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French protesters urge Paris to 'wake up'

© Unknown
French police forces face protesters during a demonstration in front of the Bastille opera in Paris on May 29, 2011.
French protesters gathered in Paris and rallied against their government, as they modeled Spain's M-15 movement, with banners calling for Paris to wake up!

About 1,000 protesters gathered on Sunday in Bastille square in Paris according to the French police and demonstrated against the country's rising unemployment level and corruption, AFP reported.

The demonstration was modeled after the M-15 movement in Spain that has witnessed 2 weeks of violent clashes between security forces and protesters.

The protesters, unfolded giant banners that read; "Real democracy now" and "Paris, wake up", on the steps of the Opera House in Bastille square.

The Bastille square is known as the place where the French Revolution began.

"There has to be a change in the economic structures to improve the sharing of world resources, because if we continue like this, in unfairness and misery, it could end up badly," said protester Chantal Piganau.


German Nuclear Shutdown Sets Global Example: Merkel

nuke caption
© n/a
Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany could serve as a global trailblazer with its decision Monday to phase out nuclear power by 2022 in favour of renewable energy sources.

Merkel said the "fundamental" rethink of energy policy in the world's number four economy, which was prompted by the disaster in March at Japan's Fukushima plant, opened up new opportunities for business as well as climate protection.

"We believe we as a country can be a trailblazer for a new age of renewable energy sources," she told reporters.

"We can be the first major industrialised country that achieves the transition to renewable energy with all the opportunities -- for exports, development, technology, jobs -- it carries with it."


Pharma Fearmongering?: Hospitals hunt substitutes as drug shortages rise

© Unknown
Washington - A growing shortage of medications for a host of illnesses - from cancer to cystic fibrosis to cardiac arrest - has hospitals scrambling for substitutes to avoid patient harm, and sometimes even delaying treatment.

"It's just a matter of time now before we call for a drug that we need to save a patient's life and we find out there isn't any," says Dr. Eric Lavonas of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

The problem of scarce supplies or even completely unavailable medications isn't a new one but it's getting markedly worse. The number listed in short supply has tripled over the past five years, to a record 211 medications last year. While some of those have been resolved, another 89 drug shortages have occurred in the first three months of this year, according to the University of Utah's Drug Information Service. It tracks shortages for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

The vast majority involve injectable medications used mostly by medical centers - in emergency rooms, ICUs and cancer wards. Particular shortages can last for weeks or for many months, and there aren't always good alternatives. Nor is it just a U.S. problem, as other countries report some of the same supply disruptions.

Comment: Seems as an appropriate time to remind/share information about nutrition as any:

Please, take care of yourselves. The "get sick" industry is certainly not going to, though they'll be glad to lighten your wallet.


Police State Porn: US police release video of SWAT raid on Iraq War vet shot 70 times

A U.S. Marine who was killed when he was gunned down in his home near Tucson, Arizona, never fired on the SWAT team that stormed his house firing 70 times in a hail of bullets, a report has revealed.

The revelation came as dramatic footage of the shooting was released, showing the armed team pounding down the door of Jose Guerena's home and opening fire.

The father-of-two, who had served twice in Iraq, died on May 5 after the SWAT team descended on his home believing it was one of four houses associated with a drug smuggling operation.

The Tucson SWAT team responsible for the May 5 house shooting defended its actions, saying the team was conducting a multi-house drug investigation based on a search warrant when they saw Mr Guerena aiming an assault rifle at them.

At first, the SWAT team had said Mr Guerena fired first, but then they retracted that statement, saying he had left the safety on.

SWAT team lawyer Mike Storie claimed weapons and body armour were found in the home, as well as a photo of Jesus Malverde, who Mr Storie called a 'patron saint drug runner'.

In a statement, the sheriff's office criticised those questioning the team, saying, 'It is unacceptable and irresponsible to couch those questions with implications of secrecy and a cover up, not to mention questioning the legality of actions that could not have been taken without the approval of an impartial judge'.

On the night of the raid, Ms Guerena said her husband was asleep, after having worked a night shift at the Asarco copper mine. She said she then saw the armed SWAT team outside her youngest son's bedroom window.


Food Inflation to Quicken as Nestle, McDonald's Lift Prices

© Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Whole Foods, the largest U.S. natural-goods grocer, said vendors have increased food prices this year.
U.S. food-price inflation may top the government's forecast as higher crop, meat, dairy and energy costs lead companies including Nestle SA, McDonald's Corp. (MCD) and Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFMI) to boost prices.

Retail-food prices will jump more than the U.S. Department of Agriculture's estimate of 3 percent to 4 percent this year, said Chad E. Hart, an economist at Iowa State University in Ames. Companies will pass along more of their higher costs through year-end, said Bill Lapp, a former ConAgra Foods Inc. chief economist.

Groceries and restaurant meals rose 2.4 percent in the four months through April, the most to start a year since 1990, government data show. During the period, rice, wheat and milk futures touched the highest levels since 2008, and retail beef reached a record. Yesterday, J.M. Smucker Co. announced an 11 percent price increase for Folgers coffee, the best-selling U.S. brand, after the cost of beans almost doubled in a year.

"It's going to be a tough year" for U.S. shoppers, said Lapp, who is president of Advanced Economic Solutions, an agriculture consultant in Omaha, Nebraska. "You're looking at an economy where a lot of consumers are under some serious pressure from food and fuel costs."

Even after a drop in commodities this month, seven of eight tracked by the Standard & Poor's GSCI Agriculture Index are higher than a year earlier as adverse weather damages crops, rising demand erodes inventories and a weak dollar boosts demand for U.S. exports. Corn futures are up 98 percent, wheat gained 67 percent, raw sugar advanced 44 percent, and rice jumped 25 percent.


US: Starbucks Raising Packaged-Coffee Prices 17 Percent

Starbucks will raise the price of packaged coffee by 17 percent in its U.S. and Canadian stores on July 12.

It is responding to escalating coffee prices, which have almost doubled over the past year and are trading at 30-year highs. On Tuesday, J.M. Smucker Co. said it will raise the price of Folgers coffee by 11 percent - the latest of four price increases over the past year.

Although Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has said repeatedly that he believes speculators are driving the price of coffee and other commodities beyond what they are worth, the chain decided it could not wait any longer to pass the higher costs along to customers.

In March, it raised the price of packaged coffee sold in grocery stores by an average of 12 percent, and last fall it hiked prices on some drinks in some cafés. Prices on some drinks also fell.

"We held off as long as we could," Starbucks spokesman Alan Hilowitz said of the latest increase. "We want to provide value to our customers, so we only do it when we really have to to effectively run the business."


Indiana, US: Woman "Killed Son in Botched Exorcism"

A mother faces up to 45 years in jail after being found guilty of killing her son in a botched exorcism.

© The Telegraph, UK
Latisha Lawson choked her son Jeziah to death 'to exorcise the devil in him'
Latisha Lawson, 31, forced her two-year-old son Jezaih to drink a vile mixture of olive oil and vinegar as part of a ritual to drive the devil from his body.

As he choked on the liquid she held her hand over his mouth to stop him vomiting and crushed his neck.

Jurors heard Lawson had wanted to drive a demon named as "Marzon" from her son's body.

She had become convinced that her son was possessed and blamed herself because she did not profess her love for God while she was pregnant.

Lawson and another woman, who also believed her children were possessed, fed the mixture to four children at their home in Fort Wayne, Indiana.


Florida, US: Animal carcasses found behind Tampa pizzeria still mystery

Veterinarians this week will examine 11 skinned animal carcasses found in a trash container Saturday to determine what kind of animals they are.

An employee found the carcasses that had been skinned, decapitated and had their feet cut off in a trash container behind a pizza restaurant on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard about 4:30 p.m.

The animals were taken to Hillsborough County Animal Services and stored in freezers, said spokeswoman Marti Ryan. Veterinarians will conduct their examination after the Memorial Day weekend, she said.

This isn't the first time animal carcasses have been found in the county, and they may be tied to religious ceremonies that involve animal sacrifice, she said.


US: Mysterious Heiress Leaves Behind $100 Million Estate in Santa Barbara

The death of a mysterious and reclusive 104-year-old heiress has many wondering what's to become of her $100 million mansion in Santa Barbara.

Huguette Clark died Tuesday at a New York City hospital, where she had been for more than 20 years. She inherited her fortune as the daughter of a Montana copper tycoon. Her Santa Barbara Mansion sits on a bluff overlooking the ocean, but she hasn't been there in decades.

Her estate is called Bellosguardo--Italian for "beautiful view." It's located on a bluff between the Santa Barbara Zoo and the Santa Barbara Cemetery. . .23 acres valued at $100 million.

"It's probably the most beautiful estate here in Santa Barbara at least along the beach," said Chris, who lives in Santa Barbara. At one time, Clark lived in the 22,000 square foot mansion. Growing up, a private rail car would bring the family there each winter. You can still catch a glimpse through the trees.

"Occasionally, there's some people sitting over here by the house. I don't even know if they belong to the house, but they're sitting out there," Chris said.

This is as close as we could get to Clark's 23 acre property and she really didn't get much closer either. In fact recent reports indicate she hasn't set foot here in at least 50 years.

But to this day, it is still staffed and well-maintained. Dan has been the grounds keeper for the last three years. He wouldn't speak on camera but said hardly anybody visits the vacant property.

Light Saber

US: Wisconsin Judge Strikes Down Anti-Union Law

wisconsin protests
Since taking office on January 3, Republican Governor Scott Walker waged war on public workers and their unions, aiming to restrict collective bargaining rights to wage negotiations before ending them altogether.

He also demanded draconian health insurance and pension contribution increases, doubling them for state employees during hard times when they're already strapped to make ends meet. Doing so called for pay cuts ranging from 8 - 20% ahead of more planned reductions coming.

On March 9, a protracted Senate battle ended when hard-line Republicans violated Wisconsin's open meetings law, requiring 24 hours notice prior for special sessions unless giving it is impossible or impractical.

At issue was passing an old-fashioned union-busting law with no Democrats present, brazen politicians and corrupted union bosses selling out rank and file members for self-enrichement and privilege, complicit with corporate CEOs.