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Thu, 23 Mar 2023
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Cover Up? Soldier Dies During Skype Chat: Army Says No Bullet Wound or Trauma

© U.S. Army, File
Army investigators said Monday they found no bullet wound or evidence of foul play in the death of a soldier in Afghanistan who died during a Skype video chat with his wife.

Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark collapsed while speaking to his wife on May 1 from his base in Tarin Kot, Afghanistan, southwest of Kabul. His wife, Susan Orellana-Clark, has suggested that Clark was shot, citing a hole visible in the closet behind him that she believed was a bullet hole.

Investigators said an initial probe showed no trauma to the body except that Clark broke his nose when he fell forward. Orellana-Clark said he didn't seem alarmed before he collapsed.

Christopher Grey, a spokesman for the Army Criminal Investigation Command, said Monday that the investigation is still under way.

"But the important thing is that there was no bullet wound, no trauma," except that Clark's nose was possibly broken when he fell on his desk, Grey said in a telephone interview.

"We can positively say that Captain Clark was not shot," Grey later said in a statement.


US Jobless Toll - A Failure of Capitalism

Friday's US jobless report, the most dismal so far this year, demonstrates the complete failure of the capitalist system to provide jobs for the unemployed. Nearly five years after the official beginning of the recession, and nearly four years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered a worldwide financial panic, there has been no significant recovery for working people.

Corporate profits are at pre-slump highs, CEO pay is soaring, the wealth of the multimillionaires has reached new levels of obscenity. But working-class living standards continue to fall, not only in the United States, but in Europe, Asia and throughout the world. In every country the watchword is the same: austerity for the masses, while the ruling elites have never had it so good.

More detailed analysis of the statistics provided by the US Department of Labor confirms the historic character of the stagnation in jobs and income for working people. One key metric is the labor-force participation rate, the proportion of the adult population that is engaged in paid labor. This fell to 63.6 percent in April, the lowest figure since 1981, when millions of women still worked only in the home and so were not counted.

2 + 2 = 4

Pedophile Rings Trending on Facebook

Bombshell! America's favorite social network is child-predator playground

© Unknown
Editor's note: This is the first of a four-part series examining the dark side of Facebook. Part two comes tomorrow.

(EXPLICIT CONTENT: This report contains graphic details of sexual abuse of children as it has appeared in numerous locations on Facebook. WND immediately reported images of child pornography and child sexual abuse to the FBI. Censored screenshots published are among the mildest of those found.)

She's a tiny brunette with brown eyes, barely 10, and she's naked - posing for the man who raped her and traded her photo like currency with thousands of insatiable predators on Facebook.

The girl doesn't smile, because she knows what comes next. Her abuser will share photos and earn bragging rights from thousands of others just like him who will exchange their own titillating snapshots - often images uploaded from cell phones - of boys and girls they molest.

She's beautiful. In fact, she could be your own daughter, or little sister. Her little curls dangle over her youthful skin. Her bare body is clearly underdeveloped. But she has become a tool for sex, an X-rated trading card, a means to arouse the world's sexual deviants.

Comment: For more information on pedophile rings, see these Sott articles:

International Sex Ring Exposed, Thousands of Children and Infants Raped

Child sex trafficking, 'epidemic' in US

Dutroux Cover-up Protected Pedophile Networks

Beyond the Dutroux Affair: The reality of protected child abuse and snuff networks in a world ruled by psychopaths

The Pedophocracy

Arrow Down

Britain faces worst recession since 1930s

Britain is back in recession. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the economy shrank by 0.2 percent over the first three months of 2012, following a 0.3 percent contraction at the end of 2011. It has now entered a double-dip recession, the first since the 1970s.

The British economy has flat-lined, showing zero growth over 12 months, joining euro zone members Greece, Portugal, Slovenia, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain in an official recession.

Commenting on the figures, the ONS states, "The economy is weaker relative to its pre-recession peak than at the corresponding stage of the depression in the early 1930s".

The dire situation of the British economy is made even clearer in their accompanying graphic (see below).
© unknown
This view is shared by other finance experts. According to Michael Saunders, an economist at Citigroup, Britain is experiencing "the deepest recession and weakest recovery for 100 years".


The Real Culprit in U.S. Jobs Crisis: Government Cuts

© Reuters
US, Washington - Most U.S. states municipalities have balanced budget laws. What if they didn't?

Some might say a crisis in the muni bond market akin to the European debt crisis. Fair enough. But assume investors in state and local debt reasoned the states and local governments could run deficits and still make good on their bond payments. That scenario would have made for a very different recovery.

Mark McCormick, a currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York, pointed out this week that the only reason the U.S. is enduring a "jobless" recovery is because of legislated austerity in state capitals. From the end of the recession in June 2009, state and local governments have cut more than 800,000 jobs. Private employers have created almost three million positions, including more than 200,000 in manufacturing, an industry that had been left for dead.

"The takeaway is that the jobless recovery is due to the restructuring of state and local government jobs and the austerity that has forced budget cuts," Mr. McCormick said in a note for clients.


Dozens of Police Evict Georgia Family at Gunpoint at 3am

© unknown
The eviction might have been another anonymous descent into poverty were it not for Occupy Atlanta activists who tried to help the family stay.

Four generations of a Georgia family were evicted at gunpoint by dozens of sheriffs and deputies at 3am last week in an Atlanta suburb. The eyebrow-raising eviction, a foreclosure action, might have been another anonymous descent into poverty were it not for Occupy Atlanta activists who tried to help the family stay in Christine Frazer's home of 18 years.

The eviction came as Frazer, 63, who lost her husband and then job in 2009, had been challenging the foreclosure in county and federal courts by seeking to restructure the terms of a delinquent mortgage. However, the latest holder of her loan, Investors One Corporation - the fourth company that bought her mortgage in an eight-month period - allowed the eviction to proceed even thought it was "negotiating" new loan terms with her attorney one day before the police raid.

DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown told an Atlanta talk radio show a day after the raid that a dozen squad cars and dozens of deputies were needed for the dead-of-night raid because Occupy Atlanta had set up tents on Frazer's property, and his perception of the Occupy activists in other cities led him to believe they could be armed. He also said he timed the eviction to avoid media coverage.


Up to half of all Palestinian prisoners now on hunger strike, 10 transferred to Israeli hospitals

Palestinian protesters
© Noam Moskowitz/Flash90
Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli troops during a demonstration on Friday at Qalandiya checkpoint in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

A senior Hamas official warned Israel on Friday of dire consequences if any Palestinian prisoners die as a result of an ongoing hunger strike.

Two imprisoned Palestinians, Bilal Diab, 34, and Thaer Halahla, 27, have refused food for 66 days, and over 1,550 Palestinian security detainees have joined their strike since April 17.

Diab made matters worse on Saturday by refusing medical treatment.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian envoy to the UN, said that Diab and Halahla are suffering from "life-threatening conditions, including severe weight loss, nerve damage, dehydration, decreased muscle tone and low blood pressure."

They were reportedly transferred to an Israeli hospital on Friday. In total, 10 Palestinian prisoners were transferred to Israeli hospitals as a result of the hunger strike, according to Mansour.

The 10 men are among 1,500 to 2,500 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike to demand better conditions and an end to detention without trial.

Light Sabers

Hollande and the Banksters: New French President Vows to 'Fight Austerity'

© Getty
French President-Elect Francois Hollande celebrates victory in the place de la Cathedrale on May 6, 2012 in Tulle, France.
Francois Hollande, who defeated French President Nicolas Sarkozy to become the first Socialist in 17 years to control Europe's second-biggest economy, pledged to push for less austerity and more growth in the region.

"Europe is watching us," he told supporters in Tulle, France, last night after he won about 52 percent of the vote. "Austerity isn't inevitable. My mission now is to give European construction a growth dimension."

Hollande inherits an economy that is barely growing, with jobless claims at their highest in 12 years and a rising debt load that makes France vulnerable to the financial crisis that has rocked the euro region the past two years. Sarkozy became the ninth euro leader to fall in that time and the first French president in more than 30 years to fail to win re-election.

Hollande's comments were echoed in Greece, where voters flocked to anti-bailout groups, leaving the two main parties, New Democracy and Pasok, a seat short of a majority if they govern together, an Interior Ministry projection showed. His victory may sharpen tensions with key allies with Hollande advocating a more aggressive European Central Bank role in spurring growth -- a measure opposed by Germany.


Americans: Too Broke to go Bankrupt

© The Burning Platform
This year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are expected to be too broke to file for bankruptcy.

The average cost to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, the most common form of consumer bankruptcy, is more than $1,500, according to recent research submitted to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

As a result, anywhere between 200,000 and one million consumers are estimated to be unable to afford that steep cost this year.

The research, conducted by a group of professors from Columbia University, the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis, examined how bankruptcy filings spiked after people received their tax rebates in previous years. They estimate that another 200,000 consumers, who would otherwise not have enough money to file, will use their tax refunds to pay for bankruptcy this year.

"For lots of people, bankruptcy has been taken off the table as an option because of the severe fees involved," said Jialan Wang, co-author of the report.

Among those fees is a charge of about $300 just for filing the paperwork with the federal court, while the rest typically goes to bankruptcy lawyers, said Wang.

And there are other expenses on top of that, including fees for mandatory pre-bankruptcy credit counseling and a pre-discharge debtor education course. These average about $85 altogether, according to a recent study sponsored by the American Bankruptcy Institute.

That means many of the Americans who have seen their debt snowball out of control due to events like job loss, foreclosure or a medical emergency during the economic downturn are now left without their last financial lifeline, she said.

"It becomes harder and harder to pay off the debt as interest payments get higher, so your debt grows larger and larger," she said.


South Korea Targets Smuggled Capsules of Human Flesh

© Psychonaught via Wikimedia
Unmarked Pills. No telling what's in there.
South Korea is saying this morning that its customs officials are stepping up their inspections targeting smuggled capsules that contain the powdered flesh of dead human babies.

How's that for something to wash down with your third cup of coffee this morning?

The capsules originate in northeastern China, probably in Jilin province, which shares a border with North Korea.

Since August, South Korean authorities have thwarted 35 smuggling attempts accounting for 17,450 capsules containing the powdered flesh of human babies whose bodies were "chopped into small pieces and dried on stoves before being turned into powder," the Associated Press reports.

It's uncertain where exactly the babies are coming from or who is making the capsules, but it is known that some people consider such pills to be a panacea for a range of physical ailments.

Real science tells us that they are actually chock full of potentially harmful bacteria. Plus, they are made from human babies. We can't stress that enough.