Tag Archive: neonicotinoids


Environmental

We’ve Lost 30% of Our Wildlife Since 1970

Published on May 25, 2012 by

A new report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) found that in the past few decades, wildlife populations have declined by about 30 percent.

Read the full story here:
http://grist.org/list/weve-lost-30-to-70-percent-of-our-wildlife-since-1970/

Check out the study here:
http://www.worldwildlife.org/science/2012%20Living%20Planet%20Report/WWFBinar…

 

 

 

Long-predicted GM crop’ superweeds’ have arrived

By Ethan A. Huff,
(NaturalNews) It has been nearly two decades since widespread plantings of genetically-modified (GM) crops in the U.S. first began, and the prevalence of chemical-resistant “superweeds” has skyrocketed as a result. And according to a recent writeup by Marion Nestle, professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University (NYU), the industry’s answer to the problem is actually the cause of it. Having served on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Food Advisory Committee…

Michael Rubinkam/Associated Press
David DeKok, author of “Fire Underground,” a book about the town, poses Thursday on abandoned Route 61 in Centralia, Columbia County.
By Michael Rubinkam / The Associated Press

CENTRALIA, Pa. — It’s an anniversary the few remaining souls who live here won’t be celebrating.

Fifty years ago on Sunday, a fire at the town dump ignited an exposed coal seam and still burns today. It set off a chain of events that eventually led to the demolition of nearly every building in Centralia — a whole community of 1,400 simply gone.

All these decades later, the Centralia fire maintains its grip on the popular imagination, drawing visitors from around the world who come to gawk at twisted, buckled Route 61, at the sulfurous steam rising intermittently from ground that’s warm to the touch, at the empty, lonely streets where nature has reclaimed what coal-industry money once built. It’s a macabre story that has long provided fodder for books, movies and plays — the latest one debuting in March at a theater in New York.

Yet to the handful of residents who still occupy Centralia, who keep their houses tidy and their lawns mowed, this borough in the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania is no sideshow attraction. It’s home, and they’d like to keep it that way.

“That’s all anybody wanted from day one,” said Tom Hynoski, who’s among the plaintiffs in a federal civil rights lawsuit aimed at blocking the state of Pennsylvania from evicting them.

Centralia was already a coal-mining town in decline when the fire department set the town’s landfill ablaze on May 27, 1962, in an ill-fated attempt to tidy up for Memorial Day. The fire wound up igniting the coal outcropping and, over the years, spread to the vast network of mines beneath homes and businesses, threatening residents with poisonous gases and dangerous sinkholes.

After a contentious battle over the future of the town, the side that wanted to evacuate won out. By the end of the 1980s, more than 1,000 people had moved and 500 structures were demolished under a $42 million federal relocation program.

But some holdouts refused to go — even after their houses were seized through eminent domain in the early 1990s. They said the fire posed little danger to their part of town, accused government officials and mining companies of a plot to grab the rights to billions of dollars’ worth of anthracite coal, and vowed to stay put.

After years of letting them be, state officials decided a few years ago to take possession of the homes. The state Department of Community and Economic Development said Friday it’s in negotiations with one of the five remaining homeowners; the others are continuing to resist, pleading their case in federal court.

Residents say the state has better things to spend its money on. A handwritten sign along the road blasts Gov. Tom Corbett, the latest chief executive to inherit a mess that goes back decades.

“You and your staff are making budget cuts everywhere,” the sign says. “How can you allow [the state] to waste money trying to force these residents out of their homes? These people want to pay their taxes and be left alone and live where they choose!”

Whether it’s safe to live there is subject to debate.

Tim Altares, a geologist with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, said that while temperatures in monitoring boreholes are down — possibly indicating the fire has followed the coal seam deeper underground — the blaze still poses a threat because it has the potential to open up new paths for deadly gases to reach the remaining homes.

“It’s very difficult to quantify the threat, but the major threat would be infiltration of the fire gases into the confined space of a residential living area. That was true from the very beginning and will remain true even after the fire moves out of the area,” Mr. Alteres said.

Nonsense, say residents who point out they’ve lived for decades without incident.

Carl Womer, 88, whose late wife, Helen, was the leader of a faction that fiercely resisted the government buyout, disagrees the fire poses any threat.

“What mine fire?” Mr. Womer asked dismissively as he hosed down his front porch, preparing, he said, for a Memorial Day picnic. “If you go up and see a fire, you come back and tell me.”

Author and journalist David DeKok, who has been writing about Centralia for more than 30 years, said that while he believes Mr. Womer’s house is too close to the fire to safely live there, Mr. Hynoski and his neighbors are far enough away.

“I don’t think there’s any great public safety problem in letting those people stay there,” said Mr. DeKok, author of “Fire Underground,” a book on the town.

Many former residents, meanwhile, prefer to talk about the good times, their nostalgia taking on a decidedly golden hue.

“I loved it. I always liked Centralia from the time I was old enough to understand what it was,” said Mary Chapman, 72, who left in 1986 but returns once a month to the social club at the Centralia fire company.

“If you came out of your house and you couldn’t get your car started, the neighbor would come out and he’d help you. You didn’t even have to ask,” Ms. Chapman continued. “Of course the neighbors knew your business, but they also were there to help you, too.”

 

 

 

Pesticide kills bee colonies by turning insects into ‘picky eaters’ who crave sweeter nectar – and ignore nearby food

  • Tiny dose of pesticide considered ‘safe’ can lead bees to ignore nearby food
  • ‘Navigation errors’ can impact health of whole colonies
  • Ignore foods that could help colonies to survive

By Rob Waugh

Even a tiny dose of a popular pesticide has the effect - hindering bees from leading nestmates to the nearest foodEven a tiny dose of a popular pesticide has the effect – hindering bees from leading nestmates to the nearest food

Pesticide turns bees into ‘picky eaters’ who seek out sweeter nectar – and ignore perfectly good sources of food.

Even a tiny dose of a popular pesticide has the effect – hindering bees from leading nestmates to the nearest food.

The research could shed light on one of the main culprits suspected to be behind the recent declines in honey bee colonies.

Amounts of pesticide considered ‘safe’ to use could affect the health of entire bee colonies.

It could also offer insight into what pesticides should and shouldn’t be used on bee-pollinated crops, say University of California San Diego biologists, writing in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Since 2006, beekeepers in North America and Europe have lost about one-third of their managed bee colonies each year due to ‘colony collapse disorder.’

While the exact cause is unknown, researchers believe pesticides have contributed to this decline.

One group of crop pesticides, called ‘neonicotinoids,’ has received particular attention from beekeepers and researchers.

The UC San Diego biologists focused their study on a specific neonicotinoid known as ‘imidacloprid,’ which has been banned for use in certain crops in some European countries and is being increasingly scrutinized in the United States.

‘In 2006, it was the sixth most commonly used pesticide in California and is sold for agricultural and home garden use,’ said James Nieh, a professor of biology at UC San Diego who headed the research project with graduate student Daren Eiri, the first author of the study.

‘It is known to affect bee learning and memory.’

Amounts of pesticide considered 'safe' to use could affect the health of entire bee coloniesAmounts of pesticide considered ‘safe’ to use could affect the health of entire bee colonies

The two biologists found in their experiments that honey bees treated with a small, single dose of imidacloprid, comparable to what they would receive in nectar, became ‘picky eaters.’

‘In other words, the bees preferred to only feed on sweeter nectar and refused nectars of lower sweetness that they would normally feed on and that would have provided important sustenance for the colony,’ said Eiri.

‘In addition, bees typically recruit their nestmates to good food with waggle dances, and we discovered that the treated bees also danced less.’

The two researchers point out that honey bees that prefer only very sweet foods can dramatically reduce the amount of resources brought back to the colony.

Further reductions in their food stores can occur when bees no longer communicate to their kin the location of the food source.

‘Exposure to amounts of pesticide formerly considered safe may negatively affect the health of honey bee colonies,’ said Nieh.

To test how the preference of sugary sources changed due to imidacloprid, the scientists individually harnessed the bees so only their heads could move.

By stimulating the bees’ antennae with sugar water, the researchers were able to determine at what concentrations the sugar water was rewarding enough to feed on.

Using an ascending range of sugar water from 0 to 50 percent, the researchers touched the antennae of each bee to see if it extended its mouthparts.

Bees that were treated with imidacloprid were less willing to feed on low concentrations of sugar water than those that were not treated.

The biologists also observed how the pesticide affected the bees’ communication system.

Bees communicate to each other the location of a food source by performing waggle dances.

The number of waggle dances performed indicates the attractiveness of the reward and corresponds to the number of nestmates recruited to good food.

‘Remarkably, bees that fed on the pesticide reduced the number of their waggle dances between fourfold and tenfold,’ said Eiri. ‘And in some cases, the affected bees stopped dancing completely.’

The two scientists said their discoveries not only have implications for how pesticides are applied and used in bee-pollinated crops, but provide an additional chemical tool that can be used by other researchers studying the neural control of honey bee behavior.

The study was funded by the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign and the National Science Foundation.

 

 

 

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Cyber Space

FBI secretly creating Internet Police?

Published on May 25, 2012 by

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has just launched a secret surveillance program called the Domestic Communications Assistance Center. The purpose of the DCAC is to spearhead the invention of technology that would outpace local law enforcement’s wiretapping capabilities. Declan McCullagh, chief political correspondent for CNet, first broke the story and joins us for more.

 

 

Inside Facebook’s IPO: From Darling to Disaster – Decoder

Published on May 25, 2012 by

It seemed the perfect combination. Social phenomenon Facebook taken public by white shoe firm Morgan Stanley on the tech-heavy Nasdaq. Instead, it turned into an embarrassment. Here’s a blow-by-blow account of the fumbled IPO. (May 25, 2012)

 

 

Did Sabu Burn Assange Through Anonymous-LulzSec? 

Flier sent by publisher with the review book emphasizing the LulzSec and WikiLeaks discussions. (cryptome.org) 25 May 2012 The following passage is from ‘We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency‘ by Parmy Olson. ‘Also in the IRC channel with Topiary and q was Sabu, now likely with very interested FBI agents monitoring the discussion… It is unclear if Sabu was in reality haunted by the fact that he was now also helping to implicate Assange… Another possibility: the FBI was encouraging Sabu to reach out to Assange to help gather evidence on one of the most notorious offenders of classified government data in recent times. It seems probable that if Sabu had helped, for instance, extradite Assange to the United States, it would have improved his settlement dramatically.’

 

 

Science & Tech World — 26 May 2012
Twitter admits to tracking users’ activities across Internet

NewKerala

Micro blogging website Twitter has revealed that it tracks its users’ movements across the Internet in order to suggest relevant content to tweeters.

The company made the disclosure in an email sent to its users today about changes to its service and privacy policy.

“We’ve provided more details [in our new privacy policy] about the information we collect and how we use it to deliver our services and to improve Twitter,” the email read.

“One example: our new tailored suggestions feature, which is based on your recent visits to websites that integrate Twitter button or widgets, is an experiment that we’re beginning to roll out to some users in a number of countries,” it added.

The company further explained the collection of users’ data across third party websites that have a Twitter button installed in its updated privacy policy, The Telegraph reports.

“We may tailor content for you based on your visits to third-party websites that integrate Twitter buttons or widgets… While we have the widget data, we may use it to tailor content for you, such as suggestions for people to follow on Twitter,” it said.

“Tailored content is stored with only your browser cookie ID and is separated from other Widget Data such as page-visit information,” it added.

According to the paper, Twitter also offered its users the chance to turn off this feature. After a maximum of 10 days, Twitter begins the process of deleting or “aggregating widget data, which is usually instantaneous, but in some cases may take up to a week”.

The update to its privacy policy comes after Twitter came under fire earlier this year for copying the content of peoples’ entire address books from their mobile phones and storing the information on its servers, without many of its users realising.(ANI)

 

 

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Survival / Sustainability

Survival Kit: Potassium Permanganate

Published on May 3, 2012 by

WARNING:Potassium Permanganate can be very dangerous and fatal, avoid direct contact with skin. It is deadly if you eat the crysals directly or drink large quantities. KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN!!!!
Potassium Permanganate can be used for:
Water purification (slightest visible purple tin coloration in water is enough)
Desinfecting wounds and fungal infections (add crytals until you have pink colored water)
Yes, fingernail fungus as well … http://www.tipking.co.uk/tip/5988.html
Emegency Singals in snow or clear water (making a purple solution and spreading it in a distress signal patter such as an X or SOS.
http://www.themodernsurvivalist.com

 

 

Repurposing your life to make prepping easier

by M.D. Creekmore (a.k.a Mr. Prepper)  

What we can all do this week is inventory. It helps list making easier. We clutter our basements and lives with useless stuff. If we need to find shelter, bug out, what will you bring in the car? what could you carry from the car once out of gas? Cleaning the basement is a chore usually, but realistically weeding out the chaff is important and simplifies you life. Once your basement or shed is cleared from clutter you have room for that shelf of sugar, coffee or the 100 pack of TP. We may not need as much TP when the dollar is worth less and can be used to augment your toilet paper supply.

There are trucks canvassing my neighborhood for scrap metal let them take your trash away or better yet you take it to get scrap metal money. I bribed the guy in the trash truck recently( bribed is kind of harsh, I augmented his income lets say) He obliged me in taking large useless stuff from my curb. we usually need to pay the municipality to remove some items. I made a friend , one who comes weekly and takes my trash away. Not much gets wasted tho. food scraps go in the compost, paper gets burned and heats my home.

I love the word repurposing. Finally a way to describe my frugality. This week a bag once used for shipping a new mattress found its last life. It covered stuff I hauled to my retreat in the back or the truck It covered a pile of milk in the yard( I’ll get back to the milk) and now is a tent for my new raised beds. Hopefully I’ll get the courage up to put it in the recycle bin and let someone else reuse it in what ever they do with old plastic.

While buying food for a local food pantry a store owner offered me some milk. I agreed to take it to the local shelter for distribution to the needy. The proprietor of the food pantry said we don’t take food past the sell by date. It was 2 days past. What to do with a truck load of milk? My friends, neighbors and family got cases, we froze what we had room for and I piled it neatly under its mattress bag in the yard. 6 weeks later its still not sour smelling. Its organic cartons half gallon containers, usually pretty expensive. When I started dumping it in the yard My son said he knew a guy who grew giant pumpkins and used milk to help them grow. I googled it and sure enough its good for the garden. I now have a huge area of tall grass, very green and healthy. the rest went to my crock pot yogurt and the raised beds as well as all over my lawn. It was 100′s of gallons left over. It didn’t go to waste.

While we still have trash trucks taking away our leftovers load them up and go thru your treasures to see what’s useful. If I cant use it maybe someone else will. a lot of places online let you post stuff for sale or free stuff and someone will come pick it up. I mostly use those sites to gather free stuff. I’ll need to make more space in my shed tho. We live in a land of milk and honey I have had near hoarding tendencies, possibly from doing without as a kid. Its good to weed out the true trash.

Read Full Article here

 

 

Fukushima radiation cover-up continues – here’s how to protect yourself

By PF Louis, 
(NaturalNews) It’s not just Fukushima, though that may be enough. The northern hemisphere especially had been inundated with radioactive fallout by atmospheric nuclear weapons testing from 1950 to 1963. The Nevada testing area alone produced 1200 nuclear explosions that emitted radioactive particles across the USA. The Chernobyl incident in 1986 affected hundreds of thousands throughout Europe, Scandinavia, and Russia. The boom in nuclear reactor power plants had already started and was constantly…

Rense & Dr Blaylock – Radiation What We CAN Do

Uploaded by on Apr 24, 2011

World famous Dr Russell Blaylock gives real advise on how we can protect ourselves from radiation, and a sober assessment of how our governments go for “covering up” the reality.

 

 

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Activism

Mexican natives slam ‘protection’ measures for their sacred lands

Published on May 25, 2012 by

Mexico’s government says it will protect thousands of acres of land considered sacred by the Huichol Indian tribe, which inspired a protest movement against a Canadian company’s silver-mining concessions in the northern desert area called Wikiruta.

The land became a focal point for environmentalists and indigenous activists after First Majestic announced plans to drill there. The natives’ cause received backing from a wide variety of Mexican artists, intellectuals and civic groups objecting to the mining.

Despite being hailed as a victory by the government, Huichol leaders have severely criticised the measures as a “media ploy”, saying their holy land is still under threat.

Rachel Levin reports from Mexico City.

 

 

Montreal Mayhem: ‘Protests grow beyond just student issue’

Published on May 25, 2012 by

Student protests in Canada escalate as nearly 700 people were arrested on Wednesday night alone. The rallies against the proposed tuition fee increases have been going on for over a 100 days in Quebec. Many of those detained were carted off in public buses, which police converted into temporary holding pens. The demonstrations swelled after Quebec’s government passed emergency laws last week to make the protests more difficult to organize. For more on the situation RT talks to Corey Pool, news editor of Concordia University’s The Link, newspaper.

 

 

70 reports of police misconduct on Sunday at NATO protest, says National Lawyers Guild

By YanaKunichoff,
70 reports of police misconduct on Sunday at NATO protest, says National Lawyers Guild

Now that the barricades are cleared from the streets, downtown traffic has resumed its sluggish pace and thousands of workers in the loop no longer have an excuse to take a day off, what is the legacy of the massive Sunday protest that brought out an estimated 15,000 people?One lasting effect, on both the city and the protesters, is how the Chicago Police Department behaved over the much-hyped weekend.

According to Sarah Gelsomino with the National Lawyers Guild and the People’s Law Office, the NLG received 70 separate claims of police misconduct from Sunday’s events.

“The majority of those incidences are baton strikes to the head and face,” said Gelsomino. “We saw broken collar bones, broken arms, teeth knocked out, heads bashed in, lips busted and a numbers of concussions.”

The National Lawyers Guild says that 100 protesters were arrested altogether over the weekend and during the week of action, with the “vast majority”–60 people–being taken into police custody on Sunday.

A total of 6 protesters were charged with felonies–one for attempting to break through a line of police on bicycles Sunday night.

What actually took place Sunday after the march ended has been highly debated, but the general outline compiled from numerous eyewitness reports goes like this: while the speeches from the main stage were ending, a crowd of ‘black blocers’ began advancing east toward McCormick Place.

As the group started pushing forward, rows of police in riot gear formed a square, with a small outlet at the cross section of Michigan Avenue and Cermak Road. However, also in the crowd, and at points sandwiched between the black bloc and the police, were journalists and marchers who were unable to leave the scene because of the surrounding police presence.

From this reporter’s view, there were at least 30-50 people in the square surrounded by police that were not dressed in black or pushing east towards McCormick Place. Soon after, this reporter saw people being taken out of the crowd with bleeding heads and, in one case, a bleeding eye.

Read Full Article Here

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Politics and Legislation

Republicans shift from McCain on war

By Jeremy Herb and Carlo Munoz

Many Republicans are hesitant to align with Sen. John McCain’s aggressive stances on Afghanistan and Syria.

Facing a public that’s become increasingly war weary after a decade of conflict, most Republicans have not backed McCain’s call for action in Syria.

http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/policy-and-strategy/216525-republicans-shift-away-from-mccain-on-war-policy-in-afghanistan-syria

Schumer bill would create ‘passenger advocates’ to help with TSA disputes

By Pete Kasperowicz

Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) said Friday that they would soon introduce legislation to create “passenger advocates” to help people who may be “inappropriately treated” by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers.

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/216539-schumer-bill-would-create-airport-passenger-advocates-to-help-with-tsa-disputes

Obama Executive Order: Peacetime Martial Law!

CONTRIBUTOR: Chris Kitze. Hattip: A BIN reader.

This article may be freely reproduced in its entirety provided a link is provided back to the original BIN story. This Executive Order was posted on the WhiteHouse.gov web site on Friday, March 16, 2012, under the name National Defense Resources Preparedness. In a nutshell, it’s the…

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1906/406/Obama_Executive_Order:_Peacetime_Martial_Law.html

RFID Chip Implants – Hidden Secret In Obamacare – Coming 3/23/13

CONTRIBUTOR: John Rolls.

Polidics.com Reporting News the Main Media Refuses to Touch… by Mr. Carrington – May 26, 2011 On Sunday March 21, 2010 the Senate Healthcare bill HR3200 was passed and signed into law the following Tuesday. Like I said before, there are a legion of horrible and just plain evil aspects to this bill…

http://polidics.com/news/another-hidden-secret-in-obamacare-rfid-chip-implants.html

Economy

Spanish town plans to pay debts by growing marijuana

RASQUERA, Spain (Reuters) – A small town in northeastern Spain, believes it has found a novel way to pay of its debt: cultivating cannabis.

Tucked in the hills of one of Spain’s most picturesque regions, the Catalonian village of Rasquera has agreed to rent out land to grow marijuana, an enterprise the local authorities say will allow them to pay off their 1.3 million euro (1 million pound) debt in two years.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/spanish-town-wants-grow-cannabis-pay-off-debt-131654270.html

Dems see ‘ammunition’ against Wall Street in Goldman resignation

By Peter Schroeder

Democrats have co-opted a fiery resignation letter from a Goldman Sachs employee to argue for rigid rules on the financial sector.

http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/banking-financial-institutions/216545–dems-see-ammunition-against-wall-street-in-goldman-resignation-

Prediction: Crisis From Food Prices And Social Unrest In 2013

CONTRIBUTOR: BARRACUDA.

Via www.economonitor.com

The people at NECSI sent me the following interesting blurb on the relationship between the rise in food prices and social unrest:

necsi.edu/research/social/foodvideos.html.

These videos illustrate the correlation between increasing costs of food and worldwide food riots, especially from 2000 until the present day. Both prices and riots peaked in 2008 and 2011 after a brief drop in 2009. This month, NECSI is publishing the results of its food prices update, in which the institute extends its food price model to January 2012, entering no modifications to the model and continuing to use its dynamics.

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1907/053/Prediction:_Crisis_From_Food_Prices_And_Social_Unrest_In_2013.html

Defiant North Korea says rocket launch to go ahead

(Reuters) – North Korea on Sunday rejected criticism of its planned long-range missile launch which threatens to upset its only major benefactor, China, and put relations with the United States back in the freezer just as they seemed to be starting to thaw.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/18/us-korea-north-missile-idUSBRE82H02U20120318

Wars and Rumors of War

Report: US sent detainees to Afghan prisons known for torture despite moratorium

A report released Saturday by two rights groups says the U.S. sent some detainees to Afghan prisons where torture was found despite an announced moratorium on such moves. The report by the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and the New York-based Open Society Institute suggests that Afghanistan’s international allies are still failing to ensure that people captured on the battlefield are treated humanely despite a massive reform program in recent months.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/report-us-sent-detainees-afghan-prisons-known-torture-185849142.html

Syrian Rebels are Foreign-backed Terrorists

Latest terrorist attack in Damascus illustrates illegitimacy of both Syria’s rebels & the UN/NATO backing them.

By Tony Cartalucci

A twin terrorist bombing in the Syrian capital of Damascus, allegedly targeting government buildings, ripped through a Christian neighborhood killing an estimated 27, mostly civilians. A third bomb exploded, killing only the driver of the car it was placed in, in what was apparently an attempted triple suicide bombing. CBS News reports (1) that after other similar attacks, U.S. officials suggest Al Qaeda terrorists “may be” amongst the Syrian rebels.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Syrian_Rebels_are_Foreign-backed_Terrorists/18499/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Panetta Confirms US Involvement in Potential Israeli War on Iran ‘Obviously’ the US Would Take Action

Confirming what has always been the implicit way in which the US is going to get sucked into its next major war, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta confirmed that the US would definitely involve itself in a war on Iran if Israel decided to launch one.

http://news.antiwar.com/2012/03/16/panetta-confirms-us-involvement-in-potential-israeli-war-on-iran/

Banking group pressured to cut Iran ties

By Kevin Bogardus

Lawmakers will push forward with legislation targeting a worldwide banking cooperative despite its decision to stop doing business with some Iranian banks.

http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/216547-banking-group-pressured-to-cut-iran-ties

Tensions over Syria could slow legislation to normalize Russia, U.S. trade relations

By Vicki Needham

Rising tensions between the United States and Russia over the violence in Syria could slow legislation to expand trade relations between the two nations.

http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/1005-trade/216549-tensions-over-syria-could-slow-legislation-to-normalize-russia-us-trade-relations

Gulf widens between US and a more volatile Karzai

By Rod Nordland, Alissa J. Rubin and Matthew Rosenberg

Ever since the Koran-burning episode on Feb. 20, the relationship between the United States and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan has lurched from one crisis to another.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/world/asia/gulf-widens-between-us-and-an-increasingly-hostile-karzai.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper

Lieberman: War with Iran a global nightmare

During official visit to China, foreign minister says ‘united international front’ can convince Tehran to abandon nuclear ambitions

“If, god forbid, a war with breaks out with Iran, it will be a nightmare. Everyone will be involved, including the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia,” Avigdor Lieberman told the Yedioth Ahronoth daily during an official visit to China.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4204402,00.html

Environmental

Honeybee die-offs linked to insecticide, study says

A newly published study draws a stronger link between mass die-offs of honeybees and an insecticide widely used on corn. The study sheds more light on the worrisome phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Bees play a critical role in the pollination of crops, and thus a threat to bee colonies can potentially affect entire ecosystems. The latest study, conducted by Italian researchers at the University of Padova and published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, focuses on a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids.

http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/17/10735129-honeybee-die-offs-linked-to-insecticide-study-says

Activism

Scores Arrested as the Police Clear Zuccotti Park

Scores of Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested on Saturday night as police officers swept Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan and closed it. Dozens of demonstrators sat down and locked arms as officers moved in about 11:30 p.m. The operation occurred after hundreds of people had gathered in the financial district to observe the founding of Occupy Wall Street six months ago… At one point, a woman who appeared to be suffering from seizures flopped on the ground in handcuffs as bystanders shouted for the police to remove the cuffs and provide medical attention.

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/17/arrests-made-as-protesters-mark-occupy-wall-streets-six-month-anniversary/

Occupy protest anniversary ends with police sweep

Protesters chanted and cheered down Wall Street to mark six months of the Occupy movement, ending the day with a police confrontation and numerous arrests at the park where the demonstrations against economic inequality began. Police declared Zuccotti Park closed Saturday night, and more than 100 officers swept through the excited crowd. At least one person was injured during the sweep, police said.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-03-17/occupy-wall-street/53595282/1

Cyber Space

UK teenager arrested for anti-war Facebook post

A British teenager has been arrested and is expected to appear in a UK court after he posted about the injustice of the occupation of Afghanistan on his Facebook page. Following the deaths of six UK soldiers in Afghanistan earlier this month, Azhar Ahmed from Ravensthorpe left his comment on the social networking site in order to indicate the hypocrisy of praising the UK soldiers, while thousands of Afghan civilians killed at the hand of Western troops who have occupied the country for over ten years claiming to protect the civilians.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/232192.html

 

State department seeking to turn social media users into global government spies

By J. D. Heyes,
(NaturalNews) In an ongoing effort to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons in these unstable times, a top State Department official has proposed using social media as a way to keep track of the world’s most destructive devices. Rose Gottemoeller, acting Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, sees the concept as just another way to keep atomic bombs out of the hands of terrorists and under the control of responsible governments and regimes. As such, Gottmoeller says she wants ordinary…

 

 

Misc

Government takes 92-year-old woman’s money after believing she died

A 92-year-old woman from Port Angeles, Washington revealed Friday afternoon that she had lost thousands of dollars due to her bank and the government believing she was dead, according to KOMO-TV.?

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Govt-mistakenly-declares-woman-dead-takes-her-money-142949255.html?tab=video&c=y

Exposed: Lobbyist Who Helped Kill California Pot Legalization Ballot Measure is Getting Rich Off Drug War

Ethan A. Huff, News Report:

After the Obama Administration enacted its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Lovell reportedly got busy sending notices to police agencies alerting them about “important opportunities” to generate more federal grants. These opportunities included $2.2 million in funding for implementing a “Marijuana Suppression Program,” and more than $7.5 million for a “Campaign Against Marijuana Planting” program.

http://www.naturalnews.com/035277_John_Lovell_California_marijuana_legalization.html

http://www.nationofchange.org/exposed-lobbyist-who-helped-kill-california-pot-legalization-ballot-measure-getting-rich-drug-war-13

Federal Regulator is Using Seriously Flawed Study to Deny Homeowners Mortgage Aid

Pat Garofalo, News Report:

Goodman cited several problems with the study, including that it did not factor in bank incentives from the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and underestimated the number of homeowners severely underwater by not using city level housing data. She said that it the study was done correctly, “it will be clear that forgiveness is the better solution for the bulk of the two-thirds of their book of business without mortgage insurance.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/federal-regulator-using-seriously-flawed-study-deny-homeowners-mortgage-aid-1332086225

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to run for Australian Senate

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is planning to run for election to the Australian Senate. Mr Assange, an Australian citizen, is on bail awaiting a British court decision on his appeal against extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations. He strongly denies the claims, saying they are politically motivated and linked to the activities of WikiLeaks, which has published thousands of confidential documents on the internet. The whistle-blowing website said it appeared that Mr Assange’s current legal situation did not rule him out of running for Australia’s upper house.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/9150013/WikiLeaks-founder-Julian-Assange-to-run-for-Australian-Senate.html

Is America preparing for an unprecedented crisis reminiscent of WWII?

by The Extinction Protocol

March 19, 2012 – WASHINGTON – The following excerpt is from a Executive Order signed by U.S. President Obama on March 16, 2012. The Executive Order coordinates and mobilizes all national resources, technological and industrial, under Federal auspicies in the event of a national emergency. This sounds like a major preparatory step before a crisis eerily reminiscent of WWII. An excerpt from the document reads: “The United States must have an industrial and technological base capable of meeting national defense requirements and capable of contributing to the technological superiority of its national defense equipment in peacetime and in times of national emergency. The domestic industrial and technological base is the foundation for national defense preparedness. The authorities provided in the Act shall be used to strengthen this base and to ensure it is capable of responding to the national defense needs of the United States. Each resource department shall act, as necessary and appropriate, upon requests for special priorities assistance, as defined by section 801(l) of this order, in a time frame consistent with the urgency of the need at hand. This is to help foster cooperation between the defense and commercial sectors for research and development and for acquisition of materials, services, components, and equipment to enhance industrial base efficiency and responsiveness.  In situations where there are competing program requirements for limited resources, the resource department shall consult with the Secretary who made the required determination under section 202 of this order. Such Secretary shall coordinate with and identify for the resource department which program requirements to prioritize on the basis of operational urgency. In situations involving more than one Secretary making such a required determination under section 202 of this order, the Secretaries shall coordinate with and identify for the resource department which program requirements should receive priority on the basis of operational urgency.” –The White House

http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/is-america-preparing-for-an-unprecedented-crisis-reminiscent-of-wwii/