Atlanta Fed Releases DVD Aimed at Helping Banks Prepare for Disasters

Source: http://www.frbatlanta.org/invoke.cfm?objectid=5EDC3C78-5056-9F12-12899EC0FD1BFE7E&method=display_pressrelease

In the aftermath of a disaster, banks play a vital role, distributing cash to their customers and ensuring that their customers are able to meet the financial needs of their families and their businesses.

Drawing on the experience of bankers who have weathered crisis situations, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta developed Crisis Preparedness: Reconnecting the Financial Lifeline, a DVD designed to assist bankers with their institutions’ emergency preparedness efforts. Each section of the DVD profiles a facet of crisis preparedness, from preparing and testing a plan to caring for employees to providing cash to customers to working with banks and first responders.

Read moreAtlanta Fed Releases DVD Aimed at Helping Banks Prepare for Disasters

GIZMO PUTS TEENS OUT ON THEIR EARS

 

 

March 2, 2008 — The Mosquito has landed – and the city’s teens and 20-somethings are about to get bitten.

A pesky new security device aims to clear out young troublemakers from their hangouts in apartment-building lobbies and foyers by emitting an irritating high-frequency screech that can only be heard by young ears.

The message: Buzz off.

The British-made Mosquito, used in 3,500 locations in the UK, costs $1,400, weighs five pounds and looks like an innocuous wall-mounted speaker. But its obnoxious 85-decibel drone ranges as far as 60 feet and registers as a constant screech to most people between the ages of 13 and 25.

It’s almost silent to those older, according to Mike Gibson, whose company, Moving Sound Technologies, sells the device in the United States.

“It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard to people who can hear it,” Gibson said.

High-pitch frequencies often become inaudible as people age because hair cells at the base of the inner ear, or cochlea, that are responsible for picking them up become damaged over time.

Local youths felt the sting last week, after the landlord of a vandalism- and drug-plagued apartment building in Jamaica, Queens, became the first New York City address to install the siren.

Sean Mann, property manager of the 78-unit building at 114-05 170th St., said he was desperate to curtail chronic loitering, vandalism and even drug use in the building’s lobby.

“I look at this as an active deterrent . . . I’m skeptical – because I can’t hear it,” he said.

But, he added, “over the past few days, we haven’t seen any kids hanging out there. They’re moving to different floors to avoid the sound.

“But now that we know it works, we’ll keep installing more.”

The Post put the gadget to the test in Washington Square Park and Midtown.

“It’s obnoxious, high-pitched and painful,” said 19-year-old Kristin Hankins with a wince.

“It’s just awful,” cried Jackie Lewis, 19, covering her ears. “I was wondering what that was. It’s so annoying!”

But Jesus Parra, 46, was mystified. “Am I going deaf? I don’t hear nothing,” he said.

Dr. Pamela Roehm, assistant professor of otolaryngology at NYU, warns that more studies should be done before people install these devices.

“Eighty-five decibels is a little extreme,” she said. “There is the possibility that long periods of exposure to this sound could cause damage.”

By SUSANNAH CAHALAN

scahalan@nypost.com

Source: NewYorkPost

Doctors Interrogate Children as Informants on Parents’ Behavior

(NaturalNews) Encouraged by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), pediatricians across the United States have begun questioning children about their parents’ habits, in some cases even filing police reports based on this information, according to an opinion article published in the Boston Herald.Article author Michael Graham recounts that his own children were asked by their doctor whether their parents used drugs and alcohol, owned guns, or were abusive. The doctor did not seek parental permission before asking the questions, nor did he inform them that they were being asked; Graham and his wife found out only after their children came home from the visits.

“The doctor wanted to know how much you and mom drink, and if I think it’s too much,” Graham reports his daughter saying. “She asked if you two did drugs, or if there are drugs in the house. The doctor wanted to know how we get along. And if, well, Daddy, if you made me feel uncomfortable.”

Read moreDoctors Interrogate Children as Informants on Parents’ Behavior

Finland this year has recorded its highest average temperature for a winter season since 1900

RSOE Emergency and Disaster Information Service
Budapest, Hungary

2008-02-29 03:52:25 – Climate Change – Finland

GLIDE CODE: CC-20080229-15599-FIN
Date & Time: 2008-02-29 03:52:25 [UTC]
Area: Finland, , Statewide,

Description:

Finland this year has recorded its highest average temperature for a
winter season since 1900, the Finnish Meteorological Institute said
Thursday. The average temperature in the Finnish capital Helsinki in
January was 0.6 degrees Celsius, which was 4.8 degrees higher than that
of the period between 1971 and 2000, said the institute. Global warming
and unusually constant warm currents from the south and the southwest
may have contributed to the extraordinarily mild winter, the institute
added. A recent poll showed that eight out of ten people see climate
change as a great threat and most Finns would be willing to take more
economic responsibility for global climate change.

Abu Dhabi fund draws scrutiny in U.S.

The headquarters of the InvestmAbu Dhabient Authority. The authority has a high profile in the emirate, but its secrecy is drawing scrutiny in Washington. (Charles Crowell/Bloomberg News)

Abu Dhabi has about 9 percent of the world’s oil and 0.02 percent of its population. One result is a surfeit of petrodollars, much of which is funneled into a secretive, government-controlled investment fund that is helping to shift the balance of power in the financial world.

After decades in the shadows, the fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, is turning heads on Wall Street and in Washington by making high-profile investments in the United States and elsewhere.

Known as ADIA (pronounced ah-DEE-ah), the fund recently formed a small team that is now buying big stakes in Western companies. This unit masterminded ADIA’s $7.5 billion investment in Citigroup, the largest U.S. bank, in November. It has also taken a large position in Toll Brothers, one of America’s biggest home builders.

“There is an idea that Abu Dhabi should not be the underdog of the map,” said Frauke Heard-Bey, a historian who has written a book about the political emergence of the United Arab Emirates. “They have the money to buy companies that are ailing, and why should they not? Why not make a mark?”

ADIA is the largest of the world’s sovereign wealth funds, giant pools of money controlled by cash-rich governments, particularly in Asia and Middle East. But Abu Dhabi, the wealthiest of the seven Arab emirates, says little about its fund. Few outsiders know for sure where ADIA invests, or even how much money it controls. And secrecy breeds hyperbole; some estimates of the fund’s size exceed $1 trillion.

Read moreAbu Dhabi fund draws scrutiny in U.S.

Ron Paul has been the only hope for the U.S.

Congressman Ron Paul slammed Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke during a House Financial Services Committee meeting today for following a policy of deliberately destroying the dollar and wiping out the American middle class.
Paul held Bernanke to task over his refusal to address the decline of the dollar and its clear link to inflation.
“Inflation comes from the unwise increase in the supply of money credit….to argue that we can continue to debase the currency, which is really the policy of that you’re following, purposely debasing value of currency – which to me seems so destructive….it just puts more pressure on the federal reserve to create capital out of thin air inorder to stimulate the economy and usually that just goes into mal-investment,” said Paul.
Watch it.
“Ron Paul Schools Ben Bernanke Yet Again”


Paul highlighted the fact that the M3 money supply was rising at a rate of 16 per cent and that this was the real rate of inflation.
“History is against you,” Paul told Bernanke, “History is on the side of hard money – if you look at stable prices you have to look at the only historic sound money that’s lasted more than a few years – fiat money always ends, gold is the only thing where you get stable prices,” he added, pointing out that despite the price of oil’s rapid ascent, it had remained flat when compared to the price of gold.
“I cannot see how we can continue to accept the policy of deliberately destroying the value of money as an economic value,” said Paul, adding that the policy was “immoral,” and would lead to a reduction in American’s living standards and “the middle class being wiped out.”
Asked how he could defend a policy of deliberately depreciating the dollar, Bernanke stumbled through his response and was basically forced to agree with Paul’s point. Paul’s comments come on the day that the dollar hit its all time low against the Euro.
Earlier this week, former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan laid the groundwork for the further collapse of the greenback by encouraging Gulf states to abandon their dollar peg.
Watch Paul’s opening statement.
“Ron Paul opening statement to Bernanke at FSC – 2-27-2008”

9/11 Redux: ‘Thousands of Aliens’ in U.S. Flight Schools Illegally

Former FAA Inspector: TSA’s Enforcement of Post-9/11 Laws ‘Basically Nonexistent’

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“Some of the very same conditions that allowed the 9-11 tragedy to happen in the first place are still very much in existence today,” wrote one regional security official to his boss at the TSA, the Transportation Security Administration.

“Thousands of aliens, some of whom may very well pose a threat to this country, are taking flight lessons, being granted FAA certifications and are flying planes,” wrote the TSA official, Richard A. Horn, in 2005, complaining that the students did not have the proper visas.

Read more9/11 Redux: ‘Thousands of Aliens’ in U.S. Flight Schools Illegally

24 More Armed Robot Sentries for Base Patrol

robot.jpg

Since 2004, a series of robotic security guards have been roaming the perimeter of the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada — part of a pilot program, to see if unmanned systems can help maintain security at military installations. After 8,000 hours on patrol, the Army has been impressed, apparently. The service is ordering up to 24 more of the “Mobile Detection and Assessment and Response System,” or MDARS, at a cost of $40 million.The diesel-powered robots, in development since 1989, operate “at speeds up to 20 miles per hour and can run for 16 hours without refueling,” according to its manufacturer, General Dyanmics. “Using radio frequency identification tags, MDARS keeps track of inventory, as well as gates, locks and other barriers.”

Next-gen models could include “improved response speed of at least 30 mph… intruder detection while MDARS is moving, and intruder detection out to 1500 meters,” as opposed to 300 meters, today.

The machines could also be armed. MDARS has been tested with automatic rifles and non-lethal weapons. And General Dynamics is boasting that they new versions will have “non-lethal weapons with an engagement range of at least 30 meters.”

Source: wired

Ben Bernanke’s high-wire act

Fed chief, in first of two days of testimony on Capitol Hill, acknowledges troubling signs about economic growth but also raises concerns about inflation.

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) — For Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, running the central bank has become an increasingly challenging high-wire balancing act.

All of Wall Street was watching the Fed chairman on Wednesday when he headed to Capitol Hill to outline the trio of challenges facing the Fed: an economy at risk of falling into a recession, topsy-turvy financial markets and the rising risk of inflation.

“We do face a difficult situation,” Bernanke told members of the House Financial Services Committee, marking the first day of his two-day semi-annual hearing on the Fed’s monetary policy. “The challenge for us is to balance those risks and decide at any given time which is more serious.”

Read moreBen Bernanke’s high-wire act

Soon U.S. Citizens Must Ask for Government Permission to Fly or Travel

(NaturalNews) The Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is moving forward to institute a rule that would require all passengers to go through a government review process before boarding any airplane that takes off or lands anywhere with in the United States.The U.S. government already requires international passengers to participate in the Advanced Passenger Information System, providing their full name, gender, date of birth, nationality, country of residence, and travel document type and number to the TSA before boarding. Under the proposed Secure Flight Program, this procedure would also be required on domestic flights.

Currently, individual airlines are responsible for checking the passenger manifests against the “no fly” and “enhanced screening” lists provided by the TSA. The new programs are part of a concerted effort to centralize this process, so that the TSA itself will check all supplied information against these lists, and then instruct the airline or airport staff as to how to proceed.

The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) has criticized the new Secure Flight rules for their secrecy and lack of accountability. The association has expressed concern that there is no clear appeals process for passengers denied boarding or continually forced to undergo enhanced security screening.

“On the surface, the new Secure Flight program no longer relies on commercial databases and appears to have reduced the number of names on the ‘No Fly’ list,” said ACTE Executive Director Susan Gurley. “It also seems that the responsibility for checking data is no longer abrogated to the airlines. While this is a step in the right direction, it prompts the industry to ask what was the origin of this new data, how is it stored, who has access to it, and how can it be corrected.”
by David Gutierrez

Source: naturalnews.com