‘The owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, Andrew Adler, has suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to consider ordering a Mossad hit team to assassinate U.S. President Barack Obama so that his successor will defend Israel against Iran.
Adler, who has since apologized for his article, listed three options for Israel to counter Iran’s nuclear weapons in an article published in his newspaper last Friday. The first is to launch a pre-emptive strike against Hamas and Hezbollah, the second is to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities and the third is to “give the go-ahead for U.S.-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice president to take his place and forcefully dictate that the United States’ policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies.”’
‘Israeli officials told visiting USS Chief Joint of Staffs Martin Dempsey that it would give President Barack Obama no more than 12 hours notice if and when it attacks Iran, The London Times reported Sunday.
The Netanyahu government also will not coordinate with the United States an attack on the Islamic Republic, according to the report, the latest in a number of suposed scenarios concerning cooperation or lack of it between Jerusalem and Washington.’
Act II of the Occupy Wall Street movement, San Francisco version, kicked off on a rainy, blustery Friday in the heart of the city’s financial district. Targeting specific corporations like Wells Fargo and Bank of America and emphasizing real, tangible issues like home foreclosures, affordable health care and education as well as broader ones like the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, several hundred protesters – the exact number was impossible to estimate – fanned out across the city, snarling traffic, getting arrested, holding sidewalk teach-ins, and generally serving notice that after its brief winter hibernation, the Occupy movement was back and kicking.
A new study published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine shows how grapes can be utilized as a powerful tool in halting or slowing blindness brought on by age. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive eye condition which leads to a suffering retina. The condition affects millions of elderly individuals worldwide, but knowing this information can put a stop to the increasing statistics and even make it so that no eye-sight ‘promoting’ pharmaceuticals are needed.
The Ministry of Defence turned large parts of the country into a giant laboratory to conduct a series of secret germ warfare tests on the public.
A government report just released provides for the first time a comprehensive official history of Britain’s biological weapons trials between 1940 and 1979.
Many of these tests involved releasing potentially dangerous chemicals and micro-organisms over vast swaths of the population without the public being told.
While details of some secret trials have emerged in recent years, the 60-page report reveals new information about more than 100 covert experiments.
The report reveals that military personnel were briefed to tell any ‘inquisitive inquirer’ the trials were part of research projects into weather and air pollution.
The tests, carried out by government scientists at Porton Down, were designed to help the MoD assess Britain’s vulnerability if the Russians were to have released clouds of deadly germs over the country.
In most cases, the trials did not use biological weapons but alternatives which scientists believed would mimic germ warfare and which the MoD claimed were harmless. But families in certain areas of the country who have children with birth defects are demanding a public inquiry.
‘South Carolina’s Attorney General, Alan Wilson has notified the U.S. Justice Department of potential voter fraud.
Wilson says an analysis found 953 ballots cast by voters were people who are listed as dead. He has asked the State Law Enforcement Division to investigate.’
India is the first buyer of Iranian oil to agree to pay for its purchases in gold instead of the US dollar, DEBKAfile’s intelligence and Iranian sources report exclusively. Those sources expect China to follow suit. India and China take about one million barrels per day, or 40 percent of Iran’s total exports of 2.5 million bpd. Both are superpowers in terms of gold assets.
By trading in gold, New Delhi and Beijing enable Tehran to bypass the upcoming freeze on its central bank’s assets and the oil embargo which the European Union’s foreign ministers agreed to impose Monday, Jan. 23. The EU currently buys around 20 percent of Iran’s oil exports.
The vast sums involved in these transactions are expected, furthermore, to boost the price of gold and depress the value of the dollar on world markets.
Iran’s second largest customer after China, India purchases around $12 billion a year’s worth of Iranian crude, or about 12 percent of its consumption. Delhi is to execute its transactions, according to our sources, through two state-owned banks: the Calcutta-based UCO Bank, whose board of directors is made up of Indian government and Reserve Bank of India representatives; and Halk Bankasi (Peoples Bank), Turkey’s seventh largest bank which is owned by the government.
An Indian delegation visited Tehran last week to discuss payment options in view of the new sanctions. The two sides were reported to have agreed that payment for the oil purchased would be partly in yen and partly in rupees. The switch to gold was kept dark.
India thus joins China in opting out of the US-led European sanctions against Iran’s international oil and financial business. Turkey announced publicly last week that it would not adhere to any sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program unless they were imposed by the United Nations Security Council.
‘On board of the oldest US aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, Panetta told the crowd of 1,700 sailors that the 50-year-old ship is heading to the Persian Gulf region in a direct message to Tehran.
“The reason we maintain a presence in the Middle East … We want them to know that we are fully prepared to deal with any contingency and it’s better for them to try to deal with us through diplomacy,” Panetta said.
The USS Enterprise is the oldest active duty ship in the American naval fleet and its mission dates back to the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 and the Vietnam War.’
In a move bound to leave many Greeks and scholars aghast, Greece’s culture ministry said Tuesday it will open up some of the debt-stricken country’s most-cherished archaeological sites to advertising firms and other ventures.
The ministry says the move is a common-sense way of helping “facilitate” access to the country’s ancient Greek ruins, and money generated would fund the upkeep and monitoring of sites. The first site to be opened would be the Acropolis.
Archaeologists, however, have for decades slammed such an initiative as sacrilege.
The culture ministry said any renting of ancient Greek sites would be subject to strict conditions.
The government has said it will demand improvements in European Union efforts to sort out its currency before it can agree to an imminent request from the International Monetary Fund for extra UK funds that is likely to be as high as £19bn.
The Commons has already given the Treasury leeway to draw down an extra £10bn to give the IMF, but anything further would require a fresh vote in the Commons – and be likely to prompt a backbench Tory rebellion.
Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, has said Labour will vote against extra cash if there is no serious sign that the European Union, specifically through further interventions by the European Central Bank, is taking action to strengthen the euro. Balls would also like to see a shift in broader European economic policy so there is less emphasis on austerity and more on securing growth.
The IMF confirmed on Wednesday that it was looking to boost funding from $400bn (£260bn) to $1tn, a shift that would require as much as £19bn on a proportional basis. The previous increase in IMF funding last summer scraped through the Commons by 274 votes to 246, despite a large rebellion by 32 backbench Tory MPs.
On the list of stupid things the Transportation Security Administration could do for their public image: detaining Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, the politician most anxious to abolish them, is probably right near the top.
But that’s exactly what just happened, his Communications Director, Moira Bagley has confirmed it in a tweet.
There is currently no information on why the Senator was detained, or why he is considered a threat to fly.
Kelly O’Donnell is reporting that aides say Paul was detained when he refused a full-body pat-down, after the scanner went off. Paul lifted his pant-leg to show he had no metal, and asked to be re-screened. He was denied this request.
I think we can safely say that the liberty-loving Senator is likely to be a threat to the TSA from now on.
With today’s manufacturing there are many chemicals and toxins that are both purposefully added to products as well as unintentionally added. Mercury is one of those unintended additions to many of the products peopleconsume and topically apply every day. In order to avoid exposure to this heavy metal, and in turn avoid the risk of any heavy metal toxicity, you need to know where the metal resides in order to avoid it.
One of the most significant places you may find mercury is in processed foods. In 2009, a study found that almost half of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury — a carcinogenic chemical element that is toxic in all its forms to the human body. Even more troubling, nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products that listed HFCS as the first or second ingredient were found to contain mercury as a whole. With an incredible amount of processed foods and fast foods containing this ingredient, the result could be described as amercury pandemic. Instead of addressing this major public health concern, the FDA is focusing their time on crushing beneficial supplements through NDI regulations that threaten the entire infrastructure of the nutraceuticals industry.
Mercury is also very present in skin whitening creams and body care products. Mercury has been found in some of these products at levels as high as 300,000 parts per million. A newspaper sent 50 skin-lightening creams to a certified lab for testing. Six were found to contain amounts of mercury banned by federal law. Five of the six had more than 6,000 parts per million — enough to potentially cause kidney damage over time.
Another everyday product you may want to avoid is compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). Only months after it was found that energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs release carcinogenic chemicals into the air, a new study has found that these harmful chemicals are continually released from the bulbs over a period of weeks to months. Furthermore, the study also found that the levels of mercury released exceed those that are considered safe for humans.
Avoiding these products will not only result in better overall health, but you will also dramatically reduce your exposure to mercury. Along with this avoidance, dental amalgam fillings, multi-dose vaccines, and seafood should also be avoided.
It came to a very British end, this most Russian saga. The barristers thanked the judge, the judge thanked the typists and the translators and, after nearly four months of quite extraordinary testimony, all rose and filed out of the neon striplit box that is Court 26 of London’s new Commercial Court, and returned to their wildly different lives.
The armies of bodyguards, and their paymasters, shuffled into their blacked out Maybachs and Bentleys and drove away for the final time. It is expected to be six months before Mrs Justice Gloster returns to give Messrs Abramovich and Berezovsky her answer to the six billion dollar question.
Was Mr Berezovsky intimidated into selling off his ownership stake in Mr Abramovich’s valuable commodities companies for a “mere” £800m – “nothing” as he claims, and so is entitled to a further £3.5bn of the profits? Or was he no more than a “political godfather”, entitled to no more than a series of mysterious “krysha” payments? The Russian word for roof, implying physical, and in this case political protection, has hung over this trial, and it is still not entirely clear quite what it means. We shall have to wait and see.
But in the meantime, here are some of the highlights of the biggest private litigation in English legal history, and one that has shed piercing light on the otherwise dark and secretive world of the Russian oligarchy.
Here we go again. We’ve seen it before strategically timed. Weigh all Israeli claims skeptically. On its face, this one lacks credibility.
Cui bono? Not Syria embroiled for months battling an externally generated insurgency and threats of foreign intervention.
Why provide greater cause while trying to defuse crisis conditions, cooperate with Arab League observers, enlist outside support, and offer opposition elements places in a broad-based government along the lines of a national unity one.
At the same time, Hamas and Fatah plan May elections for unity governance. They both want conflict resolution, not confrontations.
Nonetheless, Israel connects Syria and Hamas with West Bank terror cells.
On January 19, Haaretz headlined, “IDF exposes Syria-funded Islamic Jihad terror cell in West Bank,” saying:
“Israeli security forces have recently discovered an Islamic Jihad terror cell which was planning attacks against Israeli soldiers,” according to defense officials.
Ten “Islamic Jihad militants were arrested near Jenin in recent months.” Israel claims connections to Syria-based Islamic Jihad (IJ). Large money transfers went for weapons and other operations.
Israel also alleges IJ ties to Gaza and the so-called Islamic Union in Jerusalem.
According to Shin Bet (Israel’s security service), attacks on IDF soldiers and settlements were planned. In addition, abducting Israelis were involved. Suspects were charged with membership in an illegal organization, transferring funds from abroad, contact with foreign agents, illegal weapons possession, and conspiracy to trade arms and military equipment.
Gun and bomb attacks by Islamist insurgents in the northern Nigerian city of Kano last week killed at least 178 people, a hospital doctor said on Sunday, underscoring the challenge President Goodluck Jonathan faces to prevent his country sliding further into chaos.
A coordinated series of bomb blasts and shooting sprees mostly targeting police stations Friday sent panicked residents of Nigeria’s second biggest city of more than 10 million people running for cover.
The scale of the carnage makes this by far the deadliest strike claimed by Boko Haram, a shadowy Islamist sect that started out as a clerical movement opposed to western education but has become the biggest security menace facing Africa’s top oil producer.
“We have 178 people killed in the two main hospitals,” the senior doctor in Kano’s Murtala Mohammed hospital said following Friday’s attacks, citing records from his own and the other main hospital of Nasarawa.
Hosni Mubarak is still the president of Egypt and the court trying him has no legal jurisdiction to do so, his defence lawyer said on Sunday, trying to undermine the prosecution’s case against the leader deposed in a popular revolt last year.
Lawyer Farid el-Deeb was defending Mubarak for the fifth and final day of a trial that Egyptians who rose up against Mubarak’s 30-year-rule hope will bring justice. The prosecution is seeking the death sentence on a charge that Mubarak was involved in the killing of some 850 protesters in the uprising.
Mubarak’s defence has denied those charges and attacked the prosecution’s case on other charges of corruption and abuse of power. Many Egyptians who want to see Mubarak held to account worry the case is not as strong as it should be.
A light sentence or an acquittal may fuel more rage and is likely to lead to street protests. Activists are calling for mass demonstrations on January 25, the anniversary of the uprising.
“Is Hosni Mubarak still the president? I say yes. In accordance with the constitution, he is still the president until this day,” Deeb said to applause and chants of “God is Greatest” among the defence team.
“We have a clear constitutional article that stipulates that the president of the state is to be tried by a special court.”
Citing texts from the 1971 constitution, Deeb said the president can only be referred to trial by two-thirds of parliament and that only a special tribunal can try him.
“Any law that contradicts that article is over-ruled,” Deeb said, as the security officers who filled up the court room, looked at each other in amusement and shock.
With fresh ammunition from a University of North Carolina law school report, activists renewed their call Thursday for state officials to take legal action against Aero Contractors Ltd.
For years the Johnston County, N.C., air transport company, which has links to the CIA, has been accused of being a taxi service for paramilitary teams that pick up terrorism suspects in one country and fly them to another where it’s easier to interrogate and, perhaps, torture them. The process is known as extraordinary rendition.
Law professor Deborah M. Weissman and members of the protest group North Carolina Stop Torture Now gave copies of their report to representatives of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper and Gov. Bev. Perdue on Thursday morning, then released it during a news conference at the Johnston County Airport, where Aero is based.
The report does not accuse Aero employees of engaging directly in torture. Still, they are accountable for aiding and abetting violations of human rights that are protected under various international treaties and federal laws, Weissman said.
Because the U.S. government has signed those treaties, each state is legally obligated to uphold them, she said.
Also, according to a federal report to the United Nations, the state could prosecute any straightforward crimes involved, such as aggravated assault and kidnapping, even if they took place elsewhere, she said.
More Afghans fled the country and sought asylum abroad in 2011 than in any other year since the start of the decade-long war, suggesting that many are looking for their own exit strategy as Nato troops prepare to withdraw.
From January to November, more than 30,000 Afghans applied for political asylum, a 25 per cent increase over the same period the previous year and more than triple the level of just four years ago, according to UN statistics.
Many are turning to human smuggling to escape. They pay anywhere from a few hundred dollars to cross into Iran or Pakistan to more than $25,000 (£16,000) for fake papers and flights to places such as London or Stockholm.
Al Qaeda took hostage an Algerian regional governor near the Libyan border, security sources said on Tuesday, an incident that will raise new concerns about militants exploiting Libya’s security vacuum.
The kidnapping, deep in the Sahara desert, was the most audacious attack on a senior Algerian official in years. One security expert said al Qaeda has been emboldened because its fighters could use Libya, in turmoil since Muammar Gaddafi’s overthrow, as a safe haven.
Security sources said later on Tuesday they had information that the governor had been released, but this could not be confirmed.
The US Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein informed the Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi on Wednesday that Yemen’s security forces cooperated with Al-Qaeda to capture Rada’a, media outlets reported on Thursday.
An Arabic-speaking daily newspaper, Akhbar Alyawm, said that Freiestein cited, in a meeting with Al-Qirbi, that Yemeni security and military forces had not taken any actions to prevent Al-Qaeda militants from capturing Rada’a.
The United Nations special envoy to Yemen Jamal Bin Omar and the EU Delegation’s Head and ambassador to Yemen Michele Cervone d’Urso met on Wednesday with Al-Qirbi following his controversial comments about the possible delay of the early presidential elections.
They stressed that the elections could not be delayed in any way, voicing their deep concerns about the current developments in Rada town of Baidha governorate.
Yemeni media outlets had spoke about disputes between the outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi as the former refused the involvement of the Republican Guard and Central Security in encountering the militants.
Yemeni analysts had affirmed that Saleh and his cronies planned to raise chaos and turbulence through the use of terrorist groups with the aim of impeding the GCC-brokered transfer power deal.
Yemen Prime Minister Mohammad Salem Basindiwa had alleged that Saleh provided Al-Qaeda with a fertile ground to grow and expand.
Honduran President Porfirio Lobo says the United States is sending people to help Honduras battle the violent crime that led to the withdrawal of U.S. Peace Corps volunteers this week.
Lobo says the Americans will work on analyzing the problems.
Lobo told the HRN radio network Thursday that “soon there will be U.S. personnel here … and that will contribute to the tranquility of the Honduran people.”
He did not say if the Americans would come from some government agency or a private company.
The United States confirmed Monday that all 158 Peace Corps volunteers had left Honduras.
Lobo says that Honduras is also receiving security help from Colombia, Chile, Spain and other countries.
Organized crime-related deaths in one Mexican border state during the first nine months of 2011 exceed the number of Afghan civilians killed in roughly the same period in all of war-torn Afghanistan.
According to the Mexican government, from January through September 2011 2,276 deaths were recorded in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, which borders Texas and New Mexico.
A Nov. 2011 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report states that over nearly the same period – January through October 2011 – 2,177 civilians were killed in Afghanistan, where a U.S.-led war against the Taliban is underway. It did not provide a breakdown of responsibility for that period, but said that in 2010, 75 percent of civilian deaths were attributed to the Taliban and other “anti-government elements.”
Boys must be immunised against the most common sexually transmitted virus, health experts have said.
The call comes after figures revealed an alarming rise in cancer linked to oral sex in young men.
Cases of throat cancer have more than doubled to more than 1,000 a year since the mid-1990s. Previously the figure had been stable for many years.
A huge sunspot unleashed a blob of charged plasma Thursday that space weather watchers predict will blast past the Earth on Sunday. Satellite operators and power companies are keeping a close eye on the incoming cloud, which could distort the Earth’s magnetic field and disrupt radio communications, especially at higher latitudes.
“Our simulations show potential to pack a good punch to Earth’s near-space environment,” said Antti Pulkkinen of the Space Weather Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt.
… “At first glance, it was, ‘Oh my God, it’s at the center of the [sun’s] disk, it ought to go right to the Earth,’ ” Kunches said. But upon further review and “head-scratching” Thursday, NOAA’s space weather team calculated that most of the plasma blob should pass harmlessly over the top of our planet.
‘Former House speaker Newt Gingrich has surged to a stunning win over former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in South Carolina’s first-in-the-South presidential primary, a come-from-behind victory that signals the GOP White House race – which as recently as a week ago seemed to be Romney’s to lose — is now far from over.
Gingrich’s strong showing is a major upset over Romney, the GOP frontrunner who had been looking to a solid win in South Carolina as a key step toward sealing the nomination. It’s a win that appears to be fueled in large part by what voters perceived as the former speaker’s strong performance in recent debates, according to Saturday’s exit polls – even as Gingrich faced a tumultuous recent few days in the race.
Since 1980, the winner of the South Carolina primary has gone on to win the GOP presidential nomination. That means Gingrich’s primary win is a significant one — and the conventional wisdom that Romney is his party’s inevitable nominee could well be shattered.’