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"Aside from the soda size ban and a well-publicized call for tighter gun control, another contentious policy he pushed: Nudging hospitals to lock up baby formula to force mothers to breast-feed newborns."

Bloomberg is pushing 2 things I agree with, and 1 that I do not agree with. I think this is a macro version of what the NWO really is: The world's richest and most influential people attempting to make changes that they believe is best for the world (or simply best for them). If you think about it, it is really no different than what most people would do if they were billionares. The problem of course is the lack of transparency and consistent lack of consideration towards ethics.
^ how are the misrulers preventing their own sons and daughters from being affected?

or do they not care?

1. Savers will be raided to save euro in future crises, says eurozone chief

Savings accounts in Spain, Italy and other European countries will be raided if needed to preserve Europe's single currency by propping up failing banks, a senior eurozone official has announced. The new policy will alarm hundreds of thousands of British expatriates who live and have transferred their savings, proceeds from house sales and other assets to eurozone bank accounts in countries such as France, Spain and Italy.

The euro fell on global markets after Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch chairman of the eurozone, told the FT and Reuters that the heavy losses inflicted on depositors in Cyprus would be the template for future banking crises across Europe. "If there is a risk in a bank, our first question should be 'Okay, what are you in the bank going to do about that? What can you do to recapitalise yourself?'," he said.

"If the bank can't do it, then we'll talk to the shareholders and the bondholders, we'll ask them to contribute in recapitalising the bank, and if necessary the uninsured deposit holders." Ditching a three-year-old policy of protecting senior bondholders and large depositors, over €100,000, in banks, Mr Dijsselbloem argued that the lack of market contagion surrounding Cyprus showed that private investors could now be hit to pay for bad banking debts.


2. The Robot Reality: Service Jobs Are Next to Go

If you meet Baxter, the latest humanoid robot from Rethink Robotics – you should get comfortable with him, because you'll likely be seeing more of him soon. Rethink Robotics released Baxter last fall and received an overwhelming response from the manufacturing industry, selling out of their production capacity through April. He's cheap to buy ($22,000), easy to train, and can safely work side-by-side with humans. He's just what factories need to make their assembly lines more efficient – and yes, to replace costly human workers.

But manufacturing is only the beginning. This April, Rethink will launch a software platform that will allow Baxter to do a more complex sequencing of tasks – for example, picking up a part, holding it in front of an inspection station and receiving a signal to place it in a "good" or "not good" pile. The company is also releasing a software development kit soon that will allow third parties – like university robotics researchers – to create applications for Baxter.

These third parties "are going to do all sorts of stuff we haven't envisioned," says Scott Eckert, CEO of Rethink Robotics. He envisions something similar to Apple's app store happening for Baxter. A spiffed-up version of the robot could soon be seen flipping burgers at McDonalds, folding t-shirts at Gap, or pouring coffee at Starbucks


3. Brain scans can predict whether a criminal is likely to reoffend

Neuroscientists claim to have found a way to predict whether convicted criminals are likely to re-offend by looking at their brain scans According to American imaging experts, convicts showing low activity in an area of the brain associated with decision-making and action are more likely to be arrested again. A team led by Kent Kiehl, a neuroscientist at the Mind Research Network in Albuquerque, studied a group of 96 male prisoners shortly before they were due to be released.

They scanned prisoners brains while they were carrying out computer tasks in which subjects had to make quick decisions and inhibit impulsive reactions. The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to focus on activity in a section of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) - a small region in the front of the brain involved in motor control and executive functioning. They then followed the subjects for four years.

Among the ex-criminals studied, those who had lower ACC activity during the quick-decision tasks were more likely to be arrested again after getting out of prison.


4. US troops will stay in Afghanistan to support local forces, Allen insists

The US and its allies will retain a presence in Afghanistan big enough to bolster Afghan forces after the withdrawal of international combat troops at the end of 2014, the recently retired commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, said on Monday.

Speaking in Washington, Allen said he had never been asked to produce a report on the so-called "zero option" – the suggestion that no American troops would remain after the 2014 deadline, floated by one White House adviser in January.

Instead, Allen said that he expected that Obama would approve a force that would be commensurate with ensuring that the Afghan security forces could be properly supported. Obama is currently considering how many troops are to be left behind, mostly in an advisory capacity, after the official withdrawal in 2014.


5. South Korea, US Agree on Plan for War With North

South Korean and US officials have signed a plan for retaliation against a possible attack from North Korea, a deal which would oblige US military intervention even in the case of limited skirmishes along the disputed border. “It will have the effect of preventing the North from daring to provoke us,” insisted South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok. The plan is being touted as a potential response to a threatened attack on South Korean islands along the maritime border.

Small incidents along the border are not unusual, and in late 2010 North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire, with both sides blaming the other for starting it. Earlier in that same year, South Korea’s government accused the north of sinking a ship, though it remains unclear to this day if they were actually involved.

Though the exact terms of today’s pact are not public yet, there is a risk that rather than preventing such incidents, the obligation for direct US military involvement could mean precipitous escalation when minor disputes break out, and might encourage South Korea to pick fights for diplomatic gain, counting on North Korea to fear a full-scale war enough to knuckle under quickly.


6. Income Growth For Bottom 90% In America Since 1966 Is... $59!

The average increase in real income reported by the bottom 90 percent of earners in 2011, compared with 1966, if measured at one inch, would extend almost five miles for the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent. Remember, we got off the gold standard in 1971, after which the Federal Reserve could print as much as they wanted and distribute it wherever they wanted…and they have.

Incomes and tax revenues have grown from 2009 to 2011 as the economy recovered, but an astonishing 149 percent of the increased income went to the top 10 percent of earners. If you wonder how that can happen, the answer is simple: Incomes fell for the bottom 90 percent.

Ponder that last fact for a moment — the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent, those making at least $7.97 million in 2011, enjoyed 39 percent of all the income gains in America. In a nation of 158.4 million households, just 15,837 of them received 39 cents out of every dollar of increased income.


7. World War Z Trailer: Martial Law Conditioning

During the first few seconds of the latest World War Z trailer, a young girl asks, “Daddy, what’s martial law?” as it is announced on a TV in the background. Once again it’s proven that Alex Jones can read the globalists like an open book, explaining the movie’s true intention months in advance as a propaganda vehicle to push a tyrannical one-world dictatorship hiding behind a U.N. mask.

After reading the book, Alex and his staff put together a video breaking down the classic modes of propaganda used in the story to acclimate large audiences on the proper way to move themselves into the system in case of a bio attack. A lot of Alex’s critics argue, “It’s just a movie, etc.,” however, judging by the prominent mention of “martial law,” anybody with even an entry-level education about the effects of media on a target population should be able to tell this movie is deliberate propaganda aimed at the minds of the American public.


8. Serbu Firearms Refuses to Sell .50 Cal Sniper Rifles to NYPD

Serbu Firearms, a manufacturer of bolt-action and semi-automatic .50 caliber sniper rifles, is refusing to sell their wares to the NYPD. Their reason, of course, is that owing to unfair gun laws, they will not support law enforcement in New York.

Serbu is one of almost 150 companies that has officially refused to sell to law enforcement in New York following the passage of the SAFE Act, the controversial gun control package that has been met with scorn by gun owners across the nation. The company posted the NYPD’s inquiry as well as their refusal to their Facebook page, with names omitted.

Company founder Mark Serbu said, “Unfortunately, we have a policy of selling to state law enforcement agencies only what is allowed to be sold to private citizens in that state. Since the passage of the NY SAFE act, the BFG-50A is considered an assault weapon and as such is no longer available to private citizens in the state of New York. Therefore we have to respectfully decline to supply your department with BFG-50A rifles.”

(03-27-2013 09:59 AM)EVILYOSHIDA Wrote: [ -> ]^ how are the misrulers preventing their own sons and daughters from being affected?

or do they not care?

All of the problems associated with processed/gmo/garbage food are simple risk multipliers. Billionaires have a much easier time avoiding risk multipliers than the vast majority of people. If something does happen, they also have access to vastly superior health care.

1. Watch Out, World Bank: Here Comes the BRIC Bank

Leaders of the five BRICS nations plan to create a development bank in a direct challenge to the World Bank that they accuse of Western bias.

The bank would use $50 billion of seed capital shared equally between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa but would undoubtedly be dominated by China. It would be the first institution of the informal forum started in 2009 amid the economic meltdown to chart a new and more equitable world economic order.

At a summit meeting on Wednesday in Durban, South Africa, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave support for the bank but cautioned it "must work on market principles." India's trade minister said BRICS will "have a defining influence on the global order of this century." The five countries represent a fifth of global GDP and share high growth and geopolitical importance in their separate regions, but have struggled to find common ground that would convert their economic weight into joint political clout.


2. China And Brazil Ditch US Dollar In Trade Deal Before BRICS Summit

China and Brazil agreed to trade in each other’s currencies just hours ahead of the BRICS summit in South Africa. The deal, which extends over a three-year period and amounts to an exchange of about $30 billion in trade per year, marks the latest effort among two of the world’s largest emerging economies to shift the dynamics of international trade that have long favored the U.S. dollar.

"Our interest is not to establish new relations with China, but to expand relations to be used in the case of turbulence in financial markets," Brazilian Central Bank Governor Alexandre Tombini said, Reuters reported.

By shifting some trade away from the U.S. dollar, the world’s primary reserve currency, the two countries aim to buffer their commercial ties against another financial crisis like the one that resulted from the collapse of the U.S. housing market bubble in 2008.

"Trade ties between China and Brazil are of great importance to the two countries' economies amid global woes and the member states' economic stability is vital for the BRICS mechanism," said Zhou Zhiwei, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Xinhua reported.


3. CDC: 110,197,000 Venereal Infections in U.S.; Nation Creating New STIs Faster Than New Jobs or College Grads

(CNSNews.com) - According to new data released by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 19.7 million new venereal infections in the United States in 2008, bringing the total number of existing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the U.S. at that time to 110,197,000. The 19.7 million new STIs in 2008 vastly outpaced the new jobs and college graduates created in the United States that year or any other year on record, according to government data. The competition was not close.

The STI study referenced by the CDC estimated that 50 percent of the new infections in 2008 occurred among people in the 15-to-24 age bracket. In fact, of the 19,738,800 total new STIs in the United States in 2008, 9,782,650 were among Americans in the 15-to-24 age bracket. By contrast, there were 1,524,092 bachelor’s degrees awarded in the United States in the 2007-2008 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That means the total number of new STIs in 2008 outpaced the total number of new bachelor’s degrees by nearly 13 to 1, and the number of new STIs among Americans in the 15-to-24 age bracket outnumbered new bachelor’s degrees by more than 6 to 1.

While the CDC estimates that there were 19.7 million new STIs in the United States in 2008, data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that the total number of people employed in the country actually declined by 2.9 million during that year. The CDC said the new venereal infections contracted each year cost the nation about $16 billion.


4. UN’s Ban Recommends Putting 11,200 Peacekeepers in Mali

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon recommended that as many as 11,200 United Nations peacekeepers and a special counterterrorist unit be deployed to Mali to take over the fight against Islamic insurgents in the land-locked African nation, relieving France.

Ban laid out the options for Mali in a 26-page report obtained by Bloomberg News, as France seeks to pull back 4,000 troops following its January intervention to rid the north of Islamist militants. About 7,000 African troops helping France should become a UN peacekeeping force, according to the report.

As a former colonial power with the most at stake in Mali, the French still are set to play an important if diminished role alongside a UN force of seven mobile infantry battalions, one reserve battalion and about 1,440 police operating in the north.


5. ‘Spamhaus mafia tactics – main threat to Internet freedom’: CyberBunker explains largest cyber-attack

Spamhaus is a major censorship organization only pretending to fight spam, a CyberBunker spokesman said in an RT exclusive. Sven Olaf Kamphuis claimed that as a constant bully of Internet service providers Spamhaus has only itself to blame for the attack. In a Skype interview with RT, Kamphuis denied that CyberBunker was the organization behind the historical attack, pointing the finger at a large collective of internet providers around the globe called Stophouse.com.

Spamhaus has blackmailed a number of internet service providers and carriers into disconnecting clients without court orders or any legal process, Kamphuis says. Basically, he accuses them of claiming people are spammers when they are not. “They do it on a regular basis,” Kamphuis said. “If people do not comply with their demands they just list the entire internet provider.”

Kamphuis claims they use “mafia tactics” and have a list of internet users that they do not like, which features a lot of users from China and Russia because they allegedly believe that a lot of spammers and criminals in these two countries use the internet to facilitate crime. Spamhaus first reported massive DDoS attacks on March 20. At one point Spamhaus servers were flooded with 300 billion bits per second (300Gbps) of data, making it the largest registered attack of this kind in the history of the internet, according to Kaspersky anti-virus giant’s experts.


6. Cyprus Banks Set To Reopen, To Serve As Glorified ATMs With A €300 Cash Withdrawal Limit

Tomorrow Cyprus banks will reopen sometime around noon (they are supposed to close at 6 pm but likely will close far earlier). What does that mean? Apparently nothing much. Because according ot various newswires the withdrawal limit at all banks will be €300 per day. This means that all those daytrading wannabes who want to get stinking rich and just buy US stocks with "no risk", will be unable to buy even one riskfree (at least until last September) stock of AAPL per day!

In other words, all said "reopening" will do, is to allow physical branches to be used as glorified ATMs but with a very terrified and confused carbon-based teller on the other side (the same ATMs which a few days ago saw their limit reduced from €300 to €120).

All other cash transactions will be strictly curbed, virtually no cash will be allowed to exit the island, and the what's more the government will ban the termination of the oh so ironically-named time deposits. This means that time deposits will now become "permanent deposits", even if within the €100,000 insured limit. The good news: credit card treansactions will be permitted when paying for goods and services anywhere on the island. Of course, electronic cash just happens to not be physical cash, which is why the bank is so cavalier with allowing people to access their own money. Well, electronic 1s and 0s-based money.


7. Harrison Ford Teams Up with CFR and Rockefeller Foundation to Save the Planet

Actor Harrison Ford has teamed up with the “High Priests of Globalism” to save the planet. In a video (see link below), Ford explains his role at “nature advocacy” group Conservation International, a foundation in the hip pocket of the arch globalists over at the Rockefeller Foundation. He is flanked by CEO Peter Seligmann and Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations. It really is amazing how clueless actors and Hollywood liberals like Ford and Angelina Jolie fall for the propaganda of the global elite and allow themselves to be used as tools.

No doubt Ford’s desire to save the planet is genuine. One has to ask, however, why he is blind to the agenda of the one-world fascist-socialist dictatorship cabal not sincerely interested in a clean and healthy environment – for us, anyway – but rather in consolidating wealth and controlling the planet, its resources and populations for their benefit.

“Unfortunately, the very real and pressing environmental concerns of the environmental movement have been hijacked by the elite to serve their own aims,” the Globalist Agenda explains. “They are now promoting global warming (recently rebranded as climate change since the earth really isn’t warming) as a real threat not to solve any real environmental issues but rather to promote a global system of taxation and control.”


8. Study: Earthworms may contribute to global warming

As environmentalists and politicians fret about man-made Global Warming, they may be ignoring another culprit: earthworms. According to a new study by an international team of researchers, earthworms could be contributing to global warming. The study looked at results from 237 separate experiments from published stories to explore earthworms’ role in affecting global warming.

“Our results suggest that although earthworms are largely beneficial to soil fertility, they increase net soil greenhouse-gas emissions,” according to the study’s abstract. Worms affect how much carbon dioxide is produced in the soil and how much escapes into the atmosphere by altering the physical structure of the soil through burrowing, which makes it more porous. Earthworms interact with microbes in the soil that produce a large chunk of the carbon dioxide emissions.

There are concerns that earthworms increase greenhouse gas emissions, which troubles scientists since earthworm numbers are on the rise.

Earthworms wtf

- Russia Is Next In Line To Restrict Cash Transactions

The Russians are taking a page from the Europeans book. Given the substantial criminal activity and illegal entrepreneurship in Russia - the grey and black economies account for 50–65 percent of GDP and estimates that about $50 billion was taken out of Russia illegally in 2012 alone - the great and glorious leaders have decided to impose restrictions on cash transactions.

As Russia Beyond The Headlines reports, Russia may ban cash payments for purchases of more than 300,000 rubles (around $10,000) starting in 2015 - starting with a higher ($19,500) restriction in 2014. They will also enforce mandatory cash-free salary payments (cash compensation accounts for 15% of GDP currently) in an effort to both bring some of the population's 'grey' income out of the shadow; and increase the volume of cash reserves in the banks.

It would appear that wherever we look now, leadership are realizing that the limits of fiscal and monetary policy have been reached and now changing rules, limiting freedom, and outright confiscation are the only way to maintain a status quo. Ironic really, when the enforcement of said rules may just be the catalyst for the end of the status quo as the middle class suffers.


- Furusawa Will Lead Japan Currency Policy as Weak Yen Draws Fire

Japan appointed Finance Ministry official Mitsuhiro Furusawa as the country’s top currency bureaucrat, Finance Minister Taro Aso said, as the weakening currency causes problems with Japan’s trading partners. Furusawa, 57, became vice finance minister for international affairs today, replacing incoming president of the Asian Development Bank Takehiko Nakao, Aso said in Tokyo.

Furusawa will supervise currency policy as trading partners including South Korea express concern over the yen’s fall of more than 17 percent against the dollar in the last two quarters. South Korea’s Finance Minister Hyun Oh Seok this month urged the Group of 20 nations to revisit the issue after the group refrained from criticizing Japanese policies last month. “A big challenge for the incoming vice finance minister will be to obtain the understanding of trading partners because Japan is set to provide more monetary stimulus, which may accelerate the yen’s decline,” said Azusa Kato, an economist at BNP Paribas SA in Tokyo. “If Japan intends to favor a weak yen policy, the government should engage in currency diplomacy to avoid friction.”

The yen was little changed at 94.15 per dollar as of 10:00 a.m. in Tokyo. The currency is poised for its biggest back-to- back quarterly slide since 1995 today on Abe’s commitments to revive the economy. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average was up 0.1 percent from yesterday, bringing its surge since the start of the fourth quarter of 2012 to 40 percent. Nakao was today appointed as an adviser to the finance ministry, Aso said. He will have to resign this position when he is elected as ADB head, according to the finance ministry.


- The stimulus trap

For years we have been warned by Keynesian economists to fear the so-called "liquidity trap," an economic cul-de-sac that can suck down an economy like a tar pit swallowing a mastodon. They argue that economies grow because banks lend and consumers spend. But a "liquidity trap," they argue, convinces consumers not to consume and businesses not to borrow. The resulting combination of slack demand and falling prices creates a pernicious cycle that cannot be overcome by the ordinary forces that create growth, like savings or investment. They say that a liquidity trap can even resist the extraordinary force of monetary stimulus by rendering cash injections into useless "string pushing." Some of these economists suggest that its power can only be countered by a world war or other fortunately timed event that leads to otherwise politically unattainable levels of government spending.

Putting aside the dubious proposition that the human desire to strive and succeed can be permanently short-circuited by an economic contraction, and that modest expected price declines can quell our desire to consume, the Keynesians have overlooked a much more dangerous and demonstrable pitfall of their own creation: something that I call "The Stimulus Trap." This condition occurs when an economy becomes addicted to the monetary stimulus provided by a central bank, and as a result fails to restructure itself in a manner that will allow for robust, and sustainable, growth. The trap redirects capital into non-productive sectors and starves those areas of the economy that could lead an economic rebirth.

The condition is characterized by anemic growth and deteriorating underlying economic fundamentals which is often masked by inflation or asset price bubbles.

Japan has been caught in such a stimulus trap for more than a decade. Following a stock and housing market boom of unsustainable proportions in the 1980s, the Japanese economy spectacularly imploded in 1991. The crash initiated a "lost decade" of de-leveraging and contraction. But beginning in 2001, the Bank of Japan unveiled a series of unconventional policies that it describes as "quantitative easing," which involved pushing interest rates to zero, flooding commercial banks with excess liquidity, and buying unprecedented quantities of government bonds, asset-backed securities, and corporate debt. Although Japan has been technically in recovery ever since, its performance is but a shadow of the roaring growth that typified the 40 years prior to 1991. Recently, conditions in Japan have deteriorated further and the underlying imbalances have gotten progressively worse. Yet despite this, the new government is set to double down on the failed policies of the last decade.


- Putin flexes Russian military muscle in naval exercise

(Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin ordered large-scale military exercises in the Black Sea on Thursday, projecting Russian power towards Europe and the Middle East in a move that may vex neighbors. Officials suggested the surprise drill would test reaction speed and combat readiness, but Putin's order also seemed a signal to the West of Russia's presence in the region.

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Putin triggered the maneuvers as he flew back overnight from South Africa after a summit of the BRICS emerging economies. Peskov said 36 warships and an unspecified number of planes would take part, but not how long exercises would last.

Putin has stressed the importance of a strong and agile military since returning to the presidency last May. In 13 years in power, he has often cited external threats when talking of the need for reliable armed forces and Russian political unity. Late last month, Putin ordered military leaders to make urgent improvements to the armed forces in the next few years, saying Russia must thwart Western attempts to tip the balance of power. He said maneuvers must be held with less advance warning, to keep soldiers on their toes.


- Weapons supplies to Syrian rebels increase dramatically before a push on Damascus

AMMAN, Jordan — Mideast powers opposed to President Bashar Assad have dramatically stepped up weapons supplies to Syrian rebels in coordination with the U.S. in preparation for a push on the capital of Damascus, officials and Western military experts said Wednesday. A carefully prepared covert operation is arming rebels, involving Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, with the United States and other Western governments consulting, and all parties hold veto power over where the shipments are directed, according to a senior Arab official whose government is participating. His account was corroborated by a diplomat and two military experts.

The Arab official said the number of arms airlifts has doubled in the past four weeks. He did not provide exact figures on the flights or the size of the cargo. Jordan opened up as a new route for the weapons late last year, amid U.S. worries that arms from Turkey were going to Islamic militants, all four told The Associated Press in separate interviews. Jordan denies helping funnel weapons to the rebels. The two military experts, who closely follow the traffic, said the weapons include more powerful, Croatian-made anti-tank guns and rockets than the rebels have had before.

The Arab official said there was a “master plan” for the rebels to seize Damascus. He and the diplomat spoke to the AP on condition that their identities and their nationalities not be disclosed because the operation was covert. “The idea is that the rebels now have the necessary means to advance from different fronts — north from Turkey and south from Jordan — to close in on Damascus to unseat Assad,” the Arab official said. He declined to provide details, but said the plan is being prepared in stages and will take “days or weeks” for results.


- How the Kurds are shaking up the Middle East

In Turkey, imprisoned Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan has roiled the Middle East playing field by ordering his fighters to disarm, and shift their attention to politics. Coupled with the oil-led autonomy movement in Iraqi Kurdistan, Ocalan’s blockbuster announcement threatens the integrity of three nations that lack Turkey’s political nimbleness—Iran, Iraq and Syria. The Kurds are some 30 million people spread in towns and villages across these four Middle East countries. Repeatedly through history, one group or the other has risen up with the aim of defending their distinctive culture. The most active has been the PKK, Ocalan’s group in Turkey.

Ocalan (pronounced oh’-jah-lahn) made his announcement March 21 from the island prison in the Sea of Marmara where he has been held since 1999. As of now, the order appears to be embraced (paywall) by on-the-ground PKK leaders. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who along with Ocalan has brokered the breakthrough, must also make sure he carries the support of Turkish nationalists. But the geopolitical potency of the move is its convergence with politics in neighboring Iraq. There, oil deals signed by foreign companies led by ExxonMobil have carved out significantly more autonomy for Iraqi Kurds.

Baghdad already fears that Turkey’s friendship with Iraq’s Kurds is leading to a splitup of the country. Turkey and Iraqi Kurds are planning pipelines that would directly ship oil and gas from the region to the market, independent from Baghdad’s control. “If oil from Kurdistan goes through Turkey directly, that will be like dividing Iraq,” Iraq’s Deputy National Security Adviser, Safa al-Sheikh Hussein, told Reuters. The Kurds, he said, “are a little over-confident and overly ambitious.”


- Surprised? Monsanto Openly Wrote Own Monsanto Protection Act

It should come as no surprise to many of you to find out that Monsanto actually authored the wording of its own Monsanto Protection Act hidden in the recently passed and signed Continuing Resolution spending bill. How could a major corporation write its own laws and regulations, you ask? Quite frankly I think it’s important to understand that the entire Senate passed the bill containing the Protection Act, but the politician who actually gave Monsanto the pen in order to write their very own legislation is no others than Roy Blunt — a Republican Senator from Missouri. As the latest IB Times article reveals, the Missouri politician worked with Monsanto to write the Monsanto Protection Act. This was confirmed by a New York news report I will get to shortly.

As you probably know I do not play the political clown game of left verses right, and instead highlight corruption and wrongdoing wherever it is found — regardless of party affiliation. In the case of Senator Blunt, he admits to colluding with Monsanto, a corporation that has literally been caught running ‘slave-like’ working conditions in which workers are unable to leave or eat (among many worse misdeeds).

This is one of the most blatant offenses against the citizens of the United States I’ve seen in a long time. A population that Blunt swore to serve. It’s not for the United States public at all, and it’s a serious matter that I don’t think is properly understood. The passing of this bill into law means that Monsanto is now immune from federal courts regarding any suspension or action on their crops that have been deemed to be dangerous to the people (or the environment).


- State Ban on UN Agenda 21 Clears Arizona Senate

Under immense pressure from grassroots activists across the political spectrum, lawmakers in the Arizona Senate approved legislation last week that would ban the controversial United Nations “sustainable development” scheme known as UN Agenda 21 within the state. The measure in Arizona follows similar efforts in other states and comes amid increasing nationwide outrage about the international so-called “sustainability” plot, which according to UN documents aims to radically restructure human civilization under the guise of environmentalism and fighting poverty.

The legislation, S.B. 1403, is summarized in the bill as “an act prohibiting the state and its political subdivisions from recognizing the United Nations or any of its declarations as legal authority in this state.” Specifically targeted are the UN “Rio Declaration on Environment and Development” and the “Statement of Principles for Sustainable Development” adopted by dictators and national governments at the 1992 international “sustainability” summit held in Rio de Janeiro. “Notwithstanding any other law, the state of Arizona and all political subdivisions of this state … shall not recognize the United Nations or any of its declarations as legal authority in this state,” the legislation reads, pointing out that officials are bound by their oaths to the Constitution. Political subdivisions are defined in the bill as the state, county, city, or town governments, as well as any “special districts” authorized by local officials.

The bill also addresses the fact that the UN has enlisted numerous so-called “non-governmental organizations” (NGOs) to implement its agenda around the world — especially noteworthy is a Germany-based group known as ICLEI, formerly the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives. Recognizing that, under the legislation, the state of Arizona and all its political subdivisions would be prohibited from financing or collaborating with such groups. “We are very excited about the bill moving forward,” popular Republican state Sen. Judy Burges, who sponsored the legislation and a similar bill last year, told The New American. “Here in Arizona, Agenda 21 is slowly creeping into the state. It has its tentacles in everything from the schools to local government all the way up to the state.”


- Computer Fraud And Abuse Act 2013: New CFAA Draft Aims To Expand, Not Reform, The ‘Worst Law In Technology’

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act was passed in 1984 to combat the cracking of huge computer systems owned by financial institutions and the government. Nearly 30 years and seven amendments later, the law is regarded by many lawyers and academics as overly “expansive” and “sweeping,” as it lets the government incarcerate “any Internet user they want,” according to former federal prosecutor Orin Kerr. “The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is the most outrageous criminal law you’ve never heard of,” Tim Wu, a Columbia law professor and pioneer of network neutrality, wrote in the New Yorker. “It bans ‘unauthorized access’ of computers, but no one really knows what those words mean.”

Despite the enormous reach of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as it currently stands – it was the same law used by prosecutors to torment late Internet activist Aaron Swartz prior to his suicide on Jan. 11 -- the House Judiciary Committee has actually proposed a number of expansions to the law in a new draft, which Tech Dirt says will be “rushed” to Congress during its “cyber week” in the middle of April.“The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is the most outrageous criminal law you’ve never heard of,” Tim Wu, a Columbia law professor and pioneer of network neutrality, wrote in the New Yorker. “It bans ‘unauthorized access’ of computers, but no one really knows what those words mean.”You can read the proposed Computer Fraud and Abuse Act draft in its entirety here (pdf link, on original article).

Among many additions, the new CFAA draft expands the number of ways a person could be prosecuted by punishing anyone who “conspires to commit” violations just like those that have already “completed” the offense. It also adds computer crimes as a form of “racketeering activity,” to allow the Department of Justice to hit computer criminals with further charges in court. And if you’re found guilty, the new CFAA endorses more severe punishments for any offenders by raising the maximum sentences available for certain violations.

Quote:- Surprised? Monsanto Openly Wrote Own Monsanto Protection Act

It should come as no surprise to many of you to find out that Monsanto actually authored the wording of its own Monsanto Protection Act hidden in the recently passed and signed Continuing Resolution spending bill. How could a major corporation write its own laws and regulations, you ask? Quite frankly I think it’s important to understand that the entire Senate passed the bill containing the Protection Act, but the politician who actually gave Monsanto the pen in order to write their very own legislation is no others than Roy Blunt — a Republican Senator from Missouri. As the latest IB Times article reveals, the Missouri politician worked with Monsanto to write the Monsanto Protection Act. This was confirmed by a New York news report I will get to shortly.

As you probably know I do not play the political clown game of left verses right, and instead highlight corruption and wrongdoing wherever it is found — regardless of party affiliation. In the case of Senator Blunt, he admits to colluding with Monsanto, a corporation that has literally been caught running ‘slave-like’ working conditions in which workers are unable to leave or eat (among many worse misdeeds).

This is one of the most blatant offenses against the citizens of the United States I’ve seen in a long time. A population that Blunt swore to serve. It’s not for the United States public at all, and it’s a serious matter that I don’t think is properly understood. The passing of this bill into law means that Monsanto is now immune from federal courts regarding any suspension or action on their crops that have been deemed to be dangerous to the people (or the environment).


- Break Up the BRICS

If this week’s BRICS summit in Durban, South Africa, passed you by, we don’t blame you. The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa met, as they do once a year, to advance their common interests. They found, as they do once a year, that they don’t have many, so not much happened.

What’s worse, one common interest they do have is ill- served by the BRICS grouping and by their leaders’ desire to develop formal institutions around it. That valid interest is to give big fast-growing nations -- a group that extends far beyond the arbitrarily selected club of BRICS -- the voice they should have at the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and other global economic bodies. In pursuing this goal, the BRICS leaders would be wise to be less ambitious for their ill-sorted alliance and more ambitious for the developing world as a whole.

Summits must have something to discuss and this week’s gathering focused on plans to create a new development bank, supposedly to rival the World Bank. One wonders how seriously even the BRICS’ leaders are taking this idea. It was considered at the previous summit, and after a year of study and consultation, it is barely inching forward. Basic issues such as the apportioning of capital contributions, the eventual location of the bank (an especially sensitive topic) and even what exactly it would do remain unresolved. The lack of progress amounts to tacit agreement that nothing is ever going to happen. So much the better. The BRICS don’t need their own development bank. What they need is to pool their influence with that of other big and fast-growing nations so that existing development institutions aren’t run for the sole convenience of the U.S. and Europe.


- Big depositors in Cyprus to lose far more than feared

(Reuters) - Big depositors in Cyprus's largest bank stand to lose far more than initially feared under a European Union rescue package to save the island from bankruptcy, a source with direct knowledge of the terms said on Friday.

Under conditions expected to be announced on Saturday, depositors in Bank of Cyprus will get shares in the bank worth 37.5 percent of their deposits over 100,000 euros, the source told Reuters, while the rest of their deposits may never be paid back.

The toughening of the terms will send a clear signal that the bailout means the end of Cyprus as a hub for offshore finance and could accelerate economic decline on the island and bring steeper job losses Officials had previously spoken of a loss to big depositors of 30 to 40 percent.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday defended the 10-billion euro ($13 billion) bailout deal agreed with the EU five days ago, saying it had contained the risk of national bankruptcy.


- S&P 500 index reaches record high

(Close): The S&P 500 index closed on Thursday night at a record high of 1,569, up 6 points or 0.4%. The last time it broke into new territory was on 9 October 2007 when it closed at 1,565. The Dow Jones index was also up 0.4%, with a rise of 52 points taking it to a record 14,578.

The Nasdaq joined in the upbeat mood created by the smooth reopening of banks in Cyprus and generally positive economic news. It rose 11 points, or 0.3%, to close at 3,268. The S&P has been near its record high for several weeks, despite the still sluggish performance of the US economy. This means it finishes the quarter 10% higher than its level at the beginning of the year and more than double its low point during the financial crisis.

Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank in Cleveland said that the new closing high "is a very appropriate punctuation for a great quarter that saw a lot of last year's anxieties recede." However, Michael Mullaney, chief investment officer at Fiduciary Trust in Boston warned "we don't know how long we'll be at these levels."


- North Korea says enters "state of war" against South

(Reuters) - North Korea said on Saturday it was entering a "state of war" with South Korea, its latest bout of angry rhetoric directed at Seoul and Washington, but the South brushed off the statement as little more than tough talk.

The North also threatened to shut down an industrial zone it operates jointly with the South near the heavily armed border between the two sides if Seoul continued to say the complex was being kept running for money. The two Koreas have been technically in a state of war for six decades under a truce that ended their 1950-53 conflict. Despite its threats, few people see any indication Pyongyang will risk a near-certain defeat by re-starting full-scale war.

"From this time on, the North-South relations will be entering the state of war and all issues raised between the North and the South will be handled accordingly," a statement carried by the North's official KCNA news agency said.


- Russia’s NGO checks ‘legal and routine’ – Putin

Recent inspections of Russian NGOs were conducted in order to monitor their activity, and to ensure they comply with Russian law, President Vladimir Putin said at the meeting with his human rights plenipotentiary.

“The Prosecutor General’s Office must check the legality of actions of all bodies of power – regional, municipal, and also public organizations. I think in this case the goal of the inspections is to check how the activities of non-governmental organizations comply with their declared objectives, and with the laws of Russian Federation,” Putin said during his meeting with Vladimir Lukin, Russia’s top Human Rights Commissioner.

The meeting took place as Russian prosecutors, the Justice Ministry and the Tax Service launched a series of surprise inspections of the country’s major NGOs, including leading Russian organizations and the Russian branches of international groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The international rights community sounded the alarm, blasting the checks as an attempt to pressure activists and silence critics. Germany, France and the United States officially voiced concern over the probes.


- Iraq, Afghan wars will cost to $4 trillion to $6 trillion, Harvard study says

The U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will cost taxpayers $4 trillion to $6 trillion, taking into account the medical care of wounded veterans and expensive repairs to a force depleted by more than a decade of fighting, according to a new study by a Harvard researcher. Washington increased military benefits in late 2001 as the nation went to war, seeking to quickly bolster its talent pool and expand its ranks. Those decisions and the protracted nation-building efforts launched in both countries will generate expenses for years to come, Linda J. Bilmes, a public policy professor, wrote in the report that was released Thursday.

“As a consequence of these wartime spending choices, the United States will face constraints in funding investments in personnel and diplomacy, research and development and new military initiatives,” the report says. “The legacy of decisions taken during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will dominate future federal budgets for decades to come.”

Bilmes said the United States has spent almost $2 trillion already for the military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. Those costs, she said, are only a fraction of the ultimate price tag. The biggest ongoing expense will be providing medical care and disability benefits to veterans of the two conflicts.


- Fusion center director: We don’t spy on Americans, just anti-government Americans

Law enforcement intelligence-processing fusion centers have long come under attack for spying on Americans. The Arkansas director wanted to clarify the truth: centers only spies on some Americans – those who appear to be a threat to the government.

In trying to clear up the ‘misconceptions’ about the conduct of fusion centers, Arkansas State Fusion Center Director Richard Davis simply confirmed Americans’ fears: the center does in fact spy on Americans – but only on those who are suspected to be ‘anti-government’.

“The misconceptions are that we are conducting spying operations on US citizens, which is of course not a fact. That is absolutely not what we do,” he told the NWA Homepage, which supports KNWA-TV and Fox 24. After claiming that his office ‘absolutely’ does not spy on Americans, he proceeded to explain that this does not apply to those who could be interpreted as a ‘threat’ to national security. Davis said his office places its focus on international plots, “domestic terrorism and certain groups that are anti-government. We want to kind of take a look at that and receive that information.”


- Planned Parenthood Official Argues for Right to Post-Birth Abortion

Florida legislators considering a bill to require abortionists to provide medical care to an infant who survives an abortion were shocked during a committee hearing this week when a Planned Parenthood official endorsed a right to post-birth abortion.

Alisa LaPolt Snow, the lobbyist representing the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, testified that her organization believes the decision to kill an infant who survives a failed abortion should be left up to the woman seeking an abortion and her abortion doctor.

Posted on the Department of Education website

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Sorry for the delay.

- Should China Keep its “Africa Dreams” to Itself?

Since taking over as party chairman Xi Jinping has repeatedly invoked the theme of the “Chinese Dream,” which heralds “the great revival of the Chinese nation.” The phrase should probably be seen as the conceptual framework for Xi’s presidency. Indeed, coining such a phrase has become something of a formalized tradition in China. Under Hu Jintao, for instance, the concept of the “harmonious society” sought to capture Hu’s aims of building a moderately prosperous and more inclusive society. On the other hand, Jiang Zemin’s “Three Represents” signaled an opening up of the Party to business and other important societal groups that were empowered through Deng Xiaoping’s own ideological contribution to Party lexicon: “reform and opening up.”

An interesting characteristic of Xi’s term, which will no doubt be studied ad nauseam within CCP circles, has been its instant international exportability. During his first trip abroad, for example, Xi gave a speech in Tanzania laying out his idea of “Africa Dream,” which entailed, among other things, “unity and achieving development through rejuvenation.” In the same speech Xi also spoke of a “world dream” that was aimed at achieving “enduring peace and common prosperity” The degree to which such a term might take hold in foreign countries should not be underestimated, especially in Africa, where China has been engaged in a charm offensive for over a decade. Terms such as “win-win” and “harmonious relations” have already been drawn on extensively by African leaders in recent years.

One of the reasons Xi’s concepts of “World Dream” and “Africa Dream” have more appeal in Africa as opposed to countries like Britain or the United States is because they are bound up with the growing economic influence China now exercises over Africa. In short, such terms are not merely hollow slogans but rather embedded within dense capital flows manifested in very tangible things such as roads, railways and refineries. They are also behind more symbolic structures such as the new African Union building in Addis Ababa, which was constructed by the Chinese for US$200 million (it is worth noting that the very auditorium where Xi gave his “Africa Dream” speech was also built using Chinese capital).


- U.N. passes sweeping international arms regulation viewed by some as Second Amendment override

The United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday signed off on a sweeping, first-of-its-kind treaty to regulate the international arms trade, brushing aside worries from U.S. gun rights advocates that the pact could lead to a national firearms registry and disrupt the American gun market.

The long-debated U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) requires countries to regulate and control the export of weaponry such as battle tanks, combat vehicles and aircraft and attack helicopters, as well as parts and ammunition for such weapons. It also provides that signatories will not violate arms embargoes, international treaties regarding illicit trafficking, or sell weaponry to countries for genocide, crimes against humanity or other war crimes.

With the Obama administration supporting the final treaty draft, the General Assembly vote was 155 to 3, with 22 abstentions. Iran, Syria and North Korea voted against it. American gun rights activists, though, insist the treaty is riddled with loopholes and is unworkable in part because it includes “small arms and light weapons” in its list of weaponry subject to international regulations. They do not trust U.N. assertions that the pact is meant to regulate only cross-border trade and would have no impact on domestic U.S. laws and markets.


- Camp Nama: British personnel reveal horrors of secret US base in Baghdad

British soldiers and airmen who helped to operate a secretive US detention facility in Baghdad that was at the centre of some of the most serious human rights abuses to occur in Iraq after the invasion have, for the first time, spoken about abuses they witnessed there. Personnel from two RAF squadrons and one Army Air Corps squadron were given guard and transport duties at the secret prison, the Guardian has established.

And many of the detainees were brought to the facility by snatch squads formed from Special Air Service and Special Boat Service squadrons. Codenamed Task Force 121, the joint US-UK special forces unit was at first deployed to detain individuals thought to have information about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. Once it was realised that Saddam's regime had long since abandoned its WMD programme, TF 121 was re-tasked with tracking down people who might know where the deposed dictator and his loyalists might be, and then with catching al-Qaida leaders who sprang up in the country after the regime collapsed.

Suspects were brought to the secret prison at Baghdad International airport, known as Camp Nama, for questioning by US military and civilian interrogators. But the methods used were so brutal that they drew condemnation not only from a US human rights body but from a special investigator reporting to the Pentagon


- Gitmo Hunger Strike Growing: Detainees Say 130 Taking Part

The hunger strike among detainees at Guantanamo Bay is growing more dire by the day, with a number of the detainees in failing health. It is also growing in sheer size, according to detainee Shaker Aamer.

Aamer, never charged with any wrongdoing and cleared for release twice, in 2007 and 2009, is among the strikers, and according to his lawyer has lost 32 pounds. He told his lawyer that the number of strikers is now 130, the vast majority of the 166 captives still held at the facility.

Gitmo prison spokesman Cap. Robert Durand disputed the account, saying the Pentagon only recognizes 39 “official” strikers. That number has soared in recent weeks as well, though the military maintains that a number of self-professed strikers are “cheating” and sneaking snacks when no one is looking.



- Border Patrol: China mobilizing troops, jets near Korea

China has placed military forces on heightened alert in the northeastern part of the country as tensions mount on the Korean peninsula following recent threats by Pyongyang to attack, U.S. officials said. Reports from the region reveal the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recently increased its military posture in response to the heightened tensions, specifically North Korea’s declaration of a “state of war” and threats to conduct missile attacks against the United States and South Korea.

According to the officials, the PLA has stepped up military mobilization in the border region with North Korea since mid-March, including troop movements and warplane activity. China’s navy also conducted live-firing naval drills by warships in the Yellow Sea that were set to end Monday near the Korean peninsula, in apparent support of North Korea, which was angered by ongoing U.S.-South Korean military drills that are set to continue throughout April.


- US Navy shifts destroyer in wake of North Korea missile threats

The U.S. Navy is shifting a guided-missile destroyer in the Pacific to waters off the Korean peninsula in the wake of ongoing rhetoric from North Korea, U.S. defense officials said. The USS McCain is capable of intercepting and destroying a missile, should North Korea decide to fire one off, the officials said.

Still, U.S. defense officials insist that there is nothing to indicate that North Korea is on the verge of another launch. The White House on Monday said the United States hasn’t seen large-scale movements from North Korean military forces in the aftermath of harsh rhetoric from the reclusive government. As North Korean state TV shows constant images of the army bombarding South Korea, North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un is saying his missiles are at the ready and has cut off emergency communications. NBC's Richard Engel reports.

"I would note that despite the harsh rhetoric we are hearing from Pyongyang, we are not seeing changes to the North Korean military posture, such as large-scale mobilizations and positioning of forces," Carney said


- South Korea President Threatens Military Action Against North

South Korean President Park Geun-hye says that her government is taking North Korea’s threats “very seriously” and will respond militarily to any provocations “without any political consideration.” Though the situation in Korea is often couched as a US versus North Korea problem, South Korea is also among the top nations on the planet in military spending, and threatens to attack North Korea on a fairly regular basis as a politically popular position.

South Korea’s military is currently engaged in joint military drills with the United States, an annual drill that gets bigger every year, simulating a war against North Korea. The drills have sparked threats from North Korea every year, and those threats lead to counter-threats. All in all, the threats are mostly empty posturing, with both sides likely to lose too much in a war to make it ever worthwhile, but both sides’ leaderships also gaining too much for hyping the other side’s “threat” to ever allow serious calm in the peninsula.


Visualizing The Cypriot Deposit Confiscation

From 'why Cyprus could not bail out its banks' to its failed financing needs and the road to confiscation, Demonocracy provides the 'e verything you wanted to know about Cyprus' infograph 'but were afraid to read'.


-Another European Politican Exposed As Complete Liar

This would be Jerome Cahuzac, the French "budget minister" who was tasked with rooting out tax fraud by his socialist "75% tax or the capitalist pigs win" overlord, and who resigned two weeks ago to avoid "hindering" an investigation into allegations he had a secret Swiss account, all the while maintaining his innocence? Well, he was just exposed as the latest lying Eurocrat politicians.



- Israel strikes Gaza for the first time since truce

The Israeli Air Force has launched an airstrike on Gaza, the first such attack since a ceasefire ended the bloody conflict in November. No injuries were reported. "Occupation planes bombarded an open area in northern Gaza, there were no wounded," a statement from the Hamas Interior Ministry said.

Gaza-based documentary film-maker Harry Fear reports there had been 3 separate strikes at five to midnight on Tuesday. According to Haaretz, the strikes hit near the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya, after two mortar shells were fired from Gaza towards western Negev earlier that day.

Israel Defense Forces confirmed they had launched an airstrike on a Gaza target Tuesday night, according to the Jerusalem Post. The Israeli military initially claimed that only one projectile had landed in Israel, but later issued a statement saying nothing had landed. "It turns out that nothing fell on Israeli territories," a spokeswoman told AFP.


UN plans post-Assad Syria deployment

Exclusive Al Jazeera report details world body's plans for troop deployment if Bashar al-Assad's regime falls.

Video Report:



1. North Korea threats: US to move missile defences to Guam

The US has announced it is moving an advanced missile defence system to the Pacific island of Guam as North Korea steps up its warlike rhetoric. The latest statement from Pyongyang "formally informs" the Pentagon it has "ratified" a possible nuclear strike. North Korea has threatened to target the US and South Korea in recent weeks.

Its latest statement came amid warnings from US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel that North Korea is a "real and clear danger" to the US and its allies. The US Department of Defense said on Wednesday it would deploy the ballistic Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (Thaad) in the coming weeks.

The Thaad system includes a truck-mounted launcher, interceptor missiles, and AN/TPY-2 tracking radar, together with an integrated fire control system. The Pentagon said the missile system would be moved to Guam, a US territory with a significant US military presence, as a "precautionary move to strengthen our regional defence posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat".


2. Cancer clinics are turning away thousands of Medicare patients.

Cancer clinics across the country have begun turning away thousands of Medicare patients, blaming the sequester budget cuts. Oncologists say the reduced funding, which took effect for Medicare on April 1, makes it impossible to administer expensive chemotherapy drugs while staying afloat financially.

Patients at these clinics would need to seek treatment elsewhere, such as at hospitals that might not have the capacity to accommodate them. “If we treated the patients receiving the most expensive drugs, we’d be out of business in six months to a year,” said Jeff Vacirca, chief executive of North Shore Hematology Oncology Associates in New York. “The drugs we’re going to lose money on we’re not going to administer right now.”

After an emergency meeting Tuesday, Vacirca’s clinics decided that they would no longer see one-third of their 16,000 Medicare patients. “A lot of us are in disbelief that this is happening,” he said. “It’s a choice between seeing these patients and staying in business.” Some who have been pushing the federal government to spend less on health care say this is not the right approach.


3. Lawmakers to amend cybersecurity bill behind closed doors

Members of the media and the public will not be able to watch the House Intelligence Committee's markup next week of a controversial cybersecurity bill, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). Lawmakers will be allowed to discuss what happened in the meeting afterward, and the committee plans to release information about what amendments were offered and how lawmakers voted. But the public will not be allowed in the room, and the meeting will not be streamed online.

Susan Phalen, a spokeswoman for the committee, explained that the Intelligence Committee often restricts access to hearings and that it is possible that lawmakers will need to discuss classified information. "Sometimes they'll need to bounce into classified information and go closed for a period of time to talk," she said. "In order to keep the flow of the mark-up continuing forward, you can't stop in the middle of an open hearing, move everyone to another location for a portion of it, and then move back." She noted that the committee used the same procedure when it marked up CISPA last year.


4. U.S. sees highest poverty spike since the 1960s, leaving 50 million Americans poor as government cuts billions in spending

The number of Americans living in poverty has spiked to levels not seen since the mid 1960s, classing 20 per cent of the country’s children as poor. It comes at a time when government spending cuts of $85 billion have kicked in after feuding Democrats and Republicans failed to agree on a better plan for addressing the national deficit. The cuts will directly affect 50 million Americans living below the poverty income line and reduce their chances of finding work and a better life.


5. Italy seizes record 1.7 billion euro from Sicilian

ROME (AP) -- Italian police have seized a record (EURO)1.3 billion ($1.7 billion) in cash and property from a single person, a Sicilian alternative energy entrepreneur alleged to have close ties to the Mafia.

Italy's anti-Mafia investigators said in a statement Wednesday that Vito Nicastri, a 57-year-old native of Alcamo, near Trapani, was placed under surveillance and must remain in Alcamo for three years. He is accused of declaring for tax purposes a fraction of the value of his businesses.

Italian media have dubbed Nicastri the "king of alternative energy" for his vast holdings in wind farms and photovoltaic cell companies. Police said the seizures include 43 companies; 98 pieces of real estate including buildings, homes, stores and land; 66 bank accounts, credit cards and investment funds.


6. Almost third of US West Coast newborns hit with thyroid problems after Fukushima nuclear disaster

Researchers have discovered that the Fukushima nuclear disaster has had far-reaching health effects more drastic than previously thought: young children born on the US West Coast are 28 percent more likely to develop congenital hyperthyroidism.

In examining post-Fukushima conditions along the West Coast, researchers found American-born children to be developing similar conditions that some Europeans acquired after the 1986 meltdown of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

“Fukushima fallout appeared to affect all areas of the US, and was especially large in some, mostly in the western part of the nation,” researchers from the New York-based Radiation and Health Project wrote in a study published by the Open Journal of Pediatrics. Children born after the 2011 meltdown of Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant are at high risk of acquiring congenital hyperthyroidism if they were in the line of fire for radioactive isotopes. Researchers studied concentration levels of radioiodine isotopes (I-131) and congenital hypothyroid cases to make the association.


7. Iraq: Syrian Rebels Breathe New Life into Iraqi Insurgency

With Syrian rebels controlling more and more of the border with neighboring Iraq, the legitimate traffic flowing back and forth has ground to a halt, with Iraq’s government desperate to close border crossings as soon as the Assad government loses them. The flow of fighters and arms back and forth is certainly not being stopped by these closures, however, and Iraqi officials warn that the Syrian Jihadists are breathing new left into Iraq’s own insurgency.

The two major players in all of this, the Syrian Jabhat al-Nusra and al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), enjoy a symbiotic relationship, and indeed have gotten so cozy that US officials say they are virtually indistinguishable from one another anymore.

The sectarian civil war in Syria added new urgency to the sectarian strife in Iraq, and the Western arms flowing into Syria, for rebel use, are leaving everyone with better weapons. AQI, on the other hand, has a solid decade of experience fighting the US occupation force, and can contribute experience as well as international legitimacy (at least in jihadist circles) to Nusra, which was originally supposed to be an Islamist media outlet and has ended up the backbone of Syria’s rebellion.


8. Stocks Slump Most In 6 Weeks; Bonds Best Close Of Year

Treasuries closed at their lowest yield of the year - around 1.81% - and the Dow ended down triple-digits as the S&P saw its biggest down day in six weeks. Volume was 25% above average. The rally's leaders were smashed

VIX popped back above 14% but stocks are catching down to it. JPY strengthened from early in the US day - giving back all the weakness that the BoJ jawboned overnight and commodities were sold across the board (even as the USD did not move greatly) suggesting more liquidation-like moves. A late-day VWAP-reversion attempt (using HYG and EURJPY) failed which suggests there is real selling-pressure (something we have not seen in recent declines).

Charts displaying some of the above statistics, which I am too lazy to post, are within this article.

I guess that's what Obama meant when he said "Make them feel the sequester cuts."
Quote:2. Cancer clinics are turning away thousands of Medicare patients.

Cancer clinics across the country have begun turning away thousands of Medicare patients, blaming the sequester budget cuts. Oncologists say the reduced funding, which took effect for Medicare on April 1, makes it impossible to administer expensive chemotherapy drugs while staying afloat financially.

this is exactly why you shouldn't bash the catholics. they would be stepping in for this if they had more clout.
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