Bombers fly close to US border

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Moscow – Russian bombers accompanied by Nato fighter jets have completed a patrol off the north west coast of the United States, the Russian air force said on Wednesday, Interfax reported.

“NATO fighter jets accompanied the planes of long range aviation in the area of Alaska during the air patrol,” Alexander Drobyshevsky, assistant to the head of the Russian air force, was quoted as saying.

Two long range-bombers and two Il-78 flight refuelling tankers took part in the 15-hour patrol over the Arctic and Pacific oceans, he said. Drobyshevsky did not say when the patrol took place.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in August 2007 that Moscow was resuming with immediate effect the Cold War practice of sending strategic bombers on long-range flights well beyond its borders.

Source: AFP

Published on the Web by IOL on 2008-03-26 10:26:05

UN rejects water as basic human right

“About every eight seconds, a child somewhere in the world is dying from dirty water, and it’s just shocking that our government has taken this position,” said Maude Barlow, chair of the Council of Canadians.

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OTTAWA – The Harper government can declare victory after a United Nations meeting rejected calls for water to be recognized as a basic human right.

Instead, a special resolution proposed by Germany and Spain at the UN human rights council was stripped of references that recognized access to water as a human right. The countries also chose to scrap the idea of creating an international watchdog to investigate the issue, choosing instead to appoint a new consultant that would make recommendations over the next three years.

Read moreUN rejects water as basic human right

Americans fear harder times

Public’s feelings about economy are bleakest since ’73, survey indicates Americans are bracing for rising unemployment and shrinking salaries, a gloomy outlook that could translate into a serious cutback in consumer spending, the primary engine of the economy.

A survey of about 2,500 households found that Americans feel worse about the economy’s prospects than at any time since 1973, when Americans struggled with soaring oil prices and runaway inflation.

Read moreAmericans fear harder times

US fears over honey bee collapse

The pollination of crops by bees is responsible for a third of the food produced in the US.

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The US bee population fell by about 30% last year

One in every three mouthfuls has been touched by their tiny feet; but our six-legged friends are in trouble.

They are getting sick and leaving their hives. Without bees, food gets more expensive – some products could disappear altogether.

Colony collapse disorder (CCD) emerged last year, and by spring 2007 bees were dying in huge numbers – over the year as a whole the total bee population fell by 30%.

Some beekeepers lost closer to 90%, and the fear is it will get worse.

Read moreUS fears over honey bee collapse

THE FDA STILL IGNORES THE LETHAL RISKS OF TALCUM POWDER

Based on 15 publications in leading scientific journals dating back to the 1960’s, the Petition explicitly warned of “increased rates of ovarian cancer resulting from frequent exposure to cosmetic grade talc.” After over a year’s delay, the Petition was rejected by Dr. John Bailey, FDA’s past Director of the Office of Cosmetics and Colors, and currently Director of the industry’s The Personal Care Products Council. Since then, the strong relation between the genital use of talc powder and ovarian cancer has been endorsed by over 40 further scientific publications. These have reported increased risks ranging from 35% to 90%.

Read moreTHE FDA STILL IGNORES THE LETHAL RISKS OF TALCUM POWDER

Goldman sees $1.2 trillion global credit loss

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs forecasts global credit losses stemming from the current market turmoil will reach $1.2 trillion, with Wall Street accounting for nearly 40 percent of the losses.

U.S. leveraged institutions, which include banks, brokers-dealers, hedge funds and government-sponsored enterprises, will suffer roughly $460 billion in credit losses after loan loss provisions, Goldman Sachs economists wrote in a research note released late on Monday.

Read moreGoldman sees $1.2 trillion global credit loss

Pentagon says it mistakenly shipped ballistic missile parts to Taiwan

The Pentagon has announced that it mistakenly shipped non-nuclear ballistic missile components to Taiwan from a U.S. Air Force base in Wyoming.

It said the items have been returned to the United States.

Read morePentagon says it mistakenly shipped ballistic missile parts to Taiwan

U.S. increases fingerprints IDs at airports

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – International visitors flying into New York now face being identified by all ten fingerprints, part of a heightened security system aimed at identifying potential terror suspects and visa fraud, officials said on Tuesday.

The upgraded system, part of the U.S. government’s Homeland Security program and its war on terror, increases the chances of catching illegal or potentially dangerous entrants into the country, officials said at a media briefing at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Tuesday.

The system expands the digital fingerprinting of international visitors to ten fingers from two.

Read moreU.S. increases fingerprints IDs at airports

DC Gun Searches Part Of U.S. Disarmament Plan

The government continues their on going agenda to destroy the Constitution and everything that the United States used to stand for. A new report from NBC 4 out of Washington DC covers how police are now asking residents to submit to voluntary home searches in exchange for amnesty under the DC gun ban. Of course, like every other tyrannical program being implemented by this criminal government, the police are claiming that this is for everyone’s safety. It is pretty clear that this is part of a larger national program to socially engineer the people for mass gun searches and gun confiscation. The Boston Globe reported that the police were conducting the same type of voluntary gun search program a few months ago. Then there’s the infamous Knock and Talk program in which police officers go around on fishing expeditions attempting to trick their way into people’s homes. Lastly, how can anyone forget about the gun grabbing in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina? The bottom line is that this type of activity is unconstitutional and the police that are participating in these programs should be put in prison.

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Read moreDC Gun Searches Part Of U.S. Disarmament Plan

China welcomes Iran’s wish to become full member of Shanghai group

BEIJING, March 25 (AP) – (Kyodo)-China welcomes Iran’s wish to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which groups China, Russia and Central Asian nations, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday.But Tehran’s wish to be upgraded from observer status still requires discussion by the group, Qin Gang said at a regular press conference.

Read moreChina welcomes Iran’s wish to become full member of Shanghai group

Spy-in-the-sky drone sets sights on Miami

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Miami police could soon be the first in the United States to use cutting-edge, spy-in-the-sky technology to beef up their fight against crime.

A small pilotless drone manufactured by Honeywell International (HON.N), capable of hovering and “staring” using electro-optic or infrared sensors, is expected to make its debut soon in the skies over the Florida Everglades.

If use of the drone wins Federal Aviation Administration approval after tests, the Miami-Dade Police Department will start flying the 14-pound (6.3 kg) drone over urban areas with an eye toward full-fledged employment in crime fighting.

Read moreSpy-in-the-sky drone sets sights on Miami

97 percent of US death toll came after ‘Mission Accomplished’

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BAGHDAD (AFP) – The death toll of US soldiers in the five-year Iraq conflict has hit 4,000 in what the US military said Monday was a “tragic” loss of lives after four troops were killed in a Baghdad bombing.

The four soldiers died when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb while on patrol late Sunday in southern Baghdad, bringing the overall toll to 4,000, according to an AFP tally based on independent website.

Read more97 percent of US death toll came after ‘Mission Accomplished’

Over 70,000 deaths, and over 1 million disabilities among American soldiers attributed to Iraq Wars says U.S. government data

(“More than 1,820 tons (3-million, 640 thousand pounds) of radioactive nuclear waste uranium were exploded into Iraq alone in the form of armour piercing rounds and bunker busters, representing the worlds worst man made ecological disaster ever. “)

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Iraq War veterans protest

Iraq War veterans protest as U.S. Republican Presidential campaign seeks to help support corporate media spin about the Iraq War.

According to U.S. media reports, there are well below 5,000 U.S. soldiers who have been killed in Iraq. However, this data appears to be very misleading. Why? Because many tens of thousands of American soldiers have apparently been killed to-date, as a result of being exposed to radiation poisoning from the indiscriminate killing machines of U.S. military weaponry. Ironically, the only Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) that Americans soldiers have found in Iraq are “Made in America”.

U.S. investigative researchers have discovered an official U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs official, but not well publicized count, of 73,846 U.S. soldiers who have perished as an apparent result of Depleted Uranium based bio-chemical warfare exposure. This exceeds an estimate of 58,000 U.S. soldiers who had been killed in relation to the Vietnam War.

Well over 200,000 American soldiers could be killed by 2010, as a result of the after effects of exposure to U.S. dirty bombs.

Over One million U.S. soldiers have apparently been disabled from Depleted Uranium based biochemical exposure. Over one million Iraqis have also been documented to have been killed.

Read moreOver 70,000 deaths, and over 1 million disabilities among American soldiers attributed to Iraq Wars says U.S. government data

“Pay day” loans exacerbate housing crisis

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – As hundreds of thousands of American home owners fall behind on their mortgage payments, more people are turning to short-term loans with sky-high interest rates just to get by.While figures are hard to come by, evidence from nonprofit credit and mortgage counselors suggests that the number of people using these so-called “pay day loans” is growing as the U.S. housing crisis deepens, a negative sign for economic recovery.

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“We’re hearing from around the country that many folks are buried deep in pay day loan debts as well as struggling with their mortgage payments,” said Uriah King, a policy associate at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL).

A pay day loan is typically for a few hundred dollars, with a term of two weeks, and an interest rate as high as 800 percent. The average borrower ends up paying back $793 for a $325 loan, according to the Center.

The Center also estimates pay day lenders issued more than $28 billion in loans in 2005, the latest available figures.

Read more“Pay day” loans exacerbate housing crisis

Fed May Buy Mortgages Next, Treasury Investors Bet

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March 24 (Bloomberg) — Forget lower interest rates. For the Federal Reserve to keep the financial markets from imploding it needs to buy troubled mortgage bonds from banks and securities firms, say the world’s biggest Treasury investors.

Even after cutting rates by 3 percentage points since September, expanding the range of securities it accepts as collateral for loans and giving dealers access to its discount window, the Fed has been unable to promote confidence. The difference between what the government and banks pay for three- month loans almost doubled in the past month to 1.69 percentage points.

The only tool left may be for the Fed to help facilitate a Resolution Trust Corp.-type agency that would buy bonds backed by home loans, said Bill Gross, manager of the world’s biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co. While purchasing some of the $6 trillion mortgage securities outstanding would take problem debt off the balance sheets of banks and alleviate the cause of the credit crunch, it would put taxpayers at risk.

Read moreFed May Buy Mortgages Next, Treasury Investors Bet

US ‘deploys nuclear sub to Persian Gulf’

An American nuclear submarine has crossed the Suez Canal to join the US fleet stationed in the Persian Gulf, Egyptian sources say.Egyptian officials reported that the nuclear submarine crossed the canal along with a destroyer on Friday and Egyptian forces were put on high alert when the navy convoy was passing through the canal.

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An American destroyer recently left the Persian Gulf, heading towards the Mediterranean Sea; earlier Thursday, a US Navy rescue ship crossed the canal to enter the Red Sea.

The deployment comes as recent reports allege that US Vice President Dick Cheney is seeking to rally the support of Middle Eastern states for launching an attack on Iran. (A strike against Iran is the beginning of World War III – The Infinite Unknown)

Read moreUS ‘deploys nuclear sub to Persian Gulf’

Consumers’ Right to Sue Weakening

Upcoming Case Could Bar Public From Taking Drug Makers to Court

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For more than a century, the regulation of U.S. food and drugs has seen its share of challenges — from the filthy slaughterhouses of Upton Sinclair’s Chicago to the tainted Chinese-made blood thinner that recently killed at least 19 people. The regulatory shortcomings on display in 1937, when ethylene glycol killed 105 antibiotic consumers, were still glaring six decades later, when Vioxx users started having heart attacks.

But throughout the history of the Food and Drug Administration, and its precursor agencies, U.S. consumers could always bring the manufacturer of a faulty product to court. Now, with the FDA woefully underfunded in its key role of assuring the safety and effectiveness of foods and drugs, and with political ideologues in the agency pushing industry prerogatives, the White House and the courts may be on the verge of stripping Americans of the right to sue. This would take away the last option for those seeking protection from –or recourse for — faulty products.

Read moreConsumers’ Right to Sue Weakening

China – Drought

RSOE Emergency and Disaster Information Service
Budapest, Hungary2008-03-20 15:16:03 – Drought – China

GLIDE CODE: DR-20080320-15931-CHN
Date & Time: 2008-03-20 15:16:03 [UTC]
Area: China, Hebei, Nei Mongol, Heilongjiang, Liaoning, Jilin, Shandong, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region,

!!! WARNING !!!

Description:

A number of regions in the north and northeast part of China were still fighting a continuous drought that could affect spring farming. Serious drought began to hit many big cities and prefectures of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the north, including Hulun Buir, Baotou, Ordos and Xilingol, early this month because of reduced rainfall since December, the autonomous regional meteorological bureau said Thursday.

Different localities received a maximum of 20 millimeters of rainfall over the past four months, up to 70 percent less than the corresponding period of previous years, according to Li Yunpeng, official with the meteorological center of ecology and agriculture. The drought would continue in the region until the first springrain comes in mid April, said Li. Meteorological authorities called for measures to maintain soilmoisture for the upcoming spring sowing. A severe drought in the neighboring Hebei Province had affected 3 million hectares of cropland and left residents in some areas short of drinking water. It is the 12th consecutive spring drought in the province, which only received seven millimeters of rainfall on average since the winter, about 60 percent less than normal years.

Read moreChina – Drought

Water will be source of war unless world acts now, warns minister

The world faces a future of “water wars”, unless action is taken to prevent international water shortages and sanitation issues escalating into conflicts, according to Gareth Thomas, the International Development minister.The minister’s warning came as a coalition of 27 international charities marked World Water Day, by writing to Gordon Brown demanding action to give fresh water to 1.1 billion people with poor supplies. “If we do not act, the reality is that water supplies may become the subject of international conflict in the years ahead,” said Mr Thomas. “We need to invest now to prevent us having to pay that price in the future.”

His department warned that two-thirds of the world’s population will live in water-stressed countries by 2025. The stark prediction comes after the Prime Minister said in his national security strategy that pressure on water was one of the factors that could help countries “tip into instability, state failure or conflict”.

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Read moreWater will be source of war unless world acts now, warns minister

Russia’s NATO envoy: US military “arming ex-terrorists” in Kosovo

Moscow/Brussels (dpa) – Russia’s firebrand envoy to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization said Thursday that US military aid to Kosovo amounted to arming “former terrorists.”Responding to news of US President George W Bush approval of military aid to Kosovo, Russia’s ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin warned that such a move could lead to “new terrorist clashes in the Balkans.”

“To give former terrorists weapons for the war against terrorism appears at least amusing if not worse,” the Interfax news agency quoted Rogozin as saying from Brussels.

Read moreRussia’s NATO envoy: US military “arming ex-terrorists” in Kosovo