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Stock Down

Are people losing faith in the world banking system?

Stephen Harper
The politicians of the western world are coming after your bank accounts. In fact, Cyprus-style "bail-ins" are actually proposed in the new Canadian government budget. When I first heard about this I was quite skeptical, so I went and looked it up for myself. And guess what? It is right there in black and white on pages 144 and 145 of "Economic Action Plan 2013″ which the Harper government has already submitted to the House of Commons. This new budget actually proposes "to implement a 'bail-in' regime for systemically important banks" in Canada. "Economic Action Plan 2013″ was submitted on March 21st, which means that this "bail-in regime" was likely being planned long before the crisis in Cyprus ever erupted. So exactly what in the world is going on here? In addition, as you will see below, it is being reported that the European Parliament will soon be voting on a law which would require that large banks be "bailed in" when they fail. In other words, that new law would make Cyprus-style bank account confiscation the law of the land for the entire EU. I can't even begin to describe how serious all of this is. From now on, when major banks fail they are going to bail them out by grabbing the money that is in your bank accounts. This is going to absolutely shatter faith in the banking system and it is actually going to make it far more likely that we will see major bank failures all over the western world.

What you are about to see absolutely amazed me when I first saw it. The Canadian government is actually proposing that what just happened in Cyprus should be used as a blueprint for future bank failures up in Canada.

The following comes from pages 144 and 145 of "Economic Action Plan 2013″ which you can find right here. Apparently the goal is to find a way to rescue "systemically important banks" without the use of taxpayer funds...
Whistle

Monsanto's next target: Democracy

© pogonici/ Shutterstock.com

The battle for food sovereignty is a battle we cannot afford to lose.

Big Food's greatest fear is materializing. A critical mass of educated consumers, food and natural health activists are organizing a powerful movement that could well overthrow North America's trillion-dollar junk food empire. Savvy and more determined than ever, activists are zeroing in on the Achilles heel of Food Inc. - labeling.

But as consumers demand truth and greater transparency in labeling, it isn't just Big Food whose empire is vulnerable. The biotech industry, which makes billions supplying junk food manufacturers with cheap, genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, has even more to lose. Monsanto knows that if food producers are forced to label the genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their food products, they'll reformulate those products to meet consumer demand for GMO-free alternatives. That's why companies like Monsanto, DuPont and Dow, along with Coca-Cola and Pepsi, last year spent more than $46 million to defeat Proposition 37, California's GMO labeling initiative.
Gold Bar

Cyprus may sell some gold reserves to help fund bailout

gold bars
Cyprus may sell off some of its gold reserves to help finance part of its bailout, according to reports.

An assessment by the European Commission says Cyprus must sell about 400m euros (£341m) worth of gold.

The country has already been forced to wind down one of its largest banks in order to qualify for a 10bn euro lifeline from international lenders.

Even with that bailout, it is predicted that the Cypriot economy will shrink by 8.7% this year.

Cyprus's total bullion reserves stood at 13.9 tonnes at the end of February, according to data from the World Gold Council.

At current prices, 400m euros' worth of gold amounts to about 10.36 tonnes of metal.
Colosseum

Iraq: Ten Years On...

April 9, 2013 marks ten years since the fall of Baghdad. Ten years since the invasion. Since the lives of millions of Iraqis changed forever. It's difficult to believe. It feels like only yesterday I was sharing day to day activities with the world. I feel obliged today to put my thoughts down on the blog once again, probably for the last time.

In 2003, we were counting our lives in days and weeks. Would we make it to next month? Would we make it through the summer? Some of us did and many of us didn't.

Back in 2003, one year seemed like a lifetime ahead. The idiots said, "Things will improve immediately." The optimists were giving our occupiers a year, or two... The realists said, "Things won't improve for at least five years." And the pessimists? The pessimists said, "It will take ten years. It will take a decade."

Looking back at the last ten years, what have our occupiers and their Iraqi governments given us in ten years? What have our puppets achieved in this last decade? What have we learned?

We learned a lot.
Snakes in Suits

Surprise! Fresh leaks reveal outrageous corruption, tax evasion, among political leaders

Tax evasion
© Press TV - file photo
An unprecedented leak of documents has disclosed outrageous financial corruption among prominent political figures and billionaires across the world.

A collection of 2.5 million records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) -- a global network of journalists from more than 60 countries -- has unmasked high ranking politicians, arms dealers and other famous individuals from 170 countries operating under the cover of private trusts and businesses in the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands and other offshore locations.

The list includes famous names such as Azeri President Ilham Aliyev and his family, the daughter of Philippines' former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, who is one of the most prominent art collectors in the world.

The ICIJ, in collaboration with 86 journalists from 46 countries, obtained the information from the contents of emails and accounting records accumulated over a period of 30 years.
Stormtrooper

Police State: Activists challenge P6 anti-protest law with civil disobedience, Anarchopanda caught in yet another police kettle in Montreal.

Anarchopanda
© Aaron Lakoff
Anarchopanda caught in yet another police kettle. April 5, 2013.
In Montreal, Canada, tensions are rising between police and activists. This week, authorities arrested a 20-year-old woman who's active in the student movement at her home after she posted a photo on Instagram of graffiti depicting the Montreal police spokesperson with a bullet in his head. The arrest comes as protest groups prepare for a mass civil disobedience tonight. They're opposing a municipal bylaw which they say is giving the police a tool to repress social movements and violates basic constitutional freedoms. FSRN's Aaron Lakoff has more.

Click to download or listen to this report.

[Note: I was arrested along with 278 people at the CLAC (Anti-Capitalist Convergence) demo against the P6 bylaw on Friday, April 5th, in yet another police kettle.]
Stormtrooper

Police State: 'There is no right to protest': Montreal police deny Charter

Anarchopanda
© 99% Media
Anarchopanda surrounded
"This is approaching absurdist comedy," tweeted Montreal Gazette reporter Christopher Curtis Friday night, trapped in a police kettle from which Montreal's finest inexplicably refused to release him as his deadline approached.

"Did they really, actually arrest Anarchopanda????" replied well known Québécoise pundit Josée Legault.

Curtis never replied, no doubt caught up in extricating himself from police custody, so allow me to do so now: yes Josée, they really, actually did. Just call him Arrestopanda. At night's end the tally ran something like this: one panda, several rabbits, a few dozen journos and almost three hundred dull normals cuffed, processed and slapped with $637 fines. This after being held for hours in the cold kettles Montreal police formed around them.

An obscene over-reaction regardless of circumstance, kettling has been ruled illegal by England's High Court. In Toronto, the senior police commander who ordered protesters kettled at the 2010 G20 summit has been charged with discreditable conduct and unlawful use of authority. The Toronto Police Service have committed to never use the tactic again after an independent review found it to be unlawful. Kettling is a particularly disturbing tactic because it only works on peaceful protesters who offer little resistance, making it insidiously offensive to the concept of free speech and free assembly.
Heart - Black

Hundreds of Gaza children blocked from visiting parents in prison

childen of gaza
© Joe Catron
Children of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are barred from family visits.
"I dream of my father," eight-year-old Hamze Helles said in his family's house in Gaza City's al-Shajaiyeh neighborhood. "I miss him a lot, and am very eager to visit him. For five years, I have never seen him."

Hamze is one of two young sons of Majed Khalil Helles, a fighter in Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades who was captured by Israeli forces on 8 August 2008 and sentenced by an Israeli military court to five years' detention in Nafha prison.

Fourteen months before its military detained Helles, Israel imposed a comprehensive ban on family visits to Palestinian political prisoners from the Gaza Strip. Addameer, the prisoner advocacy organization, called the measure "part of [Israel's] policy of treating the Gaza Strip as an enemy entity following the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections and the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit one year prior."

The ban met wide criticism as an illegal act of collective punishment, Addameer said. "Israel's policy has been condemned, among others, by Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict in its report on the 2008 - 2009 Israeli offensive."

Detainees launched a 28-day mass hunger strike on 17 April 2012, Palestinian Political Prisoners' Day, with visits by families living in Gaza among their key demands. It ended on 14 May last year with an agreement that "family visits for first degree relatives to prisoners from the Gaza Strip and for families from the West Bank who have been denied visit based on vague 'security reasons' will be reinstated within one month" by Israel, among other provisions.
Propaganda

Witness accounts of two Palestinian teens' killings contradict Israel's version

relatives of killed palestinian boys
© Nedal Eshtayah/APA images
Relatives of cousins Amer Nasser and Naji Balbisi, killed by Israeli soldiers, grieve during their funeral in Anabta, 4 April.
On Wednesday last week, four young Palestinians decided to protest against the death of Palestinian prisoner Maysara Abuhamdia, a cancer patient who died of medical neglect while in Israeli custody.

Two of the young men - Amer Nassar, 17, and his cousin Naji Biblisi, 19 - were killed at an Israeli military checkpoint during the protests. Another cousin, Diaa Nassar, 18, was arrested and the fourth young man, Fadi Abu Asal, 20, managed to escape with an injury.

The four are residents of Anabta, a village near Tulkarem in the occupied West Bank. Two days after the incident, Abu Asal told The Electronic Intifada what happened. His version of events sharply contradict claims reported in the Israeli media.

Abu Asal was himself arrested by Israeli forces at his family's home in Anabta on Tuesday, 9 April.
Arrow Up

Morrissey: 'Thatcher was a terror without an atom of humanity'

Morrissey and Margaret Thatcher
© Getty/AP
Morrissey and Margaret Thatcher.
Singer Morrissey, of the seminal 1980s band The Smiths, reacts to news of the death of former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Thatcher is remembered as The Iron Lady only because she possessed completely negative traits such as persistent stubbornness and a determined refusal to listen to others.

Every move she made was charged by negativity; she destroyed the British manufacturing industry, she hated the miners, she hated the arts, she hated the Irish Freedom Fighters and allowed them to die, she hated the English poor and did nothing at all to help them, she hated Greenpeace and environmental protectionists, she was the only European political leader who opposed a ban on the ivory trade, she had no wit and no warmth and even her own cabinet booted her out.

She gave the order to blow up The Belgrano even though it was outside of the Malvinas Exclusion Zone - and was sailing AWAY from the islands! When the young Argentinean boys aboard The Belgrano had suffered a most appalling and unjust death, Thatcher gave the thumbs-up sign for the British press.

Iron? No. Barbaric? Yes. She hated feminists even though it was largely due to the progression of the women's movement that the British people allowed themselves to accept that a prime minister could actually be female. But because of Thatcher, there will never again be another woman in power in British politics, and rather than opening that particular door for other women, she closed it.

Thatcher will only be fondly remembered by sentimentalists who did not suffer under her leadership, but the majority of British working people have forgotten her already, and the people of Argentina will be celebrating her death. As a matter of recorded fact, Thatcher was a terror without an atom of humanity.
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