Puppet MastersS


Obama: The US Can No Longer Fight the World's Battles

© unknown
President plans to cut half a million troops and says US can't afford to wage two wars at once

The mighty American military machine that has for so long secured the country's status as the world's only superpower will have to be drastically reduced, Barack Obama warned yesterday as he set out a radical but more modest new set of priorities for the Pentagon over the next decade.

After the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that defined the first decade of the 21st century, Mr Obama's blueprint for the military's future acknowledged that America will no longer have the resources to conduct two such major operations simultaneously.

Instead, the US military will lose up to half a million troops and will focus on countering terrorism and meeting the new challenges of an emergent Asia dominated by China. America, the President said, was "turning the page on a decade of war" and now faced "a moment of transition". The country's armed forces would in future be leaner but, Mr Obama pointedly warned both friends and foes, sufficient to preserve US military superiority over any rival - "agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats".


Egypt Prosecutor Demands Death Sentence for Mubarak

© Agence France-PresseOusted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is wheeled on a stretcher into court for his murder trial in Cairo today
The prosecution in Hosni Mubarak's trial delivered an emotional appeal to the court on Thursday to sentence the fallen Egyptian dictator to hang for the killings of protesters during the revolt that overthrew him.

Wrapping up their closing arguments, prosecutors said Mubarak, who lay on a stretcher in the defendants' cage, should be executed for ordering the demonstrators' deaths.

"The law punishes premeditated murder with execution. The prosecution demands the maximum punishment," Mustafa Khater told the presiding judge, Ahmed Refaat.

"The souls of the dead, martyrs, are asking where is the judge on earth, the just judge, who will listen to our complaints, who will punish the oppressors? Punishing the defendants will give each his right," Khater said in his closing arguments.

"The prosecution and Egyptian society expect the truth, that all are equal before the law, and that Egyptian blood is no longer cheap."

Bizarro Earth

US: Fracking will poison New York's drinking water, critics warn

© Steve Karnowski/APFracking involves drilling into hard shale rocks to shatter them and release the natural gas inside.

Opponents of controversial gas drilling method condemn plan as environmental agency sounds alarm bells over staffing levels

A former staffer at a state government agency responsible for regulating hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has warned that allowing the controversial gas drilling method in New York would lead to contamination of the state's aquifers and would poison its drinking water.

These stark warnings, issued by Paul Hetzler in a letter to an upstate newspaper, came as a current employee and union representative at the Department for Environmental Conservation (DEC) sounded alarm bells over the under-staffed agency's ability to monitor the industry and to deal with any emergencies if the plan goes ahead.

Bad Guys

Argentina - GSK Fined Over Illegal Vaccine Experiments Killing 14 Babies

Vaccine Deaths
© Natural Society

Vaccine and drug giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been fined 400,000 pesos (around the equivalent of $93,000) by an Argentinian judge for killing 14 babies during illegal lab vaccine trials that were conducted between 2007 and 2008. In addition to killing the children and experimenting with human beings, the judge asserted that the corporation actually falsified parental authorizations so that babies could participate without legitimate parental permission.

Judge Marcelo Aguinsky made the decision after a report was released on the subject by the National Administration of Medicine, Food and Technology (ANMAT in Spanish). Since 2007, 15,000 children below the age of one from Mendoza, San Juan, and Santiago del Estero have been participating in the illegal research. These babies were recruited by GSK from poor families that attended public hospitals. It was found that of the 14 baby deaths, 7 died in Santiago del Estero; 5 in Mendoza; and 2 in San Juan.

GSK Recruited Doctors, Pressured Illiterate Parents into Signing Over Children

Currently, it is unknown how many babies suffered serious side effects, adverse reactions, or if this is truly the total death count. As with many other vaccinations such as Gardasil, the official death count continues to rise as leaked reports from the FDA and elsewhere continue to surface.

One pediatrician working at the public hospital when GSK began recruiting babies for their illegal human trials said that not only did GSK force illiterate parents into handing over their children, but they also 'recruited' several doctors working at the hospital into their cause.


Iraq blasts kill at least 72, raise specter of civil war

'People have real fears that the cycle of violence might be revived in this country,' Baghdad resident says
© Unknown

Baghdad - A wave of bombings targeting Shiites in Iraq killed 72 people on Thursday, deepening sectarian tensions that exploded just after the last American troops left the country in mid-December.

The coordinated attacks targeting Shiites bore the hallmarks of Sunni insurgents linked to al-Qaida, although there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The bombings began early in the morning when explosions struck two Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, killing at least 27 people.

A few hours later, a suicide attack hit Shiite pilgrims heading to the holy Shiite city of Karbala, killing 45, said provincial official Quosay al-Abadi. The explosions took place near Nasiriyah, about 200 miles southeast of Baghdad. Hospital officials confirmed the causalities.

The blasts occurred in the run-up to Arbaeen, a Shiite holy day which marks the end of 40 days of mourning that follow the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein, a revered Shiite figure.

Comment: About "the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein."


Obama Defies Congress with 'Recess' Picks

Nominations could provoke constitutional fight
© The Associated Press/Haraz N. GhanbariPresident Obama shakes hands with Richard Cordray at Shaker Heights High School in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Obama bucked Republican opposition and named Cordray as the nation's chief consumer watchdog.

Pushing the limits of his recess appointment powers, President Obama on Wednesday bypassed the Senate to install three members of the National Labor Relations Board and a director for the controversial new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - moves Republicans said amounted to unconstitutional power grabs.

Mr. Obama said the appointments, which he previewed during a campaign-style speech in Ohio, were necessary because Senate Republicans have blocked him at every turn. But in making the move, he rejected three precedents, including two in which he played a part, that would have blocked the appointments.

"I refuse to take 'no' for an answer," Mr. Obama said in Shaker Heights, drawing applause from his audience. "When Congress refuses to act and as a result hurts our economy and puts our people at risk, then I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them."

Mr. Obama tapped former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the consumer protection agency and named three others - two Democrats and one Republican - to the labor board. Those nominations had all been stymied by congressional Republicans, who said Mr. Obama was accruing too much power to himself through those two agencies.

Eye 1

US: FBI allowed to add GPS device to cars without warrants

GSP tracker
© RT/Reuters
The Supreme Court will soon weigh in on whether law enforcement agencies can monitor your every move without you knowing - and without a warrant. In Missouri, however, one judge isn't waiting to find out their word.

US Magistrate Judge David Noce ruled last week in favor of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and determined that the FBI did not need a warrant in order to affix a GPS device to the car of a St. Louis man.

Fred Robinson, 69, was accused of collecting $175,000 in compensation while on the payroll of the St. Louis City Treasurer's Office. Authorities alleged that Robinson held a position in name only and actually avoided going into the office. To prove this, law enforcement agents didn't just ask around City Hall or dispatch a few officers to go speak with staffers. Instead, the FBI installed a GPS device on Robinson's car without ever notifying him or asking permission.

The US Supreme Court will decide later this year if such action is allowable without obtaining a warrant. In the interim, Judge Noce says it is just fine.

Bad Guys

Greece warns of euro-exit as EU economies drift apart

EU flag
© YoungJ523Germany's unemployment rate hit record lows, while Spain's is going through the ceiling
Greece may have to exit the eurozone if it fails to secure its second EU-IMF bail-out its government has warned, amid new protests against spending cuts.

"The bailout agreement needs to be signed otherwise we will be out of the markets, out of the euro," government spokesman Pantelis Kapsis told Skai TV on Tuesday (3 January).

The day before, doctors and pharmacists went on strike in reaction to planned spending cuts, with hospitals taking emergency cases only until Thursday.

The latest €130 billion bail-out for Greece was agreed in principle by EU leaders in October, provided Athens cuts deeper into public spending, privatises some services and state-owned companies and boosts revenues by clamping down on tax evasion.


Best of the Web: Gerald Celente Telling It Like It Is: MF Global, Fascism, and the Culture of Corruption

hand in money
© n/a
Transcript of an interview between Jim Puplava and Gerald Celente.

Jim: Joining me from Trends Research is Gerald Celente. And Gerald we have been covering a few stories of the implications of MF Global, of course the story about how Ann Barnhardt closing down her account because the system doesn't work. You had an experience that was not very pleasant. And you found out that even though you didn't have an account with MF Global in reality you did. Why don't you share that with our listeners?

Gerald: Yes. About two weeks ago on Monday and I have been trading gold now since 1978 was my first buy. And what I do I have a very simple strategy. It is just kind of like going to a store and buying something on layaway and that is the way I buy gold. I buy gold in very different ways; I buy coins, I buy bouillon and one of the ways I do it is I buy it through the commodities futures exchange. And what I do is I build up my account until l am ready to take delivery, just like a layaway. And all of a sudden you go to pick up whatever you bought at the store and the store is no longer there. And basically that is what has happened to me.

So I got a call two weeks ago on a Monday and I got it from my broker and he wanted a margin call. I said what are you out of your mind a margin call!?! I said I have plenty of money in my account. I am taking delivery at the end of the month. What margin call? And then he told me I had an account MF Global, I thought I had it with Lind-Waldock. And I hadn't paid attention they had been bought out because every time they would answer the phone it was Lind-Waldock and it just kind of registers in your mind like that. Then I found out they took all of my money - all of my money - out of my account and put it in the hands of a trustee. I said who decided this? He said the CME group and other parties. I said you mean Meyer Lansky and Al Capone decided to take my money, they are making up these rules and giving it to a trustee? I mean who is their trustee? What member of the crime family has my money.


US: Michele Bachmann Quits Presidential Race Following Poor Showing in Iowa

© The Associated Press/Eric GayBachmann
Michele Bachmann announced her exit from the presidential race Wednesday morning following a sixth-place finish in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa.

"Last night, the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice. And so I have decided to stand aside," the Republican representative from Minnesota told reporters during a morning media availability here at the Marriott hotel.

Despite Bachmann's extensive, last-minute tour to visit all 99 of Iowa's counties, her first place finish in the Aug. 13 straw poll, and the state being her place of birth, Iowa Republican caucus voters rejected Bachmann's campaign, handing her 6,073 votes on caucus night--5 percent of the total votes cast in Tuesday night's caucuses.