able to buy the best gear for thousands of dollars, and we'll all want to engage you in a one on one QSO BATTLE. We Will compare our signal strength, that the HamGame will actually measure andvrepory honestly, based on DSP signal processing and comparison.
After the battle you exchange QSL data. This is your overall badge of honor and reputation that you build. This shit can be as simple as a postcard in the mail to a customized app or other reward that may be given on context of a :
Whiskey Rebellion Festival - July 10-12 2014
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 04:50
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Festival Media & Advertising wasfunded in part by a grant from:
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Whiskey Rebellion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 04:48
The Whiskey Rebellion, or Whiskey Insurrection, was a tax protest in the United States beginning in 1791, during the presidency of George Washington. Farmers who used their leftover grain and corn in the form of whiskey as a medium of exchange were forced to pay a new tax. The tax was a part of treasury secretaryAlexander Hamilton's program to fund war debt incurred during the Revolutionary War, a power granted to the federal government in the constitution. The farmers who resisted, many war veterans, contended that they were fighting for the principles of the American Revolution, in particular against taxation without local representation, while the Federal government maintained the taxes were the legal expression of the taxation powers of Congress.
Throughout counties in Western Pennsylvania, protesters used violence and intimidation to prevent federal officials from collecting the tax. Resistance came to a climax in July 1794, when a U.S. marshal arrived in western Pennsylvania to serve writs to distillers who had not paid the excise. The alarm was raised, and more than 500 armed men attacked the fortified home of tax inspector General John Neville. Washington responded by sending peace commissioners to western Pennsylvania to negotiate with the rebels, while at the same time calling on governors to send a militia force to enforce the tax. With 13,000 militia provided by the governors of Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, Washington rode at the head of an army to suppress the insurgency. The rebels all went home before the arrival of the army, and there was no confrontation. About 20 men were arrested, but all were later acquitted or pardoned.
The Whiskey Rebellion demonstrated that the new national government had the willingness and ability to suppress violent resistance to its laws. The whiskey excise remained difficult to collect, however. The events contributed to the formation of political parties in the United States, a process already underway. The whiskey tax was repealed after Thomas Jefferson's Republican Party, which opposed Hamilton's Federalist Party, came to power in 1801.
Whiskey tax[edit]A new U.S. federal government began operating in 1789, following the ratification of the United States Constitution. The previous central government under the Articles of Confederation had been unable to levy taxes; it had borrowed money to meet expenses and fund the Revolution, accumulating $54 million in debt. The states had amassed an additional $25 million in debt.[3]Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, sought to use this debt to create a financial system that would promote American prosperity and national unity. In his Report on Public Credit, he urged Congress to consolidate the state and national debts into a single debt that would be funded by the federal government. Congress approved these measures in June and July 1790.[4]
A source of government revenue was needed to pay the respectable amount due of the previous bond holders to whom the debt was owed. By December 1790, Hamilton believed import duties, which were the government's primary source of revenue, had been raised as high as was feasible.[5] He therefore promoted passage of an excise tax on domestically produced distilled spirits. This was to be the first tax levied by the national government on a domestic product.[6] Although taxes were politically unpopular, Hamilton believed that the whiskey excise was a luxury tax that would be the least objectionable tax the government could levy.[7] In this, he had the support of some social reformers, who hoped a "sin tax" would raise public awareness about the harmful effects of alcohol.[8] The whiskey excise act, sometimes known as the "Whiskey Act", became law in March 1791.[9] George Washington defined the revenue districts, appointed the revenue supervisors and inspectors, and set their pay in November 1791.[10]
Western grievances[edit]The whiskey excise was immediately controversial, with many people on the frontier arguing the tax unfairly targeted westerners.[11] Whiskey was a popular drink, and farmers often supplemented their incomes by operating small stills.[12] Farmers living west of the Appalachian Mountains distilled their excess grain into whiskey, which was easier and more profitable to transport over the mountains than the more cumbersome grain. A whiskey tax would make western farmers less competitive with eastern grain producers.[13] Additionally, cash was always in short supply on the frontier, so whiskey often served as a medium of exchange. For poorer people who were paid in whiskey, the excise was essentially an income tax that wealthier easterners did not pay.[14]
The main objection to the whiskey tax was that it was taxation without (local) representation, exactly what they'd just fought the Revolutionary War to stop. Many tax resisters were veterans. In the Western view, they were fighting for freedom, resisting the newly emerging central state. Furthermore, they did not understand why they should pay other people's debts. Some states had repaid their war debt. The Federalists were buying support from indebted states with their policy of assumption.
Small farmers also protested that Hamilton's excise effectively gave unfair tax breaks to large distillers, most of whom were based in the east. There were two methods of paying the whiskey excise: paying a flat fee or paying by the gallon. Large distillers produced whiskey in volume and could afford the flat fee. The more efficient they became, the less tax per gallon they would pay (as low as 6 cents according to Hamilton). Western farmers who owned small stills did not usually operate them year-round at full capacity, so they ended up paying a higher tax per gallon (9 cents), which made them less competitive.[15] Small distillers believed Hamilton deliberately designed the tax to ruin them and promote big business, a view endorsed by some historians.[16] However, historian Thomas Slaughter argued that a "conspiracy of this sort is difficult to document".[17] Whether by design or not, large distillers recognized the advantage the excise gave them, and they supported the tax.[18]
In addition to the whiskey tax, westerners had a number of other grievances with the national government. Chief among these was the perception that the government was not adequately protecting the western frontier: the Northwest Indian War was going badly for the United States, with major losses in 1791. Furthermore, westerners were prohibited by Spain (which then owned Louisiana) from using the Mississippi River for commercial navigation. Until these issues were addressed, westerners felt the government was ignoring their security and economic welfare. Adding the whiskey excise to these existing grievances only increased tensions on the frontier.[19]
Resistance[edit]Many residents of the western frontier petitioned against passage of the whiskey excise. When that failed, some western Pennsylvanians organized extralegal conventions to advocate repeal of the law.[20] Opposition to the tax was particularly prevalent in four southwestern counties: Allegheny, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland.[21] A preliminary meeting held on 27 July 1791, at Redstone Old Fort in Fayette County, called for the selection of delegates to a more formal assembly, which convened in Pittsburgh in early September 1791. The Pittsburgh convention was dominated by moderates such as Hugh Henry Brackenridge, who hoped to prevent the outbreak of violence.[22] The convention sent a petition for redress of grievances to the Pennsylvania Assembly and the U.S House of Representatives, both located in Philadelphia.[23] As a result of this and other petitions, the excise law was modified in May 1792. Changes included a 1-cent reduction in the tax that was advocated by William Findley, a congressman from western Pennsylvania, but the new excise law was still unsatisfactory to many westerners.[24]
Appeals to nonviolent resistance were unsuccessful. On 11 September 1791, a recently appointed tax collector named Robert Johnson was tarred and feathered by a disguised gang in Washington County.[25] A man sent by officials to serve court warrants to Johnson's attackers was whipped, tarred, and feathered.[26] Because of these and other violent attacks, the tax went uncollected in 1791 and early 1792.[27] The attackers modeled their actions on the protests of the American Revolution. Supporters of the excise argued there was a difference between taxation without representation in colonial America, and a tax laid by the elected representatives of the American people.[28]
Although older accounts of the Whiskey Rebellion portrayed it as being confined to western Pennsylvania, there was opposition to the whiskey tax in the western counties of every other state in Appalachia (Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia).[29] The whiskey tax went uncollected throughout the frontier state of Kentucky, where no one could be convinced to enforce the law or prosecute evaders.[30][31] In 1792, Hamilton advocated military action to suppress violent resistance in western North Carolina, but Attorney General Edmund Randolph argued there was insufficient evidence to legally justify such a reaction.[32]
In August 1792, a second convention was held in Pittsburgh to discuss resistance to the whiskey tax. This meeting was more radical than the first convention; moderates such as Brackenridge and Findley were not in attendance. One moderate who did attend'--to his later regret'--was Albert Gallatin, a future secretary of the treasury.[33] A militant group known as the Mingo Creek Association dominated the convention and issued radical demands. As some of them had done in the American Revolution, they raised liberty poles, formed committees of correspondence, and took control of the local militia. They created an extralegal court and discouraged lawsuits for debt collection and foreclosures.[34]
Hamilton regarded the second Pittsburgh convention as a serious threat to the operation of the laws of the federal government. In September 1792, he sent Pennsylvania tax official George Clymer to western Pennsylvania to investigate. Clymer's clumsy attempt at traveling in disguise, and his efforts to intimidate local officials, only increased tensions. His somewhat exaggerated report would greatly influence the decisions made by the Washington administration.[35] Washington and Hamilton viewed resistance to federal laws in Pennsylvania as particularly embarrassing, since the national capital was then located in the same state. On his own initiative, Hamilton drafted a presidential proclamation denouncing resistance to the excise laws and submitted it to Attorney General Randolph, who toned down some of the language. Washington signed the proclamation on September 15, 1792. It was published as a broadside and printed in many newspapers.[36]
The federal tax inspector for western Pennsylvania, General John Neville, was determined to enforce the excise law.[37] Neville, a prominent politician and wealthy planter, was also a large-scale distiller. He had initially opposed the whiskey tax, but subsequently changed his mind, a reversal that angered some western Pennsylvanians.[38] In August 1792, Neville rented a room in Pittsburgh for his tax office, but the landlord turned him out after being threatened with violence by the Mingo Creek Association.[39] From this point on, tax collectors were not the only people targeted in Pennsylvania: those who cooperated with federal tax officials also faced harassment. Anonymous notes and newspaper articles signed by "Tom the Tinker" threatened those who complied with the whiskey tax.[40] Those who failed to heed the warnings might have their barns burned or their stills destroyed.[41]
Resistance to the excise tax continued through 1793 in the frontier counties of Appalachia. Opposition remained especially strident in western Pennsylvania.[42] In June, Neville was burned in effigy by a crowd of about 100 people in Washington County.[43] On the night of 22 November 1793, men broke into the home of tax collector Benjamin Wells in Fayette County. Wells was, like Neville, one of the wealthier men in the region.[44] At gunpoint, the intruders forced Wells to surrender his commission.[42] President Washington offered a reward for the arrest of the assailants, to no avail.[45]
Insurrection[edit]The resistance came to a climax in 1794. In May of that year, federal district attorney William Rawle issued subpoenas for more than 60 distillers in Pennsylvania who had not paid the excise tax.[46] Under the law then in effect, distillers who received these writs would be obligated to travel to Philadelphia to appear in federal court. For farmers on the western frontier, such a journey was expensive, time-consuming, and beyond their means.[47] At the urging of William Findley, Congress modified this law on 5 June 1794, allowing excise trials to be held in local state courts.[48] But by that time, U.S. marshal David Lenox had already been sent to serve the writs summoning delinquent distillers to Philadelphia. Attorney General William Bradford later maintained that the writs were meant to compel compliance with the law, and that the government did not actually intend to hold trials in Philadelphia.[49]
The timing of these events would later prove to be controversial. In his book on the insurrection, Findley'--a bitter political foe of Hamilton'--maintained that the treasury secretary had deliberately provoked the uprising by issuing the subpoenas just before the law was made less onerous.[50] In 1963, historian Jacob Cooke, an editor of Hamilton's papers, regarded this charge as "preposterous", calling it a "conspiracy thesis" that overstated Hamilton's control of the federal government.[51] In 1986, historian Thomas Slaughter argued that the outbreak of the insurrection at this moment was due to "a string of ironic coincidences", although "the question about motives must always remain".[52] In 2006, William Hogeland argues Hamilton, Bradford, and Rawle intentionally pursued a course of action that would provoke "the kind of violence that would justify federal military suppression".[53] According to Hogeland, Hamilton had been working towards this moment since the Newburgh Crisis in 1783, where he conceived of using military force to crush popular resistance to direct taxation, for the purpose of promoting national unity and enriching the creditor class at the expense of common taxpayers.[54] The historian S. E. Morison believed Hamilton, in general, wished to enforce the excise law "more as a measure of social discipline than as a source of revenue..."[55]
Battle of Bower Hill[edit]Federal Marshal Lenox delivered most of the writs without incident. On 15 July, he was joined on his rounds by General Neville, who had offered to act as his guide in Allegheny County.[56] That evening, warning shots were fired at the men at the Miller farm, about 10 mi (16 km) south of Pittsburgh. Neville returned home, while Lenox retreated to Pittsburgh.[57]
On 16 July, at least 30 Mingo Creek militiamen surrounded Neville's fortified home, Bower Hill.[58] They demanded the surrender of the federal marshal, whom they believed to be inside. Neville responded by firing a gunshot that mortally wounded Oliver Miller, one of the "rebels".[59] The rebels opened fire, but were unable to dislodge Neville. The rebels retreated to nearby Couch's Fort to gather reinforcements.
The next day, 17 July, the rebels returned to Bower Hill. Their force had swelled to nearly 600 men, now commanded by Major James McFarlane, a veteran of the Revolutionary War.[60] Neville had also received reinforcements: 10 U.S. Army soldiers from Pittsburgh under the command of Major Abraham Kirkpatrick, a brother-in-law of Neville's wife.[61] Before the rebel force arrived, Kirkpatrick had Neville leave the house and hide in a nearby ravine. David Lenox and General Neville's son, Presley Neville, also returned to the area, though they could not get into the house and were captured by the rebels.[62]
Following some fruitless negotiations, the women and children were allowed to leave the house, and then both sides began firing. After about an hour, McFarlane called a cease fire; according to some, a white flag had been waved in the house. As McFarlane stepped into the open, a shot rang out from the house, and he fell, mortally wounded. The enraged rebels then set fire to the house, and Kirkpatrick surrendered.[63] The number of casualties at Bower Hill is unclear; McFarlane and one or two other militiamen were killed; one U.S. soldier may have died from wounds received in the fight.[64] The rebels sent the U.S. soldiers away. Kirkpatrick, Lenox, and Presley Neville were kept as prisoners, but they later escaped.[65]
March on Pittsburgh[edit]McFarlane was given a hero's funeral on July 18. His "murder", as the rebels saw it, further radicalized the countryside.[66] Moderates such as Brackenridge were hard-pressed to restrain the populace. Radical leaders such as David Bradford emerged, urging violent resistance. On 26 July, a group headed by Bradford robbed the U.S. mail as it left Pittsburgh, hoping to discover who in that town opposed them. Finding several letters that condemned the rebels, Bradford and his band called for a military assembly to meet at Braddock's Field, about 8 mi (13 km) east of Pittsburgh.[67]
On 1 August, about 7,000 people gathered at Braddock's Field.[68] This would prove to be the largest gathering of protesters.[69] The crowd consisted primarily of poor people who owned no land. Most did not own whiskey stills. The furor over the whiskey excise had unleashed anger about other economic grievances. By this time, the victims of violence were often wealthy property owners who had no connection to the whiskey tax.[70] Some of the most radical protesters wanted to march on Pittsburgh, which they called "Sodom", loot the homes of the wealthy, and then burn the town to the ground.[71] Others wanted to attack Fort Fayette. There was praise for the French Revolution, and of bringing the guillotine to America. David Bradford, it was said, was comparing himself to Robespierre, a leader of the French Reign of Terror.[72]
At Braddock's Field, there was talk of declaring independence from the United States, and of joining with Spain or Great Britain. Radicals flew a specially designed flag that proclaimed their independence. The flag had six stripes, one for each county represented at the gathering: five Pennsylvania counties (Allegheny, Bedford, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland) and one Virginia county (Ohio County).[73]
Pittsburgh citizens helped defuse the threat by banishing three men whose intercepted letters had given offense to the rebels, and by sending a delegation to Braddock's Field that expressed support for the gathering.[74] Brackenridge prevailed upon the crowd to limit the protest to a defiant march through the town. In Pittsburgh, only the barns of Major Kirkpatrick were torched.[75]
Meeting at Whiskey Point[edit]On 14 August, a convention of 226 whiskey rebels from the six counties was held at Parkinson's Ferry (now known as Whiskey Point), present-day Monongahela. The convention considered resolutions, which were drafted by Brackenridge, Gallatin, David Bradford, and an eccentric preacher named Herman Husband, a delegate from Bedford County. Husband, a well-known local figure, was a radical champion of democracy who had taken part in the Regulator movement in North Carolina 25 years earlier.[77] The Parkinson's Ferry convention also appointed a committee to meet with the peace commissioners who had been sent west by President Washington.[78] There, Gallatin presented an eloquent speech in favor of peace and against proposals from Bradford to further revolt.[76]
Federal response[edit]President Washington, confronted with what appeared to be an armed insurrection in western Pennsylvania, proceeded cautiously. Although determined to maintain government authority, he did not want to alienate public opinion. He asked his cabinet for written opinions about how to deal with the crisis. The cabinet recommended the use of force, except for Secretary of State Edmund Randolph, who urged reconciliation.[79] Washington did both: he sent commissioners to meet with the rebels while raising a militia army. Washington privately doubted the commissioners could accomplish anything, and believed a military expedition would be needed to suppress further violence.[80] For this reason, historians have sometimes charged that the peace commission was sent only for the sake of appearances, and that the use of force was never in doubt.[81] Historians Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick argued that the military expedition was "itself a part of the reconciliation process", since a show of overwhelming force would make further violence less likely.[82]
Meanwhile, Hamilton began publishing essays under the name of "Tully" in Philadelphia newspapers, denouncing mob violence in western Pennsylvania and advocating military action. Washington and Hamilton believed the Democratic-Republican Societies, which had been formed throughout the country, were the source of civic unrest. "Historians are not yet agreed on the exact role of the societies" in the Whiskey Rebellion, wrote historian Mark Spencer in 2003, "but there was a degree of overlap between society membership and the Whiskey Rebels".[83]
Before troops could be raised, the Militia Act of 1792 required a justice of the United States Supreme Court to certify that law enforcement was beyond the control of local authorities. On 4 August 1794, Justice James Wilson delivered his opinion that western Pennsylvania was in a state of rebellion.[84] On 7 August, Washington issued a presidential proclamation announcing, with "the deepest regret", that the militia would be called out to suppress the rebellion. He commanded insurgents in western Pennsylvania to disperse by September 1.[85]
Negotiations[edit]In early August 1794, Washington dispatched three commissioners, all of them Pennsylvanians, to the west: Attorney General William Bradford, Justice Jasper Yeates of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and Senator James Ross. Beginning on 21 August, the commissioners met with a committee of westerners that included Brackenridge and Gallatin. The government commissioners told the committee that it must unanimously agree to renounce violence and submit to U.S. laws, and that a popular referendum must be held to determine if the local people supported the decision. Those who agreed to these terms would be given amnesty from further prosecution.[86]
The committee, divided between radicals and moderates, narrowly passed a resolution agreeing to submit to the government's terms. The popular referendum, which was held on 11 September, also produced mixed results. Some townships overwhelmingly supported submitting to U.S. law, but opposition to the government remained strong in areas where poor and landless people predominated.[87] The final report of the commissioners recommended the use of the military to enforce the laws.[88] The trend was towards submission, however, and westerners dispatched two representatives, William Findley and David Redick, to meet with Washington and to halt the progress of the oncoming army. Washington and Hamilton declined, arguing that violence was likely to reemerge if the army turned back.[87]
Militia expedition[edit]Under the authority of the recently passed federal militia law, the state militias were called up by the governors of New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The federalized militia force of 12,950 men was a large army by American standards of the time, comparable to Washington's armies during the Revolution.[89] Because relatively few men volunteered for militia service, a draft was used to fill out the ranks. Draft evasion was widespread, and conscription efforts resulted in protests and riots, even in eastern areas. Three counties in eastern Virginia were the scenes of armed draft resistance. In Maryland, Governor Thomas Sim Lee sent 800 men to quash an antidraft riot in Hagerstown; about 150 people were arrested.[90]
Liberty poles were raised in various places as the militia was recruited, worrying federal officials. A liberty pole was raised in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, on 11 September 1794.[91] When the federalized militia arrived in that town later that month, suspected pole-raisers were rounded up. Two civilians were killed in these operations. On 29 September, an unarmed boy was shot by an officer whose pistol accidentally fired. Two days later, a man was stabbed to death by a soldier while resisting arrest. President Washington ordered the arrest of the two soldiers and had them turned over to civilian authorities. A state judge determined the deaths had been accidental, and the soldiers were released.[92]
In October 1794, Washington traveled west to review the progress of the military expedition. According to historian Joseph Ellis, this would be "the first and only time a sitting American president led troops in the field".[93]Jonathan Forman, who led the Third Infantry Regiment of New Jersey troops against the Whiskey Rebellion,[94] wrote about his encounter with Washington: "October 3d Marched early in the morning for Harrisburgh, where we arrived about 12 O'clock. About 1 O'Clock recd. information of the Presidents approach on which, I had the regiment paraded, timely for his reception, & considerably to my satisfaction. Being afterwards invited to his quarters he made enquiry into the circumstances of the man [an incident between a militia man and an old soldier mentioned earlier in the journal] & seemed satisfied with the information."[95] Washington met with the western representatives in Bedford, Pennsylvania, on October 9 before going to Fort Cumberland in Maryland to review the southern wing of the army.[96] Convinced the federalized militia would meet little resistance, he placed the army under the command of the governor of Virginia, Henry "Lighthorse Harry" Lee, a hero of the Revolutionary War. Washington returned to Philadelphia; Hamilton remained with the army as civilian adviser.[97]
The insurrection collapsed as the army marched into western Pennsylvania in October 1794. Some of the most prominent leaders of the insurrection, like David Bradford, fled westward to safety. After an investigation, federal government officials arrested about 20 people and brought them back to Philadelphia for trial.[98] Eventually, a federal grand jury indicted 24 men for high treason.[99] Most of the accused had eluded capture, so only ten men stood trial for treason in federal court.[100] Of these, only Philip Wigle[nb 1] and John Mitchell were convicted. Wigle had beaten up a tax collector and burned his house; Mitchell was a simpleton who had been convinced by David Bradford to rob the U.S. mail. Both men were sentenced to death by hanging, but they were pardoned by President Washington.[101] Pennsylvania state courts were more successful in prosecuting lawbreakers, securing numerous convictions for assault and rioting.[102]
The Washington administration's suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion met with widespread popular approval.[103] The episode demonstrated the new national government had the willingness and ability to suppress violent resistance to its laws. It was therefore viewed by the Washington administration as a success, a view that has generally been endorsed by historians.[104] The Washington administration and its supporters usually did not mention, however, that the whiskey excise remained difficult to collect, and that many westerners continued to refuse to pay the tax.[29] The events contributed to the formation of political parties in the United States, a process already underway.[105] The whiskey tax was repealed after Thomas Jefferson's Republican Party, which opposed the Federalist Party of Hamilton and Washington, came to power in 1801.[106]
The Rebellion raised the question of what kinds of protests were permissible under the new Constitution. Legal historian Christian G. Fritz argued, even after ratification of the Constitution, there was not yet a consensus about sovereignty in the United States. Federalists believed the government was sovereign because it had been established by the people, so radical protest actions, which were permissible during the American Revolution, were no longer legitimate. But the Whiskey Rebels and their defenders believed the Revolution had established the people as a "collective sovereign", and the people had the collective right to change or challenge the government through extraconstitutional means.[107]
Historian Steven Boyd argued that the suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion prompted anti-Federalist westerners to finally accept the Constitution, and to seek change by voting for Republicans rather than resisting the government. Federalists, for their part, came to accept that the people could play a greater role in governance. Although Federalists would attempt to restrict speech critical of the government with the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798, after the Whiskey Rebellion, says Boyd, Federalists no longer challenged the freedom of assembly and the right to petition.[108]
In popular culture[edit]Soon after the Whiskey Rebellion, actress-playwright Susanna Rowson wrote a stage musical about the insurrection entitled "The Volunteers", with music by composer Alexander Reinagle. The play is now lost, but the songs survive, and suggest that Rowson's interpretation was pro-Federalist. The musical celebrated the militiamen who put down the rebellion, the "volunteers" of the title, as American heroes.[109] President Washington and Martha Washington attended a performance of the play in Philadelphia in January 1795.[110]
In L. Neil Smith's alternate history novel The Probability Broach (1980), Albert Gallatin convinces the militia not to put down the rebellion, but instead to march on the nation's capital, execute George Washington for treason, and replace the Constitution with a revised Articles of Confederation. As a result, the United States becomes a libertarian utopia called the North American Confederacy.[111][112]
In the satirical novel Joyleg, A Folly by Avram Davidson and Ward Moore, a veteran of both the American Revolutionary War and the Whiskey Rebellion is found alive and very well in the Tennessee backwoods, having survived over the centuries by daily soaks in whisky of his own making, to hilariously face the world of the 1960s.
In 2012, Wigle Whiskey, the first distillery in Pittsburgh since Prohibition, was founded.[113] It was named after Philip Wigle.[113]
From 1971''1993, the Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World in Florida included a section on the Whiskey Rebellion.
See also[edit]^Sources show a variety of spellings for his surname, including Vigol and WigalReferences[edit]Pinpoint citations^Slaughter, 210''214, 219.^Robert W. Coakley, The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Disorders, 1789''1878 (DIANE Publishing, 1996), 67.^Chernow, 297.^Chernow, 327''30.^Chernow, 341.^Hogeland, 27.^Chernow, 342''43; Hogeland, 63.^Slaughter, 100.^Slaughter, 105; Hogeland, 64.^American State Papers [Finance: Volume 1], 110^Slaughter, 97.^Hogeland, 66.^Hogeland, 68.^Hogeland, 67; Holt, 30.^Slaughter, 147''49; Hogeland, 68''70.^Hogeland, 68''69; Holt, 30.^Slaughter, 148.^Slaughter, 148; Hogeland, 69.^Slaughter, 108.^Slaughter, 110.^Slaughter, 206.^Hogeland, 23''25; Slaughter, 113.^Hogeland, 24.^Hogeland, 114''15.^Slaughter, 113. Hogeland dates the attack on Johnson to 7 September, the night before the Pittsburgh convention; Hogeland, 24.^Hogeland, 103''04.^Slaughter, 114.^Slaughter, 103.^ abMary K. Bonsteel Tachau, "A New Look at the Whiskey Rebellion", in Boyd, The Whiskey Rebellion: Past and Present Perspectives, 97''118.^Slaughter, 117.^Gross, David M. (2014). 99 Tactics of Successful Tax Resistance Campaigns. Picket Line Press. pp. 77''78. ISBN 978-1490572741. ^Slaughter, 119; Hogeland, 124.^Hogeland, 122''23.^Hogeland, 117''19; 122''23.^Slaughter, 125''27.^Slaughter, 119''23.^Slaughter, 151''53.^Hogeland, 97, 102.^Hogeland, 119''24.^Gross, David M. (2014). 99 Tactics of Successful Tax Resistance Campaigns. Picket Line Press. p. 72. ISBN 978-1490572741. ^Hogeland, 130''31.^ abSlaughter, 151.^Slaughter, 150.^Slaughter, 153.^Slaughter, 165.^Slaughter, 177; Cooke, 328.^Hogeland, 142.^Slaughter, 170.^Slaughter, 182.^Cooke, 321.^Cooke, 321''22.^Slaughter, 183.^Hogeland, 124.^Hogeland, passim. For an online summary of Hogeland's argument, see his "Why the Whiskey Rebellion Is Worth Recalling Now"; History News Network, July 3, 2006. Accessed June 22, 2010.^S. E. Morison, "The Oxford History of the United States 1783''1917 (London: Oxford University Press, 1927), 182.^Slaughter, 177.^Hogeland, 146.^The number of militiamen in the first attack on Bower Hill varies in contemporary accounts; Hogeland, 268.^Slaughter, 179; Hogeland, 147''48.^Hogeland, 150''51.^Slaughter, 179; Hogeland, 152.^Hogeland, 153.^Hogeland, 153''54; Slaughter, 179''80.^Slaughter, 180.^Hogeland, 155''56.^Slaughter, 181''83.^Slaughter, 183''85.^Slaughter, 186; Hogeland, 172.^Slaughter, 188.^Slaughter, 186''87.^Slaughter, 187.^Slaughter, 188''89; Hogeland, 169.^Holt, 10. Holt writes that earlier historians had misindentified the six counties represented by the flag.^Slaughter, 185.^Slaughter, 187''88; Hogeland, 170''77.^ ab"Whiskey Point '' PHMC Historical Markers" (Database search). Historical Marker Database. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Retrieved December 12, 2013. ^Holt, 54''57.^Slaughter, 188''89.^Elkins & McKitrick, 479.^Slaughter, 197''99.^Slaughter, 199; Holt, 11.^Elkins & McKitrick, 481.^Mark G. Spencer, "Democratic-Republican Societies", in Peter Knight, ed., Conspiracy Theories in American History (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO Press, 2003), 1:221.^Slaughter, 192''93, 196; Elkins & McKitrick, 479.^Slaughter, 196.^Slaughter, 199''200; Hogeland, 199.^ abSlaughter, 203.^Hogeland, 205''06.^Chernow, 475''76; Hogeland, 189.^Slaughter, 210-14.^Slaughter, 208.^Slaughter, 205''06; Hogeland, 213.^Ellis, His Excellency, George Washington, 225.^Manella, Angela. "Jonathan Forman Papers Finding Aid". Archive Service Center, University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 4 April 2013. ^Forman, Jonathan. "Journal of Jonathan Forman, September 21, 1794 '' October 25, 1794". Retrieved 4 April 2013. ^Slaughter, 215''16.^Slaughter, 216.^Slaughter, 219.^Richard A. Ifft, "Treason in the Early Republic: The Federal Courts, Popular Protest, and Federalism During the Whiskey Insurrection", in Boyd, The Whiskey Rebellion: Past and Present Perspectives, 172.^Ifft, 172.^Hogeland, 238; Ifft, 176.^Ifft, 175''76.^Elkins & McKitrick, 481''84.^Boyd, "Popular Rights", 78.^Slaughter, 221; Boyd, "Popular Rights", 80.^Hogeland, 242.^Christian G. Fritz, American Sovereigns: the People and America's Constitutional Tradition Before the Civil War, ch. 6.^Boyd, "Popular Rights", 80''83.^Anita Vickers, The New Nation (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood, 2002), 213.^Susan Branson, These Fiery Frenchified Dames: Women and Political Culture in Early National Philadelphia (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001), 181.^John J. Pierce, When world views collide: a study in imagination and evolution (Greenwood Press, 1989), 163.^Peter Josef M¼hlbauer, "Frontiers and dystopias: Libertarian ideology in science fiction", in Dieter Plehwe et al., eds., Neoliberal Hegemony: A Global Critique (Taylor & Francis, 2006), 162.^ abToland, Bill (May 9, 2012). "Wigle Whiskey, Pittsburgh's first distillery since Prohibition, to open fsoon". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Works frequently citedBoyd, Steven R., ed. The Whiskey Rebellion: Past and Present Perspectives. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1985. ISBN 0-313-24534-7.Boyd, Steven R. "The Whiskey Rebellion, Popular Rights, and the Meaning of the First Amendment." In W. Thomas Mainwaring, ed. The Whiskey Rebellion and the Trans-Appalachian Frontier, 73''84. Washington, Pennsylvania: Washington and Jefferson College, 1994.Chernow, Ron. Alexander Hamilton. New York: Penguin Press, 2004. ISBN 1-59420-009-2.Cooke, Jacob E. "The Whiskey Insurrection: A Re-Evaluation." Pennsylvania History 30 (July 1963), 316''64.Elkins, Stanley M. and Eric L. McKitrick. The Age of Federalism. Oxford University Press, 1995. ISBN 978-0-19-509381-0Hogeland, William. The Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Frontier Rebels Who Challenged America's Newfound Sovereignty. New York: Scribner, 2006. ISBN 0-7432-5490-2.Holt, Wythe. "The Whiskey Rebellion of 1794: A Democratic Working-Class Insurrection". Paper presented at The Georgia Workshop in Early American History and Culture, 2004.Kohn, Richard H. "The Washington Administration's Decision to Crush the Whiskey Rebellion." Journal of American History 59 (December 1972), 567''84.Slaughter, Thomas P. The Whiskey Rebellion: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution. Oxford University Press, 1986. ISBN 0-19-505191-2.Further readingBaldwin, Leland. Whiskey Rebels: The Story of a Frontier Uprising. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1939.Bouton, Terry. Taming Democracy: "The People," the Founders, and the Troubled Ending of the American Revolution. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. ISBN 978-0-19-530665-1.Brackenridge, Henry Marie. History of the Western Insurrection in Western Pennsylvania.... Pittsburgh, 1859.Brackenridge, Hugh Henry. Incidents of the Insurrection in Western Pennsylvania in the Year 1794. Philadelphia, 1795. A 1972 edition has notes by Daniel Marder.Findley, William. History of the Insurrection in the Four Western Counties of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, 1796.External links[edit]Text of the 1791 excise act from the Library of CongressGeorge Washington's Proclamation of September 15, 1792, warning against obstruction of the excise law, from the Avalon Project at Yale Law SchoolWashington's Proclamation of August 7, 1794, announcing the preliminary raising of militia and commanding the insurgents in western Pennsylvania to disperseWashington's Proclamation of September 25, 1794, announcing the commencement of military operationsWashington's Sixth Annual Message, November 19, 1794. Washington dedicated most of this annual message to the Whiskey Rebellion.Thompson, Charles D. Jr. "Whiskey and Geography"Southern Spaces, May 10, 2011. Explores the origins of whiskey-making and the resistance to a whiskey tax in Franklin County, Virginia.
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David Cameron in talks with EU leaders over international DNA database | World news | theguardian.com
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 03:33
David Cameron has been involved in talks with EU leaders over increasing cooperation for policing. Photograph: Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images
David Cameron has been involved in talks which could increase cooperation over policing in Europe, documents show.
Ministers have told EU leaders that they will make a decision on whether to take part in a Europe-wide DNA database by 1 December next year and have promised to compensate Brussels if Britain decides to pull out.
Britain insisted on the right to opt out of 133 EU-wide policing measures when it signed the Lisbon treaty in 2007. It has until December this year to decide which exactly it wants to implement.
A document leaked to the Times states: "The UK government has also indicated that in a number of other cases it will set in motion a process towards the subsequent opting in to certain other instruments of particular importance."
The development will add to the discontent among some Eurosceptic Conservative backbenchers who remain mistrustful of Cameron and concerned by the rise of Ukip. It follows a grandstanding performance by Cameron last week as he criticised the planned appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker as commission president.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, a leading Eurosceptic, told the Times that Cameron faced a serious battle: "As the prime minister has made it clear that he wishes to bring back powers in relation to justice and home affairs, it is surprising that the foreign office is paving the way for a further surrender of power to Brussels.
"It is troubling that more information is coming from leaked commission documents and press releases than from statements to the House of Commons. This lessens the ability of the British people to scrutinise the activities of the government and is characteristic of the back-room deals that led to Mr Juncker's appointment."
Let Public Officials Work in Private - Bloomberg View
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 01:44
Senators Patrick Leahy of Vermont and John Cornyn of Texas, leaders of the Judiciary Committee, have long shown an admirable commitment to open government, and their recent bill to amend the Freedom of Information Act is winning a ton of praise. Some of its reforms make sense, but, unfortunately, its key provision is a horrible idea. By reducing the protection now given to deliberations within the executive branch, it would have a chilling effect on those discussions.
To see the problem, suppose that officials at the State and Homeland Security departments are vigorously discussing a new approach to immigration reform before important decisions are made. If the process is working well, officials will exchange a lot of views and disagree with one another in significant ways. Assistant secretaries at State might argue energetically for an idea that the secretary ultimately rejects. The deputy secretary of Homeland Security might object to a position that both departments endorse in the end.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, such internal discussions usually need not be disclosed. Like senators and U.S. Supreme Court justices, officials in the executive branch are allowed to have confidential conversations as they work toward their decisions.
James Madison, probably the most important thinker behind the Constitution, explained why, when that document was being written, it was best for the framers to "sit with closed doors.'' The opinions that people expressed in the process, Madison observed, "were so various and at first so crude that it was necessary they should be long debated before any uniform system of opinion could be formed. Meantime the minds of the members were changing, and much was to be gained by a yielding and accommodating spirit.'' He went so far as to contend that ''no constitution would ever have been adopted by the convention if the debates had been public.''
Turn in this light to the Leahy-Cornyn proposal. The Freedom of Information Act, as it now stands, exempts "inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or letters which would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency." This exemption includes what is called the deliberative-process privilege, which means that discussions inside the executive branch, preceding actual decisions, can usually be kept confidential. The fundamental reason is Madison's: not to protect officials, but to benefit the public by promoting open, honest discussions about policy.
Leahy and Cornyn want to cut back on the deliberative-process exemption in two ways: They would make it unavailable for any discussion that occurred more than 25 years ago. And they would authorize federal judges to decide, in every case, whether ''the agency interest in protecting the records or information is not outweighed by a compelling public interest in disclosure.''
Both of these changes would be mistakes. True, 25 years is a long time, but if officials know that their communications will eventually be made public, they will be less likely to be candid. And if those officials know that federal judges might decide, in any case, whether the public interest in disclosure outweighs an agency's interest in confidentiality, they will silence themselves still more. Judges have their own biases, sometimes even political biases, and cannot always be counted on to strike the right balance.
The result? Whether the topic is homeland security, deregulation, climate change, obesity, immigration reform, health care or highway safety, the normal processes of internal debate and discussion would likely be impaired.
Leahy and Cornyn came up with their proposal because they believe that in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, the executive branch has too often claimed the deliberative-process exemption. In 2013 alone, the exemption was used more than 80,000 times. And many advocates of open government have argued that they should be entitled to learn who said what to whom.
They're wrong. Accountability is important, and in many contexts, we need a lot more of it. It is certainly possible that the deliberative-process exemption has been claimed too often. But accountability should not mean that members of the executive branch -- any more than senators or judges -- ought to be forced to disclose their internal debates. Madison saw the reason: Even if disclosure of such conversations might interest the public, it is not in the public interest.
To contact the writer of this article: Cass R. Sunstein at csunstei@law.harvard.edu.
To contact the editor responsible for this article: Mary Duenwald at mduenwald@bloomberg.net.
A black box in your car to tell insurers you've crashed: Device will also alert the emergency services to the accident | Mail Online
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 23:19
New cars will be fitted with the black box device to tell insurers of a crashBox will also alert the emergency services to the accidentBut data protection campaigners fear it could lead to Big Brother style surveillanceBy Ray Massey, Transport Editor
Published: 19:51 EST, 11 July 2014 | Updated: 03:11 EST, 12 July 2014
A black box inside your car will tell insurers when you've crashed and also alert the emergency services (file picture)
All new cars are to be fitted with a 'black box' that could tell your insurer the moment you are involved in a crash.
The devices will also alert the emergency services to the accident '' but data protection campaigners fear it could lead to 'Big Brother surveillance' of millions of motorists.
They fear drivers will have their habits and destinations recorded and potentially sold on for commercial gain.
Insurance firms already offer cut-price cover for drivers willing to have their every move recorded on a memory card under the dashboard to prove they are safe drivers.
But EU legislation will make it compulsory for every new car to have an electronic 'SOS' black box system linked to satellite tracking that will alert the authorities to a crash.
Some systems can tell how many people are in the car thanks to sensors in the seats, or even allow the police to slow a car down remotely if it is stolen.
Web-based Insurethebox.com, which has 350,000 drivers who already use black boxes, said: 'The data is used to assess driving safety, as well as to assist claims handling.
'Our service centre receives an alert whenever the data suggests a car may have been involved in an accident.
'The box also works as a tracking device, so we can help police to locate the car in the event of a theft.' Insurethebox said data collected from its customers was never sold on to third parties.
Insurance firms already offer cut-price cover for drivers willing to have their every move recorded on a memory card (file picture)
Vauxhall is to install similar technology into all of its new cars from next year.
But Emma Carr of Big Brother Watch said: 'There is a risk that drivers will lose control over who has access to their data and how they will use it.
It is easy to imagine government departments and commercial companies, including the insurance industry, will be clamouring to get hold of drivers' information.'
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EPA Grabs Power Through New Rule To Garnish Wages Without Courts - Investors.com
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 23:09
Big Government: The EPA is now claiming the authority to bypass courts and, on its own, garnish the paychecks and attach the assets of those it accuses of violating its rules. And, as with the IRS, its hard drives also crash.
The Environmental Protection Agency's insatiable lust for power has now gone beyond being the pen and the phone for President Obama's climate change, bypassing both the Constitution and the Congress in enacting rules and regulations that the American people and their representatives did not enact or even support.
Through an announcement in the Federal Register, the agency is claiming that existing federal law allows it "to garnish non-Federal wages to collect delinquent non-tax debts owed the United States without first obtaining a court order." It claims such authority under the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996.
These non-tax debts are fines and penalties that the EPA has levied against alleged polluters who often are innocent '-- farmers, for example, making common-sense decisions in running their daily lives and businesses, who discover a ditch that they dug is now considered a wetland because rainwater occasionally fills it.
"The EPA has a history of overreaching its authority. It seems like once again the EPA is trying to take power it doesn't have away from American citizens," Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican, said when he learned of the EPA's wage-garnishment scheme, according to the Washington Times.
The EPA authoritarian edicts include recently slapping a $75,000 a day '-- yes, a day '-- fine on Wyoming homeowner Andy Johnson for building a pond on his rural property to provide water for his cattle where the Six Mile Creek runs across his land.
The EPA, our environmental judge, jury and enforcer, declared that the Johnson family was in violation of the Clean Water Act. The EPA charged the Johnsons with "the discharge of pollutants (i.e., dredged or fill material) into the waters of the United States" for building a dam without getting a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.
According to the EPA, Johnson needed a permit not just from the state of Wyoming, which he had, but also from the Corps of Engineers because Six Mile Creek runs into Black Forks River, which runs into the Green River '-- a "navigable, interstate water of the United States."
By that definition, average Americans could be fined for washing their cars in their driveways.
Google Public Policy Blog: Searching for the right balance
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 18:45
In May, the Court of Justice of the European Union established a ''right to be forgotten." Today, we published an op-ed by David Drummond, senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer, in the U.K.'s The Guardian, Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, France's Le Figaro and Spain's El Pais, discussing the ruling and our response. We're republishing the op-ed in full below. -Ed.When you search online, there's an unwritten assumption that you'll get an instant answer, as well as additional information if you need to dig deeper. This is all possible because of two decades worth of investment and innovation by many different companies. Today, however, search engines across Europe face a new challenge'--one we've had just two months to get our heads around. That challenge is figuring out what information we must deliberately omit from our results, following a new ruling from the European Court of Justice.
In the past we've restricted the removals we make from search to a very short list. It includes information deemed illegal by a court, such as defamation, pirated content (once we're notified by the rights holder), malware, personal information such as bank details, child sexual abuse imagery and other things prohibited by local law (like material that glorifies Nazism in Germany).
We've taken this approach because, as article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: ''Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
But the European Court found that people have the right to ask for information to be removed from search results that include their names if it is ''inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive.'' In deciding what to remove, search engines must also have regard to the public interest. These are, of course, very vague and subjective tests. The court also decided that search engines don't qualify for a ''journalistic exception.'' This means that The Guardian could have an article on its website about an individual that's perfectly legal, but we might not legally be able to show links to it in our results when you search for that person's name. It's a bit like saying the book can stay in the library, it just cannot be included in the library's card catalogue.
It's for these reasons that we disagree with the ruling. That said, we obviously respect the court's authority and are doing our very best to comply quickly and responsibly. It's a huge task as we've had over 70,000 take-down requests covering 250,000 webpages since May. So we now have a team of people individually reviewing each application, in most cases with limited information and almost no context.
The examples we've seen so far highlight the difficult value judgments search engines and European society now face: former politicians wanting posts removed that criticize their policies in office; serious, violent criminals asking for articles about their crimes to be deleted; bad reviews for professionals like architects and teachers; comments that people have written themselves (and now regret). In each case, someone wants the information hidden, while others might argue it should be out in the open.
When it comes to determining what's in the the public interest, we're taking into account a number of factors. These include whether: the information relates to a politician, celebrity, or other public figure; if the material comes from a reputable news source, and how recent it is; whether it involves political speech; questions of professional conduct that might be relevant to consumers; the involvement of criminal convictions that are not yet ''spent''; and if the information is being published by a government. But these will always be difficult and debatable judgments.
We're also doing our best to be transparent about removals: for example, we're informing websites when one of their pages has been removed. But we cannot be specific about why we have removed the information because that could violate the individual's privacy rights under the court's decision.
Of course, only two months in, our process is still very much a work in progress. It's why we incorrectly removed links to some articles last week (they have since been reinstated). But the good news is that the ongoing, active debate that's happening will inform the development of our principles, policies and practices'--in particular about how to balance one person's right to privacy with another's right to know.
That's why we've also set up an advisory council of experts, the final membership of which we're announcing today. These external experts from the worlds of academia, the media, data protection, civil society and the tech sector are serving as independent advisors to Google. The council will be asking for evidence and recommendations from different groups, and will hold public meetings this autumn across Europe to examine these issues more deeply. Its public report will include recommendations for particularly difficult removal requests (like criminal convictions); thoughts on the implications of the court's decision for European Internet users, news publishers, search engines and others; and procedural steps that could improve accountability and transparency for websites and citizens.
The issues here at stake are important and difficult, but we're committed to complying with the court's decision. Indeed it's hard not to empathize with some of the requests we've seen'--from the man who asked that we not show a news article saying he had been questioned in connection with a crime (he's able to demonstrate that he was never charged) to the mother who requested that we remove news articles for her daughter's name as she had been the victim of abuse. It's a complex issue, with no easy answers. So a robust debate is both welcome and necessary, as, on this issue at least, no search engine has an instant or perfect answer.
Posted by David Drummond, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer
Hillary 2016
Chelsea Clinton
Chelsea Clinton might take front seat in the entire run up to Hillary NOT running.
Chelsey will go after a prominent elected position to eventually take the stage
Dead Broke: Hillary Clinton's book sales have covered only half of $14m advance.
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 03:25
AP PhotoThe sales drop of Hillary Clinton's latest memoir has turned into an avalanche and is set to cost publisher Simon & Schuster millions if Hard Choices doesn't recover quickly enough to cover the estimated $14 million advance they paid the former first lady.
According to new New York Times numbers, her book will be pushed further down on the July 20 best-seller list by the anti-Clinton book Blood Feud, by former Timesman Edward Klein.
Industry sources said that Blood Feud will trounce Hard Choices in the three biggest categories. In hardcover sales, Klein's book will be No. 1, followed by Clinton's at No. 2. In e-book sales, Blood Feud is third, Hard Choices 17th. And in the Big Kahuna, combined sales, Blood Feud is second, Clinton's book fifth.
Publishing sources said that Clinton has sold 177,236 hardcovers. E-book sales aren't available, but her numbers are very low, said the sources. Even at 200,000 total sales, simple math finds that for Simon & Schuster to cover the $14 million advance, each book would have had to sell for about $70. Amazon offers it for $20.94, about $14 off the $35 list price. It has dropped to 103rd in Amazon sales, compared to 10th for Blood Feud.
Even at full price, 200,000 in sales would cover just half '-- $7 million '-- of Clinton's advance.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.Bsl 072014 (PDF)Bsl 072014 (Text)
Paul BedardWashington Secrets
The Washington Examiner
Blackwater Founder Erik Prince To Advise Chinese Firms In Africa
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 23:35
Former Navy SEAL and Blackwater founder Erik Prince has a new security venture. This time he is helping Chinese firms to ''take the drama out of Africa'' by consulting on how the businesses should establish themselves and operate throughout the continent. Africa has become a major target for Chinese investment to secure access to the continent's vast natural resources.
Prince's new firm, Frontier Services Group (FSG), provides ''logistics, aviation and risk management services to firms that want to set up in Africa.'' Prince sold his stake in Blackwater in 2010 which is now known as Academi.
FSG is headquartered in Hong Kong and works closely with one of Communist China's state-owned enterprises, CITIC Group. CITIC Group is a state-owned investment group worth approximately $12 billion with 44 subsidiaries and owns banks in Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the United States. At one time CITIC was in talks to acquire Morgan Stanley.
While the dictum ''high risk, high return'' applies to the continent, Prince said his customers '' who are looking for bauxite, steel, energy, copper, tin or gold '' should focus on another slogan: ''happy locals, happy project''.
It is important for foreign companies to partner local businesses, he stressed, adding that Chinese firms face certain risks simply because they have a lot of people in Africa. ''If there's a concerted effort against some regime in a country, then anyone there helping that country build its infrastructure '... will be subject to the wrath of that insurgency,'' Prince said. ''Some blame might get wrongly put on a Chinese firm that's just there building a road, so there's animosity directed towards them.''
Prince was in the news recently after one of his lieutenants allegedly told a US government investigator he could kill him without consequence in Iraq. Which apparently shut down the investigation into some of Blackwater's activities during the US occupation of Iraq.
Now Prince will be operating in other parts of the world that often have difficulty enforcing the rule of law, this time on behalf of Communist China trying to secure needed resources in volatile areas. Something tells me Prince won't be fearing government investigations.
King of the Tics
Email from Mike
A few shows ago you talked about TS symptoms and it made me realize I just may have it too!
I've been dealing with some issues since I was a kid and always chalked it up to allergies and such. These included the incessant need to squeeze my eyes really tight, and swallowing issues. I've mentioned it to the doctors repeatedly and they dont find anything.
In the last few years ive had an issue with my shoulder...it just never feels right and I constantly have to move and twist my shoulder, especially when I'm driving. The doctor just said I needed to stretch. I've also noticed I've become hyper as I've gotten older, almost like adult onset adhd.
Looking at symptoms lists it seems like I should have had manifestations in my youth, not as an adult, so maybe I'm a hypochondriac.
Having said all this, I'd like to ask you if there's anything to gain by pursuing a diagnosis? Obviously it doesn't interfere with my life too much as its not that serious, and outside of just confirming why I do these "things", I'm not sure of a good reason to spend the time and money to find out.
I'd love to be able to cuss my boss out and then blame it on the tourettes!
Thanks for any help you may have to offer.
Internet Freedom
Information System:
the term “information system” means a
discrete set of information resources organized for the collection,
processing, maintenance, use, sharing, dissemination, or disposition of
President Obama Announces New Partnership with the Private Sector to Strengthen America's Small Businesses; Renews the Federal Government's QuickPay Initiative
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 18:53
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
July 11, 2014
As a part of his Year of Action, the President is using the power of his pen and phone wherever he can on behalf of the American people to create jobs and help hard-working Americans get ahead. Today, the President will announce the creation of SupplierPay, a new partnership with the private sector to strengthen small businesses by increasing their working capital, so they can grow their businesses and hire more workers.
To launch SupplierPay, the President is bringing together 26 companies '' both large and small '' that have committed to the initiative. For the larger companies, joining SupplierPay demonstrates a recognition that a healthy supply chain is good for business. For the small business suppliers, benefiting from SupplierPay means having more capital to invest in new opportunities, new equipment, and new hiring.
President Obama, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, National Economic Council Director Jeff Zients, and Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet will host a meeting at the White House today with these businesses and their suppliers to discuss what more can be done to strengthen small businesses, building on the successes of the QuickPay program.
SupplierPay builds on the success of the Federal Government's QuickPay initiative, which President Obama launched in 2011. QuickPay requires federal agencies to expedite payments to small business contractors with the goal of paying within 15 days. As a result of QuickPay, we have already seen well over $1 billion in cost savings for small businesses since 2011, leading to greater investment and job creation. SupplierPay is the private sector's equivalent, where companies have committed to pay small suppliers faster or help them get access to lower cost capital.
Also today, the President is renewing QuickPay for federal small business subcontractors, where the government pays its large contractors faster and, in return, requires them to pay their small business subcontractors faster. QuickPay for small business subcontractors, which began in 2012, was only available temporarily for many small business subcontractors. Today's announcement means faster payment for all small business subcontractors and even more business opportunities, more investment in small businesses, and more hiring.
The following companies have signed on to SupplierPay:
AppleLockheed MartinAT&TMillikenAuthentixMolina HealthcareCardinal HealthNissanCoca-ColaPG&ECVSPhilipsEricsson Rolls RoyceFedExRothschild North AmericaHondaSalesforce IBMTexturaIntuit Toyota Johnson & Johnson WalgreensKelly ServicesWestinghouse Electric Company
QuickPay and SupplierPay: Growing our Small Businesses
The President's QuickPay initiative has strengthened small contractors working with Federal Government, cutting in half the time it takes to get paid, reaching 172,000 small businesses, covering $220 billion in contract awards, and generating well over $1 billion for small businesses '' freeing up capital to invest and hire new workers.By renewing QuickPay for small business subcontractors, the initiative can expand its impact as large federal contractors pay their small suppliers even faster. The SupplierPay initiative builds off this successful model as large private sector companies are committing to pay small suppliers faster or help them get access to lower cost capital.
Small business play a vital role in the American economy '' employing half of our country's workforce, creating nearly two out of every three new American jobs, and often being the source of the next great American innovation.
Small businesses were disproportionately impacted by the Great Recession, losing 40 percent more jobs than the rest of the private sector combined. When the President took office small business credit markets were effectively frozen. Today, trends are moving in the right direction; according to a recent survey, small business confidence is near the highest levels since the fall of 2007 and small businesses are back to creating two of out of every three net new jobs.
Small business capital access has been an area of focus for this Administration, starting with the Recovery Act in 2009, the Small Business Jobs Act in 2010 and the JOBS Act in 2012. Collectively, this legislation has been instrumental in driving improvement from the depths of the recession. The Administration has achieved record SBA small business lending volumes and recent Federal Reserve Small Business surveys indicate improved access to financing. Yet, more can be done '' too many small businesses still struggle to access the capital they need:
A 2014 Pepperdine and D&B study reported that 66 percent of small businesses found it ''difficult to raise new business financing.''Capital access challenges are magnified by the fact that small businesses are waiting longer to get paid for their products and services. According to different estimates, small business invoices go unpaid for 55-60 days on average and payments ''past due'' are increasing. As a result, small businesses are spending unnecessary funds to cover cash flow issues caused by late payments. These are funds that could be otherwise spent on growing their business and creating new jobs. SupplierPay Case Studies:
Company Commitment: Intuit
By signing onto the White House's Small Business Supplier Financing Pledge, Intuit commits to taking active steps to lower the working capital costs of its small business suppliers.10 percent of Intuit's suppliers are small businesses '' approximately 315 companies. Most of its small business suppliers are creative agencies, product development partners and marketing services firms, including many that are women-owned, minority-owned, or veteran-owned.In 2009, when the economy was down and the impact was especially hard on small businesses, Intuit temporarily changed payment terms to pay its small business suppliers more quickly. Since then, the accelerated payment terms were adjusted back as the economy started recovering.In support of the White House's pledge, Intuit is making a permanent change to its payment term policy to accelerate the payment terms for its small business suppliers who will now be paid within 10 days. This will help those small businesses get the cash they need faster.
Company and Small Business Supplier Case Study:Molina Healthcare and March Vision Care
Molina Healthcare's commitment to SupplierPay and the White House's Small Business Supplier Financing Pledge is an outgrowth of the company's experience working with March Vision Care, one of its small business suppliers.In 2005, Glen March and his wife Cabrini started March Vision Care, a minority and woman owned business, with the idea of providing vision care plans primarily to Medicaid participants. March Vision was able to land Molina as its first customer, but struggled to access financing as they were turned down by banks and investors.Molina recognized Glen and Cabrini's potential and provided seed capital directly to them as a new supplier.Today, March Vision Care has grown to over 100 employees, contracts with several healthcare providers and members in 18 states and the District of Columbia. In response to the President's call to action, Molina is expanding its commitment to its small business suppliers, and in addition to providing favorable working capital, will be creating a seed investment fund to back the launch of other small business suppliers.
Company and Small Business Supplier Case Study:Apple and Metal Impact
Metal Impact, in Elk Grove Village, Illinois is a small supplier working with Apple as part of its domestic manufacturing initiative for the Mac Pro. Metal Impact provides components to the cylindrical aluminum enclosure and is one part of Apple's $100 million Mac Pro Project, which relies on component and equipment suppliers from 23 states.This partnership represents 18 new jobs and millions of dollars in revenue to Metal Impact.Building the Mac Pro would not have been possible without the manufacturing expertise of dozens of U.S. small businesses, and Apple is supporting the White House's commitment to ensuring that small businesses get paid faster and have reasonable financing rates so they can continue to hire and grow.
Impact of the QuickPay Initiative:
QuickPay Has Delivered Meaningful Results: QuickPay has accelerated more than $220 billion in payments to federal contractors and generated savings well over $1 billion for small suppliers, increasing growth and jobs. When businesses get paid faster, their financial footing gets stronger. And with nearly $90 billion each year in federal contracts going to small businesses, cutting in half the time it takes for them to receive payment is a powerful way to help businesses make the decision to go ahead and buy another piece of equipment or hire another worker.
Examples of QuickPay's Impact
The ELOCEN Group
The ELOCEN Group offers consulting services in construction management, interior design, information technology, and facilities/logistics. ELOCEN's work has totaled over 40 million square feet in new construction and renovation space managed. ''QuickPay has had an incredible impact on the ELOCEN Group. It has resulted in more working capital, a greater number of satisfied subcontractors and a more profitable overall bottom line for the company.'' Necole Parker, CEO of The Elocen GroupSarakki Associates, Inc.
Sarakki Associates Inc. is a multi-disciplinary engineering firm that specializes and provides services to local, State and Federal Governments in Systems Engineering, Information Technology, Border Crossing System, and Intelligent Transportation Systems. SAI started as sole proprietor in 1995 and was incorporated in 2001.''Our company has been a prime contractor to the Federal Government for the past eight years and has experienced firsthand the difference QuickPay has made on the business. It has improved our bottom line by reducing the cost of doing business and has allowed the company to pay our subcontractors faster. I no longer have to dip into my personal savings when managing cash flow.''
Google Public Policy Blog: Searching for the right balance
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 18:45
In May, the Court of Justice of the European Union established a ''right to be forgotten." Today, we published an op-ed by David Drummond, senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer, in the U.K.'s The Guardian, Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, France's Le Figaro and Spain's El Pais, discussing the ruling and our response. We're republishing the op-ed in full below. -Ed.When you search online, there's an unwritten assumption that you'll get an instant answer, as well as additional information if you need to dig deeper. This is all possible because of two decades worth of investment and innovation by many different companies. Today, however, search engines across Europe face a new challenge'--one we've had just two months to get our heads around. That challenge is figuring out what information we must deliberately omit from our results, following a new ruling from the European Court of Justice.
In the past we've restricted the removals we make from search to a very short list. It includes information deemed illegal by a court, such as defamation, pirated content (once we're notified by the rights holder), malware, personal information such as bank details, child sexual abuse imagery and other things prohibited by local law (like material that glorifies Nazism in Germany).
We've taken this approach because, as article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: ''Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
But the European Court found that people have the right to ask for information to be removed from search results that include their names if it is ''inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive.'' In deciding what to remove, search engines must also have regard to the public interest. These are, of course, very vague and subjective tests. The court also decided that search engines don't qualify for a ''journalistic exception.'' This means that The Guardian could have an article on its website about an individual that's perfectly legal, but we might not legally be able to show links to it in our results when you search for that person's name. It's a bit like saying the book can stay in the library, it just cannot be included in the library's card catalogue.
It's for these reasons that we disagree with the ruling. That said, we obviously respect the court's authority and are doing our very best to comply quickly and responsibly. It's a huge task as we've had over 70,000 take-down requests covering 250,000 webpages since May. So we now have a team of people individually reviewing each application, in most cases with limited information and almost no context.
The examples we've seen so far highlight the difficult value judgments search engines and European society now face: former politicians wanting posts removed that criticize their policies in office; serious, violent criminals asking for articles about their crimes to be deleted; bad reviews for professionals like architects and teachers; comments that people have written themselves (and now regret). In each case, someone wants the information hidden, while others might argue it should be out in the open.
When it comes to determining what's in the the public interest, we're taking into account a number of factors. These include whether: the information relates to a politician, celebrity, or other public figure; if the material comes from a reputable news source, and how recent it is; whether it involves political speech; questions of professional conduct that might be relevant to consumers; the involvement of criminal convictions that are not yet ''spent''; and if the information is being published by a government. But these will always be difficult and debatable judgments.
We're also doing our best to be transparent about removals: for example, we're informing websites when one of their pages has been removed. But we cannot be specific about why we have removed the information because that could violate the individual's privacy rights under the court's decision.
Of course, only two months in, our process is still very much a work in progress. It's why we incorrectly removed links to some articles last week (they have since been reinstated). But the good news is that the ongoing, active debate that's happening will inform the development of our principles, policies and practices'--in particular about how to balance one person's right to privacy with another's right to know.
That's why we've also set up an advisory council of experts, the final membership of which we're announcing today. These external experts from the worlds of academia, the media, data protection, civil society and the tech sector are serving as independent advisors to Google. The council will be asking for evidence and recommendations from different groups, and will hold public meetings this autumn across Europe to examine these issues more deeply. Its public report will include recommendations for particularly difficult removal requests (like criminal convictions); thoughts on the implications of the court's decision for European Internet users, news publishers, search engines and others; and procedural steps that could improve accountability and transparency for websites and citizens.
The issues here at stake are important and difficult, but we're committed to complying with the court's decision. Indeed it's hard not to empathize with some of the requests we've seen'--from the man who asked that we not show a news article saying he had been questioned in connection with a crime (he's able to demonstrate that he was never charged) to the mother who requested that we remove news articles for her daughter's name as she had been the victim of abuse. It's a complex issue, with no easy answers. So a robust debate is both welcome and necessary, as, on this issue at least, no search engine has an instant or perfect answer.
Posted by David Drummond, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer
Newly Obtained Emails Contradict Administration Claims on Guardian Laptop Destruction
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 18:52
On July 20, 2013, agents of the U.K. government entered The Guardian newsroom in London and compelled them to physically destroy the computers they were using to report on the Edward Snowden archive. The Guardian reported this a month later after my partner, David Miranda, was detained at Heathrow Airport for 11 hours under a British terrorism law and had all of his electronic equipment seized. At the time, the Obama administration'--while admitting that it was told in advance of the Heathrow detention'--pretended that it knew nothing about the forced laptop destruction and would never approve of such attacks on press freedom. From the August 20, 2013, press briefing by then-deputy White House press secretary Josh Earnest:
Q: A last one on the NSA'--The Guardian newspaper, following on everything that was discussed yesterday'--The Guardian is saying that British authorities destroyed several hard drives, because they wanted to keep secrets that Edward Snowden had leaked from actually getting out. They were stored in The Guardian's'--they had some hard drives there at their offices. British authorities went in there and destroyed these hard drives. Did the American government get a heads up about that the way you did about the person being detained?
MR. EARNEST: I've seen the published reports of those accusations, but I don't have any information for you on that.
Q: And does the U.S. government think it's appropriate for a government, especially one of our allies, to go in and destroy hard drives? Is that something this administration would do?
MR. EARNEST: The only thing I know about this are the public reports about this, so it's hard for me to evaluate the propriety of what they did based on incomplete knowledge of what happened.
Q: But this administration would not do that, would not go into an American media company and destroy hard drives, even if it meant trying to protect national security, you don't think?
MR. EARNEST: It's very difficult to imagine a scenario in which that would be appropriate.
But emails just obtained by Associated Press pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA) prove that senior Obama national security officials'-- including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and then-NSA chief Keith Alexander'--not only knew in advance that U.K. officials intended to force The Guardian to destroy their computers, but overtly celebrated it.
One email, dated July 19 (the day prior to the destruction) bears the subject line ''Guardian data being destroyed'' and is from NSA deputy director Richard Ledgett to Alexander. He writes: ''Good news, at least on this front.'' The next day, almost immediately after the computers were destroyed, Alexander emailed Ledgett: ''Can you confirm this actually occurred?'' Hours later, under the same subject line, Clapper emailed Alexander, saying: ''Thanks Keith '... appreciate the conversation today''.
It's hardly surprising that the Obama Administration was fully informed in advance: It's virtually inconceivable that notoriously subservient London officials would ever take any meaningful action without the advance knowledge and permission of their Washington overseers. There are, however, several notable points from these new disclosures:
(1) How many times do Obama administration officials have to be caught misleading the public before U.S. media outlets will stop assuming their claims to be true? Just this weekend, The Washington Post described the tens of thousands of FISA-collected emails that are in Snowden archive: the very material that Keith Alexander just two months ago unequivocally denied Snowden had obtained (Alexander: ''He didn't get this data. They didn't touch '--''; the New Yorker: ''The operational data?''; Alexander: ''They didn't touch the FISA data '... That database, he didn't have access to'').
Now we have proof that Obama's most senior officials were aware in advance of the very events that Obama's spokesman pretended they knew nothing about. It's possible, though unlikely in the extreme, that both Clapper and Alexander knew about this and neglected to tell anyone in the White House. Incredibly claiming that Obama was unaware of what his most senior national security officials get caught doing is this administration's modus operandi: See, for instance, this and this. But that should raise the question'--yet again'--of whether these national security agencies are completely rogue and operating without any controls.
And whatever else was true: Obama's senior officials were clearly delighted at this attack on press freedom while Obama's press secretary pretended that the U.S. would never regard such behavior as ''appropriate.'' As The Guardian said today about all of this: ''What's perhaps most concerning is that the disclosure of these emails appears to contradict the White House's comments about these events last year, when they questioned the appropriateness of the U.K. government's intervention.''
(2) At least as notable as what the Obama administration disclosed in response to AP's FOIA request is what they suppressed. Look at the documents the administration produced: Virtually all of it is censored, even though it pertains to discussions by public officials of the U.K. government's attack on The Guardian's news gathering process. We are permitted to see only the smallest of snippets; virtually everything in this email chain is concealed, once again making a complete farce not only out of FOIA but also Obama's self-glorifying claim that he presides over the Most Transparent Administration Ever'.
Also, recall how we have constantly heard from people like Sen. Dianne Feinstein and even the president himself that when the government collects ''only metadata,'' that does not even constitute real spying (it ''is not surveillance,'' Feinstein wrote; ''we don't have a domestic spying program,'' proclaimed Obama). Yet here, the administration is concealing not only virtually all of its own email content but also substantial portions of the metadata of those emails:
In justifying its concealments, the administration has the audacity to claim that disclosure ''would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy.''
So the Obama administration is apparently capable of recognizing how invasive metadata can be when it comes to its own. Thus, we are not even permitted to know which of our public officials participated in this little celebration over British attacks on press freedom, let alone what they said.
Speaking of making a complete farce out of FOIA, AP notes that ''Clapper's office '-- following a separate, identical records request from the AP '-- said it had no records about the incident, even though Clapper's email from his national intelligence director's office account was part of the NSA document release.'' What could possibly justify that?
(3) It's worth noting that neither the destruction of The Guardian hard drives which U.S. officials were celebrating, nor the seizure of my partner's electronic goods, had the slightest impact on our ability to report on these documents. There were, needless to say, multiple copies of these archives in multiple safe places around the world. They were thus celebrating something that imposed no impediment whatsoever on disclosure of these materials. As usual for the U.S. and U.K. security services, then, their behavior was as inept as it was thuggish.
* * * * *
There are several follow-ups to note from our story on Wednesday about NSA and FBI spying on prominent Muslim Americans:
(1) According to a report in The Arab Daily News, ''several Muslim American organizations have announced their intentions to file lawsuits against the U.S. Government over FBI spying that targeted American citizens who are of the Muslim religion and Arab heritage, and are demanding investigations by Federal authorities.'' As noted in our article, vesting people with ''standing'' to sue over the legality and constitutionality of these spying activities was a major reason why Snowden provided this information, and I am quite certain this will not be the last lawsuit filed in response to our report.
(2) As we reported on Wednesday, ''a coalition of 44 civil rights groups organized by the American Civil Liberties Union has sent a letter to President Obama demanding a 'full public accounting' of the government's 'targeting of community leaders' for surveillance.'' Members of Congress, including Rep. Keith Ellison, Alan Grayson, and Sen. Ron Wyden, spoke out. Meanwhile, ''the White House told the Guardian that it has asked the intelligence community to 'review their training and policy materials for racial or religious bias'' after we published an internal instructional memo that referred to a hypothetical surveillance target as 'Mohammed Raghead.''' That's a nice step, but the fact that this is the only review the White House thinks is needed '' and not the spying itself '' is quite telling.
(3) Among the best commentaries on the implications of our story are those from Kade Crockford of the ACLU of Massachusetts, Marcy Wheeler in Salon, Digby, and Amy Davidson in the New Yorker. Among the better media reports on the story were articles in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.
(4) Two of the people named in our story, Faisal Gill and Asim Ghafoor, spoke both to CNN and Democracy Now about their reactions to learning they had been monitored. Meanwhile, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad has a great essay inTime describing his reaction to learning he had been subject to surveillance.
(5) Vocal NSA loyalist Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution argued that we can't possibly know whether this spying was legitimate unless and until we see the ''relevant FISA applications.'' He then later announced that he would be opposed to release of those applications. In other words, he does not want to see '' and does not want anyone else to see '' the only documents that he believes could reveal NSA abuse. That, in a nutshell, is the mindset of the NSA loyalist.
Apparently, in the 1960s and 1970s, Wittes and allies would have been arguing that it was impossible to say whether J. Edgar Hoover's targeting of anti-war protesters, civil rights leaders and other government critics was appropriate unless and until we could read Hoover's personal files about those targets. After all, could anyone prove the negative that these weren't dangerous and violent people? And, of course, there was no shortage of Americans back then who wanted those groups surveilled on the ground that they posed threats to the prevailing order, just as there are many who today want their fellow citizens surveilled who are Muslim.
(6) A new Huffington Post/YouGov poll finds that ''Most Americans think government surveillance that gathers up masses of telephone and Internet data goes 'too far.'''
(7) Here are two excellent essays, published prior to our story, on why somenon-Muslims react with indifference and boredom to revelations of NSA overreach: by Julian Sanchez and Anna Lekas Miller. As those essays demonstrate, a major reason so many US Government abuses (from indefinite detention to drones to rendition to pervasive surveillance) have been tolerated over the last decade is because people like that perceive that it's only happening to Muslims '' not to them or people like them '' and so it's irrelevant and/or justified.
WASHINGTON: Justice declines to pursue allegations that CIA monitored Senate Intel staff | DC Declassified | McClatchy DC
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 03:33
WASHINGTON '-- The Justice Department has decided not to pursue accusations that the CIA spied on the Senate Intelligence Committee and allegations that committee staff slipped classified documents from a secure agency facility, McClatchy has confirmed.
"The department carefully reviewed the matters referred to us and did not find sufficient evidence to warrant a criminal investigation," said Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr.
The news marks an apparent end to an extraordinary feud that spilled into the public forum in early March over the committee's report on the agency's post-9/11 enhanced interrogation program. The dispute included competing Justice Department referrals, with both the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee accusing the other side of criminal conduct throughout the course of the interrogation study.
Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., took to the Senate floor in early March and accused the CIA of spying on the computers her committee staff used to create the study. The CIA accused Feinstein's staff of slipping classified documents from secure agency facilities and transporting them back to Capitol Hill.
The CIA Inspector General's office referred the agency's alleged computer monitoring to the Justice Department. The CIA filed a crimes report against several committee staffers, accusing them of removing classified information from a secure facility. And, in addition, Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., ordered the senate's Sergeant-at-Arms to conduct an independent investigation in to the alleged computer hacking. The fate of the congressional investigation is unknown.
But, it seems that the details of both sides' accusations will never be publicly aired, leaving simmering tensions and a battered relationship.
Although fury flooded Capitol Hill in the immediate aftermath of the dispute, the incident seemed to have largely faded from memory, despite its enormous potential implications on the constitutional balance of powers.
The nearly 500-page executive summary of the committee's still-classified 6,600-page report is expected to be released in the coming months.
A CIA spokesman declined to comment.
Jonathan Landay contributed to this report.
The Pentagon is trying to make the internet more anonymous | The Verge
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 15:58
If you want to use the internet and you don't want the National Security Agency to see what you're doing, you would likely turn to Tor, a network that anonymizes web traffic by bouncing it between servers.
The NSA has been working on ways to get around "the Tor problem" for years with limited success. "It should hardly be surprising that our intelligence agencies seek ways to counteract targets' use of technologies to hide their communications," the agency told BusinessWeek.
The original funding for this thorn in the NSA's side actually came from the US Department of Defense; the Naval Research Laboratory originally funded the project to protect Navy employees abroad.
The military is building anonymity tools and breaking them, both in the name of national security
The NSA says Tor is now used by "terrorists, cybercriminals, [and] human traffickers," so you'd think the Pentagon might consider that investment a mistake.
Not so.
The military has been working on a new generation of even bigger and better anonymity tools to supplement and replace Tor.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA, the Pentagon's high-tech research lab, started working on anonymity roughly four years ago through the Safer Warfighter Communications program, a collection of tools designed to thwart blacklisting, redirection, and content filtering.
The program covers several anonymity projects, including cutting-edge encryption and a project called Service-Oriented Netcoded Architecture for Tactical Anonymity (SONATA). Details on SONATA are thin, but one researcher familiar with the work referred to it as a next-generation competitor to Tor. Like Tor, SONATA will rely on a distributed network run by volunteers. Unlike Tor, SONATA traffic is "mixed" at each relay in the network by randomly multiplying traditional packets by a constant and adding them together, while also switching up secondary markers that would identify traffic. "Traffic flows like water, making it very difficult to block," says Brian DeCleene of BAE Systems, who is working on SONATA.
DARPA is also investing in Curveball, a "decoy routing" system developed by Raytheon BBN Technologies, that lets you pretend you're surfing an unblocked website when you're actually connecting to Facebook, the Pentagon, or some other sensitive site.
Why the apparent contradiction?
Curveball uses a nifty trick that requires some cooperation from friendly internet providers. Those providers would install Curveball routers throughout their networks. Users with the Curveball client would then surf around randomly until they find a Curveball router. The router confirms with the client, then tunnels any subsequent traffic through the Curveball connection disguised as innocuous traffic. As the surfer moves around on Facebook, the Curveball connection pretends he or she is moving around on an unblocked site, say, Amazon.
The fact that Curveball is embedded within a regular network makes it impractical for a government to block it without blocking lots of useful sites, impairing commerce or irritating citizens.
Unlike Tor, Curveball doesn't protect the user's identity. However, it could be used to secretly get to Tor in countries where access to the network is restricted.
So why is one branch of the military building tools that will one day be used to thwart another branch?
Dan Kaufman, director of DARPA's Innovation Information Office, which covers the Safer Warfighter Communications program, says there isn't any tension caused by DARPA working on tools that could one day be used to dodge the NSA.
"[The program] started with a conversation I had with Special Forces," Kaufman says. "While obviously there may be multiple uses'... we built it for Special Forces. People are welcome to take the technology and do stuff, but that's not why we built it."
State-sponsored censorship and monitoring are increasing in hostile countries
Government surveillance and censorship is growing around the world. Countries like China, North Korea, and Iran exert obsessive control over what people can do online, while laws are getting stricter in places like Turkey and Kazakhstan. Internet censorship was one of the Thai military's first moves after taking over their country's government in May.
US military forces don't always carry their own communications gear. They often use chat rooms or whatever is publicly available even when stationed in hostile, internet-freedom-hating countries.
"You're in a place where you need to be able to communicate back," Kaufman says. "And you need to make sure that that regime is not blocking you, and you need to make sure that you stay anonymous because you're undercover."
The Defense Department says it has to invest in technology even if that technology could one day be used against it. "The best way to ensure national security in a fast-changing world is to maintain our technological superiority in critical technology areas," a spokesperson for the Defense Department tells The Verge in a statement. "The department is continuously working to develop important scientific and technological domains and will not limit our research strictly out of concern that the results might someday fall into our adversaries' hands."
There are other ways online secrecy can help the US
The department also takes "the appropriate steps" to ensure technology does not enable the US's enemies, the spokesperson says. Enabling anonymous communications may bolster national security in other ways. Tor no longer receives support from the Pentagon, but it's now funded in part by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor or DRL, a division of the State Department that supports freedom of information around the world.
DRL explicitly supports "anti-censorship and secure communications technology" with the hope of spreading Western democratic values. Tor is also used by journalists, activists, and whistleblowers. Many believe US national security will benefit overall from the free flow of media, especially in countries that censor the news and circulate anti-American propaganda.
Still, we may see a leaked NSA presentation in a few years: "the SONATA problem."
The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control | Antony Loewenstein | Comment is free | theguardian.com
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 03:34
William Binney is one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA. He was a leading code-breaker against the Soviet Union during the Cold War but resigned soon after September 11, disgusted by Washington's move towards mass surveillance.
On 5 July he spoke at a conference in London organised by the Centre for Investigative Journalism and revealed the extent of the surveillance programs unleashed by the Bush and Obama administrations.
''At least 80% of fibre-optic cables globally go via the US'', Binney said. ''This is no accident and allows the US to view all communication coming in. At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores.''
The NSA will soon be able to collect 966 exabytes a year, the total of internet traffic annually. Former Google head Eric Schmidt once argued that the entire amount of knowledge from the beginning of humankind until 2003 amount to only five exabytes.
Binney, who featured in a 2012 short film by Oscar-nominated US film-maker Laura Poitras, described a future where surveillance is ubiquitous and government intrusion unlimited.
''The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control'', Binney said, ''but I'm a little optimistic with some recent Supreme Court decisions, such as law enforcement mostly now needing a warrant before searching a smartphone.''
He praised the revelations and bravery of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and told me that he had indirect contact with a number of other NSA employees who felt disgusted with the agency's work. They're keen to speak out but fear retribution and exile, not unlike Snowden himself, who is likely to remain there for some time.
Unlike Snowden, Binney didn't take any documents with him when he left the NSA. He now says that hard evidence of illegal spying would have been invaluable. The latest Snowden leaks, featured in the Washington Post, detail private conversations of average Americans with no connection to extremism.
It shows that the NSA is not just pursuing terrorism, as it claims, but ordinary citizens going about their daily communications. ''The NSA is mass-collecting on everyone'', Binney said, ''and it's said to be about terrorism but inside the US it has stopped zero attacks.''
The lack of official oversight is one of Binney's key concerns, particularly of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa), which is held out by NSA defenders as a sign of the surveillance scheme's constitutionality.
''The Fisa court has only the government's point of view'', he argued. ''There are no other views for the judges to consider. There have been at least 15-20 trillion constitutional violations for US domestic audiences and you can double that globally.''
A Fisa court in 2010 allowed the NSA to spy on 193 countries around the world, plus the World Bank, though there's evidence that even the nations the US isn't supposed to monitor '' Five Eyes allies Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand '' aren't immune from being spied on. It's why encryption is today so essential to transmit information safely.
Binney recently told the German NSA inquiry committee that his former employer had a ''totalitarian mentality'' that was the "greatest threat" to US society since that country's US Civil War in the 19th century. Despite this remarkable power, Binney still mocked the NSA's failures, including missing this year's Russian intervention in Ukraine and the Islamic State's take-over of Iraq.
The era of mass surveillance has gone from the fringes of public debate to the mainstream, where it belongs. The Pew Research Centre released a report this month, Digital Life in 2025, that predicted worsening state control and censorship, reduced public trust, and increased commercialisation of every aspect of web culture.
It's not just internet experts warning about the internet's colonisation by state and corporate power. One of Europe's leading web creators, Lena Thiele, presented her stunning series Netwars in London on the threat of cyber warfare. She showed how easy it is for governments and corporations to capture our personal information without us even realising.
Thiele said that the US budget for cyber security was US$67 billion in 2013 and will double by 2016. Much of this money is wasted and doesn't protect online infrastructure. This fact doesn't worry the multinationals making a killing from the gross exaggeration of fear that permeates the public domain.
Wikileaks understands this reality better than most. Founder Julian Assange and investigative editor Sarah Harrison both remain in legal limbo. I spent time with Assange in his current home at the Ecuadorian embassy in London last week, where he continues to work, release leaks, and fight various legal battles. He hopes to resolve his predicament soon.
At the Centre for Investigative Journalism conference, Harrison stressed the importance of journalists who work with technologists to best report the NSA stories. ''It's no accident'', she said, ''that some of the best stories on the NSA are in Germany, where there's technical assistance from people like Jacob Appelbaum.''
A core Wikileaks belief, she stressed, is releasing all documents in their entirety, something the group criticised the news site The Intercept for not doing on a recent story. ''The full archive should always be published'', Harrison said.
With 8m documents on its website after years of leaking, the importance of publishing and maintaining source documents for the media, general public and court cases can't be under-estimated. ''I see Wikileaks as a library'', Assange said. ''We're the librarians who can't say no.''
With evidence that there could be a second NSA leaker, the time for more aggressive reporting is now. As Binney said: ''I call people who are covering up NSA crimes traitors''.
Cisco and Juniper lose $170 million in sales due to US sanctions
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 03:34
By Mark AmesOn July 10, 2014
The Russian daily Kommersant reported today that White House sanctions against Russia cost Cisco and Juniper Networks $170 million in lost business since spring. The sanctions bar sales of ''dual-use'' technologies to Russian state agencies.
In March, the US Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced that it had begun denying licenses to export certain hi-technology products to Russia, and that it would revoke any current export licenses for any technology products that could wind up helping Russia's military structures or its takeover of Crimea. According to Kommersant, the BIS approved 1832 export licenses to Russia in 2013, worth some $1.5 billion.
Russia reportedly imports 90% of its telecommunications equipment, with Cisco as the main supplier. Kommersant spoke to industry people close to Cisco and resellers, who told the newspaper that Cisco is expected to lose its dominant position in Russia to China's Huawei and France's Alcatel-Lucent.
Just weeks after the BIS announced its ban on export licenses to Russia, Reuters reported that the Department of Justice and the SEC were investigating Cisco for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act after a whistleblower exposed Cisco's inaccurate bookkeeping on its sales to Russia. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act makes it illegal for companies to bribe foreign officials, and to keep false accounting records.
edwardsnowden.com Courage Foundation
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 19:20
Who Is Edward Snowden?Edward Snowden is a 30 year old US citizen, former Intelligence Community officer and whistleblower. The documents he revealed provided a vital public window into the NSA and its international intelligence partners' secret mass surveillance programs and capabilities. These revelations generated unprecedented attention around the world on privacy intrusions and digital security, leading to a global debate on the issue.
Snowden worked in various roles within the US Intelligence Community, including serving undercover for the CIA overseas. He most recently worked as an infrastructure analyst at the NSA, through a Booz Allen Hamilton contract, when he left his home and family in Hawaii to blow the whistle in May 2013. After travelling to Hong Kong, Snowden revealed documents to the American public on the NSA's mass surveillance programs, which were shown to be operating without any public oversight and outside the limits of the US Constitution. The US government has charged Snowden with theft of government property, and two further charges under the 1917 Espionage Act. Each charge carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence.
With the US pursuing his extradition, Snowden is now in Russia, where he was formally granted asylum on 1 August 2013. Journalists continue to publish documents from Snowden that reveal the secret and unaccountable systems of modern global surveillance.
Quick factsFor quick access to information on all aspects concerning Edward Snowden and his case, please read our Frequently asked questions page.
Edward Snowden: Sam Adams AwardSnowden talks at the Sam Adams Award award ceremony in October 2013 about the secret surveillance he revealed and its dangers to democracy.
Spain says to charge tax of 0.03 percent on bank deposits | Reuters
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 22:45
MADRID, July 4Fri Jul 4, 2014 10:01am EDT
MADRID, July 4 (Reuters) - Spain on Friday said it would introduce a blanket taxation rate of 0.03 percent on all bank account deposits, in a move aimed at harmonising regional tax regimes and generating revenues for the country's cash-strapped autonomous communities.
The regulation, which could bring around 400 million euros ($546 million) to the state coffers based on total deposits worth 1.4 trillion euros, had been tipped as a possible sweetener for the regions days after tough deficit limits for this year and next were set by the central government.
Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria announced the move at a news conference following a weekly cabinet meeting.
Spain is aiming for an end-of-year deficit of 5.5 percent after ending 2013 with a deficit of 6.6 percent of gross domestic product, just short of its 6.5 percent target. The regions have been set a deficit limit of 1 percent of GDP.
The government had last year fixed a zero percent tax rate on deposits across the 17 autonomous communities to prevent some of them charging their own rates, but never ruled out raising the taxation level.
The country has one of the lowest tax takes in the European Union after a burst property bubble crippled the construction sector, one of the largest contributors to government coffers.
Madrid passed in June a blueprint for tax reform which aims to cut income and corporate taxes to stimulate consumer demand and investment in the midst of a nascent economic recovery. ($1 = 0.7331 Euros) (Reporting by Paul Day; Editing by Julien Toyer and Hugh Lawson)
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Banco Espirito Santo shareholders seek explanation.
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 01:03
People withdraw money from ATM machines in a Banco Espirito Santo (BES) branch in Lisbon, Portugal. Photograph: Mario CruzEPA
Shareholders in Banco Espirito Santo were hoping to resolve concerns about the fate of the institution at an extraordinary general meeting on 31 July in Lisbon.
But a precipitous fall in its share price and a downgrade in the bank's bonds which forced the suspension of trading in its shares has brought the need for explanations forward by three weeks.
Dating its foundation back to 1869, Banco Espirito Santo is a cornerstone of financial services in Portugal and the biggest of the country's listed banks. It operates in more than 20 countries and has recently expanded into Libya and Mozambique. A London branch is used for wholesale banking, including syndicating loans for clients.
It is 25% owned by a subsidiary of Espirito Santo International (ESI). ESI has been under scrutiny since an audit found "material irregularities" at the Espirito Santo family holding company and the bank's shares have slumped on worries that the bank's capital base could be affected. The bank's shares have lost almost half of their value in the past month.
In essence, it appears the bank has lent money to the holding company and then sold the debt to its clients. When the loans were scheduled to be redeemed, the holding company has been unable to repay.
Reuters reported that the family is considering debt-for-equity swaps and may ask for more time to repay debts as it grapples with its financial problems.
Reuters said sources close to the bank had told it that potential asset sales were also being considered in the medium term, though such measures required even more thorough preparation because creditors and shareholders could later challenge any sale of distressed assets.
Luxembourg authorities said last month that they had launched an investigation into ESI over alleged breaches of company law.
Last week, Espirito Santo Financial Group (ESFG), which holds ESI's 25% stake in the bank, said the family's companies owed it '‚¬2.35bn in June, up from '‚¬1.37bn at the end of last year.
Portugal banking crisis sparks global stock selloff
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 00:42
By Andre Damon11 July 2014Stocks plunged in Europe and the US Thursday amid a sell-off in the Portuguese banking sector, prompting fears of a resurgence of the European debt crisis.
Shares of Banco Esp­rito Santo, Portugal's largest bank, plunged by 17 percent Thursday, prompting a temporary suspension of trading in the stock. The bank's stock price has fallen by a third over the past week.
The selloff comes amidst growing concerns that the global stock market is massively overvalued, as years of zero-interest rate monetary policies by central banks have inflated stock prices out of all proportion with the underlying economic reality. ''A stock market correction has been an ongoing concern and maybe this is the catalyst,'' Andrew Wilkinson, the chief market analyst at Interactive Brokers told the Financial Times .
The selloff has upended the relative quiescence of the European financial system in recent months, raising concerns of a reemergence of the financial and debt crisis that has been burning at various levels of intensity since the 2008 financial crash. Over the past year, the Portuguese stock market has increased nearly thirty percent, but has fallen by more than 11 percent over the past ten days. The country received a '‚¬78 billion bailout from the IMF and EU in 2011.
''There is worry about contagion...The theory is that it could lead to bank failures and throw us back into recession,'' Thomas Roth of Mitsubishi UFJ Securities told the Wall Street Journal. Riccardo Barbieri Hermitte of Mizuho International PLC told the Journal that the selloff ''shows that assumptions that the market was making were incorrect.''
Portugal's PSI 20 stock index fell 4.2 percent Thursday, in its largest fall in over a year. Every other major stock index in Europe fell as well, led by large drops in Italy and Spain. A number of Italian banks likewise suspended trading in their stocks, and the main Italian stock index fell by nearly three percent in intraday trading.
Greece was forced to scale back a government debt issuance, while a bank and construction company in Spain called off its bond sale.
Supposedly safe assets, such as gold and US and German government bonds, shot up in value as investors fled riskier assets. The price of gold climbed 1.1 percent, to $1,338.90 per ounce, its highest level since March.
Fears about the Portuguese banking sector compounded a string of negative data on the European real economy. Industrial production shrank in May in Italy and France, while Germany's imports, exports and industrial production fell that month, according to figures released by the German Central bank this week.
Fitch Ratings has likewise warned of an ''increasing anxiety among investors that valuations reflect too much money chasing too few income-producing assets.'' The rating agency added, ''Investors feel they have little choice but to invest in whatever comes to market, despite the continuing fall in yields and coupons.''
The Financial Times commented this week in a piece, entitled ''Thirst for yield drives investors deep into European 'junk' bonds,'' that ''historically low interest rates have compelled fund managers to seek out riskier assets.''
The piece noted, ''The first half of this year saw 15 companies raise bonds that were rated at the CCC to C level, says Dealogic, a rating described as 'extremely speculative' or carrying 'substantial risks.''... This was three times the number of companies that raised such bonds in the same period last year. The amount raised has also more than tripled, to $7.5bn.''
The New York Times made similar warnings earlier this week, referring to an ''Everything Bubble'' in which ''there are very few unambiguously cheap assets.'' The piece noted that ''Global central banks have been on an unprecedented campaign of trying to stimulate growth through low interest rates and of buying assets with newly created money.''
The Federal Reserve has kept interest rates near zero for nearly six years, and has more than tripled its asset holdings since 2008, and other global central banks have followed suit. Last month, the European Central Bank (ECB) slashed one of its interest rates to negative territory, and lowered its main lending rate to a historic low of 0.15 percent.
These actions, however, have only succeeded in guaranteeing the wealth of the financial aristocracy while blowing an enormous financial bubble, totally out of keeping with the moribund state of the real economy.
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UK Royal Mail sale underpriced by £1bn, says scathing select committee report.
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 03:27
The committee said: 'It's not at all clear that the government's sale of Royal Mail has brought an adequate and appropriate return for taxpayers.' Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
Taxpayers lost out on £1bn because the government and its City advisers underpriced the privatisation of Royal Mail, a committee of MPs says today.
In a highly critical report, the Business, Innovation and Skills (Bis) committee said the government worried too much about pushing the privatisation through at the expense of getting the best price for taxpayers.
Royal Mail was privatised in October when the government sold 60% of its stake at 330p a share, valuing the company at £3.3bn. On their first day of trading, the shares jumped by 38% '' far higher than normal for a flotation '' and continued to rise after that. They hit a high of 615p on 15 January and closed at 474p on Thursday, valuing Royal Mail at £1.4bn more than the sale price.
In evidence to the committee, Vince Cable, the business secretary, and his minister Michael Fallon defended the sale price by saying the risk of a nationwide strike hung over Royal Mail during the privatisation, making investors wary about the company's prospects. Royal Mail and the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) settled their long-running dispute soon after the flotation in an agreement that promised a new era of industrial harmony.
Cable dismissed the post-privatisation rise in Royal Mail's share price at the time as "froth" that would settle once the market had judged the company's value. The committee criticised Cable for not defining froth properly and for stretching the period he had in mind from the "immediate aftermath" of the flotation to months or years later.
Adrian Bailey, chairman of the committee, said: "It's not at all clear that the government's sale of Royal Mail has brought an adequate and appropriate return for taxpayers. The government cannot blithely dismiss as 'froth' our committee's concern that the low issue price of this prime public asset has cost the taxpayer around a billion pounds."
Cable's department said the privatisation raised £2bn for taxpayers and put Royal Mail on a secure footing as a publicly traded company able to raise capital from the market. It said the report ignored the size of the share sale and included factual errors.
The department said: "The committee's views on the share price are based entirely on hindsight and ignore that we were selling 600m shares '' they found no evidence that the department or its advisers missed vital information prior to sale. The share price remains very volatile to this day, as the business secretary told the committee, and has dropped 25% from its high point."
The National Audit Office (NAO) has criticised Cable for refusing to increase Royal Mail's flotation price despite widespread fears the 500-year-old company was being sold on the cheap. He has refused to apologise and still describes the privatisation as a success.
But on Wednesday, with the committee's report looming, Cable announced a review of the privatisation process, headed by Lord Myners, a City veteran and minister in the last government.
The MPs were also scathing about the role of Cable's investment banking advisers '' Lazard, Goldman Sachs and UBS '' as well as the shareholder executive, the government team that works on privatisations. In evidence to the committee, the advisers insisted they had got the best deal possible, despite admitting they had considered recommending the government to seek a higher price from investors.
The advisers' work on the privatisation was "not up to standard" and did not get the best deal for taxpayers, the MPs said.
The report, backed unanimously by MPs from the three major parties, criticised Cable's attempts to secure long-term investors for Royal Mail by giving preferred status to certain fund managers. They singled out Cable's unwillingness to publish the list of investors until the day before he appeared at the committee and called for more information about those that had sold their stakes.
The government also ignored NAO recommendations about the treatment of three large London sites included in the sale. The NAO argued for their exclusion from the sale or for provisions for the government to get money back from their later sale. After the privatisation, the NAO said the government's £200m valuation of the sites underestimated their worth.
Bailey said: "This was the most significant privatisation in years. We believe that fear of failure and poor quality advice led to a significant underestimate of the demand for Royal Mail shares. The government's inclusion of Royal Mail's 'surplus' assets in the sell-off, without the prospect of clawing back future proceeds, may also mean the taxpayer losing out once again."
Billy Hayes, general secretary of the CWU, which opposed privatisation, said: "The Bis select committee's damning report published today shows the extent of the government's incompetence in the privatisation of Royal Mail. The only froth came from Vince Cable and Michael Fallon's allegations that threat of strike action from the CWU last summer affected the share price."
The committee accepted that the government succeeded in privatising Royal Mail in this parliament and giving employees a stake in the business but said it failed to achieve its third aim of securing value for money.
Afghanistan president Karzai backs UN plan to check votes for fraud.
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 01:04
14 June 2014 photo of Hamid Karzai speaking in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photograph: Ahmad Nazar/AP
Afghanistan's president Hamid Karzai has thrown his support behind a UN plan to audit 3.5 million ballots for fraud, equivalent to nearly half the votes cast in the country's disputed presidential poll, his spokesman said.
The decision came hours before US secretary of state John Kerry flew in to Kabul for a last-ditch effort to defuse Afghanistan's rapidly escalating political crisis and help restart the stalled election process.
"The Afghan government backs this proposal," said Karzai's spokesman Aimal Faizi, adding that it would cover 8,000 polling stations and some 43% of all votes cast.
"From the beginning the president's position was that this should be a purely Afghan process but we are not in an ideal situation, there are problems and we should find '... a responsible solution."
Preliminary results from the 14 June run-off poll put former World Bank technocrat Ashraf Ghani more than a million votes in the lead, but even election organisers warned that no winner could be declared until more ballots were thoroughly scanned for fraud.
The trailing candidate, former mujahideen doctor Abdullah Abdullah, has accused Ghani of industrial-scale cheating. After the first official figures were released his backers called for a parallel government, warned of unrest and tore down posters of Karzai who they accuse of colluding in fraud.
The US responded with a stern warning that vital security and government aid will stop if Afghanistan abandons the democratic process, and hours later Abdullah told his supporters he needed time to push for more fraud checks.
Among the ballots he wants scanned are those from polling stations with unusually high ratios of female voters for the highly conservative country, or where almost all ballot papers have been used up. His demands for wider checks have been echoed by some observers, including a European Union monitoring mission.
Both candidates and the election organisers, along with the official vote watchdog, will need to agree to the UN-drafted plan, but Ghani has already said he backs a wide audit and would reject any of his votes that are found to be fraudulent.
The sweep of the proposed audit will likely make it hard for Abdullah to refuse, particularly as he had originally asked the UN to mediate, in defiance of Karzai's insistence for several years that foreigners should play no role in the vote.
Kerry has form for helping Afghanistan sort through thorny election disputes. In 2009 he spent hours meeting with Karzai to resolve a similar stand-off about fraud.
Karzai's opponent then was also Abdullah, but there is a sense that this year's dispute may be harder to resolve, as Abdullah has spent five years crafting his campaign and felt victory was within reach after coming out of the first round of voting far ahead of Ghani.
The final results are due to be announced on 24 July and a new president inaugurated on 2 August, and Karzai is insistent about sticking to that schedule. The political uncertainly lingering over the country for months now has paralysed the economy and put long-term Western security support at risk, both pressures that fragile Afghanistan can ill afford.
"The president has given the date (for the inauguration) and it has to be respected," Karzai's spokesman said. "The president has no willingness to stay in power more than the period required."
However if the audit goes ahead, its hard to see how those deadlines can be met, simply because of the time required to sift through so many voting papers. Tentative UN estimates suggest it is likely to take at least two weeks even if work starts soon and audit teams are well resourced.
Exclusive: White House Issues Ultimatum to Afghanistan to Resolve Presidential Crisis or Obama Will Institute 'Massive Immediate Withdrawal' From Country | TheBlaze.com
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 22:19
The White House has given an ultimatum to Afghanistan's rival presidential candidates: Resolve the dispute over last month's election, or the United States will move forward with plans for immediate withdrawal of all U.S. forces from the war-torn nation by the end of the summer, sources told TheBlaze.
President Barack Obama has tasked Secretary of State John Kerry with resolving the election crisis after failed attempts by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) to yield any resolution between former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and his opponent, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, a U.S. military official and a U.S. government official told TheBlaze
In this Monday, Aug. 27, 2012 photo provided by the U.S. Army, U.S. soldiers from the 4th Brigade, 82nd Airborne arrive to a yard where they will turn in their vehicles and equipment as part of drawdown of 23,000 U.S. troops by Sept. 30, 2012 at the Kandahar Air Field south of Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP)
Both candidates have raised allegations of extensive election fraud, but Levin's failure to resolve the crisis ''is why Kerry arrived hastily'' in Afghanistan early Friday, the U.S. official said.
''Kerry was given specific direction that if he did not resolve the election matter this weekend then we not wait any longer,'' the military official said. ''It would then be drop everything, massive immediate withdrawal of all personnel. If we just pull everyone out and let it collapse to infighting between regional warlords and ethnic-driven governance, then what was the point of the surge or the last six years when our casualties skyrocketed? We could have done that in 2009, and saved thousands of troops and billions of dollars.''
');document.write('(function(e,t){if(t._ym===void 0){t._ym="";var m=e.createElement("script");m.type="text/javascript",m.async=!0,m.src="//static.yieldmo.com/ym.m4.js",(e.getElementsByTagName("head")[0]||e.getElementsByTagName("body")[0]).appendChild(m)}else t._ym instanceof String||void 0===t._ym.chkPls||t._ym.chkPls()})(document,window);' +'ipt>');} else {document.write('');try{TBZ.blzDFPAds.registerAdPos("ad-300x250-instory-1","In-Content_300x250_102");}catch(e){ jQuery.tbzWarning(e); }}//-->Kerry told reporters Friday that the United States is ''in a very, very critical moment for Afghanistan.''
''Legitimacy hangs in the balance. The future potential of the transition hangs in the balance. So we've a lot of work to do,'' Kerry said, according to the Associated Press.
A complete withdrawal after 13 years of war is a contingency plan the Obama administration would like to avoid, but one it will move forward with if either of the candidates declares himself the winner and tries to establish a government before the United Nations conducts an investigation into the fraud allegations, the government official said.
Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah, center, shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the start of a meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Friday, July 11, 2014. Kerry sought Friday to broker a deal between Afghanistan's rival presidential candidates as a bitter dispute over last month's runoff election risked spiraling out of control. (AP Photo/Jim Bourg, Pool)
State Department officials in Washington, D.C., said they could not comment on the circumstances surrounding the negotiations.
White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden told TheBlaze she would not comment on conjecture about withdrawing forces or on directives from the White House. She said Kerry is in Kabul meeting with the U.N. and with Abdullah, Ghani and outgoing leader, President Hamid Karzai, to resolve the crisis.
''The secretary is reinforcing the president's message that we expect a thorough review of all reasonable allegations of fraud and that we will not accept any extra-constitutional measures to resolve the situation, which would result in the end of U.S. assistance to Afghanistan,'' Hayden said. ''All parties should avoid steps that undermine Afghan national unity and should come together to work toward a resolution that represents the will of the Afghan people and produces a government that can bring Afghanistan together.''
For the White House, the failure to resolve the crisis in Afghanistan and the continuing disintegration of Iraq at the hands of Islamic extremists would leave Obama with a failed legacy regarding the wars he inherited from the Bush administration, said James Carafano, a senior defense analyst with the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank.
''If Obama winds up pulling the plug on Afghanistan to avoid another Alamo, there will be a lot of 'I told you so' from critics of the administration's policies,'' Carafano said. ''Obama's surge was a half-measure that many warned wouldn't be decisive. Setting hard timelines for withdrawal emboldened the Taliban and weakened support for U.S. policies in Afghanistan. The draw-down was premature and put all our remaining forces at risk. They played to lose. So this doesn't come as much of a surprise.''
Afghan election commission workers carry plastic ballot boxes at a warehouse in Jalalabad, June 12, 2014. (Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Image
Obama first announced in December 2009 the U.S.' intent to withdraw, a decision for which he was sharply criticized by many U.S. lawmakers, who said he was emboldening the Taliban to simply hold tight and recruit more fighters.
The White House, however, defended the decision to announce the drawdown of the majority of U.S. troops from the region by 2011, saying it needed leverage to push Karzai's government to take more responsibility for its own nation and internal strife.
''The administration could well claim it's doing it's best in a bad situation, but it will gloss over as it did in Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Iraq, and on the U.S.-Mexico border that the bad situation was in large part the result of really bad policy decisions in Washington that came out of the Oval Office,'' Carafano said.
For the United States, the political crisis threatens to undermine more than a decade of efforts to leave behind a strong Afghanistan capable of containing the Taliban insurgency and preventing extremist groups like Al Qaeda from using the territory to endanger the American homeland.
Abdullah nor Ghani could be immediately reached for comment.
''A transitional government must be formed for one year and the independent electoral commission must be also reformed,'' Mohammad Mohaqeq, one of Abdullah's vice presidential candidates, told Bloomberg News. He was referring to a scenario where Abdullah rejects the final results. ''And then a re-election should take place nationwide.''
The standoff threatens to delay an agreement that would allow U.S. troops to remain in the country after this year and bring in aid money needed to fund soldiers fighting a Taliban insurgency. Kerry and Obama have warned that any attempt to form a government outside the constitutional process would result in the U.S. cutting off economic and military aid.
Abdullah told this reporter in 2011 that the ''Islamic Republic of Afghanistan represents the majority will in this Muslim country '-- the will of the people in voting, general elections and many things which come with it.''
He warned that ''the Islamic Emirate, which is the Taliban, want an emir. They have no boundaries, the whole world is their territory and anybody who believes in this ideology is a Talib, whether it is an American Talib, British Talib, all of them are called Taliban and the terrorists from all around the world are part of it. So the battle is between the two.''
According to the AP, Kerry said the United States wants a process by which the rightful leader to emerge is viewed as legitimate, but admitted, ''I can't tell you that's an automatic at this point.''
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US struggles to resolve Afghan election crisis
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 22:19
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) '-- The United States struggled Friday to find a path out of a presidential election crisis in Afghanistan that has jeopardized chances for a democratic transfer of power, a central plank of President Barack Obama's strategy to leave behind a stable state after the withdrawal of most U.S. troops at year's end.
Secretary of State John Kerry held a series of back-to-back meetings in Kabul that went into the night, grappling for a plan acceptable to all that would allow the United Nations to audit extensive fraud allegations in last month's runoff vote.
Kerry met separately with the rival candidates, former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, and conferred twice each with current President Hamid Karzai and the U.N. chief in Afghanistan, Jan Kubis. A deal remained elusive, according to senior U.S. officials, though Kerry was to hold further discussions Saturday.
"We are in a very, very critical moment for Afghanistan," Kerry told reporters. "Legitimacy hangs in the balance. The future potential of the transition hangs in the balance."
The bitter dispute over who is Karzai's rightful successor has alarmed Afghanistan's U.S. and Western benefactors, creating a political crisis that risks undermining more than a decade of efforts to build an Afghan government capable of fighting the Taliban on its own and snuffing out terrorist groups like al-Qaida.
A prolonged crisis would have more immediate consequences for Afghanistan. If no process is established and both Ghani and Abdullah attempt to seize power, the government and security forces could split along ethnic and regional lines.
And the winner amid all the chaos could be the Taliban, whose battle against the government persists despite the United States spending hundreds of billions of dollars and losing more than 2,000 lives since invading the country after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Kerry's hastily arranged predawn arrival on Friday appeared to have succeeded in its most pressing objective: Getting both candidates to pull back from declarations of victory and quieting calls among Abdullah's supporters, powerful warlords included, for setting up a "parallel government."
The preliminary runoff results, released earlier this week against U.S. wishes, suggested a massive turnaround in favor of the onetime World Bank economist Ghani, who lagged significantly behind Abdullah in first-round voting.
Abdullah, a top leader of the Northern Alliance that battled the Taliban before the U.S.-led invasion in 2001, claims massive ballot-stuffing. He was runner-up to Karzai in a fraud-riddled 2009 presidential vote before he pulled out of that runoff, and many of his supporters see him being cheated for a second time.
Kerry said the United States isn't taking sides. Instead, it is focused on creating a process that ensures Afghanistan's next leader is viewed as legitimate. "But I can't tell you that's an automatic at this point," he said.
Senior U.S. officials said the talks focused on the technical particulars of a U.N. audit and hammering home the point that whoever proves the winner, the new government must bridge Afghanistan's many ethnic and regional divides.
However, one of the officials said only the "beginnings of conversations" had occurred and offered no prediction of any breakthrough. The officials briefed reporters on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to be quoted while the talks were ongoing.
In meetings with Kerry at the heavily fortified U.S. embassy Friday, Ghani and Abdullah spoke in similar tones.
"Our commitment is to ensure that the election process has the integrity and the legitimacy of Afghanistan and the world," Ghani said, voicing support for the fullest audit possible.
"The future of our achievement depends on the success of the democratic process," Abdullah said, standing alongside Kerry in the same room three hours later.
Behind the scenes, however, the candidates differed on the fine points of the U.N.'s audit plan. Abdullah, for example, pushed for more voting districts to be examined. Other questions centered on who would be included among the investigators, where they'd travel and how they'd assess the level of fraud.
With Iraq wracked by insurgency, Afghanistan's post-election chaos is posing a new challenge to Obama's effort to leave behind two secure governments while ending America's long wars.
Both Ghani and Abdullah have vowed to sign a bilateral security pact with Washington, which says it needs the legal guarantees in order to leave behind some 10,000 boots on the ground in Afghanistan after most American troops pull out over the next five months.
If no clear leader emerges, the U.S. may have to bring home all its forces, an unwanted scenario that played out in Iraq just three years ago. Karzai has refused to sign the agreement, leaving it in the hands of his successor.
Obama spoke to each candidate this week, warning that any move outside the law to seize power would mean the end of U.S. financial aid to Afghanistan. Washington has significant additional leverage. If it were to cut back on its ties with Kabul, many European nations would soon follow.
Kerry urged patience from all sides. With Abdullah at his side, the top American diplomat said the preliminary results announced four days ago "are neither authoritative nor final, and no one should be stating a victory at this point in time."
United Nations News Centre - Afghanistan: UN proposes new audit plan to resolve stand-off over disputed election.
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 01:42
11 July 2014 '' With President Hamid Karzai's successor still undeclared, the United Nations in Afghanistan today proposed an additional audit plan that would take up to two weeks to complete, in an effort to help resolve the stand-off.
The UN Assistance Mission in the country (UNAMA) said the proposal is based on “extensive” consultations with the campaigns of both presidential candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, and was made at their request and the request of Afghan authorities.
“The United Nations has over the past days held numerous meetings with representatives of both Presidential campaigns to discuss measures to increase the integrity and credibility of the run-off,” UNAMA said in a statement.
If carried out, the new audit plan would lead to a review of 3.5 million ballots from 8,050 polling stations, the equivalent of 44 per cent of all votes from 35 per cent of all polling stations.
The Mission also suggested a randomly selected audit of 10 per cent of votes in each of the 34 provinces “to increase the transparency and confidence.”
The complete audit would take up to 14 days, UNAMA noted, potentially longer than the current electoral timeline requiring that the final results be announced around 22 July.
“UNAMA urges the IECC [Independent Electoral Complaints Commission] and the IEC [Independent Election Commission] to take up this proposal and consider expanding it further,” it said, adding that both commissions are expected to immediately start implementing the proposed audit with “the utmost impartiality and transparency” and conduct it in a “rigorous and expeditious manner.”
Among the specific proposals, UNAMA suggests auditing any polling station with more than 595 votes following the 14 June run-off, including those already audited by the IEC.
All female polling stations that were staffed by male workers, and all polling stations where either candidate received votes in a multiple of 50, are among other suggestions.
The plan was presented at a meeting convened by President Karzai yesterday, whose participants included the chairmen of the IECC and the IEC.
Iraq crisis: Isis jihadists 'seize Saddam Hussein's chemical weapons stockpile' - live - Telegraph
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 21:19
20.55 Buzzfeed has a little more on Obama's aides refusing to rule out drone strikes in Syria.
''Clearly we're focused on Iraq, that's where our ISR [Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance] resources have surged,'' the official told reporters on a conference call following President Obama's announcement that the United States will send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq, where ISIS has taken over major cities and looks set to wage a campaign for Baghdad. ''But the group ISIL operates broadly and we would not restrict our ability to take action that is necessary to protect the United States.''
20.25 The US State Department's Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications is tasked with pushing back against jihadist propaganda online (I wrote more about their efforts here).
They're up with a new English-language video detailing the tensions between al-Qaeda's core leadership in Pakistan and Isis in Iraq and Syria. And how the jihadists are sometimes turning their guns on eachother.
19.56 Obama's aides are still briefing the press and, interestingly, are not ruling out the possiblity that the US could launch drone strikes against Isis in Syria:
19.46 Chuck Hagel, the US defence secretary, has put out a statement on Iraq:
I support President Obama's decision to deploy U.S. military personnel to advise the Iraqi security forces. These special operators will assess the situation on the ground, help evaluate gaps in Iraqi security forces, and increase their capacity to counter the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. However, as the president has repeatedly made clear, Iraq's problems cannot be resolved through American action alone, or through military force alone.
19.33 Obama's aides are briefing reporters now that the President has finished his statement:
19.21 So a quick round up of the news from Obama's statement:
-The US is sending up to 300 military advisors to support the Iraqi military but Obama is adamant that US forces "will not be returning to combat in Iraq".
-American surveillance missions over Iraq have been stepped up but for now there will be no airstrikes
-Obama does not call for Maliki to step down but says "Iraqi leaders must rise above their differences and come together around a political plan for Iraq's future".
-John Kerry is heading to the Middle East and Europe to consult with allies
-Obama feels there is a "constructive role" for Iran to play in stablising its Arab neighbour but there doesn't seem to be any imminent prospect of US and Iran strategic coordination.
19.05 The crisis in Iraq has raised a tantalising question: can the US and Iran work together against the Sunni jihadists? Obama says there is a role for Tehran but only if it tries to support a unified Iraq, rather than tipping the scales in favour of its Shia allies.
Iran can play a constructive role if it's helping to send the same message to the Iraqi government that we are sending, which is that Iraq only holds together if it's inclusive and if the interests of Sunni, Shia and Kurd are all respected... If Iran is coming in simply as an armed force on behalf of the Shia then that probably worsens the situation and the prospect of a government formation that would actually be constructive over the long term.
Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard:
18.59 The President is pointedly refusing to say Maliki needs to go but says time is running out for Iraq's politicians to come together for the good of the country.
18.52 Obama left the door open to targeted strikes against Isis in the future but it sounds like nothing is happening imminently:
We're developing more information about potential targets associated with ISIL, and going forward, we will be prepared to take targeted and precise military action if and when we determine that the situation on the ground requires it. If we do, I will consult closely with Congress and leaders in Iraq and in the region. I want to emphasize, though, that the best and most effective response to a threat like ISIL will ultimately involve partnerships where local forces like Iraqis take the lead.
18.49 Here's the passage on what the US is prepared to do to support the Iraqi military. "Military advisors" is a loaded term in the US - conjuring up memories of the "advisors" who trickled into Vietnman as a harbinger of a larger war" - and Obama promises to be vigilant against "mission creep".
We're prepared to create joint operation centers in Baghdad and northern Iraq, to share intelligence and coordinate planning to confront the terrorist threat of ISIL. And through our new Counterterrorism Partnership Fund, we're prepared to work with Congress to provide additional equipment. We have had advisors in Iraq through our embassy, and we're prepared to send a small number of additional American military advisers -- up to 300 -- to assess how we can best train, advise and support Iraqi security forces going forward.
18.41 As well as the military advisors, Obama says he is dispatching John Kerry to Europe and the Middle East to coordinate with allies and is increasing US surveillance over Iraq: "This will give us a better understanding of what ISIL is doing".
He also had a coded message for Iran: what happens in Iraq is your problem too. As he put it, other countries in the region "have a vital interest in ensuring that Iraq doesn't descend into civil war".
18.39 Obama isn't explicit that Maliki needs to step down to make way for a unity government but he makes clear that the US has little confidence in him:
It's not the place for the US to choose Iraq's leaders but it's clear that only leaders who can govern with an inclusive agenda will truly bring the Iraqi people together.
18.36 Obama says he is sending up to 300 military advisors to support the Iraqi military as they battle against the waves of jihadists but, for now, there will be no airstrikes.
18.30 After his statement on Friday, Obama took a couple of questions from the press. Not clear if he will do the same today:
18.16 A reminder that while the world's focus is on Iraq, the situation in Syria remains extremely grim:
A car bomb in Homs in central Syria on Thursday killed three people and wounded nine in a majority Alawite neighbourhood of the city, state television said.
"Three people were killed and nine wounded, including women and children, in a terrorist car bomb attack in the Akrameh district of Homs," the broadcaster said.
The attack is the second of its kind in a week, and comes just over a month after rebels lost their bastion in the heart of Homs city to regime control.
18.15 Obama is now running behind on his already-rescheduled statement.
18.12 Today's debate about Iraq has many in Washington re-opening old wounds about the run-up to the war in 2002/03. Dick Cheney has made a re-appearance to attack Obama and defend the Bush administration's record. Here he is writing in the Wall Street Journal.
Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many. Too many times to count, Mr. Obama has told us he is "ending" the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan'--as though wishing made it so. His rhetoric has now come crashing into reality. Watching the black-clad ISIS jihadists take territory once secured by American blood is final proof, if any were needed, that America's enemies are not "decimated." They are emboldened and on the march.
His comments have riled many, who blame him for many of Iraq's current problems.
Here he is being confronted on his record by Fox News.
17.56 So who is Obama meeting with? The White House has released a list of 15 participants, some attending by video conference. They include figures from the military, intelligence and diplomatic branches of the US government:
-Joe Biden, the vice president
-John Kerry, the secretary of state, and Chuck Hagel, the secretary of defence
-John Brennan, the head of the CIA, and James Clapper, the director of national intelligence
-Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations
-General Martin Dempsey, the chair of the joint chiefs of staff
-Assorted national security and legal aides
The meeting is taking place in the White House situation room. Here's a 2010 picture:
17.46 Obama's statement is now coming at 18.15 UK time.
17.40 Obama's meeting with his national security team is running over and so we're still waiting for his statement on Iraq from the White House.
The expectation is that he's going to announce 100 US commandos are heading to Baghdad to train and advise the Iraqi military but is not going to order airstrikes.
Here's the AP:
President Barack Obama is also expected to announce Thursday that he is deploying about 100 Green Berets to Iraq to help train and advise Iraqi forces, according to a U.S. official. However, Obama does not plan to announce immediate U.S. airstrikes on Iraq, which have increasingly become less of a focus of deliberations in recent days.
The real question is how much public pressure will he apply to Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq's divisive Shia prime minister, to step down and make way for a unity government?
17.25David Cameron is being asked about the Iraq crisis, and British Isis fighters in his press conference with the Nato Secretary-General in London:
What matters is the approach taken by Iraq's leaders whoever they are, and that they govern for the whole of the country. They must govern in a non-sectarian way...
There is no doubt the government of Iraq has not given enough attention to healing sectarian divides. A combination of poor governance, ungoverned space, encouragement of extremism...
I don't pick Iraq's leaders... what matters is that whoever they are now or in the future runs it in a non-sectarian way...
We are taking this [British Isis fighters] extremely seriously - there have already been 65 Syria-related arrests. Fourteen people had their passports taken away.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Nato Secretary-General, adds:
What we need in Iraq is a mmuch more inclusive government... which includes both Sunni and Shia
17.18 Ahead of Obama's statement on Iraq, due in just over 10 minutes, catch up with today's events on the ground with our latest Iraq crisis map. Click on the map to enlarge.
You can catch up on previous days' maps and plot how the conflict has shifted by visiting our map archive: Iraq crisis map: how the Isis front line has shifted
17.15 In separate Iraq news, John Kerry has said the Obama administration continues to rely on diplomacy to halt hostilities in Iraw because "enough American troops have already fought and died there".
''The test is in really these next few days and weeks, and we are going to do everything in our power to follow through and try to get the job done through diplomacy, if we can, in order to honor their sacrifice,'' he said in an interview with NBC's Today programme.
John Kerry, US Secretary of State (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
17.09 Chemical weapons produced at the Al Muthanna facility, which Isis today seized, are believed to have included mustard gas, Sarin, Tabun, and VX.
Here is the CIA's file on the complex.
Stockpiles of chemical munitions are still stored there. The most dangerous ones have been declared to the UN and are sealed in bunkers.
Although declared, the bunkers contents have yet to be confirmed.
These areas of the compound pose a hazard to civilians and potential blackmarketers.
Numerous bunkers, including eleven cruciform shaped bunkers were exploited. Some of the bunkers were empty. Some of the bunkers contained large quantitiesof unfilled chemical munitions, conventional munitions, one-ton shipping containers, old disabled production equipment (presumed disabled under UNSCOM supervision), and other hazardous industrial chemicals.
17.05 The Chemical Weapons Convention, which Iraq joined in 2009, requires it to dispose of the material at Al Muthanna, even though it was declared unusable and "does not pose a significant security risk"
However, the UK goverment has acknowledgeded that the nature of the material contained in the two bunkers would make the destruction process difficult and technically challenging.
Under an agreement signed in Baghdad in July 2012, experts from the MOD's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) were due to provide training to Iraqi personnel in order to help them to dispose of the chemical munitions and agents.
The Al Mutannah chemical weapons complex (CIA)
16.52 The remaining chemical weapons from Saddam Hussein's regime are stored in two sealed bunkers, both located at the Al Muthanna Chemicals Weapons Complex, a large site in the western desert some 80km north west of Baghdad.
This was the principal manufacturing plant for both chemical agents and munitions during Saddam Hussein's rule.
Thousands of tonnes of chemical weapons were produced, stored and deployed by the Saddam Hussein regime. Iraq used these weapons during the Iran - Iraq War (1980 to 1988) and against the Kurds in Halabja in 1988.
16.32 Isis jihadists have seized a chemical weapons facility built by Saddam Hussein which contains a stockpile of old weapons, State Department officials have told the Wall Street Journal:
U.S. officials don't believe the Sunni militants will be able to create a functional chemical weapon from the material. The weapons stockpiled at the Al Muthanna complex are old, contaminated and hard to move, officials said.
Nonetheless, the capture of the chemical-weapon stockpile by the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, known as ISIS or ISIL, the militant group that is seizing territory in the country, has grabbed the attention of the U.S.
"We remain concerned about the seizure of any military site by the ISIL," Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said in a written statement. "We do not believe that the complex contains CW materials of military value and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to safely move the materials."
Saddam Hussein (EPA)
16.21 Amid speculation Obama may be preparing to apply more pressure on Iraqi PM Maliki to either step down or form a unity government, Colin Freeman reports from the streets of Baghdad, where anti-Maliki sentiment is tangible across the city:
The calls for Mr Maliki to go are echoed on the streets of the capital, Baghdad, where the period of relative stability that he was credited with between 2008 and 2010 is now just a distant memory. While Iraqis habitually lay the blame for their woes at the political class in general, Mr Maliki in particular has been accused of sliding the country back towards sectarianism.
Omar Ali, 32, a shopkeeper in the Sunni neighbourhood of al Adel, said: "Maliki should have gone a long time ago, before he took us into this mess with Isis - it is his fault that the Sunni have turned to Isis."
But there were also calls for him to go from politicians in other Shia blocs in his governing State of Law coalition.
Ameer al-Kenani, deputy head of the legal committee of the Ahrar (Freedom) bloc, formed by the Shia cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr, told The Telegraph: "We expected such an incident as this one with Isis, as a result of the ongoing political crisis that Iraq has suffered over the last three years.
"We don't think Mr Maliki should continue in office, as we believe he is part of the crisis, not the solution."
16.09 A US official says Obama is expected to announce the deployment of about 100 special operations forces to Iraq to help train and advise the Iraqi forces.
The official insisted on anonymity because this person was not authorized to publicly discuss the plan ahead of Obama's announcement.
Al-Qaeda inspired militants stand with captured Iraqi Army Humvee at a checkpoint belonging to Iraqi Army outside Beiji refinery (AP)
15.55 President Obama is due to make a statement on Iraq at 5.30pm UK time.
The usual daily White House briefing has been cancelled.
15.50 More strong words from the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the UK, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud, writing exclusively in tomorrow's Telegraph:
The call by the Iraqi Foreign Minister, to President Obama and the US government to launch airstrikes against the ISIS rebels in Iraq is beyond our comprehension.
An air strike will not just eliminate extremists '' who we do not support '' but will effectively sign the death warrant of many innocent Iraqi citizens, innocent families trapped and terrified by this crisis.
This request to President Obama is a madness, it reveals a government who no longer sees clearly and no longer cares about the people it has been appointed to care for.
The people of Iraq, of all and any faith and denomination, like all people in all countries of the world, look to their government to provide them with the peace and security they need and deserve.
The current Iraqi government is dramatically failing in meeting that objective.
Kurdish Peshmerga forces drive thorough the town of Sinjar, Iraq, near the border with Syria (SAM TARLING)
15.30 The United States is flying F-18 attack aircraft launched from the carrier USS George H.W. Bush on missions over Iraq to conduct surveillance of insurgents who have seized part of the country, a U.S. official told Reuters on Thursday.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the F-18s were being flown from the carrier, which was ordered into the Gulf several days ago, because it is sovereign U.S. territory and can deploy tanker refueling planes if needed.
General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers on Wednesday the United States has been carrying out manned and unmanned intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions over Iraq and was devoting a number of planes and Navy ships to the effort.
15.15 Isis has widely been reported as the world's richest terrorist organisation following its seizure of money and gold from Mosul banks.
The jihadists are now reported to have stolen $429m from banks in Mosul.
14.53 Iran's Supreme Leader warns on Twitter that Isis is serving the interests of US in the Middle East, writes Damien McElroy.
Iran's Supreme Leader has signalled his intense distrust of any proposed cooperation with US to resolve the Iraq situation by accusing Washington of sowing the seeds of division between the country's sects.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei used a Twitter account associated with his office to accuse Isis and other Sunni extremists of wanting to bring about a war in the Muslim world.
The divisions created by Isis were serving the purposes of the "arrogant powers" - Iranian language that refers to the US.
14.49 Isis appears to have a new weapon in its armoury - taxi drivers. Colin Freeman reports:
According to a Baghdad military spokesman who has just popped up on Iraqi television, the Isis militants are using taxi drivers to spread false rumours about the success of their campaign.
Having spent a fair amount of time in the company of Iraqi taxi drivers, I can testify that that they share their British counterparts' status as being the fount of all knowledge, so there might bo some substance to this story. After all, Isis's Twitter account has been suspended, so perhaps this is them reverting to much older forms of communication.
14.37 The breakdown of order in northern Iraq has given US Congress cause for concern over the planned withdrawal from Afghanistan.
"There's no guarantee [Afghanistan would not deteriorate]," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told a Senate panel on Wednesday.
"It is up to the people of Afghanistan to make these decisions, their military, their new leadership that will be coming in as a result of their new government."
This comes despite Afghan president Hamid Karzai dismissing idea of Iraq-style al-Qaeda comeback in Afghanistan in an interview yesterday, citing his good relationship with the Taliban.
Hamid Karzai (REX)
14.20 The European Union on has pledged an extra five million euros to help the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis displaced by a jihadist offensive.
"This fresh wave of violence has terrible consequences for vulnerable children, women and men", said the EU's Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Kristalina Georgieva, announcing funding that will bring total EU humanitarian assistance for 2014 to 12 million euros.
13.55 A British extremist fighting in Iraq has urged Muslims in the UK to avenge the brutal murder of a Saudi Arabian student in Essex, reports Oliver Duggan.
Nahid Almanea, 31, was stabbed to death on Tuesday in a "frenzied" attack that is being considered as a "targeted" assault on her religious identity.
A British member of Isis, the fanatical Islamic force leading an insurgency in Iraq, has subsequently said Muslims in the UK should "take up a knife and kill as they did in Colchester".
Abu Rashash Britani, who has previously said he would bring Isis' brand of bloody attacks to Britian, tweeted: "These kuffar [non-Muslims] getting out of hand, dare they touch a #Muslimah.
"I call upon any brother to take up a knife and kill as they did #colchester."
He added: "#colchester attack is cowardly act. At least when our noble brothers, killers of #leerigby did so they killed a soldier not a civilian.
"I pray a revenge attack takes place in #uk against those enemies of #Islam n #Muslims."
13.35 Qassim Atta, a spokesman for Iraqi military, says 70 'terrorists' have been killed in the government forces' operation to reclaim Beiji oil refinery.
Earlier today there were witness reports that black al-Qaeda-style banners had been unfurled over the refinery, but fighting has been ongoing in a sporadic manner since Tuesday, with both sides claiming victory at different times.
13.20 Iraqi prime minister Maliki has said that 59 officers will now face court martial for failing to defend northern Iraq against Isis.
This follows the arrest yesterday of four top generals over the fall of Mosul last week.
13.05 The full Saudi Arabia ambassador's piece warning Britain and the US not to meddle in Iraq is now live here:
Saudi Arabia: 'This is Iraq's problem and they must sort it out themselves'
Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud also said his country has been "alarmed" by suggestions made by Iraqi PM Malaki and some Western commentators that in some ways we in Saudi Arabia support the Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham (Isis):
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia wishes to see the defeat and destruction of all al-Qaeda networks and of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham operating in Iraq. Saudi Arabia does not provide either moral or financial support to Isis or any terrorist networks. Any suggestion to the contrary, is a malicious falsehood.
We do not and we will not support violence or extremism in any form, anywhere by anyone. At all times we seek and strive for a peaceful coexistence between all people both within our country and with our region and in the wider world community.
12.50 Two interesting developments in Iraq reported by my colleague in Baghdad Colin Freeman, who has reports of a truce at the Baiji oil refinery and growing sectarian unrest over weapons seizures in the Sunni areas of the capital:
Iraq's al-Sharqiya TV is reporting that ceasefire has been organised between Isis forces and government troops fighting around the oil refinery at Beiji, so that some 250 foreign workers can leave. The truce was organised by local tribal chiefs.
The government has been accused of taking weapons away from residents of Sunni neighbourhoods in Baghdad.
Ever since the fall of Saddam, Iraq has been awash with weapons, and to this day, every Iraqi household is permitted to keep one Kalashnikov at home for self-defence. However, a Sunni friend of mine claims that secturity forces have been confiscating them during raids or operations in Sunni neighbourhoods. As a result, he says, his neighbourhood is now defenceless against both Isis and the government.
12.25 Saudi Arabia is increasingly concerned that a US intervention against Isis will end up boosting Iran's influence in Iraq, according to Jonathan Eyal, the director of the Royal United Services Institute.
The worst scenario for Saudi Arabia in Iraq is that the West undertakes airstrikes against Isis and ends up making common cause with Iran in Iraq.
12.10 Britain and the US must not meddle in Iraq, Saudi Arabia has warned.
Writing exclusively in the Telegraph, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf al-Saud - Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the UK - said the crisis in Saudi Arabia's northern neighbour should be sorted out between Iraqis alone as it was a product of the sectarian divisions in Iraq.
We oppose all foreign intervention and interference. There must be no meddling in Iraq's internal affairs, not by us or by the US, the UK or by any other government. This is Iraq's problem and they must sort it out themselves
Any government that meddles in Iraq's affairs runs the risk of escalating the situation, creating greater mistrust between the people of Iraq '' both Sunni and Shia.
12.00 As both side continue to claim victory in the battle for Baiji's enormous oil refinery, one fact that is clear is that the fighting has done serious damage to the facility.
This satellite photograph shows part of the refinery on fire, with black smoke billowing out:
Satellite image of Baiji oil refinery after Isis attack (LANDSAT/NASA/ORBITAL HORIZON)
11.29 Photographs have emerged on social media which appear to show Isis jihadists burning a huge pile of cigarettes, which are fordbidden under the strict Sharia law being imposed by militants on captured territory:
Isis fighter burning cigarettes, forbidden by Sharia law
11.03 Kurdish intelligence chief Lahor Talabani has added his voice to growing fears that British Isis fighters will attack the UK on their return:
10.53 Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has warned that US air strikes on militants in Iraq could cause a high number of civilian deaths.
He said today that Washington did not view such a strategy favourably
However, Iraqi government spokesman Zuhair al-Nahar said:
Targeted airstrikes against centres of these terrorists is very effective. Targeted airstrikes against their convoys, their supply lines, are absolutely vital.
There is always collateral damage in war, but that can be minimised by specific targeting.
This will allow the Iraqi army and the Iraqi volunteers and the tribes to take the initiative to defeat these terrorists, rather than [allowing them to get] a permanent grip on Iraq which will be used as a base for this cancerous growth of terrorism to spread throughout the whole area.
American helicopter on aircraft carrier in Arabian Gulf (US NAVY/AFP/GETTY)
10.40 The Iraqi government has likened Isis's rule over vast swathes of the north of Iraq to the Nazi occupation of Europe.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Iraqi PM spokesman Zuhair al-Nahar said:
This is a catastrophe of unprecedented scale.
We are having a similar situation to Rwanda, where there are going to be genocide and we are having mass killings already. This is similar to the Nazi occupation of Europe.
We'd just had an election where Mr Maliki had three times more votes than his nearest rival - that [whether Maliki should stand down] is something for the Iraqi people and the Iraqi politicians to decide
Our focus needs to be on urgent action, air support, logistic support, counter-intelligence support, to defeat these terrorists who are posing a real danger to the stability of Iraq and to the whole region.
As the prime minister of the UK said yesterday that is something that will affect the UK
10.25 As the security situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate, global risk consultancy Drum Cussac is exploring options for evacuating staff on behalf of its clients from Kurdistan.
"We have the option of evacuating people across the border to Turkey," said Chris Job MBE, Drum Cussac's Vice President of Operations.
"If a road movement is not possible then we could land a chartered jet at one of the airports in Kurdistan. We are looking at all the options available to us to safeguard our clients in this rapidly-evolving situation."
According to its website, Drum Cussac has a number of clients working in Northern Iraq with multiple staff in various locations close to the worst of the fighting between government forces and the Islamist ISIS rebels.
09.50 Militants have hung their black banners at Iraq's largest oil refinery, according to witness reports.
However, security officials are claiming that the government still holds it.
The Iraqi witness who drove past the Beiji refinery, some 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of Baghdad, said militants also manned checkpoints around it. He said a huge fire in one of its tankers was raging at the time.
The witness spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because he feared reprisals.
Contrarily, a security official in Baghdad said the government force protecting the refinery was still inside on Thursday and that they were in regular contact with officials in Baghdad.
He said helicopter gunships were flying over the facility to stop any advance by the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant inside the refinery.
09.28 In further - albeit slightly more veiled - criticism of Iraq's PM Nouri al-Maliki, top-ranking military officer General Martin Dempsey said:
There is very little that could have been done to overcome the degree to which the government of Iraq had failed its people
An F-18 fighter jet launches off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Arabian Gulf
09.20 The Wall Street Journalhas spoken to several top US officials who believe Iraq's embattled prime minister Nouri al-Maliki should be compelled to step down by the Obama administration in return for air strikes on Isis.
Here are a few of the statements the newspaper has reported:
Sen. John McCain: My concern is whether we're going to do anything besides send a few extra Marines, which won't do anything... [the US should send emissaries to Baghdad to] work with Maliki and tell him he's got to step down and have a coalition government."
Senate Intelligence Chairman Dianne Feinstein:The Maliki government, candidly, has got to go if you want any reconciliation
White House spokesman Jay Carney: Whether it's the current prime minister or another leader, we will aggressively attempt to impress upon that leader the absolute necessity of rejecting sectarian governance.
09.05 On the ground in Iraq, the battle for control of the country's biggest refinery rages on between Iraqi government forces and Sunni jihadists.
The sprawling Baiji refinery, 200 km (130 miles) north of the capital near Tikrit, was a battlefield as troops loyal to the Shia-led government held off Isis insurgents who stormed the perimeter yesterday, threatening national energy supplies.
250-300 remaining staff were evacuated early this morning after military helicopters attacked militant positions overnight, one worker told Reuters.
09.00 US vice president Joe Biden last night called on Iraq's leaders to govern in an inclusive manner, promote stability and unity among Iraq's population as they seek to combat Isis militants.
The call specifically urged Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to seek national unity, coming amid reported calls from the US Right for Maliki's resignation to be a stipulation for the US launching air strikes on Isis.
Read our full report.
08.30 Here's our leader in response to David Cameron's comments yesterday that battle-hardened Isis fighters are a major threat to attack Britain:
The police and the security services are fully aware of the threat. Indeed, dozens of Syria-related arrests have been made, passports confiscated, citizenship rights removed and legislation is now being prepared to make the planning of terrorist attacks overseas illegal here in the UK.
This needs to be put on to the Statute Book as speedily as possible.
There is also an important role for the Muslim community in Britain to play. The police have already sought the co-operation of Muslim women, to try to dissuade or inform on men who intend to fight. But religious leaders also need to be involved, by urging would-be jihadis to stay at home and counter the call to arms they may hear on the internet.
As Mr Cameron told MPs, we cannot be indifferent to what is happening in Syria and Iraq, imagining it to be a self-contained, faraway war between Muslims. Without the utmost vigilance, it has the potential to harm us as well.
08.00 Colin Freeman is in Baghdad for the Telegraph and has this update on the US air strike request:
The Iraqi government formally asked America on Wednesday to conduct airstrikes against ISIS. But even if America agrees - which isn't a given - there's no certainty as to how effective they will be.
For a start, they require a detailed intelligence picture to be built up first, which could take some time. As General Martin Dempsey, the chair of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the US Senate on Wednesday: ''It's not as easy as looking at an iPhone video of a convoy (of Isis fighters) and then immediately striking''.
As he points out, Isis will not always be obligingly driving down some empty desert highway in a huge convoy waving their flags. Instead, they will be blending in among Iraq's civilian population, which makes the risks of innocent casualties in any airstrike much higher.
Remember, also, that the US had all manner of warplanes and drones at its disposal when it was actually occupying Iraq, not to mention more than 100,000 troops, and it still didn't stop the insurgents holding ground.
Read more: Iraq calls publicly for America to bomb Isis 'terrorists'
Peshmerga fighters 500m from the Isis fighters at the Tal Afar frontline (CAROL MALOUF)
07.30 Good morning and welcome to today's coverage of the crisis in Iraq.
Interesting developments overnight in the United States, where Obama has met with top officials from both parties in the Oval Office to discuss options for responding to Iraq's request for air strikes.
Among those was Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who told reporters Obama has "indicated he didn't feel he had any need for authority from us for steps that he might take".
The prospect of Obama launching attacks on Isis without going through Congress - which he insisted on doing prior to aborted action on Syria - could lead to clashes in Washington.
Catch up on yesterday's coverage of the Iraq crisis here.
Who funds the ISIS Islamist militants in Iraq?
ISIL has added a lucrative new business line in Iraq: oil smuggling
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 23:32
ISIL, the business-minded Islamic army threatening Baghdad, has established a new flow of revenue since seizing a large swath of Iraq'--an estimated $1 million-a-day oil smuggling business.
According to an investigation by Iraq Oil Report (paywall), ISIL rapidly captured one and possibly two oilfields south of Kirkuk soon after storming Iraq a month ago. The fields, in the Hamrin mountains, produce relatively small volumes'--just 16,000-20,000 barrels a day. But that earns a tidy income even at the knock-down local black market rate of about $55 a barrel, according to the report.
The description of ISIL's smuggling route into Kurdistan continues the narrative of a ruthlessly managed, financially savvy rebel group that has emerged over the last year first in Syria and now Iraq. That includes control over Syria's oilfields'--on July 3, ISIL captured al-Omar, the country's largest oilfield'--plus some $420 million in Iraqi dinars snatched up in the June capture of Mosul. In all, ISIL may have a cache of some $1.3 billion.
If you look at the capture of Iraqi territory as a business expansion, the prudent thing for ISIL to do is to establish new lines of revenue to support its added expenses. This is what the Hamrin mountain oil-smuggling network looks like.
From the area controlled by ISIL, the oil is taken by smugglers in 160-barrel tanker trucks to Kurdistan, where it is refined in plants in Sulaimaniya and sold on from there. Kurdish authorities have begun to arrest drivers carrying the smuggled oil but, with global prices at about $108 a barrel, there is an ample selling margin to incentivize people all along the route to go along.
Kurds threaten legal action against Iraq oil buyers
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 23:35
ARBIL IraqWed Jul 9, 2014 4:58pm EDT
TweetShare thisEmailPrintA worker walks on an oil pipeline at Khurmala oilfield on the outskirts of the city of Arbil, in Iraq's Kurdistan region December 4, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/Stringer
ARBIL Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi Kurdistan threatened on Wednesday to take legal action against buyers of the country's oil unless the autonomous region is paid its share of revenue from any sales.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said buyers of Iraqi oil were complicit in violating the constitution because the Baghdad central government has cut the region's 17 percent entitlement of the national budget.
It is unclear whether the threat will influence major buyers of Iraqi crude, but it nevertheless illustrates the KRG's increasingly assertive stance in a long-running dispute with Baghdad over control of its natural resources.
Baghdad has slashed the KRG's budget since January as punishment for the region's moves to export and sell oil directly on international markets, also threatening legal action against buyers of Kurdish crude.
"The KRG has the right, in circumstances where the Iraqi federal government is not sharing revenues in accordance with the Iraqi constitution, to take such action as the KRG considers appropriate to obtain all entitlements the Iraqi federal government is required to pay to the KRG under the Iraqi constitution," said a statement from the region's Ministry of Natural Resources in Arbil.
"Buyers who fail to make such payments to the KRG will be facilitating the Iraqi federal government's breach of the KRG's rights and passing to the Iraqi federal government monies that rightfully belong to the KRG."
Last week, the Kurds threatened to counter-sue the federal government for trying to block its sales in a strongly worded letter that reflects growing confidence as Baghdad struggles to counter insurgents that have overrun swathes of the country.
The dispute has intensified since the Kurds began exporting oil via a new pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan earlier this year.
The autonomous region has been exporting around 125,000 barrels per day to Ceyhan and plans to double that number, but has so far struggled to sell some of the tankers as potential buyers have come under pressure from Baghdad.
Of the four tankers that have loaded the KRG's pipeline oil since May, only one has successfully delivered into an Israeli port after executing a ship-to-ship transfer in the Mediterranean. The buyer has not yet been revealed.
The destinations of the other 3 remain unclear. One has been sitting off the coast of Morocco, another is shown by tanker tracking data to have sailed through the Suez Canal this week with its destination listed as South Africa. Details about the third tanker are not known.
(Reporting by Isabel Coles and David Sheppard; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
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EnergyWire from Sir Atomic Rod-NATURAL GAS: Low stockpiles stir jitters over future price shocks (Wednesday, July 9, 2014)
NATURAL GAS: Low stockpiles stir jitters over future price shocks (Wednesday, July 9, 2014)
Saqib Rahim, E&E reporter
Watermelon. Hot dogs. Suntan lotion and swimming pools.
Those are just a few of the reasons not to think about winter right now -- let alone the recent winter that many are still trying to forget.
Even so, Robert Ineson's got winter on his mind.
Ineson, managing director for North American Natural Gas at IHS, says the last cold season took an unusually deep bite out of the country's natural gas storage. Unless Mother Nature is kinder this year, serious price spikes could be on the way.
"If you have a normal or a mild winter, you get by," he said. "But if it's a cold winter, [if] it's a winter anything like last winter, you have a pretty big risk that there's not enough supply to get to the end-users in the time that it needs to be there."
He didn't say it was likely, but he couldn't rule out weather as an X factor, either.
"In a really severe crisis, you'd see factories shut down, you'd see Wal-Marts and elementary schools close, that kind of thing, to make sure the lights stay on and people have heat in their homes," he said.
Ineson is hardly sour on the natural gas revolution. His firm, IHS, has been one of the strongest advocates that the United States has unlocked decades, or even more, in natural gas resources. Gas is plainly seizing new roles in power, industry and transportation, partly due to policy.
Nevertheless, Ineson's analysis raises questions as to whether, in the near term, the United States remains exposed to gas's mood swings. Despite large and growing supplies, brief imbalances in supply and demand continue to appear. And when they do, they work themselves out through price.
Myriad factors go into that price, and storage is just one of them. Traders and analysts closely watch the amount of gas that's squirreled away in the non-winter months in preparation for the cold season.
Banking on normal weather
Storage doesn't often take center stage. But it did in early 2012, when markets saw storage levels nearly maxed out by prodigious supplies of shale gas. With oversupply looming -- the possibility of gas with nowhere to go -- natural gas prices crashed below $2 per million British thermal units.
This year, the question is whether gas stocks can recover from the deep drawdowns of last winter.
The Energy Information Administration currently estimates the United States has 1.93 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of working gas in storage. That's nearly 26 percent less than the level a year ago, and it's 29 percent below the five-year average.
A course correction is underway. Market observers already see large, even record-setting, injection numbers. Most are forecasting 3.3 to 3.5 tcf in storage by the end of injection season.
That's less than average. But evidently, it's not enough to give the market shivers.
"The market seems to be shrugging it off," Ineson said. "The collective wisdom in the market is that they don't seem to be that concerned about it, because they think there are things that will offset that problem."
But he wonders if they might be banking on another thing: hope.
If the winter is normal, he said, they're probably right. Marcellus production looks set for a bump this fall, which will aid stores.
And within a certain price range, the system can react with all manner of "little market corrections," he said.
But in a genuinely frigid winter, Ineson warned, markets could be caught flat-footed.
Prices would fly to levels that mean some get gas, and others don't. At the front of the line: households and businesses. Toward the back: factories and power plants, which would face tough choices.
Erica Bowman, chief economist for America's Natural Gas Alliance, wasn't spooked by that scenario. She said drillers can jolt production quicker than ever -- and that prices will tell them if they need to.
Storage is replenishing rapidly, she said. If the industry sees a price signal, it can respond within weeks.
"I think we're looking really good, actually. Our pace is a lot stronger than what a lot of people expected," she said. "I'd say that you're going to have prices mediate any kind of storage issue."
Rapid response
Drillers have complex reasons for ramping production up or down. But overall, she said, the industry has dramatically cut the time it takes to drill a well.
"If there is a strong price movement and we have certain plays or holdings that we're pretty much ready to go on" -- and the permitting is done -- "then you can certainly start drilling," Bowman said.
The problem is infrastructure, especially in the Northeast, Bowman argued. It's a perfect storm of gas constraints: high population, cold weather, traffic on the pipes.
All it takes is a peak demand period, she said, to blow prices sky-high.
"If you had more pipelines, you would not be seeing those high prices," she said.
Ineson was skeptical, however, that the industry could respond to a rapid attack by winter.
Over the course of a year, he said, gas supply and demand figures basically equal out. But if demand levels surprise -- as they can with weather -- it's difficult to react quickly.
Companies may not want to shift from their drilling budgets, he said.
"You're not going to get a 30 [billion cubic feet per day] increase over the winter just because you need it," he said. "In the short run, you're pretty much stuck with the rate of production you've got."
Kevin Petak, vice president of fuel markets analysis at ICF International, said drillers tend to take two to eight months to respond to higher prices.
Drilling doesn't take long, he said, but producers need that time to see if the price gain is real and adjust their budgets.
Combine that with the other factors -- storage, pipelines, weather -- and it's no surprise that natural gas still has its flighty character, Petak said.
"I've been saying for some time, too, price volatility is here to stay. It's not going anywhere anytime soon," he said. "In the future, I see a better balance where the market's growing and the supply's growing in tandem with it, and there's moderate price increases as a result."
In the meantime, he said, expect the system's evolution -- with gas exports, factory demand and the like -- to keep giving prices the jitters.
US company signs billion-dollar energy deal with Iran
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 02:55
Published time: July 06, 2014 13:51Edited time: July 07, 2014 11:11Iranian operators monitor the nuclear power plant unit in Bushehr, about 1,215 km (755 miles) south of Tehran (Reuters/ISNA/Mehdi Ghasemi)
US company World Eco Energy has signed a preliminary agreement to invest $1.175 billion to generate electricity in Iran. The plan is to turn solid waste into power.
Representatives from the American company and the Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari Province Governor General, Malek-Mohammad Qorbanpour, signed the deal, the Tehran Times reported.
It is expected the project will create 650 immediate jobs, with another 2,000 emerging over the next two to three years, Oorbanpour told the IRNA news agency. Local companies will also be investing the same amount of money into the project.
The Governor General went on to add that 80 percent of the workforce will be employed locally, while World Eco Energy will provide machinery, equipment and technical expertise.
The project aims to create around 250 megawatts per day, which will be generated by burning 1,500 tons of solid waste. Despite being rich in oil and gas, Iran is looking to diversify its energy sector by developing renewable energy. Last year, the country announced plans to construct three new wind farms, each with a power capacity of 350 megawatts.
The electricity generation project is scheduled to start in September 2014, AFP reported.
The deal marks a further thawing of relations between the US and Iran. Tehran has made steps since the New Year to curb its nuclear program, which has brought the country relief from tough sanctions implemented by the US.
Iran cut enriched uranium stockpile by 80% '' IAEA
In April, the US Treasury awarded American-based Boeing and GE a license to sell spare parts to Iran to help the country's ailing aviation industry. Iran needed new plane parts, as its jets have passed their service life and need proper replacements. Over the past two decades, Iran has had more than 200 aviation accidents, which led to more than 2,000 deaths, IRNA reported.
All business activity between the US and Iran was officially halted after the 1979 US hostage crisis, which was followed by US sanctions.
Turkmenistan, Pakistan discuss construction of TAPI gas pipeline
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 02:22
Turkmenistan, Pakistan discuss construction of TAPI gas pipelineBishkek (AKIpress) - President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov met with Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources of Pakistan Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who arrived in Ashgabat to attend the regular meeting of the Steering Committee of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Natural Gas Pipeline Project.
The President highlighted Turkmenistan's interest in strengthening of economic, trade and cultural ties with it partners in implementation of major projects of regional and inter-regional significance, including TAPI construction.
The Minister of Pakistan, in turn, stressed the relevance and timeliness of the project, as well as confirmed high interest in its early implementation to promote development of constructive international cooperation in gas sector.
The sides noticed that the new energy bridge will be economically beneficial for the participating countries. It will positively impact on the situation in Central and South Asia, and give additional stability to the ''entire system of political and economic relations on the continent.''
14:07 10.07.2014
Yemen tribesmen blow up main oil export pipeline
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 02:21
Tribesmen blew up Yemen's main oil pipeline Saturday, halting deliveries from oilfields in the interior to the Ras Isa export terminal on the Red Sea, provincial and tribal sources said.
The pipeline, which carries some 100,000 barrels of oil per day from fields in the restive eastern province of Marib, has been repeatedly attacked by saboteurs, most recently in May.
The latest attack took place very early Saturday in the Habab district of Marib, which has been prey to violence by armed tribesmen seeking a greater share of oil jobs and revenues, as well as loyalists of Al-Qaeda.
The sabotage forced engineers to shut down the 320-kilometre (200-mile) pipeline to the floating Ras Isa terminal, north of the port city of Hodeida, an official said.
Yemen is a minor producer but relies on oil and gas exports for 90 percent of its foreign currency earnings.
Attacks on infrastructure cost the impoverished country $4.75 billion over the two years from March 2011 to March 2013, according to government figures.
France Says Boosting Use of Euro Is Issue of 'Global Balance'
Wed, 09 Jul 2014 16:21
French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said euro area governments need to look at ways of bolstering the use of the euro in international transactions as a matter of ''global balance.''
The remarks come a week after Paris-based bank BNP Paribas (BNP) SA was slapped with a $8.97 billion fine by U.S. authorities for transactions carried out in dollars in countries facing American sanctions. The fine spurred debate in France about the right of the U.S. in extending its regulatory reach beyond its borders.
''This is not a fight against dollar imperialism,'' Sapin said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Aix-en-Provence, France. ''We sell ourselves aircraft in dollars. Is that really necessary? I don't think so.''
Euro area finance ministers will discuss ways of increasing the use of the euro tomorrow in Brussels, Sapin said. The French finance minister received support from Christophe de Margerie, head of French oil company Total SA (FP), who said yesterday that he sees no reason for oil purchases to be made in dollars, adding that it makes sense to expand the use of other currencies in transactions outside the U.S.
''Nothing prevents anyone from paying for oil in euros,'' de Margerie said in Aix-en-Provence. ''The price of a barrel of oil is quoted in dollars. A refinery can take that price and using the euro-dollar exchange rate on any given day, agree to make the payment in euros.''
To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Deen in Paris at markdeen@bloomberg.net; Caroline Connan in London at cconnan@bloomberg.net
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net Vidya Root
Russia approves creation of BRICS foreign exchange fund
Wed, 09 Jul 2014 16:24
The new BRICS fund will have $100 billion, though it is formed only by five countries. Source: Alamy / Legion Media
The Russian Government signed a draft agreement on the creation of a $100 billion pool of currency reserves that the BRICS countries are forming to guard against financial shocks. According to the document, the countries' dollar reserves will remain on the balance sheets of their central banks. However, these reserves can be made available at the request of one of the parties.
Vasily Yakimkin, a senior lecturer at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), says two substructures are being created under the project. The stabilisation fund with capital of $100 billion would be a direct competitor with the IMF. China would contribute $41 billion, Brazil, Russia and India, $18 billion each and South Africa $5 billion. The second substructure would be a new development bank will come into being with a start-up capital of $50 billion, with each country contributing $10 billion. ''As expected, the agreements on the creation of these structures will soon be signed at the summit of the heads of the BRICS countries in Brazil on July 15,'' Yamikin says. ''The structures will start functioning starting in 2015.'' He adds that each of the BRICS countries wants to host the headquarters of the new institution.
Yakimkin says that the development bank will fund various institutional or infrastructural projects in other countries, notably in Africa. The new currency fund will be a ''mutual aid fund'' to be used in case one of the BRICS countries encounters any financial problems. Russia, India, and Brazil can count on a loan equal to their contribution to the pool, while, as a rule, China's access to the liquidity is limited to half of its share. ''This project will significantly reduce the future volatility of the currency markets of developing countries, which several months ago endured a serious downturn while the IMF did not help,'' says Yakimkin. The fall of the BRICS countries' currencies began in summer 2013 when the Brazilian real and Russian rouble dropped to their four year lows in relation to the dollar and the Indian rupee tumbled to a historic low.
Key impacts
The total volume of funds in the IMF is currently $369.05 billion, but the new BRICS fund will have $100 billion, though it is formed only by five countries. ''The decision of the BRICS countries about the creation of a supranational organization analogous to the IMF seems logical and correct, says Anton Soroko, an analyst from the investment holding company FINAM. ''At the moment, the IMF has become something unwieldy and is practically not being reformed.'' Soroko adds that the US is blocking the recapitalization of the IMF by developing countries since it risks losing a considerable amount of influence.
Vasily Yakimkin says the IMF delays lending for infrastructural and investment projects in developing countries, while overcharging interest.
According to UFSIC macroeconomics analyst Vasiliy Ukharskiy, if the project for the creation of a rival to the IMF is realized, and the bank functions properly, this will definitely bring the BRICS group to a new level. ''The most important thing is for the new organization not to suffer from the same problems that the IMF has '' otherwise it will just be an attempt to gain control over the supranational economic superstructure,'' Anton Soroko adds. ''I think that the parallel existence of these structures may bring benefits as they will one way or another start to compete for member-participants, which will push them to the more thoughtful evaluation of problems, and consequently, their solutions.''
BRICS to launch New Development Bank next week: Russia.
Wed, 09 Jul 2014 22:46
The initiative became more acutely needed after an inflow of cheap dollars fuelled a boom in the BRICS for a decade and then reversed to a sharp outflow last year.
"We have reached an agreement that, in current conditions of capital volatility, it is important for our countries to have this buffer in addition to the International Monetary Fund," Siluanov said.
Read MorePE firms swap BRICs for SE Asia, Africa
But the framework agreement to be signed in Brazil will not include any direct commitments, which are due to come later when the central banks sign agreements.
A senior Brazilian official who participates in the negotiations said the pool could become operational as soon as in 2015.
According to the agreement, the cash will continue to be held in the reserves of each BRICS country, but it can be transferred if needed to another member to soften volatility in its foreign exchange market.
China, holder of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves, will contribute the bulk of the contingency currency pool, or $41 billion.
Read MoreLast 'BRIC' standing: Why analysts like India now
Brazil, India and Russia will chip in $18 billion each and South Africa $5 billion.
"It is to be a mechanism that could react swiftly to capital outflow by offering swap operations .. in dollars," Siluanov said.
If a need arises, China will be eligible to ask for half of its contribution, South Africa for double and the remaining countries the amount they put in.
"Some countries may put in less, but their needs are also greater, proportionally," Siluanov said.
A BRICS member would be able to immediately get 30 percent of its eligible share and the remaining 70 percent only with a stabilisation programme from the IMF, Siluanov said.
- By Reuters
Latin American Herald Tribune - Nicaraguan Lawmaker: Our Canal Won't Compete with Panama's
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 04:40
MANAGUA '' The interoceanic canal that Nicaragua plans to build will not compete with Panama's because it does not target the same market segment, a senior Nicaraguan ruling party lawmaker said.The statement by Edwin Castro, head of the Sandinista bloc in the National Assembly, comes in the same week that the government is expected to unveil the route of the canal.
The concessionaire, China's HKND Group, says the Nicaraguan facility will be able to accommodate ships of double the cargo capacity that the Panama Canal can allow.
''We're not entering into any market competition with Panama,'' Castro said in an exposition of the project to university students at the National Assembly.
Even once it is expanded, the Panama Canal will only be able to accept ships of up to 12,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), a market not sought by the Nicaragua project, Castro said.
''Nicaragua's canal will have a much wider strip across the country, in other words, it will be able to admit much bigger ships than would fit in the Panama Canal, even when it's enlarged,'' the politician said.
HKND Group has said that its infrastructure could admit Super-Post-Panamax ships of up to 23,000 TEUs.
The company recently announced that it will also construct two ports, a free-trade zone, resorts, an international airport and several highways.
Nicaragua estimates an investment of around $40 billion, but HKND Group has not confirmed that figure.
Buzz Aldrin Says Mars Is Not A Place For Tourists
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 19:14
The Second Man on the Moon was on Reddit yesterday doing an AMA. When asked what advice he'd like to give to Space X's Elon Musk, Aldrin's response was decidedly unsympathetic.
Aldrin's appearance on Reddit yesterday was part of a social media campaign to promote the 45th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. There's even a new YouTube channel devoted to it. But when asked about space tourists cavorting around Mars, here's was the 84 year-old retired astronaut had to say:
There is very little doubt, in my mind, that what the next monumental achievement of humanity will be the first landing by an Earthling, a human being, on the planet Mars. And I expect that within 2 decades of the 5th anniversary of the first landing on the moon, that within 2 decades America will lead an international presence on Planet Mars.
Some people may be rooting for Elon - I think he could, with his SpaceX, contribute considerably, enormously, to an international activity not only at the moon but also on Mars. I have considered whether a landing on Mars could be done by the private sector. It conflicts with my very strong idea, concept, conviction, that the first human beings to land on Mars should not come back to Earth. They should be the beginning of a build-up of a colony / settlement, I call it a "permanence." A settlement you can visit once or twice, come back, and then decide you want to settle. Same with a colony. But you want it to be permanent from the get-go, from the very first. I know that many people don't feel that that should be done. Some people even consider it distinctly a suicide mission. Not me! Not at all. Because we will plan, we will construct from the moon of Mars, over a period of 6-7 years, the landing of different objects at the landing site that will be brought together to form a complete Mars habitat and laboratory, similar to what has been done at the Moon.
Tourism trips to Mars and back are just not the appropriate way for human beings from Earth - to have an individual company, no matter how smart, send people to mars and bring them back, it is VERY very expensive. It delays the obtaining of permanence, internationally. Your question referred to a monumental achievement by humanity - that should not be one private company at all, it should be a collection of the best from all the countries on Earth, and the leader of the nation or the groups who makes a commitment to do that in 2 decades will be remembered throughout history, hundreds and thousands of years in the future of the history of humanity, beginning, commencing, a human occupation of the solar system.
I'm actually kind of partial to this view. A one-way mission is enormously less complicated than a return trip. What's more, Aldrin is spot-on about the initial wave of colonists setting up the required infrastructure for future colonists '-- and eventually tourists. At the same time, however, we shouldn't spurn the efforts of the private sector, especially on account of its ability to innovate and inspire competition.
[ h/t Washington Post ]
Image: Alamy
phplist.com : Information : phplist Features
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 13:36
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Multiple Templateson different subscribe pages can integrate phplist with several different web sites.
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UK peadophile scandal - Former social services official says Department of Health ignored warnings of a Whitehall paedophile network because 'there were too many'
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 07:40
David Tombs, who ran Hereford and Worcester social services for 20 years, said that following the arrest of former consultant to the National Children's Bureau and convicted paedophile Peter Righton, he had told the Department of Health that he believed a paedophilic network had been in operation in Whitehall, but said these warnings had been ignored.
Righton, who died in 2007, was a social work expert and the founder of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), before he was convicted of importing child pornography in 1992.
Speaking to Radio Four's Today programme, Tombs' said that after Righton was arrested he had contacted representatives from the Department of Health to alert them about a potential network of paedophiles in Whitehall but was told by civil servants that he was "probably wasting his time" because there were "too many of them over there".
When asked what he thought was meant by the word "them", Tombs said "those within Parliament and Government in Whitehall".
Tim Yeo, MP for South Suffolk, who was a junior health minister during the early nineties, has refuted Tombs' claims saying that he was ''not aware'' of a culture of sex abuse and that he found the claims ''incredible".
He also questioned Tombs' decision not to take his concerns further at the time.
The comments by Tombs come just a few days after former detective Terry Shutt claimed that material discovered by police after the arrest of Righton that implicated other establishment figures had been covered up.
Read More: Westminster's dark secretVoices: Enough of this parliamentary privilege hogwashWhy did DPP fail to act on evidence of paedophile ring?Speaking to the BBC, Shutt said that five suitcases of letters found in Righton's home had material that hinted a wider network of ''upwards of 20'' prominent child abusers.
However, Yeo has said these new claims were ''staggering''.
He told the Today programme: "I think it's incredible, the idea that any remotely credible evidence had been shown to a civil servant at the Department of Health would have been ignored and received the comment that it apparently was.
"There was no culture of child sex abuse that I was aware of either in Whitehall or in Parliament," adding, "the whole thing is extraordinary."
This week Home Secretary Theresa May launched two inquiries into historic child sex abuse accusations.
One of the inquiries will look into allegations of abuse against prominent public figures in the 1980s, while the other one will investigate how public bodies have handled child sex abuse claims.
Speaking after announcing that the two inquiries would be launched, May said: ''Wherever institutions and individuals have failed to protect ¬children from harm we will expose those failures.''
United Nations News Centre - With special event, UN to mark 'Victory over Slavery: Haiti and Beyond'
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 23:53
10 July 2014 '' Visitors to the United Nations later today and those to the Bronx Museum of Fine Arts tomorrow will have a chance to see an exhibit and a film focusing on the struggle by slaves for independence in Haiti '' the first successful slave revolt in the world that "continues to inspire."
The High-Level Official Opening of the exhibit ''Victory over Slavery: Haiti and Beyond'' hosted by the Permanent Missions of Haiti and Jamaica to the United Nations will take place at 6 p.m. today in the Visitor Centre at UN Headquarters.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will officially open the exhibit and is expected to say: "The story of the Haitian Revolution and the resilience of its people, who demanded nothing more than to be granted their human rights, continues to inspire."
Irina Bokova, Director General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will be also be in attendance, as well as a number UN Ambassadors..
With an overview of the Transatlantic Slave Trade as a backdrop, the exhibit focuses on the slaves' struggle for independence in Haiti and the establishment of the Republic in 1804. The Haitian insurrection is recognized as a milestone by the liberation movements that fought for the abolition of slavery.
The exhibition also showcases the design of the Permanent Memorial to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, The Ark of Return by Rodney Leon, which will be erected at UN Headquarters in early 2015. The American architect of Haitian descent also designed the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York City. He was selected as the winning design of an international competition in August 2013.
The Memorial will stand as a constant reminder of the courage of slaves, abolitionists and unsung heroes who helped to end slavery.
The exhibit highlights the UNESCO Slave Route Project, launched 20 years ago to break the silence surrounding the slave trade and its consequences.
At 5:00 pm, the author of the film They are We, Emma Christopher and architect Rodney Leon will hold a discussion.
The They are We documentary tells the story of the Cuban descendants of an enslaved African woman who visited the village of origin of their ancestor in Sierra Leone. The village was located thanks to an Australian professor from the University of Sydney, Dr Emma Christopher who was able to trace it through traditional dances and songs.
''Photographs of the documentary They are We are currently on display in the exhibit, in the context of the Film Festival on Slavery.
There will be a free, outdoor screening of the film on Friday, July 11 at Joyce Kilmer Park (161st Street and Grand Concourse) as part of the Bronx Museum of the Arts First Fridays! series in partnership with the African Film Festival.
The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which is marked on 25 March, was established by the General Assembly (GA) in 2007.
VIDEO-Russia's Rosneft to help Cuba explore offshore oil reserves '-- RT Business
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 14:31
Published time: July 12, 2014 02:10Edited time: July 13, 2014 14:02Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro at Revolution Palace in Havana, on July 11, 2014. (AFP Photo / Alejandro Ernesto / Pool)
Russian oil company Rosneft will help Cuban State oil company Cupet explore the country's offshore oil reserves, according to one of the cooperation documents signed between Russia and Cuba during President Vladimir Putin's visit to Havana.
Putin concluded his first stop on his six-day tour to Latin America in Havana, Cuba, where he met the nation's President Raul Castro.
Speaking at a press conference, Putin confirmed that many major cooperation deals have been signed between the two nations.
One of the most significant agreements allows the Russian oil company Rosneft to help explore and drill on an offshore oil platform on Cuba's northeast coast. The area potentially has up to 20 billion barrels of oil, according to Cupet.
"Developing new blocks on Cuba's offshore shelf is (expected) in the very near future," Putin said.
During the discussions, Putin was joined by Rosneft head Igor Sechin in order to finalize the deal.
Cuba has limited onshore production and relies heavily on imports from Venezuela for its oil consumption needs.
Putin also confirmed that Russia is writing off 90 percent of Cuba's debt, which amounts to $32 billion. The remaining 10 percent will be reinvested into the Cuban economy, the president added.
"We will provide support to our Cuban friends to overcome the illegal blockade of Cuba," Putin said.
Read more: Russia writes off 90% of Cuba's debt ahead of Putin's 'big tour' to L. America
Meanwhile, Russian company Inter RAO Export and Cuba's Union Electrica signed a contract for the construction of four 200 megawatt units for the Maximo Gomez power plant.
Other documents signed on Friday include a bilateral statement on the non-placement of weapons in outer space and an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the area of international information security.
During the visit to Cuba, Putin also met with former President Fidel Castro, who stepped down due to health concerns in 2008, after 49 years in power.
Putin and Fidel Castro discussed international affairs, the global economy, and Russia-Cuba relations, the Kremlin stated.
Later on Friday, Putin made a surprise stop in Nicaragua on his way to Argentina. He will then go to Brazil.
VIDEO-The Most Important Video About Israel Ever Made | Israel Video Network
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 06:58
Join Dennis Prager of Prager University as he gives a lucid and knowledgable synopsis of the Middle East conflict. Although his explanation is based on historical fact, these facts are becoming murkier and murkier as the Moslem countries of the Middle East attempt to rewrite them.
Dennis Prager asks an intriguing question. Why can't the one Jewish state in the world be allowed to exist? Who is he in essence asking? The Arab nations that surround Israel? America? The UN? When observing the behavior of the Moslem nations and then the behavior of the Jewish nation you begin to wonder why the world tends to support the Moslem stand on this extremely straightforward issue. As Prager explains ''One side wants the other dead.''
Watch and decide for yourself.
VIDEO-Schumer To Religious Americans: Pick One - Your Faith or Your Business | MRCTV
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 04:14
MRC TV is an online platform for people to share and view videos, articles and opinions on topics that are important to them '-- from news to political issues and rip-roaring humor.
MRC TV is brought to you by the Media Research Center, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit research and education organization. The MRC is located at: 1900 Campus Commons Drive, Reston, VA 20194. For information about the MRC, please visit www.MRC.org.
Copyright (C) 2014, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO-US Attorney: 1 in Every 100 US Adults Are in Prison or Jail | MRCTV
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 04:06
MRC TV is an online platform for people to share and view videos, articles and opinions on topics that are important to them '-- from news to political issues and rip-roaring humor.
MRC TV is brought to you by the Media Research Center, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit research and education organization. The MRC is located at: 1900 Campus Commons Drive, Reston, VA 20194. For information about the MRC, please visit www.MRC.org.
Copyright (C) 2014, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO-Pelosi: 'We Should Be Afraid Of This Court' | MRCTV
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 04:00
MRC TV is an online platform for people to share and view videos, articles and opinions on topics that are important to them '-- from news to political issues and rip-roaring humor.
MRC TV is brought to you by the Media Research Center, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit research and education organization. The MRC is located at: 1900 Campus Commons Drive, Reston, VA 20194. For information about the MRC, please visit www.MRC.org.
Copyright (C) 2014, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO- Disaster Drills At SeaTac Airport! - YouTube
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 03:55
VIDEO- Johnny Mathis Deniece Williams, Too Much Too Little Too Late - YouTube
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 03:52
VIDEO-Innocent Babies Murdered! Terrorists W/ Radioactive Material & US Spokesperson Can't Stop Smiling! - YouTube
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 03:50
VIDEO-San Francisco Giants May Ban 'Culturally Insensitive' Attire At AT&T Park CBS San Francisco
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 03:05
Get Breaking News FirstReceive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
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Sign UpSAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)'-- The San Francisco Giants organization is in the final steps of adopting a policy to ban fans from wearing ''culturally-insensitive'' attire at AT&T Park.
Giants' Sr. Vice President Staci Slaughter said the Giants are very proud of their diverse fan base, but want fans to respect one another.
''We want to make sure that our fans are respectful of each other and the different backgrounds that everyone comes from,'' Slaughter told KCBS on Wednesday.
The Giants could be the first team in Major League Baseball to adopt such a policy.
A couple of weeks ago, at AT&T Park's Native American Heritage Night, two groups of fans had a disagreement over the issue of what should and shouldn't be worn.
SF Examiner reported two Native American fans asked a third fan, who appeared to be Caucasian, to remove a headdress he was wearing.
Slaughter said the consideration to revise their dress-code policy partly stems from that incident.
The next steps towards implementation would be to communicate new rules with fans and event staff in order to ensure they are properly trained on the issue, Slaughter said.
Read More Like This:
VIDEO-Earth's Magnetic Field Is Weakening Fast - weather.com A Magnetic Flip?
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 02:42
Earth's protective magnetic field has been weakening at a faster rate than expected, according to data from newly launched European Space Agency satellites. The finding may indicate that Earth's poles will switch sooner than scientists thought.
Because of the iron core at the Earth's center, the planet produces a magnetic field that extends 370,000 miles above the Earth's surface, according to LiveScience. (For comparison, the International Space Station orbits less than 300 miles above the planet.) This field protects the planet from radiation from the sun and space, and is the reason why magnetic north exists.
Studies on deep ocean cores have revealed that, on average, the poles reverse once every 200,000 to 300,000 years, according to NASA. It's been about 780,000 years since the last flip.
It was previously thought that the field was weakening by about 5 percent each century, LiveScience reports, pointing to a flip in about 2,000 years. But the new data shows a much more dramatic weakening, at a pace of 5 percent per decade '-- 10 times faster than previously thought.The new data come from a trio of satellites collectively known as Swarm, launched by the ESA in November. The measurements show a dramatic weakening over the Western hemisphere, with some strengthening in other areas, like the southern Indian Ocean, according to a release.
The observations confirm that magnetic north is moving southward, toward Siberia, according to the release.
"Such a flip is not instantaneous, but would take many hundred if not a few thousand years," Rune Floberghagen, Swarm's mission manager, told Live Science. "They have happened many times in the past."
Though a magnetic flip sounds dramatic, no evidence indicates that it would cause any harm to life on Earth, according to Wired. Past flips are not associated with any mass extinctions or radiation damage. But changes could disrupt power grids and communications networks, which have been damaged by strong solar storms in the past.
The Swarm satellites also collect data on the Earth's core, mantle, crust and oceans, according to LiveScience. They could help improve navigation systems and earthquake predictions and find natural resources below the Earth's surface.
VIDEO-Dirty Bomb Fears after ISIS Seize Uranium
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 22:47
Iraq's ambassador to the UN has now appealed to the international community for help to "stave off the threat of their use by terrorists in Iraq and abroad."
This is believed to be the first time that an Islamist terror group has been able to obtain such a large quantity of radioactive material, and security analysts now fear they could use it in so-called "dirty bombs" '' conventional bombs loaded with radioactive substances.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has played down the threat, however, saying that the uranium is of relatively low radioactivity designed to be used in medical research. IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor said: "On the basis of the initial information, we believe the material involved is low grade and would not present a significant safety, security or nuclear proliferation risk. Nevertheless, any loss of regulatory control over nuclear and other radioactive materials is a cause for concern."
A British former army officer and expert on weapons of mass distruction, Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, also said that the uranium could not be turned into a nuclear weapon: "The most likely terror use for it would be some dirty bomb, but a dirty bomb is not terribly effective anyway except for the psychological impact... You are more likely to die from shrapnel."
Far more seriously, ISIS took over a military base in northern Iraq last month that contains Saddam Hussein's stockpile of chemical weapons, including hundreds of warheads containing sarin and mustard gas.
Colonel de Gordon-Bretton said, however, that they still only pose a small threat as the bunkers are sealed in reinforced concrete, making it very difficult for the militants to gain access. The sarin gas is also likely to have degraded, although the mustard gas could still be potent.
He added that U.S. satellites would be closely monitoring the base for any evidence the militants were attempting to access the bunkers.
AUDIO-Today's Takeaways: U.S. Intelligence Official Kicked Out of Germany, Brazil's Loss Sets In, and United Nations says Central American Children are Refugees - The Takeaway
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 22:24
This weekend, Richard Linklater's much talked about indie film "Boyhood" opens in theaters. The revolutionary movie, shot over twelve consecutive years, follows Mason, played by Ellar Coltrane, from the ages of 6 to 18. Moviegoers watch Ellar's transformation from a child to an adult in 160 minutes. We asked you, our listeners, to tell us what memorable scenes from you own childhood could be turned into a movie. Your responses truly have cinematic potential.
VIDEO-Act React Impact
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 21:03
These are turbulent times in the history of Europe. The crisis has made citizens aware that Europe touches the heart of their living conditions. They have understood more than ever that European countries are interdependent, and what is happening in another EU member state fully affects everyone's future prospects.
As times have changed, so has the European Parliament. The Parliament is more than ever driven by what matters to the citizen. We want to listen to the many voices and act accordingly. We want to react to the challenges. We want to have a real, positive impact. To take on the present and to shape the future. Together, for each and every one of us.
Together we can act, react and make a real impact.
VIDEO-Naked EU Militarism on Parade - with short comment from Nigel Farage - YouTube
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 20:54
VIDEO-Vladimir Putin receives a warm welcome from Cold War ally Cuba | euronews, world news
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 19:59
Russian President Vladimir Putin kicked off his six-day Latin-American tour with a ninety-minute meeting with revolutionary leader and ex-president of Cuba, Fidel Castro.
Putin is hoping to develop commercial ties as well as invest in energy projects in the country.
He also attended round table talks with current President Raul Castro and other dignitaries.
Ahead of the visit Russia announced it would write off 90% of Cuba's Soviet-era debt; something Putin reiterated during his visit.
''I want to emphasise that we're creating new conditions for development between both countries,'' he said, ''Which is why I have made the decision to forgive the old debt of the Soviet Union with Cuba to the value of $35 billion. We're going to forgive 90 percent of this total and use the remaining ten percent for investment projects in education.''
It is a move that could rile the US, which levied an economic embargo on the communist country in 1962.
Putin's tour is seen by some as an effort to counter Western world dominance as Russia faces isolation over its actions in Ukraine.
VIDEO-Kurds seize 2 oilfields in northern Iraq -NHK WORLD English-
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 19:54
Kurdish forces have seized 2 oilfields outside their autonomous region in northern Iraq, further complicating the situation in the embattled country.
The Iraqi oil ministry said in a statement on Friday that Kurdish militiamen took control of production facilities at the Bai Hassan and Kirkuk oilfields near the city of Kirkuk. It denounced the action and urged the Kurds to immediately withdraw.
Kurdish forces took control of Kirkuk last month after Shia-led government forces withdrew in the face of an assault by Sunni Islamist insurgents.
The Kurds have vowed to hold a referendum for local residents on whether to declare independence, saying the Iraqi state has effectively disintegrated.
The development is expected to escalate a feud between the Kurds and the Shia-led government in Baghdad, which is facing the Sunni-led insurgency.
Jul. 12, 2014 - Updated 02:18 UTC
VIDEO-What do Europe's symbols mean? | euronews, u talk
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 19:47
I'm curious as a French person, as a European, what's the situation with these symbols? There's a flag, an anthem, but what for? We have this hymn that no one sings, we have this flag that flies, but it's not clear what it stands for. So what good are these symbols if we don't use them?
Fran§ois Brunagel, Head of Protocol at the European Parliament:
You must know that immediately after the election of the European Parliament in 1979, the parliament which represents the people of Europe'...wanted it to have symbols, like all states have symbols, in other words a flag and an anthem.
There was a prolonged debate and finally in 1986 they decided to adopt not a new flag, but the flag that had been created in the early 1950's by the Council of Europe, because there are not two Europes , just one single and equal Europe, at various stages of integration.
And then, later, they adopted the European anthem, ie the last movement of Beethoven's 9th symphony, ''Ode to Joy''
Then there are other symbols which were subsequently adopted, notably a currency for Europe '' ''United in diversity '', which was adopted in 2001 and I think with that, the citizen has something to recognize through these symbols. We have the European passport and for those who are fortunate enough to have it, also the euro.
On the 9th of May in Strasbourg, the European Parliament will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the flag and anthem, first by raising the flag of European colours in the presence of Eurocorps, the multi-national army of Europe, and then a concert during which the European anthem will be played. .
If you would like to ask a question, you can do so by visiting our website.
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VIDEO-Fighting terror underground in Pakistan
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 19:33
Call girls chase cash in Silicon Valley where newly-minted tech "geeks" are paying not only for love but advice.
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VIDEO-Sex Valley: Tech's booming prostitution trade - Jul. 11, 2014
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 02:26
Startups are transforming into multi-billion companies. And the staffs are overwhelmingly male. Sex workers tell CNNMoney they have a growing clientele who have plenty of excess cash.
Two recent events have raised concerns.
The arrest this week of an alleged prostitute, Alix Tichelman, in connection with the death of Google executive Forrest Timothy Hayes has prostitutes worried about the impact on business.
"I do worry that people are going to think that this is something that's normal and happens, but it really doesn't," said "Maxine Holloway" a high-end prostitute working in Silicon Valley. (To protect their privacy, CNNMoney agreed to use pseudonyms or the professional names of the sex workers we spoke with for this story.)
Other sex workers CNNMoney spoke to expressed worry as well -- though none said they had experienced cancellations.
Related: Silicon Valley's other entrepreneurs -- sex workers
A second issue affecting business was the shut down of a prominent website for both solicitation and screening of prostitutes and their clients.
Late last month, the FBI raided and shut down MyRedbook, a website that allowed escorts to advertise their services and negotiate with clients.
Women in the industry relied heavily on MyRedbook to do background checks on their clients. Sex workers would post about instances of violence or circumstances in which they felt unsafe.
Without MyRedbook, prostitutes are having a difficult time vetting their clients.
"It's like sex workers lost their Yelp," said Bay Area sex worker and activist "Siouxsie Q."
Male clients also used the site to review and discuss their experiences.
That's why call girls say that the further underground sex work goes, the more dangerous it is for everyone involved.
Related: Tinder dating app hit with sex harassment lawsuit
Hayes did not solicit Tichelman on MyRedbook; according to detectives, they met on SeekingArrangement.com, where users sign up to be "Sugar Babies" or "Sugar Daddies" in search of "mutually beneficial" relationships.
The FBI indicted the founders of MyRedbook on charges of using the Internet to facilitate prostitution and on multiple charges of money laundering.
Bay Area sex workers say high-powered tech executives likely joked about MyRedbook, which had kind a 1990's-era website look to it.
"I'm sure that they had all kinds of technological critiques of the actual website -- but they were definitely using it," Holloway said.
Another prostitute, who asked that her name not be used, says she has a roster of regular clients from major tech companies. She is a high-end prostitute and estimates that she's made nearly $1 million over the 10 years that she's been working in the area.
She says that her clients are increasingly worried about their own security, which is one of the reasons they been coming back to her so consistently -- they know what they're getting.
First Published: July 11, 2014: 5:54 PM ET
VIDEO-Indiana storing DNA of 2 million children without parents' consent Dprogram.net: Deprogram Your Mind '' Revolutionary News
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 19:45
July 11th, 2014
(WTHR) '' As word of an Eyewitness News investigation spreads through Holliday Park, parents admit they are surprised.
''You're kidding, right? I had no idea,'' said Ramon Moore, playing catch with his 7-year-old son, Xavier.''I didn't know that at all,'' agreed Holly Ruth, holding her 3-month old son, Lincoln.''Nobody ever told me,'' echoed Mallory Ervin, chasing her 4-year-old son, Theo, on the playground.
13 WTHR Indianapolis
Xavier, Lincoln, Theo and millions of other Indiana children all have something in common: the state of Indiana is storing their blood and DNA in an undisclosed state warehouse.
''I'm curious why they didn't share that,'' said Ervin. ''It now makes me think 'what are they hiding?' As a parent, I'd absolutely like to know.''
13 Investigates has discovered the Indiana State Department of Health is holding the blood samples of more than 2.25 million Hoosier children '' without their parents' permission. If your children were born in Indiana since 1991, chances are their blood and DNA is among the state's massive collection.
Following WTHR's investigation, state health officials are now seeking input on what to do with the blood samples after admitting they don't have the consent needed to use them for anything.
How Indiana got your kids' DNA Read More Here
Tags: 2 million children, holliday park, indiana storing DNA, investigation, mallory ervin, without parents consentThis entry was posted on Friday, July 11th, 2014 at 12:24 pm and is filed under Dictatorship, DNA, Education/Mind Control, Fascism, Film/Video, Martial Law/Police State, NWO, Science/Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
VIDEO-Rule change could see same-sex partners banned from mainstream competitions | Mail Online
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 15:46
British Dance Council considering changing definition of partnershipNew rule defines it as 'one man and one lady... unless otherwise stated'Advocates say it is because male-male couples have unfair advantageBy Daily Mail Reporter
Published: 08:34 EST, 10 July 2014 | Updated: 03:34 EST, 11 July 2014
Whatever will they say on Strictly Come Dancing?
Ballroom dancing fans are in a whirl over a proposal which could prevent same sex dance partners from competing against mixed sex couples.
The British Dance Council (BDC) is considering a rule change which would define a dance partnership as being 'one man and one lady...unless otherwise stated'.
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Ruled out?: Gili Shem Tov and Dorit Milman dance together on the Israeli version of Strictly Come Dancing
Critics have claimed the proposal could see same-sex dancer partners banned from ballroom competitions because organisers or competitors are not 'comfortable' with their participation.
But BDC president Bryan Allen insisted the proposal followed complaints that mixed sex dance partners were 'unfairly disadvantaged' in competitions against all-male couples.
Mr Allen said: 'There had been complaints from a number of people who felt they were unfairly disadvantaged by the participation of all male dance couples who are physically stronger.
'We're looking to regulate the situation as there is nothing in the rules at the moment.
'There is no proposal to stop same sex couples dancing. We don't discriminate on colour, race, sexuality or anything else.
'My gut feeling is it would probably help to strengthen same sex competitions. I wish we had more of them.'
The proposal, which will be considered at the BDC's change of rules meeting on July 21, reads: 'This council recognises a partnership to be one man and one lady in all adult amateur and professional competitions and championships unless otherwise stated.'
Ballroom dancing organisers are worried that all male couples could have an advantage over mixed sex couples (pictured, Suzanna Reid and Kevin Clifton compete in last year's competition)
Blackpool Same Sex Open 2012 Men's Final
Heather Devine, who competes with her female dance partner Chrisi Lyons, said: 'I am really distressed that the BDC is even considering banning us.
'We've put in a huge amount of effort. To exclude us will mean that we can't dance in mainstream competitions any more. This seems so unfair.'
Ms Devine, who is European same-sex senior women's ballroom champion with her partner Ms Lyons, has written to Mr Allen to voice her concerns.
She added: 'Contrary to claims by some supporters of the new rule, male same-sex dance duos do not have an advantage.
'Ballroom dancing is not like tennis or football. Power and strength are not the key to winning.
'Poise, musicality, expression. timing, floorcraft and presentation are the main judging criteria. This means that two men do not have an advantage over a mixed-sex couple.'
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: 'We are concerned this proposed ban may be motivated by some judges, competitors and spectators not being comfortable with the participation of same-sex dance partners.'
It is understood the BDC rules committee will meet on July 20 to decide whether or not to put forward the proposals to the governing body's board of directors.
If the proposal goes ahead, the board of directors meet on July 21 to decide whether or not to adopt the rule change.
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AUDIO-VIDEO-Germany Asks Top CIA Spy In Country To Leave : NPR
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 15:32
SportsLiverpool Unloads 'The Biter,' Sending Suarez To Barca For $128 Million
EuropeGermany Calls For 'Honest Foundation' In Relations With U.S.
EuropeDozens Of Ukraine's Troops Reportedly Killed By Militants
Europe'How To Survive The Bulls' Co-Author Gets Gored
VIDEO-nl goal valid?
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 15:30
Last updated 13:48 11/07/2014
Fresh video has raised questions over whether the Netherlands' first penalty in the World Cup semifinal loss to Argentina should have actually counted as a goal.
Televised footage of the shootout showed Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero apparently saving the spot-kick of Dutchman Ron Vlaar before cutting away to Argentine celebrations.
However, footage shot by fans inside the stadium has revealed new angles - showing how the ball actually spun backwards and rolled towards, and possibly over, the goal line.
The incident handed an immediate advantage to Argentina who went on to win the shootout and qualify for the World Cup final.
VIDEO- Al Sharpton Struggles to Start Show - YouTube
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 00:50
VIDEO-Google Spokesman Clarifies That Google Glass Cannot Read Your Mind
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 00:48
British hardware hackers have developed a grotesque appendage for Glass that claims it can read your mind. MindRDR monitors brainwaves, allowing wearers to take pictures by sheer concentration.
A BBC reporter tested the device and verified it works. However, Google was quick to deny the developers' claims. In a statement to the BBC, Google assured users that "Google Glass cannot read your mind."
Tocontactthe author of this post, please emailkevin@valleywag.com.
VIDEO-AUDIO-Bingeing On Bad News Can Fuel Daily Stress : Shots - Health News : NPR
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 23:51
Katherine Streeter for NPRIf you're feeling stressed these days, the news media may be partly to blame.
At least that's the suggestion of a national survey conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.
The survey of more than 2,500 Americans found that about 1 in 4 said they had experienced a "great deal" of stress in the previous month. And these stressed-out people said one of the biggest contributors to their day-to-day stress was watching, reading or listening to the news.
The result comes as no surprise to Mary McNaughton-Cassill, a psychologist at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She's been studying stress and the news media since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. In that incident, a rental truck filled with explosives killed 168 people, including children in a day care center.
McNaughton-Cassill was hundreds of miles away. Even so, "I had small kids in day care and got kind of stressed," she says. And she realized that "certain kinds of news can push your own buttons and make you very anxious."
Since then, McNaughton-Cassill and other researchers have done many studies showing that certain types of news coverage can produce emotional responses associated with stress. The biggest effect comes from traumatic events covered in a sensational way '-- something that's hard to avoid these days, McNaughton-Cassill says. "There is so much more news available, and so many different channels that are competing, that they're trying harder to be sensational," she says.
Another factor is the growing prevalence of disturbing images delivered in something close to real time, McNaughton-Cassill says. During the Civil War, media outlets relied on line drawings that could take days or weeks to reach an audience. By the Vietnam War, nightly video was available. "And now, of course, we've got the reporter there waiting to see where the bomb hits," she says.
To see how that kind of coverage is affecting the public, a team of researchers questioned more than 4,500 people across the country about their reaction to last year's Boston Marathon bombing. The study found that "people who exposed themselves to six or more hours of media daily actually reported more acute stress symptoms than did people who were directly exposed '-- meaning they were at the site of the bombings," says professor Alison Holman of the University of California, Irvine.
One reason for this extreme reaction may be that news outlets frequently "take a clip of images and they repeat that same clip over and over and over as they're talking about what happened," Holman says. The result can be symptoms like those of post-traumatic stress disorder, she says.
But consumers and the news media can take steps to minimize news-related stress, researchers say. News outlets can help by warning their audience before presenting something that's particularly disturbing. And consumers can avoid bingeing on news, especially after an event like Sept. 11 or the Boston Marathon bombing. "Just don't overdo it," Holman says.
That can be hard to do, though. There's evidence that our brains have evolved to pay close attention to potential threats, McNaughton-Cassill says. So we have to remind ourselves that absorbing every detail about a bombing doesn't help us survive. It just stresses us out.
VIDEO-Top US spy 'told to leave' Berlin | euronews, world news
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 23:28
The plot thickens in the American spy story in Germany after Berlin expelled America's top intelligence official from the capital.
It is a rare move between two Nato allies but comes in retaliation to two cases of suspected US espionage on German soil in the last week.
Both concern German government employees suspected of handing information to Washington.
Having remained silent until now, the German Chancellor made her feelings clear.
''From my point of view, spying on allies is a waste of energy,'' she told the gathered press. ''We have so many problems and I think we should focus on the important things'... I am convinced that more confidence and trust can and does lead to better security. So we have to do everything possible so that those sharing common values, work together with trust.''
Relations between Washington and Berlin suffered a blow last year when news broke of mass surveillance by the NSA.
Adding to the intrigue are reports that the two spy suspects were passing information concerning the commission investigating the data snooping to the CIA.
VIDEO-German Spy Row 'Sparked By Snowden Inquiry'
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 03:21
Edward Snowden's lawyer has told Sky News the latest spy row between Berlin and Washington centres on claims the CIA snooped on a German investigation into earlier US eavesdropping.
The German government ordered the American spy agency's chief in Berlin out of the country on Thursday.
The diplomatic crisis between the two allies comes as German authorities pursue investigations against two officials suspected of spying for the US.
Snowden's lawyer says US-German ties are at their lowest since WW2Jesselyn Radack, who represents Mr Snowden, said the row is rooted in the fugitive intelligence contractor's disclosures last year that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had snooped on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone.
Those claims prompted the German government to launch an investigation, which the American intelligence services have been spying on, according to Ms Radack.
She told Sky News: "This was a CIA mole that was spying on the Bundestag's investigation into NSA spying on German people. It is outrageous.
The NSA eavesdropped on Angela Merkel's phone, it was reported last year"And it's also stunning to me that the US would interfere with another country's democratic political process. It would be like having a spy spying on Congress.
"It makes you wonder what more the US has to hide if it's going to such lengths to thwart the investigation that the Bundestag has into the NSA.
"This spy scandal is the biggest such eruption since World War Two."
German officials confirmed earlier that the top US spy at the American embassy had been asked to leave the country.
Pedestrians pass the US embassy in BerlinGovernment spokesman Steffen Seibert said: "The request occurred against the backdrop of the ongoing investigation by federal prosecutors as well as the questions that were posed months ago about the activities of US intelligence agencies in Germany.
"The government takes the matter very seriously."
Clemens Binninger, head of a parliamentary oversight committee on intelligence, said the move was "a reaction to the long-lacking co-operation in efforts to get to the bottom of this affair".
A carnival float in D¼sseldorf in March makes light of the Snowden affairWhite House Press Secretary Josh Earnest did not directly comment about the matter other than to say the US-German national security relationship was important.
Shortly before the expulsion was announced, Ms Merkel told reporters that trust was essential in any partnership.
"If what we hear right now is true," she said, "I have to say that from my point of view, spying on allies is a waste of energy in the end."
US-German ties are said to be at their lowest in a decadeNews website Spiegel Online said the expulsion was a "diplomatic earthquake", usually reserved for "pariah states" such as North Korea.
The latest row stems from the arrest last week of a 31-year-old German intelligence agency employee on suspicion of selling more than 200 documents to the CIA.
Then on Wednesday police searched the Berlin-area home and office of a German defence ministry official who local media report is also suspected of spying for the US.


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