Amid a raging political storm in China’s highest leadership circle, the plot thickens surrounding thealleged coup attempt by Bo Xilai and the powerful chief of internal security forces Zhou Yongkang. The two are bound to former Party head Jiang Zemin, and may have plotted to take down Hu and Wen as long as four years ago.
Bo Xilai, the former Party chief of Chongqing was sacked on March 15 and removed from his posts on the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Politburo and Central Committee on April 10 on suspicion of serious “disciplinary violations.” Bo’s powerful ally, Zhou Yongkang, the only member of the Politburo Standing Committee—the nine people governing China—who opposed removing Bo, has been the center of attention this past month.
The assumption that Bo Xilai and Zhou Yongkang have conspired to take down the top leadership and the upcoming leadership is not too far-fetched.
While the Sahel security crisis continues to deteriorate following Tuareg rebels’ declaration of an independent state in Mali’s troubled northern territory , recent events in Nigeria indicate a potential for increased regional instability. Boko Haram, a Salafist organization seeking to overthrow the secular administration of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, has recently killed 38 civilians in a suicide car bomb targeting nearby churches holding Easter services in the northern city of Kaduna . As part of an ongoing campaign of sectarian violence, the group has strived to implement sharia law through the establishment of an Islamic State in northern Nigeria . The group’s belligerent acts of violence claimed more than 500 lives during 2011 , prompting President Jonathan to call the current security crisis more dire than that experienced during 1967’s Biafran civil war, adding that jihadi sympathizers have successfully infiltrated his government and security agencies .
The White House said Wednesday it was “deeply concerned” over an upsurge in violence in Bahrain, condemning attacks on police but also calling on security forces to show restraint.
“The United States continues to be deeply concerned about the situation in Bahrain, and we urge all parties to reject violence in all its forms,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.
The United States has deep and longstanding security ties with the Gulf kingdom, which is headquarters to its Fifth Fleet, but has repeatedly expressed disquiet over the security situation there over the last year.
“We condemn the violence directed against police and government institutions, including recent incidents that have resulted in serious injuries to police officers,” Carney said.
“We also call on the police to exercise maximum restraint, and condemn the use of excessive force and indiscriminate use of tear gas against protesters, which has resulted in civilian casualties.”
In the latest violence, Bahrainis wielding knives and sticks attacked Shiite villagers overnight as pressure grew for this month’s Formula One race in the Sunni-ruled state to be cancelled over the unrest.
Mobs of Sunni Bahrainis attacked Shiite businesses and homes with iron rods and sticks in response to months of popular Shiite protests opposing the abusive U.S.-supported regime, in a sign that the sectarian strife is reaching a boiling point.
Shiite Bahrainis – who make up about 70 percent of the population in the Gulf monarchy ruled by Sunnis – have been protesting for democratic reforms for over a year. The regime’s response was initially bloody, killing dozens of unarmed protesters in February 2011 when security forces shot at them with live rounds.
Since then, and after considerable international pressure, the government response has been relegated to tear gas, severe beatings, systematic torture, and widespread repression and intimidation. And the protest movement has maintained its strength, resorting to Molotov cocktails, rock-throwing, and attempted attacks on police.
The Sunni minority, favored by the dictatorship, has begun to respond in frustration, ransacking Shiite businesses and waging vigilante-style attacks in some Shiite areas. The White House meekly condemned the increase in violence on Wednesday and urged restraint on all sides.
But the Obama administration has been supportive of the regime’s stubborn repression throughout. Bahrain hosts the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet and is considered by Washington as a geopolitical asset in the strategically important Persian Gulf, also serving as a bulwark against Shiite Iran.
Over $92 million in aid has been sent since Obama’s inauguration and another $22.4 million slated for 2012 and 2013. The Obama administration has quietly moved forward with a new package of arms sales to the regime in Bahrain, after international pressure forced them to delay its planned $53 million arms sale. Using legal loopholes, they moved forward with the new sales without notifying the public.
Although many individuals think nothing of radiation emitted by cell phones, or even believe it to be true, there is a large amount of evidence showing how damaging cell phone use can actually be. In response to the released information and growing fear of cell phone radiation, a company has ironically released a mobile app which reportedly measures radiation levels emitted by smart phones.
The app was created by an Israeli company named Tawkon, and while not necessarily brand new, it is relatively unknown. The lack of popularity probably has much to do with Apple’s banning of the app from their online app store since Apple rules the smartphone market. The company instituted the ban because it felt the app would be confusing to customers, though the ban was likely due to the fact that the app could only decrease sales for Apple’s iPhone. Whether Apple’s decision was driven by profit or not, there are some valid questions and concerns regarding the app’s accuracy.
Using a complex proprietary algorithm, Tawkon estimates the amount of radiation emitted by cell phones at any moment. As a way to measure the amount of radiation being emitted and ultimately picked up by the user, the company considers factors like current antenna strength, and whether a headset is being used or speakerphone is currently selected. The problem, however, is that the app depends on radiation baseline figures provided by device manufacturers. The app itself has no way of actually measuring radiation emissions, so it must rely on the publicly posted radiation emission quotes by manufacturers in order to estimate a device’s radiation output at all times.
Even if the app does rely on the figures from manufacturers, the creation of the app is a step in the right direction. Cell phone use has been shown to cause numerous problems and health complications by altering important regions of the brain. Consequences ranging from a negative influence on fetal brains to the downfall of biological systems of birds, insects, and humans has been pinpointed as a result of these devices and their respective towers (cell towers). What’s most concerning, though, is the impact they have on young, developing minds and bodies. Tons of evidence shows why children should not be using cell phones.
Although completely limiting exposure is nearly impossible, taking steps to avoid exposure to cell phone radiation is important. Simply talking on your cell phone less will result in less radiation exposure. Even placing your cell phone far away from you instead of in your pocket at all times limits exposure. You may also consider investing in an EMF protector or other similar technologies that limit exposure.
Kosovo’s “Mafia State” and Camp Bondsteel: Towards a Permanent US Military Presence in Southeast Europe
In one of the more bizarre foreign policy announcements of a bizarre Obama Administration, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced that Washington will “help” Kosovo to join NATO as well as the European Union. She made the pledge after a recent Washington meeting with Kosovan Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in Washington where she praised the progress of the Thaci government in its progress in “European integration and economic development.” 1
Her announcement no doubt caused serious gas pains among government and military officials in the various capitals of European NATO. Few people appreciate just how mad Clinton’s plan to push Kosovo into NATO and the EU is.
Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment.
Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the Statement of principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests were adopted by more than 178 Governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, 3 to 14 June 1992.
The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was created in December 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, to monitor and report on implementation of the agreements at the local, national, regional and international levels. It was agreed that a five year review of Earth Summit progress would be made in 1997 by theUnited Nations General Assembly meeting in special session.
The full implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Commitments to the Rio principles, were strongly reaffirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 26 August to 4 September 2002.
Wall Street Journal
‘It’s no secret that California’s regulatory and tax climate is driving business investment to other states. California’s high cost of living also is driving people away. Since 2000 more than 1.6 million people have fled, and my own research as well as that of others points to high housing prices as the principal factor.
The exodus is likely to accelerate. California has declared war on the most popular housing choice, the single family, detached home—all in the name of saving the planet.
Metropolitan area governments are adopting plans that would require most new housing to be built at 20 or more to the acre, which is at least five times the traditional quarter acre per house. State and regional planners also seek to radically restructure urban areas, forcing much of the new hyperdensity development into narrowly confined corridors.’
Prime Minister David Cameron and his entourage including representatives from arms companies such as BAE Systems arrived in Jakarta to discuss plans for Britain to renew arms sales to the Southeast Asian country for the first time after a 13-year hiatus, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Britain was once Indonesia’s biggest military supplier, during and after the Suharto dictatorship ended in 1998.
However, the country stopped selling it fighter jets 13 years ago, as the country was accused of bombing its own citizens using British-made planes in East Timor in 1999, and again in Aceh in 2003.
But the Prime Minister said that it was right to make British military equipment available to Indonesia now it was a “responsible” country.
Witnesses said on Wednesday that hundreds of regime thugs wielding knives and sticks attacked a number of villages overnight, beating residents and damaging their properties.
Some reports suggest that the attackers were responding to messages posted online to avenge a bomb attack that injured seven policemen in the area two days earlier. Activists, however, say the bombing was orchestrated by the regime itself to justify its brutality against protest areas.
The UK police, Scotland Yard, are expected to question former foreign secretary Jack Straw over MI6 complicity in rendition and torture of suspects, according to news reports.
The coalition government has revealed that Straw and his then boss, former Prime Minister Tony Blair should be investigated after revelations that a Labour minister gave the green light for a Libyan man to be handed over for torture by the Gaddafi regime, British media reported.
The Metropolitan Police have launched a criminal probe into claims that MI6 tipped off the CIA about the whereabouts of Abdel Hakim Belhadj and his wife in 2004, shortly before Blair signed his deal in the desert with now dead Colonel Gaddafi.
Akbar is a Pakistani lawyer who founded the human rights organization Foundation for Fundamental Rights in 2010 and represents the family members of noncombatant victims of US drone strikes. Columbia University invited Akbar to speak at a law school forum in May 2011, but he couldn’t get a visa, even though he has been to the United States multiple times and used to work as a consultant for US agencies.
Akbar is scheduled to speak at the upcoming first international drone summit in Washington DC, on April 28 and 29. The State Department, however, says that there is a problem getting the necessary authorization from the “Homeland Security structure.”
Given that Akbar wants to talk about the CIA’s clandestine drone operations and the military’s Joint Operations Intelligence Centers (JOIC), keeping him out of the United States and far away from the US public and the US media might seem to make good sense from the point of view of the Obama administration.
EPA Levies $438,000 in Fines and Mandatory ‘Environmental Projects’ on School Bus Contractor for ‘Excessive Idling’
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforced nearly $500,000 in fines and mandatory “environmental projects” on a school bus contractor for “excessive idling,” and as part of its anti-idling campaign to reduce the carbon footprint of school buses waiting to pick up children for their routes.
“As part of a settlement for alleged excessive diesel idling in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Durham School Services will commit to reduce idling from its school bus fleet of 13,900 buses operating in 30 states,” read an EPA press release on Tuesday.
It takes less than a minute to drive past Kermit, five to tour the place entirely. An old coal mining town with barely 300 residents and one blinking light between the train tracks, Kermit has no supermarket, no clothing store, no main drag. Main Street is really a side street with rows of cottages, its biggest building, the Kermit community center, empty and boarded.
Yet in this tiny town, the Kermit Sav-Rite Pharmacy used to be as busy as a New York deli. Six employees worked the counter, lines at the drive-through window snaked around the square cinder-block building, and the parking lot was full day and night.
Consider the story of Leah Bolger, the latest American hero up on trial:
She is a young female artist in the Midwest. She joins the Navy at 22, is made commander and serves two decades as an anti-submarine warfare specialist. After retiring she joins Veterans for Peace and becomes the organization’s first female president. Then, in October of 2011, she commits the crime of interrupting a public congressional hearing of the Super Committee to deliver a message from the 99 percent: End the wars and tax the rich to fix the deficit.
Grass is right to say the West’s attitude to Israel’s nuclear arsenal involves an awful lot of hypocrisy
Günter Grass may or may not be right to say, in his poem, that Israel’s nuclear weapons are a threat to world peace. But he’s certainly right to say that the West’s attitude to Israel, and its nuclear arsenal, involves an awful lot of hypocrisy. He’s right to say that Germans don’t dare speak out about this, and he’s right to suggest that if Israel decides to take some pre-emptive action against Iran, innocent civilians will be killed. And it’s hard to see why he’s wrong to hope that speaking out will “free many from silence”, and prompt Israel to “renounce violence”.
Last month it was alleged that Nicolas Sarkozy accepted €50 million from Muammar Gaddafi to fund his 2007 election campaign; now France’s intelligence service has been accused of running surveillance operations on anti-Gaddafi dissidents and passing on the information, leading to their capture and killing.
Comments from Nigerian Defense Minister Olusola Obada confirmed today that weapons looted from Libya at the end of the NATO-sponsored civil war have found their way into Nigeria, and that Boko Haram is likely to be in possession of many of them.
Obada’s comments confirmed several previous reports to that effect, which said that Boko Haram was acquiring a number of weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, that are being sold by weapons looters.
It is a story that is liable to be repeated many times across the region, as the sheer enormity of the number of missiles is going to mean they’ll be on the black market for years to come across the entire region. Reports have already traced the missiles as far east as Sinai.
Turkish officials have been pushing the idea for a long time, but US officials are saying that the latest round of talks on Syria have centered on invading northern Syria and conquering a “buffer zone” within it.
“It would be correct to say this idea is getting another look in the last week or so,” one State Department official noted. Turkish officials are presenting this as a solution to the “overwhelming number of refugees” in recent days crossing into Syria.
The number of refugees is just 55,000 people crossing into four neighboring countries, positively tiny compared to the millions displaced in the 2003 US occupation of Iraq. This isn’t the real goal of the “buffer zone” plan at any rate.
Rather, officials have recently been floating the idea of establishing the region to create “breathing room” for the rebel fighters in the country, giving them a safe base of operations from which to launch attacks on the rest of the nation. At present many of the rebels are operating out of Turkey, with a smaller number in Lebanon. Crossing borders to launch attacks has been inconvenient for them, however, and hasthreatened to see the conflict spill over into neighboring regions.
A fragile cease-fire brokered by the U.N. took hold in Syria on Thursday with regime forces apparently halting widespread attacks on the opposition. But there were reports of scattered violence and the government defied demands to pull troops back to barracks.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the onus was onPresident Bashar Assad’s regime to keep the peace.
“As of this moment, the situation looks calmer,” he told reporters in Geneva. But the cease-fire is “very fragile” and a single gunshot could derail the process, he added.
Ban will now ask the U.N. Security Council for speedy deployment of an observer mission, said special envoy Kofi Annan, who brokered the truce.
In the hours after the 6 a.m. deadline, a civilian was reported killed and the state-run news agency said “terrorist groups” launched a roadside bomb that killed a soldier. But there was no sign of the heavy shelling, rocket attacks and sniper fire that have become routine.
If the truce holds, it would be the first time the regime has observed an internationally brokered cease-fire since Assad’s regime launched a brutal crackdown 13 months ago on mass protests calling for his ouster.
Last year NATO countries bombed Libya, demanding “democracy” in the country. But now it’s clear it was all about oil and it’s not like the Americans and Brits are going to be democratic about it, and share those spoils equally with France and Italy.
So … oil giants Total from France and ENI from Italy are just going to have to wait in the sidelines while the hungry American and British big boys take their juicy oil slices first … ExxonMobil, Chevron, Texaco, BP, Shell…
It’s no surprise then to read in The Wall Street Journal that the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), together with the puppet Libyan “authorities” are launching “investigations” into both companies’ “financial irregularities” in their shady dealings during the forty-two years of Gaddafi’s power. Now who would have imagined this! An Italian oil company involved in kick-backs? Corruption at the highest echelons of the French oil industry?!? Tsk, tsk!!! Unheard of…! The US and UK would never do something like that!! Just ask Enron, ask Halliburton, ask BP…
After serious health campaigning led to a United States judge ordering the FDA to remove approval for antibiotic use on common animal feed products, the FDA is now limiting the usage of antibiotics among the food supply. However, the FDA is not completely revoking approval for the antibiotics, only placing an order for farmers to stop using the drugs solely to help animals grow — what’s more, the farmers are given another 3 years before any real legal action goes into effect. The initial proposal was introduced back in 1977, and the FDA has stalled for decades to give a final answer.
That means that antibiotics used to ‘treat’ animal diseases, or even ‘prevent’ future diseases, will be perfectly fine under these guidelines. The result may have to do with the livestock corporate juggernauts, who refused to admit that the mass drugging of animals with superbug-breeding antibiotics posed any real threat to the public. Many consumer activists, such as Laura Rogers from the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming, fear that these new guidelines are so broad that they mean virtually nothing.
“If you were to ask me what’s the biggest gap, it’s that they’ve left way too much wiggle room [leeway] when it comes to preventative uses,” said Rogers. “That’s going to have to be shored up [i.e., made more specific] in order for this action to be meaningful.”
Around 80% of all antibiotics used in the United States today are pumped into livestock, according to health and environmental advocacy groups in their lawsuit against the FDA regarding excessive antibiotic use. It is these antibiotics that are contributing to the spread of ‘super-bugs’, such as heavily resistant tuberculosis. In fact, the resistant tuberculosis strains — a direct result of excess antibiotic consumption — are so serious that scientists are calling it the new ‘white plague’. Even members of the World Health Organization’s ‘Stop TB Partnership’ are outraged over the man-made disease progression, with member Lucica Ditiu stating that the drug-resistant TB “is a totally man-made disease”.
Outside of super viruses, antibiotics have also been linked to mental illness as a result of compromised gut health.
Pumpkin Seeds have 24.54 grams of protein | Beef has 26.55 grams of protein |
Those who have stopped (or never had been) eating beef can get, gram for gram, practically the same amount of protein with pumpkin seeds as this notoriously known protein-rich meat, less all of the gmo feed, drugs, & hormones injected into these creatures that are raised for years & slaughtered simply for one simple meal that is easily forgotten. The protein in seeds is also much more easily broken down and digested within the body. 1/2 a cup of pumpkin seeds provides you with 92% of your RDA of magnesium (America’s #1 mineral deficiency, which is responsible for over 300 known bodily processes).
Pumpkin seeds: are high in zinc (which battles osteoporosis); lower depression (due to l-tryptophan within, which is the precursor to serotonin); and are immensely rich in an array of vitamins & minerals. The next time your doctor recommends that you eat artery-clogging meat for protein, know that you have a true alternative that spares you of much upcoming pain & bodily conflict. Pumpkin seeds actually lower cholesterol, instead of raising it. It’s quite unfortunate that the Canadian and American Medical Associations don’t teach doctors this information. It really could change a lot of people’s lives for the better and also spare them thousands and thousands of dollars in medical expenses in the long run when they recommend eating meat for protein, which has been proven time and time again to cause heart disease. These protein comparisons come from a 100g serving of both items. | Organic, unprocessed pumpkin seeds found at your local health store (or online) can be added / blended to smoothies, casseroles, sprinkled on salads, topped in yogurt, added to oatmeal, eaten by themselves, and any other way your appetite can imagine. Pumpkin seeds are a far healthier & equal source of protein compared to beef. Pick up a nice supply at your local health store and enjoy the MANY benefits they offer us!
It seems like probable Republican nominee Mitt Romney has already forgotten that former rival Rick Santorum recently called him a liar and the “worst Republican in the country.”
During a town hall-style event in Warwick, Rhode Island on Wednesday, Romney insisted that he had not ruled out the former Pennsylvania senator as a vice presidential nominee.
“Everybody is on my list,” the candidate told a man who asked if Santorum would be considered as a vice presidential candidate. “I’m not taking anybody off the list.”
Romney clarified: “I actually don’t have a list yet. So, I can’t say that someone is on or off my list, but I can tell you that the people that I had the privilege of running against would surely be among those I’d consider. The criteria has to be first and foremost is this a person who could be president of the United States if that were needed? And do people recognize that and see that as the kind of person who has that qualification.”
“And so he — I’ve said this before: If any of the people I ran against happened to become the nominee, I would have endorsed them and supported them for president. So, of course they’d be on that list, and he among others.”
Over the course of a bitter primary, Santorum had suggested that Romney was “lying” about his health care record, called him the “ultimate flip-flopper,” said that the country “might as well stay with” President Barack Obama, insisted that the Massachusetts Republican was a “weak candidate” and charged that he was the “worst Republican in the country.”
On Wednesday, Romney predicted that Santorum would eventually join him on the campaign trail.
“You’ll see us all come together in a powerful way, but the time for that will happen down the road as we spend more time together and hit the trail together,” Romney told Fox News. “You will see our part more united than it’s been in a long, long time in part because President Obama has taken America in such a different course than we have ever gone as a nation before.”
Do Regulators Know Who the SIFIs Are? … A little-noticed sentence in the 93-page regulation top U.S. regulators approved last week suggests officials could be well down the path to figuring out which firms pose a threat to the financial system. Under Dodd-Frank, regulators must pick out which financial firms — other than banks — are so big, complex, and interconnected that they warrant tougher oversight because their failure could rock the wider system. Last week, regulators comprising the so-called Financial Stability Oversight Council finalized the three-stage process they’ll use to identify which hedge funds, insurers, private equity firms and other nonbanks deserve the designation. (Banks with at least $50 billion in assets automatically get slapped with tougher oversight.) Here’s the key line: “Based on data currently available to the Council through existing public and regulatory sources, the Council has estimated that fewer than 50 nonbank financial companies meet the Stage 1 thresholds.” – Wall Street Journal
Dominant Social Theme: These Too-Big-Fail corporations and financial firms must be supported by the government and by the people’s taxes.
Free-Market Analysis: It used to be in the US that you were on your own, at least when it came to building a business. If it succeeded, great – if not, then … too bad.
But not anymore. Now there are too-big-too-fail companies that are so designated by the US regulatory authorities. These are companies that must be supported by the US taxpayer because if they topple, the system as it is currently positioned will topple, too.
This is merely an expansion of the US ideology of empire, so it can’t be too surprising. But nonetheless it is further unwelcome evidence that the US has in a sene passed the point of no return. Ther tipping point has been reached. The rulers have seized the initiative. The ruled are being despoiled.
The best thing that could happen now would be for the system to essentially disintegrate. It will anyway. Why prolong the agony?
We encourage the toppling … metaphorically, not violently. It is not that we wish havoc for America or the West but we see a real crisis as the only way to move the West toward sanity again and away from the global governanceseemingly sought by the elites.
One could argue that chaos is what the elites want – because out of chaos comes order … a New World Order. But the elites, in our view, want chaos that is controlled on their terms.
The senior members of the Saudi royal family are looking increasingly frail, read an article run by the Foreign Policymagazine on Tuesday.
This week, 89-year-old King Abdullah presided over the council of ministers’ meeting from his own palace in the capital Riyadh instead of traveling to the council’s building.
According to speculations, nearly-78-year-old Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdel Aziz’s cancer, probably leukemia, has also returned after a respite of several years.
Nayef left the country one month ago for Morocco, but ended up in the US for “routine” medical tests. The state news agency said on Wednesday that he has returned to the kingdom.
According to the article, in the current situation, 76-year-old Prince Salman bin Abdel Aziz, who was appointed minister of defense in November after the death of the then Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdel Aziz Al Saud, has assumed the role of leadership.
Saudi newspapers have been filled, over the recent weeks, by reports and photos of Salman visiting military units across the country.
Even if Salman becomes the king, there is no certainty that he will reign for long given his old age and evidence pointing to his poor health condition. He has had at least one stroke and photographs suggest that his left arm does not function as well as his right one.
It seems that the world’s largest oil exporter and a leader in the Arab world might still be a long way from political stability, said the piece.
The prospect of Salman’s succession to the crown is vague and the question of who should accede to the throne after him, even more so, it added. In the interim, it is easy to predict an increasingly open rivalry between the sons of Abdullah, Nayef, and Salman.
The piece concluded that, given the unrest in Syria, chaos in Yemen, and diplomatic pressures on Iran, the uncertainty regarding Saudi Arabia’s immediate future is deteriorating the situation in the Middle East.
The current monarch is, meanwhile, infuriated over Washington’s refusal to share with him its views on Iran.