EUROPE: Cold Snap Death Toll Rises To At Least 460, As Danube (Europe’s Busiest Waterway) Freezes Over

Europe’s Danube freezes over, cold snap toll at 460 (ZEENEWS, Feb. 11, 2012):

Belgrade: Thick ice closed vast swathes of the Danube on Thursday, crippling shipping on Europe’s busiest waterway, as the death toll from bitter cold across the continent rose to at least 460.

As it has every day for nearly two weeks, the brutal cold claimed lives in several countries and killed dozens more in weather-related accidents.

The 2,860-kilometre Danube, which flows through 10 countries and is vital for transport, power, irrigation, industry and fishing, was wholly or partially blocked from Austria to its mouth on the Black Sea.

Read moreEUROPE: Cold Snap Death Toll Rises To At Least 460, As Danube (Europe’s Busiest Waterway) Freezes Over

163 Dead As Cold Snap Grips Europe

163 dead as cold snap grips Europe (AFP, Feb. 2, 2012):

WARSAW — A cold snap kept Europe in its icy grip Thursday, pushing the death toll to 163 as countries from Ukraine to Italy struggled with temperatures that plunged to record lows in some places.

Entire villages were cut off in parts of eastern Europe, trapping thousands, while road, air and rail links were severed and gas consumption shot up during what has been the severest winter in decades in some regions.

In Ukraine, tens of thousands headed to shelters to escape the freeze that emergencies services said has killed 63 people — most of them frozen to death in the streets, some succumbing to the hypothermia later in hospitals.

Read more163 Dead As Cold Snap Grips Europe

IAEA: Iodine-131 Coming From Institute In Hungary – Hungarian Institute: ‘It’s Not US.’

You can NOT trust the IAEA …

Using Fake Intelligence To Wage War On Iran (Global Research, Nov. 9, 2011)

RT: Russia Warns ‘Grave Consequences’ Would Follow Any Strike On Iran – Adrian Salbuchi: IAEA ‘Evidence’ Provided By US,UK, France And Maybe Even Israel Itself, ‘The Proof Is Very Vaque’, Evidence ‘Not Properly Substantiated – History Lession

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Calls Head Of IAEA A US ‘Puppet’ (Video – Guardian, Nov. 8 2011) … And He Is Correct … Nuclear Wikileaks: Cables Show Cosy US Relationship With IAEA Chief (Guardian, Nov. 30, 2010)

… on anything these days.

The release occurred from Sep. 8 to Nov. 16? Nobody noticed anything until Nov. 11?

Sure!

And apparently the IAEA seems not to know about the danger of internal emitters, thereby comparing the Iodine-131 release to background radiation.

More BS we can believe in.


IAEA: Source of Iodine-131 in Europe Is the Institute of Isotopes Ltd in Budapest, Hungary (EX-SKF, Nov. 18, 2011):

(UPDATE) The said Hungarian Institute says “It’s not us.” “If the source of heightened radioactivity had been Budapest, the levels measured here should have been much higher.”

———————————————–

The press release on 11/17/2011 from IAEA (emphasis is mine):

17 November 2011 | The IAEA has received information from the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA) that the source of the iodine-131 (I-131) detected in Europe was most probably a release to the atmosphere from the Institute of Isotopes Ltd., Budapest. The Institute of Isotopes Ltd. produces radioisotopes for healthcare, research and industrial applications. According to the HAEA, the release occurred from September 8 to November 16, 2011. The cause of the release is under investigation.

As previously mentioned, the levels of I-131 that have been detected in Europe are extremely low. There is no health concern to the population. If any member of the public were to breathe iodine for a whole year at the levels measured in European countries, then they would receive a dose in the range of 0.01 microsieverts for the year. To put this into perspective, the average annual background is 2400 microsieverts per year.

The IAEA was first notified of the presence of trace levels of I-131 by authorities from the Czech Republic on 11 November. Since this notification, the IAEA contacted several member states throughout the region to determine the cause and origin. The IAEA also worked with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to conduct air dispersion modelling, as part of efforts to determine the source.

At least IAEA didn’t mention X-ray or transcontinental flight. Never mind that the average annual background includes external radiation, and that iodine-131 goes almost exclusively to thyroid; talking about the whole body radiation is irrelevant.

Read moreIAEA: Iodine-131 Coming From Institute In Hungary – Hungarian Institute: ‘It’s Not US.’

IAEA Reports Unusual Radiation In Europe (Cause Unknown – Not From Fukushima – Release Appears To Be Continuing)

Taces of iodine-131 detected in Europe (Trend, Nov. 11, 2011):

Low levels of a radioactive isotope have been detected in several European countries in the past days, but the source of the emission was unknown, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Friday, DPA reported.

Nuke agency reports unusual radiation in Europe (AP, Nov. 11, 2011):

VIENNA (AP) — Very low levels of radiation, which are higher than normal but don’t seem to pose a health hazard, are being registered in the Czech Republic and elsewhere in Europe, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Friday.

The agency said the cause was not known but was not the result of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, which spread radiation across the globe in March.

The “very low levels of iodine-131 have been measured in the atmosphere,” the agency said in a statement. It said such radioisotope will lose much of its radiation in about eight days.

However, an official familiar with the matter, who asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to comment, said the release appeared to be continuing.

Read moreIAEA Reports Unusual Radiation In Europe (Cause Unknown – Not From Fukushima – Release Appears To Be Continuing)

Czech Hospitals: Almost 4,000 Doctors Resign In Protest At Low Wages


An ambulance toured hospitals in December advising doctors on how to quit their jobs

Dozens of Czech hospitals could find themselves struggling to provide basic care on 1 March after almost 4,000 doctors – one quarter of the total number working in the country’s hospitals – tendered their resignations in protest at low wages.

The resignations are being co-ordinated by the doctors’ union (Lok), which says successive Czech governments have done nothing to improve doctors’ salaries since the fall of communism.

Peter Papp, 31, is an oncologist working at a hospital in Usti nad Labem, an industrial city about an hour’s drive north of Prague. He spent six years at medical school followed by three years on the cancer wards of two district hospitals.

With maximum overtime, Dr Papp’s gross salary is $1,165 (£750, 880 euros) per month, well below the national average.

After tax, health and social insurance payments, he takes home around $900 dollars, less than a car mechanic or waiter.

With rent in the Usti area at around $350 per month, he is left with slightly more than $500 to feed, clothe, transport and entertain himself. After devoting the last nine years of his life to medicine, Dr Papp has had enough.

“I’m not willing to work for the salary of a McDonald’s employee,” he told me, pointing out that he had made more money teaching English to pay his way through medical school.

Applications in the post

Dr Papp is one of 3,837 Czech doctors who have submitted formal letters of resignation to their hospital managers. On 1 March, he will be unemployed.

Read moreCzech Hospitals: Almost 4,000 Doctors Resign In Protest At Low Wages

Czech Republic Criticised For Homosexual ‘Sexual Arousal’ Tests

The Czech Republic is using controversial “sexual arousal” tests where men are shown pornography to check if asylum seekers are homosexual, according to EU’s leading human rights agency.


The EU said that the phallometric testing by the Czech Republic could fall foul of the European Charter of Human Rights Photo: ALAMY

In a report on homosexual equality, the Agency for Fundamental Rights said that phallometric testing, when men are shown both homosexual and heterosexual pornography while censors monitor the blood flow to the penis, “was questionable, since it is dubious whether it reaches sufficiently clear conclusions”.

The Czech Republic is the only country in the EU that uses phallometric testing in order to distinguish true asylum seekers from those that might use claims of homosexuality and subsequent persecution back home as ruse to get into the country.

The EU agency also said that the test could fall foul of the European Charter of Human Rights, which prohibits degrading and humiliating treatment, adding that “this exam is particularly inappropriate for asylum seekers, given the fact that many of them might have suffered abuse due to their sexual orientation”.

The Czech Republic’s human rights commission described the test as “undignified”.

But the Czech interior ministry defended the method, saying that it was part of a “comprehensive” system to check the veracity of claims, that it was voluntary and had only been used in about ten cases.

Vladimir Repka, a ministry spokesman, explained that the test was applied mainly to asylum seekers from countries “that severely punish homosexuality”.

“These are people from areas where Islamic Sharia law is applied, or from countries which have a strong Islamic influence,” he explained, citing Iran, Syria, Azerbaijan and Nigeria as examples.

Read moreCzech Republic Criticised For Homosexual ‘Sexual Arousal’ Tests

Euro Dreams Shattered for Poles, Hungarians, Czechs as Currencies Plummet


Hungarian Forint notes of differing denominations sit on display in Budapest on Nov. 19, 2008. Photographer: Balint Porneczi/Bloomberg News

Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) — The slowing global economy is halting the spread of monetary union into eastern Europe and may lead to another year of losses for the Polish zloty, Hungarian forint and Czech koruna.

The zloty fell 21 percent against the euro from a record high in July as Poland headed for its biggest economic slowdown in almost a decade, while Hungary turned to the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and European Union for a bailout as the forint weakened 15 percent. Koruna volatility almost tripled as it depreciated 12 percent. The two-year mandatory trial period before adopting the euro allows swings of no more than 15 percent.

Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic joined the European Union in 2004, committing to enter the 10 trillion-euro ($12.7 trillion) economy of countries sharing a single currency. The dream faded since July as the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression drove investors from emerging markets. Now, New York-based Morgan Stanley and UBS AG in Zurich predict more foreign exchange losses in eastern Europe.

Read moreEuro Dreams Shattered for Poles, Hungarians, Czechs as Currencies Plummet

Russian Lawmaker Says Moscow to Deploy Weapons Near Poland

A senior Russian lawmaker says Moscow will deploy high-precision weapons near Poland, in response to a U.S. – Poland missile defense agreement signed in Warsaw last month.

Viktor Zavarzin, head of the defense committee in the State Duma, said Thursday Russia has new weapons that will be installed near the sites where Washington plans to deploy interceptor missiles.

Read moreRussian Lawmaker Says Moscow to Deploy Weapons Near Poland

EU is throwing habeas corpus out of the window

British citizens could be convicted in their absence by foreign courts for traffic, credit card or other criminal offences under plans approved in principle by the European Parliament.

The proposals would allow citizens to be extradited automatically under fast-track procedures at the request of another European Union country on the basis of a decision by the foreign court.

The overwhelming adoption by the Parliament of the proposals, which now go to the Council of Ministers, was condemned yesterday as “throwing habeas corpus out of the window”.

Philip Bradbourn, the Conservative justice and home affairs spokesman in the European Parliament, said: “This initiative would enable courts to pass judgments in absentia. It goes against one of the most fundamental corner-stones of British justice – that the accused has a right to defend himself at trial. If other EU countries want to go ahead with this proposal that’s their choice, but the British Government should have no part [of it].”

Read moreEU is throwing habeas corpus out of the window

Military help for Georgia is a ‘declaration of war’, says Moscow in extraordinary warning to the West

Moscow has issued an extraordinary warning to the West that military assistance to Georgia for use against South Ossetia or Abkhazia would be viewed as a “declaration of war” by Russia.

The extreme rhetoric from the Kremlin’s envoy to NATO came as President Dmitry Medvedev stressed he will make a military response to US missile defence installations in eastern Europe, sending new shudders across countries whose people were once blighted by the Iron Curtain.

And Moscow also emphasised it was closely monitoring what it claims is a build-up of NATO firepower in the Black Sea.


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right) meets with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin – the ‘real architect’ of the Georgia conflict – and the Security Council (unseen) in Sochi yesterday

The incendiary warning on Western military involvement in Georgia – where NATO nations have long played a role in training and equipping the small state – came in an interview with Dmitry Rogozin, a former nationalist politician who is now ambassador to the North Atlantic Alliance.

“If NATO suddenly takes military actions against Abkhazia and South Ossetia, acting solely in support of Tbilisi, this will mean a declaration of war on Russia,” he stated.

Read moreMilitary help for Georgia is a ‘declaration of war’, says Moscow in extraordinary warning to the West