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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Patriarchal Catholic Church and the Great Nunquisition

Today's generation of nuns are progressive women, two things the Church isn't used to. Nuns are an endangered species. They are dying and not being replaced. If you think the news is bad now, a world without nuns would be a far worse place. The nuns that I know are much too humble to tout their achievements and all of the good they contribute to society, but make no mistake, they are an integral part of the fabric that holds our civilization together. In 2014 there were just 49,883 religious Catholic sisters in the United States, down 13% percent from 2010 according to figures from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. To put it in greater perspective, that is a 72% decline since 1965.

ISIS is America's newest terror brand in endless propaganda that fuels "War on Terror"

In the wake of World War I, erstwhile propagandist and political scientist Harold Lasswell famously defined propaganda as "the management of collective attitudes" and the "control over opinion" through "the manipulation of significant symbols."[1] The extent to which this tradition is enthusiastically upheld in the West and the United States in particular is remarkable. The American public is consistently propagandized by its government and corporate news media on the most vital of contemporary issues and events. Deception on such a scale would be of little consequence if the US were not the most powerful economic and military force on earth. A case in point is the hysteria Western news media are attempting to create concerning the threat posed by the mercenary-terrorist army now being promoted as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, or "ISIS." As was the case with the US intelligence asset and bogey publicized as "Al Qaeda," and Al Qaeda's Syrian adjunct, "Al Nusra," such entities are - apparently by design - inadequately investigated and defined by major news media. Absent meaningful historical context they usefully serve as another raison d'ểtre for America's terminal "War on Terror." A seemingly obvious feature of such terrorist forces left unexamined by corporate media is that they are observably comprised of the same or comparable personnel unleashed elsewhere throughout the Middle East as part of a strategy proposed during the George W. Bush administration in 2007.[2] With the above observations in mind, ISIS is well-financed, militarily proficient, and equipped with modern vehicles and weaponry. It also exhibits an uncanny degree of media savvy in terms of propagating its message in professional-looking videos and on platforms such as YouTube and Twitter. "Western intelligence services," the New York Times reports, claim to be "worried about their extraordinary command of seemingly less lethal weapons: state-of-the-art videos, ground images shot from drones, and multilingual Twitter messages."[3] Along these lines, ISIS even received a largely sympathetic portrayal in a five-part series produced and aired by the Rupert Murdoch-backed Vice News.[4] Indeed, Vice News' "The Spread of the Caliphate" is reminiscent of the public relations-style reportage produced via the "embedding" of corporate news media personnel with US and allied forces during the 2003 conquest of Iraq.

The patient is now past the point of no return thanks to the Fed

Many commentators consider what the Fed has done to be akin to providing stimulus, morphine, juice to an ailing economy. We believe Fed's actions would be more appropriately described as permitted cancerous beliefs to spread throughout the financial system, thereby killing Democratic Capitalism which is the basis of the capital markets. Today we're going to explain what the "final outcome" for this process will be. The short version is what happens to a cancer patient who allows the disease to spread unchecked (death). In the case of the Fed's actions we will see a similar "death" of Democratic Capitalism and the subsequent death of the capital markets. We are, of course, talking in metaphors here: the world will not end, and commerce and business will continue, but the form of capital markets and Capitalism we are experiencing today will cease to exist as the Fed's policies result in the market and economy eventually collapsing in such a fashion that what follows will bear little resemblance to that which we are experiencing now.The focus of this "death" will not be stocks, but bonds, particularly sovereign bonds: the asset class against which all monetary policy and investment theory has been based for the last 80+ years. Indeed, basic financial theory has proposed that sovereign bonds are essentially the only true "risk-free" investment in the world. While history shows this theory to be false (sovereign defaults have occurred throughout the 20th century) this has been the basic tenant for all investment models and indeed the financial system at large going back for 80 some odd years. The reason for this is that the Treasury (US sovereign bond) market is the basis of the entire monetary system in the US and the Global financial system in general. Indeed, US Treasuries are the senior most assets on the Primary Dealers' (world's largest banks) balance sheets. To understand why this is as well as why the Fed's policies will ultimately destroy this system, you first need to understand the Primary Dealer system that is the basis for the US banking system at large.

Manipulating the emotions of the masses: War criminal Ollie North says war criminal Obama doesn't pay attention

The Obama Administration is furtively guarding their chosen strategy to deal with ISIL. This is reminiscent of a certain White House Correspondents' dinner where the President calmly played the part of a relaxed president enjoying a moment of levity. Meanwhile, the wheels were set in motion on a daring mission to get Osama Bin Laden once and for all. President Obama is, as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive, entitled to execute the strategy of his choosing. Divulging too much information is ill-advised. The Bin Laden raid showed us just that. The Right just isn't having it. They want to be consulted on any military operation after bankrupting the country and ruining the lives of millions with their pre-emptive wars that were so poorly planned. Comment: This article starts off defending Obama with the rationale that he is using secrecy as a policy similar to when the U.S. supposedly killed Osama bin Laden. See this, this and this for a more realistic view of those events. Fox's curvy weekend couch-occupants figured who would be better to explain sound military policy than the man who traded arms for hostages and is damned lucky not to be making license plates in a federal penitentiary. Tucker 'Bowtie' Carlson introduced Oliver North with this ballsy statement: There's none who's respected more by the people who fight wars than our next guest, Colonel North. Yes, because war is something that should be perpetual and who better than a war profiteer to rally the bloodlust of the xenophobic base?

Ukraine's Yatsenyuk calls for NATO's help

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk declared his country's intention to join NATO a few days ago, officially flip-flopping from his stance expressed nearly half a year ago. He said that the government was submitting a bill to the Rada to officially change Ukraine's non-aligned status and also de-facto prohibit it from ever joining the Eurasian Union. It is unclear how he plans to pass the bill, considering that the Rada had been unilaterally dissolved earlier this month. Nonetheless, with Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk being the only politicians to still have power after this recent de-facto political purge, it is more than likely that they will make sure their military ambitions are 'legitimized' by hook or by crook, thereby pulling Shadow NATO out of the closet into the limelight. Military Failures and False Flag Invasions The timing of Kiev's not-so-unexpected decision to officially announce its intent to join NATO is strongly influenced by its recent string of military failures against the Novorossiya Armed Forces (NAF). This reality is completely opposite to the victory hype that was being prematurely pushed earlier this month. At that time, Kiev was all but claiming victory against the pro-Federalists, completely dismissing any talks of a ceasefire and proclaiming its march on besieged Donetsk and Lugansk. Today, however, NAF is waging a successful counteroffensive against Kiev, has reached the Sea of Azov, and even encircled thousands of Ukrainian troops. So successful has this counteroffensive been that President Putin lauded the NAF and encouraged them to show mercy by opening up a humanitarian corridor to allow Kiev's forces to safely (and without their arms) retreat into Russia. Such are the fortunes of war, and Kiev is likely kicking itself for not having accepted the ceasefire earlier this month.

Killer whales of Puget Sound are acting strange with population declining fast

The killer whale population in the Puget Sound, a sound in Washington state whose area includes Seattle, is rapidly declining. No whales have been born since 2012, two years ago. Two whales died this year. The Center for Whale Research said that the whale population has grown as low as 78, the lowest it's been in the past 20 years, since 1985. The whales are also acting erratically, and seem to be splitting up from their social groups, called pods. There are three pods that make up the population in the Sound, pods J, K, and L. Ken Balcomb, a researcher who works in Washington, has been studying the orca population in the Puget Sound since 1976. Every year, he does a census of the whales, which he gives to the U.S. government. These "Southern Residents," as they are called by environmental scientists, are under federal protection by the Endangered Species Act. The three pods that live in the sound usually congregate during the summer, but in the last few years the pods have seemed to be splintering apart. These small groups have been tending to stay away from each other. Balcomb said that two or three members from a pod have been swimming around in their own group, with some members from different pods joining each other. The whales seem to be making a new social order.

Systemic child abuse: British boarding schools reporting an epidemic of sex abuse claims

At lights out one Sunday evening within weeks of starting at his senior school, Joel Shaw was "stripped, sexually assaulted and publicly humiliated by my housemaster jeered on by loads of my peers", he recalls bitterly. It resulted, he claims, in him being remorselessly taunted as being this master's 'Bum­Boy', a nickname seared into his memory and one that dogged him throughout his school career. "I want an apology," says Joel (not his real name). He has recently made a claim for damages against the boarding school where he was allegedly abused nearly 30 years ago at the age of 13. "I want an acknowledgement abuse happened and also recognition of how it affected me." The taunting - publicly, vocally, and therefore known to other staff at the school - only reinforced his feelings of anger and shame at what he says was done to him. He remains conflicted about the close relationship he subsequently developed with the teacher, who, he says, took pains to nurture his enthusiasms and helped shape his deep appreciation of the arts. The confusion for a teenager was agonising, he says, and, as a man, the shame remains. Last year, to Shaw's horror, his alleged abuser emailed him at his place of work, "asking whether I'd care to 'indulge in some nostalgic reminiscences'", he says. "I broke out into a cold sweat, given the abuse that he'd subjected me to as a new boarder. This is only conjecture, but I think he liked me, and wanted to revive good memories of times we spent in his living room when we put the school magazine together, drinking lager, listening to his amazing classical music collection," says Shaw. Feeling shaken, furious and shocked by the approach "out of the blue, after so many years", Shaw made a complaint to police. His old housemaster was questioned but there will be no criminal prosecution: he is the only complainant and under the legislation in force at the time, the type of abuse he was subjected to is not covered.

6 dead after widespread flooding in Thailand

Thailand's Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) reported on Monday 01 September 2014 that at least 17 provinces have been affected by recent flooding. Six people have been killed and at least 1 person remains missing. Thai Meteorological Department had warned of the flood threat last week. From 26 August, a low pressure weather system left many areas of the country experiencing heavy rainfall. DPMD said that the affected provinces are: Mae Hong Son, Lam Pang, Kamphaeng Phet, Kalasin, Buri Ram, Samut Prakan, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nakhon Ratchasima, Phetchabun, Loei, Phayao, Nan, Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, Phichit, Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. By late Monday 01 September the flood situation was thought to be easing in many of the provinces, although severe flooding remained in parts of Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and Phichit. The situation there is likely to remain the same for the next 48 hours or more.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Mexico baffled as 50 tons of fish turn up dead

Nearly 50 tonnes of popoche chub fish are latest incident of dead fish removed from lagoon in disastrous year for species. Mexicans are baffled at the sudden death of thousands of fish in a lake in the centre of the country, a dramatic intensification of a problem that no one has yet been able to explain. Nearly 50 tonnes of dead popoche chub fish were removed at the weekend from Lake Cajititln, a lagoon in the central state of Jalisco. Fishermen, firefighters, town hall workers and staff from the state agricultural ministry pulled hundreds of thousands of dead popoche chub fish from the lake and buried them in a pit. The incident comes after of a series of smaller waves of dead popoche chub in the lake in recent months, including one last week, ensuring that 2014 is already by far the worst year for the species, which has been under attack for the past few years. The authorities in the lakeside town of Tlajomulco de Ziga, about 25 minutes' drive south of the city of Guadalajara, had previously blamed the deaths on "a cyclical phenomenon caused by temperature variations and the reduction of oxygen".

Mystery UFO sighting that baffled police captured on camera in Pennsylvania

Unknown flashing lights from the unidentified flying object even left the local police without an explanation There is no question in Stephanie Wilkerson's mind about what she saw in the night sky this week. When a giant circle of flashing lights appeared over her Pennsylvania home, she ran to grab her neighbour who brought his binoculars to take a closer look. After the lights started to change colour, the pair called 911 and began filming the strange sight on a mobile phone. In an interview with ABC New, Stephanie said: "I thought it was a plane until I realised it wasn't moving." "I watched it for about 20 minutes and I started noticing it changing colours," she added.

Google drone program: The "inside" view

A zipping comes across the sky. A man named Neil Parfitt is standing in a field on a cattle ranch outside Warwick, Australia. A white vehicle appears above the trees, a tiny plane a bit bigger than a seagull. It glides towards Parfitt, pitches upwards to a vertical position, and hovers near him, a couple hundred feet in the air. From its belly, a package comes tumbling downward, connected by a thin line to the vehicle itself. Right before the delivery hits the ground, it slows, hitting the earth with a tap. The delivery slows, almost imperceptibly, just before it hits the ground, hardly kicking up any dust. A small rectangular module on the end of the line detaches the payload, and ascends back up the vehicle, locking into place beneath the nose. As the wing returns to flying posture and zips back to its launch point half a mile away, Parfitt walks over to the package, opens it up, and extracts some treats for his dogs. The Australian test flight and 30 others like it conducted in mid-August are the culmination of the first phase of Project Wing, a secret drone program that's been running for two years at Google X, the company's whoa-inducing, long-range research lab. Though a couple of rumors have escaped the Googleplex - because of course Google must have a drone-delivery program - Project Wing's official existence and substance were revealed today. I've spent the past week talking to Googlers who worked on the project, reviewing video of the flights, and interviewing other people convinced delivery by drone will work. Taken with the company's other robotics investments, Google's corporate posture has become even more ambitious. Google doesn't just want to organize all the world's information. Google wants to organize all the world.

Mountain lion 'stalks' woman near Telluride, Colorado

A lone hiker had a frightening encounter with a mountain lion Monday in San Miguel County. A sheriff's office spokesperson says the feline predator "stalked" the woman in Placerville which is about 16 miles northwest of Telluride in southwestern Colorado. The woman, 40-year-old Kyra Kopenstonsky of Placerville was on a trail when she spotted the mountain lion in close proximity to her. She told deputies the big cat kept following her and she called a friend for help. That friend called 911 at 4:45 p.m. Two deputies met the hiker at the trailhead where she eventually emerged "shaken, but uninjured."

Just one Facebook post can get you labeled a terrorist by the U.S. government

Innocent people's lives are being ruined. Why isn't anyone watching the watchlist? The US government's web of surveillance is vast and interconnected. Now we know just how opaque, inefficient and discriminatory it can be. As we were reminded again just this week, you can be pulled into the National Security Agency's database quietly and quickly, and the consequences can be long and enduring. Through ICREACH, a Google-style search engine created for the intelligence community, the NSA provides data on private communications to 23 government agencies. More than 1,000 analysts had access to that information. This kind of data sharing, however, isn't limited to the latest from Edward Snowden's NSA files. It was confirmed earlier this month that the FBI shares its master watchlist, the Terrorist Screening Database, with at least 22 foreign governments, countless federal agencies, state and local law enforcement, plus private contractors. The watchlist tracks "known" and "suspected" terrorists and includes both foreigners and Americans. It's also based on loose standards and secret evidence, which ensnares innocent people. Indeed, the standards are so low that the US government's guidelines specifically allow for a single, uncorroborated source of information - including a Facebook or Twitter post - to serve as the basis for placing you on its master watchlist. Of the 680,000 individuals on that FBI master list, roughly 40% have "no recognized terrorist group affiliation", according to the Intercept. These individuals don't even have a connection - as the government loosely defines it - to a designated terrorist group, but they are still branded as suspected terrorists.

Israel makes massive land grab in the West Bank - steals over 400 more hectares

The United States sees Israel's announcement on Sunday of a land appropriation for possible settlement construction in the occupied West Bank as "counterproductive" to peace efforts and urges the Israeli government to reverse the decision, Reuters reported a State Department official as saying. Israel laid claim to nearly a thousand acres (400 hectares) in the Etzion settlement bloc near Bethlehem, a move which an anti-settlement group termed the biggest appropriation in 30 years and a Palestinian official said would cause only more friction after the Gaza war. "We have long made clear our opposition to continued settlement activity," the U.S. official said. "This announcement, like every other settlement announcement Israel makes, planning step they approve and construction tender they issue is counterproductive to Israel's stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians." "We urge the government of Israel to reverse this decision," the official said in Washington. Comment: Ooh, yeah. That's gonna make Israel change its mind. Israel announced plans on Sunday to expropriate 400 hectares (988 acres) of Palestinian land in the Bethlehem area in the south of the occupied West Bank, the military said, Agence France-Presse reported. "On the instructions of the political echelon... 4,000 dunams at (the settlement of) Gevaot is declared as state land," the army said, adding that concerned parties have 45 days to appeal. Comment: Nice touch, but court appeals are never successful if you are a Palestinian. It said that the step stemmed from political decisions taken after the June killing of three Israeli teenagers snatched from a roadside in the same area, known to Israelis as Gush Etzion settlement bloc. Comment: So in addition to bombing Gaza to the point where estimates say it will take over twenty years to reconstruct it, the psycho Zionists now help themselves to some more Palestinian territory. But they say they want peace. Hypocrites. Israel has named three Palestinians from the southern West Bank city of Hebron as being behind the murders. The Etzion settlements council welcomed Sunday's announcement and said it was the prelude to expansion of the current Gevaot settlement. It "paves the way for the new city of Gevaot", a statement said. Settlements watchdog Peace Now expressed alarm. "As far as we know, this declaration is unprecedented in its scope since the 1980s and can dramatically change the reality in the Gush Etzion and the Bethlehem areas," it said.

This Google Glass app that measures human emotions is so, so creepy

It's not like we need any more reminders about how creepy Google Glass can be, but developers never stop surprising us. An new app from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute that uses facial tracking, proprietary tools and Glass, can measure human emotions. In real time. The technology, dubbed SHORE (Sophisticated High-speed Object Recognition), gauges emotions such as anger, happiness, sadness and surprise and projects this information directly onto the screen of your Glass, right across the face of the person you're looking at. It doesn't just stop there. It also estimates their age and their gender, a feature, Fraunhofer says, can lead to applications in interactive gaming and market research. This is like RoboCop, but real, and on your face. Now. If there are multiple people in a frame, you will get separate emotional attributes for all of them. All processing happens directly on the Glass CPU, which means that your Glass device is probably going to last you all of 20 minutes as Geek.com points out.

Obama using Putin to hide the mess US caused in Ukraine

US President Barack Obama is trying to divert attention on his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to cover his poor leadership and his actions across the world, a political commentator says. You can hear the 3:30 minute Skype interview at Press TV here. "Nobody accepts any responsibility for terrible mistakes that they make. It's always someone else's fault," Veterans Today editor Jim Dean told Press TV on Saturday. He made the remarks when asked about the recent announcement by the White House that Obama's next week trip to Europe is a warning to Putin against "messing around" with the Baltic States. President Obama will travel to Tallinn on Tuesday to meet with the leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The visit comes amid escalating tensions between Washington and Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine. "Part of the message that the president will be sending is, we stand with you," Charles Kupchan, the administration's senior director for European Affairs, said on Friday. "Article Five constitutes an ironclad guarantee of your security. Russia, don't even think about messing around in Estonia or in any of the Baltic areas in the same way that you have been messing around in Ukraine," he warned. Dean also noted that the United States is "very angry that Russia has played their cards so smooth" in Ukraine and that Washington is "messing around" in that region of the world, not Moscow.

Some wild animals are losing fear of humans: Biologist recovering after cougar assault in Grand Prairie, Alberta

A biologist with the provincial Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) is recovering in the hospital following a harrowing encounter with a mountain lion. The biologist was performing this labors in the surrounding area of Nose Mountain when she was pummeled by the cougar. Another employee with the ESRD by the name of Jamie Hanlon confirmed that their follow co-worker sustained injuries during the attack. Her co-workers administered first aid to her and until she was transported to the local hospital in Grand Prairie. At the time of the attack, seven ESRD workers were conducting research for the Fisheries Sustainability Index. Details are sketchy about the types of injuries the woman sustained in the attack, but officers with the Fish and Wildlife are taking it seriously. The cougar has a death sentence declared on it and once it is captured by the Fish and Wildlife, it will be put to sleep.

Alzheimer Disease: How soon would you want to know?

Have you been forgetful lately? Any difficulty concentrating? Trouble recalling names? Answer "yes" to even one question like that, and there are some who want you to head to a clinic for memory screening. And it's not because there is a good new treatment for dementia. If only there were. Therapy for dementia remains a bleak landscape. And while we have a sense of some risk factors that could be modified (like smoking), there's nothing solid enough to be an early prevention strategy, either. Nevertheless, people are taking lessons from the cancer awareness-raising playbook to encourage and prime us towards believing we can prevent Alzheimer disease, and accept early - even very early - detection. It seems to me we're not prepared for this. If we're diagnosed with Alzheimer's or any dementia, almost all of us would want to know it: somewhere around 90%, according to a recent study and systematic review. But that's not the same as wanting to be diagnosed early: there the numbers in favor drop steeply. Comment: Actually, there is evidence that nicotine helps Alzheimer's as well as Parkinson's Patients and that nicotine can improve attention and other cognitive skills. It seems that the risk factors that lessen your brain functions are quite the contrary to what we are lead to believe. These include:Cholesterol reducing drugsa diet high i carbohydrates glutenvaccines, heavy metals, GMOs At the moment, the odds are that most of us won't ever have to cross that bridge ourselves. And as people get generally healthier, the chances of a person at average risk getting Alzheimer dementia could fall, too. But a downside of early detection campaigns is a wave of false positives. They're only worth it when the benefits outweigh the inevitable harms. Early detection is intuitively compelling when faced with a dreadful, progressive disease. Get in and do something before it's too late. But as I've discussed here before, hope can prevail over reason.

Protesters speak with one voice: NATO poses the threat to world stability and peaceful relations

Some 400 people have joined a protest camp in Newport to protest against NATO. The march comes ahead of next week's military summit that will see 60 world leaders descend on the area and is already causing considerable disruption to locals. "Nuclear NATO - no, thanks!" or "Iraq, Ukraine - no more wars" read the numerous placards as about 400 protesters took in a march on Saturday against the upcoming NATO summit. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament said that they expect Saturday's march to be a "major demonstration" and local officials have said a number of roads will be affected by the march, which began at 2 pm local time. The campaigners are organizing a week of marches and meetings against NATO as well as a "peace camp" and a Counter Summit to take place on the campsite on Sunday. The NATO summit is to run at the Celtic Manor resort on the outskirts of Newport on the 4th and 5th September.

'I want to cut your throat': British MP Galloway recalls being brutally beaten by pro-Israeli fanatic for standing up for Gaza

In his first TV interview after release from hospital, British MP George Galloway told RT he is surprised by the lack of condemnation from other UK politicians of the brutal attack on him. The assault by a pro-Israeli man left Galloway in much pain. Galloway, 60, was brutally beaten in Notting Hill, London last Friday allegedly for his views on the conflict in Gaza. "It's very painful to walk, to move, even to speak because I sustained a dislocated jaw, quite bad head injuries, and very badly cracked ribs," he said. He said the attack occurred during broad daylight, when he was in the street around 19:30. "Unlucky for me, there weren't many people around. Though, luckily for me as it turned out none of my small children were there to witness what happened next," he said. "I was posing for a picture with two Moroccan gentlemen who have a business in the street. And whilst I was posing for that picture, out of nowhere - dressed in an Israeli Defense Force shirt, complete with logo - came a man charging at me, cursing and swearing and shouting support for Israel and opposition to my views on Israel. Then a torrent of punches and kicks [followed] - which is admitted in court today though he has pled not guilty to the charge that it was religiously aggravated."

Ancient Rome currency reform

In the Western world, modern civilizations are often thought of in comparison to those of the ancient world. The Roman Empire is typically the first considered, and arguably the most natural reference point owing to its many achievements, complexity and durability. It stands in history, widely considered the high water mark of the ancient world; one against which contemporary political, economic and social questions can be posed. Much of the world is still living with the consequences of Roman policy choices in a very real sense, in matters ranging from the location of cities to commercial and legal practices to customs. The global economic downturn of 2008, in particular its monetary facet, readily invites comparison between the troubles of the modern world and those of the Roman Empire; just as Western currencies have declined precipitously in value since their commodity backing was removed in stages starting roughly a century ago, Roman currencies were also troubled, and present a cautionary tale.

Controversy reignites over distance of Pleiades star cluster

New measurement points to possible error in ESA survey that could also affect the agency's new Gaia mission. The most precise measurement yet of the distance to the Pleiades star cluster is reviving a dispute that has split the astronomy community largely down a trans-Atlantic divide for the past 17 years. The latest result, from a US team using a worldwide network of radio telescopes, is in good agreement with more than a dozen previous measurements to the Pleiades, made using multiple techniques. But it stands in sharp contrast to a figure from the Hipparcos satellite of the European Space Agency (ESA). The authors of the latest study, published today in Science, say they believe that the Hipparcos measurement is an error, and worry that the same problem could affect its successor mission, ESA's Gaia space telescope, which began taking data last month. The alternative is even less appealing: if Hipparcos is right, then accepted theories of the physics of stars could require some mending.

UK version of Justina Pelletier case? Family arrested for fleeing to Spain to seek alternative treatment for sons' brain tumor

The parents say they want to give their 5 year-old-boy with a brain tumor the best chance to live with a revolutionary new treatment they learned about on the Internet. Their British hospital says the boy has a 70 percent to 80 percent chance of survival with the treatment it offers, and it's the parents who are putting the child at risk. Britain has become riveted by the case of little Ashya King, whose parents plucked him from a hospital in southern England and fled to Spain amid a dispute over treatment - with British justice close on the family's heels. Brett and Naghemeh King signaled Monday they would fight extradition, defying doctors and the legal system as a British court considers a ruling on forcing the family to come home. "I'm not coming back to England if I cannot give him the treatment I want, which is proper treatment," Brett King said as he cradled the child in a video posted before his arrest. "I just want positive results for my son." The Kings are seeking a new type of proton beam radiation therapy that typically costs at least $33,000. The Southampton General Hospital says that more conventional methods have a very high chance of succeeding. It said that while proton beam therapy is effective for some tumors, in other cases "there isn't evidence that this is a beneficial treatment."

Back to school in B.C.

It's back-to-school season, and you know what that means: Despite receiving a king's ransom in new clothes, electronics and school supplies, children across the country are already complaining about the burden of regularly attending an affordable system of formal education. If the "back in my day" speech hasn't set them straight, why not let them know of how much worse back-to-school season could have been for them had they been born a couple thousand years ago? Before we get rolling, it's important to mention that in just about all of the following ancient societies, formal education was typically the privilege of wealthy families.

How embarrassing: Several NATO officers trapped in Ukraine's Mariupol by militia

"Their exact location is unknown for top secrecy reasons," a spokesman for the Donetsk militia said on Monday A group of five or six NATO officers has been blocked in the town of Mariupol in the Donetsk region, a spokesman for the Donetsk militia said on Monday. "Their exact location is unknown for top secrecy reasons. But they obviously cannot leave Mariupol as all junta commanders and special units have already left the city," the spokesman said. ITAR-TASS has not confirmed this report from other sources yet. Losses of Ukrainian army near Mariupol The militia staff reports that units of Novorossiya's army have shot down a Ukrainian Su-25 jet and two Mi-8 helicopters on the outskirts of Mariupol. According to the Donetsk People's Republic, about 100 Ukrainian servicemen were wounded or killed. In the fight, militiamen managed to capture two tanks, about six multiple rocket launcher systems, two armed personnel carriers, up to 14 guns and mortars, up to 24 automotive vehicles and two ammunition depots.

Putin visits mammoth museum, openly wonders if preserved soft tissue would allow scientists to clone the extinct creature

© RIA Novosti / Alexey Nokolsky

September 1, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin, second right, visits the P. Lazarev Mammoth Museum at the M. K. Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk

Upon meeting a 28,000-year-old mammoth mummy in a museum in the Russian Far East, Russian President Vladimir Putin wondered if the preserved soft tissues of the ancient animal could help clone it.

The mammoth museum in Russia's Yakutia is a unique place, hosting the rarest findings of the ancient animals' remains discovered over the last decade.

But the main treasure of the museum is the so-called Mamolyakhovsky mammoth, which was found along the Kolyma River shores in 1977. The 28,000-year-old discovery is not only a full skeleton of a baby mammoth (which means over 75 percent of bones belong to the same animal), but also boasts soft tissues and even liquid blood preserved in the animal's mummy.

The mammoth was about seven or eight months old when it died, and the scientists named him Dima.

Upon seeing Dima on Monday, President Putin, who arrived in Yakutsk to participate in a meeting on regional development, became very interested in whether the mammoth's remains could pave way for its cloning.

"The soft tissues are preserved, so can it be cloned?" he asked.

© Wikipedia

The museum's employees assured the president that they are closely collaborating with South Korean scientists on that research area.

In fact, a whole blood vessel containing liquid blood particles has been found on the mummy. Apart from that, leucocytes and brown adipose tissue have reportedly been discovered. The latter is the evidence that the mammoth's body adapted to the low temperatures, as this type of tissue helps preserve the warmth.

As for the perspectives of cloning the ancient animal, scientists told Putin that there are whole DNA cells in the mammoth's body - and the blood sample is kept at -17 degrees Celsius.

The director of the museum, Semyon Grigoriev, told Putin that over the last four years the museum has managed to collect over 4,000 examples of bones, including a mummified dog which dates back 12,500 years, and is also the only one of its kind in the world.

The Russian Far East is full of

the remains

of modern humans' ancestors, as well as those of


, wooly rhinos, buffalos, muskoxen, cave lions and other ancient species.

Spike in coyote attacks on animal pets in Claremont, California

It seems you can't step outside your front door these days without spotting a coyote running down the street. Lack of food and extreme drought conditions in the Angeles National Forest are forcing wildlife further down the mountain and into town, alarming residents who are unsure of how to protect themselves and their pets.

"The problem is everywhere," says Don Nelson, Warden with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), of the recent coyote sightings. "Anywhere there is open space, even a small amount of open space where they can find food and somewhere they can get up and under for coolness in the daytime and seclusion from predators."

Two weeks ago,


publisher and owner Peter Weinberger and his wife lost their beloved chihuahua Rudy to a suspected coyote attack. The animals have been seen frequenting their Claremont neighborhood in recent weeks, particularly on trash days, in search of food.

"The thing about coyotes, all wildlife really, is they don't look at people as food," says Mr. Nelson. "They don't think, 'There's my next meal.' They're naturally scared of people but when they are given access to human food, like garbage, their behavior changes. They lose that caution and fear."

Dorothy Eminhizer is the owner of two dogs, a 3-year-old chihuahua named Coco and a 4-year-old Shih Tzu, Chloe. The north Claremont resident knows all too well how brazen and quick coyotes can be after Chloe ran out the front door and

was later attacked in her own yard.

A quick-thinking neighbor witnessed the attack and came to the dog's rescue.

"The coyote had Chloe in his mouth and my neighbor got close to it and clapped his hands. Thankfully, the coyote dropped her and ran off," she says.

Although Chloe survived and appeared to be okay, further inspection once she was inside the house proved otherwise. "I dug into her fur and saw she had serious bite wounds to her back where the coyote had grabbed her," Ms. Eminhizer said. "Because coyotes have so much bacteria in their mouths, the vet didn't want to suture her so they cleaned the wound and gave us antibiotics."

Time and medicine have healed Chloe's physical wounds says Ms. Eminhizer. but the scars of the experience have stayed with her. "She doesn't like big dogs now. She's more apprehensive. She's scared."

The coyote experience changed Ms. Eminhizer too.

"We got lucky that my neighbor was there to save her. I won't let Chloe or Coco even go into the backyard if they aren't together now," she says. "We like the wildlife. but we don't like them attacking our pets."

Unfortunately, there isn't a real solution to the coyote problem. Relocating coyotes is not an option because it only moves the problem to someone else's neighborhood. What residents can do is be proactive in making their yards and neighborhoods less appealing to wild animals in search of sustenance by addressing attractants such as fallen fruit and compost piles.

Coyotes primarily hunt rodents and rabbits for food, but will take advantage of whatever is available, including garbage, pet food and domestic animals. The CDFW offers the following recommendations to deter coyotes from visiting your home and neighborhood:

- Put garbage in tightly-closed containers that cannot be tipped over.

- Keep trashcans away from your fence-line, as they can act as stepping-stones for coyotes to gain access to your backyard

- Remove sources of water and do not leave pet food outside.

- Bring pets in at night.

- Put away bird feeders at night to avoid attracting rodents and other prey.

- Pick up fallen fruit and cover compost piles.

- Install motion-sensor outdoor lighting so coyotes don't feel secluded.

- Secure crawl spaces under homes and sheds where coyotes could shelter.

Ask your neighbors to follow these tips.

"Another great tip is soaking old T-shirts and towels in ammonia and placing them in an area where the coyote has been," recommends Mr. Nelson. "It's not a permanent solution but it will deter the coyote from returning to that location again, at least temporarily."

If you're in an area where you may see wildlife, even if it's your own neighborhood, the CDFW recommends that you carry a walking stick or a golf club, even a Maglite, and be sure to make lots of noise so they know you're coming. "Coyote Whistles," which are free to residents and available at the Claremont Police Department, are also an easy way to protect yourself and your pets.

"If you do encounter a coyote in your path, make a lot of noise and pick up your pet if you have one with you," says Mr. Nelson. "He may come at you but will break off about 10 to 15 feet in front of you. He'll move on. It's just what they do."

Earth has multiple moons? Hunting for "minimoons" orbiting Earth


© Bryce Bolin/University of Hawaii, used with permission

PanSTARRS on patrol.

It's an engaging thought experiment.

What if Earth had multiple moons? Our world has

one large natural satellite

, just over a quarter the diameter, 1/50th the volume, and less than 1/80th the mass of our fair world. In fact, the Earth-Moon system has sometimes been referred to as a "binary planet," and our Moon stands as the largest natural satellite of any planet - that is, if you subscribe to bouncing Pluto and Charon out of "the club" - in contrast to its primary of any moon in our solar system.

But what if we had two or more moons? And are there any tiny "moonlet" candidates lurking out there, awaiting discovery and perhaps exploration?

While historical searches for tiny secondary moons of the Earth - and even "moons of our Moon" - have turned up naught, the Earth does indeed capture asteroids as temporary moons and eject them back into solar orbit from time to time.

Now, a

recent paper

out of the University of Hawaii written in partnership with the SETI Institute and the Department of Physics at the University of Helsinki has looked at the possible prospects for the population of captured Near-Earth asteroids, and the feasibility of detecting these with existing and future systems about to come online.

Waltemath’s Moon

© Wikimedia Commons image in the public domain

The announcement (in German) of the discovery of Waltemath’s Moon. “Ein zweiter Mond der Erde” translates into “a second Earth moon.”

The hunt for spurious moons of the Earth has a fascinating and largely untold history. Arthur Upgren's outstanding book

Many Skies

devotes an entire chapter to the possible ramifications of an Earth with multiple moons... sure, more moons would be a bane for astrophotographers, but hey, eclipses and transits of the Sun would be more common, a definite plus.

In 1846, astronomer Frederic Petit announced the discovery of a tiny Earth-orbiting moon from Toulouse observatory. "Petit's Moon" was said to orbit the Earth once every 2 hours and 44 minutes and reach an apogee of 3,570 kilometres and a perigee of just 11.4 (!) kilometres, placing it well inside the Earth's atmosphere on closest approach.

A slightly more believable claim came from astronomer Georg Waltemath in 1898 for a moon 700 kilometres in size - he claimed it was, of course, a very dark body and not very easily visible - orbiting the Earth at about 2.5 times the distance of the Moon. Waltemath even made an announcement of his discovery, and claimed to have found a


moon of the Earth for good measure.

And a much more dubious claim came from the astrologer Walter Gornold in 1918 of a secondary moon, dubbed Lilith. Apparently, then (as now) astrologers never actually bothered to


at the skies...

Turns out, our large Moon makes a pretty good goaltender, ejecting - and sometimes taking a beating from - any tiny second moon hopeful. Of course, you can't blame those astronomers of yore entirely.

Though none of these spurious moons survived the test of observational verification, these discoveries often stemmed from early efforts to accurately predict the precise motion of the Moon. Astronomers therefore felt they were on the right track, looking for an unseen perturbing body.

Fast forward to the 21




of the Earth, such as 3753 Cruithne, have horseshoe-shaped orbits and seem to approach and recede from our planet as both orbit the Sun. Similar quasi-moons of Venus have also been discovered.

And even returning space junk can masquerade as a moon of Earth, as was the case of J002E3 and

2010 QW1

, which turned out to be boosters from Apollo 12 and the Chinese Chang'e-2 missions, respectively.

What modern researchers are looking for are termed Temporarily Captured Orbiters, or TCOs. The study notes that perhaps an average of a few dozen asteroids up to 1 to 2 metres in size are in a "steady state" population that may be orbiting the Earth at any given time on an enter, orbit, and eject sort of conveyor belt. Estimates suggest that a large 5 to 10 metre asteroid is captured every decade so, and a 100 metre or larger TCO is temporarily captured by the Earth every 100,000 years. The study also estimates that about 1% occasionally hit the Earth. And though it wasn't a TCO, the ability to detect an Earthbound asteroid before impact was demonstrated in 2008 with the discovery of

2008 TC3

, less than 24 hours prior to striking in the Sudanese desert.

"There are currently no projects that are solely looking for minimoons at this time," lead researcher Bryce Bolin of the University of Hawaii told

Universe Today

. "There are several surveys, such as PanSTARRS, the Catalina Sky Survey and the Palomar Transit Factory that are currently in operation that have the capability of discovering minimoons."

2006 RH120

© Wikimedia Commons/Ohms law

The convoluted orbit of 2006 RH120 around the Earth-Moon system, to date the only confirmed TCO.

We're getting better at this hazardous asteroid detection business, that's for sure. The researchers modeled paths and orbits for TCOs in the study, and also noted that collections may "clump" at the anti-sunward L2 opposition point, and the L1 sunward point, with smaller distributions located at the east and west quadrature points located 90 degrees on either side of the Earth. The L2 point in particular might make a good place to start the search.

Ironically, systems such as LINEAR and PanSTARRS may have already captured a TCO in their data and disregarded them in their quest for traditional Near Earth Objects.

"Surveys such as PanSTARRS/LINEAR utilize a filtration process to remove artifacts and false positives in the data as it gets processed through the data pipeline," Researcher Bryce Bolin told

Universe Today

. "A common method is to apply a rate of motion cut... this is effective in eliminating many artifacts (which) tend to have a rate of motion as measured by the pipeline which is very high."

Such systems aren't always looking for fast movers near Earth orbit that can produce a trail or streak which may reassemble space junk or become lost in the gaps over multiple detection devices. And speaking of which, researchers note that Arecibo and the U.S. Air Force's

Space Surveillance System

may be recruited in this effort as well. To date, one definite TCO, named 2006 RH120 has been documented orbiting and departing from the vicinity of the Earth, and such worldlets might make enticing targets for future manned missions due to their relatively low Delta-V for arrival and departure.

Asteroid Mission


An artist’s concept of a possible future asteroid mission near Earth.

PanSTARRS-2 saw first light last year in 2013, and is slated to go online for full science operations by the end of 2014. Eventually, the PanSTARRS system will employ four telescopes, and may find a bevy of TCOs. The researchers estimate in the study that a telescope such as Subaru stands a 90% chance of nabbing a TCO after only five nights of dedicated sweeps of the sky.

Finally, the study also notes that evidence miniature moonlets orbiting Earth may lurk in the all sky data gathered by automated cameras and amateur observers during meteor showers. Of course, we're talking tiny, dust-to-pebble sized evidence, but there's no lower limit as to what constitutes a moon...

And so, although moons such a "Lilith" and "Petit's Moon" belong to the annuals of astronomical history, temporary "minimoons" of Earth are modern realities. And as events such as Chelyabinsk remind us, it's always worthwhile to hunt for hazardous NEOs (and TCOs) that may be headed our way. Hey, to paraphrase science fiction author

Larry Niven

: unlike the dinosaurs, we have a space program!

Read more about the fascinating history of moons that never were and more in the classic book

The Haunted Observatory


Coyote attacks second young girl in Rye, New York


Another young girl was attacked by a coyote in Rye Tuesday evening while playing in her fenced backyard,

just days after a 6-year-old girl was attacked by a pair of the wild animals about a mile away.

The news came Tuesday night as Rye Police Commissioner Williams Connors was giving a speech at the Jay Heritage Center about police efforts to ensure public safety after Friday's coyote attack on 6-year-old Emily Hodulik on LaSalle Avenue.

Interrupting the talk, Connors received a call from an officer in the field stating that police were responding to an incident involving a coyote biting another child, this time on North Street in Rye.

The attack happened at 80 North St. while the girl was playing with friends in her fenced backyard.

Tricia Ellis, who lives next door to the family, said her daughter was playing in the backyard with the victim, a 3-year-old girl named Erica, when the coyote jumped over a rock in between two fences behind her and her neighbor's home.

Ellis' 6-year-old daughter, Stephanie, said she and Erica were making their way toward the Ellis' backyard when she turned around and saw a coyote was attacking the girl and "chewing on her neck."

Stephanie said she began to yell for her mother, who scared the coyote away and brought the children inside the home and called 911.

Ellis said Erica was covered in blood behind her ears and in parts of her hair. She said she could not immediately tell how badly Erica was hurt, but her injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

Ironically, Ellis said she had shown her two children a picture of a coyote earlier in the day, so they would know how to respond if the animal approached them.

Police have yet to make an official statement about the incident, but Erica's father, who answered the door this evening after his daughter was transported to the hospital, told Rye Patch that she was bleeding from the neck, but that he was unaware of her condition. He said his wife was with their daughter at the hospital.

He declined to give his name or comment any further.

Coyote sightings are not uncommon around North Street. Many of the homes in the neighborhood share a backyard with the Rye Nature Center, so deer and other wildlife roam around the area.

Two neighbors of the family told Rye Patch they had just seen two coyotes around 8 p.m. in the neighborhood. At the Jay Heritage Center event, Connors said police received calls about the sighting of two coyotes near Midland School Tuesday around 6:30 p.m. It is not yet known whether these are the same coyotes involved in Friday's attack.

Westchester County Police and Rye Police were still at the scene of the incident around 8 p.m. About an hour later, the Rye Fire Department was on scene, as well as two officers toting what appeared to be rifles. One of them was seen going behind 80 North St., in the direction of the grounds of the Rye Nature Center.

Police told Rye Patch that the coyote may still be hungry, so it is likely still in the area, which could make it easier for police to locate and trap the animal.

On Monday, Connors said though officials advocate humane trapping and release of coyotes, the police have no choice other than to be more aggressive in their efforts,

since the animals have become less fearful of humans and more willing to approach, and in some cases, attack people. Nevertheless, coyote attacks on humans remain extremely rare. On average, only six attacks occur in the United States each year.

Experts describe the animals as generally timid, leaving officials struggling to explain exactly why the attacks are happening.

One key factor is that coyotes have dramatically expanded their range and are now found in more metropolitan areas in North America than ever before, according

to a recent study on coyote attacks

on humans and animals by Lynsey A. White and Stanley Gehrt from Ohio State University's School of Environmental and Natural Resources.

They looked at 142 reported attack incidents and found a slightly higher number of coyote attacks on children than adults, but that the majority of the attacks classified as "predatory" involved children.

Rabies didn't appear to be a major factor

, but attacks were more likely in spring and summer, reflecting the greater time spent outdoors. They also suggested in the report, published in October 2009 in the periodical

Human Dimensions of Wildlife,

that homeowners might unwittingly play a role by leaving pets or pet food outside unattended.

Is this Bigfoot's footprint? Men discover evidence of mysterious six-foot-tall creature in Mississippi woods

A large footprint unlike one from a human or bear has been found in the woods in Mississippi - raising suggestions that the creature it belongs to is Bigfoot.

The large print was found by Peyton Lassiter in Vicksburg on August 12 - nine months after another local man, David Childers, saw a large grey figure running through a wooded area nearby.

Lassiter had been working on an air conditioner 400 yards from an abandoned playground that borders the woods when he came across the footprint and made a cast of it.

The cast - which trapped white-gray hairs from the animal - measures nine inches long and is almost six inches wide at the toes,

The Jackson Clarion-Ledger


© Rick Guy/The Clarion-Ledger

Discovery: Peyton Lassiter shows the cast he made from a large footprint he found near to a wooded area in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He said the ridges on the footprint mean it was not made by a bear

© Rick Guy/The Clarion-Ledger

Found: Lassiter, right, contacted paranormal investigator David Childers, left, after making the discovery last month and learned that Childers had seen a mysterious gray figure in the woods last year

'That right there isn't human,' Lassiter told


, pointing to the print.

Not only does the color of the hair fail to match a bear's, but he also noted there were fingerprint-like ridges in the cast - a feature found only on humans and primates, he said.

'I have no knowledge of what made it, and I didn't see what made it, but it's very intriguing,' he said.

He contacted Childers, co-founder of the Delta Paranormal Project, when he saw his truck marked with the project's logo. On speaking to him, he learned Childers could have seen the creature responsible for the print.

'We were just blown away,' Lassiter told the


. 'That kind of brought some clarity to what we were dealing with. In other words, it raised additional questions.'



Sighting: Childers said last November he saw the six-foot-tall creature see him and then dash into the woods

© Rick Guy/The Clarion-Ledger

Scene: The sightings occurred near this run-down playground, an area where hunting is not allowed

Childers explained that he had seen the creature as he tried to film some paranormal activity at the playground, claiming he had previously heard children's voices there.

Instead, he said he heard a crashing noise in the woods - and was stunned by what he saw: a 6ft-tall creature running through the woods.

'It was definitely a shaggy coat to it, like a grayish-brown color,' he said. 'When it made the noise that spooked me, I looked over, and it looked like it stood up and just bolted off.'

He said that it happened so quickly that he did not have the chance to take pictures.

While he has long hunted for paranormal activity - even appearing on network A&E with his finds - he would not say whether he believed it could be Bigfoot.

© Rick Guy/The Clarion-Ledger

Search: Childers' group, The Delta Paranormal Project, is now investigating the area further

But 'if you have a piece of physical evidence such as this it's definitely worth not totally ruling out', Lassiter told WJTV.

Both men agree that whatever it is, it must be smart enough to have avoided being seen.

Lassiter said he has found previously recorded sights in the area, reaching from 1721, when a priest wrote about seeing a huge human-like creature in Natchez.

The Delta Paranormal Research group is now planning to investigate the area further.

CNN admits: No signs of Russian invasion, all quiet in Novoazovsk

Ukrainian troops have been taking a severe beating by Novorussian separatists.

MOSCOW - The situation in Ukraine's southeast border town of Novoazovsk is calm and there are no signs of Russian military forces, according to CNN.

For a town at the epicenter of what Kiev calls a direct military invasion on the part of Russia, "Novoazovsk could not feel more peaceful," the CNN reported Saturday.

There are no signs of "marauding" Russian Army in the town, with locals being much more concerned with the Ukrainian military, according to CNN reporter.

"I heard rumors about some Russian tanks but no one could prove them either way.

I'm more scared of the Ukrainian Army anyway. They come through here on motorbikes, with guns. Sometimes they are drunk

," a local resident said.

The militia forces seized the town from the Ukrainian forces on Wednesday and want to take Mariupol, a major port on the Sea of Azov.

"It's a question of training, and my men are better trained than the Ukrainian forces," an independence forces commander told CNN, underlining that the tanks the militia have been using are spoils of war and not Russia-issued.

Since April, Ukrainian authorities have been conducting a military operation against the independence supporters in eastern Ukraine who refused to recognize the legitimacy of new Ukrainian government.

The West has repeatedly accused Russia of building up forces on its border with eastern Ukraine and supplying independence supporters with weapons, a claim Moscow has rejected.

200 Colombian girls fall ill with a mysterious illness: The puzzling symptoms are feared to have resulted from a bad reaction to a cervical cancer vaccination

More than 200 teenage girls have reportedly fallen ill with an as-of-yet unidentifiable illness in the small town of El Carmen de Bolivar, in northern Colombia.

The girls, who range between the ages of 9 and 16, have suffered symptoms of fainting, numbness in the hands and headaches.

Some are suggesting that that mystery sickness could be a bizarre case of mass hysteria (that's a


that can make you ill?) but recent reports suggest parents' concerns that

the root cause could be a vaccination for cervical cancer, as all of the victims of the illness have been injected with Gardasil recently.

The outbreak reportedly began in May, but attracted noticeable attention last weekend, when around 120 young girls were rushed to hospital complaining of the odd symptoms. The sudden surge in illness inundated the small town's limited medical facilities, leaving little room for the large number medical complaints that followed.

Despite the fact that the vaccination has been looked to as the explanation of the mysterious ill health, investigations suggest that there aren't any obvious links to the globally tested jab, which prevents four strains of HPV, the virus which can cause cervical cancer.

Thankfully, it's believed that none of the girls' lives are in threat after suffering symptoms, and most have now been released from hospital.

But Colombia's Health Minister, Alejandro Gaviria, is unimpressed with the sensationalist coverage the incident has attracted, voicing his concerns that it potentially fuels unnecessary concerns for the 2.9 million other women who have had the vaccination in Colombia.

"On one side we have the weight of scientific evidence and on the other are opinions and moral prejudices," he told a radio station, before reminding listeners of the importance of the injection which aims to prevent a cancer responsible for the loss of over 3,000 Colombian women's lives each year.

So for now, it looks like it'll remain a mystery, and we just hope that until a direct link between the vaccination is realised, it doesn't dissuade women from having the important injection.

MSM agrees! U.S. aids and arms extremist terrorist groups in Syria and Ukraine


After provoking what is increasingly a devastating and expanding conflict in Ukraine,

NATO appears to be out of options as its proxy regime loses its grip on both its military campaign against its own population in eastern Ukraine, as well as political control in the capital of Kiev itself

. However, despite the turn of events, with NATO apparently rudderless, those seeking to undo and reserve the damage the West has created in Eastern Europe must not become complacent.

NATO still possesses several options with which it can respond to its deteriorating proxy regime and the eroding of its interests both in the region, and around the world.

Propaganda Retrenchment Before Aggressive Military Aid

As the West has done in Syria, it now seeks to do in Ukraine -

a complete retrenchment of the official narrative regarding the nature of the ongoing conflict

. Previously, the Western media has gone through great lengths to obscure

overt Nazism running throughout both the political front

it is propping up in Kiev, as well as across

the irregular forces sent alongside what remains of Ukraine's national army

. Western media outlets have briefly touched on the issue in attempts to mitigate and manage growing public concern.

Regarding the formation by the Interior Ministry in Kiev of a battalion of Nazis -

the Azov Battalion

- the BBC would publish, "

Ukraine conflict: 'White power' warrior from Sweden

," the


would publish, "

Ukraine crisis: the neo-Nazi brigade fighting pro-Russian separatists

," and Al Jazeera would publish, "

Driven by far-right ideology, Azov Battalion mans Ukraine's front line

." Each would in turn, admit that literal Nazis are fighting on behalf of the NATO-backed regime in Kiev - with the regime itself raising ultra-right, Neo-Nazi battle formations.

But each would also attempt to downplay the implications and role of Nazism within the ongoing conflict.

That was until

Foreign Policy

magazine published its article, praising what it called, "

fascist defenders of freedom

." It's article titled, "

Preparing For War with Ukraine's Fascist Defenders of Freedom

," claims:

The Azov Battalion - so named for the Sea of Azov on which this industrial city is located - is one of dozens of volunteer battalions fighting alongside pro-government forces in eastern Ukraine. After separatist troops and armor attacked from the nearby Russian border and took the neighboring town of Novoazovsk, this openly neo-Nazi unit has suddenly found itself defending the city against what Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called a Russian invasion.

Pro-Russian forces have said they are fighting against Ukrainian nationalists and "fascists" in the conflict, and in the case of Azov and other battalions, these claims are essentially true.


Foreign Policy

finally admits that indeed,

warnings that NATO was backing literal Nazis in Ukraine were more than mere "Kremlin propaganda," but rather the unequivocal truth


Foreign Policy

would continue by reporting:

Besides a strong defense, Ukraine needs the support of the West to defeat the invaders, Odnorozhenko argued. He called for the Europe and the United States to take a more aggressive stance on Russia and begin shipping weapons to Ukrainian pro-government forces.

Comment: Someone should remind the editors of Foreign Policy that the only invaders in this conflict are the troops from Kiev.

And that is precisely what the United States and Europe are attempting to do - begin

shipping more weapons and other forms of lethal aid to continue propping up the regime in Kiev

. By embracing the Nazi militants fighting on behalf of Kiev, and simply claiming Russia is "worse," the West can repeat the strategy it used in Syria after it became apparent that militants fighting the government in Damascus were

hardcore terrorists driven by sectarian extremism and aligned to Al Qaeda


In fact, it was also

Foreign Policy

who, in mid-2012, published an article titled, "

Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists: So the rebels aren't secular Jeffersonians. As far as America is concerned, it doesn't much matter


Comment: In other words, FP is a propaganda mouthpiece for U.S. intelligence and covert ops. No surprise there.



article also attempted to create a narrative that portrayed the Syrian government as a more pressing issue than revelations that NATO-backed militants were sectarian extremists, not the "pro-democracy freedom fighters" they were portrayed as being during and directly after the so-called "Arab Spring."

Foreign Policy

would also create

an array of excuses explaining why militants were extremists

- a strategy expected to play out again as Kiev's Nazism continues to emerge into greater public view.

By embracing and excusing two abhorrent ideologies and the heavily armed militant groups espousing them, NATO is able to continue backing both terrorists in Syria and Nazis in Ukraine. With the burden of covering up Nazism in Ukraine "off NATO's chest," it can commit to a more aggressive strategy of

arming and aiding them. Direct NATO Intervention

The self-destructive fleeing forward of the West generally takes the form of

political destabilizations, terrorism, false-flag attacks, incremental mission creep, and covert proxy wars

. What it has learned from Russia in both 2008 in Georgia and again this year in Crimea, is that direct, unpredictable, bold moves can pay off.

NATO recently has been very public in stating it has no intention of intervening in Ukraine. Since NATO perpetually keeps the threat of military intervention "on the table" for all other conceivable conflicts across the planet, it is strange that both it, and its proxy regime in Kiev,

have gone through extra efforts

to insist such a scenario in Ukraine is neither desired, nor even "on the table."

With NATO building up troops in Eastern Europe, and its attempts to lull Russia into a false sense of security, planners in Moscow, eastern Ukrainians confronting NATO-backed troops on the battlefield in Ukraine, and in theaters across the region,

sudden NATO intervention must be accounted for, as well as a swift counterstroke to disrupt what will be a precarious proposition for Western interests unaccustomed to such a risky move

, and merely depending on shock, awe, and surprise to follow it through.

Incremental Escalation

Barring a negotiated settlement brokered by Kiev that sees its forces withdrawn from eastern Ukraine and contested provinces forfeited to rebels, it is likely NATO will continue incremental escalation combining both an increasingly aggressive strategy of arming and aiding Kiev's forces regardless of their overt Nazism, as well as an incremental NATO build-up along Ukraine's borders and covertly within them.

Whether NATO commits to a more desperate strategy entirely depends on whether or not this incremental escalation can continue at a quicker pace than the regime in Kiev can collapse.

With NATO and the special interests driving its agenda failing in Ukraine and floundering in Syria,

the West has exhibited signs of dangerous desperation causing lapses in judgement and an overall lack of deep, coherent, strategic planning

. It has gone from forcing its enemies to react to its provocations in 2011, to a series of backpedaling reactions in the face of formidable counterstrokes made in return ever since. An enemy that is desperate, is an enemy that is dangerous. Feeling it has nothing to lose, it may commit to an increasingly reckless strategy of provocations in hopes that its enemies' caution and reason force them to back down.

Remove Vaccine Safety Oversight from DHHS - 'too much power for one federal agency'

On Aug. 27, 2014 a senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


publicly admitted


that he and other CDC officials, including the current CDC's Director of Immunization Safety

3, 4

published a study about MMR vaccine safety in 2004


that "omitted statistically significant information" and "did not follow the final study protocol. "He said the study "omitted relevant findings in a particular study for a particular sub group for a particular vaccine" and added that "there have always been recognized risks for vaccination" and "it is the responsibility for the CDC to properly convey [vaccine] risks."

CDC: A History of Limiting Transparency

We couldn't agree more. CDC officials should not be in the business of deliberately withholding information from the public about vaccine risks that may be greater for some children than other children.


Unfortunately, CDC officials have a long history of limiting transparency

7, 8

and being less than honest with the American people about what it does and does not know about vaccine risks.

9, 10

Last July, a RAND Corporation study commissioned and funded by DHHS was published proclaiming that vaccines "are very safe."


What was not made clear to the public was that the study was designed and peer reviewed by high-level CDC officials, including the CDC's Director of Immunization Safety.


This is a big problem for parents being ordered to give their children every government recommended vaccine - no exceptions and no questions asked.

13,14NVIC Calls on Congress to Take Action on DHHS Conflicts of Interest

Today, the National Vaccine Information Center is renewing our call for oversight of vaccine safety to be removed from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).


It is a conflict of interest for DHHS to be in charge of vaccine safety and also license vaccines,


and take money from drug companies to fast track vaccines,


and partner with drug companies to develop and share profits from vaccine sales,


and make national vaccine policies19 that get turned into state vaccine laws


while also deciding which children will and will not get a vaccine injury compensation award.

21, 22

That is too much power for one federal agency. That is putting the fox in charge of guarding the chicken coop.

Vaccination Can Cause Brain Inflammation and Injury

Especially when it has been known since the first vaccine for smallpox that vaccination can cause brain inflammation

23, 24 25, 26, 27

and a wide spectrum of brain injury symptoms, like developmental delays and disabilities.

28, 29, 30

It is very telling that Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court have declared that vaccines are "unavoidably unsafe" and completely shielded drug companies from vaccine injury lawsuits.

31, 32

In America, if you or your child gets hurt by a vaccine, you can't hold anyone who developed, regulated, recommended, marketed, mandated, administered, or profits from the vaccine accountable in a civil court of law in front of a jury of your peers.

Parents Concerns About Vaccine Safety Legitimate

The recent statement by a CDC senior scientist admitting that vaccine risk data is being withheld from the public is just one more piece of evidence that parents' questions and concerns about vaccine safety are legitimate.

Congress should act now and take vaccine safety monitoring away from DHHS.

The health of our children is at stake.

Contact Your U.S. Senator and Representative

Contact your U.S. Senator and Representative today and tell them you want something done about conflicts of interest in the nation's vaccination system.


If your child's health has been harmed by vaccination, tell them about that too.

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Obama's 'stupid stuff' legacy


© nationalinterest.org

But whether people see what's happening in Ukraine, and Russia's aggression towards its neighbors in the manner in which it's financing and arming separatists; to what's happened in Syria - the devastation that [President Bashar al-]Assad has wrought on his own people; to the failure in Iraq for Sunni and Shia and Kurd to compromise - although we're trying to see if we can put together a government that actually can function; to ongoing terrorist threats; to what's happening in Israel and Gaza - part of peoples' concern is just the sense that around the world the old order isn't holding and we're not quite yet to where we need to be in terms of a new order that's based on a set of different principles, that's based on a sense of common humanity, that's based on economies that work for all people. - President Barack Obama

Looks like US President Barack Obama made a royal mess of what his mentor Dr Zbigniew "Grand Chessboard" Brzezinski taught him.

Dr Zbig always quotes Sir Halford John Mackinder's three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy; to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals; to keep tributaries pliant and protected; and to keep the barbarians from coming together.

After dabbling briefly with "leading from behind" - a non-starter - Obama finally went Mackinderesque with his stellar "

Don't Do Stupid Stuff

" foreign policy doctrine.

Nevertheless, an always alert former secretary of state Hillary Clinton said "Don't do Stupid Stuff"

isn't a "foreign policy organizing principle"

. Yet "Stupid Stuff" is all that the Obama foreign policy team knows how to do.

Starting with Obama treating Russia under President Vladimir Putin the way Hillary's husband treated Russia under vodka container Boris Yeltsin. Then came the decision - without any public debate - to start bombing Iraq all over again. And soon Syria. Bombs Away in Syraq!

So "protect" Yazidis, yes. Protect Gazans, no. "Protect" Kiev's bunch of neo-Nazis, fascists and shady oligarchs, yes. Protect Russophones in Eastern Ukraine, no.

It all started with protecting Irbil - already protected by Sumerian goddess Ishtar for millennia. Then protecting Irbil and Baghdad. Then protecting all "strategic" sites in Iraq.

Retired General Carter Ham of AFRICOM/"We came, we saw, he died" fame, was adamant that it will be "very difficult" to pull off so much protecting with only a few fighter jets. So drones will be needed. And troops on the ground.

From protecting ExxonMobil and Chevron to double bombing in Syraq. No wonder the Return of the Living (Neo-Con) Dead are so excited. It's the Greater Middle East all over again. And guess who will be part of the coalition of the willing to fight the Caliph? Britain, Australia, Turkey, Jordan and Gulf Cooperation Council stalwarts Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Almost the same bunch (five among seven) that enabled the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the first place, from "Assad must go" to "good" and "bad" jihadis, and finally to ISIS (now the Islamic State) configured as the sprawling abode - complete with flush private army - of Caliph Ibrahim.

And no,

there's no strategy

. Hee haw!

Bye bye petrodollar

Now let's see the dividends of "Don't Do Stupid Stuff" as applied to Ukraine.

Back to the Mackinderesque Dr Zbig. Some vassals - the usual NATO/GCC suspects, but not all of them - may still believe they profit from "security dependence", while others remain nervously pliant and, in theory, feel "protected" by the Empire of Chaos.

But then the Empire of Chaos "encouraged" a de facto coup. And gave the green light for the new Kiev mob to do in Eastern Ukraine roughly what Israel does in Gaza. The idea in Ukraine was to bog down Russia in its western borderlands and cut off the economic/trade link between Russia and Germany. Cut Eurasia in half.

But then Obama launched a Cold War 2.0 that could easily turn hot. He destroyed the relationship with chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany and amplified the strategic embrace between the Bear and the Dragon, with the result that Beijing started paying less attention to the "pivoting to Asia" because now it enjoys even more backing from Moscow. Meanwhile, Moscow further stalls Washington's advances in Central Asia.

Sanctions on Russia not only reinforce its internal market but also boost its foreign trade - way beyond European shores. Yet still it was not enough to totally sell out to Wall Street and totally wreck US foreign policy. With aides/advisors like National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Deputy National Security Advisor Benjamin Rhodes, US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who needs enemies?

Obama's sanctions hysteria is leading the way to the progressive end of the US dollar as reserve currency, and the end of the petrodollar.



- the most important news of these last few months after the Russia-China "gas deal of the century".

Obama is accelerating the now uncontrolled collapse of the Empire of Chaos. The new axis of the future - Beijing, Moscow, Berlin - is slowly but surely coming together. There's nothing "barbarian" about them. And the bulk of the Global South supports them.

"The old order isn't holding" - indeed. "The Caliph is evil. So I'm applying more sanctions on Russia." How's that for Empire management? Good boy. Now pivot. With yourself. And with no strategy.

Vanished without a trace: Authorities investigate unexplained disappearances in Centre County, Pennsylvania

Editor's Note: This is the first in a six-part series highlighting missing persons cases in Centre County.

Jennifer Cahill-Shadle is the most recent one -

but she isn't the only one


Authorities are investigating the unexplained disappearance of Cahill-Shadle, 48, who was last seen May 15 at Walmart on North Atherton Street in Ferguson Township. She joins a group of missing persons connected to Centre County, including Joey Lynn Offutt, Ray Gricar, Hyun Jong "Cindy" Song, Dawn Marie Miller and Brenda Louise Condon.

In all cases, these adults vanished. While in some instances evidence indicates foul play, each disappearance remains a mystery.

Kenneth Mains, founder of the American Investigative Society of Cold Cases (AISOCC) and detective for the Lycoming County District Attorney's Office, says missing persons cases are challenging to solve due to investigators' workloads and a lack of resources.

"What the public doesn't understand is a detective's workload never slows down. They're working on leads in the beginning. Then they die down. And those robberies, those burglaries, those criminal mischief cases, they keep coming," says Mains. "And eventually, the case gets pushed to the side. Then it goes in the drawer. Then, the next thing you know, it's in the vault because they can't spend their whole time on that one case."

Part of the problem, Mains says, is that eventually a detective's leads dry up. Mains says when that happens, a detective should actively generate new leads by going out and talking to people. However, Mains says often detectives keep getting new cases and don't have the time or resources to generate those new leads.

"It's a catch 22. They try their best to solve these cases," he says.

Mains' organization helps law enforcement agencies by looking at cold cases on a pro bono basis. Mains, along with other established investigators from across the country, have looked at hundreds of cases since 2013.

Law enforcement agencies provide the team access to the cold case file. The team reviews the materials and then drafts a report that highlights details potentially overlooked by the original investigators or makes suggestions for potential suspects because their statements to police don't add up.

"I truly believe that these law enforcement agencies are doing the best they can with the resources they have, but that's why my organization is here, to offer more resources," says Mains.

When a person is reported missing, Mains says the key is to get information about the potential victim to the news media as quickly as possible. Additionally, Mains says investigators should learn everything possible about the potential victim -- their habits, their hangouts, their friends.

"You have to know every detail about them because that will tell you whether she ran away or was a victim of foul play," he says.

This is the story of Jennifer Cahill-Shadle.

Cahill-Shadle was last seen around 5 p.m. May 15 at Walmart carrying a black shoulder bag. Police released surveillance images of Cahill-Shadle from Walmart, which were captured about 4:51 p.m. while she's seen exiting the store. At that moment, the mystery begins.

Johanna Zmuida, Cahill-Shadle's mother, reported her daughter missing May 19 after not hearing from her for several days. Typically, Zmuida says her daughter calls her every two or three days. She last spoke to her May 13.

Cahill-Shadle resided in Ferguson Township for years before moving to Orwigsburg last November to live with her mother. She returned to the State College area in April, staying at hotels or with friends, but not at the Ferguson Township home she shared with her husband.

Zmuida says her daughter was going through a divorce. After staying with her mother, Cahill-Shadle decided to move back to the State College area to be closer to her two children. Zmuida says her daughter stayed was looking for an apartment.

Cahill-Shadle does not have a car and usually gets around by walking or taking a taxi. Police describe her as a white female who is 5-feet 4-inches tall, weighs 115 pounds, and has blue eyes and curly brown hair.

There hasn't been any activity on Cahill-Shadle's credit cards or insurance cards.

"I know she didn't leave on her own. She would not have left her things behind. I'm fearful something has happened to her. She would never leave town and not call me or leave town and leave her belongings behind," Zmuida says.

Zmuida is certain someone who was in the area of Walmart on North Atherton Street around 5 p.m. May 15 has critical information that could lead to her daughter's whereabouts.

"We have been pleading with people, if it was your child, your loved one, wouldn't you want someone to step forward and help and find your child or your loved one?"

Still, Zmuida worries society has changed too much and key information could be lost.

"How many times do you hear stories where people are getting mugged or beat up and people just stand by and video tape it? I know what they feel like," says Zmuida. "Jenny was a good-looking person. I think if people really think about it, it was almost 5:00, it was busy there at that time, there were quite a lot of people. Somebody has to remember something, somebody had to see something, and I would just ask that they please come forward and give police the information."

Anyone with information about Cahill-Shadle can contact Ferguson Township Police at (814) 237-1172 or 1-800-479-0050.

Earlier this month, investigators began pursuing a new lead. Police are seeking the public's help to identify a group of men who shared drinks with Cahill-Shadle at Champs Sports Grill on North Atherton Street the evening of May 2, roughly two weeks before she was last seen at Walmart in Ferguson Township.

Police say the men are not suspects, but detectives would like to talk to them in hopes Cahill-Shadle may have discussed her plans for the near future.