"Am I therefore become your enemy,because I TELL YOU THE TRUTH...?"
(Galatians 4:16)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Final Push for World Government

Radio chip coming soon to your driver's license?: Homeland Security seeks next-generation REAL ID

Privacy advocates are issuing warnings about a new radio chip plan that ultimately could provide electronic identification for every adult in the U.S. and allow agents to compile attendance lists at anti-government rallies simply by walking through the assembly.The proposal, which has earned the support of Janet Napolitano, the newly chosen chief of the Department of Homeland Security, would embed radio chips in driver's licenses, or "enhanced driver's licenses." "Enhanced driver's licenses give confidence that the person holding the card is the person who is supposed to be holding the card, and it's less elaborate than REAL ID," Napolitano said in a Washington Times report.REAL ID is a plan for a federal identification system standardized across the nation that so alarmed governors many states have adopted formal plans to oppose it. However, a privacy advocate today told WND that the EDLs are many times worse.Radio talk show host and identity chip expert Katherine Albrecht said REAL ID earned the opposition of Christians because of its resemblance to the biblical "mark of the beast," civil libertarians opposed it for its "big brother" connotations and others worried about identity theft issues with the proposed databases."We got rid of the REAL ID program, but [this one] is way more insidious," she said.Enhanced driver's licenses have built-in radio chips providing an identifying number or information that can be accessed by a remote reading unit while the license is inside a wallet or purse.The technology already had been implemented in Washington state, where it is promoted as an alternative to a passport for traveling to Canada. So far, the program is optional.But there are other agreements already approved with Michigan, Vermont, New York and Arizona, and plans are under way in other states, including Texas, she said.Napolitano, as Arizona's governor, was against the REAL ID, Albrecht said. Now, as chief of Homeland Security, she is suggesting the more aggressive electronic ID of Americans."She's coming out and saying, 'OK, OK, OK, you win. We won't do REAL ID. But what we probably ought to do is nationwide enhanced driver's licenses,'" Albrecht told WND."They're actually talking about issuing every person a spychip driver's license," she said. "That is the potential problem."Imagine, she said, going to a First Amendment-protected event, a church or a mosque, or even a gun show or a peace rally."What happens to all those people when a government operator carrying a reading device makes a circuit of the event?" she asked. "They could download all those unique ID numbers and link them."Participants could find themselves on "watch" lists or their attendance at protests or rallies added to their government "dossier."She said even if such license programs are run by states, there's virtually no way that the databases would not be linked and accessible to the federal government.Albrecht said a hint of what is on the agenda was provided recently by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The state's legislature approved a plan banning the government from using any radio chips in any ID documentation.Schwarzenegger's veto noted he did not want to interfere with any coming or future federal programs for identifying people.
By Bob Unruh
To read more go to:

As in the days of Noah...

Iran wants apology from Hollywood team...

The art advisor to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged a visiting Hollywood delegation to apologise for "insults and slanders" about Iranians in films, the ISNA news agency reported on Saturday."(Iranian) cinema officials will only have the right to have official sessions with... Hollywood movie makers when they apologise to the Iranians for their 30 years of insults and slanders," Javad Shamaghdari said."The Iranian people and our revolution has been repeatedly unjustly attacked by Hollywood," he said, citing '300' and recent Oscar nominated movie 'The Wrestler' as among offending films.In 2007, the war epic '300', a smash hit in the United States for its gory portrayal of the Greco-Persian wars, drew the wrath of Iranians for showing their ancestors as bloodthirsty.Similarly 'The Wrestler', was booed in Iran and heavily criticised for the scene of breaking and tearing of the Iranian flag by the picture's star, 2009 Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke."We will believe (US President Barack) Obama's policy of change when we see change in Hollywood too, and if Hollywood wants to correct its behaviour towards Iranian people and Islamic culture then they have to officially apologise, " Shamaghdari added.The visiting film makers are from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organisation which stages the Oscars.Leslie Unger, the Acadamy's director of communications, told AFP on Friday that a group of members are in Iran on a completely private initiative for educational and creative exchange and with no political agenda."She confirmed Iranian media reports saying the delegation included AMPAS president Sid Ganis, former president Frank Pierson, actress Annette Bening and producer William Horberg.They have been invited to Iran by the Iranian Alliance of Motion Pictures to hold a series of workshop meetings in Tehran.US-Iranian diplomatic relations were severed 30 years ago after Iran's Islamic revolution, and the rift has been further aggravated since Tehran controversially revived its nuclear program.But Washington and Tehran have been showing tentative policy shifts after Obama earlier this month said his administration would be ready in coming months to hold a "face-to-face" talk with Tehran.
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.2b0b8bd405048e19f36fa896834ca058.9b1&show_article=1
As in the days of Noah...

ISLAMIC CRAZE WATCH:Egyptian Arrested in Attack on American Teacher

CAIRO-Police have arrested an Egyptian in connection with an attack on an American teacher in the same Cairo tourist site where a bomb killed a French teenager a week earlier, Egyptian media reported Saturday.The state-owned daily Al-Gomhuria reported that the alleged attacker, Abdel-Rahman Taher, 46, used a pocket knife to leave a one inch cut on the teacher's face.He told police that he hated foreigners because of Israel's attacks on Gaza. Opposition newspapers said the attacker had been recently released from a mental hospital.The teacher worked at the American school in Alexandria and was in the famous Khan el-Khalil bazaar Friday when he was attacked.On Feb. 22, a bomb in the same place killed a French teenager and wounded 24 others.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,502584,00.html
As in the days of Noah...

Looming Talks Will Tackle How to Rebuild Gaza

How to rebuild Gaza and who should pay for it will be discussed among international donors and diplomats in Egypt. The territory was devastated by Israeli air strikes targeting militant Hamas rulers.

Arab Countries Have Not Delivered Pledged $1B to Rebuild Gaza

CAIRO-A senior Arab League official says Arab countries have not delivered any of the more than $1 billion they pledged to rebuild Gaza after Israel's devastating offensive.
The official says the money pledged in mid-January has been held up because of disagreements between rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas about who should receive donations.He says Arab countries are waiting to see whether a solution to the disagreement is reached at an international meeting on Gaza reconstruction in Egypt on Monday.The official spoke on condition of anonymity Saturday because he was not authorized to talk to the media.Saudi Arabia pledged $1 billion for Gaza reconstruction, Qatar $250 million and Algeria $100 million.Hamas seized control of Gaza from Fatah in 2007.
By AP
As in the days of Noah...

Hollywood team in Iran on cultural exchange...

A top-level team from the Hollywood movie industry traveled to Iran on a non-government mission, for a weekend of cultural and creative exchange meetings, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Friday."I can confirm that a group of Academy members...are currently in Iran" on a "completely private initiative for educational and creative exchange and with no political agenda," AMPAS director of communications Leslie Unger told AFP.She confirmed Iranian media reports saying the delegation included AMPAS president Sid Ganis, former president Frank Pierso, actress Annette Bening and producer William Horberg."The Academy group did receive visas and is currently in Tehran,"Unger said.Iranian media said the AMPAS group would hold a series of meetings Saturday and Sunday in Tehran.US-Iranian diplomatic relations were severed 30 years ago after Iran's Islamic revolution, and the rift has been further aggravated since Tehran controversially revived its nuclear program.But Washington and Tehran have been showing tentative policy shifts after US President Barack Obama earlier this month said his administration would be ready in coming months to hold a "face-to-face" talk with Tehran.
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.70ced4a7410617cd55c2cacba02352e9.9b1&show_article=1
PS:HollyWEIRD jerks....
As in the days of Noah...

Nationwide Chicago Tea Party During Friday’s Simultaneous Protest

Iran says U.S.-led forces plan to stay in Iraq

TEHRAN-Iran's supreme leader said on Saturday U.S.-led forces in Iraq were planning to establish a permanent presence there and urged Iraqis not to let them stay.Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as telling visiting Iraqi President Jalal Talabani "the occupiers were preparing the ground for a long and permanent presence in Iraq" and the country's leaders should be aware of the danger."Iraq's...interest is to oppose the demands of the foreigners because they are not happy with the close relationship of Iran and Iraq," the official news agency IRNA quoted him as saying."The occupying forces should leave Iraq as soon as possible because with each passing day their withdrawal is delayed, it will harm the Iraqi nation."Iran, which has had no diplomatic ties with the United States since 1980, has called for U.S. forces to leave Iraq and the region.U.S. President Barack Obama,who has offered to talk to Iran marking a break with his predecessor George W. Bush, said on Friday he would end U.S. combat operations in Iraq in 18 months but leave up to 50,000 troops there to provide stability.Khamenei said Iran was waiting for Iraq to carry out its decision to close a camp of an Iranian exiled opposition group, the People's Mujahideen of Iran (PMOI), on Iraqi soil. Iraq considers the PMOI a terrorist group, although it says it has renounced violence.
(Reporting by Hossein Jaseb; writing by Edmund Blair; editing by Andrew Dobbie)
http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE51R1JC20090228?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&rpc=22&sp=true
As in the days of Noah...

Troops React to Obama's Iraq Pullout Plan

Obama vindicates Bush’s Iraq strategy - “Mission Accomplished.”

It was never very likely that President Obama would come out and praise George W. Bush for the latter's handling of the Iraq war, and in his speech yesterday to the Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C., he didn't.Then again, we didn't quite expect to find ourselves praising President Obama for his handling of Iraq.So here goes. Though the headlines from the President's speech mostly focused on his promise to end all U.S. combat operations in Iraq by August 31, 2010-and withdraw U.S. forces fully by the end of the following year-there was considerably more to it than that. For starters, Mr. Obama again acknowledged that our forces in Iraq had "succeeded beyond any expectation," not least his own.Mr. Obama was also rightly generous in his praise of outgoing U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Generals David Petraeus and Ray Odierno, "two of our finest generals." All three men were Bush appointees, and all were instrumental in devising, advocating and implementing the surge strategy that Mr. Bush pursued amid the derision of his critics, including then-Senator Obama.President Obama also recognized that Iraqis themselves have made significant political progress, and that "there is renewed cause for hope in Iraq." That's a far cry from his message of last July, when he told reporters, after visiting Iraq, that "So far, I think we have not seen the kind of political reconciliation that's going to bring about long-term stability in Iraq."But more important than Mr. Obama's implicit repudiation of his own positions as a candidate (and the implicit vindication of Mr. Bush's position, to say nothing of John McCain's) is his decision to maintain a sizable U.S. military presence in Iraq-in the range of 35,000 to 50,000 troops-past the August 2010 "withdrawal" date. That "transitional force" is roughly the size of the U.S. military presence in South Korea through the Cold War. And its mission, involving training of Iraqi forces, U.S. force protection and "targeted counterterrorism missions," largely describes what the U.S. is already doing in Iraq.Most of Iraq's provinces are under full Iraqi security control, and U.S. forces will be out of all Iraqi cities and towns by this July, as stipulated in the Status of Forces Agreement that the Bush Administration concluded with the Iraqi government last year.By making it clear a sizable U.S. force will remain in Iraq, Mr. Obama is showing a commitment to Iraq's continued democratic progress and should help deter a revival of ethnic tensions. He's also making clear the strategic advantage of having a stable U.S. ally in the heart of the Persian Gulf.Mr. Obama also deserves praise for noting that "not all of Iraq's neighbors are contributing to its security and that some are working at times to undermine it." That's another belated recognition of facts that Mr. Obama's allies on the left weren't always ready to acknowledge, particularly in the matter of Iran. Too bad, then, that Mr. Obama's only answer so far to this bad-neighborliness is "principled and sustained engagement" with Iraq's neighbors, including Iran and Syria. It's also too bad to hear Mr. Obama confirm reports that Chris Hill will be his Ambassador in Baghdad. Unlike Mr. Crocker, Mr. Hill has no history of walking away from the table when he sees negotiations going nowhere.Still, Mr. Obama delivered a sober speech, offering a policy worthy of the Commander in Chief he now is. He summed up America's achievement in Iraq thus:"We sent our troops to Iraq to do away with Saddam Hussein's regime-and you got the job done. We kept our troops in Iraq to help establish a sovereign government-and you got the job done.And we will leave the Iraqi people with a hard-earned opportunity to live a better life-that is your achievement; that is the prospect that you have made possible." Amen.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123578458503498487.html

As in the days of Noah...

Obama: U.S. Combat in Iraq to End in 2010

Democrats voice concerns on Obama's Iraq drawdown plan

WASHINGTON-Top Democrats have expressed concern over President Obama's plan to draw down nearly two-thirds of U.S. forces in Iraq by August 2010, while some key Republicans are offering praise.At issue: Obama plans to leave between 35,000 to 50,000 residual forces in the war-torn country, serving in a training or advisory role to the Iraqi military.All U.S. troops have to be out of Iraq by December 31, 2011, under an agreement the Bush administration signed with the Iraqi government last year.There are currently 142,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, indicated earlier this week that the residual force Obama is planning to leave in Iraq is too large.Pelosi on Wednesday told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow: "I don't know what the justification is for 50,000, a presence of 50,000 troops in Iraq...I do think that there's a need for some. I don't know that all of them have to be in the country."Pelosi clarified her concerns after Obama announced the plan at an event Friday at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina."As President Obama's Iraq policy is implemented, the remaining missions given to our remaining forces must be clearly defined and narrowly focused so that the number of troops needed to perform them is as small as possible," Pelosi said in a press release."The president's decision means that the time has come at last for Iraq's own security forces to have the prime responsibility for Iraq's security."Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-California, co-founder of the Out of Iraq House Caucus, was critical of the plan."I am deeply troubled by the suggestion that a force of 50,000 troops could remain in Iraq beyond this time frame," she said in a statement Friday."Call such a troop level what you will, but such a large number can only be viewed by the Iraqi public as an enduring occupation force. This is unacceptable." Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, said that while he supports Obama's "step in the right direction," the new troop plan does not "go far enough.""You cannot leave combat troops in a foreign country to conduct combat operations and call it the end of the war. You can't be in and out at the same time," Kucinich said in a release Friday.And top Senate Democrats echoed some of their House colleagues' skepticism."That's a little higher number than I expected," Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said Thursday.The third-ranking Senate Democrat, Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, said, "It has to be done responsibly, we all agree. But 50,000 is more than I would have thought."On Thursday afternoon, the president briefed bipartisan leaders from the House of Representatives and Senate-including Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, at the White House about the troop plan.Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that 50,000 is "somewhat larger" than what he expected. However, he said he has always believed "a few tens of thousands" of troops would be needed for noncombat missions such as training and fighting terrorism...
From Ed Hornick
To read more go to:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/27/iraq.dems/index.html
As in the days of Noah...

Military Reacts to Obama's Plan

Obama's Iraq War Endgame Doesn't Mean Job Is Over

In 18 months, President Obama plans to give America what it hoped it had six years ago-its "Mission Accomplished" moment in Iraq.Obama announced Friday his plan to end combat operations in Iraq by the end of August 2010, saying the goal of a "sovereign, stable and self-reliant" Iraq is achievable. Senior officials said the war, effectively, will end before Labor Day next year.But even supporters of the plan warn that any success in Iraq is fragile. And even if the war is over, the job still is far from done.President Bush was accused of prematurely declaring victory in May 2003, when he gave a speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln in front of a banner that read "Mission Accomplished." As for the headline on Aug. 31, 2010, it may be more like "Mission Accomplished" with an asterisk."It's not a mission accomplished day until the Iraqi people are completely able to defend themselves and their international borders without any international assistance," retired Army Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis said."There's a temptation to say it's all done, we don't have to worry about what's going on.But we do,"he said.Some analysts warn that U.S. involvement will be necessary for years to come.That obligation is reflected in the administration's withdrawal plan.Obama would not only retain the flexibility to slow down or reverse the withdrawals if conditions deteriorate, but he also will keep up to 50,000 troops as a residual force in Iraq after the deadline.The White House says combat brigades will be gone, but "advisory and assistance brigades"will stay.Their mission is to train and advise Iraqi forces, conduct targeted counter-terrorism missions and protect the ongoing civilian and military efforts in the country.And although Obama said he intends to abide by the Status of Forces Agreement requiring the removal of all U.S. troops by the end of 2011, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday he envisions keeping a small contingent of U.S. troops in Iraq even after the 2011 deadline.There is a clause in the agreement that allows for a prolonged U.S. presence if the Iraqis request it and if the U.S. agrees."My own view would be that we should be prepared to have some very modest-sized presence for training and helping them with their new equipment and providing, perhaps, intelligence support and so on beyond that," Gates said.Maginnis told FOXNews.com he expects the Iraqis to request an extension of U.S. presence after 2011, since they still need help in training to protect their Syrian and Iranian borders...

FOX News' Greg Palkot and Justin Fishel and FOXNews.com's Judson Berger contributed to this report.
To read more go to:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/02/27/obama-iraq-plan-end-war-complete-mission/
As in the days of Noah....

N. Korea Warns of "Unpredictable Military Conflicts"

SEOUL, South Korea-North Korea accused the U.S. military of making provocative moves along the tense border on the divided Korean peninsula, warning Saturday of "unpredictable military conflicts."The rare threat came as North Korea was apparently gearing up to test-fire a long-range missile believed capable of reaching U.S. territory. Pyongyang has also stepped up its war of rhetoric against the South over Seoul's tough stance toward its communist neighbor. North Korea's military said U.S. troops advanced as close as 100 feet from the Military Demarcation Line in the western border and took pictures of a North Korean military post last month. It also said more than 60 U.S. patrols approached to within 330 feet of the boundary this year.The U.S. provocations "at a time when the North-South relations are inching close to the brink of a war may touch off unpredictable military conflicts," the North's military said in a message sent to the South, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency."If the U.S. forces keep behaving arrogantly...the (North's military) will take a resolute counteraction."It did not elaborate.South Korea's Defense Ministry dismissed the North's accusation as groundless, calling the U.S. military moves "legitimate activities" because the U.S.-led U.N. Command oversees the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas.The U.S. stations 28,500 troops in South Korea to help deter the North's possible aggression.A spokesman of the U.S. military was not immediately available for comment.The U.N. Command oversees the cease-fire that ended the 1950-1953 Korean War. North Korea has long maintained that the U.N. Command is irrelevant and a thinly veiled U.S. effort to claim international legitimacy for its forces here.Although other nations contributed forces during the Korean War, U.S. troops are the only fighting elements facing North Korea left on the peninsula in addition to the South Korean military.
By AP

As in the days of Noah...

Father Sues Turkish Government, Claiming Genocide DVD Brainwashing Daughter

A father is suing the Turkish Education Ministry for forcing his 11-year-old daughter to watch a “racist” and “disturbing” film countering claims that Ottoman Turks committed genocide against Armenians in 1915 with graphic allegations of Armenian atrocities against Turks.The landmark case takes on what human rights activists have called the State's militarist policy of brainwashing Turkey's schoolchildren to the point of racist paranoia, aiming to preserve a nationalist status quo criticised by the European Union, which Turkey is keen to join.“My daughter was very disturbed and frightened by the documentary and kept asking me if the Armenians had cut us up,” said Serdar Kaya, an ethnic Turkish doctor, who is suing the ministry and the child's school for inciting racial hatred.“There are many mass graves, bones and skulls in the DVD. They have interviewed old grandads who inspire confidence and compassion. When they say things like 'They cut off his head' and 'They used it instead of firewood', that is bound to stay with the children,” Serdar Degirmencioglu, a psychologist, told the Armenian newspaper Agos when news first broke that the documentary was being shown to primary school children - including ethnic Armenian Turks.The Education Ministry says that it has stopped the distribution of the documentary, Sari Gelin (Blonde Bride), named after an Armenian folk song. But it has apparently not recalled it and critics say that it remains part of the curriculum.Some MPs are bringing up the case in Parliament.The education union Egitim-Sen has condemned the film, and the History Foundation has dismissed it as baseless propaganda.Another lawsuit has been filed by a foundation set up in honour of the murdered Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. The former editor of Agos was murdered in 2007 by a young nationalist whose links to a group of ultra-nationalists, codenamed Ergenekon,operating within the security forces and state bureaucracy are now being investigated.“In the whole of the documentary the word 'Armenian' has been used thousands of times and only with negative connotations,” the Foundation said.Mr Dink had been one of several high-profile intellectuals, also including Orhan Pamuk, the Nobel literature laureate, and Elif Shafak, the bestselling author, who had been sued by nationalist lawyers over comments and writings alluding to the mass Armenian deaths.“You can see that all those cases were part of a project of manipulation...There is a sick, abnormal tissue of Turkish society that is poisoned by a nationalist, racist virus,” said Ufuk Uras, an independent MP who backs Mr Kaya's case.Many historians class the 1915 events as genocide, but even those who reject the term accept that hundreds of thousands of Armenians died when the Ottoman Turks deported them from eastern Anatolia. According to the International Association of Genocide Scholars, the death toll was “more than a million”. “You go and kill more than a million Armenians,wipe the traces of Armenians from Anatolia, grab their property, and then show children videos about 'What the Armenians did to us'...We are cutting these children off from the rest of the world,” said Ahmet Altan, editor of the independent newspaper Taraf.
By Suna Erdem in Istanbul
As in the days of Noah...

LEWDNESS WATCH:Topless coffee shop a hit in small Maine town

It's a tough time for businesses, but one entrepreneur may have found the recipe for success.On Monday, Donald Crabtree opened Grand View Topless Coffee Shop in Vassalboro, Maine, where the waiters and waitresses serve their customers topless.In a town with fewer than 4,500 residents, the topless coffee shop is booming with business. Paul Crabtree, the owner's brother, describes business so far as "fantastic.""It's just been crowds mobbing in," he said.Donald Crabtree faced initial opposition to his plan, but he won the right to go ahead in a planning board hearing last week.Many local residents were irate over the idea of combining coffee and nudity. Crabtree, however, saw a profitable business venture."I know what people want,"he said."People like nudity, and coffee is profitable.Sure,I'd start a coffee shop, but I'd be out of work in a week." The flood of job applications-more than 150-for Grand View Topless Coffee Shop reflected the rough job market.Crabtree hired 10 women and five men under stringent requirements, including friendliness and, what he considered most important, that the wait staff "treat everyone equally.""We didn't hire '10s,' "he said, referring to appearance."We hired everyone from skinny to big-boned women."Of the 15 selected, most had been laid off from other jobs in the past few months.Elvis Thompson of Brunswick, for example, was a line cook at a restaurant before he lost his job."They couldn't afford me anymore,"he said.He said he doesn't mind fielding interesting requests from customers."An 80-year-old woman told me she wanted to see me in spandex," Thompson said."I just feel really lucky to have a job. I need the money so I can pay my rent."Ginni Labree from Palermo, Maine, said she applied to several restaurants before being hired at the Grand View.All the restaurants declined to hire her because of her lack of experience."I'm so excited, so excited to have a job," she said.The coffee shop jobs are paying off.One waitress received a $100 tip for a cup of coffee, and most of the wait staff make about $30 a table.Although the topless coffee shop has been open less than a week, Crabtree said he is already seeing regulars.Customers include a variety of individuals, but mainly couples and females.He also sees his new business venture as a temporary fix for customers struggling through tough economic times."The economy is so bad," Crabtree said, "Everyone's losing their homes, their ties, everything they own. People leave here happy and can't wait to come back. It's nice to see people smile again."
From Laurie Segall
Watch townspeople, employees talk about coffee shop http://edition.cnn.com/2009/US/02/27/topless.coffee.shop/index.html?iref=mpstoryview
PS:We are living in a day and hour where "everything goes IF it will provide jobs"...We truly need a revival in our country.A truly revival of REPENTANCE...
Millions are lost and wandering in darkness...
As in the days of Noah...

Friday, February 27, 2009

Big Brother Watching You Shop

Cameras inside ad displays gather advertising data about shoppers.KSDK's Kasey Joyce reports.More blatant invasions of privacy !

DNA samples from 1.1milion children held on register as Labour 'plots database by stealth'

DNA samples taken from 1.1million children are being held on an ever expanding government database.The figures, revealed yesterday, show that 1.09million DNA profiles of people aged under 18 were held on the database with 337,000 under 16.The Metropolitan Police has added the largest number of profiles to the register including 117,000 boys and 33,000 girls.The new figures come as it was claimed ministers are sneaking sweeping powers to collect and retain more DNA samples.The Tories said the Government was attempting to give itself a 'blank cheque' to store swabs and fingerprints of criminals and those cleared of wrongdoing.They claim Labour is trying to expand the amount of biometric data they store without subjecting the controversial plan to full Parliamentary scrutiny.Jacqui Smith has been forced to reassess the UK's national database after European judges said it was unlawful for police to keep the records of innocent citizens. Nearly one million people who were arrested for recordable offences but later acquitted or not charged hoped to have their samples deleted as a result of last December's ruling.The Home Secretary announced that she would publish a response to the court's decision that holding swabs indefinitely was a breach of human rights.The details of about 4.5million people are held on the database yet one in five - including 40,000 children - has never been charged with an offence.But in a letter to MPs on the committee studying the Policing and Crime Bill, Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker said he wanted to table amendments relating to DNA.The Tories say these would allow the Government to introduce regulations on the retention and destruction of DNA, photographs, CCTV images, fingerprints and footprints without the need for line-by-line scrutiny in Parliament.Instead, any measures proposed would be subject only to 'unacceptable' votes in the Commons and the Lords.Shadow Home Office Minister James Brokenshire said: 'It is typical of this Government that having received a judgment restricting their database state where everyone is treated as a potential suspect, they use it as an opportunity to get more powers with less powers of scrutiny.'The European Court said that there was a need for greater openness and accountability around the governance of DNA data and the destruction of fingerprints and samples.'Ministers should act on this and be transparent in what it does rather than shying away from scrutiny which would be the effect of these proposals.'Ms Smith has indicated that the White Paper on forensic science, to be published this year, will propose limiting the length of time that samples of those convicted of crimes are held.She is looking at adopting the Scottish system where the records of those acquitted of serious violent and sexual offences are retained for a maximum of five.She has also suggested entering jails to take samples from serious offenders in prison who were convicted before the national database was created, as well as trawling the country for swabs from those who have been released from jail.But critics fear she will use the proposed lack of Parliamentary scrutiny to extend the database.In his letter, Mr Coaker said: 'I cannot emphasise enough the importance of biometric data, DNA in particular, in the identification and detection of offenders.'The Home Office says the register has proved a key intelligence tool in solving 3,500 cases - including high-profile rapes and murders.The European Court of Human Rights ruled against the storing of biometric information of innocent people in a case brought by two British men against South Yorkshire Police.
As in the days of Noah...

Russian bomber neared Canada before Obama visit

Canada's Defence Minister Peter MacKay (C) speaks during a news conference with U.S. General Gene Renuart (L), the commander of NORAD, and Canada's Chief of the Defence Staff General Walt Natynczyk on Parliament Hill in Ottawa February 27, 2009.
REUTERS/Chris Wattie

OTTAWA-Canadian fighters scrambled to intercept an approaching Russian bomber less than 24 hours before U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Ottawa last week, Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay said on Friday.The Bear bomber did not enter Canada's Arctic airspace but the two Canadian F-18 fighters had to order the plane to turn back, MacKay told a news conference.Obama spent a few hours in the Canadian capital on February 19 on his first foreign trip since becoming president."I'm not going to stand here and accuse the Russians of having deliberately done this during the presidential visit but it was a strong coincidence, which we met with the presence, as we always do, of F-18 fighter planes...and sent a strong signal that they should back off and stay out of our air space," MacKay said.He also said Russia had stepped up its bomber flights toward the Canadian Arctic in the last few years, reviving a practice that was common during the Cold War.MacKay did not say exactly when the incident occurred or how close the bomber came to Canadian airspace."It's not a game. It's not a game at all. These aircraft approaching Canadian or U.S. airspace are viewed very seriously," he said."We have asked on a number of occasions...that we are given a heads up when this type of air traffic is to occur and to date we have not received that kind of notice."In Moscow, a spokesman for Russia's defense ministry could not immediately be reached for comment.MacKay spoke after a meeting with U.S. General Gene Renuart, commander of the binational North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)."They (the Russians) have been professional in the way they have conducted their aircraft operations," Renuart said.Canada's minority Conservative government has promised to spend billions of dollars boosting Canada's presence in the Arctic,which scientists believe has vast reserves of oil and natural gas."Our intention is very much to demonstrate our sovereignty, our capability to protect our territory, our airspace, our water (and) our people in the Arctic and that includes our resources," MacKay said.Five countries with an Arctic coastline-Russia, the United States, Canada, Norway, and Denmark through its control of Greenland-have competing claims to the region.Scientists say oil and gas exploration could begin during the summer months within decades.Russia said this week it would respond to any moves to militarize the Arctic.Ottawa-which plans to build a deep water port in the region-has stepped up sovereignty patrols in the Arctic and last August it said it would toughen reporting requirements for ships entering its waters in the Far North.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Peter Galloway)
http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE51Q2W220090227?sp=true

As in the days of Noah...

CNBC Analyst:"Global Bank,Global Currency Within 15 Years"

Head of market analysis for Schneider Foreign Exchange Stephen Gallo told CNBC yesterday that the financial crisis will lead to the creation of a global central bank and a global single currency within 15 years, echoing the call of top globalists who have exploited the problems they created to push for a new world financial order.Highlighting the significance of the introduction of the Euro, Gallo said that the single currency was “where we are headed globally on a monetary basis over the course of the next 10 to 15 years.”Stating that one of the things that caused the financial crisis was an over expansion of the money supply on a global basis, Gallo said, “Over the course of the next couple of decades central banks are going to need to pay more attention to what’s going on with the global money supply rather than the money supply just in their own borders,” a necessity that, “might call into question the need for some kind of global central bank or a global central bank that’s united by central banks for bigger monetary areas underneath that global central bank.”As we have highlighted before, the elite have exploited the problem that they created to push for increased centralization and regulation of the world economic system in the pursuit of a de-facto global financial dictatorship.British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, EU heads such as Joaquin Almunia and establishment media outlets like the Wall Street Journal amongst many others have all used the economic crisis as an excuse to argue for greater financial power, a “new world economic order” in which control is concentrated into fewer hands - with the IMF and the World Bank enjoying the spoils. UK Business Secretary and top Bilderberg member Peter Mandelson has also pushed for a “Bretton Woods for this century,” to help build the “machinery of global economic governance”.Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy all made the same appeal at a conference in Paris on the future of capitalism last month.Merkel called for the creation of a new global economic body under the UN, similar to the Security Council, to judge government policy.Sarkozy called for a “new world, new capitalism” during his speech, as he commented “In capitalism of the 21st century, there is room for the state.”Meanwhile, Blair called for a new financial order which he said should be constructed upon “values other than the maximum short-term profit.”The globalists created the problem of wildly irresponsible fractional reserve banking, the debt bubble and the credit crunch by ceaselessly inflating the money supply and now they are offering their solution to the crisis by posing as the saviors and promising to fix the crisis, but only if complete control of the global financial system be signed over to them.As Ron Paul, Peter Schiff and their ilk have tirelessly argued, the only way to solve the financial crisis is to allow incompetent banks and companies to fail, not to reward their misdeeds by giving them billions in taxpayer money. The only way to re-capitalize the world is to provide incentives for people to work hard and save money, not by creating more credit out of thin air, which is what caused the problem in the first place.The globalists’ call for a centralized global economic order has nothing to do with providing solutions to the crisis but everything to do with providing themselves with more power and control over the world financial system.
Watch the CNBC clip below.


By Paul Joseph Watson

As in the days of Noah...

Angry Citizens Across U.S. Revive Boston Tea Party Protest

History will repeat itself Friday in Wichita and across the country. Demonstrators are planning tea party protests to show opposition to the federal stimulus bill. Wichita is one of more than 40 cities that will hold simultaneous tea parties. Protesters say it's time taxpayers to come together and demand to be heard.It was all the way back in 1773 when American colonists held the Boston Tea Party. They pitched crates of tea into the harbor to protest British taxation.Now citizens angry over the stimulus bill are paying homage to the event to make a point by hosting tea parties in cities country-wide."Let's go back to the founding fathers," says Nancy Armstrong, Wichita event organizer. "Basically, this is a land bound tea party, but it's a populist revolt against the "porkius bills," I like to call it,"It's all part of the new grassroots movement called American Tea Party that came to life after President Obama signed the $789 billion stimulus package into law last week."We're protesting the stimulus bill which really is nothing more than a spending bill. It's not going to stimulate the economy," said Armstrong.The tea party movement is generating a lot of attention. Already there are blog sites dedicated to it and one can even find information on YouTube. Organizers say the event isn't only about protesting the bill but also to prove to the powers that be that the average person does care what politicians are up to."This is our way of saying 'Yes we do care' about the bills. We do care what's in them and we do care if they're being passed appropriately," said Armstrong.The Wichita Tea Party starts at 11:30 a.m. Friday. It will be held outside Senator Sam Brownback's office at 245 N. Waco.
Reporter: Jennifer Bocchieri
VIDEO:
As in the days of Noah...

Obama to rescind Bush abortion rule

WASHINGTON-The Obama administration is moving to rescind a federal rule that reinforced protections for medical providers who refuse to perform abortions and other procedures on moral grounds.A Health and Human Services official said Friday the administration will publish an official notice of its intentions early next week, and open a 30-day comment period for advocates, medical groups and the public. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the notice has not been finalized.The Bush administration instituted the rule in its last days. It has already been challenged in court.Abortion opponents hailed the Bush regulation, but abortion rights advocates say it could reduce access to other services, such as birth control.
By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR--Associated Press Writer
As in the days of Noah...

Feds Tracking Your Driving Habits?

WASHINGTON-Raise federal gasoline taxes to help pay for road projects?Not during a recession,Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has said.Then how about moving toward a system that finances highway construction by charging motorists by the mile?When LaHood suggested last week that be considered among other potential financing schemes, he got bushwhacked by the White House."It is not and will not be the policy of the Obama administration,"the president's press secretary said. With the administration's position seemingly clear, a special commission created by Congress is nonetheless endorsing those two ideas.Its report Thursday warns that if government fails to find a new way to raise money,"we will suffer grim consequences in the future: unimaginable levels of congestion, reduced safety, costlier goods and services, an eroded quality of life, and diminished economic competitiveness as a nation."The National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission says the current 18.4 cents a gallon gas tax and 24.4 cents a gallon diesel tax are not raising enough money to keep pace with the cost of highway, bridge and transit projects. The commission proposes lifting the gasoline tax by 10 cents per gallon and the diesel tax by 15 cents per gallon, and adjusting both for inflation.The report also says fuel taxes increasingly will become a less reliable way to pay for highway construction as people drive more fuel efficient vehicles and the number of electric and alternative fuel cars and trucks grows.Last fall, Congress transferred $8 billion from the general treasury to the highway trust fund to make up for a shortfall between revenue and money promised to states for highway projects.Last week, LaHood said in an interview with The Associated Press that a vehicle-miles-traveled tax was an idea that should be considered to shore up the trust fund.The report recommends moving to such a tax, which would mean equipping cars and trucks with a device that uses GPS technology to track the number of miles driven and compute the tax owed. The amount could be adjusted to charge more for travel during peak traffic hours.Commission members said the transition to a national system would take about 10 years.The concept was tried in a pilot program in Oregon. Idaho's governor is talking about it. A North Carolina panel suggested in December the state start charging motorists a quarter-cent for every mile as a substitute for the gas tax.A tentative plan in Massachusetts has drawn complaints from drivers who say it's an Orwellian intrusion by government into the lives of citizens. Other motorists say it eliminates an incentive to drive more fuel-efficient cars because gas guzzlers will be taxed at the same rate as fuel sippers. Advocates said the tax is environmentally friendly because it encourages motorists to drive less and that technology solutions are available for any privacy concerns.Commission member Geoffrey Yarema, a Los Angeles transportation lawyer, said the commission examined more than 40 types of funding schemes before arriving at a consensus that a mileage-based system makes the most sense."If someone else can come up with a solution that achieves the goals we all know need to be achieved and is more politically acceptable, that's great. But we haven't seen that alternative and we tried hard to find it," Yarema said.Yarema said he isn't discouraged by the White House's rejection of a mileage-based tax."I say let's wait and see," Yarema said. "We're all looking for solutions and I'm sure the Obama administration will be looking for solutions as well."
By AP
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/02/27/panel-raise-gas-tax-charge-drivers-mile/


As in the days of Noah....

Mosque wants to "detox" muslim extremists

Canadian Mosque Sets Up 'Detox' Program for Would-Be Terrorists

TORONTO-A Canadian mosque is taking a page from the Alcoholics Anonymous guidebook and applying it to its fight against terrorism.Leaders at the Masjid el Noor Mosque in Toronto(picture left)say Muslims who get sucked in to an extremist interpretation of Islam become addicted to faith, just as an alcoholic is addicted to alcohol. So the mosque has set up a 12-step program to "detox" budding radicals before it's too late.The "Specialized De-Radicalization Intervention Program" was created by the mosque's director, Mohammed Shaikh, who says the program is the first of its kind. Shaikh, who used to work as a police chaplain, says the 12 steps are geared toward young people who have fallen in with the "wrong crowd," often through connections made on the Internet."The Internet is one of the biggest problems. Online, they can seek out people who think like they do," Shaikh said.Parents who suspect their teenagers or young adults are heading in the wrong direction bring them to Shaikh, a trusted member of the community. One of the counselors he has recruited for the program, Ahmed Amiruddin from the Ahlus Sunnah Foundation of Canada, says the goal is to show the radicalized youth that Al Qaeda's beliefs are theologically wrong. "Their interpretation of the Islamic faith is inconsistent with the last 1,400 years of Islamic schools of thought," Amiruddin says, "We clarify the differences and bring people back toward the traditional interpretation of the Islamic faith, which completely rejects suicide bombings and extremism in all of its forms."The 12 steps incorporate verses from the Koran that speak of peace, address worldwide conflicts and highlight the need of Muslims to find common ground-not "fighting ground"-with other faiths.Toronto Police Superintendent Brody Smollet, who worked with Shaikh when he was a police chaplain, welcomes the program. "If Mr. Shaikh is successful," Smollet said, "if he can bring even a few of the youth out of that radicalization, it would be a real benefit to our society, in our community, in our country as a whole."Mosque leaders would like to see their 12 steps used throughout Canada, which has 580,000 Muslims, about 2 percent of the population. They have reached out to the Canadian government, offering to help courts deal with terrorism cases, including well-publicized terror suspects like Omar Khadr, a Canadian who is accused of killing an American solider in Afghanistan and is being held at Guantanamo Bay.
They would also like to work to detox "The Toronto 18"-a group of 18 young men who were arrested in 2006 and accused of plotting to bomb Toronto landmarks and government buildings. One of the 18 was convicted last year, 10 are awaiting trial and seven have been released.The Canadian goverment says it is "committed to reaching out to various communities to foster dialogue on national security matters, including extremism" but has not yet accepted the Masjid el Noor Mosque's offer.Counterterrorism expert Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, who wrote about his own return from Muslim extremism in his book "My Year Inside Radical Islam," says the 12 steps could be helpful for people found guilty in terror cases, but the program should not be used in lieu of punishment."Saudi Arabia and Yemen have had programs with a very high recidivism rate, Gartenstein-Ross said. "Part of the reason for that is that is all people have to do in order to complete the program is announce their own deradicalization. They have every incentive to declare themselves deradicalized and there is very little to lose in doing so."Smollet says he doesn't think Toronto has a problem with Islamic radicalism, but he stresses that the detox program isn't only for deeply entrenched radicals. "The program is designed to look at people who are just, kind of on the fringes. They're not hard core, radical terrorist people. They are right at the stage of their life where they could go either way."Amiruddin is currently using the 12 steps in the treatment of three young people at the mosque, one of them female. He says he thinks it will take six months or less to reform them. He says some see the light as soon as they go through Step 1: "Who is Allah?""Most people, once they realize, 'Hey, I even have God wrong here,' most people do want to change," Amiruddin said.
By Kathleen Foster
As in the days of Noah...

U.S. Seeks to Improve Relations With Syria

In another sign that the U.S. is exploring ways to improve relations with Syria, officials from each country met for nearly two hours at the State Department on Thursday.Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Jeffrey Feltman met with Syria's ambassador to the United States, Imad Moustapha, at Feltman's request. The last time Syrian and U.S. officials met at the State Department was last year, when Moustapha discussed the bombing of a nascent nuclear facility by Israel.When asked about the significance of the meeting Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that it was too early to tell if relations were improving significantly but that it reflected a desire by the Obama administration to engage with states whose relations with the previous administration had been strained.Moustapha described the meeting as positive and constructive saying Syria's issues were covered across the board. He said, however, that they didn't discuss the appointment of a U.S. ambassador to Damascus and the likelihood of Clinton meeting with Syria's foreign minister at the Gaza Donors conference, which both will attend in Sharm El Sheikh on March 2.A State Department official told FOX News that Feltman will accompany Clinton on her maiden Mideast trip next week..
By Nina Donaghy
As in the days of Noah...

Obama Ready to Shoot Down North Korea Missile?

In an exclusive interview with ABC News' Martha Raddatz, Adm. Timothy Keating, head of the U.S. Pacific Commands, said that the military is prepared to shoot down any North Korean ballistic missile-if President Obama should give the order."If a missile leaves the launch pad we'll be prepared to respond upon direction of the president," Keating told ABC News."I'm not a betting man but I'd go like 60/40, 70/30 that it will, they will attempt to launch a satellite. There's equipment moving up there that would indicate the preliminary stages of preparation for a launch. So I'd say it's more than less likely.""Should it look like it's not a satellite launch-that it's something other than a satellite launch-we'll be ready to respond." Intelligence reports suggest that North Korea is preparing a long-range missile test. Earlier this week, North Korea announced its plans to send a satellite into orbit as part of its space program.However, many in the international community assert that North Korea's satellite test is simply a means of concealing a long-range missile test-a move that would flare existing tension in the region. Keating said that the military is ready to respond with at least five different systems: destroyer, Aegis cruiser, radar, space-based system and ground-based interceptor. All of these work in conjunction with one another to protect against any missile threat.Destroyers are fast, multi-purpose warships that can be used in almost any type of naval operation. They would likely play a defensive role, helping to repel an air attack and offering a platform for gunfire and missiles to hit airborne objects.The Aegis cruiser is part of the Navy's computer-based command and control system that integrates radar and missiles to fight against land, air and sea attacks. For Keating, the Aegis combat system can tracks threats and counter any short- or medium-range missiles.Radars vary in type and design, but the military would likely employ a range of sea-based and early warning radars to detect the presence of a North Korean missile, track warheads' movement and more easily home in on the position of a missile to knock it down. Space-based infrared system is a defense system that provides warning of any missile launches, detecting the threat and employing other tools to obliterate it.Ground-based interceptor is a weapon that seeks and destroys incoming ballistic missiles outside of the earth's atmosphere. Its sensors give the military the ability to locate and obliterate a North Korean missile."We will be fully prepared to respond as the president directs," Keating said. "Everything that we need to be ready is ready. So that's ready twice in one sentence, but we're not kidding, it doesn't take much for us to be fully postured to respond."
By MARTHA RADDATZ and LAUREN SHER
As in the days of Noah....

JEWISH LEADERS:"She's not the Hillary we knew..."

NEW YORK-In a swift about face from her views as New York's senator, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is now hammering Israel over its treatment of Palestinians in Gaza. As First Lady, Clinton raised eyebrows when she kissed Suha Arafat. Since she was then seeking a Senate seat the resulting brouhaha caused her to "re-think" her positions."I'm a very strong supporter of Israel,"Clinton said back in February 2000. On Thursday, as Secretary of State she had yet another about face in the form of angry messages demanding Israel speed up aid to Gaza. Jewish leaders are furious."I am very surprised, frankly, at this statement from the United States government and from the secretary of state," said Mortimer Zuckerman, publisher of the New York Daily News and member of the NYC Jewish Community Relations Council."I liked her a lot more as a senator from New York," Assemblyman Dov Hikind, D-Brooklyn, said."Now, I wonder as I used to wonder who the real Hillary Clinton is." Clinton's decision to hammer Israel comes as the Clintons and President Barack Obama are planning to give the Palestinians $900 million toward the rebuilding of Gaza in the wake of the Israeli offensive that was sparked by Hamas rocket fire."We are working across the government to see what our approach will be," Clinton said."I don't believe that we should be in a position at this point to do anything to strengthen Hamas," Zuckerman said."We surely know what Hamas stands for as I say they are the forward battalions of Iran." For some, Clinton's change of position is upsetting."I feel it's unfortunate that they don't continue the policy of the Bush administration, which was much more pro-Israel," said Akiva Homnick of Jerusalem."I happen to have a lot of family who live in Israel and I feel, personally, when you are dealing with people who are very strong against you, you have to stand up to them," said Tami Davudoff of Kew Gardens."Hillary had Mrs. Arafat here and she invited Mrs. Arafat for lunch when she was the first lady," added Babak Chafe of Great Neck. "She is pro-Palestinian 100 percent, really. Of course, we always knew it." "The easy way to make a peace agreement is to pressure Israel because you can't pressure the Arabs," said Solomon Loewi of Monsey, N.Y. All this could lead to a chilly reception when Mrs. Clinton arrives in the Middle East next week. The new U.S. envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, arrived in Israel on Thursday with a mission to inject new life into peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
By Marcia Kramer

As in the days of Noah...

Argentina calls CIA comment "irresponsible"

BUENOS AIRES-Argentina on Thursday blasted the head of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency for saying the country, along with Ecuador and Venezuela, could be pushed into instability by the global economic crisis.Lumping Argentina together with Ecuador and Venezuela, both led by leftist anti-Washington firebrands, raises concern in this country, where center-left President Cristina Kirchner is trying to keep the economy from stagnating.Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana called the comments made on Wednesday by CIA Director Leon Panetta "unfounded and irresponsible, especially from an agency that has a sad history of meddling in the affairs of countries in the region."Taiana said he will meet on Friday with U.S. Ambassador Earl Anthony Wayne to demand an explanation.
(Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by John O'Callaghan)
As in the days of Noah...

Putin warns against economic protests

NOVO-OGARYOVA, Russia-Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned opposition critics on Friday not to use the economic crisis as an excuse to challenge his government and told them to abide by the law.Unrest across Russia over economic upheaval has been muted, with the biggest protests so far taking place in the Far East port of Vladivostok where hundreds were arrested in January demonstrations over car tax. Speaking at a meeting with leaders of Russia's dominant political party, United Russia, ahead of regional elections this weekend, Putin said that criticism of the Russian government during a crisis was allowed, but only within the laws."If opposition actions go outside the law, it means they are not pursuing the goals of improving people's lives, but their own selfish goals and the state has the right to defend itself properly," Putin said at his residence outside Moscow.Russia has tight controls that restrict opposition groups from holding rallies or marches without official sanction. Applications from groups like chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov's 'Other Russia' movement are frequently rejected.Putin and other senior Russian officials have criticised "people's revolutions" in ex-Soviet Georgia and Ukraine which propelled pro-Western leaders to power through street protests."We won't allow events to happen like in some other countries, to which I will not point a finger now. At the same time, we won't limit lawful forms of protest," Putin said.
ELECTORAL TEST
The ballot will mark the first electoral test for Putin since the global slowdown hit Russia last summer.Opposition groups this month started a series of protests across Russia and are hoping to expand their limited base of support to those affected by the dramatic slowdown in the Russian economy that has sent unemployment soaring. After a decade of steady growth, the economy is set to shrink by at least two per cent this year, which economists say will push up the jobless rate, now standing at over 8 percent.Putin's comments were dismissed by opposition figure Ilya Yashin of the newly-formed Solidarity group who said authorities define any criticism as a threat to national interests."This is an indicator of the nervousness of the authorities which understand how huge is the probability of public unrest," said Yashin.
(Reporting by Oleg Shchedrov and Aydar Buribayev, writing by Conor Sweeney)
As in the days of Noah...

Globalization Protesters:"We're Not Paying For Your Crisis!"

SPIEGEL: What do you mean with your battle cry,"We're not paying for your crisis"?Don't you want to pay taxes anymore?
Passadakis: We believe that the cost of the economic crisis should be footed by those who profited most from globalization.
SPIEGEL: As a leading exporter, Germany too has profited.
Passadakis:No,the majority of people have not earned much from the boom-instead they have had to deal with restraint in their wage agreements.The rich, on the other hand, have seen strong increases in their wealth. So it is only fair that they should pay extra duties.
SPIEGEL: You want to fleece the Aldi brothers and the Klatten and Otto families (Germany's richest people) among others?
Passadakis: Yes, they in particular should be ordered to come to the check out. We are calling for the rich to pay out between 5 and 20 percent of their wealth.
SPIEGEL: And by doing so, they should provide enough money to finance the economic stimulus packages?
Passadakis: The German government has now pledged €480 billion ($613 billion) in guarantees and cash injections for banks. In the year 2002 alone, private assets in Germany increased by almost €800 billion. There is lots to draw on. We just can't keep going on as we have been until now.
SPIEGEL: Why not?
Passadakis: The European Commission estimates in a secret paper that the banks are still sitting on toxic assets worth several trillions of euros. To guarantee such sums would be beyond the means of any public fund. Instead, it would be better to let the banks go bankrupt in a controlled fashion, then put them under public control and then recapitalize them. Then the billions of taxes would be used in a sensible way.
SPIEGEL: Do you think many people will participate in your protest?
Passadakis: The crisis is still very abstract for many people. But still our membership numbers are rising fast. After the protests in France we are holding demos in Germany on March 28, shortly before the global finance summit in London.
As in the days of Noah...

Economy Shrinks at Worst Pace in 25 years

WASHINGTON-The economy contracted at a staggering 6.2 percent pace at the end of 2008, the worst showing in a quarter-century, as consumers and businesses ratcheted back spending, plunging the country deeper into recession.The Commerce Department report released Friday showed the economy sinking much faster than the 3.8 percent annualized drop for the October-December quarter first estimated last month. It also was considerably weaker than the 5.4 percent annualized decline economists expected. Looking ahead, economists predict consumers and businesses will keep cutting back spending, making the first six months of this year especially rocky."Right now we're in the period of maximum recession stress, where the big cuts are being made," said economist Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics.The new report offered grim proof that the economy's economic tailspin accelerated in the fourth quarter under a slew of negative forces feeding on each other. The economy started off 2008 on feeble footing, picked up a bit of speed in the spring and then contracted at an annualized rate of 0.5 percent in the third quarter.The faster downhill slide in the final quarter of last year came as the financial crisis-the worst since the 1930s-intensified.Consumers at the end of the year slashed spending by the most in 28 years. They chopped spending on cars, furniture, appliances, clothes and other things. Businesses retrenched sharply, too, dropping the ax on equipment and software, home building and commercial construction.Before Friday's report was released, many economists were projecting an annualized drop of 5 percent in the current January-March quarter. However, given the fourth quarter's showing and the dismal state of the jobs market, Mayland believes a decline of closer to 6 percent in the current quarter is possible.The nation's unemployment rate is now at 7.6 percent, the highest in more than 16 years. The Federal Reserve expects the jobless rate to rise to close to 9 percent this year, and probably remain above normal levels of around 5 percent into 2011.A smaller decline in the economy is expected for the second quarter of this year....
By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer
To read more go to:
As in the days of Noah...

Banks Cede Control to Govts;Japan,India falter

WASHINGTON/STOCKHOLM-Crippled banks in Europe and the United States sank deeper into state control on Friday as governments fed them more cash to stabilise lending and kickstart faltering economies worldwide.The U.S. government did a deal to convert $25 billion of its preferred stock in Citigroup (C.N) to common stock, giving it a stake of up to 36 percent in the bank. [ID:nN27210042]And global development banks launched a two-year plan to lend up to 25 billion euros ($32 billion) to shore up banks and businesses in crisis-hit eastern and central Europe. [ID:nLR334303]U.S. stock index futures SPc1 turned lower on the news and Citi, which once dominated U.S. financial services, said it would take an impairment charge of $9.6 billion [nWNAB8071].The Citi deal came a day after Britain agreed to insure 500 billion pounds ($715 billion) of risky bank assets and struck a deal that could raise the government holding in Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) to 95 percent. [ID:nLQ259274].On Friday, a second major British institution,Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L),prepared to tap the insurance scheme.[ID:nLR106223]Together with the $1.75 trillion budget deficit forecast by U.S. President Barack Obama, the deals highlight the lengths to which governments are prepared to go to rescue the financial industry and the broader economy."There's a feeling that the banks might need yet more capital and nationalisation is back on the agenda both here and in the U.S., it looks as if there's no end in sight," said Graham Exton, fund manager at the UK's Tilney Investment Management.Fannie Mae (FNM.P), the government-controlled company seen by the U.S. administration as a key conduit to stabilise the housing market, reported a $25.2 billion fourth-quarter loss, forcing it to ask for $15.2 billion from the U.S. Treasury. [ID:nN26282313]
STOCKS WEAK, ECONOMIES STAGGER
World stock markets slipped towards the six-year lows they registered earlier in the week and the dollar hit a three-month high against major currencies as concerns intensified about profits at pharmaceutical companies and banks [ID:nLR339960] [ID:nLR469885].Data showed economies faltering from Japan to Sweden.Japanese factory output fell a record 10 percent in January, dragging down the number of new jobs on offer and showing Japan's recession deepening. [ID:nT238445]India's economy slowed more than expected from October to December, with annual growth falling to 5.3 percent from 7.6 percent in the previous quarter. [ID:nDEL455533]Fourth quarter data from the Nordic region showed the Danish and Swedish economies contracting at record paces and Finland entering recession. [ID:nLR77308]In the euro zone, unemployment crept up and inflation fell to its lowest in almost 10 years.[ID:nLR729279]And the South Korean won fell to an 11-year low against the dollar as analysts said risk aversion fuelled by the fragility of global financial system would impede any recovery. [ID:nSEO210631]China gave a mixed picture on its economy's outlook for the coming year, with one official saying he was confident the government could engineer 8 percent growth, but another saying growth would not pick up until at least the second quarter.[ID:nPEK199602]"I don't think China's economy will bottom out in the first quarter. That means China's economy will be further weighed down by the worsening external environment," Vice Commerce Minister Fu Ziying told a forum. [ID:nPEK199602]Gloom piled up in the United States as well in data released on Thursday. The number of U.S. workers filing for jobless benefits jumped to a record high of 5.1 million in mid-February, while U.S. durable goods orders hit a six-year low in January. [ID:nN26542699]Carmaker General Motors (GM.N) posted a 2008 loss of nearly $31 billion and said auditors were likely to cast doubt on its viability. [ID:nN26533432] (Additional reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto in Tokyo; Writing by Louise Ireland and Andrew Callus; Editing by Dan Lalor) ($1 = 0.7841 euro) ($1 = 0.7004 pound)
By David Lawder and Niklas Pollard

As in the days of Noah...

U.S.Taking Huge Citi Block

Embattled Citigroup Inc. and the U.S. have reached an agreement in which the government will substantially increase its stake in the bank and in return will demand a boardroom shakeup, according to people familiar with the matter. Under a deal expected to be announced early Friday morning, the Treasury Department has agreed to convert some of its current holdings of preferred Citigroup shares into common stock. The government will convert its stake only to the extent that Citigroup can persuade private investors to do so alongside the government, the people said. The Treasury will match the private investors' conversions dollar-for-dollar up to $25 billion.The size of the government's new stake will hinge on the amount of preferred shares that private investors, including sovereign wealth funds, agree to convert into common stock. The Treasury's stake is expected to rise to 30% to 40% of Citigroup's shares, the people said.As a condition to the agreement, which is designed to ease investor jitters about the adequacy of Citigroup's capital base, the government is demanding that the New York company overhaul its board of directors, the people said. Treasury will call for Citigroup's board to be comprised of a majority of independent directors.Chief Executive Vikram Pandit is expected to keep his job under the agreement.The conditions imposed by the government were hammered out over a week of negotiations. They are designed to make up for the fact that taxpayers will bear greater risk holding common stock rather than preferred. The common shares also won't pay dividends, unlike the preferred stock.The Citigroup deal has been closely watched not only due to its importance to Citigroup's financial health, but also because it is expected to serve as a model for future federal conversions of preferred shares into common stock in some of the nation's biggest banks.Key details of the Citigroup-U.S. pact remain unclear.
Continue reading at the Wall Street Journal

As in the days of Noah...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

NWO WATCH:Mass Civil Liberties Rallies planned for UK

Lawyers, judges, politicians, human rights supporters, anti-surveillance activists and members of the Countryside Alliance are gathering at several UK cities on Saturday to discuss their concerns about the alleged erosion of civil liberties.The Convention on Modern Liberty is being held in London, Belfast, Bristol, Cardiff, Cambridge, Glasgow and Manchester.They will hear from a roster of speakers that will include Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti, journalist Henry Porter, barrister Helena Kennedy and Tory MP David Davis.American journalist Jamie Malanowski, writing in The First Post, called for the UK to have its own Bill of Rights.He added: "It's time to summon up the shades of such great British reformers as William Wilberforce and his fellow abolitionists. It's time to realise that Britain needs to make real something it already thinks is right."
Picture Left:William Wilberforce
As in the days of Noah...