(NaturalNews) British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced his support for the harvesting of organs from dead patients without prior consent, and said that he hopes for such a policy change to take place within the year.
“A system of this kind seems to have the potential to close the aching gap between the potential benefits of transplant surgery in the United Kingdom and the limits imposed by our current system of consent,” Brown wrote in the Sunday Telegraph.
With a waiting list for organs 8,000 patients long, and 1,000 people dying each year due to organ unavailability, the U.K. has announced plans to overhaul its organ donation system. As part of this new effort, doctors and nurses will be pressured to identify more organ donors ahead of time and to alert organ donation coordinators as patients approach death. The government seeks to appoint a doctor in each hospital as a donation “champion,” to be paired with a lay person who can do outreach on the topic.
The government admits that a conflict of interest might occur when doctors are encouraged to view still-living patients as potential organ sources.
ISRAEL’S Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, has warned the radical Islamic movement Hamas that the truce due to take effect today is the last chance to avoid a massive military incursion into the Gaza Strip.
In an exclusive interview with the Herald – his first interview with the Australian media in four years – Mr Olmert said the people of Gaza were “pissed off with Hamas” and sick and tired of the years of violence.
Since Israel withdrew from Gaza three years ago, the 250,000 residents who surround Gaza have been subjected to almost daily rocket attacks from Palestinian militants.
“You think the people of Adelaide would put up with this?” demanded Mr Olmert. “Or the people of Brisbane?
“I think the strategy of Hamas, which does not want to recognise Israel’s right to exist in the first place, and the extremism, and the fanaticism, and the religious dogmatism is the enemy of peace. We are at the end of our tolerance with regard to terror in Gaza.”
Food manufacturers promised to freeze prices on more than 150 products to help families cope with rising costs. President Felipe Calderón announced that prices for goods like cooking oil, flour, canned tuna, fruit juices, coffee, ketchup and canned tomatoes would remain fixed until Dec. 31. “This reflects the commitment of Mexican businessmen to the country and to price stability,” said Mr. Calderón, who has blamed rising global energy prices, soaring food demand in China and India and the use of corn for ethanol production for high food costs.
Jean-Claude Trichet is taking a hard line on rates
The clash between the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve over monetary strategy is causing serious strains in the global financial system and could lead to a replay of Europe’s exchange rate crisis in the 1990s, a team of bankers has warned.
“We see striking similarities between the transatlantic tensions that built up in the early 1990s and those that are accumulating again today. The outcome of the 1992 deadlock was a major currency crisis and a recession in Europe,” said a report by Morgan Stanley’s European experts.Morgan Stanley doubts that Europe’s monetary union will break up under pressure, but it warns that corked pressures will have to find release one way or another.
This will most likely occur through property slumps and banking purges in the vulnerable countries of the Club Med region and the euro-satellite states of Eastern Europe.
“The tensions will not disappear into thin air. They will find fault lines on the periphery of Europe. Painful macro adjustments are likely to take place. Pegs to the euro could be questioned,” said the report, written by Eric Chaney, Carlos Caceres, and Pasquale Diana.
The point of maximum stress could occur in coming months if the ECB carries out the threat this month by Jean-Claude Trichet to raise rates. It will be worse yet – for Europe – if the Fed backs away from expected tightening. “This could trigger another ‘catastrophic’ event,” warned Morgan Stanley.
The markets have priced in two US rates rises later this year following a series of “hawkish” comments by Fed chief Ben Bernanke and other US officials, but this may have been a misjudgment.
An article in the Washington Post by veteran columnist Robert Novak suggested that Mr Bernanke is concerned that runaway oil costs will cause a slump in growth, viewing inflation as the lesser threat. He is irked by the ECB’s talk of further monetary tightening at such a dangerous juncture.
Ben Bernanke is reported to be irked by the ECB’s approach
The swollen Mississippi River ran over the top of at least 12 more levees on Wednesday, as floodwaters swallowed up more U.S. farmland, adding to billion-dollar losses and feeding global food inflation fears.
Volunteers and aid workers were piling sandbags up and down the most important U.S. inland waterway to try to protect more levees and thousands of acres of prime crop land threatened as the river’s crest moves south after last week’s torrential rains.
About 10 levees were breached earlier this week, bringing the total to 22 on Wednesday. The levee breaches lowered the river level by letting water spill onto the surrounding land.
“Their misfortune had been our fortune. I’d rather it hadn’t come at the expense of others. But it is what it is,” said Steve Cirinna of Iowa’s Lee County Emergency Management Agency.
The Royal Bank of Scotland has advised clients to brace for a full-fledged crash in global stock and credit markets over the next three months as inflation paralyses the major central banks.
“A very nasty period is soon to be upon us – be prepared,” said Bob Janjuah, the bank’s credit strategist.
(Got Gold and Silver? More under “Solution” – The Infinite Unknown)
A report by the bank’s research team warns that the S&P 500 index of Wall Street equities is likely to fall by more than 300 points to around 1050 by September as “all the chickens come home to roost” from the excesses of the global boom, with contagion spreading across Europe and emerging markets.
Such a slide on world bourses would amount to one of the worst bear markets over the last century.
RBS said the iTraxx index of high-grade corporate bonds could soar to 130/150 while the “Crossover” index of lower grade corporate bonds could reach 650/700 in a renewed bout of panic on the debt markets.
“I do not think I can be much blunter. If you have to be in credit, focus on quality, short durations, non-cyclical defensive names.
“Cash is the key safe haven. (No way!!! Yet it is still good to have some cash. – The Infinite Unknown)
This is about not losing your money, and not losing your job,” said Mr Janjuah, who became a City star after his grim warnings last year about the credit crisis proved all too accurate.
RBS expects Wall Street to rally a little further into early July before short-lived momentum from America’s fiscal boost begins to fizzle out, and the delayed effects of the oil spike inflict their damage.
“Globalisation was always going to risk putting G7 bankers into a dangerous corner at some point. We have got to that point,” he said.
US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank both face a Hobson’s choice as workers start to lose their jobs in earnest and lenders cut off credit.
The authorities cannot respond with easy money because oil and food costs continue to push headline inflation to levels that are unsettling the markets. “The ugly spoiler is that we may need to see much lower global growth in order to get lower inflation,” he said.
“The Fed is in panic mode. The massive credibility chasms down which the Fed and maybe even the ECB will plummet when they fail to hike rates in the face of higher inflation will combine to give us a big sell-off in risky assets,” he said.
The United Nations has warned that more than five million Zimbabweans could be threatened by hunger next year due to a steady drop in food production coupled with the world’s highest rate of inflation.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Food Program said in a joint report that an estimated two million people in Zimbabwe will not have enough to eat in the summer months.
That figure is projected to rise to 3.8 million people after September and to about 5.1 million between January and March 2009, as the impact of President Robert Mugabe’s seizure of land from commercial farmers continues to take its toll. The population is just over 12 million people.
The southern African nation is predicted to produce 575,000 tons of its main seasonal crop of maize, a drop of 28 per cent compared with last year, which was already some 44 per cent below 2006 government figures. Other crops are expected to be similarly dented.
“Poverty has increased for the tenth year in a row and there is an annual inflation estimated at 355,000 percent,” said Kisan Gunjal, an FAO food emergency officer who worked on the report. “That is different than any other period in the history of Zimbabwe.”
An Afghan detainee is carried on a stretcher before being interrogated by military officials at the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2002. A study of former Guantanamo detainees has unearthed evidence that they were tortured and abused.(Lynne Sladky/Associated Press)
Medical examinations of suspected militants formerly held by the U.S. military at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre in Cuba showed evidence of torture and other abuse that resulted in serious injuries and mental disorders, according to a human rights group.
The study, considered the most extensive medical check of former U.S. detainees published so far, also tracked former suspects held at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, with similar findings.
For the study, Physicians for Human Rights had doctors and mental health professionals examine 11 former prisoners of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.
The U.S-based human rights organization says it found evidence of U.S. torture and war crimes, and it accuses U.S. military health professionals of allowing the abuse of detainees, denying detainees medical care and providing confidential medical information to interrogators that was then exploited.
Physicians for Human Rights did not identify the 11 former prisoners to protect their privacy. Seven were held in Abu Ghraib between late 2003 and summer of 2004, a period that coincides with the known torture of prisoners at the hands of some of their U.S. jailers. Four of the prisoners were held at Guantanamo beginning in 2002 for one to almost five years. All 11 were released without charges being laid.
Those examined reported being tortured or abused, including sexually, and described being shocked with electrodes, beaten, shackled, stripped of their clothes, deprived of food and sleep, and spit and urinated on.
Prisoner subjected to electrical shocks 3 times a day
The Associated Press has obtained a report outlining the treatment of two Iraqi prisoners. One, identified only as Yasser, reported being subjected to electric shocks three times and being sodomized with a stick. His thumbs bore round scars consistent with shocking. He would not allow a full rectal exam.
Another Iraqi, identified only as Rahman, reported he was humiliated by being forced to wear women’s underwear, was stripped naked and paraded in front of female guards, and was shown pictures of other naked detainees. The psychological exam found that Rahman suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and had sexual problems related to his humiliation.
The Physicians for Human Rights report came as the U.S. Senate’s armed services committee revealed documents showing military lawyers warned the Pentagon that methods it was using following the Sept. 11, 2001, airplane hijackings violated military, U.S. and international law. Those objections were overruled by a top Pentagon lawyer.
U.S. President George W. Bush said in 2004, when the prison torture was revealed, that it was the work of “a few American troops who dishonoured our country and disregarded our values.” Bush and other U.S. officials have consistently denied that the U.S. tortures its detainees.
The degradation of some prisoners by their U.S. captors is well documented by the government’s own reports. Once-secret documents show that the Pentagon and Justice Department allowed, at least for a time, forced nakedness, isolation, sleep deprivation and humiliation at its military prisons in Guantanamo Bay and at Abu Ghraib.
Health of detainees prior to detention not known
Physicians for Human Rights’ medical examiners did not have access to the 11 patients’ medical histories prior to their imprisonment, so it was not possible to know whether any of the prisoners’ ailments, disabilities and scars pre-dated their confinement. The U.S. military says an al-Qaeda training manual instructs members, if captured, to assert they were tortured during interrogation.
However, doctors and mental health professionals stated they could link the prisoners’ claims of torture while in U.S. detention to injuries documented by X-rays, medical exams and psychological tests.
“The level of the time, thoroughness and rigour of the exams left me personally without question about the credibility of the individuals,” said Dr. Allen Keller, one of the doctors who conducted the exams, in an interview with the Associated Press.
“The findings on the physical and psychological exams were consistent with what they reported.”
All 11 former detainees reported being subjected to:
Stress positions, including being suspended for hours by the arms or tightly shackled for days.
Prolonged isolation and hooding or blindfolding, a form of sensory deprivation.
Threats against themselves, their families or friends from interrogators or guards.
Ten said they were forced to be naked, some for days or weeks.
Nine said they were subjected to prolonged sleep deprivation.
At least six said they were threatened with military working dogs, often while naked.
Four reported being sodomized, subjected to anal probing, or threatened with rape.
Denver, City Park West, 8:00 pm – According to a Denver Police spokesperson, the invasion of black helicopters with uniformed men hanging off of them, experienced by this neighborhood this evening, is a practice run of Navy Seals and SWAT teams, landing at the Civic Center, Childrens Hospital, and City Park, in preparation for the Democratic National Convention. Hmmmm….
The Rocky Mountain News, after an unflattering article on the Black Hawks – yes, tinfoil hatters, black helicopters – invading Denver, came back with a clarification. It’s all part of the GWOT, or Global War on Terrorism, in response to the reservations of mayor John Hickenlooper. “The federal agencies sponsoring the ongoing multi-agency training in Denver agreed to make the proper notifications regarding the exercises to prevent surprise and inconvenience to Denver residents,” Hickenlooper said. “There seems to have been a misunderstanding about the reach and scope of these notifications, and they did not occur in the manner expected by the City.”
Mr. Hickenlooper, the feds don’t need no stinkin’ notifications. Mr. Hickenlooper also declares the “exercises” have nothing to do with the DNC. It’s all a coincidence, Mr. Mayor – sure, and I’m expecting a visit by the tooth fairy tonight, that is after Santa makes an early appearance and brings me a Lamborghini.
As Erin Rosa reports for the Colorado Independent, the original “angle” on the “exercises” “quickly disappeared,” replaced by the official version of events. “Either way, countless numbers of residents called the police department and the city’s 311 line last night wondering why their neighborhoods sounded like a war zone.”
Um, because they live in a police state?
Here’s the official explanation:
The exercise by special ops troops, supported by Denver police SWAT teams and firefighters, is intended to prepare for any terrorism threat in a “realistic urban environment,” said Lt. Steve Ruh, a spokesman for the U.S. Special Operations Command, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. …
“It’s all in preparation for anything that could possibly happen with the global war on terrorism,” said Ruh, whose command coordinates all the military branches’ crack commando units – from Army Rangers to Navy SEALS.
The Special Operations Command calls itself the “Tip of the Spear” against the nation’s gravest threats.
Ruh noted that the exercises are conducted in major cities in the U.S., usually at the invitation of the cities, but that doesn’t mean those cities are necessarily possible targets for terrorism.
Oh, no, of course not, but Denver will be “targeted” by Americans, exercising their constitutional right to petition the government, who are upset with the way things are going.
There was also activity on the streets of Denver as well. On Tuesday, a special team from the Department of Defense rumbled through downtown, with big sport utility vehicles carrying sophisticated communication equipment that belong to the Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team, or CST.
The CST team, based in Wyoming, is designed to respond immediately to any act of terrorism. Team members would not comment on their mission.
“Is this a normal occurrence here or is there something funky going on that we should be wondering what we ought to be doing next?” said witness Bill Whitaker.
U.S. military Special Operations commandos will continue conducting the counter-terrorism training from early afternoon until 11 p.m. through Friday night, according to the Rocky Mountain News.
None of the agencies involved informed the public or news agencies about the drill and that may have had an effect on Denver’s 911 system.
No, you think? Imagine if you had no idea the government was conducting this “exercise” and one of these Black Hawk Down birds swooped over your house, rattling the windows and upsetting your children and pets. You might think it’s a scene out of Red Dawn. Your confusion, fear, and anger, of course, would be a small price to pay in the GWOT. Never know when Osama might crawl out from under your bed.
“A new coalition of protest groups promises free concerts, art displays, classes for activists and a ‘massive’ anti-war march during this summer’s Democratic National Convention,” writes Sara Burnett for the Rocky Mountain News.
The Alliance for Real Democracy is made up of 12 groups, many led by activists in their early 20s and 30s.
Organizers said Tuesday their nonviolent events will urge an end to the war in Iraq and raise awareness of “the global climate crisis.”
The alliance is open to people of all ages, but will especially target young people. It also plans to invite convention delegates to the events.
“This is as much a part of the process as going to a very formal convention,” said Jojo Pease, an organizer with Students for a Democratic Society.
Some of the groups were previously affiliated with the Re-Create 68 Alliance, but split off after a disagreement over tactics.
Re-Create 68 has promised demonstrations that will rival those at the notorious Democratic convention in Chicago held in 1968, which was accompanied by street battles between police and anti-Vietnam War demonstrators.
Members of the Alliance for Real Democracy wouldn’t talk Tuesday about Re-Create 68 or the split.
But they released bylaws that say the group “will not use or return violence – verbal or physical – toward any person or other creature,” and will not damage property, bring weapons to protests or use illegal drugs or alcohol during events.
It will be Re-Create 68’s “tactics” – confronting the cops, verbally and physically – that will give the GWOT boys an excuse to crack-down on activists from the Alliance for Real Democracy. If you’d like more background on Re-Create 68, see the video above.
Cops break down doors, threaten residents who question them as part of martial law conditioning, authorities prevent people from re-entering their homes
Shocking footage out of Cedar Rapids Iowa shows cops and government employee “strike teams” breaking into houses of flood victims and threatening anyone who questions their actions in complete violation of the 4th amendment right that protects against unlawful search and seizure.
No warrant, no knock home invasions are being carried out on the flimsy pretext of “checking for structural damage” as cops harass and threaten with arrest people who refuse to have their homes ransacked by thugs in uniforms.
Cedar Rapids police chief Greg Graham promised residents over the weekend that “Law enforcement officers are not entering homes,” and that firefighters would only enter homes through unlocked doors and windows yet the video clearly shows locked houses being broken in to.
“Each strike team consisted of six or seven people, including police, firefighters, utilities workers, and city employees,” reports the Iowa Gazette.
Angela Tague, a member of the STAR 1 search and rescue team from Ames, ran into any angry homeowner on E Avenue NW.
“He was saying ‘Where do you live?’ and ‘How would you like it if someone busted your door open?,” Tague said.
Police Officer Josh Bell later had a heated exchange with the man, and told him that if he didn’t go back inside his house and stop harassing the strike team, he would be escorted out of the area.
The man was visibly agitated about his broken door and pointed at Bell.
“It’s wrong,” the man said, over and over.
So people who are uncomfortable with jackbooted thugs breaking down their door without even knocking and express their distaste for it are to blame for “harassing the strike team”?
Respondents to the You Tube clip and the newspaper article expressed their outrage at the behavior of those in the video tasked with “helping” flood-stricken people yet doing nothing more than intimidating and invading their homes.
“You break down the door of my private residence and when I object you threaten to escort me off my own property. Fine example of police work. Did anyone think to knock first? Thomas Jefferson said that the main reason for citizens to be armed was to protect themselves from tyrannical government. If this isn’t tyranny then I don’t know what is. A man’s home is his castle,” states Steve Delaloye.
“A sad day for America when government thugs abuse the trust of the citizenry like this,” writes one.
“So these cops and fire fighters are part time structural engineers, or what?? What are they inspecting for in the structures? Gas and electric could be shut off at the source, and any spills are so diluted they wont catch fire. The police chief said no police would enter any homes, and what do you know, mr fat ass cop goes piling through the window thinking he’s T.J Hooker. Damn, this is just sad, sad , sad,” adds another.
One Iowa resident expresses her anger that authorities will not let her re-enter her home.
“I sit here with tears streaming down my face. I have been trying to be patient and await to enter my home. Now today, I am told there will be no re-entry’s until further notice. I cannot express how ****ing mad I am. I understand the houses can be unsafe. Just let me at least see my house, so that I can assess if it hit my top floor. I have pictures and memories on my top floor of my deceased mother, all I want to do is rescue those,” she writes.
As we reported in 2005, Hurricane Katrina was exploited by the federal government and used as a martial law drill while victims were abused and treated like rats in a laboratory.
Door to door gun confiscations were ordered and cops ransacked homes and took weapons from multi-million dollar homes which were in the high and dry areas and completely unaffected by the hurricane. In some cases, residents were kicked out of their own homes for no reason.
Outrageous footage showed cops seizing handguns from the home of a grief-stricken old women as they assaulted and punched her in the face.
Where does the government think it derives the authority from to break into people’s homes whose lives have already been devastated by massive floods on the flimsiest of pretexts?
The 4th amendment states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Even if there was a legitimate reason to inspect homes, why on earth do they not even bother to knock on the door?
Cops immediately attempt to break in or climb through windows uninvited because this procedure is all about sending a message – when a crisis unfolds we are the bosses and you – the peasants – will yield to our tyranny.
Lawsuits need to be filed immediately by people in Iowa and elsewhere who have had cops invade their homes in complete violation of the 4th amendment and a pretext needs to be set that will put a stop to the government’s routine exploitation of natural disasters as an opportunity to impose martial law measures on needy victims that have already had their lives devastated.
With reports indicating that the Mississippi river is in danger of bursting its banks, the precedent that was set with Hurricane Katrina could be set to advance as government minions and jackbooted thugs across the country lick their lips at the prospect of kicking down more doors and harassing innocent people.
Contact the Iowa ACLU and demand they pressure the authorities to stop these illegal home invasions immediately.
Paul Joseph Watson
Wednesday, June 18, 2008