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Mon, 21 Oct 2019
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These elites do not have a vision. They know only one word: more. They will continue to exploit the nation, the global economy and the ecosystem. And they will use their money to hide in gated compounds when it all implodes.
Chris Hedges


If you thought the global financial crisis of 2008 was difficult, wait till the sequel comes to your doorstep. Some investment professionals feel that the sky could soon be falling as recent events have led many to brace for the worst. The world and everyone in it should be preparing for some very difficult days ahead but that is not happening because most are drinking some kind of happy tea. An unprecedented financial storm of unknown scope and dimension is upon us but it is crushing certain people, cities, states and countries before others. Many are perceiving and reporting that the fundamental economic outlook has changed substantially over the last couple of weeks.

"There is a growing sense of despair in Brussels. Unlike previous attacks on the euro project, the latest downgrade of Portugal's debt by the ratings agency Moody's feels like the beginning of the end. Those economists and fund managers, who argued that a second bailout for Greece with private sector involvement would mean something similar for Portugal and most likely Ireland, are hitting their target. Like a 19th century battalion holding the line against oncoming hoards with depleted firepower and an officer class at war with itself, the euro's supporters are in a desperate situation," writes the Guardian.

A clear majority of the uncrushed are certain that there is nothing to worry about and go about their business as if life will continue on as it has these past few decades. But 100 percent of the crushed have no doubt that there is a civilization-scale catastrophe taking place and that there will be little or no recovery from it for as far as the eye can see into the future.

War Whore

Insanity! U.S. city requires armed guards at some restaurants

Security guard
© Unknown
Small restaurants in the city of Newark, New Jersey will be required to have an armed security guard at night under a new law approved by the city council.

The rule comes in the wake of a drive-by shooting in May at the Texas Fried Chicken and Pizza restaurant, where an off-duty Newark police officer was killed.

Under the ordinance, approved by the council unanimously on Thursday, restaurants that serve 15 or fewer people must hire an armed guard to stand watch after 9 p.m. Those unwilling to pay for a security guard must close by 10 p.m.

"If they want to stay open that late, they should provide security. If not, they should close," said Councilman Ras Baraka, who wrote the bill, in a telephone interview.

"These restaurants who serve 15 or less people, walk-in eateries where you get your food and you leave, they are havens for criminal activity," said Keith Hamilton, an aide to Baraka.

Jamil Nahiam, owner of the restaurant where the shooting occurred, said he opposes the ordinance, saying it places an expensive and unfair burden on small business owners to do something that should be the responsibility of the police.

"The ordinance is going to put us out of business. If that's what his intention was, I think he's going to succeed," Nahiam said in a telephone interview.

He said it was unrealistic to expect him to turn his business into a sit-down dining establishment.

"My location is right next to the hospital. The customers that come in are working-class people. They have 20 minutes, half an hour for lunch," he said.

Camcorder

Rupert Murdoch's Other Predicament - The BP Video

murdock

This hasn't been Rupert Murdoch's premier week. As CNN writes, "The phone-tapping allegations that forced the closure of embattled British tabloid News of the World may have a damaging ripple effect across Rupert Murdoch's vast media empire, according to some analysts."

Which brings us to BP.

Last Friday (Associated Press) (New York Times), we learned about the grilling that former BP boss Tony Hayward, who was ousted months after the BP spill, underwent in June by lawyers for victims of the catastrophe, including governments. AP wrote about Hayward being questioned whether BP propped up the company's falling share price through his subordinates' daily briefings:
During the deposition, attorneys raised questions about Hayward's sincerity when he said he had the best interest at heart of all those hurt by the Gulf oil spill. Hayward famously infuriated Gulf residents during the height of the spill with his comment, "I'd like my life back."

In the deposition, an attorney for the state of Louisiana, Allan Kanner, asked Hayward about a June 25, 2010, email to BP's former head of exploration and production, Andy Inglis. According to Kanner, it said, "Andy, can you make sure we get the technical briefing on the relief well out today? There are all sorts of ridiculous stories going around. It's the main reason behind the share price weakness."

At the time, the well was still spewing oil into the sea. It wasn't capped until three weeks later. And it wasn't until September that a relief well finally sealed what had become the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

The day of the email, BP's stock price closed at $26.53, a 6 percent drop from the previous day's close. A BP executive, Kent Wells, held a media briefing three days later saying the relief well was only 20 feet away from the blown-out well. He also told reporters that the company had a high degree of confidence in the relief well and a backup one it was drilling.

By June 30, 2010, BP's stock was back up to $28.35 -- slightly higher than what it closed at on June 24, the day before the Hayward email.

Gear

Germany Approves PGD Testing For Human Embryos

DNA
© redOrbit

In a conscience vote held Thursday, the German parliament approved the use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), a procedure in which one or two cells are extracted from a developing embryo in order to test for genetic disorders, according to Reuters reports.


In their July 7 article, Thorsten Severin and Eric Kelsey report that the newly approved legislation "will allow screening embryos of parents who have a predisposition to severe genetic disorders, where a pregnancy would be likely to result in either stillbirth or miscarriage. Existing German law did not fully regulate PGD and the German high court last year ruled that parliament should take up the issue with respect to serious genetic defects."


PGD has been a hot-button issue, in part because some believe that it could ultimately lead to the creation of a "designer baby." The issue "has divided governments around the world," Severin and Kelsey said, adding that "many people" oppose its use "on religious and ethical grounds."


According to Reuters, Labor Minister Ursula von der Leyen, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party, told ARD television that the concern that PGD would be used to create a child "which would be musically gifted or athletic or have blue eyes" was nothing more than a "fantasy."

Wolf

BP wants to stop paying Gulf oil spill victims

deepwater horizon
© Getty Images
Fire boats battle a fire at the off-shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon April 21, 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana.

New Orleans - BP is arguing that most victims of last year's Gulf oil spill should not get any more payouts for future losses because the hardest-hit areas are recovering and the economy is growing.

The British oil company argues its case in a 29-page document made public Friday and filed with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. The $20 billion fund is responsible for paying for damages from the spill.

The company says the fund should end payments for future losses to everyone, except in limited cases for oyster harvesters.

People

European Union suicide rates surged after 2008 crisis

Suicide rates rose sharply in European Union countries most affected by the 2008 financial crisis but a drop in road traffic accidents contributed to a fall in the total number of deaths, according to an analysis highlighting the varied impacts of downturns on health.

In a letter in the Lancet, the medical journal, David Stuckler from the University of Cambridge and three fellow authors highlighted a particular jump in suicides in Greece and Ireland. "The countries facing the most severe financial reversals of fortune ... had greater rises in suicides than did the other countries," they wrote.

Overall suicide rates rose 7 per cent in older EU states and less than 1 per cent in newer ones in 2008, and by 5 per cent in those 10 countries which reported data for 2009. They did not provide the overall numbers or absolute rates.

Heart - Black

Strauss-Kahn Case May Discourage Sex Crime Victims

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© Reuters/Brendan McDermid
Former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is seen smiling through a car window as he departs his lawyer's office in New York July 6, 2011.
Regardless of the outcome of the sexual assault charges against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the case could discourage victims from coming forward, women's rights advocates say.

The high-profile case shows why sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes in the United States: the accuser has been called a prostitute in print, intimate details of her past exposed to the world, and her credibility questioned by prosecutors trying to make a case against Strauss-Kahn.

"Unquestionably, it has had a chilling effect on the public consciousness and women in coming forward," said Sonia Ossorio, executive director of the National Organization for Women in New York City.

"It reinforces what we already know, that the majority of women do not report rapes because the spotlight will be on their personal history and their credibility will be questioned," she said.

Forty-five percent of sexual assaults in the United States go unreported, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics 2009 National Crime Victimization Study -- down from 60 percent in 2007.

A New York judge freed Strauss-Kahn from house arrest last week after prosecutors revealed that his accuser, a 32-year-old hotel maid from Guinea, had lied about her background, undermining her credibility as a witness.

Arrow Down

DR Congo Plane Crashes in Rainstorm, 127 Dead

An airliner plowed into dense forest as it tried to land during a rainstorm in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday, killing 127 people on board, the Congolese transport ministry said.

There were 51 survivors, a ministry statement said.

The chief executive of the airline involved in the crash told Reuters earlier that there had been 110 people on board the plane, of whom 53 had died and 57 survived.

But a spokesman for the transport ministry, Gudile Bualya, accused the airline of underestimating the number of passengers.

The accident at the international airport of Kisangani, a commercial center and river port town in the east, is the latest in a string of disasters in the vast central African country which has saddled it with one of the worst air safety records in the world.

"The pilot tried to land but apparently they didn't touch the runway," Stavros Papaioannou, chief executive of Hewa Bora airline, told Reuters by telephone.

Bizarro Earth

US: Death Penalty Sought in Cult Case

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© Travis Long
Peter Lucas Moses, 27, faces two counts of first- degree murder in the deaths of Jadon Higganbothan, 4, and Antoinetta Yvonne McKoy, 28.
In a hearing Friday, prosecutors announced plans to seek the death penalty and revealed details of their case against Peter Lucas Moses Jr., accused of murdering a 4-year-old boy and a 28-year-old woman because of his beliefs and association with a radical religious sect.

Moses, 27, faces two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Jadon Higganbothan, 4, and Antoinetta Yvonne McKoy, 28.

Prosecutors laid out their theories in broad brushstrokes for Judge Jim Hardin on Friday in Durham County Superior Court as part of a legal proceeding in capital punishment cases. The theories are built largely on the accounts of one person who lived in the house, an informant who began talking with police months ago.

District Attorney Tracey Cline summarized bizarre scenarios that investigators had pieced together for what happened to Jadon and McKoy, who both lived at 2109 Pear Tree Lane, where the defendant had patched together a sordid family.

Moses subscribed to the tenets of the Black Hebrews, a radical sect that believes a race war is coming that will leave blacks dominant and supreme, according to court documents.

Women who lived with the defendant and counted themselves as his wives or common-law wives - women who also face criminal charges in the case - referred to Moses as "Lord," prosecutors contend.

Wolf

US: Former Cop Charged in Connection with Roberts Murder


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© unknown
Jeffrey Dean Moreland
A 52-year-old former Grandview police officer has been charged in connection with the murder of a young Harrisonville mother, authorities announced Friday morning.

Jeffrey Dean Moreland has been charged in connection with the 2008 murder of Cara Jo Roberts.

Moreland is also accused in the 2010 murder of Nina Whitney, 75. She was found dead in her Kansas City home last fall.

Official say they could charge Moreland with the two woman's murders because of a match of DNA taken from a Harrisonville woman. That woman told authorities that she was raped last week by Moreland, according to court documents.

Moreland was rolled into Cass County Court Friday afternoon in a wheel chair to face a judge for the first time. The judge entered a not guilty plea for Moreland because Moreland does not have an attorney yet. Moreland was in court on the first-degree murder charge in connection with Roberts' death.

Roberts' husband, Jeff, said Friday that he was overwhelmed to learn about Moreland's arrest.

"I was excited and nervous all at the same time," Jeff Roberts said during a news conference. "I am very glad to be where we are now."