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Tuesday, May 31, 2011


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Vladimir Putin hints at Dominique Strauss-Kahn conspiracy

Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, has hinted that Dominique Strauss-Kahn may be the victim of a conspiracy to force him from the head of the IMF.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, has hinted that Dominique Strauss-Kahn may be the victim of a conspiracy to force him from the head of the IMF.

Mr Putin said that he finds it hard to believe that the sex charges against the Frenchman are true and that he may have fallen victim to a shadowy plot to discredit him.

"It is hard for me to evaluate the real political underlying reasons and I do not even want to get into that subject, but I cannot believe that everything is as it seems and how it was initially presented," he said. "It does not sit right in my head."

Mr Strauss-Kahn was arrested at JFK airport in New York on May 14 for allegedly sexually assaulting a hotel chambermaid.

Mr Putin's public support for Mr Strauss-Kahn comes days after a French politician alleged that the former IMF chief had said before his arrest that he thought Mr Putin was actively plotting his downfall.

The politician, Claude Bartolone, said: "He said the Russians and notably Putin had allied themselves with France to try to have him fired from the IMF to stop him running for (French) president."

The Telegraph


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Congressman Warns: “Those Who Can, Should Move Their Families Out Of the City”

There are a whole host of events that can bring the world as we know it today to its knees. From a hyperinflationary economic collapse to an electro magnetic pulse originating from the sun or a nuclear weapon , there exists a real and present danger that our system may, in the near future, experience unrecoverable shocks to the power grid and clean water infrastructure, a halt to just-in-time agricultural transportation systems and a collapse of the currency exchange mechanisms that make the economy function.

US Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), lived through the great depression, so he’s seen how bad things can get. In a new documentary, Mr. Bartlett and others discuss the dangers posed to those living in cities and ways that your family can survive if the worst were to ever happen.

We realize that for most people this may be decried as fear-mongering and crazy survival talk. We can’t help but point out, however, that it’s not just Representative Roscoe Bartlett, economist Marc Faber, and trend forecaster Gerald Celente that are recommending you prepare and head for rural areas. The US Pentagon and Military are very much aware of these possibilities and they’re preparing for exactly the scenarios described in this documentary.

The threat is out there, and just because it hasn’t happened in our modern-day society up until now doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future. In fact, it has happened through history – strife, poverty, depression, economic collapse, war. You name it and somebody in history has lived it. The government spends hundreds of billions of dollars on emergency preparedness, disaster planning, continuity of government and war gaming these scenarios. There’s a reason for that. We recommend our readers take a queue from them and others who are warning of these outlier possibilities.

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Ya'alon: Military strike may be needed to stop Iran nukes

Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Ariel Je

Strategic affairs minister calls on "entire civilized world...to take joint action to avert the nuclear threat posed by Iran."Talk backs.
Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon called on the world to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, by all means necessary, including a military strike, the Associated Press reported on Monday. Ya'alon made the comments in an interview to Russian news agency Interfax ahead of a visit to Moscow.

"We strongly hope that the entire civilized world will come to realize what threat this regime is posing and take joint action to avert the nuclear threat posed by Iran, even if it would be necessary to conduct a pre-emptive strike," Yaalon said.

Ya'alon emphasized that not only Israel would be endangered by a nuclear-armed Iran. "An Iran possessing nuclear weapons would be a threat to the entire civilized world," he stated.

Western analysts say increasingly tough sanctions on Iran as well as the Stuxnet virus and possible other sabotage have delayed Iran's nuclear progress, even though they say the country now has enough low-enriched uranium for two bombs if refined more.

Jerusalem Post


Ten Die As 'Killer Cucumber' Outbreak Spreads

A man sells cucumbers at a market in Spain, despite the E.coli breakout that has affected other countries in Europe

The world's biggest outbreak of a deadly form of E.coli bacteria has claimed another life as it continues to spread across Europe.

Health officials say the virus, believed to have originated from organic cucumbers imported from Spain, has killed 10 people and infected hundreds more in Germany.

The epicentre of the outbreak has been in the country's north with more than 270 people contracting the disease in recent weeks - four times the normal annual figure of about 60.

Three cases have also been reported in Britain, a further 25 in Sweden and seven in Denmark.

In Austria there have been two cases, while the Netherlands and Switzerland have each had one suspected case.

All of the cases are understood to have been linked with travel to Germany.

Experts said the outbreak of hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), which affects the blood, kidneys and, in severe cases, the nervous system, was the largest ever in Germany - and the biggest of its kind worldwide.

An 86-year-old woman was the latest victim of the bug after she died in the University Hospital Luebeck on Saturday.

Her husband is among about 70 patients being treated for the bacteria at the northern Germany hospital, whose doctors say they expect to see 10 new cases a day in the coming weeks.

Health officials have advised people in affected areas in Europe to avoid eating cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce.

Some of these products have been removed from shop shelves.

But the Food Standards Agency has confirmed that the offending cucumbers have not been on sale at any outlets in the UK.

Sky News

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Japan Faces Debt Downgrade as Jobless Rise

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan

Japan’s debt rating was put on review for a downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service, adding to Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s fiscal challenges after an increase in joblessness and smaller-than-forecast gain in factory production.

Faltering growth prospects and “a weak policy response” may hinder government efforts to cut the nation’s debt burden, said Moody’s, which had put Japan’s Aa2 rating on negative outlook in February. Government reports showed separately that output rose 1 percent in April, half the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey, while unemployment rose to 4.7 percent from 4.6 percent.

Kan, facing a no-confidence motion in parliament, said today he won’t step down, signaling continued political infighting that may hamper legislation to finance long-term reconstruction after the March earthquake and tsunami. Japan, which has the world’s biggest public debt, saw its currency retreat for a second day against the dollar and bonds fall.

“This means we’re one step closer to a downgrade, and it reflects how we haven’t seen any political progress on fixing public finances,” said Yoshimasa Maruyama, a senior economist at Itochu Corp. in Tokyo. “There are still plenty of people in the JGB market to keep buying, so it’s not like we’re going to see a sudden spike in yields. But this will put upward pressure on yields through an added risk premium.”


Mobius: ‘Another financial crisis around the corner’

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Mark Mobius, executive chairman of Templeton Asset Management’s emerging markets group, said another financial crisis is inevitable because the causes of the previous one haven’t been resolved.

“There is definitely going to be another financial crisis around the corner because we haven’t solved any of the things that caused the previous crisis,” Mobius said at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo today in response to a question about price swings. “Are the derivatives regulated? No. Are you still getting growth in derivatives? Yes.”

The total value of derivatives in the world exceeds total global gross domestic product by a factor of 10, said Mobius, who oversees more than $50 billion. With that volume of bets in different directions, volatility and equity market crises will occur, he said.

The global financial crisis three years ago was caused in part by the proliferation of derivative products tied to U.S. home loans that ceased performing, triggering hundreds of billions of dollars in writedowns and leading to the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in September 2008. The MSCI AC World Index of developed and emerging market stocks tumbled 46 percent between Lehman’s downfall and the market bottom on March 9, 2009.

“With every crisis comes great opportunity,” said Mobius. When markets are crashing, “that’s when we’re going to be able to invest and do a good job,” he said.

The freezing of global credit markets caused governments from Washington to Beijing to London to pump more than $3 trillion into the financial system to shore up the global economy. The MSCI AC World gauge surged 99 percent from its March 2009 low through May 27.

The largest U.S. banks have grown larger since the financial crisis, and the number of “too-big-to-fail” banks will increase by 40 percent over the next 15 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Separately, higher capital requirements and greater supervision should be imposed on institutions deemed “too important to fail” to reduce the chances of large-scale failures, staff at the International Monetary Fund warned in a report on May 27.

“Are the banks bigger than they were before? They’re bigger,” Mobius said. “Too big to fail.”

The money manager had earlier said at the same event that Africa has an “incredible” investment potential and that he has stakes in Nigerian banks.

“These banks are doing very well and are much better regulated than they were in the past,” Mobius said, without disclosing which lenders he holds.

Banks account for five of the eight stocks in the MSCI Nigeria Index. Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, the country’s No. 2 lender by market value, surged 31 percent in the six months through May 27, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Shares of Access Bank Nigeria Plc recorded the second-biggest decline on the gauge in the period, the data show.

Financial Post
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Currency Guru Stephen Jen Gives 4 Reasons The Euro Crisis Will Only Get Worse

Can't get enough Eurozone crisis? We've got you covered with the most recent commentary from Stephen L Jen, the former Morgan Stanley currency guru who's know running SLJ Macro Partners.

He spells out four non-cliche reasons why the situation in Europe is so challenging, and will only get worse.

We summarize:
The PIIGS -- or GIPS as he refers to them -- are not vaguely competitive on a global scale. They're not even competitive in Europe, lacking both the proper institutions or the cultural mindset to become competitive.
There is a limit to how much more in aid they can get from core countries. It's getting to the point, where if the GIPS were to default on loans from the European Stability Mechanism, it would put the sovereign debt rating of France at risk. Money from the core is not unlimited.
Meanwhile, the ECB owns 50 billion EUR worth of Greek bonds, and has loaned 90 billion EUR to Greek banks. A Greek default would compromise the balance sheet of the ECB.
Even if an EU-wide fiscal union were formed, it may not be AAA-rated.

His full comment on the situation at the ECB is worth digesting in whole:

The ECB possesses around EUR50 billion worth of Greek bonds, and has lent around EUR90 billion to Greek banks. In the event of a default by Greece, not only would the ECB’s balance sheet be compromised, but the ECB would need to make a decision on whether Greek and other GIPS bonds would be accepted as collaterals. This was the very fear of Mr Weber, and the very reason why he objected to being forced to undertake quasi-fiscal operations. The threats from Messrs Stark and Bini-Smaghi that the ECB would stop accepting defaulted Greek bonds is not 100% credible, as that would certainly trigger a collapse in the Greek banking system.
Business Insider

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/stephen-jen-on-the-problems-with-the-eurozone-2011-5#ixzz1NwZP7iyH

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Greeks lifted 1.5 billion Thursday and Friday from banks

Only a few steps separating from Friday to yesterday's mass panic! From early morning to counter the banks there is serious pressure for withdrawals of deposits, especially small amounts. The pressure on banks began last Wednesday, culminating in yesterday's day.

It is significant that Thursday and Friday, banking sources estimate that rose around 1.5 billion euros in total! According to the same month in May estimated the outflow estimated at least 4 billion from 2 billion in April ...

The majority of depositors rushed to withdraw for pensioners and small savers and amounts ranging from 2-3000 lifted until 10 -15 000 euros. Motivation in most cases it was the fear that led the country into bankruptcy, deposits frozen even temporarily left without cash, or even lose their savings.

This explains the fact that demand high notes 200arikon preferably so before noon on the big notes are exhausted. The ratio of preference of great notes is because they can hide more easily because of the small volume of Hank.

In several cases, officials of banks drew attention to their customers, especially older, be very careful after leaving the store robbery risk. According to data and police have increased the incidence of robberies mostly elderly, from gangs to systematically monitor the traffic outside the bank branches and 'hit' on cars or once they enter the elderly in their homes.

The exacerbation of the phenomenon of withdrawal of deposits Friday, deeply staffs of banks, given Monday. This concern culminated in front-very likely possibility, they have not completely clearing the political landscape in the weekend and uncertainty to continue Monday, which they fear could lead to non-verifiable statements.

If this information is true indeed that institutions affiliated with a political party 'lifted' Friday EUR 2 million from his own account, fully justifies the concerns of bankers, but they still have good reason to worry: that politicians do not seem to fully understand the risks posed by a widespread panic, not only for the stability of the banking system but for the economy and the country.

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800 tons of fish die, rot on Philippine fish farms

TALISAY, Philippines (AP) --

More than 800 tons of fish have died and rotted on fish farms in a lake near Taal volcano south of Manila, with authorities blaming it on a sudden temperature drop.

The massive fish deaths started late last week but have eased. Officials have banned the sale of the rotting fish, which are being buried by the truckload in Talisay and four other towns in Batangas province, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources official Rose del Mundo said Sunday.

The deaths are unrelated to recent signs of restiveness in Taal volcano, which is surrounded by the lake where many villagers have grown milkfish and tilapia — staple food for many Filipinos, officials said. The volcano and lake are a popular tourist draw.

Talisay agricultural officer Zenaida Mendoza said an initial investigation showed the deaths may have been caused by the temperature change as the rainy season set in last week after a scorching summer, which also depleted the lake's oxygen levels.

Schools of fish were seen swimming in circles before they floated dead to the surface in huge numbers. The deaths have occurred in the past at summer's end but in much smaller numbers, Mendoza said.

Some Taal lake areas turned white due to the massive numbers of dead milk-colored fish. Workers covered their noses with their hands or clothing Sunday as they scooped up the rotting fish and placed them into sacks.

"Many were sad and devastated because they invested a lot in these fish cages," Talisay Mayor Zenaida Mendoza told The Associated Press by telephone.

More than 400 tons of milkfish have died in Talisay alone since Friday in 84 out of about 1,000 fish pens — lake areas about half the size of a basketball court which are fenced off by bamboo poles and nets. Damage has been estimated at $770,000 (33 million pesos), Mendoza said. About 400 tons more have died in the other towns.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/05/29/international/i005949D81.DTL#ixzz1NqUEoAVW

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Queen ‘sent for Cameron over Union break-up fear’

THE Queen was thrust into the centre of the debate over Scottish independence yesterday after reports she had expressed concerns about the potential break-up of the UK.

It was suggested that after the SNP’s Holyrood landslide on May 5, Her Majesty met Prime Minister David Cameron at Buckingham Palace to discuss the implications of separation for the monarchy.

It was also reported that palace officials asked Downing Street to bring a constitutional expert to advise on a referendum and the dismantling of the Union if there was a “yes” vote.

Last night, Labour and the Liberal Democrats insisted it was understandable the Queen should share the concerns of people about the break-up of the UK but the SNP Government dismissed the reports.

Scottish LibDem leader Willie Rennie said: “The Queen is identifying potential threats to the UK and she is correct to seek the advice of politicians and experts on this because the threat to the Union is now very real.”

He called on Alex Salmond and his colleagues to outline the cost of independence to the Scottish public, adding: “The voters deserve to know exactly what the terms are on which they will make a decision.”

A Labour spokesman said: “Reports the Queen is concerned about the break-up of Britain would be hardly surprising as so many people are concerned about what they now see as a threat to what has been one of the most harmonious, productive and successful political, social and economic unions.”

The Scottish Government said reports of the Queen’s concerns were “unadulterated rubbish, laughable nonsense and chit-chat from London-based journalists and politicians”.

A spokesman for the First Minister said he had many opportunities to speak to the Queen, and was due to meet Prince Charles this week.

The Queen owns large tracts of Scotland, most notably her estate at Balmoral. Last year she struck a deal to get extra money from the Crown Estate instead of an increase to the civil list.
Herald Scotland


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Monday, May 30, 2011

Texans Revolt against TSA tyranny

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50 Ways to prepare for survival

In the military soldiers are conditioned and trained beforehand and made to be as prepared as possible for the real hardships on and off the battlefield. The survivalist can to be more mentally and physically prepared for the falling apart of civilization that so many survivalists and the general public feels is inevitable.

Self reliance also has to do with being ready for the sudden loss of everything we all have become way too accustomed to. Experiencing a type of mock realism can get you more mentally prepared for when society starts to quickly disintegrate around you. The following 50 tips (suggestions) should help you, ‘the survivalist’ cope better when things do start to fall apart.

1. See what it is like to go without the utilities such as electricity by turning them off for at least a couple of hours.

2. Go at least 24 hours without electronic conveniences; no computer, no television, no cell phone, etc. This will be a wake up call for many.

3. The internet will not be there after many catastrophes, become use to receiving information from other sources such as books.

4. Spend some nights using only candles and or battery operated lights to illuminate the darkness.

5. Start storing rainwater and start watering your plants and garden with it.

6. Try cooking some of your meals using a solar oven, barbecue, fire pit, something not dependent on the electric or gas companies.

7. Flush the toilet for one day or more using only water you have previously stored, or use a portable toilet.

8. Instead of throwing away a piece of damaged clothing, try to repair it, sew it, then wear it again.

9. Take any household item and write down every creative way you can use it.

10. Find other means of some of your trash disposal, something else rather than the city or county trash pick up services.

11. Have a fake imaginary illness and fictionally treat that sickness with only what you have available to you in your home.

12. Gather your family and even your friends together that feel like you do, and see what it like for all of you to be confined to a smaller space.

13. Use ‘other” means of cooling or heating your home for a few days that is of course safe.

14. Actually walk or bicycle to run some of your errands other than using a motor vehicle.

15. Start spending some very quiet time alone. You may have to be alone after ‘it’ happens.

16. Try using alternative means of bathing occasionally, like using one of those solar showers, or heating water over a fire to be used to bathe with.

17. See what ingenious gadget made from junk you can think of to make hard times easier.

18. Try washing dishes and clothes on occasion without using the dishwasher or washing machine, dry clothes on a clothes line.

19. Experiment by trying to purify dirty polluted water, without drinking it, and see how clean you can get it.

20. Scavenger hunt. Take some time and collect everything, not hazardous, you find on the ground and ask yourself, what can I do and use what I have?

21. Take along a pad of paper and write down everything you see at a park or recreation area. Observation skills will help you stay alive better after chaos breaks loose.

22. Try to locate someplace off the beaten path using only a paper map, compass, or landmarks.

23. Spend some days outdoors when the weather is miserable (not dangerous), like raining all day long, you may have to live this way in the future.

24. See how fast you can get your essentials together and ready to leave.

25. Try omitting the “professional” weather forecasts and get one of the those pocket weather forecaster that goes by the clouds and wind direction and make your own weather forecasts.

26. If you plan to stay where you are, thoroughly become familiar with every street, landmark, trees, houses, etc. within 2 miles of your home, walk the area often.

27. For awhile see what it is like to have only enough water and food to sustain you, only rations for a day or two.

28. Safety test your physical limits by seeing how far you can walk with a backpack of supplies.

29. You could be confined to a small area around your home, write down everything outside within eyesight you may have to eat to survive.

30. Start saving up every spare part; screws, springs, nails, etc. and fix something only using what you have stored.

31. Get use to eating “safe” outdoor plants, berries, edibles and acquire a taste only for them. Outdoor food is there for the pickings, you just have to know where to look. Also take classes on identifying safe plants to eat.

32. Eat at least one or more meal each week made from food that has not been processed.

33. Attempt to get supplies for free. This is good for your scrounging skills.

34. Go to garage sales, flea markets and try to pay for things by trading rather than using money. Sharpening your barter skills.

35. Start a trading system with other survival minded people. These are wonderful ways to practice post apocalyptic commerce.

36. Without endangering your safety, learn the ways that local homeless people get by with what they have and can find.

37. Go to your local supermarket and make a mental map of the store and where you can go as quickly as possible to get what you need when panic buying starts.

38. Find places to rapidly hide your food and supplies that are not already hidden. Desperate people will expect you give them everything you have, or will just take it from you.

39. Put together a safe room and spend some serious time there, only coming out to go to the bathroom.

40. Drive, walk, travel beforehand all your planned “escape routes” and calculate times to reach each place.

41. Have supplies ready, such as plywood to board up windows, to secure yourself from intruders that will try to break in.

42. Establish, made a list of human leeches around you that will take and give nothing in return and regard them as threats to your survival supplies.

43. Those with small children and pets, train them to go to a safe area by command. Even most animals are smart enough to listen.

44. Federal, state, local danger drills are way too infrequent for your mind to take hold. Make your emergency drills a daily or 3 times a week event.

45. Depending on your location write down in great detail what you can expect in various disastrous situations. This helps to prepare dealing with worst case scenarios.

46. Practice staying calm and thinking straight, breathing exercises, anything to keep you as collected during emergency situations.

47. Spend some nights sleeping outside, this can be in your backyard, camping trips, whatever to prepare you for when you are stuck outside.

48. Instead of using electronic devices, made a habit of using a piece of paper and a pen or pencil to write down things that are important and not important.

49. To avoid total boredom with this does happen learn to play various card and classic board games, anything that can entertain you and your family and friends that does not plug in.

50. Become a master of learning human idiosyncrasies (mannerisms), facial expressions, movements. This is invaluable when dealing with irrational and probably unsafe people after a calamity occurs.

The truly “ready” survivalist should be training themselves to be prepared to undergo things that are going to be vastly different and very difficult to adjust to and handle. By using some or all of these 50 prep tips now and before the aftermath of “the nightmare” that is coming, you will be more adapt to handling it. Add your personal preparation exercises to the 50 to make you even more mega disaster ready.

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Revelation Walk Thru

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Netanyahu warns Egypt losing control of growing terror groups in Sinai

Netanyahu - AP - Jan 19, 2011

PM says Hamas and international terror groups are strengthening presence in Egypt and that the country's military government is having trouble 'realizing its sovereignty' in Sinai.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Monday that Egypt's new military government was having a "hard time" controlling the rise of international terror organizations in the Sinai Peninsula.

"Egypt is having a hard time realizing its sovereignty in Sinai," Netanyahu said during a meeting of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. "International terror organizations are stirring in Sinai and their presence is increasing due to Sinai's connection to Gaza."

Netanyahu also warned that Hamas is getting stronger and that Israel is concerned for its future in the region, in particular with its peace partners Egypt and Jordan.

"Hamas is strengthening in Egypt," Netanyahu said. "It transferred more of its activities to Egypt and less to Syria due to the turmoil there. The Muslim Brotherhood is also not an insignificant player in Egypt."

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Pump failure nearly brings No. 5 to a boil

The seawater pump in the cooling system for the Fukushima power plant's No. 5 reactor broke down Saturday evening, prompting repair crews to install a backup pump 15 hours later on Sunday afternoon, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

Tepco discovered the pump had stopped at 9 p.m. Saturday but didn't announce it to the public until Sunday morning.

The beleaguered utility said it notified the local and central governments of the situation on Saturday evening.

The seawater pump was set up after the reactor's original pumps were knocked out by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. It was part of the critical Residual Heat Removal System that was later used to safely ease the reactor into a cold shutdown on March 20.

Unlike reactors 1 through 4, No. 5 is less at risk of meltdown because it was not damaged by hydrogen blasts as some of the others were and because workers managed to restore external power to its cooling system.

The pump had been taking in seawater for the RHRS's heat exchanger, which uses it to cool down fresh water being used to regulate the temperature of the reactor and its spent fuel pool.

The cause of the pump's failure was not immediately known but was likely caused by seawater fouling some of its parts, Tepco spokesman Junichi Matsumoto told a news conference Sunday morning.

By noon Sunday, the core had reached a temperature of 93.6 degrees and the fuel pool had reached 46 degrees, compared with 68 degrees and 41 degrees, respectively, at 9 p.m. Saturday.

The backup pump kicked in at 12:31 p.m., bringing the core back down to 83 degrees by 1 p.m., a Tepco spokeswoman said by phone later Sunday.

The temperature of the core must stay below 100 degrees to maintain cold shutdown status. Anything above might cause the water to evaporate and expose the fuel rods.

Tepco began setting up the backup pump at 8 a.m. Sunday. Matsumoto said Tepco didn't start until morning because the temperatures of both facilities were rising slowly and an emergency water-injection system was available for unit 5.

"We judged that it's better to wait for the morning, rather than to start working while it's dark. We didn't think it would pose any immediate danger," Matsumoto said.

"Even if the temperature (of the core) reaches 100 degrees, the alternative water-injection system is available," he said.

Still, Matsumoto admitted that "it might have been better" to notify the media sooner about the pump's failure.

Tepco is under fire for failing to disclose information fully and quickly since the nuclear crisis began on March 11. The quake and tsunami severely damaged units 1, 2, 3 and 4 at Fukushima No. 1, but Nos. 5 and 6 were already shut for regular inspections at the time of the disaster.

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Millions face food poverty as northern Europe is hit by worst drought in 35 years

Farmer feeds his cattle hay

NARD Maquis's cattle would normally be grazing in the lush green pastures of the Limousin region in central France at this time of year. Instead, they are eating hay intended for the winter after months of drought that has turned the fields yellow.

He is wondering whether it might be better to sell his cows at a reduced price rather find himself without fodder by the end of the autumn. "I'm starting to sleep badly," he said.

Mr Maquis is not alone. With Northern Europe facing its worst drought since 1976, politicians in the West are expecting protests from farmers, consumer discontent and a strain on budgets.

Third World nations are braced for riots as Europe's heat wave creates a rise in food prices and drives millions deeper into poverty.

"We are in a situation of crisis and of crisis management," said Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, the French Ecology Minister.

Meteorologists say that Northern Europe has had 50 per cent less rain than normal over the past two months, while temperatures have been 4C higher than usual.

In France, water restrictions have been implemented across more than half of the country and the drought is already comparable to 1976, when a heat wave wrecked the annual harvest.

The difference, according to Michele Blanchard, an engineer in the climatology division of Meteo-France, the French weather office, is that "in 1976 the high temperatures came in June, not in April".

Germany has had twice as many hours of sunshine as it would normally expect in the spring. Some German regions have had just 5 per cent of their standard rainfall. "We desperately need rain," said Andrea Adams, spokeswoman for the Farmers' Association in Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany.

She said that the wheat was yellow, the sugar beet had barely grown at all and the rye was "curling up and dying".

In the Limousin, Mr Maquis said that the corn to fatten his cattle in the winter should be 20cm high by now. "But it's just vegetating," he said, raising the prospect that he will have to buy in fodder. "But at the price we have to pay, it's not even worth trying. We may as well just shut up shop."

The Australian

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Celente predicts gold standard won't save US economy

Sometimes controversial trends analyzer Gerald Celente is forecasting that a return to the gold standard will not be enough to save the US economy from collapsing.

Celente is the publisher of Trends Journal and a consultant and adviser to many of America's top corporations. Celente has no ax to grind and calls himself a political atheist. An author, Celente appears regularly on many of the mainstream media's most watched news programs. He is prolific with his predictions on emerging trends concerning global finances and major historic turning points.

Recently he was asked his opinion on the idea of the US returning to the gold standard.

Although a solid core of gold bugs have advocated the US return to the gold standard for decades, many economists thought the idea radical and unworkable in the changing world economy. Now, however, more people and states are seriously considering the idea to stabilize the dollar and forestall a future currency crisis such as that experienced by the German Republic during the 1920s.

Recently, the state of Utah passed a law authorizing the minting of state gold and silver currency as a hedge against inflation and the weakening dollar.

People such as Steve Forbes have jumped on the gold bandwagon. Mr. Forbes said, "A return to the gold standard by the United States within the next five years now seems likely, since that move would help the nation solve a variety of economic, fiscal and monetary ills."

But Celente disagrees that returning to the gold standard will save the US economy. When asked if gold is a panacea for America's financial woes, Celente responded: "No, because the business of America is war…as opposed to the business of China is business. The United States has drained the Treasury before our eyes."


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Greenback Armageddon ahead?

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Coming this summer.... $5 gas

Thought for fuel: Oil prices already are sky high for the Memorial Day holiday, but gas is expected to go even higher later in the summer, banks believe.

The forecast for the summer driving season: Hit the road early. Not to beat the traffic, but to beat the higher gas prices expected in mid-July.

Goldman Sachs' crystal ball is proclaiming that oil will soon soar to $135 a barrel, and likely have service stations jacking up fuel prices to $5 a gallon in New York just like the summer of 2008 that preceded the recession.

Indeed, analysts say Goldman and the other oil trading giant that also has the might to move prices, JPMorgan Chase, have already placed their energy bets for the summer. JPMorgan predicts oil hitting $130 a barrel in the coming weeks.

Despite all the turmoil in the Middle East associated with the Arab Spring rioting, oil has fallen to the $100 level, closing out May with a stunning 12 percent drop.

But before the storm, the calm. There appears to be a backlash by some oil-pit analysts.

"Whoever would buy into these rising prices is just paying homage (to Wall Street firms) and helping the speculative positions," said one oil trading source familiar with energy bets of Wall Street trading desks.

Gas prices, meanwhile, should benefit from the brief respite in oil prices.

"We should be seeing some big declines at the gas pumps after Memorial Day," said energy analyst Peter Beutel of Cameron Hanover.

"Wholesale prices have been dropping, and that could cause some serious revisions downward at the pumps," he said.

"The competition is fierce among the retailers, and whoever lowers his price first gets a big jump on everyone else and a lot of new business."

Pump prices have dropped about 10 cents a gallon this week, while wholesale prices at the Nymex have steadily skidded 50 cents a gallon in the past two weeks.

Those declines came despite upward pressure on wholesale prices here in the past two days due to speculation that Mississippi River flooding could disrupt Gulf Coast refineries.

At the start of the Memorial Day holiday, the national average for gas was $3.80 a gallon.

Tom Kloza, an analyst at Oil Price Information Services, expects gas to fall to between $3.50 and $3.60 between now and the July 4 holiday.
NY Post

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/the_living_easy_the_driving_is_hard_9mzb1aAfj4bpC8X63YYKhI#ixzz1NqK38TJQ

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Greek leaders fail to agree as IMF deadline looms

Greek leaders meeting in Athens have failed to agree on Prime Minister George Papandreou's new austerity plan.

Conservative leader Antonis Samaras rejected the measures, saying they would "flatten the Greek economy and destroy Greek society".

Mr Papandreou, a Socialist, had been trying to secure cross-party agreement for further cuts.

The chairman of the eurozone finance ministers has warned the IMF may not extend further bail-out payments.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said IMF rules might stop it paying because Greece could not guarantee its solvency for the next year.

Mr Papandreou's government began a programme of privatisations on Thursday, but Mr Juncker has said the privatisation plan needs to be more ambitious.

A 12bn-euro ($17bn; £10bn) payment is due to be made to Greece on 29 June, 3.3bn euros of which should come from the IMF.

It is the fifth tranche of the 110bn-euro loan package from the EU and IMF and has not yet received final approval.

Mr Juncker said the IMF was assuming that if it decided not to make the payment, the EU would step in and make it instead, although he said that countries such as Germany, Finland and the Netherlands may oppose that.'Correct errors'

In an interview with the Aachener Zeitung newspaper, the President of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, also urged Greece to ensure financial stability.

"Greece must implement the programme fully and rigorously; this is very important to correct the errors of the past," he is reported to have said.

Under the terms of the bail-out, Greece was supposed to go to the financial markets to borrow 24bn euros in 2012.

However, as Greece has missed its deficit reduction targets, the chances of it being able to borrow money commercially next year are very small.

The IMF would like the EU to agree to make up the shortfall if necessary through a second bail-out package, but that could be unpopular among northern European taxpayers.

An IMF spokeswoman confirmed that the Fund would be unable to lend more money to Greece unless it was sure that next year's financing gap would be filled.

"We never lend when we don't have an assurance that there will be no gap," said Caroline Atkinson at a briefing in Washington.

"That is how we maintain the safety of our members' money."

But a spokesman for Mr Juncker later said that if the EU and IMF inspectors currently in Athens could be convinced by new Greek austerity measures, there would be no problem with the next tranche of loans.



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Report: Iran sending forces to assist in Syria crackdowns

Iran sending members of elite Quds force as well as weapons, riot gear, sophisticated surveillance equipment to use against Syria government opposition.

U.S. officials said that Iran is assisting Syrian President Bashar Assad's violent crackdown on protesters, sending trainers and advisers to suppress opposition, according to a Washington Post report.

Iran has sent members of its elite Quds force, whom the United States has recently sanctioned in response to the 10 weeks of brutal Syrian government quashing of protests, to help the Syrian government, Iran's most important ally in the region.

Manpower is only one of the forms of assistance Iran has sent to Syria, the report said, with the Islamist government sending weapons, riot gear and sophisticated surveillance equipment that allows Syrian authorities to trace and find opposition members through Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The surveillance system has reportedly prompted the arrest of hundreds of Syrians in recent weeks, two U.S. officials and a diplomat from an allied nation told the Washington Post, all speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the information.


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Saturday, May 28, 2011

brutal spain riot

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New method 'confirms dark energy'

Genesis 1:15-18 (New King James Version)

15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

In spanish (much close to the latin) the 17 says:

17 Y las puso Dios en la expansión de los cielos para alumbrar sobre la tierra,

This does not translate Firmament but expansion of the heavens.....
Same as scientists say "constant expansion"


Job 9:6-8 (King James Version)

 6Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.
 7Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars.
 8Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.

Here is the news:

First results from a major astronomical survey using a cutting-edge technique appear to have confirmed the existence of mysterious dark energy.

Dark energy makes up some 74% of the Universe and its existence would explain why the Universe appears to be expanding at an accelerating rate.

The finding was based on studies of more than 200,000 galaxies.

Scientists used two separate kinds of observation to provide an independent check on previous dark energy results.

Two papers by an international team of researchers have been accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society journal.

One type of observation used by the astronomers involves measuring apattern in how galaxies are distributed in space. This pattern is known by the term "baryon acoustic oscillations".

The second type of observation involves measuring how quickly clusters of galaxies have formed over time. Both of these techniques confirmed the existence of dark energy and the acceleration in the expansion of the Universe.

The concept of dark energy was first invoked in the late 1990s by studying the brightness of distant supernovas - exploding stars.Einstein was right

To explain why the expansion of the Universe was speeding up, astronomers had to either rewrite Albert Einstein's theory of gravity or accept that the cosmos was filled with a novel type of energy.

"The action of dark energy is as if you threw a ball up in the air, and it kept speeding upward into the sky faster and faster," said co-author Dr Chris Blake of the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.

"The results tell us that dark energy is a cosmological constant, as Einstein proposed. If gravity were the culprit, then we wouldn't be seeing these constant effects of dark energy throughout time."

The latest findings have come from a galaxy survey project called WiggleZ, which began in 2006 and finished this year. WiggleZ used data from Nasa's Galaxy Evolution Explorer (Galex) space telescope and the Anglo-Australian Telescope on Siding Spring Mountain in Australia.

The survey mapped the distribution of galaxies in an unprecedented volume of the Universe, looking eight billion years back in time - more than half the age of the Universe.

Cosmologist Bob Nicholl, who was not involved with the research, told BBC News: "This is a major step forward. These guys are serious, major scientists and we've been waiting for this result for some time.

The professor of astrophysics at Portsmouth University, UK, added: "It's re-confirmation of dark energy, it gives us another data point to fit our theories around and it shows us the way to the future. More astronomers are going to be doing this in years to come."

While dark energy makes up about 74% of the Universe, dark matter - which does not reflect or emit detectable light - accounts for 22%. Ordinary matter - gas, stars, planets and galaxies - makes up just 4% of the cosmos.

However, despite scientists being able to infer the existence of dark energy and dark matter, these phenomena still elude a full explanation.


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