A non-profit news blog, focused on providing independent journalism.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Utah cops swear mysterious voice crying for help led them to unconscious toddler in submerged car

Officer Bryan DeWitt


Officer Bryan DeWitt

Four Utah police officers said they heard a voice distinctly call out for help when they found a vehicle submerged upside-down in a river.

But when they flipped the vehicle over, they discovered there was nobody in the car who was able to speak, reported .

"The only people in there were the deceased mother and the child," said Officer Bryan DeWitt, of Spanish Fork police.

Lynn Jennifer "Jenny" Groesbeck was pronounced dead at the scene, but her 18-month-old daughter, Lily, was still alive after remaining strapped upside-down in a car seat for up to 14 hours.

The toddler was listed Sunday in critical but stable condition at a nearby hospital.

Investigators said the 25-year-old Groesbeck was driving home about 10:30 p.m. Friday from visiting her parents in Salem when her car went off the road and crashed into the water.

A fisherman spotted the vehicle about 12:30 p.m. Saturday and called police to report the crash.

"We were down on the car and a distinct voice says, 'Help me, help me,'" DeWitt said.

"It wasn't just something that was just in our heads," said Officer Tyler Beddoes, who insists the voice did not sound like a child. "To me it was plain as day because I remember hearing a voice. I think it was Dewitt who said, 'We're trying. We're trying our best to get in there.'"

"How do you explain that? I don't know," Beddoes added.

They were upset to discover the unconscious child, believing she might be dead, but they were encouraged when they saw her eyes flutter as they cut the straps on the car seat.

Several firefighters were treated for hypothermia after jumping into the river, which ran 10 feet deep in some places, to rescue the child.

"We've gotten together and just talking about it, and all four of us can swear that we heard somebody inside the car saying, 'Help,'" said Officer Jared Warren. "We're not exactly sure where that voice came from."


[embedded content]

Toxic water fluoridation: New study says promotes thyroid dysfunction

Water fluridation

Fluoride is a toxic drug linked with an array of potentially serious health problems. Most recently, research linking fluoridated water consumption to thyroid dysfunction received attention in both British and American media.1,2,3,4

Evidence also suggests it may contribute to or exacerbate behavioral problems such as ADHD, by way of pineal gland calcification.

Despite irrefutable evidence of harm, the United States still adds fluoride to municipal water supplies reaching nearly 211 million Americans. As of 2012, more than 67 percent of Americans receive fluoridated water.5

Of those, more than 11 million people receive fluoride at or above what has been deemed the "optimal" level, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In the UK, about 6 million Britons receive water with added fluoride. Meanwhile, a growing number of countries—including Germany, Sweden, Japan, the Netherlands, Finland, and Israel6—have ceased this hazardous practice.7

Water Fluoridation Promotes Thyroid Dysfunction, Study Warns

Water fluoridation has long been promoted as a safe and effective way to improve dental health—a claim that in reality has no firm basis in science. On the contrary, the evidence clearly suggests there are wide-ranging health hazards associated with fluoride exposure.

British researchers are now warning that 15,000 people may be needlessly afflicted with hypothyroidism in the UK as a result of drinking fluoridated water.8

In areas where fluoride levels in the water registered above 0.3 mg/l, the risk of having a high rate of hypothyroidism was 37 percent greater compared to areas that do not fluoridate. As explained by Vice.com9 and in the featured video above:

"The key to a healthy thyroid is iodine, which is generally absorbed through the blood and stored and regulated by the body in the thyroid gland...

But because fluoride is more electronegative than iodine, it displaces it in the body, disrupting thyroid function and subsequently impacting hormone levels that keep metabolism in check.

Numerous studies (including one from just last year10) have previously confirmed fluoride's ability to promote and exacerbate iodine deficiency11..."

[embedded content]

Recommended Fluoride Levels in US Is Twice the Level at Which Thyroid Function Can Be Affected

The US currently recommends a fluoride level of 0.7 mg/L,12 and thyroid dysfunction is also rampant in the US, where an estimated 20 million people are affected,13 so from a public health standpoint, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to medicate the entire population with a drug that can either induce or exacerbate this condition.

Additional side effects of thyroid dysfunction include weight gain and depression. An equally or more important side effect is harm to the fetus in hypothyroid pregnant women, which can result in lowered IQ and other neurological deficits.

Because of all of these effects, the researchers urge city councils to stop adding fluoride to their drinking water. According to lead author Stephen Peckham:14

"I think it is concerning for people living in those [high fluoride] areas. The difference between the West Midlands, which fluoridates, and Manchester, which doesn't, was particularly striking. There were nearly double the number of [underactive thyroid] cases in the West Midlands.

Underactive thyroid is a particularly nasty thing to have and it can lead to other long term health problems. I do think councils need to think again about putting fluoride in the water. There are far safer ways to improve dental health."

Dr. Spyros Mezitis, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City who did not participate in the study told WebMD:15

"Clinicians in the United States should emphasize to patients this association and should test patients for underactive thyroid. Patients should probably be advised to drink less fluoridated water and consume less fluoridated products, including [fluoridated] toothpaste."

Endocrinologist Dr. Terry Davies, who is also a professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York City also agreed, saying that:

"This dramatic increase in thyroid dysfunction associated with fluoridation of the water supply adds to previous studies indicating that fluoride has an inhibitory effect on the thyroid gland. [The study] supports the argument that our water supply should be pure water and nothing else."

How Is Water Fluoridation in the Public's Best Interest?

Many fail to realize that fluoride is indeed a drug, and as such it is grossly inappropriate for it to be indiscriminately added to water supplies, as there's no way to control who gets it, and in what dose.

Surely, protecting people from thyroid dysfunction—which can also raise your risk for cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, infertility, neurological harm to fetuses and infants, and other health problems—is of greater concern than protecting people from dental caries, which can be very effectively addressed in other, far safer ways...

Besides, the science behind fluoride's purported dental benefits is flimsy at best, and has repeatedly failed to stand up to closer scrutiny. Mounting scientific evidence reveals that:

  • Swallowing fluoride provides relatively little benefit to your teeth . In fact, when fluoride is taken internally, it actually damages your teeth, causing a condition known as dental fluorosis, which now affects 41 percent of American children between the ages of 12 and 14.16

  • Outwardly visual signs of this condition include pitting and discoloration of your teeth, caused by long-term ingestion of fluoride during early tooth formation. In some areas, fluorosis rates are as high as 70-80 percent, with some children suffering from advanced forms. Dental fluorosis can be an indication that the rest of your body, such as your bones and internal organs, including your brain, has been overexposed to fluoride as well.

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no discernible difference in tooth decay between developed countries that fluoridate their water and those that do not. Moreover, the decline in tooth decay the US has experienced over the last 60 years, which is often attributed to fluoridated water, has likewise occurred in all developed countries—most of which do not fluoridate their water.

  • Even topical application of fluoride may be largely ineffective. Research published in the journal Langmuir17 five years ago discovered that the fluorapatite layer formed on your teeth from fluoride is a mere six nanometers thick (about one ten-thousands' the width of a strand of hair), which led the scientists to question whether this ultra-thin layer can actually protect your enamel and provide any discernible benefit, considering the fact that it is quickly eliminated by simple chewing. Other studies have concluded topical fluoride may be helpful.

Cavity Prevention 101

As I've discussed in previous articles, the best way to prevent cavities is not by adding fluoride, but by addressing your diet. Scientific American18 recently addressed this issue as well, noting that excessive sugar consumption is at the heart of the problem. According to Dr. Francesco Branca, Director of WHO's Department of Nutrition for Health and Development: "We have solid evidence that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10 percent of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay."

One of the keys to oral health is eating a traditional diet rich in fresh, unprocessed vegetables, nuts, and grass-fed meats. By avoiding sugars and processed foods, you prevent the proliferation of the bacteria that cause decay in the first place. Other natural strategies that can significantly improve your dental health is eating plenty of fermented vegetables doing oil pulling with coconut oil. Also make sure you're getting plenty of omega-3 fats. The latest research suggests even moderate amounts of omega-3 fats may help ward off gum disease. My favorite source of high quality omega-3 fat is krill oil.

Fluoride Detrimentally Affects Many Tissues in Your Body

[embedded content]

Many assume that the fluoride in drinking water (or in any other fluoride supplement) will somehow only affect your teeth. Unfortunately, this is simply not the case. According to one 500-page scientific review,19 fluoride is an endocrine disruptor that can affect not only your thyroid gland, but also your bones, brain, pineal gland, and even your blood sugar levels. There are more than 100 published studies illustrating fluoride's harm to the brain alone, plus 43 more that directly link fluoride exposure to reduced IQ in children! Studies have also demonstrated that fluoride toxicity, caused by overexposure, can lead to:

  • Increased lead absorption

  • Disrupted synthesis of collagenHyperactivity and/or lethargy

  • Muscle disorders

  • Bone cancer (osteosarcoma)

  • Increased tumor and cancer rate

  • ArthritisSkeletal fluorosis and bone fractures

  • Genetic damage and cell death

  • Damaged sperm and increased infertility

  • Inactivation of 62 enzymes and inhibition of more than 100

  • Inhibited formation of antibodies, and immune system disruptions

The Link Between Fluoride, Pineal Gland Calcification, and ADHD

A recent article20 by Frank Granett, R.ph, director of Clinical Pharmacy Operations at Behavioral Center of Michigan Psychiatric Hospital, and author of The American Epidemic and Over Medicating Our Youth, also addresses the issue of fluoride and pineal calcification, which can result in symptoms such as ADHD. He writes, in part:

"Located deep within the brain below the corpus callosum, which is the circuit connector for the right and left brain hemispheres, the pineal gland is responsible for the secretion of melatonin, the human body's biological time-clock hormone regulating normal sleep patterns. More importantly, the pineal gland plays a critical role in the enzyme pathway for the production of brain neurotransmitters including serotonin and norepinephrine. Additionally, the body's anti-oxidant defense system is optimized by healthy pineal tissue, which helps eliminate free-radical toxin accumulation in the body."

Despite its diminutive size, your pineal gland tends to accumulate significant amounts of fluoride, which eventually causes it to calcify. Besides ADHD-like symptoms, pineal calcification may also play a role in Alzheimer's and bipolar disease. Considering its effect on neurotransmitters, it's also quite conceivable that it might promote depression and other neurological disorders. Granett also notes that studies have linked pineal calcification to precocious puberty in girls, attributed to abnormal melatonin secretion.

"Government agencies complicit in this public-health issue should re-evaluate the dangers fluoride poses in childhood behavioral development," he writes. "Children and adults battling behavioral conditions should adopt an action plan to prevent the onset of pineal-gland calcification."

To help decalcify your pineal gland, Granett suggests:

  • Eliminating sugar, processed foods, and genetically engineered foods

  • Drinking purified water. To help break up the calcification, take one teaspoon of cold organic apple cider vinegar in water once per day

  • Consuming raw beets four times per week, as beets contains high amounts of boron that also help break up calcification

  • Taking an antioxidant supplement

  • Using non-fluoridated toothpaste

To Protect Your Health, Avoid Fluoride

No matter which scientific studies you examine or which population trends you view, the rational conclusion is that fluoride's health dangers far outweigh the marginal dental benefits it might offer. Dental caries can be effectively prevented with means other than fluoridation, thereby avoiding the adverse effects of fluoride. It's important to realize that fluoride is a cumulative toxin , which over time can lead to serious health concerns, from hypothyroidism to skeletal fluorosis and much more.

The neurological effects are particularly disconcerting. As mentioned, 43 human studies21 now link moderately high fluoride exposures with reduced IQ. We cannot afford to ignore such warnings! Water fluoridation needs to stop. The question is how. Despite all the evidence, getting fluoride out of American water supplies has been exceedingly difficult. It's not impossible, however, as evidenced in areas that have successfully abolished water fluoridation.

According to the late Jeff Green, National Director of Citizens for Safe Drinking Water, a repeated theme in the cases where communities successfully removed fluoride from their water supply is the shifting of the burden of proof. Rather than citizens taking on the burden of proving that fluoride is harmful and shouldn't be added, a more successful strategy has been to hold those making claims, and the elected officials who rely on them, accountable for delivering proof that the specific fluoridation chemical being used fulfills their health and safety claims, and is in compliance with all regulations, laws, and risk assessments already required for safe drinking water. To learn more, please see this previous article, which discusses these strategies more in-depth.

Help End The Practice of Fluoridation

There's no doubt about it: fluoride should not be ingested. Even scientists from the EPA's National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory have classified fluoride as a "chemical having substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity." Furthermore, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 41 percent of American adolescents now have dental fluorosis—unattractive discoloration and mottling of the teeth that indicate overexposure to fluoride. Clearly, children are being overexposed, and their health and development put in jeopardy. Why?

The only real solution is to stop the archaic practice of water fluoridation in the first place. Fortunately, the Fluoride Action Network has a game plan to END water fluoridation worldwide. Clean pure water is a prerequisite to optimal health. Industrial chemicals, drugs, and other toxic additives really have no place in our water supplies. So, please, protect your drinking water and support the fluoride-free movement by making a tax-deductible donation to the Fluoride Action Network today.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

I encourage you to visit the website of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) and visit the links below:

Comment: The majority of European states do not fluoridate the water supply:

At present, 98% of the western European population drinks non-fluoridated water. This includes: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, and approximately 90% of both the United Kingdom and Spain. Although some of these countries fluoridate their salt, the majority do not. (The only western European countries that allow salt fluoridation are Austria, France, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland.)

Why does the US still cling to this archaic practice, when it is amply documented to be unhealthy - follow the money!

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at http://bit.ly/1xcsdoI.

Russia's remarkable renaissance (and why the West is seeking to crush it)

© Unknown

Something remarkable is taking place in Russia, and it's quite different from what we might expect. Rather than feel humiliated and depressed Russia is undergoing what I would call a kind of renaissance, a rebirth as a nation. This despite or in fact because the West, led by the so-called neo-conservatives in Washington, is trying everything including war on her doorstep in Ukraine, to collapse the Russian economy, humiliate Putin and paint Russians generally as bad. In the process, Russia is discovering positive attributes about her culture, her people, her land that had long been forgotten or suppressed.

My first of many visits to Russia was more than twenty years ago, in May, 1994. I was invited by a Moscow economics think-tank to deliver critical remarks about the IMF. My impressions then were of a once-great people who were being humiliated to the last ounce of their life energy. Mafia gangsters sped along the wide boulevards of Moscow in sparkling new Mercedes 600 limousines with dark windows and without license plates. Lawlessness was the order of the day, from the US-backed Yeltsin Kremlin to the streets. "Harvard boys" like Jeffrey Sachs or Sweden's Anders Aaslund or George Soros were swarming over the city figuring new ways to rape and pillage Russia under the logo "shock therapy" and "market-oriented reform" another word for "give us your crown jewels."

The human toll of that trauma of the total collapse of life in Russia after November 1989 was staggering. I could see it in the eyes of everyday Russians on the streets of Moscow, taxi-drivers, mothers shopping, normal Russians.

Today, some two decades later, Russia is again confronted by a western enemy, NATO, that seeks to not just humiliate her, but to actually destroy her as a functioning state because Russia is uniquely able to throw a giant monkey wrench into plans of those western elites behind the wars in Ukraine, in Syria, Libya, Iraq and well beyond to Afghanistan, Africa and South America.

Rather than depression, in my recent visits to Russia in the past year as well as in numerous discussions with a variety of Russian acquaintances, I sense a new feeling of pride, of determination, a kind of rebirth of something long buried.

Sanctions Boomerang

Take the sanctions war that the Obama administration has forced Germany, France and other unwilling EU states to join. The US Treasury financial warfare unit has targeted the Ruble. The morally corrupt and Washington-influenced Wall Street credit rating agencies have downgraded Russian state debt to "junk" status. The Saudis, in cahoots with Washington, have caused a free-fall in oil prices. The chaos in Ukraine and EU sabotage of the Russian South Stream gas pipeline to the EU, all this should have brought a terrified Russia to her knees. It hasn't.

As we have earlier detailed, Putin and an increasing number of influential Russian industrialists, some of the same who a few years ago would have fled to their posh London townhouses, have decided to stand and fight for the future of Russia as a sovereign state. Oops! That wasn't supposed to happen in a world of globalization, of dissolution of the nation-state. National pride was supposed to be a relic like gold. Not in Russia today.

On the first anniversary of the blatant US coup in Kiev that installed a hand-picked regime of self-professed Neonazis, criminals, and an alleged Scientologist Prime Minister Andriy Yansenyuk, hand-picked by the US State Department, there was a demonstration in downtown Moscow on February 22. An estimated 35,000 to 50,000 people showed up—students, teachers, pensioners, even pro-Kremlin bikers. They protested not against Putin for causing the economic sanctions by his intransigence against Washington and EU demands. They protested the blatant US and EU intervention into Ukraine. They called the protest "Anti-Maidan." It was organized by one of many spontaneous citizen reactions to the atrocities they see on their borders. Internet satirical political blogs are making fun of the ridiculous Jan Paski, until last week the fumbling US State Department Press Spokesperson.

Not even an evident False Flag attempt in the London Financial Times and Western controlled media to blame Putin for "creating the climate of paranoia that caused" Boris Nemtsov's murder is being taken seriously. Western "tricks" don't work in today's Russia.

And look at US and EU sanctions. Rather than weakening Putin's popularity, sanctions have caused previously apolitical ordinary Russians to rally around the president, who still enjoys popularity ratings over 80%. A recent survey by the independent Levada Center found 81 percent of Russians feel negatively about the United States, the highest figure since the early 1990s "shock therapy" Yeltsin era. And 71 percent feel negatively about the European Union.

The renaissance I detect is evident in more than protests or polls, however. The US-instigated war in Ukraine since March 2014 has caused a humanitarian catastrophe, one which the US-steered German and other western media have blocked out of their coverage. More than one million Ukrainian citizens, losing their homes or in fear of being destroyed in the insane US-instigated carnage that is sweeping across Ukraine, have sought asylum in Russia. They have been welcomed as brothers according to all reports. That is a human response that has untold resonances among ordinary Russians. Because of the wonders of YouTube and smart phone videos, Russians are fully aware of the truth of the US war in eastern Ukraine. Russians are becoming politically sensitive for the first time in years as they realize that some circles in the West simply want to destroy them because they resist becoming a vassal of a Washington gone berserk.

Rather than bow to the US Treasury's Ruble currency war and the threat that Russian banks will be frozen out of the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) international interbank clearing system, something likened to an act of war, on February 16, the Russian government announced that it had completed its own banking clearing network in which some 91 domestic credit institutions have been incorporated. The system allows Russian banks to communicate seamlessly through the Central Bank of Russia.

That is inside Russia among banks that otherwise were vulnerable even domestically to a SWIFT cut. Russia joined the Brussels-based private SWIFT system as the Berlin Wall crumbled in 1989. Today her banks are the second largest users of SWIFT. The new system is inside Russia. Necessary, but not sufficient, to protect against SWIFT cutoff. The next step in discussion is joint Russia-China interbank clearing independent of SWIFT and Washington. That is also coming.

The following day after Russia's "SWIFT" alternative was announced as operational, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said China will build up its strategic partnership with Russia in finance, space and aircraft building and "raise trade cooperation to a new level." He added that China plans to cooperate more with Russia in the financial area and in January Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said that payments in national currencies, de-dollarization, were being negotiated with China. China realizes that if Russia collapses, China is next. Failing empires try desperate measures to survive.

Russians also realize that their leaders are moving in unprecedented ways to build an alternative to what they see as a morally decadent and bankrupt American world. For most Russians the disastrous decade of poverty, chaos and deprivation of the Yeltsin era in the 1990's was reminder enough what awaits should Russia's leaders again prostitute themselves to American banks and corporations for takeover, Hillary Clinton's infamous "reset" of US-Russian relations she attempted when Medvedev was President. Russians see what the US has done in neighboring Ukraine where even the Finance Minister, Natalia Jaresko, is an American, a former State Department person.

Russia and its leaders are hardly trembling behind Kremlin walls. They are forging the skeleton of a new international economic order that has the potential to transform the world from the present bankruptcy of the Dollar System. Moscow and Beijing recently announced, as I discussed in a previous posting, their project to create a joint alternative to the US credit rating monopoly of Moody's, S&P and Fitch. President Putin's travel agenda in the past year has been mind-boggling. Far from being the international paraiah Washington and Victoria Nuland hoped for, Russia is emerging as the land which has the courage to "just say No!" to Washington.

Russia's president has been in Cyprus where possible basing for the Russian navy was discussed, in Egypt where General al-Sisi warmly welcomed the Russian leader and discussed significant economic and other joint cooperation. Late last year Russia and the BRICS states agreed to form a $100 billion infrastructure bank that makes the US-controlled World Bank irrelevant. The list grows virtually every day.

The special human side

For me, however, the most heartening feature of this Russian renaissance is in the generation which is today in their late thirties to early forties—young, highly intelligent and having experience of both the depravity of Soviet communist bureaucracy but as well of the hollow world of US-led so-called "free market capitalism." I share some examples from the many Russians I have come to know in recent years.

What is unique in my mind about this generation is that they are the hybrid generation. The education they received in the schools and universities was still largely dominated by the classical Russian science. That classical Russian science, as I have verified from many discussion with Russian scientist friends over the years, was of a quality almost unknown in the pragmatic West. An American Physics professor from MIT who taught in Moscow universities in the early 1990s told me, "When a Russian science student enters first year university, he or she already has behind them 4 years of biology, 4 of chemistry, of physics, both integral and differential calculus, geometry...they are starting university study at a level comparable to an American post-doctoral student."

They grew up in a Russia where it was common for young girls to learn classical ballet or dance, for all children to learn to play piano or learn a musical instrument, to do sports, to paint, as in classical Greek education of the time of Socrates or Germany in the 1800s. Those basics which were also there in American schools until the 1950s, were all but abandoned during the 1980s. American industry wanted docile "dumbed-down" workers who asked no questions.

Russian biology, Russian math, Russian physics, Russian astrophysics, Russian geophysics—all disciplines approached their subject with a quality that had long before disappeared from American science. I know, as I grew up during the late 1950's during the "Sputnik Shock," where we were told as high school pupils we had to work doubly hard to "catch up to the Russians." There was a kernel of truth, but the difference was not lack of American students working hard. In those days we worked and studied pretty hard. It was the quality of Russian scientific education that was so superior.

Teaching of the sciences especially, in Russia or the Soviet Union, had been strongly influenced by the German education system of the 1800s, the so-called Humboldt Reforms of Alexander von Humboldt and others.

The strong ties in Russian education with classical 19th Century German culture and science went deep, going back to the time under Czar Alexander II who freed the serfs in 1861, following the example of his friend, Abraham Lincoln. The ties were deepened to German classical culture later under Czar Alexander II prior to the 1905 Russo-Japanese War when the brilliant Sergei Witte was Transport Minister, then Finance Minister and finally Prime Minister before western intrigues forced his resignation. Witte translated the works of the German national economist Friederich List, the brilliant opponent of England's Adam Smith, into Russian. Before foreign and domestic intrigues manipulated the Czar into the disastrous Anglo-Russian Entente of 1907 against Germany a pact which made England's war in 1914 possible, the Russian state recognized the German classical system as superior to British empiricism and reductionism.

Many times I have asked Russians of the 1980s generation why they came back to Russia to work after living in the USA. Always the reply more or less, "The US education was so boring, no challenge...the American students were so shallow, no idea of anything outside the United States...for all its problems, I decided to come home and help build a new Russia..."

Some personal examples illustrate what I have found: Irina went with her parents to Oregon in the early 1990s. Her father was a high-ranking military figure in the USSR. After the collapse he retired and wanted to get away from Russia, memories of wars, to live his last years peacefully in Oregon. His daughter grew up there, went to college there and ultimately realized she could be so much more herself back in Russia where today as a famous journalist covering US-instigated wars in Syria and elsewhere including Ukraine, she is making a courageous contribution to world peace.

Konstantin went to the USA to work as a young broadcast journalist, did a master's degree in New York in film and decided to return to Russia where he is making valuable TV documentaries on dangers of GMO and other important themes. Anton stayed in Russia, went into scientific and business publishing and used his facility with IT to found his own publishing house. Dmitry who taught physics at a respected German university, returned to his home St Petersburg to become a professor and his wife also a physicist, translates and manages a Russian language internet site as well as translating into Russian several of my own books.

What all these Russian acquaintances, now in their late 30s or forties share is that they were born when the remnants of the old Soviet Russia were still very visible, for better and for worse, but grew to maturity after 1991. This generation has a sense of development, progress, of change in their lives that is now proving invaluable to shape Russia's future. They are also, through their families and even early childhood, rooted in the old Russia, like Vladimir Putin, and realize the reality of both old and new.

Now because of the brazen open savagery of Washington policies against Russia, this generation is looking at what was valuable. They realize that the stultifying bureaucratic deadness of the Soviet Stalin heritage was deadly in the USSR years. And they realize they have a unique chance to shape a new, dynamic Russia of the 21st Century not based on the bankrupt model of the now-dying American Century of Henry Luce and FD Roosevelt.

This for me is the heart of an emerging renaissance of the spirit among Russians that gives me more than hope for the future. And, a final note, it has been policy among the so-called Gods of Money, the bankers of London and New York, since at least the assassination in 1881 of Czar Alexander II, to prevent a peaceful growing alliance between Germany and Russia. A prime aim of Victoria Nuland's Ukraine war has been to rupture that growing Russo-German economic cooperation. A vital question for the future of Germany and of Europe will be whether Germany's politicians continue to kneel to the throne of Obama or his successor or define their true interests in closer cooperation with the emerging Eurasian economic renaissance that is being shaped by President Putin's Russia and by President Xi's China.

Ironically, Washington's and now de facto NATO's "undeclared war" against Russia has sparked this remarkable renaissance of the Russian spirit. For the first time in many years Russians are starting to feel good about themselves and to feel they are good in a world of some very bad people. It may be the factor that saves our world from a one world dictatorship of the bankers and their military.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook".

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at http://bit.ly/1xcsdoI.

Landslip and flooding after heavy rain hits Scotland

Work has been taking place to clear the landslide on the A87

Heavy rain in Scotland has caused a 100 tonne landslide and flooding on roads across parts of the Highlands.

The A87 Invergarry to Kyle of Lochalsh road was shut overnight at Cluanie but traffic is now getting through.

Some rivers reached their highest levels on record and eight people were rescued from a flooded caravan park near Beauly.

More than 30 flood warnings are in place across Scotland.

Flooding and surface water are also affecting some routes

The A87 landslide came after 158mm of rain fell in the area in the space of 36 hours. This saturated the slope above the road and caused about 100 tonnes of debris to slip down the hillside.

The road is operating under go/stop signs and temporary traffic signals will be in place overnight. It is likely the route will fully reopen on Monday.

Police Scotland said the public should be "vigilant of persistent and heavy rainfall" through the weekend.

The force said heavy flooding has closed the A831 Struy Road from Cannich to Mauld Bridge along with the A831 Drumnadrochit to Cannich stretch.

The A84 had also been closed by flooding between Lochearnhead and Kilmahog but traffic is now getting through as water subsides.

'Record levels'

Richard Brown, from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, He said: "The River Ness will continue to rise today as yesterday's rain and snowmelt water works down the catchments. This may cause flooding to riverside properties in the Inverness area.

"Speyside and Tayside rivers will also remain high with most impacts to agricultural land and low-lying roads."

A swift water rescue team was called to the Lovat Bridge Caravan Park to help the people cut off by water near the River Beauly.

One person was treated for injuries after fire crews evacuated eight residents.

Transport Minister Derek Mackay warned drivers to check conditions before they travel and leave some extra time for their journeys.

The heavy rain forms part of a weather mechanism known as the Foehn Effect, which has also seen temperatures in north east Scotland rise to 15C.

Israeli FM Lieberman: Behead Arabs disloyal to Israel


© Reuters/Ronen Zvulun

Avigdor "Off With Their Heads!" Lieberman

The Israeli foreign minister and head of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party Avigdor Lieberman suggested during a campaign event that Arab citizens of Israel, who are disloyal to the state, deserve to be decapitated.

"Whoever is with us should get everything," Lieberman said in a speech at the Interdisciplinary Center in the western city of Herzliya on Sunday. "Whoever is against us, there's nothing else to do. We have to lift up an axe and remove his head, otherwise we won't survive here."

During the rally, the nationalist leader declared those who raise the black flag on Nakba Day, the day Israeli Arabs and Palestinians commemorate the creation of Israel as a tragedy, do not belong in the state of Israel.

"Those who raise the black flag on 'Nakba Day' in mourning over the establishment of Israel do not belong here, as far as I am concerned," he said. "I am quite willing to donate them to PA chief Mahmoud Abbas. It would be my pleasure."

When an Israeli-Arab student expressed unease and asked what the minister proposes to do with her under this plan, Lieberman responded that he expects all people regardless of religion to respect Israel and to serve in Israel's military.

"I have no problem with your being a citizen," he told her. "I expect all Arabs, Christians and Jews to be loyal to the state, regardless of religious affiliation, and to serve in the IDF."

Lieberman also reiterated his party's platform to integrate parts of Israel populated by Arabs into the Palestinian state, in exchange for areas of Judea and Samaria.

"There is no reason for Umm el-Fahm [a large Arab-populated city in the north of the country] to be a part of Israel," Lieberman said. Israel took control of Umm el-Fahm in 1949 after an armistice agreement between Israel and Jordan.

Lieberman made these remarks ahead of Israel's March 17 general election.

Several officials have spoken out against Lieberman's comments. Former ambassador to South Africa and Foreign Minister Director-General Alon Liel, as well as former ambassador to France Daniel Shek, pointed out the hypocrisy of Lieberman's words, the Jerusalem Post reports.

"Israel's number-one diplomat is waving an axe over the heads of citizens of the country that he represents, and in the same breath, he preaches to the whole world about fighting anti-Semitism," they said.

Comment: Lieberman seems to have lost his head. Scratch that, he's always been that way. It's funny: Lieberman is probably completely oblivious to the fact that, , it's perfectly clear that he is psychologically and ideologically equivalent to ISIS.

His comments on the Nakba are patently absurd. So, the people who were kicked off their land, and who lost countless relatives to the slaughter, don't deserve to be there because they remember the atrocity? Right...

A potential cause for Fibromyalgia: Gluten sensitivity

Fibromyalgia is a condition often times associated with severe and debilitating muscle, tendon, and soft tissue pain pain. The disease is also often times referred to as:

  • Myalgia

  • Myofascitis

  • Fibromyositis

  • Fibrositis

The medical standard for making a diagnosis of this disease is the presence of chronic pain positioned along specific tender points. The pain has to have been present for at least three months. The diagram to the above shows the pain points typically affected in patients with fibromyalgia. Additionally, the following symptoms are also commonly present:

  1. Sleep disturbance

  2. Headache

  3. Chronic Fatigue

  4. Muscle tightness

  5. Depression and severe mood swings

  6. Gastrointestinal bloating

  7. Irritable bowel symptoms

What Are the Causes & Triggers of Fibromyalgia

  1. Fibromyalgia is thought to be a systemic autoimmune disease

  2. Viral, bacterial, parasitic, and fungal infections are thought to contribute to this condition (Lyme's disease has many of the same symptoms.)

  3. Disruption in normal bacterial flora.

  4. Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies contribute to fibromyalgia (especially vitamin D, magnesium, iron, vitamin B1, and CoQ10)

  5. Lack of exercise

  6. Food sensitivity (in my clinical experience, gluten, dairy, and sugar are the most common).

  7. Hormone disruption (typically brought on by chronic stress and the 5 elements listed above).

Gluten - an often overlooked factor

A recent study performed on non celiac gluten sensitive patients previously diagnosed with fibromyalgia showed a very big connection. The results showed reduced pain, improved ability to work and perform in daily activities, as well as a reduced need for pain medications when a gluten free diet was followed.

Fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome is a disabling clinical condition of unknown cause, and only symptomatic treatment with limited benefit is available. Gluten sensitivity that does not fulfill the diagnostic criteria for celiac disease (CD) is increasingly recognized as a frequent and treatable condition with a wide spectrum of manifestations that overlap with the manifestations of FM, including chronic musculoskeletal pain, asthenia, and irritable bowel syndrome... This observation supports the hypothesis that non-celiac gluten sensitivity may be an underlying cause of FM syndrome. . 2014 Apr 12.

Recovering from Fibromyalgia

In my clinical practice, I have seen a number of patients fully recover from fibromyalgia and go on to be free of pain medications. If you suffer with this debilitating condition, I would recommend the following steps:

  1. Rule out gluten sensitivity and other food reactions and change your diet appropriately.

  2. If you are on a traditional gluten free diet, switch to a TRUE Gluten Free Diet

  3. Have your doctor test you for vitamin and mineral deficiencies and supplement appropriately

  4. Rule out the presence of underlying infections that may need to be treated.

  5. Have your hormone levels checked.

  6. Rule out mercury and lead toxicity. (This is best done with a urine post chelation test).

  7. Rule out gastrointestinal bacterial over or undergrowth.

  8. Adjust your sleeping patterns - go to bed before 10 pm. This may take time to adjust if you are used to being up late, so be consistent with your bedtime and your wake time. Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep daily.

  9. Perform exercise to tolerance. Movement of your body and muscles helps to circulate your immune system and regulate the removal of wastes from your body.

  10. Drink clean, pure, water. Avoid flavored beverages (even naturally flavored). Avoid caffeinated beverages. Water is essential for soft tissue metabolism, and will play a big role in your ability to flush pollutants and other toxins that have a tendency to store in the body.

Supplements that Help Naturally Control Inflammation Always looking out for you,

Dr. Osborne - The Gluten Free Warrior

BEST OF THE WEB: Only in Amerika: Cops make parade float mocking a woman for being raped by her father as a child


© Unknown

Disgusting, repugnant, vile, hateful, despicable. These are just a few words that can be used to describe the actions of several of Baton Rouge's finest.

The Baton Rouge police department has launched an internal investigation into the actions of officers who allegedly rode on and helped decorate a float that mocked a woman for being raped as a child; by her father.

The theme of the float was of the Baton Rouge reality show, It focused on the daughter of the former television star, Will Hayden. Hayden is currently facing sexual assault charges in East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parishes, after being accused of sexually assaulting his own daughter along with two other victims.

The float was "decorated" with a large photo of Stephanie Ford, the sexual assault victim, with the caption underneath her photo stating, "A face only a daddy could love." Other sayings on the float consisted of things like, "Krewe of Sleazania," "Red Jack It" and "Kiss Me Daddy."


© Unknown

In what world could this ever be considered humor? Who in their right mind thinks it would be okay to mock a person for being raped by her father as a child?

Nola.com reached out to the BRPD Chief Carl Dabadie who acknowledged officers were involved in this incident but said they are not representative of the department.

"The theme of this float in no way represents the belief or attitude of the Baton Rouge Police Department," Dabadie said in a statement. "The struggle a sexual assault victim endures is a very serious matter and is not something that should be taken lightly or used in a satirical manner."

However, Dabadie is wrong, these three officers do represent the Baton Rouge Police Department. These officers don't go to work and simply turn into new people when they put the uniform on. If they can act like this in their off time, they can act like this when they are out on the streets, "protecting and serving."

Ford issued a statement after the incident saying that her worst fears were realized after officers used her image in such a manner.

"I was assured by the Baton Rouge (police department) that my safety and rights would be protected. To have a member of law enforcement treat me, a victim, in this manner tells women and children across America that their worst fears will be realized if they come forward," read Ford's statement.

"What prevents women and children from coming forward and reporting sexual crimes is the fear of being further victimized and shamed by law enforcement, the justice system, the community and of course their attacker."

Ford also said at least one of the officers took to Facebook to share photos of her image on the float.

The Free Thought Project contacted the Baton Rouge police department on Wednesday to get the status of this supposed internal "investigation." We were told only that "these investigations can take up to 60 days to complete."

Baton Rouge Police Department spokesman Cpl. Don Coppola identified the three officers in the float as Donald Young, John Byron Fontenot and Douglas Atkins.

Apparently it takes the BRPD 60 days to ask three cops, two questions. Shameful indeed.

The De-Dollarization Axis: China Completes SWIFT Alternative, May Launch As Soon As September

One of the recurring threats used by the western nations in their cold (and increasingly more hot) war with Russia, is that Putin's regime may be locked out of all international monetary transactions when Moscow is disconnected from the EU-based global currency messaging and interchange service known as SWIFT (a move, incidentally, which SWIFT lamented as was revealed in October when we reported that it announces it "regrets the pressure" to disconnect Russia).

Of course, in the aftermath of revelations that back in 2013, none other than the NSA was exposed for secretly 'monitoring' the SWIFT payments flows, one could wonder if being kicked out of SWIFT is a curse or a blessing, however Russia did not need any further warnings and as we reported less than a month ago, Russia launched its own 'SWIFT'-alternative, linking 91 credit institutions initially. This in turn suggested that de-dollarization is considerably further along than many had expected, which coupled with Russia's record dumping of TSYs, demonstrated just how seriously Putin is taking the threat to be isolated from the western payment system. It was only logical that he would come up with his own.

There were two clear implications from this use of money as a means of waging covert war: i) unless someone else followed Russia out of SWIFT, its action, while notable and valiant, would be pointless - after all, if everyone else is still using SWIFT by default, then anything Russia implements for processing foreign payments is irrelevant and ii) if indeed the Russian example of exiting a western-mediated payment system was successful and copied, it would accelerate the demise of the Dollar's status as reserve currency, which is thus by default since there are no alternatives. Provide alternatives, and the entire reserve system begins to crack.

Today, we got proof that it is the second outcome that is about to prevail following a Reuters report that China's international payment system, known simply enough as China International Payment System (CIPS), which serves to process cross-border yuan transactions is ready, and may be launched as early as September or October.

According to Reuters, the launch of the will remove one of the biggest hurdles to internationalizing the yuan and should greatly increase global usage of the Chinese currency by cutting transaction costs and processing times.

It will also put the yuan on a more even footing with other major global currencies like the U.S. dollar, as CIPS is expected to use the same messaging format as other international payment systems, making transactions smoother.

CIPS, which would be a worldwide payments superhighway for the yuan, will replace a patchwork of existing networks that make processing renminbi payments a more cumbersome process.

In other words, while the west was using every provocation involving the Ukraine civil war as an opportunity to pressure Russia into developing its own cross-border payment system, it achieved not only just that but it also pushed China to accelerate the roll out of its own international payment system, in the process telegraphing to the world that the USD is replacable as a reserve currency and giving any other nations (such as the BRICs) the green light to think of SWIFT as an alternative to either the Russian or Chinese payment system (which with enough political and financial stimulus, they would be delighted to do).

But what is most disturbing is just how quickly the Chinese regime change is coming:

"If it's all smooth, (the launch) will be in September or October. If there is a need for a bit more time, we are still confident about (rolling it out) before the year-end," said the source, who declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

The system was expected to be launched in 2014 but was delayed by technical problems, with most market participants anticipating it would not come on stream before 2016.

Needless to say, China will be delighted to have its own unified payment system, one that will further internationalize the Renminbi which at least check had become one of the top five payment currencies in November 2014, overtaking both the Canadian and the Australian dollar based on SWIFT data.

Until now, cross-border yuan clearing has to be done either through one of the offshore yuan clearing banks in the likes of Hong Kong, Singapore and London, or else with the help of a correspondent bank in mainland China.

"Misunderstandings under the current clearing system happen from time-to-time due to different languages and codings. The CIPS is a breakthrough since it will offer a united platform and enhance efficiency," said Raymond Yeung, an analyst at ANZ in Hong Kong.

The launch of CIPS will enable companies outside China to clear yuan transactions with their Chinese counterparts directly, reducing the number of stages a payment has to go through.

It will also make it far more difficult for the NSA to track payments to and from the mainland when such compromised intermediaries as SWIFT are used.

This is how the Mercator Institute for China Studies previewed this major development:

The Chinese government is striving towards a controlled internationalization of China's currency through a step-by-step expansion of the use of the RMB in Chinese foreign trade and investment. Towards this end, a worldwide network of agreements dealing with central bank currency swaps, the direct exchange of the RMB with other currencies, and RMB clearing hubs has been built. The establishment of an independent payment system (CIPS) for RMB transactions and an alternative to the existing SWIFT would further increase China’s autonomy vis-à-vis U.S. centred financial market structures.

Finally, as it becomes easier to transact in non-USD terms, it will merely accelerate the adoption of the Chinese Yuan as the primary currency of global trade, or what little is left of it, as opposed to the currency of financial engineering.

Global yuan payments increased by 20.3 percent in value in December compared to a year earlier, while the growth for payments across all currencies was 14.9 percent for the same period, SWIFT said.

China has accelerated the pace of yuan internationalization in recent years. The central bank assigned 10 official yuan clearing banks last year, bringing the total number to 14 globally that can clear yuan transactions with China.

The final observation to make here is that if indeed it was the Obama administration's brilliant ploy to kick out Russia - and by geopolitical affiliation, China - out of a monetary transaction mechanism that is controlled and supervised by the US and force the two biggest challengers to US global dominance into their own (or joint) payment system, then well, congratulations: it succeeded.

A week's worth of training can improve vision in older adults

 visión de los vertebrados

© Corbis

Just a weeks' worth of training can improve vision in older adults, according to new research in , a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The findings show that training boosted older adults' sensitivity to contrast and also their ability to see things clearly at close distances.

"Our research indicates that the visual system of older adults maintains a high degree of plasticity and demonstrates that training methods can be used to improve visual function," explains psychological scientist G. John Andersen of the University of California, Riverside who co-authored the study with graduate student Denton DeLoss and colleague Takeo Watanabe of Brown University.

Age-related declines in vision and visual processing are common and they can have serious negative consequences for the health and well-being of older adults. Older adults are particularly likely to show declines in their ability to process low-contrast visual stimuli -- for example, images that are grainy or not clearly defined. This decline hampers their ability to see visual detail, and can hinder their ability to process information that is important for both balance and driving.

While some age-related declines in vision can be traced to the eye itself, research suggests that decline in other aspects of vision are the result of changes in brain function, and DeLoss and colleagues wondered whether a training program that involved repeated exposure to specific stimuli might counteract these changes in brain function.

The researchers recruited 16 young adults (on average, about 22 years old) and 16 older adults (on average, about 71 years old) to participate in the study, all of whom were screened to ensure that they didn't show signs of cognitive decline or eye disease.

The participants came to the lab for 1.5-hour sessions over the course of 7 days. In general, each trial of the experiment involved looking at a striped visual stimulus and determining whether it was rotated clockwise or counterclockwise from its original orientation. The researchers varied the contrast of the stimulus across trials, altering how grainy or clear the image was.

Each day, the contrast threshold of the trials was calibrated to the participants' previous performance so that they were training near the limit of what they could reliably detect. Participants were exposed to 750 trials on each training day, for a total of 3,750 training trials over the course of the study.

The data showed that visual training effectively eliminated the age deficit in contrast sensitivity. At the beginning of the experiment, younger adults outperformed older adults on the task; but the older adults improved with training, showing performance similar to that of their younger peers by the end of the 7 days.

Further analyses confirmed that these improvements stemmed from changes in visual processing in the brain and not changes in the eye.

"We found that the training effect was not due to factors such as dilating the pupils to let in more light to the retina," explains Andersen.

Even more remarkable, both younger and older adults showed improvements in visual acuity when they were tested using an eye chart similar to the one at your doctor's office. At the end of training, older adults showed improvement in near acuity, or the ability to see things clearly when they are near; younger adults, on the other hand, showed improved ability to see things clearly when they are far.

"Given the short training period, the degree of improvement is quite impressive, particularly in the cases of near and far acuity, in which subjects were able to read an average of two to three additional letters on acuity charts after training," the researchers write.

It's important to note that these findings don't shed light on visual function among adults suffering from age-related eye diseases, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. Nonetheless, the findings could have broad relevance for the many millions of adults who experience age-related decline in visual processing.

The researchers hope to further explore the mechanisms involved in perceptual learning and whether the effects of visual training carry over to real-world tasks, such as driving.

Cooperative social networks significantly enhanced when reputations of those in the network are known

Social network diagram

© Daniel Tenerife/Wikipedia

Social network diagram

People in a society are bound together by a set of connections - a social network. Cooperation between people in the network is essential for societies to prosper, and the question of what drives the emergence and sustainability of cooperation is a fundamental one.

What we know about other people in a network informs how much we are willing to cooperate with them. By conducting a series of online experiments, researchers explored how two key areas of network knowledge effect cooperation in decision-making: what we know about the reputation and social connections of those around us.

In most social contexts, knowledge about others' reputation - what we know about their previous actions - is limited to those we have immediate connections with: friends, neighbours and so on.

But the new study shows that if the reputation of everyone in a network is completely transparent - made common knowledge and visible to all - rather than limited to the individuals who are directly connected, the level of cooperation across the overall network almost doubles. The network also becomes denser and more clustered (so your connections tend to be connected with each other).

The researchers also tested how transparency of social connections in the group influences cooperation. On its own, common knowledge of social connections had little impact on overall levels of cooperation.

However, when the researchers combined transparency of social connections with transparency of everyone's reputation, a community of the most cooperative formed. Members of the community actively removed links from less cooperative individuals and refused their proposals to reconnect.

Researchers found that belonging to the community of cooperators is profitable. Each interaction in the cooperative community is 23% more beneficial than the equivalent interaction in the less cooperative community.

The study is published today in the journal , and was conducted by Cambridge and Oxford researchers.

"We show that knowing others' past actions is the key driver of a high contribution level. Additionally, knowing who is connected to whom matters for the distribution of contributions: it allows contributors to form their own community," said study author Dr Edoardo Gallo, from the Faculty of Economics and Queens' College at the University of Cambridge.

"This finding suggests that in a world where social information is more available, people may increasingly insulate themselves in communities with other like-minded individuals. In the case we examined, belonging to the community of contributors is highly beneficial," he said.

The research sheds light on the problem of 'public good' provision: what motivates people to make costly actions towards a good that benefits everyone, even those who do not contribute to it. Perhaps the most defining example of 'public good' in the modern era is the preservation of our environment.

Gallo, along with Oxford colleague Chang Yan, devised an online experiment involving people forming connections and playing a 'game' of public good provision, also popularly known as the Prisoner's Dilemma.

First, the participants in a group can freely form connections with each other which determine the network. After the network is formed, each individual decides whether to cooperate by contributing to a public good that only benefits their neighbours in the network.

Contributing benefits all the neighbours, but it is costly to the contributor. Not cooperating by not contributing, however, is costless.

The best possible outcome for the group is for everyone to contribute. However, each individual has an incentive not to contribute: they can gain the benefits from others' contributions without paying any cost themselves.

The researchers recruited 364 people from crowdsourcing platform Amazon Mechanical Turk to play several rounds of a network formation game followed by a public good game. They investigated four treatments that varied the amount of knowledge subjects have about the network and previous actions of others.

When the reputation (previous actions) of everyone in the network was rendered transparent, the overall levels of cooperation were almost twice as high as when only the previous actions of immediate connections were known.

When the social connections for the entire network were also revealed to all, the cooperators formed their own community, leaving those with a history of being uncooperative out in the cold.

Gallo points out that whether the community formation - the insulating and ostracizing - that occurred in the transparent network is a desirable outcome depends on the nature of the behaviour that leads to the separation.

"In the experiment, the 'good' cooperators ostracize the 'bad' defectors, but one can argue the defectors brought it on themselves with their actions. If the same pattern occurred because of another more neutral behaviour, like an accent when speaking a language, then the ostracization might be undesirable for society," Gallo said.

Police intelligence officer among four arrested in connection with Paris terror attacks

© Reuters / Yves Herman

Four people, including an officer who worked at a police intelligence center, are being held over alleged links to Amedy Coulibaly, the kosher deli hostage-taker who killed five people during terror attacks in Paris earlier this year.

The suspects are being questioned as part of the ongoing investigation into the January attacks - including the massacre at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo - which claimed 17 lives in three days.

A policewoman identified only as Emmanuelle is among the suspects, French media reported. The woman - who converted to Islam two years ago, unbeknownst to her superiors - was stationed at a high-security police intelligence headquarters in the eastern suburbs of Paris at the time of the attacks.

Emmanuelle allegedly switched her police cap for an Islamic headscarf when leaving work. Sources close to the investigation say there is no evidence directly linking her to the Jewish deli attack.

In the aftermath of the massacre, Emmanuelle allegedly consulted computer files on her boyfriend, Amar R., who is also one of the four currently being questioned. The woman was reportedly trying to find out how much authorities knew about her boyfriend, who is believed to be a relative of Coulibaly. Emmanuelle was suspended from her duties at the end of last month, according to Le Figaro.

Amedy Coulibaly


Amedy Coulibaly.

Amar R. was seen near the kosher supermarket and in the company of Coulibaly in the lead-up to the January 9 attack. He was arrested on January 23 under a European arrest warrant issued by Spain for drug trafficking and arms smuggling. However, he had not been questioned about the Paris attacks until now.

Details of the other two suspects have not yet been released.

Coulibaly fatally shot an unarmed policewoman on January 8 before taking hostages at the Porte Vincennes supermarket in the east of Paris the following day. After Coulibaly shot and killed four other people, police stormed the building and fatally shot him.

During the siege, Coulibaly told authorities that he had coordinated the attack with the Charlie Hebdo killers, but did not provide any additional details.

His widow, Hayat Boumeddiene, crossed into Syria on January 8 after traveling to Turkey a week earlier.

Heartless: VA manager's email mocks veteran suicides

© Shutterstock

A manager at the Roudebush Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Indianapolis appears to mock the mental health problems of returning combat veterans in an email to her employees.

The email obtained by contains photographs of a toy Christmas elf posing as a patient in what appears to be the hospital's transitional clinic for returning veterans. In one photograph, the elf pleads for Xanax. In another, he hangs himself with an electrical cord.

The woman who sent the email is Robin Paul, a licensed social worker who manages the hospital's Seamless Transition Integrated Care Clinic. The clinic provides returning veterans with transition assistance, including mental health and readjustment services.

When initially asked about the email, Paul responded, "Oh my goodness." She then referred a reporter to the hospital's public affairs department, which emailed a statement on her behalf.

"I would like to sincerely apologize for the email message and I take full responsibility for this poor judgment," Paul said. "I have put my heart and soul into my work with Veterans for many years. I hold all Veterans and military personnel in the highest regard and am deeply remorseful for any hurt this may have caused."

Julie Webb, a Roudebush spokeswoman, said administrators were made aware of the email "a couple of months ago."

"The email is totally inappropriate and does not convey our commitment to veterans," she said. "We apologize to our veterans and take suicide and mental health treatment seriously, striving to provide the highest quality."

Webb said the issue was "administratively addressed." She declined to provide specifics, citing employee confidentiality.

Paul remains employed at the hospital and continues to manage the clinic, earning an annual salary of $79,916. She received a $2,000 performance bonus in 2013, records show. More recent bonus information was not immediately available.

The Dec. 18 email was sent to the "IND STICC Team" with the subject, "Naught Elf in the STICC clinic."

"So, photos have appeared that indicate that the STICC clinic may have been invaded," the email says. "Looks like this magical character made his way through a few areas."

One photo depicts the elf peering between the legs of a female doll. "Trying his skills as a primary care provider (doing a pap)," the email says.

Another shows the elf next to a sticky note with the words, "Out of XANAX — please help!" A caption says, "Self-medicating for mental health issues when a CNS would not give him his requested script."

A third photograph shows the elf hanging from a strand of Christmas lights. "Caught in the act of suicidal behavior (trying to hang himself from an electrical cord)," the email says.

It is unclear from the email whether other VA employees were involved in the joke, but a note visible in one photo appears to include directions about passing the elf to others.

Webb said she didn't know how many employees were involved.

The email surfaces as the nation grapples with an epidemic of veteran suicides. An estimated 22 veterans commit suicide in the United States every day, according to the VA.

The email immediately drew outrage from veterans groups.

"It is a slap in the face to our recent and past veterans suffering from mental health issues every single day," said Ken Hylton, commander of the Indiana Department of the American Legion. "These men and women went to war and do not deserve this type of ridicule. This is a disgusting display of mockery. This is supposedly someone who is caring for our veterans, and we in the Indiana American Legion are disgusted."

He called for an investigation and the "immediate dismissal of this government employee and all of those who received this correspondence and said nothing."

Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, has lobbied for federal legislation intended to help stem veteran suicides.

"We hope it's an isolated incident," he said. "We hope this person has been dealt with aggressively because we're in the middle of a suicide problem."

The suicide crisis has prompted action from Congress and President Barack Obama.

Just last month, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act was signed into law. The measure will help the VA study new strategies for suicide prevention and give student loan incentives to recruit psychiatrists to work with veterans. Two Indiana lawmakers, U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski and U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, attended the White House signing ceremony.

In December, the Sexton Act was signed into law as part of a national defense bill. It requires annual mental health assessments for all service members, maintains privacy protections and requires the Pentagon to evaluate existing military mental health practices. Authored by Donnelly, it is named after Jacob Sexton, a 21-year-old Indiana National Guardsmen from Farmland who shot himself in the head at a Muncie movie theater while home on a 15-day leave from Afghanistan.

The issue of veteran suicide is a personal one for Gregg Keesling of Indianapolis. His 25-year-old son, Chancellor, shot himself in Baghdad in 2009, two weeks into his second tour.

He called the email "wrong," but stopped short of calling for terminations.

"It's very inappropriate, but I can understand it — making light of something awful because it's so awful," he said. "I think it's a way of coping with things."

Still, he said, "They are trying to be funny. It's not... Somebody should get in trouble. Maybe not fired, but taken out to the woodshed, as they say."

Archeologists begin excavation of 16th - 17th century burial ground under path of London's Crossrail transit line

Bedlam burial ground London

© AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Archaeologists excavate the 16th and 17th century Bedlam burial ground uncovered by work on the new Crossrail train line next to Liverpool Street station in London, Friday, March 6, 2015. The excavation team estimate there to be 3,000 human skeletons at the site, which was a burial ground to the then adjacent Bedlam Hospital, the world's first psychiatric asylum. The 118-kilometer (73-mile) Crossrail project to put a new rail line from west to east London is Britain's biggest construction project and the largest archeological dig in London for decades.

They came from every parish of London, and from all walks of life, and ended up in a burial ground called Bedlam. Now scientists hope their centuries-old skeletons can reveal new information about how long-ago Londoners lived—and about the bubonic plague that often killed them.

Archaeologists announced Monday that they have begun excavating the bones of some 3,000 people interred in the 16th and 17th centuries, who now lie in the path of the Crossrail transit line. They will be pored over by scientists before being reburied elsewhere.

One recent workday, just meters (yards) from teeming Liverpool Street railway station, researchers in orange overalls scraped, sifted and gently removed skeletons embedded in the dark earth. In one corner of the site, the skeleton of an adult lay beside the fragile remains of a baby, the wooden outline of its coffin still visible. Most were less intact, a jumble of bones and skulls.

"Part of the skill of it is actually working out which bones go with which," said Alison Telfer, a project officer with Museum of London Archaeology, which is overseeing the dig.

Due to open in 2018, the 118-kilometer (73-mile) trans-London Crossrail line is Britain's biggest construction project, and its largest archaeological dig for decades. The central 21-kilometer (13-mile) section runs underground, which has meant tunneling beneath some of the oldest and most densely populated parts of the city.

For Londoners, that has brought years of noise and disruption, but for archaeologists it's like Christmas. Almost every shovelful of earth has uncovered a piece of history, or prehistory: bison and mammoth bones; Roman horseshoes; medieval ice skates; the remains of a moated Tudor manor house.

skeletens bedlam burial ground

© AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Skeletons of an adult and baby lie next to each other on the archeological excavation site at the 16th and 17th century Bedlam burial ground, uncovered by work on the new Crossrail train line next to Liverpool Street station in London, Friday, March 6, 2015. The excavation team estimate there to be 3,000 human skeletons at the site, which was a burial ground to the then adjacent Bedlam Hospital, the world's first psychiatric asylum. The 118-kilometer (73-mile) Crossrail project to put a new rail line from west to east London is Britain's biggest construction project and the largest archeological dig in London for decades.

Chief archaeologist Jay Carver says the Bedlam dig could be the most revealing yet.

"It's going to be archaeologically the most important sample we have of the population of London from the 16th and 17th centuries," Carver said.

Bedlam cemetery opened in 1569 to take the overspill as the city's churchyard burial grounds filled up. It is the final resting place of prosperous citizens and paupers, religious dissenters including the 17th-century revolutionary Robert Lockyer and patients from Bedlam Hospital, the world's first asylum for the mentally ill. The hospital's name, a corruption of Bethlehem, became a synonym for chaos.

Tests on the bones by osteologists may reveal where these Londoners came from, what they ate and what ailed them—which in many cases was the plague. There were four outbreaks of the deadly disease over the two centuries the cemetery was in use, including the "Great Plague" that killed 100,000 people in 1665.

Carver says researchers will analyze DNA taken from pulp in the skeletons' teeth to help fill in the "evolutionary tree of the plague bacteria."

The technique was used to discover the plague bacterium, Yersinia pestis, in 14th-century skeletons excavated at another Crossrail site, identifying them as victims of the Black Death that wiped out half the city's population in 1348.

Scientists should be able to compare the bacterium found in Bedlam's plague victims with the 14th-century samples, helping to understand whether the disease—which still infects several thousand people a year—has evolved over the centuries.

bedlam burial ground

© AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Two adult skulls lie next to each other on the archeological excavation site at the 16th and 17th century Bedlam burial ground, uncovered by work on the new Crossrail train line next to Liverpool Street station in London, Friday, March 6, 2015. The excavation team estimate there to be 3,000 human skeletons at the site, which was a burial ground to the then adjacent Bedlam Hospital, the world's first psychiatric asylum. The 118-kilometer (73-mile) Crossrail project to put a new rail line from west to east London is Britain's biggest construction project and the largest archeological dig in London for decades.

Sixty archaeologists working in shifts—16 hours a day, six days a week—will spend about a month removing the remains. After scientific study, they will be reburied on Canvey Island in the Thames Estuary—the latest in a long line of Londoners to move east out of the congested city.

The old burial ground will be the site of a new train station, whose users will probably give little thought to the history beneath their feet.

skulls bedlam burial ground

© AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Two adult skulls lie next to each other on the archeological excavation site at the 16th and 17th century Bedlam burial ground, uncovered by work on the new Crossrail train line next to Liverpool Street station in London, Friday, March 6, 2015. The excavation team estimate there to be 3,000 human skeletons at the site, which was a burial ground to the then adjacent Bedlam Hospital, the world's first psychiatric asylum. The 118-kilometer (73-mile) Crossrail project to put a new rail line from west to east London is Britain's biggest construction project and the largest archeological dig in London for decades.

But Telfer says she never forgets that these fragile bones were once living, breathing individuals.

"When you are doing something like this, you do feel a connection with them," she said. "I think you have a responsibility to treat them with great respect. It's quite a special process."

How DNA is turning us into a nation of suspects

The year is 2025. The population is 325 million, and the FBI has the DNA profiles of all of them. Unlike fingerprints, these profiles reveal vital medical information. The universal database arrived surreptitiously. First, the Department of Defense's repository of DNA samples from all military personnel, established to identify remains of soldiers missing from action, was given to the FBI. Then local police across the country shadowed individuals, collecting shed DNA for the databank. On the way, thousands of innocent people were imprisoned because they had the misfortune to have race-based crime genes in their DNA samples. Sadly, it did not have to be this way. If only we had passed laws against collecting and using shed DNA...."—Professor David H. Kaye


© pursuitwire.com

Every dystopian sci-fi film we've ever seen is suddenly converging into this present moment in a dangerous trifecta between science, technology and a government that wants to be all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful.

By tapping into your phone lines and cell phone communications, the government knows what you say. By uploading all of your emails, opening your mail, and reading your Facebook posts and text messages, the government knows what you write. By monitoring your movements with the use of license plate readers, surveillance cameras and other tracking devices, the government knows where you go.

By churning through all of the detritus of your life—what you read, where you go, what you say—the government can predict what you will do. By mapping the synapses in your brain, scientists—and in turn, the government—will soon know what you remember. And by accessing your DNA, the government will soon know everything else about you that they don't already know: your family chart, your ancestry, what you look like, your health history, your inclination to follow orders or chart your own course, etc.

Of course, none of these technologies are foolproof. Nor are they immune from tampering, hacking or user bias. Nevertheless, they have become a convenient tool in the hands of government agents to render null and void the Constitution's requirements of privacy and its prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Consequently, no longer are we "innocent until proven guilty" in the face of DNA evidence that places us at the scene of a crime, behavior sensing technology that interprets our body temperature and facial tics as suspicious, and government surveillance devices that cross-check our biometrics, license plates and DNA against a growing database of unsolved crimes and potential criminals.

The government's questionable acquisition and use of DNA to identify individuals and "solve" crimes has come under particular scrutiny in recent years. Until recently, the government was required to at least observe some basic restrictions on when, where and how it could access someone's DNA. That has all been turned on its head by various U.S. Supreme Court rulings, including the recent decision to let stand the Maryland Court of Appeals' ruling in Raynor v. Maryland , which essentially determined that individuals do not have a right to privacy when it comes to their DNA.

Although Glenn Raynor, a suspected rapist, willingly agreed to be questioned by police, he refused to provide them with a DNA sample. No problem. Police simply swabbed the chair in which Raynor had been sitting and took what he refused to voluntarily provide. Raynor's DNA was a match, and the suspect became a convict. In refusing to hear the case, the U.S. Supreme Court gave its tacit approval for government agents to collect shed DNA, likening it to a person's fingerprints or the color of their hair, eyes or skin.

Whereas fingerprint technology created a watershed moment for police in their ability to "crack" a case, DNA technology is now being hailed by law enforcement agencies as the magic bullet in crime solving. It's what police like to refer to a "modern fingerprint." However, unlike a fingerprint, a DNA print reveals everything about "who we are, where we come from, and who we will be."

With such a powerful tool at their disposal, it was inevitable that the government's collection of DNA would become a slippery slope toward government intrusion. Certainly, it was difficult enough trying to protect our privacy in the wake of a 2013 Supreme Court ruling in Maryland v. King that likened DNA collection to photographing and fingerprinting suspects when they are booked, thereby allowing the government to take DNA samples from people merely "arrested" in connection with "serious" crimes. At that time, Justice Antonin Scalia warned that as a result of the Court's ruling, "your DNA can be taken and entered into a national database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason."

Now, in the wake of this Raynor ruling, Americans are vulnerable to the government accessing, analyzing and storing their DNA without their knowledge or permission. As the dissenting opinion in Raynor for the Maryland Court of Appeals rightly warned, "a person desiring to keep her DNA profile private, must conduct her public affairs in a hermetically sealed hazmat suit.... The Majority's holding means that a person can no longer vote, participate in a jury, or obtain a driver's license, without opening up his genetic material for state collection and codification."

All 50 states now maintain their own DNA databases, although the protocols for collection differ from state to state. That DNA is also being collected in the FBI's massive national DNA database, code-named CODIS (Combined DNA Index System), which was established as a way to identify and track convicted felons and has since become a de facto way to identify and track the American people from birth to death.

Indeed, hospitals have gotten in on the game by taking and storing newborn babies' DNA, often without their parents' knowledge or consent. It's part of the government's mandatory genetic screening of newborns. However, in many states, the DNA is stored indefinitely. What this means for those being born today is inclusion in a government database that contains intimate information about who they are, their ancestry, and what awaits them in the future, including their inclinations to be followers, leaders or troublemakers.

For the rest of us, it's just a matter of time before the government gets hold of our DNA, either through mandatory programs carried out in connection with law enforcement and corporate America, or through the collection of our "shed" or "touch" DNA.

While much of the public debate, legislative efforts and legal challenges in recent years have focused on the protocols surrounding when police can legally collect a suspect's DNA (with or without a search warrant and whether upon arrest or conviction), the question of how to handle "shed" or "touch" DNA has largely slipped through without much debate or opposition.

Yet as scientist Leslie A. Pray notes:

We all shed DNA, leaving traces of our identity practically everywhere we go. Forensic scientists use DNA left behind on cigarette butts, phones, handles, keyboards, cups, and numerous other objects, not to mention the genetic content found in drops of bodily fluid, like blood and semen. In fact, the garbage you leave for curbside pickup is a potential gold mine of this sort of material. All of this shed or so-called abandoned DNA is free for the taking by local police investigators hoping to crack unsolvable cases. Or, if the future scenario depicted at the beginning of this article is any indication, shed DNA is also free for inclusion in a secret universal DNA databank.

What this means is that if you have the misfortune to leave your DNA traces anywhere a crime has been committed, you've already got a file somewhere in some state or federal database—albeit it may be a file without a name. As Forensic magazine reports, "As officers have become more aware of touch DNA's potential, they are using it more and more. Unfortunately, some [police] have not been selective enough when they process crime scenes. Instead, they have processed anything and everything at the scene, submitting 150 or more samples for analysis." Even old samples taken from crime scenes and "cold" cases are being unearthed and mined for their DNA profiles.

Today, helped along by robotics and automation, DNA processing, analysis and reporting takes far less time and can bring forth all manner of information, right down to a person's eye color and relatives. Incredibly, one company specializes in creating "mug shots" for police based on DNA samples from unknown "suspects" which are then compared to individuals with similar genetic profiles.

If you haven't yet connected the dots, let me point the way: Having already used surveillance technology to render the entire American populace potential suspects, DNA technology in the hands of government will complete our transition to a suspect society in which we are all merely waiting to be matched up with a crime.

No longer can we consider ourselves innocent until proven guilty. As I make clear in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State , now we are all suspects in a DNA lineup until circumstances and science say otherwise.

Of course, there will be those who point to DNA's positive uses in criminal justice, such as in those instances where it is used to absolve someone on death row of a crime he didn't commit, and there is no denying its beneficial purposes at times. However, as is the case with body camera footage and every other so-called technology that is hailed as a "check" on government abuses, in order for the average person—especially one convicted of a crime—to request and get access to DNA testing, they first have to embark on a costly, uphill legal battle through red tape and, even then, they are opposed at every turn by a government bureaucracy run by prosecutors, legislatures and law enforcement.

What this amounts to is a scenario in which we have little to no defense of against charges of wrongdoing, especially when "convicted" by technology, and even less protection against the government sweeping up our DNA in much the same way it sweeps up our phone calls, emails and text messages.

Yet if there are no limits to government officials being able to access your DNA and all that it says about you, then where do you draw the line? As technology makes it ever easier for the government to tap into our thoughts, our memories, our dreams, suddenly the landscape becomes that much more dystopian.

With the entire governmental system shifting into a pre-crime mode aimed at detecting and pursuing those who "might" commit a crime before they have an inkling, let alone an opportunity, to do so, it's not so far-fetched to imagine a scenario in which government agents (FBI, local police, etc.) target potential criminals based on their genetic disposition to be a "troublemaker" or their relationship to past dissenters. Equally disconcerting: if scientists can, using DNA, track salmon across hundreds of square miles of streams and rivers, how easy will it be for government agents to not only know everywhere we've been and how long we were at each place but collect our easily shed DNA and add it to the government's already burgeoning database?

As always there will be those voices—well-meaning, certainly—insisting that if you want to save the next girl from being raped, abducted or killed, then we need to give the government all the tools necessary to catch these criminals before they can commit their heinous crimes.

It's hard to argue against such a stance. If you care for someone, you're particularly vulnerable to this line of reasoning. Of course we don't want our wives butchered, our girlfriends raped, our daughters abducted and subjected to all manner of atrocities. But what about those cases in which the technology proved to be wrong, either through human error or tampering? It happens more often than we are told.

For example, David Butler spent eight months in prison for a murder he didn't commit after his DNA was allegedly found on the murder victim and surveillance camera footage placed him in the general area the murder took place. Conveniently, Butler's DNA was on file after he had voluntarily submitted it during an investigation years earlier into a robbery at his mother's home. The case seemed cut and dried to everyone but Butler who proclaimed his innocence. Except that the DNA evidence and surveillance footage was wrong: Butler was innocent.

That Butler's DNA was supposedly found on the victim's nails was attributed to three things: one, Butler was a taxi driver "and so it was possible for his DNA to be transferred from his taxi via money or another person, onto the murder victim"; two, Butler had a rare skin condition causing him to shed flakes of skin—i.e., more DNA to spread around, much more so than the average person; and three, police wanted him to be the killer, despite the fact that "the DNA sample was only a partial match, of poor quality, and experts at the time said they could neither say that he was guilty nor rule him out."

Moreover, despite the insistence by government agents that DNA is infallible, New York Times reporter Andrew Pollack makes a clear and convincing case that DNA evidence can, in fact, be fabricated. Israeli scientists "fabricated blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva," stated Pollack. "They also showed that if they had access to a DNA profile in a database, they could construct a sample of DNA to match that profile without obtaining any tissue from that person." The danger, warns scientist Dan Frumkin, is that crime scenes can be engineered with fabricated DNA.

Now if you happen to be the kind of person who trusts the government implicitly and refuses to believe it would ever do anything illegal or immoral, then the prospect of government officials—police, especially—using fake DNA samples to influence the outcome of a case might seem outlandish. But for those who know their history, the probability of our government acting in a way that is not only illegal but immoral becomes less a question of "if" and more a question of "when."

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at http://bit.ly/1xcsdoI.