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Bilderberg 2010: Plutocracy with palm trees The shadowy global elite is meeting in Sitges – and Charlie Skelton is there, hoping for a new spirit of CamCleggian openness - Police are already stretching their red stripy tape around the hotel, and zipping up and around the local roads in their squad cars, sniffing for trouble. I'm really hoping there's none to find. The Spanish are promising a beach party and an "awareness camp", with political discussion forums and meditation zones. (London Guardian)
Iran 'restricting euro transactions' As the stagnant European economy weighs heavily on the euro forcing it into a downward spiral, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) unveils a major plan for converting 45 billion of its euro reserves into dollar and gold ingots. (Press TV)
Obama uses Gulf oil spill for energy agenda push "The catastrophe unfolding in the Gulf right now may prove to be a result of human error -- or corporations taking dangerous shortcuts that compromised safety," Obama said in remarks at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. "But we have to acknowledge that there are inherent risks to drilling four miles beneath the surface of the Earth -- risks that are bound to increase the harder oil extraction becomes. Just like we have to acknowledge that an America run solely on fossil fuels should not be the vision we have for our children and grandchildren." (CNN)
Another 9/11 responder death spurs new aid-bill push to help Ground Zero heroes Another 9/11 responder's death prompted her family to plead Monday for federal funding to treat rescuers sickened by their work at Ground Zero.
Paula Rodriguez, 44, an FDNY emergency medical technician, died Sunday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Relatives contend Rodriguez's fatal disease was linked to the many days she spent working in the toxic cloud over lower Manhattan in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. (New York Daily News)
BP Needs ‘Lottery Win’ to Seal Oil Leak at First Try (Update1) “What you’re doing is trying to intersect a well bore that is probably roughly a foot across with another well that is about a foot across,” he said. “It’s a hit-or-miss sort of thing. Ultimately the relief well will work. It’s just a matter of time, of continuing to poke at it until you intersect it.” (Bloomberg)
Election 2010: Kentucky Senate Kentucky Senate: Paul 49%, Conway 41% - Now, however, Paul holds a much smaller advantage. The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey finds the GOP nominee with support from 49% of the state’s voters while Conway earns 41% of the vote. Four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate, and six percent (6%) are undecided. (Rasmussen)
Opinion: Why the web benefits liberals more than conservatives From the micro-donation platform first popularized by Howard Dean in 2003 to the million-strong Barack Obama Facebook page to the huge audience of the Huffington Post, liberals have been the dominant political force on the internet since the digital revolution began. - Liberals, the research finds, are oriented toward community activism, employing technology to encourage debate and feature user-generated content. Conservatives, on the other hand, are more comfortable with a commanding leadership and use restrictive policies to combat disorderly speech in online forums. (CNN)
1997 Warning on Deep Blowouts: ‘Options Are Limited’ Back in 1997, an offshore-drilling newsletter ran an article by Larry Flak, a veteran well blowout expert, at Boots & Coots at the time, listing a variety of paths leading to a seabed blowout and stated flatly that stopping one would be an enormous challenge. His bottom line? “Options are limited, so prevention and fast action are critical.” (New York Times)
Greece urged to give up euro THE Greek government has been advised by British economists to leave the euro and default on its €300 billion (£255 billion) debt to save its economy. The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), a London-based consultancy, has warned Greek ministers they will be unable to escape their debt trap without devaluing their own currency to boost exports. The only way this can happen is if Greece returns to its own currency. (London Times)
We Are Change Austria's Natascha Koch: Forced Psychotherapy Yesterday, as we have learned this afternoon, Swiss-Austrian blogger Natascha Koch was lured to the local police station under false pretenses and then carried off to the Sigmund Freud Psychiatry Clinic in Graz where she is now being held prisoner without any consent. - She was advised not to deal with „such things“, and that even research about Jan van Helsing would be taboo. She was told that she had major perception problems and was offered pharmaceutical drugs on multiple occasions.
NATASCHA KOCH NEEDS OUR HELP!
We ask our fellow freedom lovers who are located around Graz to become ACTIVE and DEMAND HER IMMEDIATE RELEASE!
Natascha Koch is currently held on Station P22, Room 11 against her will! The repressive actions against her were initiated by a woman named Dr. Beisser. We ask all Austrians who stand up FOR freedom of expression and AGAINST forced psychotherapy to inform the press and television stations!!! (We Are Change)
Bill Gates funds covert vaccine nanotechnology These nanoparticles could be used in a spray mist that's sprayed on to every person who walks through an airport security checkpoint, for example. Or it could be unleashed through the ventilation systems of corporate office buildings or public schools to vaccinate the masses. You wouldn't even know you were being vaccinated. (Natural Nwes)
Parish official: BP shipped in workers for president's visit Early Friday morning, "a number of buses brought in approximately 300 to 400 workers that had been recruited all week," Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts told CNN's "Situation Room." Roberts said the workers were offered $12 an hour to come out to the scene at Grand Isle and work in what he called a "dog and pony show." (CNN)
Obama cancels Gulf drilling projects Takes responsibility for response, works to clean up mineral agency - Mr. Obama said his administration has been trying to clean up that agency, the Minerals Management Service. MMS' chief, Elizabeth Birnbaum, an Obama nominee, quit her post Thursday just before Mr. Obama held a press conference. Mr. Obama was not sure whether Ms. Birnbaum resigned or was asked to leave. (Washington Times)
President Obama under fire for BP spill response President Barack Obama is on the defensive over his presidential multitasking, for refusing to scrub his schedule of events that seem peripheral — even trivial — compared with the unfolding catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.
As oozing oil fouls Louisiana’s marshes, Obama has committed to maintaining the semblance of a regular schedule, adhering to his walk-and-chew-gum style of crisis management even as criticism of his administration mounts. (Politico)
BP brings in Red Adair's successor to stop oil leak After failing with a succession of mechanical solutions, company turns to man who learnt from the best - When Adair and his partners Asger Hansen, known as Boots, and Ed Matthews, or Coots, went off on a job, Campbell was usually invited to join them. "They'd say, 'Hey, fat boy, why don't you just come along with that stuff and make sure it works?'," he recalled. (UK Independent)
Four Moral Issues Sharply Divide Americans Partisan disagreement drives national controversy on gay relations, abortion - Americans generally agree about the morality of 12 out of 16 behaviors or social policies that sometimes spark public controversy, with sizable majorities saying each is either "morally acceptable" or "morally wrong." By contrast, views on doctor-assisted suicide, gay and lesbian relations, abortion, and having a baby outside of marriage are closely divided -- the percentage supporting and the percentage opposing are within 15 points of each other. (Gallup)
Have Aliens Left the Universe? Theory Predicts We'll Follow Hawking: Hawking thinks we should be cautious about interacting with aliens −- that they might raid Earth's resources, take our ores, and then move on like pirates. "I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach." (Huffington Post)
Tucker Trumps Trilats Trilateral Commission (TC) members, angry over their failure to establish a world government and the economic crisis they generated, called for war with Iran when they gathered behind closed doors here in Dublin, Ireland May 7-10.
War plans were revealed by Mikhail Slobodovsici, a chief adviser to the Russian leadership, when he strolled off the grounds of the Four Seasons resort, where TC had hunkered down behind armed guards and locked doors. He thought he was talking to a TC colleague when speaking with Alan Keenan, who operates the web site WeAreChange.org.
“We are deciding the future of the world,” Slobodovsici said. “We need a world government,” he said, but, referring to Iran, said “we need to get rid of them.”
Clearly, it was a TC war call. Many of the TC’s billionaires and millionaires are heavily invested in manufacturing, and wars produce huge profits. (American Free Press)
CIA unit's wacky idea: Depict Saddam as gay (SpyTalk) During planning for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the CIA's Iraq Operations Group kicked around a number of ideas for discrediting Saddam Hussein in the eyes of his people.
One was to create a video purporting to show the Iraqi dictator having sex with a teenage boy, according to two former CIA officials familiar with the project.
“It would look like it was taken by a hidden camera,” said one of the former officials. “Very grainy, like it was a secret videotaping of a sex session.” - The agency actually did make a video purporting to show Osama bin Laden and his cronies sitting around a campfire swigging bottles of liquor and savoring their conquests with boys, one of the former CIA officers recalled, chuckling at the memory. The actors were drawn from “some of us darker-skinned employees,” he said. (Washington Post)
Rothschild plan would see privatization of Britain’s massive public motorway A plan to privatize the UK's motorway network, giving toll firms access to large swaths of road, would take place under the guise of paying down the government's debt, British media reported Tuesday, citing a number of key officials who support the scheme, proposed to all major political parties by NM Rothschild, one of the world's oldest, most influential and little discussed investment banks, founded by the Rothschild family. (The Raw Story)
WesternZagros Updates Kurdamir-1 Status and Costs Specialists from Boots & Coots International Well Control Inc. are now on site and assessing the situation. The necessary equipment is being mobilized and has started to arrive, and drilling mud is being prepared to begin efforts to control the well. The equipment includes a snubbing unit, which is a hydraulic workover rig that enables well intervention to be performed while the well is under pressure. (Westernzagros)
Confirmed: Russian & Foreign Troops Ordered Into U.S. Many people have commented that they are simply being activated in preparation for deployments to Iraq this summer, but one ‘CONFIRMED’ report involved the Minnesota 1st Brigade Combat Team and marks the largest deployment of Minnesota military forces since World War II. This alone is highly suspicious. - The More disturbing INTEL that has hit the wire in the past couple of days is the report of large numbers of foreign troops arriving at a large naval base in San Diego, California. This report came at dusk on Wednesday May 19, 2010. U.S. Navy vessels were spotted unloading extremely large numbers of UN and Russian troops and Equipment. They disembarked the vessels as it was still light out in plain sight. Mostly Russian troops. - This is extremely important INTEL because there have been reports that U.S. Secretary Napolitano had previously requested 3 to 4 brigades of troops from the Russian government to specifically assist in the quelling of domestic civil unrest by U.S. Citizens. This was done by the Obama Administration (Intel Hub)
Expert Is Confident About Sealing Oil Well Pat Campbell never met a well he couldn’t kill. - Between working for Boots & Coots and, later, for Wild Well, Mr. Campbell has gone into the field from South Texas to Sumatra, including a stint in Kuwait after the 1991 Persian Gulf war. (New York Times)
Watchdog group wants federal investigation of Google Street View flap A prominent civil liberties watchdog has added its voice to those calling for a federal investigation of Google following the company's recent admission of privacy violations related to its "Street View" product.
The nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski last week requesting an investigation of privacy issues arising from "Street View," which provides "360 degree street level imagery" of U.S. cities.
"The company routinely and secretly downloaded user communications data and the company routinely and secretly mapped private communication hotspots. Moreover, they said not a word about the Wi-Fi data collection during the three-year privacy debate over Street View," wrote Marc Rotenberg, executive director of EPIC. "This is why the FCC must undertake an investigation." (The Hill)
Times Square suspect's father denies son had role "I refute it outright," Khan said. "It is a very wicked accusation. He is not the type of guy who would ever think of involving himself in any criminal activity." But a U.S. official with knowledge of the case said Friday that Ashraf had been talking to the Taliban about pointing out the Pakistani military and other VIPs at diplomatic and other government events. Another U.S. official said there were indications that the catering company was going to be used as a cover for an attack in Pakistan. There is "very specific information about a potential, imminent, plot," the official said. "Initial indications are it is a Pakistani target." (CNN)
'Naked' scanners may increase cancer risk “While the dose would be safe if it were distributed throughout the volume of the entire body, the dose to the skin may be dangerously high,” Dr Agard said. "Ionizing radiation such as the X-rays used in these scanners have the potential to induce chromosome damage, and that can lead to cancer." (News.au.com)
BP and MMS Agree: “Seals, Sea Otters, and Walruses” Live in Gulf of Mexico In its emergency plans in the event of an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP made clear it knows how to save "seals, sea otters, and walruses" in the Gulf waters. The only problem is, no such animals live in the Gulf.
Indeed, it appears BP literally copied and pasted emergency response plans to apply to any spill in the world, regardless of the reality of the local ecosystems. While "seals, sea otters, and walruses" are a concern for oil spills in colder waters, there are none of those animals in the Gulf. (Fire Dog Lake)
Pentagon, Police Stage Terror Attack Exercise in Long Beach The Adler Realty Investment company in Long Beach has sent a notice to residents (see below) informing them that “response agencies,” including the U.S. Coast Guard, the local police and fire department along with the military will be conducting a training exercise in the city. “Port Protector 2010,” an attachment to the notice states, will consist of a training exercise in response to a “terrorist threat” including a “hostage scenario” and Hazmat training. (Prison Planet)
In Gulf Spill, BP Using Dispersants Banned in U.K. The two types of dispersants BP is spraying in the Gulf of Mexico are banned for use on oil spills in the U.K. As EPA-approved products, BP has been using them in greater quantities than dispersants have ever been used in the history of U.S. oil spills.
BP is using two products from a line of dispersants called Corexit, which EPA data appear to show is more toxic and less effective on South Louisiana crude than other available dispersants, according to Greenwire. (ProPublica)
BP 'pressured rig disaster workers to drill faster' Safety problems also went unaddressed, according to Mike Williams, the chief electronics technician on the Deepwater Horizon, including damage to one of the rig’s most important pieces of safety equipment, the blowout preventer. - He claimed that the blowout preventer was then damaged when a crewman accidentally moved a joystick, applying hundreds of thousands of pounds of force. Pieces of rubber were found in the drilling fluid, which he said implied damage to a crucial seal. But a supervisor declared the find to be “not a big deal”, Mr Williams alleged. (London Times)
Cyberwar Cassandras Get $400 Million in Conflict Cash Coincidences sure are funny things. Booz Allen Hamilton — the defense contractor that’s become synonymous with the idea that the U.S. is getting its ass kicked in an ongoing cyberwar — has racked up more than $400 million worth of deals in the past six weeks to help the Defense Department fight that digital conflict. Strange how that worked out, huh?
Everyone in the Pentagon from Defense Secretary Bob Gates on down says that the military needs to cut its reliance on outside contractors. But few firms are as well-connected as Booz Allen, the one-time management consultancy that today pulls in more than $2.7 billion in government work. And few firms sound the alarm as loudly about a crisis that they’re in the business of fixing. Back in February, for instance, former National Security Agency director and Booz Allen Hamilton executive vice president Mike McConnell declared that “the United States is fighting a cyber-war today, and we are losing.” The White House’s information security czar is one of many experts who calls such rhetoric overheated, at best. That hasn’t stopped Booz Allen from pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars from Washington to wage those battles. (Wired)
Letter About Disperants From Rep. Markey to EPA Dear Administrator Jackson,
I write to request information regarding the use of dispersants to mitigate the effects of
the catastrophic release of millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. While the estimates of the amount of oil released daily has increased significantly since the explosion and remains under question, what is certain is that the inability of BP to quickly stop the leak is leading to an environmental catastrophe, placing fragile ecosystems, wildlife and the region’s economy in peril. The release of hundreds of thousands of gallons of chemicals into the Gulf of Mexico could be an unprecedented, large and aggressive experiment on our oceans. It requires careful oversight by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other appropriate federal agencies. (US Congress)
Matthews: Obama Needs to 'Nationalize' Oil Industry! On Monday's Hardball a visibly angry Matthews demanded Obama go after BP: "Why doesn't the President go in there, nationalize an industry and get the job done for the people?" and pointed out that in China they would have a much harsher response to BP: "They execute people for this. Major industrial leaders that commit crimes like this." Matthews even took aim at the entire capitalist system, as over video of the oil slick, he sarcastically mocked: "Everybody says 'Capitalism is great. Unbridled free enterprise is great.' Look at it! This is great, isn't it?!" (News Busters)
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