Friday, November 15, 2013
Pope Francis' campaign against corruption in the Catholic Church has made Italy's most dangerous mafia organization "nervous," which could make the prelate a target, a leading Italian prosecutor warned Thursday.
The pope's vow to clean up church finances and break unholy alliances between priests and local crime bosses threatens the money laundering and investment strategy of the'Ndrangheta crime family that holds sway in the Calabria region, prosecutor Nicola Gratteri told the daily Il Fatto Quotidiano.
"I cannot say if the organization is in a position to do something like this, but they are dangerous and it is worth reflecting on,” Gratteri told the newspaper. "If the godfathers can find a way to stop him, they will seriously consider it."
Religion News Service, in a report from Rome, said the 'Ndrangheta mafia group is considered the most dangerous, the most unified and the most difficult for law enforcement to penetrate.
The warning by Gratteri, one of Italy's most active organized crime fighters and under protection himself against mob death threats, had little apparent influence on the pope, who has given Vatican security strategists fits with his habits of ditching his protective cordon and wading into crowds to commune with the faithful.
Francis showed up Thursday at Quirinale Palace in central Rome for a meeting with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano in his blue Ford Focus and only a handful of motorcycle escorts.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi downplayed the warning from Gratteri, saying, "It's not appropriate to feed alarmism." He described the pope and the Vatican staff as "very relaxed."
Since his election in March to succeed retired Pope Benedict XVI, Francis has lashed out against extravagant lifestyles of clergy and called for a "poor church" to minister to what in many parts of the world is an impoverished congregation. He has also vowed to clean up the Vatican Bank, which has long been suspected of laundering mafia money.
"Those who have up until now profited from the influence and wealth drawn from the church are getting very nervous,” Gratteri said in the interview [link in Italian]. “For many years, the mafia has laundered money and made investments with the complicity of the church. But now the pope is dismantling the poles of economic power in the Vatican, and that is dangerous."
Gratteri spoke with the newspaper, a relatively new publication with a reputation for anti-corruption crusading, about his newly published book, "Holy Water," about church-mob alliances in southern Calabria through which much of Europe's drug traffic flows.
The pope ratcheted up his crusade against corruption in a fiery sermon Monday, quoting the Gospel of St. Luke: "It would be better for [the corrupt man] if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea," Francis said, according to the Religious News Service report.
"The mafia that invests, that launders money, that therefore has the real power, is the mafia which has got rich for years from its connivance with the church," Gratteri said. "These are the people who are getting nervous."
Credit to LA times
Iran’s top ally warns war could be coming. White House and Netanyahu issue ominously similar warnings.
Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the head of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist organization — Iran’s top ally in the Middle East — warned today that a major regional war could be coming soon if Iran and world leaders don’t make a deal. His warnings were ominously echoed by the White House and by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. It’s hard to remember when these three agreed on anything.
“To all Arab peoples in the Gulf countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE and Oman: What is the alternative to an understanding between Iran and world leaders? It is regional war,” Nasrallah warned.
“The Obama administration Tuesday stepped up lobbying against congressional action for new sanctions on Iran, with the White House warning such a move would lead to war,”reported the Times of Israel.
“The American people justifiably and understandably prefer a peaceful solution that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and this agreement, if it’s achieved, has the potential to do that,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. “The alternative is military action.”
“Carney told reporters that Americans did not want a ‘march to war,’ which is what new sanctions would bring, indicating that lawmakers could pay politically if diplomacy with Iran failed,” the Times noted.
“The currently discussed deal between six world powers and Iran could lead to war, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday, intensifying his campaign against a possible interim agreement on Tehran’s rogue nuclear program,” reports the Times of Israel, in a separate article.
“There are not just two possibilities on the Iranian issue: A bad deal — or war. This is incorrect. There is a third possibility — and that is continuing the pressure of sanctions,” Netanyahu said in the Knesset. “I would even say that a bad deal is liable to lead to the second, undesired, result.”
“There is no reason to submit to Iranian diktats; neither is there any reason to be hasty,” Netanyahu told the Knesset plenum. “Iran is under very harsh economic pressure and the advantage is with those applying the pressure. It is possible to reach a good deal to dismantle Iran’s military nuclear capability. This cannot be achieved by the proposal now being discussed in Geneva. That proposal would make a gaping hole… through which the air could escape from the pressure of the sanctions.”
Advisors to Netanyahu say the Prime Minister isn’t opposed to a deal with Iran — just a bad deal. The premier believes the key is:
- stopping Iran from enriching uranium
- forcing Iran to dismantle its centrifuges
- requiring Iran to give its already enriched uranium to another country (or countries) and simply purchase the nuclear fuel its needs to run its civilian power plants, not build weapons
- and forcing Iran to shut down its plutonium facilities
Iran and the P5+1 powers (U.S., Russia, China, U.K. and France, plus Germany) are scheduled to meet again on November 20th in Geneva.
Credit to Joel Rosemberg's Blog
The Central Intelligence Agency is secretly collecting bulk records of international money transfers handled by companies like Western Union — including transactions into and out of the United States — under the same law that the National Security Agency uses for its huge database of Americans’ phone records, according to current and former government officials.
The C.I.A. financial records program, which the officials said was authorized by provisions in the Patriot Act and overseen by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, offers evidence that the extent of government data collection programs is not fully known and that the national debate over privacy and security may be incomplete.
Some details of the C.I.A. program were not clear. But it was confirmed by several current and former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter is classified.
The data does not include purely domestic transfers or bank-to-bank transactions, several officials said. Another, while not acknowledging the program, suggested that the surveillance court had imposed rules withholding the identities of any Americans from the data the C.I.A. sees, requiring a tie to a terrorist organization before a search may be run, and mandating that the data be discarded after a certain number of years. The court has imposed several similar rules on the N.S.A. call logs program.
Several officials also said more than one other bulk collection program has yet to come to light.
“The intelligence community collects bulk data in a number of different ways under multiple authorities,” one intelligence official said.
Dean Boyd, a spokesman for the C.I.A., declined to confirm whether such a program exists, but said that the agency conducts lawful intelligence collection aimed at foreign — not domestic — activities and that it is subject to extensive oversight.
“The C.I.A. protects the nation and upholds the privacy rights of Americans by ensuring that its intelligence collection activities are focused on acquiring foreign intelligence and counterintelligence in accordance with U.S. laws,” he said.
Juan Zarate, a White House and Treasury official under President George W. Bush, said that unlike telecommunications information, there has generally been less sensitivity about the collection of financial data, in part because the government already collects information on large transactions under the Bank Secrecy Act.
“There is a longstanding legal baseline for the U.S. government to collect financial information,” said Mr. Zarate, who is also the author of “Treasury’s War,” about the crackdown on terrorist financing. He did not acknowledge the C.I.A. program.
Orders for business records from the surveillance court generally prohibit recipients from talking about them. A spokeswoman for one large company that handles money transfers abroad, Western Union, did not directly address a question about whether it had been ordered to turn over records in bulk, but said that the company complies with legal requirements to provide information.
“We collect consumer information to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act and other laws,” said the spokeswoman, Luella Chavez D’Angelo. “In doing so, we also protect our consumers’ privacy.”
In recent months, there have been hints in congressional testimony, declassified documents and litigation that the N.S.A. program — which was disclosed by Edward J. Snowden, a former N.S.A. contractor — is not unique in collecting records involving Americans.
Credit to New York Times
Most readers are undoubtedly familiar with the development of radio-frequency identification (rfid) technology that, under certain applications, is forecast to be connected to future human-enhancement technologies, especially neurosciences, brain-machine interfacing, and cybernetics.
This rfid tech employs tiny integrated circuits for storing and processing information using an antenna for receiving and transmitting the related data. This technology is most commonly applied as a “tag” for tracking inventory with radio waves at companies like Walmart, where consumer goods are embedded with “smart tags” that are read by handheld scanners for supply-chain management.
In recent years, rfid technology has been expanding within public and private firms as a method for verifying and tracking people as well. We first became aware of this trend a while back when a chief of police—Jack Schmidig of Bergen County, New Jersey, a member of the police force for more than thirty years—received a VeriChip (rfid chip) implant as part of Applied Digital Solution’s strategy of enlisting key regional leaders to accelerate adoption of its product.
Kevin H. McLaughlin (chief executive officer of VeriChip Corp. at the time) said of the event that “high-profile regional leaders are accepting the VeriChip, representing an excellent example of our approach to gaining adoption of the technology” (note that VeriChip Corp. was renamed to PositiveID Corp. on November 10, 2009, through the merger of VeriChip Corp. and Steel Vault Corp.). Through a new and aggressive indoctrination program called “Thought and Opinion Leaders to Play Key Role in Adoption of VeriChip,” the company set out to create exponential adoption of itsFDA-cleared, human-implantable rfid tag. According to information released by the company, the implantable transceiver “sends and receives data and can be continuously tracked by GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) technology.” The transceiver’s power supply and actuation system are unlike anything ever created. When implanted within a body, the device is powered electromechanically through the movement of muscles and can be activated either by the “wearer” or by the monitoring facility. In the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, DC, an information technology report highlighted the company’s additional plans to study implantable chips as a method of tracking terrorists. “We’ve changed our thinking since September 11 ,” a company spokesman said. “Now there’s more of a need to monitor evil activities” (“Will You Grin for the rifd Mark of the Beast?” Before It’s News, October 26, 2010, http://beforeitsnews.com/). As a result, PositiveID has been offering the company’s current incarnation of implantable rfid as “a tamper-proof means of identification for enhanced e-business security¼tracking, locating lost or missing individuals, tracking the location of valuable property [this includes humans], and monitoring the medical conditions of at-risk patients.” While PositiveID offers testimony that safeguards have been implemented to ensure privacy in connection with its implantable microchips, some believe privacy is the last thing internal radio transmitters will protect—that, in fact, the plan to microchip humanity smacks of the biblical Mark of the Beast. Has an end-times spirit indeed been pushing for adoption of this technology this generation?
Consider the following:
All buying and selling in the program will be done by computer. No currency, no change, no checks. In the program, people would receive a number that had been assigned them tattooed in their wrist or forehead. The number is put on by laser beam and cannot be felt. The number in the body is not seen with the naked eye and is as permanent as your fingerprints. All items of consumer goods will be marked with a computer mark. The computer outlet in the store which picks up the number on the items at the checkstand will also pick up the number in the person’s body and automatically total the price and deduct the amount from the person’s “Special Drawing Rights” account.
- The following year, the 1974 article, “The Specter of Eugenics,” had Charles Frankel documenting Nobel Prize-winner Linus Pauling’s suggestions that a mark be tattooed on the foot or forehead of every young person. Pauling envisioned a mark denoting genotype.
- In 1980, US News and World Report revealed that the federal government was plotting “National Identity Cards” without which no one could work or conduct business.
- The Denver Post Sun followed up in 1981, claiming that chip implants would replace the identification cards. The June 21, 1981, story read in part, “The chip is placed in a needle which is affixed to a simple syringe containing an anti-bacterial solution. The needle is capped and ready to forever identify something—or somebody” (“Will You Grin for the RFID Mark of the Beast?”).
- The May 7, 1996, Chicago Tribune questioned the technology, wondering aloud if we would be able to trust “Big Brother under our skin?”
- Then, in 1997, applications for patents of subcutaneous implant devices for “a person or an animal” were filed.
- In August 1998, the BBC covered the first-known human microchip implantation.
- That same month, the Sunday PortlandOregonian warned that proposed medical identifiers might erode privacy rights by tracking individuals through alphanumeric health-identifier technologies. The startling Oregonian feature depicted humans with barcodes in their foreheads
- Millions of Today Show viewers then watched in 2002 when an American family got “chipped” with Applied Digital Solution’s VeriChip live from a doctor’s office in Boca Raton, Florida.
|Getting "Chipped" on the Today Show|
- In November of the same year, IBM’s patent application for “identification and tracking of persons using rfid-tagged items” was recorded.
- Three years later, former secretary of the Health and Human Services department, Tommy Thompson, forged a lucrative partnership with VeriChip Corp. and began encouraging Americans “to get chipped” so that their medical records would be “inside them” in case of emergencies.
- The state of Wisconsin—where Thompson was governor before coming to Washington—promptly drew a line in the sand, passing a law prohibiting employers from mandating that their employees get “chipped.” Other states since have passed or are considering similar legislation. Despite this, in the last decade, an expanding number of companies and government agencies has started requiring the use of rfid for people identification. Unity Infraprojects, for example, one of the largest civil contractors in India, tracks its employees with rfid, as does the US Department of Homeland Security for workers involved in baggage handling at airports.
- Since September 11, 2001, the US government has proposed several versions of a national ID card that would use rfid technology.
- Since 2007, the US government began requiring all passports to include rfid chips that enable use of biometric features such as facial recognition.
- Hundreds of Alzheimer’s patients have been injected with implantable versions of rfid tags in recent years.
- Rfid bracelets are now being placed on newborns at a growing list of hospitals.
- Students are being required in some schools and universities to use biometric ID employing rfid for electronic monitoring.
- Thousands of celebrities and government officials around the world have had rfid radio chips implanted in them so that they can be identified—either for entry at secure sites or for identification if they are kidnapped or killed.
- Others, like Professor Kevin Warwick (a British scientist and professor of cybernetics at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom), have been microchipped for purposes of controlling keypads and external devices with the wave of a hand.
- Besides providing internal storage for individual-specific information like health records, banking and industry envisions a cashless society in the near future where all buying and selling could transpire using a version of the subdermal chips and wireless authentication. As mentioned above, in 1973, Senior Scholastics magazine introduced school-age children to the concept of buying and selling using numbers inserted in their foreheads. More recently, Timemagazine, in its feature story, “The Big Bank Theory and What It Says about the Future of Money,” recognized that this type of banking and currency exchange would not require a laser tattoo. Rather, the writer said, “Your daughter can store the money any way she wants—on her laptop, on a debit card, even (in the not-too-distant future) on a chip implanted under her skin” (Joshua Ramo, “The Big Bank Theory,” Time, April 27, 1998).
- In 2007, PositiveID, which owns the Food and Drug Administration-approved VeriChip that electronically transmits patients’ health information whenever a scanner is passed over the body, ominously launched “Xmark” as its corporate identity for implantable healthcare products.
- Skip forward to the present, and suddenly the push for a national biometric identification system andrfid technology is all over the news and within industry trade reports. The Next Generation Biometric Market—Global Forecast & Analysis 2012–2017 noted that the global biometric identification market was surging toward the nearly $14 billion mark by 2017, with an estimated compound annual growth rate of 18.7 percent.
- In February 2013, a report for the Competitive Enterprise Institute authored by David Bier (“The New National Identification System Is Coming”) documented how US lawmakers including Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsay Graham were advocating for a “super” identification system that would include biometrics.
- Three months later, in May, the Massachusetts-based engineering firm MC10 disclosed that it is developing a high-tech, biostamp, electronic “tattoo” that will replace all passwords. It is made of silicon and is sealed on the wearer’s body. As this book heads to the editor, MC10 hopes to have its first prototypes “affixed” to humans with the next few months.
|Executives At MC10 With DARPA Representatives|
Rolling Out High Tech Tattoos As Tomorrow's ID
- Simultaneously, Motorola Senior Vice President Regina Dugan announced that a project similar to MC10’s is now under development at the multinational telecommunications company. Called “The Proteus Digital Pill,” the project contains a computer chip and transmits an 18-bit, ECG-like signal that can communicate with mobile devices as well as serve as a biometric ID. The ingestible “pill” has already been approved for human use and tracking by the FDA in the United States as well as in Europe. Note that “Proteus” is a shape-shifter and primordial pagan god of ancient sages (seers) that can affect the “conscious” and is capable of mutating the host.
- No sooner had Motorola announced its plan for the “Proteus” swallowable marker than some in the secular media marched forward to brand any concerned or resistant religious types (such as the authors of this book) as inflexible shrills who do not represent true Christianity. As an example, Iain Thomson of The Register wrote on May 31, 2013:One marketing problem Motorola may not have anticipated is the reaction of biblical literalists to its…authentication systems.A surprising number of people in the US still adhere to an apparent literal translation of the current version of…the finale of the New Testament: The Book of Revelation—or, for you believers of the Catholic persuasion, The Apocalypse.The text, thought to be written about 60 years after the biblical death of Christ, is regarded as either a description of the end times of humanity, a satirical pastiche on the increasingly subverted tenets of Christian bureaucracy, or a really bad mushroom trip on a Greek island. Nevertheless it contains the following warning:“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”Be reassured that the majority of people of faith in the US and elsewhere aren’t quite so inflexible. Those that aren’t may be shrill, particularly in the US, but do not form a representative sample of Christianity.
- In January, 2013, Robert A. Pastor, professor of international relations at American University, argued before the US Congress that the majority of Americans are now ready for—and need—a national ID based on head and hand biometrics. A centerpiece of the immigration bill imagines just such a scenario and would require all citizens to have a biometric card, without which no one would be approved for employment (effectively rendering him or her as a “non-person.”)
- By June, 2013, the Congress of the United States pushed forward on related mandates, demanding progress on advanced biometric smart cards for federal identification under the Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-12). The DHS wants these personal verification IDs immediately and for its employees to carry digitalized finger (and/or palm) and facial recognition images (head and hand) to serve as the trendsetter for all levels of government and private industry identification. These cards will employ barcodes, rfid tags, and onboard data processors that can transmit information and location to remote sites.
- Later the same month, the use of biometrics (hand and/or head-iris scanning) as a payment option for goods and services was documented as the method of choice for buying and selling among 50 percent of consumers, with that percentage trending upward (see Revelation 13:17).
- One month later, in July, a special report conducted by Natural Security (a UK-based authority in user-authentication) described nine hundred consumers who had participated in a pilot program in which they used fingerprint-based technology when purchasing products and services. Of that number, 94 percent of them were excited about the scheme, agreeing they are now ready to use biometrics and rfid technology for all buying and selling.
- By August of 2013, a new report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology confirmed the long-term viability of iris recognition as stable for biometric identification and that no distinguishing texture or degradation of the iris occurs for at least ten years, if not decades.
- A whole host of personal products began flooding the market at the same time, including jewelry, headgear, and glasses that boast GPS and rfid tracking capabilities, with promises of future payment integration for buying and selling via biometric signatures. One example is the new “Nymi Bracelet” that is worn around the wrist. It monitors the heartbeat as a biometric signature, claims to be more accurate than facial recognition, and is said to be about as accurate as fingerprint scanning.
- Also at the time Beast Tech was heading to the printer, nineteen US states have complied with the“Real ID Act,” an act of Congress that modifies US federal laws pertaining to authentication standards for driver’s licenses and identification cards with the goal of codifying a national—then international—biometric IDsystem.
- Concurrently making its way through Congress as part of an immigration reform bill is a provision to mandate universal biometric identification in the form of a national ID, without which nobody will be federally approved for employment (or, as it says in the book of Revelation 13:17, “that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark…”). It is called “E-Verify” and incredibly not only has bipartisan support among lawmakers but enthusiastic approval from notable Christian leaders (funded by George Soros, no less).
|A version of E-Verify to be the law of the land...|
- Christian leaders that are lining up to support the national ID system include:
Ø Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals
Ø Stephan Bauman, President and CEO, World Relief
Ø Jim Daly, President, Focus on the Family
Ø Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association
Ø Luis Cortes, President, Esperanza
Ø Dr. Richard Land, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
Ø Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
Ø Dr. Carl Ruby, Vice President for Student Life, Cedarville University
Ø Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition
Ø Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel
Ø Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners
Ø The Catholic Church, which, in September 2013, announced a massive, coordinated effort to get the immigration reform bill passed by targeting sixty Catholic House Republicans and one hundred and thirty members of the House who are also Catholic
Ø In chorus, other evangelical pastors nationwide broadcast radio ads in fifty-six congressional districts in fourteen states at a cost of $400,000 in support of the plan.
The list above continues to exponentially increase, causing a growing number to wonder if a national ID system including rfid adoption will, for all practical purposes, result in every man, woman, boy, and girl in the developed world having an ID chip inside him or her (like animals worldwide already do) sometime soon. Makers of implantable microchips like to state that the process is voluntary, but a report by Elaine M. Ramish for the Franklin Pierce Law Center says:
A [mandatory] national identification system via microchip implants could be achieved in two stages: Upon introduction as a voluntary system, the microchip implantation will appear to be palatable. After there is a familiarity with the procedure and a knowledge of its benefits, implantation would be mandatory.
George Getz, the communications director for the Libertarian Party at the time, agreed, saying:
After all, the government has never forced anyone to have a [driver’s] license, [but] try getting along without one, when everyone from your local banker to the car rental man to the hotel operator to the grocery store requires one in order for you to take advantage of their services, that amounts to a de facto mandate. If the government can force you to surrender your fingerprints to get a driver’s license, why can’t it force you to get a computer chip implant?
Students of eschatology (the study of end-times events) find it increasingly difficult to dismiss how this all looks and feels like movement toward fulfilling Revelation 13:16–17: “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
As newer versions of rfid-like transmitters become even more sophisticated—adding other prophetic” components such as merging human biological matter with transistors to create living, implantable machines—the authors of Beast Tech have determined the possibility that the Mark of the Beast is set to arrive through a version of smart-chip technology is beyond doubt.
For those who may question whether investigators Tom Horn and Terry Cook are overstating these facts, below are video clips to watch (with trepidation), especially the first one with former Director of DARPA (the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and current executives at Google discussing this very technology (smart tattoos and injestable biochips) on national TV as THE system that will soon provide authentication / personal identification for humans worldwide.
The mark IS coming, and we all need to get educated on the facts as soon as possible in order to be a source of information to our loved ones, a light in the darkness while there is still time.
Audience applauds as Regina E. Dugan -- former Director of DARPA and current executive at Google -- describes with excitement the coming BEAST TECH smart tattoos and ingestible biochips that are ALREADY FDA APPROVED and that people will want to receive (and then be REQUIRED to receive) by 2017. She glows about the "super powers" the PROTEUS MARK (Proteus was a Shape-Shifter in Greek Mythology) will give her and says today's generation are going to want them too. Unfortunately, she is right.
|IBM ALSO CELEBRATING THE MARK OF THE BEAST IMBEDDED BUYING SYSTEM OF TOMORROW|
Iran has decelerated its rate of uranium enrichment because it already possesses the basic infrastructure for producing a nuclear weapon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday.
Responding to an International Atomic Energy Agency report claiming that Iran had substantially cut uranium enrichment since the election of President Hassan Rouhani last June, Netanyahu said he was “not impressed,” and that Iran still strives to acquire nuclear weapons.
“Iran is not expanding its nuclear program because it already has the foundations needed for nuclear weapons,” the prime minister said. “The question is not whether they are expanding the program, but how to stop the Iranian military nuclear program.”
Netanyahu, who was speaking in English to a gathering in Jerusalem of young diaspora Jews who are in Israel as part of the Masa volunteerism and study program, added that Iran was under immense pressure due to international sanctions, and asserted that the Islamic Republic’s representatives were eager to sign an agreement with Western powers.
“Some people argue that if a deal is not reached with Iran, Iran will run away from negotiations,” he said. “I have news for you — they will not run away, it is the deal of their dreams.”
“I promise, Israel will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons,” he concluded.
According to the IAEA report published earlier Thursday, only four centrifuges for the enrichment of high grade uranium had been erected in the Islamic Republic during the past three months, compared to 1,500 in the previous three months, Channel 2 News reported.
The report also deemed Iran a long way from being able to produce a nuclear weapon, as it had enriched only 196 kilograms of uranium, whereas a weapon would require a stockpile of at least 250 kilograms of enriched uranium.
Over the past weekend in Geneva, the US, Russia, France, China, Britain and Germany — the so-called P5+1 — came close to signing an interim agreement with Iran that would offer limited sanctions relief in exchange for halting uranium enrichment to 20 percent purity, while enrichment to the level of 3.5% would continue.
Production of a nuclear weapon requires uranium enrichment to a purity above 90%.
US officials say the deal currently under discussion would be an interim agreement only, intended to suspend Iran’s march toward a nuclear weapons capability for six months while a permanent arrangement is negotiated.
The world powers and Iran are scheduled to meet again on November 20 in Geneva to resume talks.
Netanyahu has been vehemently opposed to the possible interim deal between the P5+1 and Iran since news of the possible breakthrough emerged last Thursday, leading to a rare public disagreement between Jerusalem and Washington.
“There are not just two possibilities on the Iranian issue: A bad deal — or war. This is incorrect,” Netanyahu said in the Knesset Wednesday. “There is a third possibility — and that is continuing the pressure of sanctions. I would even say that a bad deal is liable to lead to the second, undesired, result.”
Iran has denied it intends to produce nuclear weapons, a claim disbelieved by Western powers, Israel and watchdog agencies such as the IAEA.
Credit to The Times of Israel
The consequences of this are worse than you might think. The thin end of the wedge is less enjoyment during sex. Jon’s dissatisfaction with real life sex is something he has in common with a lot of habitual porn users. In his book, The Brain That Changes Itself, the psychiatrist Norman Doidge writes about a phenomenon he began to notice among his male patients in the mid 1990s. They watched porn – “everybody does,” they told Doidge – and were experiencing “increasing difficulty in being turned on by their actual sexual partners, though they still considered them attractive.” They found themselves having to fantastise about porn scenes to get turned on.
That’s because, along with a great number of porn users, they had rewired the arousal pathways in their brains. “Pornography,” writes Doidge, “satisfies every one of the prerequisites for neuroplastic change,” – that is, the brain’s ability to form new neural circuitry. The most important condition is the release of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that gives us a feeling of exciting pleasure, which porn triggers. The more often you watch porn and get the dopamine hit it delivers, the more the activity and the sensation become entwined in your brain.
Doidge puts it like this: “since neurons that fire together wire together, these men got massive amounts of practice wiring these images into the pleasure centres of the brain.” And, “because plasticity is competitive, the brain maps for new, exciting images increased at the expense of what had previously attracted them.”
A related problem is what addiction experts call “tolerance”, in other words the need for more of a given stimulant (harder and weirder porn) for the same amount of dopamine. In the end, the result is what Doidge politely calls “potency problems”. Compulsive pornography users become unable to maintain erections.
Even among more casual users, porn is wreaking havoc in the bedroom. Last year, American GQ’s sex columnist, Siobhan Rosen, complained about the “pornified sex” men seemed to expect – not in a relationship, when trust has been established, but from the very first encounter. She wrote about men she had just started seeing who brandished ball gags, ejaculated on to her body and used really nasty language during sex.
“You don’t want to do those things with someone you hardly know,” she tells me. Men recreating the money shot is something that “has happened to every single one of my girlfriends,” she says. The advertising executive, Cindy Gallop, became so irritated by this very thing that she made it the central complaint of her TED talk when launching her website, makelovenotporn.com, in 2009. The talk went viral.
Gallop is 53 and “only dates younger men, usually men in their twenties,” she tells me over a drink in London. She’s encountered many of the same porn-inspired behaviours as Rosen (who is 30), which is why she decided to set up Make Love Not Porn, to promote “real sex”. “Guys watch porn and when they go to bed with a real woman, all they think about is recreating that scenario,” she says. And women, who are watching porn in ever-greater numbers themselves, “start believing that that is what they have to be like in bed as well.”
The American porn star and sex educator Nina Hartley calls this “doing it on someone else's template”. Gallop agrees. “The poor guy is going, ‘That porn actress loved it when he did that, so why doesn’t she?‘ Meanwhile, the girl is lying there thinking, ‘The porn actress really loved it when he did that so why don’t I?’” But, she goes on, “in real the world , every single partner you will ever have is different. Different things will turn them on.”
Credit to The Telegraph
Secret Israeli document to White House shows how US strategy shortens route to Iranian nuclear weapon
Thursday, Nov. 14, Israel sent the White House in Washington a confidential document outlining blow by blow how and when Iran will attain a nuclear weapon if the Obama-Kerry strategy for dealing with the issue goes through.
The document was addressed to the National Security Council headed by Susan Rice, DEBKAfilereports. Communications between the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem and the State Department have almost petered out since exchanges between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Secretary of State John Kerry sharpened in tone.
Our Washington sources report that Rice and the NSC have taken a critical stand against the State Department’s policies – not just on the Iranian nuclear question, but also on Saudi Arabia, the Arabian Gulf and Egypt. However, the Israeli document does not take issue directly with Obama administration policies per se. It confines itself to a dry account, step by step, of how the Iranian nuclear bomb program will continue to unfold if the administration’s secret proposition is accepted.
Much of the document’s content is highly technical for the perusal of US experts. It concludes that by putting Iran’s nuclear program on hold for six months, as the administration claims, US diplomatic strategy will shorten its path to a bomb or warhead.
The Israeli document also sought to rebut Kerry’s argument that Netanyahu has been attacking the US proposal without knowing its content.
Washington and Tehran continue to use their back channels of communication to bypass their five fellow world powers before they meet in Geneva for the next round of negotiations with Iran on Nov. 20.
The root of the disagreement between the Obama administration and Netanyahu was illustrated in the exchanges around the visit the nuclear watchdog (IAEA) Director Yukiya Amano paid to Tehran Monday, Nov. 15.
Amano commented to reporters after the visit that he had seen no changes in Iran’s nuclear program in the three months since Hassan Rouhani became president – an indirect dig at the White House insistence that the election of a moderate Iranian president opened the door to a diplomatic solution of the nuclear controversy with Iran. Amano added that 20 percent enrichment of uranium continued.
Both these comments flew in the face of official Washington’s presentation of the state of Iran’s nuclear program. And indeed, 12 hours later, responding to US pressure, “IAEA sources” countered Amano’s comments by stating that Iran had stopped installing the new IR2 centrifuges, proving that enrichment had slowed.
Wednesday, DEBKAfile’s exclusive sources, after checking these statements, found that Iran had been racing ahead without pause in the manufacture of the new centrifuges and installating them at the enrichment plants, but had not so far activated them.
However, they stood ready to be switched on at any moment.
This is the nub of the disagreement between Washington and Jerusalem. Obama and Kerry welcome this situation as a “freeze” for which they are offering a loosening of the sanctions stranglehold on the Iranian economy, if it is extended to other key parts of nuclear program.
Netanyahu sees it as a lease of life for a dangerous process.
The document he has presented to the NSC shows in detail how the US proposal spurred the Iranians into rushing forward the work for finishing all the working parts of their nuclear weapons program and making them ready to go into full operation at a moment’s notice, including enrichment and centrifuge production, as soon as sanctions are eased.
The American proposal, says Israel, has therefore shortened Iran’s road to breakout for a nuclear weapon.
Credit to DEBKAfile