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Sunday, 18 January 2015

Japan 'Not lovin' it': McDonald's just recalled 1 million Chicken McNuggets

© eater.com


McDonald's Japan is having a rough start to 2015. Last week, the company apologized after a customer found plastic fragments in an order of Chicken McNuggets, which were thought to have been produced at a Cargill factory in Thailand. McDonald's pulled out nearly 1 million McNuggets from the factory in one day. The same week, a customer in Misawa found a piece of vinyl in an order of McNuggets.

In a statement about the plastic contamination, company spokesman Takashi Hasegasa said, "We deeply apologize for the trouble we have caused our customers and we are taking quick measures to analyze the cause of the contamination."

Plastic and vinyl are, sadly, not the only gross items that customers have found in their McDonald's meals over the past year. In August, the company received a complaint from a customer in Osaka who had found the shard of a human tooth in an order of french fries. It was unclear at press time if the customer was in fact "lovin' it."

In July, McDonald's shut down its poultry supplier in China, Shanghai Husi Food Co, after allegations that the factory had deliberately mixed fresh chicken with expired produce. The meat had then allegedly been shipped to McDonald's in Japan and Starbucks and Burger King in China.

The summer food scares led McDonald's Japan sales to drop more than 10 percent every month compared to the previous year, according to CNN. This fiscal year, the golden arches are bracing themselves for the their first net loss in Japan in 11 years.

In an effort to bounce back, McDonald's Japan launched a sales campaign with discounts, giveaways, and new nuggets made from tofu.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Need a sugar detox?

© amandahamiltondiet.com

Sugar is the New Fat

Despite 40 years of Americans being brainwashed into thinking that fat is bad, it turns out it's sugar, not fat, that makes you sick and overweight.

The facts are in, the science is beyond question. Sugar in all its forms is the root cause of our obesity epidemic and most of the chronic disease sucking the life out of our citizens and our economy - and, increasingly, the rest of the world. You name it, it's caused by sugar: heart disease, cancer, dementia, type 2 diabetes, depression, and even acne, infertility and impotence.

The average American consumes about 152 pounds of sugar a year. That's roughly 22 teaspoons every day for every person in America. And our kids consume about 34 teaspoons every day - that's more than two 20-ounce sodas - making nearly one in four teenagers pre-diabetic or diabetic.

Flour is even worse than sugar. We consume about 146 pounds of flour a year. Think about it. That's about one pound of sugar and flour combined every day for every man, woman and child in America. And flour raises blood sugar even more than table sugar. Even whole-wheat flour.

Food Addiction: Is It Real?

Here's another shocking fact: Sugar is eight times as addictive as cocaine.

Being addicted to sugar and flour is not an emotional eating disorder. It's a biological disorder, driven by hormones and neurotransmitters that fuel sugar and carb cravings - leading to uncontrolled overeating. This is not a limited phenomenon. It's the reason nearly 70 percent of Americans and 40 percent of kids are overweight. In one study, Harvard scientists found that a high-sugar milkshake (compared to a low-sugar one) not only spiked blood sugar and insulin and led to sugar cravings, but it caused huge changes in the brain. The sugar lit up the addiction center in the brain like the sky on the Fourth of July. Think cocaine cookies, morphine muffins or smack sodas!

Why You Need a Sugar Detox

We need a clear path to detox from sugar, to break the addictive cycle of carb and sugar cravings that robs us of our health. And it only takes 10 days - or less. We need science, not willpower, to reverse this.

That's why I created The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet. Early last year, I invited more than 600 people to try it out, and they lost more than 4,000 pounds in 10 days. But more important, they did it painlessly by enjoying powerful addiction-reversing foods that rewired and reset their brains and bodies. No cravings, no bland or boring diet food, no deprivation. Just abundance and delight. And at the end of the 10 days, they got their bodies and their minds back, and learned a new way to eat and live that will last a lifetime - a long one!

More recently, another group of 30 people tried my plan, and had very similar results. You can read about their experiences and results . You'll see for yourself how well it worked.

Top 10 Big Ideas

In my book, , you'll learn how to make these top 10 big ideas for detoxing from sugar and refined carbs work for you in just 10 days.

1. Make a decision to detox

In my book, there are three simple quizzes to help you know you need to detox. If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, a sugar detox is your ticket to feeling great quickly and losing weight painlessly.

The first is the diabesity quiz. Do you have pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes? (90 percent of Americans have not been diagnosed.) Do you have belly fat? Are you overweight? Crave sugar and carbs? Have trouble losing weight on low-fat diets? Have high triglycerides, low HDL ("good") cholesterol or been told your blood sugar is "a little high"?

The second is a food addiction quiz. Do you eat when you're not hungry? Experience a food coma after eating? Feel bad about your eating habits or avoid certain activities because of your eating? Get withdrawal symptoms if you cut down or stop eating sugar or flour? Need more and more of same bad foods just to feel good?

The third is the FLC Quiz (or the Toxicity Quiz). FLC stands for Feel Like Crap. FLC Syndrome has a list of symptoms including bloating, gas, reflux, irritable bowel, joint or muscle pain, brain fog, memory or mood problems, sinus or allergy symptoms and more. Millions of us have FLC Syndrome and don't know we are only a few days away from health and happiness.

2. Be a turkey (a cold one)

There is no way to handle a true physiological addiction except to stop it completely. Addicts can't have just one line of cocaine or just one drink. Go cold turkey. But you won't have to white-knuckle it because if you follow these 10 Big Ideas you will automatically reset your body's neurotransmitters and hormones. Stop all forms of sugar, all flour products and all artificial sweeteners - which cause increased cravings and slow metabolism, and lead to fat storage. Also get rid of anything with trans or hydrogenated fats and MSG (watch for hidden names). Ideally, for 10 days you avoid any foods that come in box, package or a can or that have a label, and stick to real, whole, fresh food. And the best way to really detox is to give up ALL grains for 10 days, too.

3. Don't drink your calories

Any form of liquid sugar calories is worse than solid food with sugar or flour. Think of it as mainlining sugar directly to your liver. It turns off a fat storage machine in your liver, leading to dreaded belly fat. You don't feel full, so you eat more all day and you crave more sugar and carbs. It's also the single biggest source of sugar calories in our diet. That includes sodas, juices other than green vegetable juice, sports drinks, sweetened teas or coffees. One 20-ounce soda has 15 teaspoons of sugar; Gatorade contains 14 teaspoons of the stuff in one bottle. One can of soda a day increases a kid's chance of being obese by 60 percent and a woman's chance of type 2 diabetes by 80 percent. Stay away!

4. Power up the day with protein

Protein, protein, protein at every meal - especially breakfast - is the key to balancing blood sugar and insulin and cutting cravings. Start the day with whole farm eggs or a protein shake. I recommend my Whole Food Protein Shake. Use nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, chicken or grass-fed meat for protein at every meal. A serving size is 4-6 ounces or the size of your palm.

5. Eat unlimited carbs (the right ones)

Yes, that's right. Unlimited carbs. Did you know that vegetables are carbs? And you get to eat as much as you want. Unlimited refills! There is one catch. I only mean the non-starchy veggies such as greens, the broccoli family (cauliflower, kale, collards, etc.), asparagus, green beans, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, tomatoes, fennel, eggplant, artichokes, peppers, etc. What's out are potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash and beets - just for 10 days. Also skip grains and beans for 10 days. It supercharges the results so you lose weight and feel great.

6. Fight sugar with fat

Fat is not a four-letter word. Fat doesn't make you fat, sugar does. Fat makes you full, balances your blood sugar and is necessary for fueling your cells. Along with protein, have good fats at every meal and snack including nuts and seeds (which also contain protein), extra virgin olive oil, coconut butter, avocados, and omega 3 fats from fish.

7. Be ready for emergencies

You never want to be in a food emergency when your blood sugar is dropping and you find yourself in a food desert such as an airport, the office, or in a maze of convenience stores, fast food joints and vending machines. You need an Emergency Life Pak. I have one with me all the time, filled with protein, good fats, and good snacks so I never have to make a bad choice. Here's what's in mine. Packets of Artisana nut butters and coconut butter, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, salmon jerky or turkey jerky, a can of wild salmon or sardines and unsweetened wild blueberries.

8. Swap distress for de-stress

If you are stressed, your hormones go crazy. Cortisol goes up which makes you hungry, causes belly fat storage and leads to type 2 diabetes. Studies show that taking deep breaths activates a special nerve, called the vagus nerve, that shifts your metabolism from fat storage to fat burning and quickly moves you out of the stress state. And all you have to do is take a deep breath. My Take Five Breathing Break is something you can do anywhere, anytime. Simply take five slow deep breaths - in to the count of five, out to the count of five. Five times. That's it. Do this before every meal. Watch what happens!

9. Put out the fire (of inflammation)

Studies show that inflammation triggers blood sugar imbalances, insulin resistance, pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. The most common source of inflammatory foods other than sugar, flour and trans fats are hidden food sensitivities. The most common culprits are gluten and dairy. We often crave the foods we're allergic to. Without them we feel lousy and want more. Quit gluten and dairy for ten days. Getting off them isn't easy, but after just two to three days without them you'll have renewed energy, relief from cravings, and will see many of your common symptoms disappear.

10. Get your zzzs

Getting less sleep drives sugar and carb cravings by affecting your appetite hormones. In human studies, depriving college students of just two hours of the recommended eight hours of sleep led to a rise in hunger hormones, a decrease in appetite-suppressing hormones and big cravings for sugar and refined carbs. You want more energy if you don't sleep, so you go toward quickly absorbed sugars. Sleep is the best way to fight against the drive to overeat. You literally can sleep your cravings and your weight away.

All of these ideas and a goof-proof, step-by-step plan of how to make them work for you are in my new book. If you're inspired to end your food addiction and your sugar and carb cravings, and renew and reboot your health, please join us on Challenge that starts January 21.

If all Americans could to this! Our country would be happier, friendlier most importantly, healthier and gosh darn it...we could have world peace! Amen Dr. Mark Hyman! It's a process that needs constant attention. Once your body reaps the rewards & you know you're worth it- it makes TOTAL SENSE. Thank you!" ~ Marie N.

"I've never made a commitment to my health as I have with this detox. My doctor was skeptical and wanted to put me on insulin. I wanted to prove her wrong and was committed to go through the program to take my health back. It helped me realize how compulsive I've been with food. How I would reward my stressfull events with sweet treats. My husband joined me on the detox and he is also thrilled with the results. Thank you Dr. Hyman and staff for this amazing program." ~ Jean Y.

Wishing you health and happiness,

Mark Hyman, MD

About the author

New York Times

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Zombie Cookie: The unkillable tracking cookie

zombie cookies

© David Sleight & Hannah Birch

[Editor's note: This story has been updated. See end of article]

An online ad company called Turn is using tracking cookies that come back to life after Verizon users have deleted them. Turn's services are used by everyone from Google to Facebook.

An online advertising clearinghouse relied on by Google, Yahoo and Facebook is using controversial cookies that come back from the dead to track the web surfing of Verizon customers.

The company, called Turn, is taking advantage of a hidden undeletable number that Verizon uses to monitor customers' habits on their smartphones and tablets. Turn uses the Verizon number to respawn tracking cookies that users have deleted.

"We are trying to use the most persistent identifier that we can in order to do what we do," Max Ochoa, Turn's chief privacy officer, told ProPublica.

Turn's zombie cookie comes amid a controversy about a new form of tracking the telecom industry has deployed to shadow mobile phone users. Last year, Verizon and AT&T users noticed their carriers were inserting a tracking number into all the Web traffic that transmits from a users' phone - even if the user has tried to opt out.

Users complained that the tracking number could be used by any website they visited from their phone to build a dossier about their behavior - what sites they went to, what apps they used.

In November, AT&T stopped using the number. But Verizon did not, instead assuring users on its website that "it is unlikely that sites and ad entities will attempt to build customer profiles" using its identifiers.

When asked about Turn's use of the Verizon number to respawn tracking cookies, a Verizon spokeswoman said, "We're reviewing the information you shared and will evaluate and take appropriate measures to address."

Turn privacy officer Ochoa said that his company had conversations with Verizon about Turn's use of the Verizon tracking number and said "they were quite satisfied."

Turn's actions were spotted by Stanford researcher Jonathan Mayer, and confirmed by ProPublica's testing.

Turn and Verizon also have a separate marketing partnership that allows Verizon to share anonymized information about its mobile customers. In April, Verizon sponsored a Turn event in New York City called " Bringing Sexy Back to Measurement."

Turn, which calls itself a "Digital Hub," may not be a household name but it is a huge back-end processor of ads on websites.

It works like this: When a user visits a website that contains Turn tracking code, the company holds an auction within milliseconds for advertisers to target that user. The highest bidder's ad instantly appears on the user's screen as the web page loads. Turn says it receives 2 million requests for online advertising placements per second.

For its auctions to work, Turn needs to identify web users by cookies, which are small text files that are stored on their computers. The cookies allow Turn to identify a user's web browsing habits, such as an interest in sports or shopping, which it uses to lure advertisers to the auction.

Some users try to block such tracking by turning off or deleting cookies. But Turn says that when users clear their cookies, it does not consider that a signal that users want to opt out from being tracked.

"There are definitely people who feel that if they clear their cookies, they won't be tracked, and that is not strictly accurate," said Joshua Koran, senior vice president of product management at Turn.

Turn executives said the only way users can opt out is to install a Turn opt-out cookie on their machine. That cookie is not designed to prevent Turn from collecting data about a user - only to prevent Turn from showing targeted ads to that user.

ProPublica's tests showed that even Verizon users who installed the Turn opt-out cookie continued to receive the Turn tracking cookie as well. Turn said despite the appearance of the tracking cookie, it continues to honor the opt-out cookie.

computer cookie chart

© Julia Angwin, Mike Tigas and Terry Parris Jr., ProPublica

Initially, Turn officials also told ProPublica that its zombie cookie had a benefit for users: They said they were using the Verizon number to keep track of people who installed the Turn opt-out cookie, so that if they mistakenly deleted it, Turn could continue to honor their decisions to opt out.

But when ProPublica tested that claim on the industry's opt-out system, we found that it did not show Verizon users as opted out. Turn subsequently contacted us to say it had fixed what it said was a glitch, but our tests did not show it had been fixed.

Either way, this fix does not address the respawning of cookies that have been deleted - since Turn says it does not consider that an expression of user intent.

"It is our absolute desire to honor people's choices," said Ochoa, Turn's chief privacy officer.

Update :

Jan. 16, 2014: In response to our revelation, Turn said it will suspend using its zombie cookie.

Tech company Turn said it would stop using tracking cookies that are impossible to delete. The decision came in response to a ProPublica article this week that revealed the controversial practice.

"We have heard the concerns and are actively re-evaluating this method," Max Ochoa, Turn's chief privacy officer, wrote in a blog post.

He said the company plans aims to suspend the practice by "early February."

Turn's zombie cookie was exploiting a hidden undeletable number that Verizon uses to track its customers on their smartphones on tablets. Turn used the Verizon number to respawn tracking cookies that users had deleted. The company said it will now re-evaluate its practices.

Turn's decision to suspend the practice was a sharp reversal from its previous stance. It had previously argued that "clearing cookies is not a reliable way for a user to express their desire not to receive tailored advertising."

Critics across the Web vocally disagreed. Jason Kint, CEO of a trade association for digital content companies, wrote that "this kind of surreptitious behavior does nothing to build trust between consumers, advertisers and publishers." The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights organization, said Turn's action made it " impossible for customers to meaningfully control their online privacy."

The Wall Street Journal Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance, Financial Times

The Spokesman-Review

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Graves Waiting For Bodies: Major War Escalation in Ukraine; In 5 Weeks Ukraine Out of Money

We regret having to interrupt feel-good weekend articles with more sobering news. In Ukraine, major battles have broken out over the past couple weeks.

Mainstream media has widely ignored the story because of Greece, then Charlie, and then the Swiss Franc. And of course Western media has no interest in reporting news the rebels are winning.

However, ignoring the story does not make it go away.

Major Rebel Advance

On November 9, 2014, I posted Ukraine Split in Two; Expect Major Rebel Advance.

That advance came later than I expected. But it is here in full force.

Max Keiser provided this accurate headline two days ago: Ukraine Lurches to Full Scale War as Russia Drastically Reduces Gas Supply to EU.

Reader Jacob Dreizin, a US citizen who speaks Russian and reads Ukrainian sent a few emails and videos recently worth posting.

From Jacob ...

Hello Mish

Here's a video that shows a military "cemetery" in Dnepropetrovsk region, Ukraine. Note especially seconds 33 through 51. There are literally hundreds of empty holes in the ground here, waiting for bodies. I read in another source that these graves were dug very recently, probably right before this video was posted on January 8th. Looks like Kiev had been planning an offensive, presumably the one that was just broken up by the rebels in the last few days. I guess it's cheaper to have the graves dug all at once than to keep calling the backhoe crew over and over.

Link if video does not play:

Mass Graves in Ukraine


Dreizin writes ...

The last few weeks have seen a significant escalation of fighting, which really boiled over in the last 5-6 days. I can't say for sure who "started" it, but it's clear from those hundreds of holes in the ground that the Ukrainians anticipated something.Donetsk Airport Battle is Over

Dreizin also informs me that "

The battle for the Donetsk airport is over. The rebels expelled Ukraine's most elite units from their last redoubts in the new terminal building.


More reports coming up, none of them pretty for Kiev. Mainstream media ... silence. But some things are impossible to hide. Here's one of them.

USD/UAH - US Dollar Ukrainian Hryvnia

Since November 30, 2013, the Hryvnia has collapsed from 8.24-per-US$ to 15.86-per-US$. That's a decline of 48 percent. Everything Ukraine imports costs nearly double what it did just over a year ago!

Ukraine is bankrupt. It needs another bailout, but so far there are no offers. See

Ukraine Needs Second Bailout, Currency Reserves Drop to Critical Level; Another IMF Visit; Where's the Love?In 5 Weeks, Ukraine Out of Money

Please consider

Foreign Currency Reserves in Ukraine Plunge 63 Percent in 2014
Ukraine's foreign currency reserves were down to just over $7.5 billion last year, the lowest level for 10 years and barely enough to cover five weeks of imports, pressured by external debt repayments including to the IMF and to Russia for gas. Repayment of $14 billion of external debt falling due in 2014 took its toll.

War Marches On

From a "grave" perspective, the war marches on, and will do so until the IMF steps in with another bailout or every penny is gone, whichever comes first.

Philosophically speaking, the war is actually over. Ukraine is already split in two even if international recognition of that event comes years later.

Vancouver Island will 'rip open like a zipper' when overdue megathrust earthquake strikes, experts say

Capes Lake, Vancouver Island

© National Post, Canada

Capes Lake, Vancouver Island. The odds of another megathrust earthquake and tsunami on Vancouver Island happening within the next 50 years are about one-in-10, experts say.

Pachena Bay , B.C. - The low tide, bright sunshine and constant roar of endlessly approaching waves display the full power of the wide-open Vancouver Island shoreline at the remote beach handed down to Stella Peters and her family as a wedding dowry.

For generations, Peters and her relatives have been the keepers of Pachena Bay, the picturesque beach that scientists forecast as an epicentre for the next massive earthquake and tsunami.

The bay is also the home to the Huu-ay-aht First Nations village of Anacla, about 300 kilometres northwest of Victoria, which aboriginal oral history says was devastated when an ancient earthquake convulsed the West Coast of North America.

First Nations from Vancouver Island to northern California describe the earthquake and tsunami in similar legends and artwork involving a life-and-death struggle between a thunderbird and a whale that caused the earth to shake violently and the seas to wash away their people and homes.

When the next megathrust quake hits, residents on the west side of Vancouver Island will barely have 20 minutes to get to higher ground.

"Every year we hear the same thing, that, 'Oh, the big waves are going to come, the big waves are going to come,'" Peters says as she looks out on the Pacific Ocean. "I'm not really too worried about it actually happening. We're not ready for it, but in a sense we are. We seem to be on the ball when it comes to evacuating the place."

"Nobody [will be] left behind," says Peters. "All the elders, the kids, even the dogs are all taken out of here."

On Jan. 26, 1700 at about 9 p.m., a magnitude nine earthquake struck the Pacific coast, causing violent shaking for minutes that scientists believe was felt as far away as the Manitoba border. The shaking was followed almost immediately by a tsunami that legend and scientists say sucked everybody and everything along the outer coast into the ocean.

About nine hours later, a tsunami the height of a four-storey building hit the Japanese coast on Jan. 27, 1700, destroying all in its path.

It wasn't until the late 1990s that scientists linked the tsunami in Japan to geologic reports of the earthquake off the Pacific coast in North America.

Scientists using earthquake mapping and profiling techniques now believe the ancient quake and tsunami are eerily similar to the magnitude 9.2 earthquake and tsunami that struck in the Indian Ocean on Boxing Day 2004, killing more than 250,000 people.

Juan de Fuca Plate

© Courtesy of Lucinda Leonard, Geological Survey of Canada

Earthquakes and tsunamis like the Vancouver Island and Boxing Day events are not one-time occurrences, due to their locations near major fault lines that build up pressure over 300 to 500 years and eventually cause the earth to buckle and let go, scientists say.

The Cascadia subduction zone off Vancouver Island is the result of two locked geological plates under the sea floor.

"Right now the two plates are sort of stuck together," says Alison Bird, a Victoria-area Natural Resources Canada seismologist. "They're locked, yet they are still moving toward each other. What's happening is there's a lot of stress building up. The stress builds up over hundreds of years and when it releases it releases in a megathrust earthquake."

Following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011, about 70 Pachena Bay residents were evacuated to the village's hilltop administration building and long house. Peters says there was no damage, but the Pachena River shifted from low tide to high tide in minutes.

University of Victoria ocean engineer Kate Moran says the Huu-ay-aht council was wise to accept the advice of its elders and build its new administration building high above Pachena Bay because it's only a matter of time before another devastating tsunami arrives.

Moran, who previously advised the Obama administration in the United States on climate policy issues, headed the first research team into the Indian Ocean area following the Boxing Day earthquake and tsunami.

She says there are many similarities between Boxing Day 2004 and Vancouver Island Jan. 26, 1700.

In both cases, there was a major rupture of the earth that triggered deadly earthquakes and tsunamis, Moran says. She described the events in 1700 and 2004 as ripping open the earth's zipper.

"What you can now do is actually put videos to the event and to me that's really helpful for people understanding the risks here [on Vancouver Island]," says Moran, who heads the university's world-leading Ocean Networks Canada, which includes a 24-hour ocean monitoring program through a series of Internet connected cables.

She says the university is planning to install a specialized radar at Tofino's airport this year that can detect tsunami waves far offshore.

"When scientists want to study subduction zones, I would say that Cascadia, [Japan's] Nankai, Barbados and Chile are the [locations] that have been studied the most because of their significance," Moran says.

2004 Tsunami

© AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File

Bird says experts know that the ancient quake and tsunami devastated the western shores of Vancouver Island and the eastern coast of Japan.

"This completely jibes with First Nations oral history, which talks about the fact it was wintertime and they'd just gone to bed," she says. "Sadly, villages along that western coastline were decimated by this wave. Many people were lost. The [Japanese] recorded the time the wave hit at various points along the coast and how high the wave went up."

She says if a similar earthquake occurs now, people living along the outer coast of Vancouver Island will have between 15 and 20 minutes to escape. Victoria can expect a tsunami wave of between two and four metres within 75 minutes.

Greater Vancouver would likely escape a tsunami in the event of a megathrust earthquake, but the shaking would be prolonged and violent enough to damage buildings, says Bird.

The odds of another megathrust earthquake and tsunami on Vancouver Island happening within the next 50 years are about one-in-10, says Bird.

Peters says she believes somebody or something has been looking out for her village for the past 315 years, but she also knows that could change at any moment.

"Right where we live we have to deal with what Mother Nature gives us," she says.

"We're supposed to be 20 metres above sea level, but now where the village is, we're six metres above."

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Charlie Hebdo: The hidden agenda (video)

Charlie Hebdo

© Desconocido

Whatever you believe actually happened in Paris, one thing is very clear: the powers that be are going to try to use this event to expand wars, intensify domestic surveillance, and legislate away more of our rights.

This is not speculation. They have already started in France, in the U.K. (see this document), at the E.U. level, in the United States and they are going to attempt to push this on a global scale (also see this). All nicely coordinated to ride the wave of outrage that followed the attacks.

[embedded content]

If you want a glimpse at just how far they want to take this, look at France. They're already dealing out serious prison sentences for those caught saying anything that could be interpreted as supporting terrorism. Does questioning the official story count as supporting terrorism? Where do you draw the line? Who decides?

[embedded content]

Oh, so you don't actually have to support terrorism. Just disagreeing is enough.

Humanity, do you really want to learn this lesson the hard way, again?

They are playing you people: Problem, Reaction, Solution. It's the oldest trick in the book.

With so much riding on this story, obviously there are those who have a vested interest in preventing evidence which contradicts the official narrative from reaching the public.

On January 10th we uploaded a video entitled "Charlie Hebdo Shootings - Censored Video". Within 24 hours it had over a million views. Then the video was age restricted and removed from listings in spite of the fact that it depicted no blood, no gore, no graphic violence of any kind. It did, however, challenge the official narrative of the event. In spite of being age restricted the video continued to grow and added another million views.

We uploaded a French translation of this same video on January 12th. Within one day, the French version was taken down completely. Not age restricted, not blocked in some countries, completely deleted from the site. Again, this video showed no blood or gore whatsoever. In fact it didn't even show actual murder.

We're not going to show that footage again here. We're not going to give them any excuse to block this video. However if you enter the following url into your browser: http://bit.ly/1yehUBa) you will find a download link to the original files. Watch it and come to your own conclusions.

Of course, there is much more at stake here than our little video, or even the attacks themselves. The internet as a whole poses a threat to the ruling class, because in its current form ideas cannot be fully controlled. The internet in its current form makes it very hard for them to hide their corruption, their wars of aggression, and their covert operations, and that makes it hard to govern. They intend to change that (for your security of course).

Funny isn't it, 17 people people get killed in France, supposedly over a question of free speech, and the first thing that governments of the world want to do is use that event to take away free speech on the internet.

It's also funny that these same governments expressed no outrage whatsoever as the United States military killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere.

Apparently it's not murder if you use a drone or a guided missile. Apparently it's not terrorism if women and children are killed by soldiers and government bureaucrats. No, it's only murder when politicians and the corporate media tell you it's murder, and if they get their way, they'll be able to take down any website, video or social media account that dares contradict them.

There's one question on many of your minds right now. What can we do? How can we fight back?

Well, first of all, stop waiting for instructions. Do what you can. Use the talent you have. Get creative. Remember necessity is the mother of invention. If each and every one of you just did what you could without worrying about whether or not you would succeed, that would be enough.

And remember, these politicians don't have any real power. They just have your obedience. Even their enforcement arms, the police and the military, are really just structured obedience.

Withdraw that obedience and it's game over.

Comment: SCG is right about where this is all heading. But it's even worse than that. Humanity is on the straight path to another Holocaust. The Paris attacks were the equivalent of the Reichstag fire. Things will only escalate as Europe descends further into racist bloodlust.

However, regarding his previous video, mentioned in the video above, we do not think it is the 'smoking gun' so many conspiracists are looking for. As Jonathan Cook put it recently, it only proves one thing: that the media/authorities lied about the nature of Merabet's death - that he was shot in the head, when in fact he was not:

It seems - though I suppose there could be an explanation I have overlooked - that the authorities have lied about the cause of the policeman's death. That could be for several probably unknowable reasons, including that his being executed was a simpler, neater story than that he bled to death on the pavement because of official incompetence (there already seems to have been plenty of that in this case).

The second point is even more troubling. Most of the senior editors of our mainstream media have watched the unedited video just as you now have. And either not one of them saw the problem raised here - that the video does not show what it is supposed to show - or some of them did see it but did not care. Either way, they simply regurgitated an official story that does not seem to fit the available evidence.

Watching the video, it's possible he was shot in the back, which would explain the lack of obvious head wounds.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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3,000 'moderate rebels' defect to ISIS - US preparing 5,000 more

Reported along the peripheries of the Western media, it was reported recently that some 3,000 so-called "moderate rebels" of the "Free Syrian Army" had defected to the "Islamic State" (ISIS). While not the first time so-called "moderates" have crossed over openly to Al Qaeda or ISIS, it is one of the largest crossovers that has occurred.

With them, these 3,000 fighters will bring weapons, cash, equipment, and training provided to them by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United States, the UK, and perhaps most ironic of all in the wake of the recent terror attack in Paris, France. Indeed, ISIS and Al Qaeda's ranks continue to swell amid this insidious network of "terror laundering" that is only set to grow.

It was an open conspiracy exposed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 article, , that the US and its regional allies sought to use Al Qaeda and other extremist groups to wage a proxy war on Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. This conspiracy has clearly manifested itself today in the form of ISIS. Despite a feigned military campaign waged against ISIS, targeting primarily Syria's oil infrastructure, the true source of ISIS' strength, emanating from NATO territory in Turkey, remains unscathed and uninterrupted. Additionally, torrents of cash, weapons, and supplies are working their way across ISIS' rank and file through the migration of so-called "moderates" under their banner.

Before this brigade-sized defection, several other "vetted moderate rebel" groups, armed by the US in particular, have openly pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda. The most notorious incident was when terror group Harakat Hazm, provided antitank TOW missiles by the US, openly pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda's Syrian franchise, US State Department-listed foreign terrorist organization Al Nusra. Al Nusra would assume possession of the TOW missiles, using them allegedly in a successful campaign in Syria's Idlib province.

The Daily Beast would report in its September 2014 article, , that:

One Syrian rebel group supported in the past by the United States condemned the air strikes on Tuesday. Harakat Hazm, a rebel group that received a shipment of U.S. anti-tank weapons in the spring, called the airstrikes "an attack on national sovereignty" and charged that foreign led attacks only strengthen the Assad regime.The statement comes from a document, purportedly from the group, that has circulated online and was posted in English translation from a Twitter account called Syria Conflict Monitor. Several Syria experts, including the Brookings Doha Center's Charles Lister, believe the document to be authentic.

Before the official statement, there were signs that Harakat Hazm was making alliances in Syria that could conflict with its role as a U.S. partner. In early September a Harakat Hazm official told a reporter for the : "Inside Syria, we became labeled as secularists and feared Nusra Front was going to battle us...But Nusra doesn't fight us, we actually fight alongside them. We like Nusra."

This group would later be reported by the Western press as having "surrendered" to Al Qaeda. The would claim in its article, , that:

Weaponry supplied by the US to moderate Syrian rebels was feared to have fallen into the hands of jihadist militants affiliated to al-Qaida after clashes between rival groups.

Islamist fighters with Jabhat al-Nusra seized control of large swathes of land in Jabal al-Zawiya, Idlib province, at the weekend, routing the US-backed groups the Syrian Revolutionaries Front (SFR) and Harakat Hazm, activists said.

Washington relied on SFR and Harakat Hazm to counter Isis (Islamic State) militants on the ground in Syria, complementing its air strikes.

Clearly however, Harakat Hazm's "surrender" was merely the finalizing of its growing alliance with Al Nusra.

US Prepares Another Brigade for ISIS

When "moderates" appear inevitably destined for the ranks of ISIS, and with US weapons falling into Al Qaeda's hands along with entire brigade-sized defections taking place, what the world would last expect is for the US to prepare another brigade-sized army to arm, fund, train, and turn loose inside of Syria. But that is precisely what the US is planning to do.

would report in its article, , that:

Officials say the initial round of training would produce of 5,000 trained Free Syrian Army members within about a year.

Saudi Arabia in September agreed to host the training of moderate Syrian rebels to assist the U.S. strategy to combat Islamic State insurgents, who control territory in Syria and Iraq.

U.S. support of the Free Syrian Army has been criticized as halting by supporters of greater U.S. involvement in Syria, and the group suffered setbacks when units were overrun and driven from their bases in recent weeks by members of another insurgent group, the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front.

Only this "Free Syrian Army" wasn't overrun and driven out by Al Nusra - as previously mentioned - instead many of these groups had been part of long-running alliances with the Al Qaeda franchise, and simply made it official, bringing their Western arms, cash, and training with them.

For the US already, plausible deniability is impossible with revelations as early as 2007 exposing America's desire to use Al Qaeda as a proxy military force. With Harakat Hazm turning over US-supplied antitank TOW missiles to Al Qaeda, and now an entire brigade-sized defection by so-called "Free Syrian Army" fighters to ISIS - what besides "disaster" could befall America's new brigade it plans to start training this spring?

Inevitably, these fighters, their supplies and weapons will end up consolidated under ISIS and Al Nusra's banner. Terrorism continues to grow in Syria not because of ISIS' control over oilfields and revenue from hostage ransoms, but because the US and its partners continue to intentionally feed into its maw thousands of trained fighters, weapons, and billions in cash, equipment, and other supplies.

When these terrorists begin filtering into Europe and America, the same interests involved in intentionally creating this massive terrorist enterprise in Syria will wring their hands demanding what little is left of civilization at home be dismantled, after having insidiously and intentionally destroyed it abroad.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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FLASHBACK: UK convict two men for inciting racial hatred online, for mocking Holocaust

tales holohoax

Simon Sheppard (left) and Stephen Whittle now serving prison sentences in Britain

A racist man has lost his appeal against the UK's first conviction for inciting racial hatred online. But the Court of Appeal in London did reduce Stephen Whittle's sentence of two years and four months by six months. Another man, Simon Sheppard, who was also convicted of inciting racial hatred, had his term of four years and ten months cut by a year. Whittle, 42, and Sheppard, 52, were jailed at Leeds Crown Court in July last year after they were charged, under the Public Order Act, with publishing racially inflammatory material, distributing racially inflammatory material and possessing racially inflammatory material with a view to distribution. Whittle, from Preston, was found guilty of five offences and Sheppard, of Selby, North Yorkshire, was found guilty of 16. During their first trial in 2008, they skipped bail and fled to California, where they sought asylum claiming they were being persecuted for their right-wing views, but were deported. The police investigation began after a complaint about a leaflet called which was pushed through the door of a Blackpool synagogue and traced back to a post office box in Hull registered to Sheppard.

Published material found later included images of murdered Jews alongside cartoons and articles ridiculing ethnic groups. At the appeal, Sheppard's counsel, Adrian Davies, challenged the convictions on the grounds of jurisdiction, the meaning of "publication" and whether the material on the internet was "written material" within the meaning of the Act. He said the articles complained of were posted on a website in California where there was no doubt that they were "entirely lawful and enjoyed the highest degree of constitutional protection under the laws of the United States." There was no evidence that anyone in England and Wales, except for the police officer, who the Crown did not rely on as a member of the public under the Act, had ever read any of them. "Despite this, Mr Sheppard has been sentenced to a longer term of imprisonment than Abu Hamza," he told Lord Justice Scott Baker, Mr Justice Penry-Davey and Mr Justice Cranston. Giving their ruling, Lord Justice Scott Baker said the trial judge was right to hold that he had jurisdiction to try the pair because a substantial measure of the activities constituting the crime took place in England. He said the judge had also correctly addressed the issue of publication - the material in the case was available to the public despite the fact that the evidence went no further than establishing that one police constable downloaded it. And the words "written material" in the Act were sufficiently wide to include articles in electronic form. On the question of sentence, he noted that the judge had said he had rarely seen or read material that was so abusive and insulting in its content towards racial groups in this country.

Comment: What?! Conviction for inciting racial hatred? For publishing cartoons ridiculing ethnic groups? But that is free speech! That is what the world is protesting for by defending and chanting "je suis Charlie"! Where is free speech if folks cannot publish offensive cartoons inciting racial hatred against minority groups?

Please excuse the sarcasm. But by these standards, the cartoonists at should have been arrested long ago and convicted of incitement to hatred for their garbage. Now, instead, many of them are dead. Julius Streicher was executed for his involvement of inciting hatred against the Jews in Germany. His work was fair game in Germany in the '30s. 's work is fair game now, in a time when Muslims are routinely demonized and we are heading to a repeat of the Holocaust. Only this time, it won't be Jews (ravings from nutty people like Netanyahu notwithstanding), it will be Muslims.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Jean-Marie Le Pen: French terror attacks were work of Western intelligence

Jean-Marie Le Pen

The Charlie Hebdo massacre may have been the work of an "intelligence agency", working with the connivance of French authorities, according to Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the far right Front National.

In an interview with a virulently anti-Western Russian newspaper, Mr Le Pen, 86, gave credence to conspiracy theories circulating on the internet suggesting that the attack was the work of American or Israeli agents seeking to foment a civil war between Islam and the West.

His comments - only partially retracted in an interview with the French newspaper today - provoked outrage amongst French politicians. They will also infuriate Marine Le Pen , his daughter, and successor as leader of the FN, who has been trying to distance the party from her father's extreme and provocative remarks.

Mr Le Pen stood down as FN leader three years ago but remains President-for-life. He made the comments in an interview with , a newspaper which had already blamed the United States for the terrorist mayhem in France.

"The shooting at Charlie Hebdo resembles a secret service operation but we have no proof of that," the newspaper quoted Mr Le Pen as saying. "I don't think it was organised by the French authorities but they permitted this crime to be committed. That, for the moment, is just a supposition."

To justify his comments, Mr Le Pen pointed to the fact that one of the Kouachi brothers, who carried out the Charlie Hebdo massacre, left his identity card in a crashed getaway car. He compared this to the "miraculous fact" - beloved by conspiracy theorists - that one of the passports of the 9/11 hijackers was found on the ground in New York after two planes collided with the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in 2001.

Mr Le Pen made two other provocative remarks in the interview. He said that the 1,500,000 who marched "against hatred" in Paris last Sunday were not "Charlies" but "Charlie Chaplins" (ie clowns). He also said that there were 15,000,00 to 20,000,000 Muslims in France - three or four times the generally accepted figures of 5,000,000 people who are practising Muslims or have Muslim backgrounds.

In an interview with today, Mr Le Pen repeated his suspicions about the identity card but said he "could not recall" talking about "secret services" to the Russian newspaper.

Mr Le Pen's original quoted remarks run directly counter to the official line of his daughter and his party. They have suggested that the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket are the final proof that France faces an "enemy within", which has been created by immigration and open EU borders.

Conspiracy theories of the kind espoused by the elder Le Pen sprang up on the internet within hours of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. They have been repeated in recent days by some - not all - young Muslims in France, torn between identifying with the Kouachi brothers and insisting that they were stooges of the French authorities, Washington and Israel.

The French "pope of conspiracy theories", Thierry Meyssan, now based in Damascus, insisted that the Charlie Hebdo massacres were "ordered by US neo-cons and liberal hawks". An American conspiracy site, McLatchy, has claimed that the Kouachi brothers were working for French intelligence.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Israeli air force helicopter fires two missiles on Golan, Syria

Syrian sources said that Israeli helicopters fired two missiles into the Syrian Golan Heights on Sunday, the Hezbollah-affiliated al-Manar website reported.

AFP cited an Israeli security sources as saying the strike had targeted purported terrorists who were planning an attack on the Jewish state. Lebanese news portal el-Nashra reported that among those targeted in the strike was a senior Hezbollah commander.

The IDF said in response that it does not comment on foreign reports and Syrian state media did not mention the attack.

The missiles reportedly hit near Quneitra, not far from the border with Israel.

"An Israeli helicopter fired two missiles on Amal Farms in Quneitra," the Lebanese news channel said, adding that two reconnaissance planes were also flying over the area.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group monitoring the civil war, said the missiles fired on Sunday targeted armed vehicles, citing local sources.

It said it did not know if the vehicles belonged to the army, Hezbollah or anti-Assad insurgents.

Foreign media reports have attributed a number of air strikes in Syria to Israel over the past several years, although Israel has refused to confirm the reports.

In the most recent such incident, Syrian state television reported in December 2014 that Israeli jets had bombed targets near Damascus International Airport and in the town of Dimas, near the border with Lebanon.

A Lebanese TV correspondent reported that Israel struck 10 crucial intelligence-linked locations in Syria that belong to Iran. The outlet reported that explosions were heard near the Israeli-Lebanese border, allegedly the result of IDF maneuvers.

Comment: Good job, Israel, piggy-backing on the ISIS crisis in order to assassinate people you don't like. Reuters reports:

An Israeli helicopter strike in Syria killed a commander from Lebanon's Hezbollah and the son of the group's late military leader Imad Moughniyah, Hezbollah said, in a major blow that could lead to reprisal attacks.

The strike hit a convoy carrying Jihad Moughniyah and commander Mohamad Issa, known as Abu Issa, in the province of Quneitra, near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, killing six Hezbollah members in all, a statement from the group said.

It comes just days after Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said frequent Israeli strikes in Syria were a major aggression, that the group was stronger than before and that Syria and its allies had the right to respond.

See also:

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Fireball spotted in Roane County enters atmosphere over Mississippi

Mississippi Fireball

© Julie Ann Griffin

Knoxville - We had several calls to the WATE 6 On Your Side newsroom about a fireball spotted. Dr. Bill Cook with the Meteroid Environments Office said a meteor entered Earth's atmosphere Saturday night over Mississippi.

At 8:57 PM, an object about six inches in diameter and weighting fifteen pounds entered Earth's atmosphere southwest of Tupelo, Mississippi.

At its brightest, the fireball was as bright as the first quarter Moon. It was detected by three NASA meteor cameras at an altitude of 45 miles.

The meteor moved northeast at 54,000 miles per hour, finally burning up at an altitude of 15 miles.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Study reveals cancer screening does not save lives

cancer screening fail

© greenmedinfo

Subject to an increasingly expansive disease screening programs, unsuspecting healthy individuals are being transformed into patients every day. Massive 'awareness raising' campaigns funded by industries that either cause disease by creating and promoting harmful products, or make profit from the diseases by diagnosing and treating them , dominate mainstream culture, with their tentacles reaching deep into both private and public (i.e. governmental) sectors. Think of KFC's now defunct "Buckets for the Cure" campaign, or Susan G. Komen's stamp of approval on a Fracking Drill bit supposed to help find a cure. Or, how about our very own Whitehouse saturating itself with Pink light during Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

What do these 'awareness raising' efforts have in common? They almost all funnel the miseducated masses into fear-driven screening programs that promise to 'save lives' by 'detecting disease early' instead of focusing on removing and/or lessening the preventable causes of disease. Why not employ real prevention and focus on root cause resolution, which is to say, dietary changes, detoxification, and various modifiable lifestyle factors such as stress reduction -- none of which, incidentally, require pharmaceutical intervention. In the case of cancer, the primary focus should be on removing exposure to cancer-causing agents (carcinogens).

But cancer awareness raising campaigns intentionally avoud the term "carcinogen," as removal of these primary drivers were an irrelevant consideration. The problem is that conventional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation are themselves carcinogenic , and should be avoided in principle by anyone looking to prevent, treat and/or reverse cancer, undermining the cancer industry's main cash cow for the past half century. Additionally, if you focus on identifying and removing the cause, you can't get people to throw billions of dollars into fund-raising campaigns by promising a cure that only exists as a possibility in the future, and requires ceaseless cash offerings and supplication to the biotech, pharmaceutical and medical 'Gods.'

So, have these disease campaigns met their promises?

This all important question is now drawing widespread attention following the publication of study in the titled: "Does screening for disease save lives in asymptomatic adults? Systematic review of meta-analyses and randomized trials."1

As many of our readers who follow our work are already aware, routine mass screening for cancer in healthy populations commonly leads to overdiagnosis (finding lesions that do not cause harm or death), and when not identified as such, overtreatment (a euphemism to what amounts to succumbing to medical abuse).

Screening also leads to a staggering level of false-positives, with the 10 year cumulative rate for women receiving annual x-ray mammography reaching 50% . Even when false positives are identified, and the patient avoids unnecessary surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy, research shows that the trauma of the false-positive is as severe as a real positive breast cancer diagnosis, for at least six months following the diagnosis.

Overdiagnosis is exceedingly common primarily because of mistakes in cancer classification based on a fundamental, at least half century old misunderstanding of cancer biology. In 2013 the National Cancer Institute commissioned an expert working group to look at present day definitions of screen detected cancers such as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) ('breast cancer'), high grade intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) ('prostate cancer') and thyroid papillary carcinoma (thyroid 'cancer'), with the shocking conclusion that these should be reclassified as non-cancerous, benign growths of epithelial origin. Yes, after millions in the U.S. over the past few decades had their breasts, prostates, ovaries, and thyroids removed as a 'precautionary' approach, now they are being told they never had cancer to begin with. In other words, they had abnormal tissue growth that would never have progressed to cause harm or death. But these non-malignant lesions or tumors were treated as if they were life-threatening cancers anyway, with patients often losing their breasts or prostates as a result of medical errors that were disingenuously recorded in cancer statistics as 'life saving' interventions that 'detected cancer early,' resulting in inflating the '5-year survival' rates in a way that appears to show medical progress. These semantical and statistical misrepresentations, are why, absurdly, the cancer industry can announce that they saved over a million lives in the past few decades , when in fact quite the opposite may be true.

As summarized on , the new study confirms that despite screening programs picking up millions of new 'early cancer' diagnoses disease-specific mortality has not declined significantly as would be expected if these 'cancers' were actually non-benign or life threatening":

"Screening for disease is a key component of modern healthcare. Yet, new surprising new research shows that few currently available screening tests for major diseases where death is a common outcome have documented reductions in disease-specific mortality. Evidence was evaluated on 16 screening tests for 9 major diseases where mortality is a common outcome. The researchers found 45 randomized controlled trials and 98 meta-analyses that evaluated disease-specific or all-cause mortality. Reductions in disease-specific mortality were uncommon and reductions in all-cause mortality were very uncommon."

Many in the U.S. are still not aware that breast screening for women aged 40-49 and PSA-based prostate screening in healthy men lost their endorsement in 2009 and 2012, respectively, by the U.S. Preventive Task Force (USPSTF), explicitly because of concerns that the psychological and physical harms of overdiagnosis and overtreatment outweighed their benefits in reducing cancer specific mortality. In fact, prostate screening was associated with increased mortality! Although not discussed by the USPSTF, we have detailed the many ways which which mammography is likely increasing mortality in those undergoing them.

According to Science Daily, senior author of the new study, professor John Ioannidis stated:

"Our comprehensive overview shows that documented reductions in disease-specific mortality in randomized trials of screening for major diseases are uncommon. Reductions in all-cause mortality are even more uncommon. This overview offers researchers, policy-makers, and health care providers a synthesis of RCT evidence on the potential benefits of screening and we hope that it is timely in the wake of recent controversies." [emphasis added]

There are vast resources of energy, money, and time put into screening programs. This new meta-analysis should put a pause in the ongoing push to have asymptomatic people subject themselves to unnecessary screening. But the truth is that only we can make these decisions for ourselves. The medical-industrial complex will likely continue to push for these programs regardless of the evidence against them, and the governmental agencies in charge of overseeing them will likely continue to default to a cheerleading instead of regulatory role. We can only hope that our readers continue to educate themselves and make a fully informed choice.

1 Nazmus Saquib, Juliann Saquib, and John Ioannidis. Does screening for disease save lives in asymptomatic adults? Systematic review of meta-analyses and randomized trials. , 2015 DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyu140

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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SOTT Exclusive: Kiev breaks ceasefire, launches major offensive in E. Ukraine - Donetsk retakes airport

Ukrainian troops have launched a major offensive on Novorossiyan Armed Forces this morning. Clashes have erupted all along the front line, with heavy artillery fire at Gorlovka and skirmishes in numerous cities and towns. As RT reports, the order was given early this morning, according to Poroshenko aide Yury Biryukov:

"Today we will show HOW good we are at jabbing in the teeth," he wrote on his Facebook page, a mode of conveying information favored by many Ukrainian officials. In a later post he said: "They are now striking a dot. Uuu..." in a reference to Tochka-U ('tochka' means 'dot' in Russian), a tactical ballistic missile, one of the most powerful weapons Ukraine so far deployed against rebel forces.


"Locals in Donetsk said they haven't heard such intensive shelling since summer," Valentin Motuzenko, a military official in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, told Interfax news agency. "The Ukrainian military are using all kinds of weapons, Grad multiple rocket launchers, mortars..." Motuzenko said.

In other words, the ceasefire is officially over. And Kiev broke it. As one local resident in Donetsk puts it in the video below (recorded by Ukrainian reporters from Channel 17): "Poroshenko is sending us our pensions." Last year, Kiev stopped sending pensions to citizens in the east of the country. This is how he is 'paying' the citizens there.

[embedded content]

Donetsk's prime minister, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, accused Kiev of exploiting the ceasefire in order to regroup, rearm, and now restart the all-out war:

It's clear that Kiev is making an attempt to take revenge for the serious military defeat it took from the militia last year. Kiev always ignored our numerous suggestions to pull back heavy weapons from the disengagement line.

[embedded content]

The escalation comes after several days of violent clashes at the ruins of the Donetsk International Airport, a scene of constant fighting over the months of shaky ceasefire between Kiev's troops and local militia forces.

The militia, who have accused the Ukrainian military of launching constant attacks on Donetsk from their positions at the airport, reported taking over the location this week. Kiev denied this report.

The Ukrainian Security and Defense Council confirmed the resumption of hostilities and that Kiev's objective was to recapture the airport.

Kiev has consistently denied their losses at the airport and claims to be in full control, which are pure propaganda. The Ukrainian troops there have been under siege for months as Donetsk militiamen have closed in, retaking the airport piece by piece, and causing the mercenaries and troops there to hole up. Now, finally, it appears the airport is fully under control of Donetsk forces, or at least close enough, with very few holdouts. And what did the NAF find? American weapons. Edward Basurin, deputy commander of the DPR militia, reported that the weapons were discovered in an abandoned stronghold at the new airport terminal:

There was uncovered an American M-16 automatic rifle, and several side-arms, specifically Brownings. Most alarming find of all: cartridges with steel cores, and exploding bullets, which are banned by all conventions. We showed them to the OSCE observers, who came to the airport.

Zakharchenko himself made several visits to the airport in the last week (heavy fighting began around January 7, Russian Orthodox Christmas), ordering his troops to cease fire and allow the Ukrainians a corridor to leave the airport. The Ukrainians refused the offer (as usual). As one of the NAF fighter put it:

This whole conflict that started a few days ago was provoked by Ukrainian armed forces. And I think that this was started by those formations which are not controlled by the president or the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. One of our divisions came under a heavy mortar shelling, including their ammo storage. A large explosion occurred. Our fighters were lost. We did not have a human or moral right to leave it without a response. ... Some did leave [after the corridor was offered]. Those who stayed were destroyed. The airport is completely under our control. And we are still catching some individual Ukrainian fighters.

After the NAF took the airport, Zakharchenko invited Poroshenko for a face-to-face negotiation at the airport. We can predict Poroshenko's response... Here is Zakharchenko, holding the Ukrainian flag that was flying at the airport terminal, now in possession of the NAF, and offering to return it to Poroshenko as a reminder of all those who senselessly lost their lives thanks to Poroshenko's madness:

[embedded content]

The RT report continues:

Kiev launched its retaliation days after President Poroshenko ordered a new wave of mobilization into the country's armed forces. The government plans to hold at least three conscription campaigns over 2015 to sustain its military operations in the east.

One Ukrainian journalist is calling for his fellow citizens to boycott the mobilization, which is apparently being referred to as a 'coffinization'. Even regular Ukrainians are beginning to see the madness of Poroshenko's (i.e., his U.S. masters) war.

The escalation of violence comes after a controversial incident at Kiev's checkpoint near the town of Volnovakha, where 12 passengers were killed on Tuesday. Kiev blamed the deaths on the militia, saying it was hit by a Grad rocket. The DNR forces denied the accusations and said the bus was targeted by the Ukrainian troops themselves - either in a tragic incident or as a staged provocation - and said the damage visible in the picture of the bus is consistent with a less powerful weapon, possibly a landmine.

An OSCE observer team studied blast craters near the checkpoint and confirmed the direction they came from. Russia's permanent representative to the OSCE, Andrey Kelin, said the direction runs along the disengagement line separating militia- and Kiev-controlled areas, which makes it difficult to determine who fired the rockets.

Kelin's statement refutes the claim from Kiev and Washington that the attack definitely came from militia-controlled territory. It's the same lie repeated over and over again: Kiev isn't killing civilians - Donetsk is firing on its own civilians in order to make Kiev look bad. Where have we heard that before?

In a repeat of last year's humiliating defeat, Kiev's forces again look to be getting their asses kicked. Check out these reports:

In five days Ukrainian forces lost 2,000 wounded, 25% of equipment, 700 killed and missing

A Ukrainian column tried to penetrate toward Debaltsevo, but the road is under fire, so they lost 1 tank and 3 trucks. Ukrainians are demoralized. In 5 days they lost up to 2,000 wounded along the entire front, including 700 irretrievable losses [killed, missing, prisoners]. They lost a quarter of their heavy equipment and artillery that was in the first line. Most casualties were inflicted by artillery fire. We're continuing the bombardment of the entire Ukrainian front line. Ukrainians are sitting in shelters for the second day. Their army tried to take Novotoshkovka, but we held out and are fighting near the village. The Ukrainian army is too weak to attack, so they are trying to reach a settlement, but after an almost whole year of war we know they can't be believed. We fire without respite!

Lugansk Front: Ukrainian forces are taking stunning losses

LPR is suppressing the firing positions of the occupiers, the Ukrainian forces are trying to restore the river crossing behind Krimskoye.

Commander of an LPR unit Stas "Engineer" announced the beginning of night-time bombardments on the Lugansk front. "The evening begins. I put on some music. My fire direction platoon commander will pinpoint targets. It will take about an hour and a half to distribute all the targets, but that's planning.

"Shells are flying north of Zholtoye, next to Aidar and Schastye. I'm planning to clean up the West, yesterday was not enough. One munitions depot and three tanks, not enough."

"Ukrainians are once again trying to repair the ferry behind Krimskoye, and let them keep trying. This problem can be solved in 20 minutes, using 200 liters of gasoline and 120 artillery rockets. That's what it took last time."

"Everything's going well, today at the evening briefing artillery came in for special praise for its particular effectiveness, so we were thanked."

"Ukrainian forces are taking stunning losses both in manpower and material. No exact data yet. Only in a couple of days will I know what we bagged."

NAF artillery commander: "I put down three companies"

What we did in Stanitsa, Valuysk, and Schastye defies description. Those who went there to work in the morning could see dead Ukrainian soldiers just lying in the street, nobody was picking them up.

An ammunition depot is a small cherry on a big sundae, which our artillerymen have consumed. Return fire is almost zero, we put on the pressure on the Ukrainians to such a degree that their response is purely symbolic. They are still trying, but those are convulsions. All the tales about how they pushed us back are simply fairy tales.

Yesterday it was a firing frenzy, we were firing in all directions, today it's methodical work against concentrations, fortifications, and so forth. Minimal resistance. This is to make them understand they should not have gotten involved. Their losses are sufficiently heavy to cause major demoralization. Still, the "counter-terror" HQ says "no casualties," and until Tymchuk admits you are dead, you're not going to heaven.


In Stanitsa we blew up munitions depot, it's burning and exploding. In Rayovka we were hit in the gas distribution station, which is burning. We hit officers' barracks in Schastye. In Krymskoye we blanketed equipment concentration. We hit many targets, but so far don't have the results. They'll report tomorrow. Although, come to think of it, we're not quite done yet. By 6am they'll realize they were foolish to open fire. We have one lightly wounded artilleryman. Everyone else is fine. At least we haven't gotten any reports of casualties at the command point. Yet only two days ago they were asking for a real ceasefire, the idiots...

Kiev's folly just gave the NAF the excuse they needed to retake important positions and prepare for more heavy fighting (or, less likely, negotiations):

In view of the above, one can conclude that Novorossia forces were tasked with using the broken-off "ceasefire" to take a number of positions and to "optimize" the front line (perhaps ahead of eventual negotiations, or with more far-reaching objectives in mind). The offensive is being conducted in order to flatten enemy positions with artillery, so that after the enemy is weakened or forced to flee, Novorossia tanks and infantry are occupying enemy positions and are slowly moving forward (especially where incoming enemy fire is insufficient to stop our movement). The main mechanized forces of both sides are being held in reserve and are used sparingly, since each side suspects the other in planning a large-scale offensive. Junta is afraid of Novorossia armored offensive north of Mariupol and attacks against Svetlodarsk which would create an encirclement around Debaltsevo. We are afraid of attack on Yenakievo and the Petrovsk region of Donetsk. Therefore neither side is committing its main forces.

In their counter-offensive, the NAF has liberated Peski, a small town close to the Donetsk airport, the strategy probably being to secure positions that could be used by Ukrainian troops as jumping-off points for an offensive on Donetsk or used as artillery positions. Even the Ukrainian press reported that Ukrainian losses in Peski were "simply catastrophic". Fighting is also taking place in Mariupol, Dzerzhinsk, Avdeevka and Uglegorsk. As Zakharchenko put it: "Strong offensive battles are now being held along the whole frontline: from Mariupol to Gorlovka." An effort to re-take the airport by the Ukrainians was repelled. At least 30 civilians have died since Kiev launched its offensive.

Several days before the 'official' offensive launched by Kiev, Zakharchenko gave the following interview:

Q. Today is Monday, January 12. What happened yesterday in Donetsk?

A.Z.: This didn't start yesterday, it started January 7 [Russian Orthodox Christmas]. Ukrainian authorities showed how ready they are to fulfill their agreements and what their word is worth. This was expected, though. They showed it with massive shelling of Donetsk, Gorlovka, Dokuchaevsk. Nevertheless, we were expecting it and we were prepared.

Q.: I am afraid to ask this question, but is this the end of the ceasefire?

A.Z.: Ukraine unilaterally broke the ceasefire without declaring it officially.

Q. What will be the response of DPR?

A.Z. First of all I would like to address an important issue. The militia and the citizens of Donetsk Republic have the rightful questions about why we allowed rotations, supplies of food and the removal of the wounded by the Ukrainian side at the airport. It is a failure of the Ministry of Defence, the Security Council, and my own to explain this situation to the public.

I cannot expose all the details, but I can say that it is the only concession that we had made. The reality is that we desperately need each extra day of the ceasefire: to rebuilt a normal life, to prepare for inevitable future military operation. If we take unpopular, even embarrassing steps, it is because they are essential for our army, for our economy, and more importantly for a chance to solve this crisis peacefully and to reach the people who had lost all conscience. And not to spill any extra drop of blood. But yesterday's events proved that talks with these people are fruitless. If it was up to me I would continue to allow rotations as long we could continue to strengthen our army and our economy. However, the response of our army had shown that we have prepared well so far. But I want to apologize in front of our people for failing to explain the importance of this. I would like to address the various rumors. No one is dumping anything. War is not only about "Hooray, let's attack!" People think they can shout "Hooray!" and march to Lvov. It couldn't be further from the truth. No, you cannot march to Lvov or anywhere without certain technical capabilities. You will only unnecessary spill blood and damage infrastructure, housing and industry. Dear military, do not forget that behind you are the peaceful citizens, who you should also worry about. The training and preparation of the army needs time. All our efforts were directed to maximally stretch the time so we can adequately prepare.

Q.: Was the rotation part of the ceasefire agreement?

A.Z.: Yes it was. We had to abide by it to ensure the ceasefire. Unfortunately (or luckily) the Kiev authorities took off the fake masks of humanism and peacemaking, and showed their real face.

Q.: We know that Poroshenko used the ceasefire to prepare for war. And did well. Did Donetsk Republic use this time well?

A.Z.: Yes. We had to train the fighters to use the equipment, and most importantly to improve combat coordination of divisions. I would say, we needed this time, just like USSR needed every day of 1941 before the war.

Maybe I will open a little secret, but you may have heard that we own 55% of Ukraine's coal. Ukrainian economy cannot survive without our coal. They can talk all they want about buying coal from South Africa, Australia or Poland. But, in USSR all the power plants were designed to operate on Donbass coal.

Q.: Are you selling coal to Ukraine?

A.Z.: Yes, we sent the first 554 cars of coal. But we haven't received payment for all of it.


Q.: Can residents of Donetsk expect a firm resistance to Ukrainian army?

A.Z.: I can guarantee that no Ukrainian soldier will set foot in Donetsk Republic. Even today the areas under fire are the same areas as before. The rest of the city is living a peaceful life. Children are playing outside. This is why I would not cease to negotiate to get the rest of our territory peacefully, while I can, to spare the lives of the elderly, women and children and my friends on the front lines, as a citizen of this city. And any one of you would do the same in my shoes - would exhaust every opportunity to pursue peace first to avoid as many victims as possible. We were frankly hoping that the Kiev authorities would realize the futility of their efforts and the endurance of our resolve, and would gradually replace their desire to fight with us with a desire to talk and trade with us.

Q.: So is there a chance for talks?

A.Z.: The problem is there are many vectors of influence in Ukraine. There is a "war camp" and a "peace camp". Both of them are further divided into radicals and moderates. One side in the "peace camp" wants peace tomorrow, another - wants to continue with current course. The "war camp" is divided between those who want to push ahead, and those who want to hold the current positions. Then there are battalion commanders, who each have their own opinion and a couple thousand men at their disposal. So its hard to tell which way the wind will blow.

Q. What were your hopes for Astana talks?

A.Z.: POW exchange, stopping the fire. To be honest, when they wanted to exchange the airport for Dokuchaevsk, I didn't sign it on September 19. Because it is our land, our fate, our children. I would not give up an inch of our land. Just the opposite - all these talks, all these efforts were directed to buy another month, another two, three or four months to prepare our army to be able to deal with the task at hand - to liberate the rest of our territory. Do you think it is easy to see what they write online, in the papers, to hear what they talk about on the buses or at the market about Zakharchenko? But I have to stay focused on the task at hand, and this is how we will achieve our victory.

Since the launch of the new offensive, the DPR's Ministry of Defense released the following statement:

While analyzing information found on the internet, newspapers, and Ukrainian TV, one can find numerous declarations to the effect that:

  • The "cyborgs have done the impossible and held on to the airport..."

  • "The terrorists were attempting to push the Ukrainian army out of the airport, but took heavy casualties and retreated..."

  • "Everything is calm at the airport, the cyborgs are holding their positions..."

  • "Shortages of food in Donetsk, hunger is approaching..."

One can see how Ukrainian media is deliberately spreading disinformation. They want to spread panic within DPR, discredit the militia and the civilian authorities.

At the same time, they want to show other parts of Ukraine that resistance is futile and that any attempts at heresy and separatism will be ruthlessly put down.

But there is a "BUT", and a very important "BUT" at that: UKRAINE NO LONGER EXISTS AS A STATE!!!

We have seen increased artillery bombardments and provocations by AFU (Armed Forces of Ukraine). Their main objective is to intimidate us, citizens of DPR and LPR, and make us doubt our choice.

Kiev still can't accept the idea that Donbass has never been put on its knees, and nobody ever will. The idea that the DPR and LPR militia, just as during the Great Patriotic War, is becoming a victorious army. We have learned how to fight and how to win...Yes, we know the bitterness of defeat, but we have also tasted victory. And the most important victories are still ahead of us!

Only together with its people can the army win! Only together will we achieve success! DPR army will not retreat, will not leave, will not be frightened. People of the Donbass, Brothers and Sisters, together we are making history. The time of great victories has come!

They're right. Ukraine failed to exist as a state the instant it allowed the U.S. to instigate a coup. The situation in Ukraine will continue to decline, and the Ukrainian army will continue to lose. Many more will die needlessly. All thanks to the psychopaths in the U.S. who think they can create reality.

Recommended article: Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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