Schwarzenegger declares California drought state of emergency

Federal water managers plan to temporarily cut off water this March to thousands of California farms. The state has said it probably would deliver just 15 percent of the water contractors have requested this year.

The state delivers water to more than 25 million Californians and more than 750,000 acres of farmland.

“It’s too late,” he said. “It’s going to sound horrible coming from a farmer because you never turn down help, but come on, this thing is over with.”



Layers of sun-baked earth are exposed in an area of the San Luis Reservoir near Gustine that was previously underwater but was dried out in January because of drought conditions. (Patrick Tehan / Mercury News)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency Friday because of three years of below-average rain and snowfall in California, a step that urges urban water agencies to reduce water use by 20 percent.

“This drought is having a devastating impact on our people, our communities, our economy and our environment, making today’s action absolutely necessary,” the Republican governor said in his statement.

Mandatory rationing is an option if the declaration and other measures are insufficient.

The drought has forced farmers to fallow their fields, put thousands of agricultural workers out of work and led to conservation measures in cities throughout the state, which is the nation’s top agricultural producer.

Agriculture losses could reach $2.8 billion this year and cost 95,000 jobs, said Lester Snow, the state water director.

Read moreSchwarzenegger declares California drought state of emergency

Government plans to keep DNA samples of innocent

DNA samples of innocent to be kept on file

Jacqui Smith
Home secretary Jacqui Smith: has not indicated whether DNA samples already obtained would be destroyed. Photo: Cathal McNaughton/PA

The government is planning to get around a European court ruling that condemned Britain’s retention of the DNA profiles of more than 800,000 innocent people by keeping the original samples used to create the database, the Guardian has learned.

A damning ruling last December criticised the “blanket and indiscriminate nature” of the UK’s current DNA database – which includes DNA from those never charged with an offence – and said the government had overstepped acceptable limits of storing data for crime detection.


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Last month the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, said she would publish a white paper setting out “a more proportionate, fair and commonsense approach”, but she has not given any indication whether DNA samples already obtained would be destroyed. However, Home Office sources said the government, which was given three months to respond to the ruling, has “no plans” to destroy samples of DNA.

Read moreGovernment plans to keep DNA samples of innocent

Moody’s predicts default rate will exceed peaks hit in Great Depression

A bigger proportion of non-investment grade companies will go bust in the US and overseas in the coming years than during the Great Depression, according to Moody’s, one of the world’s foremost experts on credit.

In what will be seen by many as die-cast confirmation that the world economy is plummeting towards an economic and corporate implosion of unprecedented proportions, Moody’s said it anticipated a tidal wave of defaults was approaching.

It said that in the coming months more than 15pc of speculative-grade bonds and loans – all but the most highly-rated – would default on their debts.

This peak is even higher than the peak reached in 1933, when bank after bank throughout America was collapsing, taking hoards of other companies with them. Back then, the default rate peaked at 15.4pc; moreover these companies were former investment grade issuers regarded as more reliable credit prospects than their contemporary counterparts.

Read moreMoody’s predicts default rate will exceed peaks hit in Great Depression

More Seeds For Doomsday Seed Vault

Related article:

–  Investors Behind Doomsday Seed Vault May Provide Clues to Its Purpose:

The group of investors includes The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto Corporation, Syngenta Foundation, and the Government of Norway.

The elite has always been known for their altruism, working for the benefit of mankind:

“If you control the oil you control the country; if you control the food you control the population.”
– Henry Kissinger


The remote, frozen landscape provides an ideal backdrop for the vault

(BBC NEWS) — Almost 90,000 food crop seed samples have arrived at the “doomsday vault” in the Arctic Circle, as part of its first anniversary celebrations.

The four-tonne shipment takes the number of seeds stored in the frozen repository to more than 20 million.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, built 130m (426ft) inside a mountain, aims to protect the world’s food crop species against natural and human disasters.

The £5m ($7m) facility took 12 months to build and opened in February 2008.

“The vault was opened last year to ensure that, one day, all of humanity’s existing food crop varieties would be safely protected,” explained Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT).

“It’s amazing how far we have come towards accomplishing that goal.”

Read moreMore Seeds For Doomsday Seed Vault

19 Georgia lawmakers behind on taxes, state report says

Nineteen members of the state Legislature have failed to pay state and federal income taxes, some of them dating back to 2002, according to a Georgia Department of Revenue report given recently to legislative leaders.

The report on the alleged tax dodgers, with names and Social Security numbers redacted, has been forwarded to Republican and Democratic leaders of the state House of Representatives and Senate.

“Leaders of both parties have made it clear this will not be tolerated,” state Rep. Joe Wilkinson (R-Sandy Springs), chairman of the House Ethics Committee, said in an interview late Thursday night.

Wilkinson said House and Senate leaders are now discussing what should happen to the 16 House members and 3 senators in wake of the disclosure.

Read more19 Georgia lawmakers behind on taxes, state report says

Firms defraud government but get new US contracts

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US Troops in Iraq talk about Halliburton & KBR (Flashback)



U.S. soldiers secure the area next to a damaged U.S. mine resistant, ambush protected vehicle (MRAP), after a roadside bomb explosion during an operation in the area of Al-leg, some 40 miles south of Baghdad, Iraq. The Army is updating its manual for the electronic battlefield — a move aimed at protecting soldiers against roadside bombs and other nontraditional warfare used by increasingly sophisticated insurgents. (AP)

WASHINGTON – Companies that defrauded the United States and jeopardized American lives received new government work despite rulings designed to stop them from receiving federal contracts, government investigators report.

Payments went to a company whose president tried to sell nuclear bomb parts to North Korea, a company that jeopardized lives on the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy, and a seller of body armor that the Air Force said was defective.

The companies were on a government database of 70,000 individuals and businesses suspended or barred by various U.S. agencies from receiving government contract work.

Read moreFirms defraud government but get new US contracts

Former CIA officer: Bush should have executed Gitmo detainees

A former CIA officer has said its ridiculous that the Bush administration didn’t execute numerous prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, regardless of whether they have had a trial, when it had the chance.

“Many of those individuals that are there are enemy combatants and that’s based on the Geneva Conventions and should be executed,” said Gary Berntsen, who spent 20 years with the CIA, to Fox’s Gretchen Carlson on the show, Fox & Friends. “It’s ridiculous that the Bush administration, after seven years, didn’t deal with many of those that we know are enemy combatants.”

Berntsen, who commanded a team of CIA and special forces in Afghanistan in 2001, is the author of The Attack on bin Laden and Al-Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA’s Key Field Commander. A Bush supporter, he sued the federal government to win the right to release his book, which detailed his experiences searching for Osama bin Laden in the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan. In 2008, Berntsen also actively campaigned for John McCain.

Carlson seemed to agree with Berntsen’s assertion saying of the detainees, “I’m thinking to myself, they’ve been, many of them, there since 2002. What was the wait?”

Berntsen also advocated for the execution of self-described 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, saying that he no longer serves any intelligence purpose for the U.S.

“After seven years, the intel is dried up. Execute him,” he said.

In one of his first orders as president, Obama ordered the closure of the detention center in January. It currently houses approximately 250 terrorism suspects and others in a camp and maximum-security facilities at the Guantanamo U.S. naval base, reports Reuters. Some inmates have been held there for as long as seven years without charges.

Fox & Friends guest Matthew Alexander, the author of How to Break a Terrorist said he believes the detainees can provide further intelligence to the U.S.

“I think it’s not as important as where as they go as how we continue to get intelligence from them,” Alexander said. “We can take them to other countries but we should ensure that those countries do not torture them and we have to continue to interrogate them effectively.”

This video is from Fox’s Fox & Friends, broadcast Feb. 27, 2009.

Download video via RawReplay.com

David Edwards and Rachel Oswald
Published: Friday February 27, 2009

Source: The Raw Story

Oldest human footprints found in Kenya

The oldest human footprints – left more than 1.5 million years ago – have been discovered in northern Kenya.


A fossil footprint left by a human ancestor about 1.5 million years ago in Kenya has been discovered Photo: REUTERS

Two sets of prints left by Homo ergaster, an early ancestor of modern humans. were found in separate rock layers near Ileret.

Laser scanning revealed that feet have stayed much the same over 1.5 million years and the creature walked the same way as people do today.

Read moreOldest human footprints found in Kenya