Jan 282015
 

An American security contractor was among at least nine people killed in an attack on a Libyan hotel on Tuesday.

The contractor has been identified as John Berry, who had been working as a security contractor for consulting firm Crucible LLC, according to news channel NBC Washington.

The US State Department confirmed the death of a US citizen in the attack. “We can confirm the death of a US citizen in Libya. We have no additional details to share at this time,” said a senior State Department official who was traveling with Secretary of State John Kerry.

A security guard was also killed when the attackers set off a car bomb in the hotel’s car park.

One of the security guards who was on duty described the moment one of the attackers detonated a grenade. He explained there were “two people armed with explosives inside their bags, one of them hugged me, one of them exploded. The other did not explode.”

Read More… 

Article source: http://www.blacklistednews.com/American_security_contractor_among_9_dead_in_Tripoli_five-star_hotel_blast/41302/0/38/38/Y/M.html

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Jan 282015
 

Boston Marathon bombingFormer top CIA official Graham Fuller lied in a press interview about his former son-in-law, Ruslan Tsarni, the uncle of “The Brothers Tsarnaev,” Tamerlan, now dead, and Dzhokhar, soon to go on trial in Boston for allegedly planting a homemade pressure-cooker bomb packed with shrapnel near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. 

“A story on the Internet implying possible connections between Ruslan (Tsarni) and the Agency through me is absurd,” Fuller said in an Apr 27 2013 story headlined “Former CIA officer: ‘Absurd’ to link uncle of Boston suspects, Agency,” in Washington-D.C.-based Al-Monitor, which bills itself as the “Pulse of the Middle East.”

fuller (3)Fuller was responding to an exclusive report published here headlined “Was Boston Bombers ‘Uncle Ruslan’ with the CIA?”,which he and reporter Laura Rosen churlishly refused to credit(calling it merely a “story on the Internet) even as they labored to debunk it, which was re-published so widely in the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon terror attack that Fuller felt compelled to respond.

Well,  compelled to respond may be a little strong. Still, respond he did, in an interview which marshalled arguments indicating that questioning whether Ruslan Tsarni’s connection with the CIA had been through his famous former father-in-law were not just an exercise in futility. They were absurd

Just to be clear, there is zero evidence to indicate either Uncle Ruslan Tsarni or the CIA hired the Tsarnaev Brothers to blow up Boston.  There is, however, abundant evidence that elements of the U.S. Government have been playing footsie with Chechen terrorists, presumably to divert Russia from committing whatever rash gangster communist-type thing we’re trying to keep them from doing. 

Here’s a troubling question: If blow-back from that campaign blew up in Boston, do you think there’d be anyone in the U.S. Government eager to let the American people in on the secret? 

Why, the very idea is—to use Mr. Fuller’s word—absurd.

Uncle Ruslan meets ‘the boys’

bcIn his interview, Graham Fuller admitted that a second bombshell disclosure in an exclusive report “Boston bombers’ uncle married daughter of top CIA official.”   published here Apr 26, 2013, was also true: The Tsarnaev Brothers’ Uncle Ruslan had been his on-in-law. 

Tsarni was married to Graham Fuller’s daughter Samantha between 1994 and sometime near the dawn of the millenium, Fuller grudgingly admitted.  Still, he insisted,without explanation, that suggestions that law enforcement should be checking to see if Ruslan Tsarni had “hooked up” with the CIA through Fuller were “absurd.”

It was an odd assertion, especially given that—at  the moment he was making it, literally even as he spoke—investigators remained convinced the Tsarnaev Brothers had outside help and support, and had mounted an intensive FBI manhunt seeking any foreign connections to the case.  So questions about whether there was any connection between Uncle Ruslan, the CIA, and the bombers seem anything but absurd.

There’s also this highly-allusive nugget to ponder: Although Fuller offered an airy denial but no proof, no one in the mainstream media— from that day to this—has gone anywhere near the story, even though, as most people know, accepting a CIA officer’s statements at face value often proves highly problematic. 

imagesGraham Fuller’s statements should be taken with an especially large dollop of salt, owing to his activity in the region, as well as the infamy he long-ago incurred for convincing the Reagan Administration it would be a bright idea to send callow Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North to meet the Ayatollah in Tehran, carrying a cake under one arm and a fist-full of TOW missiles under the other.

Hannibal crosses the Alps; Fuller fords his Rubicon

“Fuller retired from the agency almost a decade before the brief marriage,” sniffed Laura Rosen, the reporter  selected to give him a sympathetic hearing.  

YFASHION1-popupFuller was only too happy to agree.  “I, of course, retired from CIA in 1987,” he said, as if his Agency past had already receded into the far distance of historical events, like Hannibal crossing the Alps.

If Graham Fuller had retired, moved to Florida, and taken up golf while decked out in sweater-slack combinations in the vibrant hues of lime-green and canary-yellow favored by the Florida golfing fraternity, he might have a point. Alas, that was not how Mr. Fuller chose to spend his dwindling years.

Even today Graham Fuller keeps stirring the pot in Central Asia, a long-time player in what previous generations called the Great Game. He’s a consultant at Rand Corp; and he writes books with seemingly interchangeable Great-Game-y titles like Turkey the Arab Spring; The Arab Shia’a; The Future of political Islam; Turkey’s Kurdish Question; The Geopolitics of Islam the West. 

379-cia-usaid-1Fuller’s presence as Tsarni’s former father-in-law isn’t the only illustration of Uncle Ruslan’s CIA ties. There’s also his decades-long history working in Central Asia for the Agency for International Development (USAID)—a U.S. Government Agency often used for cover by agents of the CIA—which includes a two-year stint in the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan during the “Wild West” days of the early 1990’s, when anything that wasn’t nailed down in that country was up for grabs.

At a time when vast natural resources and enormous fortunes were ‘in play’ during the economic free-for-all in the “Stans” after the collapse of the Soviet Union, 24-year old Ruslan Tsarni was already a ‘player.’ 

Ruslan Tsarni also worked for several oil-related companies headed by former career Halliburton employees.  And he is once again (since 2010) working for USAID. Oddly enough, just six months before the Boston Marathon attack, Russia, the country competing with the US for influence in the region, unceremoniously kicked USAID out of Russia for, according to a Putin spokesmen, allegedly encouraging his political opposition.

Ruslan Tsarni the Congress of Chechen International Organizations

tsarni (1)In his interview with Laura Rosen, Fuller uncorked a whopper. Said Fuller,“Like all Chechens, Ruslan was very concerned about his native land, but I saw no particular involvement in politics [although] he did try to contact other Chechens around.”

Perhaps Fuller felt that no one would notice. Perhaps he felt immune to fact-checking, a sentiment common among Reagan-era CIA officials. But whatever his motivation, he has been caught in a provable lie.  Ruslan Tsarni, as Fuller well knows, has been up to his neck in Central Asian political intrigue for decades. 

On August 17,1995, while Ruslan Tsarni and Graham Fuller’s daughter Samantha were still virtual newlyweds, Tsarni incorporated a company in Maryland called the “Congress of Chechen International Organizations”

An undated still image taken from video shows the address of Chechen rebels, led by Emir of the Caucasus Doku UmarovThe group sent aid to Islamic terrorists in Chechnya, including thousands of pairs of combat boots, coordinating its efforts with another so-called “charity,” Benevolence International, designated “financiers of terrorism” by the Treasury Department before being shut down by US AttorneyPatrick Fitzgerald.

Ruslan Tsarni was listed as the company’s resident agent. The company’s listed address,11114 Whisperwood Ln. Rockville MD., was the home address of a former top homeCIA official, a man who was also, under President Reagan, Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA.

His name was Graham Fuller. Today, the home remains listed in his wife’s name. 

“An impromptu press conference aired live on network television” 

kids (8)With worldwide attention on the upcoming trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, what facts could possibly be being deliberately de-selected and hidden from view?

In “Long Mile Home” a book about the Boston Marathon Bombing by two Boston Globe reporters here’s everything they had to say about Ruslan Tsarni (quoted in full): 

“On the Friday morning after Tamerlan was  killed, with police still hunting for Dzhokhar, investigators and reporters found their uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, a corporate attorney living outside Washington D.C.

When he emerged after speaking to FBI agents inside his home, he walked up to television cameras and reporters gathered outside looking for the latest in what had become the biggest story in the world. In an impromptu press conference aired live on network television, Tsarni offered condolences to the bombing victims, denounced his nephews, and ordered Dzhokhar to turn himself in.

Asked to explain what provoked the brothers to attack, Tsarni said, “Being losers. Hatred for those who were able to settles themselves. These are the only reasons I can imagine. Anything else—anything to do with religion, with Islam –that’s a fraud. It’s a fake.”

Asked how he felt about the United States, Tsarni said, “I respect this country. I love this country.”

An opinion writer for the Washington Post called his words “inspiring,” and said his press conference was “a moment we all needed.”

The New Yorker said he “looked like he might hunt his nephew down himself.”

“Uncle” Ruslan Tsarni is the elephant in the living room

download (1)“News,” someone once wrote, “is selection. “And selection is always  based on an ideology and agenda, which is something to remember next time you watch, listen or read the ‘news.’

As jury selection proceeds in Boston in the upcoming trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the most pressing question about the attack remains the one so obvious that even Time Magazine was asking it: Did They Really Act On Their Own?  

Uncle Ruslan is a spook who’s been married to the daughter of a former top CIA official. A logical place to begin the search for whoever recruited—and intelligence agents remain convinced that they were recruited— the Tsarnaev brothers would seem to be to begin by weighing the evidence unearthed and published here about the real Ruslan Tsarni. 

hittersIt seems likely that Ruslan Tsarni played the same role in the aftermath of the Boston terror attack that had  been played after the 9/11 terror attack by Rudi Dekkers,  manager of Mohamed Atta’s flight school in Venice, Florida.  Tsarni became the mainstream media’s primary source on the suspects, and was soon being referred to in print as “Uncle Ruslan.” Like Rudi Dekkers, his pronouncements were received uncritically in the media.

tsarni (7)When Graham Fuller fibbed about Ruslan’s political activities, it was almost certainly not out of personal loyalty but in support of a larger plan. Just then—at the same moment Fuller was lying for him— Ruslan Tsarni was leading every 24-hour news cycle for more than a week, peddling his brief that included explaining the perfidy and general loser-ness of his nephews Tamberlan and Dzhokhar.

But he hadn’t yet executed his most valuable task. Like an electronic age Pied Piper, Ruslan Tsarni was about to single-handedly lead the entire mainstream media on a two-week long wild goose chase, looking for what Tsarni described as “a chubby red-haired Armenian Muslim exorcist named Misha.” 

What does that say about the CIA’s ability to mold news coverage of a major event?More on this in our next story.

There is much we still need to learn about Ruslan Tsarni. For example, why did no one think to ask Tsarni about his strategic involvement in what London newspapers were calling “the biggest bank fraud in history?”

 

Uncle Ruslan’s  network for “international corruption”

Inherent-Vice_612x939When Graham Fuller was discovered lying to protect the intelligence connections of Ruslan Tsarni, it confirmed more more than just one man’s callowness. It also confirmed growing suspicions that huge chunks of the truth about the Boston Marathon Bombing—the biggest act of terrorism in America since the 9/11 attack— are deliberately being hidden from view.

In truth,  news that another cover-up is underway come as no great surprise. What is surprising—at least to your present correspondent—is that the areas being covered-up in both the 9/11 and the Boston Marathon terror attacks  were first identified here, in an online journal whose very name—The MadCow Morning News—expresses our view that a surrealistic absurdity lies at the heart of contemporary American journalism.

Novelist Thomas Pynchon said it best: “If they can get you to ask the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about the answers.”

NEXTRuslan Tsarni’s ties to a network of offshore companies controlled by a group of oil executives, first reported in The London Telegraph, that was used to facilitate “international corruption.” 

Article source: http://www.blacklistednews.com/Former_CIA_Official_Lied_in_Boston_Bombing_Cover-Up/41304/0/38/38/Y/M.html

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Jan 282015
 

As is now common global knowledge, on September 26, 2014, two buses ferrying student activists through the small city of Iguala, Guerrero, were stopped by a motley crew of police officers and narco foot soldiers and sprayed indiscriminately with machine-gun fire, allegedly on the orders of the city’s narco mayor and his wife. Six students were killed in the one-sided shoot out and another 43 were kidnapped in the ensuing chaos. Almost exactly four months later, the students are still missing.

What is not so much common knowledge is the fact that of the 228 firearms seized by the police for suspected involvement in the massacre, 36 were G36 assault rifles manufactured by Heckler Koch, a German company already under investigation by Stuttgart authorities for illegal sales of arms to Mexican states gripped by violent conflict.

The German Connection

This is not the first time that Heckler Koch weapons have been found at a bloody crime scene in Mexico. In fact, both state forces and narco-soldiers have been repeatedly caught on camera sporting HK hardware.

The question is: how did the weapons get into their hands, especially given that their export to conflict zones, including the Mexican states of Guerrero, Chihuahua and Jalisco, is strictly prohibited under German law? Naturally, HK management denied any knowledge – a strategy that worked perfectly well until a worker with a heavy conscience leaked photos, videos and first-hand testimony of company envoys providing bespoke training programs to the “forces of order” of prohibited countries such as Mexico.

Like most arms dealers, HK was simply finding a way around the legal responsibilities imposed unduly upon it. As the company’s management would no doubt argue, it is merely satisfying a surging demand in Mexico for precision-made assault rifles – a demand that is flourishing on both sides of a war that continues to destabilize Mexico after nine years of bloodshed. The same applies to US arms manufacturers, which supply over 70% of the small arms in Mexico.

Yet whenever the press – in particular, the international press – covers Mexico’s recent and ongoing history of violence, it is the northward-bound trade in drugs, and not the southward-bound trade in guns, that gets almost all the attention. In fact, the trade in guns barely even warrants a mention.

This is one of the many bitter ironies of Mexico’s current problems. Here’s another: despite the fact that just about every single government-led effort to stem the flow of drugs northwards has not only failed spectacularly but has actually fuelled the culture of lawlessness and wanton violence on Mexico’s mean streets, the solution always remains the same: increased security. In other words, more guns and an ever larger role for the armed forces in public order policing – all, of course, at the behest of the world’s biggest ever drug warrior, the U.S. Government.

An Unwinnable War

When the Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced the country’s War on Drugs in 2006, he did so under intense U.S. pressure. Yet despite the slaughter of over 100,000 people in a war that no one is winning and just about everyone is losing, the drugs keep crossing the border, and indeed in greater numbers than ever before. According to a 2013 report published in the British Medical Journal, even as the U.S. has cranked up its war on narcotics over the last two decades, heroin, cocaine and cannabis have become cheaper, even as they have generally become more pure and potent.

None of this should come as a surprise: if there’s one thing the practitioners of the dismal science (a.k.a. economics) have actually got right over the last few hundred years, it is that when there’s a high enough demand for a given product or service, someone, somewhere, will somehow supply it – regardless of the risks involved. In fact, over time, the risks just become a mere cost of doing business and are gradually subsumed into the end price.

This is particularly true in the case of the global arms industry and drugs trade, whose margins are so enticing that dealers and merchants are willing not only to bend or break any law that stands in their way; they’re willing to fight it tooth and nail. And at the moment, they’re winning.

Rising Opposition

However, as Laura Carlsen, the director of Mexico City-based Americas Program of the Center for International Policy, reports, opposition against the U.S.- backed War on Drugs is building in Latin America.

At the 2013 UN General Assembly Latin American leaders rose to the podium to take a stand against the war. They included Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Costa Rica’s Laura Chinchilla, Guatemalan president Otto Perez Molina, Mexico’s foreign minister José Antonio Meade, and Juan Manuel Santos, the president of Colombia, the United States’ closest ally in South America and third largest recipient of US military aid after Israel and Egypt. Santos noted that his country, which received more than $3.5 billion in counternarcotics aid between 2002 and 2011 and is frequently cited as a model by the Obama administration, “has suffered more deaths, more bloodshed and more sacrifices in this war” than almost any other, with the obvious exception of Mexico.

Santos concluded with a jab at the U.S.-led drug war. “If we act together with a comprehensive and modern vision – free of ideological and political biases – imagine how much harm and how much violence we could avoid.”

The governments of Latin America have every reason to want to change the script. The region currently dominates the world rankings for violent cities. As one study suggests, a full one-third of global homicides occur in Latin America even though the region has just 8% of the world’s population, according to United Nations data. Naturally, there are many reasons for this trend, including homegrown political instability, institutional voids, corruption and extreme poverty. It’s no coincidence that Latin America and the Caribbean is the world’s most unequal region.

“It’s Just Business”

Unfortunately, all of these debilitating factors make many of Latin America’s towns and cities ripe for takeover by global organized crime networks. The region’s ports are particularly prized assets. As the Mexican journalist Ana Lilia Perez painstakingly documents in her book Mares de Cocaína (Cocaine Seas), between 70% and 80% of the global cocaine trade – a trade estimated to be worth some $400 billion per year – is transported by sea. As such, it’s no coincidence that many of the region’s most dangerous cities – cities such as Calí (Colombia), Fortaleza (Brazil) and Lazaro Cardenas (Michoacan, Mexico) – happen to boast some of its busiest ports.

Once the merchandise is loaded onto ships – often hidden among cargoes of legitimate goods, such as chile powder in the case of Mexico – it is dispatched to ports in North America, Europe (in particular Spain), Africa’s growing number of narco-states, Asia (also a vital source of many of the raw ingredients in drugs such as Crystal Meths) and even Australia, the world’s most expensive cocaine market whose supply is largely controlled by Mexico’s Sinoloa cartel and where a gram of so-called “luxury” cocaine can set you back as much as US$350 – more than a thousand times the original cost.

According to Lilia Perez, the same ports are also often used for the shipment of arms. The logic is simple in today’s world of super-fast global trade, says Roberto Saviano, the best-selling author of Gomorra and Zero Zero Zero: a port that handles containers slowly is as good as dead, while a port that receives and processes many containers as quickly as possible has a strong future:

To give a hypothetical example, if a port were to decide to check all of the containers it handled, no company would ever want to use it. Put simply, the faster the port, the better. It’s this paradox that helps to make the drugs trade possible.

As Michael Corleone was fond of saying, “it’s just business.” However, when it comes to the global drug trade and the doomed war our governments choose, however reluctantly, to wage against it, it’s a business that threatens not just communities but entire nations and regions of the world.

Yet even as the United States’ direct neighbor to the South is brought to its knees, the Obama Administration continues to resist and even mute Latin American calls to reduce militarized counternarcotics operations in favor of other approaches, such as those based on public health, violence reduction, respect for human rights, and cooperation to reduce the flow of arms and illegal funds. As Carlsen points out, the Drug War is a critical piece in the Pentagon’s global deployment plans.

It also feeds hugely powerful defense-intelligence industries, not to mention the prison industrial complex at home. Indeed, as Tom Dispatch reports, the Obama Administration is intent on further up-armoring the U.S.-Mexico border in what’s been termed – in langauge eerily reminiscent of recent U.S. war zones – a “border surge.”

Meanwhile opposition, both at grassroots and governmental level, continues to grow throughout the Americas, including in the U.S. where state legislatures are beginning to legalize the recreational use of marihuana. As drugs trafficking organizations expand their operations to countries like Argentina, Chile and Costa Rica, the existential threat posed to the region by global organized crime can no longer be ignored. Put simply, the externalities of a global drugs trade driven by demand in the world’s richest nations are being borne almost exclusively by some of the world’s poorest. As such, it’s only a matter of time before more governments take a leaf out of Uruguay’s former President José Mujica’s example and begin seeking a saner, more effective response to what is in essence a market problem. 

With its vibrant street life, rich culture, sunny climes, and succulent, spicy food, Mexico is – or at least should be – a perfect destination. Yet these days, whenever I tell friends or family that I’m going to Mexico, a hushed silence inevitably follows. Read…U.S. State Department Heaps Further Pressure on Mexico’s Struggling Economy

Article source: http://www.blacklistednews.com/Global_Drug_Trade_Gets_More_Efficient%2C_Defies_US_War_on_Drugs%2C_Revolt_Builds_in_Latin_America/41305/0/38/38/Y/M.html

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Jan 282015
 
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  • Article source: http://www.blacklistednews.com/English_Speaking_Mercenary_in_Mariupol_ID%E2%80%99d_as_Brit_Leon_Swampy_From_London/41303/0/38/38/Y/M.html

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    Jan 272015
     

    Source: Kristan T. Harris

    In a recent measles outbreak at the Disneyland amusement park in California, five theme park employees and 39 total patients have been reported as contracting the disease.

    Seven individuals infected by the measles, who were fully vaccinated with the MMR vaccine, received the illness. Which means that even people who are fully vaccinated can carry the disease and spread it to others.

    The manufacturer of the MMR vaccine, Merck , are currently being accused of falsifying efficacy studies and lying about effectiveness of mumps vaccine and are being taken to court.

    Two former Merck virologists, Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski,claim they witnessed first-hand the improper testing and falsification of data that was done to hide the fact that the vaccine has significantly declined in effectiveness. 

    By artificially inflating the efficacy, Merck was able to hold onto its control over the mumps vaccine market – and that is the main point of contention of the second class-action lawsuit, filed by Chatom Primary Care.

    According to Courthouse News Service:

    “Merck has known for a decade that its mumps vaccine is “far less effective” than it tells the government, and it falsified test results and sold millions of doses of “questionable efficacy,” flooding and monopolizing the market… Chatom says in its antitrust complaint that Merck falsely claims its mumps vaccine is 95 percent effective. That claim “deterred and excluded competing manufacturers,” who would enter the risky and expensive vaccine market only if they believed they could craft a better product… 

    Merck is the only manufacturer licensed by the FDA to sell the mumps vaccine in United States, and if it could not show that the vaccine was 95 percent effective, it risked losing its lucrative monopoly… 

    That’s why Merck found it critically important to keep claiming such a high efficacy rate, the complaint states. And, Chatom claims, that’s why Merck went to great lengths, including “manipulating its test procedures and falsifying the test results,” to prop up the bogus figure, though it knew that the attenuated virus from which it created the vaccine had been altered over the years during the manufacturing process, and that the quality of the vaccine had degraded as a result.”

    “Chatom claims that the falsification of test results occurred” with the knowledge, authority and approval of Merck’s senior management.”

    So what could be the dangers of administering a vaccine into your body?

    Adverse reactions caused by the vaccine according to the manufacturersown vaccine insert are as following:

    Panniculitis; atypical measles; fever; syncope; headache; dizziness; malaise; irritability;Vasculitis; Pancreatitis; diarrhea; vomiting; parotitis; nausea; Diabetes mellitus; Thrombocytopenia (see WARNINGS,Thrombocytopenia); purpura; regional lymphadenopathy; leukocytosis; Anaphylaxis andanaphylactoid reactions have been reported as well as related phenomena suchasangioneurotic edema (including peripheral or facial edema) and bronchial spasm in individuals with or without an allergic history. Arthritis; arthralgia; myalgia; Arthralgia and/or arthritis; Pneumonia; pneumonitis (see CONTRAINDICATIONS); sore throat; cough; rhinitis.Stevens-Johnson syndrome; erythemamultiforme; urticaria; rash;measles-like rash; pruritis. 

    Local reactions including burning/stinging at injection site; wheal and flare; redness (erythema); swelling; induration; tenderness; vesiculation at injection site; Ear Nerve deafness; otitis media; Retinitis; optic neuritis; papillitis; retrobulbar neuritis; conjunctivitis.Urogenital System
    Epididymitis; orchitis…

    …and the list goes on and on.

    However authorities are using this opportunity to encourage vaccination. Dr. Gil Chavez, the state epidemiologist said, “it is absolutely safe for you to go to Disneyland if you’re vaccinated.”

    Disneyland has requested its employees get vaccinated. All theme park employees who could have been in contact with the infected have been asked to provide vaccination records or do a blood test that shows they have built immunity to the disease.

    Following the Disneyland outbreak a call to force vaccinate people by big pharma lobbyists and doctors once again made its ways into mainstream news. Denver FMtalk radio show personality Popeye asked the pro-vaccine crowd “How is an un-vaccinated kid a threat to your vaccinated kid if vaccines work?”

    Article source: http://www.blacklistednews.com/Disney_Land_Employee%E2%80%99s_Fully_Covered_by_MMR_Vaccine_Still_Contracted_Measles/41266/0/38/38/Y/M.html

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    Jan 272015
     

    The status quo must be maintained…

    • *NYSE SAYS RULE 48 INVOKED FOR MARKET OPEN
    • *NYSE SAYS MANDATORY OPENING INDICATIONS ARE NOT REQUIRED

    And what better excuse to stall the opening plunge implied by futures than the “blizzard” which never was… The last time this was invoked was June 2012 (amid a dramatic drop in pre-open futures) and Sept 2011 amid the chaotic 400-point swings in The Dow. Funny they do not use this “Rule” when futures indicate massive upside opens?

    Via NYSE:

    Rule 48. Exemptive Relief — Extreme Market Volatility Condition

    (a) In the event that extremely high market volatility is likely to have a Floor-wide impact on the ability of DMMs to arrange for the fair and orderly opening, reopening following a market-wide halt of trading at the Exchange, or closing of trading at the Exchange and that absent relief, the operation of the Exchange is likely to be impaired, a qualified Exchange officer may declare an extreme market volatility condition with respect to trading on or through the facilities of the Exchange.

    (b) In the event that an extreme market volatility condition is declared with respect to trading on or through the facilities of the Exchange, a qualified Exchange officer shall be empowered to temporarily suspend at the opening of trading or reopening of trading following a market-wide trading halt: (i) the need for prior Floor Official or prior NYSE Floor operations approval to open or reopen a security at the Exchange (Rules 123D(1) and 79A.30); and/or (ii) applicable requirements to make pre-opening indications in a security (Rules 15 and 123D(1)).

    (c) A suspension under section (b) of this Rule is subject to the following provisions:

    (1) (A) Before declaring an extreme market volatility condition, the qualified Exchange officer shall consider the facts and circumstances that are likely to have Floor-wide impact for a particular trading session, including volatility in the previous day’s trading session, trading in foreign markets before the open, substantial activity in the futures market before the open, the volume of pre-opening indications of interest, evidence of pre-opening significant order imbalances across the market, government announcements, news and corporate events, and such other market conditions that could impact Floor-wide trading conditions.

    (B) Such review shall be undertaken in consultation with relevant officers of NYSE Market and NYSE Regulation, as appropriate. Following the review, the qualified Exchange officer or his or her designee shall document the basis for declaring an extreme market volatility condition.

    (2) The qualified Exchange officer will, as promptly as practicable in the circumstances, inform the Securities and Exchange Commission staff that an extreme market volatility condition has been declared, the basis for such declaration, and what relief has been granted.

    (3) An extreme market volatility condition may only be declared before the scheduled opening or reopening following a market-wide halt of securities at the Exchange.

    (4) A declaration of an extreme market volatility condition shall be in effect only for the particular opening or reopening for the trading session on the particular day that the extreme market volatility condition is determined to exist. The Exchange may declare a separate extreme market volatility condition on subsequent days subject to sections (b)(1) through (b)(3) above.

    (5) A declaration of extreme market volatility shall not relieve DMMs from the obligation to make pre-opening indications in situations where the opening of a security is delayed for reasons unrelated to the extreme market volatility condition.

    (d) For purposes of this Rule, a “qualified Exchange officer” means the Chief Executive Officer of ICE, or his or her designee, or the Chief Executive Officer of NYSE Regulation, Inc., or his or her designee.

    *  *  *

    As WSJ explains, basically it means the designated market makers “will not have to disseminate price indications before the bell, making it easier and faster to open stocks.

    The rule was approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission on Dec. 6, 2007 and has been used rarely since then. 

    Article source: http://www.blacklistednews.com/NYSE_Invokes_Rule_48_To_Pre-Empt_Selling_Panic/41267/0/38/38/Y/M.html

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    Jan 272015
     

    Source: Sputnik

    Russia and Iran plan to create a joint account for national currency trade, Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei told RIA Novosti in an interview Tuesday.

    “Both sides plan to create a joint bank, or joint account, so that payments may be made in rubles and rials and there is an agreement to create a working group [for this],” Sanaei said.

    The Iranian ambassador added that relations between Moscow and Tehran “are actively developing” and that 2014 was “a very fruitful year” for both countries.

    The Iranian Central Bank deputy governor announced last week that it suspended the use of the US dollar in foreign trade transactions, adding that bilateral currency swap agreements were under consideration.

    In November 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would quit the “dollar dictatorship,” switching to more widespread use of the ruble and the yuan in international transactions.

    In late December, the Russian state agricultural watchdog said Moscow and Tehran could use their national currencies in food trade.

    UN sanctions prohibit arms trade with Iran but Moscow and Tehran cooperate in the fields of energy, industry, transport and agriculture.

    The ambassador also said that Tehran expects to sign a contract or memorandum of mutual understanding in 2015 with the Eurasian Economic Union to begin exports to Russia.

    “I think that in 2015 we need to work on this so that Iran has concrete economic contracts with the EEU…Iran plans to use this opportunity for its exports to Russia and other [countries],” Sanaei said.

    “It’s possible that some sort of contract or memorandum on mutual understanding needs to be signed,” the ambassador added.

    He said that currently there are high tariffs on Iranian exports to Russia for goods.

    Speaking about export Iranian ambasaador expressed hope that country’s producers will get approval to export dairy and meat products to Russia by March of this year.

    “The first delivery of shrimp and trout to Russia was announced this week. All that remains is that companies that produce dairy and meat products also receive approval on the export of their goods to Russia,” Sanaei said.

    “I hope that this happens because it’s very important. We were promised that this would be resolved in the first quarter [of this year] by the end of March,” the ambassador added.

    Moreover, Moscow and Tehran are considering the possibility of creating a visa-free regime between the two countries for businessmen and tourists by signing a memorandum of understanding in 2015, Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei told RIA Novosti in an inteview Tuesday.

    “It’s difficult for our businessmen to get a visa to Russia, especially a long-term visa, but we are happy that in 2014 our ministers [of foreign affairs], [Sergei] Lavrov and [Mohammad] Zarif agreed on the easing of the visa regime, especially for businessmen and tourists,” Sanaei said.

    The signing of a memorandum of understanding is one of the first steps in moving toward a visa-free regime between the two countries. 

    Article source: http://www.blacklistednews.com/SCO%3A_Russia%2C_Iran_to_Create_Joint_Bank_for_Transactions_in_National_Currencies/41268/0/38/38/Y/M.html

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    Jan 272015
     

    Source: Sputnik

    Several gunmen have reportedly broken into a Tripoli luxury hotel after a car bomb blast outside the building, media report.

     

     

     

    Eyetwitnesses report gunmen are holed up in the 20th floor of the Corinthia Hotel, have taken at least five hostages. According to local TV channel al-Nabaa, “senior officials” are inside the hotel.

     

    Libyan security forces surrounded the hotel. One gunman has been already arrested.

    Terroristi jattakkaw il-Corinthia fil-Libja from NewsBook.com.mt on Vimeo.

    “Three gunmen who are believed to have carried out a car explosion in the car park of the Corinthia hotel have been trapped by our security forces,” Reuters reports quoting security spokesman Essam Naas.

     

     

    The confrontation began Tuesday morning after masked gunmen used a car bomb as a diversion and got into the hotel killing three guards. Three Filipino women were wounded by smashed window glass. Standoff continues.

    Article source: http://www.blacklistednews.com/Gunmen_Attack_Luxury_Hotel_in_Tripoli%2C_Take_Hostages/41269/0/38/38/Y/M.html

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    Jan 262015
     

    Radical leftists have been catapulted to power in Greece, and that means that the European financial crisis has just entered a dangerous new phase.  Syriza, which is actually an acronym for “Coalition of the Radical Left” in Greek, has 36 percent of the total vote with approximately 80 percent of the polling stations reporting.  The current governing party, New Democracy, only has 28 percent of the vote.  Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras is promising to roll back a whole host of austerity measures that were imposed on Greece by the EU, and his primary campaign slogan was “hope is on the way”.  Hmmm – that sounds a bit familiar.  Clearly, the Greek population is fed up with the EU after years of austerity and depression-like conditions.  At this point, the unemployment rate in Greece is sitting at25.8 percent, and the Greek economy is approximately 25 percent smaller than it was just six years ago.  The people of Greece are desperate for things to get better, and so they have turned to the radical leftists.  Unfortunately, things may be about to get a whole lot worse.

    Once they formally have control of the government, Syriza plans to call for a European debt conference during which they plan to demand that the repayment terms of their debts be renegotiated.  But the rest of Europe appears to be highly resistant to any renegotiation – especially Germany.

    Syriza says that it does not plan to unilaterally pull Greece out of the eurozone, and that it also intends for Greece to continue to use the euro.

    But what happens if Germany will not budge?

    Syriza’s entire campaign was based on promises to end austerity.  If international creditors refuse to negotiate and continue to insist that Greece abide by the austerity measures that were previously put in place, what will Syriza do?

    Will Syriza back down and lose all future credibility with Greek voters?

    Since 2010, the Greek people have endured a seemingly endless parade of wage reductions, pension cuts, tax increases and government budget cutbacks.

    The Greek people just want things to go back to the way that they used to be, and they are counting on Syriza to deliver.

    Unfortunately for Syriza, delivering on those promises is not going to be easy.  They may be faced with a choice of either submitting to the demands of their international creditors or choosing to leave the eurozone altogether.

    And if Greece does leave the eurozone, the consequences for all of Europe could be catastrophic

    Syriza risks overplaying its hand, said International Capital Strategies’ Rediker. “Given that the ECB controls the liquidity of the Greek banking system, and also serves as its regulator through the SSM (Single Supervisory Mechanism), going toe-to-toe with the ECB is one battle that could end very badly for the Greek government.”

    If the ECB were to stop funding the liquidity of the Greek banks, the banks could collapse—an event that could lead to Greece abandoning the euro and printing its own money once more.

    Milios didn’t believe it would come to that, saying, “No one wants a collapse of banks in the euro zone. This is going to be Lehman squared or to the tenth. No one wants to jeopardize the future of the euro zone.”

    Hopefully cooler heads will prevail, because one bad move could set off a meltdown of the entire European financial system.

    Even before the Greek election, the euro was already falling like a rock and economic conditions all over Europe were already getting worse.

    So why would the Greeks risk pushing Europe to the brink of utter disaster?

    Well, it is because economic conditions in Greece have been absolutely hellish for years and they are sick and tired of it.

    For example, the BBC is reporting that many married women have become so desperate to find work in Greece that they are literally begging to work in brothels…

    Some who have children and are struggling to support them have turned to sex work, to put food on the table.

    Further north, in Larissa, Soula Alevridou, who owns a legal brothel, says the number of married women coming to her looking for work has doubled in the last five years.

    “They plead and plead but as a legal brothel we cannot employ married women,” she says. “It’s illegal. So eventually they end up as prostitutes on the streets.”

    When people get this desperate, they do desperate things – like voting radical leftists into power.

    But Greece might just be the beginning.  Surveys show that the popularity of the EU is plummeting all over Europe.  Just check out the following excerpt from a recent Telegraph article

    Europe is being swept by a wave of popular disenchantment and revolt against mainstream political parties and the European Union.

    In 2007, a majority of Europeans – 52 per cent – trusted the EU. That level of trust has now fallen to a third.

    Once, Britain’s Euroscepticism was the exception, and was seen as the biggest threat to the future of the EU.

    Now, other countries pose a far bigger danger thanks to the political discontents unleashed by the euro.

    At this point, the future of the eurozone is in serious jeopardy.

    I have a feeling that major changes in Europe are on the way which are going to shock the planet.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the globe continues to slide toward another major financial crisis as well.

    So many of the things that preceded the last financial crisis are happening once again.  This includes a massive crash in the price of oil.  Most people have absolutely no idea how critical the price of oil is to global financial markets.  I like how Gerald Celente put it during an interview the other day…

    I began getting recognition as a trend forecaster in 1987. The Wall Street Journal covered my forecast. I said, ‘1987 would be the year it all collapses.’ I said, ‘There will be a stock market crash.’ One of the fundamentals I was looking at were the crashing oil prices in 1986.

    Well, we see crashing oil prices today and the banks are much more concentrated and levered up in the oil patch than they were in 1987. From Goldman Sachs to Morgan Stanley banks have been involved in major debt financing, derivatives and energy transactions. But much of this debt has not been sold to investors and now we are going to start seeing some big defaults.

    By itself, the Greek election would be a significant crisis.

    But combined with all of the other economic and geopolitical problems that are erupting all over the planet, it looks like the conditions for a “perfect storm” are rapidly coming together.

    Unfortunately, the overall global economy is in far worse shape today than it was just prior to the last major financial crisis.

    This time around, the consequences might just be far more dramatic than most people would ever dare to imagine.

    Article source: http://www.blacklistednews.com/Radical_Leftists_Win_Election_In_Greece_%E2%80%93_Future_Of_Eurozone_In_Serious_Jeopardy/41224/0/38/38/Y/M.html

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