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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

FLASHBACK: 10 tons of depleted uranium dropped on Kosovo - UN hid damning contamination report

A shocking text by Senegalese Bakary Kante, head of the UN mission in 1999 about the horrific consequences of the bombing of Serbia was never published, reported.
depleted uranium Kosovo

© NATO.int

Depleted Uranium Engagement Points 6 Apr 99 - 10 Jun 99 - Map produced 18 Jan 01

In May 1999 the United Nations have hidden from the public the report by Bakari Kante, head of the first mission of UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) about the environmental consequences of the bombing of Yugoslavia.

The UN has never published the text, but parts of it leaked to the public thanks to the interviewee of , American independent journalist Robert Parsons, a reporter from the international institutions in Geneva.

He managed to get Kante's report from his source in UNEP and publish its parts in June 1999 in Geneva daily in an article entitled "Hidden alarming report on the consequences of the bombing of Yugoslavia: Toxins that UN will not see".

Parsons spoke exclusively for about how reports on the health consequences of the use of depleted uranium (DU) weapons in the Balkans were censured and changed in the offices of the United Nations.

After 12 days of his stay in Yugoslavia, which was still being bombed at the time, in May 1999, where he was with missions of other agencies of the UN system, Bakary Kante submitted a report to UNEP which speaks of ecological horror: atmosphere and the soil in former Yugoslavia have been permanently contaminated with toxic materials because of the bombing of industrial-chemical complexes and use of depleted uranium weapons.

The report was categorical in the assessment that the future generations living on the bombarded soil will suffer from cancer, leukemia, the number of miscarriages and deformities of newborns will be increased.

Kante's report further says that because of the bombing, the nature in Yugoslavia has been contaminated with toxic substances among which the most dangerous is polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), highly cancerogenous and responsible for immunological diseases. The report stresses that one liter of PCB is enough to contaminate one billion gallons of water.

PCB is located in the electrical substations and numerous oil refineries which were the target of NATO. It is added that the bombing of numerous factories which processed heavy metals caused, among other things, spreading of cadmium and methylmercury (the most poisonous form of mercury). These are metals that are poisonous even if they are spread on an area of several thousand kilometers. The result - the Danube was poisoned.

In the eight[h] chapter of the report Kante speaks about the pollution caused by the use of depleted uranium weapons. "According to available data, NATO used depleted uranium ammunition targeting military and civil targets".

A 30 - milimeter ammunition was used. It was fired mostly from aircrafts "A-10″, as well as within cruising missiles "Tomahawk". These missiles can penetrate 57 mm thick steel.

depleted uranium Kosovo

© Wikipedia

An A-10 Thunderbolt II from the 81st Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, pulls away from a tanker (not shown) after refueling on the way to Serbian targets during Operation ALLIED FORCE.

Their load is radioactive and it is believed that they contain uranium 238, whose radiation is approximately 3.4 Mbq. Uranium belongs to a group of toxic elements that enter the second group of radionuclides of very high toxicity. This kind of ammunition is nuclear waste and its use is very dangerous to health.

The use of this ammunition has terrible consequences for the population, because in addition to physical injuries it causes radiological contamination. This contamination has toxic and radiological consequences that cause cancer," says Kante's report submitted to the Director General of UNEP, Klaus Töpfer.

Kante further says: "During the use (explosion) of the depleted uranium weapon is produced uranium oxide (U308 and UO2) as well as, among other things, very reactive gases radium and radon. The oxide particles have a width between 0.5 and 5 microns, and wind can carry them to the distance of several hundred kilometers.

Since in the region of Yugoslavia dominate northwestern winds, this means that the pollution goes from Yugoslavia to Hungary, Germany, Croatia and Bosnia, or to Albania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Greece."

Swiss paid for silence?

Robert Parsons says that one directly informed source told him that in July 1999 a group of Swiss scientists came to even more dramatic conclusions about the effects of DU in the Balkans, then those contained in the prohibited report of Bakary Kante.

Their research was part of the activities of the diplomatic group FOCUS, consisted of Switzerland, Austria, Russia and Greece. As Switzerland was the one paying all the expenses, other members of the group had to remain silent, said Parsons.

Kante warned: "Radiological and chemical contamination do not make a difference between the military personnel who use these missiles, objectives, territories, innocent civilians, media, groups which are there to provide different kind of assistance, nor this contamination stops at state borders, or is time limited. The half-life of depleted uranium is 4.5 billion years".

Staying in FRY in May 1999, while the bombing was underway, Kante witnessed ecological disaster: "Serious damage was caused to the human environment with destruction of oil refineries, oil-chemical complex, chemical and fertilizer plants, pharmaceutical and other industrial plants.

Existing and potential consequences of the conflict are serious for human environment and affect mostly Serbian part of FR Yugoslavia. Nature and also the population in the Balkans could also be in danger. If the pollution crosses Yugoslav border it could hit other countries in the region. It could also complicate the tragic situation of refugees in some neighboring countries," says his report.

"The settlements in Kosovo are hit the hardest," says Bakary. He concludes that "different kinds of international help is needed" so that FR Yugoslavia could face the consequences caused by the bombing to both human environment and the population.

depleted uranium Kosovo

© Wikipedia

DU penetrator from the A-10 30mm round. - Photo: Wikipedia DU penetrator from the A-10 30mm round.

Irradiated food

In his report Kante also warned: "NATO bombing has happened at the time of sowing of crops vital to the population - corn, sunflower, soybean, sugar beet and vegetables. Cast depleted uranium influenced the quality of air, soil, water, which resulted in both short-term and long-term consequences in the food chain".

The truth can not be hidden - Robert Parsons

"While NATO trumpeted on all sides about its "humanitarian intervention", the report we now talk about spoke of ecological disaster without precedent in European history," said Parsons. He recalled that in May 1999 representatives of various UN organizations, among which UNEP, came to mission in FR Yugoslavia and that subsequently every agency should have sent its report.

"Something unusual happened - nobody spoke of the report of UNEP. As soon as it was submitted, the report was classified in the UN and hidden from the public. It probably ended up in the headquarters of UNEP in Nairobi. None of the humanitarian organizations in Geneva was aware of what was going on, not even the employees in the headquarters of UNEP in Geneva," said Parsons.

"I received Bakary Kante's report from my contact in UNEP. He gave me the code to use the photocopiers and I quickly printed 30 copies. Geneva gave me a whole page on June 19 1999 and I passed everything that was in the censored text," said Parsons. After reading the article in , UN agencies that participated in the mission in Yugoslavia addressed the reporter rather than the UN, asking him to send them the whole report as they received incomplete text from UNEP. Then a press conference was organized in which he asked Klaus Topfer, the Secretary General of UNEP, why was Kante's report hidden from the public.

"Topfer said that the report was published and that nothing was hidden from the public. I then said that the report was published because I had published it. "Yes. And what is the problem?" Topfer asked me. I told him that he deprived other agencies of the Bakary Kante's report although the mandate of UNEP mission in Yugoslavia required that the report is sent to all.

Topfer replied that all agencies got a copy of the report. 'Well of course they received it because I had sent it to them!' to which Topfer, again, coldly replied 'Well, they received the report - what is the problem?'," Parsons described some moments from the press conference.

Parsons added that the conference, held at the UN headquarters in Geneva, lasted almost an hour and that Topfer left the room dripping wet.

depleted uranium Kosovo

© Wikipedia

Gunner's mates inspect linked belts of Mark 149 Mod 2 20mm ammunition before loading it into the magazine of a Mark 16 Phalanx close-in weapons system aboard the battleship USS MISSOURI

9.45 tons of nuclear waste dumped on Kosovo

Parsons said that already in February 2000 the data of the Dutch government in outlines coincide with the data of the U.S. non-governmental organization MTP (Military Toxic Project). In January 2000 MTP asked the U.S. government to lift the confidentiality tag from the files on the use of DU in Kosovo. MTP received the file on January 30 2000 and based on it, the NGO calculated that 9.45 tons of nuclear waste was dumped on Kosovo.

White House knew that the bombs contained DU

It was only after a great public pressure that the Americans acknowledged that the ammunition was stuffed with "dirty" uranium, the most dangerous to humans and the environment.

The Balkan working group within UNEP was the one to alarm the world public on February 16 2001 by announcing that "dirty" uranium was dumped on Kosovo.

It was announced than that the analysis of 340 samples of soil, water, etc. had shown the presence of transuranium elements such as U-236 and traces of plutonium and fission processes. The presence of plutonium was confirmed by two laboratories - the Swedish Institute for Radiological Protection and the Swiss laboratory AC-Speiz.

The U.S. 'Army Operating Concept': pathological blueprint for waging WWIII internationally and domestically

© Unknown

Gen. Raymond Odierno, chief of staff of the Army addressing U.S. Army War College Class of 2015 with his 'war for war's sake' Army Operating Concept programming.

With US politicians and the American media engaged in an increasingly acrimonious debate over the strategy guiding the latest US war in the Middle East, the United States Army has unveiled a new document entitled the Army Operating Concept (AOC), which provides a "vision of future armed conflict" that has the most ominous implications. It is the latest in a series of documents in which the Pentagon has elaborated the underlying strategy of that was unveiled in 1992 - that is, the use of war as a means of destroying potential geopolitical and economic rivals before they acquire sufficient power to block American domination of the globe.

The document was formally released at this week's Association of the United States Army (AUSA) conference, an annual event bringing together senior officers and Defense Department officials for a series of speeches and panel discussions, along with a giant trade show mounted by arms manufacturers to show off their latest weapons systems and pursue lucrative Pentagon contracts.

Much of this year's proceedings were dominated by dire warnings about the impact of cuts to the Army's troop strength brought about by sequestration. Gen. Raymond Odierno, chief of staff of the Army, told reporters at the AUSA conference Monday that he was "starting to worry about our end strength" and regretting having told Congress in 2012 that the Army could manage with 490,000 active-duty soldiers.

In addition to the 490,000, there are 350,000 National Guard soldiers and 205,000 reservists, for a combined force - referred to by the Pentagon as the Total Army - of well over one million American troops. The answer to why such a gargantuan armed force would seem inadequate to Gen. Odierno can be found in the new Army Operating Concept (AOC), a reckless and dangerous document laying out a strategy of total war that encompasses the entire planet, including the United States itself.

The document makes clear that in regard to the ongoing debate over "boots on the ground," for the top brass of the US Army there is no question: there will be boots and plenty of them.

At the outset, the AOC states its "vision" for the coming wars to be fought by the US Army. In language that recalls former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's invocation of the "unknown unknowns," the document asserts: "The environment the Army will operate in is unknown. The enemy is unknown, the location is unknown, and the coalitions involved are unknown."

The thought virus of endless war and U.S. world domination via the military brought to you by pathological types like Gen. Raymond Odierno.

The only logical explanation for this paranoid scenario is that the US military views every country beyond its borders as a potential enemy. Starting from the premise that the environments, the enemies, the locations and the coalitions involved in future conflicts are unknown, the US Army requires a strategy for war against all states and peoples. This strategy is derived from the unstated, underlying imperative that US imperialism exert hegemony over the entire planet, its markets and resources, and that it be prepared to militarily annihilate any rival that stands in its way.

The document states bluntly that the "character of armed conflict" will be influenced primarily by "shifts in geopolitical landscape caused by competition for power and resources." For the Army's top brass, such wars for imperialist domination are a certainty.

The Army's strategic aim, according to the document, is to achieve "overmatch," which it defines as "the application of capabilities or use of tactics in a way that renders an adversary unable to respond effectively."

What do these words entail? In the case of a confrontation with another nuclear power, they encompass the implementation of a first-strike doctrine of mass annihilation. In regard to the subjugation and domination of other areas of the globe, they call for massive ground operations to quell popular resistance and enforce military occupation.

Significantly, after more than a decade of the so-called "global war on terror, " when countering a supposedly ubiquitous threat from Al Qaeda was the overriding mission of the US military-intelligence apparatus, "transnational terrorist organizations" are rather low on the Army's list of priorities.

First and foremost are "competing powers," a category that includes China, followed by Russia. In the case of China, the document evinces serious concern over Chinese "force modernization efforts," which it says are aimed at achieving "stability along its periphery," something that the US military is determined to block. China's military efforts, it states, "highlight the need for Army forces positioned forward or regionally engaged," and for "Army forces to project power from land into the air, maritime, space and cyberspace domains."

Based on recent events in Ukraine, the document accuses Russia of being "determined to expand its territory and assert its power on the Eurasian landmass," precisely US imperialism's own strategic goal. Only a powerful deployment of US ground forces, it argues, can deter Russian "adventurism" and "project national power and exert influence in political conflicts."

From there, the paper proceeds to "regional powers," in the first instance, Iran. It also accuses Iran of "pursuing comprehensive military modernization" and argues that "Taken collectively, Iranian activity has the potential to undermine US regional goals," i.e., undisputed hegemony over the Middle East and its energy resources. Iran's activities, it concludes, "highlight the need for Army forces to remain effective against the fielded forces of nation states as well as networked guerrilla or insurgent organizations."

The document does not limit the "vision" of future military operations to war abroad, but includes the need to "respond and mitigate crises in the homeland," which it describes as "a unique theater of operations for the Joint Force and the Army." The Army's mission within the US, it asserts, includes "defense support of civil authorities."

The AOC document is stark testimony to a military run amuck. Involved in these strategic conceptions are advanced preparations for fighting a Third World War, combined with the institution within the US itself of a military dictatorship in all but name.

Gen. Odierno's complaints about troop strength will not be satisfied by any minor congressional adjustments of the Pentagon budget. The kind of warfare that the Army is contemplating cannot be waged outside of a massive military mobilization by means of universal conscription - the return of the draft.

The founders of the United States repeatedly expressed grave distrust of a standing army. The military as it presently exists and its plan for global warfare represent a hideous modern-day realization of their nightmare scenario. The implementation of this doctrine of total war is wholly incompatible with democratic rights and constitutional government within the US. It requires the ruthless suppression of any political opposition and all social struggles mounted by the American working class.

Within the US ruling establishment and its two political parties, there exists no serious opposition to carrying the militarization of life within the so-called "homeland" to its ultimate conclusion. Civilian control of the military has been turned into a dead letter, with politicians routinely bowing to the generals on matters of policy, both foreign and domestic.

Vast majority of U.S. hospitals not prepared to treat people with Ebola, and the story gets worse

© Unknown

If an epidemic of Ebola ever broke out in the U.S., the Nebraska Biocontainment Patient Care Unit would be only one of less than a handful of hospitals that would be adequately trained and equipped enough to deal with it. And for only small numbers of patients.

This Ebola outbreak is being called the "most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times", and the U.S. health care system is completely and totally unprepared for it. The truth is that most U.S. hospitals are simply not equipped to safely handle Ebola patients, and most hospital staff members have received little or no training on Ebola. And the fact that Barack Obama and our top public health officials are running around proclaiming that Ebola is "difficult to catch" is giving doctors and nurses a false sense of security. There is a reason why Ebola has been classified as a biosafety-level 4 (BSL-4) pathogen. It is an extraordinarily dangerous virus, and there are only a few facilities in the entire country that are set up to safely handle such a disease.

The Ebola patient that recently died in Dallas was the first to be cared for in a facility that did not follow biosafety-level 4 protocols. And so it should not be a surprise that this is the facility where transmission happened...

Of the six Ebola patients treated in the U.S. before the health worker's case, Duncan was the only one not treated at one of the specialized units in several hospitals around the country set up to deal with high-risk germs.

The CDC's director, Dr. Thomas Frieden, has said that any U.S. hospital with isolation capabilities can care for an Ebola patient. But his stance seemed to soften on Sunday, when asked at a news conference whether officials now would consider moving Ebola patients to specialized units.

"We're going to look at all opportunities to improve the level of safety and to minimize risk, but we can't let any hospital let its guard down," because Ebola patients could turn up anywhere, and every hospital must be able to quickly isolate and diagnose such cases, he said.

The head of the CDC continues to underestimate the seriousness of this disease. His opinion that just about any U.S. hospital can safely handle Ebola patients is being contradicted by a whole host of medical experts, including ABC News chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser...

Besser said he does not agree with the Centers for Disease Control, which says any U.S. hospital can safely care for an Ebola patient.

"To do it safely, health care workers need to train and practice using protective equipment like they have been doing at the Emory and Nebraska facilities," he said, referring to special biocontainment units at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta - where Fort Worth physician Kent Brantly was treated for Ebola exposure; and the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where an NBC photojournalist is currently being cared for. "I would never have gone into an Ebola ward in Africa without being dressed and decontaminated by experts - health care workers here should expect no less."

And even if our hospitals had the proper equipment and hospital staff were being given proper BSL-4 protective clothing, the reality of the matter is that most of them have not received adequate training. Just check out the following excerpt from an NBC News article that was posted this week...

Three out of four nurses say their hospital hasn't provided sufficient education for them on Ebola, according to a survey by the largest professional association of registered nurses in the United States.

National Nurses United has been conducting an online survey of health care workers across the U.S. as the Ebola outbreak has widened globally. After a Texas nurse who cared for the first patient diagnosed with the Ebola in the U.S. tested positive for the virus Sunday, the group released its latest survey findings.

Out of more than 1,900 nurses in 46 states and Washington D.C. who responded, 76 percent said their hospital still hadn't communicated to them an official policy on admitting potential patients with Ebola. And a whopping 85 percentsaid their hospital hadn't provided educational training sessions on Ebola in which nurses could interact and ask questions.

If this is indeed the most serious health emergency in modern times like the WHO is saying, then we need to get our health care personnel trained to face it immediately.

Sadly, if a major Ebola pandemic does break out in this country, there is no way that we are going to have the resources to be able to deal with it.

As I discussed yesterday, WND is reporting that there is only one BSL-4 care facility in the entire nation that is available to treat the general public...

Have you wondered why Ebola patients are being sent to Omaha, Nebraska?

It's because one physician, Dr. Philip Smith, had the foresight to set up the Nebraska Biocontainment Patient Care Unit after the Sept. 11 attacks as a bulwark against bioterrorism. Empty for more than a decade, used only for drills, it was called "Maurer's Folly," for Harold Maurer, former chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

The unit has a special air handling system to keep germs from escaping from patient rooms, and a steam sterilizer for scrubs and equipment.

It could handle at most 10 patients at a time, but one or two would be more comfortable, owing to the large volume of infectious waste.

It is the largest of only four such units in the U.S., and the only one designated for the general public.

If the outbreak in the United States is limited to just a few patients we will probably be fine.

But what if it isn't?

Meanwhile, the Obama administration continues to do next to nothing to prevent more people infected with Ebola from traveling into this country.

Obama says that there is "extensive screening" at our airports, but that simply is not true.

The following is one example of the "extensive screening" that is taking place...

The World Health Organization is sending doctors to countries where the virus is most prevalent - Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Fusion's Jorge Ramos spoke to one of the doctors, Dr. Aileen Marty, who recently returned home to Miami after spending 31 days in Nigeria. She says she was surprised what happened when she arrived at Miami International Airport.

"I get to the kiosk...mark the fact that I've been in Nigeria and nobody cares, nobody stopped me," Marty said.

"Not a single test?" Ramos asked her, surprised.

"Nothing," Marty answered.

And the head of the CDC continues to rule out a ban on air travel for non-essential personnel to and from the countries where Ebola is raging...

Dr. Frieden strongly argued against curtailing travel to and from West Africa, in part because that could make it harder to get supplies to those countries. "That will make it harder to stop the disease," he said. "Whatever we do, we won't stop travel to and from these countries."

It is hard to put into words how foolish this is.

If this virus gets loose inside the United States it could easily become the worst health crisis our nation has ever seen.

The key is to keep the virus from getting into our country in the first place.

Banning air travel for non-essential personnel to and from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia would not be that big of a deal. Many other countries have already done it.

But the CDC and the Obama administration are not even considering it.

If they have made the wrong call on this, it could end up costing large numbers of Americans their lives.

Could Earth's magnetic field flip within a human lifetime?

Biaggio Giaccio

© Paul Renne

Left to right, Biaggio Giaccio, Gianluca Sotilli, Courtney Sprain and Sebastien Nomade sitting next to an outcrop in the Sulmona basin of the Apennine Mountains that contains the Matuyama-Brunhes magnetic reversal. A layer of volcanic ash interbedded with the lake sediments can be seen above their heads. Sotilli and Sprain are pointing to the sediment layer in which the magnetic reversal occurred.

Imagine the world waking up one morning to discover that all compasses pointed south instead of north.

It's not as bizarre as it sounds. Earth's magnetic field has flipped - though not overnight - many times throughout the planet's history. Its dipole magnetic field, like that of a bar magnet, remains about the same intensity for thousands to millions of years, but for incompletely known reasons it occasionally weakens and, presumably over a few thousand years, reverses direction.

Now, a new study by a team of scientists from Italy, France, Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley, demonstrates that the last magnetic reversal 786,000 years ago actually happened very quickly, in less than 100 years - roughly a human lifetime.

"It's amazing how rapidly we see that reversal," said UC Berkeley graduate student Courtney Sprain. "The paleomagnetic data are very well done. This is one of the best records we have so far of what happens during a reversal and how quickly these reversals can happen."

Sprain and Paul Renne, director of the Berkeley Geochronology Center and a UC Berkeley professor-in- residence of earth and planetary science, are coauthors of the study, which will be published in the November issue of and is now available online.

Flip could affect electrical grid, cancer rates

The discovery comes as new evidence indicates that the intensity of Earth's magnetic field is decreasing 10 times faster than normal, leading some geophysicists to predict a reversal within a few thousand years.

Though a magnetic reversal is a major planet-wide event driven by convection in Earth's iron core, there are no documented catastrophes associated with past reversals, despite much searching in the geologic and biologic record. Today, however, such a reversal could potentially wreak havoc with our electrical grid, generating currents that might take it down.

And since Earth's magnetic field protects life from energetic particles from the sun and cosmic rays, both of which can cause genetic mutations, a weakening or temporary loss of the field before a permanent reversal could increase cancer rates. The danger to life would be even greater if flips were preceded by long periods of unstable magnetic behavior.

"We should be thinking more about what the biologic effects would be," Renne said.

Dating ash deposits from windward volcanoes

The new finding is based on measurements of the magnetic field alignment in layers of ancient lake sediments now exposed in the Sulmona basin of the Apennine Mountains east of Rome, Italy. The lake sediments are interbedded with ash layers erupted from the Roman volcanic province, a large area of volcanoes upwind of the former lake that includes periodically erupting volcanoes near Sabatini, Vesuvius and the Alban Hills.

Leonardo Sagnotti

Leonardo Sagnotti, standing, and coauthor Giancarlo Scardia collecting a sample for paleomagnetic analysis.

Italian researchers led by Leonardo Sagnotti of Rome's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology measured the magnetic field directions frozen into the sediments as they accumulated at the bottom of the ancient lake.

Sprain and Renne used argon-argon dating, a method widely used to determine the ages of rocks, whether they're thousands or billions of years old, to determine the age of ash layers above and below the sediment layer recording the last reversal. These dates were confirmed by their colleague and former UC Berkeley postdoctoral fellow Sebastien Nomade of the Laboratory of Environmental and Climate Sciences in Gif-Sur-Yvette, France.

Because the lake sediments were deposited at a high and steady rate over a 10,000-year period, the team was able to interpolate the date of the layer showing the magnetic reversal, called the Matuyama-Brunhes transition, at approximately 786,000 years ago. This date is far more precise than that from previous studies, which placed the reversal between 770,000 and 795,000 years ago.

"What's incredible is that you go from reverse polarity to a field that is normal with essentially nothing in between, which means it had to have happened very quickly, probably in less than 100 years," said Renne. "We don't know whether the next reversal will occur as suddenly as this one did, but we also don't know that it won't."

Unstable magnetic field preceded 180-degree flip

Whether or not the new finding spells trouble for modern civilization, it likely will help researchers understand how and why Earth's magnetic field episodically reverses polarity, Renne said.

north pole flip 789

The ‘north pole’ — that is, the direction of magnetic north — was reversed a million years ago. This map shows how, starting about 789,000 years ago, the north pole wandered around Antarctica for several thousand years before flipping 786,000 years ago to the orientation we know today, with the pole somewhere in the Arctic.

The magnetic record the Italian-led team obtained shows that the sudden 180-degree flip of the field was preceded by a period of instability that spanned more than 6,000 years. The instability included two intervals of low magnetic field strength that lasted about 2,000 years each. Rapid changes in field orientations may have occurred within the first interval of low strength. The full magnetic polarity reversal - that is, the final and very rapid flip to what the field is today - happened toward the end of the most recent interval of low field strength.

Renne is continuing his collaboration with the Italian-French team to correlate the lake record with past climate change.

Renne and Sprain's work at the Berkeley Geochronology Center was supported by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.

Amid sanctions war Russian economic policy authority recommends diverting energy flows to Asia

putin chinese pipeline

Putin opening the Russian section of a Russian-Chinese pipeline

Russia's leading economic policy making authority has released a report which urges Russia to divert energy flows to Asia, away from Europe where risks of a deflationary spiral and stagnation remain high.

Amid growing tensions with Europe over the US-initiated sanctions war, the growing consensus among Russian elites to develop markets in the east is likely to be painful for Europe, particularly for Germany.

According to the report, by the ministry of economic development, the world economic slowdown has hit bottom and a rebound is likely to take place in the next 3 years. World economic growth will increase from 3.3% in 2014 to 4.0% in 2017. China will be at the forefront (see graphic below). Russia may profit from the rebound if it develops strong ties with Asia; particularly China.

Among developed countries, the ministry expects growth to be strongest in the US - at 2% in 2014 increasing to 3.1% in 2017. However trade between Russia and the US is minimal, leaving Russia with few opportunities to capitalize on the improvement in the US's economic outlook.

By contrast the ministry's forecasts for the Euro-zone are grim, with a projected 0.9% growth in 2014 increasing to an unimpressive 1.6%. What this means for Russia is that Europe is unlikely to be a driver for growth of Russia's energy exports.

world economic growth forecast

From the Russian economics ministry. Europe will lag behind everyone else.

Russian policymakers identify falling energy prices as a potential risk factor to the viability of their forecasts. Whilst acknowledging that any fall in oil prices will be painful for Russia, they nonetheless consider that OPEC nations will likely act to rein in supply to keep their own budgets balanced. For Saudi Arabia, the break-even point is $90 per barrel. For the UAE, Iran, Kuwait, and Iraq the hovers around $100 to $120 per barrel.

Meanwhile the Centre for Development at Russia's Higher School of Economics, another influential policy body, advises, in light of sanctions pressure, that in order to avoid putting key energy projects are at risk, Russia should diversify technology imports for state-owned companies away from European suppliers towards suppliers in the Asia-Pacific region.

The pain from the Russian pivot away from Europe is likely to be felt most strongly by Germany, dampening its appetite for sanctions. Following the Fukushima disaster, Germany has shut down 8 of its 17 nuclear power plants and has pledged to close down the remainder by 2022. Germany depends heavily on Russian oil and gas. Russia also serves as a key market for Germany's machine tool and car industries. Some 300,000 German jobs depend on economic exchange with Russia.

Germany's move away from nuclear energy and now potentially from Russian natural gas means Germany must rely on coal to meet energy needs. This has led to a second consecutive year of worsening greenhouse gas emissions.

Back in July, the Russian foreign ministry warned that "by going on a sanctions spree, Brussels, by its own will, is creating barriers for further cooperation with Russia in such a key sphere as energy. This is a thoughtless and irresponsible step. It will inevitably lead to an increase in prices on the European market".

This is turning out true. While the US initiated the sanctions war, it is Europe which is paying the price.

Putin concerned over rise of neo-Nazism in Europe; calls for efforts to counter attempts to revise results of WW2


Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed concern over the spread of neo-Nazi ideology in Europe and called for efforts to prevent the revision of the outcome of the Second World War.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed concern over the spread of neo-Nazi ideology in Europe and called for efforts to prevent the revision of the outcome of the Second World War.

"Unfortunately, the vaccine against the Nazi virus, developed at the Nuremberg trials, is losing its effectiveness in some European countries. A clear sign of this trend is open manifestations of neo-Nazism, which have become common in Latvia and other Baltic states," Putin said on the eve of his visit to Serbia on October 16.

"We are especially concerned in this respect about the situation in Ukraine, where an unconstitutional state coup in February was driven by nationalists and other radical groups," Putin said in an interview with Serbian newspaper Politika.

"Today, our common goal is to counter the glorification of Nazism, firmly counter attempts to revise the results of World War II and consequently fight any forms and manifestations of racism, xenophobia, aggressive nationalism and chauvinism," Putin stressed.

Talking about the events of World War II, Putin said that "our nations together cracked down on the criminal ideology of hatred towards the humanity".

"Today it is important that people in different countries and continents understand what horrible ramifications can be brought about by confidence in one's being exceptional, by attempts to achieve doubtful geopolitical aims as well as by neglect of basic human rights and morality. We must do everything to avoid such tragedies in the future," Putin added.

Putin also expressed gratitude to the people of Serbia for respecting the memory of Soviet soldiers, who fought with the People's Liberation Army of Yugoslavia (NOAYU) during the years of the war. He added that over 31,000 soldiers and officers of the Red Army were either killed, injured or gone missing on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. Besides, he mentioned that over 6,000 soldiers and officers fought against the invaders in the ranks of NOAYU.

Putin will pay a visit to Belgrade on October 16, where he will attend the 70-year anniversary of the liberation of the Serbian capital from Nazi invaders during World War II. He will also have talks with the president and prime minister of Serbia over political and economic cooperation.

Netherlands is okay with 'No Surrender' biker gang fighting Islamic State jihadists

© AFP Photo/Olaf Kraak

Members of the No Surrender biker gang are fighting against Islamic State militants in northern Iraq

The Dutch public prosecutor said on Tuesday that motorbike gang members who have reportedly joined Kurds battling the Islamic State group in Iraq are not necessarily committing any crime.

"Joining a foreign armed force was previously punishable, now it's no longer forbidden," public prosecutor spokesman Wim de Bruin told .

"You just can't join a fight against the Netherlands," he told after reports emerged that Dutch bikers from the No Surrender gang were fighting IS insurgents alongside Kurds in northern Iraq.

The head of No Surrender, Klaas Otto, told state broadcaster that three members who traveled to near Mosul in northern Iraq were from Dutch cities Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Breda.

A photograph on a Dutch-Kurdish Twitter account shows a tattooed Dutchman called Ron in military garb, holding a Kalashnikov assault rifle while sat with a Kurdish comrade.

Video footage apparently from a Kurdish broadcaster shows an armed European man with Kurdish fighters saying in Dutch: "The Kurds have been under pressure for a long time."

Many countries including the Netherlands have been clamping down on their nationals trying to join IS jihadists who have taken over swathes of Iraq and Syria.

Measures include confiscating would-be jihadists' passports before traveling and threatening prosecution should they return.

"The big difference with IS is that it's listed as a terrorist group," said De Bruin.

"That means that even preparing to join IS is punishable."

Dutch citizens could not however join the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), as it is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Ankara and much of the international community, De Bruin said.

Dutch citizens fighting on the Kurdish side would of course be liable to prosecution if they committed crimes such as torture or rape, De Bruin said.

"But this is also happening a long way away and so it'll be very difficult to prove," said De Bruin.

BEST OF THE WEB: Cosmic COINTELPRO: Baiting chemtrails conspiracy theorists with straw men

Increasingly persistent airplane condensation trails, which CorpGov does not want people to notice

The chemtrails conspiracy theory has been circulating for a while among the same sorts of people who believe that 9/11 was an inside job and celebrities are being controlled by the CIA. In brief, chemtrail enthusiasts think that those white trails of vapor you see pouring out of planes are actually nasty chemical or biological agents that governments are using to geo-engineer the weather, create a vast electromagnetic super-weapon, control the population, or - well, you get the idea. There's no science or proof whatsoever behind this, but plenty of people are still willing to entertain this vaguely supervillain-esque notion.

On October 1, Chris Bovey - a 41-year-old from Devon, England - thought he'd troll the chemtrails camp. During a flight from Buenos Aires to the UK, his plane had to make an emergency landing in São Paulo and dumped excess fuel to lighten the load. Since he had a window seat, Chris decided to film all the liquid being sprayed out of the wing next to him.

Chris Bovey

Touching down, he uploaded the video with a caption that suggested it could be evidence of chemtrails, hoping to mess with a couple of friends who he knew might fall for it. The video now has 1.1 million views, nearly 20,000 shares, and dozens of comments telling viewers to "wake the F up," or accusing naysayers of being "stupid paid shills."

He then claimed (falsely) that he'd been detained at Heathrow upon arrival, been interrogated by the authorities, and had his phone confiscated. That riled everyone up even more, with "conspiraloon" (Chris's term) website NeonNettle.com picking up the story and reporting it as evidence of chemtrails.

[embedded content]

Mick West - editor of anti-conspiracy theory website Metabunk, which published an article explaining why Chris's video was a hoax - explained the history of the chemtrails theory to me. "It started back in the late 1990s," he said. "People just noticed contrails - the condensation trails behind planes - for the first time, and got this idea that a normal contrail shouldn't persist for very long. So if anything lasted for more than a few minutes, it must be something being sprayed."

While chemtrails advocates might accuse sheeple of believing everything their governments tell them, they themselves tend to believe a lot of the stuff their internet tells them. West thinks its the proliferation of unverified "evidence" online that's led to this particular conspiracy theory remaining so popular.

"People share things that look interesting without really looking into them, and they take the word of whoever's posting it that it's a real thing," he said. "I knew from the start that it was some kind of hoax, but people want to have their worldview confirmed, so when they see something that seems to fit their worldview they jump on it."

In Chris's case, that involved being invited onto a radio show hosted by Richie Allen, a friend of David Icke - the man who claims we're being ruled by a group of lizard overlords disguised as world leaders. On air, Chris admitted that the whole thing was a hoax and got into an argument with the host about the validity of the chemtrails theory.

Since then, Chris has been subject to a stream of "vulgar abuse" from pissed-off conspiracy theorists - which, admittedly, is completely his own fault. I gave him a call to find out how he was doing.

VICE: So I hear you've been receiving some pretty bad abuse since you duped these conspiracy theorists?

Chris Bovey: Yeah, I got some really foul messages. I got accused of being a government paid shill - so where's my paycheck? The worst bit of abuse is on my Facebook page. I left it up there because it's so insulting that it made the guy look like an idiot.

Someone else said I was going to hell for breaking the First Commandment. I'm not religious; I don't know what the First Commandment is. Maybe it's, "Thou shalt not post fake chemtrail hoaxes." [Note: it is actually, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."] Other people were saying I'd been leaned on to change my story, saying that it was really a chemtrail-molecule dump.

VICE: Why do you think people were so quick to believe your video was evidence of chemtrails?

Chris Bovey: I think people want to believe it, and I think people are so distrusting of the government. It says a lot about our government that people are actually prepared to believe that they would do this. It's a lack of basic scientific understanding. It doesn't take much research - if you go onto contrailscience.com, you can quite easily see it explains why they're formed.

VICE: Have people stopped claiming that the video is evidence of chemtrails now that you've come out and explained it?

Chris Bovey: Not at all. There are still people sharing it as we speak, saying "chemtrails" in all sorts of languages - some I don't even recognize.

I've got a good 500 people who sent me friend requests, and I accepted them, but today I deleted them all because they kept on inviting me to "like" various strange pages. I knew these kinds of people existed - that's why I posted it. But I absolutely didn't realize how strongly these people believed this. With a few of them, I've tried to reason with them by sending evidence to explain why they are wrong, and they generally just called me a shill and blocked me.

VICE: How long have you been interested in chemtrails?

Chris Bovey: I remember seeing them as a little child when I was at primary school on the River Dart, where I grew up in South Devon. On the playground I used to look up in the air and notice that some planes had longer trails and wonder why. Of course, at that point I didn't realize it was an Illuminati plot.

VICE: Why did you admit the video was a hoax and not keep it going?

Chris Bovey: At the time, I was getting a little bit uncomfortable with it, partly because I didn't want my sane friends thinking I was an idiot. So it was an ideal opportunity to come clean and also a great opportunity to prank them.

VICE: Do you think there's any evidence to support the chemtrail theory at all?

Chris Bovey: No, it's just completely debunked. There's zero evidence - zilch.

Comment: Yes indeed, chemtrails are a dead end.

And what that dead end is concealing is FAR more revealing:

Chemtrails? Contrails? Strange Skies

Chemtrails, Disinformation and the Sixth Extinction

Excerpt from Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection , published by Red Pill Press:

So-called 'chemtrails' are often described as evidence of aerosol spraying of anthropogenic toxic substances on a mass scale from high altitudes as part of a government plot to poison the population.1 This is claimed in spite of the fact that far simpler and more efficient means of delivering toxic substances to masses of people have long existed (and been applied), such as the fluoridation of 'drinking' water,2 the genetic manipulation of the food supply3 and the nuclear explosions conducted around our planet4, just to name a few.

It should also be pointed out that high-altitude spraying is an extremely inaccurate delivery method. Permanent winds at this altitude (about seven miles up) can reach hundreds of miles per hour and aerosols can take up to two years5 to reach Earth's surface.6So, when you spray from airliner cruising altitude, you can't know where and when the released aerosols will land, and you might actually end up spraying yourself.

That being said, there is evidence that the ruling elites in various countries have, indeed, conducted aerial spraying of toxic substances, but these were low-altitude spraying that allowed greater control over where and when the agent would reach the ground. For example, the CIA sprayed infectious agents over Cuba:

Fort Detrick SO [Special Operations] Division microbiologists assisted in several covert attacks against rural and agricultural areas in Cuba. These attacks involved aerial spraying with swine flu virus, dengue, and other lethal infectious agents. As a result, hundreds of farm animals and several humans died.7

High-altitude spraying has also been tested by releasing sulfur dioxide and other aerosols for the purpose of cloud-seeding8, but this doesn't require control over the time and location of the landing and has been shown to be generally ineffective.

Another factor that makes the 'chemtrails' theory iffy at best is the 'evidence' collected by proponents of the theory. They point to high levels of aluminum, barium and strontium found in ground and water samples.

Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the Earth's crust. Every year about 100 million tons of aluminum is produced.9 It is extensively used in the car industry, plane industry, boat industry, building industry, etc. From this perspective, it's not surprising to find high levels of aluminum in most if not all ground and water samples. Such levels do not imply that this aluminum comes from jet spraying.

Barium10 is found in nature as a free element.11 It is used for numerous industrial applications: glassmaking,12 fluorescent lamps, and screens.13 Barium is also used as an 'atmospheric aerosol spray for enhancing/refracting the signaling of radio/radar waves along military jet flight paths, missile test ranges.'14 So toxicology results indicating high levels of barium in some water sources near barium production and usage sites are hardly surprising.

Finally, strontium is a natural element, the 15th most common element on Earth. It is also massively produced (about 300,000 tons a year15) and used in screens for TVs, computers and phones. In addition, one radioactive isotope of strontium, called strontium 90, is present in radioactive fallout. Since 1945, 2,051 nuclear explosions have occurred on planet Earth.16 Many of these explosions happened in the atmosphere and were conducted in places as far apart as the Pacific Islands, China, the US, Algeria, Australia, Russia and Kazakhstan. Thus it is not surprising to find high levels of strontium (radioactive or not) all over the planet.

In short, there are numerous industrial sources of the elements claimed to be evidence of 'chemtrail spraying of populations.'

Contrails have been observed since WWI, when bombers managed to reach high enough altitudes for cold air to allow contrails to form.17 The phenomenon was so obvious that bomber pilots complained that contrails were giving away their position.18 Chemtrailers claim that 'chemtrails' are thicker and longer lasting compared to contrails. So, basically the only valid piece of evidence brought by 'chemtrailers' is the fact that jet planes did not previously leave any persistent and thick condensation trails behind them and now they do. This observation is in fact valid. Indeed, around the end of the 1990s, something changed and thicker contrails started being observed more frequently. Incidentally, the term 'chemtrails' was first introduced by journalist William Thomas in 1997.19

A condensation trail, or contrail, is the result of the condensation of jet fumes. Here, unlike noctilucent clouds, atmospheric dust doesn't play a major role since jet engines already release massive quantities of particles,20 particularly sulfur molecules21 that are some of the most efficient condensation nuclei.22

However, temperature plays a major role. The cooler the ambient air, the stronger and longer lasting the condensation. The cruising altitude for an airliner is about 10 km (7 mi), this is just below the stratosphere,23which has cooled down "by several degrees since 2002".24

© Climate Change Blog adapted by sott.net

Temperature of the stratosphere over the period 1948-2011. At the beginning of the century (green vertical line), the temperature of the stratosphere started to decrease.

Far from the conspiracy theory proposed by the 'chemtrailers', data strongly suggests that persistent contrails are a direct consequence of the cooling of the stratosphere, a far more troubling state of affairs than 'chemtrails' released in the upper atmosphere, where the high winds make it unlikely that anything released in a given location will filter to the ground anywhere near a 'targeted' location, or anytime soon.


By attributing the cause of these cosmically-induced events to humans, the elites maintain the illusion that they are, at least to some degree, in control; if they are causing it, then theoretically, at least, they could stop it.

'Chemtrails' can be stopped if enough people petition the world's governments to cease the 'sprayings', missile tests covering up for incoming comet fragments and meteor fireballs can be stopped if military budgets are reigned in, global warming can be reduced by controlling man-made greenhouse gas emissions, and global dimming will vanish if we stop polluting the atmosphere. The message behind all the chemtrails COINTELPRO is: 'man is in control and all is right with the world'.

However, contrails triggered by increased cometary activity, overhead cometary explosions, cosmically-induced weather disruptions and the accumulation of cometary dust in the atmosphere cannot be changed by the elites, even if just theoretically. The intimation that the cosmos is threatening the survival of humanity is a stress too intense to be borne by most people.

Even if 'chemtrails', global warming and missile tests are not actually stopped in practice, the very idea that they can be stopped is enough to invite people to continue supporting the illusion of control, wishfully thinking that all it will take is a public awareness campaign, new elections, political advocacy, protests, the scapegoating of 'guilty parties', etc. But it's all a lie, and if the public realizes this, the only place their stressed brains can go for relief is to think that 'the gods are angry' and, collectively, to try to find the real reason. Again and again throughout history, this has resulted in the masses coming to the conclusion that the 'gods' are angry because of the corruption and violence perpetrated by the elites in their efforts to get and maintain greater power.

  1. Svensmark, H., Calder, N., The Chilling Star, p.76-77

  2. Haigh, J D., 'Climate variability and the influence of the sun', Science, 2001, 294: 2109 - 2111

  3. Steiger, B. & Steiger, S., Conspiracies and Secret Societies: The Complete Dossier, p.91-93

  4. 'Fluorine Compounds Make you Stupid - Why is the Government not merely allowing, but promoting them?', Sott.net, 4 February 2008

  5. Renter, E. 'Another Study Finds GMO Compounds in 100% of Pregnant Women and Fetuses', Activist Post, 27 October 2012

  6. Since 1945, more than 2,000 nuclear explosions have been conducted. Their total yield is estimated to be approximately 510 megatons, equivalent to about 40,000 Hiroshima-size atomic bombs.

    See: 'General overview of the effects of nuclear testing', CTBTO

  7. 'Atmospheric aerosols: what are they and why are they so important', NASA, August 1996

  8. Fall speed can also be drastically reduced because of electromagnetic forces exerted on the particles. See chapter 26: 'Hurricanes, lightning and tornadoes'.

  9. Albarelli, H.P., A Secret Order, p.13

  10. Steiger, B. & Steiger, S., Conspiracies and Secret Societies: The Complete Dossier, p.105-107

  11. 'List of countries by aluminium production', Wikipedia

  12. 'Barium', Wikipedia

  13. It makes up 0.0425% of Earth's crust.

  14. Lide, D., (2004). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, p.4

  15. Ullman, F., Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Wiley-VCH

  16. Purdey, M., 'Chronic barium intoxication disrupts sulphated proteoglycan synthesis: a hypothesis for the origins of multiple sclerosis', Medical Hypotheses, 2004, 62(5):746-54

  17. 'Strontium', Wikipedia

  18. 'International Day Against Nuclear Tests: Translating Words Into Action', Arms Control Association, 2 September 2011

  19. About 33,000 feet, the altitude at which airliners fly today.

  20. Steiger, B. & Steiger, S., Conspiracies and Secret Societies: The Complete Dossier, p.98

  21. Eden, D., 'Chemtrails, what's going on?', Viewzone, July 2013

  22. 15,000 particles / cm3 vs. background concentration equal to 6-18 particles / cm3

    See: Fahey et al., 'Emission Measurements of the Concorde Supersonic Aircraft in the Lower Stratosphere', Science, 6 October 1995, Vol. 270 no. 5233 pp. 70-74

  23. Panel on Atmospheric Effects of Aviation, Atmospheric Effects of Aviation: 'A Review of NASA's Subsonic Assessment Project', p. 14

  24. Svensmark H. & Calder N., The Chilling Star, 2007, pp.126-131

  25. The stratosphere covers the 20-50 km altitude range.

  26. Laštovička J. et al., 'Global Change in the Upper Atmosphere', Science, 24 November 2006, Vol. 314 no. 5803 pp. 1253-1254

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Conservative and religious states in the U.S. more likely to search for Internet porn

© Shutterstock

Individuals in states with higher levels of religiosity and conservatism are more likely use the Internet to search for sexually explicit material, according to a study in the latest .

In "Do American States with More Religious or Conservative Populations Search More for Sexual Content on Google?," Canadian psychologists Gordon Hodson and Cara MacInnis correlated state-wide levels of both religiosity and conservatism with Google trends. Religiosity was defined by answers to a 2011 Gallup poll in which residents were asked to define how religious they were, while conservatism was determined by self-identification.

According to the study's abstract, the psychologists "observed moderate-to-large positive associations between: (1) greater proportions of state-level religiosity and general web searching for sexual content and (2) greater proportions of state-level conservatism and image-specific searching for sex."

While this means that "a greater preponderance of right-leaning ideologies is associated with greater preoccupation with sexual content in private Internet activity," the correlation may not necessarily be prurient on the part of social conservatives.

"In heavily religious states, abstinence is often pushed as the only safe sex, with very little to offer in the way of sexual education. Unfortunately, that leaves a growing number of people with questions about sex but no answers," the pair write, adding, "Enter Google."

Curiosity is not the only possible explanation, as the researchers also write that the preponderance of searches in these states are liberal's fault.

"It is possible that liberal citizens living in states higher in religiosity or conservatism search more for sexual content due to living in a more sexually-restricted environment."

However, they are adamant that "[a]t minimum, these internet-search data clearly demonstrate that those living in states with greater proportions of very religious or conservative citizenry nonetheless seek out and experience the forbidden fruit of sexuality in private settings."

Ohio pastor accused of forcing abortions and vasectomies on church members

© screenshot from youtube by Ernest Angley Ministries

Ernest Angley

Former members of Grace Cathedral in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio have accused church leader and televangelist Ernest Angley of demanding they have abortions or vasectomies, and that he would both engage in and turn a blind eye to sexual abuse in the church.

Over 20 former members of Angley's congregation spoke with the in its six-part series on various allegations made against the 93-year-old preacher. Former members said he pushed vasectomies and abortions, and that he would personally examine "the genitals of the male parishioners before and after their [vasectomy] surgeries," the Beacon Journal wrote.

One former member of Grace Cathedral said "none of us have kids because he makes all the men get fixed."

"You're not allowed to have babies there," Becky Roadman told the .

Others said Angley regularly counseled women to have abortions, going so far as to say to one woman in his congregation that she should think of her fetus as "a tumor," said former Grace member Angelia Oborne.

"She was four months pregnant and she sat in the [abortion clinic] waiting room and told her baby that she was so sorry that she was doing this," Oborne said. "I know another girl - she won't come forward - but she was forced into having four abortions."

Greg Mulkey, a singer in the Hallelujahs that perform during Angley's televised services, suggested that encouraging vasectomies and abortions was part of controlling how congregants spent their money.

"He doesn't want people to have kids because it would take their time and money away from [the church]," Mulkey said. "He really forced people into abortions through scare tactics, as if he were a medical doctor. It turns my stomach."

Angley addressed accusations that he pushed vasectomies and that he was a homosexual - based on allegations that he inappropriately touched an associate pastor for seven years - during a church service in July recorded by an attendee and later offered to the Beacon Journal.

"I'm not a homosexual. God wouldn't use a homosexual like he uses me. He calls me his prophet, and indeed I am," Angley explained. "They called Jesus a homosexual, did you know that? And still do. Because he was with men."

Angley said urging members of his congregation to get vasectomies was part of how he "helped so many of the boys down through the years."

"They had their misgivings. Sure, I'd have them uncover themselves, but I did not handle them at all.

"And I would tell them how that would work. And they'd have to watch it. I'd have some of them come back to me that I felt needed to. And I would tell them, I would look at them, their privates - I, so I could tell how they were swelling."

He offered accounts of men he had counseled, but insisted his manner was not sexual. "I was a farm boy. We thought nothing about undressing. We didn't know about homosexuals. We talked about women."

"And some of these turned against me."

One who did turn away from Angley was the associate pastor, Brock Miller, who told family and friends he left the church because Angley "violated" him for seven years.

Angley "had him undress and touched him all over," said another family member of Miller's who asked to remain anonymous.

"I don't believe he touched him on his part, but it doesn't matter. That doesn't belong in the church. It doesn't belong anywhere, but it [certainly] doesn't belong in the church."

At the July 13 service, Rev. Chris Machamer, an associate pastor, called Miller a "proven liar" and a drug addict who "simply wanted to take control of the church after Rev. Angley dies."

Miller refused interviews for the series. He has not, a family member emphasized, accused Angley of being gay but only that he was violated by the longtime pastor.

Shane McCabe, a former member of Grace, said as a teenager he was sexually molested by associates at the church. When he confronted Angley about it years later, the pastor ignored the allegations.

"He asked if I had told anybody. I said no. He said, 'Let's keep it a secret. This is the way we need to handle it because God's mercy is great.'"

Asked why he urged silence around sexual abuse in his church, Angley told the that it could "hurt others."

"They shouldn't talk about it, but they can do something about it. But they ought not to spread it abroad, you know, because that hurts others," he said.

"If it's somebody that, you know, makes a habit of that," he added. "We get 'em out. We get them out. We just let them know they have to go."

Other former members stated flatly that Grace Cathedral run by Rev. Angley was a cult.

"This man is a monster," said Pam Cable, who left Grace in 1988. "He's a monster. And I can't understand why all these years have gone by and nobody's ever really been able to do anything about him.

"The people in Akron, Ohio, have a Jim Jones sitting in their backyard. ... These people in his congregation would drink the Kool-Aid if he told them to. They would."

US Geological Survey assessment: North California must brace for major earthquake in near future

San Francisco

© Reuters / Robert Galbraith

San Francisco

Four segments of the San Andreas fault system in Northern California are due for an earthquake of magnitude 6.8 or greater, including a section that runs near infrastructure crucial to water supply in much of the state, according to a geological study.

The Green Valley fault northeast of San Francisco between the cities of Napa and Fairfield is poised for a magnitude-7.1 earthquake or stronger, said researchers from the US Geological Survey and San Francisco State University responsible for the report.

The fault is located near dams and aqueducts that supply water from the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers to the San Francisco Bay area, Southern California, and the farm-heavy Central Valley. The Green Valley fault's last quake happened AP reported.

The northern Calaveras and Hayward faults in the eastern San Francisco Bay area, as well as the Rodgers Creek fault to the north, are the other segments with enough built-up tension for a magnitude-6.8 or higher quake, the researchers found.

The study, published Monday in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, shows that California "needs to consider more seriously" the major earthquake risks in the region, James Lienkaemper, a US Geological Survey geologist and lead author of the study, told AP.

The four segments at risk are part of the San Andreas fault system, the point at which the western half of the state is moving northwest away from the rest of the United States land mass at a rate of about 2 inches per year.

San Francisco fault system

© Association of Bay Area Governments

Map showing the major faults in the Bay Area, with Hayward in medium and light blue. Numerous minor faults are also capable of generating locally destructive earthquakes.

In 2006, a study of the San Andreas system found that it was past due for a major earthquake, one at least magnitude 7.0, especially in the southern section of its reach. The southern region of the fault has not seen a massive quake for around 300 years, the study concluded.

"The information available suggests that the fault is ready for the next big earthquake but exactly when the triggering will happen and when the earthquake will occur we cannot tell [...] It could be tomorrow or it could be 10 years or more from now," said author Yuri Fialko, of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.

Researchers for the report released Monday gathered data in part from regular readings of fault lines taken by geologists and San Francisco State University students beginning in 1979.

These surveys measure fault creep, or movements over time that relieve strain on faults. If there is no fault creep, this indicates that a fault is locked and strain builds until an earthquake releases it. About two-thirds of the 1,250-mile San Andreas fault system shows fault creep, the study found.

In late August, a magnitude-6.0 earthquake hit the region, in the Napa Valley. Around 100 people were injured, mostly from stumbling on broken glass and other debris after the temblor hit before dawn on Aug. 24. At the time of the quake, officials speculated that costs from the damage would reach more than $1 billion.

The quake was the region's largest in 25 years. On Oct. 17, 1989, the magnitude-6.9 Loma Prieta quake struck the San Francisco-Oakland area, killing more than 60 people, most from a freeway collapse.

'Alien' sea creature with 100 arms caught by fisherman, Singapore

Bizarre: The unusual creature appears to have over 100 tentacle-like arms

This bizarre-looking 'alien' creature was caught by a deep sea fisherman in Singapore.

Ong Han Boon, 54, was at his favourite fishing spot on the island of Sentosa where he cast his line with the hope of catching a fresh tasty treat for lunch.

As he settled down with a few cans of his favourite beer, he noticed a pull, but he never expected what came up out of the sea.

He said: "I spotted the line going up and down, and feeling a bit peckish I got quite excited as I hauled it in.

"But when I pulled it out of the water I was completely flummoxed by what I was looking at."

[embedded content]

The creature appears to have up to 100 moving tentacle-like arms and can only be resembled to a cross between a starfish, an octopus and an alien monster.

He added: "I've had quite a few odd things from come out of the ocean but I have never seen anything like this before in my life. It had all these arms waving around.

"I thought it looked like an alien or some kind of mutant."

Boon had posted his video of the bizarre creature online hoping that someone will be able to tell him what it is.

"I've asked all my friends and none of them know and all my internet searches have not turned up anything that looks like this.

"So, if no one can't identify it then I guess I'm right - it's either an alien or I've discovered a new species of mutant sea creature.

He added: "That would not surprise me with all the pollution they put in the water nowadays."

Knock-knock: Polar bear breaks into home in Alaskan village

© Flora Rexford

Ruby Kaleak heads out on polar bear patrol in Kaktovik, Alaska.

Ruby Kaleak's part-time job on polar bear patrol in the village of Kaktovik, Alaska, usually means chasing the animals back to the Beaufort Sea. But she wasn't expecting to shoo one of the biggest bears she's ever seen out of a house last week.

She was on duty Friday in the village of 300 people when a call came over the radio that a bear was inside a doorway, the reported ( ). Kaleak heard two whispered words: "Qanitchaq, nanuq," which in Inupiat means "arctic entryway, polar bear," referring to the home's narrow covered porch that serves as a barrier to the cold.

"They didn't say where or who," Kaleak said. "I thought that one of the young boys in town was pulling a prank." Armed with a 12-gauge shotgun that can fire rounds of beanbags, firecrackers or lethal slugs, Kaleak and a co-worker drove to a house where the call may have originated.

That's where she saw a shadow in the home's entryway that made her pause. Then, the head of a big polar bear popped up. "I was shocked. It was humongous," Kaleak said. "Just the neck and head was half the size of me, and I'm 5 (feet) 2 (inches)." The bear was feasting on a drum of seal oil in the entryway of 81-year-old Betty Brower's home, said Flora Rexford, Brower's granddaughter.

Brower was home alone and crawled to the radio to call the bear patrol. No one was injured, and the bear fled after Kaleak arrived.

Polar bears' primary habitat is sea ice, where they hunt for seals and other prey. As ice has receded to deep water beyond the continental shelf, more bears are remaining on land to look for food, according to biologists with the U.S. Geological Survey.

The hungry bears are drawn to the village by whale bones left by hunters.

"I think the bears ran out of food to eat at the bone pile," Kaleak said. "There is nothing for them to eat out there." This year, a mother and two cubs have frequented town, along with the big bear that broke into the arctic entryway, Kaleak said.

With polar bears in town, one of the jobs of the patrol -- run by the North Slope Borough -- is to encourage residents to keep their food secured.

Kaleak shoots the nonlethal rounds at bears that are getting too close to people. She's never had to fire a deadly slug at a polar bear threatening a human.

The bears seem unafraid of vehicles but when she jumps out of the truck they scatter.

"I tell them, Yep, you better run!' " Kaleak said.

We are the people, we are the power: Ferguson activists storm St Louis city hall over accountability police

Be accountable or be gone. One of the leading activists Kennard Williams talking to a city hall official

In a fresh action for accountability from the police force, about 100 youths stormed the St. Louis City Hall with banners demanding a civilian review board for all "police shootings" and to stop supplying the force with heavy military equipment.

Another demand had to do with body cameras, so that each encounter between an officer and a suspect can be recorded for future reference.

These events were set in motion after the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown on August 9, which were followed by months of rioting.

It's the fourth day of the Ferguson October, which saw hundreds of protesters marching to the suburb's police station on Monday to protest excessive use of force and police shootings nationwide.

Meanwhile in St. Louis, three white 15-foot banners with black letters were displayed by the crowd, stating that "We are the people. We have the power", "Be accountable or be gone" and "Which side are you on. They made it as far as the foyer of the City Hall. There was a mix of black and white youths.

The leaders of the Ferguson October movement told RT's Lindsay France that they're not going to take the pressure off, especially as the grand jury is still out on whether to indict the officer that shot Brown. That process will take another couple of weeks.

Which side are you on? A question that police officers should answer

One of the leading activists, Kennard Williams, was on the first floor inside the building with a number of protesters, shouting for Mayor Slay to come out and hear their demands. "Mayor Slay, we know you're up there," he shouted. Chief of Staff Jeff Rainford came down in the mayor's place to negotiate. Apparently, the mayor was absent due to ill health.

Williams was then taken to Slay's office, where he voiced the protesters' demands, promising that if at least one of them isn't met in the course of the night the protesters would stay out, according to The St. Louis American.

Rainford had allegedly told the activist that this was not going to happen.

The crowds filled the foyer downstairs, with one man arrested shortly after they'd made their way inside the City Hall building. The police were apparently waiting for anyone to try and make it to the second floor, where they handcuffed him.

"You're arresting me for holding a banner?" he yelled, as the police led him away. Rainford said he didn't know why the man was being detained.

The crowd stayed until early evening, but promised to come back to continue on Wednesday to see Slay.

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Passwords of 7M Dropbox accounts seized

dropbox hacked

The passwords of nearly 7 million Dropbox accounts have been seized through third-party services and 400 directly leaked on Pastebin, with promises of more leaks following bitcoin donations. Dropbox denies a hack.

The leaker described the 400 as a "first teaser...just to get things going" and followed with: "More Bitcoin = more accounts published on Pastebin. As more BTC is donated, More pastebin pastes will appear."

It remains unclear how the details were obtained; the hackers claim ownership of details from 6,937,081 different accounts - claims that cannot in any way be verified.

Dropbox, denies that a hack has taken place.

"Dropbox has not been hacked. These usernames and passwords were unfortunately stolen from other services and used in attempts to log in to Dropbox accounts," it said.

"We'd previously detected these attacks and the vast majority of the passwords posted have been expired for some time now. All other remaining passwords have expired as well."

Dropbox said in a statement to 'The Next Web', however, that it performed when it uncovered 'suspicious activity' on particular accounts a few months ago.

dropbox hack

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden lashed out at Dropbox on Sunday, accusing it of being "hostile to privacy". He urged web users to abandon unencrypted communication and adjust privacy settings to prevent governments from spying on them in increasingly intrusive ways.

Snowden advised web users to "get rid" of Dropbox. Such services only insist on encrypting user data during transfer and when being stored on the servers. Other services he recommends instead, such as SpiderOak, encrypt information while it's on your computer as well.

"We're talking about dropping programs that are hostile to privacy," Snowden said.

The response from Dropbox appears a familiar one, after Snapchat released a similar statement blaming a third party for a mass picture leak on Sunday of some 100,000 photographs from the service, among which was thought to be child porn.

The content captured after some users opted to use a third-party website called SnapSaved.com, which lets users save incoming messages after handing over their login details to the site

Interview with The Saker: Ukraine as we know it is gone forever

A new country is born: Novorossiya has won its war of independence from Ukraine

The Saker is an ex-military analyst who was born in Europe to a family of Russian refugees. He now lives in Florida where he writes the Vineyard of the Saker blog and is a regular contributor to Russia Insider. The international community of Saker Blogs includes, besides the original Saker blog, French, German, Russian, Oceania and Serbian members and will soon include a Latin American member. - Mike Whitney

Mike Whitney: Is the United States responsible for the troubles in Ukraine?

The SAKER: Yes, absolutely, there's no doubt about it. While it's true that the Ukrainian people were unhappy with the corrupt Yanukovich regime, the coup itself was definitely CIA orchestrated. The EU was also involved, especially Germany, but they didn't play nearly as big a role as the U.S. The taped phone messages of (US Undersecretary of State) Victoria Nuland show who was really calling the shots behind the scenes.

Mike Whitney: What role did the Obama administration play in Kiev's decision to launch a war on its own people in the east of Ukraine?

The Saker: A central role. You have to understand that there is no "Ukrainian" power in Kiev. Poroshenko is 100% US-run as are the people around him. The head of the notorious Ukrainian secret police (the SBU), Valentin Nalivaichenko, is a known CIA agent. It's also true that the US refers to Poroshenko "our Ukraine insider". All of his so called "decisions" are actually made by U.S. officials in Kiev. As for Poroshenko's speech to Congress a few weeks ago, that was obviously written by an American.

Mike Whitney: The separatists in the East have been very successful in repelling the Ukrainian army and their Neo Nazi counterparts in the security services. What role has Russia played in assisting the Novorussia militias?

The Saker: Russia's role was critical. While Russian troops were not deployed across the border, Moscow did allow volunteers and weapons to flow in. And while the assistance was not provided directly by the FSB (Russia's Federal Security Service) or the military, it was provided by various private groups. Clearly, the Kremlin has the power to help-out when it choses to do so. In one instance, there appears to have been direct artillery support from across the Russian border (in the so-called "southern cauldron"), but most of the aid has been covert. Besides the covert assistance, Russia has also provided intelligence, logistical and political support for the Novorussians. Without Russia's support, the Novorussians never would have been able to turn the tide in the war.

Mike Whitney: Did Putin send Russian troops to Crimea and illegally seize the area or is that a fiction that's been propagated in the western media?

The Saker: It's actually a technicality. Yes, Putin did send Russian troops to Crimea, but no, they never exceeded the limits allowed under current agreements between Russia and the Ukraine. Remember that the Black Sea Fleet was already headquartered in Sevastopol, so there were plenty of troops available locally. Also, there was a large group of local volunteers who perform essential operations. Some of these volunteers were so convincing that they were mistaken for Russian Special Forces. But, yes, at the critical moment, Putin did send additional special forces to Crimea.

Was the operation legal? Well, technically it didn't violate treaty agreements in terms of numbers, but did it violate Ukraine's sovereignty. The reason Moscow did this was because there was solid evidence that Kiev was planning to move against Crimea. (possibly involving Turkey and Crimean Tatars) If Putin had not taken the initiative, the bloodbath in Crimea could have been worse than it's been in Novorussia. Also, by the time Putin made the decision to protect Crimea, the democratically-elected President (Yanukovich) had already been removed from office, which created a legal vacuum in Kiev. So the question is: Should Putin have abided by the laws of a country that had been taken over by a gang of armed thugs or should he have tried to keep the peace by doing what he did?

What Putin chose to do was allow the people of Crimea to decide their own future by voting freely in a referendum. Yes, the AngloZionist propaganda says that they were forced to "vote at the barrel of a gun", but that's nonsense. Nobody disputes the fact that an overwhelming majority of Crimeans (95%) wanted to leave Ukraine and join Russia. All the "polite armed men in green" did was make it possible for the people to exercise their right of self-determination, something that the junta in Kiev never would have permitted.

Mike Whitney: What influence does Obama have on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's decision-making? Is Washington actually running the show?

The Saker: Yes, totally. Obama gives the orders and Poroshenko obeys.

Just as they do everywhere, the US uses local oligarchs to colonize a country. Take for example Russia between 1991 and 1999. It was run by oligarchs behind a drunken figurehead. (Boris Yeltsin) Everyone knew that Russia had become a American colony and that the US could do whatever it wanted. It's the same today.

Yanukovich was no more pro-Russian than any other Ukrainian President. He's just an oligarch who's been replaced by another oligarch, Poroshenko. The latter is a very intelligent man who knows that his survival depends on his complete obedience to Uncle Sam.

I wouldn't put it past the US to dump Poroshenko and install someone else if it suits their purposes. (Especially if the Right Sector takes power in Kiev.) For now, Poroshenko is Washington's man, but that could change in the blink of an eye.

Mike Whitney: How close is the Obama administration to achieving its goal of establishing NATO bases (and, perhaps, missile sites) in Ukraine? What danger does this pose for Moscow?

The Saker: The only place where NATO bases really make sense is in Crimea, and that option is no longer available. But there's more to this issue than meets the eye, that is, if the US continues to pursue this provocative policy of establishing NATO bases on the Russian border, then Russia will withdraw from the INF Treaty (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty) and deploy advanced versions of the SS-20 (Soviet Nuclear Ballistic Missile) closer to Europe. The point is, US meddling could lead to a confrontation between nuclear-armed adversaries.

Mike Whitney: The European Commission has created a number of obstacles to prevent Russia from building the Southstream pipeline which will diversify export routes for natural gas from Russia to central and southern Europe. Critics have said that the Obama administration is behind the move, and that powerful US energy giants want to either block or control the flow of energy from Russia to Europe. Is this the broader context of the troubles in Ukraine, that is, are we really seeing an energy war unfold in real time?

The Saker: This is an important part of the equation, but not the central one. The central one is the mistaken belief (put forward by Zbigniew Brzezinski) that without the Ukraine Russia cannot be a superpower, and the equally mistaken belief (put forward by Hillary Clinton) that Putin wants to re-create the Soviet Union. For the AngloZionists, the Ukraine is a zero-sum game in which the US must either control the Ukraine or destroy it, but not allow Russia to have it. The problem with this theory is that Russia doesn't really want or need the Ukraine. What Russia wants is a stable, dependable and neutral partner with which it can do business. Even now, while the Novorussians are demanding full independence, Russia has been pushing a different plan altogether. Moscow wants a unitary Ukraine in which each region would have de-facto autonomy but still be part of the same state.

Powerbrokers in the West are so maniacally obsessed with controlling the Ukraine, they can't imagine that Russia doesn't want the same thing. But Russia doesn't want the Ukraine. It has no need for a broken, dysfunctional, failed state with massive social problems, that will require billions upon billions of dollars to rebuild.

Sure, there are cultural, historical, religious and even family ties between Russia and the Ukraine, but that does not mean they want to run the place. Russia already got what it wanted, Crimea. As for the rest, Moscow's attitude is, "You broke it, you own it."

Mike Whitney: What's the endgame here? Will Poroshnko succeed in keeping Ukraine together and further isolate Russia from Europe or will Ukraine splinter along political lines? Or is there another scenario that you see as more likely?

The Saker: Crimea is gone forever. So is Novorussia. But in the case of the latter, there might be a transitional phase in which Kiev retains some degree of sovereignty over areas in the east.

In the near term, there could be more fighting, but eventually there will be a deal in which Novorussia will be given something close to independence. One thing is certain, that before reaching an agreement on final status, two issues will have to be settled:

1 - There must be regime change in Kiev followed by de-Nazification.

Neither Russia nor Novorussia will ever be safe as long as the Nazis are in power in Kiev. That means that these russophobic, nationalist freaks will have to be removed before final status issues can be resolved. The Russians and the Novorussians are somewhat divided on this issue. While the Novorussians want their independence and say "To hell with the Nazis in Kiev", the Kremlin wants regime change and sees it crucial for their national security. We'll have to wait and see how this plays out in the future.

2 - There will have to be a conference of donors.

The Ukraine is basically dead, it's been reduced to rubble. It will take years to rebuild, and immense sums of money. The US, EU and Russia will all have to contribute. If the AngloZionists persist in their maximalist position and continue to support the Nazi junta in Kiev, the Russians will not pay a single kopeck. Russian aid will go exclusively to Novorussia.

Sooner or later the US and EU will realize that they need Russia's help. And when they finally figure that out, they'll work together to reach a comprehensive political agreement. Right now, they're more preoccupied with punishing Putin (through economic sanctions and political isolation) to prove that no one can defy the Empire. But that kind of bullying behavior won't change the reality on the ground. The West needs Russia's cooperation, but Russia isn't going to cooperate without strings attached. The US will have to meet certain conditions before Moscow agrees to a deal.

Though it's too early to tell, I think the Ukraine as we know it, is gone forever. Crimea will remain part of Russia, while Novorussia will become independent and probably end up in some kind of association status with Russia. As for the rest of the Ukraine, there's bound to be a confrontation between the various oligarchs and Nazis, after which the pragmatists will appear and lead the way to a settlement. Eventually, there will be some kind of accommodation and a new state will emerge, but I can't imagine how long it will take for that to happen.

If you want a more systematic analysis of the points above, please see my analysis here.