Pope blesses U.N. flag, calls for binding international rules

Pope Benedict XVI spoke to the U.N. General Assembly on Friday, warning nations against undermining the authority of the United Nations by acting unilaterally. The Pope also found time to bless the U.N. flag.

Reuters reports,

“Countries that act unilaterally on the world stage undermine the authority of the United Nations and weaken the broad consensus needed to confront global problems, Pope Benedict said on Friday.

The international community must be “capable of responding to the demands of the human family through binding international rules,” said the 81-year-old pope, who spoke after meeting privately with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

He said the notion of multilateral consensus was “in crisis because it is still subordinated to the decisions of a few, whereas the world’s problems call for interventions in the form of collective action by the international community.”

The Pope’s comments are of little surprise, given the fact that he has previously called for a “new world order” to combat terrorism, environmental problems, as well as economic imbalances during his Christmas 2005 speech. Pope John Paul II also called for a new world order in a 2004 new years speech.

Read morePope blesses U.N. flag, calls for binding international rules

Biologists join the race to create synthetic life

Researchers will gather in London this week to outline plans to promote one of the most audacious, and controversial, scientific ideas of the 21st century – synthetic biology.

The new discipline, established by scientists such as human genome pioneer Craig Venter, involves stripping microbes down to their basic genetic constituents so they can be reassembled and manipulated to create new life forms. These organisms can then be exploited to manufacture drugs and fuels or to act as bio-sensors inside the body.

However, some researchers warn that synthetic biology – which is accelerating at a dramatic pace – also poses dangers. In particular, they fear it may already be possible to create deadly pathogens, such as polio or smallpox viruses, from pieces of synthetic DNA ordered over the internet. In future, completely new – and highly dangerous – microbes could be made this way.

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Solar Cycle Heats Up and Threatens Satellites

Solarflare

Solar radiation reaches an 11-year high again in 2011, making things interesting for those reliant on satellites — the U.S. military included.

As Inside the Air Force notes this week, the solar cycle — “the frequency in which sun spots and solar flares occur” — waxes and wanes every 11 years. The last one reached its apex in April 2000, so it’s gonna get warm again soon. And while solar flares can and do damage satellites even in non-peak times, 2011 still looms big.

Read moreSolar Cycle Heats Up and Threatens Satellites

Secret FEMA Plan To Use Pastors as Pacifiers in Preparation For Martial Law


Nationwide initiative trains volunteers to teach congregations to “obey the government” during seizure of guns, property, forced inoculations and forced relocation

A Pastor has come forward to blow the whistle on a nationwide FEMA program which is training Pastors and other religious representatives to become secret police enforcers who teach their congregations to “obey the government” in preparation for a declaration of martial law, property and firearm seizures, and forced relocation.

In March of this year the Pastor, who we shall refer to as Pastor Revere, was invited to attend a meeting of his local FEMA chapter which circulated around preparedness for a potential bio-terrorist attack, any natural disaster or a nationally declared emergency.

The FEMA directors told the Pastors that attended that it was their job to help implement FEMA and Homeland Security directives in anticipation of any of these eventualities. The first directive was for Pastors to preach to their congregations Romans 13, the often taken out of context bible passage that was used by Hitler to hoodwink Christians into supporting him, in order to teach them to “obey the government” when martial law is declared.

It was related to the Pastors that quarantines, martial law and forced relocation were a problem for state authorities when enforcing federal mandates due to the “cowboy mentality” of citizens standing up for their property and second amendment rights as well as farmers defending their crops and livestock from seizure. It was stressed that the Pastors needed to preach subservience to the authorities ahead of time in preparation for the round-ups and to make it clear to the congregation that “this is for their own good.”

Read moreSecret FEMA Plan To Use Pastors as Pacifiers in Preparation For Martial Law

Police training for Martial Law

Federal law enforcement agencies co-opted sheriffs offices as well state and local police forces in three states last weekend for a vast round up operation that one sheriff’s deputy has described as “martial law training”.

Law-enforcement agencies in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas took part in what was described by local media as “an anti-crime and anti-terrorism initiative” involving officers from more than 50 federal, state and local agencies.

Given the military style name “Operation Sudden Impact“, the initiative saw officers from six counties rounding up fugitives, conducting traffic checkpoints, climbing on boats on the Mississippi River and doing other “crime-abatement” programs all under the label of “anti-terrorism”.

WREG Memphis news channel 3 reported that the Sheriff’s Department arrested 332 people, 142 of whom were fugitives, or “terrorists” as they now seem to be known.

Hundreds of dollars were seized and drugs recovered, and 1,292 traffic violations were handed out to speeding terrorists and illegally parked terrorists.

Click here to watch a WREG Memphis news report

The authorities even raided businesses and store owners, confiscating computers and paperwork in an effort to “track down possible terrorists before something big happens”.

The Sheriff’s Department is determining if and when they plan another round-up.

The operation, which involved police, deputies, the FBI, drug agents, gang units and even the coast guard, is just one example of how law enforcement at the state and local levels is being co-opted and centralized by the Department of Homeland Security via massive federal grants.

It also highlights how the distinction between crime and terrorism is becoming irrelevant.

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Bush under fire at Paris climate meeting

Leading players in talks to forge a pact for tackling climate change took the lash on Thursday to President George W. Bush’s new blueprint for global warming, with Germany mocking it as “Neanderthal.”

At a ministerial-level meeting of major carbon emitters, South Africa blasted the Bush proposal as a disastrous retreat by the planet’s number-one polluter and a slap to poor countries.

The European Union — which had challenged the United States to follow its lead on slashing greenhouse-gas emissions by 2020 — also voiced disappointment.

His proposals “will not contribute to the fight against climate change,” EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas told AFP, adding he hoped the US would “reconsider its options and policies.”

“Time is running out and we have the duty to reach an agreement in Copenhagen in 2009,” said Dimas.

Germany accused Bush of turning back the clock to before last December’s UN climate talks in Bali and even to before last July’s G8 summit.

In a statement entitled “Bush’s Neanderthal speech,” German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said: “His speech showed not leadership but losership. We are glad that there are also other voices in the United States.”

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China: One of the strongest typhoons in history

BEIJING (Reuters) – Fifty-six Chinese fishermen were missing on Friday as a typhoon bore down on the southern resort island of Hainan which state media said was the earliest to threaten the region in decades and may well be the strongest.

The fishermen were taking shelter near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea and had not been heard from since Thursday evening, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Hainan and the neighboring province of Guangdong are braced for Typhoon Neoguri, the first of the year, with almost 22,000 fishing boats having been called back to harbor as the storm skirted Vietnam.

“Neoguri will be the earliest typhoon of the season to affect the south China region since the founding of new China in 1949,” Chen Lei, deputy commander of the State Headquarters of Flood Control and Drought Relief, was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

The storm was expected to be “one of the strongest in history” to hit the region, Xinhua said.

Typhoon tracker Tropical Storm Risk labeled the storm as category two in a scale up to five, with maximum sustained winds of 96-110 miles per hour.

Read moreChina: One of the strongest typhoons in history

Narco aggression

“Since 2001, poppy fields, once banned by the Taliban, have mushroomed again. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Afghanistan produced 8,200 tonnes of opium last year, enough to make 93 per cent of the world’s heroin supply.”

U.S. foreign intelligence official: “The CIA did almost the identical thing during the Vietnam War, which had catastrophic consequences – the increase in the heroin trade in the USA beginning in the 1970s is directly attributable to the CIA. The CIA has been complicit in the global drug trade for years, so I guess they just want to carry on their favourite business.”

Russia, facing a catastrophic rise in drug addiction, accuses the U.S. military of involvement in drug trafficking from Afghanistan.


Afghan workers cutting open poppy bulbs, the first stage in the harvesting process,
in Jalalabad. Afghanistan produced 8,200 tonnes of opium last year, enough to make
93 per cent of the world’s heroin supply.

COULD it be that the American military in Afghanistan is involved in drug trafficking? Yes, it is quite possible, according to Russia’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov.

Commenting on reports that the United States military transport aviation is used for shipping narcotics out of Afghanistan, the Russian envoy said there was no smoke without fire.

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Nato admits mistakenly supplying arms and food to Taliban

Nato forces mistakenly supplied food, water and arms to Taliban forces in southern Afghanistan, officials today admitted.

Containers destined for local police forces were dropped from a helicopter into a Taliban-controlled area of Zabul province.

The coalition helicopter had intended to deliver pallets of supplies to a police checkpoint in Ghazni, a remote section of Zabul late last month.

By mistake they were dropped some distance from the checkpoint where it was taken by the Taliban, the Internal Security Affairs Commission of the Wolesi Jirga – the Afghan parliament’s lower house – was told.

Hamidullah Tukhi, a local politician from Zabul, told the parliamentary commission that the consignment had been taken by a local Taliban commander.

A Nato spokesman said the pallets were carrying rocket propelled grenades, ammunition, water and food.

Afghan politicians have said they do not believe the drop was an accident.

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One in five US servicemen has brain injury

The psychological toll of America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has touched one in five servicemen and its consequences will be long-lasting, a study suggested yesterday.

The Rand Corporation, a leading research operation, said that 320,000 soldiers suffered brain injuries on the battlefield, while more than 300,000 suffered mental disorders on returning home.

The report said that US veterans are incurring “invisible wounds” of war, most notably traumatic brain injury. A survey of 1,926 soldiers represented a statistically significant sample of the 1.6 million troops sent to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, Rand said.

Read moreOne in five US servicemen has brain injury