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Thanksgiving: A Native American View

Thanksgiving: A Native American View

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RwCPaZujZM

 



Russia, Iran And Latin America Admit Talks of Dumping Dollar

Russia and Iran Now OFFICIALLY Talking of Dumping Dollar for International Trade

Washington’s Blog
October 18, 2009

After the Independent reported that Middle Eastern oil producers, plus China, Japan and France have all agreed to start trading oil using a basket of currencies – instead of the dollar – starting in 9 years, spokesmen for those governments denied it.

The Independent’s reporter explained why the governments were denying the rumor.

But now the governments themselves are starting to admit that they are switching out of the dollar.

For example, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia is ready to consider using the Russian and Chinese national currencies instead of the dollar in bilateral oil and gas dealings. As Russia’s newspaper RIA Novosti writes:

Russia is ready to consider using the Russian and Chinese national currencies instead of the dollar in bilateral oil and gas dealings, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.

The premier, currently on a visit to Beijing, said a final decision on the issue can only be made after a thorough expert analysis.

“Yesterday, energy companies, in particular Gazprom, raised the question of using the national currency. We are ready to examine the possibility of selling energy resources for rubles, but our Chinese partners need rubles for that. We are also ready to sell for yuans,” Putin said.

And Iran’s Press TV reports that Iran wants to completely drop the dollar from its foreign exchange:

Since October 2007, Iran has received 85 percent of its oil revenues in currencies other than the US dollar and Tehran is determined to find a substitute for the US dollar for the rest of its 15 percent of oil revenues, the report added.

This story is confirmed by the Tehran Times, which notes:

As I have repeatedly noted, many countries have been moving out of the dollar for years. The process is simply accelerating.

In line with this plan, Iran has informed Japan that it should use the yen instead of dollars to pay for the oil it buys from the Islamic Republic.

In addition, Iran has decided to open a bourse for oil and gas transactions in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, especially the euro.

 

Latin America plans US dollar replacement

Press TV
October 17, 2009

Leftist Latin American leaders have agreed on using a new intra- regional trading currency, dubbed as Sucre, instead of the US dollar.

Bolivian President Evo Morales, who hosted leaders of the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the Caribbean (ALBA), said that the “document is approved.”

During the seventh ALBA summit, the leaders agreed on the currency reform as well as approving plans to impose economic sanctions against the coup leaders in Honduras, AFP reported.

The currency, Sucre, is named after Jose Antonio de Sucre who fought for Spain’s independence alongside Venezuelan hero Simon Bolivar in the early 19th century.

Sucre is scheduled to be rolled out in 2010 in a non-paper form.

The nine members of ALBA, conceived by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, are Cuba, Dominica, Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Saint Vincent and Antigua, Bolivia and Barbuda.

The bloc also agreed to replace the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, which is in charge of arbitrating international disputes and has probed a large number of contract disputes between Western energy firms and members of ALBA.

ALBA, which has already lost many of its members, including Ecuador, is echoing the moves of the European Union and its introduction of euro.

World Bank and IMF Join Global Attack on U.S. Dollar

U.S. Dollar Will No Longer Be World Reserve Currency

 



Zero Investigation Into 9/11 (movie)

Zero Investigation Into 9/11 (movie)

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2296490368603788739&hl=en

 



Sudden death after arrest may be new syndrome

Sudden death after arrest may be new syndrome

Reuters
September 2, 2008

Young men who die suddenly after being arrested by the police may be victims of a new syndrome similar to one that kills some wild animals when they are captured, Spanish researchers said on Tuesday.

Manuel Martinez Selles of Madrid’s Hospital Gregorio Maranon reached the conclusion after investigating 60 cases of sudden unexplained deaths in Spain following police detention.

In one third of the cases, death occurred at the point of arrest, while in the remainder death was within 24 hours, Selles told the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology.

All but one of the casualties were male and their average age was just 33 years, with no previous history of cardiovascular disease.

“Something unusual is going on,” Sells said.

Just why they died remains a mystery but he believes young men, in particular, may experience surges in blood levels of chemicals known as catecholamines when under severe stress.

Adrenaline is one of the most abundant catecholamines.

“We know that when a wild animal is captured, sometimes the animal dies suddenly,” he said.

“Probably when these young males are captured it is very stressful and their level of catecholamines goes very high and that can finish their life by ventricular fibrillation (cardiac arrest).”

Selles compiled his study — the first of its kind in any country — by scouring Spanish newspapers for cases of unexplained death after police detention over the past 10 years.

Only sudden deaths with no clear causes were included and autopsy reports were checked to exclude the possibility of mistreatment or past serious medical conditions.

Twelve of the victims were drug users but Selles said this was not thought to have contributed to their deaths.

Jonathan Halperin of the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, who was not involved in the research, said the concept of a heart stress syndrome triggered by a flood of adrenaline or other chemicals was “a reasonable hypothesis.”

“We all know stress is bad for you and this may be stress in the extreme,” he said.

 



Cities Debate Privatizing Public Infrastructure

Cities Debate Privatizing Public Infrastructure

NY Times
August 29, 2008

Cleaning up road kill and maintaining runways may not sound like cutting-edge investments. But banks and funds with big money seem to think so.

Reeling from more exotic investments that imploded during the credit crisis, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the Carlyle Group, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse are among the investors who have amassed an estimated $250 billion war chest — much of it raised in the last two years — to finance a tidal wave of infrastructure projects in the United States and overseas.

Their strategy is gaining steam in the United States as federal, state and local governments previously wary of private funds struggle under mounting deficits that have curbed their ability to improve crumbling roads, bridges and even airports with taxpayer money.

With politicians like Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California warning of a national infrastructure crisis, public resistance to private financing may start to ease.

“Budget gaps are starting to increase the viability of public-private partnerships,” said Norman Y. Mineta, a former secretary of transportation who was recently hired by Credit Suisse as a senior adviser to such deals.

This fall, Midway Airport of Chicago could become the first to pass into the hands of private investors. Just outside the nation’s capital, a $1.9 billion public-private partnership will finance new high-occupancy toll lanes around Washington. This week, Florida gave the green light to six groups that included JPMorgan, Lehman Brothers and the Carlyle Group to bid for a 50- to 75 -year lease on Alligator Alley, a toll road known for sightings of sleeping alligators that stretches 78 miles down I-75 in South Florida.

Until recently, the use of private funds to build and manage large-scale American infrastructure assets was slow to take root. States and towns could raise taxes and user fees or turn to the municipal bond market.

Americans have also been wary of foreign investors, who were among the first to this market, taking over their prized roads and bridges. When Macquarie of Australia and Cintra of Spain, two foreign funds with large portfolios of international investments, snapped up leases to the Chicago Skyway and the Indiana Toll Road, “people said ‘hold it, we don’t want our infrastructure owned by foreigners,’ ” Mr. Mineta said.

And then there is the odd romance between Americans and their roads: they do not want anyone other than the government owning them. The specter of investors reaping huge fees by financing assets like the Pennsylvania Turnpike also touches a raw nerve among taxpayers, who already feel they are paying top dollar for the government to maintain roads and bridges.

And with good reason: Private investors recoup their money by maximizing revenue — either making the infrastructure better to allow for more cars, for example, or by raising tolls. (Concession agreements dictate everything from toll increases to the amount of time dead animals can remain on the road before being cleared.)

Politicians have often supported the civic outcry: in the spring of 2007, James L. Oberstar of Minnesota, chairman of the House Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure, warned that his panel would “work to undo” any public-private partnership deals that failed to protect the public interest.

And labor unions have been quick to point out that investment funds stand to reap handsome fees from the crisis in infrastructure. “Our concern is that some sources of financing see this as a quick opportunity to make money,” Stephen Abrecht, director of the Capital Stewardship Program at the Service Employees International Union, said.

But in a world in which governments view infrastructure as a way to manage growth and raise productivity through the efficient movement of goods and people, an eroding economy has forced politicians to take another look.

“There’s a huge opportunity that the U.S. public sector is in danger of losing,” says Markus J. Pressdee, head of infrastructure investment banking at Credit Suisse. “It thinks there is a boatload of capital and when it is politically convenient it will be able to take advantage of it. But the capital is going into infrastructure assets available today around the world, and not waiting for projects the U.S., the public sector, may sponsor in the future.”

Traditionally, the federal government played a major role in developing the nation’s transportation backbone: Thomas Jefferson built canals and roads in the 1800s, Theodore Roosevelt expanded power generation in the early 1900s. In the 1950s Dwight Eisenhower oversaw the building of the interstate highway system.

But since the early 1990s, the United States has had no comprehensive transportation development, and responsibilities were pushed off to states, municipalities and metropolitan planning organizations. “Look at the physical neglect — crumbling bridges, the issue of energy security, environmental concerns,” said Robert Puentes of the Brookings Institution. “It’s more relevant than ever and we have no vision.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that the United States needs to invest at least $1.6 trillion over the next five years to maintain and expand its infrastructure. Last year, the Federal Highway Administration deemed 72,000 bridges, or more than 12 percent of the country’s total, “structurally deficient.” But the funds to fix them are shrinking: by the end of this year, the Highway Trust Fund will have a several billion dollar deficit.

“We are facing an infrastructure crisis in this country that threatens our status as an economic superpower, and threatens the health and safety of the people we serve,” New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg told Congress this year. In January he joined forces with Mr. Schwarzenegger and Gov. Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania to start a nonprofit group to raise awareness about the problem.

Some American pension funds see an investment opportunity. “Our infrastructure is crumbling, from bridges in Minnesota to our airports and freeways,” said Christopher Ailman, the head of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System. His board recently authorized up to about $800 million to invest in infrastructure projects. Nearby, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, with coffers totaling $234 billion, has earmarked $7 billion for infrastructure investments through 2010. The Washington State Investment Board has allocated 5 percent of its fund to such investments.

Some foreign pension funds that jumped into the game early have already reaped rewards: The $52 billion Ontario Municipal Employee Retirement System saw a 12.4 percent return last year on a $5 billion infrastructure investment pool, above the benchmark 9.9 percent though down from 14 percent in 2006.

“People are creating a new asset class,” said Anne Valentine Andrews, head of portfolio strategy at Morgan Stanley Infrastructure. “You can see and understand the businesses involved — for example, ships come into the port, unload containers, reload containers and leave,” she said. “There’s no black box.”

The prospect of steady returns has drawn high-flying investors like Kohlberg Kravis and Morgan Stanley to the table. “Ten to 20 years from now infrastructure could be larger than real estate,” said Mark Weisdorf, head of infrastructure investments at JPMorgan. In 2006 and 2007, more than $500 billion worth of commercial real estate deals were done.

The pace of recent work is encouraging, says Robert Poole, director of transportation studies at the Reason Foundation, pointing to projects like the high-occupancy toll, or HOT, lanes outside Washington. “The fact that the private sector raised $1.4 billion for the Beltway project shows that even projects like HOT lanes that are considered high risk can be developed and financed privately and that has huge implications for other large metro areas,” he said .

Yet if the flow of money is fast, the return on these investments can be a waiting game. Washington’s HOT lanes project took six years to build after Fluor Enterprises, one of the two private companies financing part of the project, made an unsolicited bid in 2002. The privatization of Chicago’s Midway Airport was part of a pilot program adopted by the Federal Aviation Administration in 1996 to allow five domestic airports to be privatized. Twelve years later only one airport has met that goal — Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, N.Y. — and it was sold back to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

For many politicians, privatization also remains a painful process. Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana, faced a severe backlash when he collected $3.8 billion for a 75- year lease of the Indiana Toll Road. A popular bumper sticker in Indiana reads “Keep the toll road, lease Mitch.”

Joe Dear, executive director of the Washington State Investment Board, still wonders how quickly governments will move. “Will all public agencies think it’s worth the extra return private capital will demand?” he asked. “That’s unclear.”

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U.S. and NATO Warships Arrive at Georgia

US warship anchors at Georgian port

Press TV

August 24, 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kItfuwmxRaw

The guided missile destroyer USS McFaul has anchored at the Georgian port of Batumi, escalating tensions in the conflict-stricken region.

The US says the destroyer, which arrived at the Black Sea port on Sunday, contains humanitarian aid including baby food, diapers, bottled water and milk, AP reported.

This is while the USS McFaul is outfitted with an array of weaponry, including Tomahawk cruise missiles, which can carry both conventional or nuclear warheads, and a sophisticated radar system.

The US Embassy said the destroyer was the first of five American ships scheduled to arrive this week.

Earlier, Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy chief of Russia’s general staff said that the arrival of the ship and those of other NATO members would escalate tensions, adding that NATO is setting up a naval force in the Black Sea under the ’cover’ of aid deliveries to Georgia.

“Under the cover of needing to deliver humanitarian goods, NATO countries continue to boost their naval grouping,” Nogovitsyn told a news conference in Moscow on Saturday.

The US Navy does not say if the ships are carrying nuclear weapons for security reasons.

Georgian military forces attacked South Ossetia to retake control of the independence-seeking province on August 8. In response, Russia moved its forces to the region where most of the population holds Russian citizenship.

The conflict ended after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a French-brokered ceasefire deal last week.

At least 2,000 people in South Osettia and about 150 in Georgia were killed in the conflict. Also, about 40,000 people were displaced in areas around the conflict zone, according to International Committee of the Red Cross.

 

NATO Ships Enter The Black Sea

IHT

August 22, 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lALlXKzkFw

NATO warships entered the Black Sea on Thursday for what the alliance said were long-planned exercises and routine visits to ports in Romania and Bulgaria.

The move is not linked to the tensions over Russia’s invasion of Georgia, which lies on the eastern shore of the Black Sea, about 900 kilometers (550 miles) from the Romanian coast, said officials at NATO’s military command in southern Belgium.

Three warships — from Spain, Germany and Poland — sailed into the Black Sea on Thursday. They are due to be joined by a U.S. frigate, the USS Taylor, later this week.

They are “conducting a pre-planned routine visit to the Black Sea region to interact and exercise with our NATO partners Romania and Bulgaria, which is an important feature of our routine planning,” said Vice-Adm. Pim Bedet, deputy commander at allied maritime headquarters in Northwood, England.

However, the move risks increasing tensions with Russia which has deployed ships from its Black Sea fleet to the Georgian coast.

The NATO flotilla includes Spain’s SPS Adm. Juan de Bourbon, Germany’s FGS Luebeck and the Polish ship ORP General K Pulaski. Romanian and Bulgarian ships will join them for exercises during a three-week deployment which NATO says has been planned for over a year.

Read Full Article Here

 

NATO suspends Russian council, supports Georgia’s government

AP

August 20, 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbUuqHETbbs

NATO pulled its punches against Russia on Tuesday, suspending formal contacts as punishment for the Georgia invasion but bucking U.S. pressure for more severe penalties.

The Russian ambassador to NATO played down the impact of the emergency meeting of the Western alliance.

“The mountain gave birth to a mouse,” said Dmitry Rogozin.

Although the allies said they would not convene any more meetings of the NATO-Russia Council until Russian troops withdraw from Georgia, they bowed to concerns from Europe — which depends heavily on Russia for energy — and stopped short of adopting specific long-term steps to punish Moscow for its actions.

“There can be no business as usual with Russia under present circumstances,” said Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the alliance’s secretary-general, after NATO foreign ministers met here.

“We are not abandoning the NATO-Russia Council, but as long as Russian forces are occupying large parts of Georgia, I cannot see the NATO-Russia Council meeting,” he told reporters.

Russia, which has accused the United States of wanting to dismantle the council, asked for a meeting last week but has been rebuffed thus far.

De Hoop Scheffer said “the future will depend on concrete actions from the Russian side,” but he was forced to add that “no specific decisions on programs or projects (with Russia) have been taken.”

The Russians have agreed to a cease-fire deal that requires a troop pullback, but at the Pentagon on Tuesday evening officials said the latest assessment by U.S. intelligence was that the Russians had shown no sign of beginning a substantial withdrawal. Two officials, discussing the intelligence assessment on condition of anonymity, said separately that Russian forces were holding their positions.

In a small victory for the United States, NATO foreign ministers did agree to show support for Georgia’s pro-Western government by creating a NATO-Georgia Commission to oversee the former Soviet republic’s bid to join the alliance and begin providing military training to its army.

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Overfilled Garbage Bins Can Lead to Fines of £110

Overfilled Garbage Bins Can Lead to Fines of £110

Daily Express
August 4, 2008

MINISTERS have ordered people who overfill their bins to be punished more severely than shoplifters, drug users and dangerous drivers.

Official guidance from the Department of the Environ-ment to local councils says they must impose fines of “not less than £75” and up to £110 on taxpayers who disobey rubbish rules.

The crackdown from the so-called “Talibin” will apply to virtually all UK households.

Anyone caught leaving their wheelie-bin lid even slightly open, placing bins or rubbish out on the day before collection or putting their bin in the wrong place could get a fixed penalty or end up in court.

Tory spokesman Eric Pickles yesterday accused Labour of creating “an army of municipal bin bullies”.

He warned they were targeting “law-abiding families with massive fines while professional criminals get the soft touch. It is clear Whitehall bureaucrats are instructing town halls to target householders with fines for minor breaches.

Anyone caught leaving their wheelie-bin lid even slightly open, placing bins or rubbish out on the day before collection or putting their bin in the wrong place could get a fixed penalty or end up in court.

Tory spokesman Eric Pickles yesterday accused Labour of creating “an army of municipal bin bullies”.

He warned they were targeting “law-abiding families with massive fines while professional criminals get the soft touch. It is clear Whitehall bureaucrats are instructing town halls to target householders with fines for minor breaches.

“Yet with the slow death of weekly collections and shrinking bins, it is increasingly hard for families to dispose of their rubbish responsibly.

“It is fundamentally unfair that householders are now getting hammered with larger fines than shoplifters get for stealing.”

Read Full Article Here

 

Eco-Nazi Youths urged to report on family’s eco-crimes

National Post
August 1, 2008

In a recent series of ads aimed at school children, a leading British energy company has assigned a controversial summer project: police their family’s global-warming crimes.

Launched last week by NPower — the country’s fourth-largest provider — the campaign is part of a larger program to educate children about global warming and the wasteful habits that might exacerbate it.

Placed in prominent newspapers such as The Sunday Times and The Telegraph, the ads offer giveaway diaries in which kids can note domestic infractions, such as leaving a mobile phone charging for too long or a Nintendo game left flickering in the dark, as well as Post-It notes, which can be left at the crime scene as a warning to the offenders. Equally important, the campaign seeks to attract kids to its controversial Web site, Climate Cops, which encourages children to monitor and report on their domestic energy crimes to their classrooms.

Some activists and marketers see the site as a clever marketing gimmick to teach children to preserve their planet. Others see excessive indoctrination tactics lifted from the pages of the George Orwell novel 1984, in which children are set against their parents, or worse, the Hitler Youth, who were encouraged to betray their loved ones for the greater glory of the state.

Last Tuesday, a satirical article on the British Web site Anorak referred to these cadets as “Greenshirts” and compared them to the young Blackshirts of yore. “NPower, the electricity people, want you, the Britisher Jungvolk, to inform on your mums and your dads if they disobey the rules on climate change.”

Read Full Article Here

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Global Warming Hoax News Archive