France Strike: Hundreds of Flights Cancelled, Airlines Told to Carry Enough Fuel For Return Journey

Hundreds of flights to and from France will be cancelled on Tuesday with another 24-hour strike planned by air traffic controllers.

Half the flights in and out of Paris Orly airport and nearly a third of all flights to all other airports will be scrapped, according to the French civil aviation authority.

Ryanair has already cancelled 200 flights and British Airways says it expects “delays and disruption” to its services.

A similar walkout last week forced hundreds of cancellations, with short-haul flights the worst affected.

Charles de Gaulle airport has already reported disruption to flights on Monday after a number of refuelling staff went on strike.

Airlines running short-haul flights have been told to carry enough fuel for their return journeys, following strikes at 12 of the country’s oil refineries. It is reported that around a quarter of petrol filling stations across the country have run dry.

Read moreFrance Strike: Hundreds of Flights Cancelled, Airlines Told to Carry Enough Fuel For Return Journey

Battle Over Nicolas Sarkozy’s Cuts: Defiant Millions Hit The Streets

The return of students and workers in mass protests made the right shiver. But there was no battle of the barricades

Protests in Lyon against pension reforms. Photograph: Jean-Pierre Clatot/AFP

The clouds hung heavily over the Place de la République and the statue of Marianne, France’s heroine, was draped with demonstrators’ balloons.

As protesters marched on the historic Parisian site of proletarian revolt, 17-year-old Romane scowled at the rain-filled sky. “At least this is proof we’re not just here for the good weather,” she said. On her jacket was pinned a placard scrawled with marker pen. “Carla, we’re like you,” it read. “We’ve been screwed by Sarko too.”

Nicolas Sarkozy had feared that the rentrée – the time after the holidays when France returns to normal – would be warm, encouraging protesting masses on to the wide, Haussmann-designed boulevards, and he was right to be worried.

Languishing in the polls and engaged in an almighty battle to push through his flagship pension reform – taking the retirement age from 60 to 62 – the man once cast by some as the Gallic Margaret Thatcher is facing his most testing showdown with the notoriously bellicose unions.

The demonstration that drew people out in their hundreds of thousands was the fifth since last month, and Tuesday will bring another. Last week the protest movement snowballed, with strikes that closed schools, led to flights being cancelled and stopped trains. Fuel refineries halted production and parts of the country are already suffering shortages.

Read moreBattle Over Nicolas Sarkozy’s Cuts: Defiant Millions Hit The Streets

Pilot to TSA: ‘No Groping Me and No Naked Photos’

See also:

The Full Body Scanner Invasion; New Scanners Break Child Porn Laws

US prisoners forced to submit to radiation experiments for private foreign companies

–  Full-Body Scanners Emitting ‘High-Energy’ Radiation Increase Cancer Risk

TSA lies exposed: Full-body scanners do save and transmit images, secret documents reveal

Israeli Airport Security Expert: Full-Body Scanners Are Waste of Money


October 15, 2010 – My name is Michael Roberts, and I am a pilot for ExpressJet Airlines, Inc., based in Houston (that is, I still am for the time being). This morning as I attempted to pass through the security line for my commute to work I was denied access to the secured area of the terminal building at Memphis International Airport. I have passed through the same line roughly once per week for the past four and a half years without incident. Today, however, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at this checkpoint were using one of the new Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) systems that are currently being deployed at airports across the nation. These are the controversial devices featured by the media in recent months, albeit sparingly, which enable screeners to see beneath people’s clothing to an extremely graphic and intrusive level of detail (virtual strip searching). Travelers refusing this indignity may instead be physically frisked by a government security agent until the agent is satisfied to release them on their way in what is being touted as an “alternative option” to AIT. The following is a somewhat hastily drafted account of my experience this morning.

As I loaded my bags onto the X-ray scanner belt, an agent told me to remove my shoes and send them through as well, which I’ve not normally been required to do when passing through the standard metal detectors in uniform. When I questioned her, she said it was necessary to remove my shoes for the AIT scanner. I explained that I did not wish to participate in the AIT program, so she told me I could keep my shoes and directed me through the metal detector that had been roped off. She then called somewhat urgently to the agents on the other side: “We got an opt-out!” and also reported the “opt-out” into her handheld radio. On the other side I was stopped by another agent and informed that because I had “opted out” of AIT screening, I would have to go through secondary screening. I asked for clarification to be sure he was talking about frisking me, which he confirmed, and I declined. At this point he and another agent explained the TSA’s latest decree, saying I would not be permitted to pass without showing them my naked body, and how my refusal to do so had now given them cause to put their hands on me as I evidently posed a threat to air transportation security (this, of course, is my nutshell synopsis of the exchange). I asked whether they did in fact suspect I was concealing something after I had passed through the metal detector, or whether they believed that I had made any threats or given other indications of malicious designs to warrant treating me, a law-abiding fellow citizen, so rudely. None of that was relevant, I was told. They were just doing their job.

Eventually the airport police were summoned. Several officers showed up and we essentially repeated the conversation above. When it became clear that we had reached an impasse, one of the more sensible officers and I agreed that any further conversation would be pointless at this time. I then asked whether I was free to go. I was not. Another officer wanted to see my driver’s license. When I asked why, he said they needed information for their report on this “incident” – my name, address, phone number, etc. I recited my information for him, until he asked for my supervisor’s name and number at the airline. Why did he need that, I asked. For the report, he answered. I had already given him the primary phone number at my company’s headquarters. When I asked him what the Chief Pilot in Houston had to do with any of this, he either refused or was simply unable to provide a meaningful explanation. I chose not to divulge my supervisor’s name as I preferred to be the first to inform him of the situation myself. In any event, after a brief huddle with several other officers, my interrogator told me I was free to go.

Read morePilot to TSA: ‘No Groping Me and No Naked Photos’

Inside Job (Documentary – Trailer 2010 HD)

From Academy Award® nominated filmmaker, Charles Ferguson (“No End In Sight”), comes INSIDE JOB, the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, INSIDE JOB traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia.

Narrated by Academy Award® winner Matt Damon, INSIDE JOB was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.

German Outwits EU Light Bulb Ban

BERLIN (Reuters) – A German entrepreneur is bypassing a European Union ban on light bulbs of more than 60 watts by marketing his own brand as mini heaters.

Siegfried Rotthaeuser and his brother-in-law have come up with a legal way of importing and distributing 75 and 100 watt light bulbs — by producing them in China, importing them as “small heating devices” and selling them as “heatballs.”

To improve energy efficiency, the EU has banned the sale of bulbs of over 60 watts — to the annoyance of the mechanical engineer from the western city of Essen.

Rotthaeuser studied EU legislation and realized that because the inefficient old bulbs produce more warmth than light — he calculated heat makes up 95 percent of their output, and light just 5 percent — they could be sold legally as heaters.

On their website (, the two engineers describe the heatballs as “action art” and as “resistance against legislation which is implemented without recourse to democratic and parliamentary processes.”

Costing 1.69 euros each ($2.38), the heatballs are going down well — the first batch of 4,000 sold out in three days.

Rotthaeuser has pledged to donate 30 cents of every heatball sold to saving the rainforest, which the 49-year-old sees as a better way of protecting the environment than investing in energy-saving lamps, which contain toxic mercury.

Read moreGerman Outwits EU Light Bulb Ban

Two Israelis in Custody for Trying to Bribe Georgian Deputy Finance Minister

Ron Fuchs and Zeev Frenkiel were detained in Georgia on Thursday; the two are charged with offering a $7 million bribe to the Georgian deputy finance minister.

Two Israeli businessmen were arrested Thursday in the former Soviet republic of Georgia on suspicion of attempting to bribe of the country’s deputy finance minister, Avtandil Kharaidze. The two allegedly offered the official $7 million.

A court in Tbilisi ordered the two suspects, Zeev Frenkel and Ron Fuchs, held for 60 days, the maximum amount of time suspects may be detained without trial under Georgian law.

According to Georgian media reports, the two were arrested in a restaurant in the Georgian town of Batumi. Their lawyers say they will appeal the detention. The case reportedly arose out of a dispute over oil and gas transactions with the Georgian government.

Read moreTwo Israelis in Custody for Trying to Bribe Georgian Deputy Finance Minister

Gold and Gold Mining Shares As a Percentage of Global Assets or ‘The Once In a Lifetime Ride’

World’s biggest gold coin

From our readings of Casey Research we found a great chart and comments from Eric Sprott of Sprott Asset Management, we bring this to your attention:

Eric Sprott –  ….“The conventional wisdom is that gold is in a bubble. It isn’t so. At the just-concluded Casey’s Gold & Resource Summit, Eric Sprott showed a slide showing gold and gold mining shares as a % of global assets. As you can see in the chart, which I am republishing here, gold holdings are currently a fraction of what they’ve been historically.

We have a long way to go before gold can be considered fully valued, so sit tight and be right.”

….”Get yourself positioned to take advantage of this once in a lifetime ride.”

October 9, 2010

Source: Precious Metals Warrants

See also:

–  Super-Rich Investors Buy Gold By The Ton

–  Former IMF Chief Economist Prof. Kenneth Rogoff: $10,000 Gold?

US Soldier Ordered To Delete Fort Hood Videos

From the article:

“Earlier Friday under cross examination, Pfc. Lance Aviles said he used his cell phone to record the rampage inside the processing center but was ordered by an officer to delete both videos later the same day. Aviles was NOT asked if he knew why the officer ordered the videos destroyed.”

See also: US: Fort Hood reports record number of suicides

U.S. Major Nidal Hasan – This April 9, 2010, file photo released by the Bell County Sheriffs Department shows U.S. Major Nidal Hasan at the San Antonio to Bell County Jail in Belton, Texas, after his Nov. 5 shooting spree at Fort Hood. More testimony from victims was heard during Hasan’s Article 32 hearing Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010, at Fort Hood, Texas

Oct. 15 – FORT HOOD, Texas – As dozens of soldiers lay dead or bleeding in a Fort Hood processing center last year, a gunman went outside and continued firing as others ran to nearby buildings, hid behind cars or carried wounded comrades to safety, witnesses told a military court Friday.

Chief Warrant Officer II Christopher Royal said he ran out of the center where soldiers were preparing to deploy after he heard gunshots and saw the shooter, but then decided to go back and try to stop the rampage, because “I told myself I could not let him get away with it.”

Royal testified Friday during an Article 32 hearing that will determine whether Maj. Nidal Hasan should stand trial in the Nov. 5 shootings on the Texas Army post. The 40-year-old American-born Muslim has been charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder. The hearing is to resume Monday.

Read moreUS Soldier Ordered To Delete Fort Hood Videos

85 Percent of College Graduates Move Back Into Their Parents’ Home

NEW YORK ( — Getting a degree used to be a stepping stone to limitless career opportunities. Now it’s more of a hiatus from living under your parents’ roof.

Stubbornly high unemployment — nearly 15% for those ages 20-24 — has made finding a job nearly impossible. And without a job, there’s nowhere for these young adults to go but back to their old bedrooms, curfews and chore charts. Meet the boomerangers.

“This recession has hit young adults particularly hard,” according to Rich Morin, senior editor at the Pew Research Center in DC.

So hard that a whopping 85% of college seniors planned to move back home with their parents after graduation last May, according to a poll by Twentysomething Inc., a marketing and research firm based in Philadelphia. That rate has steadily risen from 67% in 2006.

“It’s peaking at levels we have not seen before,” said David Morrison, managing director and founder of Twentysomething.

Read more85 Percent of College Graduates Move Back Into Their Parents’ Home

The West is in ‘Grave Danger of Financial Collapse’: Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke

Warning: Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke warned the West is in ‘grave danger of financial collapse’

The West is in ‘grave danger of financial collapse’, Kenneth Clarke warned last night.

We face ‘quite the most dramatic’ spending cuts in ‘living memory’, the former chancellor added as the Coalition prepares to unveil plans to rein in the unprecedented budget deficit left by Labour.

‘I actually am one of those who believes, with a grave danger of financial collapse, we’re not out of the woods in the Western world yet,’ he said in the extraordinary address.

‘There is an extremely serious financial crisis.’

His remarks appeared to contradict the Prime Minister, who insisted days ago that the Coalition’s early decisions have put Britain ‘out of the danger zone’.

Mr Clarke said the UK had ‘rescued ourselves at the moment’, but added: ‘If we fail to deliver with the [cuts] programme we’re going to set out, we’ll be back there all too soon.’

Read moreThe West is in ‘Grave Danger of Financial Collapse’: Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke