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Wednesday, 4 February 2015

USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 6.0 - South of Panama

Panama Quake_050215


Event Time

2015-02-05 04:40:54 (UTC)

Times in other timezones

Nearby Cities

  1. 314km (195mi) S of Punta de Burica, Panama

  2. 341km (212mi) S of Puerto Armuelles, Panama

  3. 351km (218mi) S of Pedregal, Panama

  4. 358km (222mi) S of David, Panama

  5. 545km (339mi) SSE of San Jose, Costa Rica

Scientific Data

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Dental crowding arose 12,000 years ago with earliest farmers

Mesolithic jaw and teeth

© Olivia Cheronet

Lower jaw and teeth of a Mesolithic hunter-gatherer.

Hunter-gatherers had almost no malocclusion and dental crowding, and the condition first became common among the world's earliest farmers some 12,000 years ago in Southwest Asia, according to findings published today in the journal .

By analysing the lower jaws and teeth crown dimensions of 292 archaeological skeletons from the Levant, Anatolia and Europe, from between 28,000-6,000 years ago, an international team of scientists have discovered a clear separation between European hunter-gatherers, Near Eastern/Anatolian semi-sedentary hunter-gatherers and transitional farmers, and European farmers, based on the form and structure of their jawbones.

"Our analysis shows that the lower jaws of the world's earliest farmers in the Levant, are not simply smaller versions of those of the predecessor hunter-gatherers, but that the lower jaw underwent a complex series of shape changes commensurate with the transition to agriculture," says Professor Ron Pinhasi from the School of Archaeology and Earth Institute, University College Dublin, the lead author on the study.

"Our findings show that the hunter gatherer populations have an almost "perfect harmony" between their lower jaws and teeth," he explains. "But this harmony begins to fade when you examine the lower jaws and teeth of the earliest farmers".

In the case of hunter-gatherers, the scientists from University College Dublin, Israel Antiquity Authority, and the State University of New York, Buffalo, found a correlation between inter-individual jawbones and dental distances, suggesting an almost "perfect" state of equilibrium between the two. While in the case of semi-sedentary hunter-gatherers and farming groups, they found no such correlation, suggesting that the harmony between the teeth and the jawbone was disrupted with the shift towards agricultural practices and sedentism in the region. This, the international team of scientists say, may be linked to the dietary changes among the different populations.

The diet of the hunter-gatherer was based on "hard" foods like wild uncooked vegetables and meat, while the staple diet of the sedentary farmer is based on "soft" cooked or processed foods like cereals and legumes. With soft cooked foods there is less of a requirement for chewing which in turn lessens the size of the jaws but without a corresponding reduction in the dimensions of the teeth, there is no adequate space in the jaws and this often results in malocclusion and dental crowding.

The link between chewing, diet, and related dental wear patterns is well known in the scientific literature. Today, malocclusion and dental crowding affects around one in five people in modern-world populations. The condition has been described as the "malady of civilization".

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Norway MPs want to criminalize begging, aiding homeless with fines, imprisonment

© Reuters/Yannis Behrakis

Norwegian lawmakers are working on a bill to introduce a national ban on begging in the streets and even want to extend it by proposing jail for helping the homeless with money, food or shelter.

According to the draft of the law, begging in the streets will be punishable with fines and even imprisonment for up to one year. This was the original plan when the draft first emerged in June.

After further amendments, the same punishment may now hold true for those who give beggars money or offer any help, local media report. The bill was sent for more consultations until February, 15.

Plans to fight begging appeared last year after the polls showed that more than 60 percent of the population said it should be considered a crime. The government report stated there were up to 1,000 beggars in the country, which has a population of five million, and the majority of them were foreigners who "work" in groups.

Last year local councils got the right to ban begging in areas under their control but the new law is to be put into effect in the whole country.

The authors of the law also state it is necessary to punish people aiding beggars, as the police need the authority to prosecute those running begging networks as an organized business.

"That's because part of what we want to get rid of is actively organized," Vidar Brien-Karlsen, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, said as cited by the Local. "We need to give the police the legal authority to crack down on people who arrange for beggars to get here, often in large groups".

Still, numerous opponents say the ban touches the most vulnerable inhabitants of the country which is inappropriate and criminalizes poverty.

"Europe's richest country criminalizes Europe's poorest people," Karin Andersen, an MP for the Socialist Left Party, wrote on her Twitter account.

Opponents also say that the law is too broad to define the real cases of helping the beggars.

"We should all be able to show our humanity and help individuals," Marianne Borgen, an Oslo city councilor, told the . "Of course the government didn't mean to criminalize you or me if we give someone a cup of coffee, but under the proposed law we would be liable to prosecution."

The law could possibly affect the work of volunteers who can be prosecuted due to the bill. However, some of them said they would continue to help homeless people.

"I think it just makes me even more anxious to help," Inger Husby, also known as Mama Inger, famous for her work with homeless people, told a local TV station. "I do not think it sounds possible to punish people who help others who are having difficulties and are poor."

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Researchers link 35% rise in suicides to Greek austerity measures

greek food line

© Reuters/Marko Djurica

The harsh austerity measures imposed on Greece by its EU creditors led to the major spike in suicides in the country during the peak of its crisis in 2011 and 2012, a survey by the UK's leading medical magazine said.

he report by BMJ Open said.

The scientists, who analyzed data gathered by the Hellenic Statistical Authority from over the past 30 years, said that a total of 11,505 Greeks took their own lives - 9,079 men and 2,426 women - from 1983 to 2012.

The number of total suicides rose by over 35 per cent in June 2011 when the austerity measures were introduced, leading to violent protests and strikes, the research said. The number of people taking their lives was rising until the end of the year and continued into 2012, it added.

On average, an extra 11.2 suicides occurred every month in Greece, which is described in the paper as a country which historically had "one of the lowest suicide rates in the world."

the report said.

There was another spike in April 2012, after a retired pharmacist, Dimitris Christoulas, shot himself outside the Greek Parliament. The intense media coverage of an act undertaken by a desperate man, who blamed governmental austerity policies for the decision to take own life, might have provoked the so-called 'suicide contagion', the survey said.

The study revealed that men, who remain Greece's top earners, were more heavily affected by austerity than women; suicide rates among males began rising in 2008 when the recession began. It increased by over 13 per cent in 2010 and rose by an extra 18.5 per cent (5.2 suicides) every month, starting from June 2011.

"The sense of hopelessness," which led to an overall spike in suicides was likely provoked by that according to the report.

On the contrary, the study said that there was a decrease in suicides among men during The number of men taking their own lives in Greece dropped 27 per cent in 2002 when the country adopted the euro.

the BNJ Open's research team concluded.

In late January, Greece elected Europe's first anti-austerity government as the radical leftist Syriza party won the country's legislative election, claiming 149 seats in the 300 seat parliament. The party, led by Alexis Tsipras, rose to popularity after it promised to renegotiate Greek debt and put an end to strict economic measures in the country.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Conspiracy! Saudi oil used to manipulate Russian support of Syria's Assad

© Rob Griffith

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, left, and King Salman of Saudi Arabia, then the crown prince, at a session of the G20 summit talks in November in Brisbane, Australia.

Saudi Arabia has been trying to pressure President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to abandon his support for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, using its dominance of the global oil markets at a time when the Russian government is reeling from the effects of plummeting oil prices.

Saudi Arabia and Russia have had numerous discussions over the past several months that have yet to produce a significant breakthrough, according to American and Saudi officials. It is unclear how explicitly Saudi officials have linked oil to the issue of Syria during the talks, but Saudi officials say - and they have told the United States - that they think they have some leverage over Mr. Putin because of their ability to reduce the supply of oil and possibly drive up prices.

"If oil can serve to bring peace in Syria, I don't see how Saudi Arabia would back away from trying to reach a deal," a Saudi diplomat said. An array of diplomatic, intelligence and political officials from the United States and the Middle East spoke on the condition of anonymity to adhere to protocols of diplomacy.

Any weakening of Russian support for Mr. Assad could be one of the first signs that the recent tumult in the oil market is having an impact on global statecraft. Saudi officials have said publicly that the price of oil reflects only global supply and demand, and they have insisted that Saudi Arabia will not let geopolitics drive its economic agenda. But they believe that there could be ancillary diplomatic benefits to the country's current strategy of allowing oil prices to stay low - including a chance to negotiate an exit for Mr. Assad.

Mr. Putin, however, has frequently demonstrated that he would rather accept economic hardship than buckle to outside pressures to change his policies. Sanctions imposed by the United States and European countries have not prompted Moscow to end its military involvement in Ukraine, and Mr. Putin has remained steadfast in his support for Mr. Assad, whom he sees as a bulwark in a region made increasingly volatile by Islamic extremism.

Syria was a major topic for a Saudi delegation that went to Moscow in November, according to an Obama administration official, who said that there had been a steady dialogue between the two countries over the past several months. It is unclear what effect the Jan. 23 death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia might have on these discussions, which the Saudis have conducted in secret.

Russia has been one of the Syrian president's most steadfast supporters, selling military equipment to the government for years to bolster Mr. Assad's forces in their battle against rebel groups, including the Islamic State, and supplying everything from spare parts and specialty fuels to sniper training and helicopter maintenance.

With a fifth of the world's oil reserves, Saudi Arabia is the leading player in OPEC and has great sway over any move by the cartel to raise prices by cutting production. Its refusal to support such steps despite dizzying price declines has prompted myriad theories about the Saudi royal family's agenda, and Saudi officials have hinted that the country is happy to let the low prices punish rival producers who use more expensive shale-fracking techniques.

"They have almost total leverage," said Senator Angus King, independent of Maine, who recently returned from a trip to Saudi Arabia.

"They have more breathing room than these other countries," he said. "It's like the difference between someone having a million dollars in the bank and someone who is living paycheck to paycheck."

The drop in oil prices has been felt in Saudi Arabia, but the country's vast oil reserves and accumulated wealth give it a far greater cushion than other oil-producing nations have. Saudi Arabia needs the price of oil to be over $100 a barrel to cover its federal spending, including a lavish budget for infrastructure projects. The current price is about $55 a barrel, and Saudi Arabia has projected a 2015 deficit of about $39 billion.

But the monarchy has about $733 billion in savings invested in low-risk assets abroad, and it can afford to dip into that for a few years without much pain. Russia and Iran have no such luxury, and neither do shale-fracking oil producers in North America.

The Saudis have offered economic enticements to Russian leaders in return for concessions on regional issues like Syria before, but never with oil prices so low. It is unclear what effect, if any, the discussions are having. While the United States would support initiatives to end Russian backing for Mr. Assad, any success by the Saudis to cut production and raise global oil prices could hurt many parts of the American economy.

After the meeting in Moscow in November between Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, and Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, Mr. Lavrov rejected the idea that international politics should play a role in setting oil prices.

"We see eye to eye with our Saudi colleagues in that we believe the oil market should be based on the balance of supply and demand," Mr. Lavrov said, "and that it should be free of any attempts to influence it for political or geopolitical purposes."

Russia is feeling financial pain and diplomatic isolation because of international sanctions stemming from its incursion into Crimea and eastern Ukraine, American officials said. But Mr. Putin still wants to be viewed as a pivotal player in the Middle East. The Russians hosted a conference last week in Moscow between the Assad government and some of Syria's opposition groups, though few analysts believe the talks will amount to much, especially since many of the opposition groups boycotted them. Some Russia experts expressed skepticism that Mr. Putin would be amenable to any deal that involved removing support for Mr. Assad.

"It would be a huge change, and to me, this is an unlikely scenario," said Angela E. Stent, a Russia specialist at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service and a former senior national intelligence officer who focused on Russia.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Vaccine McCarthyism: The flaws in the vaccine paradigm

vaccine kid

© unknown

Did 2014 Mark the Collapse of the Vaccine Establishment?

Within the mainstream medical and scientific community there is an unassailable pseudo-truth that vaccines are safe and effective, whether administered individually or in combination. Within the vaccine injured children and autism movements there is also an unchallenged belief that vaccines are effective but not always safe. In this case, vaccine-injured children or adult family members were simply one of the rare cases where they received a hot lot vaccine or possessed biomolecular abnormalities, such as mitochondria dysfunction, and suffered the consequences. Even many parents with two children developing neurological complications after vaccination, will continue to follow the recommended vaccine schedule. Any medical physician, scientist, nurse, public health advocate, politician, or journalist who questions the myth of vaccine safety and efficacy are often immediately attacked, ridiculed, and designated a conspirator. In fact, the pro-vaccine propaganda machine sends forth articulate doctors and university scientists to engage in ad hominem personal attacks against vaccine dissenters.

However, what if all of these individuals and their organizations, their shadow lobbying foundations and think tanks, are wrong? What if the vaccine paradigm itself is flawed? What if vaccines have never been soundly confirmed to be safe and effective? What if the CDC, vaccine manufacturers, and the leading vaccine advocates knew of these discrepancies and contradictions, yet intentionally ignored them against the public interests and the well being of the American population? After several decades of studying the scientific literature regarding vaccines, following the money trails, and interviewing many dozens of toxicologists, immunologists, research physicians, pediatricians, and medical journalists the vaccine paradigm can now be accurately deconstructed with real independent science. The year, 2014, has been a particularly dismal year for the pro-vaccine movement. We are presenting the science that has unfolded during the past twelve months as indicative of a collapse in the modern vaccine paradigm.

Last year, 2014, may well be the watershed year marking the demise of the vaccine era. Without any recent credible and sound biological science to support their claims for vaccines' efficacy and safety, the vaccine complex and its federal allies have been forced to rely upon courts of law and the ignorance of an inept mainstream media to further promulgate their flawed mythologies to advance the vaccine agenda.

Rarely does a whistleblower emerge from the federal health agencies. Government and corporate entities that are notoriously hierarchical, such as the CDC, FDA, and Health and Human Services, ruthlessly prevent dissention from their ranks. In the Obama era, when whistleblowers are persecuted more than ever before, it is an act of great courage for a person to come forth and reveal government malfeasance, corruption, and criminal behavior. Therefore, it was a shocking surprise last year when a senior epidemiologist at the CDC, Dr. William Thompson, acted upon his moral conscience and released thousands of pages of CDC documents with research data to Congress that unveil the agencies long history of fraudulent studies and medical cover-ups that hid the serious failures and health risks of vaccines.

Dr. Thompson is a distinguished scientist who has worked at the CDC since 1998. Prof. Brian Hooker, a specialist in molecular and cellular systems, and the first person to be contacted by Dr. Thompson, stated during a recent broadcast that the released documents are not simply a smoking gun. Rather it is a "wildfire." Dr. Thompson is currently cooperating with members of a Congressional subcommittee. Thousands of American parents with vaccine damaged children, suffering from permanent neurological impairment and autism, await a trial that will finally bring to justice many of the nation's top health officials.

Dr. Thompson, who co-authored and published research on vaccine thimerosal mercury - still included in some vaccines, especially the influenza vaccine - has admitted he was part of the CDC's conspiracy to obscure scientific evidence proving thimerosal and the MMR vaccine as causal factors for autism. During an interview on the Autism Media Channel, he stated that he would never give his pregnant wife a flu shot because of its high concentration of mercury. "I don't know why they still give it to pregnant women," Dr. Thompson stated. "That's the last person I would give mercury to."[1] After reviewing some of the CDC data received by Dr. Thompson, as well as data records acquired through freedom of information submissions, Prof. Hooker discovered that the CDC has known since 2001 that children exposed to thimerosal in utero were 800 percent more likely to regress into autism. This data was intentionally excluded from the CDC paper published in the journal Pediatrics in an effort to disprove a thimerosal-autism association. During the radio broadcast, Prof. Hooker unearthed evidence that the CDC has known for a decade that children receiving the MMR vaccines on schedule were nearly 300 percent more likely to regress into autism compared to children whose parents decided to withhold the vaccine until after the child was older.

Americans are rapidly losing confidence in the CDC. According to National Consumers League poll, over two-thirds of Americans believe vaccines cause autism, which the CDC categorically denies.[2] Almost two months after the media reported on the Thompson revelations, a CBS News poll showed public approval of the CDC nosedived to 37%, down from 60% the previous year. Vaccine apologists and the major media claim this large decrease is due to the CDC's dismal handling of the Ebola crisis; however, Thompson's whistleblowing received over 750 million Twitter impressions indicating that vaccine efficacy and safety is far more on the public's mind.[3] Positive endorsement of the CDC would plummet further if the public knew the full extent of CDC officials lying to Congress and their conspiracy to commit medical fraud for over a dozen years. Imagine the tens of thousands of children and families who would have been saved from life-long neurological damage and immeasurable suffering if the CDC was not indebted to protecting the toxic products of the pharmaceutical industry and was serving the health and well-being of American children?

The Thompson whistleblowing case is the tip of the iceberg and now putting the vaccine establishment into a panic. Nevertheless, 2014 was a dreadful year for the vaccine establishment and other medical revelations provide further encouragement for parents to withhold or refuse vaccination.

The Council of Foreign Relations Mistakenly Proves the Largest Outbreaks of Infectious Diseases Are Within the Most Highly Vaccinated Populations.

An early 2014 report released by the Council of Foreign Relations to identify countries with the highest rates of disease outbreaks, accidently revealed that the most highly vaccinated populations are also those with the greatest number of outbreaks for those same infectious diseases. This was especially the case for measles, mumps, rubella, polio and pertussis outbreaks. The US, Canada, the European Union, Australia and New Zealand, and Japan - each with the highest number of mandated vaccines - led the list of nations. The Office of Medical and Scientific Justice, which analyzed the report, concluded that the Council's report clearly suggests the theory of "herd immunity" is failing or was flawed to begin with. Given the repeated incidences of infectious outbreaks in populations with 94% or more vaccine compliance, and the emergence of new viral strains, the concept of herd immunity should be forgotten. The Office offers several possibilities to explain the report: 1) vaccines are increasingly becoming ineffective and causing "immune dysfunction," and 2) "vaccine antigen responses" may be reprogramming viruses while weakening the immune systems of the most vaccinated individuals.[4]

Another World Health Organization Influenza Debacle

Predicting the particular influenza strains to protect populations has never been a fine art. We might remember the doom and gloom scenarios spread by the WHO and CDC over the H1N1 swine flu in 2009. The federal agencies of warning for a viral apocalypse, which never occurred, had as much credibility as Y2K and New Age Mayan predictions at the turn of the millennium. At their best, flu vaccines remain around 60% efficacy according to official health statistics. However, the World Health Organization's predictions for this year's flu strains were a bust. The match was such a failure that the CDC was forced to warn the American public that the 2014-2015 flu vaccine was only 23% effective, off by 77%.[5] Given that the 2012-2013 flu season was only 27% effective for the 65 years-plus age group, it can be estimated that this year's flu shot is nearly useless for the elderly. Predictive methodologies to determine which flu strains emerge during any given influenza season have more in common with primitive mathematical divination than sound science. For the 1992-1993 and 1997-1998 seasons, the vaccine concoction of flu strains was only 16% effective. Katherine Severyn, who monitors the actual WHO prediction results and compares them with CDC claims has stated that, "depending upon the study cited, [flu] vaccine efficacy actually ranges from a low of 0%." [6]

Year after year, the US government spends approximately a billion dollars to purchase flu vaccines from the pharmaceutical cartel. Year after year, these vaccines prove to be capable of immunizing only a modest portion of the population. Since the CDC estimates it will have purchased 151-156 million flu shots to dump off this year, there is little else it can do except fudge science, release misleading propaganda and continue to distribute a useless snake oil.

More Bad News for the Influenza Vaccine

An ineffective seasonal vaccine is the least of the flu shots problems. In December 2014, the Department of Justice released its report outlining compensation paid out to vaccine injured victims. Based upon the statistics, the flu vaccine has been shown to be the most dangerous reported. Fifty-nine percent of awarded flu vaccine injuries were for Guillain-Barre Syndrome.[7]

Although, a final report of injuries and death from this year's influenza vaccines won't be made public until the end of 2015, the 2013-2014 vaccines accounted for over 93,000 adverse reactions, including 8,888 hospitalizations and 1,080 deaths according to the government's Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS).[8] By the CDC's own omission, the VAERS database only accounts for approximately 10% of adverse vaccine events. Do the math and the actual number far outweighs reported complications from contracting wild flu viruses.

Although, earlier research has shown that influenza vaccines contribute to adverse inflammatory cardiovascular alternations, which are lethal to senior citizens, and significant inflammation in pregnant women that may be associated with an increase in pre-term births and preeclampsia, new studies published in 2014 should raise further alarm:

A team of Finnish scientists at Finland's National Institute for Health and Welfare, recorded 800 cases of narcolepsy associated with Glaxo's flu vaccine Pandemrix. Vaccine ingredients other than the viral antigen or engineered component, are most often believed to be the primary culprits to adverse vaccine reactions. The Finnish research, on the other hand, indicated that the Glaxo vaccine's altered viral nucleotide likely contributed to the sudden rise in sleeping sickness.[9] Dr. Paul Offit, the premier media celebrity for the vaccine establishment, has repeatedly made claims that infants can safely withstand tens of thousands of viral antigens; therefore, according to Offit, parents should not fear innumerable vaccinations at a single time. This new finding on the contrary, sends a warning to all pregnant women and parents that it is not simply vaccines' many toxic ingredients that pose worry, but the bioengineered viral components are also potentially life threatening.

For almost a decade, the CDC has known influenza vaccines are ineffective in the elderly but continues to market them without hesitation. Hence in November 2014, five senior citizens at an assisted living facility in Dacula, Georgia, died within week after all residents were vaccinated.[10] During the previous year's flu vaccine trials, Sanofi Pasteur's Fluzone killed 23 elderly participants during the vaccine trial. Nevertheless, the vaccine was approved and continues to be marketed towards senior citizens.[11]

The Mumps Vaccine: Another Useless Shot

The question whether the mumps vaccine should have ever been put on the market has been debated since the 1950s. Over fifty years ago the nation's chief federal epidemiologist, E.H. Lossing, warned that the mumps vaccine, which doesn't provide lifelong immunity, would create a far more medically dangerous and costlier problem for people who become infected as adults.[12] At its best, the mumps vaccine may protect a person for 2 years, according to Dr. Greg Poland, head of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group.[13] In 2014, there were over 1000 mumps cases and all outbreaks occurred in highly vaccinated populations.[14] It was far worse in 2006, writes Lawrence Solomon for the Huffington Post. During that year 84% of the 6,500 mumps cases were fully vaccinated young adults. Among the almost 450 mumps cases in the American South last year, only 3 were unvaccinated. What is more disturbing, researchers at the Bordeaux University Hospital in France, found that vaccinated adults were contracting a particularly malignant strain of mumps that contributed to meningitis, inflammation of the testicles, and hearing impairment.[15]

Secondary Transmission of Measles from a Fully Vaccinated Woman

A study published in a 2014 issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases confirmed that not only may measles occur in vaccinated individuals, but a 2011 measles outbreak in New York City may have had its source in a fully vaccinated individual. Not only did the vaccinated woman, dubbed "Measles Mary", contract the disease, but she also passed it to four others, two who were vaccinated. This is the first confirmed medical case of secondary measles transmission causing an outbreak. Earlier in the year, another study confirmed that individuals vaccinated against pertussis can be infectious carriers of the virus and can likely infect others who either do not respond immunologically to the pertussis vaccine or who are unvaccinated.[16]

The conclusion is that the B. pertussis vaccinated individual now endangers the health of the unvaccinated and vaccinated alike.

Earlier, a far greater blow against the efficacy of the measles vaccine came when Dr. Gregory Poland, Editor in Chief of the journal Vaccine and founder of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, published a surprising statement that the measles vaccine has a poor record of efficacy. Despite the high 95% measles vaccination compliance of children entering kindergarten, and the CDC's propaganda that the vaccine has defeated the virus, measles outbreaks are rising. For the first half of 2014, there were 16 large measles outbreaks in the US. Dr. Poland does not believe this is due to unvaccinated individuals, but because of the failure of the vaccine.[17]

These types of vaccine failures, which are also occurring far more frequently in pertussis outbreaks, further puts to rest the herd immunity hypothesis.

A Bad Year for the Pertussis Vaccine

Outbreaks of whooping cough have been increasing annually. However, state and local health authorities investigating and gathering statistics on pertussis outbreaks are discovering the highest numbers of infected persons among the vaccinated. Mississippi, with the highest vaccination rate in the country, has shown significant increases in whooping cough cases, with only 9% of those infected being unvaccinated. Across the nation, the most highly infected are those who have received three or more pertussis shots and boosters.

However, it was in Australia last year that the government's National Center for Immunization and Research of Vaccine Preventable Diseases found that the pertussis vaccine effectiveness is waning far more rapidly than expected, even among vaccinated 3 year olds.[18]

While the mainstream media and the vaccine establishment have launched a brutal campaign to blame unvaccinated individuals for the recent upsurge in pertussis infections, the CDC has publicly announced the contrary. Dr. Anne Schuchat from the CDC has stated, "We know there are places around the country where there are large numbers of people who aren't vaccinated. However, we don't think those exemptors are driving this current wave. We think it is a bad thing that people aren't getting vaccinated or exempting, but we cannot blame this wave on that phenomenon."[19] What Americans need to know is that more virulent strains of B. pertussis have emerged that are not covered by current DpT vaccines. Earlier, Australian immunologists suggested that the emergence of a new vaccine-resistant B. pertussis strain may be due to over vaccination. What the world is witnessing with antibiotic resistant organisms, due to the over use and abuse of antibiotic medications, is similarly occurring with viruses targeted by vaccines.

Would You Like Some Depression with Your Rubella Vaccine?

It is common to feel out of sorts and depressed when feeling ill and under the weather. But might a vaccine be the cause for the depression? In 2014 medical departments at Hebrew University in Israel and the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Germany, two of the world's most distinguished institutes, published a double blind study revealing that teenage girls vaccinated with attenuated rubella virus had a statistically significant increase of induced bouts of depression up to ten weeks. The increase in post-vaccine depression occurred among girls in lower socioeconomic brackets. Today with over 50% of school age children in America living in poverty, the rubella vaccine is now contributing to serious psychological episodes and problems that are repeatedly reported in the mainstream psychological literature.[20]

Put a Hold on that Hepatitis B Vaccine

Although an association between multiple sclerosis and the hepatitis B vaccine has been debated for over 15 years, the CDC continues to categorically deny this relationship. However, a 2014 retrospective French study investigating the sudden spike in multiple sclerosis cases since 1993, identified France's mass Hepatitis B vaccination program as the perpetuator for a doubling of MS cases within a few years. MS is a demyelinating disease of the nerves. The French scientists suspect that a vaccine protein contributed to the breakdown of myelin. Again, it is not only the non-viral ingredients we should be scared about. In the US there are 10,000 new cases of MS annually, and infants are vaccinated with the hepatitis B vaccine immediately after birth.[21]

The Safety of Paul Offit's Rotateq Vaccine Questioned, Again

Sayer Ji, editor of GreenMedInfo, noted that the Rotateq vaccine against the rotavirus, developed by Paul Offit for Merck, contained a live simian retrovirus that has likely infected millions of children around the world. The study was published in the prestigious Journal of Virology in 2010. Yet a more recent 2014 study published in Advances in Virology identified another viral contaminant in Offit's vaccine: a baboon endogenous virus "likely due to the monkey cell line in which Rotateq was produced from." Only time will tell whether Offit's contaminated vaccine will have the impact of the tainted polio vaccine with the carcinogenic S40 virus.[22]

Exposing the Fraud of the Human Papilloma Vaccine (HPV)

A paper out of the University of California at Berkeley and appearing in the October 2013 issue of Molecular Cytogenetics came to public attention last year to suggest that cervical cancer may not be caused by the human papilloma virus. If the theory is correct that may prove that the HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix do not prevent cervical cancer at all.[23]

Moreover, researchers at the University of Guelph in Canada reported that the HPV vaccine acts upon a "mechanism" by which the vaccine is altering transmission leading to higher oncogene expression among vaccinated girls. The implications from this research is that the vaccine is driving the evolution of viral virulence, similar to what is being observed with vaccines for pertussis, mumps and measles.[24]

Chickenpox Vaccine is Shown to Increase Disease Rates

Again, 2014 has been a dismal year for the pro-vaccine community. Even the chickenpox vaccine, long thought to be safe and effective, is failing with the others. Back in 2005, South Korea mandated the varicella vaccine to all children under 15 months. Regardless of the country's 97% compliance - well, above herd immunity's claims to eradicate infectious disease - chickenpox infections have not declined and in fact have increased three-fold between 2006 and 2011.[25]


The vaccine establishment is desperate. The ghosts of their fraudulent science, manipulated research, misleading propaganda across mainstream media and in the blogosphere are returning to haunt them. The pro-vaccine pundits are rapidly losing credibility as increasing numbers of parents and young adults educate themselves about vaccine efficacy and their health risks. If it were left for an open scientific debate between pro-vaccinators and those opposing vaccines, the former would not have sound science on their side.

It is time for a national debate to end vaccine madness. As further research emerges, as the vaccine paradigm is further stripped away, future generations will be looking back upon vaccination as a barbaric, primitive practice.


1 http://bit.ly/1LNZVr1

2 http://bit.ly/1C27uVC

3 http://bit.ly/1CZsez6

4 http://bit.ly/1C27swQ (Sweden)

5 http://alj.am/1LNZVr4

6 Richard Gale and Gary Null, "Flu Vaccines: Are They Effective and Safe?" Progressive Radio Network, September 28, 2009

7 http://bit.ly/1C27swU

8 http://bit.ly/1C27uVJ

9 http://bit.ly/1LNZVr7

10 http://bit.ly/1C27swX

11 http://bit.ly/1LNZVr8

12 http://huff.to/1C27vbW

13 http://onforb.es/1LNZVrb

14 http://1.usa.gov/1C27vbX

15 http://bit.ly/1LNZVHq

16 http://bit.ly/1LNZVHq

17 http://wapo.st/1C27vbZ

18 http://bit.ly/1LNZXzh

19 http://1.usa.gov/1C27sx2

20 http://1.usa.gov/1LNZXzi

21 http://bit.ly/1LNZVHt

22 http://bit.ly/1C27sNj

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24 http://1.usa.gov/1C27vc8

25 http://bit.ly/1LNZVHv

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Winning: The FCC's chairman just announced strong, controversial network neutrality rules

FCC, Tom Wheeler

© Mark Wilson/Getty Images

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler

  1. Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, just announced new regulations that will provide strong protections for network neutrality.

  2. The proposal makes use of a controversial legal maneuver called reclassification, which opens the door to regulating internet access as a public utility.

  3. Most Republicans oppose reclassification, and they're working on legislation that would establish limited network neutrality rules without reclassifying.

  4. The FCC is scheduled to vote on the proposal on February 26.

The politics of network neutrality have shifted dramatically

Wheeler has now chosen a legal strategy that he saw as too radical just nine months ago. His original network neutrality proposal, which he released last May, tried to protect network neutrality, the idea that all internet content should be treated equally, without treating internet access as a public utility. Critics argued that these rules were too weak, leaving a big loophole that would allow broadband providers to engage in exactly the kind of discriminatory behavior that network neutrality rules are supposed to prevent.

Network neutrality advocates wanted to regulate broadband providers as public utilities, a step known to insiders as "reclassification." They mounted a successful lobbying campaign, submitting millions of comments to the agency urging a stronger stance. They gained an important ally in November when President Barack Obama endorsed reclassification.

The growing momentum for reclassification spooked Congressional Republicans and their allies in the telecom industry. They worry that reclassification could open the internet up to intrusive regulation in the future. In January, two key Republican leaders announced plans to draft legislation that would protect network neutrality but take reclassification off the table. But so far that proposal has gotten a cold reception from Democrats, who believe they can get what they want on the issue without GOP help.

Wheeler's proposal is unlikely to end the net neutrality fight

The FCC has five commissioners, so Wheeler will need two votes, in addition to his own, to approve his proposal. Those votes will likely come from the other two Democrats on the commission, Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel.

Once the FCC approves the rules, several things could happen. First, companies and groups that dislike the regulation could sue to stop its enforcement. That's what happened after the FCC approved its last round of net neutrality regulations in 2010: Verizon sued, arguing the agency had exceeded its authority. Verizon eventually won its lawsuit. Reclassification is strongly opposed by telecom companies, so expect them to be ready with legal challenges.

At the same time, the FCC will probably face opposition from the Republican Congress. They'll likely grill Wheeler on his new proposal, and they may also try to pass legislation rejecting the new rules. However, it can be expected that such legislation would be vetoed by President Obama.

Finally, everything could change again if a Republican captures the White House in 2016. The new president will appoint a more conservative FCC chairman who could set to work reversing Wheeler's decisions.

Consumers generally connect to the internet one of two ways. They can subscribe to a residential broadband service from a company such as Time Warner Cable. Or they can subscribe to wireless internet access from companies such as Sprint.

These companies have spent billions of dollars laying cables in the ground (in the case of residential internet access) or erecting cell phone towers (for wireless access) to ensure that customers have fast, reliable service.

Network neutrality is the idea that these companies should treat all internet traffic equally. It says your ISP shouldn't be allowed to block or degrade access to certain websites or services, nor should it be allowed to set aside a "fast lane" that allows content favored by the ISP to load more quickly than the rest.

Since the term was coined more than a decade ago, it has been at the center of the debate over internet regulation. Congress, the Federal Communications Commission(FCC), and the courts have all debated whether and how to protect network neutrality.

Advocates argue that network neutrality lowers barriers to entry online, allowing entrepreneurs to create new companies like Google, Facebook, and Dropbox. But critics warn that regulating the broadband market could be counterproductive, discouraging investment in internet infrastructure and limiting the flexibility of ISPs themselves to innovate.

In January, an appeals court invalidated FCC regulations designed to protect network neutrality. The agency is currently considering how to respond.

Consumers generally connect to the internet one of two ways. They can subscribe to a residential broadband service from a company such as Time Warner Cable. Or they can subscribe to wireless internet access from companies such as Sprint.

These companies have spent billions of dollars laying cables in the ground (in the case of residential internet access) or erecting cell phone towers (for wireless access) to ensure that customers have fast, reliable service.

Network neutrality is the idea that these companies should treat all internet traffic equally. It says your ISP shouldn't be allowed to block or degrade access to certain websites or services, nor should it be allowed to set aside a "fast lane" that allows content favored by the ISP to load more quickly than the rest.

Since the term was coined more than a decade ago, it has been at the center of the debate over internet regulation. Congress, the Federal Communications Commission(FCC), and the courtshave all debated whether and how to protect network neutrality.

Advocates argue that network neutrality lowers barriers to entry online, allowing entrepreneurs to create new companies like Google, Facebook, and Dropbox. But critics warn that regulating the broadband market could be counterproductive, discouraging investment in internet infrastructure and limiting the flexibility of ISPs themselves to innovate.

In January, an appeals court invalidated FCC regulations designed to protect network neutrality. The agency is currently considering how to respond.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Heartbreaking stories: Letter from a Ukrainian girl

euromaiden right sektor

© Mstyslav Chernov


Unfortunately, I had to close all posts in my VK(VKontakte) about Maidan (they aren't erased, but now are visible only to me) because after the Maidan "victory" in Kiev the real nightmare began. About that, people prefer not to speak because they are very much afraid. There are [Right Sector] militants everywhere.

My co-worker was beat in front of the entrance to her apartment for writing anti-maidan posts in her VK page. How did they find her? No one knows. She is in intensive care and at the first mention of that event, you can't appease her tears.

At school the other day, my neighbor's boy called his parents at the break using a mobile phone and spoke with them in Russian. His schoolmates took away his phone and broke it. They broke his bag, tore all his textbooks and note-books, and then beat him up. They demanded he speak only Ukrainian or "for the rest of his life be afraid because they will find and will cripple him". This is a boy in 7th grade.

From time to time on the streets it is possible to see this picture; As a person is approaching a group of people, the group asks questions: "Were you on Maidan? Do you support Maidan? " If both answers are "no" the group cruelly beats them and kicks them.

In Kiev now the majority of Russians and Russian-speaking people, initially and after Maidan who did not support Maidan are compelled to remember the Soviet period when "even walls have ears" and to keep mum. Because we, unlike other regions [Donesk, Lugansk] have no chance of separating from Ukraine.

In Kiev now, as many as speak in whispers at personal meetings are doomed. Here its already a totalitarian mode and probably will only get worse.

Everything is getting aggravated with that. For some reason a lot Russians, and Russian-speaking people were at Maidan and in every possible way helped Maidan's people.

Kiev is completely split. Here associating with Russians is impossible. They are now enemies in addition to Yanukovych. Its awful that this war (the gun battles that ended Maidan) is here. Such cruelty beating on absolutely peaceful people. Their only crime is that they dared to be against vandals and cheap swindlers of people.

Please, don't mention my nickname in context with this information.

If people find and cripple people already for posts in VK, that truth very much frightens us, "especially women and mothers".

I asked for permission to publish the letter without mention of authorship and received the following answer:

"If you publish, state objectively that externally Kiev leads a quiet, quiet life". But it is only a matter of visibility. Those who are joyful and complacent are for Maidan. Now it is their time.

All others are guarded and careful even with people they think they know. Russian and Russian-speaking people that haven't faced an atrocity as opponents of the Maidan simply try to be silent in public places. They try to not attract the aggression of madmen.

And those who already suffered from them or at least as much as I know about real cases, try hard to save their families and to be silent, silent, silent.

Therefore the "picture" of Kiev is quite safe, spring comes, and so on. Actually part (and not a small part!) of the city is in silent horror.

You cannot leave everything: Your work, your house, the proof you had a life- you can't throw it all away.

People hang on by the skin of their teeth. After all that has happened, they hope for any miracle. Though it is difficult even to assume now that anything can save the Russians in Kiev.

It is impossible to be silent. But the inhabitants of Kiev, who are Antimaidan, and faced atrocity won't write about it openly. It's the instinct of self-preservation

Those who aren't aware yet are in a kind of dark hope that somehow everything will be fine. I try to be very careful. Only here I decided to write this to you for some reason. Probably, because of trust and you are after all very far away..."

Response from another person in Kiev during Maidan

"I read "The letter from Kiev". Everything is true... The author correctly wrote you can't drop everything and leave in one day. You won't get a new house and a new job in one day. It is necessary to simply hide. This is an absolutely awful feeling.

It is necessary not only to remember that the walls have ears, but you have to remind yourself to look like you are in a good mood. Rejoice that the spring sun is shining for example. After Maidan it is unhealthy to do otherwise. People are watching and looking for those that did not support Maidan. Laws no longer work here. The people are absolutely defenseless and left to the mercy of fate.

This was a fascist revolution. The most amazing and simply unreal thing is that people supported radicals and welcomed the created state of affairs. Here it is full of lawlessness. Intolerance to any point of view, intolerance on a racial, national, religious, and political convictions not in line with Maidan is a crime.

They started closing publishing houses such as"Ejenedelnik 2000" weekly, which never sympathized with Maidan, not in 2004 (Orange revolution), and not now. There is the whole list of journalists, political scientists, sociologists who became persona non grata in Ukraine's information space.

The most ridiculous organization"stop censorship" first struggled with the dictator Yanukovych. Afterward they wanted every publisher that didn't agree with Maidan closed. No human rights activists or even "the reporters without borders" ever mentioned this, not one. I am feeling that is a dreadful dream the events."

Here openly I put it. It is fascism, ordinary fascism.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Manatees flock to Three Sisters Springs in Florida



A swarm of more than 300 manatees forced officials at the US Fish and Wildlife Service to temporarily close Three Sisters Springs in Florida, according to various media reports.

Manatees, also known as sea cows, are large marine mammals that are primarily herbivorous. They can be up to 13 feet (4 meters) in length and weigh up to 1,300 pounds (590 kilograms). We'll refrain from any 'Your Mom' jokes.

An average of 65 manatees typically enter the Citrus County springs during cold weather.

However, according to WTSP News in Tampa, nearly five times that many moved into the interior of the springs sometime around noon on Monday. Volunteers on Tuesday counted a total of 293 manatees there as of 1:00 pm ET, and over 300 were there by 1:30 pm ET.

As a result, the USFWS declared that Three Sisters Springs would be temporarily closed, and the agency said that it would continue to monitor the situation. Officials reopened the area Tuesday, but said that it would close again if the rising of the tides caused another mass influx of manatees, according to USA Today.

Laura Ruettiman, an environmental education guide at the Springs, told the newspaper that the manatees frequent the area during high tide and cold weather conditions. She noted that there had been "a record number" of manatees at the Springs this year, and that the increasing number may be due to greater protection in the area and habitat loss elsewhere in the state.

Last month, the manatees at Three Sisters Springs made headlines for a different reason, as regulators moved to place limits on human interactions with the endangered creatures, according to Reuters. Advocates had asked the USFWS to approve bans on canoes and paddle boards in the area, as well as the creation of human-free zones designed to protect the sea cows.

Taking over hu-manatee?

"It's kind of a madhouse," explained Kimberly Sykes, assistant manager of the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, which includes Three Sisters Springs. "People are just bumping into manatees, because they can't see them."

"Overcrowding, both human and animal, has become hard to ignore at Three Sisters Springs. The 1.5 acre (6,000 square meter) waters are drawing record numbers of manatees seeking to warm up in waters that are heated by springs and are constantly 72 degrees Fahrenheit," Reuters added.

In fact, over 125,000 people went there to swim with the manatees in 2013, the news agency said, and on some days upwards of 100 tourists per hour are there swimming with the manatees. With the number of people and manatees both on the rise, Manatee EcoTourism Association of Citrus County president Michael Birns said that space is getting cramped.

"We've got more people. We've got more manatees. What we don't have is more space," Birns said. Refuge manager Andrew Gude added that manatees are "very unique as a mammal in that they are so tolerant of people in this area," and said that he has not seen them come to any harm. That has stopped for the call for limits to the human-manatee interaction.

"Under other Fish and Wildlife Service protections being discussed, only visitors with disabilities would be allowed to take kayaks, canoes and paddle boards into the springs. It is not known how quickly the new restrictions may win approval," Reuters said. "Some conservationists would like to go even further and see the springs closed all winter."

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Who is behind the Islamic State?

The violent rise of the Islamic State and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a classic case of the dog biting its master.

isis guy

© AP

Two-and-a-half months after the latest avatar of a long-existent Islamist army, the Islamic State (formerly Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), cut into Iraq, its ranks swelled to some 30,000 fighters in Iraq and 50,000 in Syria. It has entrenched itself in Mosul, Tikrit, Fallujah and Ramadi in northern Iraq, captured the Baiji oilfield, overran and lost the Mosul dam, and has been generally murdering and pillaging on a scale that has not been seen since Pope Innocent III's 20-year-long crusade against the 'heretical' Cathars of southern France in 1209 AD.

One man could have broken the IS long before it went berserk - US President Barack Obama. Until almost up to the minute that the IS beheaded its second American news reporter, Steven Sotloff, (allegedly on 2 September), the most powerful man in the world was dithering.

There is a good reason why: because the IS cannot be defeated without denying it a safe haven in Syria - and this, as General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, pointed out on 21 August, cannot be done without the cooperation of the Syrian government. Placed in an uncomfortable position - Iran has long been the US government's resident bugbear - Obama is unwilling to concede this, not only because it would be an admission of the monumental folly of his stance on Syria, but also because it would have him locking horns with Israel. Trying to keep it light, Gen Dempsey then told reporters on 24 August on his way to Afghanistan that he believed that the IS was primarily "a regional threat".

Not that he is alone as a world leader confused by the IS: Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu started out by declaring on 22 June during the NBC's Meet the Press programme in Washington, DC, "What you are seeing in the Middle East today in Iraq and Syria is the stark hatred between radical Shi'ites - in this case led by Iran - and radical Sunnis led by al Qaeda and ISIS and others. When your enemies are fighting each other, don't strengthen either one of them. Weaken both. And I think by far the worst outcome that can come out of this is that one of these factions, Iran, would come out with nuclear weapon capability. That would be a tragic mistake - it would make everything else pale in comparison."

Netanyahu was reacting to a meeting a week earlier of US and Iranian negotiators during talks on Iran's so-called nuclear programme: It clearly rattled him that the negotiators had met on the sidelines to discuss how Iran could possibly help to enfeeble the IS' advance.

Obama got the message. So, he swallowed the huge insult of war reporter James Foley's videotaped slaughter on 19 August. But for pronouncing Iraqi Kurdistan off-limits to the IS horde (which was, even then, advancing from its captured stronghold, Mosul, towards Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan region), and promising to protect the fistful of Americans in Baghdad, Obama doggedly refused to react to the IS' fearsome cyberspace blizzard of bloody self-assertions: executions by gun and decapitation, updated on the minute on the global social media and its own website and mirror sites.

By 25 August, it became clear to even Obama's advisers that Netanyahu's focus wasn't the IS: He was referencing the IS only to offset his bugbears, Iran and Hamas. That day, he coined an Internet meme on his Twitter page: "Hamas is ISIS. ISIS is Hamas." As memes go, it was laughed out of town.

Obama, however, chose not to see that Netanyahu was changing his suit to fit the occasion: Hamas and the Salafists who comprise the ideological core of the IS heartily detest each other. Nonetheless, the US president stuck to his hands-off-the-IS policy. In a much-awaited press briefing at the White House on 28 August, he surprised the audience by using two unlikely words that would go on to define the parameters of US action against the IS in Iraq: "modest risk".
isis facts

This waffling was unusual on two counts: first, US presidents don't do "opportunity that allows us with very modest risk to help the humanitarian situation" - these are loser's words; second, of all the US presidents who have ever faced bad times - and which one hasn't? - Obama seems beyond caring.

US policy, he said, would focus on "a broader regional strategy with an international coalition and partners to systematically degrade ISIS' capacity". To do this "over the long term", he said he intended to "build a regional strategy... with other partners, and particularly Sunni partners, because part of the goal here is to make sure that Sunnis both in Syria and in Iraq feel as if they have got an investment in a government that actually functions, a government that can protect them, a government that makes sure that their families are safe from the barbaric acts that we have seen in ISIS".

Looked at one way, Obama wants merely to "degrade" the IS, not destroy it. In US military parlance, "To degrade IS to use non-lethal or temporary means to reduce the effectiveness or efficiency of adversary command and control systems and information collection efforts or means." Obama wants to do this with the help of the very same, habitually untrustworthy Gulf sheikhdoms and the very same regime in Turkey that helped create, and continue to support, the Wahhabi-Salafi ultraconservative groups in Syria by pouring billions of dollars into the Free Syrian Army (FSA), whose 'moderate' cachet is, on the ground, virtually nonexistent. The FSA is armed with heavy weaponry, including hundreds of surface-to- air missiles that the US and the EU have specifically proscribed. Also, Obama pointedly made no mention of Iran.

In effect, he merely announced a continuation of the very policies that created the IS (the US administration decided in April to stick to ISIS despite the set-up having changed its name to IS to signify a larger footprint and ambition). He did not say a single word about how he intended to make them function differently in future.

Is this a sign of presidential imbalance, or resignation, or is there a more sinister explanation? Regrettably, everything points to the latter. There is strong, if not clinching, evidence that the IS - Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in particular - is the West's creation. When IS rolled into Iraq, the US suddenly found itself at loggerheads with its greatest friend and ally in the region, Israel.

There is more myth than fact surrounding Baghdadi - who was until a couple of months ago casually called Abu Du'a and is now known to the IS cadre as Caliph Ibrahim. What are intriguing are his possible links with the West, which first surfaced on 15 July, when a Bahrain newspaper, the Gulf Daily News, quoting cursorily from an interview that former NSA agent Edward Snowden had allegedly given to IRNA, Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency, said that Baghdadi had been forged by British and American intelligence agencies along with Israel's Mossad to, as the paper put it, "create a terrorist outfit capable of centralising all extremist actions across the world". The strategy, named Hornet's Nest, was to protect Israel from security threats by diverting attention to a freshly-minted regional enemy, IS. Baghdadi, the paper claimed, had been given intensive military training (along with courses in theology and speech) for a year by Mossad.

Time magazine trashed the story within four days. "No mention of a Hornet's Nest plot can be found in Snowden's leaked trove of US intelligence documents," it said, reminding readers that IRNA had been found to indulge in regime- inspired fantasy in the past, and disclosed that even the editor of Kayhan, Iran's most influential newspaper, had found the story strange because Snowden had fled the country long before the plot had germinated.

But Time's refutation is not conclusive. First, Snowden has not denied giving the interview. If it is a fabrication, then it is difficult to see why someone who gave up his country and his freedom to serve the cause of truth should now choose to become party to a lie. Second, Snowden blew the whistle and cut himself off from his sources on 10 June 2013. This was eight weeks after Baghdadi appointed himself the Emir of ISIS - and, therefore, up to 18 months after the plot, if one exists, was hatched.

isis timeline

Nonetheless, it is a mystery. WikiLeaks, always close to Snowden, clarified on its Twitter feed on 8 August, "ISIS, like other anti-Syrian militant groups may have received support from Israel, but released Snowden docs don't show it." Moreover, a trace-back shows that the Snowden 'revelation' wasn't scooped by IRNA but appeared first on the website Algérie1.com on 11 July, four days before IRNA put it up as a word-for-word replication.

As it turns out, the Hornet's Nest story is not necessary to prove Baghdadi's connections with the West. When IS posted a video of Baghdadi addressing on 5 July a congregation from the pulpit of the grand mosque in Mosul, it set off a worldwide hunt to identify him. Photoanalysts found him very quickly, but in the most unexpected of places - talking animatedly to Senator John McCain at a secret meeting with five 'moderate' leaders of the FSA who had been specially assembled to meet him - at Idlib in Syria, on 27 May 2013. While this was before Baghdadi had started making a name for himself as an ultracon Islamist, it was, significantly enough, a month-and-a-half after he had changed the name of the Islamic State in Iraq (ISI) to the more ambitious Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

baghdadi mccain

US Senator John McCain meets an FSA delegation, which includes Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

McCain's visit to Syria had been organised by Salim Idris, self-styled 'Brigadier General' of the FSA (who eventually fled to the Gulf after the FSA lost traction), and the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF), an American not-for-profit organisation that is a passionate advocate for arming the 'moderate' FSA. One analysis has it that there was no room for McCain to have made an error because, on 27 May 2013, when he met Baghdadi, the latter had been on the US State Department's list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists with a reward of $10 million on his head. Furthermore, the two met while Baghdadi was still known by his original name (under which the State Department had listed him as a planetary terrorist - Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri).

Nor was Baghdadi the only wolf in sheep's clothing at that meeting. Among the other 'moderate' Sunni leaders, SETF had also included Mohammed Nour and Ammar al Dadhiki aka Abu Ibrahim. Nour is the spokesman of Northern Storm, an offshoot of the brutal Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian and Lebanese branch of al Qaeda, whose brutality was a byword in Syria till put in the shade by IS. Dadhiki is one of its key members. Only days before Nour's meeting with McCain, Northern Storm had kidnapped 11 Lebanese Shia pilgrims on their way to Iraq.

isis timeline

Did McCain know that the leaders he was meeting were not moderate Sunni rebels but some of the most murderous and bigoted terrorists in the world today? Probably not. But the same cannot be said of the organisation that took him there - the SETF. The SETF had worked closely with Idris to set up the McCain meeting, so it had to have known who was being invited to it. It also knew perfectly well that on the ground in Syria, no one was bothering to make the hairsplitting distinction between 'good' and 'bad' rebels that it was feeding to US Secretary of State John Kerry, McCain and hundreds of other policymakers in Washington. When, a fortnight after McCain's visit, a terrorist leader named Abu Sakkar cut out the heart and lungs of a Syrian soldier and took a bite out of the latter for the benefit of global viewers, Idris belligerently defended his inclusion in the FSA and asked his BBC interviewer, Paul Wood: "Is the West asking me now to fight Abu Sakkar and force him out of the revolution?"

Yet only two months later, the SETF's then political director, Elizabeth O'Bagy, felt no compunction in writing in a massively influential op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal that Kerry quoted to the US Congress: "Anyone who reads the paper or watches the news has been led to believe that a once peaceful, pro-democracy opposition has transformed over the past two years into a mob of violent extremists dominated by al Qaeda... This isn't the case... Moderate opposition groups make up the majority of actual fighting forces, and they have recently been empowered by the influx of arms and money from Saudi Arabia and other allied countries, such as Jordan and France."

Why is the SETF willing to stop at nothing to destroy the Bashar al Assad regime in Syria? The answer again comes back to Israel. There is a close, but undisclosed, relationship between SETF and the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC), Israel's premier lobbying organisation within the US. Till it was 'corrected' in 2013, one of SETF's email addresses used to be syriantaskforce.torahacademybr.org. The torahacademybr.org url belongs to the Torah Academy of Boca Raton, Florida, whose academic goals notably include "inspiring a love and commitment to Eretz Yisroel".

The origins of its executive director, Mouaz Mustafa, are obscure, to say the least. His biodata on the SETF website says that he emigrated from Syria to the US when he was 15, but the details of his working life show that he became an aide to Congressman Vic Snyder when he was only 19, the age at which most Americans finish high school. He then worked with Democratic senator Blanche Lincoln, till she lost her seat in 2010.

isis timeline

On 17 April 2011, possibly after a short visit to Cairo, he became the executive director of a newly formed lobbying group, the Libyan Council for North America. This was a month after the West attacked Libya. He "moved on" again in September 2011 to the newly constituted SETF (again as its executive director), only days after the fall of Tripoli. At that point he was only 25. One doesn't have to be a Washington Beltway insider to know that he could not have done all this without very powerful, covert support.

Mustafa has spoken frequently at meetings of AIPAC, and is a regular contributor on the website of the Al Fikra Forum, which describes itself as an "online community that aims to generate ideas to support Arab democrats in their struggle with authoritarians and extremists". But going by its email address, it is an affiliate of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a think-tank set up by AIPAC. Its home page sports a link to the Fikra Forum's website.

Mustafa is a regular speaker and discussant at WINEP. On 22 July, WINEP released (and probably financed) a film titled Red Lines: Inside the Battle for Freedom in Syria, which portrays the lives of Mustafa and a female activist, Razan Shalab al-Sham. During the discussion that followed, Mustafa said: "Helping Iran to provide security in the region is the worst possible idea, because what happens then is that you make it possible for both Sunni and Shia extremists to develop deep roots in the region. What we need to do is to help the people, who don't want to be ruled by the Iranians and don't want to be ruled by the extremists, and they are there." Netanyahu could not have put it better.

Israel is the only country in the world to whom it simply does not matter what happens to the rest of the Arab world so long as it somehow enhances its own security. In the mid-1990s, a consultant group formed under the aegis of the American Enterprise Institute submitted a plan for "furthering peace in the Middle East" to Netanyahu. Its key recommendations were for Israel to work for the destruction of Iraq, 'roll up' of Syria, and isolation of Hezbollah in south Lebanon prior to destroying it. The way in which a majority of the members of the group were inducted into the George W Bush administration and succeeded in bringing about the destruction of the Ba'athist and sternly secular, albeit tyrannical, regime of Saddam Hussein has been well documented elsewhere and need not detain us. It is the sequel that concerns us now.

Within two years of destroying Iraq, Israel realised that it had jumped from the frying pan into the fire. Whereas Hussein's Iraq had been an impenetrable buffer between Iran and Lebanon, Maliki's Iraq was an open chute for arms to flow from Iran to the Hezbollah. To Israel, this chute, which it called the 'Shia crescent', became an arrow pointed at its heart. As the Hezbollah grew ever more powerful, Israel panicked. In 2006, it attacked Lebanon and the Hezbollah in order to destroy the latter's tunnels and arms, much as it did to the Hamas in Gaza last month.

But that operation proved a diplomatic and security disaster, for Hezbollah emerged from it even stronger than it had been before. Since then Israel has lived in mortal fear of the 'Shia crescent'. Getting Iran to foreswear the development of nuclear weapons was no longer sufficient. The pipeline to the Hezbollah had to be cut. There were only two ways - destroy Iran or destroy Syria. Iran, however, was a far larger and more powerful country than Iraq and even Bush shied away from attacking it. There was no mass hysteria, moreover, such as had seized the American people after 9/11, to capitalise upon. But Syria was small enough to be 'doable'.

So, in 2008, two gentlemen, Jeffrey Feltman, assistant secretary in the State Department and ardent Zionist, who had served two terms in Israel, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia's powerful ambassador to the US, concocted another plan. This one, called without a hint of irony 'A plan for furthering peace in the Greater Middle East', proposed breaking the 'Shia crescent' by creating a 'Sunni crescent' that would start in Turkey and end in Jordan. The stumbling block was Assad's Ba'athist, secular and fumblingly authoritarian Syria. But 70 percent of Syrians are Sunnis. So three quarters of the plan, which eventually found its way onto the Internet in 2012, describes in chilling detail how to use religion, and for some strata economic discontent and pecuniary inducement, to rise against Assad. In 2011, when the Arab Spring began, 51 television and radio stations located in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf had been beaming Salafi and hate propaganda against Assad to the Syrian people for the previous two years.

Israel came within a millimetre of achieving its goal after the gas attacks in the Ghouta suburb of Damascus in August last year. On 27 August, alongside the full text of Kerry's speech committing the US to bombing Syria for crossing Obama's red line on chemical weapons, the rightwing Times of Israel published two reports that detailed precisely how Israeli intelligence inputs had proved crucial in making up Washington's mind. A third, more ominous, report gave details of how Netanyahu not only hoped that this would be a precursor for a US attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, but also intended to use the precedent it would create to launch the attack on his own.

But contrary to the robust assertions of Kerry and Obama to the US Congress and the media, the US had substantial amounts of evidence in August that the Syrian Army had not used chemical weapons at Aleppo and Damascus in March and April 2013, and that not only the Jabhat al-Nusra but also the then nascent ISIS had the capacity to produce sarin. Faced with the prospect of being accused of again manufacturing evidence to start a war, both Cameron and Obama found ways of resiling from their commitment to bomb Syria. Israel therefore found itself robbed of 'victory' when it was already in its grasp.

Obama's initial willingness to cooperate with Iran, and therefore by implication, with Syria, has thrown Netanyahu and his government into something close to panic. But its knee-jerk reactions are further endangering Israel's security. Its invasion and six-week-long pigeon-shoot in the open-air prison called Gaza is a case in point. Netanyahu used the pretext furnished by the kidnapping and murder of three teenagers from the West Bank for launching his attack. But soon it became apparent that his real aim was to destroy Hamas root and branch and terrorise the unfortunate Gazans into never cooperating with it again.

But Hamas has stoutly denied that it kidnapped the teenagers. As for their murder, it is not only out of character for Hamas, which has regularly kidnapped Israelis only to exchange them for Palestinian prisoners, but also suicidal. On the other hand, IS has claimed over and over again that it killed the teenagers as a reprisal for Israel's killing of three of its members last December when they were about to enter Israel, but Tel Aviv has ignored these claims. If IS is indeed partly Israel's creation, then its reluctance would be understandable.

Like the invasion of Lebanon, Israel's attack on Gaza is bound to backfire. It has not only isolated Israel in the international community to an extent that was unimaginable only a year ago, but is probably the trigger for Jabhat al-Nusra's sudden seizure of the Syria-Israel border town of Quneitra. IS had already all but evicted Jabhat al-Nusra from northern Syria. Its shift to Syria's southern border could signal a strategic decision by the leaders of al Qaeda to leave Syria and Iraq to IS and focus on Jordan and Israel.

If this shift of focus has not already happened, it is bound to happen in the future. For as Salafi preachers repeat endlessly, their ultimate goal is to free Jerusalem and open al Aqsa Mosque, the second holiest shrine in Sunni Islam, to all true Muslims.

So great is Israel's panic that it does not realise that Ba'athist Syria is its last remaining bastion against the Wahhabi hordes. Once it falls, thousands of youth who consider themselves victims of their own governments and societies will flock to the banners of IS and Jabhat al-Nusra for the final assault on Jerusalem.

Once that happens, life in Israel, and much of the rest of the world (including Pakistan and India), will become truly "nasty, brutish, and short".

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1,000 Israeli settlers invade al-Aqsa Mosque in January

Israeli security forces storming al-Aqsa Mosque

Approximately one thousand Israeli settlers in January alone have invaded the holy al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Some 965 Israeli settlers accompanied by Israeli security forces stormed the holy Islamic site in January, said the al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage.

Israel continues to restrict the movement of Palestinian worshipers to the al-Aqsa Mosque. The invasion has led to many conflicts between Palestinian worshipers and Israelis.

Nearly 90 percent of Palestinians believe that Israel is going to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque and replace it with a temple, a new survey shows.

The Tel Aviv regime has tried to change the demographic makeup of al-Quds over the past decades by constructing illegal settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population.

The al-Aqsa Mosque compound, located in the Israeli-occupied Old City of al-Quds, is a flashpoint Islamic site, also holy to the Jews. The mosque is Islam's third holiest site after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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WHO documents rise in Ebola cases at start of 2015

ebola 2015

© Reuters/Pierre Albouy

The World Health Organization (WHO) logo is pictured at the entrance of its headquarters in Geneva, January 25, 2015.

The number of new cases of Ebola rose in all three of West Africa's worst-hit countries last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday, ending several weeks of encouraging declines across the region.

Suspicion of aid workers, especially in Guinea, and unsafe local practices were continuing to hamper efforts to halt the deadly virus, the United Nations agency said.

"An unsafe burial that took place in early January in the (Guinean) eastern prefecture of Lola, on the border with Côte d'Ivoire, has so far resulted in an outbreak of 11 confirmed cases," it said. Investigators had been initially rebuffed by the local population, it added.

Mourners have caught the haemorrhagic disease in the past by touching the highly-contagious bodies of dead loved ones, sometimes by laying hands on them to say goodbye.

The WHO said a week ago that there had been 99 confirmed cases in the week to Jan. 25, the lowest tally since June 2014, raising hopes that the tide might have turned.

But its new figures, for the week ending Feb. 1, showed the first recorded rise in new cases across all three countries this year.

Sierra Leone, the worst hotspot, accounted for 80 of the 124 new cases of the disease, Guinea recorded 39 while Liberia had just five, all near the capital Monrovia, the report said.

Nearly one third of Guinea's 34 prefectures had reported at least one security incident or other form of refusal to cooperate with health workers in the previous week.

Villagers are often alarmed by the approach of aid workers wearing space-age protective equipment and have resisted efforts to find cases, isolate those infected and chlorinate homes.

Meetings were planned between authorities from Guinea, Mali and Senegal to strengthen disease surveillance, the WHO said. A rapid response team has deployed in the border area with Ivory Coast, it added.

The WHO said there was an urgent need to step up efforts before the start of the April-May rainy season, when downpours can block roads and make it difficult for health teams to travel.

In all, 8,981 people have died of Ebola out of 22,495 known cases in nine countries since the outbreak began in December 2013, according to the agency.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Ukraine video updates: DPR says Ukraine planning terror attack in Debaltsevo


In the clip below, DPR Deputy of Defense Eduard Basurin announces plans for a Ukrainian 'false flag' in the region of Debaltsevo sometime in the next few days, to coincide with the Munich Security Conference on 6-8 February (this weekend).

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Meanwhile, locals in various Ukrainian towns continue to resist Kiev's latest mobilization efforts. The following video was shot in Zaporozhye, showing the locals forcing out a military volunteer from a mobilization meeting.

[embedded content]

"We cannot sleep at night, we worry. What have our lives come to? We just want the sun to shine, and we don't want war! You want to take our strength, our men! The monks in Ukrainian monasteries pray for Ukraine day and night. For what? There is no road back from there."

"We are for peace!"

"Who are you fighting against, volunteers? We see on TV - four kids lost a house! We cannot turn the TV on! Who do you fight against - children? How is it for those poor people? If not for you, Crimea would still be ours!"

"Why didn't you save the kiborgs?"

"What kind of a job is this, sending people to slaughter?"

Volunteer: "Dear citizens, I did not come here to listen to you, and I am not going to sit here and listen to all of your complaints, like a school boy!"

The crowd erupts, the volunteer walks out.

"Separatist!" - people shout.

Both sides are suffering losses, but the ratio is at least 3:1 in the NAF's favor. Most Ukrainian troops probably already know it - morale is low, mobilization is a failure - but they'd do well to disabuse themselves of the propaganda. Expectations and reality couldn't be further apart.

[embedded content]

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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