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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Plane records flight through mysterious antimatter thundercloud

Screenshot NASA YouTube video thunderclouds.

In what sounds like a tale from the Bermuda Triangle, an atmospheric physicist, called Joseph Dwyer, was flying through a massive thunderstorm, when he suddenly found himself in the middle of a huge cloud of antimatter. The physicist was piloting a modified Gulfstream V plane on a scientific mission and came across the strange phenomenon by accident.

Dwyer and his co-pilot mistook a line of thunderstorms for the Georgia coast on their radar, but by the time they realized this, they had no way out.

As they entered the heart of the storm, the scientific instruments on board suddenly began to register something totally unexpected.

The plane was being surrounded by positron-electron explosions causing peaks of high-energy, photon gamma rays - a clear sign of antimatter.

The plane plunged downward and began to shake violently. "I really thought I was going to die," Dwyer said.

So what is antimatter?

ExtremeTech explains that;

"Antimatter is the name we give to particles with the same mass, but opposite charge, as the particles of which we are composed. When an antiparticle comes in contact with its corresponding "normal" particle, they annihilate each other and release gamma rays. In this case, the team detected a large number of positrons (the antiparticle of an electron) in that storm."

But the positrons in the storm seemed to somehow steer themselves towards the plane, and what force did that remains a mystery.

Image of an actual matter-antimatter annihilation due to an atom of antihydrogen captured during a CERN experiment.

It is possible the plane itself was interacting with the antimatter. says that the positrons could have been annihilated in the immediate vicinity of the aircraft, or even on the plane itself.

Aleksandr Gurevich, an atmospheric physicist at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow, suggests that the plane's wings could have become charged, producing extremely intense electric fields around them, causing the creation of positrons.

The incident actually took place in 2009, but the story has only just come out, because scientists have been at a loss to explain what happened - and they still don't have all the answers.

Super cell thunderstorm

Dwyer, from the University of New Hampshire in Durham, told ;

"This was so strange that we sat on this observation for several years."

Scientists are sure the findings were not the result of some instrument malfunction. They have no doubt that Dwyer's plane correctly detected antimatter.

"The team's data are a "cast-iron signature" of positrons, said Jasper Kirkby, a particle physicist at the CERN particle-physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland.

However, the data which was recorded is puzzling.

In particular, the size of the antimatter cloud was astounding. It measured between one to 2 km (1.25 miles) across - something never seen before, and experts still don't have an adequate explanation for that.

"We tried for five years to model the production of the positrons," and failed, says Dwyer.

Antimatter, in general, is extremely rare. When it enters the Earth's atmosphere, it usually comes in the form of cosmic rays from outer space.

However, it is known that thunderstorms can also produce some anti-matter. NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has recorded electrons in a thunderstorm accelerating to close to the speed of light. The electron-positrons then collide with an atom nucleus and emit gamma rays. (see video below) However, nothing has been seen on this level before.

NASA image of antimatter being emitted from clouds.

What also baffles scientists is that, although the plane detected gamma ray spikes, the overall energy of the gamma rays present was insufficient to have produced the huge amount of antimatter recorded. So they don't know what mechanism was involved.

Kirkby says that estimates of the size of the cloud might be too high, and that deeper investigations and experiments need to be made.

Dwyer and his colleagues are sending special balloons into the center of severe thunderstorms to find out more.

also reports that the US National Science Foundation plans to fly a particle detector on an A-10 'Warthog' into storms - something described as an armored anti-tank plane that could withstand the extreme environment.

The thing is - it isn't just the antimatter which is mysterious - but that we lack sufficient scientific knowledge of what happens in thunderstorms in general.

Dwyer said;

"The insides of thunder­storms are like bizarre landscapes that we have barely begun to explore."

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Asia dominates global school rankings while the US drops to 28th place

© Reuters

, in the first truly global survey of education standards.

Singapore is in the lead again followed by Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.

Finland, well known for its high quality education, was the top European country coming in sixth, while Sweden fell to 35th place, following warnings from the OECD that it had serious problems in its education system. The US was well down in 28th place.

African countries dominated the bottom rankings with South Africa and Ghana coming in last.

In the last similar study, the 2012 Pisa tests, Singapore was in second place with China in first and Hong Kong third.

The OECD's education director, Andreas Schleicher, said that many high performing Asian countries are excellent at attracting the most talented teachers.

"If you go to an Asian classroom you'll find teachers who expect every student to succeed. There's a lot of rigor, a lot of focus and coherence," he said.

Unlike the latest Pisa test in 2012, which looked at 65 mainly developed countries, the 2015 OECD rankings based their test score on 76 countries, as well as attempting to show the link between education and economic growth.

"This is the first time we have a truly global scale of the quality of education. The idea is to give more countries, rich and poor, access to comparing themselves against the world's education leaders, to discover their relative strengths and weaknesses, and to see what the long-term economic gains from improved quality in schooling could be for them," said Schleicher.

Unlike the OECD's 2012 Pisa tests, the 2015 test scores were based on knowledge of maths and science among 15 year olds.

The 2015 rankings bring together a number of international assessments, including the Pisa tests, which include reading as well as maths and science, the TIMSS tests, run by US academics and the TERCE tests in Latin America.

The results will be formally presented at the World Economic Forum in South Korea next week, where the UN is holding a conference on raising global standards of education by 2030.

The conference will mark 15 years since world leaders set targets for education, many of which, such as providing all children with primary education, have not been achieved.

The key writers of the report, Eric Hanushek from Stanford University and Ludger Woessmann from Munich University, say that education is a very important factor in the long term wealth of a country.

"Poor education policies and practices leave many countries in what amounts to a permanent state of economic recession," the report reads.

If Ghana, which came bottom on the table, managed to achieve basic skills for its 15 year olds, it would increase its current GDP 38 times.

Giant squid washes up on New Zealand beach

© Facebook, Kaikoura Marine Centre and Aquarium
The giant squid washed up at South Bay in Kaikoura yesterday.

A monster from the deep has washed up on a beach in Kaikoura.

The giant squid, spotted at South Bay, is around 7 metres in length from top to tentacle.

Posted by Kaikoura Marine Centre and Aquarium on Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Photos of the creature were posted to Facebook by Kaikoura Marine Centre and Aquarium, who said they moved the find "before the birds got to it."

"We got help to move it to the aquarium where it is safe inside a freezer," they added.

The Marine Centre says the giant squid has a body over 2 metres long, with eyes that are 19 centimetres in diameter.

They have the squid in a freezer with glass windows so it can be viewed by the public.

Beekeepers report losing 42.1 percent of the total number of colonies managed over the last year

© Associated Press/Haraz Ghanbari
A colony of honeybees

Today the Bee Informed Partnership, in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America and the United States Department of Agriculture, released its annual report on honey bee losses in the United States based on a national survey of beekeepers. Most significantly, beekeepers reported losing 42.1 percent of the total number of colonies managed over the last year (total annual loss, between April 2014 and April 2015). This represents the second highest annual loss recorded to date.

Preliminary results indicate that during the winter of 2014-2015 U.S. beekeepers lost 23.1 percent of their hives on average, which is lower than average losses in recent years, but considered too high to be sustainable. U.S. beekeepers lost an average of 27.4 percent of their hives in the summer of 2014 (April-October), which is higher than 2013 summer losses.

A large and growing body of science has attributed alarming bee declines in recent years to several key factors, including exposure to the world's most widely used class of insecticides, neonicotinoids. In 2013, the European Union banned the three most widely used neonicotinoids based on the weight of scientific evidence indicating that these pesticides can kill bees outright and make them more vulnerable to pests, pathogens and other stressors. However, these pesticides are still widely used in the U.S. despite massive bee losses that threaten vital food crops, from almonds in California to apples in Washington.

Tiffany Finck-Haynes, food futures campaigner with Friends of the Earth, said "These dire honey bee numbers add to the consistent pattern of unsustainable bee losses in recent years that threatens our food system. The science is clear -- we must take action now to protect these essential pollinators from bee-toxic pesticides."

More than 4 million Americans have signed petitions to the Obama administration demanding immediate restrictions on systemic neonicotinoid pesticides linked to bee declines. The White House Task Force on Pollinator Health is expected to release a plan for bee protection in the near future. This plan is required by a Presidential Memorandum, issued by President Obama in June 2014, which called for a federal strategy to protect pollinators and called on the EPA to assess the effect of pesticides, including neonicotinoids, on bees and other pollinators within 180 days.

On April 2, the EPA announced a moratorium on new or expanded uses of neonicotinoids while it evaluates the risks posed to pollinators. In October, 2014, the Council on Environmental Quality issued guidance for federal facilities and federal lands which included acquiring seeds and plants from nurseries that do not treat these items with systemic insecticides.

In response to a campaign by Friends of the Earth and allies, more than twenty garden stores, nurseries, and landscaping companies, including Lowe's (NYSE: LOW) and Home Depot (NYSE: HD), the two largest home improvement retailers in the world, BJ's Wholesale Club and Whole Foods (NASDAQ: WFM) have taken steps to restrict neonicotinoids in their stores.

Last April, Friends of the Earth released a report, "Follow the Honey: 7 ways pesticide companies are spinning the bee crisis to protect profits," which documents the deceptive PR tactics used by agrochemical companies including Germany-based Bayer (DE: BAYN), Switzerland-based Syngenta (NYSE: SYT) and U.S.-based Monsanto (NYSE: MON), to deflect blame from their products' contributions to bee declines and delay regulatory action on neonicotinoid pesticides.

"Bayer, Syngenta and Monsanto make billions from bee-killing pesticide products while masquerading as champions of bee health," Finck-Haynes said. "Are their profits more important than our food supply? Are they more important than the livelihoods of America's farmers? The Obama administration must act now to restrict neonicotinoid pesticides that threaten America's bees, farmers and food security."

A recent study by Newcastle University recommends that reducing pesticide use "may be the only certain" way to halt bee and pollinator decline. A study by Oxford University researchers came to a similar conclusion, documenting that organic agriculture supports 50 percent more pollinator and bee species compared with conventional, pesticide heavy agriculture.

"The solution to the bee crisis is to shift to sustainable agriculture systems that are not dependent on monoculture crops saturated in pesticides. It's time to reimagine the way we farm in the United States and incentivize organic agriculture practices that are better for bees and for all of us," Finck-Haynes said.

Factory in Manila consumed by chemical explosion fire

© STR/AFP/Getty Images
"We were all confused because almost everybody was panicking," said worker Jun Panalo.

At least 65 people have been reported missing or dead after a fire consumed a rubber slipper factory in a suburb of the Philippine capital of Manila on Wednesday.

Rex Gatchalian, mayor of the suburb of Valenzuela where the disaster took place, reportedly said that it took fire fighters four hours to quell the blaze and bodies were found inside the building.

According to the mayor's account, the explosion occurred when welding sparks near the factory entrance caused an explosion of the chemicals used in the manufacturing process.

When workers fled to the second floor in an effort to escape, they were reportedly trapped. "By the time they realized that they could pass through the main door, the flames were already engulfing the front area," said the mayor, according to the .

Jun Panalo, a worker who reportedly leaped from the second floor, told , "We were all confused because almost everybody was panicking. I jumped out, and then someone followed me. I jumped through the fire. My hair was burned."

Between 200 and 300 people worked at the factory, said owner Veato Ang.

It was not immediately clear whether fire escapes or protections were in place.

Sperm grown in lab for first time ever

© Thinkstock
Good ol' lab-grown sperm.

In what is being hailed as a potential breakthrough in the treatment of male infertility, a team of researchers from a private French research center has grown human sperm cells in a laboratory for the first time ever.

While the findings have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, scientists at the Kallistem laboratory in Lyon have allegedly turned spermatogonia into mature sperm in a test tube - doing something that researchers have been trying to do for 15 years, according to Discovery News.

Kallistem plans to conduct pre-clinical trials next year. If those trials are successful, they will be able to take an immature spermatogonia sample from a man, change that genetic material into mature sperm, then either use it for IVF or freeze it for later use.

Don't get your hopes up quite yet

While the facility believed that the process could be used to treat up to 50,000 patients annually, earning them more than $2.5 billion in profits, the fact that their claims have not yet been either peer reviewed or independently verified has led to some skepticism, the said.

Kallistem CEO Isabelle Cuoc told the UK publication that the company "is addressing a major issue whose impacts are felt worldwide: the treatment of male infertility. Our team is the first in the world to have developed the technology required to obtain fully formed spermatozoa [sperm] in vitro with sufficient yield for IVF."

She went on to call their discovery "a major scientific outcome that enhances both our credibility and our development potential." However, University of Sheffield professor and male fertility expert Allan Pacey told the that childless couples looking to find a way to have a baby of their own should not get too excited over the firm's claims just yet.

"Until I see a peer-reviewed scientific publication showing unequivocally that this has been done, I have to remain skeptical," he told the newspaper. "Claims like this can often cause heartache for infertile couples who see them as hope only to have their hopes dashed later when it doesn't translate into an available procedure."

Psychiatric drugs kill 500k+ Western adults annually, few positive benefits - leading scientist

© Reuters

Psychiatric drugs lead to the deaths of over 500,000 people aged 65 and over annually in the West, a Danish scientist says. He warns the benefits of these drugs are "minimal," and have been vastly overstated.

Research director at Denmark's Nordic Cochrane Centre, Professor Peter Gøtzsche, says the use of most antidepressants and dementia drugs could be halted without inflicting harm on patients. The Danish scientist's views were published in the on Tuesday.

His scathing analysis will likely prove controversial among traditional medics. However, concern is mounting among doctors and scientists worldwide that psychiatric medication is doing more harm than good. In particular, they say antipsychotic drugs have been overprescribed to many dementia patients in a bid to calm agitated behavior.

Gøtzsche warns psychiatric drugs kill patients year in year out, and hold few positive benefits. He says in excess of half a million citizens across the Western world aged 65 and over die annually as a result of taking these drugs.

he writes.

Gøtzsche, who is also a clinical trials expert, says drug trials funded by big pharmaceutical companies tend to produce biased results because many patients took other medication prior to the tests.

He says patients cease taking the old drugs and then experience a phase of withdrawal prior to taking the trial pharmaceuticals, which appear highly beneficial at first.

The Danish professor also warns fatalities from suicides in clinical trials are significantly under-reported.

In the case of antidepressants venlafaxine and fluoxetine, Gøtzsche casts doubt over their efficacy. He said depression lifts in placebo groups given fake tablets almost as promptly as groups who partake in official clinical tests.

He also stressed the results of trials of drugs used to treat schizophrenia are disconcerting, while those for ADHD are ambiguous.

Commenting on the negative side effects of such pharmaceutical drugs, Gøtzsche argued the appears to be replaced by

he said.

Gøtzsche says psychotropic drugs are if used for prolonged periods.

he adds.

Gøtzsche's views are sharply contradicted by many experts in the field of mental health. But others, including a diverse group of medical experts and institutions affiliated with the Nordic Cochrane Centre, argue otherwise. The Nordic Cochrane Centre is an independent research hub dedicated to scrutinizing and monitoring the effects of health care.

The debate on psychiatric drugs has gathered momentum in recent times. In the discussion, published in the Gøtzsche's arguments are contradicted by Professor of Mood Disorders Allan Young and John Crace. Crace, himself a psychiatric patient, writes for the Guardian.

Crace and Young say a broad body of research indicates the drugs are effective and that they are just as helpful as drugs for other ailments. They also argue mental health conditions are the fifth most significant contributor to disabilities worldwide.

While Gøtzsche stresses clinical trials bankrolled by pharma giants churn out skewered results, Young and Crace say the efficacy and safety of psychiatric medication continues to be monitored after research trials come to a close.

However, both Young and Crace acknowledge concern over the side effects and effectiveness of psychiatric medication.

they write.

The discussion is a preamble to the Maudsley debate at Kings College London on Wednesday. The debate takes place three times a year at the university's Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN).

Wednesday's debate focuses on the impacts of psychiatric medications, and poses the question of whether they prove more destructive for patients than beneficial.

French media: Hollande needs to learn from Putin's leadership


© Sputnik/ Alexei Druzhinin

One could criticize Vladimir Putin and his politics, but one thing is clear - he is a real leader and certainly knows how to be president, something that Francois Hollande must learn from him, said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has established himself as a capable head of state by defending his country's national interests and winning the hearts and minds of his fellow citizens. French President Francois Hollande, meanwhile, is a "walking contradiction" and should learn a thing or two from the Russian president on how to be the leader of his country, said French .

When Russia celebrated the 70th Anniversary of its victory over Nazi Germany on May 9, Putin, together with 500,000 of his countrymen, marched down the streets of Moscow holding a picture of his father, who fought during the Great Patriotic War.

After rejecting his invitation to the Moscow Victory Parade, Hollande instead went to shake hands with the King of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, known for its human rights abuses. Then, hoping to get approval of French voters, Hollande flew to the Antilles to attend a climate change summit and participate in the inauguration of a museum dedicated to the history of slavery.

Christian Vanneste of was not happy about Hollande's overseas voyages:

"There is an obvious difference between the head of state, which protects his country's national interests on the international stage and inspires his people with the sense of pride, and our national traveler [Hollande] in search of new markets and voters."

Vanneste added that Hollande did not only make a series of political mistakes,

One can criticize Putin and his politics, but one thing is sure — the Russian president knows how to be a good president, something that Hollande must learn from him, Vanneste concluded.

Adding insult to injury: New drilling project approved in same reservoir near Deepwater Horizon site

© AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
Oil from the spill pools against the Louisiana coast along Barataria Bay Tuesday, June 8, 2010.

A new offshore drilling project in the Gulf of Mexico has gotten federal approval and is set to begin near the site of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 workers and sent millions of gallons of oil pouring into the Atlantic Ocean in 2010.

According to , which first reported the news late Tuesday, the Bureau of Safety and Environment Enforcement approved a drilling permit on April 13 for the Louisiana-based LLOG Exploration Offshore LLC, which will drill for oil and gas in the deep-water Macondo reservoir, the site of the 2010 explosion. The agency previously approved the company's exploration plans in October after the Bureau of Ocean Management conducted an environmental review of the project.

LLOG will be the first company to attempt tapping those same reserves since BP's catastrophic effort.

On April 20, the five-year anniversary of the BP oil spill, environmental activists launched a week of action against the fossil fuel industry and commemorated the lives that were lost on the day the Macondo well blew up after a series of mechanical and safety failures. Despite some restoration progress, "the Gulf continues to suffer from the impacts of the oil and gas industry and is vulnerable to future major drilling disasters," Raleigh Hoke, communications director for the Gulf Restoration Network (GRN), wrote at the time.

"Drilling in the Atlantic could destroy coastal communities, economies, fish and marine mammals for decades to come," Jacqueline Savitz, vice president of Oceana U.S., stated on the anniversary. "It would lead to a coastline scattered with oil and gas rigs, and industrialization in coastal communities. Commercial fishing, tourism and recreation would suffer from routine leaks as well as the looming risk of a Deepwater Horizon-like oil disaster along the East Coast."

Richard Charter, senior fellow with the marine conservation group Ocean Foundation, told the on Wednesday that LLOG's plans were cause for concern. "You don't want someone not particularly qualified and not fully amortized to be tangling with this particular dragon." He added, "When a company can't pay when something goes wrong, generally it's the public that pays."

Last Friday, BP won a bid to appeal some of the damages awarded to Gulf Coast residents and businesses under a 2012 settlement.

Federal approval of LLOG's plans comes shortly after the Obama administration gave the green light to oil giant Shell to begin offshore drilling in the risky and remote Chuchki Sea in the Arctic. Environmental experts have long warned that an accident in that region could be more devastating than the BP spill.

Ignorant attempts to rewrite the history of WWII make me sick

© RIA Novosti

It was not the traffic jams in Moscow, nor the police reinforcements, and not even the nightly roar of hundreds of tanks running down my street towards Red Square to rehearse for the parade - it's the media, who made me sick. And here's why.

No more war stories! Over the last couple of months an avalanche of words has been wading through my brain, trying to persuade me that what's good is good, what's bad is bad, that the grass is green and the water is wet, that Hitler started the War, and that Stalin won it.

We get this in May every year, OK. But this time it was just too much of a good thing. And not because something was wrong with the war movies, documentaries and veterans' interviews, but because it felt as if the widows shed their tears and the heroes shared their memories not with us, heirs of the victory, but with a bunch of foreign politicians and a herd of extremists who this year decided to extend the anti-Russian sanctions on our war memories. Why? Maybe because some in Europe feel that what we, Russians think about the war is a lot different from what the rest of the world considers being true? But is it? And if it is, is there anything frightening about it? Here - in a nutshell - is what the story looks like from our side:

For the Soviet people the Second World War started in July 1941, when Hitler invaded Russia. We call it "The Great Patriotic War", likewise the fight with Napoleon back in 1812, when the Russians also had to drive foreign invaders away from their home. The Great Patriotic War was a part of the Second World War, though the Soviet propaganda never really cared a lot about the battles on the Atlantic, in the Far East and Africa. Because of that we consider these events insignificant, compared to the dramatic fighting in Europe, in which the Soviets lost, by some estimates, up to 35 million soldiers and civilians.

Yes, we do know what stands for Pearl Harbor and the Battle of the Bulge, but we are absolutely certain that the main forces of our common enemy were sent to conquer Russia. Out of 177 Wehrmacht divisions 136 were fighting on the Eastern front. That means, all in all, considering another 53 divisions of Hitler's satellite countries, the Red Army withstood the might of 237 divisions! No wonder there isn't a military campaign in history that can be compared to the battles for Moscow, Kursk and Stalingrad - which were the turning points not only for the Great Patriotic War, but for the whole of WWII. After winning those three glorious victories the Red Army started chasing the Nazis back West.

© RIA Novosti

Everybody in this country is perfectly aware of the fact that we were allies with the British, the French, and of course, the Americans whom we gloriously linked-up with on the River Elbe in April 1945. But we also remember how from the very beginning, in 1939, the West was hoping to orient Hitler to the East and make the German socialists and the Russian communists kill each other. Yes, Moscow did get tons of American supplies under the Lend-Lease Act passed in 1941, and the Northern convoys to Murmansk were a manifestation of real heroism by the Royal Navy. We also cherish the memory of the French Normandie-Niemen air squadron and Le Resistance, but the Russians will never forget that we had to suffer three long years, until our brothers in arms finally landed in Normandy in 1944. That reduced the distance between D-day and VE-Day for them to just 10 months, while for the Russians it was 46 long months of war... For the first time since 1941 Moscow really celebrated Victory on March, 26, 1944 - the day the Soviet troops crossed the River Prut and recaptured the state border. By the time the allies crossed the Channel three months later the Red Army had started its victorious march across Europe, liberating Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Austria and Norway. The heaviest price we paid during this operation was for ousting German troops from Poland: 600,000 Soviet soldiers were killed on Polish soil.

The local patriots, partisans and resistance groups joined the Russians along the way in their unstoppable pursuit to Berlin. The red flag was hoisted over the Reichstag on May 1, 1945; Berlin surrendered to the Soviet victors. And, finally, on May 8, quarter to midnight, German Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel signed the unconditional surrender document. That was it. Any questions? Protests? Suggestions?

Oh, yes. Why are the Russians celebrating on May 9? Because of the time difference: the news came to Moscow early morning that day in 1945. And nothing else behind it; no politics, not even haughtiness. For 70 years now May 9 has been a sacred date for all Russians because, literally, there isn't a single family in the country who hasn't had a member who fought in the Great Patriotic War.

So, what's wrong this time? Why do I feel fed up instead of feeling joy and pride for the winners of the greatest battle in History? Because of the unprecedented political campaign this year initiated by the Euro dwarves - former Soviet provinces. They try to be important, but their new ideology no longer allows them to be part of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany. So - they think that their best bet now is to try to team up with the West and play victims. Mass ignorance allows them to call the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which was a Treaty of Non-aggression between Germany and the USSR - a "conspiracy to joint conquers".

Some may find it irregular, but the Russians are used to people around the world, and, definitely, in Europe expressing gratitude to the Red army for liberating the continent from fascism. It was taken for granted for decades. This is why we practically ignored the launch of the recent "Anti-Russian War Glory" campaign. And this, maybe, is why the Russians experienced such a shock when they started demolishing monuments to the Russian soldiers who gave their lives fighting in Europe.

But real outrage started to accumulate when the Russians felt that it wasn't just ungratefulness, but, most likely, a campaign, staged in Washington who feels time has come to acquire all the credit for all the Victories in history. It meant - humiliation of the value of the Russian contribution.

Simple proof was provided last week by the US permanent representative to the United Nations Samantha Power in a speech in front of the UN General Assembly. The Diplomat cited the diary of Tanya Savicheva, a little girl who perished in the siege of Leningrad.

"We must remember why the Allies fought their way to liberate death camps like Mauthausen; and why children like 11-year-old Tatyana helped dig trenches to defend their besieged city of Leningrad. They fought because - as Winston Churchill put it - We are fighting to save the whole world."

The long-awaited Second Front was opened in Europe six months after the complete liberation of Leningrad from the blockade. So what has prevented the US and the UK for 2 and a half years to start helping this country to save Tanya and hundreds of thousands of other Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Polish children?

Maybe the same reason, that is now preventing the US and European politicians to bother about the fate of children still alive in Donbass, but suffering under daily shelling and humanitarian disaster caused by a modern blockade? The obvious message of Ms. Power to these children is: "Mail me your touching diaries and try to die on the right side of history. Leave it to me to make you famous later..."

For the last couple of months Russian TV has been running war movies 24/7 on all available channels. What makes me sick is a suspicion that I was not the target audience. Maybe this is the Kremlin's "soft power," an attempt to make at least some Western bowlers see a Soviet war film. Why? Because - compared to any one of them - Schindler's List and, Saving Private Ryan look like Scooby Doo, versus The Deer Hunter. But Cimino's film was about a lost war.

These days we were commemorating our joint victory against Nazism. That is the only reason the leaders of Europe were so much welcome in Red Square on May 9. Those, who didn't show up may have made the right political decision, but a major historical mistake.

The greatest water crisis in the history of the United States

What are we going to do once all the water is gone? Thanks to the worst drought in more than 1,000 years, the western third of the country is facing the greatest water crisis that the United States has ever seen. Lake Mead is now the lowest that it has ever been since the Hoover Dam was finished in the 1930s, mandatory water restrictions have already been implemented in the state of California, and there are already widespread reports of people stealing water in some of the worst hit areas. But this is just the beginning. Right now, in a desperate attempt to maintain somewhat "normal" levels of activity, water is being pumped out of the ground in the western half of the nation at an absolutely staggering pace. Once that irreplaceable groundwater is gone, that is when the real crisis will begin. If this multi-year drought stretches on and becomes the "megadrought" that a lot of scientists are now warning about, life as we know it in much of the country is going to be fundamentally transformed and millions of Americans may be forced to find somewhere else to live.

Simply put, this is not a normal drought. What the western half of the nation is experiencing right now is highly unusual. In fact, scientists tell us that California has not seen anything quite like this in at least 1,200 years...

Analyzing tree rings that date back to 800 A.D. — a time when Vikings were marauding Europe and the Chinese were inventing gunpowder — there is no three-year period when California's rainfall has been as low and its temperatures as hot as they have been from 2012 to 2014, the researchers found.

Much of the state of California was once a desert, and much of it is now turning back into a desert. The same thing can also be said about much of Arizona and much of Nevada. We never really should have built massive, sprawling cities such as Las Vegas and Phoenix in the middle of the desert. But the 20th century was the wettest century for western North America in about 1,000 years, and we got lulled into a false sense of security.

At this point, the water level in Lake Mead has hit a brand new record low, and authorities are warning that official water rationing could soon begin for both Arizona and Nevada...

Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the US, has hit its lowest level ever. Feeding California, Nevada and Arizona, it can hold a mind-boggling 35 cubic kilometres of water. But it has been many years since it was at capacity, and the situation is only getting worse.

"We're only at 38 percent full. Lake Mead hasn't been this low since we were filling it in the 1930s," said a spokeswoman for the US Bureau of Reclamation in Las Vegas.

If it gets much lower - and with summer approaching and a dwindling snowpack available to replenish it, that looks likely - official rationing will begin for Arizona and Nevada.

And did you know that the once mighty Colorado River no longer even reaches the ocean? Over 40 million people depend upon this one river, and because the Colorado is slowly dying an enormous amount of water is being pumped out of the ground in a crazed attempt to carry on with business as usual...

The Colorado River currently supplies water to more than 40 million people from Denver to Los Angeles (as well as Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, and Santa Fe—none of which lie directly on the river). According to one recent study, 16 million jobs and $1.4 trillion in annual economic activity across the West depend on the Colorado. As the river dries up, farmers and cities have turned to pumping groundwater. In just the last 10 years, the Colorado Basin has lost 15.6 cubic miles of subsurface freshwater, an amount researchers called "shocking." Once an official shortage is declared, Arizona farmers will increase their rate of pumping even further, to blunt the effect of an anticipated sharp cutback.

The same kind of thing is going on in the middle part of the country. Farmers are pumping water out of the rapidly shrinking Ogallala Aquifer so fast that a major crisis in the years ahead is virtually guaranteed...

Farther east, the Ogallala Aquifer under the High Plains is also shrinking because of too much demand. When the Dust Bowl overtook the Great Plains in the 1930s, the Ogallala had been discovered only recently, and for the most part it wasn't tapped then to help ease the drought. But large-scale center-pivot irrigation transformed crop production on the plains after World War II, allowing water-thirsty crops like corn and alfalfa for feeding livestock.

But severe drought threatens the southern plains again, and water is being unsustainably drawn from the southern Ogallala Aquifer. The northern Ogallala, found near the surface in Nebraska, is replenished by surface runoff from rivers originating in the Rockies. But farther south in Texas and New Mexico, water lies hundreds of feet below the surface, and does not recharge. Sandra Postel wrote here last month that the Ogallala Aquifer water level in the Texas Panhandle has dropped by up to 15 feet in the past decade, with more than three-quarters of that loss having come during the drought of the past five years. A recent Kansas State University study said that if farmers in Kansas keep irrigating at present rates, 69 percent of the Ogallala Aquifer will be gone in 50 years.

At one time, most of us took water completely for granted.

But now that it is becoming "the new oil", people are starting to look at water much differently. Sadly, this even includes thieves...

With the state of California mired in its fourth year of drought and a mandatory 25 percent reduction in water usage in place, reports of water theft have become common.

In April, The Associated Press reported that huge amounts of water went missing from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and a state investigation was launched. The delta is a vital body of water, serving 23 million Californians as well as millions of farm acres, according to the Association for California Water Agencies.

The AP reported in February that a number of homeowners in Modesto, California, were fined $1,500 for allegedly taking water from a canal. In another instance, thieves in the town of North San Juan stole hundreds of gallons of water from a fire department tank.

In case you are wondering, of course this emerging water crisis is going to deeply affect our food supply. More than 40 percent of all our fruits and vegetables are grown in the state of California, so this drought is going to end up hitting all of us in the wallet one way or another.

And this water crisis is not the only major threat that our food supply is facing at the moment. A horrific outbreak of the bird flu has already killed more than 20 million turkeys and chickens, and the price of eggs has already gone up substantially...

The cost of a carton of large eggs in the Midwest has jumped nearly 17 percent to $1.39 a dozen from $1.19 since mid-April when the virus began appearing in Iowa's chicken flocks and farmers culled their flocks to contain any spread.

A much bigger increase has emerged in the eggs used as ingredients in processed products like cake mix and mayonnaise, which account for the majority of what Iowa produces. Those eggs have jumped 63 percent to $1.03 a dozen from 63 cents in the last three weeks, said Rick Brown, senior vice president of Urner Barry, a commodity market analysis firm.

Most of us are accustomed to thinking of the United States as a land of seemingly endless resources, but now we are really starting to bump up against some of our limitations.

Despite all of our technology, the truth is that we are still exceedingly dependent on the weather patterns that produce rain and snow for us.

For years, I have been warning that Dust Bowl conditions would be returning to the western half of the country, and thanks to this multi-year drought we can now see it slowly happening all around us.

And if this drought continues to stretch on, things are going to get worse than this.

Much worse.

Iowa landowner says he was offered teenage prostitute by oil company

© Shutterstock

A southeast Iowa man claims an oil company offered him a "$1,200 teenage prostitute" if he would allow a crude oil pipeline to cross his property.

Hughie Tweedy said he recorded a senior pipeline representative from Dakota Access LLC offer him three times the "sexual services of a woman," including a final offer of an 18-year-old prostitute.

"If an old junkyard dog like me was offered the sexual services of little girls to get my hackles down, I wonder what was offered to the powerbrokers of this state to gain their support for silence," said Tweedy, a self-described libertarian. "Shame, shame, shame."

Dakota Access, a subsidiary of Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, wants to build the 1,134-mile, $3.8-billion Bakken Pipeline to carry crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois.

Tweedy doesn't want the pipeline on his land in Montrose, and he doesn't think the government should force him to allow the oil company access to his property through eminent domain.

He said his attorney advised him against releasing the recordings to the media because they may be used in a future lawsuit, but he said he would turn them over to the state's attorney general if a criminal investigation is launched.

Tweedy did not identify the company representative, but he said the official was highly placed and not a "rogue" operative.

"Here is a quote from my recordings: 'My family, my grandfather started the company, helped start the company back in the late '80s and my grandfather, mother, my best friend, brother — we all work for them,' end of quote," Tweedy said.

The landowner said he went public with his allegations to encourage lawmakers to pass a bill currently under consideration in the Iowa Senate that would require pipeline developers to pay legal fees for landowners who can't afford to hire their own attorney to advise them on land lease contracts.

"From the beginning I've been treated like a hick and a fool," Tweedy said. "I very well may be a hick, but I am no fool and I don't think most Iowans are."

How to end boom and bust: make cash illegal


© Getty Images
Gordon Brown promised to 'end boom and bust' but a cashless world would have given him far more chance to achieve it, academics suggest.


A proposed new law in Denmark could be the first step towards an economic revolution that sees physical currencies and normal bank accounts abolished and gives governments futuristic new tools to fight the cycle of "boom and bust".

The Danish proposal sounds innocuous enough on the surface - it would simply allow shops to refuse payments in cash and insist that customers use contactless debit cards or some other means of electronic payment.

Officially, the aim is to ease "administrative and financial burdens", such as the cost of hiring a security service to send cash to the bank, and is part of a programme of reforms aimed at boosting growth - there is evidence that high cash usage in an economy acts as a drag.

But the move could be a key moment in the advent of "cashless societies". And once all money exists only in bank accounts - monitored, or even directly controlled by the government - the authorities will be able to encourage us to spend more when the economy slows, or spend less when it is overheating.

This may all sound far-fetched, but the idea has been developed in some detail by a Norwegian academic, Trond Andresen.

In this futuristic world, all payments are made by contactless card, mobile phone apps or other electronic means, while notes and coins are abolished. Your current account will no longer be held with a bank, but with the government or the central bank. Banks still exist, and still lend money, but they get their funds from the central bank, not from depositors.

Having everyone's account at a single, central institution allows the authorities to either encourage or discourage people to spend. To boost spending, the bank imposes a negative interest rate on the money in everyone's account - in effect, a tax on saving.

Faced with seeing their money slowly confiscated, people are more likely to spend it on goods and services. When this change in behaviour takes place across the country, the economy gets a significant fillip.

The recipient of cash responds in the same way, and also spends. Money circulates more quickly - or, as economists say, the "velocity of money" increases.

What about the opposite situation - when the economy is overheating? The central bank or government will certainly drop any negative interest on credit balances, but it could go further and impose a tax on transactions.

So whenever you use the money in your account to buy something, you pay a small penalty. That makes people less inclined to spend and more inclined to save, so reducing economic activity.

Such an approach would be a far more effective way to damp an overheated economy than today's blunt tool of a rise in the central bank's official interest rate.

If this sounds rather fanciful, negative interest rates already exist in Denmark, where the central bank charges depositors 0.75pc a year, and in Switzerland.

At the moment it's easy for individuals to avoid seeing their money eroded this way - they can simply hold banknotes, stored either in a safe or under the proverbial mattress.

But if notes and coins were abolished and the only way to hold money was through a government-controlled bank, there would be no escape.

Apart from the control over the economy, there would be many other advantages of a cashless society. Such a system is much cheaper to run than one based on banknotes and coins. Forgery is impossible, as are robberies.

Electronic money is an inclusive and convenient system, giving poor and rural sectors of an economy - where cash machines and bank branches may be few and far between and not all people have accounts - a tool for easy participation in the economy.

Finally, the "black economy" will be hugely diminished, and tax evasion made all but impossible.

India plans to build 100 elites-only 'smart' cities

© unknown

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the rich kept getting richer? I'm not talking about the 1%. They mostly consist of upper-middle-class business owners and real estate agents. No, I'm talking about the 1% of the 1%. The real power behind the throne. The financial and political elite. If their wealth and power continued to grow by leaps and bounds at the expense of everyone else, how do you think they would live their lives?

If you're curious about the nature of this dystopian future, then look no further than India, where the government is preparing to break ground on the new "Gift City" which will segregate the elites from the rabble, and should be completed by 2021. It will be a glittering enclave with top-notch building codes, 24-hour electricity, and clean water.

High-speed sewage pipelines will rocket their waste out of the city at speeds of 90km per hour (you can't make this stuff up) and the wide uncongested streets will carry an efficient public transport system. At the center of this gilded settlement, will be a "Command and Control Center" that monitors traffic, and utilizes an extensive system of CCTV cameras. Despite the sprawling surveillance that would make most sane people uncomfortable, compared to the rest of this impoverished nation it will be a veritable utopia.

What's more, India plans to build 100 of these "smart" cities, while restructuring another 500 smaller towns in their image. Obviously, these will not be built for the benefit of the common man. If anything, they will be more like feudal estates that lord over the wider population.

Yet many experts and planners fear that such "insta-cities", if they are made, will prove dystopic and inequitable. Some even hint that smart cities may turn into social apartheid cities, governed by powerful corporate entities that could override local laws and governments to "keep out" the poor.

In a monograph for a conference on smart cities in Mumbai in January, the economist and consultant Laveesh Bhandari described smart cities as "special enclaves" that would use prohibitive prices and harsh policing to prevent "millions of poor Indians" from "enjoying the privileges of such great infrastructure". "This is the natural way of things," he noted, "for if we do not keep them out, they will override our ability to maintain such infrastructure."

Personally, this wouldn't normally bother me. If you have the money and you want live in a gated community with 24-hour security, then more power to you. This is the same thing, just on a larger scale. I mean, if a bunch of rich people want to get together and build what is basically a corporate microstate, who cares? If they want to live separately from everyone else and they can afford it, that's their business if you ask me.

The only problem is, it's not their money. They're doing this at the expense of everyone else. This city is not being funded out of their own pocket, it's being built with tax dollars, and the land will probably be stolen from local residents through eminent domain. This is a classic example of wealthy elites and corrupt politicians working hand it hand to maintain their power and standard of living. They're building their gilded atrocity on the backs of everyday citizens who, make no mistake, will not see any of the benefits.

The current template might have given us Palava City. This self-described smart city across 3,000 acres of Mumbai's northeastern exurbs is being built by a city-based developer best known for treating skyscraper-erecting as a competitive sport. As its promotional video announces in a smug baritone, Palava City was inspired by the futuristic vision that brought Singapore, Dubai "and even Mumbai" into being.

What this translates into is "essential public infrastructure" such as 24×7 electricity, immaculate wide roads, public transport, malls, multiplexes and luxury housing, including "Mumbai's first and only golf-course-equipped residential township". To make sure that no one trespasses on its immaculate privatopia, Palava plans to issue its residents with "smart identity cards", and will watch over them through a system of "smart surveillance".

The emphasis on surveillance underlines the stratified, elitist nature of smart cities, according to the academic and author Pramod Nayar. "Smart cities will be heavily policed spaces," he says, "where only eligible people - economically productive consumers (shoppers) and producers (employees) - will be allowed freedom of walking and travel, while ambient and ubiquitous surveillance will be tracked so as to anticipate the 'anti-socials'."

As such, Nayar adds, smart cities will be "more fortresses than places of heterogeneous humanity, because they are meant only for specific classes of people". One class to be served, the other to be surveilled and contained.

What a nightmare.

This is the future. And just because this is in India, don't think it won't happen where you live someday. This is the world the financial elite want to build. A world where they can just plow over the little people, and build their own opulent fortified cities with public funds while the starving masses live just outside the gates, in squalor so thick they can never escape. A state within a state that has special rights and privileges for its members. This is nothing less than a form of high-tech feudalism, and its coming to a town near you.

Vatican officially recognizes Palestine while Israel fumes


© Reuters/Riccardo De Luca

The Vatican has become the latest country to recognize the state of Palestine, after a new treaty was finalized on Wednesday. Unsurprisingly Israel has hit out at the move, saying that it damages prospects for peace in the region.

The treaty, which was agreed, though has yet to be formally signed states the Vatican has switched its diplomatic allegiance from the Palestinian Liberation Organization to the state of Palestine. It was finalized days before the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is due to visit Pope Francis.

Abbas is traveling to the Vatican to attend the canonization of four new saints by the Pope, two of which are Palestinian nuns. The move to grant them sainthood has been described as a "sign of hope" for the region by the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, Vatican Insider reports.

The Vatican has been unofficially referring to the state of Palestine for over a year. Pope Francis visited Israel last year and the Vatican's official program referred to Abbas as the president of the state of Palestine. During his visit to the Holy Land, he called for peace from both sides.

A spokesman for the Vatican, the Reverend Federico Lombardi confirmed the news saying: "Yes, it's a recognition that the state exists," AP reports.

The decision has brought condemnation from Israel, with the country's foreign ministry saying it was "disappointed" at the move.

"This move does not promote the peace process and distances the Palestinian leadership from returning to direct and bilateral negotiations," the ministry said in a text message, AP reported. "Israel will study the agreement and will consider its steps accordingly."

Vatican Foreign Minister Monsignor Antoine Camilleri said the move was not politically motivated, but was simply in line with the Holy See's position.

In 2012, the Vatican welcomed a decision by the UN General Assembly to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state. However, the latest treaty is the first legal document between the Vatican and the state of Palestine, which can be considered as official diplomatic recognition.

The treaty in question concerns the activity of the Catholic Church in Palestine. In April 2014, a Catholic Monastery was vandalized not far from the Israeli capital of Jerusalem in a hate crime carried out by Israelis. Slogans condemning peace talks with Palestine as well as graffiti disparaging Jesus and Mary was daubed on the walls.

This is not the first time that Pope Francis has made a diplomatic decision that was not to everyone's liking. In April, he honored the 100th anniversary of the slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks and called it "the first genocide of the 20th century."

During a mass at the Armenian Catholic rite at Peter's Basilica, the Pope said he had a duty to honor the innocent men, women, children, priests and bishops who were murdered by the Ottoman Turks.

"Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it," said the pontiff.

US House approves Freedom Act to end NSA bulk data collection


© Reuters/Jason Reed

The House of Representatives voted to pass the USA Freedom Act on Wednesday, approving a bill that would change the way the National Security Agency gathers telephone data of American citizens. The bill now heads to the Senate.

The USA Freedom Act was passed overwhelmingly with 338 votes in favor and 88 against. Despite criticism that the legislation falls short of protecting Americans' rights, the bill was approved without any amendments.

Under the USA Freedom Act, the NSA would be prohibited from collecting telephone metadata under the Patriot Act. Instead, the agency would have to acquire a warrant every time it wanted to access phone records, which would be held by telephone companies. Officials would need to submit data requests via keywords in order to collect relevant data from companies.

The bill would also reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) by setting up a five-person panel that would offer advise when intelligence agencies are seeking new interpretations of existing law. Some court rulings would need to be declassified.

It's unclear whether or not the bill has the support to make it through the Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-Ky.) has promoted the idea of simply extending the Patriot Act, but Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have both threatened to filibuster any bill that doesn't reform the NSA in some way.

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), the original author of the Patriot Act, had previously called the Freedom Act an improvement on current law, particularly since he never intended for the NSA to use the Patriot Act to conduct mass surveillance.

"The bill ends bulk collection, it ends secret law," he said. "It increases the transparency of our intelligence community and it does all this without compromising national security."

However, privacy advocates have criticized the bill for not reining the NSA in further. The Freedom Act ends the NSA's bulk collection of telephone metadata, but it does not address the agency's online surveillance or other controversial programs.

A recent ruling by a federal appeals court also found that the NSA is not authorized to collect telephone data under the Patriot Act, bolstering lawmakers and organizations who want to see stricter limits placed on the agency. In fact, the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation rescinded its support for the Freedom Act this week as a result of the ruling, arguing that more needs to be done.

"In light of the Second Circuit's decision, EFF asks Congress to strengthen its proposed reform of Section 215, the USA Freedom Act," the organization said this week. "Pending those improvements, EFF is withdrawing our support of the bill. We're urging Congress to roll the draft back to the stronger and meaningful reforms included in the 2013 version of USA Freedom and affirmatively embrace the Second Circuit's opinion on the limits of Section 215."

Divide and conquer: 6 Gunmen "loyal" to Islamic State kill 43 in Karachi, Pakistan

Ambulances and people gather gather outside the hospital after an attack on a bus in Karachi, Pakistan, May 13, 2015.

Gunmen on motorcycles boarded a bus and opened fire on commuters in Pakistan's volatile southern city of Karachi on Wednesday, killing at least 43, police said, in the latest attack directed against religious minorities this year.

The pink bus was pockmarked with bullet holes and blood saturated the seats and dripped out of the doors on to the concrete.

"As the gunmen climbed on to the bus, one of them shouted, 'Kill them all!' Then they started indiscriminately firing at everyone they saw," a wounded woman told a television channel by phone.

Police Superintendent Najib Khan told Reuters there were six gunmen and that all the passengers were Ismailis, a minority Shi'ite Muslim sect. Pakistan is mostly Sunni.

Militant group Jundullah, which has attacked Muslim minorities before, claimed responsibility. The group has links with the Pakistani Taliban and pledged allegiance to Islamic State in November.

"These killed people were Ismaili and we consider them kafir (non-Muslim). We had four attackers. In the coming days we will attack Ismailis, Shi'ites and Christians," spokesman Ahmed Marwat told Reuters.

At least 43 people had been killed and 13 wounded, provincial police chief Ghulam Haider Jamali told media.

Outside the hospital where the wounded were taken, and where the bus was parked, scores of grim-faced young men formed a human chain to block everyone but families and doctors.

Emails and Facebook posts on Ismaili pages encouraged the community not respond or say anything that might further endanger them.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he was saddened by the attack.

"This is a very patriotic and peaceful people who have always worked for the well-being of Pakistan," he said. "This is an attempt to spread divisions in the country."


Uzma Alkarim, a member of the Ismaili community, said the bus took commuters to work every day. The Ismailis had faced threats before, she said.

"Around six months ago, our community elders had alerted us to be careful because of security threats but things had calmed down recently," she said.

English leaflets left in the bus were headlined "Advent of the Islamic State!" and used a derogatory Arabic word for Shi'ites, blaming them for "barbaric atrocities ... in the Levant, Iraq and Yemen".

The leaflets also blamed Shi'ites for a deadly sectarian attack in Rawalpindi, next to the capital Islamabad, and raged against extrajudicial killings by police.

In January, 60 people were killed when Jundullah bombed a Shi'ite mosque in the southern province of Sindh. The Taliban bombed another Shi'ite mosque in the northwest city of Peshawar weeks later.

Both the Taliban and Jundullah claimed the bombing of Wagah border crossing last year, which killed 57 people. Jundullah also claimed a church bombing that killed more than 80 people in Peshawar in 2013.

Many religious minorities blame the government for not doing enough to protect them. Police are underpaid, poorly equipped and poorly trained.

Karachi, a megacity of 18 million that is Pakistan's financial heart, is also under the responsibility of the paramilitary Rangers.

FLASHBACK: Magnesium's importance far greater than previously imagined


© magnesiumhealthproducts.com


New research published in the journal indicates that magnesium's role in human health and disease is far more significant and complicated than previously imagined.

While it is well known that all living things require magnesium, and that it is found in over 300 enzymes in the human body, including those enzymes utilizing or synthesizing ATP (the molecular unit of currency for energy transfer), the new studied titled, "3,751 magnesium binding sites have been detected on human proteins," indicates that a deficiency of magnesium may profoundly affect a far wider range of biological structures than previously understood.[i]

The proteome, or entire set of proteins expressed by the human genome, contains well over 100,000 distinct protein structures, despite the fact that there are believed to be only 20,300 protein-coding genes in the human genome.

The discovery of the "magneseome," as its being called, adds additional complexity to the picture, indicating that the presence or absence of adequate levels of this basic mineral may epigenetically alter the expression and behavior of the proteins in our body, thereby altering the course of both health and disease.

Indeed, modern medicine and nutrition fixates primarily on calcium deficiency (due, in part, to the WHO's highly unscientific definition of osteoporosis), even in the face of accumulating peer-reviewed research indicating that excess calcium consumption can greatly increase cardiac morbidity and mortality.

Magnesium Research

Research relevant to magnesium has been accumulating for the past 40 years at a steady rate of approximately 2,000 new studies a year. Our database project has indexed well over 100 health benefits of magnesium thus far. For the sake of brevity, we will address seven key therapeutic applications for magnesium as follows:

  • Fibromyalgia: Not only is magnesium deficiency common in those diagnosed with fibromyalgia, [ii] [iii] but relatively low doses of magnesium (50 mg), combined with malic acid in the form of magnesium malate, has been clinically demonstrated to improve pain and tenderness in those to which it was administered.[iv]
  • Atrial Fibrillation: A number of studies now exist showing that magnesium supplementation reduce atrial fibrillation, either by itself, or in combination with conventional drug agents.[v]
  • Diabetes, Type 2: Magnesium deficiency is common in type 2 diabetics, at an incidence of 13.5 to 47.7% according to a 2007 study.[vi] Research has also shown that type 2 diabetics with peripheral neuropathy and coronary artery disease have lower intracellular magnesium levels.[vii] Oral magnesium supplementation has been shown to reduce plasma fasting glucose and raising HDL cholesterol in patients with type 2 diabetes.[viii] It has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic subjects.[ix]
  • Premenstrual Syndrome: Magnesium deficiency has been observed in women affected by premenstrual syndrome.[x] It is no surprise therefore that it has been found to alleviate premenstrual symptoms of fluid retention,[xi] as well as broadly reducing associated symptoms by approximately 34% in women, aged 18-45, given 250 mg tablets for a 3-month observational period.[xii] When combined with B6, magnesium supplementation has been found to improve anxiety-related premenstrual symptoms.[xiii]
  • Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality: Low serum magnesium concentrations predict cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.[xiv] There are a wide range of ways that magnesium may confer its protective effects. It may act like a calcium channel blocker,[xv] it is hypotensive,[xvi] it is antispasmodic (which may protect against coronary artery spasm),[xvii]and anti-thrombotic.[xviii] Also, the heart muscle cells are exceedingly dense in mitochondria (as high as 100 times more per cell than skeletal muscle), the "powerhouses" of the cell," which require adequate magnesium to produce ATP via the citric acid cycle.
  • Migraine Disorders: Blood magnesium levels have been found to be significantly lower in those who suffer from migraine attacks.[xix] [xx] A recent article titled, "Why all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium," pointed out that routine blood tests do not accurately convey the true body magnesium stores since less than 2% is in the measurable, extracellular space, "67% is in the bone and 31% is located intracellularly."[xxi] The authors argued that since "routine blood tests are not indicative of magnesium status, empiric treatment with at least oral magnesium is warranted in all migraine sufferers." Indeed, oral magnesium supplementation has been found to reduce the number of headache days in children experiencing frequent migranous headaches, [xxii] and when combined with l-carnitine, is effective at reducing migraine frequency in adults, as well.[xxiii]
  • Aging: While natural aging is a healthy process, accelerated aging has been noted to be a feature of magnesium deficiency,[xxiv] especially evident in the context of long space-flight missions where low magnesium levels are associated with cardiovascular aging over 10 times faster than occurs on earth.[xxv] Magnesium supplementation has been shown to reverse age-related neuroendocrine and sleep EEG changes in humans.[xxvi] One of the possible mechanisms behind magnesium deficiency associated aging is that magnesium is needed to stabilize DNA and promotes DNA replication. It is also involved in healing up of the ends of the chromosomes after they are divided in mitosis.[xxvii]
Best Sources of Magnesium In The Diet

The best source of magnesium is from food, and one way to identify magnesium-containing foods are those which are green, i.e. chlorophyll rich. Chlorophyll, which enable plants to capture solar energy and convert it into metabolic energy, has a magnesium atom at its center. Without magnesium, in fact, plants could not utilize the sun's light energy.

Magnesium, however, in its elemental form is colorless, and many foods that are not green contain it as well. The point is that when found complexed with food cofactors, it is absorbed and utilized more efficiently than in its elemental form, say, extracted from limestone in the form of magnesium oxide.

The following foods contain exceptionally high amounts of magnesium. The portions described are 100 grams, or a little over three ounces.

  • Rice bran, crude (781 mg)
  • Seaweed, agar, dried (770 mg)
  • Chives, freeze-dried (640 mg)
  • Spice, coriander leaf, dried (694 mg)
  • Seeds, pumpkin, dried (535 mg)
  • Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened (499 mg)
  • Spices, basil, dried (422 mg)
  • Seeds, flaxseed (392 mg)
  • Spices, cumin seed (366 mg)
  • Nuts, brazilnuts, dried (376 mg)
  • Parsley, freeze-dried (372 mg)
  • Seeds, sesame meal (346 mg)
  • Nut, almond butter (303 mg)
  • Nuts, cashew nuts, roasted (273 mg)
  • Soy flour, defatted (290 mg)
  • Whey, sweet, dried (176 mg)
  • Bananas, dehydrated (108 mg)
  • Millet, puffed (106 mg)
  • Shallots, freeze-dried (104 mg)
  • Leeks, freeze-dried (156 mg)
  • Fish, salmon, raw (95 mg)
  • Onions, dehydrated flakes (92 mg)
  • Kale, scotch, raw (88 mg)
Fortunately, for those who need higher doses, or are not inclined to consume magnesium rich foods, there are supplemental forms commonly available on the market. Keep in mind, for those who wish to take advantage of the side benefit of magnesium therapy, namely, its stool softening and laxative properties, magnesium citrate or oxide will provide this additional feature.

For those looking to maximize absorption and bioavailability magnesium glycinate is ideal, as glycine is the smallest amino acid commonly found chelated to magnesium, and therefore highly absorbable.

DHS is using state police to set up a national domestic drone spying program

The Illinois State Police announced that the FAA has authorized what it calls its 'Unmanned Aircraft System Program'.

It's a F***ING surveillance drone program, for god's sake! DHS/Police are trying to mask what it really is by calling it an 'Unmanned Aircraft System Program'.

There's even a UAS news website where you can follow all the latest surveillance drone news.

The State Police are avoiding the word 'drone' because 'it carries the perception of pre-programmed or automatic flight patterns, and random, indiscriminate collection of images and information.'

The announcement says the program 'is not being implemented for surveillance purposes.'

Does anyone really believe it?

Need more proof DHS is running America's police?  The Illinois State Police are using DHS/Customs Border Patrol lingo from 2009:

A recent DHS audit found DHS/CBP's UAS system to be ineffective and too costly!

Custom and Border Protection’s (CBP) drone program is ineffective and surveys less than 200 miles of the southwest border, according to an audit by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Inspector General.

The program operates 10 Predator B drones at a cost of more than $12,000 for every hour a drone spends in the air, funding which could be put to better use elsewhere, according to the OIG.

The program costs $10,000 more per flight hour than what DHS claims, according to the OIG.

“We estimate that, in fiscal year 2013, it cost at least $62.5 million to operate the program, or about $12,255 per [flight] hour,” the audit said. “The Office of Air and Marine’s calculation of $2,468 per flight hour does not include operating costs, such as the costs of pilots, equipment, and overhead.”“Although CBP’s Unmanned Aircraft System program contributes to border security, after 8 years, CBP cannot prove that the program is effective because it has not developed performance measures,”



, released on Christmas Eve, said. “

The program has also not achieved the expected results.”

The government has already spent $360 million on the program since 2005, and DHS hopes to add 14 more drones at a cost of $443 million. However, the OIG said the agency has not proved the program deserves to be expanded.

“Given the cost of the Unmanned Aircraft System program and its unproven effectiveness, CBP should reconsider its plan to expand the program,” the audit said. “The $443 million that CBP plans to spend on program expansion could be put to better use by investing in alternatives, such as manned aircraft and ground surveillance assets.”

DHS is told the program is ineffective and should be halted, so what do they do? They've taken the first step in Illinois by setting up a NATIONAL UAS domestic spying program.

Police continue to lie about using

Stingray surveillance equipment

that's spying on everyone's cell phones, so why would ANYONE believe this B.S.?

The ruling allows law enforcement agencies to use a UAS only in certain circumstances, such as natural disasters, searches for missing persons, documenting traffic crashes and crime scenes, or if DHS identifies a specific risk of terrorism.Except in emergency situations, a search warrant must be obtained before the UAS can be used on private property.

There's the lie EXPOSED for anyone willing to look past the B.S.

In most cases police don't even have to go before a judge to get a warrant


If DHS/police or their Fusion Centers think you're a threat for any reason, they can put a

GPS tracking device on your car

and as an added bonus they'll use surveillance drones, traffic cams or license plate readers and your E-Z pass to track your every movement.

Police don't even need a warrant to spy on your cell phone records

, so whats to stop them from using a drone to spy on everyone?

Two years ago, the Illinois General Assembly

passed the “Freedom from Drone Surveillance Act,”

which says that the use of drones is prohibited in the state with a number of exceptions.

As the Freedom from Drone Surveillance Act stands, law enforcement is allowed to use drones if police have a warrant, if they have reasonable suspicion that harm to human life is imminent, or if they are attempting to locate a missing person.

“One of the concerns was always that a drone is an incredibly powerful tool to see into areas that police couldn't otherwise see in,”

Ed Yohnka, of the American Civil Liberties UnionYohnka said.

“It’s used to follow to follow someone at a relatively low cost and extended period of time. And that's exactly why the legislature passed it and the governor signed the bill. I think this [FAA authorization] shows the wisdom of that decision”

Yohnka said.

You've been warned it ALWAYS begins with a public safety message or a terror threat warning and then 'poof' like magic, DHS/Police are spying on everything.