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Suicides 'by Economic Crisis' Soar in Europe

George Mordaunt of Clonmel, Ireland
© Eoin O’Conaill for The International Herald Tribune
George Mordaunt of Clonmel, Ireland, considered suicide when his car business hit hard times.
On New Year's Eve, Antonio Tamiozzo, 53, hanged himself in the warehouse of his construction business near Vicenza, after several debtors did not pay what they owed him.

Three weeks earlier, Giovanni Schiavon, 59, a contractor, shot himself in the head at the headquarters of his debt-ridden construction company on the outskirts of Padua. As he faced the bleak prospect of ordering Christmas layoffs at his family firm of two generations, he wrote a last message: "Sorry, I cannot take it anymore."

The economic downturn that has shaken Europe for the last three years has also swept away the foundations of once-sturdy lives, leading to an alarming spike in suicide rates. Especially in the most fragile nations like Greece, Ireland and Italy, small-business owners and entrepreneurs are increasingly taking their own lives in a phenomenon some European newspapers have started calling "suicide by economic crisis."

Many, like Mr. Tamiozzo and Mr. Schiavon, have died in obscurity. Others, like the desperate 77-year-old retiree who shot himself outside the Greek Parliament on April 4, have turned their personal despair into dramatic public expressions of anger at the leaders who have failed to soften the blows of the crisis.

A complete picture of the phenomenon across Europe is elusive, as some countries lag in reporting statistics and coroners are loath to classify deaths as suicides, to protect surviving family members. But it is clear that countries on the front line of the economic crisis are suffering the worst, and that suicides among men have increased the most.

Stormtrooper

Israeli Soldier Clubs Danish Protester With Rifle



Denmark has demanded an explanation from the Israeli government for video footage showing a senior Israeli army officer striking a Danish activist in the face with an M16 rifle, an act which has been sharply criticised by the Israeli prime minister, president and chief of staff.

In the video, Lt Col Shalom Eisner, deputy commander of the Jordan Valley territorial brigade, is clearly seen slamming his rifle into the face of Andreas Ias. There was no obvious reason for the assault in the clip, which was broadcast on Israeli television and posted on YouTube. The soldier was suspended by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) pending an investigation.

The video emerged on the same day as Israel launched a security operation to prevent hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists entering the country en route to the West Bank, claiming they were provocateurs and were planning acts of violence. The assault on the Danish man and the operation to block the entry of Palestinian sympathisers have led to questions about whether Israel's response to activists is excessively heavy-handed and will damage its image.

Wolf

Five Ways The Very Rich Have "Earned" (Stolen) Their Money

US money
© Flickr by IronRodArt
The wealthiest Americans believe they've earned their money through hard work and innovation, and that they're the most productive members of society. For the most part they're wrong. As the facts below will show, they're not nearly as productive as middle-class workers. Yet they've taken almost all the new income over the past 30 years.

Any one of these five reasons should reinforce the belief that the rich should be paying a LOT more in taxes.

1. They've Taken All the Middle Class Wage Increases

In 1980 the richest 1% of America took one of every fifteen post-tax income dollars. Now, according to IRS figures, they take THREE of every fifteen post-tax income dollars (doc). They've tripled their cut of America's income pie. That's a trillion extra dollars a year.

For every dollar the richest 1% earned in 1980, they've added three more dollars. The poorest 90% have added ONE CENT.

Yet the average American factory worker, according to Berkeley economist Enrico Moretti, produces $180,000 worth of goods a year, more than three times what he or she produced in 1978, in inflation-adjusted dollars.

So workers have TRIPLED their productivity over 30 years while the richest 1% have TRIPLED their share of income. Worker pay remained flat as the top 10% took almost all the productivity gains since 1980.

Briefcase

Zimmerman's Lawyer Asks to Have Judge Removed from Case

George Zimmerman
© The Associated Press/Gary W. Green/Orlando Sentinel/Pool
George Zimmerman, center, is directed by a Seminole County Deputy and his attorney Mark O'Mara during a court hearing Thursday April 12, 2012, in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of the 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
George Zimmerman's defense team formally requested Monday that the Florida judge assigned to their client's case be removed after she revealed her husband works with a CNN legal analyst.

Mark O'Mara's office filed paperwork Monday asking that Seminole Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler not preside over second-degree murder proceedings involving Zimmerman, according to Seminole County Court spokeswoman Michelle Kennedy.

The motion to "disqualify" the trial judge "will be ruled on in the appropriate manner," Kennedy said Monday.

Zimmerman, a 28-year-old neighborhood-watch volunteer, fatally shot teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, a killing he has said was in self-defense. Since then, the case has stirred civil rights activists nationwide and drawn intense publicity.

Recksiedler is assigned to the Zimmerman case. But on Friday, she said she would entertain motions to disqualify her from the trial after discovering that her husband works with Mark NeJame, an attorney whom Zimmerman approached about representing him and has since widely commented on the case in the media. NeJame also is a CNN contributor who has been asked to provide analysis on this case.

Comment: Please read the Sott Focus: Hysterization Via Racism in the Trayvon Martin Case for a better understanding of the dynamics at play in the Trayvon Martin case.


Sherlock

Briton Killed after Threat to Expose Chinese Leader's Wife

Image
© Reuters/China.org.cn/Handout
British businessman Neil Heywood poses for a photograph at a gallery in Beijing, in this handout picture dated April 12, 2011.
Chongqing, China - The British businessman whose murder has sparked political upheaval in China was poisoned after he threatened to expose a plan by a Chinese leader's wife to move money abroad, two sources with knowledge of the police investigation said.

It was the first time a specific motive has been revealed for Neil Heywood's murder last November, a death which ended Chinese leader Bo Xilai's hopes of emerging as a top central leader and threw off balance the Communist Party's looming leadership succession.

Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, asked Heywood late last year to move a large sum of money abroad, and she became outraged when he demanded a larger cut of the money than she had expected due to the size of the transaction, the sources said.

She accused him of being greedy and hatched a plan to kill him after he said he could expose her dealings, one of the sources said, summarizing the police case. Both sources have spoken to investigators in Chongqing, the southwestern Chinese city where Heywood was killed and where Bo had cast himself as a crime-fighting Communist Party leader.

Gu is in police custody on suspicion of committing or arranging Heywood's murder, though no details of the motive or the crime itself have been publicly released, other than a general comment from Chinese state media that he was killed after a financial dispute.

The sources have close ties to Chinese police and said they were given details of the investigation.

They said Heywood - formerly a close friend of Gu and who had been helping her with her overseas financial dealings - was killed after he threatened to expose what she was doing.

"Heywood told her that if she thought he was being too greedy, then he didn't need to become involved and wouldn't take a penny of the money, but he also said he could also expose it," the first source said.

Family

1,600 Palestinian prisoners begin open-ended hunger strike

Palestinian flag
About 1,600 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails will go on an open-ended hunger strike on April 17 to protest imprisonment without charge and solitary confinement exercised by the Tel Aviv regime.

Issa Qaraqi, the Palestinian Authority minister for prisoner affairs, said on Saturday the detainees also demand Israel allow families to visit them.

"The situation inside Israeli prisons has become very dangerous and serious," Qaraqi said.

April 17 marks the Palestinian Prisoners Day.

Family

Thousands protest against new austerity cuts in Madrid

Madrid protest

People march during a demonstration against health and education cuts recently announced by the Spanish government, Madrid, Spain, Sunday, April 15, 2012.
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of the Spanish capital of Madrid to protest the government's planned spending cuts in the health and education sectors.

The protesters carried banners with anti-government slogans and chanted, "Mariano, Mariano you won't make it to the summer," referring to the country's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Cult

Psychopathic Norwegian killer Breivik gives fascist salute as trial begins

Norwegian, who says he killed 77 people in self-defence, is 'emotional' as film he made to justify one-man war is played


In an average year, 30 murders are committed in Norway. In three hours one afternoon in July last year, Anders Behring Breivik more than doubled that figure. Yet when he appeared at the first day of his trial on Monday, the 33-year-old insisted he was not guilty of acts of terrorism resulting in the deaths of 77 people.

"I acknowledge the acts," Breivik told Oslo central court when asked to enter a plea. "But I do not plead guilty and I claim that I was doing it in self defence."

His lawyer had already warned that this would be how Breivik would justify planting an enormous bomb outside the government quarters in Oslo, killing eight people, before heading to the island of Utøya to gun down 69 more attending a summer camp of the ruling Labour party.

Earlier, he announced that he did not recognise the Norwegian court - because, he said, it receives its mandate "from political parties who support multiculturalism".

Breivik was defiant as he arrived in court, giving a closed-fist salute before shaking hands with prosecutors and court officials and then declaring himself a "writer" when asked for his occupation.

Comment:
"In our opinion, such a network does not exist," Holden said.
Operation Gladio: State-Sponsored Terror

The Norway attacks are "from the same Gladio-type stable" - former European MP

Oslo terror attacks: Zionism rears its ugly head again


Bad Guys

Video: TSA Violation Causes Woman to Cry


Madison, Wisconsin - A video captured a woman shaking and sobbing uncontrollably while being frisked by a Transportation Security Administration agent.

Political blogger Jim Hoft - who runs the Gateway Pundit website - captured the incident at a Madison, Wis., airport Sunday.

"This morning at a Midwest airport I witnessed this poor woman suffering through this horrible sexual violation," Hoft said on his Gateway Pundit website.

Heart

Staying Human - Vittorio Arrigoni RIP

A documentary about Vittorio Arrigoni, the Italian peace activist whose passion for helping the Palestinian people, lead to his death.

He moved to Gaza in 2008 to work for the International Solidarity Movement. He was kidnapped and killed by a Salafi group in April 2011.


Comment: Yes, this 'Salafi' group of Israeli Musta'ribeen decided Vittorio's peaceful nature was too much of a threat and had to be made an example of. What's more, they knew they would get away with it.

Rest in peace Vittorio. Let it be known that some at least were paying attention.